If the Columbus Ballet Met director is correct, that humans seek the arts to reflect our humanity back upon ourselves, then Eugene O’Neill’s play Long Day’s Journey into Night reflects our self-pity.
While watching this long journey into unproductive regret and delusional nostalgia, my astrological brain kept screaming “Pisces.” The play consists of four family members with nebulous boundaries continually reacting to each other with the full gamut of emotions – love, pity, regret, anger and need.
This play exhibited the entire shadow side of Pisces which seeks connection through the dissolution of boundaries and is other worldly in its perception of the world. Negative Pisces is known for escapism in many forms from substance abuse to excessive fantasizing. Pisces is the garbage can of the zodiac because it can understand all experience drawing in others who may abuse that ability through psychic vampirism. The Pisces garbage can contains trash that does not belong to Pisces but that Pisces does not know how to discard. If emotional hoarding could be measured, Pisces could create the TV show.
In Long Day’s Journey into Night, based on O’Neill’s actual family, the father and two sons are drinkers. The sons express quite a bit of anger toward their father who they see as emotionally and financially stingy. Father was a famous actor in his day but through stunning financial success from one particular play, regrets that he never developed his talents fully.
Regret and self-pity, these are Pisces emotions.
The older son is an open profligate. He drinks himself into stupor and frequents whore houses (this is the early 20th century when a whore house was a recognized destination).
Drowning oneself in drink and sex – there’s some Pisces escapism.
The mother is a fragile and anxious soul who we learn is trying to wean herself from morphine, a drug she was given after a difficult childbirth not realizing its addictive properties. Mother, unfortunately, isn’t succeeding during the play. As she succumbs to the addiction once again, we learn of her life regrets – she wanted to be either a nun or pianist. Instead she fell in love and is now just a morphine-addicted nothing.
Nun or pianist – there’s some Pisces dreaming of a world over the rainbow – the world of spirituality or the world of music. As an astrologer friend often says, “Pisces invented music.”
The brother who is ostensibly Eugene O’Neill himself is also a drinker and, as the play progresses, we learn has tuberculosis (called consumption in those days).
While disease is in the realm of the Virgo/Pisces axis (a polarity), disease that leads to death is in the orbit of Pisces which is the last sign of the zodiac. Pisces represents the dissolving of our ego, which is death.
In case you are still not on the Pisces band wagon here, the play ends with all our characters in states of inebriation, many supine on the floor, with fog rolling across the stage.
Fog is Pisces. The spiritual world does not have the sharp edges of the third-dimensional world.
Running to my ephemeris, I learned that O’Neill was not a Pisces sun but a Libra sun. His moon, however, was in Pisces.
There’s much going on in O’Neill’s horoscope, especially in air signs with sun conjunct Uranus in Libra and Pluto conjunct Neptune in Gemini. There’s a bit of water too with Mercury and Venus in Scorpio and that Pisces moon.
Fire is present (Saturn in Leo, Jupiter and Mars in Sagittarius) but no earth which means no grounding.
Long Day’s Journey into Night is pure Pisces, pure syrupy, sticky Pisces. Why is there no air or fire in that play? Where is the rational distance or the futuristic hope?
Possibly the lack of earth prevented O’Neill from apply his more positive, rational personality traits to the content of his plays.
If O’Neill’s Astrotheme chart is correct, possibly his Libra desire for partnership focused on his 7th house (ruled by Libra) Pisces moon where he wasn’t able to deal with the Piscean emotions of the world around him. Yet he picked them up somehow and led, from his biography, a difficult and lonely life. He even tried to commit suicide at one point.
How did that Pisces moon overrule the rest of his chart?
Mothers and Sons
If I didn’t purge myself of self-pity forever after Long Day’s Journey into Night, I had another opportunity at the next play on my schedule, Mothers and Sons.
Could this be more Pisces moon, I pondered as I watched? If so, why was I being assaulted with moon in Pisces? What did I do to deserve this? Why me?
The playwright, Terrence McNally, sure enough has moon in Pisces.
Luckily for the audience, McNally has sun and Mercury in water-sign Scorpio and was able to transformation negative emotions into something more positive.
In Mothers and Sons, after losing her husband a lonely and angry woman (clearly depressed by today’s definition) visits her deceased son’s homosexual partner. This man is now happily connected to a new husband (husband being something not available in the past) and the couple even has a child (a son). They are a happy family.
This unhappy woman drops in unexpectedly on a purported task of returning an item but clearly she needs to talk to someone. She’s lost her husband and son and has no other children. Yet she’s too angry to open up and simply receive the counseling she clearly came for. Instead she expresses her anger toward her host who clearly would like her to leave.
The play ends on a much more positive (if a bit mawkish) note of the woman opening up to the couple’s son. Children do have this way of breaking through our barriers and all of our hatreds.
While the woman exhibited some of the extremes of moon in Capricorn, the hashing out of all past emotions unprocessed is a Pisces experience. A transformation of those emotions is cathartic. This was a Pisces moon dumping of the garbage can.
McNally as Scorpio sun swims in the currents of emotion so having a Pisces moon adds a more compassionate and open element to Scorpio’s normal boundaries.
Water and Scorpio especially at its highest level represents emotional honesty. The play was enjoyable to me personally because the mother’s anger was allowed to express in a very real way. She said things some of us think (in our private moments) and for all her repellent anger, she was understandable. Times had changed and it was difficult for her to catch up. She also raises the question of whether it’s okay to accept but disagree, a good question for our times.
Possibly McNally’s natal Neptune (which rules Pisces) in the opposite sign of Virgo and opposite his Pisces moon gives him the ability to see both the emotional and rational sides of any situation. Scorpio sun is always on the lookout for motivation which may be why, to me, his characters seem very real.
O’Neill’s characters, in contrast, were real but exaggerated. O’Neill’s characters had only negative Pisces traits of escapist self-pity. McNally’s characters have the ability to discuss their feelings and work through them.
McNally has a bit more earth in his horoscope than O’Neill with Uranus in Taurus (rags to riches?) and Neptune in Virgo. As an aside, today’s transit of Pluto in Capricorn may help McNally become a permanent fixture as a person and writer. He may have or probably will receive some awards during this long transit. In regular terms, he will have “arrived.”
Hillary Clinton’s Pisces Moon
Prior to finding myself in the audience of two Pisces-moon plays, I was examining the chart of presidential candidate and Pisces moon Hillary Clinton and noting that with Neptune transiting Pisces right now, Clinton may be feeling some sense of self-pity or regret.
As Clinton is on the public stage, Pisces energy can manifest as savior (the nun option for O’Neill’s mother) or the scapegoat (the lover in McNally’s play).
Clinton’s strong sun in Scorpio and Mars/Pluto/Saturn conjunction in Leo are strong, forceful placements than can override Pisces moon sensitivity and need for escape. Yet the moon is reactive and always there ready with comfort.
These two Pisces moon plays may help us understand what might lurk in the heart of Clinton as she reviews her past and forges a path for the future.
If perchance Clinton doesn’t win the 2016 election, she may have to ward against becoming like one of the characters in an O’Neill or McNally play. But as we can see from our artistic reflection of Pisces moon, we have several choices – we can lie drunk on the floor wishing we were a nun or we can express our feelings and open up to those around us. Letting go of the past is a lesson for Pisces moon.