Edward Gorey by Richard Avedon for the New Yorker.
We rectified Mr. Gorey to 10:23 PM in Chicago Illinois on February 22nd, 1925. This puts Saturn 14 Scorpio 19 Rx in the first house suggesting he had a strong emotional connection to his work — he enjoyed creating his characters, and watching the tableau play out. They were his playthings and children (trine Uranus in the 5th).
A large part of their allure was that they were so eccentric and quirky they could only be his — he liked the idiosyncratic projection of his self threatening the world at large (Mars opposite Saturn where Saturn is in its accidental fall and Mars in its accidental detriment because it is opposite its rulership in Scorpio) demanding attention.
This combination also creates skilled artisans often mimicking metal and stone (Gorey worked predominantly like Aubrey Beardsley in black and white but with chiseled effect).
Accidents will happen
Accidental’ dignity indicates the strength a planet gains for some reason other than its position. Mars on the midheaven, for example, is accidentally dignified because it is exalted in Capricorn which naturally is the 10th house. In the current chart Mars falls in the sign of Virgo but in the 10th house, it is now accidentally dignified.
So too, the accidental fall of Saturn in Gorey’s chart is similar — the reason is that Saturn is exalted in Libra (the 7th house) and now in the 1st, it is in its detriment, but as this is by placement not naturally, it is accidental — just how the roll of the zodiac fell because of his ascendant, the Lord of the Chart.
Mars has a similar problem: it rules Aries, the first house but is “accidentally” fallen into the 7th house where it is in detriment — the house opposite one’s lord is the detriment; opposite the exaltation is the fall. In Gorey’s chart Mars is accidentally in detriment.
This makes the two planets weaker than they would be but the fixed Grand Cross bucks them up a bit and makes each determined to win the contest. Of course since Mars is faster moving than Saturn, it will eventually cede position to Saturn, the dark and dreary master of the soul.
The other opposition – Venus Neptune
The other opposition of Venus to Neptune is not so dour. Neptune is accidentally in its fall in the 10th house but Venus is free of all encumbrances — thus Venus wants to get out and acquire new things and bring them into the house, Neptune remains shy and cloistered with his work. How does this turn out? Well as a rather shy person who goes and about through his vision and work — and at a distance, reading about his success, the comments from the safety of his liar.
These two oppositions create Gorey’s Grand Square or Cosmic Cross in fixed planets of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius. They are also at the angles giving the cross stability and fixity of purpose — i.e. bucking up the weak points. This aspect would have made Gorey a rather crotchety person, much like his characters, who did things his way, without explanation or heed.
Edward Gorey died on April 15, 2000 in Hyannis, Massachusetts of a stroke. He left a large part of his estate to cats, rats, bats and dogs, and a few spiders.