The Master of Magic Realism. Gabriel Garcia Márquez.

Gabriel García Márquez was a Colombian novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and journalist, known affectionately as Gabo throughout Latin America. He is considered one of the most significant authors of the 20th century and one of the best in the Spanish language, second only to Cervantes. In 1982 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Born 6 March, 1927 at 9am in Aracataca, Columbia. (AstrodataBank, Rodden Rating: B)

 

The chart could be a bald, but colourful character in a red cape, bowing to the world out there, acknowledging its compliments. He has a green-blue Neptune shoe on his left foot and a red-blue Pluto shoe on his right foot. On his left hand is a red-blue Saturn glove and on his right hand, a blue-red Mars glove.

His waist – the pivotal point of this character – is made up of the 8 planets on the I-side. Opposing this Mercurial man (Mars in Gemini) is Saturn as if the Great Teacher is demanding he pay his dues in the real world, albeit in an adventurous fashion. Saturn, his strongest ego planet, is after all in Sagittarius.

Magic Reality

Reality is an important theme in all of García Márquez’s works. He said his early works all reflect the reality of life in Colombia and this determines the rational structure of the books. “I don’t regret having written them, but they belong to a kind of premeditated literature that offers too static and exclusive a vision of reality.” As he was a journalist, he was indeed close to everyday reality, particularly in the Caribbean.

In his later works, he experimented more with less traditional approaches to reality, for example, the physical and spiritual ascending into heaven of Remedios the Beauty while she is hanging the laundry out to dry in One Hundred Years of Solitude,  is told as if it were an everyday event or as one critic noted: “…the most frightful, the most unusual things are told with a deadpan expression”. Hence the term “magic realism which was initiated by another South-American, Borges, (also on this blog) and taken to greater heights by Garcia Márquez.

Some of his works are set in the fictional village of Macondo (mainly inspired by his birthplace, Aracataca), where people are stricken with a plague of insomnia and consequently never sleep. “Macondo is not so much a place as a state of mind, which allows you to see what you want, and how you want to see it.”

In his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Solitude of Latin America, he relates this theme of solitude to the Latin American experience, “The interpretation of our reality through patterns not our own, serves only to make us ever more unknown, ever less free, ever more solitary.”

With two planets in the hidden world of the 12th house, and two stressing to get there, solitude was second nature to him. With ‘solitude’ he meant an (obsessive) passion that excludes others, such as making gold fishes in a laboratory and fighting endless wars or falling in love. Most of his novels explore the solitude of the individual and of humankind.

Soon after García Márquez was born, his father became a pharmacist and moved, with his wife, to Barranquilla, leaving young Gabriel in Aracataca with his grandparents. This town was the place to which he “… returned one day and discovered that between reality and nostalgia was the raw material for my work”.

The Search Figure

The concepts of reality and nostalgia can be observed in the Search Figure. In the Neptune/Mercury quincunx, Neptune in the stress zone of the 5th house of creative self-expression longs for Mercury in the stress zone of the 12th house. Mercury with Uranus at its side is in Pisces, so he would always yearn to achieve creative innovation in his writing.

To satisfy this craving, his Mercury became aware of the Moon, of his childhood experiences in which his grandparents were the major influence. These childhood emotions then provided the source, or inner resources as the trine suggests, for his creative self-expression. According to the Hubers, the Search Figure “implies a constant striving for the extension and completion of the topic provided by the trine.”(Aspect Pattern Astrology, p. 185) And the topic of the trine is the creative expression of his emotional ego, of the child in him.

He later said his grandmother was “the source of the magical, superstitious and supernatural view of reality”. This sounds like Saturn in adventurous Sagittarius. He enjoyed her unique way of telling stories. No matter how fantastic or improbable her statements, she always delivered them as if they were the irrefutable truth. It was a style that, some thirty years later, heavily influenced her grandson’s most popular novel One Hundred Years of Solitude.

The Animated Figure

Saturn plays a major role in the Achievement Triangle on which the Animated Figure is based. Garcia Márquez is an excellent example of this aspect structure. The tension of the opposition between Saturn and Mars is released in Jupiter in Pisces, in daring creativity.

In Aspect Pattern Astrology the Hubers state: “Hidden in this term is the profession of the animator. In cartoons he produces, he shows all the movements of a character precisely in frames.” (p. 232) Garcia Márquez is known for his ‘visual’ writing, in which the reader can see what he is describing clearly, no matter how extraordinary. During primary school, he didn’t participate in sport as one would expect from a temperament with a surplus of fire (-26), but gained a reputation as a boy who wrote humorous poems and drew humorous comic strips. Later in life, he would be involved in film criticism, screenwriting and directing films.

The Hubers go on to say: “There is a constructive orientation towards adapting and modifying the status quo…” Influenced by his grandfather, Garcia Márquez soon became a liberal as indicated by his Sun in the 11th house. His grandfather, who was a Colonel (hence all the colonels in his grandson’s books), was a Liberal veteran of the Thousand Days War who became the hero of Colombian Liberals.

García Márquez described him as his “umbilical cord with history and reality.” This reflects the Sun/Pluto trine – the only linear in his chart – perfectly: with his head up in the air of a creative 11th house, his ‘umbilical cord’ or link with learning gave him a transformed experience of reality. His grandfather told his grandson stories, took him to the circus and introduced him to the “miracle” of ice.

His Life

Back with his parents at age 9, Márquez’s first year of high school in 1940 coincided with the AP/North Node conjunction in December, 1939. His learning would always draw on a vast store of imagination, as suggested by the Pluto/Sun trine. Soon he published his first poems in the school magazine. Later, thanks to a scholarship given to him by the government, Gabriel Márquez was sent to study in Bogotá where he would finish his secondary studies. By the time his Age Point entered fiery Leo in the 4th house, he excelled not only in his writing, but also in soccer, baseball, and track.

After his graduation in 1947, García Márquez stayed in Bogotá to study law at the University of Colombia, but spent most of his spare time reading fiction, particularly the works of Kafka (also on the blog). He only studied law to please his father, but his heart wasn’t in it. He was too inspired, or dare I say ‘infired’ to write, thanks to all that fire in his temperament. In September of the same year, he published his first short story, pleasing both his Saturn and Mars – normally at loggerheads – as suggested by the trine his Age Point formed with these two energies.

When his Age Point entered the 4th house, García Márquez wanted to write a novel based on his grandparents’ house, but he put off the idea till he was in his early thirties (when his consciousness was filled with work). That’s when he started writing One Hundred Years of Solitude. He sold his car so his family would have money to live on while he wrote every day for eighteen months. His highly charged cardinal drive (-18) enabled him to do whatever it takes to reach his goal.

During this time – with his Age Point traversing the 5th house – he regularly discussed the progress of the above novel with like-minded friends. The book was finally published in 1967 – when his consciousness was saturated with the essence of his creativity as indicated by the AP/Neptune conjunction. It would become his most commercially successful novel and soon sold more than 30 million copies!

Back in 1950, when his Age Point experienced the essence of Neptune, he ended his legal studies to focus on something more creative. He became a journalist, working as a ‘whimsical’ columnist and reporter.

While his Age Point was moving through the 5th house, his social scene was meeting with the informal group of writers and journalists known as the Barranquilla Group, which didn’t only provide great motivation and inspiration for his literary career, but also a unique perspective on Caribbean culture.

In 1953 and 1954 his consciousness was opposed first by Jupiter, then the Sun, No wonder he would, soon afterwards, experience the low point of the 5th house. It seems his creative self-expression was severely challenged and he turned to writing film criticism, rather than journalism. He had already completed his first novella, Leaf Storm, but it took seven years to find a publisher, finally being published in 1955, after the low point of the 5th house when his creative self-expression was on the rise again.

Once his Age Point was on the cusp of the 6th house (1957), García Márquez accepted a position in Caracas in Venezuela to do his service to others: writing for a magazine and assisting in the 1958 Venezuelan coup d’état when his Mars was paving the way forward, as suggested by the AP/Mars trine. At the same time, the man in him got the go-ahead to return to Colombia to marry Mercedes Barcha.

The Leftist

With all those planets on the left in his chart, it is understandable that García Márquez would be against the ruling order in the world out there. Known to be a committed Leftist, García Márquez spoke out against the lack of freedom in the world. He became a friend of Fidel Castro, both praising the achievements of the Cuban Revolution, and criticising aspects of governance.

While his Age Point was on the cusp of the 8th house, García Márquez started a novel based on the Venezuelan dictator Jiménez. He wrote Autumn of the Patriarch from 1968 to 1971, when his Age Point was traversing this house, and continued to pay his dues to society with embellishments to the dictator novel until 1975 when it was published in Spain.

Then García Márquez and his family moved from Barcelona to Mexico City.  He pledged not to publish again until the Chilean Dictator  Pinochet was deposed. But once Jupiter, ruler of the 9th house, had shown him the bigger picture of injustice and repression, he “could not remain silent” and published Chronicle of a Death Foretold while Pinochet was still in power. That was in 1981 when his Age Point was on the cusp of the 10th house. And a year later, Garcia Marques stood way out from the crowd by winning the 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature.

The Sun conjunct Jupiter in the 11th house, as represented by his grandfather in his childhood, shaped his political and ideological views. In an interview, he said: “my grandfather the Colonel was a Liberal. My political ideas probably came from him to begin with because, instead of telling me fairy tales when I was young, he would regale me with horrifying accounts of the last civil war that free-thinkers and anti-clerics waged against the Conservative government.”

After the low point of the 11th house, when he realised he was not getting the editorial and journalistic independence his many planets on the I-side wanted, he became one of the original founders of a newscast that aired between 1992 and 1997.

In 1999 García Márquez was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer which prompted him to begin writing his memoirs. His Age Point had entered the 1st house for the second time around. Where – the first time around – he asserted himself, he now asserted his Self in his memoir Living to Tell the Tale. (2002).

From the C2 to the C1

At the C2, shortly after publication of One Hundred Years of Solitude, he was famous for his writing. At the C1 in 2005, he stated that it was the first year in which he hadn’t written a single line. That same year, his consciousness was brimming with Mars and the assertive man in him would no longer take on the challenges of Saturn.

In 2008 – the time of the 2nd house low point – he told fans at the Guadalajara book fair that writing had worn him out.

It seems he had finally had his fill of Solitude.