Sigmund Freud – resolutely earth bound

Sigmund Freud’s thinking had a profound effect on the 20th Century, becoming embedded in literature and movies as well as across the psychological field. Credited as the founder of psychoanalysis, he had a professional partnership then disagreement with Jung with both going their separate ways as egos and theories clashed.  Both were ambitious men keen to make their name as leaders in their field, which in Freud’s case caused him to skew some of his views on the sexual abuse of children to avoid the hostility of the society in which he lived.

  His influence can’t be understated, though he was plain wrong in his attitude to women and sexuality, and his personal habits were not above reproach. He had a cocaine habit and conducted an affair at one point with his wife’s sister. The Oedipal theory on which he based his reputation was a distorted and selective rewriting of the Greek myth to reinforce his view of the idealized mother and the sexualized, vengeful infant. In reality the story of Oedipus tells of a child abandoned by both parents to die in an effort to shore up the narcissistic father’s delusion he could stave off mortality, backed up by a collusive mother.

   Later feminists took exception to his views on penis envy which seen from this distance is bizarre.

  What is intriguing is that both he and Jung had Sun and Uranus in the 7th making them trailblazers and keen on unconventional relationships. But where Jung had a fiery Leo Sun square an other-worldly Neptune making him reach for the intangible and mystical, Freud was an earthy Taurus and then some with a serious Saturn in Gemini in his 8th, the house of sexual matters.

 His Sun was conjunct Uranus with Mercury at the far end of Taurus and Pluto in the early degrees. His Neptune was square his 8th house Moon, a hint of his unrealistic view of women and motherhood.

 Both men had hard Mars Jupiter aspects which can signify the ‘holy warrior’, one who promotes their pet cause with zeal and can also indicate at its most negative, an opportunist.

  Both had their North Node in designed-to-lead and be independent Aries. Both had Chiron in their 3rd house which rules the mental functions.  

  They were never designed to walk the same path with Jung’s Pluto conjunct Freud’s Uranus Sun and Jung’s Uranus conjunct Freud’s Midheaven. Their respective Mars and Saturn also clashed for a bad tempered match.

 Their relationship chart had a hostile, power-struggling composite Mars opposition Pluto and an ego-clashing Jupiter trine Pluto. They could – and arguably did – move mountains in terms of shifting public attitudes to the psyche but from differing standpoints which were never going to agree.  

8 thoughts on “Sigmund Freud – resolutely earth bound

  1. In the early 20th century in Vienna, Freud, Jung, Hitler, Trotsky all lived close enough that they could have walked to the same coffee shop. The astrology of the city might be interesting. Did it somehow attract revolutionary idealists, whose concepts would shape the attitudes and fates of millions?

    My understanding is that when Freud’s experiments with Breur’s hypnotic regression techniques uncovered stories of rampant sexual abuse of children in “polite” Viennese society, Freud refused to believe this could happen. This is what drove him to invent an elaborate theory of how children made up an abusive story to somehow soothe themselves. Many years later, Arthur Janov took the primal screams literally. A comparison of Freud and Janov might be interesting.

    • Yes, Freud and Jung had the patriarchal attitudes towards women that men of their time held. It would indeed be interesting to see Vienna’a astrology, Chris. The ‘Vienna Secession’, a group of Austrian artists, designers and architects including Otto Wagner and Gustav Klimt formed in 1897 came together to promote modernism in the arts as a reaction against what they considered to be stagnant traditionalism in Austria at the time.

      The movement was to give rise to the Art Nouveau style. Czech artist and member of the VS Alphonse Mucha is well-known for this style which depicted the idealised woman often semi naked and eroticised. The Symbolist movement of the late century also tapped into the notion of woman as erotic siren, vampire, seducer, devourer and destroyer of men. This categorisation of Womankind into these archetypes can be seen both in the Artistic movements of the time and in Freud and Jung’s own theories or perhaps – dare I say it – projections.

      The foundation of the movement in April 1897 has the North Node in Aquarius and the Neptune/Pluto conjunction in Gemini. There’s no doubt that that Neptune/Pluto in Gemini at the ‘Fin de Siecle’ had a massive effect on all aspects of our history. Not only did it coincide with the development of human psychology and an artistic revolution, it accelerated the development of technology too.

      Both Jung and Freud’s discoveries in psychoanalysis played a great role in the development of modern art. The idea of the unconscious as the driving force of human behaviour uncovered certain truths that the conservative Viennese Society of the time found uncomfortable. Both Freud and Jung’s theories were later influential on the Dada and Surrealist movement of the 1910s. Many of the Surrealists who rose to prominence in the 1930s and 40s were born with Neptune/Pluto in Gemini.

      • Thank you for connecting up the history with the modern art movements, the surrealism of the femme fatale and so forth. Fascinating way to connect the dots, Virgoflake! It seems that so much of what we take for granted as Modern Society, and the technology myth of “we can do anything,” all traces back to this particular melting pot!

        My own moon is in Virgo and has NO substantial aspects. Thinking about I feel, feeling my way toward what I think, is an important and somewhat isolated part of my personality. So your user name caught my attention!

  2. They were both men of their time, the posterity will always scrutinise their legacy and sanction any wrong assumptions, that’s our job, keeping only what’s good from the past.
    Freud was recently debunked as a fraud, his cases were all invented, his attempt of reinterpeting the greek mythology becoming a failure. In greek Oedipus comes from oideo = inflate, inflame and pous – foot. In Socrates original play he wasn’t supposed to be a universal symbol of envy but a symbol of a physically (and consequently morally) impaired character. His father’s name – Laois, means the ‘clumsy one’. So the diformity ran in the family. But Freud made him a slanted symbol of pathological sexual envy. What’s more amusing is that the practice his theory of dreams originated from has also got immortal characters among those who overcame the failing human nature, a woman and a gay guy being part of them :). Of course, the european avantgarde was to retro to adopt them :D. (Those were the times dadaism and avangardism took Europe by storm).
    Both were opportunists of their times and pioneers – Mars in Sag/Libra, Sat in mentally cold Aqu/duplicitous Gem and nodes in Aries. It’s the first time I see their synastry, Jung’s Jup on Freud’s South Node seems to indicate he was Freud’s master or teacher in a past life. As for Jung, all his life he tried to distance his studies from those of Freud’s, tried to get out of his gravitational field. Jung has also got the excuse of being so dedicated that he tried to enact all his visions, at least that’s how he justified relations with other women than his wife. 🙂 At least he got psychic sensitive enough to predict the first world war, as did other contemporaries.
    They should be credited at least with the courage of bringing such methods in the west, even though they didn’t have access to the complete set of techniques. Perharps that’s why the sexuality became such a central piece in their legacy as the inability to properly transmute those energies can’t make you free of that desire, can’t help you become achieved or serein, plus that the real method was designed for women initially, not for men. And the women set of techniques is all we have now. The irony :D.

  3. If I was being cynical I would say both Jung and Freud were typical Victorian males, more interested in their own libido than the women they were purportedly helping. Holywood directors spring to mind. (Is their any similarity in Weinstein’s astrological chart?)

    Their intellectual creativity is undoubted – though too complex for me at times. I would just note that, where Freud’s work was a starting point for Jung, Schopenhaur’s work was a starting point for Freud; and Schopenhaur drew heavily on Eastern philosophy. The cycle, East to West, seems to continually repeat itself (an eternal recurrence!) or the East continually refreshes the West at any rate.

    The Eastern notion of Emptiness (Nothingness) does however seem to cause confusion when transposed to the West. Tibetan Buddhist Masters talk in terms of a ‘Union of Bliss and Emptiness’ – the true nature or state of mind experienced when all desire ceases. But Western practitioners, including Jung and Freud, often experience the abnegation of the ‘self’ and the supression of ‘libido’ (in it’s widest sense) as depressive – even as they intellectually accept it. Maybe their egos are just too strong to be reined in and brought under control.

    NB According to Schopenhaur (the World as Will and Representation), the attainment of a goal or desire results in satisfaction whereas the frustration of such attainment results in suffering. Since existence is marked by want or deficiency, and since satisfaction of this want is unsustainable, existence is characterized by suffering. Schopenhauer concludes that nonexistence is preferable to existence. However, suicide is not the answer. One cannot resolve the problem of existence through suicide, for since all existence is suffering, death does not end one’s suffering but only terminates the form that one’s suffering takes. The proper response to recognizing that all existence is suffering is to turn away from or renounce one’s own desiring. Thus Schopenhauer’s thought confirms the Eastern texts he read and admired: ie salvation can only be found in resignation/acceptance.

    • Liz, Respectfully – there is a risk of patronising and writing off as failure of character those who do not share your beliefs.
      Many paths etc.

      • Thank you for your comments Marjorie. I obviously failed to express my views properly – it is a complex subject after all.

        I merely pointed out that the fundamental Buddhist principle of ‘Emptiness’ and ‘Nothingness’ are often seen as depressive to the Western mind – especially in the work of Jung, Freud and Schopenhaur who seemingly espoused that particular philosophy. I think they ‘talked the talk’, but didn’t always ‘walk the walk’ to use modern parlance.

        Everyone is of course free to choose their own path and their own life. There is however a strange inherent paradox in choosing nirvana as the goal (ie the total abnegation of the ‘self’ and the elimination of all desire). We have to desire nirvana in order to travel the path which leads to nirvana.

  4. I was never a fan of either.

    Especially Sigmund Freud after reading about his theories and attitudes towards woman and sexuality. He also had an incestuous attitude toward his daughter which she talked about in a book she wrote about her father after he died. He also blamed mothers and women for any problems children and young adults had growing up. My impression when I studied Freud’s theories back in college was that he secretly hated women.

    Carl Jung also had a major ego problem and he died alone because all his friends could not deal with his inflated ego or attitude. As did Friedrich Nietzsche who’s attitude and superiority reminded me a lot of Ayn Rand.

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