Headlines: A Day In The Life
John Townley and Susan Wishbow Townley
Comedian Steve Allen, who was also an astronomy and science buff who
spent many years debunking astrology and other related arts, once
sarcastically remarked, "You could learn more about yourself from
reading the newspaper of the day you were born than you ever could from
a horoscope." A provocative thought, especially to an astrologer!
Far from being a dismissal, it goes to the heart of the doctrine of
beginnings which is fundamental to astrology. If much of your character
is shaped by the form of the heavens on your day of birth, then the
events under those same heavens should logically partake of much the
same style. As above, so below...Perhaps that partly explains the
popularity of that perennial gift item: a framed newspaper
commemorating a birthday, anniversary, etc.
We happened to be writing some promo for The New York Times Sunday
Magazine advertising section
not long ago, when we had the
to review a mail-order firm doing just that - selling carefully
preserved and packaged original newspapers. Not just front pages, mind
you, but the whole editions, with radio listings, ads, obits, and all -
your choice of dozens of major newspapers all the way back to the turn
of the century. Seeing the chance for some first-hand research, we rang
up the proprietor, who generously provided us with a copy for each of
our birthdays, plus one for President Clinton, and we were off on our
road to hopeful self-discovery.
We started by correcting a mistake one of us had made years ago when
following this same thread - this time we picked the edition dated the
day after each birth, since that is the edition that reports what went
on the day before, the birthday itself. So, that meant that though John
was born August 17, 1945, we selected the next day's paper (Aug 18)
which reported events on the day of his birth. So with Susan, born on
July 1, 1947 we selected July 2, and for Clinton, born August 19, 1946
we used August 20. We wound up with two copies of the New York Times
and one of the New York Herald
Tribune and started digging.
Age before beauty, we checked out the 1945 date first. John's mom
always said the Japanese surrendered when they heard of the birth, and
lo and behold, they did! Well, maybe not just for that
reason...actually, the most scary part of the paper was the first
released photos of the Hiroshima explosion, right on page three. Well,
what do you expect from a Mars/Uranus conjunction? Lots of
end-of-the-war violence, even in the States, where the day before in
San Francisco ten celebrants were trampled to death in VJ-Day partying.
Fifty-six people were killed in a munitions explosion in Oslo, long
after VE-Day was past and gone. Explosions were flaring all over - when
the Dodgers lost 4-3 to the Cubs, the crowd (accompanied by a number of
Dodgers) burst onto the field and mobbed the umpire.
There was a lot of Saturn around that day, and the headlines showed it:
100,000 laid off their jobs as war contracts ended (Venus/Saturn
conjunct), and end-of-the-world weapons speculated (many to become real
too soon) on the front page, below the fold (Pluto=Saturn/Mercury), and
predictions of the future abound. An astrologer is born?... But on the
funnier side of that planetary picture, what do you get when you dig up
oil (Pluto) and cleverly crystallize it (Saturn/Mercury)? Plastic,
that's what. Right there on page eight, the first-ever plastic plates
hit the market! John is embarrassingly fond of plastic plates to this
day, much to Susan's chagrin...
Asteroid fans like Susan might have a smile to know that
Juno=Pluto/Jupiter that day, and sure enough an all-time record number
of marriage licenses were issued accordingly. Was John later so
compulsive and hasty?...mum's the word, thank you...
So what else was going on in the heavens? One might notice an ongoing
conjunction of Jupiter and Neptune (the "High Priest" aspect), which
shows up nicely in the dedication of the book page to a wrap-up of
recent publications on world religion. No doubt philosophy and
spirituality will be a central theme of this period's natives. While on
Neptune, the Sun=Venus/Neptune, so the arts and maybe the sea are in
there as well. Sure enough, a world folk music festival of the Allies
is on the arts page, and where does John wind up singing folk songs of
the sea decades later? Why in Poland, of all places, right on the
Russian border - read "Russo-Polish Border Fixed By Treaty" on the
bottom of page five. Like Prego, it's in there...
Not every page is a revelatory gold mine. The hottest thing playing the
cinema was Pinnochio,
John's fare, though the recipe of the day
was for shrimp, a definite fave. The obits yielded nothing, which
turned out to be the case for all three dates - perhaps bygones are
just bygones. And, there are a lot of events that may not yet have come
to reflect themselves. After poring over the issue for a couple of
hours, finding some things not repeatable here, John found a large ad
of a sweaty fellow fleeing a lawnmower with a smile on his face and a
big beer bottle in a balloon over his head: "I'm headed for Hoffman's,"
it read, "the bottled beer that tastes fresh from the KEG."
It was clearly time for a trip to the store! ...and then we started on
Susan's copy of the Herald Tribune
Susan was born on July 1, so we used the July 2 edition. What a
difference a couple of years make - Susan could SHOP!!! The '45 Times
had no more than a handful of ads, the new post-war economy stuffed the
Tribune full of them. That was appropriate from the get-go - from
defeated Japanese to triumphant JAP in a single bound! (OK, so Wishbow
doesn't sound Jewish, just "opportunistic," as a dear Virginia aunt
puts it - read: the folks at Ellis Island couldn't spell the original).
Nevertheless, all those ads...what an opportunity...and, no different
than today, ads have a tale to tell about what's happening. In post-War
New York, everything for the consumer was back on the news page, but
this day was highlighted from above by Uranus, Neptune and Venus
(Mercury/Moon=Neptune, Venus conj. Uranus opp. Moon) and Venus
biquintile Jupiter. Liquor and cigarette ads abound, and big fashion
stories (Susan was to become a clothing marketer) and ads to match them
crowd the pages. Even men's fashions - see that straw boater for $7.50
at Rogers Peet! Are there sailor songs in your future, Susan? And that
big ad for Havana cigars, 2/25 cents - Susan's dad is still sending
them to John...
Some things belonging to the same set of aspects haven't resonated as
much, at least not yet. Like, this was the day the microwave oven was
announced (Venus/Uranus), but touted by developer General Electric as
only for warming frozen food and NOT for cooking. Susan couldn't agree
more and has never owned one. Nevertheless, the food articles were the
first that caught her eye, like the review of Gourmet's Guide To Good
Eating and the news that 50
tons of pre-War quality Swiss cheese
just hit the shops. On the far side of Neptune, Venus and eating were
the focus of a couple of stories about General MacArthur defending
Japanese whaling because it saved the U.S. money on food-aid.
On the darker side, that day was the conjunction of Mars and the Lunar
North Node, to the tune of two local 11-year-old boys meeting harsh
circumstances, one with a fishhook in his eye from his first-ever cast,
the other eaten alive by a pack of dogs in the Bronx. Susan still loves
to fish, but having been bitten by a dog is very wary of the beasts,
indeed. Even darker were the many stories that reflected the
long-ongoing Saturn/Pluto conjunction: dark unrest in the Balkans,
violent doings in Israel, lingering starvation and misery across
war-torn Europe and Asia, and activist attempts to correct them. Even
the House UnAmerican Activities Committee raised its ugly head in a
Bill Mauldin cartoon. One could hardly grow up to be politically aloof
with all this happening at birth...as Pluto was right on Susan's
Sun/Ascendant, death issues are a major motivation in her life.
The Neptune, Jupiter, and Venus that abounded that day, along with a
lot of creative quintiles, gave their mark to the movies, as Esther
Williams splashed about in "Fiesta" - but they also added mystery. A
G.I. pilot single-handedly took off in a B-17 and crashed it. How did
he manage? We'll never know - there's more than a bit of that Mars/Node
conjunction in that one as well. Along the same line, the right-wing
"Black Maquis" plot against the French government was unmasked on the
same day. Things you don't read about in your school history books...
Throughout, Susan's birthday is a good study in planetary aspects and
happenings on earth, not only at the time but in the life of at least
one person born then. The "as above, so below" principle seems pretty
much in operation.
But this is all a little bit too subjective - like, we know our own
lives inside out and probably could find something in common with any
day's headlines. So how about someone who's better known to the public
at large and not as intimately known to us?
That's why we picked Clinton. He's as open (or closed) a book to you as
he is to us.
This time, lacking an issue of Hope, Arkansas' newspaper, we were back
to the New
courtesy of our benefactor. Glad to be there,
too, as it's a bigger paper than the Herald Tribune and printed on much
more enduring paper, so it doesn't fall apart in your hands so much.
Clinton was born August 19, 1946, so we used the August 20 Times.
As most are aware, since the President's chart is so well known, this
day was full of aspects, both major and minor, more than the previous
two. The biggies were a close conjunction of Mars, Neptune, and Venus,
and a wide conjunction of Saturn, Mercury, and Pluto with Mercury
exactly at the middle, plus a tight trine of Jupiter and Uranus. The
minor aspects abound, and include: Sun semisquare Venus, Mercury
sextile Venus, Mars, and Neptune, Sun nonile Mars and Neptune, Uranus
nonile Saturn, Venus sextile Pluto, Moon quintile Saturn, Jupiter
quintile Pluto, and Uranus septile Pluto.
Well, we were greeted with a newspaper chock full of news, especially
including international involvements that this future president would
have to deal with much later, then very much in their developmental
stages. On the front page alone we met with local primary elections due
the next day, and problems with China, India, the Mideast, and the
Balkans, menus for what Clinton would have to deal with in his
presidency. Page three added South Africa, Japan, and Malaysia. It was
an unusually big day for world news.
Future domestic issues abound as well, especially pages of tobacco
advertising, not the least of which that big cigar down in the corner
of page 25, and an article about the price of cigars about to rise
sharply! More to the real political point, on the last page The
American Tobacco Company loses a suit for $347,607. In parallel vein,
on the same page, long-time foe of the Democrats right-wing Senator
Edwin C. Johnson of Colorado resigned, passing the wand, so to speak to
the likes of Newt Gingrich and Bob Livingston who would do so later.
Of particular note, considering the Mars/Venus/Neptune conjunction is
that unlike for Susan and John, good movies abound: The Marx Brothers' Night In Casablanca,
Davis in A
Life, Paul Heinried in Of
Human Bondage plus a variety
entertaining B movies like Seventh
Veil, Whistle Stop, Kitty,
Broadway was aglow with live hits like
Boat, Life With Father, Song Of Norway, Annie Get Your Gun,
appropriate birth time for charm and showmanship...
Books being reviewed were a bit more preciently ominous, such as All
The King's Men by Robert Penn
Warren, or humorously prescient
described as "a rib-tickling, hilarious blend of
sin, sex, and satire." Even fashion was future-forecasting that day,
with a Russek's ad modeling "our Left-bank Berets" jumping Monica-like
off of page five, with a very, very steep price tag...
Even the sports page has something to offer in the way of future
forecasting, with "Arkansas Golfer Sets Pace With 65," though the food
page, featuring petite marmite, is rather above Clinton's penchant for
fast food. Education news was touting international scholar exchange,
which was to give Clinton his education and draft deferment. But most
of all, like the sky above, the world below was chock-a-block with
numinous events full of future implications, especially to those who
would have to deal with the government and changing culture generations
If you really wanted to tempt fate and find something about everything,
you would look for a suggestion that Susan and John are in there
somewhere - even though it's not their birthday - simply because
they're writing this article. Too much to ask? Perhaps...but look on
page 29, down there at the bottom: "Two Adrift All Night On Sound In
Sail Boat." That's about a couple who set out on a Neptunian venture
from...Sea Cliff, Long Island. Gee, isn't that where John and Susan
Neptunian venture, indeed. No one would try to argue that this
hopefully amusing tale of birthday papers is a Q.E.D. for "as above, so
below," or that our earlier-mentioned comedian was right in saying that
York Times is on a
par with a well-interpreted horoscope.
Nevertheless, it certainly does suggest that things on any given day
are more all-of-a-piece than one might surmise...and those born then -
well, they're just some of the reflecting, interacting pieces that may
grow from it.
If you'd like to try this out for yourself and are lucky enough to live
in a metropolis with very complete library microfilm files, you can
explore your own day of birth for free. Or, there are various places on
the Web that will sell you complete originals of past newspaper
editions for a fee.
Dell Horoscope Magazine, June