February 2009

Return to Home Page, Links to More Papers
I have written a whole paper on the astrological significators for homosexuality for 50 men: Paper on Homosexuality. There is also a paper on varying sexual orientations: LGBTI. Specific significators for Cage and Cunningham for homosexuality have been added to the bottom of this paper. For discussion of their meaning, refer to the main paper on homosexuality.

The Astrology of Venus and Jupiter Between Charts
The Seventh Couple: John Cage and Merce Cunningham

Please note: parts of this paper are the same as in the papers on the six previous “benefic” couples—the Reagans, the Brownings, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Hearst and Davies, the D Family, and Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. All examine the synastry of venus and jupiter between couples. Material under subject headings titled Introduction, Method, Venus and Jupiter Individually and in Synastry, and Some Chart Definitions are nearly identical. Material thereafter, beginning with the subject heading Starting Compound Venus/Jupiter Sets Between John and Merce is the beginning of the part of the paper that is unique to them.

Although the laws of synastry are no different for gay couples than for straight ones (indeed, for any two people, such as parent and child), this is the first synastry paper I have written on a gay relationship. This one, between two very creative men, lasted around 50 years, and was, as far as we all know, quite fortunate. Since I try to balance each paper on a fortunate relationships with one about an unfortunate one, I will do the latter when I can find the gay couple. Any one may contribute birth data for that couple (gay or lesbian). Their relationship should have been difficult and ended "tragically." By tragically I mean at least with mutual bitter recriminations. Names can be kept confidential.

In this series on synastry I have so far written six papers on the astrology of malefic and six on the benefic astrology between couples.

The couples with high incidence of malefic interaction had exceptionally difficult relationships. The incidence of mars/saturn sets (the “malefics”—see definition below for compound sets) between them were tallied for the beginning and end of their relationships. All six couples started with at least one forefront set, and all ended with at least one additional one, easily accounting for the intense turbulence they experienced.

We also looked at the few positive sets they shared. People are not just masochistic. The positive compound sets comprise the astrology that brings them into relationship. But, sadly, they can also seduce them into staying in a relationship that is fraught with difficulty, that is, has prominent mars/saturn.

Compound mars/saturn sets between charts represent one of the most difficult astrological combinations any couple can experience. Mars and saturn are the lesser and greater malefics, respectively. Therefore, their deleterious effect between charts makes sense. To read an expanded description of their effects, read any one of those papers (i.e., Simpsons, Ariens, A Family, F Family, Damons, or Gauquelins), their links on the Home Page.

To date, I have also written six papers on the astrology of benefic interaction between couples. Incidence, and therefore focus in those papers shifted from the interaction of the two malefics—mars and saturn—to that of the two benefics—venus and jupiter.

Compound venus/jupiter is one of the most positive astrological conditions any couple can experience.

History recorded that Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, as well as Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, had unusually loving and harmonious relationships until they were ended by the (natural) death of one of them. William Randolph Hearst and Marion Davies had a strong, intimate liaison that lasted over 35 years. Thirty-three years younger than him, Davies took care of Hearst until his death at age 88 in 1951. Then his wife claimed his body. Ronald and Nancy Reagan were also noted for their exceptionally loving and loyal relationship. Less famous, but sharing a good marriage with the previous couples, the marriage between the D’s is now approaching its 39th year. Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward had Hollywood marriage that spanned 50 years until Paul’s death in 2008. Synastry for all these couples was high in the benefic interaction of venus and jupiter. Conversely, their synastry was low in the interaction of the traditional malefics of astrology, mars and saturn.

This is the thirteenth paper in this series on synastry, the seventh to demonstrate the power of benefic exchange between couples when it is accompanied by relatively little malefic interchange.

Above picture from http://www.astro.com/astro-databank/Cage%C-John
John Cage

The following information on John Cage is from Astrodatabank :

American musician and composer, writer, photographer, reporter, and critic, always avant-garde. Eclectically talented and endlessly enchanted by the mystery and beauty of the commonplace, he wrote essays and reviews, scores and sketches. He was also a photographer and journalist noted for raucous multimedia works.

The son of an inventor, he was raised in Los Angeles and attended Pomona college before dropping out to go to Europe. While there, he began to write music, much of which he threw away. Back in Los Angeles, he began to compose, a period in which he was very enthusiastic about both modern painting and music. It was at the time of the Depression, and he worked as a gardener in exchange for housing.

His first piano teacher was Richard Buhlig, a great pianist, and he also studied with Henry Cowell. When Cage wrote a solo for clarinet, Cowell arranged to have it played at a small concert in San Francisco. Cage hitchhiked to San Francisco, and when the musician said it was too difficult for him to play, Cage played his piece on the piano for the audience.

Moving to Carmel with no money and no job, he lived on wild mushrooms for his first week before taking a job washing dishes in the Blueberry Tea Room. The food was welcome but the work boring, so he left for New York to study with Adolph Weiss. After his lesson, he and Weiss played bridge with another couple every night. For work, he was washing walls at the YWCA.

Cage spent the last 50 years of his life in New York City, often in the company of his lifelong companion, dancer Merce Cunningham, for whom he wrote many pieces. As his creativity developed, he moved into his role as an extraordinarily important American composer. A documentary, "Cage/Cunningham," about the long collaboration between the composer and the choreographer was filmed by Elliot Caplan and featured interviews, archival dance footage and music from the various project the two artist created.

He died of a stroke August 12, 1992, New York.

Above picture from http://www.studio360.org
Merce Cunningham

Here is information on Merce Cunningham from Wikipedia (February 7, 2010) :

Mercier "Merce" Philip Cunningham (April 16, 1919 – July 26, 2009) was an American dancer and choreographer who was at the forefront of the American avant garde for more than fifty years. Throughout much of his life, Cunningham was considered one of the greatest creative forces in American dance. Cunningham is also notable for his frequent collaborations with artists of other disciplines, including musicians John Cage and David Tudor, artists Robert Rauschenberg and Bruce Nauman, designer Romeo Gigli, and architect Benedetta Tagliabue. Works that he produced with these artists had a profound impact on avant-garde art beyond the world of dance.

As a choreographer, teacher, and leader of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company,[2] Cunningham had a profound influence on modern dance. Many dancers who trained with Cunningham formed their own companies, and they include Paul Taylor, Remy Charlip, Viola Farber, Charles Moulton, Karole Armitage, Robert Kovich, Foofwa d’Immobilité, Kimberly Bartosik, Floanne Ankah and Jonah Bokaer.

In 2009, the Cunningham Dance Foundation announced the Legacy Plan, a precedent-setting plan for the continuation of Cunningham’s work and the celebration and preservation of his artistic legacy.

Cunningham earned some of the highest honors bestowed in the arts, including the National Medal of Arts and the MacArthur Fellowship. He also received Japan's Praemium Imperiale, a British Laurence Olivier Award, and was named Officier of the Légion d'honneur in France.

Cunningham’s life and artistic vision have been the subject of numerous books, films, and exhibitions, and his works have been presented by groups including the Paris Opéra Ballet, New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, White Oak Dance Project, and London's Rambert Dance Company.

Merce Cunningham was born in Centralia, Washington in 1919, the second of three sons. Both his brothers followed their father into the legal profession. Cunningham initially asked to attend dance school when he was 10 years old, and received his first formal dance and theater training at the Cornish School (now Cornish College of the Arts) in Seattle, which he attended from 1937-9. During this time, Martha Graham saw Cunningham dance and invited him to join her company.

In the fall of 1939, Cunningham moved to New York and began a six-year stint as a soloist in the company of Martha Graham. He presented his first solo concert in New York in April 1944 with composer John Cage, who became his life partner and frequent collaborator until Cage's death in 1992.

In the summer of 1953, as a teacher in residence at Black Mountain College, Cunningham formed the Merce Cunningham Dance Company as a forum to explore his new ideas on dance and the performing arts.

Over the course of his career, Cunningham choreographed more than 200 dances and over 800 “Events,” which are site-specific choreographic works. In 1963 he joined with Cage to create the Walker Art Center's first performance, instigating what would be a 25 year collaborative relationship with the Walker. In his performances, he often used the I Ching in order to determine the sequence of his dances and, often, dancers were not told until the night of the performance. In addition to his role as choreographer, Cunningham performed as a dancer in his company into the early 1990s.

He continued to lead his dance company until his death, and presented a new work, Nearly Ninety, in April 2009, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York, to mark his 90th birthday.

Cunningham lived in New York City, and was Artistic Director of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Cunningham died peacefully in his home on July 26, 2009.

In discussing synastry, I have had to come up some new terminology suited to this method. If I were writing about venus and jupiter interacting—i.e., conjunct, square, or opposition each other—within one chart, I would state they were in the same set. Light/venus/jupiter in the same set is called a golden benefic. But here we are comparing planets between two charts (also known as synastry). I cannot just call the latter sets because sets by definition exist within one chart. I have chosen to label the sets which exist between charts “compound sets.” A compound set including light/venus/jupiter or Angle/venus/jupiter, then, is referred to as a compound golden benefic.

Of course, venus and jupiter work together for good best when conjunct, less when square, and hardly at all when opposition (because they are then fighting each other, or commanding attention in two opposing areas), whether in one chart's set, or in compound sets. But they are probably more positive in compound sets.

To define it succinctly, a compound set consists of planets from the charts of two individuals that are conjunct, square, or opposition each other, with an orb of 2°. If a light—sun, moon, or node—is involved, orb increases to about 3-1/2°. Compound sets are most powerful when they also include an Angle or a light and least powerful when they include neither.

Ease, comfort and fondness in relationship are not nearly as dramatic as the extreme discord that immediately precedes homicide. For the latter, compound mars/saturn sets, also called compound dark malefics, have been potent indexes of marital disharmony.

Compound venus/jupiter in relationship is either more rare, or less noticed than its negative (mars/saturn) counterpart. Probably the latter. That is, couples with compound venus/jupiter are far less likely to come to public attention than couples with compound mars/saturn. Peace and harmony bring far less press than do war and disaster. So they are harder to find than their malefic counterparts.

But, couples with less than compound golden benefics are also usually successfully loving couples. For instance, moon/venus between couples is a sure sign the venusian one is attracted to and fond of the lunar one. If there is not too much affliction, their relationship will hold up (though skewed in favor of the lunar individual, who does not have to do anything to be so loved). Therefore, to illustrate ease, comfort, love, attraction, and longevity in relationship, I have included incidences of venus or jupiter of one individual falling on an Angle or light of the other. That is, I have included compound sets of light/venus, Angle/venus, light/jupiter, and Angle/jupiter in addition to those golden benefics involving light/venus/jupiter in the same set.

Before I write about their synastry, I need to introduce information about this astrological method.

This astrological method is not the traditional Western one. It is not traditional, period. True, it uses sidereal astrology, the predominant (traditional) astrology of the East. It also uses the Egyptian harmonic. Both are quite old. This method started with me in 1983. Its working rules were not inherited. They were uncovered gradually through years of research. As they were uncovered, a system which at first seemed too complex became almost too simple. Here are those rules:

Chart Rules

And here are links to my comments on the practical differences between sidereal versus tropical astrology as well as a paper discussing the origin of this method:

Tropical vs. Sidereal Astrology
About This Method

Venus in Individual Charts
Of all the planets, venus stands most for the qualities of harmony, grace, and beauty. Since we all like the experience of harmony, we find whatever produces it attractive, and thus venus is associated with liking and loving.

Venus as it is associated with the 2nd house and Taurus, one of the signs it rules, is correlated with having. For instance, venus in Taurus is a good placement of venus to attract money and quality possessions. It puts an emphasis on beauty and the fine things money can buy.

Venus as it is associated with the 7th house and Libra, the other sign it rules, is correlated with harmony in relationship. Librans demand equality in their relationships and are upset, for instance, with some Leos who consider themselves without equal. Or with Aries, who, more interested in action than agreement, go to the symphony when they want harmony. Cooperation is important to venus in Libra and venus in general.

Venus is a “soft” planet. It works through allure, charisma, cooperation, invitation and seduction.

People strongly under the influence of venus accomplish things above board through consensus; “below board,” through seduction or persuasion. They are rarely completely “up front” and “baldly honest,” types of encounters which are painful for them.

Venus in our charts stands for what we love and are attracted to. Venus in Gemini, for instance, evidences a love for, attraction to, and usually a facility for (all venus) learning, words, and communication (all Gemini/mercury). It also shows love (venus) of youthfulness (Gemini/mercury), and affection for or attraction to (venus) children (Gemini/mercury).

We can use venus in Cancer for another example of how venus operates in the signs. Venus in Cancer sponsors love (venus) of the nurturing things (Cancer), enjoyment (venus) of domestic activities (Cancer), including cooking and gardening, and love (venus) of home and family (Cancer), possibly with an appreciation of one’s roots (Cancer).

When another’s Angles, moons, or nodes pick up our venuses, that is, exist in the same set with them, they are eliciting our feelings of love and liking, friendliness, sharing, and devotion.

Jupiter in Individual Charts
In the East they say that jupiter represents the guru. That is, jupiter, by sign and placement in the chart, indicates the area through which the individual can experience considerable learning, growth, expansion, and success.

In its connection with the 9th house and Sagittarius, jupiter is correlated with some apparently non-related subjects—aviation, law, philosophy, higher mind (enlightenment types of things), and equestrianism. The 9th house is always opposite the 3rd house, which has mercury as its natural ruler. Our mercury-learning is serial, that is, it occurs piece by piece by piece. Our jupiter-learning occurs because of a higher grasp of the facts we learned in Gemini. Facts get sorted by relevance and level of importance. In that way, jupiter stands for perspective and perhaps some times for intuition. “Jovian (jupiter) learning” involves distance—more objectivity—regarding any situation. It stands for better comprehension, the wisdom of the over-view. The adjective for jupiter is “Jovian.” A lawyer is not necessarily Jovian, but a jurist is. A politician is often less than Jovian, but a true statesman properly lays claim to that title.

When another individual draws on one of our jupiters, he is addressing us in areas we are most successful, most comprehending, most at ease, and least threatened. Therefore, we are kind to him. We can afford to give him plenty of room. We treat his clumsiness with forbearance.

Jupiter in our charts is quite likely the index of our EQ—Emotional Quotient as defined by Daniel Goleman—touted as a better indicator of success (jupiter!!) than intelligence (mercury +).

One individual’s jupiter on another’s Angles is a strong indication of a long-term relationship. Love (venus) in relationship is great, but not always dependable. Without philosophical support, without some distance, love can turn to hate. A long union like marriage draws heavily on compassion, a continuing sympathetic (but not enabling) view of the other fellow’s weaknesses. That long, philosophical rope is inspired by jupiter.

The best compound jupiter set for long-term relationship occurs when one individual’s jupiter falls on the Descendant (7th house cusp) of the other.

Venus + Jupiter in Individual Charts
Venus and jupiter in the same set (lighted and with Angular influence) within one individual’s chart create a golden benefic. Golden benefics are found in the charts of humanity’s most charismatic (venus) and successful (jupiter) individuals. Nearly all of our “superstars” (regardless of their field) arrived at that destination through the winning combination that is comprised of venus and jupiter together. Let me put it another way. Some people work very hard for success;others, hardly at all. Whichever their effort, nobody arrives at superstar without forefront venus and jupiter, either together or summed Their area of success depends on the path those planets describe. For instance, if one of them influences the 2nd house, their success will also be crowned with financial abundance. (The paper on famous gurus shows a number of these cases, where the same golden benefics whose path described spiritual illumination also included a 2nd house influence bringing in a fountain of wealth.)

Since venus represents love and jupiter luck, individuals with these two planets in the same set are lucky in love. Progressions of venus to jupiter, or jupiter to venus often accompany marriage.

Venus + Jupiter in Compound Sets Between Charts, i.e., in Synastry
Venus and jupiter in the same compound set produce one of the loveliest astrological connections that can exist between two people. Until now I have used the synastry of a married couples to demonstrate the good results flowing from compound venus/jupiter. But, these sets work the same among any two people—lovers, boss and employee, siblings, parent and child, friends, and co-workers. They work whether the couple involved is gay or straight.

Venus and jupiter in a compound set between two individuals, then, barring strong counter indications, imply they are successful and/or charismatic as a couple. It could be said they are so harmonious as a couple that they remind us, when we observe them, what a relationship could be.

Other Synastry
Exchange of benefics plays a large role in the synastry of attraction. Other astrology is important in synastry but I do not cover it here. I have written more about it in the paper on synastry, link found on Home Page.

Locality Angles
In this age of easy world travel and endless relocation, couples who marry often do not live in the same locality they were born in. For that reason, it is necessary to include locality astrology in any analysis of their relationship.

John Cage was born in Los Angeles, California. Merce Cunningham, in Centralia, Washington. Most of their life together was spent in New York City, where each individual had his own “moved” Angles which also played a part in their synastry. Pertinent locality Angles will be integrated into the sets as we go along.

Standard Chart Notations
In the tables below, b stands for birth, c stands for conception, and p for progressed. T stands for transiting. A number following the letters identifies the harmonic chart from which the harmonic planet was taken, e.g., b7 pluto identifies the harmonic of pluto for the 7th chart. All harmonics used are +2 greater than the number of the chart they are applied to. Therefore, the harmonic used for the 7th chart is the ninth, or novienic, harmonic.

MC stands for Midheaven while Asc stands for Ascendant. B-Loc identifies the locality Angle for birth, while C-Loc identifies the locality Angle conception. Reasonably, then, pB-Loc MC identifies the progressed locality Midheaven for birth while pC-Loc Asc identifies the progressed locality Ascendant for conception.

A Word About the Use of Rulers in Compound Sets
When I started writing these papers on synastry of couples, I was actually so mesmerized by the difficult sets between the Simpsons and Ariens I failed to include rulers of Angles in the analyses of their (shared) sets. In the paper on Queen Victoria and Prince Albert I began to realize I was leaving out an important part of set analysis when I omitted rulers. Here, in this paper, rulers of Angles are consistently included in analyses of sets. In time I hope to return to the first two papers to correct that omission.

In this paper most of the chart comparisons are between 7th charts because the 7th chart is strongest in showing relationship.

Angles and (Placidian) House Cusps for Cage and Cunningham
I have not included drawings of partial charts in this paper, therefore, house cusps are not shown. To include them in this paper, I have simply listed them below.

House Cusps for Cage:
Placidus: C MC—19 Sagittarius 19, c11—14Cap, c2—15Aqu, C Asc—27 Pisces 40, c2—2Tau, c3—29Tau B MC—9 Taurus 32, b11—13Gem, b12—14Can, B Asc—12 Leo 09, b2—7Vir, b3—7Lib

Cage’s locality charts (for New York City, the place most of their relationship transpired) had the following values. His B-Loc MC was at 20 Gemini 32, B-Loc Asc at 18 Virgo 36, C-Loc MC at 2 Aquarius 25, and C-Loc Asc at 27 Taurus 02.

House Cusps for Cunningham:
Placidus: C MC—25 Aquarius 30, c11—2Ari, c12—15Tau, C Asc—21 Gemini 21, c2—9Can, c3—29Can B MC—25Sagittarius 30, b11—18Cap, b12—22Aqu, B Asc—15 Aries 25, b2—16Tau, b3—6Gem

Cunningham’s locality charts (for New York City) had the following values. His B-Loc MC was at 14Aquarius 23, B-Loc Asc at 7 Gemini 49, C-Loc MC at 17 Aries 47, and C-Loc Asc at 26 Cancer 10.

Now we can look at some of the synastry in the compound sets which existed between Cage and Cunningham.

Starting Compound Mars/Saturn Sets Between Cage and Cunningham
By “starting” in the title above, I mean sets that exist between them before any progressions, that is, changes effected in their charts by time. Those would be the permanent ones, and most difficult to deal with. Progressed ones, by definition, change, so while they may sponsor a difficult period in any relationship, they are limited in the damage they can do.

Please refer to the papers on the Simpson, Arien, Damon, Gauquelin, and A and F Families (links on Home Page) for an extensive discussion of the difficulty experienced by couples with compound mars/saturn sets.

Cage and Cunningham sort of had one compound set involving mars and saturn. I write "sort of" because both the mars and the saturn were contributed by Cage. Here it is:

Set (a)John’s c sun9 Scorpio 03co-ruler (15 of 31°) c 5th house
John’s c mars8 Taurus 05
John’s B MC9 Taurus 32
John’s b saturn10 Taurus 29co-ruler (14 of 31°) of b 5th house
Merce’s b7 pluto9 Taurus 43
Merce’s b SN10 Taurus 36

Set (a) has forefront influence because it includes an Angle. As can be seen, this set influenced both of Cage’s 5th houses, indicating (while functioning as his consciousness), some sexual hesitancy. (But usually astrologers consider that once functioning, mars/saturn acts more like mars in Capricorn, i.e., as a very strong mars, than like mars initiative being frustrated by saturn’s fear and conservatism). There is another interpretation for this set. We do know that Cage had some financial problems, which makes sense because his MC/mars/saturn set in Taurus (the natural sign of the second house of money) falls in his b 2nd house. And a mars and saturn, as the lesser and greater malefics, represent, therefore, "trouble" (mars/saturn) with money. (Taurus/2nd)

I cannot really call Set (a) a compound mars/saturn set because Cage has both the malefics (mars and saturn). Nonetheless, the fact that Cunningham provides a light for the set indicates that at times he inadvertently increased Cage’s awareness of the consciousness symbolized by this set. Some times it would have had sexual ramifications, and some times it would have had financial ones.

Set (a) is their only set that even approaches being qualified as a “mars/saturn” set.

Starting Compound Venus/Jupiter Sets, i.e., Golden Benefics, Between Cage and Cunningham

Set (1)John’s b venus5 Virgo 53ruler of B MC
John’s b mars8 Virgo 19
John’s b7 jupiter3 Pisces 42ruler of b 5th house
John’s b pluto6 Gemini 26
Merce’s c7 moon6 Virgo 07
Merce’s c7 mars2 Virgo 38
Merce’s c7 uranus2 Pisces 26ruler of C MC
Merce’s c jupiter5 Gemini 20ruler of c 7th house

The light for Set (1) is Merce’s c moon at 6 Virgo 03, which brings all of the planets above into acceptable orb. Note that Set (1) contains light/venus/jupiter—a golden benefic—and influences two Angles.

Set (2)John’s C MC19 Sagittarius 19
John’s B-Loc MC20 Gemini 32
John’s b7 venus22 Gemini 56ruler of B MC
John’s B-Loc Asc18 Virgo 36
John’s b SN19 Virgo 16
John’s c venus22 Virgo 20
Merce’s b mercury18 Pisces 13
Merce’s c7 jupiter18 Pisces 00
Merce’s b jupiter15 Gemini 12ruler of B MC in c 7th house
Merce’s b7 jupiter16 Gemini 47ruler of B MC in c 7th house
Merce’s b7 moon17 Gemini 45co-ruler (18 of 40°) of b 5th house
Merce’s b7 venus19 Gemini 51ruler of b 7th house
Merce’s C Asc21 Gemini 21
Merce’s c sun21 Gemini 54

Set (2) contains three lights (node, moon, sun), two regular Angles, two locality Angles, three venuses, and three jupiters. It is powerfully benefic, producing emotional highs and possibly even ecstatic states. It was also wonderful for communication (Gemini) between them.

Set (2) also shows that Merce Cunningham had his own golden benefic (moon/venus/jupiter/jupiter) in Gemini with influence to his B MC, ensuring his would be a name to be remembered. For him, it was in dance. He also had a golden benefic in his 10th chart (career), so it is not surprising he was the recipient of many awards, including a MacArthur grant.

(Cage did not have a 10th chart golden benefic. He did have a loose C MC/sun/node/venus, with sun/NN in Sagittarius conjunct C MC, a good indicator of success (NN) from putting himself (sun) forward (MC). The signature for being a musician was supplied by: b sun at 19 Leo 03 (ruler of B Asc in c 5th house), b10 neptune at 20 Taurus 39, b10 moon at 20 Taurus 42. and c10 sun (co-ruler of c 5th house) at 18 Leo 35. Sun/neptune with forefront influence, and possibly 5th influence, is (part of) the signature for a composer.)

I have looked only at two such recipients--both had golden benefics in their 10th chart before progressions. That is, they were born with them. It has to be looked into, but right now I believe that a progressed 10th chart golden benefic, without the one at birth, is not enough to win that award. Its presence at birth indicates the individual is slated for high honors in this lifetime. At the time of receiving the award, they have additional progressed sets that are benefic, that is, include venus and jupiter.


Set (3)John’s b7 moon15 Aquarius 31
John’s c7 saturn17 Aquarius 51
John’s b jupiter13 Scorpio 45ruler of b 5th house
John’s c7 neptune15 Scorpio 30ruler of C Asc
Merce’s c7 pluto15 Taurus 16
Merce’s c venus17 Taurus 09ruler of c 5th house
Merce’s b7 and c7 suns17 Leo 10b7 sun is co-ruler (22 of 34°) of b 5th house
Merce’s B-Loc MC14 Aquarius 23

While it is true that saturn is a part of this set, so are light/venus/jupiter. So, Set (3) comprises Cage and Cunningham’s third compound golden benefic. Influence is to one Angle. I put in the influences to 5th house because I believe they reflect—in addition to the joy they share together in general—their sex life is also joyous.

Set (4)John’s b7 saturn4 Leo 24co-ruler (14 of 31°) b 5th house
John’s c jupiter3 Scorpio 19ruler of C MC
John’s c mars8 Taurus 05
Merce’s b venus5 Taurus 32ruler of b 7th house
Merce’s b7 NN5 Aquarius 22

Set (4) is their fourth compound golden benefic. This one with influence to one Angle. Like Set (3), this set also includes saturn. Specifically, it is Cage’s mars/saturn (which can be cold or slow to respond) to Merce’s node/venus (which is warm and loving). In this set, the light is Merce’s NN in Aquarius.

Starting Compound Venus/Light, Venus/Angle, Jupiter/Light, and Jupiter/Angle Sets Between Cage and Cunningham
Many couples do not have compound golden benefic sets, but they have good relationships. The astrological sources of their harmony are their compound sets of venus or jupiter with Angles or lights. Those sets are vitally important in promoting good marriages.

Generally speaking, if I contribute a jupiter to some one else’s Angle or light, I approve of them, giving them a wide berth of compassion and understanding. If I contribute a venus to their Angle or light, I love and/or like them, and find them attractive. It works the same way if, for instance, I contribute light/venus to their Angle, or they provide another light for my light/venus. In all those case their Angle or light is further “developing” my capacity for venusian experience—liking, loving, sharing, and pleasant exchanges.

Light/venus/mars is sexual in expression, also containing within it affection.

Set (5)John’s c uranus2 Capricorn 58
John’s c moon4 Capricorn 28ruler of c 5th house
John’s c7 SN6 Libra 55
Merce’s c7 venus4 Libra 19ruler of c 5th house
Merce’s b7 mars6 Libra 40ruler of B Asc
Merce’s b7 uranus3 Aries 27
Merce’s c mercury 4 Cancer 47ruler of C Asc

Set (5) is a strong sexual set. It influences two Angles and each of their 5th houses. Cage provides the light for Cunningham’s venus/mars, activating the latter’s attraction. We had the opposite in Set (1), in which it was Cunningham who provided the moon for Cage’s venus/mars.

Other Charts
I did not examine other charts (other than the 7th chart) Cage and Cunningham. Specifically, examination of the 5th chart might have provided valuable information. Their 7th chart synastry, however, is so strongly positive that their 5th synastry would have had to be extremely negative to ruin the attraction.

Progressions for Marriage
I could not do progressions for the beginning of the Cage/Cunningham relationship for two reasons. (1) I did not find a date for it in the biographies I read. (2) Since Merce’s chart time is in question (see below under Data Acknowledgments), the progressions would also be in question.

Homosexual Significators for Cage and Cunningham

Each of their significators occurred in the more rare charts of 4th (Cage) and 10th (Cunningham), but they are complete with both Part I and II of the significator, and also show excellent synastry. Here they are.

Merce Cunningham (C)—Parts I and II of the Significator
Partial Harmonic Chart for the 10th House

Placidian House Cusps: c11—2Ari, c12—15Tau, c2—9Can, c3—29Can b11—18Cap, b12—22Aqu, b2—16Tau, b3—6Gem

Set (6) shows B Asc in the same set with node/moon/mars/2neptune. B moon rules b 5th house. c10 mars co-rules (15 of 43°) c 5th house. There is no 7th influence.

Set (6) also shows Part II of the significator: c10 mars conjunct c10 SN is conjunct B Desc.

Synastry--from his 10th chart, Cage contributes both benefics to Set (6). B10 venus is at 10 Cancer 35 and b10 jupiter is at 14 Libra 57, giving them a compound golden benefic.

John Cage (AA)—Parts I and II of the Significator
Partial Harmonic Chart for the 4th House

Placidian House Cusps: c11—14Cap, c12—15Aqu, c2—2Tau, c3—29Taun b11—13Gem, b12—14Can, b2—7Vir, b3—7Lib

Set (7) shows B MC in the same set with sun/moon/mercury/mars/saturn/neptune (the jupiter is better given to the same set with B Asc). C sun co-rulers (15 of 31°) c 5th house. B saturn co-rules (14 of 31°) b 5th house. There is no 7th influence.

Set (6) also shows Part II of the significator: c mars is conjunct B MC (that is, is Angular) and influences 5th houses through c sun and b saturn.

Synastry--from his 4th chart, Cunningham contributes c4 sun at 11 Scorpio 22, C4 NN at 10 Scorpio 36, and c4 venus, at 12 Leo 53 to Cages B Asc/jupiter. They have three compound golden benefics in this chart, but they also have one dark malefic--all-in-all, very benefic.

Quantitatively, the benefic interchange between the charts of Cunningham and Cage is greater than, for instance, that shared by Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning, whose relationship was legendary for its goodness. But the Brownings had a compound conjunction of venus and jupiter in Pisces which fell on Elizabeth’s descendant(/venus). Astrologically, there cannot be a better single set predictive of great felicity in marriage because venus is exalted in Pisces, and jupiter well-placed there. And the descendant represents the point on the astrological wheel where intimate relationship comes into existence. Still, the four golden benefics of Cage and Cunningham surpasses by two in number those shared by any of the other “benevolent” couples. Synastry between Cage and Cunningham was overwhelmingly positive.

Although other astrological factors play a role in determining the quality of a relationship, the synastry of mars/saturn and venus/jupiter between charts cover the range from very difficult to very harmonious, respectively. In that sense, they are good indices of failed and successful relationships.

Summing, starting with our “benefic” couples:
William Randolph Hearst and Marion Davies, whose love affair lasted over 35 years, started with two compound malefic sets, one lacking both light and Angle influence, and the other lacking Angle influence. They also started with at least two—possibly three—compound golden benefic sets and seven more sets comprised of Angle/venus, light/venus, Angle/jupiter, or light/jupiter.

Since neither of their malefic sets influenced an Angle, the troubles represented by them tended to stay in the background even when a progressing light entered either set.

All of their benefic sets contain lights, and all but one of them [Set (5)] influences at least one of their Angles.

Queen Victoria and her Prince started with zero compound malefic sets and seven compound benefic ones, at least one of which approached being a compound golden benefic.

Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning started with one weak compound mars/saturn set (it did not contain a light and had no influence to Angles). They started with eight compound benefic sets, one of which was compound golden benefic. (This number does not include any progressions or their locality Angles for Florence.)

Ronald and Nancy Reagan started with three compound golden benefics (two of them with Angular influence) and another comprised of Angle/moon/venus. They had one compound dark malefic with was both Angular and lighted. Because of the presence of venus, however, this set could have been functioning as a more “staid” compound benefic. They had no other compound malefics. Their marriage, which lasted 52 years, was strong and loving (in spite of very difficult circumstances for those last years) right up to his death from Alzheimer’s disease. Their love, I’m sure, continues on.

David and Cheri D. fall in line with other couples who share the experience of having had a happy marriage (now going on 39 years for them). They started with two compound golden benefics plus several compound light/venus and Angle/jupiter sets. In contrast to that, they started with one weak compound mars/saturn set which also contains venus and jupiter, which ought to considerably soften the harder parts of the set.

Paul Newman and Joanne had one compound mars/saturn set which was in the same set with their most potent compound venus/jupiter. I suspect when compound mars/saturn is “blessed” with compound venus/jupiter, the couple always has options. They do not have to remain locked in the bitterness of mutual misunderstanding.

They had a much weaker mars/saturn set containing two venuses which I suspect ended up being part of a specific type of attraction. They shared a second compound venus/jupiter set.

Also important, they had a three interactions of moon/venus or moon/venus/mars between them. Any couple is fortunate if they have one.

Newman-Woodward had more malefic interaction than did, for instance, the Brownings, but they also had a tremendous amount of benefic interactions, as did the Brownings.

Cage and Cunningham shared a total of four compound golden benefics. Broken down by which Angle was influenced (and not by how many times), John's B MC, C MC, C Asc, and Locality birth Angles were affected by these golden benefics. Merce's C MC, B MC, and birth locality Ascendant were also affected. The influence of golden benefics to their Angles was massive.

Cage and Cunningham did not share any compound dark malefics except that Cunningham provided a light for Cage’s already forefront and lighted mars/saturn conjunction. They did not even have individual sets such as compound Angle/saturn, Angle/mars, or light/saturn (though they surely got some by progression). So, there was very little affliction in their synastry. Astrologically theirs was a "marriage" made in heaven. No wonder it lasted so long. This, in spite of the fact it occurred mostly (starting some time around 1942-44) during years when, except in certain artistic circles, homosexuals were forced to hide their very existence. Proclaiming a great homosexual relationship would have been out of the question.

Moving on the our malefic couples:

David Arien killed his wife, Jonelle, and then himself. They started with four compound mars/saturn sets—before progressions, and before locality Angles. In earlier papers I referred to mars/saturn sets as dark malefics. I am not happy with the term but use it to represent, so-to-speak, the “opposite” of golden benefic.

O.J. and Nicole Brown Simpson started with two compound mars/saturn sets, one lighted and both with Angular influence. They experienced a confluence of them (four) through progressions and locality Angles at the time of her death. All four influenced at least one Angle, often more. They started with two very weak compound benefic sets. A third compound benefic was strong—Nicole’s San Francisco locality Angles picking up O.J.’s venus/jupiter.

The A’s started out with two very strong and one weak compound mars/saturn sets. It is doubtful any relationship, regardless of strength of benefic sets, can find the right path with that much affliction. They had a fourth, progressed compound mars/saturn set at the time of her death. His chart supplied both the mars and saturn, but their conjunction to her moon (as well as her death) let us know that she, too, was experiencing their malevolence.

Their compound benefic sets gave us a little more information on their relationship. Three of his venuses (and only one jupiter) were involved in compound sets. All four of her jupiters (and only one of her venuses) were. Attraction (venus) was stronger on his side. Forbearance (jupiter) was stronger on hers. Even had they had no compound malefic sets, forbearance alone is not enough to make a good relationship. With their four compound malefics, good will (jupiter) did not stand a chance.

The fourth afflicted couple, the Damons, started with two compound mars/saturn sets (independent of locality) with influence to three Angles (one of the same ones twice). At the time of their death, it could be said they had acquired tighter and more influential sets such that they had three compound mars/saturn sets with influence to six Angles.

The fifth afflicted couple, Stephen and Barbara F., started with two compound mars/saturn sets, each with lights and multiple influence to Angles, that is, they were strong. They also shared an important negative set containing only saturn. By contrast, they started with one compound golden benefic and only one noteworthy Angle/jupiter set. They actually had two mutually receptive moon/venus sets, normally considered positive for relationship, but these were part of one of their compound mars/saturn sets. Moon/venus is not going to fare as positively in the same set with mars/saturn as it does alone.

The Gauquelins, married 28 years and the sixth afflicted couple, separated and divorced with great bitterness. Their relationship started with one each of compound mars/saturn and compound venus/jupiter sets. About twenty years into their marriage, they incurred two progressed compound mars/saturn sets which lasted for several years before one of them went out of orb. The stronger of the two negative sets then continued right up through their separation, their divorce, and his suicide (at which time he had recently experienced separation from his second wife). Since I did not have the birth data on his second wife, I could not include it here. What is certain, however, is that their separation and divorce occurred during the time they were laboring under the negative influence of two compound mars/saturn sets.

This is the last in this series of 13 charts on synastry. As I have mentioned before, there is much more to synastry that compound malefic and benefic sets. At the same time, the occurrence of easy and difficult compound sets for these thirteen couples clearly separated successful and happy marriages from unsuccessful and sometimes tragic ones. Specifically, they showed a strong separation of happy couples from unhappy couples that correlated with emphasis on compound benefics for the former and emphasis on compound malefics for the latter.

Further Work
Further work is required, preferably involving many couples actively providing honest information on their relationship.

Star Flower, a rare 7-petaled flower
From Wildflowers of Michigan Field Guide, by Stan Tekiela

Data Acknowledgments (in alphabetic order)
Letters following the name show Rodden rating for reliability of birth time.

John Cage (AA)
Birth: 9/05/1912, 5:00 a.m. PST, Los Angeles, California. From Astrodatabank by Lois Rodden and Mark McDonough. From Contemporary Sidereal Horoscopes, Gauquelin Book of American Charts, and a biography John Cage by R. Kostelanets.
Conception:11/25/1911, 2:33:43 p.m. PST, Los Angeles, CA.

Merce Cunningham (C)
Birth: 4/16/1919, 7:00 a.m. PWT, Centralia, WA. From Astrodatabank by Lois Rodden and Mark McDonough. Steinbrecher quotes news at the time “born in the morning.”
Conception:7/08/1918, 5:29:16 a.m. PWT, Centralia, WA.

Complete reliability of this paper is compromised by the fact that Cunningham’s birth is classified according to the Rodden rating of “C.” Data notes state that Steinbrecher contributed Cunningham’s birth data, and that he got it from “news at the time, 'born this morning.'” Whoever entered the data entered a time of 7:00 a.m., apparently an educated guess, not something an astrologer likes to work with. Cage and Cunningham, however, had such strong connections between planets that I decided to write this paper anyway. Cunningham’s varying Angles could either increase or decrease their felicity, but not eliminate it, and not turn it into a disagreeable relationship.

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