Kurt Vonnegut – seeking truth in the gloom

Kurt Vonnegut, one of the kings of 1960s counter-culture, whose anti-war novel, Slaughterhouse Five, touched a chord with Vietnam demonstrators has gone on to become one of the enduring greats of American 20th Century heritage. A new well-received bio-pic Unstuck in Time is a compilation put together by a devoted fan and friend.

  Born 11 November 1922 12.25am Indianapolis, Indiana, Vonnegut was born into a German immigrant family who fell on hard times through the depression and never recovered. Neither parent was ideal and his closest support was his African-American nanny. During World War Two he enlisted in the army, went home briefly on leave at one point to discover his mother had suicided the night before, was posted abroad, captured by the Germans and had the misfortune to be sent to work in Dresden which suffered heavy firebombing by the allies in 1945. Dresden was largely destroyed with around 25,000 civilians killed. Vonnegut survived by taking refuge in a slaughterhouse meat locker three stories underground.

  On his return he married, went to university, earned a living by writing for various outlets, adopted his sister’s children when she died, and only hit his big break with novel number six, Slaughterhouse Five.  

  He had his intense Scorpio Sun in the communicative 3rd house squaring onto a 12th house Neptune, hinting at his own creativity and a dreamy, impractical father who withdrew when his fortune crashed. He also had Jupiter Mercury in Scorpio in his 3rd giving him penetrating insight as well as an ease with words and that squared onto a Leo Moon opposition Mars in Aquarius. His angry mother stifled him as a child but along the way the grit in that relationship also drove him on to express dark truths the public wanted to hear.

  His Water Grand Trine of Jupiter Mercury Sun trine Pluto trine Uranus was creative, as well as healing for others if not for himself, and would wrap him up in his own highly private bubble of reality separate from others. Uranus Pluto would be drawn to activism and rebellious causes; Jupiter Pluto gave him confidence and Jupiter Uranus luck and an adventurous streak. His Saturn squared Pluto and was trine Mars giving him a bleak view of life. His Venus in Sagittarius in his 4th would give him solace from his home life, maybe his nanny early on, then his adult family life, later disrupted when his wife took to religion and they split.

  His Sun/Moon midpoint was conjunct his Virgo North Node – which is an intriguing coming-together of the spirit of the age with his inner essence. He became whole when he tapped into the zeitgeist.

  In February 1945 when he survived the Dresden bombing tr Pluto in Leo was opposition his Mars exactly, for great fear and entrapment; with his Solar Arc Saturn less than a degree away from a square to his Mars for a destructive event. Tr Uranus was opposition his 4th house Venus for an emotional upheaval; and his Solar Arc Ascendant was conjunct his North Node, fittingly for an event which in later years became the inspiration for his best known novel, Slaughterhouse-Five.

  Despite the darkness of his subjects he disliked being called a “black humorist” but he did home in on bitter and hopeless truths, with a grim wit.

  His global superstar 22nd harmonic was strong and desolate. His writers 21H and creative 5H and 7H were also marked.

  He died aged 84 in 2007.

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