Sunday, April 22, 2007

Miles Davis, Marilyn Monroe & Allen Ginsberg

Gemini 1926: Profections and Venus Cycles

Miles Davis: May 26, 1926, 5:00 a.m. CST; Alton IL

Marilyn Monroe: June 1, 1926, 9:30 a.m. PST; Los Angeles CA

Allen Ginsberg: June 3, 1926, 2:00 a.m. EDT; Newark NJ


Miles Davis, Marilyn Monroe and Allen Ginsberg: three very different individuals, all born within about a week of each other.

What I'm going to do is run through all three of their chronologies and list all key events that occurred during either a Venus retrograde (including the shadow period, more on that in a sec) or Sun-Venus superior conjunctions, during which the direct-in-motion transiting Venus is conjunct the Sun. Ill also be explaining the use of annual profections to highlight planets at given periods, with regard to transits.

Venus Cycles

The really interesting thing about Venus is that its cycle is so regular and precise. Every eight years, Venus goes retrograde in the same sign, at close to the same place, making its station just two degrees earlier every time, so that every century the sign of the retro changes to the previous sign.

There are five Venus retrogrades within that eight-year cycle (what we call a synodic cycle, because Venus returns to its exact relationship to the Sun) - the retrograde lasts about 40 days, and there are 30 days of shadow period on either side of that.

"Shadow period" is the term we use for when planets are entering and leaving a retro phase: from the time the planet hits the degree that it will eventually station direct at to the time it hits the degree that it had originally stationed retro at.

If you take that overall 100 day retro period (the shadow periods absolutely count in this), multiply it by five and you've got five hundred days. So, out of the 2922 days in a given eight year period, the Venus retro phase accounts for about one-sixth of that period.

The other half of the cycle is the superior conjunctions of the Sun and Venus (when Venus is direct), which also fall into the eight-year synodic cycle, in the same five signs as the retrogrades.

For instance, there is currently a superior conjunction between the Sun and Venus in Aries-Taurus. Four years ago, 2001, was the period when Venus was retrograde in Aries. Get it?


Profection is the term used for a time-lord technique that dates back to the Hellenistic period. Various time-lord systems were used by astrologers to determine which planets in a given nativity would be active at a given time, and in what manner.

So how are profections calculated? Easiest thing in the world: the first year of life is ruled by the sign of the Ascendant. The second year of life is ruled by the sign following the Ascendant. The third year of life is ruled by the sign following that, and so on.

On the 12th, 24th, 36th, 48th, 60th, etc birthdays, the profected sign returns to the Ascendant and the cycle begins again.

Note that I said the "sign" is the ruler of the year. That will include the ruler of that sign, but it is important to see the profection in the context of the sign, not just its ruler.

What does it mean for a sign to rule a year? Well, essentially, at every Solar Return, when the profection hands over, the new sign "lights up" in the chart. Natal planets in that sign become very active, and transits through that sign are especially dominant in the context of that person's life.

Also, match that information with the transit of the sign's ruler. If Sagittarius is the profected ruler of the year, it will matter whether transiting Jupiter is in Taurus or Cancer or whatever, especially if it is an angular sign or there are other natal planets in that sign.

The Study

I wont be covering their entire lives, mainly events from 1945 61, with a couple of items from Marilyns life in earlier years. I will only be looking at time periods where Venus was either retrograde or making a superior conjunction to the Sun.

Naturally, this doesnt cover every single important event in these peoples lives, but it does show how, in some way, the Venus cycle acts as a rhythm for peoples lives, bringing up old issues to deal with on a regular basis.

So, the reader shouldnt be alarmed that Ive left out some of Marilyns best-known films, or some of Miles best-known recording sessions. Those are equally interesting events that can be studied, and maybe Ill revisit them later, but for the time being, Im using these phases of the Venus cycle to highlight its rhythm.

Ill list whatever profected signs and planets are in effect for the more notable events. The profections always appear to be relevant, with regard to transits (according to the conditions I outlined earlier).

The case for the effect of Venus retrogrades varies from chart to chart: Marilyn Monroe, for instance, had really big events, usually involving mother issues, during times when Venus was retrograde in Aquarius. The superior conjunction in Aquarius appears to have been important in at least one instance, when she married Joe DiMaggio in 1954.

Allen Ginsberg and Miles Davis seem to have fairly big events occurring during the Venus retrograde and superior conjunction in Aries, though the same can be said for the retro in Virgo for Miles as well. More than anything, the Venus returns to their natal degrees seem to be relevant.

However, Venus is not a major planet in any three of these charts. Allen has his in Taurus, which is a bit more dignified, but overall, there are other planets that dominate his chart more.

There is certainly no argument in the following evidence that the influence of the Venus synodic cycle has anything to do with the profected signs or planets in most of the following instances, there is no clear link.

That being said, all of these entries provide enough evidence, IMO, to suspect that the cycles have a significant influence on the way these peoples lives unfolded. This may be explained by other timelord systems, but that is part of the work ahead of me here. Nuff said: now you be the judge:


Venus retrograde 23 Aqu - 7 Aqu; January 15 - February 25, 1934

February 1934: Norma Jean(e) Mortensen's (future Marilyn Monroe) mother, Gladys Pearl Monroe Baker Mortensen, is committed to a rest home in Santa Monica, leaving young Norma Jean in the care of Gladys' friend Grace McKee, her third mother-figure in her lifetime (including an earlier foster mother). It is Grace McKee who will fill the young girl's head with notions of becoming a famous movie star...

Venus retrograde station degree was opposite her natal Neptune, square her natal Saturn (the ruler of the retrograde sign), and occurred just shy of her natal Jupiter in Aquarius, the profected planetary ruler of the year (8th house/Pisces) and the retrograde itself would cross back over her natal Moon and Descendant.


Venus retrograde 22 Vir - 6 Vir; August 17 - September 29, 1935

September 13, 1935: Newly married Grace McKee ships Norma Jean off to a Los Angeles orphanage, as her new husbands children are more than enough to feed.


Venus retrograde 5 Tau - 19 Ari; March 27 - May 9, 1937

June 7, 1937: Just following the death of movie idol Jean Harlow, whom Marilyn Monroe will someday emulate, Grace McKee becomes Norma Jeans legal guardian and brings her home from the orphanage.


Venus retrograde 21 Aqu - 5 Aqu; January 12 - February 22, 1942

New Year 1942: Grace McKee's husband is transferred to work in West Virginia, and the family can no longer afford to look after Norma Jean, who will have to stay behind in Los Angeles.

This turn of events leads to her marrying her boyfriend, neighbor James Dougherty, on June 19, shortly after her sixteenth birthday. Venus again stationed opposite her natal Neptune, square her natal Saturn, and again crossed back over her natal Moon and Descendant. Her profected sign this year was 4th house/Scorpio, which is the sign of her natal Saturn.


Sun-Venus superior conjunction in Tau-Can; May-July, 1944

June 1944: Allen Ginsberg is introduced to Jack Kerouac, through their mutual friend, Lucien Carr, who also introduces them to William S. Burroughs around this time.

Transiting Uranus was conjunct his natal Sun and Mercury in Gemini. He had just begun his 7th house/Virgo profection year, so Mercury was his profected planet at the time.

Allen's natal Uranus was conjunct Kerouacs natal Venus in Pisces, while Kerouacs natal Uranus was conjunct Allen's natal Moon.

The connection between Allen and Jack Kerouac is compounded by the curious fact that Allen was born about two hours after Jacks older brother, Gerard, died when Jack was only four. His brothers death haunted much of Kerouacs written work, most notably his book Doctor Sax.

As if that wasnt enough, Kerouac and Carr each had natal Uranus conjunct each others natal Sun remember, Allen was having transiting Uranus conjunct HIS natal Sun (and Mercury) when Carr introduced him to Kerouac.


Venus retrograde 3 Tau - 17 Ari; March 25-May 6, 1945

March 17, 1945: Allen Ginsberg is expelled from Columbia University, after being caught in bed by the assistant dean with pal Jack Kerouac, with objectionable graffiti scrawled on a dirty window. Transiting Venus was at 2 Taurus, just past its return to Allen's natal position, but was eight days away from stationing retrograde.

April 24, 1945: Miles Davis performs at his first professional recording session, playing with the Herbie Fields Band and Rubberlegs Williams. Transiting Venus was retrograde at 20 Aries, conjunct Miles' natal position.

Spring 1945: Norma Jean(e) Mortensen Baker Dougherty (Marilyn Monroe) begins modeling professionally, mostly to preoccupy herself while her husband is away serving with the Merchant Marine.

Norma Jean was first discovered by a photographer in September 1944, the same month Miles began classes at Julliard, and one month after Allens friend Lucien Carr's killed David Kammerer during an argument (August 14, 1944, approx. 3:00 a.m., Upper West Side NYC), the first of many sensational events Allen would one day immortalize in his poem, Howl.

Being eighteen years-old, all three were in a 7th house profection year.

For Allen, the profected sign was Virgo: the transits for the day of the murder include a Virgo stellium with Venus, Jupiter, ruler Mercury poised for a retrograde station (ten days later at 22 Virgo, opposite his natal Mars), and Mars.

The transiting Sun was also conjunct his natal Neptune.

By the time he was kicked out of school in March, transiting Jupiter was retrograde at 22 Virgo (still the profected sign): opposite his natal Mars, and the very same degree of the Mercury retro of the previous summer.

Miles' profected sign that year was Sagittarius. He had first met Charlie "Bird" Parker a few months earlier (probably June), when Parker was playing an engagement in St. Louis and Miles managed to talk his way onto the bandstand for part of the gig.

A casual comment from Bird ("if you're ever in New York, look me up") inspired Miles to convince his father to send him to Julliard. Once Miles arrived (late September-ish), he spent the next few weeks searching the city's nightclubs and jam spots, looking for Bird.

Miles started playing with Bird by the end of the year, by which time planets were moving through Sagittarius, his profected sign of the year. Bird even moved in with Miles for a while, taking full advantage of the innocent and impressionable kid.

Transiting Jupiter, the profected planet, stationed retrograde at 27 Virgo opposite his natal Uranus on January 11, 1945, as all this was happening. On top of that, transiting Uranus was crossing back and forth over his natal Ascendant.

While the Venus return by retrograde is not a profected planet, this does appear to be significant part of the Venus cycle in Miles' career. More on that later

Venus retrograde 11 Can 24 Gem; June 2 July 16, 1948

Early July 1948: The newly-bleached blonde Marilyn Monroe successfully auditions for her first starring film role, Ladies of the Chorus, though the film isnt a hit and her film contract isnt renewed.

July 1948: Allen Ginsberg has his William Blake vision, an experience that will strongly influence him as a poet over the next fifteen years.

July 6-11, 1948: The Charlie Parker Quintet, with Miles Davis on trumpet, plays an engagement at The Onyx club in New York, a high point in Miles live work with Bird.

All three were in an 11th house profection year. More on this in the next section.

Sun-Venus superior conjunction in Tau-Gem; April-May 1949

April 20, 1949: Marilyn Monroe receives a letter, dated for this day, from former foster mother Grace McKee that her birth mother, Gladys, while on leave from a state hospital, married a man named John Stewart Eley. As as her wealth grew, Marilyn continued to send financial support for her estranged mother.

April 21, 1949: Allen Ginsberg is arrested and institutionalized at the Columbia Psychiatric Institute for the next ten months, after being pulled over in a stolen car while driving with a group of drug-addict thieves by NYC police.

April 22, 1949: Miles Davis records the second of three Birth of the Cool sessions in NYC with his nonet.

The group grew out of a small group of musician friends who congregated regularly at arranger-conductor Gil Evans' apartment in Midtown Manhattan. Due to an industry recording ban this year, the last of these sessions won't occur until early the next year (more on that a few paragraphs down).

May 8-16, 1949: Miles performs at Salle Pleyel in Paris for a nine-day festival, with the Tadd Dameron quintet, on a bill that also includes Charlie Parker and Sidney Bechet. It is Miles' first visit to Europe, as it is for the other musicians. The visit begins with the Sun and Venus still co-present in Taurus, but by the end, Venus has ingressed to Gemini.

There is a recurring event in many biographies of African-Americans (from Jack Johnson to Paul Robeson to Malcolm X, among others), which is when they visit Europe for the first time and are suddenly faced with an eye-opening alternate reality: i.e., being treated with human dignity in everyday life.

Miles was no different, and he even had an affair with the famous French actress Juliet Greco (February 7, 1927, 9:00 pm UT, Montpelier, France - Moon at 3 Tau, conj the Sun-Venus degree of late April) at this time, with no social stigma imposed on their inter-racial coupling (unlike when Greco later visited Miles in the U.S.).

In this recurring story involving African-Americans visiting Europe, the return home is always a brutal experience, by virtue of the contrast. It is widely believed that the until-then drug-free Miles first began using heroin (which he'd been repeatedly exposed to by Charlie Parker, without ever succumbing) upon his return from Paris in May 1949, which would continue to be a problem for him over the next five years.

On the evening of May 27, 1949, with the Sun and Venus now in Gemini, Marilyn Monroe poses nude in front of a red velvet backdrop for photographer Tom Kelley in Los Angeles, photos that will eventually grace the pages of Playboy's debut issue in December 1953. She had begun working with Kelley in early May (probably with the Sun and Venus both still in Taurus).

All three were still 22 years-old during this period, in the last months of an 11th house profection year.

For Miles, the profected sign was Aries, where he has natal Venus, and transiting Mars was in Aries at the time of the second Birth of the Cool session.

This is especially noteworthy because on the day of the first session, January 21, 1949, transiting Mars was conjunct his natal Midheaven.

Marilyn's profected sign that year was Gemini, her natal Sun sign. On the day the famous nude photograph was taken, there were a total of five planets in that sign, including the Sun AND Moon (just hours following a New Moon), sign ruler Mercury having just stationed retrograde, Venus and Uranus.

Allen's profected sign that year was Capricorn, where his natal South Node is. The profected ruler, Saturn, had just regressed back into Leo (his whole sign sixth) from Virgo, at the time of his arrest and incarceration.

Also, transiting Jupiter had just ingressed into Aquarius, from Capricorn (the profected sign: remember, planets leaving a sign make as much of an impact on that sign as planets entering it).

Curiously, it was just a couple of months prior to this that Allens friend/object of desire, Neal Cassady, arrived with an entourage in NYC from out west on December 29, 1948, and then left again, taking Jack Kerouac with him on January 19, 1949.

Allen was left behind, to sink further on his own. At this point, transiting Saturn had just stationed retrograde in Virgo and Jupiter was conjunct Allen natal South Node in the profected Capricorn. The transiting South Node was conjunct Allens natal Venus at 0 Taurus.


Venus retrograde 18 Aqu 3 Aqu; January 10 February 20, 1950

January 5, 1950: Marilyn begins filming a small role in a forgettable movie called The Fireball, on the set of which she meets a studio hairdresser named Agnes Flanagan, who becomes a surrogate mother-figure to Marilyn for the rest of her life.

From then on, Agnes was Marilyns personal stylist on most her films and Marilyn often dined with her family. Although Marilyn WAS prone to repeatedly finding surrogate families throughout her life, Agnes was to be the longest-standing mother-figure of her lifetime.

One of the last things she did before she died in 1962 was buy Agnes a garden swing set and arrange for its delivery to her home.

Remember, this is the third Venus in Aquarius retrograde of Marilyns life, and the previous two coincided with periods when she lost an important mother-figure. This time, the Venus station was within a degree of her natal Moon, and the reverse was true this time.

Again the profections play out here: she was in a 12th house/Cancer profection year, so the Moon was the profected planet and it was the Venus retrograde station on her Moon that coincided with this latest turn. Remember that the retrograde station of 1934 had occurred during an 8th house/Pisces profection year, close to conjunction with Jupiter, that years profected planet.

February 23, 1950: Jack Kerouac publishes The Town and the City, his first novel

February 27, 1950: One week after Venus stations direct (still in its shadow phase), Allen Ginsberg is released from the Columbia Psychiatric Institute.

A month later, Allen meets poet William Carlos Williams (September 17, 1883, Rutherford NJ), who will encourage Allens aspirations as a writer.

Also during March 1950, Ginsbergs friend Williams S. Burroughs (February 5, 1914, 7:40 a.m. CST, St. Louis MO) begins work on his first novel, Junkie.

Both Williams and Burroughs were born during exact Sun-Venus superior conjunctions! In both cases, Uranus is in the same sign as the conjunction, and both men had natal Saturn at 11 Gemini, conjunct Allens natal Sun-Mercury! Talk about synastry

Allen was also in a 12th house profection year (Aquarius), the sign of his natal Jupiter, the planet that rules his Ascendant. For much of this profection year, transiting Jupiter was in Capricorn, but it made its Aquarius ingress in November and was a few degrees away from making its natal return when he was released, in a grand cross to his natal Jupiter-Neptune-Saturn t-square.

March 3, 1950: Marilyn Monroe has a small but memorable role in the Marx Brothers Love Happy, which premieres on this date.

March 9, 1950: The third and final Birth of the Cool session occurs. Miles was in his 12th house/Taurus profection year, and Venus, of course, had just stationed direct two weeks earlier (and was still in its shadow phase).

Miles natal Mercury is in Taurus, and transiting Mercury was in Pisces in an exact square to his natal Sun on this day.


Sun-Venus superior conjunction in Lib-Sco; October-November 1950

October 12, 1950: Allen Ginsbergs friend Bill Cannastra is tragically killed in a subway accident, after getting stuck while sticking his head out of the window of a subway car. Cannastras fate is later immortalized in Allens poem Howl.

October 13, 1950: Marilyn Monroes first major film role, All About Eve, premieres in New York City, beginning her true ascension to becoming a movie star.

November 17, 1950: Jack Kerouac marries Cannastras girlfriend, Joan Haverty, about a month after they first met (in the days following Cannastras death). Allen, who had tried to seduce Joan himself, is the best man at the wedding.

Allen and Marilyn were in 1st house profection years at this point.

Allen's rising sign is Pisces, where he has his natal Moon, Mars and Uranus. Transiting Jupiter, the profected planet of the year, was retrograde and within a degree of its natal return. Transiting Saturn was eerily conjunct his Descendant on this day, while transiting Mars was opposite his natal Sun and Mercury.

Marilyn's profected sign this year was Leo, and transiting Pluto was in Leo exactly opposite her natal Moon at this time.

Venus retrograde 18 Vir 2 Vir; August 12 September 24, 1951

September 6, 1951: Another tragedy involving two of Allen Ginsbergs friends: William S. Burroughs accidentally kills his wife, Joan Vollmer, while entertaining guests with a pistol at their home in Mexico City.

Allen wasnt around for this event, but had paid them a visit just the previous month.

September 8, 1951: Marilyn Monroe is the subject of her first full-length article in a national magazine, written by Robert Cahn for Colliers.

October 5, 1951: Miles Davis, despite his sinking drug addiction, leads a strong sextet session with newcomers Jackie Maclean and Sonny Rollins.


Sun-Venus superior conjunction in Tau-Can; May-July 1952

May 9, 1952: Miles Davis only recording session of 1952, during one of his lowest periods of drug addiction. This is the first of three sessions he does for the Blue Note record label, which will be spread out over two years, due to his problems.

June 1952: Marilyn Monroe on set, filming Niagara in Niagara Falls NY.


Venus retrograde 1 Tau 15 Ari; March 22-May 4, 1953

March 9, 1953: Marilyn Monroe awarded Photoplay magazines Fastest Rising Star of 1952.

April 20, 1953: Miles Davis second Blue Note recording session takes place.

May 1953: William S. Burroughs first book, Junkie, is published.


Sun-Venus superior conjunction in Cap-Pis; January-March 1954

January 4, 1954: Marilyn Monroe is suspended by Fox studios for failing to appear on the set of a film called Pink Tights.

January 14, 1954: The month following the publication of her nude photos in the debut issue of Playboy, Marilyn Monroe marries Joe DiMaggio at one-thirty p.m. at San Franciscos City Hall.

February 16, 1954: Marilyn takes a detour from her honeymoon to spend four days entertaining U.S. troops stationed in Korea.
March 6, 1954: Having quit his heroin habit cold turkey over the winter, Miles Davis returns to the recording studio for the third and final session of his Blue Note contract, which shows immediate evidence of Miles regaining his former abilities.

Marilyn and Miles were both in a 4th house profection year.

For Miles, the profected sign was Virgo. The profected planet, Mercury, was about to station direct in Pisces, square his natal Sun.

For Marilyn, the profected sign was Scorpio, where her natal Saturn is placed. Transiting Saturn AND Mars were both in Scorpio when she was suspended by Fox and married to DiMaggio.


Venus retrograde 0 Sag 14 Sco; October 25 December 5, 1954

October 27, 1954: One month after the famous skirt-blowing scene is filmed for The Seven Year Itch, Marilyn Monroe files to divorce Joe DiMaggio in Santa Monica.

December 1954: Allen Ginsberg meets Peter Orlovsky in San Francisco, who will be his lover and closest companion for the rest of his life.

December 24, 1954: Miles Davis does a recording session with Thelonious Monk and the members of the Modern Jazz Quartet.

Although there is considerable tension between Davis and Monk, the session is considered a classic.

A 5th house profection year for all three.

For Marilyn, the profected sign was Sagittarius, which is the sign that Venus stationed retrograde in, just two days before she filed for divorce. Curiously, Joe DiMaggio (November 25, 1914, 7:00 a.m. or p.m., Martinez CA) had natal Venus retrograde in Sagittarius!

Allens profected sign was Cancer, where he has his natal North Node and Pluto. Transiting Uranus and Jupiter were in Cancer during this month. Since I dont know the exact date he met Orlovsky, I cant speculate on the sign placement of the Moon.

Miles profected sign was Libra, which is where transiting Neptune was. Venus, the profected planet, was in Scorpio on the day of the recording session, exactly conjunct his natal Saturn and Moon.


Sun-Venus superior conjunction in Leo-Lib; August-October 1955

September 27, 1955: John Coltrane performs his first show with the newly-formed Miles Davis Quintet, also featuring bassist Paul Chambers, drummer Philly Joe Jones and pianist Red Garland, at the Club Las Vegas in Baltimore Md. This group will be considered the first of Miles great bands.

September 29, 1955: Marilyn Monroe meets future-husband Arthur Millers parents at the NYC premiere of his play, A View from the Bridge. The still-married Miller announces to them his intention to marry Marilyn.
October 7, 1955: Allen Ginsberg debuts his epic-poem Howl, before an enthusiastic audience at Gallery Six in San Francisco. The work will launch his literary reputation, and the event itself is immortalized in Kerouacs book, The Dharma Bums.

This period coincided with the Saturn return of all three, during a 6th house profection year.

For Miles, the profected sign was Scorpio, the sign of his natal Moon and Saturn (Coltrane was also having his Saturn return at the time).

The joining of these two musical giants marks the beginning of Miles rise to the top of the jazz world. Over the next five years together (on and off), they would take the music to a whole new level.
For Marilyn, the profected sign was Capricorn. Of course, the profected planet, Saturn, was making its return at this time.

For Allen, the profected sign was Leo. Transiting Jupiter and Pluto were in that sign, directly opposite his natal Jupiter, just past conjunction to his natal Neptune, square his natal AND the returning Saturn.

As with Miles, this period marks Allens ascension to fame and prominence as a leader and innovator.


Venus retrograde 9 Can 22 Gem; May 31 July 13, 1956

May 3, 1956: Marilyn Monroe begins filming Bus Stop with director Joshua Logan.

June 3, 1956: Marilyn Monroe returns to NYC after completing filming Bus Stop with director Joshua Logan.

June 5, 1956: Miles' Quintet records their first session for Miles debut on the Columbia record label, the first in a series of classic albums by the group: Round About Midnight.

June 9, 1956: Allen Ginsbergs mother, Naomi, who has been in and out of mental institutions since his childhood, dies of a brain hemorrhage at a state mental hospital.

June 29, 1956: Marilyn Monroe marries Arthur Miller in a civil ceremony in New York City. A Jewish ceremony follows on July 1st.

July 14, 1956: Marilyn Monroe arrives in London to begin filmingThe Prince and the Showgirl with co-star Lawrence Olivier.

The three had just entered a 7th house profection year.

For Miles the profected sign was Sagittarius: the transiting North Node was exactly conjunct his Descendant at this time. Jupiter, the profected planet, was conjunct Pluto, exactly opposite his natal Jupiter.

Allens profected sign was Virgo. Mercury, the profected planet, had just stationed direct at 0 Gemini.

Once again, notice how Mercury stations really show themselves during years when Mercury is the profected planet!

Marilyns profected sign was Aquarius, the sign of her natal Moon and Jupiter. Transiting Saturn, the profected planet, was exactly square her natal Jupiter at this time, with transiting Pluto in Leo forming a perfect t-square.


Sun-Venus superior conjunction in Ari-Gem; April-June, 1957

May 6, 1957: Having just fired John Coltrane and Philly Joe Jones due to their drug problems, Miles begins the first of five sessions for his Miles Ahead album, the first of several classic collaborations with Gil Evans.

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May 21, 1957: The City Lights bookstore in San Francisco is raided by police, to seize copies of Allen Ginsbergs Howl, which is suspected of breaking obscenity laws.

At the time of the bust, Allen is in Morocco with Peter Orlovsky, visiting old friend William S. Burroughs. The work is eventually cleared by a judge on October 3, 1957.

May 31, 1957: Marilyns husband Arthur Miller is found guilty on two counts of failing to answer questions for HUAC (he is finally cleared on August 7, 1958). Marilyn herself is embroiled in legal controversy with a co-producer over the cut of her new film, The Prince and the Showgirl, which premieres the following month.

Note that there was a Lunar Eclipse at 21 Scorpio this month (May 13th), conjunct the natal Saturn of all three.

The three are at the end of their 7th house profection year.

For Miles, transiting Saturn was in his profected sign, Sagittarius, while transiting Jupiter, the profected planet, made a direct station during the course of this month (May 18th).

Allens profected planet, Mercury, had just stationed direct (again!!) at the time of the bust. Transiting Jupiter, as I just mentioned, stationed direct at this time (May 18th), in the profected sign of Virgo, exactly opposite his natal Mars and Ascendant.

At the same time, transiting Saturn was opposite his natal Mercury (the profected planet) and Sun, while transiting Venus was conjunct those same points.

Marilyns profected sign, Scorpio, is the sign of this months lunar eclipse, conjunct her natal Saturn. At the same time, transiting Saturn was opposite her natal Sun.


Venus retrograde 16 Aqu 0 Aqu; January 7 February 17, 1958

Early 1958: Marilyn Monroes marriage to Arthur Miller begins to show its first signs of strain, as Miller struggles with the script for The Misfits, which will eventually be the screenplay for her last completed film.

This is the only Venus retrograde in Aquarius during the course of Marilyns life that I cant connect directly to an event involving her mother issues (see the previous three in 1934, 1942 and 1950). Of course, by this point, the retrograde station was happening in an earlier degree than her natal Moon and Jupiter, though it would still cross back over her natal Descendant.

Early 1958: Allen Ginsberg, who has been in Paris for several months at this point with Gregory Corso and Peter Orlovsky, is joined by William S. Burroughs at this time, just as Orlovsky returns to New York.

During his stay, Allen and friends meet such notable figures as Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray, Benjamin Peret, Tristan Tzara and Louise Ferdinand Celine.

February 4, 1958: With Coltrane and Jones back, and Julian Cannonball Adderley added on alto sax, Miles' Sextet records the first of two sessions for the Milestones album.

The three were now in an 8th house profection year.

For Marilyn, the profected sign is Pisces, where she has natal Mars and Uranus. It was over the course of this year, as Marilyn was in a down period in her career (she would film Some Like It Hot at the end of this year, her first American-produced film in over two years), that transiting Uranus was crossing her Ascendant. Marilyns substance abuse problems are said to have increased around this period.

For Allen, the profected sign was Libra. The profected planet, Venus, was, of course, retrograde at this time, as his current lover left Paris while his former lover had just arrived.

For Miles, the profected sign was Capricorn. Transiting Mars made its ingress to Capricorn on the day of this important recording session.


Sun-Venus superior conjunction in Lib-Sag; October-December, 1958

November 6, 1958: Having only recently learned that she is pregnant again (having had two previously failed pregnancies), Marilyn Monroe wraps up shooting Billy Wilders Some Like It Hot on this day. The three-month shoot has been tense and difficult, with no love lost between director and star.

November 16, 1958: Pianist Bill Evans performs his last gig with the Miles Davis Sextet since joining the previous April. Evans found the work schedule too grueling, especially since being the groups only white member he had faced enormous hostility from black audiences, who resented his presence in the group.

However, Evans returned for the two Kind of Blue sessions (March 2 & April 22, 1959), a work he played a key role in developing.


Venus retrograde 15 Vir 0 Vir; August 10 September 22, 1959

August 17, 1959: The Miles Davis Sextets Kind of Blue album is released, eventually becoming one of the best-selling jazz albums of all time.

August 25, 1959: Miles Davis is attacked on the street by a New York City policeman. Following his arrest, Miles successfully sues the city for damages.

September 19, 1959: Marilyn Monroe, as a U.S. goodwill ambassador, meets Soviet premiere Nikita Khruschev. He looked at me the way a man looks at a woman, she reports.

The three were now in their 10th house profection year.

For Miles, the profected sign was Pisces, the sign of his natal Mars and Uranus.

Jupiter, the profected planet, was transiting through Scorpio at this time, having just made a conjunction to his natal Saturn.


Venus retrograde 29 Ari 12 Ari; March 20 May 1, 1961

March 5, 1961: Marilyn Monroe, having been tricked into being committed to a psychiatric ward in NYC on February 5th, turns to the one man she can count on to rescue her: former husband Joe DiMaggio, whom she hasnt seen in six years.

DiMaggio has her transferred to Columbia-Presbyterian hospital, where she remains until March 5th. Upon her release, she attends the funeral for Arthur Millers mother, and then leaves with DiMaggio to recuperate in Florida for the next month.

March 20-21, 1961: John Coltrane, who left the Miles Davis Quintet the previous year, returns for a two-day studio session, to record two tracks for Miles next album, Someday My Prince Will Come.

The sessions the last time these men played together - occurred just as Venus stationed retrograde conjunct Coltranes natal Moon (29 Aries).

April 29, 1961: Allen Ginsbergs poem, Kaddish, which was written about his late mother, is published.

May 19, 1961: Miles Davis performs a special concert at Carnegie Hall, featuring both his quintet and Gil Evans conducting a full orchestra.

The special event is interrupted mid-show by a group of protestors, led by Miles former band mate, drummer Max Roach, who suspect the shows promoters of having investments in South Africa. The show continues after the protestors are removed, but Miles is visibly shaken by the experience.

The three were now in an 11th house profection year.

For Marilyn, the profected sign was Gemini, her Sun and Mercury sign. Yet again, during a year when Mercury was the profected planet, the retrograde station appears to have a factor in the timing: transiting Mercury stationed retrograde at 8 Pisces on February 12 (square her natal Sun-Mercury), just a week after she was first committed.

It stationed direct at 24 Aquarius, conjunct her natal Jupiter, on March 6, the day after she was finally released.

For Miles, who had begun his recording career under this same Venus retrograde cycle, the profected sign was Aries, the sign of his natal Venus and the Venus retrograde transit. This arguably marked the end of his creative peak, though he still had more influence to spread in the music world over the next thirty years.

For Allen, the profected sign was Capricorn, and transiting Saturn, the profected planet, had been transiting through that sign all year, and was about to make its Aquarius ingress at the time of publication.


August 4-5, 1962: Marilyn Monroe is found dead in her bed. She was in a 1st house/Leo profection year, and the transiting Sun was exactly conjunct her natal Ascendant when she died.

Although she died about two months before Venus went retrograde, there are still some curious connections to the time of her death, relative to the eight-year Venus synodic cycle:

Sixteen years earlier, on August 26, 1946, Norma Jean Baker, having just adopted the name Marilyn Monroe, signed a contract with 20th Century Fox.

Three weeks later, on September 13, she divorced her first husband, James Dougherty.

She was in a 9th house/Aries profection year: the sign of her natal Venus, while Mars, the profected ruler, was in the opposite sign, Libra. Note that transiting Pluto was conjunct her natal Ascendant.

Eight years later, on September 15, 1954, she filmed her famous "skirt-blowing" scene for The Seven Year Itch in Manhattan, which prompted a fight between her and then-husband, Joe DiMaggio, about a month before divorce papers were filed (see October 27, 1954).

She was in a 5th house/Sagittarius profection year at the time, with the profected planet, Jupiter, conjunct Uranus in Cancer. She died just one month short of the next eight-year return, on August 5, 1962. At the time of her death, she was set to remarry DiMaggio within the next few days.

September 18, 1991: Miles Davis dies of pneumonia and a stroke in a hospital in Santa Monica, five days after Venus station direct at 21 Leo, conjunct Miles natal Neptune, square his natal Moon, Saturn and Mercury.

This was, of course, the same Venus retro cycle that Kind of Blue was released under. Miles was in a 6th house/Scorpio profection year, and transiting Pluto was just approaching a conjunction to his natal Saturn in that sign at the time of his death.

Curiously, former key members in Miles band of the late 50s, John Coltrane and Julian Cannonball Adderley, also died around the time of this same retro cycle: Coltrane died on July 17, 1967, 23 days before the retro station.

Adderley died on August 8, 1975, just three days after the retro station. Coltrane and Adderley both played on Kind of Blue.

April 5, 1997: Allen Ginsberg dies following a long illness, during a Sun-Venus superior conjunction in Aries.
This was the same part of the superior conjunction cycle under which he was committed to an asylum in 1949, and when Howl was accused of being obscene in 1957.

He was in an 11th house/Capricorn profection year again, and transiting Neptune was at the very end of that sign. Transiting Saturn, the profected planet, was conjunct the Sun and Venus in Aries.

Note: A complete bibliography is available for this work upon request.

Copyright 2005 Nick Dagan Best


Anonymous said...

Love your blog, especially the tracing of Marilyn's profections. I always found her a difficult case. By the way it's Louis Ferdinand CĂ©line, not Louise - poor guy, a brilliant writer caught up in that Nazi shit during the War: 27 May 1894, 16:00, Courbevoie 48n54 2e15; would be worth a look.

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work.