Why Britain Loves Bond
Gadgets, car chases, kiss kiss, bang, bang.
Was there ever a deeper examination of the modern condition than James Bond?
A Bond film is about wallowing in style over substance, stuff over emotions, materialism over spirituality.
|Ian Fleming: debonair|
For this country, of course, Bond is more than that. He is a message to the world. An advertisement for British style. A fantasy reflection of what we might be: an international wunderkind thwarting those wicked villains with a mixture of nerve, ingenuity and grace; a man who wears a suit beautifully, shoots a gun straight and knows how to seduce the most glamorous women. He manages to be simultaneously establishment and maverick: perfect.
Bond makes Britain feel good about itself.
James Bond began life in the mind of ex-Naval intelligence officer Ian Fleming some time after World War II. He first appeared in print on April 13, 1953 between the covers of a book called Casino Royale.
On the date of publication, the Sun was in fiery, hair-trigger Aries (the sign of the action hero, ruled by warrior Mars) and directly opposite a Neptune (fiction) Saturn (enduring) conjunction in Libra, the sign of justice.
Since that post-war beginning Bond has left his creator far behind. Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman started producing the films in 1962, and by 1967 they knew they had a winning formula. You Only Live Twice pretty much dispensed with Fleming’s plot. It was not until the recent remake of Casino Royale that the franchise returned to the original books for the story.
As a character, Bond is, of course, ageless. He lives in parallel Bond-world, where time does not exactly stand still but it does some pretty strange backflips, and John Barry writes the score. The actors who played him from Connery to Craig have each reflected some aspect of the times in which they lived through the weird distorting Bond lens. It’s appropriate that in this straightened era, we have a rather bitter Bond in Daniel Craig.
So how does the chart of Bond’s original creator, Fleming match up to the UK chart? How was it that he tapped straight into the national psyche?
Fleming’s planet of longevity Saturn is a within minutes of an exact opposition to the nation’s ascendant. This is a relationship that could last and last. What’s more Saturn is in Aries, the action sign. So we already have a symbol of a long-lasting action hero.
But what’s really striking to me is the way the nation’s Midheaven – its leadership but also its place in the world – is caught in a sandwich between Fleming’s North Node and his Neptune. Now the conjunction of those two points in his chart is significant anyway. The North Node is what we bring to the world, the gift that we make in our life time. Neptune is imagination, and here it is conjunct Venus (art). That Venus is in applying to the UK Moon, which can be a good indicator of popularity, especially up there in the 10th house. So the product of Fleming’s imagination is right at the top of the UK chart.
Venus is also women, of course. What’s interesting about the “Bond girls” is how their treatment reflects popular attitudes to women of those times. Today, they are still “girls” but we have got M, to provide some feminine power.
Fleming’s Lilith is at 16° Leo – exactly opposite the UK Venus: it’s a love-hate relationship with women, then. Oh and the UK Lilith is exactly conjunct Fleming’s storytelling Mercury (which conjuncts his Pluto – sex and violence.) Is there actually some depth to Bond? Is the character telling us something dark and dirty about ourselves? If so, it’s too cloaked in glamour (Neptune) to be easily discernible.
|Craig: fish out of water (born Mar 2)|
The latest Bond is out this week. Uranus in Aries is at 5° squaring Fleming’s North Node. Chiron in Pisces is trining the same spot. The current Bond is a Pisces, and he plays Bond as an emotionally damaged person.
Transiting Ceres, the planet of mother, has just come into an exact conjunction with Fleming’s Mars at the top of the chart there – and I note that even in the trailer mother is mentioned. Since Judi Dench took over the part of M, it’s been hard not to wonder if M really stands for mother.
Here is what Fleming’s biographer had to say on the subject.
“There is reason for thinking that a more telling lead to the real identity of M lies in the fact that as a boy Fleming often called his mother M. … While Fleming was young, his mother was certainly one of the few people he was frightened of, and her sternness toward him, her unexplained demands, and her remorseless insistence on success find a curious and constant echo in the way M handles that hard-ridden, hard-killing agent, 007.”– John Pearson, The Life of Ian Fleming
There is one point in the natal chart that we associate with bad mothers – Lilith. Fleming’s is right on his descendant conjuncting the planet of expansion, Jupiter. In the latest film, Skyfall, the baddie says this to Bond: “Mommie was very bad.”
That could explain a lot.
So is Bond a characterisation of Britain’s collective Lilith, as well as our fantasy about being a one-man, global crisis-solving, dashing, debonair, supersexy superhero?
Just a thought.