Paddington Bear and Bond–Michael Bond, That Is

For years, I’ve held a secret wish to read this series of books–or at least the first one so I could understand what stole others’ hearts when I hadn’t even known about Paddington Bear, much less about Paddington Station. I had seen Paddington the Bear, an adorable brown bear with a sweet face, raincoat, boots and hat, at the stores and had even harbored another wish–to own one of these adorable little creations too. Even without reading about him, Paddington Bear had stolen my heart.

How I could have gone all the way to adulthood without knowing about this precious creature is simply beyond me. I’d never seen the books or the movie much less this little raingear-clad bear and yet I uttered a silent sigh when I’d finally seen him because I felt as if I’d missed out on something, some special body in the form of a little bear. He was apparently loved by children of all ages nearly 59 years since his birth on October 13, 1958 in darkest Peru. In fact, I knew so little about him, I had no idea his favorite food was marmalade; but I agree: marmalade is good stuff!

Since I have no idea what time he was born–or where in “darkest Peru” Paddington called his birthplace, I figured the next best thing was to head for the chart of Michael Bond whose seed of an idea about Paddington Bear began with Bond’s discovery of the little brown bear sitting on a store shelf somewhere near Paddington Station. Michael Bond died on Tuesday, June 27, at the rich and ripe age of 91 although he’s sure to live on in the pages of the Paddington Bear series he wrote through the years. His latest book came out in April 2017.

Unfortunately, without a timed chart for Michael Bond, there’s no hope of offering the rising sign, the precise degree of the Moon or the hemispheres, quadrants and houses. Still there are a few things we can tell from the noontime chart. Let’s presume, however, that he was born somewhere around Noon based on one person’s having described him as “a true gentleman, a bon viveur, the most entertaining company and the most enchanting of writers.” But then Ann-Janine Murtagh should know: She’s executive publisher at HarperCollins children’s books, including her having been Bond’s publisher.

Murtagh’s quote alludes to a likelihood that Bond might have been born close enough to Noon or perhaps a bit later, bringing the Moon closer than the 10°52 it shows in orb. By 1 PM, he’d have had a 7° Gemini rising, and the Moon would have been in the 12th degree of Capricorn in the 8th while more obviously conjunct the now 9th house Sun and yet still semisextile [30°] to Mars now in the 7th. I don’t normally work with the Centaurs and asteroids, but Mars’ 8-minute partile opposition to Pallas Athene made me curious enough to head to Bob Marks’ page to see what he had to say about this particular aspect. “There tends to be an especially strong ability to deal with words, to arrange and rearrange them in different patterns.”

Unfortunately, I don’t find enough in his reference to the houses to determine whether Pallas is closer to the Ascendant or the 2nd house cusp even with the opposition to Mars. While Marks sees this opposition as “more likely for one to argue when the solutions they come up with are not immediately accepted.” To his credit, however, he does seem to imply Mars’ presence can give one the “energy, physical activity or will power [to rearrange and improve with]” this aspect. I don’t see all oppositions as negative or creating tension. I believe they can be utilized well to find solutions to problems.

But let’s get back to the Moon-Mars semisextile since I left off there. This particular aspect serves as an integral part in the development of the Resonant Blooming Undecaquartisextile pattern (two undecaquartisextiles (165°) in semisextile to each other close in on a mutual point 165° away) shown here. The resonant point–26 Gemini–doesn’t touch any cosmic body that we can see and therefore it’s called resonant, implying the energies are still present at that point. If the Moon-Mars semisextile falls in the 8th and 9th houses and resolves at 26 Gemini in the 2nd house, the focus is on money. If the semisextile falls in the 7th and 8th and resolves therefore in the 1st at that degree, the focus turns to the result of the efforts. In his case, either would be appropriate. Michael Bond, who dropped out of school at the age of 14, had written the first Paddington Bear book in a mere 10 days, and William Collins & Sons picked it up for £75.

In the freelancer’s writing world, we’re often told, “Don’t quit your day job,” a reference to the work not being the steadiest or the best paying, and Bond apparently had been familiar with this adage as well. He held on to his day job until Paddington was in the sixth book of the series, all of which were on bookstore shelves around the world. The year was now 1965. He also never imagined the little series would enter a world of multicultural adventures for the refugee bear; but Paddington stole the hearts of many (35 million) in 34 languages!

NPR points to the distinctly British ties to dear Paddington in their description of the little guy with “wellington boots.” The term brings to mind a delightful conversation I recently had with Lin Cook and John Davenport, two friends of mine in the astrology community. I’d never heard of “wellingtons” before that day.

Just from the endearing descriptions these fond memories of various publications penned about him now as well as some interviews I’d seen, I found the likelihood of Bond’s having written with what one might have called “flashes of genius” potentially revealed in that 14-minute partile sextile between the Sun and Uranus. The Sun-Uranus semisextile comes together at a mutual point an average of 150° away–a quincunx–to create a tight yod to Neptune at 24 Leo 13 Rx. Even if he didn’t recognize how much insight he’d had in developing the Paddington Bear series, his publishers certainly had the ability to identify and run with it. Be aware, however, Neptune–the apex of the yod–forms a tight (1°28′) opposition to Venus, forming a Boomerang Yod. I like the way my long-time friend Jamie Partridge explains the Boomerang, or Focused, Yod: “The reaction point is like a pressure valve, and in some ways it makes it easier to release the pressure build-up found in a standard Yod astrology. However in some ways it is worse when the un-evolved Yod lets off the energy in an uncontrolled or harmful fashion.” With Bond’s Neptune in opposition to Venus, I believe a natural evolution of Bond’s literary license and genius seems more likely behind his having seen that lone bear on the shelf at Paddington Station that day, expanding from there into the genius of the children’s series known now as Paddington Bear.

Venus’ presence in the midst of the yod as the Boomerang gives the opportunity to determine its importance through the pair of semisextiles that naturally appear with Venus to Uranus and Venus to the Sun. The Sun-Venus semisextile resolves in the Resonant Blooming Undecaquartisextile at 9 Leo 08 while the Venus-Uranus semisextile resolves at another Resonant Blooming Undecaquartisxtile at 9 Virgo 05. I explored this, thinking I might see the elusive Undecaquartisextile Shadow Yod again, but the right circumstances for that didn’t present themselves. Nevertheless, the semisextile apices resolve in the final resolution of a Blooming Undecaquartisextile at 24 Aquarius 06, conjunct Venus with a 7-minute partile opposition to Neptune–not only the apex of the yod but its opposing planet forming the Boomerang. While this particular series of aspects may seem as if they were pointless in my having calculated them, from time to time, I’ve found some intriguing Undecaquartisextile Shadow Yods carrying these additional energies. For me, I find the additional calculations worth the effort.

For Neptune in Leo, we see the Sabian Symbol of Leo 25, “A Large Camel Crossing A Vast And Forbidding Desert,” perhaps referring to the arduous journey on the road to publishing. I’ll add here, however, this is a reference on my end as well in acknowledging the many hours most freelancers have in seeing their work progressing from initial seed to full blossom if the entire journey is on the road to its success, the end goal in some ways.

And for the resolution of the final undecaquartisextile [UQSXT] (conjunct Venus) at 24 Aquarius 06, and therefore at the 25th degree of Aquarius, we have “A Butterfly With The Right Wing More Perfectly Formed.” Lynda Hill of Sabian Symbols writes of this one in The Sabian Oracle: 360 Degrees of Wisdom, ©2004 Lynda Hill, in part, “…perhaps this ‘Right Wing More Perfectly Formed’ is only a problem in how things look and not how they perform. It could be that the ‘Butterfly’ has learnt how to cope…”

She adds, “With this Symbol around, it may be necessary to not only learn to trust your intuitive feelings, but also to be careful not to overreact emotionally and take the extra effort to bring your thoughts and rational awareness up to speed. It can show emotional, mental or physical handicaps that prevent one from doing what one truly wants, or imbalances or mutations on the spiritual level. The main issue here is about balance. Balance can still be achieved, but only if there is a genuine acceptance of the problems inherent.”

It seems to me this pair of opposing Sabian Symbols in which the UQSXT series keeps the focus firmly on the Boomerang Yod opposition between Neptune (the apex) and Venus (the boomerang) points to the challenges he might have felt when he wrote the first book. And why should he have believed more at that time? It was his first successful publication effort!

All this for a gentle farewell from my side of the pond to Michael Bond whose work I’ve yet to read–but you can bet I plan to now! I’m sure Paddington Bear is missing you and will for sometime to come, Mr. Bond; but you can count me in as well to “look after this bear.” Thanks for the memories I never got to have before you were gone, but I have no doubt there are more to come–and I won’t be alone!

Until next time…

Namaste, I love you,
Michelle

©2017 Michelle Young

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