Patricia Highsmith – a racist who had gin for breakfast

Patricia Highsmith was not in the top rank of writers but two of her psychological thriller novels left their mark on 20th Century culture when they were turned into memorable films – Minghella’s The Talented Mr Ripley and Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train. A new biopic takes a glance at her racy life with prolific lesbian liaisons but skips over her misanthropy, racism and alcoholism. She frequently wielded a switchblade at one lover, had gin and orange for breakfast, and was massively prejudiced against  “Jews, Arabs and Blacks”. The Price of Salt, the only lesbian novel she wrote, was the only one without a murder and was published anonymously out of deference to her mother, only being claimed forty years later.

  She was born 19 January 1921 3.30am Fort Worth, Texas into an artistic family with her parents divorcing just before she was born and suggestions that her mother may have wished to abort her.  Not surprisingly she had a love-hate relationship with her rejecting and indifferent mother which was never resolved.

  Her chart is complicated with an Earth Grand Trine of a Capricorn Sun (conjunct Mercury in Aquarius) trine a Taurus Moon trine Saturn (Jupiter) in Virgo in her 10th house, which would give her a tendency to physical sexual encounters. She also had a creative Water Grand Trine of a volatile Uranus Mars in Pisces trine an 8th house Pluto trine a Scorpio North Node – lost in her own bubble of reality, she’d be driven by intense compulsions and feel constantly trapped. She also had her Mars conjunct Venus in Pisces trine Pluto which would contribute to her promiscuous tendencies.

  Her Neptune in the publishing 9th house was unaspected giving her a tendency to be reclusive and to have unattainable dreams.

   Her creative writer’s 21st harmonic was reasonably aspected, as was her creative 5th.  Her other creative harmonic, the 7th, was heavily aspected with an afflicted Mars, hinting at the violence and warped morality of her novels. Seven at the negative end can be cold, self-centred, attracted to alcohol/ drugs and occultism.

  She also interestingly had a notable 13th harmonic which can indicate a trailblazing personality. But one astrologer pointed out it was strong in Peter Sellers and he associated it with Sellers not knowing who he was.  So identity problems may come with it.   Despite the biopic title, she was not an easy women to warm to let alone admire.

7 thoughts on “Patricia Highsmith – a racist who had gin for breakfast

  1. A Scorpio Ascendant makes more sense of that intense “look” than jolly Sagittarius. If the time of birth was 10 minutes earlier, she’d have 29 Scorpio rising, ruler Pluto in the 8th and co-ruler Mars straddling the IC alongside Venus ruling her 7th. A Mars-Venus conjunction can be preoccupied with ‘action.’ Also, the Sun and Mercury would slide into the writer’s 3rd.

  2. An Earth Grand Trine will be weighted towards the physical realm – thus living out through the body. Saturn, the old goat god, is oddly enough often present where there is ‘sex addiction’ – not much feeling but lots of action. Plus a tactile and indulgent Taurus Moon.

    • Old goat, indeedy.
      Brings me some compassion for the lord of discipline, to whom I rarely sympathize. The disciplines of ritual and methodology are great tools for addiction. Interesting to see that holding hands with lunar hunger and solar will.
      Thank you, Marjorie.

    • Highsmith had a brief relationship with Ronald Blythe the author of Akenfield. That must have been a very odd coupling. Interestingly Bythe mentions that Highsmith breached the boundaries of their friendship by wanting to explore him physically. That rather sounds like that Earth Grand Trine in action.

  3. “A new biopic takes a glance at her racy life with prolific lesbian liaisons but skips over her misanthropy, racism and alcoholism”
    Nothing like an agenda biopic leaving out half the bio.
    That an trine of Sun Saturn and Moon would promote lustful times was a surprise- I’m guessing the Taurus moon is key there. Mars and Venus trining Pluto I could add up …and so: I marvel at the fluency and ear gifted astrologers have. To compose a chart where others (me!) can only listen is an ongoing wonder.

    • What is so interesting about our Charts, is that they remain active, even after our death. As Pluto is transiting Patricia Highsmith’s Mercury in her chart and lo and behold a new book comes out discussing her sex life, whilst leaving out other aspects – which is very Plutonian

      • Ha – Pluto Pluto Pluto. Agree on how compelling post mortem aspects are – the recent Elvis star4cast at Lisa Marie’s passing jumps to mind.

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