Tag Archives: Bertie Wooster

Comedy can be “rummy”

Even the most reclusive of us must be aware that there really is nothing funny about what is going on at large in the world at the moment. However medical authorities from The Mayo Clinic onwards recommend giggling, sniggering and laughing as a great tonic, so whether appropriate or not at this time of trouble, here goes…

The novelist P G Wodehouse’s first names were Pelham Granville. He chose to be known as Plum to his friends – and who can blame him? Take a look at his natal chart.

P G Wodehouse natal

As you see there are no fewer than five planets including Chiron, Saturn at 10 degrees, conjunct Neptune at 15, conjunct Chiron at 21, conjunct Jupiter at 24, conjunct Pluto at 28 degrees, all in Taurus all in the 12th House.

For one of the funniest wordsmiths of all time with decade succeeding decade of universal popularity and very high earning, well from an astrological point of view that’s whacky, don’t you agree? I mean 12th House? House of secrets, hidden enemies, self-undoing – really?!?

In other words, if, on the 15th of October 1881 (Plum’s birthday) you had been in Guildford, England, and looked due East at 7:00pm you might have seen Saturn and Jupiter as twinkling lights, the other planets in the stellium were too far away to see, but no less influential.

Presumably Plum, for all his wealth and success, had his share of ups and downs, but it’s my view that the greatest self-undoing came to him inadvertently (and who undoes themselves in any other way) just the once, about a year after the Germans interned him when they invaded northern France in June of 1940.

Over the following year Plum was imprisoned in various locations, he kept a diary and read  excerpts to his fellow internees to keep their spirits up. It was at that point, as Plum once wrote, that, “… fate was quietly slipping the lead into the boxing glove.” The chart of the moment 6th August 1941, the day his last of five broadcasts made from Berlin under the authority of the Gestapo, seems to bear out the constellation of a difficult time with consequences.

Those consequences were devastating. Plum could never return to his beloved England, for some years he was reviled as a traitor, and when the war ended he was investigated by the secret services. He was finally given a royal endorsement in the Queen’s New Year’s Honor’s List in 1975. It was the last year of his life. He died six weeks later on the 14th of February. He was too frail to travel although he was working up to the very end.

Meanwhile, Plum’s natal chart indicates a man driven hard, to the point of compulsion and for a long time (at least 47 years) to work as a writer; here’s why. Mercury (the writer’s planet) went retrograde when Plum was 13 in 1894 and by progression remained so in his chart until 1914. The retrograde period meant that by progression Plum’s Mercury stayed in Scorpio, opposing his 12th House stellium including compulsive Pluto, in his 6th House of work and service until 1935, and then continued in his 6th House in Sagittarius until 1941. By  which time the habit of a constant, intense working routine would have been sufficiently established to last the next 46 years until his death.

Here are some more astro-notes on his chart:

Mercury is the chart ruler as Plum’s ascendant was in verbal Gemini, with Mercury also ruling his 5th House of creativity. The 5th House cusp (creativity) is in Virgo – sign of meticulousness.

The 12th House (Connection with collective unconscious, the ancestors, depth psychology) stellium ruled by Venus (planet of balance, harmony, aesthetics, pleasure) gives us:

Mastery of form (Saturn in Taurus)

Wedded to a dreamy imagination expressing the pleasures of comfort, looking to become tangible (Neptune in Taurus)

A propensity for getting into scrapes and out of them (Chiron in Taurus)

All the above given energetic optimism (Jupiter in Taurus) and a propensity for happy resolutions.

Transforming upheaval (Pluto in Taurus)

All with a lot of staying power (Taurus, fixed Earth) and Jupiterian expansion.

All the above intermingled and compounded (through conjunction) challenging Mercury (by opposition) to get it written.

The 5th House (of creativity) has a Virgo (mutable, improvisational, responsive Earth) conjunction (blending) of Uranus (planet of thinking outside the box) and Venus (relationships, social pleasure). This conjunction closely trines (flows to and from) the 12th House stellium, and closely sextiles Mercury in the 6th.

There are quincunxes from Mars in Cancer (fighting on behalf of others – just think of Bertie Wooster), and Saturn (the southern end of the 12th House stellium, looking for procedural solutions – Jeeves anyone?) to the north node (personal destiny). This combination although not technically a yod (the nodes are not planets), give what Plum might have a called a fair imitation of one, and indicates potential for extraordinary achievement.

Finally, as everyone who reads Wodehouse knows, his metier is England, albeit his own version of  England, kept alive as Isaac Asimov observed through a special alchemy known only to himself. Consider that the UK natal Sun is at 10 degrees Capricorn (both in the 1066 chart and the 1801. It exactly trines Plum’s Saturn, and therefore the stellium through conjunction in the 12th, and his Uranus/Venus in the 5th.

As with any chart the planets and their placements describe archetypal energies, exactly what use any individual will make of them or what mode of expression they will follow is anybody’s guess.

With Plum all this is expressed in P G Wodehouse’s mastery of intricate plotting(any of the Jeeves and Bertie novels), his mastery of syntax (“… she looked at me with the surprise of one, who while picking daisies on the down line, has caught the 4:15 in the small of the back.”), his appreciation of shape-shifting trickery (for one example among many Bertie personates the female novelist Rosie M Banks), his pervasive optimism and good humor (he never wrote a tragedy and all his protagonists end up ok), his awe-fear-respect-appreciation of the divine feminine, (Aunt Agatha, Aunt Dahlia, Bobbie Wickham, Steffie Byng, Honoria Glossop, Sally to name only a few…)

On the 1st January 1975 when he was honored with a knighthood, Plum’s progressed Sun was in Capricorn close to the UK natal Venus and his progressed Venus was close to the UK Mercury – warm fuzzy feelings all round.

There’s more on Plum at my actorblog if you like…