Friday, October 2, 2015

Antonio Vivaldi

François Morellon de La Cave: the supposed portrait of Antonio Vivaldi, held in
Museo internazionale e biblioteca della musica in Bologna, Italy (Picture source: Wikipedia)
I can never get enough of Vivaldi: I go to work with earphones plugged in my ears, read books, work astrology, I even whitewashed a few of the rooms in my house, raising the eyebrows of my neighbors. Sometimes falling asleep: with closed eyes, after only a few bars, sights of Venice appear in front of me. All that with his unique music. And believe me, it's not all about the "Four Seasons", there is a lot more: violin cycles "La Cetra", "L'estro Armonico", to name a few among 253 others. Beethoven makes me upset. Bach is somehow strict, and Mozart is sometimes too bright, logical... and happy. Tchaikovsky - sad and heartbreaking. I write this post while I listen his "La Stravaganza". Hollywood music is a pale copy compared to Vivaldi's oboe concertos. How many more are there for me to discover?!? And yes, this was blog about astrology. 

A music fan (I do music for a living, actually) such as I am, and a classical one, I always wanted to peak into my favorite composer's lives. Astrologically, of course. But, sometimes we are not certain about the dates, not to mention the exact hours of birth.

We are sure about his birth date, 4th of March 1678: there was earthquake short before his birth. Than, we search for some known facts about his life, trying to get some pointers about the possible planetary positions, and than rectifying the birth chart.
Pier Leone Ghezzi's "Il Prete Rosso"
  • He was the greatest violinist of his time, violin virtuoso from early age, and as composer he modified the structure of the concertos, with works that show real genius (influence of Uranus);
  • He was ordained priest (something with 4th, 9th or 12th house);
  • Ill health;
  • He worked most his life in an orphanage (12th house) "Ospedale della Pieta", mostly as a music teacher (5th house);
  • Rumors about love affairs with young girls that were usually his students (again 5th house);
  • Mighty benefactors, such as state of Venice, emperor Charles VI, the pope Benedict XIII, but he was never rich and actually he died impoverished (something wrong with 2nd house) in an unknown conditions (12th house);
  • His grave in Vienna was destructed (afflicted ruler or a bad planet in 4th house);
  • Lots of mysteries and myths regarding his life, but little facts. His works are still emerging from some attics or archives, even today.
One of my starting pointers was his caricature by Pier Leone Ghezzi. In caricatures there are always some parts of our body that are very likely to be exaggerated by the artist in his depiction. However exaggerated, look at his nose extended in line with the forehead, leaned backwards! That is not Pisces, but influence of Mars and Aries!

I open my Astrolog program and I look for Aries on March 4th, 1678. I find Uranus also in Aries! I decide to rectify it on the Ascendant, coming to 7:30 in the morning. And here's what I've got:

Antonio Vivaldi birth chart
It all matches!

Look: almost 8 of the planets are in the 12th, 1st, and 2nd house - introvert life, self consciousness, self oriented person.

First of all, Uranus on the Ascendant gave his genius mind, both as a composer, and as virtuoso violinist, arguably the best in centuries. Acangelo Corelli? Handel? Bach? Great names, but not a chance. Maybe only Paganini was better as a composer/performer violinist, but he was born years after Vivaldi's death. 

Yes, he was Aquarian type of character: original, unpredictable, acting suddenly and strangely. It was certainly the reason why he produced so much music, having torrents of inspiration. 50 operas or more, over 600 concertos, numbers of sacred music, cantatas. Highly independent and freedom loving: maybe he never wanted to become priest, all he wanted was the music, but was forced by his poor family; they thought that if he became priest, he would be taken care of for the rest of his life by the gracious church. And he did so, probably still very young to disobey them. Once ordained, he participated in a Mass only a few times, always skipping his ecclesiastical duties (he was actually officially excused from Masses by the church authorities, but remained priest), laying blame on his ill health, the strettezza di petto ("tightness of the chest"). Rumors say that he sometimes faked his chest attacks: even as a spectator in the Masses, he would complain about his health and leave the ceremonies, only to be found in the nearby chambers, with note sheets, writing his accidental music idea. Something you certainly would expect from Uranian character! The unexpected and unconventional! Being opposed to the rules, defying the dangerous and going against it in the unknown; once appointed as a music teacher in Ospedale della Pieta, it's management always had problems with authority over him: he wanted to push through his own ideas an methods, even though it meant he would be jobless.

Going old, he sold everything in Venice, quit his job and got settled in Vienna, only to die a few years after. Never understood from the environment, living for the future times, high love for humanity with revolutionary ideas: if it wasn't for him, maybe the violin technique wouldn't advance so rapidly. Through the violin, and through all the music he composed, he gave all the love he felt for the human kind, making their lives even to these (future) days a little happier and brighter. That message still doesn't cease... And I could go on and on about Uranus. One could learn with such a situations. Notable people with Uranus on the Ascendant were inventors and pioneers such as Nikola Tesla, Isaac Newton, Robert Louis Stevenson, revolutionaries Oliver Cromwell, Ernesto Che Guevara. Leonardo da Vinci. I think Beethoven also was Uranian type, but that is a subject for some other research!

 Vivaldi's manuscript of the Inverno, or "Winter" from the "Four Seasons"
Vivaldi's manuscript of the Inverno, or "Winter" from the "Four Seasons"
Aries rising, is what gave Vivaldi the looks and the outer appearance: another proof for my rectified birth hour. His forehead leaned backwards, his erect posture in one of the supposed portraits. I knew a few Aries, they were neat and organized impeccably. And their handwriting - like a typed on a computer. The scores he wrote, you can put them on your note-stand and play straight away from them. See for yourself.
Two of the most significant planets in Vivaldi's horoscope switched their places, modus domum. Ruler of 1st house is Mars, it's in Aquarius in 12th. It means: life spent in a hospital, asylum, monastery, social institution, or in his case - the orphanage. And ruler of 12th is Uranus in the 1st (because 1st house is second from 12th): gains and benefits from hospitals, asylums, (in Aries) a call for some kind of order and organization (they couldn't imagine Ospedale music department without him), which he did in his own, original way (Uranus). 

Full 12th house, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter and Sun, plus Neptune going there: isolation, solitude, separated ascetic life, fear from life and death produces self torments, so they want to be near people, but totally alone (I knew two people with full 12th, and I asked them what would happen if they were stuck on a deserted island, and both gave me the same answer - kill themselves!). I think it was his forceful destiny to become a kind of a monk, a secular hermit, or in his case - a priest without duties. About his employment in social institution, such as the orphanage Ospedale, talks the ruler of the 6th, the Sun, right there in the 12th. It is the Sun, conjunct with Jupiter: he became sort of artistic manager there (altogether with his opaque Uranian character), and the institution became leader in the cultural events in Venice, luring mighty and wealthy tourists. He got the most of it possible. Watching a BBC documentary I learned also that the new church of Pieta, built on the same place where the old Pieta was standing, was strictly designed by Vivaldi's acoustic demands. Look for yourself about Vivaldi, his duties and the full 12th house here.

His solar sign, Pisces, and the emphasized 12th house altogether mean some level of melancholy, nostalgia, seeking some untouchable world. Despite the vivid, lively, vigorous, motor-like impeccable flow (derived from his Aries/Uranus - Mars/Aquarius constellation) of the rhythms and harmonies he usually uses, there is some sad, I would say longing and wistful flavor in his expression, especially in his minor movements. It's his trademark source, that makes his music unique and recognizable. The seventh part of his Stabat Mater, Eja Mater, draws us the picture. You can sit, listen and cry.

Being poor towards the end matches Saturn in 2nd house. But why wasn't he during his life? I explain this as follows: Saturn rules his 10th house, or the Mid Heaven, and 2nd is 5th counted from the 10th: lots of benefactors, and powerful ones (symbolism of 10th - emperor Charles VI, king Louis XV, the pope, and of course the Republic of Venice; lots of them actually visited Pieta and Vivaldi's work), who didn't refrained to order some fine piece of music for themselves. Luckily, Saturn is not afflicted, it has sextile with Uranus (as ruler of 12th, it's likely that his "customer's" orders at first were brought anonymously, with interesting conditions, maybe in the beginning for free) and sextile with the Moon. If it was Jupiter in question, he would own half of Italy with such benefactors. But, it was Saturn, and he had to sell masterpieces for not as much money as their valued, and (Saturn is the evil, no matter how good he is posed, with time, it's true nature will come up) eventually it all goes away some day. When? Ruler of 2nd is Venus, afflicted with the Moon in 5th (Moon rules 4th and 5th): for love, but this time not towards humanity, but love for a (Moon) woman. No pension, no insurance, Saturn rules 11th also (the fruits of our life), and you can apply the same explanation.

Was he in love? I believe so. Between many of his students, there was a certain singer, Anna Tessieri Giro. Vivaldi met her at one of his trips (3rd, travels is Mercury, in sextile with Venus, the partner) to Mantua, and she came to live with his sister in Vivaldi's home. Asked whether he is having an affair with her, he denied it. No question, 12th won't let him go, he is too much private person. Ruler of 5th, Moon, in the 5th, can signify love with students (he was teacher in Ospedale and all students were girls - Moon!). Giro was also his student, Moon in Cancer - much younger, and she was, 23 years younger than him. I do not exclude that he was romantically involved with many more girls from Ospedale, but it was more of a emotional connection in question (unlike his fellow citizen Casanova, who had Mars in 5th house). Once he found his true, greatest love, Giro, he could consider her as a partner. He loved her, that's for sure, his 7th house is in Libra, ruler is Venus in 1st: the partner enters us emotionally, life becomes all about the partner; in Aries, in detriment - only one love, that causes much pain. Venus in beautiful sextile with Mars would say that probably with her there was more than emotional contact! Certainly she was a sensual partner, and with Mercury: gifted, skillful as a singer, that gives us everything we crave for. But never marriage: Venus square with the Moon - some deep guilt that having great love can be spoiled with a marriage, some antagonism Vivaldi felt inside that wouldn't leave him in peace.

He spent his last days in a hotel room (again, significance of 12th house) in Vienna (now hotel Sacher, near the Opera House). Getting very sick, and being out of funds, he was admitted in a hospital for the poor near Karlskirche, where he died on 28 July 1741. The destiny was fulfilled: ruler of the 8th (the place of death) is Mars in 12th - in a hospital for poor. He was buried in the graveyard of the hospital with modest ceremony.  

Vivaldi's Solar return for 1741
 Let us look at the solar return for 4th March 1741. Ruler of the Solar year is the Sun in 8th - house of severe illness and death. Together with Mercury: I believe he was still conscious when he died. Bad planets in 6th (Uranus) 12th (Mars and Saturn) and 4th (Pluto) - indication of a rapidly declining health. But he hasn't any bad aspects with the major planets, he has a "triangle", or trine with SO,ME 120 MA 120 PL? These are good, positive aspects, that fulfill a person's most intimate will! I once spoke with a father and asked for a date and hour of birth of his son, who died that same year, with a solar return such as this, full with trines: after a big dissapointment in love, he became progressed diabetic, having his kidneys failed in only one year - he just wanted to die, he had enough from pain and suffering. Was Vivaldi so ill he wanted this? Or was he dissatisfied how his great life journey with music has finished? Has he thought that all was for nothing? Was this the reason why he maybe wanted to finish everything? Anna Giro was with him when he died. I'm not surprised if she has left some notes about her life with his great man, that will come up in the future to come.

4th is about the legacy. It's ruler (Moon) is in 5th in Cancer: all about the stage, about the masses, about their amusement (5th!). 4th means also memory, remembrance: he is remembered not because he was a priest, nor a teacher, nor a great violinist, but what he left behind, and that was all about 5th house: the stage, the audience, the masses, concerts, future performances yet to come. And there will emerge "Vivaldians" more and more. Believe me. He will take his place next to Bach in the Baroque, as he deserves!

But, in his 4th came Pluto, one fatal planet, planet of destruction, also about the influence and strike upon the masses. I believe this, together with his full 12th house (the mysticism, the secrecy), is why his works were forgotten nearly 200 years after his death, up until the beginning of 20th century. And yet, he is mostly known for his Il cimento dell’armonia e dell’inventione, "The Contest Between Harmony and Invention", where his tremendously extra popular Le quattro stagioni, or "Four Seasons" were consisted. Something is wrong with his works that are still buried in Venice's and world archives. Will his legacy emerge in total? Pluto is conjunct with fixed star Sirius: I believe so. Works are still emerging from private libraries, attics and Venetian state archive. Unbelievable. And take my word, in the far future, his Opera works (4th, legacy, in 5th - stage!) will emerge from the Belcanto shadows and bless us with it's beautiful harmonies. May God be gracious upon us an let us see that miracle happen! 

Where is Pluto, there is destruction. In his horoscope, it came up in 4th house, the grave. After 50 years, in 1789, the hospital was demolished, together with the graveyard. It happened when Uranus was transiting through his 4th house (the grave) touching his natal Pluto, and transiting Pluto just entering his 12th. On the same spot a great building was erected, Vienna University of Technology, one of the greatest universities in Europe, opened in 1815. 

Again, nothing is accidental: ruler of his 4th house (the grave) is the Moon (mass of people) in 5th (school), indicating that his final resting place is in a school, among mass (Cancer) of students (5th). And it may be destructed, but it is not forgotten, I believe because of Sirius (fixed star, conjunct with Pluto). There is an inscription, facing Karlskirche and Karlsplatz reminding common people like us about the resting place of a great man.

It says: "At this spot, up until 1789 was Burgerspitals or Armensunder-Gottesacker;
Antonio Vivaldi born on 4 March 1678 in Venice was here on 28 July 1741 buried. Dedicated to the 300th birthday Creditanstalt-Bankverein (1978)"
When I thought I was done with the synthesis, a new one appeared while translating this text: the financier of this inscription was the largest bank in Austria, for Vivaldi's 300th birth anniversary. Again, his 10th (benefactors) in 2nd (now, it was bank in question, and obviously he couldn't take any money, because he is dead). If it weren't for them, we, the commoners, wouldn't know this fact. (Jupiter and Venus transiting his 4th house in May 1978: was then this panel was erected?)

Scrolling through my text, checking it for mistakes, I suddenly realize one more thing from Mundane Astrology: he was born when in Venice was an earthquake. Uranus is rising on the Ascendant (sudden, unpredictable), and Pluto (destruction) is in the 4th in the Imum Coeli (the bottom of the sky) in Cancer (Venice being town ruled by Moon and Cancer): is this possible? A great man was born when the earth shook? Or, even better: the ground shook when a great man came to Earth to shake it!

So, can Astrology give us the answers for our lives? You think? I do know!

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