Nigella: A Plutonian Story

Tuesday June 18th 2013
Hands off our national treasure

My friend down the road never “bakes a cake”, she “does a Nigella”. I’m sure she’s not alone. Is there a kitchen bookshelf in Britain that does not have a thumbed edition of How To Eat or Feast or some other of Nigella Lawson’s phenomenally successful cookbooks on it?

Women all over the country see Lawson as a kitchen goddess, but also as a kind of ideal best friend. Yes, she’s glamourous and beautiful and rich, but she also has suffered a lot in her life, and just like so many of us, part of her response to that suffering has surely been to surround herself with yummy food, and cosy money (the latter is not so abundant for most of us, of course). That’s a practical way of dealing with emotional trauma – very Capricorn.

She is a fantasy figure, the subject of a million idealised projections, a cultural icon, but her earthy persona makes her one of us, one of the people. That’s why she’s known by all and sundry simply as Nigella.

No known birth time,
so ignore houses and Moon position.

Her impact on public taste has been huge, so it’s no surprise that her natal chart ties in with the UK national chart. For a start we share a Capricorn Sun. Capricorn is, of course, ruled by practical, enduring Saturn.

Nigella’s Saturn is conjunct the UK Sun, so you’d think it might be rather a cool relationship, but in fact that seems to symbolise her status as a kind of parent to the nation – and her enduring appeal. What is more telling is that her Ceres, the asteroid of fertility and food, is also conjunct the nations’s Sun. It sits in between her own Sun  – she’s born on the same day as Kate Midleon BTW, another cultural icon — and that Saturn.

Her Sun also opposes the UK Moon in Cancer, the planet which represents the public in a mundane chart. So she reflects us back to ourselves, not only that, she does it in the kitchen, which is the domain of Cancer and the Moon. In fact it’s her earthiness which is so appealing. She seems like one of us, but just a bit richer and better looking.
The pictures of her being publicly assaulted by her elderly husband Charles Saatchi this week were shocking, not least because of the look of fear on her face. This was no tiff, no act. This was a bare truth brutally revealed: the domestic goddess is a victim of domestic violence.
This is a Plutonian story. Pluto is the god who gains his wife Proserpine by kidnapping her and taking her to the underworld, where she is forced to live in the dark for six months of the year. Proserpine’s mother is the goddess of the harvest, of nourishment, of agriculture: Demeter or, to giver her her Roman name, Ceres. You see Pluto active in charts to do with violence against women.
Nigella’s Saturn in Capricorn, which conjuncts the UK Sun, is currently being transited by Pluto to the degree. Saturn is a god of harvest too, and in natal charts often represents male authority figures, say, a much older husband. A transit from Pluto can impart a surge of dark power.
Charles Saatchi’s Mars, violent action, is currently being transited by Uranus – to the degree.
But what may be even more significant is the action of Neptune on both Saatchi’s chart and Nigella’s. Neptune is currently at 5° Pisces, a position it has not occupied since the mid-19th century. Neptune is super-strong in his own sign, and it seems as if the god of the sea is washing clean and revealing a lot of dirty secrets in his passage through the sign of the fishes. Currently, Neptune’s action is supported by practical Saturn in Scorpio, also at 5°. Saturn rules both Nigella’s Sun, don’t forget, and the UK Sun. In short, Saturn is Nigella’s friend. Earthy practicality is her secret weapon.
Nigella’s natal Pluto is at 5° Virgo – exactly opposite the current position of Neptune, and sextile Saturn. This incident has revealed the true nature of her husband not just to the world, but also to her, a veil will have been ripped from her eyes. Her immediate action was to leave their couple’s shared home. She is supported in this by public sympathy – Neptune – and her own common sense.
Charles Saatchi’s Pluto is also at 5°, in Leo this time. His Pluto is receiving an uncomfortable quincunx from transiting Neptune and a harsh square from Saturn.
No known birth time, so ignore houses and Moon.

Charles Saatchi has been the market-maker in the contemporary art world for the past quarter century. He has his own gallery, and his own collection, a website that mangoes the work of many artists. The importance of his influence in the contemporary art world here cannot be over-emphasised. His promotion of an artist can guarantee success; and a boggling increase in value.

One suspects that Saatchi has always been an aggressive man, but up until now, despite his public profile, he’s managed to keep that out of the media discourse. He has Pluto and Lilith conjunct in fiery Leo though – it was bound to come out sooner or later.

Saatchi’s relationship with the UK is all about art and taste, so the planet to look at is Venus. His Venus exactly conjuncts the UK Jupiter in the 1Oth house of fame. His personal taste plugs right into the mass market. He made his first fortune in advertising. Presumably also Nigella Lawson is or was to his taste, and the nation also loves her. Her Venus in Sagittarius trines his Venus in Leo and the UK Jupiter too.

But look, her Venus also trines his Pluto-Lilith, and much more closely. Her femininity stimulates his dark side. This could be very sexy – but as we see it is also potentially just plain nasty. Pluto is all about  handling power and ownership; the master/slave relationship. It was not enough for Saatchi to own all that art, he had to possess a national treasure too, and when she turned out to be a real flesh and blood woman, he put his hand to her throat and squeezed.

Saatchi’s reputation is ruined. No amount of media manipulation will make this go away.  For anyone this would be devastating, but for someone who prided himself on his manipulation of image, the irony is, well, Greek.

Now that she has emerged from the underworld, it looks like Nigella will be gaining strength in the future, rather than losing it. She is with us for the long haul. This is not the defining incident for her, but the end of one type of illusion. She’ll be remembered for the other stuff, not for being a victim.

To read a previous piece about Saatchi and the art world, click here.
To read a previous piece about Nigella and famous cooks, click here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Sabrina says:

    Very interesting piece. I was just reading about the incident last night! I was shocked but glad she got out of there. I wonder about her kids.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Do you think Vesta conjunct Venus plays a role here too? Also, Capricorns are really getting pummeled these days.

    • Christina says:

      The other piece I wrote about her was all about that Venus-Vesta conjunction — and yes, now that you mention it, Vesta also is at a nasty angle to his Pluto-Lilith — hmm.

  3. mm says:

    Whatever her decisions in the immediate future, with her Sun at 15 Cap – not to mention Saturn – the period of major upheaval that the Pluto/Uranus square may well unleash won’t be over soon. This huge transformation will be in terms of years, not weeks or months.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Noticed he has his Saturn at 16 Gemini, where her Lilith is.
    Could he be afraid of her ??


  5. Anonymous says:

    I guess I’m right.
    I Always found the word to describe Nigella to be LUSCIOUS. I guess he can’t handle her femininity and deep inside him she stirs some form of anxiety and if people get so angry they’re lost for words, they get physical !

    She should be aware of this effect she can have on him. They should have some very serious talks about this. She is the one who can help him with this anxiety !
    Look at both their natal Chirons, hers is in Aquarius, his in Leo.
    Maybe she should be reading this !


  6. Anonymous says:

    better still : he should be reading this !


    • Christina says:

      Do you know mimi – I have wondered what pharmaceuticals he is ingesting. This would also fit with some of the transits…

    • Anonymous says:

      Christina, did you also see the square of the conjunction Sun/Jupiter at the moment to mr. Saatchi’s natal Neptune at 29 Virgo ? Deep emotional stuff washing ashore.


  7. Anonymous says:

    Nigella. Suffered. Really!!

    If I could have suffered in the way that she has suffered I would be smiling as well.

    Truth is that she has had it easy as most of the population of Britain has. The suffering is imaginary. She is like mostly everyone else she just wants it easier then how easy it is. She is like everyone else, too easy is not easy enough and too much ease is not enough. Selfish would be a better term. As we all are.

    Regarding the sun saturn. This may indicate a person who is malevolent. Remember Iraq and the bath party had a sun saturn aspect, and believe it or not(taken from the chart of the usa you put up not so long ago) so does the usa have a sun square saturn infact I think its the same as iraq had.

    Sorry to be a contrarian. But some do really have it difficult.

  8. Ambra1960 says:

    I can’t help but notice how the throat is highlighted in her life. With the cancer of her first husband, and now this with her second husband. Taurus rules throat and it is rising, correct? And square the Sun (in the house of career and public presence?). It makes me wonder what throat chakra problems she is destined to resolve in this life…

    • Christina says:

      That is such a good point. I completely agree about the throat – but we don’t know her rising sign sadly. Not only the two husbands but simply eating. Her first book was called How to Eat – published just as her husband had surgery that prevented him eating. I’m sure she must have a Taurus Moon.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I read somewhere that she has an Aires moon…. ? Can’t remember where I read it, maybe Marjorie Orr? ?

  10. Locus Beatus says:

    Being rich and materially comfortable doesn’t shield people from suffering; we are all human and nursing a much loved husband for several years as he dies of cancer, when you have two small children to care for, after losing both your mother and your sister to lingering disease is not my definition of ‘having it easy’.

    As for Nigella’s husband, he really is the control freak. There was a blog entry in the Indy today attesting to that – the horror for me was, it described her saying “Isn’t he marvellous?” with shining eyes, as he was acting like a total despot. And I noted that when Saatchi broke his silence, it was to claim that Nigella left their home in Chelsea AT HIS SUGGESTION: he couldn’t even allow her that much autonomy, that people might think she decided to go of her own accord!

    His distortion of the UK art market (in which I was long involved) has been such that it was impossible to succeed without his patronage. Artist and dealer friends of mine would fume about that, esp in the 90s. Saatchi would pay way over the odds for anything which took his fancy, and as a result any other artists’ work was deemed all but worthless, and consequently was hard to show or to sell. I think he did this deliberately as a power play – it wasn’t about the art, but the manipulation. Damien used it to his advantage, and profited from it, sidestepping and out-manoevring Saatchi in the process: how mad must that have made Saatchi!

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually I think suffering is based upon experience of previous suffering. ie the first time something bad happens to someone the more painful it is. Gets less painful or at least more bearable the more we suffer. This woman coming from the background she has had has not exactly suffered to any great extent. Remember into each life there should be rain.

      I would really class this woman and her kind as a parasite. We all should know our parasites. The many instances in biology of parasites controlling the minds of their hosts are truly amazing. there are ants whoa are forced to crawl up blades of grass to meet their deaths, rats that are suddenly attracted to rats, fish that try to get eaten by birds, or in this case a woman who has got it easy has now convinced the public that she is really suffering!!!

    • Christina says:

      Yeah and you can feel that when you look at his choices. I don’t feel the consistent eye of a person who is really looking and responding to the art. Even if you disagree with some collectors choices, normally you get that feeling of consistency. That’s what makes any personal collection so fascinating, but with him the consistent thing is the market.

  11. Let’s not forget Pluto triggers jealousy and possessiveness and while I’m not making excuses for his behaviour towards our beloved Nigella, the depth of jealousy when Pluto is activated by nasty transits can be very violent. The depth of his love for her is also very real (Pluto’s love is deep like no other and he is the planet of transformation – there’s healing potential here if they can make it through, I believe.) It’s something they have to work through together, only she can heal him. Despite all the pain he has caused her, losing her would destroy him I’m sure. Plutonian love is explosive, deeply attached yet atomically destructive. However on the twin side capable of bringing light to our deepest shadows. [I have natal ceres square a stationary pluto and I’m working through energies like this – I’m also a capricorn with pluto currently transiting my 8th (arghhh!), so this news story has stirred me deeply…..I truly hope they make it work…somehow.

    • Anonymous says:

      The 24th degree is important in this case.
      Nigella has Mars/Pallas at 24 Sagittarius (very strong); she has Chiron at 24 Aquarius and she has Nessus at 24 Taurus. Saatchi’s horoscope completes this by Chiron at 24 Leo and Eurydice at 25 Leo.

      Fürthermore she has natal Pluto at 5 Virgo and Neptune at 5 Scorpio. At the moment Neptune is at 5 Pisces and Pluto at 5 Scorpio. She is learning about boundaries.

      But who is the agressor here ? Of course mr Saatchi is out of line by taking her by the throat, but what happened before that ? Words can be devastating too, especially in close relationships.


    • Christina says:

      Very true about the jealousy. Now that is making me think of Othello. He strangles Desdemona in the end too, which echoes the theme of throat that someone else has pointed out.

      Here’s a thought. We are back on the Taurus/Scorpio axis where the eclipses are taking place. Pluto rules Scorpio, Venus rules Taurus. There is something here about jealousy and suffocation, about the kundalini energy and strangulation. It’s like you can’t allow that person to speak. Scorpio is famously a jealous sign, but I find Taurus equally so.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Great..i have Pallas Athene, Lilith, Venus, North node all in Taurus… plus a Cancer Sun…& i smoke…

    Guess i can look forward to throat Cancer, right?

  13. I don’t know if anyone else has already commented on this, but it looks as though her Lilith activates his Saturn, since her Lilith is conjunct (within less than a degree) his Saturn. That is all kinds of nastiness in potential, since Saturn’s goal is always to contain the partner’s energy. When that Saturnian energy is positively expressed, the Saturn person becomes a haven for the other; when it’s negatively expressed, you’ll see tyrant-like behaviors, as Saturn puts its foot down about what kind of behavior is “allowed.” Saturn, therefore, seems potentially implicated, particularly if this was an argument that began with jealousy, as one might expect when you see Lilith in the mix. Her Lilith might very well have been declaring its separation on some level from his control (Saturn is just as, if not more, controlling than Pluto when threatened; Pluto is usually more dangerous, though, but Saturn is the one who reads you the rulebook and lets you know that you cannot behave like that). Saturn at the top of Saatchi’s chart (at the 10th house/MC cusp) makes it rather ironic that his image is now pretty much blown since they were photographed in broad daylight having their contretemps.