It's said by some Atlanta astrologers that Margaret Mitchell was an astrologer before she was a writer, and that the book that brought "Hollywood to Atlanta" and fame to it's author had a very surprising beginning.
“Gone With the Wind” mythologised the Old South, immortalized Atlanta and transformed a modest Atlanta newspaper woman into a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist and one of the 20th Century’s most famous authors. So it was quite a surprise in 1978 when an astrologer, teaching at an Atlanta convention for The American Federation of Astrologers, was shown xerox copies of Margaret Mitchell’s early notes and discovered the notes contained clues (that possibly only an astrologer could interpret) that Margaret Mitchell had based the characters of her torrid epic story on the zodiac.
It appeared that what Mitchell had done was take each sign of the zodiac and develop a character around that archetype. Essentially, making “Gone With the Wind” a thinly disguised astrological allegory and the unforgettable cast of charactors...the signs of zodiac.
Scarlett O'Hara, with her “I'll think about that tomorrow” attitude and her ability to pick herself up and start all over again, proves true to the Aries nature. Her father, a Taurus, is alway talking about ”his love of the land” and even owns a farm named, in true earthy Taurean fashion, the Tara Plantation. Prissy and Scarlett's twittering aunt Pitty Pat, are a pair of Geminis whose words and names conform to the sign's love of word play. Rhett Butler, of course, is a passionate Leo. Bonnie, Scarlett and Rhett's cheerful and carefree young daughter, is a Sagittarius ( being born under the sign of the centaur, it's sad but appropriate to the sign that she should meet her end in a horse-riding accident). Melanie, always insisting that Scarlett is misunderstood, is a Cancer. Ashley Wilkes with his enduring adherence to honor, is a Capricorn. And the list goes on.
Watching this classic film again with even a little bit of information about each astrological sign will open up a new level of fun and understanding...urban legend or fact...there's much to be learned in how well Margaret Mitchell portrayed the archetypes of the astrological signs in her cast of characters.
Good films, like good stories, are unforgettable
The original purpose of a good story was to bring about wisdom, needed knowledge for survival, evolution and spiritual transformation. These original stories are the myths generated by the ancient peoples. A successful screenplay is a modern day myth that has been immortalized.
Myths are allegories that explain why the world is the way it is. Ancient people used myths to explain creation, animal instincts, and natural disasters. Later, myths were used to explain love and to teach morality, politics, and law. These myths transcend time because they touch the heart and stir the minds of all who listen. Myths that were concocted by tyrants, religious zealots, and cunning politicians as a means of brain washing the populace soon fell away as they lacked true archetypal substance.
Myths with staying power touch on universal archetypes...which are to a certain extent, universal personality types that have been observed through out time and across cultures - especially oversimplification of the various types, and this oversimplification of the personalities of her characters was what Mitchell did so well.
When a stories characters stay true to their archetypal personalities, the story flows easily and the plot develops in a natural, cohesive manner.
Shakespeare wrote that life is but a stage and the men and women of the world are but mere actors upon it. It's true, every life has a story - an astrological allagory - and when we are able to identify the primary myth that is playing itself out in our own life, we have the free will to improvise and create story lines with characters that stay true to our myth.
Yet, the myths are bigger than we are and often difficult to see. Perhaps it's not too bold to suggest that astrology is an indispensable tool for a proper understanding of your own life's drama.
So, thanks Margaret Mitchell for being so astrologically aware and astute...and for channeling the astrological archetypes into your powerful and enduring allegory of survival, romantic love, and the societal structuring of gender and class in the Old South.