Lois Duncan’s Charismatic Characters

While it’s been years since I’ve been a young adult or actively read young adult literature, one of my favorite young adult authors is still Lois Duncan.

Since I don’t have a young adult in my environment, I see the literature from afar and only get wind of the most popular and film-worthy– stories involving vampires, magical boarding schools and teenage death matches.

And astrologers are the weird ones?

Duncan’s Killing Mr. Griffin and The Daughters of Eve present the charismatic character that brings out both the good and bad in others. When these books were written, the late 1970s, we were closer to WWII and closer to cult murders (Manson killings) and cult suicides (Jamestown).

The message may have seemed more relevant then, but charismatic leaders certainly haven’t gone extinct.

In contrast to the charismatic character, Duncan’s novels include a counterpart – the intuitive. In The Daughters of Eve, the new art teacher is the charismatic leader who faces a group of naïve young girls and makes them more aware of the world.

As the art teacher’s energy begins to infuse the girls in her tutelage, the intuitive character sees ugly images in her mind’s eye and flees from the group. The intuitive is like the charismatic in the ability to perceive the energies of a situation. The charismatic channels the energy for various purposes; the intuitive is simply sensitive and vulnerable.

The art teacher’s influence at first is rather refreshing – she awakens young and naïve girls to their power and guides them to take control of their lives.

As with many a charismatic leader, it goes bad when the art teacher’s own hostilities and need for revenge filter through the tube that feeds her acolytes. In the epilogue we learn that some of the girls progressed unscathed and others did not. The experience, however, was transformative for each.

Lois Duncan

Astrotheme places Duncan’s moon in Libra, just a few degrees from the sign of Scorpio. Duncan’s intense, controlling, intelligent and charismatic characters ring an awful lot like Scorpio. Could she have been born just a couple hours later with the moon in Scorpio?

Pluto, the planet ruling Scorpio, is square the moon (in Libra). Maybe that’s the Scorpio influence?

Scorpio energy is fixed emotional energy – intense to obsession. It’s also extremely perceptive of the environment. The natural Scorpio desire for connection can lead to the boundary crossing with those of gentler or more confused mindset. For those not so intense, the energy is attractive and appealing. Scorpio is often viewed sexy.

Duncan’s Saturn in Aquarius is trine the moon and sextile an interesting Mercury/Uranus conjunction in Aries. That Saturn is also inconjunct Pluto in Cancer.

These aspects could have something to do with the focus on powerful individuals in group dynamics. Saturn in Aquarius with the trine to Uranus suggests unusual friends and not fitting in with the “normal” people. Pluto in the sign of Cancer wants to belong but Saturn says it’s never really going to happen because air Aquarius wants to connect mentally and Cancer just follows you around the house and wants you home for supper.

Uranus/Mercury in Aries is opposed to Jupiter/moon in Libra in the 9th/3rd house axis. The 9th represents the world view taught to us and how we respond. For Duncan, the worldview of her upbringing was unique, unusual and prone to change. It doesn’t have the Scorpio feeling of her novels.

Duncan’s sun and Mars are in earth-sign Taurus, a strong, fixed sign. Air-sign Aquarius is also a fixed sign, but Saturn is too far out in Aquarius to be at a square relationship. If Duncan’s ascendant is correct, it’s in another fixed sign – the fire sign Leo.

Taurus, Leo, Aquarius – that’s three of the four fixed signs. The only one missing is Scorpio. Possibly the interest in Scorpionic characters is due to this lack in the horoscope?

Is Scorpio the missing link?

In a quick glance at cult leaders, I noticed the predominance of fixed signs. Some of our most influential cult leaders were sun Taurus or its opposite Scorpio. Maybe this missing Scorpio energy what brings the attraction.

On Duncan’s website, I learned that she had a daughter murdered in the late 1980s, possibly by organized crime. This situation is also in the realm of Scorpio, which rules death. Pluto was in Duncan’s 4th house of emotions during that time. Currently Saturn is transiting Scorpio, very soon to move into Sagittarius. Possibly some closure of that situation has occurred for Duncan as Saturn passes where Pluto once traveled.

Somewhere, somehow Duncan is picking up on a Scorpio energy ley line – from charismatics, to intuitives, to secrets and deaths.

Where is the Scorpio hidden?


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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