Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944)
This astro-biography has been written as part of my study at the CHTA. Before I have read some of the books produced by St Exupéry “Vol de Nuit” and “Le Petit Prince”.
These books turn out to be his most autobiographic works and striking is that in both books the pilot disappears after a flight accident. It turns out to b an astonishing parallel with the factual end of St Exupéry own life. He disappears at the end of world war II while returning from a mission in occupied Europe to Northern Africa. His plane could not be located for many decades and his body has never been found. Aside from this striking coincidence the work of St Exupéry always has challenged me. It was a pleasure to me to try to identify the why of all this in an astrological explanation. The facts of his life in this autobiography I have derived from the biography written by Paul Webster. It gave me the opportunity to add other life issues from St Exupéry and explain them in the same way. In this article I first present a short overview of his life, followed by an astrological explanation.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was born on the 29th of June 1900 at 9:06 GMT in Lyon, France. His family was strong religious and aristocratic. Antoine was the 3rd of 5 children and the eldest son. He spends his youth on the family estate in Saint-Maurice 50 km outside Lyon. The landscape is full of nature. He is raised by his mother and a governess. His father dies suddenly on March 14, 1904. His mother is a culture loving women and with a strong liking for perfectness, so in Antoine’s education this subject gets a lot of emphasize. It also caused problems in his life in the relations he had with women. His family and friends have always been very important in his life, it was difficult to be without having them around. When e.g. his grandfather and uncle, after the dead of his father being his guardian, sent him to a Military school managed by Jesuits, he suffers from homesickness, and the results at school are very poor.
During a short holiday home in 1912 he gets his first experience as pilot. This is the start of a period where he takes aviation lessons. In 1914 and 1915 the relation with his grandfather becomes very bad and Antoine breaks all relations with him. The dead of his younger brother Francois in 1917 is considered by Antoine as a lesson in accepting fate. At the begin of WW I he is to young to be recruited for military service but at the end of this war he is planned to be sent to the front. On the day this is planned the cease fire, making an end on this war, has been proclaimed After the war he conducts his military service. He is accommodated at the air force at a squadron of air fighters. On June 18, 1921 he makes his first solo flight. His first plane accident takes place in January 1923. He crashes at the landing with a seaplane, however the damage is restricted to a wet suit.
He meets his first love, Louise de Vilmorin, in the autumn of 1923 she cuts this relationship, leaving Antoine in deep grief. In the period 1926-1932 he works at the setting up of a air traffic line for postal services, first in Western Africa and from 1929 in South America. On April 12th 1931 he marries Consuelo, a widow from South America. This marriage was not very happy, partly because of the Antoine’s passion for aviation and partly because of chronic lack of money. In 1935 they are forced to leave home being not capable of paying bills for the rent. Although the divorce is proclaimed in 1938 Antoine’s passion for Consuelo always remains. During his career, where he shows the never lasting drive to establish long distance records, he has many flight accidents, in some cases he survives by a miracle. In WW II he became war aviator. He is rewarded the Croix de Guerre, for his dangerous missions during the war. The picture is of a stamp where France honoured him as a famous pathfinder for aviation.
Besides his activities as flyer he has a great passion to write. During his life he is acknowledged as a writer. Although his work is not very extensive (the total number of pages of his work is about 1.000) he has become the best selling French author. His most important work is:
Courier Sud (1929)
Vol de Nuit (1931)
Terre des Hommes (1939)
Le Petit Prince (1942)
Pilot de Guerre (1942)
For ‘Vol de Nuit” he is rewarded the Prix Feminin in 1931. After the publication of this book he received a lot of criticism. Antoine considered this as unjust and withdrew from writing. Terre des Hommes also published in English in the USA brings him the most of his fame during life. In France he receives a honour at the Academy Francaise and in the USA he receives the National Book Award in 1941.
“Le petit Prince’ is about the theme of the disappearance of certainty from childhood in the adult world. Antoine considered this always a mystery himself. In “Le Petit Prince” Antoine is both model for the little prince and the isolated pilot. The prediction from this book: It will look like the pilots dead but this will not be the truth, reminds to the disappearance of Antoine himself. His work has strong autobiographic accents, however it is not factual, but gives idealised views on what happened in his life. His style of writing gives expression of a great punctuality, beauty and emotional power.
There are little breathtaking events in his work. St. Exupéry is far too modest for that and that type of thematic does not allow spiritual elements. In his books he focuses on the themes life and dead in relation to aviation. The fatal end in the book “Vol de Nuit” is as enigmatic as his own end of life. Less known is the fact that St Exupéry also was a moviemaker. The movie “Atlantique” produced in 1936 has been a success. In 1941 St Exupéry remarks the fact that most of his friends who helped him to establish the airline for postal services to Western Africa and South America had past away. From this time his letters give thought he would like to die and be born again spiritually. On the last day of July 1944 he disappears during a mission as war fighter pilot crossing the Mediterranean coast near Nice. For many years nothing of his plane or body could be located. Early in this century the wreck of his plane was located.
In St Exupéry’s birth chart Sun is in Cancer in house 11 and opposing Saturn (ruler of the 5th house). The sign rising is Virgo on the 5th degree. Moon is on 4:31 Leo. It is remarkable that all celestial bodies are placed in 3 houses (4, 10 and 11). The 11th house contains a stallion as Sun, Moon, Mercury and Venus are placed here. In house 10 we see Mars, Neptune and Pluto and in house 4 we see Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus. These placements put a focus on family, place in community and friendships. Other interesting elements are Jupiter conjunct Uranus together in opposition with Mars and MC. It gives the strong need for manifestations in public. The Moon conjunct Mercury in Leo gives the talent to write with idealistic emotion. Another remarkable pattern is formed by the Yod figure between Saturn (the apex planet) together with Mercury and Moon and also Saturn opposing the Sun and Neptune. This figure is called a tetraedic Yod. The influence of this pattern on the Sun is strongly idealistic by the presence of Neptune. His style of writing is fully explained by this as well as his focus on establishing long distance records on aviation. St Exupéry has suffered problems with authorities during his whole life. Sun opposing Saturn explains this fully. His energy, feelings and ratio were not restricted. This is an explanation for the irresponsible behaviour he presented many times during his flights. Also the flying for authority to his own idealistic world can be explained very well. His book “Le petit Prince” is a remarkable example of how the yod has influenced his behaviour and ways of expressing himself. We can see a Yod can lead to astonishing intellectual results, however the owner of the yod in most cases is not very pleased with it during his life.
Another impressing issue in his birth chart is the conjunction between Uranus and the Northern Lunar Node in Sagitarius. It implies his challenge in life for removing borders by aviation actions. The fact he fulfilled this assignment can be seen as a real transformation during his life.
When he was almost 4 years old his father died. At that time transit Uranus (planet of sudden changes) was conjunct the Saturn (indicating the father) position in his birth chart and was in opposition with the Sun (the self) in his birth chart and transit Neptune (planet of disappearance) was opposing the Saturn position in his birth chart. This sudden disappearance from Antoine’s life is completely explained by these transits.
His mother always has been an example for St Exupéry and of great importance as well. With the Moon position in Leo there is a talent for emotional creativity. His mother was very stimulating for Antoine with respect to this. The tension between Mars opposing Uranus in conjunction with Jupiter was bridged by the Mercury Moon conjunction making a trine to Uranus and Jupiter and making a sextile to Mars. The Moon is contributing to an idealised expression of the perceived reality in his activities.
Saint Exupery as husband and father
Venus is has no aspects in his birth chart and is retrograde. This explains the difficulty he had with women and to make and keep relations. He marries on April 12th 1931 with Consuelo. At that time he has transit Neptune (ruler of the 7th house of relations) conjunct the ascendant and transit Venus in Pisces in his 7th house. He for sure had great ideals of an everlasting love in this relationship and worshipped his wife. Also in progression Venus was practically conjunct the Sun in his birth chart at the same moment as Venus in progression turned direct again. This is a token for big changes in relational life.
As a father he feels completely not sure and while the Sun is in opposition with Neptune he has no feeling with for the real relationship with his children. This also explains why he never took responsibility for his children.
Saint Exupéry as author
Saint Exupéry was known as a perfectionist writer. His books were, in the final version, the result of a thorough process of correction and improvement. His style showed perfectionism and beauty and a deep emotional power (Virgo on MC). Being a modest person (Sun, Mercury and Venus in Cancer) his writing is not very adventurous. His 3rd house (of communication) is ruled by Schorpio. This explains his deep emotional strength. The ruler of his 3rd house is in Gemini in his 10th house implying the need to express this deep emotional power in a somewhat indirect (hidden) way. The emotional and idealistic contents of his work (especial in Le Petit Prince) can be explained by the conjunction of Moon and Mercury in the Yod figure (see before in his birth chart).
His first book “Courier Sud” appears in 1929. Transit Jupiter then is conjunct his MC and progressive Jupiter has turned direct at that moment. Moreover transit Saturn is conjunct with Saturn in his birth chart (his 1st and only Saturn return). All these aspects explain his need to present himself to the outside world as someone of importance. Progressive Moon is conjunct progressive Sun in Cancer (progressive New Moon indicating a new phase in the contents of his life (writing books in stead of aviation.
For his book “Vol de Nuit” in 1931 he is rewarded the “Prix feminine”. The book is based on his own experience in an 18 hour non-stop flight from Patagonia to Montevideo. Despite the honour he received he was unpleasantly surprised by some negative reactions, a reason for him to stop writing for many years. In this period Jupiter makes a transit in his 12th house (so the reason to be public disappears, and Neptune in conjunction with Mercury (the writer) makes a transit on his ascendant.
For his book ‘Terre des Hommes” (1939) he receives the “grand prix du roman” and in America the “National Book Award”. This really turned out to be his breakthrough and it solved his Financial problems.
His Opus Magnum “Le Petit Prince” was published in 1942 in a period where he had lost his lust for life almost completely. It was the period of his progressive full Moon.
His last book “Pilot de Guerre” a kind of eyewitness testimony as fighter pilot was also published in 1942.
Saint Exupéry as a civil pilot and pilot of war
Uranus (planet of aviation) and ruler of his 6th house of work is in Sagittarius in his 4th house. His ambition to live his profession as pilot, to act independently and to shift borders is explained completely by this. This ambition is enlarged by Jupiter in its own sign Sagittarius conjunct Uranus. Mars conjunct MC and opposing Uranus shows his need to establish new things and to take risks to achieve this and predicts he might often fall from heaven. Sun opposing Saturn explain the fact of his frequent conflicts with his superiors.
In reality St Exupéry had many flight accidents, in January 1923, at an accident with a happy end, transit Venus (ruler of his 10th house) was conjunct Uranus in his birth chart. On december 30th 1935 he had another flight accident with a happy end. At this time transit Uranus made a trine with Saturn in his birth chart. In February 1938 he suffers another accident in Guatemala and again he survives. Transit Mars then was conjunct Mars and MC from his birth chart.
The opposition between Mars and Uranus as well as between Uranus and Pluto in his birth chart indicate the good fit for a pilot of war making reconnoitring expeditions. In 1941 St Exupéry is honoured with the “Croix de Guerre” for his achievements as a reconnoitring pilot. At that time transit Saturn (external authority) is conjunct MC of his birth chart.
His final flight
The solar return chart of June 30th 1944 gives a macabre picture of what happened a month later. Pluto (planet of life and death) is dominant square the ascendant and in the 3rd house of this solar return chart he has a stellium from Sun, Mercury, Venus and Saturn together square Neptune (disappearance). In his birth chart the following transits are remarkable Neptune square Saturn (disappearance of structure) and Neptune square Sun (disappearance of the self). Transit Mars square Uranus indicates the accident by airplane.
On april 7th 2004 I noticed a message that the fighter plane St Exupéry used during his final flight had been located. It turned out there were already indications for a couple of years something in this direction could be found, because a fisherman had revealed he had found an ornament with the inscription St Exupéry. This discovery however was not taken seriously and the fisherman was suspected to have fixed his discovery beforehand. Finally parts of the wreck already turned out to be found in 2000. Because authorities did not cooperate and did not permit to salve the wreck identification still took many years. The discovery of the tail of the plane with the identification number 2734L confirmed it had been part of St Exupéry plane. The cause of the crash remains unclear and nothing of his body was found.
I studied the horoscope on transits and progressions and found the following.
Transit Uranus is on the descendant (the plane comes above water). Transit Venus ruler of house 10 (destiny) conjunct Mars (ruler of the house of life and death) indicates that his destiny of dead is confirmed. Transit Jupiter (ruler of the 4th house) is square the Northern Lunar Node indicate the discovery by incident of the hidden place. Transit Saturn conjunct Sun indicates that the authority finally gives permission for identification.
Progressive MC is conjunct ascendant and the Northern Lunar Node in progression is conjunct Jupiter indicating that the destiny and the spiritual meaning of St Exupery is emphasized.
This all took place at the moment transit Mercury (ruler of house 1 and 10) started to go retrograde and made a trine with Saturn in the birth chart. News concerning the past is permitted by the authority.