Barbara Hammer was born into the film industry of Hollywood, California, because her grandfather was a cook for the director, D. W. Griffith. She got a bachelor’s degree in psychology at University of California Los Angeles and then a master’s degree in English literature.  After walking out on her husband, Hammer realized her calling and studied film at San Francisco State University and got inspired to do a photologue of her personal development and love affairs as a lesbian.  You can see many of them here.  Our header image is of Ms. Hammer from “Superdyke meets Madame X,” one of her shorts.

                           Working with Hammer

I adjusted Barbara’s chart for local mean time giving her a birth time of 12:37 PM for Hollywood, California  giving her the ascendant of 25 Leo 12 with the keyword “Endurance” because she succeeds where others have failed pursuing her vision (Mercury29 Aries 36 in the ninth). Conjunct her ascendant is the fixed star Alphard (passion) and Saturn which together gave focus and intensity to her lesbianism. This assisted by her Moon and Jupiter (the eleventh house) being mutual reception and inconjunct.

While her moon has accidental dignity in the fourth house it is opposite a midheaven in Taurus suggesting her “maternalness” would be replaced by material sexuality. The grand square, Sun to Saturn to the Moon to Uranus create an intense aspect of encouraging her eccentricity and (Saturn) giving it form. There is also no major aspect between her Venus in Cancer and Mars in Taurus thus making the aspect give her a strong homo-erotic attraction to pregnant or mothering females. You see this manifested in her ground breaking moving, Superdyke.

Finally she has a grand trine in fire from Saturn to Mercury to the Moon that basically is a portrait of themes in her movies.

Ms. Hammer is a locomotive temperament type with her greatest open area in the West, highlighting how leadership was thrust upon her even when it was unexpected.  In her early films she bemoans how her films are eclipsing her painting, Now that she is 78 years old, her films are her art and her painting is something she does with the lens not the brush.  Like most locomotives, she prefers to get involved with her partners and in SuperDyke, Madame X notes that she is alive only for the camera and worries that she is being manipulated for Barbara’s film.  It’s a touching statement, and lends the movie a note of compassion to what could otherwise be seen as an exploitation film.

Nonetheless, X’s lament is a bitter rejoiner of other muses, history is littered with such women, but SuperDyke is one of the few to allow the unhappy model to speak.

Ms. Hammer lived in  Kerhonkson, Catskills, New York .  Her site Barbara Hammer.com is now a memoriam site. On May 15, 2019, she died in LA.

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