50 Shades of Hades
Just in case you’ve missed it, 50 Shades of Grey is a story about a young woman who meets an insanely wealthy, mysterious, tortured but alluring older man. They have a passionate affair during which she discovers herself as a sexual being – and his tough facade is penetrated by her sheer womanly womanliness.
Wait a minute: does that sound familiar? Isn’t that the plot of all romantic fiction from Pride and Prejudice to Mills and Boon to Twilight?
Of course, there’s the bondage element of it all. That’s sexual bondage – like spanking and handcuffs and stuff. I guess that’s why it’s selling like hotcakes – faster than Harry Potter and Twilight allegedly. You can read a myth and get turned on at the same time!
Hang on. I’ve found the story in the little book of useful myths to help explain astrology. This is the tale of Hades and Persephone -– or Pluto and Proserpine (Roman).
Just to recap that.
Hades, the king of the land of the dead, who is insanely wealthy, due to the fact that he also rules all the riches of the underworld, snatches Persephone, the virgin daughter of Demeter, the earth goddess.
He imprisons Persephone in his underground world. (In 50 Shades of Grey apparently it’s the Red Room of Pain and a written contract.) At first she wants to escape but then she ends up being Queen of the Underworld for half the year, and living up on the surface for the other six months, when she can write a best-selling book about her experiences in hell.
So the last bit is not true….
The point is that people like hearing this particular story no matter how it’s told. It’s a fable of sexual desire, submission and becoming a woman. How you spin the tale depends on your own culture and psychology, and what’s happening in the world around you.
Right now, we are in the midst of the Uranus-Pluto square. Pluto is certainly the planet of submission, bondage and dark desires. Uranus is the planet of kink, being different, and of course shock.
This aspect has given a particular flavour to the past year and will continue to do so until 2015 at least. 50 Shades of Grey is just a cultural artefact that reflects this energy powerfully. It’s retelling the story of Persephone through the lens of this planetary aspect.
The book was published electronically a year ago and quickly became a word of mouth best-seller. This month here in the UK, the paperback has been flying off those shelves.
The chart for the original publication is pretty dynamic with Mercury, the planet of words and communications, snapping right into a Grand Cross, opposite Pluto and square to Uranus. Jupiter’s the planet we associate with publishing and you can see that it makes a nice angle to both Mercury and Pluto, giving the tension of the opposition a place to go.
Now that Jupiter (expansion) has gone into Gemini, which is the sign of communications after all, the Grey trilogy has become the fastest selling book in history.
And I find I’m missing Harry Potter…