At the weekend, I was invited to attend the Emma Kunz exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery. It was the last day of the exhibition and I was so pleased I got to see these incredible works.
It wasn’t a normal art exhibition, by any means. Instead, Emma’s pencil & crayon drawings felt mathematical with their intricate lines and geometric shapes (see Gallery below). The inherent beauty of her art lies in the complexity of the drawings and the subtle use of colour.
Plus, you don’t view the pictures so much as feel them. Standing up close to some of the works of art, there was a resonance, an inner experience. You could almost sense the pictures changing shape in front of your eyes. You would be drawn outwards to the points at the edge of the art work, then back in to the centre.
This makes sense if you realise these aren’t usual works of art. Emma Kunz was a healer and she would draw these impressive pictures for her patients using a pendulum to create intricate patterns. She wouldn’t stop until a work was finished, sometimes working for hours, even days.
As some of the pictures resonated more than others with me, I did wonder whether they were healing me at the same time. Perhaps, an exact pattern was relevant to my own physiology. I was certainly drawn towards similar themes in her pictures.
Being an astrologer, as soon as I returned home, I wanted to look at her birth chart, the map of the heavens when this amazing woman was born. I found a date of birth for her on the internet which then miraculously disappeared. No time of birth, so a sunrise chart, but the astrology is fitting.
Sun/Neptune/Pluto triple conjunction: What the astrology shows is that Emma Kunz was a communicator, born with the Sun in Gemini. On the day Emma was born, the Sun sat next to a tight Neptune/Pluto conjunction in Gemini. Therefore, not an everyday communicator, but a channel and voice for something deeper & wider.
Emma had super-powerful psychic abilities (Neptune/Pluto conjunct Sun Gemini) that she used to heal other people and develop her relationship with nature and the Divine. People who knew her called her “the visionary among the blind” and “the people’s saint”.
She discovered her skills of telepathy and extra-sensory perception as a child, but it was only after the suicide (Pluto) of her father (Sun) as a teenager that she started to use her gift. And, it wasn’t until her 40’s that she started to produce hundreds of incredible drawings.
Emma kept hardly any notes surrounding her works of art, not wanting to document them. Instead, she would use the drawings as healing tools and talk to her patients about them. She purposely didn’t write things down, nor date the pictures.
This is shown astrologically by the incredible conjunction of Neptune/Pluto next to the Sun in Gemini. This is other-worldly communication, not to be restricted or contained. Also, note the placing of communication planet, Mercury, in her birth chart.
Mercury/Mars/Uranus T-square: Fittingly, Mercury sits in Taurus, the sign representing art and nature, opposite Uranus and in a tight square to Mars. This suggests her need to be impulsive around her art, letting it take its own path, using her voice to create each unique picture for a specific individual.
Emma’s quoted as saying: “Everything happens according to a certain regularity which I sense inside me and which never lets me rest.” The T-square in her birth chart shows this compulsion.
Chiron & The Nodes: Note Chiron too, square to the nodes, karmic points in astrology. Healing was Emma’s destiny and, throughout her lifetime, she used her gifts to help others. Venus in Cancer confirms her kind and caring nature.
Emma was born into a family of weavers and had no formal education, nor attended art school. Yet, the patterns in her art are complex, perhaps a testimony to her weaving family’s DNA.
Pallas in Pisces: You would suspect the asteroid Pallas to be dominant in her birth chart, as it’s linked to patterns. Pallas in Pisces could give a nod to the sign of her Ascendant or Midheaven.
Moon & Jupiter Aries: This would elevate the importance of the planet Jupiter in her birth chart, traditional ruler of Pisces. In Emma’s birth chart, Jupiter is in Aries, symbol of a pioneer, a trail-blazer. If the Moon sits next to Jupiter, this is her role as ‘mother goddess’, using her gifts and divine nature, to nurture and heal others.
An extraordinary woman; healer, artist, researcher, naturopath, psychic who left behind an incredible body of work. She never wanted to be famous, even though she was sometimes asked to become a guru-like figure. Her drawings were never exhibited in her lifetime.
By all accounts, she remained humble preferring to live in her country of birth, Switzerland, devoted to her work and close to nature. There’s a museum dedicated to her at Wuerenlos in Switzerland, where she would go to recharge her batteries.
I looked up how often there’s a Neptune/Pluto conjunction, a rare event. Apparently, they take place approximately 495 years. Emma Kunz was born on such a conjunction, notably in the sign of the communicator, Gemini. Which makes the quote below even more extraordinary.
«People such as Emma Kunz live at best once every 500 years, and even then we do not always have the good fortune to receive such a witness as that delivered in her bequeathed work.» Prof. H. Larcher, Paris
The final quote is by the curator of the first exhibition of her art in th 1970’s, Harald Szeemann (1933–2005). I thought it was a beautiful synthesis of the key elements of her birth chart, her own unique signature:
Her gift was an awareness of connections that contradicted both normal experience and scientific interpretations of the laws of Nature and art. This was a supernatural event, a miracle that, in revealing divine truths conveyed a secret impulse on a par with that of cosmic creation. Emma Kunz’s drawings are attempts to find a universal connection. They are the records of her concentration on the question of the Whole.