Character Astrology, Part II
A couple of weeks ago, in Part I, I wrote about how I’m experimenting with using my narrator Nina’s astrology as a kind of formal constraint — using her natal chart to better understand her and guide her decisions in the story. I’ve been meeting with Zoe Anderson to dig into Nina’s chart. There’s still a ton more to uncover, but here are some of my takeaways about Nina so far.
She’s got a “wide open” Moon.
Nina’s Moon (her basic emotional operating system) is in Pisces, and Zoe described a Pisces Moon as almost like a psychic sponge, very sensitive — and susceptible — to the energies of others. “That Moon can get lost,” Zoe said. And it’s in her 12th house of secrets, hidden enemies, and the unseen realm. This Moon is part of what makes Nina vulnerable to the con that is the main plot of the novel.
She’s got a LOT of Virgo.
Nina’s Sun (her identity/role in life), Mars (how she takes action), and Venus (how she loves) are all in Virgo. Virgo is a hard worker, specifically the behind-the-scenes, detail work. She’s meticulous, analytical, and a good researcher — perfect for a historian and filmmaker. But she can also be nitpicky and hypercritical. From what I’ve written so far, I know that Nina has trouble in relationships, and Zoe said that makes sense for someone with Venus in Virgo because that’s where Venus is in fall (where it’s weakest).
All that Virgo is in direct opposition to her Moon.
Her Venus in Virgo specifically directly opposes her Moon in Pisces, and the other planets in Virgo are right there too. This is a big dichotomy in Nina. On the one hand, she’s looking for emotional connectivity, and she can get very nostalgic. But on the other hand, she’s super practical and can be a little controlling.
Her Pluto is in Scorpio, and it’s right on her Descendant.
While our Ascendant, or our Rising Sign, is where the world meets us, Zoe described our Descendant as where we meet other people and said it’s a “dark and intense place” for Nina — another reason that relationships are hard for her. Scorpio is all about the invisible, having to dive into the depths, and Pluto is also all about what’s below the surface. Relationships can be incredibly transformative for Nina, Zoe said, taking her into the underworld of power, corruption, and control — the con!
Zoe said there’s a real “lone wolf” aspect to Pluto being on Nina’s Descendant. She might have subconscious fears about relationships or need to do a lot of processing about the unknown that relationships bring out in her. Relationships are probably very painful for her. I told Zoe that Nina has a tendency to cut people out, and she said, “Cutting people out is very Plutonian. Pluto in Scorpio can burn bridges. It has a real Phoenix walking through the flames energy.”
During the timeline of the story, Uranus is on her Moon.
Zoe has impressed upon me that a Uranus transit is kind of a big deal — Uranus travels very slowly so a Uranus transit over one’s Sun or Moon is a once-in-a-lifetime thing for most people. (I have a Uranus transit over my Sun coming up in May!)
In Nina’s case, Uranus passes over her Moon in the summer of 2009 — exactly when the con takes place. Uranus is the planet of innovation and illumination and sudden changes, and its appearance serves to shake things up. Because Nina’s Pisces Moon is so porous and vulnerable to others, Zoe said this transit would probably be a terrifying time for her. But ultimately, she said, “Uranus liberates us.”
So much to think about, and this is just a small fraction of what Zoe and I talked about! I’m finding it inspiring to dig deep into who Nina is from this unusual angle — it feels somehow more objective than talking about a character of my own creation in a workshop setting? It also feels very collaborative, like we’re figuring out this character’s psychology together. And novel writing can be lonely, so that’s nice.
I’m going to give it some time, but I’ll report back on how all of this affects the actual writing!