George Orwell – creativity is a cruel mistress

Great men are rarely well balanced and thoughtful human beings and George Orwell, whose chilling insights into truth twisting and totalitarian thinking are still mainstream eighty years after his death, is no exception.

  A new biography of him lays bare the fault line between his writing supremacy and his abject failings as a husband. He was born in India on 25 June 1903, maybe 2.30pm, Moithari, with his father in the civil service, sent back to a typically sadistic English boarding school and then Eton. After a brief sojourn back in India in the police, he decided to become a writer and returned to England penniless. He worked in a bookshop and in Paris as a washer-upper where he contracted tuberculosis.

 Despite his awkwardness in female company he married Oxford educated Eileen O’Shaughnessy who co-wrote  Animal Farm with him. Orwell was addicted to a spartan lifestyle and Eileen often had to do all the household tasks as well as caring for the goat and chickens, part of his plan for subsistence living, in a house with no mains gas, a single cold tap and a leaking corrugated iron roof. She typed for Orwell and his friends. It was an open marriage as he resorted to prostitutes, and she too may have had a lover. When the Spanish Civil War broke out he pawned the family silver to pay for his passage to Spain and she later joined him.

  When Eileen became ill and died on the operating table in 1945 Orwell was absent, having accepted a newspaper offer to report on bomb-damaged German towns. After that with his own health deteriorating he moved with his adopted son to a Scottish island, and died three months after remarrying in 1950.

  A bleak man.

  He had a Cancer Sun conjunct Neptune and Moon – creative, but not well designed for commitment. He had a revolutionary Uranus opposition Pluto square Jupiter in Pisces – which would give his tendency to rock the boat a mellow edge with lucky outcomes. His Air Grand Trine made him a thinker and a communicator but emotionally cool and detached especially since it linked Mars to Saturn in Aquarius to Mercury in Gemini with Saturn opposition Venus. Ice water in his veins is one way to look at him – or, more sympathetically, damaged psychologically so empathy was difficult for him.   If the birth time is accurate it gives an influential 8th house Pluto, an entertaining 5th house Jupiter, a chilly domestic Saturn in the 4th and a living-abroad 9th house Moon with Sun Neptune also on the  cusp of the 9th house of publishing and writing. So it is feasible.

  His poor downtrodden wife, Eileen Blair, 25 September 1905, had a Sun Libra conjunct his Mars and square his Neptune Sun which made for an argumentative and delusional/illusory match. Like him she had a Venus in Leo opposition Saturn so was used to doing with less affection and was also used to being pushed around. She had a Mars opposition Pluto, which sat on top of his Uranus opposition Pluto – and that is an explosive and damaging combination.

  Their relationship chart also hints at a masochistic streak since the composite Sun and Venus oppose Saturn and square Mars – cold and downtrodden, demanding a sacrificial partner. There was also a composite Uranus opposition Pluto square North Node – together they made a mark on a time of turmoil and radical change.

  What a destructive relationship.  

  His breakthrough-genius 13H is strong and bleak. His leaving-a-legacy 17H is also marked as is his writer’s 21H and his global presence 22H.

4 thoughts on “George Orwell – creativity is a cruel mistress

  1. Thank you Marjorie. Trusting I have my midpoint right, I get the feeling Orwell was shaped by his father. As Saturn is in his 4th house with trine Mars in 12th house. However the grand air trine has Mercury on it Saturn/Mars midpoint and conjunct his Pluto, making a profound impression on Orwell, both in the way his Father communicated and his attitude to life. The Victorian Civil Servant would have been authoritarian. As Orwell was born in India, there may have been little contact with his parents, just servants. There is also something Monkish/Spiritual about Orwell, as Neptune falls on his Sun/Moon midpoint in Cancer, along with Moon in the 9th house, this would make him a traveller, searching for a sense of belonging. Cancer’s sign is the crab and Orwell’s life appears to be one of being very self contained, carrying his home on his back – like the modern hippie living off grid. Not wanting other’s people money or actually being tied down to earthly values. In some respects I think he lived his life in his head and cared little for the obvious securities. His Uranus/Jupiter square midpoint is on his Saturn, further enforcing a need to break free from his conventional class upbringing and a need for a simple life. Writing Animal Farm, may have been cathartic. The only two Earth planets in his Wife’s chart is Mercury in Virgo and Uranus in Capricorn. As Mercury in Virgo can be quite critical and Uranus in Capricorn does not sit well with authority, she appears to share Orwell’s attitude. She also appears to be just a nomadic as Orwell was. Their composite chart shares a sense of adventure as their Sun/Venus is in the 9th. What is more interesting is their Neptune/Venus midpoint falls on their Mercury, enabling them to share a kindred spirit attitude as well. I think their marriage worked for them, as even their Sun/Saturn opposition would spur them on to escape convention.

  2. Without his austere approach to living we wouldn’t have had works like Down and Out in Paris and London and Homage to Catalonia – historical documents of the lived experience. Orwell was a person of the left who was yet very critical of the left’s tendency to be ideologically rigid. To me he is a touchstone in a world of hyper ideological vitriol from both left and right something he warns against in Animal Farm. In 1984 he also warns against the dangers of coercive state control through technology, something we can see happening. One of the wise voices of history. His stellium in Cancer would no doubt have made him feel things deeply, so he needed his air grand trine to think and write dispassionately.

  3. Thanks for this.
    Orwell is an interesting person full of contradictions.The key to his success being his clear prose. His sun moon Neptune is in a wide square to Mars, makes me think that he needed difficulty and danger as some sort of spur to get him going.
    His near contempories are interesting include Kenneth Clark 3 July 1903 (art historian) Steven Runciman 7 July 1903 ( historian and friend of Orwell at Eton) Cyril Connolly critic (September 1903) Evelyn Waugh (October 1903), Simenon (February 1903) and Malcolm Muggeridge journalist (24 April 1903) show it was a good year for writers who had the advantage of avoiding the First. World War.

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