Most are familiar with the movie The Wizard of Oz, adapted from the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz written by L. Frank Baum. Baum was an early proponent of women’s suffrage and one of the modern criticisms of the movie adaptation is the removal of elements that were more feminist or gender equalizing.
What is interesting about this is that Baum is said to have done something similar in regard to the writing of his own stories. His children’s books follow the archetypal form of traditional folk tales, such as Grimm’s but without the violence or religious themes. Baum is purported to have said that he wished to entertain children in an engaging and moral way without indoctrinating them.
His Oz characters are complex and engaging. While each can be heavily associated with an astrological sign archetype, they also branch off into subtlety. With a Taurus Sun conjunct Uranus, Baum’s writing is that of a man both pleasant and staid but with a will to innovate. Many of the technologies Baum wove into his stories came to pass years after he wrote of them.
Baum’s Mercury Ceres in Gemini sextiled Neptune. He was a prolific writer under his own name and two pen names. He also wrote for a newspaper and wrote plays and the adaptations for stage of some of his books and stories. His stories were enthralling to generations of children long after his death.
Ceres involved with Mercury is very clear in his writing. I can’t speak for others, but I personally found them extremely nurturing and can point to them as a source of positive parenting when I felt lost. The quality and relative complexity of his characters, my believing they could be real, helped me to stay open to trust at a time when I might have become bitter and dejected.
His Venus-Pluto-Vesta-Pallas conjunction in Taurus quincunxed his Moon-Mars in Libra. He had burning desires, in a solid Taurus way, but applied them with balance. Early on when he was still taking jobs besides writing, he sold fireworks. A theater caught fire and was destroyed during his tour of the production of his play Matches.
Black Moon Lilith conjuncts his Moon-Mars in Libra. This combination strongly links to his avid support of women’s suffrage. With this combination he would certainly have had strong beliefs in that area, for or against. Uranus conjuncting his Taurus sun, however, comes out on the side of modernizing in social convention.
Baum’s Moon-Mars was involved in a t-square with Jupiter and Saturn. He worked very hard at advancing his work into stage and film but saw mixed results and some outright failures. While he never saw the heights of monetary success, he also never fully crashed. He worked hard at making money for his family, carefully shielding family monies, while still producing engaging and exciting creative works for children. He left behind no scandals, a wealth of integrity, and the deep regard of scores of children.
Who was your favorite author when you were young?
I loved the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books but I’m not sure who to name as the author/s.
I love him. Great post!
Roald Dahl, Madeleine Lengle, C.S Lewis, Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Because of these books I am forever suspicious of J.K Rowling. She seems to elicit something different from what a good kid’s book is supposed to do, which is invite a child out of the world they live in and into a thrilling adveture. Without your mom. In a witch costume. Shrilly waving the other moms in witch costumes at the midnight book signing.
When I was growing up the world of a good book was an intimate thrill, and not exactly for adults. Not exactly for anybody but me.
Madeleine L’Engle! I got to meet her on my 25th birthday when she gave a talk at the university.
Madeleine ROCKS. :). Wish I could have been there.
Wow!!! This guy sounds like my hero!!!! Def going to have to check out some more of his stuff:-)
Louisa May Alcott, L.M. Montgomery, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Elizabeth Enright, C.S. Lewis, E.B. White. Also like Nancy Drew and The Bobbsey Twins. I read The Little Colonel which seemed practically a banned book ’cause it had the “N” word; as my mom gave it to me (it was hers) she explained times were different then and to read it in historical context (journalism degree, haha). Also read Gone With the Wind over a two week vacation when I was ten. I remember being a little shocked when I read that Rhett took her upstairs. I wondered if it was sex, though I wasn’t really sure 😛
Another book I just loved was The Hotel Cat. Thought it was amazing. Also The Wind in the Willows and The Little Princess.
Great post. I love the insite and the weaving of the asteroids influence on a great writer’s contribution. I found the Wizard on the screen in a very unlikely river house in old Hawaii … it was a mix of cultures at an amazing time. Didn’t read the books until much later, along with Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time (which continues to be one of my always favorites). I am reading Madeleine’s Crosswicks Journals … memoirs of her life/writing and it is a gift into her perspectives.
Thanks for this, Satori.