This article on George R R Martin’s Birth Chart was written by the astrologer Carole Bone, and she has graciously permitted me to reproduce it here.
Like many astrologers, I have had an interest in astrology for as long as I can remember. However I could never resonate with the confident, sporty, travel loving traits of my Sagittarian “star sign” and somehow this disappointing fact always left me with a distinct feeling of dissatisfaction. Fast forward to just before my 40th birthday when I acquire legendary Sun Sign astrologer Russell Grant’s “Astrology Kit” as part of a bargain book deal.
A double Aquarian with Uranus on his Midheaven, Russell’s claim to fame is that of highly successful, popular sun sign newspaper columnist and TV personality”. Something a lot of “proper” astrologers frown on.
However I stand by it as an inspiring introduction. Here, was a succinct, comprehensive volume explaining the intriguing complexities of a “proper” horoscope. Engaging and informative descriptions of signs, planets, houses, the Ascendant, even the Nodes of the Moon were included. Better yet it gave instructions, tools and tables to draw up a fairly accurate natal chart.
On discovering I had a Virgo Ascendant and Cancer Moon, I was hooked! The descriptions were perfect and totally explained the inner turmoil I had felt within all my life! I HAD to know more!
From there I found the Faculty of Astrological Studies and my journey began in earnest. As my studies progressed I learned that I had an exact quincunx between Sun at 25 degrees of Sagittarius and Moon at 25 Cancer respectively.
The quincunx or inconjunct aspect is formed between planets that are roughly 150 degrees apart making it a “does not compute” aspect. The wants and needs of the two signs involved are unrelated by polarity, element or mode. With no natural resonance or point of contact, —it’s a disconnect, making it the prickliest of aspects. Sounds sore, doesn’t it ~ and it is!!
Squares and oppositions are either in complementary signs/elements or the same mode so they do have some common ground to work with: they want some similar things. Like fighters in a ring or dancers on a stage, planets in opposition can either face off or complement each other. With give and take there can be a partnership between the two; consequently relationships are the source of much growth and learning.
The challenges in the opposition and square can find some kind of resolution albeit with disruptive internal and sometimes external change. Likewise, the rub generated from squares cannot be ignored because the two planets are in competition with one another creating great inner strife as the abrasive drives involved are grappled with. However those with a quincunx are tasked to reconcile the irreconcilable, to try and blend the needs of very disparate traits.
George RR Martin’s Birth Chart – Sun Quincunx Moon
The luminaries represent primary facets of our character. With Sun quincunx Moon what one wants to do (Sun) and how one feels (Moon) are usually at odds. The will (Sun) is exercised at the expense of feelings (Moon) creating dissatisfaction and uncertainty about what is wanted from life. Conversely, when expressing emotional needs (Moon) the ego (Sun) is compromised.
Trying too hard to please others in relationships can lead to constant adjustments and compromises, first offering too much and then feeling taken advantage of. These constant adjustments are energy draining and can lead to undervaluing one’s own needs as a result. In striving to fulfil the divergent drives a tendency to be unfocused, tense and on edge may manifest as insecurity and indecisiveness. Others might be puzzled and frustrated as to why the individual struggles to reconcile both needs.
The Quincunx does derive from the number five relating to creativity; there are rich wells to be mined from this tricky combination. George RR Martin has Sun at 27 Virgo in quincunx to Moon at 27 Aries. The conflict of the aspect is described beautifully in the writing of his award winning, bestselling novels which have been televised by HBO as the blockbuster series “Game of Thrones”.
The critically acclaimed books are crafted with superb Virgo detail. The storyline is a brutal and honest depiction of basic drives within human nature, apt for Moon in Aries. The series is also famed for its frank sexual scenes, realistic detailed violent fight scenes and the suffering and horror of war (Aries/Virgo).
There are no fairytale endings in this sweeping tale. Martin holds no attachments and characters are killed without compunction regardless of importance. At its heart the main characters all struggle (quincunx) with love and family (Moon) over duty and honour (Sun) not always behaving well in the process.
This is no common battle between good and evil. The characters are flawed, conflicted and often laid bare in the process. Martin endorses the view that only the human heart in conflict with itself is worth writing about and explores the questions of redemption and character change from many sides.
Deviating from clear-cut lines of good versus evil which the author rejects for not mirroring the real world; Martin says –
“I think the battle between good and evil is fought largely within the individual human heart, by the decisions that we make. It’s not like evil dresses up in black clothing and you know they’re really ugly”.
Throughout the novels, characters are frequently faced with decisions where they are forced to choose between their love for those close to them and the greater interests of honour, duty and the realm. This viewpoint characterises the books and is evident in the actions of several different families which frequently have conflicts with each other.
The Starks’ and Lannisters’ conflict is a central component of the novel, and the reader receives points of view from both sides as follows: Ned Stark, the Warden of the North is asked by the King, Robert Baratheon, to be his advisor or “Hand of the King”. In serving his duty Ned leaves much of his family in Winterfell. His second youngest son Bran is injured and Lady Catelyn (Ned’s wife) is overwhelmed by grief refusing to leave him while he is comatose, ignoring her political responsibilities, choosing family over duty.
But on discovering Lannister treason Catelyn leaves Bran and her family for Kings Landing to inform Ned. Illegitimate son Jon wrestles with the predicament of joining his half-brother Robb in rebellion to fight against the Lannister army or staying with his sworn brothers in the Night’s Watch. Family, duty, and honor play major roles in the storyline and qualities traditionally categorised as noble oppose and conflict in each. Thus the good and bad is often seen in each character at different stages of the story. Martin says;-
“Having multiple viewpoints is crucial to the grayness of the characters. You have to be able to see the struggle from both sides, because real human beings in a war have all these processes of self-justification, telling ourselves why what we’re doing is the right thing.”
A Personal View
I have found that all of the above holds true. In my experience it feels that the needs of the two planets are perceived as very separate and distinct. Both principles are seen very clearly but integration feels impossible to achieve and there is a hopeless feeling of stalemate when trying to find a way forward.
This might sound dire but it is also true that hard aspects or seemingly afflicted planets often make the strongest people. An individual who has had to work, learn, grow, change and receive a few hard knocks along the course of life will polish the rough stone of his character into a smooth jewel, just the way an oyster will turn an irritating piece of grit into a beautiful pearl. Acceptance of differences is the way forward along with the realisation that one MUST make room for both in the life.
My quincunx has Sun in positive, fiery, mutable Sagittarius, whilst my Moon is in negative, watery, cardinal Cancer. Independent, freedom loving, don’t tie me down Sagittarius struggles with Cancer’s desire for intimacy, emotional closeness and sensitivity. When Cancer is strong in the chart the desire to have a strong root and home life is a primary drive but for Sagittarius, emotional freedom, expanding horizons, seeking meaning or being on a quest of some kind is the goal. Consequently I used to feel that I can only have one at the expense of the other.
Yet surely they have something to teach each other? Work on accepting both the Sun and the Moon in the psyche can bear rich fruit even if the cultivation is challenging. As I approach my second Saturn and fifth Jupiter return I am at last realising the fruits of my particular “Prickly Pair”. Sagittarius can teach Cancer not to be such a stay at home, to be less clannish and to open up its horizons. Cancer can teach Sagittarius to be more sensitive to the needs of others and that sometimes the richest journey is internal, the special development of the soul of which Jung spoke. One does not have to be sacrificed for the other, with effort the following can be realised.
“A pearl is a beautiful thing that is produced by an injured life. If we had not been wounded, if we had not been injured, then we will not produce the pearl.”
~ Stephen Hoeller
© Carole Bone 31.5.2019
Image of George RR Martin by Bree Chan (PD)