Image: By Bain News Service (http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ggbain.32453) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Many fans of silent film star Louise Brooks are acquainted with The Louise Brooks Society, an 'homage to silent films' and dedicated to "one of the most seductive...images of woman" to ever appear on film. Naturally astrologers recognize the seductive Lilith archetype here and we will be noting the position of asteroid Lilith and other glamorous archetypes in her natal horoscope, below. We'll check on her asteroid Pandora as well because Louise's most famous role was Lulu in the film Pandora's Box. In her natal chart (below) you'll find asteroid PANDORA @18Libra near her natal Mars and seductress Lilith near her Scorpio Sun along with Persephone, Pluto's unwilling love interest in Greek Mythology!
News Flash: On the weekend of January 16, 2016 there will be an EPIC Event: Pandora's Box screens at LACMA in Los Angeles, California with pianist Michael Motilla performing improvised scores from five silent films including Pandora's Box on Sunday January 17th. LACMA is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Pandora's Box (1929) "depicts the social realities of the Weimar Republic..."
Astrologers may wish to note that there is a natal horoscope for Germany's Weimar Republic: November 9, 1918 13:30 CET Berlin, Germany; 12AQ54 rising; MC 10Sag24; Sun 16Sco18; Moon 19Cap48. (N. Campion chart #125, The Book of World Horoscopes.)
Now when most people recall early Hollywood film star Louise Brooks it's her stylishly bobbed hair ('Prince Valiant') that seems to be best remembered. But here's an informative video on the life of Louise Brooks which begins with a difficult childhood episode that may help account for her seductive adult behavior (Lilith!) though of course she also was a freedom-loving young woman of her era, the Roaring Twenties! For you see, a neighbor molested her when she was nine years old--and her mother blamed Louise:
Also Recommended: a full documentary from BBC Arena (55 minutes) with Louise speaking about her life and films along with narration, film clips, and the story of how James Card of the Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York, rescued a run-down Louise from a New York tenement and made a new life for her possible. Her last years successfully writing articles for various magazines here and abroad may be found via her Mercury-Venus conjunction in Sagittarius, sign of foreign lands, as you'll see.
Update Jan 8, 2016: just found an excellent article about the career of director G. W. Pabst, Opening Pandora's Box. Perhaps you know that G. W. Pabst developed not only the acting talent of Louise Brooks--but also of Greta Garbo!
An Astro-Portrait of Louise Brooks by Jude Cowell
Image: Louise Brooks' natal horoscope set for 'noon' November 14, 1906 Cherryvale, Kansas; Hour of the Sun (21Sco27) with the Moon ranging from 21Libra27 to 6Scorpio49; Luna crossed asteroid Juno (the wife) during the 24-hour period and the Sun approached asteroids Persephone (of kidnapper Pluto and Hades fame), glamorous Lilith, and erotic Eros.
My guess for her would be a Scorpio Moon because of the betrayal vibes it suggests coming from mother (Moon) who, as noted, refused to believe Louise when she told her she'd been molested by a neighbor. The incident was perpetrated via his putting candy on his porch to entice her to his house, if the legend is correct. And looking at a Solar Return chart for her birthday, age 9, (November 14, 1915 using the 'Noon' natal to calculate), we find a crisis-ridden YOD pattern which points toward lusty Mars @18Leo, sign of romance. A YOD times a turning point in her life. There's a dynamic T-Square pointing toward deceptive Neptune Rx in early Leo which indicates that she didn't know what to think of someone or something and that she was 'open to deception' (Tyl) and the planet of shocks and disruption, Uranus, conjoins one of the victim stars, Facies.
To check out her two possible Sun-Moon blends, read on...
As noted, the natal horoscope of Louise Brooks is untimed and is best calculated as either a solar chart (sunrise: career or hero's journey issues) or as a Noon chart with Sun on or near Midheaven (MC), the Why? Point of any chart and the most visible spot (angle) of a horoscope. The MC reveals information about a native's Career, Public Status, and Aspirations in life so it works quite well for famous persons. And the MC is part of the Parental axis, the 4th/10th, so it touches on security and family matters as well.
However, with Brooks' birth time unknown, the following astro-portrait of the lovely Lilith-Venus-Isis-Selena-Pandora-Persephone Hollywood icon Louise Brooks is based on her planets, their signs, degrees, aspects, her Sun-Moon personality blend, feminine asteroids, and her Pre-Natal Eclipse series since house angles cannot be determined with certainty.
Our 'Noon' Astro-Portait of Louise Brooks reveals her Sun @21Scorpio and Moon @28Libra49. However, if born after 1:53 pm, her Moon would have entered brooding, intense Scorpio so let's compare both Sun-Moon personality blends to see if one or the other fits her personality better:
Sun Scorpio-Moon Libra is a misty, ethereal Water-Air combination of conscious (Sun; adult) and unconscious (Moon; child) energies and denotes procrastination, impracticality and a lack of strategy in creative fields. Note that in the BBC arena video, above, she states that she was never an actress and had no idea what she was doing--that she was playing herself in her film roles! But when writing she knew what she was doing.
Sun Scorpio-Moon Libra keys the sign rulership of Mars-Pluto and Venus. There is an intense magnetic quality and charisma with this combo, a pragmatic idealism, and a tendency toward expensive taste. Quietly ambitious, this blend describes one who can be charmingly cooperative and/or emotionally difficult and demanding. This is the "tough cookie" combo yet with a deep need to be liked--one who may say No when she means Yes, and Yes when she means No--and is not loved by everyone! (She wasn't--ex: fellow actor Richard Arlen.)
Perhaps some people objected to a tendency to use manipulative tactics when she was feeling insecure, or an assumption that she was being fair and impartial (Libra words) when emotional needs were dictating her behavior. Whatever reason some contemporaries formed a dislike of her, I belatedly remind them that much of her acting career occurred she was in her teens and then her 20s--and they were the adults in the room, and jealous of her looks and talent, I suspect! Anyway, Louise was perceptive, romantic, and had the happy ability to think on her feet; passion and charm combine engagingly with Sun Scorpio-Moon Libra the Moon sign of Libra describes her reigning need (Tyl) which is all things Libra (Venus) including love, fairness, relationships, harmony, beautiful possessions, pleasure, and fun.
Or Was Her Moon in Scorpio, Ruled by Mars w/ Pluto undertones and drives?
Sun Scorpio-Moon Scorpio is quite a more intense, even brooding, blend of double Water energies. This denotes one who 'drinks in life's experiences' and 'goes with the flow' most of the time. A fertile imagination and a tendency to tear up over sentiments and anything nostalgic is typical with Water-Water blends.
The wary, private Sun Scorpio-Moon Scorpio blend is self-possessed and indicates many passionate feelings, stubbornness, strong convictions, stamina, and drive. The Arts and in particular, Music, attract. This is the 'desire vs self-control' mix that can turn possessive, jealous, sarcastic, and vengeful. Imaginative, willful, and introspective, Sun Scorpio-Moon Scorpio is not a good loser and is unconsciously drawn to powerful, hidden, mysterious things; a fascination with horror stories, sex, and death may be evident. (Her characters in at least two of her movies I've seen were killed at the end including 'Lulu' in Pandora's Box--imagine my surprise to find Lulu with London's Jack the Ripper!
Actually, double Scorpio is the 'addicted to love' combo with strong desires and deep creative potential which can be limited by a cynical and suspicious nature. The reigning need of a Scorpio Moon reveals more sexy desires and perhaps a death wish on a deep level. However, control is part of the Scorpio picture along with investment, money, and perhaps occult pursuits.
So what do you think? Do you see Louise Brooks as an airier Libra on the emotional level, rather aloof, or, an intense, dark, brooding, passionate Scorpio with black eyes and black hair?Her smoldering screen image suggests a Scorpio Moon yet artistic, cool Libra works, too!
As for her solar Scorpio personality and essence, there is not one major applying aspect to her Sun to tell us something more about her. There is, however, a close applying (1A51) inconjunct (aka, a quincunx; 150 degrees; adjustment) between natal Sun and her Gemini Pluto Rx (sub-ruler of Scorpio) identifying Louise as one who carried deep feelings of guilt and shame (from age 9?) and who overreacted to the expectations of others, then felt bitterly resentful about it.
A deep need for the approval of others is suggested by a Sun-Pluto inconjunct as she fought with other people's wills in a head-strong way. Perhaps maturity brought relief from conflicts which were more easily avoided or resolved by walking away from the film industry and learning how to relax. Unfortunately, negative escapism (alcohol) numbed her feelings until later in her life when she was rescued from a New York tenement (see documentary, above) and given new purpose via a writing career (her natal Jupiter arose with Castor, one of the writer's stars; happy Jupiter rules finances).
You know, there's a collection of her writings, Lulu in Hollywood (expanded edition), if you're curious.
Eclipses: the 'Wild Cards of the Universe'
Manifesting every 18.6 years of her life, her Pre-Natal Solar Eclipse Saros Series (PE) @26Leo04 in the 17 New North series sextiles Pluto, planet of sex, wealth, and transformation. Themes and influences of 17 New North include passion, excitement, impulsive energy, and hectic socializing. Motivations include both financial projects and social relationships with a motto of'have fun!'. (paraphrasing B. Brady's Predictive Astrology). Such themes blended perfectly with her Roaring Twenties lifestyle of champaign and dance. (The 'wild card' reputation of eclipses comes from the Uranian quality of bringing disruption, excitement, and sometimes shock to one's life). 17NN last manifested in November 2014 @00Scorpio which is possibly the degree of her natal Moon!
Conjoining her eclipse degree of 26 Leo at birth is her natal Mars-Neptune midpoint where the energies of the planet of males and desire (Mars) blends with Neptune, planet of illusion, dreams, and the Silver Screen. And there we see her Jupiter-Neptune conjunction in Moon-ruled Cancer adding magnetic appeal with the public (Moon/Cancer) and the ability to play many roles by taking on the characteristics of others. Plus, Neptune @12Cancer conjoins bright SIRIUS, the goddess star of Egypt, aka, 'the scorcher' (which I neglected to mark upon the chart).
Of interest is a Huffington Post article from November 2013, Louise Brooks' Star Shines Brighter Than Ever, an obvious and very appropriate reference to SIRIUS, the brightest star in the heavens, conjunct her natal Neptune, glamorous planet of actors and the Silver Screen which also happens to conjoin her expansive planet Jupiter the Thespian!
Well, that's my Astro-Portrait of Louise Brooks for now. Once my order of the Barry Paris biography using her letters and diaries arrives on my doorstep, this post may require updating but for now, you may wish to enjoy another article concerning the natal chart of Louise Brooks with a listing of her natal planets and their aspects.
Recommended: Sun Sign-Moon Sign by Charles and Suzi Harvey; Louise Brooks horoscope calculated using SolarFire Gold v9 software. jc