#341 Star Crossed Scott Fitzgerald
Born in St. Paul Minnesota on September 24, 1896, Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald really was named after the relative who penned the national anthem, the Star Spangled Banner. He joked once driving by his ancestor’s statue in Baltimore “Don’t let Uncle Frank see me drunk!”
Scott was urbane and Princeton educated, yet he and the macho Hemingway struck up a fast friendship after meeting in Paris in 1925. Their relationship was complicated by Hemingway’s intense dislike of Zelda Fitzgerald, whom he described a “crazy” (she was) and a distraction to her husband’s writing; he told the younger man to ditch her so he could amount to something.
Scott did not listen and Poppa grew weary of giving unlistened advice and by 1937 they drifted apart: Scott lamented it often but he tended to be maudlin.
Scott’s ascendant is at 29 Aquarius, directly opposite Regulus, where his Jupiter lies. That seems to be an unfortunate placement — a wildly exuberant Jupiter on the Throne spending lavishly on entertainment, travel and liquor, its almost reminiscent of the Sun King, Louis XVI, though I do not know for sure.
Still, even for a king, this cannot be a good placement, too much frolicky and not enough attention to his duties and lo and behold his T-square gets a point focus not at the midheaven but with erratic Uranus nearby. Saturn is close, right between individualistic Uranus and his Ascendants Lord, and Mercury, giving him a crisp writing style that almost swings with that Charleston Beat. Hemingway was right, Scott was indeed a gifted writer, his chart shows a quintile for every septile, but he had little respect for it except when he was down and needed cash, typically to pay Zelda’s hospital bills.
What type is that anyhow?
We have not run into this type of chart previously, but Scott was a deviated bowl. Everything pretty much fits within that Western hemisphere pushing his experience out to the floor for all its worth, but there is a wide gap between Jupiter and Mars — a bit too wide that suggests he was always running from pillar to post and back again. Thankfully, he has the majority of his planets in fixed houses, so he was adamant about writing, and it seems he kept a detailed journal, but writing fiction takes time, and a lot of it, for long stretches and Scott with planets in mutable signs did sporadically.
Of course, it is natural, like Hemingway did, to blame Zelda, everyone did and she was a diagnosed schizophrenic, but looking at his chart, one realizes how much like Jimmy Buffet’s theme, Wasted Away Again in Margaritaville, “it was his own damn fault.”
Marc Jones noted his septiles remarking that they show a person’s tendency to get fixed into a pattern of self-compulsion. In Scott’s chart, we see with Uranus up top, showing how his need for independent self-expression thwarted his life’s purpose. Here, this particular septile led Scott to compromise his artistic value for a paycheck. He did that with “This Side of Paradise” and again, most notably in the legendary rewrite of “Gone with the Wind” where the company’s crony got the notice and Scott got a paycheck, not even mentioned in the credits.
Probably his most sustained work, and masterpiece, The Great Gatsby, but the pity is, there could have been so much more.