: Current Affairs
: Business :
||: Contact : Links :
||Home -> People -> Germaine
Germaine Greer: Writer, professor, and 'an anarchist, basically.'
Australian-born author and professor of comparative literature, Germaine Greer became a household name internationally in 1970 with the publication of her first book, The Female Eunuch. From this point onwards she was associated in the public's mind as a preeminent figure supporting women's liberation.
Since her early days and on into recent times Germaine has identified herself as 'an anarchist, basically.' For decades she has acted as a social commentator, activist on various issues, and agitator. Her skills range from being able to take scientific research and put it across to the general public, to an endless adeptness in breaking social taboos.
Germaine takes a keen interest in biodiversity and owns 125 acres of rainforest in Queensland, Australia, which she visits twice a year.
She was born and brought up in Australia, moving to the UK in 1964, where she has lived ever since.
All of the above - the title of her first book, women's liberation (particularly focused on women's bodies), social commentary, translating scientific research into public understanding, interest in biodiversity, identifying as an anarchist, Marxist/'anarchic communist' views - can be immediately traced to her Moon-Uranus-south node conjunction in Taurus. In Greek mythology, the sky god Ouranos (Uranus) would lie down every night on the Earth goddess (Moon in Taurus) and penetrate her. As the myth goes, one night Ouranos had his phallus cut off and thrown into the sea. So here is a person whose development through life (nodal axis) is intimately bound up with the liberation (Uranus) of women (Moon), re-enacting in a quite literal way the ancient mythological story where women are freed from subservience to male potency.
Added to this is the Sun in Aquarius, possibly close to the Ascendant depending on the accuracy of the birth time, and probably in square aspect to the Aquarian Moon. This speaks of a group ego, a self-concept based on a social role, and a creative display of intellect and principles. Then there's Venus in Sagittarius, another symbol of female freedom, love of philosophy, and appreciation and reflection of social trends; undoubtedly Germaine was in the right place at the right time to ride the wave of burgeoning feminism. Venus is quintile Uranus, and perhaps here again there is the image of the female eunuch and the articulation of feminine liberty, particularly from the point of view of women's erotic energy. Free womanhood is the language she speaks.
As well as these placements Germaine has Mars in Scorpio in trine to Pluto, an image of the passionate, intense and supremely potent, yet also predatory and enraged, feminine, seeking depth of exchange and an abundance of life force, but also roaring with blood-curdling, gutsy, instinctual lusts and a thirst for revenge ("One of my greatest struggles over the last 30 years has been to persuade women that they should be victims no longer - in particular, when it comes to rape." - Greer, 1999) As the saying goes, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. But already we can see that this is not just a woman, or even a representative of all women, it is the force of Mother Nature herself. Linking this with Moon in Taurus conjunct Uranus, Germaine's enjoyment of gardening and rainforest preservation is reflected in this configuration, where even connecting with nature is a social reconstructionary act. There is something very archetypally profound here about reconnection with the body and the earth that comes through in all that she does.
Finally, with Chiron on her Sun-Mars midpoint, is it any wonder that, for Germaine, masculine power is both wounded and wounding, damaged and damaging, dysfunctional and in need of major review? Certainly in Germaine's life her campaigning against war, against rape, against bullying, and so on can be traced to this midpoint functioning in combination with all the above factors.
7th harmonic chart
Sometimes people become famous by accident, but no-one remains famous by accident. That applies all the moreso to staying famous for thirty-five years, after travelling halfway around the world, gaining a PhD at Cambridge University, then establishing a career that took her to international prominence. So where does all this come from in Germaine's chart?
Germaine's strong sense of 'social mission' is shown in her 7th harmonic chart, pictured below. In this chart, the outer planets Chiron, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto form two pairs of oppositions. The Uranus-Pluto opposition, symbolising anarchy, extremes, and radicalism, links directly with Germaine's Mercury, the planet of perceiving, thinking, writing, speaking, and teaching. Mercury is in sesquiquadrate to the Pluto end of the axis and in septile to the Uranus end, so there is a huge amount of visionary and inspirational psychological energy invested in thinking things and speaking things that not only upset the applecart but completely, uncompromisingly and determinedly overturn convention. We can infer from this that Germaine is strongly drawn to the idea of absolutist freedom of thought and speech, thinking the unthinkable and speaking the unspeakable, to the point of feeling compulsively driven and out of control when speaking or writing.
Mars trine Pluto is carried over from the natal chart and so is not something that comes together specifically in the 7th harmonic, however in her 7th harmonic chart Mars also forms a trine to the Sun. This places her Mars-Pluto trine at the heart of her visions of herself, influencing what she is about and what her purpose revolves around from the inside out. In this case, her purpose is strongly and emotionally engaged as a heroine and a warrior figure. Germaine's self-concept is one where she imagines herself to be a strong and noble character, a survivor, tougher than old boots, independent and bolder than bold. This configuration speaks about her enjoyment of herself in this capacity, playing this role, and her capacity to motivate other people to also stand up for themselves in the face of life's greatest adversity and struggles.
Combining with this is the 7th harmonic Moon in semisquare to Mars (assuming the birth time is close to accurate) and square to Jupiter. This points to feeling inspired to develop emotional independence, and to forcefully reject co-dependency and close bonding. The image of herself here is of an Amazonian woman, capable of being a match to any man. This combination spells out clearly that in her inner reality women are not eunuchs!
In Germaine's inner reality, she sees herself as a mythic warrior-type who cheerfully and easily slays dragons, rescues those in distress, and challenges those who abuse power. This has translated into her work in such a profound way that it is now what she is recognised and known for, which reflects the fact that her Sun - symbol of what is visible and recognisable about us - is involved.
The final aspect I want to mention in her 7th harmonic chart is Venus in septile to Neptune. I believe that this aspect is critical to understanding Germaine's focus, life, and career. In her natal chart, Venus squares Neptune, which represents a yearning for the idyllic in relationships but a tendency to feel irritated and disappointed by reality in this regard. It shows that Germaine is fundamentally romantic but has experienced a tension in her capacity to live up to her ideals of womanhood, particularly with regard to beauty and the capacity to attract a true and rarefied form of love that fulfills the soul. This aspect is one of worshipping femininity as the ultimate, but feeling as if something has been lost or taken away, or been found wanting in some way. There is a reaching out to 'the perfect vision of woman' and a consonant feeling of never quite having it within grasp. The fact that Neptune is on Germaine's natal Sun/Moon midpoint (assuming her birth time is reasonably accurate) further emphasises the central importance of this aspect in her character and life.
In the 7th harmonic chart Venus and Neptune are septile one another, so alongside the frustration implicit in the natal square described above there is also an absolutely all-consuming fascination, enthralment and enchantment with femininity and all things womanly. But it is not the earthly female that has Germaine spellbound, it is the cosmic feminine energy of the soul. Germaine's challenge is to inspire other people with images, nuances, hints, word pictures and the like, to discover this Ideal Woman for themselves, not by encouraging a search in the external world, but by going within and touching the essence of femininity that resides there.
A brief marriage leads to a world-changing book
"In 1969 or so, I was briefly married, which turned out to be the worst jam I was ever in. Until that time, I had been rather unsympathetic to the suffering of women, and in 1969, therefore, after running away from my husband, I began to write a book about the need for feminism called 'The Female Eunuch.'" - Greer, 1999
Returning to Germaine's natal chart now, and looking at her transits for the time of her brief marriage which was immediately followed by the writing and publication of The Female Eunuch, we find that this Venus-Neptune configuration was being transitted by Pluto throughout the entire two year period of 1968 and 1969 - Pluto was conjunct Neptune and therefore both square and 'double septile' to Venus. Pluto symbolises the ending of one phase of life, shedding an old skin, and resurrecting or creating a new sense of self. Pluto also reflects crisis, and often correlates with times when we meet our power issues. It's when we have to let go of external situations and people, and dig down inside ourselves for resources, qualities, ideas, to set us on the next phase of our lives. Thus, this is when we go through the fire and are reborn anew, reinvigorated and forever changed. In light of this, we can conclude that The Female Eunuch was a dredging up of something deep within Germaine that she hadn't fully got in contact with before, but which was powerfully driving her experience.
1968 also coincided with her Saturn Return, which means that transitting Saturn had returned to the position it occupied when Germaine was born. This is a time when we either consolidate our lives personally and professionally, or we change direction, often quite radically. Decisions we make at this time set the tone for the following seven years in particular. It is a pivotal time when we often get down to our life's work.
As if these two 'biggie' transits weren't enough, transitting Jupiter and Uranus were also both conjunct Germaine's Neptune in 1967/68, at exactly the same time as the Pluto transit, and therefore both squared and 'double septiled' Venus simultaneously to Pluto forming those same contacts. This line-up marks this period out as a time of massive upheaval but also of the potential for great discovery and far-reaching liberation in relation to the Venus-Neptune themes highlighted above.
Towards the summer of 1969 and on into 1970, Saturn moved to conjoin Germaine's Moon-Uranus conjunction, showing that it was time for her to give form and function to her personal experience of 'women's liberation'.
These transits add up to a once-in-a-lifetime experience, an experience that correlated with an awakening on both personal and cultural levels.
The Female Eunuch was published in 1970 and Germaine's life was never the same again, as she became a feminist icon, inspiring millions of women around the world to shake off their cultural and familial indoctrination and live freely.
Hutton Inquiry, Tony Blair, Iraq, Israel, European Union, USA,
War on Terror, Uranus in Pisces & Neptune in Aquarius, & more
Euro Currency, NHS, BBC, USA economy, Ofcom, Concorde,
W Edwards Deming, European Central Bank, Anita Roddick, & more
Health, emotional intelligence, zodiac elements, understanding change, Angelina Jolie, Beyoncé, Madonna's image and brand, & more