Astrologically Speaking: New York Magazine–and more…

Image Copyright: New York magazine

With no intention to slight either Dennis Harris or Robert Wilkinson of Aquarius Papers who offered their thoughts related to an Astrodienst chart of New York magazine when Dennis posted in KISS (Keep It Simply Serious) today, I’d like to show you why I’m so “obsessed” with the focus of the untimed chart where I can clearly see the angles, house cusp calculations and degrees:

Looking more closely to the chart, I note the dominances with a few additional factors. This particular chart shows such a packed 9th house, the 10th house cusp becomes somewhat blurred. But the East, West, North and South hemispheres are all evenly divided while the chart offers a two-quadrant emphasis: 1st, Self, and 3rd, Relationships.

This particular magazine is focused on both Self and Relationships since it’s New York City driven and highlighted (I’m pointing to that since there are also New Yorks in New Mexico and Nebraska) as well as driven by its finger on the pulse of the City–the people from the movers and shakers to high society and all in the limelight. Wikipedia describes it as “New York is an American biweekly magazine concerned with life, culture, politics, and style generally, and with a particular emphasis on New York City.” The mag itself sums itself up as “New York Magazine energizes people around shared interests, igniting important conversations on the news, politics, style, and culture that drive the world …”

For me, I point again to the astrological perspective of Self and Relationships driven by its finger on the pulse of the City, the movers and shakers, high society and all in the limelight and would add an important factor that even when they seem to wander off that path, there is always always the New York connection as it brings Liza Minnelli’s crisp Broadway voice to mind.

The Leo rising–if this is even remotely a valid chart (which is darned close to my line of thinking)–makes total sense. It brings the natural 5th house to mind because the 5th is entertainment, fun, spark–and the house of the editor. Surprised? Beyond the publisher, you don’t have the mag without the all-important editor who decides the slant after the publisher has the say, who directs each month’s focus, energy, even the stylistic changes–and then the writers who will add their own takes with the editor’s and publisher’s aye or nay. In some ways then, the editor is the often publicly forgotten/writer’s god in the sense of being both loved and sometimes feared. The editor is to the magazine as the conductor is to the orchestra. The magazine or concert doesn’t happen without him/her.

The Moon in the 1st, in 22-minute partile trine to the 9th house Sun (technically the 10th if the timing of this chart is as perfect as it seems to be), points to that pulse while its range within 5° of the 2nd house cusp as well as its conjunction to Jupiter points to the clear effort that this was intended as the financially successful publication it’s been for the last 51 years. The balance of the hemispheres points to the concentrated effort not to lean too far one way or the other, that its drive depends on that pulse I mentioned above.

Note Neptune’s placement on that 5th house cusp. Is it in the 4th or the 5th? Does it matter that close? I don’t think so: Its highly creative, splash, verve, fast read speaks to the effort for the energy that’s so much a part of New York City–almost frenetic, clearly high-paced in the no-time to linger where there’s so much to do, or cover. It’s intense, just as the sign of Scorpio is, where Neptune is placed. But remember Scorpio is also about research and investigation, so we can’t miss that Uranus and Pluto dual placement in the 3rd house. For that matter, if this chart weren’t so perfect, we might not see the Part of Fortune in Jupiter-ruled Sagittarius pointing not only to the natural 9th house of publishing but in luscious trine to the Ascendant

We also need to take notice of Uranus in its role with the 9th house from one more angle: Uranus opposes Venus by a mere 3°30, well within the limits of orbs recognized by most of us. So let’s move on to the 9th house where we see what I need to call a four-body stellium that those who insist on carved-in-stone orbs would miss from that out-of-sign anaretic Venus in Pisces conjunction to Mercury at 2 Aries 54 widely conjunct Saturn at 15 AR 49 and the Sun-NN conjunction with the Sun at 18 AR 55 (NN at 18 AR 43, making this a 12-minute partile conjunction)–and the MC at 19 AR 30, also forming a 35-minute conjunction to the Sun. This is magnetic in the sense of the drive the Sun uses in pulling everything with it, or it feels like that to me.

For those who doubt the full stellium, consider this: Uranus at 26 Virgo 15 Rx has its antiscion at 3 AR 45, forming a 6-minute partile conjunction to Mercury–and closing the gap between Mercury and Saturn then to 12°04. I realize many people would be horrified but antiscion energy possesses remanence we should notice, especially in a publication that focuses on the kind of energy I described above.

We need to consider Uranus’ and Pluto’s relevance in this chart because they are clearly as much a part of this publication as that 4th/5th house Neptune is in this case. Additionally, the Venus-Sun midpoint falls at 9 Aries 20 while the Pluto antiscion falls at 9 Aries 10, giving us additional reason to consider this a 4-body stellium with the out-of-sign conjunction from anaretic Venus.

Consider the Resonant Blooming Undecaquartisextile pattern (165°) as well, formed by the 2nd house Jupiter Rx semisextile to 3rd house Uranus Rx and resolving in the 8th house at 11 Pisces 11. Here, we see how it points to the creative financial partnership established by Milton Glaser and Clayton Felker (thanks, Dennis), and we’re left with Mars at 8 Taurus 36 with its antiscion at 21 Leo 24, conjunct the Moon at 19 Leo 17. That may be even closer, remember. This is, after all, an untimed chart since the time isn’t known–yet).

It does, however, tend to give me a strong suspicion of accuracy, believe it or not. Am I well-versed in rectification? NO. But from where I’m sitting, it would give me reason to believe it’s got enough validity to confirm enough significance to agree as well with Robert: they–Milton Glaser and Clayton Felker–must have known or worked with an astrologer who assisted in the timing of such a successful magazine!

So who were Milton Glaser and Clayton Felker? For starters, let’s insert Clayton Felker’s initial “S” for Schuette, since he was not 24 when he died in North Carolina in 2004. Clayton S. Felker was born on October 2, 1925 in St. Louis, Missouri, where his father–perhaps his inspiration for his career–was managing editor of the Sporting News. Clayton published and sold his first newspaper, the Greeley Street News, in Webster Groves, Missouri, where the family lived. He was 8 years of age at the time.

I wondered if he might have had an Aries or Taurus rising; but I was wrong in the sense of the rising. His 7th house was Taurus! Clay Schuette Felker was born on October 2, 1925 at 9:28 AM CST in St. Louis, Missouri (AA Rodden Rating, quoting the BC/BR from the Ed Steinbrecher collection in the Gauquelin Book of American charts). If anything, as I think of the magazine’s chart and the relevance of so much Aries influence, his Scorpio rising with the Saturn-Venus conjunction in the 12th (take note of the Venus at 19 Scorpio 33 conjunction to the 20 Scorpio 12 Ascendant) with Neptune squaring the Ascendant from its 23 Leo 57 placement in the 9th! His 00 Virgo 34 MC strikes me as the mark of a man who not only loved his work but wanted to produce a quality publication with an effort to serve the needs of his readers.

He was likely to have debated well but fairly: Take note of the Sun-Mercury-Mars stellium in the 11th in opposition to the 5th house Moon in Aries. Am I surprised to see his Moon at 14 Aries 26 conjunct the magazine’s Saturn at 15 Aries 49? Not one single bit! He was fully committed–and yes, that includes his investment from his severance pay, the result of the New York Herald Tribune closing in 1967. He had been editor of New York, the Sunday magazine of the NY Herald Trib and gave what Newsweek called “the hippest Sunday reading in town,” thanks to the free-reign writing skills of Jimmy Breslin and Tom Wolfe.

So naturally, with the close of the paper and the Sunday magazine at the Herald Tribune, Clayton S. Felker used that severance pay to buy the name and got financing to rebuild New York into the high gloss weekly we know today. As hits go when it’s great, the followers and imitations soon follow. We’ve seen it with Gucci and other fashion brands, and New York had its global tributes too. Felker called it, “a guide on how to live in this city,” and I’m sure Milton Glaser had no problem at all in creating this visual banquet.

Yet described in a 1977 Time magazine piece as “He is variously described by associates and acquaintances as autocratic, devious, dishonest, rapacious, egotistical, power mad, paranoid, a bully and a boor. Almost in the same breath, the same people call Felker a genius,” Tom Wolfe in a 1993 interview with the Washington Post said Felker was “the greatest idea man that ever existed.”

Felker apparently was the man who coined the 1970s, “Me Decade.” I’ve often wondered if he stopped too soon by labeling it with “decade” since there are often times we see that “me, me, me” syndrome spilling out here and there, some 40 years later.

I wonder whether his more humble beginnings and the overwhelming successes he’d achieved in his lifetime went to his head in what could be described as a bit of the self-absorbed gluttonous lifestyle via excess spending–the personal chefs, the limousines, the office space of the kind one might envision for a monarch. Robert Wilkinson wrote recently of a conversation among grandparents and the missing ingredient in success and happiness, that these weren’t merely how much wealth, rather how much kindness we possessed. It seems to me that Felker tripped on that path and expected kindness from others while allowing that ambition to become too large and certainly too self-serving. Sad, really, isn’t it?

Here was a man who had risen from an 8-yo publisher/editor selling his own little newspaper to fulfill a community need to what he saw as needs for too much ostentation. I wonder how Rod Serling would have developed one of his pieces for “The Twilight Zone” with such a description.

I started this article as a small thought related to the chart of New York magazine, and then my curiosity gave rise to what I’ve written from a completely unexpected bit of cat fur perhaps touching that spot in my mind. So what gives rise to such an individual with the insatiable need for more and more ostentation? Perhaps it was simply a matter of wanting more, more, more from the Me Decade. I am more inclined to see that 2nd house Jupiter at 13 Capricorn 33 in 1°10 oppositional orb to Pluto. What he should have displayed through kindness ultimately became his obsession for power. Take note that this opposition is tightly forming a Cardinal Grand Cross in square to the 11th house stellium in opposition to the Moon. He made a masterpiece in New York magazine and wanted to become king of publishing. That’s a surprising realization I never expected from this chart.

So what made me look? That’s easy: Robert Wilkinson suggested they must have known or worked with an astrologer who assisted in the timing of such a successful magazine. Certainly it was true that his genius latched on to a treasure from what would have died in 1967 with the New York Herald Tribune to its rebirth as New York magazine in April 1968. And perhaps this man who had even become a statistician for the New York Giants baseball team had enough curiosity to play with learning astrology enough to play with charts.

Unfortunately, I have not found Milton Glaser’s chart which convinces me if anyone–astrologer or not–created a chart for the re-launch of the magazine, it was Felker. Since Glaser’s chart is nowhere to be found in ADB or elsewhere, Felker had the education and knowledge and probably even the curiosity to see how the connection would work for him. Sadly then, he didn’t go far enough or he might have seen where he fell down as he ultimately did. Pluto transited his first and second houses. In fact, it was transiting his second when he died on July 1, 2008. But then it goes to show you if we become too focused on what we’re seeing as it relates to us–our needs, our desires, our obsessive demands without our willingness to grow on the inside too, we miss the bigger picture, including that kindness Robert mentioned recently.

Clayton Felker was too busy perhaps spotting his creative energies at the MC and the magazine’s Jupiter conjunction to his MC as well for that matter, he could have completely missed the relevance of transiting Neptune in his first house in square to transiting Jupiter conjunct his natal Neptune. He was close to the end of his Life Cycles Crisis transits, which implies he learned nothing from the struggles he’d experienced in those years.

He was by far a remarkable individual; but it would seem all of his opportunities to learn escaped his notice after a certain period of time–or rather he was too enamored with his own accomplishments to have remembered what’s truly important in life. I do not however intend to say there was nothing positive about him. One doesn’t start out at the age of 8 with such a marvelous sense of inner fire to drive him as he was, without something to keep that flame burning.

Three marriages, including one to actress Pamela Tiffin and his widow, novelist Gail Sheehy, tend to confirm that. His Washington Post obituary, reprinted in Oral Cancer News, observed, “Mr. Felker viewed the glamour and excitement of New York with never-ending wonder. He shared a spacious apartment on East 57th Street with Sheehy, his wife since 1984, and Manhattan’s literary crowd clamored for invitations to their parties. Long after he had retired from running magazines, Mr. Felker continued to be regarded as a sage of journalistic wisdom.

“His reach may have exceeded his grasp,” Newsweek declared in 1977, but “Felker has left a strong and highly personal imprint on American journalism.

As for Milton Glaser, don’t think the lack of his chart means there’s nothing more to see here. He’s a gem and then some–even now at 90 years of age! Consider his active lifestyle as recently as April of 2016, just two months before his 87th birthday (June 26, 1929). He was still speaking for TED in addition to his wishing we’d move on past the “I ♥ New York” design he created in 1977 when he was still working in his studio in 2016, as you can see in the New York Times article about him as The Master Designer and a more recent piece that was done in July 2019 in which the New York Times headline read, Why This Famous Graphic Designer, at 90, Still ♥s NY From Brooklyn Brewery bottles to the Jean Georges menu, Milton Glaser’s logos are all over the city. He’s not even thinking of retiring. If you aren’t sure you know his name, btw, beyond that famous New York logo, he created that psychedelic Bob Dylan poster and did ‘a few’ more things. You’ll need to read his equally impressive bio on his site. Btw, for those of you who are wondering, he went to school at New York City’s High School of Music & Art! Thanks to Dennis Harris for sparking my interest today and to Robert Wilkinson for those additional pearls of wisdom sprinkled wherever you go!

Until next time, since Milton Glaser created a Bob Dylan poster, I thought my sharing a Bob Dylan and George Harrison “In the Studio” session from May 1, 1970 is a perfect close for your delight. Why this one? Well, that studio session was in New York, New York, of course!

Namaste, I love you,
©2019 Michelle Young

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