Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Lilith in the 3rd House: Karma Chameleon

It is no surprise that an article on 3rd House Lilith churned out a ton of words.  Even limiting this article to a dozen profiles, I was itching to write more at the end.  Out of necessity, the Third House article is a two-part series, so that readers can take a break on the trip through the Lilith cornucopia before their eyes glaze over.

Although I didn’t initially understand why astrologer Mae Wilson-Ludlam thought Lilith was exalted in Gemini (natural energy of the 3rd House), I do acknowledge a certain tendency for Lilith to run amok in this sign now that I’ve explored some of the famous with this natal placement.  If my readers make it through both these articles, they may find themselves agreeing with her.

Keywords for Lilith

Deception, home-wrecking, unwed mothers, miscarriage, abortion, death of child, loss of child custody, obsession, an “Eve” wife who knows about a “Lilith” mistress, being the “third person” in a marriage, dance ability, (singing ability in the 3rd House), reputation for creativity and innovation (Lilith churns out “new forms”), shape-shifting


·         Communicative chameleon – mischievous, witty, charismatic, clever liar.  Known for saying one thing and doing another.

·         Personality – Quicksilver, curious, inventive – the 3rd House is the mindset, so Lilith qualities will be a thorough part of the personality.  Sometimes Lilith even “takes over” the mind, with resulting mental illness, or atypical mental functioning.

·         Lilith impacts the sibling

ü  On occasion, there is an overwhelming number of siblings (Dolly Parton, Tenzin Gyatso [the 14th Dalai Lama], the Dionne quintuplets) or death of a sibling (the three previous examples – sibling death is more frequent in very large families) 

ü  More often, there is Lilith-like behavior in the sibling (Britney Spears, Bill Clinton, Jackie Kennedy).

·         Loss of legal custody of children - the child is taken away from the parent, or the 3rd House parent has children who are taken away – this is different from the abandonment more typically experienced by 4th House Lilith. (Britney Spears, Courtney Love, the Dionne quintuplets)

·         Very occasionally, a marker for the death of children (more typical if Lilith is tightly conjunct a planet or fixed star).  Jackie Kennedy had an infant son who died in 1963, and also a stillborn daughter.  She also had Lilith partile conjunct Altair in the 1st degree of Aquarius.

·         Lilith impacts the voice – some natives have incredible voices (Susan Boyle, Barbra Streisand).  There are a lot of singers with this placement, and quite a few dancers, as well as people who were both singers and dancers (Maya Angelou, Britney Spears, Courtney Love).

·         This Lilith shows up very strongly in childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood.  There may be less of an impact as the native ages, although some aspects of this Lilith are still present in maturity.  A powerful 3rd House Lilith gets the child out of the starting blocks unusually fast, and the payout normally occurs before age 25.  This is the child with a full-time career, or a teenager who experiences total transformation by late adolescence.

·         Mental illness first diagnosed in early adolescence is featured, although not very common (Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath had her first suicide attempt by age 20, all of the Dionne quintuplets had epilepsy).

·         Occasionally signifies a dynastic family with quite a few premature deaths or assassinations – Jackie Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Ted Kennedy, and Caroline Kennedy all have 3rd House Lilith.

·         In marked contrast to 4th House Lilith, the childhood family is often a source of support, or receives the native’s support – especially in dire circumstances, and despite other dysfunction.  Even when very poor, the family somehow keeps the wolf from the door (Maya Angelou’s uncles killed the live-in boyfriend who raped her, Dolly Parton was raised “dirt poor”, but she and her husband raised several of her younger siblings). 

·         Quite a few trust fund kids have this placement (Jackie Kennedy, Grace Kelley, Courtney Love, Vladimir Nabakov, and Rihanna, who was taken to live with a wealthy family in early adolescence).

·         Likes having sex with the neighbors, or “neighbors” in the sense of one’s peers  – may do best in an open marriage (Dolly Parton, Barbra Streisand)

·         These are rebellious, rule-breakers when young, but are more likely to use their Lilith-like cunning within the establishment as they mature, whereas 9th House Lilith wants to reform the system, or somehow transform it, and more often operates beyond the establishment.

ü  Contrast 3rd House Lilith Rupert Murdoch, who headed up a news empire, with 9th House dissident Edward Snowden, who works with cutting-edge, alternative journalists and filmmakers. 

ü  Also contrast the leadership style of 3rd House Bill Clinton, the President who rehabilitated the Democratic Party after Jimmy Carter, with the maverick 9th House Margaret Thatcher, who was first viewed as outside the establishment, then became the establishment, and finally was booted out of the establishment.

 Virginia Woolf

She was raised in a literate and very well-connected Victorian household, with three siblings and three half-siblings (her mom had seven children).  The boys were educated at Cambridge, and Virginia came to resent that she and her sisters could not attend, although she did benefit from its intellectual stimulation because her brothers brought their friends home to the family salon.

The sudden death of her mother when she was 13, and her half-sister Stella two years later, led to the first of lifelong nervous breakdowns.  She would suffer “mood swings” her entire life, and spent three brief periods in an institution, but her literary productivity continued despite mental illness (also true of 3rd House true Lilith Sylvia Plath).

Woolf is considered a major innovator in the English language (also true of Maya Angelou).  She experimented successfully with stream-of-consciousness technique, and her most influential novel, Orlando, shows the influence of Lilith, with its fantastical story of a hero whose life spans three centuries and both sexes.  It was also a tribute to her lesbian love affair with Vita Sackville-West, which her open marriage with Jewish husband Leonard Woolf permitted.

Of Orlando, Vita’s son, Nigel Nicholson, would later write, "The effect of Vita on Virginia is all contained in Orlando, the longest and most charming love letter in literature, in which she explores Vita, weaves her in and out of the centuries, tosses her from one sex to the other, plays with her, dresses her in furs, lace and emeralds, teases her, flirts with her, drops a veil of mist around her.”  What an amazing depiction of Lilith.

Like the biblical Eve, Virginia was very much in love with her husband.  In 1937, she wrote in her diary: "Love-making—after 25 years can’t bear to be separate ... you see it is enormous pleasure being wanted: a wife.  And our marriage so complete."  So it is surprising to find that she made comments that he was a “penniless Jew”.  She also wrote in her diary, “I do not like the Jewish voice; I do not like the Jewish laugh." 

Yet she seemed to acknowledge her own private flip-flopping on the question of Jews when she wrote, "How I hated marrying a Jew- What a snob I was, for they have immense vitality.”  And just to be fair, she also denounced Christianity, seeing it as self-righteous "egotism" and stating "my Jew has more religion in one toe nail”.  With regard to anti-Semitism, like a typical 3rd House Lilith, she said one thing and did another.

Virginia Woolf eventually committed suicide by drowning.  She left a note which left no question that her Jewish husband had been the love of her life – see her Wikipedia entry for an excerpt.

Jackie Kennedy Onassis

Jackie Kennedy had true Lilith alone in the 3rd House, just along the cusp, and partile conjunct Altair at 1 degree Aquarius, so one might expect a noticeable effect – Altair is associated with the realization of ambitions, and sudden fame or notoriety, albeit briefly.  Lilith will aid the star, or add to its impact somehow.  In fact, Jackie dealt with Lilith intensely – through the death of her children, the competition from her sister, Lee Radziwill, and the knowledge of her husband’s famous mistress, Marilyn Monroe, but I would argue that Lilith’s more positive gift was mainly realized in her 3rd House publishing career.

Her Mid-Heaven at 28 Leo 55 was tightly conjunct Regulus (an ambitious Royal Star associated with dignity, graciousness, watchfulness, and authority), and her Jupiter was partile conjunct Aldebaran at 9 Gemini 34 (success, popularity, humor, but possible chicanery).  The fixed star energy in her nativity is prominent, and heightens the strength of anything associated by tight conjunction, so we may anticipate Lilith as a “major player”, which it was.

Jackie was born into an incredibly wealthy family.  She and Lee Radziwill were the daughters of Wall Street stockbroker John “Black Jack” Bouvier and socialite Janet Lee.  Once her parents divorced, Jackie’s mom snagged Hugh Dudley Auchincloss, Jr., the heir to the Standard Oil fortune.  This established a very high bar for both daughters.  Jackie met the bar and exceeded it, while Lee was always at her sister’s heels, struggling to do as well.

Jackie’s youthful equestrian skill got a lot of attention, because it was appropriate to her social set, but young Jackie also had a strong career orientation toward journalism and publishing, photography and art.  No one expected it to be anything but a sideline; her job was to marry a millionaire.  Still, Jackie got an early “payout” from Lilith – she was hired as an “Inquiring Photographer” for the Washington Times Herald as soon as she graduated from college, AND she published a book called “One Special Summer”, based on a trip she and her sister took through Europe when Jackie’s college graduation coincided with Lee’s high school graduation – the only book that would feature Jackie’s own drawings.

A distinctive Mid-Heaven in a woman’s chart often says more about her husband than her career – this is as true now as it was sixty years ago, in Jackie’s era.  Jackie would marry her Royal Star by the age of 24, and quickly achieved lasting fame as the most memorable First Lady of the 20th Century (this may seem unfair to Eleanor Roosevelt, whose intellectual and political stature was unsurpassed, but it is nonetheless true).

In her private life, Lilith shows up in a lot of ways – in her witty, sharp, unsparing, rather mean insights on people around her (the reason why her daughter Caroline was so quick to defend her mother’s 1964 interview tapes with historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr.), and in the death of her infant son in 1963 (she also had a stillborn daughter).  In the 3rd House, sibling death is more common than the premature death of a child, and even sibling death is not especially common, so one senses that Jackie’s dealings with Lilith were out of proportion and extra-ordinary (very similar to Marilyn Monroe, who had even more fixed star conjunctions than Jackie did).

In the 3rd House, the Lilith energy is often deflected to a sibling – Lee Radziwill was overtly Lilith in her private life.  Lee’s second marriage was to Polish prince Stanislaw Radziwill, who divorced his second wife in order to marry Lee (her Lilith-like status as a low-profile home-wrecker is not in question).  She also had a long-standing affair with Aristotle Onassis, and was bitterly disappointed when he married her elder sister.

Onassis’ death in 1975 made Jackie a widow a second time.  Her connections and social standing guaranteed that a job of her choice would land in her lap if she wanted one, but it did not ensure the sort of enduring achievement that Jackie would realize as a publisher.  My sense is that Jackie had worked though enough karma after the death of two children and two husbands, and was finally able to tap into Lilith as a gift rather than heartbreak.

Jackie had two significant, largely overlooked publishing achievements in the 1990’s.  She oversaw the publication in English of The Cairo Trilogy by Naguib Mahfouz, an honor shared with co-publisher Martha Levin.  Mahfouz had a huge impact on the mid-century Arab world – the saying, “Cairo writes, Beirut publishes, Baghdad reads”, was in part due to the influence of his collected work, much of which was originally published in the 1950’s.  Jackie understood instinctively that he would become a bestselling author, and she was right – his slow, meandering saga of one multi-generational Egyptian family is still considered a classic out of Africa.

Her other legacy was the publication of Dorothy West’s 1995 book, “The Wedding”.  West was known as the last surviving member of the Harlem Renaissance, and the book was also a study of race, class, wealth, and power in one multi-generational African-American family.  Jackie’s inside view of dynastic families was coupled with good insight on what books would sell – “The Wedding” was eventually made into a mini-series starring Halle Berry.

Britney Spears

The ultimate high-achieving child star, Britney became the 'best-selling teenage artist of all time' before she turned twenty.  She had attracted the attention of the casting director of The Mickey Mouse Club by the time she was eight, and had moved to New York with her mom to start a career the same year.  By age 11, she was on The Mickey Mouse Club.  At age 16, she signed a major label, and with her small-town girl instinct – a feature of 3rd House Lilith – she did a shopping mall promotional tour for her first album that got a lot of attention.

Britney has a tight true Lilith conjunction with Neptune in the 3rd.  My own feeling is that Lilith-Neptune is a star at either sex or religion (admittedly, the sample size is small, but Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, also had a partile 3rd House Lilith-Neptune conjunction.  Like Britney, he was also a child with a full-time career.)

At age 17, she was on the cover of the April 1999 Rolling Stone magazine, which featured her lying on her bed, clad with a bra, shorts and an open top. Her Wikipedia entry notes that the American Family Association (AFA) referred to the shoot as "a disturbing mix of childhood innocence and adult sexuality".  At issue was Britney’s 3rd House Lilith tendency to say one thing and do another – at the same time she did the Rolling Stone photo shoot, she was saying she would remain a virgin until marriage, and the implied duplicity was apparently a big deal for her target audience.  One critic accused her of being a “bad girl who was trying to act like a good one”.

Britney has a third house bonanza – with Uranus, Mercury, the Sun, Lilith, and Neptune all in Sagittarius and all in the 3rd House, and with Jupiter right on the 2nd House cusp, which really expanded her earnings.  The public readily seems to judge her (Sagittarius) based on that unseen, yet deceptive Lilith – it has been said that she is not a particularly strong vocalist because she lip syncs on stage.  Yet in all fairness, her fans don’t go to her concerts for the music, but for the spectacle.  Plus she is doing a lot of dancing on stage (3rd House Lilith musicians and writers seem to have dance in their backgrounds) so flawless live singing may be a little much to ask for.

Britney pushes her body fairly hard.  Three months after the birth of her first child, Sean, she was already pregnant with her second child, Jayden.  Her relationship with their father, Kevin Federline, was contentious enough that he was quick to use the courts to seize custody when she appeared to be using drugs. Britney was briefly put on a psych ward – echoes of 3rd House Lilith mental illness.  She also got the kids back – for once, her judgmental audience was more inclined to feel sorry for her, and Federline rather grudgingly wished to avoid looking too eager to kick her while she was down.

Lilith also shows up with Britney’s sister, although it is nowhere near as obvious as it was with Jackie Kennedy’s sister.  Jamie Lynn Spears got some brief notoriety for being on her way to unwed motherhood at age 16 – she and the baby daddy did not get married, even though they tried twice to make the relationship work.

Courtney Love

Her real claim to fame is that she was a rock-and-roll bad girl and Kurt Cobain’s wife.  No one pretends for a moment that she had anything near Cobain’s talent, but she has a fascinating back story and a striking talent for the spotlight.  Her Lilith is right on the cusp of the 3rd House at 29 Capricorn, and a little too far from Altair for it to matter (I use an orb of 1 ½ degree), but the fleeting nature of her fame is consistent with Altair nonetheless.

The Lilith signature is buried deep in Love’s family tree.  Her mother, Linda Carroll, wandered through three husbands and as many communes in Oregon, and Courtney spent three years shuttling between foster families and juvenile detainment facilities as a teenager after her mother completely abandoned her.  This sounds more like a story of 4th House Lilith than it does 3rd House Lilith, but there’s more to the family history than meets the eye.  For one thing, at age 15, Courtney was able to emancipate herself from her family and begin living on a modest trust fund established by her adoptive grandparents.  Despite the obvious family dysfunction, there was a safety net present that simply isn’t there for most 4th House Lilith natives.

As mentioned above, Linda Carroll was the adopted daughter of ex-Grateful Dead manager Hank Harrison.  Carroll’s biological mother was a well-known children’s writer named Paula Fox, who may have had an affair with Marlon Brando.  There is some possibility that Linda Carroll may have been Marlon Brando’s biological daughter, which would have made Hole his granddaughter.  However, Carroll declined to make any mention of Brando in her memoir about her dysfunctional relationship with her adopted parents and eldest daughter, and her publisher would not confirm any speculation about Brando.

Before she was a singer with a band, Love was a stripper.  She liked pole-dancing, and stripping provided her with a ready source of income no matter where she ended up, from Japan to Alaska.  As she noted herself, “Writing songs has a lot to do with your sexuality…I danced for a while and just being around that made me aware of what people use. And if you grow up being blessed with a certain beauty…. you can get into a better position in life. Stripping can be really powerful... it’s how I got a guitar. It’s how I had a band. ” One can appreciate the sly humor of a stripper who names her band, “Hole”.

Love also had some interesting roles in alternative films – most notably the 1986 punk film Sid and Nancy and the co-starring role in the 1996 film The People vs. Larry Flint.  Having talent in several areas is a 3rd House Lilith trademark – many of these celebrities make their fame in one genre, but are active all over the spectrum.

Love also had her daughter Francis Bean taken away from her twice due to perceived drug use, but she got her back both times.   Francis Cobain’s Wikipedia article notes, “On August 18, 2010, Cobain inherited 37% of her late father's estate.  Newly revealed documents from the Fix.com show that Frances, not her mother, Courtney Love, now controls the publicity rights to the name and image of her late father, Kurt Cobain. According to the Fix.com, until her mother pays back a loan for $2.75 million which Love borrowed from her daughter's trust fund, Courtney has no rights or say over the use of Kurt Cobain's name or image.”

Dolly Parton

"After Momma gave birth to twelve of us kids, we put her up on a pedestal.  It was mostly to keep Daddy away from her."

"It takes a lot of money to make a person look this cheap!  I always pattern my look after the town tramp.  I swear to God that's true, but I can't give her name."


Parton was the fourth of twelve children born “dirt poor” in a run-down one room cabin, where one can only imagine having that many siblings must have been overwhelming.  Music was in the blood – her half-Cherokee mother played guitar, her grandfather, Rev. Jake Owens, was a fiddler and a song-writer, and her uncle gave her a guitar when she was seven because her parents had no money to buy her one. 

By the time she was nine, she was appearing on TV in Knoxville, TN.  At age 13, she was recording on a small label and had her first appearance at the Grand Old Opry.  By age 14, Parton signed to Mercury Records, but her 1962 debut for the label, "It's Sure Gonna Hurt," was a bomb, and the label immediately dropped her.  Consequently, she had a normal high school experience (as did Britney Spears, who suffered similar early setbacks).

The day after she graduated from high school in 1964, Parton moved to Nashville.  On her first day in Nashville, she met her future husband Carl Thomas Dean, at the Wishy-Washy Laundromat. His first words to her were: "Y'all gonna get sunburnt out there, little lady.”  As with other 3rd House Lilith folks, everything happened for Parton during adolescence. 

Her husband shunned publicity and rarely accompanied her to her events.  They had a loyal bond over a very long marriage, even though Dolly Parton reportedly enjoyed a lot of lovers on the side.  At the same time, she raised several of her younger siblings together with her husband.  Parton always wanted children, but was unable to have them, so she compensated with philanthropy efforts that focus on children, acting as a mother to her own mother’s children, and also became a god-mother to Miley Cyrus.

Lilith shows up in Parton’s life in other ways as well.  She has a gift for witty quotes, and rhyming stanzas.  She plays the autoharp, banjo, drums, dulcimer, fiddle, flute, guitar, harmonica, pennywhistle, and piano – not quite “A to Z”, but you get the picture.  She also had film roles outside her main career as a singer, and is best known for the 1982 film, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.  Her two most famous songs are “Coat of Many Colors” – which recalls the extreme poverty of her childhood, and “Jolene” – with its acute echoes of Lilith (an excerpt is in the preface of “Lilith in the 7th House:  TheJilted Bride").

Readers may be curious about the difference between Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn, both country singers who came from similar rural backgrounds, Native American ancestry, and harsh poverty.  In terms of Lilith, the difference seems to be that 3rd House true Lilith Parton was a child star in her own community, and nationally recognized by the time she was 20.  8th House true Lilith Lynn spent her teenage years in obscurity having four babies after marrying at age 13, and didn’t even pick up an instrument until her late teens at her husband’s insistence.

What Did I Miss?
Lilith in the 4th House:  Where Lilith is Vicious
What's Next?
Part Two:  Lilith in the 3rd House:  Karma Chameleon


Wikipedia does a good, concise summary on a lot of people.  I used Wikipedia for Virginia Woolf and Jackie Kennedy

Astrotheme had a particularly detailed biography of Courtney Love.
Article on Dolly Parton’s open marriage:
For Dolly Parton’s bio, I used artists.cmt and Wikipedia.

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