One of my favorite stories from the world of art is the story of Rilke and Rodin. If you've been following along for awhile, you may recognize this story from an essay I wrote for Spry in 2014. Early in the 20th century, Rilke was working as Rodin's secretary when he reached a plateau in his work. He admired Rodin and asked his advice, and Rodin told him to go to the zoo, pick an animal, and look at it until he really saw it. The result of this experiment was "The Panther," the beginning of a sharp break from his personal past-obsessed early work.
Recently, I've been feeling a similar restlessness. After writing ten Astro Riffs, I could feel myself going over the same ground over and over again. I knew I needed another approach. Then I remembered Rodin's advice, and I wondered about Rilke's relationship with him. The relationship was influential enough to be remembered over a hundred years later. Was it significant enough to them to appear in Rilke and Rodin's birth charts?
I have encountered enough synchronicity in astrology by now that it shouldn't surprise me when it appears, but there is always a jolt of surprise when I see a clear correlation. In this case, it was a conjunction between Rilke's Jupiter (18 degrees Scorpio) and Rodin's Sun (20 degrees Scorpio). Rilke's Jupiter was in the third house, near his Mercury but not close enough for a conjunction. He needed to learn to have faith in his perspective, go deeper, and expand his perspective in writing. Just when he was reaching a crisis with this lesson, Rodin came into his life and embodied his Jupiter, helping him to trust his own eyes and expand his perspective.
In many ways, Rodin was the perfect fit for a mentor. His ascendant was in Capricorn, and his Saturn, ruler of Capricorn, was conjunct Venus in Sagittarius and the 11th House. Being a mentor was an essential part of his persona, and his role in the guild of artists was to serve as a mature (Saturn) artist (Venus) teaching (Sagittarius) artists in his community (11th House).
Being a mentor requires students, and Rilke was well equipped to take that kind of help. His Moon in the 5th House was conjunct his Saturn in the 6th. He was comfortable (Moon) as a creative (5th House) in a mentoring relationship (6th House) with an older mentor (Saturn). Of course, not every mentor figure is a good fit just because they're a good mentor, but Rilke's Sun (11 degrees Sagittarius) was also conjunct Rodin's Mercury (12 degrees Sagittarius), the planet of young people and students. It appears this was a match--dare I say it?--made in heaven.