Agatha Christie compared with Stephen King
by Carla Pretto
Agatha Christie was born in Torquay on the fifteenth of September, 1890, at 4am.
The Sun was then positioned in the methodical and precise sign of Virgo, just on the cusp between the first and second houses. The position and aspects of her Moon immediately tell us a great deal about her creative gifts: it is found in Libra, in the second house, forming trigon with Jupiter, in the fifth house, and with Pluto and Neptune in conjunction to the X house in Gemini. Her second house, as well as the Moon, also hosts Mercury, which, allied to the fact that she presents a full eight planets in the southern hemisphere of her birth chart, gives us a clear indication how important to her were her ties to her region and her clan. In fact, notwithstanding the fact that for the greater part of her life she found herself undertaking numerous voyages, she always felt the need to return home.
The writer’s tempo tended to be rather slow and she was also distinguished by her need for certainty and reassurance; in spite of that, the trigon that the Moon formed with Pluto and Neptune drove her in constant search of different worlds to explore, to be surrounded by great, open spaces and to experience intriguing situations that are pretty difficult to find inside the protective cocoon of the family, in which everything is clear and predictable. This, then, is how her novels became the perfect place to express both the need to fantasise that she acquired from Neptune, and the drive to explore the unconscious and to give life to obscure and intriguing situations, the influence of Pluto, placed in X house furthermore, guaranteeing her success.
Jupiter in the fifth house, in trigon to the Moon in the second house, allowed her to calculate precisely the returns that she would make on her work!
Notwithstanding the indisputable success and notoriety she gained in her lifetime, Christie always tended to think of herself as an ordinary person, Sun-Saturn in Virgo. She considered, in fact, her second husband, an archaeologist, to be the genius of the family, despite the confirmation of how creatively gifted she was that we observe in the splendid position of her Moon. We know that her mother kept her at home until she was eight years old, preventing her from going to school, because she believed that up until that age a child should think only of games, and not of studies, Jupiter in Aquarius in the fifth house. In any case, Agatha taught herself to read in secret, something her mother strongly disapproved of, but of which the father was fiercely proud, symbolised by his Sun in Virgo. Her instruction proceeded inside the family home together with the help of a tutor.
The quadrature that Saturn formed with Neptune and Pluto tells us that the greatest fear of our authoress (just like Stephen King, as we will see) was conflict with the authorities. Her biography records an event in her infancy when she was severely scolded by the owner of a field in which she had stopped to gather flowers: the fear she experienced was of such intensity that it scarred her grievously.
The Moon in trigon to Jupiter was reflected in the remarkable singing ability she possessed; she was used to singing together with her brother and, in fact, her great ambition was to take up the profession of singer, which her timid and introverted nature, symbolised by the Ascendant in Virgo and by Saturn in house I, afflicted by Pluto, entirely prevented her from realising; this caused her much pain.
At this point Agatha, began to write her most famous thrillers; let’s now try and understand the reason for her real propensity for this type of narrative. The writer, born under the sign of Virgo, presented Mercury in Libra, which made her particularly realistic and adept at constructing the plots of her books and furthermore, Libra being one of the domiciles of Saturn, the capacity for logical and analytical thought was particularly accentuated; while the trigon that Mercury formed with Pluto indicated her love for exploring the depths of the psyche, of the unconscious, not to mention her inclination for creating mysterious and macabre situations. Mercury presented a trigon too with Neptune, which is evident in how she was able to convey emotion in her works.
In considering her third house, in which Venus and Uranus are found, and her X house, positioned in Gemini, in which are found the two planets in aspect with the Moon that we analysed earlier, we are in the end led to think that the fame she found as a writer was an excellent way of giving voice to the symbolism of her birth chart.
The only negative aspect that our mystery writer’s Sun presented was a quadrature to Mars, placed in Sagittarius in the fourth house. In fact, Christie had great difficulties with her first husband, an excellent pilot who, however, fell into a profound existential crisis at the end of the war, unable to discover any purpose to his life. During a period of great personal crisis due to the death of her mother, to whom the writer was profoundly attached (as symbolised by the stupendous position of her Moon), the husband began an adulterous relationship and asked for a divorce. Agatha was so upset by this that she disappeared for ten days, of which there is no trace in her biography. Once back home and having recovered her equilibrium, the writer agreed to the separation and left on a journey during which she met her second husband, an archaeologist fourteen years her junior. Agatha began to follow him on the journeys he had to make for his work and this enormously stimulated her imagination, symbolised by the trigon between the Moon and Neptune, and, indeed, she found inspiration for the backdrops in which to set her novels.
Comparison between the birth charts of Christie Agatha, queen of the thriller, and King Stephen, king of the thriller.
Not only is Stephen King a Virgo like Agatha Christie, but the two even have the Sun in conjunction: in addition, he presents Saturn in house I, as does she: such a placement drives them to always display a very serious attitude, detached and rational, which allows them to completely hide their emotions. However, King, having Pluto also in house I, feels more strongly the need to show his personality and put himself centre stage.
King’s Moon is in Sagittarius, trigonal to Pluto and Saturn, and Christie’s luminary makes exactly the same aspect with Pluto and Neptune.
Whereas Agatha Christie presented a quadrature between Saturn and Pluto, Stephen King has the two planets in conjunction: in both, the consciousness is bound to an inner place in which the unconscious contents of the psyche emerge, often in the form of dreams and fears. As a result, as anticipated a little earlier and as is shown by the completed interpretation of the birth chart, Stephen King too is very impressionable. The childhood trauma that he himself admits scarred him the most was watching a film on aliens, a story that so frightened him that from that moment he has suffered from a marked fear of the dark and always sleeps with the light on.
The Sun is in conjunction with Venus and, although at a wide angle, to Neptune: this is seen in the sudden disappearance of the father who, at some point in his life, left home.
The birth chart of the American novelist further presents numerous points in common with that of the English writer: King too has eight planets in the southern hemisphere; while his sees Pluto and Saturn trigonal to house X, she has two planets in the same house. If the love for tales of horror and the analysis of the depths of the unconscious human mind is symbolised in King by Mercury in sextile to Pluto, Christie’s has the same planets linked by a trigon. Whereas Mercury in one is in conjunction with Neptune, in the other the relationship is trigonal. King has three planets, among them Venus, in the third house; Christie has two, among which, once again, is Venus.
Like our thriller writer, Stephen King works with great method and discipline: every day he writes for two hours, producing 500 words, except for two days of the year during the official holidays.
Both became remarkably rich thanks to their work, seen in the common position of Jupiter in the fifth house, but, while Christie presents Jupiter in Aquarius, King has him in Scorpio in aspect of quadrature with Saturn. So, while one was capable of calculating with precision the growth of her earnings, the other became the highest paid writer of our times but, as Scorpio dictates, he spent a period in ’72 when he found it hard to make ends meet because of a series of unwise financial investments and to maintain himself, he decided at that moment to eliminate two instruments that are typical of the third house, that is the car and the telephone, finding work of a type that is retraceable to the aforementioned house: petrol pump attendant.
Translated by Nick Skidmore