More Charts: The BML Challenge Chart # 2 Goethe

37 Year Old Goethe, by Anna Kaufmann


It’s difficult to do a short synopsis of Goethe’s life and all he accomplished within it, and how wide-ranging his influence was and remains.  No one who has read, “The Sorrows of Young Werther” forgets it–it ignited the entire Romantic movement and was the world’s first ‘bestseller.’   It’s as a writer I know Goethe best–as a novelist, dramatist and poet–but his accomplishments in other fields are no less impressive.


From Wikipedia:

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832) was a German writer and statesman. His body of work includes epic and lyric poetry written in a variety of metres and styles; prose and verse dramas; memoirs; an autobiography; literary and aesthetic criticism; treatises on botany, anatomy, and colour; and four novels. In addition, numerous literary and scientific fragments, more than 10,000 letters, and nearly 3,000 drawings by him are extant.

A literary celebrity by the age of 25, Goethe was ennobled by the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, Carl August in 1782 after first taking up residence there in November 1775 following the success of his first novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther. He was an early participant in the Sturm und Drang literary movement. During his first ten years in Weimar, Goethe served as a member of the Duke’s privy council, sat on the war and highway commissions, oversaw the reopening of silver mines in nearby Ilmenau, and implemented a series of administrative reforms at the University of Jena. He also contributed to the planning of Weimar’s botanical park and the rebuilding of its Ducal Palace, which in 1998 were together designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.[2]

After returning from a tour of Italy in 1788, his first major scientific work, the Metamorphosis of Plants, was published. In 1791 he was made managing director of the theatre at Weimar, and in 1794 he began a friendship with the dramatist, historian, and philosopher Friedrich Schiller, whose plays he premiered until Schiller’s death in 1805. During this period Goethe published his second novel, Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship, the verse epic Hermann and Dorothea, and, in 1808, the first part of his most celebrated drama, Faust. His conversations and various common undertakings throughout the 1790s with Schiller, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Johann Gottfried Herder, Alexander von Humboldt, Wilhelm von Humboldt, and August and Friedrich Schlegel have, in later years, been collectively termed Weimar Classicism.

Arthur Schopenhauer cited Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship as one of the four greatest novels ever written[citation needed] and Ralph Waldo Emerson selected Goethe as one of six “representative men” in his work of the same name, along with Plato, Napoleon, and William Shakespeare. Goethe’s comments and observations form the basis of several biographical works, most notably Johann Peter Eckermann‘s Conversations with Goethe. There are frequent references to Goethe’s writings throughout the works of G. W. F. Hegel, Arthur Schopenhauer, Friedrich Nietzsche, Hermann Hesse, Thomas Mann, Sigmund Freud, and Carl Jung. Goethe’s poems were set to music throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by a number of composers, including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schubert, Robert Schumann, Johannes Brahms, Charles Gounod, Richard Wagner, Hugo Wolf, and Gustav Mahler.


As far as BML is concerned here, we have a beautiful illustration of her raw creative power.  Lilith is not necessarily the creative vision itself, or the creative process or product, as much as it is about the deep urge to create, almost as a sexual force.  Lilith must create, must produce.  Lilith was often depicted as having millions of children (or demons which emerged from her, depending on your views).  She was sexually voracious.  In her positive and productive mode, Lilith uses her wildness and her lack of concern for politeness to rip through any constraints of the creative urge.  This is also why Lilith is associated with feminine power and/or the femme fatale.  The urge is so strong that she sometimes forgets whether or not she is creating or destroying (or it doesn’t matter to her).  She may destroy in the process of creating.

This creative urge is set to show you something you have never seen before.  That’s what Lilith does–she escorts you through the unknown.  Genius is what we call people who deliver the new to us, create things we have never seen before, take us places we have never been.  BML is, ultimately, the Queen of the Unseen and Unknown.  She rules the darkness, the occult, dark matter and negative space.  Once she gets over her rage at not being included in the mundane world, she is set free to rule her own domain.

Imagine this creative force hooked to both lights–the Sun and the Moon.  The core energetic exchange between the spirit and the working world.  BML is here tightly conjunct the Sun in productive, earthy Virgo and if that weren’t enough, this conjunction is conjunct the MC in the Saturn house, the house where we must find a place for ourselves within the material world.   Creative impulse joins practical accomplishment and raw ambition. 

The dispositor of all this Virgo energy is Mercury–and there he is in Leo in the 9th (publishing, higher knowledge and lofty thoughts and visions), but I think my favorite thing about it is that it bisects a sextile between Venus and Neptune.  Romantic Movement indeed.  Extra tension is given by the quincunx from Jupiter in the fourth, strong in its own sign (by secondary rulership).  The imaginative Moon in Pisces is enhanced by the opposition and also by its magnification from the IC and its strength in its own house.  Those of you who have studied with me know of my passion for an aspect I call the ‘double inconjunct’–a planet quincunx one end and semi-sextile the other end of an opposition.  Here, this active, productive aspect is seen in Mercury’s inconjunct to a Venus/Jupiter opposition from the 10th and 4th.  Mercury is also the dispositor of the Sun.   The tension from this Mercury to the cardinally placed Venus/Jupiter speaks for itself.  As we say, no wonder.  Even though the 9th house and the 4th house are at odds with one another (Cancer quincunx to Sag) they are both about consciousness:  the 4th as the seat of awareness, the 9th as the stretching of that awareness, outwards, toward vision.  A strong 4th house benefits the 9th.  (All the natural quincunxes have this ‘strange bedfellows’ kind of relationship that eventually becomes productive.

BML makes no difficult aspects.  In fact, it makes a grand trine with Mars and Ceres (which is stationery direct) in earth signs and earth houses.  Ceres here is fed by work (6th), Mars in Cap is exalted and has a talent for ambition.  It wants to get things done.  My watery grand trine is envious.

The cherry on this particular sundae is Scorpio rising with a first house Pluto and a Mars (secondary ruler) enhanced by the BML.  Not only that, but Saturn is right there.  The personal fortitude required to make an impact on the world (which resonates still, nearly three hundred years later) is not at question.

Just so that we don’t think this BML is entirely innocent, Goethe had his issues with both women and religion.   He was drawn to the mysterious and the occult.  Nietzsche himself said that Goethe had a ‘happy fatalism’ in the totality of things.  He depicted sexuality in his work at a time it was unheard of.  The Sorrows of Young Werther, the book that catapulted Goethe to fame at the age of 24, is about a passionate, doomed, unrequited love that ends in suicide.  Lilith indeed.  The book was based on Goethe’s own early experience.  Although he was what we would call today a ‘serial monogamist,’ Goethe tended to keep his relationships outside of marriage, only marrying his mistress of 18 years after she fought off soldiers of Napoleon’s army when they broke into the Goethe bedroom. 🙂



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