By Amanda Painter
Today would be the 109th birthday of Anais Nin, diarist and author of novels, essays and erotica beloved by bohemians and others everywhere. Chances are, even if you have never read an entire volume of her work, you have encountered quotations taken from them, poetic musings on love, passion, writing, art or sex. Or perhaps you’re familiar with her friendship, creative partnership and intimate relationship to author Henry Miller and his wife June. You might guess she’s a Pisces, even if you didn’t know today was her birthday. In fact, her natal Sun is conjunct today’s rather stunning New Moon.
Nin was born Feb. 21, 1903 in Paris at 8:16 pm. Her data is rated AA by Astrodatabank, meaning that it’s based on a verified birth record.
Her natal chart describes perfectly what she herself seemed to describe in her diaries: that she was born to keep recreating her self, her sexuality, and her creative expression. Not only that, but this continual re-creation of her inner imaginative, creative, sexual life was going to play out on and influence the world stage.
While still a child she experienced the first of her many relocations: first to Barcelona and then to New York with her mother and two brothers after her father left them. It is in that time that she first began to chronicle her life in letters to her father, and to write in a journal. It’s a practice she kept throughout her life, and perhaps the writing she is best known for. Writing seems to have been the thing giving her life some structure as it flowed and careened and burst open, as she married and took lovers and married again, moving between and across continents.
We can see the symbol of her writing life in the conjunction of Saturn and Mercury in Aquarius in her 4th house (which, because it is on the cusp in the next house, can also be read as 5th house, and this blends the themes of the two houses perfectly in her work): the structured practice of writing is where Nin makes her truest home, where she can encounter her contradictory thoughts and emotions most fully. It’s how her voice comes to be known by the general public.
Another factor in Nin’s chart also speaks to her public impact: three prominent placements in the early cardinal degrees known as the Aries Point. (The theme of the personal being political, carried by the first degree of Aries, extends to Cancer, Libra and Capricorn.) In Nin’s case, this impact came both in the form of her friendships with many leading literary figures, including Gore Vidal, Antonin Artaud and Miller, as well as her influence on feminist writers of the 1960s, who embraced her sexual freedom.
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