Rodgers and Hammerstein – Words & Music

They teamed up at the time of Broadway and Hollywood’s Golden Age of Musicals and garnered thirty-four Tony Awards, fifteen Academy Awards, the Pulitzer Prize, and two Grammy Awards. Among their collaborations were many well-known songs. From the film Oklahoma; Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’, People Will Say We’re in Love, and Oklahoma! (which became the state song of Oklahoma). From CarouselIf I Loved You and You’ll Never Walk Alone. From South Pacific; Some Enchanted Evening. From The King and I; Getting to Know You and Shall We Dance. From The Sound of Music; The Sound of Music, Climb Ev’ry Mountain, Do-Re-Mi, and Edelweiss, Hammerstein’s last song, mistakenly thought of as an Austrian national anthem.

Oscar Hammerstein wrote the words and Richard Rodgers the music. Hammerstein lyrics often created messages that crossed racial and religious divides during a time when America was struggling with its identity.  South Pacific and The King and I were written about cross-cultural and ethnic differences with the conclusion that there are ultimately no barriers too high to overcome with love. Carousel grappled with good and bad, and showed the redemption of the soul if only one realized the error of their ways. And The Sound of Music was based on the real life drama and trauma of a performing, musical family’s escape through the Alps when caught in the clutches of WWII. Although meeting and working briefly years earlier, the two talents began collaborating in 1943 for their first hit creating the eventual award-winning Broadway play and Hollywood film, Oklahoma!  The musical was inspired by the book, Green Grow the Lilacs. It had emotional depth and psychological complexity, and was the first film using the widescreen Todd-AO 70 mm process.

What was the astrological endowment and planetary cross-ties that brought these collaborators great fame and fortune?

COMPARISON OF PLANETS

Usually the focus is on Conjunctions and Oppositions within 1 degree of orb allowance. However there is an aspect between the two charts that is often described in Uranian Astrology. It is the midpoint dynamic. Shown with the green line from Rodger’s Mars to the midpoint between Hammerstein’s Pluto/Neptune Conjunction is an example of the power of planetary energies as they influence Aspects when “caught” between neighboring energies at equi-distance from their midpoint.

The reason for including this midpoint structure is because of the auspicious nature of the planets and their Sabian Symbols that point to the powerful potentials between these two talented men. The Symbols quite literally express the indication of a musical career and the planets point to the depth of conceptual thinking behind the worthy ideas stimulated through exceptional writing skills.

Rodger’s Mars, coming from the outer wheel, is rounded to 15 degrees Gemini. The Sabian Symbol is Two Dutch children talking. This symbol refers to the unique language that these gentlemen would have to create to understand each other from across the divide of emotional musical expression and the intellectual contribution of words. A union of sorts that makes cryptic the exchange between the partners.

But the most extraordinary and literal Sabian Symbols are seen in Hammerstein’s Pluto and Neptune’s Symbols. Although, Hammerstein was the man responsible for the conceptual lyrics that tell the story line, he is the one with the planet Pluto on the degree better describing Rodgers, who was literally A great musician at his piano. But the writer’s Neptune on the degree of The head of health dissolved into the head of mentality, is very fitting for a man who delighted in bringing out the advantages of intellect as opposed to a reliance on rhythm alone to convey meaning. Rodgers’ Mars directly stimulates Hammerstein’s planets of Significance and the two go down in musical history as the best that the entertainment world has to offer in terms of greatness of contribution.

Both men were born with Mercury Retrograde – shown with the pink circles. This they shared in common, is perhaps one of the inside mechanics of their of perception that accommodated their differing talents. In other words, they truly understood each other without much struggle and misunderstandings.

Often the elements of one partner’s chart seem to interchange with the other’s chart and life, so that it is hard to identify who is the one with the actual Sabian degree. Each individual can achieve gratification by this apparent sharing of potentials that lasts as long as the interaction between the two is in actuality or in memory. The details of the combined potentials of this famous partnership is especially gleaned from Hammerstein’s Pluto degree that is worthy of being posted here. Although not Rodgers’ Sabian degree, it literally describes him in the cross-sharing of Symbols.

GEMINI 15,  A great musician at his piano This is a symbol of individual artistry as the property of all, with its expression both its strength and the means whereby others are encouraged to like accomplishment. Here is experience at a climax on the side of self-refinement in skills and talent, and at a peak in its gratification and its promise of continuing effort and sharing of rewards. A continually expanded dimension of being becomes the constant revelation of man’s true estate. The keyword is ACHIEVEMENT. When positive, the degree is the creative assurance which contributes enduring overtones to human understanding, and when negative, self-defeat through a delight in momentary attention or superficial adulation. 

Rodgers’ Sun in the expansive and emotional sign of Cancer is directly connected by cross-Conjunction to Hammerstein’s Mercury, the indicator of words and mentality.  This is the Sabian degree of 6 Cancer, Game birds feathering their nests. The keyword of the Symbol is METICULOUSNESS. It is a give-away clue of the intent toward perfection the two gave to their work.

At times, one can allow a greater than 1 degree orb in a cross tie if there is sufficient and observable indication in the lives of the individuals represented by the charts. Here it is shown by the blue line crossing the chart and connecting Hammerstein’s Neptune to Rodgers’ Uranus. Cross-Oppositions are always welcome between individuals in partnership because its magnetic qualities create a strong pull toward each other even when the two are far apart. There is a morphogenetic dynamic at work in this regard, something like telepathy. The cross-Conjunctions work their best when those in relationship find themselves often in the same location, face to face. Neptune and Uranus, the planetary pair of Significance, prove once again the nature of these historical greats is supported by astrological confirmation.

COMPARISON OF ELEMENTS

The Suns and Moons of both gentlemen share the same signs/elements, and so are very compatible in regards to Wills and Feelings. The necessary stimulating point in the partnership is shown in that the Ascendants are incompatible in elements, and this relative breach draws these men together because of their variant life skills; the one contributing melody, the other the lyrics and concepts. Each brings the other the missing talent that is needed for ultimate success. Two pairs in compatible elements and one not is ideal for a partnership to flourish. Both natives have prominent Moons in Pisces, the one with a handle of a Bucket and therefore in High Focus, and the other has the Moon in Point Focus of a T-Cross. Moon in Pisces is sentimental and deeply emotional. Their music making reflects this poignant potential to connect and hold the heartstrings of the public.

Shirley Jones and Gordon MacRae in Oscar Hammerstein and Richard Rodgers Carousel

Shirley Jones and Gordon MacRae in Carousel

Also ideal, is the triad of Mars and Venus wherein the charts reveal they are compatible in the start and finish of a project. The Mercuries are incompatible in elements leaving a need that each can fulfill with the other’s capabilities of expressing themselves with unique forms of communication, the difference in how they view life in general.

Their combined magic is enhanced by several Sabian Symbols that relate to the aesthetics of song and dance in both charts. In addition to the two having their Moons in Pisces, that brings an otherworldly essence into play, Rodgers’ has a revealing Elfin degree (pg. 317, Essentials of Astrological Analysis, Marc Jones). It is his Saturn at 26 degrees Capricorn, the original Symbol being the most revealing: In a little glade never trod by the foot of man, and in the mist of a waterfall dances a carefree water-sprite. Opposite Rodgers’ Saturn, but not close enough to take into account as a cross tie, is Hammerstein’s contribution to the two masters of swooning. It is through a unique mention of song in his Sun degrees Capricorn 20. The original Symbol is, During the celebration of some fete the canals of Venice are crowded; in a gondola are serenaders merry-making. And it is notable to mention that his Venus degree mirrors the icon of one of their collaborative and iconic stories, Carousel. Rounded at 6 degrees is in the original Symbol, Children’s voices, and the smiles of elders; it is a merry-go-round with blatant music and unrestrained joyousness. 

Wonderful it is, to see so many astrological references in the charts of those whose talents are reflected in real life. This brings credibility to the connections of heaven and earth. And it gives joy to the hearts of those who witness the realization of potentials of artists fortunate enough to be the givers of such happiness to others.
 

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