Awakening Frankenstein

Tuesday March 1st 2011
Boris Karloff in the 1931 film Frankenstein.

In the summer I wrote a post about Dracula with some suggestions about which planets we could associate with the fanged one. I ended that piece by suggesting that Frankenstein might be associated with the planet Uranus.

|’ve  come back to Frankenstein now because I’m giving a talk on him later this month at Aquarias Severn and by a “coincidence”, Frankenstein is back in the news. The National Theatre in London is putting on a new production and here in Oxford, the Bodleian Library has an exhibition based around Mary Shelley’s original manuscript.

Now why would Frankenstein be associated with Uranus? Here are some reasons.

1. Uranus is also called the Awakener by some and Richard Tarnas argues in his excellent book that the planet has far more in common with the story of Prometheus than with Ouranos. He convinces me. Mary Shelley’s book was called Frankenstein, Or the Modern Prometheus. The book is all about the awakening of a monster.

2. Uranus rules electricity and Frankenstein’s monster is brought to life by a bolt of lightening.

3. Uranus rules science or more exactly breaking scientific boundaries. Dr Frankestein is a scientist and he creates his monster as an experiment.

4. I have found that Uranus is often active during “unnatural” births – such as Caesareans. (I don’t mean to imply there’s anything wrong with c-sections: I’ve had two myself. It’s just not the usual channel.)

Mary Shelley’s chart. Click to enlarge.

So there are two key charts to look at to check if Uranus is active: Mary Shelley’s (she wrote the book) and Boris Karloff’s, because it is still his image that most of us think of as soon as anyone mentions the word Frankenstein.

Shelley has a Uranus-Sun-Mars conjunct in the writer’s sign, Virgo.

Karloff has Uranus at the top of his chart  conjunct the Venus, in her own sign Libra, associated dressing up. (His birth time is quite uncertain, so take it with a pinch of salt.) His transformation from ordinary looking actor to hideous monster involved a huge amount of make up and prosthetics.

Boris Karloff’s chart. Click to enlarge.

Shelley’s chart, in particular, is full of fascinating stuff, but I’ll leave it for you to ponder. For starters, take a look at the position of Pluto, planet of death, right on the career angle. She made a career out of a book about the undead and from editing and publishing the work of her dead husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Ohhh, I wonder if you ever had a chance to see a Canadian documentary about Mary? (Few outside the country – or even within – have seen it I expect). Still, it was fascinating to see, to paraphrase the doc, how much death was a part of her life.
    Still, the show tried to put a positive spin (of course!) about it, saying that the end of her life seemed a happier / more peaceful time, connecting this happiness to her relationship with her son.
    The doc / director was trying to say that her son was mercifully ordinary, and seemed to be of a peaceful nature.
    There’s something to be said sometimes for *not* being special.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Ahh, interwebz, I love you: Christina, here’s a link to the doc I was mentioning, made in 2004:

  3. Christina says:

    I’d rather be happy than special any day. thanks for the link

  4. Louise says:

    Hi Christina,
    I read your article the other day, and have just come back because I suddenly realised BBC are airing their live event of Frankenstein’s Wedding this Saturday, 19th March on BBC3, on the full moon. In fact, the Supermoon that everyone has been talking about, that will be opposite Uranus 🙂
    I read that doors open at the live event at 6.30pm, 20 minutes after the moon is exactly full.

  5. Christina says:

    Thank you so much for that – because… here’s another coincidence… I was pretty upset to find that the National Theatre will be airing their version of F’stein live in cinemas around the country on the very night that I’m giving my talk.

    Now at least I can listen to it. It’s sold out BTW.

  6. Louise says:

    I’ll be watching Saturday night on TV, it would be a bit far for me to travel up there, even if there were still tickets.

    It does seem to be in the collective psyche at the moment, connected with the Uranian energy being prominent right now as it has just moved into Aries.

    BBC News article here also:

    – I’m all intrigued now, and want to go back over the other new film versions or performances and see if Uranus was prominent at the time. The article suggests it features again around once a decade. Wish I could come to your talk! Bit to far, here in Exeter though 🙂

  7. […] Frankenstein (and associated stories), as you may recall from a previous post, is, I believe, symbolised by the rebel planet […]