I can’t remember your exact birthdate, but if you’ve told me once, I can probably tell you what your rising sign is and also list off the rising signs of three mutual friends. (I take pleasure in showing off this way.) For this meaningless talent, I’ve been hailed somewhat of a savant, but my knowledge is merely mediocre compared to that of my friends Leigh-Ann Butler (beautiful sister Pisces) and Kathleen Kajioka, multi-talented violinist/violist, Gemini host of “In The Still Of The Night” at The New Classical 96.3FM, and Resident Astrologer.
So on his Sagittarian birthday, I thought it would be pleasurably appropriate to share a segment from Kathleen’s show, Composers In Space, featuring yours truly, Mr. Beethoven:
Born on December 16, 1770, Beethoven is the musical poster-child for Sagittarius – but you wouldn’t know it to look at him! Most portraits of Beethoven show a brooding (but not the one to the left), angry looking character that doesn’t seem to fit the upbeat nature of the autumnal fire sign. What you’re seeing is his Scorpio ascendant, which blanketed him with a suspicious, touchy personality. Beneath that were Sagittarian aspirations galore: he was truth-seeking, outspoken, idealistic and forward-looking. Ruled by magnanimous, Jupiter, Sagittarius has an impetus to expand – Beethoven’s music is the paradigm of “bigger, louder, longer,” with symphonies of record length, making more noise than any before. His deeply personal and vast sonic landscapes carried music into a brand new era. As for the countless explosions of temper in his compositions, they are simply mischievous Mars in Gemini throwing hand grenades onto the scene, and adding more than a touch of bravado.
In the end, though, it’s all about Sagittarius, whose highest expression is a faith in the best humanity has to offer. We see Beethoven declare this in his mammoth Ninth Symphony, which he crowned with the famous “Ode to Joy,” an anthem celebrating the ideals of Brotherhood and the unity of all humankind.
Leonard Bernstein describes the immortal universality of Beethoven’s music and specifically his Ninth Symphony in the following video. Perfect words.
“Then let us all do what is right, strive with all our might toward the unattainable, develop as fully as we can the gifts God has given us, and never stop learning.” ~ Ludwig van Beethoven