|Walter Crane imagined the beast as a boar.|
Once upon a time, in a country rather like this one, not very long ago, lived a young woman called Belle…
|Anne Anderson imagined a
sort of beaky beast
The first written version of Beauty and the Beast comes from mid-18th century France, but such is the archetypal strength of the tale that each generation reinvents it in its own image. We look in the mirror of this fairy story and recognise the power of myth.
To cut a short story shorter: Belle, a merchant’s lovely, tender-hearted youngest daughter, goes in place of her father to stay with a hideous, but fabulously wealthy, Beast who owns an enchanted castle. If one were to put an astrological signature on the billionaire in a castle, surely beastly Pluto in Capricorn, the sign of solid castle walls and tradition would work rather well.
Belle, despite the best efforts of her materialistic sisters, eventually falls in love with the lonely, solitary Beast, who is transformed by the power of her love back into a handsome prince.
|AL Bowley’s bear beast.|
Tomorrow, Venus, Beauty’s own planet, meets the Beast at 9° Capricorn. This year she will be in his castle for a long time, right up until the end of January. But tomorrow is the only time the two planets will actually meet in this cycle because she stations direct just out of the Beast’s clutches on January 31.
Pluto and Venus are not natural enemies. In fact they can be allies. Both are planets associated with wealth and sex.
In the wheel of the zodiac, Pluto and Venus rule the opposing signs, Scorpio and Taurus. Opposites in this case really do attract. This is an axis of desire.
Belle falls in love with the Beast eventually — not because he showers her with wealth — but because he treats her with tenderness and respect, and she sees (by looking in Neptune’s mirror) that he loves her passionately. When they are parted, he literally starts to pine away. All the wealth in the world is no substitute for love. It is his near-death that finally shows Belle the truth of her own emotions. Her tears of remorse and compassion transform him back into a handsome prince.
We have to hope that love really has got the power to transform beasts into princes…
|Cocteau’s shimmering, luminous film of the story was made just after WWII.|