John Ruskin was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, as well as an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, philosopher, prominent social thinker and philanthropist. e wrote on subjects as varied as geology, architecture, myth, ornithology, literature, education, botany and political economy and is considered the major Victorian Prophet.
Ruskin was Born February 8 1819 in London, England, at 7:30 in the morning to a Scots wine merchant who had moved to London for his business in the sherry trade. John was an only child and basically home educated, encouraged in his interests in the visual arts by his his father’s large and always growing, collection of contemporary watercolours. His mother was a pious woman who instilled a strong religious training, that he later rejected.
Ruskin Effie Chalmers Gray on 10 April 1848 and The King of The Golden River (1841) especially for her. but it was dissolved on the grounds of non-consummation. After the annulment, Effie married the Pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais, who had been staying at the Ruskin’s where they met. 1 Millais’s most famous painting is of Shakespeare’s Ophelia, shown here at the Tate. Ruskin in the meanwhile, retiried from society.
The gyrfalcon unaspected
The unaspected SUN (18 Aquarius 46 or Exaltation, a person who can achieve anything he applies himself to) could handle anything but the comments, societal looks, or hidden jeers of disdain. His personal ego was just too strong. Best Ruskin probably thought, let them (Jupiter as the rich upper echelon of London society among whom he associated, also unaspected) do it behind my back ; he did not doubt they would not.
This worry about society is supported in his Cardinal nature with a strong mutable bent — while he could be and work alone, he enjoyed the company of people and his peers for intellectual stimulation (his Sun is vigintile a strongly leading Mercury at 24 Capricorn 46 or a fair man holding a gyrfalcon 2 from Andrea Carelli’s 360 degrees of the zodiac .
The gyrfalcon is the largest of the falcon species weighing up to 4 pounds living mainly in the Arctic circle. It comes further south and into the Asiatic tundra when food is scarce. It has black and white pileated feathers and was during the Middle Ages considered the bird of kings because of rarity and large stature. The International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has it listed as a threatened showing how he reaps from the tidbits others sow putting them to good use.
Switching over the Harmonic Chart
The problem between him and the wife seems to show up quite well in Ruskin’s Harmonic Chart with the conjunction of Mars in Capricorn (where it is exalted but here on the cusp of the seventh hints at impotency) to Saturn in Sagittarius in the eighth house (perhaps suggesting weak libido). Mercury in the seventh at 23 Sagittarius 20 is the denouement with Ruskin leaving society . This was not as difficult as one would think because Ruskin has a lot of conjunctions making him rather self independent but it still makes the natal Mercury in a pickle as it needs the tidbits and social interaction.
John Addey in his book, Harmonic in Astrology, mentions the Ruskin horoscope as being someone who the 7th harmonic dominants giving the native an interest in mystical philosophy and the symbolic aspect of numbers. He writes that this “mysterious whole behind the parts of a subject imparts inspiration”. Harmonic charts are always created with an equal house division. That is the default.
Regular Natal vs Harmonic
In his typical chart, Ruskin is a bucket with a Moon handle in the fifth house of creative generation. The Harmonic chart though, changes this singular bucket configuration into first giving him a grand trine in fire, and then making him into a rather sensitive locomotive: the open south-eastern portion of his chart shows his fear of criticism. From this vantage point, one can see Ruskin’s retirement from the public arena after his wife’s affair and subsequent abandonment (look at the stellium in the fourth house for the great retreat) and also his need to work on his own work for solace.
Nonetheless, his pioneering of England’s greatest painter, J. M. W. Turner’s was incomparable, his promotion of modern Gothic architecture and American Louis Sullivan and then his protege Frank Lloyd Wright genius, and despite the debacle with Effie and Millais, his influence on the Pre-Raphaelites work pivotal to their enduring success. If that was not enough, his writings on art via the Seven Lamps of Architecture, still required reeading for that field, his Oxford lectures on Giotto, Michelangelo and Tintoretto brought them back to life after years of being forgotten, and his works on The Elements of Drawing, classics.
If Eduoard Manet was the eye of the 19th Century; Ruskin was definitely its pen.