Joan Kendig – The Power of Beauty: Debussy and The Divine Feminine


“The Power of Beauty: Debussy and The Divine Feminine” demonstrates that Debussy’s horoscope reflects his creative works replete with symbols of Venus in all her forms and with images of the Great Mother as the Earth, the Moon and the Sea. The Midheaven in Taurus conjunct Pluto shows his transformation of music. The chart repeats the feminine symbol in its Bowl shape. The edge of the Bowl bounded by Neptune in Aries opposing Jupiter in Virgo indicates his pioneering music as his philosophy of reverence for mysterious Nature, which he has made his religion. The Moon dignified in Cancer and the Leo Sun, dispositor of Venus, emphasize his creative intentions. Debussy’s genius is shown by an abundance of quintiles, noviles and septiles. His Chiron in Pisces indicates his function as a wayshower for 20th century composers.

Claude Debussy, considered the greatest French composer who ever lived,1 has been called a Symbolist, a Pantheist, and an Impressionist2 by music critics and cultural historians. The first two designations are especially relevant to this discussion. The titles of his works are replete with symbols of the Divine Feminine. He said, “I have made Mysterious Nature my religion.”3 All symbols of nature, going back to the sylvan gods, goddesses and demi-gods, fit in this category, as well as images of plants, trees, flowers, and all forms of water in nature. “La Mer” (The Sea), one of his most famous orchestral compositions, represents the Great Mother herself, the source from which all life springs. “Clair de Lune” (Moonlight), perhaps his best-known composition for piano, and later also orchestrated, represents her. Debussy’s famous revolutionary work which blazed a new path for the sounds of 20th century music, “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun,” depicts the ancient creature of Nature whose connection to her the poets would restore.

Pluto, planet of power and transformation, established a global theme as it transited through Taurus, sign of Mother Earth, from 1851 through 1882. Cultural values were in transition, beginning with the Romantic reaction against the extreme rationalism inherited from the Enlightenment, continuing with the resistance to dehumanization from the Industrial Revolution and the rebellion against restrictions of beliefs and natural life expression by traditional religious dogma. The “French occult revival”4 that emerged during this time came from a revitalizing pre-Christian humanism embraced by poets who sought to restore the honor of the Divine Feminine. Cultural values were shifting toward appreciating Nature and human life in accordance with natural laws. Beyond the fierce glare of the masculine rational Sun there was the soothing feminine feeling realm of twilight and the darkness beyond, to be explored for hidden or forbidden truths.

What is the Divine Feminine? She has many faces. She is Venus, goddess of love and beauty, in all her forms— Botticelli’s Primavera, the maid of Spring, as well as his Venus rising from the sea, depicted in his painting The Birth of Venus. She is the Moon and moonlight. She has many phases. She is Artemis, Selene, Ceres, Demeter, Persephone. She is The Great Mother. She is the Earth, and she is the Sea. The Earth is our cradle and womb. The Sea is our source. Debussy referred to her as “Our good mother, the Sea.” 5

Chart of an Artist

If we consider that poetry is the language of the soul, having the symbology of the signs and planets as a part of that language, then we may use the horoscope to reveal the expression of the Divine Feminine—humanity’s soul—in the life and creative works of Claude Debussy, “musicien français,” as he called himself. (The chart of Claude DeBussey is located on the next page)

The Midheaven in Taurus—Venus’sign of love, beauty, harmony and music—displays the picture of Debussy’s supreme achievement in the world. The conjunction of Pluto in Taurus with the Midheaven reveals the power, transformation, and ultimate healing through the soulful music of nature he engendered. Pluto in the 10th house indicates the final weight of his honor, reputation and attainment in his lifetime.

The Midheaven ruler, Venus in Leo, creative performer, in the 12th of deep hidden talent from past lives, is the Goddess arising from the psychological depths, like Botticelli’s image. She is the chief actress in the symbolism of the songs of his youth, and the regent of the themes of his mature orchestral works. Since Venus rules the 3rd house of communication, her themes dominate the creative works from youth to maturity. Appropriately, Venus is trine refined and spiritual Neptune in pioneering Aries (personal expression).Debussy’s Law of Beauty—quite simply “mon plaisir” (my pleasure”) is described by this trine. The piano is a Neptunian instrument to which Debussy brought new dimensions of tonality and new techniques of expression.

The dispositor of Venus is the Sun in Leo, ruler of the Ascendant and obviously the supreme symbol of creative leadership. Venus is the dispositor of Pluto on the Midheaven, linking the planetary combination of musical creativity from Venus and the Sun to the healing power of beauty from Pluto in Taurus through sound in the ears, harmonizing the soul, as the apex of achievement at the top of the chart.

Keeping Chiron aside for the moment (since the chart shapes formulated by Marc Edmund Jones predated its discovery), Debussy’s chart shape can be viewed as the Bowl Type, corresponding to the Great Mother, associated with Taurus and Virgo.7 The rim opposition of the Bowl is bounded by Neptune, planet of celestial music and spiritual inspiration, in pioneering Aries in the 8th house of healing and transformation, opposing the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in Virgo in the 2nd house of values. Virgo, the winged goddess holding the nurturing sheaf of wheat and quiver of pens, signifying written communication of method, sustenance and healing, has been revered in varying forms of The Divine Feminine from the time of Isis to the time of the Virgin Mary.8 In Debussy’s symbolic world, Virgo is “Vierge or sur argent”—The Divine Feminine, “Virgin gold on silver.”9

The image of the Bowl encapsulates the prime feminine symbol of the receptacle, and ultimately the chalice holding spirit. The edge with Neptune retrograde on the cusp of the 9th opposing Jupiter at 29 Virgo, anaretic degree, indicates the critical lifetime of unfolding higher consciousness about the Divine Feminine. Jupiter, ruling the 5th of creativity, in the 2nd of values, is in the sign of the Craftsman or Critic. Debussy’s craft expresses the supreme value of the Divine Feminine. Jupiter’s sextile to Venus enhances her metaphysical message in the vision of love and beauty. The conjunction of Jupiter to Saturn, the manifester and timer of achievement, ruler of the 6th of work and service, shows the prolonged focus over Debussy’s lifetime creating music potentially capable of elevating humanity’s vision of the merging of cosmos and psyche. From the lip of the upended Bowl pours the pioneering skillfully crafted music to raise higher sensibilities into a cosmic connection and vision, like refined wine in the chalice or crucible.

Jupiter ruling the 5th of creativity shows Debussy’s craftsmanship in composition and performance. Jupiter conjunct Saturn indicates his valuing the ancient Greek scales in his creative work. The square of this conjunction to inventive Uranus in Gemini underscores his rebellion against conventional forms and rules of composition, yet his innovation with the revival of old modes of sound such as the pentatonic (five black keys) scale and the Church modes of antiquity. He was a rebel of sound communication and technique.

Mars in the 9th, ruler of the 9th, the pioneering fighter for innovation in music, informs Debussy’s philosophy of existence. Mars is trine the Sun in Leo, the ultimate expression of creative leadership. The sextile of Mars to Uranus in Gemini in the 11th indicates Debussy’s connections with the writings of the Symbolist Poets, showing their joint innovative philosophical intentions. (Mars in Aries is his chief connection with the charts of the Symbolist Poets, who all had important planets or points in Aries. They stimulated his pioneering and personal philosophical motivation through their poetry, which he set to music in his songs, and he used their symbols in piano and orchestral pieces. Their charts are discussed in Part Two.)

The midpoint of the Bowl, appropriately the Moon dignified in feminine Cancer, representing the Great Mother, in the 11th of group goals, shows the affiliation with likeminded poets to express the creative aim at the vertex in Capricorn (achieving a structure) in the 5th house. The nodal axis falling across the 5th and 11th houses reinforces this karmic intention. The Dragon’s Head in philosophical Sagittarius expresses the world view, and the Dragon’s Tail in communicative Gemini, drawing upon ideas of the group, is galvanized by the genius of its conjunction with Uranus.

Debussy’s Moon is the ruler of the 12th house of the past, the subconscious mind. The Moon, receptacle of memories, sextile Saturn of ancient times, draws upon impressions from past experience and translates the emotional response to them into beautiful and healing sound. Its square to Mars in the 9th indicates Debussy’s construction of a metaphysical vision based upon a nurturing wisdom from the past.

Mars in Aries is a warrior, an Achilles on the battlefield of belief-systems. (Debussy’s original given name was Achille- Claude.) Mars square the Moon depicts a fighter for the expression of the Divine Feminine. Mars sextile Uranus in Gemini, ruler of 7th, shows an innovator and public advocate communicating her power and beauty in published songs and lyrical pieces. Mars, dispositor of Neptune ruling music and divinity in the healing 8th and ruler of 8th, lends energy to his inspiration. Mars trine his Leo Ascendant energizes the creative leadership of his personality.

The fire grand trine with Debussy’s Leo Ascendant, Mars in Aries in the metaphysical 9th and North Node in Sagittarius in the 5th house, is a powerful circuit of spirit displaying his personal philosophical expression in his creative work. He has been called a pantheist, one who sees divinity in all creation. Debussy declared that he had made “La Nature Mystérieuse” his religion.10 The ancient religions of the Great Mother were originally called “The Mysteries.” The edge of his Bowl, mysterious Neptune opposing Jupiter in the sign of the Virgin, encapsulates the message of Debussy’s life. This Bowl shape can be associated with the Holy Grail, the cup which scoops and holds the wine of the Divine Feminine. In his song, “De Rêve” (“A Vision”) Debussy expressed in his own words his nostalgia for an ancient dream of heroic beauty. “Les chevaliers sont morts Sur le chemin du Grâal! … Mon âme, c’est du rêve ancien qui t’étreint!” (“The knights are dead on the road of the Grail! ….My soul, it is the old dream which holds you fast!”)11

Finally, by including Chiron in the picture, we may make a case for the perception of another dimension of the chart shape, a modified Bucket, associated with the Warrior and Dragon- slayer.12 The maverick Wounded Healer in psychic Pisces, sign of music of the spheres, becomes the composer’s acutely slanted handle on the world in his life experience with partnership and the public (7th house). Chiron’s close opposition to Mercury, the winged messenger in Virgo conjunct the Leo Sun in the 1st house of personal expression, reinforces the composer’s communicative craft in writing music as well as in his role as a music critic. From our perspective a century after his life and death, Chiron the Healer in communicative sextile with the Midheaven and transformative Pluto, again symbolizes Debussy’s legacy. The healing quality of harmonious sounds channeled through Debussy’s psyche is the power of Pluto which comes from the psychological foundation of healing Scorpio on the IC, signifier of cumulative energies from past lives.13 Debussy’s Chiron may be viewed as the rainbow bridge between the conventional Saturnian rules of musical composition and the innovative Uranian vision toward the realm of spirit expressed through transcendent harmonious sound. As an initiator and wayshower,14 Chiron symbolizes Debussy’s leadership of composers into the 20th century by showing them the pathway.

The essence of Debussy’s life achievements can be demonstrated by the Bowl shape alone, with the Moon as the core in Cancer (Teacher or Prophet), and the Midheaven in Taurus (Builder or Producer). Finally, Pluto conjunct the Midheaven represents the Power of Beauty through the ages channeled through and promulgated by the genius of Debussy.

Aspects of Genius: Quintiles and Biquintiles

“Toi, tu as du génie” (“You, you have genius”), declared Debussy’s teacher Gounod regarding his cantata “L’Enfant prodigue”15 that won him at age 22 the Grand Prix de Rome in 1884. Debussy’s genius was recognized in his lifetime.

Five quintiles are contained within the Bowl associated with the feminine receptacle. These aspects are often correlated with creative genius or mental artistry. The number five is connected to Venus because the division of the circle by five yields angles of 72 degrees, forming a pentagram depicted by the movements of the planet Venus in its phases of heliacal rising, or five “horns” of the pentacle. “Five 584 day symbolic cycles projected into an abstract horoscope (or seasonal cycle) create an almost exact pentacle pattern.”16 The pentagram has also been associated with nature worship in centuries past.

Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man, with four outstretched limbs and the fifth appendage, the head, at the top of the circle in which he is inscribed—is based on the number five. The quintile then also symbolizes the quality of intellectual consciousness characterizing the human being.

Significantly, the Moon in Cancer is quintile Jupiter in Virgo in the 2nd house of values, ruler of the 5th of creativity; and also quintile Pluto in Taurus at the Midheaven. The Moon in her own sign of the Great Mother (Demeter) connects Debussy’s creative artistry with Jupiter, the religious philosopher in the sign of the Virgin (Persephone/Kore), and with the transformer/healer Pluto in Taurus, sign of the Goddess of Nature. Uranus, the rebel genius, in Gemini the communicator, in the 11th house of group connections (the Symbolist poets), is quintile the dignified Leo Sun of creativity in the 1st house of personal expression; and also quintile Mercury dignified in Virgo, the wordsmith and writer, conjunct the Sun in the 1st, ruling the 11th of group goals and the 2nd of values. As a composer and music critic Debussy put forth his values of certain principles of sound and orchestration. For his songs he chose words by poets who exalted the Divine Feminine.

Neptune, higher octave of Venus, with dominion over stringed instruments and spiritual imagination, in pioneering Aries in the transformative 8th house of healing, is biquintile the Leo Sun. The double quintile can represent the creative genius multiplied. The influence of Neptune transcends generations and may be linking its recipients mediumistically to inspiration from unseen dimensions of existence. Neptune is trine Venus in Leo in the 12th house, the wellspring of hidden talent from past lives. With Venus ruling Taurus on the 10th cusp, the pioneering musical ability is easily lifted to the heights of worldly achievement and recognition.

The decile of 36 degrees which equates to half a quintile has been considered an angle signifying specialized talent.17 Debussy’s Neptune, planet of celestial music, is decile his

Midheaven, describing his unique life achievement. The quintile and a half, 108 degrees, also called sesquiquintile, or tridecile, is another angle with his Moon and Neptune referring to talent for creating music expressive of the Divine Feminine. The sesquiquintiles between his Sun and Midheaven and between his Sun and Pluto reinforce the creative leadership for which he was recognized even in his lifetime. Another variation of the quintile is 1/3 of 72 degrees, the angle of 24 degrees between Debussy’s Sun in Leo and Saturn in Virgo, expressing the thorough persistence of his creative process.

A sprinkling of sextiles adds support to the communication of Debussy’s message. The Moon in Cancer is sextile persistent Saturn in Virgo. Venus in Leo is in out-of sign sextile to Jupiter in Virgo. Mars in Aries is sextile Uranus in the 11th, ruling the 7th of the public and partnership. The genius of Uranus is sextile the Ascendant of personal expression.

Aspects of Art and Inspiration: Noviles

Debussy’s chart contains within the Bowl formation a series of novile angles which may be drawn as arcs like a series of cradles holding talents and artistry, from Neptune (inspiration) to Pluto (transformation), to Uranus (invention), to Venus (art, love and beauty); and from Moon (nurturing feminine) to Sun (creative leadership). Within the series Pluto forms a binovile with Venus—double the inspirational effect of the novile— and Mars forms a multiplying quadrinovile of effort with expansive Jupiter.

The novile, an angle of 40 degrees based on division of the circle by the number nine, is associated with the nine muses presiding over the arts. The number 40 is associated with the number of weeks of gestation, as well as the biblical years of wandering in the desert—a period of spiritual preparation for a creative birth.18 This contemplative withdrawal into a higher level of consciousness describes the meditative state receptive to inspiration, which brings forth the beauty of a work of art. Debussy’s works are not overtly and dramatically descriptive of natural phenomena. Rather they are expressions of feelings in response to nature, filtered through an imaginative meditative state. His piano piece, “Reverie,”19 and his song “Recueillement”20 (contemplation) exemplify his method of creation.

The novile arcs show artistic inspiration with the planets describing musical innovation. Venus in Leo is at the core, in the 12th of withdrawal and meditation, novile Uranus in Gemini, communication of genius, and binovile Pluto in Taurus—transformation of values of the Divine Feminine— which is in turn novile spiritual and inspirational Neptune in the 8th of transformation.

The quadrinovile of pioneering Mars in Aries in the 9th of metaphysics and belief systems, to Jupiter in the 2nd house of values in Virgo (sign of technique, and emblem of the Virgin Mary) is beautifully expressed in the song “De Soir”—”Have pity on the world, Virgin silver and gold.” This is a bold expression of Debussy’s embrace of the religion of Nature and exaltation of the Divine Feminine. “Quadrinoviles could signify concrete action taken to bring spiritual potentials, grounded in meditation and stillness well into the material plane.”21

Aspects of Taboo and Transformation: Septiles

The septile angle of 51 degrees and 26 minutes is formed by the division of the circle by the number seven, historically considered a sacred number.22 Considered sacred in ancient cultures, the Divine Feminine became a taboo subject after being demonized by patriarchal religion. The septile has also been considered an angle of transformation, associated with creative inspiration and mystical unifying vision, which can be attained after wrestling with the forbidden shadow realm considered evil by the prevailing culture.

It has also been described as referring to the “other-worldly,”23 another of Debussy’s themes, exemplified by the dreamlike vision of the ancient world of the faun.

Debussy’s Venus in Leo is septile to Saturn in Virgo in the 2nd of values and ruling the 6th, signifying his concerted creative spiritual quest in service of the Divine Feminine. His work resulted in a transformation of music, shown not only by his Pluto in Taurus on the Midheaven, but also by the biseptile of his Midheaven to his Ascendant. The warrior’s battle to champion the Divine Feminine is shown by Debussy’s Mars in Aries in the 9th biseptile Venus in the 12th. Mars triseptile Saturn adds enduring persistence. The stress of the fight against conventional wisdom is also shown by Mars square the Moon, ruler of the 12th of psychological difficulties as well as hidden talents from past lives. Delving into the dark labyrinth of the 12th is the journey of a hero seeking to attain the meditative level of consciousness receptive to the Divine Vision.24

The Divine Feminine in the Songs of Debussy

The language of the poets bridges the gap between the heavenly and the mundane realms. As Orpheus descended to the underworld in search of his feminine counterpart, so have the troubadours over the ages pursued the same quest by exploring the depths of human experience. In his fine art songs Debussy set to music poetry of the French Symbolists Baudelaire, Verlaine and Mallarmé, expressing love of the Divine Feminine and reverence for her Beauty in the world. Debussy said, “Before the passing sky, in long hours of contemplation of its magnificent and ever-changing beauty, I am seized by an incomparable emotion. The whole expanse of nature is reflected in my own sincere but feeble soul…that is what I call prayer.”25

One of Debussy’s earliest songs, “Nuit d’Étoiles” (1876), “Night of Stars,”26 was set to words by Parnassian poet Théodore de Banville. Through images of the night with veiling light, perfumes and sighing breezes under the stars,

the poet dreams of a love now gone. While he hears the sad sounds of a lyre, a serene melancholy opens at the bottom of his heart. He remembers the blue of the skies and projects her face on the heavens, seeing her eyes in the stars. The rolling chords of the piano imitate celestial lyres, but at age 14, Debussy has only begun to evolve the distinctive harmonies to come.

“Beau Soir,”27 translated as “Evening Fair,” written in 1878 when Debussy was only 16, set to poetry by Paul Bourget, describes first in the title the feminine symbol of the night in the form of evening, with the beauty of Venus. “When the sun goes to bed, the river banks are colored rose.” When the Sun, ancient symbol of the rational Apollonian energy, retires, the watery forms of earth are painted with the colors of Venus. “A slight shiver runs over the fields of wheat”—ancient symbol of the Kore, a fertility symbol represented by Persephone, who is buried in the underworld with Pluto for half the year until she returns to visit her Mother Ceres, a form of the Great Mother who nourishes humanity with the fruits of the earth. A counsel seems to arise in the atmosphere of this lovely evening, to enjoy the charm of being in the world while one is young and the evening is beautiful. It is advice to Be Here Now in the present moment, and to regard it as good, in contrast to the attitude that the world and experience of its beauty are harmful to the soul, promulgated by advocates of next-world punishment for sensual involvement. “We go, like the Wave in the River, She to the Sea, we to the tomb.” All water images here represent the Divine Feminine.

Beau Soir

Lorsque au soleil couchant les rivières sont roses,

Et qu’un tiède frisson court sur les champs de blé, Un conseil d’être heureux semble sortir des choses Et monter vers le coeur troublé.

Un conseil de goûter le charme d’être au monde, Cependant qu’on est jeune et que le soir est beau,

Car nous nous en allons, comme s’en va cette onde, Elle à la mer, nous au tombeau.

“Fleur des Blés” (1878) translated as “Field Flowers,”28 set to a poem by André Girod, also describes a field of wheat of ruffled in the breeze, like the blonde hair of the maiden in the song, “full of golden sunlight.” Her lips are like the scarlet poppies in the field. And the bluets, flowers in the bouquet her escort has gathered for her, are her eyes, pieces of azure fallen from the skies. Debussy later recaptured this image of the Divine Feminine in his piano piece, “La Fille aux cheveux de lin” (“The Maid with the Flaxen Hair”). The image goes back to this time in his youth, when he wrote an unpublished song with the same title.

Fleur des Blés

De Soir

Le long des blés que la brise Fait onduler puis défrise

En un désordre coquet,

J’ai trouvé de bonne prise De t’y cueillir un bouquet. Mets-le vite à ton corsage

Il est fait à ton image

En même temps que pour toi. Ton petit doigt, je le gage

T’a déja soufflé pourquoi:

Ces épis dorés, c’est l’onde

De ta chevelure blonde

Toute d’or et de soleil;

Ce coquelicot qui fronde

C’est ta bouche au sang vermeil,

Et ces bluets, beau mystère!

Points d’azure que rien n’altère,

Ces bluets ce sont tes yeux

Si bleus qu’on dirait sur terre

Deux éclats tombés des cieux.

“Voici que le Printemps,”29 translated as “Comes the Spring,” from the same early period, set to words by Paul Bourget, describes Spring as a dancing young man, “bouyant son of April.” The setting of green bushes, mosses and flowers in the woods contains all the elements of Mother Nature. Spring arose again in Debussy’s symphonic suite for orchestra and chorus, “Printemps,” inspired by Botticelli’s painting, Primavera.

“De Soir” (1893)30 is a song entirely written by Debussy— both words and music. It is a revelation of his reverence for the gold and silver heavenly Virgin who watches over the world. The melody and rhythms of the piano music skillfully parallel the images and events suggested by the words. It is Sunday in the towns, in the hearts of little girls singing with one voice. The song begins Sunday with the sounds of church bells, light carillon bells which transform into a dance for the little girls. The bells become a lullaby, the gentle rocking rhythm of a berceuse for the nursemaids. As everyone says goodbye for the holiday outing, with lost gestures, the bell sounds go into a minor key. They emerge again and quicken, and we hear the rolling train with the click and change of the mechanical signals on the route. The tone modulates to a reverie expressed “in the blue of my dreams,” with the remembrance of sad Sundays past. When the night comes with velvet steps to the beautiful tired sky, light bells sound like a brief nocturne to depict the avenue of twinkling stars, with bass notes to echo the depth of night. Then the silver and gold Virgin lets the flowers of sleep fall to earth with descending treble octaves. The pace quickens for the little angels, then slows and saddens with the request that the Virgin have pity on the towns and on the hearts of the people.

Dimanche sur les villes, Dimanche dans les coeurs! Dimance chez les petites filles, Chantant d’une voix informée, Des rondes obstinées,

Ou de bonnes tours

N’en ont plus que quelques jours!

Dimanche, les gares sont folles!

Tout le monde appareille

Pour des banlieues d’aventure,

En se disant adieu

Avec des gestes éperdus!

Dimanche les trains vont vite,

Dévorés par d’insatiables tunnels;

Ét les bons signaux des routes

Echangent d’un oeil unique,

Des impressions toutes mécaniques. Dimanche, dans le bleu de mes rêves,

Où mes pensées tristes

De feux d’artifices manqués

Ne veulent plus quitter

Le deuil de vieux Dimanches trépassés.

Et la nuit, à pas de velours,

Vient endormir le beau ciel fatigué,

Et c’est Dimanche dans les avenues d’étoiles; La Vierge or sur argent

Laisse tomber les fleurs de sommeil!

Vite, les petits anges,

Dépassez les hirondelles

Afin de vous coucher

Forts d’absolution!

Prenez pitié des villes,

Prenez pitié des coeurs,

Vous, la Vierge or sur argent!

Debussy’s life achievement was the transformation of music through the Power of Beauty, described by the process of his fine “sensibilité” to “mon plaisir” resulting in his own rules of Venusian harmony shown by his Midheaven in Taurus conjunct Pluto. The Sabian symbol for 11 Taurus is “A woman sprinkling flowers. This is a symbol of the soul’s determination to give constant and tangible manifestation of its creative powers…an easy and rewarding partnership between man and nature….”31 This interpretation is an appropriate description of Debussy’s spiritual cultivation of the Divine Feminine through his specialized and innovative creative genius. His ultimate transformation of music “enlarged the boundaries of the permissible in the Empire of Sound.”32



1 Schonberg, Harold C. “Symbolism and Impressionism. Claude Achille Debussy.” The Lives of the Great Composers. N.Y.: W.W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1990, p. 441.

2 Thompson, Oscar. Debussy: Man and Artist. N.Y.: Dover Publications, reprint of Dodd, Mead & Co. (1937), 1967, p. 18.

3 Thompson, p. 212.

4 Baigent, Michael, Richard Leigh and Henry Lincoln. Holy Blood, Holy Grail. N.Y.: Dell Publishing Group, Inc., 1983, p. 151.

5 Thompson, p. 128.

6 Richard Tarnas has described Venus trine Neptune in charts of composers as expressive of “enchanted” dimensions of reality, lending a “transcendent quality to love and beauty.” Notes from Tarnas workshop on March 8, 2007 at the NCGR Geocosmic Alchemy Conference in Baltimore.

7 Thurman, Michael. “Understanding Your Chart Shape: Your Personal Myth.” The Mountain Astrologer, Oct/Nov 1998, p. 51.

8 Eisler, Riane. The Chalice & the Blade. San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1988, p. 7.

9 Debussy, Claude. Thirty Songs for High Voice. N.Y.:Schirmers Library of Music Classics, vol. 1784. With original texts and English translations. G. Schirmer, Inc., 1954, p.136.

10 Thompson, p.212.

11 Thirty Songs, p. 114.

12 Thurman, p. 110.

13 Merriman, Raymond. Evolutionary Astrology: The Journey of the Soul through the Horoscope. Rochester, MI: Seek-It Publishing Co., p.27.

14 Anselmo, Kristine, and Monte J. Zeger. “Chiron: Full Spectrum.” The Mountain Astrologer, Oct/Nov. 2010, pp. 44 – 49.

15 Thompson, p. 66.

16 Giamario, Daniel. “A Shamanic Investigation of Venus and Mars.” The Mountain Astrologer, Feb/Mar 1997, p. 17.

17 Patricia Costello in a lecture on minor aspects.

18 Brown, Gordon M. “Multiplanetary Formations, Part Five: The Novile Series of Aspects.” The Mountain Astrologer, May 1996, p. 41.

19 Debussy, Claude. His Greatest Piano Solos. A Comprehensive Collection of his World Famous Works in their Original Form. Compiled by Alexander Shealy. Copa Publishing Co., 1971, p.26. Also source for Picture of Debussy.

20 Debussy: Thirty Songs, pp. 44 – 48. The words of a poem by Baudelaire.

21 Brown, p. 42.

22 Gillam, Edward. “The Septile and the Seventh Harmonic Chart: Images of Terror, Taboo, and Transformation.” The Mountain Astrologer, Feb/Mar, 2003.

23 Keyword advocated by astrologers Rick Levine and Lynn Koiner based on their research.

24 Campbell, Joseph. The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Cleveland: Meridian Books, World Publishing Company, 1956. Sixth printing, 1964. Concept of the hero-journey from this study.

25 Quote from Debussy on Music: The Critical Writings of the Great French Composer, collected and introduced by François Lesure. Translated and edited by Richard Langham Smith. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1988, p.248.

26 Debussy: Thirty Songs, pp. 1- 4.

27 Thirty Songs, pp. 5-7.

28 Thirty Songs, pp. 8-10.

29 Thirty songs, pp.15-19.

30 Thirty Songs, pp. 129-136.

31 Jones, Marc Edmund. The Sabian Symbols in Astrology. Aurora Press. Santa Fe, N.M., 1993, p.190.

32 Debussy’s own words about the achievement of Stravinsky in a 1913 letter to him, which may be justifiably applied to Debussy’s own accomplishment. Words quoted in a Program Note by Paul Horsley, Nov., 2008.



Joan Kendig (May 6, 1942 at 10:20 a.m. EWT, Trenton, NJ) began studying Astrology in 1966. She has been a member of the AFA since 1972, earned the PMAFA in 1983, and has published articles in Today’s Astrologer, the AFA Bulletin. A member of AFAN, she was the first recording secretary at its inception. More recently she has joined NCGR and ISAR. Her M.A. in English Literature with emphasis on archetypal criticism (1975) was completed with her thesis, “The Open Center in the Prophetic Books of William Blake.” She has studied metaphysics privately and in groups since the 70s. Her book, Modern Vegetable Protein Cookery, was published in 1980 by Arco in N.Y. A keyboard musician uncle introduced her to Debussy’s music, and her interest was reinforced by the family background of her French maternal grandmother from Dijon. Her ongoing research interest involves astrological connections among members of an extensive family tree. email:



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