Aquarius is the sign of genius. Water-bearers often have a unique gift, compliments of their Uranus ruler, the planet of originality. And this gift can become legendary: artists Jackson Pollock, Arthur Rubinstein and Colette are examples of this brilliance. These great creative minds were not only born on the same day (January 28), but also shared an unusually potent Aquarius emphasis in their charts. Let’s examine why their work has made the pages of history.
Jackson Pollock (1912-1956)
This American abstract impressionist had Sun in Aquarius and Moon, Mars and Saturn in Taurus. Uranus “trined” (influenced) his Moon and Mars, which gave Pollock an added dose of brilliance. Typical of his Sun sign, Pollock was unconventional. He shunned the use of brushes, and created his own “drip” technique, dropping bits of paint onto a canvas he had laid out on the floor. And because Aquarius rules abstract art, it was the perfect medium for his talents.
The earthy Taurus influences can be seen in the physical way he worked – using sticks, trowels and knives to create his paintings. He often added other materials, such as sand or broken glass, to his canvases. What’s more, Taurus is ruled by Venus, the planet of art and beauty. All in all, the mix of Aquarius and Taurus influences made his art strikingly unique.
Sadly, Pollock struggled with alcoholism for most of his life. In 1956, he died in an alcohol-related car crash at the age of 44. But his art lives on, and continues to be coveted by collectors. His painting entitled “No. 5, 1948” was purchased by movie mogul David Geffen, and later sold for an astonishing $140,000,000 in 2006.
Arthur Rubinstein (1887- 1982)
Rubinstein was a piano virtuoso, born in Poland. With Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars in Aquarius, the sign of precocity, it’s no wonder that his fascination with the instrument started at the age of 2. He began piano lessons at 4, and made his debut with the Berlin Philharmonic at 13. Unfortunately, his debut in New York at Carnegie Hall (at age 19) was followed by an unsuccessful tour of the United States. Shortly thereafter, back in Berlin and destitute, he tried to hang himself. This impressionability came from his Moon in Pisces, a sign given to depression. Fortunately, it also gave him the gift of divine inspiration so common in musical geniuses. Moon in Pisces was also responsible for his highly spiritual nature. After his suicide attempt he said he felt “reborn,” with a renewed love of life.
Rubinstein’s personal life was as unconventional (for the time) as his career, compliments of having Venus, the planet of love, in Aquarius. In 1932 he married Aniela (Nela) Mlynarska, the daughter of a conductor. The couple had four children. Still, his marriage didn’t keep him from having a series of affairs, one of which produced an illegitimate daughter. At the age of 90 he left his wife for a much younger woman. He died five years later in Switzerland. One thing about Aquarians – they are always young at heart.
Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (1873-1954)
In the early 1900s, same-sex liaisons and an affair with one’s stepson were sure to rattle some conventional cages. With both Sun and Moon in Aquarius, this French novelist was a controversial figure in both her personal life and her writings. She is probably best known for her novel, Gigi, which was adapted into a stage musical and film. But it was her lesbian affairs that got her into hot water with the public. After she divorced the first of her three husbands, she began a five-year relationship with Mathilde de Morny. The two performed together in a pantomime entitled RÍve d’…gypte at the Moulin Rouge in Paris, and their onstage kiss created quite a scandal (this was 1907, mind you). The show was banned thereafter, and the couple was no longer able to live together openly.
In 1912, Colette married newspaper editor Henri de Jouvenel, until her affair with his son ended the marriage. Colette’s Venus in Pisces suggests that she led with her heart, yet had the notable lack of discrimination so typical in that sign. That influence, however, gave her work a powerful imaginative quality.
One of Colette’s most successful novels is Chéri (1920), which played with sexual stereotypes. The story is about a relationship between the aging courtesan Léa and a younger man, named Chéri. In an (Aquarian) role reversal, Léa is the stronger-willed of the two, whereas Chéri wears silk pajamas along with Léa’s pearls. This was one of about 50 novels Colette wrote, and she has been acclaimed as one of France’s greatest writers.
Brilliant, rebellious and unconventional, Aquarians can be the most gifted (and interesting!) among those who share their genius with the world.
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