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Stephen King’s IT: Saturn, Neptune and the Resurrection of Pennywise
An unprecedented wave of “creepy clowns” is currently sweeping parts of the globe. What appears to have started in August 2016 in South Carolina, has since spread to the UK and more recently, sightings of scary clown figures have also been reported in the Netherlands. This spate of ‘clowning’ seems to coincide with the news that Stephen King’s supernatural novel IT, published on 15 Sept. 1986 and filmed as a mini-series in 1990 (Nov. 18, 1990 first episode screened) is due to be released as a movie in September 2017. Though I admit to having a soft spot for Stephen King, IT the series, well, it seriously scared me. IT somehow emotionally reconnected me with my seemingly forgotten childhood angst for the supernatural, for wolves in sheep’s clothing, indeed the feelings IT evoked were primordial, archetypal, yes even stomach churning.
Stephen King took 4 years to write the book, a hefty novel, weighing in at 4 lbs, a point not lost on its reviewers. It was a difficult book to write King claimed and he moved from Lovell, to Bangor (Maine) just to immerse himself in the right vibe to complete it. IT was, according to King, “…the summation of everything I have learned and done in my whole life to this point” .…King said that he “had to put himself into a semi-dreaming state where he flashed back to his childhood and the more he wrote, the more he remembered.”
The horoscope below has Stephen King’s birth chart on the inner wheel and the publication date of the horoscope of IT the novel, on the outer wheel.
With Uranus in transit over King’s radix Moon in Sagittarius at the time of publication, the type of childhood experiences King is releasing into the collective, carry the signature of Uranus. Where traditionally the 5th house is associated with children, plays, pleasure, gaming and is the house where Venus has its joy, this Uranus’ transit speaks more of a disruptive, violent, shattered childhood. One of the memories King himself had locked away, involved witnessing the death of a childhood friend who was hit by a train. The weight of the book can serve as a metaphor for King’s own painful childhood, it seems he was a fat and bullied kid. I imagine that King likely conceived of this book under the conjunction of Saturn/Pluto in Libra which tantalizingly, was conjunct Mercury around Halloween 1982. King was born under the Saturn/Pluto cycle in Leo, which is pronounced, angular, prominent and brooding in his first house: manifest it must, thank God King became a writer. King’s dark, creative imagination, leads his readers into the deepest regions of his own soul, all of which resonates very, strongly with this Saturn/Pluto placement. During the long process of writing (4 years!), Neptune will have been square to the King’s radix Virgo Sun which resulted in novel which King said, ‘contained every monster I could think of and I took every childhood incident I had ever written of before and tried to integrate the two. And It grew and grew and grew…”. Immersion in and surrender to a ‘semi-dreaming state’ is very Neptunian.
In August 2016 at the time of the first sightings of scary clowns in the US, Mars and Saturn were conjunct in Sagittarius close to IT the novel’s radix Saturn position. The Saturn return always represents a new round of opportunities and for King himself, a new film of the book will certainly be very lucrative. But.. new life has also been blown into Pennywise the hideous entity whose devilish presence haunts the book. Every twenty seven years Pennywise returns to prey upon the children of Derry, Maine by use of his ability to shapeshift, manipulate, and possess. Twenty seven years is the duration of the progressed lunar cycle which reinforces the connection to childhood and its accompanying, sometimes irrational, fears. In many ways it is this link to Cancer and the Moon that connects the past with the present. The Moon and Cancer reminds us we were all once children, susceptible, vulnerable and trusting of clowns.
It seems to me that there are two important engines firing this current trend. Firstly people might have seen something online or read about these scary clowns in the newspaper, and as a result have decided to copycat the behaviour. In this view the media is actually evoking, luring back, feeding the monster Pennywise. The Saturn/Neptune square is closely linked with viruses including the online variety, associated with news that goes viral and internet memes. Saturn square Neptune is also linked to irrational fears and with deep rooted feelings of insecurity that reach right back into the sometimes dark corridors of our childhood. Secondly, lest we forget, Pluto is currently in Capricorn and this is part of an axis which has Cancer on the opposite pole. Stimulate one end also means awakening the other. Irrational fears are in vogue this year, or so it seems.
On a final note: The specter of adults misbehaving is currently not restricted to dressing up in clown’s clothing. Let’s face it there are quite a few clowns on the world stage at the moment and yes, this is something that really is scary. Pluto in Capricorn can be as devilishly evil as Pennywise and indeed perhaps we should be afraid.
Liz Hathway MA, DFAstrolS, Qualified Horary Craftswoman
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