The Mother of Us All:
The Nurturing Nature of Roy Horn
Roy Horn introducing Las Vegas audiences to his white tiger, Mantecore just a few weeks before being attacked in October of 2003
If we could talk to the animals, just imagine it!
Chatting to a chimp in chimpanzee
Imagine talking to a tiger, chatting to a cheetah
What a neat achievement that would be.
– “Dr. Doolittle” by Leslie Bricusse
Tiger, Tiger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What the anvil? What dread grasp.
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?
– William Blake
Motherhood is a symbiotic event. At the moment of birth, a tacit agreement instantly flows and floods between the hearts of two parties where it’s understood: one is in a state of utter need, protection, and care, and the other provides, protects and gives their all for the sustenance and survival of both.
In Astrology, the “flowing” nature of maternal nurturing is overseen by the sign whose elemental essence is watery in nature, that being the sign of Cancer and its corresponding House the sign of the Crab rules over, the 4th.
Upon hearing a person being born with a 4th House that contains a stellium (3 heavenly bodies or more) of 4 planets involving the Sun, Mars, Venus, and Neptune including that person’s chart ruler, or planet whose influence oversees their entire natal chart, one would theorize Motherhood and Nurturing to be major points of influence over that person’s entire life cycle.
Upon hearing that same person also being born with the planet of hardship nicknamed “the Lord of Karma” otherwise known as Saturn being placed in its polar opposite sign of Cancer, it could be astrologically presumed that Motherhood and Nurturing would also cause said individual some of the greatest pain of their life, yet provide that person their most significant life lessons as well.
Thus it was on October 3rd, 1944 when Roy Uwe Ludwig Horn entered the world.
Those born with Saturn in Cancer have an intense need to be loved along with an equally strong need to fit in with their home environment and those who are an integral part of it – qualities which are almost always karmicly guaranteed to be non-existent in that person’s early life, especially childhood. Considering Roy Horn’s soul chose to be born in Nordenham, Germany during a pivotal moment at the end of a World War when those in his immediate environment were forced to face inevitable defeat and possible starvation by their enemies moving in from all sides, makes him no exception to this Saturnine rule.
A person born with a heavy 4th House concentration will in all likelihood possess intuitive abilities with those whom he feels emotionally connected to that are symbiotic in a maternal, non-verbal way. When the natural ruler of the 4th House, Cancer oversees said person’s 12th house, these maternal bonds extend beyond the realm of humans to include members of the Animal Kingdom, most specifically lions, tigers, and bears. O Roy!
Said another way, there would be a high propensity of said person having an ability to inherently create maternal-like bonds and communications in an almost Dr. Doolittle way between himself and creatures associated with the 12th House, namely animals considered “large and deadly”. When this particular Dr. Doolittle is born with a “Feline” Ascendant, aka the sign of Leo the Lion, his most intense and lasting symbiotic bonds of the non-human kind would be made with the largest forms of felines of the deadly varieties – namely lions and tigers.
Roy discovered his Dr. Doolittle abilities early on in life. As a young child, his closest companion was a massive half-wolf wolfhound named Hexe, (in English, “Witch”). Roy credits Hexe for being alive today since the massive beast supposedly ran and fetched help when as a child, Horn fell into a swamp and began to drown.
During Germany’s Post-War years, young Roy sought refuge among the resident animals of the Bremen Zoo who, like many of the humans residing nearby were shell-shocked and nervously traumatized from the relentless Allied bombings which occurred throughout the War. Consistently visiting the zoo grounds nearly every day, Roy made fast friends with a 2 year old cheetah named Chico, communicating to the animal with catlike sounds through the iron bars of the feline’s cage. Observing the bond that was clearly unfolding between boy and beast, the zoo handlers gave young Roy permission to enter Chico’s den and feed him, eventually allowing the nurturing 9 year old to take the cheetah for extended walks.
Astrologically, Saturn is associated with restriction, fear and loss but at its core a lesser known trait is the ringed planet’s influence to create and solidify tangible structures or bonds. It would be safe to assume most German children born at the tail end of the 2nd World War would not have come into the most nurturing of early environments rather, they most likely learned (and rather quickly at that) to be fearfully distrustful of the grim world they had entered. Although Roy Horn’s developmental years were as un-nurturing an environment as one could imagine for a child, he still was able to find an outlet for his propensity to maternally care and be cared for by the large animals and wild beasts of his early youth.
Roy Horn in 1960 with one of his pet cheetahs a few months before initially encountering his future partner, an illusionist named Siegfried Fischbacher with the two eventually becoming the entertainment duo “Siegfried and Roy”.
This, in turn, would eventually unfold into the “Roy” of the extravaganza entertainment act of “Siegfried and Roy” that became so wildly popular with audiences on the Las Vegas Strip.
Roy Horn’s specialized gift for being a feline Dr. Doolittle quickly became apparently obvious. The entertainment duo’s inner circle of friends and co-workers speak of the deeply intuitive connection Roy has with his many large cats with an almost mystical respect: “Siegfried treats the animals like colleagues,” says Las Vegas mogul Steve Wynn. “But they’re Roy’s children.”
Siegried (left) and Roy (right) pose with their white lion, Future, who recently passed away in December 2014 at the age of 17.
Per close friend, Lance Burton, “Roy can communicate with these animals on a level that none of the rest of us are aware of.”
Unfortunately, Saturn’s two favorite tools to emphasize its most effective “lessons learned the hard way” are pain and loss. And the “The Lord of Karma” chose to give Roy Horn a crash course in one swooping lesson with as big a karmic impact and emphasis as humanly possible.
Saturn conducted this personalized crash course in karma when Roy was experiencing his 2nd Saturn Return as transiting Saturn was within 2 degrees of being exact to his natal Saturn, simultaneously during the German entertainer’s Jupiter Return when The King of Planets was 7 degrees from Horn’s natal Jupiter, as well as it also taking place on Roy’s Solar Return (aka Birthday).
Roy Horn’s Progressed Chart for the day he was nearly killed by his Bengal tiger Mantecore on his 59th birthday, October 3, 2003. The most important planet in a Progressed Chart is the planet of nurturing, the Moon and on that fated day the planet of nurturing was in the sign of the nurturer which it rules naturally, Cancer. Note also the planet of death, Pluto in the sign of the big feline, namely tigers, Leo in the 11th House of the Future symbolizing that the remainder of Roy’s days would be marked by this particular interaction with a tiger that almost killed him.
On his 59th birthday, October 3rd, 2003, Roy Horn was speaking to a live audience about the Siegfried and Roy Wildlife Conservation Fund. Seated next to him was his charity speech accompaniment, a 7 year old Bengal Tiger named Mantecore. While in the midst of finishing his speech, Horn was dragged off stage by the neck in the fangs of his 380 lb. feline co-star, with his throat being fully punctured. Even as he was losing most of the blood in his body backstage, Roy waved his arms, gurgling: “DON’T SHOOT THE CAT!”
Not only was Mantecore spared, the massive all white tiger (then aged 12) was part of Siegfried and Roy’s swan song final appearance in February of 2009, taking a very visually active role in one of the magicians’ signature illusions where Siegfried and the cat magically switch places from within separate, locked transparent enclosures.
Immediately following Roy’s mauling, heated debate sprang up regarding the use of wild animals in staged performances. Despite Mantecore’s fangs slicing through an artery carrying oxygen to Roy’s brain, causing partial paralysis, partial skull removal, and a crushed windpipe, the USDA’s final 233 page report stated the results were inconclusive and no official determinant could be drawn as to why the tiger attacked.
Animal activists and big game enthusiasts alike announced to the media that the entertainment wildlife spectacles otherwise known as Siegfried and Roy shows had to end by virtue of a fully grown tiger obviously going for Roy’s jugular live on stage with the intent to kill.
Both Roy and I fully disagree.
Siegfried and Roy together and separately have stated that if a Bengal Tiger wanted to kill a human being, it would snatch its victim by the torso or upper chest and would then proceed to violently shake until the victim’s neck had fully snapped.
Roy adamantly maintains that Mantecore behaved in a maternal manner, having no idea that his human “cub” didn’t naturally possess the very thick layer of skin which lies on the back of every tiger’s neck that allows an adult tiger to pick up and transport their young by the scrape of the neck via their jaws. Whether Roy stumbled, or an audience member tried to step in and “pet” the tiger in a provoking manner, or if a lady in the audience had a tiger-aggravating hair-do, Horn insists whatever happened on that highly fated day that Mantecore interpreted as a threat to both him and his human cub, picked up his chosen young, and trotted off the stage via his usual exit, stage left.
Roy’s interpretation of the tiger’s behavior is mirrored in his progressed chart for his 59th birthday where he simultaneously experienced his 2nd Saturn Return as well as another Jupiter Return. A progressed chart is a karmic gauge stating where a person should be on an evolutionary level at a specific moment in time. On October 3rd, 2003, Roy’s progressed Venus was in Capricorn in the 5th House and was in exact opposition to his progressed Cancerian 10th House North Node. His progressed Mercury at that time was at a cardinal point in Capricorn in the 4th House. This would all translate to:
In a subliminal, subconscious way, Roy Horn went against his overall course of fate or path of destiny (North Node) by playing the role of child (5th House) out of love (Venus) and wisdom (Capricorn). He allowed the mothering roles to be switched (Mercury at a cardinal point in Capricorn in its polar opposite house, the 4th) by presenting himself as the younger or the child (Mercury at a Cardinal Point in Capricorn) to the “Mother” (4th House) in the eye of the public.
How is this last “mothering” statement determined? The Moon is by far the most important factor in any given person’s progressed chart. On October 3rd of 2003, Roy Horn’s Progressed Moon had newly switched into the sign it naturally rules over, that being the “Mommy” sign which oversees the 4th House, Cancer, and in the 10th House of the Public. This would astrologically indicate Roy’s soul bore the mantle of all its karmic responsibilities by accepting and actively embodying this very public display of maternal role reversal between man and beast.
The fact that Roy’s Progressed Sun was in Sagittarius (the lucky sign), his Progressed Jupiter (the planet of Luck) was on his Virgoan Ascendant and he was experiencing his Jupiter Return translates to his soul sensing that luck and good fortune were on his side at the time of the attack, resulting in the tiger trainer remaining alive and breathing following such a deadly ordeal.
After Roy’s attack, the Las Vegas act known as “Siegfried & Roy” in all its big costumed, big kittied splendor was never to return to the stage again. The illusionist and the Dr. Doolittle of Felines mutually agreed should anything happen to the other, neither would go on stage as a solo act nor with their duo act greatly modified. With the live lion and tiger show’s look, cast, and crews ever expanding by both animal and human proportions, the maternal mystic of cats inherently sensed that humans can only go so far with enforcing their rationally controlled world upon animals that each weigh 3 ½ men put together. According to close friend Robin Leach:
“There’s a mantra that Roy always repeated: ‘Never turn your back on these animals.’ Every night he realized he took his life in his hands.”
Regardless of their close to perfect record of performances executed without incident, the Siegfried & Roy Show was the only entertainment on the Las Vegas Strip where life threatening animals were on a live stage with not a single barrier or protection device separating them from the audience. Deep down, Roy Horn was subconsciously aware that with every passing show a higher probability increased of an unforeseen display of animal instinct occurring, accompanied by the awareness of there being no way of controlling it if and when it would happen. By subliminally reversing the role of mother and child with one of his wild beastsRoy Horn made sure the only potential victim of animal instinct would be just himself, with his audience members remaining safe and in-tact.
With his natal North Node, or overall Karmic Destiny in this life cycle placed in the maternal sign of Cancer in the 12 House of unconditional love, spirituality, and heightened consciousness of all living things, Roy Horn and his big beautiful cats draw ever closer to that Universal source of light and love which is the Mother of Us All.
Dedicated on Mother’s Day 2017 to my own mother, Patricia, who crosses a major milestone next week on her 75th birthday and time and again has displayed that particular force which is the strongest and most fierce on Earth – that of a mother’s love.
*Brad Kronen’s book “Love in the Stars” published by Llewellyn Worldwide, Inc. is available for purchase at your local book seller or online at amazon.com at the link listed below.