Gone with the Wind
An Astrological Work of Art
Leo – Pisces
*This series is dedicated to my mother Patricia Kronen Lilley both on Mother’s Day, May 13th and on her birthday, May 22nd who made sure the first motion picture I saw in a movie theater at the age of 6 was David O. Selznick’s “Gone with the Wind”.
As mentioned in Part I, the period piece novel entitled “Gone with the Wind” is in no way a reliable resource of American History, given its creator’s naive and simplistic take (South = All Good, North = All Bad) regarding the American Civil War along with the author’s misguided support of such local vigilante groups as the Ku Klux Klan.
To be sure, the motion pictured rendition of the novel is in many ways just as oversimplified and misguided as its literary source, however both still have an allure through its cast of characters that is undeniable and vibrantly alive. I’ve come to conclude that allure can only be the Zodiacal representation and astrological dynamics established between most if not all of the story’s main characters.
GWTW’s author, Margaret Mitchell never conceded to her one published work being a literary piece of fiction where astrology was purposefully interwoven within the fabric of its sprawling story line. True to her Scorpionic nature, the author did say if her novel had to be reduced to one theme it would be Survival. She explains:
“What makes some people come through catastrophes and others, apparently just as able, strong and brave, go under? It happens in every upheaval. Some people survive; others don’t. What qualities are in those who fight their way through triumphantly that are lacking in those that go under? I only know that survivors used to call that quality ‘gumption.’ So I wrote about people who had gumption and people who didn’t.”
Let’s return to our astrological analysis of GWTW’s cast of characters by looking at the male lead of the entire epic, Rhett Butler, who is the archetypal representation of the Fire sign of Leo. Many fans of GWTW would agree this is the one character who alongside the novel’s heroine, Scarlett O’Hara, possesses just as much if not more of that survivor quality Margaret Mitchell admiringly referred to as “gumption”.
The act of smiling among 19th century Southern gentility was a complex, many layered social ritual akin to a Japanese tea ceremony. The more formal the introduction or interaction, the more demure the smile, which at its most formalized was a slightly amused, tight lipped mini-grin with a head nod. A full grin or the display of any teeth for that matter was reserved for those whom a person knew intimately well, such as friends or family.
Unless your name is Rhett Butler.
The planetary ruler of Leo is the Sun and the typical Leonine personality tends to have an overall “sunny” disposition. By far, the character from GWTW who smiles most is Rhett Butler. And each smile the Leo displays are naturally sunny and genuinely bright, none of his facial expressions are false or made out of social necessity as most of his wife’s are throughout the majority of the film.
But there’s a price to pay even with having a sunny disposition. When the Leo taps into its unevolved side, the Sun becomes clouded over and things get seriously dark immediately there afterwards. The dark side of Leonine energy is cruelty at its harshest with many an unevolved Leo being cruel with an amused, emotionally detached manner that can be truly terrifying.
Rhett Butler is more than well aware of his dark side which he succumbs to only twice over the course of the film and very briefly. As already mentioned in the “Aries” section, an on camera example is when the Leo wraps his hands around his wife’s head while casually mentioning how he could smash her skull in like a walnut with his bare hands. And the other time occurs off camera when we learn how the Leo deals with stubborn ponies that cause the demise of his children….
Speaking of children:
“There must be a great deal of good in a man who could love a child so much.”
– comment made by Dolly Merriwether while observing Rhett Butler with his daughter Bonnie.
Rhett Butler as the archetypal Leo is best analyzed when looking at the House which the sign of the Lion naturally oversees, that being the 5th. The 5th House deals with the following areas of life: Creative self-expression, Romance, Gambling, and One’s Children.
Creative self-expression: Usually this refers to what a person does for a hobby if they don’t consider their line of work “creative”, but this particular area of Life is barely worth discussing, given pretty much everything Rhett Butler does and especially says is executed with a highly tuned sense of creative flair. Nearly every scene where the archetypal Leo has an exit usually has him saying some form of witty quip as he takes his leave. One of my favorites being in the film’s beginning when the men are gathered to discuss how the Yankees won’t stand a chance against Southerm chivalry should war break out. Rhett begins talking logistics about the North having things like cannons, munitions, and prepared armies but doesn’t bother to even debate the subject since everyone else in the room is so irrationally idealistic. He takes his leave saying:
“I seem to be spoiling everybody’s brandy and cigars and… dreams of victory.”
Romance: The typical Leo tends to be hyper-romantic at heart and Rhett Butler unabashedly wears his Leonine sense of romance on his sleeve for all to see. Leos may be ultra-romantic but they also don’t waste their time by playing games or being wishy-washy. When a Leo sets their eye on someone, they soon thereafter make their romantic intentions known and this is precisely what Rhett does from the very start with Scarlett. Even during the most unromantic of moments, Rhett openly displays his romantic charm and means every romantic word he says, such as when he offers a particular kind of escape route to Scarlett when she decides to flee Atlanta from the on-coming Yankee artillery:
Rhett: “Let’s get out of here together. No use staying here and letting the South come down around our ears. There are too many nice places to go and visit. Mexico, London, Paris..”.
Scarlett (flatly): “With you?”
Rhett: “Yes, ma’am. With a man who understands you and admires you for just what you are. I figure we belong together, being the same sort.”
The term “same sort” refers to astrological element since Rhett the Leo and Scarlett the Aries are both Fire signs and the best choice for a romantic partner are those born beneath the same element as oneself.
Gambling: Leos love to gamble but HATE losing and it would appear Mr. Butler does a lot of the former with seldom if ever any of the latter.
No details are provided but we come to find out a few months into the war that Rhett is doing quite well for himself under the dubious position of “blockade runner.” Going by the Leo ascertaining the actual logistics of military warfare as discussed earlier, it’s presumed Mr. Butler has taken a certain amount of personal risk to initiate said “blockade running” and his gamble has already paid off quite handsomely by the time he bids for “Mrs. Charles Hamilton” aka the newly widowed Scarlett for an exorbitant amount of money at the Confederate dance auction.
By the end of the war, however, Luck is clearly not on Captain Butler’s side since it appears his blockade running has caught up with him with Scarlett finding Rhett a POW in a Yankee jail. Despite being incarcerated and heavily steeped in gambling debts to his jailors to which we see him losing even more to while playing poker upon Scarlett’s arrival, Rhett is the life of the party with his Yankee gambling buddies. Here we see the Leo’s creative flair in action since the prisoner isn’t locked up in his cell but rather joking around and gambling with his guards at their break table and as they’ve hinted, the Captain has already been given allowance to have a number of lady visitors freely see him up until that point.
We also see the Leo creatively have the last laugh over the enemy by making sure his money is being safeguarded in Europe, he privately explains to Scarlett. And it’s a safe bet the Leo will charm his way out of jail soon enough, given the Yankee major says the following upon Rhett excusing himself from the poker game to see his next female visitor:
“It’s hard to be strict with a man who loses money so pleasantly.”
It seems that this Leo certainly loves to gamble and loses neither money nor anything else of substantial worth while doing so.
One’s Children: Keeping in mind the sign of Leo is ruled by the planet which represents the human ego, the Sun, when viewed through a Leonine lens, their children are almost always placed in the highest regard by the Leo parent due to them seeing their offspring as little versions of their actual selves.
And for the archetypal representative of Leo, his child is everything to him.
Despite relations with his wife being rocky at best given her being in love with another man and all, when Rhett’s daughter Bonnie is born the Leo’s life force is revitalized anew when he discovers his main purpose in life is being a father to his little girl. Leos tend to be generous to a fault with those they care for and we see Bonnie Butler becoming more and more incorrigibly spoiled due to having her every need and whim provided for by her Leonine daddy.
Everything Rhett does as a married man of means is with his daughter’s future in mind and he enforces this mindset onto nearly every action taken by the child’s mother as well.
Leo is considered the royalty sign and from the get go Rhett is well aware of the social ladders he and Scarlett need to climb if his daughter is to be accepted by Southern high society. This includes being eye candy for everyone to take note of by wearing their finest clothes along with both father AND mother wheeling their sweet angel in her frightfully expensive antique baby carriage down one of Atlanta’s most prominent promenades early each and every Sunday morning.
As they bid each high society passer-by a Good Morning, self centered Scarlett complains under her breath:
“Why do we have to wheel a baby when there are servants… Making fools of ourselves in front of these old buffaloes!”
To which her Leonine parent of a spouse replies while warmly smiling and tipping his top hat in salutation to a passing prominent promenader:
“We’ll cultivate every female dragon of the old guard in this town. Bonnie’s going to have her place among decent people. Yes, even if we both have to crawl on our bellies to every fat old cat.”
…Says the man born beneath the sign of the biggest cat around.
The Fire Signed Family of Southern Means – The Butlers consisting of Rhett the Leo, Scarlett the Aries, and Baby Bonnie the Sagittarius make sure they are seen by Atlanta’s most prominent “fat cat” families as they disingenuously greet passers-by while taking their Promenade bright and early each and every Sunday morning.
Tragically when Bonnie goes so does Rhett’s entire world. When his little girl dies, the Leo’s lust for life is lost and never to return where nothing and no one matter anymore. When the Leo delivers the most famous line in the entire film about not giving a damn, he means it from his very soul.
To this day every GWTW fan I’ve encountered is absolutely convinced that Scarlett will eventually get her man back. To which I can’t help but think to myself that could have been a possibility…if only for the fact her man was born a Leo.
Because once the show is over for the Leo, there is no encore.
The actor who played Rhett Butler, Clark Gable came close to quitting the film due to being told it was required of him to cry in front of the camera after Rhett’s child dies. Gable insisted that girlish emotions were something both he and his manly man of a character simply would not do. Perhaps he was persuaded otherwise after realizing his character was the archetypal representation of the sign known for its overdramatic expressions of emotion. And if we really want to address threats to the man’s masculinity, Gable musn’t have watched the final cut of the scene where Mr. Macho speaks baby talk to his newborn daughter. The model of male-ness who played Mr. Butler may have had issues with either scene but both are quite fitting when considering they depict a Leo being a pride filled adoring father to his princess of a little girl.
“Mother said you can always tell a lady by her hands.” says O’Hara middle child Sue Ellen to her younger sister Carreen.
That may be so but with the source of that quote being the archetypal representative of the sign of Virgo, being a lady means far more than just having nice hands.
The sign of Virgo too often than not gets the short end of the Zodiacal stick by being associated only with its negative or unevolved qualities – “clean freak”, “hyper critical”, “nit-picky”, “over judgmental”.
But even with the general consensus of overall negativity associated with their sign, their archetypal representative is one of the most impressive of the Zodiacal bunch, since Ellen O’Hara not only displays the behavior traits of the evolved Virgo, she holistically makes them a way of life and by doing so sets an exemplary standard for her children and her community.
The typical Virgo may like things clean, tidy, and organized but it’s more than just a way of“keeping house” for this most detail driven of signs. The evolved Virgoan strives to make a practiced standard of cleanliness and organization a way of life for themselves overall, that can be applied to every facet of their existence beyond just their daily housework.
In the old school of Astrology this holistically healthy lifestyle was overamplified to refer specifically to a specialized area associated with the sign of the Harvest Maiden, that being religious and in particular cloistered groups such as nuns and monks.
A major part of how Scarlett’s mother keeps a spotless tight ship at Tara is the daily regimen of having the entire O’Hara family meet for prayer each night before dinner. It would not surprise me if within Ellen O’Hara’s personal history there was talk of her intent of becoming a nun prior to meeting Mr. O’Hara.
Along with Pisces and Scorpio, Virgo is considered one of the three “karmic” signs and the those born beneath any of the karmic signs feel their energies are best used in helping/assisting others. Mrs. O’Hara’s knowledgeable skills are put to constant use not only by attending to the needs of her immediate family, we can infer she acts as both doctor and nurse by tending to those who are sick in Tara’s overall vicinity as well. And unlike Prissy, Mrs. O’Hara actually does know a thing or two about birthin’ babies since the beginning of the film shows her entering her home after overseeing the delivery of a stillborn child.
The karmic signs have a tendency to overlook their own needs while assisting others and this karmic form of self sacrifice is what causes Ellen O’Hara’s demise as she succumbs to typhoid fever while in the midst of nursing her two daughters and various townspeople who had initially contracted the deadly disease.
It is only when Ellen O’Hara’s presence is absent that it’s inferred not only did she manage the cleaning and upkeep of Tara, we can assume her Virgo specialty for detail held the house’s purse strings and kept the books balanced as well since Mr. O’Hara can barely tend to himself let alone the family’s dwindling finances after his wife dies.
It must be noted that the two actors who played Scarlett’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. O’Hara, namely Thomas Mitchell and Barbara O’Neil, were both born under the parental sign of Cancer. And astoundingly, when GWTW was made, Barbara O’Neil was only 29 years old at the time and was a mere 3 years Vivien Leigh’s senior playing the role of Scarlett’s Virgoan mother, Ellen O’Hara.
So Virgos blot out all the negative noise associated with your sign by celebrating the character from this epic film who as your archetypal representative not only displayed the best traits of the evolved Virgo, she lived them as well.
Belle Watling & Sue Ellen O’Hara
Old school Astrology considered the concept of “polar opposite” signs strictly from the viewpoint of two signs that are diametrically different from one another versus the modern approach that theorizes they share just as many similarities as they do oppositions of personality.
In GWTW, not only were the evolved traits of the sign of Libra overlooked but because of its polar opposition to Scarlett O’Hara’s sign of Aries, the sign of the Scales serves as a mere counterpoint of victimized friction to the spontaneous self concern wantonly displayed by the archetypal representative of its opposite sign.
And here is where my individualized interpretation of the characters from GWTW from an astrological viewpoint differs from what is generally accepted. Where Scarlett’s sister Sue Ellen is listed as a Pisces I differ by insisting the girl’s constant display of unevolved behavior could not make her anything other than a Libra.
One of the biggest goals for the typical Libra is to be romantically bonded with another. This aspiration is overtly denied for both characters that represent the sign of the Scales, with one dealing with that denial in a mature evolved manner and the other….just the opposite. Both have Scarlett O’Hara to blame as the cause behind their partnership woes.
Despite knowing Rhett better than his wife could ever hope to,
the local madame, Belle Watling accepts the harsh reality that her true love truly loves her as well but can never commit to her, nor she to him. With Scarlett completely blocking Belle’s way as Rhett’s wife, the Libra’s torch still brightly burns for the object of her affection but she must silently suffer by holding everything inside and never wearing her heart on her sleeve.
Scarlett’s sister, Sue Ellen’s sleeves on the other hand are an entirely different matter altogether.
Where Belle is strong and silent, one can’t help but know when Sue Ellen is nearby due to her constant crying and loud whining. To be fair as the polar opposite signed representative to her big sister, Sue Ellen bears the brunt of most of the Aries’ physical aggressions, from having Scarlett yank her pipe curls to smacking her outright across the face when she grumbles about hating Tara while having to pick cotton.
The two Libras must accept the fact that the Aries does what she wants, whenever she wants and this applies most especially to both Libran lady’s love interests. Despite Rhett freely visiting Belle and her brothel whenever the need should arise, Scarlett is still his wife. And the Aries’ sense of total self concern is more than apparent when Scarlett overlooks and stomps on her Libran sister’s partnered intentions when she marries Sue Ellen’s long standing boyfriend, the old and boring but very rich Frank Kennedy.
The cause of Sue Ellen’s unresolved upset is the Libra’s darkest fear turning into more and more of a reality – becoming an “Old Maid”.
I must admit thoroughly enjoying those choice few but special times when Scarlett and her foil character of Belle Watling are on screen together. Their presences naturally repel each other like oppositely charged magnets in a middle school science experiment, their mutual dislike for each other is that overtly strong and palpable. I also find it fascinating that whenever the two polar opposites are in each other’s presence one will display behavior that not only is atypical for their sign, their actions are more apropos of their polar opposite.
Where mild mannered Belle the Libra becomes loud and aggressive in an almost manly way when crossing paths with the Aries, Scarlett judgmentally reacts to the lady of ill repute like a most prim and prissily proper Libran.
If polar opposited looks could kill – Just as the Aries is exiting the jail after visiting her future husband who is being held prisoner there, the Libra is entering the same place to visit her very current lover who just happens to also be held prisoner within as well. Intriguingly, the Aries reacts with Libran judgmental disdain while wearing Venusian green as the Libra struts past her in a very Aries bravado way while wearing Martian red.
Many consider GWTW “feminist” literature due to its heroine being such a decisively powerful central character. Although Scarlett is certainly strong and anything but passive, her overall nature never sat well with its creator who found her to be a bit too “un-lady like”. Why I don’t consider neither Margaret Mitchell nor her literary work in any way feminist is how she portrays her heroine’s polar opposition. If Scarlett’s strength makes her un lady-like, her polar opposite gets as un-lady like as it gets by being a lady….of the evening, despite Belle Watling displaying the good manners and well tempered, unobtrusive qualities that are typical of both a Southern lady and a person born beneath the sign of the Scales.
Many don’t realize even without a conducted talent search as was done with the role of Scarlett O’Hara there was also a mad rush of those who desperately wanted to play the role of Mammy. Not only were there numerous occasions when David O. Selznick would arrive at his office to find many an uninvited woman dressed as Mammy waiting for his arrival, the First Lady of the United States at the time, Eleanor Roosevelt, personally wrote to Selznick requesting if her maid could be granted an audition for the role of Scarlett O’Hara’s servant.
The typical Scorpio tends to be intensely serious minded and has a knack for getting to the core of things. Said another way the Scorpio can see what really lies at the heart of any given situation. Because of this powerful trait, those born under the sign of the Scorpion would rather not be bothered dealing with things they consider surface level or shallow such as small talk, playing games to avoid being direct with others or putting on false airs. As the representative Aries, Scarlett O’Hara acts upon impulse but not constantly. This is due mainly to the Scorpio exercising a sense of constraint over the spontaneity of the Aries by verbalizing what lies at the core behind her actions that in the long run would harm more than help her.
My two favorite examples of this particular kind of Scorpio – Aries interaction are as follows:
When Scarlett tells Mammy she plans on taking a pleasure trip to Atlanta rather than Savannah as initially intended, Mammy cuts right to the chase by telling Scarlett upfront the real reason for the change of locale:
“You know what trouble I’s talking about. I’s talking about Mr. Ashley Wilkes. He’ll come to Atlanta when he gets his leave… and you’re sitting there waiting for him like a spider!”
Or as previously mentioned in the Cancer section of Part I when Scarlett, Melanie, and Mammy are on the plantation porch and see an emaciated soldier from far off headed to the house, Melanie instinctively can sense it’s her husband Ashley and dashes off to meet him. When Scarlett finally catches on to what’s happening she goes to sprint towards Ashley as well but is physically held back by Mammy who says to her:
“Don’t spoil it, Miss Scarlett! It’s her husband, ain’t he?”
To which the Aries is rendered motionless.
The role of Mammy cannot be astrologically analyzed without considering the actress who played her, the great Hattie McDaniel. Miss McDaniel was born a Gemini and I believe what makes her interpretation of the role so powerful is the combination of her natural Air signed lightness mixed with the ever constant intensity that is the Scorpionic character of Mammy.
GWTW is a Civil War Epic that stands out if for the basic fact the “N” word is never uttered and I believe this is due to Hattie McDaniel’s influence. When it was officially announced that Hattie would be playing the part of Mammy, criticism came from groups like the NAACP stating she was perpetuating slavery by playing one on film. Hattie responded “I would rather play a maid than be one.” referring to Mammy being a freed slave for the latter half of the film.
McDaniel’s portrayal of Mammy tread a very thin line. On one hand she knew she had to play her as an individualized human being but on the other her interpretation of the role could not venture anywhere near a cartoonized Mammy stereotype that played up to the amused fancy of many an ignorant white person. If the “N” word were actually put into the script, the character of Mammy would have been de-humanized and seen as nothing more than a one-dimensional film version of Aunt Jemima. There is no concrete proof but it’s widely believed Hattie McDaniel threatened to walk out on the filming of GWTW if the racial slur was mentioned even once on set.
The sign of Scorpio oversees the 8th House which deals with anything related to Death and it was Hattie’s portrayal of Mammy telling Melanie how little Bonnie Butler had died and the tragic reactions of her mother and father that ensued thereafter which makes that scene especially heart-breaking even with it being conveyed in retrospect.
It’s through the role of Mammy that I am led to believe David O. Selznick must have had some partial knowledge about astrology, given the fact the story’s author chose not to have any involvement with the making of the film and the following scene description is the best astrological gem in the entire movie and is completely visual in nature.
While on their honeymoon in Paris, a debate ensues between Rhett and his newly wed wife Scarlett with the point of contention being Mammy:
Rhett: Wouldn’t it be nice if you bought something for Mammy, too? Scarlett: Why should I buy her a present when she calls us both mules?
Rhett: Mules? Why mules?
Scarlett: Yes, she said we could give ourselves airs and get ourselves all slicked up like racehorses but we were just mules in horse harnesses… and we didn’t fool anybody.
Rhett: I never heard anything more true.
Rhett then remembers his Mammy telling him that when she died, she wanted to enter the Pearly Gates wearing red petticoats of the stiffest taffeta and decides to buy some for Mammy to which Scarlett argues that Mammy won’t even take them, let alone wear them.
Cut to the birth of Rhett and Scarlett’s daughter Bonnie.
With Scarlett not present due to just giving birth, Rhett is left alone with Mammy while waiting to see his newborn child. Since they are in close vicinity of each other with no one else around, a rustling sound can be heard. Rhett orders Mammy to lift both her white apron and black servant’s skirt so he can see what exactly is causing this subtle but strange sound. To which the camera focuses upon the floor and then moves to show the white of Mammy’s apron and the black of her skirt being lifted to reveal:
…the red taffeta petticoats Rhett had bought Mammy on his honeymoon.
As was previously discussed with Vivien Leigh’s background of being a Scorpio herself, the sign of the Scorpion is ruled by the planet Pluto but before the outermost heavenly body in our Solar System was discovered the most intense of signs was ruled by the Red Planet Mars. Along with having two planetary rulers, Scorpio also has two representative colors – Plutonian black and Martian red.
With Scorpio also being the most private of signs, the visual perfectly fits how under the veneer of intensely demure black lies a vibrant and passionate red from deep beneath the Scorpio’s core.
It’s stunning to realize that an actress who was such an integral component of an all star ensemble film cast was barred from entering the movie theater which premiered GWTW in Atlanta in December of 1939.
That racist house rule was made even more non-sensical and pettily pathetic by an event which occurred not too long after the film’s premiere, when Hattie McDaniel became the first African American to win an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress in 1940 for her portrayal of Mammy in “Gone with the Wind”.
Scorpio is known as the sign of “transformational change” and despite Ms. McDaniel receiving the highest accolade in acting at an awards ceremony which took place inside a “Whites Only” Hotel in Hollywood, her gracious demeanor and noteworthy artistry as the archetypal representative of Scorpio elevated Gone with the Wind’s place in film history and served as a catalyst of transformational change for American society at large.
The video below proudly presents a piece of motion picture history showing Hattie McDaniel’s acceptance speech for being the first African American to win an Academy Award for her portrayal as Mammy, the archetypal representative of the sign of Scorpio in the film “Gone With the Wind”.
Because their sign is ruled by the planet which oversees such fabulously fortunate things as Blessings and Luck, otherwise known as Jupiter, Sagittarians are known as the “children of Bounty”. In the modern day, Jupiterian bounty is interpreted as being naturally lucky or having a knack for being in the right place at the right time. Old School Astrology interprets a child of bounty as being Bonnie Butler.
The girl is born into immense wealth with her family home being a palatial estate filled with servants and the finest things money can buy along with her every whim and need being satisfied by her doting father.
When one is born into a world of opulent extravagance such as Bonnie’s, it’s karmicly assured the child of bounty turns out being a certain way.
For those of you who just answered “Like an ascetic monk.”, Kudos to you! But unfortunately we were looking for something more along the lines of “like a spoiled rotten brat who thinks the world revolves around their every move.”
Entering the world in a La-la land of luxury that’s further amplified by her Daddy’s doting and her mother’s guilt for being so overtly self centered and unmotherly, faster than you can say “Sagittarius” adorable little Bonnie turns into a monster of indulgence who demands that every slightest thing she wants be taken care of RIGHT NOW!
So if the Sagittarian child of bounty demands she wants to ride her new pony and insists she’s ready to ride (and repeatedly whip) the animal all while doing it side saddle, you had better let her do it whether she can actually ride side saddle or not.
It’s either that or face the Chinese water torture treatment of hearing “I WANT TO RIDE MY PONY!” now and forever onward.
And how precious is this? Sweet little Bounty, I mean Bonnie born beneath the sign of the Pony takes her leave of us as she is wearing her sign’s color of velveteen royal blue and while doing of all things…..riding her pony.
Have a nice trip, sugar plum!
Ashley Wilkes & Frank Kennedy
The representatives of the sign of Capricorn come in two varieties in GWTW: the philosophically symbolic and the hyper literal. The sign of the Goat is ruled by Saturn, the planet that oversees Age, Time Accrued Wealth, Hard Work, Loss, Karma, as well as the one thing that both Goat Guys and Girls put in the highest regard, Status. The philosophically symbolic Capricorn played by Ashley Wilkes likes to philosophically muse over these Saturnine areas of life whereas the hyper literal Capricorn played by Frank Kennedy literally makes those Saturnine things a reality.
And since everything revolves around a certain Aries better known as Scarlett O’Hara anyway, with her sign positioned at the harshest astrological angle possible (better known as the square to the sign of Capricorn and it would appear that both Capricorn men are karmic lessons specifically made for Scarlett to suffer by and never learn from.
From the get go we are made aware that Scarlett is in a state of over infatuated puppy love with the timid Mr. Wilkes and also from the get go the Universe blocks her from capturing the heart of her Capricorn love interest.
Ashley doesn’t love you, Scarlett. I don’t care.
Ashley just got married, Scarlett. Fiddle-dee-dee.
You just got married, Scarlett. So?
And so on and so forth and all the while the Aries does not heed the cosmic hint that she was never meant to be romantically bonded to Mr. Wilkes in the first place. Even if Scarlett did manage to snag the ever-melancholy Ashley, her burning passion would curdle into bitter regret upon the Aries discovering she despises her Capricorn crush not too long after landing his love.
Where Scarlett is a doer who is repeatedly saying she’ll think about things tomorrow, Ashley lives only for tomorrow by forever thinking things over but never gets around to actively doing a damn thing about it.
The most important thing for the typical Capricorn is status and when that word is mentally mulled over ad infinitum and never acted upon, “status” becomes “honor”. And the one topic that gives Ashley Wilkes any semblance of passion is, you guessed it, Honor.
Mr. Wilkes does the only honorable act he can muster by marrying his Cancerian cousin, Melanie Hamilton. And just to romantically clarify, a marriage between the polar opposites of Cancer and Capricorn yields much more hopeful potential than one between the squaring signs of Aries and Capricorn.
Rhett Butler sums up the philosophically symbolic portion of our Capricorn program by describing the object of his wife’s infatuation thusly:
“Mr. Wilkes, who can’t be mentally faithful to his wife… and won’t be unfaithful to her technically.”
Shockingly the heroine born beneath the sign of ballsy bravery still doesn’t get the karmic hint when she asks her Capricorn paramour what he’s afraid of and he responds with:
“Oh, mostly of life becoming too real for me, I suppose. “
If that reply didn’t make the Aries instinctively bolt in the opposite direction, then she deserves to end up matrimonially miserable with her Capricorn of the philosophically symbolic kind.
Instead, Scarlett gets unromantically attached to the hyper-literal version of the sign of the Goat by marrying old goat Frank Kennedy and all for the self serving purpose of coming up with the wad of cash needed to pay the tax bill for her family’s home plantation of Tara.
Aside from his badly whitened with age side burns, the character of Frank Kennedy is the epitome of the quintessential Capricorn. Not an old man by definition but definitely older in both age and attitude than everyone else around him, Frank is a naturally savvy business entrepeneur who becomes a self made success in no time after serving as a Confederate soldier. Starting with next to nothing the Capricorn single-handedly establishes himself as a mogul in the lumber industry just as the city of Atlanta begins the process of rebuilding in the years following the war.
It must be said that Scarlett’s individual wealth all comes courtesy of Frank’s immensely successful business acumen that is securely rooted in the Capricorn’s work ethic of relentless toil.
The Capricorn is naturally reserved and would much rather have a secure environment of peace and quiet versus one of risk that is rife with the forces of ever approaching change and/or excitement.
Unbeknownst to Frank after his girlfriend’s older sister manipulates him into marrying her, the word groupings of “Scarlett O’Hara” and “peace and quiet” are oxymorons of each other and never shall the two groups meet.
And it is precisely because of his Aries wife’s impulsive spontaneity that Frank Kennedy’s fate is to suffer the repercussions from Scarlett’s foolishly headstrong actions by ending up as the film’s one and only homicide victim.
Despite Mr. Kennedy’s tragic ending, the Capricorn’s hard work provides Scarlett a high status environment of financial abundance that Ashley Wilkes could never even hope to aspire to, let alone achieve.
Where Mammy serves to remind Scarlett that her impulsive actions have ramifications that will affect her individual self, India Wilkes as the Aquarian representative of the bunch serves as a constant reminder to a particular Aries how her inconsiderate ways have ramifications that affect everyone else alongside her.
With the intent of making Scarlett realize that other people exist on this planet besides strictly just her self centered self, India’s repeated reminders are always scathing and in front of as many people as possible.
Aquarius is the most complex of signs. On one hand the sign of the Water Bearer is ruled by the planet of rebellion, Uranus instilling those born beneath the last of the Air signs to be naturally different and unique without even trying to be. One of the most effective ways to insult the typical Aquarian is by describing them with the very same “t” word used earlier in this sentence,” typical” or even worse, by calling them the “n” word – “normal”.
On the other hand, the thing which the majority of Aquarians value most and fiercely defend to the hilt is egalitarianism, where everyone is treated and especially spoken to equally, regardless of age, gender, race or bank account.
The Aquarius of the “t”word variety (typical) longs to be a member of a given group but their fierce sense of individuality can be so overpowering, it usually restricts many born beneath the sign that dares to always be different to being societal “lone wolves”.
For many an Aquarian this is due partly to their opinions and beliefs being so inflexibly strong, they often will treat those who disagree with them with a judgmental air of moral superiority. This air of moral superiority can be deciphered quite clearly and in large capital letters on the face of many a Water Bearer.
As evidenced by India Wilkes in the scene description and dialogue below:
The scene takes place after Scarlett has been attacked in Shantytown as initially discussed in the “Aries” section. The women are all left to wait at Melanie’s home while the men go off together fully intending to retaliate against those who were behind Scarlett’s attack. Not knowing the men have left on her account, Scarlett complains out loud how nobody cares about her welfare. This in turn sparks a look of moral outrage from India Wilkes so overt, her facial expression becomes contorted and pinched in such an extreme way it could peel off wallpaper.
As India sanctimoniously stares at the object of her disaffection, Scarlett, still clueless as to what is going on around her blindly invites the Aquarian’s verbal maelstrom of fire and brimstone by asking India what’s bothering her. The representative of the sign of Aquarius takes the opportunity to criticize Scarlett’s impulsiveness by speaking as the mouth piece for the societal “group” which her polar opposite character Rhett Butler described using the same wordage in the Leo section – “decent people”:
Scarlett: And if it won’t pain you too much, India Wilkes, I’d be much obliged if you’ll tell me why you’re staring at me. Has my face gone green or something?
India: It won’t pain me! What happened this afternoon was just what you deserved! If there was any Justice, you’d have gotten worse.
Melanie: India, hush up!
Scarlett: Let her talk. She’s always hated me! Ever since I took your brother away from her… though she’s too much of a hypocrite to admit it! If she thought anyone would go for her… she’d walk down the street naked!
India: I do hate you, Scarlett! You’ve done all you could to lower the prestige of decent people. Now you’ve endangered the lives of our men, because they…
Silly Scarlett! Aquarians don’t need to walk around in public without any clothes on. They garner more than their fair share of attention simply by being their natural, daringly different selves.
It should be mentioned the scene described above is one of the few which doesn’t directly adhere to the novel but instead purposely deviates from its original text. In the book’s plot the men do leave together but for the purpose of joining a particular group that although was Aquarian for its rebellious nature was very un-Aquarian for its radically un-egalitarian principles – the Ku Klux Klan or KKK for short.
It appears that Margaret Mitchell’s idea of civil justice was just as shoddy and uninformed as her take on the Air signs at large of Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius.
Dr. Meade & Charles Hamilton
As we have already seen, the signs of the Zodiac which are represented by more than one character from GWTW tend not to be especially archetypal in nature and more than likely were viewed by the story’s creator as being of lesser importance and/or superfluous. Despite Margaret Mitchell lauding the importance of the first of the Water signs, Cancer and her own Watery sign of Scorpio through the respective characters of Melanie and Mammy, the creator of GWTW didn’t seem to put much stock in the last of the Water signs, Pisces.
As with her limited take on the sign of the Twins, Mitchell is reductive in her perspective of Pisces by focusing on just one aspect of that sign’s overall character – fantasy and idealism. The two representatives of the last sign of the Zodiac serve as foils to each other with one Piscean’s approach to fantasy and idealism being hyper-rational in a passively karmic way and the other’s being completely irrational as if blinded by the influence of Pisces’ ruling planet, Neptune.
As mentioned in the Virgo and Scorpio sections, those two signs along with Pisces are known as the “karmic” signs and the energies of those born beneath the karmic signs are best utilized when in service to others. When the karmic role of service is merged with the heightened emotional sensitivity and empathic abilities of the sign of Pisces the end result is Doctor Meade. Despite the sign of the Cosmic Fish being prone to fantasy, daydreaming, and idealism Doctor Meade serves as an anchor of reality to both himself and everyone else around him due to the man’s focused dedication to his karmic purpose of being of service to his fellow man.
Where his Virgoan polar opposite representative of karmic service Ellen O’Hara sacrifices herself while in the process of tending to those sick around her, Doctor Meade stays fully in tact but must bear the burden of being helplessly passive while witnessing the immense suffering of others positioned all around him. At the height of the war, the Piscean is inundated with a seemingly endless number of wounded Confederate soldiers but because of the lack of medical resources and assistance all Doctor Meade can do is bear witness to their pain and watch them die. When Scarlett finds him at the makeshift hospital and demands that he go with her to deliver Melanie’s baby, Doctor Meade doesn’t waste a second by putting things in as hyper-realistic a perspective for the headstrong Aries:
Doctor Meade: Are you crazy? I can’t leave these men for a baby! They’re dying, hundreds of them! Get some woman to help you.
Scarlett: But there isn’t anybody. Dr. Meade, Melanie might die!
Doctor Meade: Die!? Look at them! Bleeding to death in front of my eyes! No chloroform! No bandages! Nothing! Nothing to even ease their pain! Now run along and don’t bother me. Now don’t worry, child. There’s nothing to bringing a baby.
The pain in Doctor Meade’s voice is palpable with the words “No chloroform! No bandages!” since it is the immense internal suffering expressed by a person born beneath a karmic sign where their assistance is badly needed to be of service to others, but can’t do a thing to help.
Even with that being the case, when Doctor Meade sends Scarlett off to fend for herself with Melanie’s delivery his voice alters from one of pained desperation to sympathetic comfort as he soothingly lies to her by saying there’s nothing to birthing a baby.
And speaking of lying….
The planetary ruler of Pisces is the heavenly body which oversees every variation of lie from being outright dishonest with others to deceiving one’s own self. In short, the planet Neptune is associated with anything that deals with UN-reality, be they fantasies, illusions, lies, addictions along with spiritual ecstasy and intuitive visions of prophecy.
We Earth folk were made aware of the existence of Pisces’ planetary ruler in 1846 and a few months after its discovery Neptune transited into its ruling sign. The Planet of Un-reality stayed in its ruling sign of Pisces until the spring of 1861 and began an entirely new Zodiacal orbital cycle at 0 degrees Aries when America’s Civil War began in April of that year – to the exact day.
A cycle that is about to end in the present time.
It takes Neptune 165 years to fully orbit around the Sun. The Watery planet began a new orbital cycle to the day when America’s Civil War began in April of 1861 and will be starting a new solar orbital cycle when it once again crosses over 0 degrees Aries in 2025.
Our astrological analysis of both the film and the last character from GWTW ends where the epic tale initially begins. The story of GWTW commences just prior to war being declared between the Union and the Confederacy in the spring of 1861. At that time the planet Neptune was not only transiting through the final degrees of the last sign of the Zodiac, Pisces, it was nearing the end of a 165 year long orbit cycle around the Sun as well. Along with massive destruction and the most casualties of American soldiers in any given war, America’s Civil Conflict can be seen as the starting point of a new cycle of societal change since in the wake of its aftermath the United States had finally abolished slavery once and for all as well as our still unified country faced the prospect of modernization through the Industrial Revolution and beyond.
If the United States had divided and the South had seceded, this country would not be the super power it is today.
Before the Civil Conflict, many Southerners actually believed that things like chivalry and being gentlemanly would ensure victory for the Confederates. But that was all thinking that had to be left in the Past and in effect was already “gone with the wind”.
This thought and belief system of the “Old Age” is embodied in one character in particular, the very last to be astrologically analyzed – Charles Hamilton.
Many may have to recall exactly who that character is in the movie since he is only in the film’s very beginning. Charles Hamilton not only represents the all encompassing force of Neptunian Un-reality, he symbolizes everything that is associated with the “Old South”. Where Doctor Meade is the hyper-rational side of Pisces due to fulfilling his karmic purpose of being in service to others, Charles Hamilton is utterly irrational by fully residing in a Southern fantasy land where chivalrous knights joust with the rabble dragons of Northern white trash. He is so blinded by romantic idealism, he comes foolishly close to challenging the best shot in the South, aka Rhett Butler to a duel simply because the man dares to discuss the realistic logistics regarding the Union Army’s superior military prowess:
Charles Hamilton: Don’t you agree with us, Mr. Butler?
Rhett Butler: I think it’s hard winning a war with words, gentlemen.
Charles Hamilton: What do you mean, sir?
Rhett Butler: There’s not a cannon factory in the whole South.
Charles Hamilton: What difference does that make to a gentleman?
Rhett Butler: It’ll make a great deal of difference to a great many gentlemen, sir.
Charles Hamilton: Are you hinting, Mr. Butler, that the Yankees can lick us?
Rhett Butler: No, I’m not hinting. I’m saying very plainly that the Yankees are better equipped than we. They’ve got factories, shipyards, coal mines… and a fleet to bottle up our harbors and starve us to death. All we’ve got is cotton and slaves and arrogance.
Charles Hamilton: That’s treacherous! – I refuse to listen to any renegade talk! Apologies aren’t enough, sir!
Charles Hamilton represents Neptunian fantasy as well as is the embodiment of societal obsolescence once known as the “Old South”. His character is doomed from the get go and not just because he’s discarded like a used chess piece by Scarlett who marries the Piscean to spite her love interest for marrying Charles’ sister Melanie instead of herself.
Mr. Hamilton, who self deceptively believes gentlemanly things such as chivalry can defeat the likes of cannonballs and artillery shells doesn’t even make it to the battlefield to be properly obliterated by the reality of war. Instead, the Piscean who from the start of the film has resided in a fantasy world and symbolizes that which must be left in the past, wastes away like a faded memory by succumbing to the most common cause of death among those born beneath the sign of the Cosmic Fish, pneumonia. The audience learns of the Pisces passively passing away through the shown contents of a letter informing Scarlett of her lost cause of a husband’s untimely demise:
It reads: “Though Captain Hamilton was not vouchsafed a hero’s death upon the field of glory, he was none the less a hero, dying of pneumonia following an attack of measles.”
There are those choice times when it actually is better to fade away than burn out in a blaze of glory, especially when one’s entire world has already “Gone with the Wind”.
*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.