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in Natural Astrology

Amélie Poulain, a young Virgo girl, delicate and healthy…
by Rémi Valet
English translation by Julien Rouger

“Amélie” is the best thing that has happened to French cinema for many years. This film enchanted all audiences and the cash drawers still resound with it. Even better: Amélie Poulain has truly changed the lives of thousands of people and some worship him deliriously, as if he were a real character. Without wanting to break the charm or the magic of this film, which will operate for a long time to come, and for good reasons, let’s try to analyze the phenomenon more closely “Amélie”…

The fabulous instinct of Jean-Pierre Jeunet

First of all, it is perhaps worth pointing out that the reasons for a success, even as enormous as this, are always difficult to grasp, because it often results from a combination of random factors that are in no way related to any “recipe”, the ingredients of which could be searched for a long time and in vain. Even for Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the brilliant creator of Amélie, nothing was quite obvious, precisely concerning the “fate” what was going to know his film and the success or not that he was going to meet. Let’s bet all the same on one thing, it is that the love he put into this film and its characters, allowed him to glimpse and anticipate what this destiny could have “fabulous”… They say that love gives you wings, and there seems to be a lot of that in this film, which very rarely falls back on solid ground… It’s not the millions of viewers around the world who will contradict him…

However, everything had started rather badly and nothing seemed to go as planned. Jean-Pierre Jeunet dreamed of a film played by Emily Watson (the unforgettable interpreter of Breaking the waves), set to music by Michael Nyman (Murder in an English Garden, The Piano Lesson, etc.) and which would be called Amelie des Abbesses (from the name of a district of Montmartre)… Chance, instinct and intelligence have not ceased to work until the end so that the film takes its final form, finds its very particular identity. It is difficult to imagine today Amélie Poulain without the charming presence of Audrey Tautou or without the delicious music of Yann Tiersen…

While making his film, Jean-Pierre Jeunet notably underwent neptunian transits (Neptune opposite his Venus) and Plutonians (Pluto square to his Sun-Mercury conjunction). In this case, it is obvious that Transcendence has done everything necessary so that by dint of chance, combination of circumstances and magic, Amélie Poulain sees the light of day. It is also strange that she was not credited in the credits…

Thème de naissance pour Jean-Pierre Jeunet — Thème écliptique — AstroAriana
Thème écliptique
Thème de naissance pour Jean-Pierre Jeunet — Thème de domitude — AstroAriana
Thème de domitude
Thème de naissance pour Jean-Pierre Jeunet — Hiérarchie des Planètes — AstroAriana
Hiérarchie des Planètes
Jean-Pierre Jeunet
03/09/1953 à 12 h 20 TL (03/09/1953 à 11 h 20 TU)
Le Coteau (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France)
Latitude +46° 02’ ; Longitude +4° 05’

The land of friendly monsters

Sun Mercury Virgo Mars Pluto LeoJean-Pierre Jeunet was born on 3rd September 1953, at 12:20, in Coteau (Loire) Marked in his chart by two conjunctions in Midheaven, Jean-Pierre Jeunet made the heart of his films oscillate with problematic Sun-Mercury in Virgo on the one hand and the stakes of a conjunction Mars-Pluto in Leo the other. From his first short films alongside Marc Caro to Amélie, Jean-Pierre Jeunet is indeed distinguished by a particular sense of humor, glaucous and claustrophobic universes, an incredible and maniacal sense of detail that can be compared to his dominant Virgo. On the other hand, the darkness of his worlds is always counterbalanced by the presence of heroic, innocent characters, always ready to extract themselves from their sad condition, their shyness and their daily life by the sheer force of their will (Mars in Leo). Whether it’s the Julie of Délicatessen, from Miette, in The City of Lost Children, or Amélie, all these characters have in common an immoderate love for all the downgraded in life, the marginalized, the supporting roles in life, all these “freaks” Endearing, survivors of the dark meanders of the plutonian underground. Delicatessen and The City of Lost Children can also be seen as tributes to the cinema of Tod Browning (the director of Freaks, in 1932, in which so-called monsters take revenge for the despicable behavior of so-called normal human beings), by David Lynch (whose Elephant Man was already a tribute to Freaks), by Federico Fellini (The City of Lost Children often brings to mind The city of women or deadly E la nave va from the Italian maestro).

These three directors have in common an immoderate taste for the monstrous in what it can be fascinating and revealing for the human soul. They also had the talent plutonian to deliver an offbeat image of reality, whose strength is precisely to refocus it at the heart of the contradictions, unconsciousness and madness that hide behind the appearances of normality (Pluto, the Black Sun attacking the White Sun of our Representations). It is perhaps significant to note that Jean-Pierre Jeunet drew quite a few pieces from Yann Tiersen, and in particular from his album Waltz of the Monsters, inspired by the movie Freaks… Chance, when you hold us! Jeunet and Tiersen have in common this attraction for “nice monsters”, with whom we can even sometimes identify, as they personify our own weaknesses, our psychological or physical deformities. Born under the sign of Cancer, Yann Tiersen has also created a cocoon-like universe for himself, in which he expresses all his sensitivity, often illuminated by the nostalgic glow of childhood memories or imaginary climates…

Du Tout Tautou

Sun Mercury Virgo Mars Pluto LeoIn Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s chart, the conjunctions Sun-Mercury and Mars-Pluto are, however, at odds with each other. Between the selfish enchantment of the child completely withdrawn into his playful universe and the reality of the world, there is a big step to take. And that’s the whole point of the film, this wall that separates dream from reality, courage from cowardice, fantasized life and life actually lived. Sun-Mercury would like to see life in pink, while Mars-Pluto seeks to color everything glaucous, dark, rotten. Audrey Tautou herself summarizes this theme very well when she describes the story of Amélie Poulain: “this story is a tale: Amélie, a lonely, introverted girl, dreams of distracting herself from her sad life and imagines herself to be one of the characters in the film she is watching on TV, or one of the guests in a debate. She invents a character of a little fairy who interferes in the lives of people who are a little unhappy like her. She brings them a touch of fantasy, she paints their lives in pink! He is a being who lives in the imagination.” And when talking about her role, she explains: “Jeunet wanted to see if I was able to compose a different personality, to give a poetic dimension to the character, a distance, to go beyond everyday realism, without doing performance.” There is no doubt that Audrey Tautou was the ideal candidate to embody this distance from everyday realism…

Thème de naissance pour Audrey Tautou — Thème écliptique — AstroAriana
Thème écliptique
Thème de naissance pour Audrey Tautou — Thème de domitude — AstroAriana
Thème de domitude
Thème de naissance pour Audrey Tautou — Hiérarchie des Planètes — AstroAriana
Hiérarchie des Planètes
Audrey Tautou
09/08/1976 à 09 h 55 TL (09/08/1976 à 07 h 55 TU)
Beaumont (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France)
Latitude +45° 45’ ; Longitude +3° 05’

It is by seeing a poster of the film Venus Beauty Institute (for which Audrey Tautou will obtain a César for the best female hope in 2000), that Jeunet literally fell in love with Audrey Tautou and that he knew that she would be his Amélie. The sequel proved to him how right he had been. But the meeting was also obvious for Audrey Tautou, as the website dedicated to her explains: “Seduced by her magnificent hazel eyes, Jeunet talks about it to her casting director. At the time, the Cesar ceremony had not yet taken place and the young girl was little known. She is therefore given the script for ‘Amélie’ which she will read in one night. A rare thing: Audrey is immediately taken with the film.” Later, Jeunet auditions Audrey. “During his tests, Jean-Pierre Jeunet and his casting director, Pierre-Jacques Bénichou, will have tears in their eyes, they will be so moved by his performance: they knew at that moment that they were in front of their Amélie and that it would not could be she who would play in the film. “They made me redo scenes, just for fun”, remembers Audrey”.

Who would have thought that this stranger would overnight become the darling of the French and that we would soon devote an excessive, disproportionate cult to her, like a Di Caprio, a James Dean or an Elvis (these icons who let themselves be overtaken by their character to become an empty shell, filled with the fantasies and frustrations of a public in need of identification…)? “However, success does not go to the head of this hard worker, who would have nothing to do with this pretty start to her career: ‘I owe everything to my agent and the casting directors who were kind enough to give me my chance’. Lucid. Besides, the promotion annoys him. She does it to be a pro all the way but complains about this repetitive and overly narcissistic exercise. Similarly, she is not ready to make any compromises to ‘progress’ in the eyes of the profession, that is to say to earn more money. This truly modest with a frank and naive speech forgets the work of Cours Florent, her selection for the ‘Jeunes Premiers’ operation of Canal+, and a few appearances in the style soap operas Thursday evenings on TF1, ‘Julie Lescaut’ or ‘Les Cordier judge and cop’. She admits, that’s where she learned the trade. But the media is not his cup of tea. And strangely, this actress does not like to lie.

The anti-star in all its splendor, too good to be true… Who would have thought that, through her, the face of French cinema could have changed Tautou at all?

Joan of Arc of the Garden Gnome

Audrey Tautou, the big-hearted lioness will therefore easily invest this extraordinary character of a new kind of redresser of wrongs, of Zorro of photo booths, of Joan of Arc of the garden gnome. Surrounded by endearing but also very zany characters, interpreted by actors with a face, such as Dominique Pinon, Yolande Moreau, Rufus, Isabelle Nanty or the irreplaceable Jamel Debbouze, Amélie will try to come out of her hole and her imagination to really influence the life of others. Once the first barriers have been overcome, Amélie will even end up breaking down the last, the hardest, that of her pathological shyness which prevents her from tasting love. Sometimes Lioness, sometimes Virgo, Amélie-Audrey seeks to go beyond her limits to restore taste to her life and that of others. As often with Leo, generosity is the value that allows all audacity and all courage.

By her solar sign, Leo, Audrey Tautou is like Amélie, a young girl open to the outside world and sensitive to difference and injustice. Contrary to all narcissism, she is on the contrary altruistic to the point of wanting to forget herself in order to incarnate herself in a character, or to travel, backpack, to meet other cultures and broaden her horizons… As she explained in an interview for La Voix du Nord: “I recently took a trip to Indonesia which opened my eyes to the world. It’s my new passion. I don’t feel disconnected from reality and I don’t need to see poverty to realize that I am privileged. It’s just discovering things that you don’t suspect when you haven’t had the chance or the desire to travel. Just a need to see other horizons, other people, other cultures, other ways of experiencing time.

Associated with generosity, which is perhaps only a diverted form of it, the other path that leads to happiness, in Jeunet’s films, is humor, which remains, for this solaro-mercurian before everything, the absolute weapon that silences idiots. Laughter makes it possible to see life with this distance which makes it more easily bearable, fun, rich in potential, fantasy. Humor certainly had its part in the enthusiasm that audiences felt for the film. Perceived as an eminently positive film, Amélie is indeed a deeply mercurian, light film, which makes you love life and restores smiles. We also often spoke of enchantment and magic, to define this mercurian feeling that the film provides. Needless to say that in the heart of Jean-Pierre Jeunet, the weather must often be good…

3rd September 1973…

Let’s dive back with delight into the first seconds of the film. In a few sentences written to the nearest millimeter, a whole universe unfolds and Amélie appears, emerges from the limbo of chance and destiny, and the Verb of the Uranian André Dussolier becomes flesh… (lovers of small details will notice that Jeunet dated the conception of Amélie on his 20th birthday…)

Scoop: Amélie Poulain’s Fertilization Chart!!!

On 3rd September 1973, at 18 hours, 21 minutes and 32 seconds, a bluefly of the Califoridae family, capable of producing 14,670 wing beats per minute, landed on rue Saint-Vincent, in Montmartre. At the same second, on the terrace of a restaurant, close to the Moulin de la Galette, the wind rushed as if by magic under a tablecloth, making the glasses dance, without anyone noticing. At the same time, on the 5th floor at 28 avenue Trudel, in 9th district, Eugène Kohler, returning from the funeral of his best friend Émile Maginot, erased the name from his address book. Always at the same second, a spermatozoon laid with an X chromosome, belonging to Mr. Raphaël Poulain broke away from the peloton to reach an egg belonging to Mrs. Poulain, born Amandine Fouet. Nine months later, Amélie Poulain was born…”!

Thème de naissance pour Amélie Poulain — Thème écliptique — AstroAriana
Thème écliptique
Thème de naissance pour Amélie Poulain — Thème de domitude — AstroAriana
Thème de domitude
Thème de naissance pour Amélie Poulain — Hiérarchie des Planètes — AstroAriana
Hiérarchie des Planètes
Amélie Poulain
03/09/1973 à 18 h 21 TL (03/09/1973 à 17 h 21 TU)
Paris (Île-de-France, France)
Latitude +48° 51’ ; Longitude +2° 21’

In a few lines of lightning speed and precision, Jeunet’s style is poised, clean and precise, and the film will be nothing but the continuity of this perfect ease in portraying characters, situations, settings with a mania for detail that borders on obsession. Virgo above all else, Jeunet is a craftsman who works like a watchmaker or an infinitely precise mechanic. Audrey Tautou describes her way of working on a set: “I discovered someone who works hard, leaves nothing to chance, knows exactly what he wants and does not compromise. As he works three times harder than his technicians and actors, he is regarded with respect. When we arrive at the beginning of the week on the shoot, we know that he spent the weekend looking for his frames in the sets with linings, before having them printed and pasted on cardboard. He is someone very rational and very caring, quite the opposite of a madman or an egoist. With him, I learned precision. Place yourself in relation to the camera, adopt a graceful position, things that are important to him and that we have at heart to give him.” The pole ‘R’ dominating in Virgo de Jeunet gives him the innate sense of the right image, the perfect setting and the visual impact of each scene. This mischievous but rigorous devil knows how to dose his effects in such a way as to make the heart of the spectator vibrate in one direction or another.

Moon Uranus CancerIts conjunction Moon-Uranus in Cancer moreover confers him a natural faculty to build homogeneous, coherent, rigorous, but harmonious wholes which he knows how to impose against all odds. His determination and his authority do not exclude great sensitivity (dissonant conjunction with Venus, square of Saturn-Neptune), but it is above all through work that he finds his full fulfillment (great harmonious aspect between Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Mars and Pluto).

Sepia color

Quite naturally, Jeunet has created for himself in the space of a few films a very particular, very codified universe, which contains all his obsessions, all his dreams and all his nostalgia. Strengthened by a Sun-Mercury conjunction in Virgo, Jeunet has put in his cinema all the images, the representations which make him vibrate, which enchant him and which make his child’s eyes widen like the hazel eyes of a Amelie. Amélie Poulain is also the condensed film of all the memories that Jeunet has stored since he was born. Amélie’s Montmartre is also that of little Jeunet, both that of his dreams and his memories. Jeunet’s films are like nostalgic vignettes, albums of images both timeless and retro that sometimes take the risk of feeling formalin or sepia. Like the photo booths that Monsieur Quincampoix-Kassovitz collects, or the painting by Renoir that the painter with bones of glass tries to copy line by line, Jeunet’s universe is a little folded in on itself, moves in a vase closed. These are films-universes that have little to do with reality as we can see it, touch it, feel it.

This is one of the rare criticisms that we have been able to formulate against Amélie: her very particular aestheticism, a little flashy, this visual of a second-hand dealer, her eye a little too often screwed into the rear-view mirror. So much so that the film was able to generate reviews of uncommon violence, as was the case in the magazine Les Inrockuptibles, from the pen of Serge Kaganski, (whom Jeunet mischievously nicknamed, “the bin Laden of criticism”). “As if the spirit of the times and the news of the world did not give us enough reason to despair of the human race, here we are, for more than a month, we have been bathed in with a film whose retro advertising aesthetics, adulterated poetry and the insignificant remark mask (with great difficulty) a particularly reactionary and right-wing vision of Paris, France and the world (not to mention cinema), to be polite. What does all this mean? That Jeunet looks at the people with sympathy, certainly, but exclusively the Montmarto-retro-Franco-Franchouillard people. That the Paris of Jeunet is carefully ‘cleansed’ of all its ethnic, social, sexual and cultural polysemy. That the Other is lovable and presentable when he is far away. Because I am, on the other hand, tormented by a rather disturbing hypothesis but which does not seem to me far-fetched in view of the preceding analyzes: if the demagogue of Trinité-sur-Mer was looking for a clip to illustrate his speeches, promote his vision of the people and his idea of France, it seems to me that Amélie Poulain would be the ideal candidate.

Even if this criticism, certainly written with the aim of speaking ill of an object that everyone seems to adore (and which therefore becomes an object of mistrust and jealousy), is outrageously violent and defamatory (Jeunet didn’t appreciate the fact of being called a fascist and seeing his film transformed into vulgar far-right propaganda…) she has the merit of pointing out the limits of the Jeunet system: compartmentalization, nostalgia, subjectivity of “the artist walled in his ivory tower”, etc. On the other hand, one cannot blame an artist for delivering his personal vision of the world. If a very large audience recognized themselves in Amélie, it was because they had to make their own criticism of the film, beyond the “hypotheses” smokers of each other, before agreeing to enter the particular universe of the filmmaker.

One can always seek to see evil everywhere, especially from the moment when a cultural object becomes the object of a progressive cult and very quickly becomes a sociological phenomenon, but one must also know how to refocus things, and not see in a film, something other than a film! The public does not always have only the fads of imbeciles or herds of stupid lambs! When it was released in the spring of 2001, the film quickly ended up gaining unanimous acclaim. “The film is a phenomenon that affects everyone, from the President of the Republic to the kid from the suburbs, which annoys the fundamentalist intellectuals of Paris and questions the few sociologists and psychologists still available during this spring loft story” (Internet Black Screen Generation). The criticism of Cine-live sums up quite well the phenomenon of transfiguration that Jeunet managed to bring about through his film: “abandoned photo booths, Amélie will push back the promised happiness until the end. Jeunet has filmed the most rancid Paname in vain through decades of clichés (Sacred Heart, typical bars and little girls), his love of mouths and tender typing, his permanent discrepancy with temporal contingencies (but in what years are we?), as with square good taste, transfigure his inexhaustible hymn to fleeting happiness, which never allows itself to say more than what it shows.

And Liberation thus concludes the debate: “During film time, the little world in the crystal ball came alive, the magic worked for the joy of the child-spectators in search of ‘visions’, but in the end, the images return to the images, the figurines become fixed. Their plastic eyes peer sadly into a frayed cotton candy sky. The life promised, and fleetingly offered, is already only a memory”…

Article published in issue No. 18 of the Fil d’ARIANA (October 2002).

This article was brought to you by Rémi Valet
English translation by Julien Rouger

Le petit livre de la Vierge

par Richard Pellard

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Interprétation de la Vierge selon la symbolique classique et selon ses réflexes dans le zodiaque naturel (force, vitesse, équilibre) ; interprétation de la Vierge en fonction des planètes dominantes ; le Signe solaire & le Signe Ascendant.

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