Dorothy Parker

According to the official CIDA archive, Dorothy Parker was born on the twenty second of August in 1893 at 9.50pm in the West End of New Jersey. But, in my opinion, the true hour of her birth must have been half an hour later when the Moon had moved from the ninth house to the eighth, because a woman who would be called Dottie the ‘rebel’ who made “mincemeat of all the American women of her epoch” and whose first article was entitled ‘I hate all women, they get on my nerves’, could not have had the Moon in the eighth house.

The Moon in both cases was placed in Capricorn and received aspects from the three ‘master’ planets of the sign, pushing to the fore the masculine characteristics that made up Dorothy’s character. The Moon in Capricorn symbolises strength of character, rationality, great capacity for analysis/reasoning, and ambition: all qualities that are essential to succeed in realising pre-ordained goals, especially those inherent in the character, and autonomy.  

The trigon that the Moon formed with Mars, the planet exalted in Capricorn, reflects courage and strength but also impulsiveness, competitiveness, the need to beat others and especially other women. The quadrature of the Moon with Saturn, the planet domiciled in Capricorn, indicates the difficult and ponderous relationship, based on power and duty rather than love, that Dorothy had with her mother, and with the woman who took her place. The sextile of Uranus with the Moon is reflected in the originality, the open-mindedness, the dynamism and the drastic nature of her behaviour, her way of acting. This strongly Capricorn Moon represents both the realisation of her career as a writer, poet and theatre critic but also indicates the insecurity that Dorothy felt about her own femininity. If such a Moon had been placed in the ninth house, the insecurity, the lack of fulfilment of her feminine side, would have been sublimated or softened by a more open and good-natured outlook through which her feminist thought would still have been manifest but in a more soothing and perhaps more widely appreciated tone. The fact that Dorothy’s mother died, and was substituted with another who she did not ever accept, makes me suspect the presence of the Moon in the eighth house, co-significant Scorpio; a Capricorn-Scorpion Moon, capable of demonstrating rebellion, fearsome from childhood, able to hate women, upon whom she projected the feelings she had towards her stepmother and towards her own feminine side, which was rejected from the start and continued to be rejected: capable of despising the customs, the people, the riches of her own clan. By changing the hour of birth, the Sun would have been in the fourth house, co-significant Cancer, which symbolises the love of family, which would tally more with Dorothy’s two attempts to build one, attempts that failed both because of her strong Capricorn Moon but also because of the affliction of the weak Sun by Jupiter. Her narrative ability, her cutting humour, are symbolised by Mercury in sextile to Pluto, while her passion for the theatre and her creative vein are indicated by the double conjunction, found in the first house, of Pluto, Neptune and Jupiter.

by Carla Pretto

Translated by Nick Skidmore

© 2023 Carla Pretto