The Astrology of Neil Simon

Neil Simon is a playwright of such famous works as “Barefoot in the Park” and “The Odd Couple.” I’m a fan of both works because they have the simple premise of pitting opposites against each other. The results are entertaining and funny.

Barefoot in the Park

In “Barefoot in the Park” a young, newly married couple, madly in love, move into a Greenwich Village apartment to begin married life. All is going well until a night on the town when the extroverted wife (Corie Bratter) is upset that her introverted husband (Paul Bratter) won’t let loose and paint the town red. He’s more worried about getting some sleep and starting his law career.

To counterbalance the young married couple, we have two older folks, one who acts old, and the other who acts young. So we have in terms of “real age” and “acted age” these four combinations:

Young/young (the wife)

Young/old (the husband)

Old/old (the wife’s mother)

Old/young (the eccentric male neighbor)

I see the wife as Aries and the husband as Capricorn. Aries is an impulsive, headstrong cardinal fire sign ruled by Mars, the god of war. Capricorn is a cardinal earth sign, practical, serious and stable. It likes to be authority, such as becoming a lawyer.

After a night on the town, the Aries wife gets angry that the Capricorn husband won’t relax, get drunk and have some fun. He’s so boring and unspontaneous, in fact, that he won’t walk barefoot in the park in winter.

The wife then has a bit of Aries impulsiveness and wants a divorce. It resolves, of course, with a happy ending with the Capricorn husband loosening his tie and the Aries wife realizing that stability has its merits.

The older couple also has some realizations. The stuffy mother realizes she can spend one night without worrying about her ulcer and the eccentric neighbor accepts he’s not 20 years anymore but can still enjoy life in a more mellow way.

The Odd Couple

In the very famous “The Odd Couple,” we have two divorced men trying to live together. Oscar Madison is a relaxed sports writer who is irresponsible and self-indulgent.

Oh, and he’s messy.

Felix Ungar is the opposite – a neat nick, picky, demanding, hypochondriacal and critical.

I see Madison as a Sagittarius, a mutable fire sign and Unger as a Virgo, a mutable earth sign. Virgo Ungar nags Sagittarius Madison about some things in life that Sagittarians rarely worry about – what to have for dinner, cigarette ashes on the floor, mud tracks on the carpet and burnt meatloaf.

Sagittarius is not one to cry over spilled milk or a burnt meatloaf.

Virgo, ever the perfectionist, can’t serve a burnt meatloaf to guests and can’t go out to dinner because money has already been spent on meatloaf.

Of course it all heats up into a big blowout with Madison walking on the drapes and Ungar running away, apron on, ladle in hand. And, of course, they learn a little of each other’s’ ways which betters both men.

As an aside, “Two and a Half Men” is simply “The Odd Couple” with more modern “bad boy” and “good boy” habits inserted. This theme still sells!

Neil Simon

Not surprising, Simon has a few opposites in his chart.

Simon’s sun is in Cancer, a cardinal water sign known for its shyness and extreme sensitivity. His moon is in mutable earth sign Virgo, the Felix Unger sign of perfection which is accompanied by over-concern for health and neatness. Virgo is also shy, being the sign of servitude. Who can have a big ego and be a servant?

Neither Cancer nor Virgo picks a fight in a bar.

Fire signs pick fights in bars (or while you’re driving on vacation or while you’re at the movies or any other inconvenient place).

Simon has a grand fire trine with Jupiter/Uranus in Aries, Mercury in Leo and Saturn in Sagittarius. In addition to this exact trine, Simon has Mars, Neptune and Venus in Leo.

That’s a lot of fire to have inside of a Cancer/Virgo shell. I wonder if all that fire inside creates skin eruptions of some sort.

Clearly the opposites Simon writes so well about exist in his own psyche. His psyche may be dueling as do his characters. And, hopefully, like his characters each side of Simon sees the need of the other side. From the humor of his writings, I suspect Simon can see the humor of his own opposites.

Simon is currently experiencing a Uranus return. This Uranus return triggers the energy of that grand fire trine.

I’m guessing he’s out doing something extroverted.

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About ohioastrology

I'm just another soul trying to make sense of the world. As I've grown, so has my understanding of astrology. I'd like to communicate that astrology is not occult and not fortune-telling but that it is a fluid, creative description of the life we choose to live.
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4 Responses to The Astrology of Neil Simon

  1. Todd says:

    Interesting analysis. There are opposites in conflict in later Simon plays, too: *Biloxi Blues* and *Lost in Yonkers*, for instance. And that great one-act from *Plaza Suite* in which the bride’s locked herself in the bathroom.

    • I like how Neil Simon takes the simple pairing of opposites and makes such fun movies. Even though I’m a Neil Simon fan, I haven’t seen Biloxi Blues or Lost in Yonkers. In “The Prisoner of Second Avenue” the two characters change roles during the movie. Another cute twist on opposites.

  2. Eq says:

    My mother was a classic outgoing Aries (Sun AND Moon–pity me) married to an introverted Capricorn (a bookworm lit professor, no less!). My mother would never, ever do some of the things that Cora does. This is why I know, beyond all shadow of a doubt, that Cora is NOT an Aries.

    The scene that stands out most for me is that an Aries girl wouldn’t be blase about someone barging into HER apartment, even if it’s to get to his own. She’d tell him a thing or two, and then some! Don’t believe me? I’ll give you a fantastic real-life example of what an Aries woman would do in a situation like that:

    My 4-foot-nothing mother had a bum approach her while she was pumping her own gas late at night (an Aries? Scared of being a woman alone at night? Come on!). The guy told her once that he wished he had her cute little credit card. She ignored him. Then he said he really wanted that cute little card.

    At this point, you or I would give him the credit card, or try to find a way to leave, right then. Not an Aries! Her response?

    “When you work all day and all night like I do, you can get one of these cards, too!”

    THAT is how an Aries responds when you threaten her. Seriously–an Aries girl would be a LOT more outraged than Cora was.

    The scene at the end also only works with any woman but an Aries. She can love and deeply, but she won’t grovel or be as nice about telling the guy to put his shoes back on.

    Cora is an Aquarian, or maybe a Gemini. I’m leaning toward Aquarius. Back when this was written, only an Aquarian or Scorpio would have walked to that elevator wearing only her new husband’s shirt, and Cora is no Scorpio.

    • My mother was sun Aries/moon Leo. Had an Aries sun/moon Capricorn grandma. I have some familiarity with fiery women.

      If you recall, Corie is takes a piece of wood from her fire-burning stove and threatens to attack her intruder while her husband refuses to leave the bed. Is that not strong? All the while doing it in her underwear.She faces her problems.

      I don’t think Aquarius is as loving as the character Corie. I still see Corie as having some fire – sun or moon or both that makes her impulsive and ready to throw everything away after one drunken evening.

      What element loves to fight, break up and get back together more than fire? Fire enjoys the energy of a fight and that’s what upsets Corie – her husband won’t fight, won’t share his energy.

      Gemini I could see but I still feel Corie is too open emotionally to be the air signs. Air always has a distance, a place you never get to. Corie, on the other hand, wants to share and merge.

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