Barbara Amiel – sticking in the stiletto

Another revenge memoir is out, though not political. This one is by Barbara Amiel, wife of former media tycoon Conrad Black who ended up in prison. ‘Friends and Enemies’ lambasts the socialite luminaries, once her BFFs during her years of obscene wealth and ostentatious display, who dumped her like a hot brick when he went into convict gear. It is described by one reviewer as “608 gloriously indiscreet pages of elegant vitriol. It could equally well be called Sex and Spite in High Society, a cautionary tale of lavish lifestyles, failed marriages, half-hearted suicide attempts and oral sex with an aristocratic pensioner.”

   All too unlikeable but interesting from an astrological point of view. Amiel said in an interview ‘I love sex. Opera and sex are my two great passions.’ And a commentator wrote at the time of the Black duo’s showiest phase: “She has an operatic sense of her own tragedy. There is something of the ancient Greek about the couple’s disdain for ordinary people and their belief in the entitlement of the elite.”

  And all this from mundane beginnings on 4 December 1940 at 8am just outside of London. Her parents split when she was 8, and she moved with her mother to Canada when she remarried, only to find herself out on the street at 14 with her mother saying she couldn’t cope with her anymore.  She slept in cellars, lived in dodgy boarding houses, worked nights in factories and studied to get into Toronto University. She married her first husband when she was a student which lasted a year; the next one lasted five years; and the third also collapsed.  Aged nearly 50 she met media mogul Kerry Packer, who funded her into a new flat. The publisher George Weidenfeld followed, then onto Conrad Black and a glittering life of in-your-face opulence with multiple houses, private jets, couture clothes by the roomful.

 To do her credit she stood by him when he was inside for 42 months in a U.S. prison, convicted of fraud and obstruction of justice; and is still with him.

  She has a hair-curling chart with a 1st house Sagittarius Sun trine Pluto in Leo, sextile North Node in Libra, tying her into the zeitgeist. But what makes her chart extraordinary is a stubborn-to-the-nth degree Fixed T Square of a seductive, passionately enthusiastic Venus Mars in Scorpio opposition Jupiter Saturn in Taurus squaring onto Pluto; with another Fixed T Square of Mars Venus opposition Saturn square an Aquarius Moon. Very little will budge her when she’s on track and that is doubly so with Pluto as the focal planet – which gives her immense staying power and a capacity for ignoring anyone or anything that attempts to get her to change course. Sexuality is often emphasised with a Fixed sign Pluto and in her case with a multiplication factor given that she also has Venus Mars in Scorpio and Venus Saturn. And contempt is usually a weapon of choice for handling people she considers beneath her.

 Her get-it-together 5th Harmonic is well aspected as is her obsessive 11H but her strongest is the 19H which is associated with personal success, happiness and prosperity. However 19 is not a lucky number – being ‘karmic’ in the sense that the person is forced to develop their individuality.

  Her final stand-by-your-man husband, Conrad Black, 25 August 1944 6.15am Montreal, Canada, is built in a different mould from her having a substantially Mutable – ie adaptable – chart, which he’d need to cope with her extreme Fixedness. He has a Sun Jupiter conjunction in Virgo with Venus, Mercury Mars also in Virgo and Uranus in Gemini. His Moon is in Scorpio which will hook into her Venus Mars and his Moon squares Pluto so he will be emotionally intense.

  It’s not that obviously a perfect match since her Saturn falls in his 8th putting up barriers to emotional intimacy; and his Scorpio Moon isn’t a great mix with her Aquarius Moon – but with mellowing years it clearly works.

4 thoughts on “Barbara Amiel – sticking in the stiletto

  1. I always say “hurray” when there’s at least a tentatative TOB, because house positions are such an addition. One can see why a person with Uranus on 6th house hasn’t had the most stable life. But on the other hand, Neptune on MC will allow one to project just anything to public. And obviously, that Venus/Mars in 11th house, traditionally associated to (extramaritial) affairs, and brilliant, communication oriented but also detached Moon in the 3rd. Might not make the nicest or warmest persob around, but intriguing, for sure.

  2. I think their compatibility lies in his stellium of Venus, Mercury, Midheaven and Mars in Virgo being sextile her Mercury and trine her Uranus. They would find communication between them to be stimulating and fascinating.

  3. Thanks Marjorie. I was curious about her, having read the article about her memoirs. The phrase “elegant vitriol” could be very Venus and Mars in Scorpio. I was intrigued with the Mercury opposition Uranus – perhaps this partly represents her rollercoaster life and financial ups and downs – earning money from journalism, and also being supported by men in the media. Those fixed signs have served her well, she is nearly 80 I realise.

  4. She is famous here in canada for her quote – “I have an extravagance that knows no bounds” said a few years before Conrad went to jail

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