Art Sunday: Ludwig Van Beethoven: Sun square Chiron

From Wikipedia, "Ludwig van Beethoven (IPA: ), (baptised December 17, 1770 – March 26, 1827) was a German composer. He is generally regarded as one of the greatest composers in the history of music, and was a crucial figure in the transitional period between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western classical music. His music and his reputation inspired — and in many cases intimidated — ensuing generations of composers, musicians, and audiences."

All references to Beethoven in quotes comes from his biography which can be found here.

“He was an innovator, widening the scope of sonata, symphony, concerto and quartet, and combining vocals and instruments in a new way. His personal life was marked by a struggle against deafness, and some of his most important works were composed during the last 10 years of his life, when he was quite unable to hear.”

Jupiter expands. It makes sense that Beethoven would be described as a person who “widened the scope.” He was a multiple Sagittarius. Of course he would expand upon something. Possibly teach (Sag) it and, yes, it should involve some type of art form. Sagittarius is also not afraid to try something new so experimenting with sounds in a way they had never been put together before makes perfect sense. Also, there is that Earth trine that involves Pluto, Uranus and Neptune. Break down the old (Pluto). Re-imagine/invent something new (Neptune in Virgo in the 11th). And use experimentation (Uranus) with the musical works of others (Uranus in Taurus in the 7th)

The main reason I chose Beethoven for today's Art discussion is his Sun square Chiron. Beethoven's Chiron was also in Pisces. Today, our transiting Sun in Gemini will make the same square.

I hear a lot about people with strong Chirons who subsequently become healers. I'm sure Beethoven's music is considered quite healing to some. Either way, it certainly is integral throughout his life and career.

“Sometime between the births of his two younger brothers, Beethoven's father began teaching him music with an extraordinary rigor and brutality that affected him for the rest of his life. Neighbors provided accounts of the small boy weeping while he played the clavier, standing atop a footstool to reach the keys, his father beating him for each hesitation or mistake.”

“On a near daily basis, Beethoven was flogged, locked in the cellar and deprived of sleep for extra hours of practice”

This is certainly reflective of the mutable cross in Beethoven's chart. The abusive father illustrates the Sun/Chiron square. The fact that music and alcohol were both involved brings Neptune into the mix. A good set of key words for Neptune in Virgo in this instance would be music (Neptune) critic (Virgo). Neptune square Sun and Mercury in Sagittarius shows precisely the fact that his father (Sun) was teaching him (Sagittarius) how to play (Mars in Gemini) music (Mercury/Neptune). Unfortunately, his father (Sun) was also a brutal (Mars) alcoholic (Neptune) who hurt his child (Sun/Chiron). That pain (Chiron) manifested itself through Beethoven's 5th house of creativity. With a Leo MC, his 5th house would have been quite important to his career. Obviously it was.

Certainly Beethoven had to have been born with some innate talent. But, the talent and artistry were discovered through personal pain accrued in childhood (Chiron in the 5th)

"Beethoven, who struggled with sums and spelling his entire life, was at best an average student, and some biographers have hypothesized that he may have had mild dyslexia."

Mercury square Chiron could indicate learning and/or speech difficulties such as dyslexia.

Mathematics is also Mercury's domain. It would make sense to call out the interplay with Mercury/Chiron in that regard too. However, Neptune in Virgo in wide square to Mercury in Sagittarius probably did not help much. Besides, if it was something that Beethoven didn't like, he would have never had the patience to sit still and mess with it. Mars/Mercury is all over his chart through direct opposition between the planets and with Aries ruling the 6th house and Gemini falling in the 8th (Mars being the traditional ruler of the 8th house). At least that is what this chart would indicate, but I'm not sure how much weight (in regard to accuracy) can be put into the time of birth used with this chart. Either way, the Mercury/Mars opposition would be enough to keep him from sitting still to focus on something he had no interest in.

“Around this time Beethoven, like all of Europe, watched with a mixture of awe and terror as Napoleon Bonaparte proclaimed himself First Consul, and later Emperor, of France. Beethoven admired, abhorred and, to an extent, identified with Napoleon a man of seemingly superhuman capabilities, only one year older than himself and also of obscure birth.”

Napoleon and Beethoven share the same Earth trine with Pluto/Neptune/Uranus. Napoleon's Mars was square Beethoven's. And, instead of the square, Napoleon had Sun inconjunct Chiron (“seemingly superhuman capabilities”). Napoleon's Sun was also conjunct Beethoven's Saturn. It would make sense that Beethoven did identify with him. But, I would imagine he did so in a semi-critical way, like a Saturn figure (Saturn contact in synastry) typically would. Their Suns also met via trine from Leo to Sagittarius.

Sagittarius was of course very important in Beethoven's life. That makes his Jupiter placement important. We find it in detriment in Capricorn. With Jupiter in Capricorn, teachers (Jupiter) can be rigid (Capricorn) and staunch disciplinarians. However, this fact also brought Beethoven great benefit. Some of his “teachers” were well established in their fields (Jupiter in Cap).

“In Vienna, Beethoven dedicated himself wholeheartedly to musical study with the most eminent musicians of the age. He studied piano with Haydn, vocal composition with Antonio Salieri and counterpoint with Johann Albrechtsberger.”

He was also supported financially by Jupiter in Capricorn. That makes sense too given that this chart has Jupiter in Capricorn at the end of his 2nd house.

“Beethoven won many patrons among the leading citizens of the Viennese aristocracy, who provided him with lodging and funds”

Finally, you cannot really speak of Beethoven and not mention the fact that he composed some of his greatest work during the last 10 years of his life. During this time, he was losing his hearing and became nearly totally deaf. I know I'm not alone in recognizing how amazing that would be. I couldn't imagine having the ability to create music let alone create music while deaf.

However, this is another example of Beethoven's Mercury/Sun in the 2nd house and squaring Chiron in Pisces in the 5th played out. It also points to his Uranus in Taurus, in my opinion.

Uranus in Taurus brought forth a Musical Revolution of sorts. Beethoven was a HUGE part of that through his innovations.