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#968 Oscar Wilde and the Grand Sextile


Biograph

Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde was born October 15, 1854 in Dublin, and  was a popular literary figure in late Victorian England, known for his  wit, flamboyant style and ultimately imprisonment for homosexuality. because of his liaison with Lord Douglas.  Our header image is the portrait of the two married men.

He graduated  from Oxford University, he lectured there as  a leading proponent of the principles of aestheticism, an artistic theory that originated in France and spread to England via the pre-Raphaelites.  It basic tenet, still wildly held, is that the enjoyment of beauty (art)  can by ” itself give value and meaning to life” ¹and thereby ignore any moral implications.  This has the corollary that politics and the personal life are divorced and so the personal peccadilloes of a person does not affect their politics and vice-verse.

                                             the Grand Sextile

A Grand Sextile is a pattern of six individual sextiles (60° each) linked together to form a circle of 360° creating mutual encouragement within itself but because it is a “closed” circuit there is a lack of dynamic tension to spur the person forward. Instead they are happy in their psychological squalor and lose their individuality for the sake typically the missing spoke.

oscar wilde.png

In Oscar Wilde’s chart that missing sextile is at the eleventh house cusp — highlighted in green — where  his many creative successes the picture of Dorian Grey, the Importance of being Earnest and the Canterbury Ghost — are basically variations of the theme of art devoid of morality.  This is because of his inability to confront the fantasies and inherent narcissism and so his Moon i.e.  missing sextile, gets more force and encouragement that if it was there.

Since it is in the eleventh house,  it demonstrated how popular opinion turned swiftly against him during his  Indecency trial of 1894 because of his relationship at 40 with 24 year old Lord Douglas — the Lord’s father, the Eighth Marquess of Queensberry (1844–1900), was irate about the relationship and wanted to “out” Wilde and destroy his public credibility and thus his means of support.

first trial

The  trial opened at the Central Criminal Court (Old Bailey) on April 3, 1895 and went  badly for Wilde — look at the yellow highlighted houses where we see the Dragon’s Tail of undoing opposite the head of the tenth conjunct Mercury of newspaper publicity conjunct the transit of illicit young love (Neptune).

Wilde was asked several questions about The Picture of Dorian Gray and the relationships between older and younger men in that novel, and then was accused of relations with other young men, not just Lord Alfred. Sir Edward Clarke, his attorney, advised Wilde to withdraw, hoping privately (he revealed later) that Wilde could escape the country; he did not.

The next trial on the same subject, same man  was on April 26th on Douglas’s love poems, which were used because Wilde  wrote to the London Evening News that the Marquess could not win the case without pitting father against son in court, and Wilde believed that would never occur.

The third trial was on May 22nd because of a hung jury verdict of the 26th and Wilde was found guilty of indecent behavior with men, a lesser charge but one for which he received the maximum penalty under the Criminal Law Amendment Act of  two years at hard labor.

Wilde died in Paris France on November 30th, 1900 having fled the country.



Footnotes:

  1. The time and date we are using was proposed by Mr. Vivian Robson in his 1941 book, Astrology and Sex. 
  2. John Ruskin, The Seven Lamps of Architecture,  London: 1849.
  3. A full review of this can be found in the doctoral essay here.  The author is not a native English speaker, but does quite a good job on reviewing Wilde’s works from this perspective.
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