2020 is the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, so many celebrations of his sublime music are planned for the year ahead. Because Pluto’s cycle is about 245 years long, Beethoven had Pluto in Capricorn, but also Jupiter, Chariklo and Pholus!! Plus Uranus in Taurus! Just like right now!! What a thrill it was to discover this!!
Ludwig Van Beethoven
16 December 1770 N S (Speculative)
13.00 LMT (Rectified by Marion March)
[Note: Rodden rating DD – see astro.com.. Even the date is not confirmed, and certainly not the time. [The version used below was rectified by Marion March. I have not yet attempted to fully check this rectification myself, but it seems to ‘speak’ well enough for our purposes here.]
Beethoven was born during the years of the American Revolution (1765-1783) and the French Revolution began when he was in his late teens. Europe would descend into political turmoil, torn apart by various Napoleonic wars. Beethoven was deeply inspired by revolutionary ideals in his life and music, especially concerning ‘Freedom for the oppressed’ (Nessus in Aquarius, Uranus-Neptune-MC in Grand Trine).
Powerful, explosive, exultant, choral and orchestral music is typical of Beethoven’s style (Sagittarian stellium), as are tender, flowing interludes (Chiron in Pisces sextile Capricorn stellium). His music has been used for the soundtrack of many a movie, and has thus entered the hearts and minds even of those who have little interest in or experience of Classical/Romantic/Western music. His impact is universal (Neptune trine MC). Poignantly, his ‘Ode to Joy’ was chosen in 1972 as the anthem for the European Union.
Beethoven’s final version of the opera called ‘Fidelio’, which took about a decade to complete (Capricorn, anyone?!) was performed on 23rd May 1814, with Saturn at 0º38′ Aquarius, where it will be on March 31st 2020, coming right up!
‘Fidelio’ is the moving story, allegedly true, of a loving wife who manages to free her beloved husband from a prison dungeon where his death is immanent. In the process, the other (political) prisoners are let out once again into the light, and sing the famous chorus “O Welche Lust“ [Oh, what joy!] – truly one of the Great Moments of the entire opera repertoire. The story was prudently relocated from France to Spain – the success of the first performance was muted by the presence (in French-occupied Vienna) of French troops in the audience.
In recent times music from ‘Fidelio’ has been played at various events of great historical significance: after WWII the re-opening of the Vienna State Opera, and the Berlin Opera House, both of which had been destroyed by bombs. On the 40th anniversary of the partition of Germany, Fidelio was performed (with the prisoners dressed in ordinary street clothes) … and about one month later the Berlin Wall came down!
And, poignantly, we can see in ‘Fidelio’ the portrayal of Beethoven’s own hopes which alas were never fulfilled … of having his deafness cured, and the wish that a faithful wife might rescue him from ‘imprisonment’ in the dungeon of his deafness.
We can also take this symbolically, as an allegory reminiscent of Plato’s famous teaching story about the prisoners in the cave. (Click here for an essay on this theme which includes background astrological references.) Or the archetypal motif of a ‘descent and return’ …
Beethoven began going deaf in his early 20s, and by the last decade of his life he was totally deaf. He could hear neither the concerts he was still conducting, nor the rapturous applause of his enthusiastic audiences (Saturn in Leo, possibly in the 5th) … and he lived a very isolated life. His only water planet is Chiron in Pisces, possibly in the 12th house … and he suffered from numerous additional physical afflictions and situations of heart-break, betrayal and loss in his passion for the women in his life (Venus at the midpoint of Centaurs Chariklo and Pholus?).
And, through it all, his capacity to inspire people and convey strength and enthusiasm remained undimmed … in contrast to his often irascible and ‘difficult’ personality. True to his (possible) Aries Ascendant, he was courageous, totally dedicated to his art, and devoid of self-pity.
So as man who experienced great inner torment during a time when people were suffering a period of violent political iniquities, with endless bloody wars, Beethoven provides us with an example of one who continued to carry the light for humanity and gave of his best, without reserve, and in spite of enormous personal (and collective) difficulties.
Beethoven – Breaking News!
‘Fidelio’ will be performed in March 2020 at the Royal Opera House AND screened at over 400 cinemas in the UK (live-stream March 17th), France and the USA. Click here to find out if it’s due at a cinema near you!
Interested in learning more from Melanie Reinhart? You can enjoy some of her other work below!
Chariklo and the Saturn-Pluto Conjunction, on the meaning of Chariklo and its significance in 2019 and 2020.
Melanie is well-known for her powerful work on Chiron. Let her guide you through understanding this “planet” in her three-part series, Transits of Chiron – The Healing Journey.
Check out Melanie’s talk on Derived Houses for an insightful look into natal astrology, family dynamics, and ancestral legacies.