Bettie Page: Dysfunctional Family to Pin-Up Queen

Bettie Page was born April 22, 1923 in Nashville, Tennessee and came (eventually after many travels),  to New York City.  She had a broad, expansive mind, ever-ready for a challenge.  This is seen in various aspects in her chart, including a Jupiter-Uranus trine, which gives her the spirit of an adventurer… an explorer, or inventor, practically!

She was lovely, and lovely is a VENUS quality.  Her Venus is conjunct Uranus, the planet of novel, eccentric, unusual, and sudden ideas and escapades.  In a Solar Chart,using 12 Noon as the birth time, her Venus is in the 8th House, the house of Sexuality.   Venus with Uranus easily meets others, loves whatever's different and exciting, and is definitely NOT old fashioned or prudish.  Her Venus ALSO is in a good aspect with the Moon, the planet of basic womanhood, women's cycles, and motherhood. And her Moon is in Cancer, the sign of the Mother and Family. So it is interesting that Bettie "vibes" like the "girl next door",  Men found her image to be exciting, and hard to dismiss or dislike.

She was propelled forward in the eyes of the world, by MOON–Jupiter–and Uranus together forming a Grand Trine.  This combination of three planets is exceptionally outgoing and optimistic — one might also say hedonistic — with the focal point being the very female MOON.  She was not stuffy. She was not old-fashioned. She was eager to get ahead.  Simplest way to put it ,is that Jupiter-Uranus prominent, get her into many opportunities, including advanced, cinematic, photographic, fashion, etc., ventures.   Linked with MOON, the female nature springs to the forefront!  This is what the focus on photography was all about,.

Yes, she was propelled forward in the eyes of the world — but she had a hard time getting "out of her own head", there were tremendous pressures caused by several terrible shortcomings in her chart, as well, which I will mention, below.

Her Moon's connection with Planet Uranus, in a 120 degree "trine", a harmonious aspect, tying-together Pisces and Cancer, indicating that ALL the "female forces" are synchronized to work together, in her birthchart.  But Uranus bringts both Moon and Venus the factor of short-lived adventures and short-term romances.  Formed quickly and easily, they can be swept away just as fast.

She definitely WAS successful as an image of the beauty and excitement of womankind.  Yet, her life did not go very smoothly. Her glory years as a model were shortened abruptly when S&M shots came to the attention of Congress.  It is said she was "consulted" by the FBI, and may have been named in a Kefauver committee hearing about pornography. It should be noted, by the way, that Bettie NEVER appeared in explicit x-rated pictures or movies. The S&M was what was questionable.

 What in her chart shows the possibility that her success would be short-lived?
Born with an extremely rare lack of ANY planetary or lunar aspects to her SUN, this lack was matched — doubled or tripled! — by the fact that her MARS in the first degrees of Gemini, also made NO ASPECT with any planet or the Moon or Sun.  Her planet of work, of energy — of MALE energy in her life — was without any connection with any other planet in her chart. The lack of Mars energy implies she may NEVER have found the right man.  And the lack of Solar aspects can often represent the Father, she was born with a waning or lacking fatherly influence in her chart, and throughout her life, I think she was trying to find "him".,  Actually, she was determined to find both a MAN and a FATHER, but both of these quests would be blunted and hindered by her terrob;e natal 'heritage'.

Her chart shows profound dislocation and hardship during her childhood.  The lack of good aspects to Sun and Mars caused her father, as the prime male presence and role-model to act despicably toward her, and then be taken away from the family, never mentioned again:

Here is an important Wikipedia quote about her childhood:

Page was the second of six children born to Walter Roy Page and Edna Mae Pirtle. At a young age, Page had to face the responsibilities of caring for her younger siblings. Her parents divorced when she was 10 years old. (In the 1930 Census, a few weeks before Bettie's 7th birthday, her mother Edna Pirtle Page was already listed as being divorced.) After her father, whom Page would accuse of molesting her starting at age 13, was imprisoned, Page and her two sisters lived in an orphanage for a year. During this time, Page's mother worked two jobs, one as a hairdresser during the day and washing laundry at night.

(A good Progression occurred:  around age 15 –16, SUN progressed over her natal Mercury, the planet of the mind and of communications, and her shadowy childhood years were swept away by sunshine.  Her studies advanced. She was noticed for her scholarship.  She graduated with honors and was voted "Most Likely to Succeed" by her classmates.

Her ambitions were noteworthy. She wanted to act.  But getting to either New York or Hollywood wasn't so easy.  Bettie's lack of the ability to connect with males, particularly,  in her chart made her like a "Lost Soul!"  No father, no brothers or other male relatives of any possible use to her are ever mentioned in her Bio.  Surely she was 10X more lonely than Marilyn Monroe.  She felt she had no father, and no boyfriend or lover in her life, either.  Irving Klaw finally, in the early and mid-1950's substituted for both!  The men and youths of the world who saw her dressed-up like a black-haired spitfire, in heels and stockings and little else, were enraptured. THESE became her "missing" family, the appreciative family she had evidently never really had at all. 

 When she couldn't find her real father, (he was away in prison, and after that, never mentioned again), I think she became eager for men to notice her, and to please them so they would accept her.  Poor Bettie was also determined to be in a good marriage, and kept trying to achieve that goal.  Here are relevant relationships (again, thanks to Wikipedia:) 

In 1943, she married high school classmate Billy Neal in a simple courthouse ceremony shortly before he was drafted into the Navy for World War II. For the next few years, she moved from San Francisco to Nashville to Miami and to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where she felt a special affinity with the country and its culture. In November 1947, back in the United States, she filed for divorce.

Her being drawn to Haiti, and later, wishing to go to Africa on missionary work,is a Mercury-Jupiter factor.,  Jupiter is travel, and Uranus (in trone) provides ample chances to treavel.  But Mercury adverse to Jupiter means these travels are often poorly timed and badly planned.  She never did get to Africa, her previous divorce ultimately made her ineligible to do missionary work., for example.

She dated industrial designer Richard Arbib in the 1950s. She then married Armond Walterson in 1958; they divorced in 1963.

She briefly remarried Billy Neal, her first husband, who helped her to gain entrance into missionary work; however, the two divorced again shortly thereafter.[citation needed] She returned to Florida in 1967, and married again, to Harry Lear, but this marriage also ended in divorce in 1972.

Her fate was to have four marriages — one, a short-lived re-marriage. Astrologically, Venus in a conjunction with the unstable and erratic planet, Uranus, and the Moon tied into the aspect, as well,  accounts for probable lack of long-term marriage connections.

Here's another factor:  No children are cited despite all the men in her life; nor are children promised in her natal chart. Her Moon was natally in conjunction with Pluto.  This sometimes appears in the lives of both men and women who are not favored by the Fates to have babies or raise children.  In Bettie's case, as the second of six children, she may have had enough of child-raising with her four younger siblings.

 When she met Irving Klaw, the New York City cheesecake photographer, she may have found her "father figure".  He was older and an actual husband and father, so despite his questionable profession, she must have felt very much in agreement with him and his wife, with whom she also bonded.

(SUN progressed over her natal MARS about 1951 or so., The two celestial bodies which make NO aspect in her birthchart, met via progression, and the doubled male significance of Sun and Mars hit home:  Just when she found her image proliferating into magazines everywhere, and, conversely, men all around her, and became the poster-girl emblematic of the erotic female, MARS, which denied her a long-term happy marriage, in its "work planet" guise, brought her to the high-point of personal success!)

Together, this trio put together quite a dossier of erotic photos. It may still have not been quite enough… All her life she was trying to "find" herself, (not just her father!), as she went through various "new incarnations", (typical of Jupiter-Uranus aspects),  from model and small-time actress, to appearing before the FBI,  to becoming a Re-born Christian.  In her later years, if not earlier, she showed signs of mental problems.

That mental disease was really, rather an imbalance, caused by several factors, including Jupiter's opposition to her mental ruler — Mercury.  But her Mercury also squared Neptune, which tends to make the mind less practical.  And Neptune, in turn, squared Jupiter, which is associated with flights of fancy in the direction of cults and religions in some people…,alcohol in others.  I have seen aspects like this frequently!  When these forces are combined, Jupiter, the planet of positive and optimistic energy, becomes an inflated, gargantuan soap bubble taking her up, up, to heights of feeling very pleased about things, and then, often plunging her moods down, down, into reckless areas of possible depression.  The Neptune-Jupiter energy is a different kind of "soap bubble" it is conversion and belief that goes beyond the rational mind.  Put them all together, and her chart starts to look "bi-polar" to me, but I don't have the qualifications to diagnose such a thing.  But her flights of fancy, her dreams, her visions, her excitement, would be sooner or later dashed, and then built-up again.  What kept her moving forward, is the Grand Trine.  She was emotionally wired (Moon) to engage in the unusual, novel, and to do so suddenly and with total committment.  Her erotic photo-shoots were like that, and her conversion to being a re-born Christian was just as sudden and thorough.

Her lengthy series of marriages and re-marriages points to this lack of "Sun" and "Mars" connections in her chart.  She tried to connect, but these only had short-term success. Finally, her "demons" started catching up to her:

Here's another snippet, a very upsetting one,  from Wikipedia:

She moved to Southern California in 1979.  There she had a nervous breakdown and had an altercation with her landlady. The doctors who examined her diagnosed her with acute schizophrenia, and she spent 20 months in a state mental hospital in San Bernardino, California. After a fight with another landlord she was arrested for assault, but was found not guilty by reason of insanity and placed under state supervision for eight years.[6] She was released in 1992.

At what was the very height of her career, she got out of the photography business, found Jesus, and severed all her ties to her former life. She even worked for Billy Graham for awhile, and attended three different Bible colleges. Was this reality?  Or had reality been her former life?  At some point along the path, she began to lose contact with consensus reality;  Nor did she really ever recover.  Her mind and her memories were playing tricks on her.  The negative aspects made her last two decades obscure. ( SUN progressed over her PLUTO, planet of Hades and Darkness, in 1995 or so.)   We are left with the tokens of her life's activities:  Her broken relationships, her unfulfilled religious quest, and perhaps the best that there is — hundreds of her exciting images. All the departments of her life, the sequence of events,  agree with her astrological coordinates.

Best Wishes,  —–Ed

About Ed Augusts

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