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A Memoir from the Mistress of the DarkElviraBook

I happened across the autobiography of Cassandra Peterson (better known as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark) at my local library the other day. I didn’t know much about Elvira except for the fact that back in the 1980s, 90s and early 2000s her image seemed to be everywhere. But I have a weakness for biographies, especially biographies of people for whom we have a complete horoscope, so I picked it up. (Click on Elvira to see her chart.)

Much of the book concerns Peterson’s early years as a struggling actress. As is the way with this sort of autobiography, a lot of ink is spilled describing her encounters with various celebrities. I was more interested in what happened to her and how those events matched with her horoscope, and it didn’t take me long to find what I looking for. One the first page Peterson describes how she got the call that landed her the job as Elvira and changed her life. That happened on July 5, 1981, just as transiting Saturn aligned with her natal Saturn, what astrologers call the Saturn Return and a crucial point in one of the Saturn Cycles.

As sometimes happens with Saturn Cycle aspects, the importance of this event was not immediately apparent. Peterson was hired to host a late night TV show on a Los Angeles station that featured old horror movies. She was just supposed to look sexy (in a scary, Bride-of-Frankenstein kind of way) and tell a few jokes. However, the aplomb with which Peterson took on the role of Mistress of the Dark quickly earned her an army of loyal fans. Soon, Elvira was a nationwide sensation.

It is interesting that Peterson was born with Mars and Pluto in a tight conjunction in her Tenth House of career. Pluto is all about the dark and mysterious, while Mars has to do with violence and cruelty. Put those together in the sign of showmanship (Leo) and you get a pretty good description of someone whose career would be built around horror films.

The way that Peterson found success by making light of all this murder and mayhem is reflected in the easy trine Mars and Pluto make to her natal Moon. Peterson’s Moon is in Aries which, along with her Libra Ascendant, explains why she has enough material to fill a 300 page autobiography. People with the Moon in Aries tend to be restless. Their emotions are constantly pulling them toward new experiences and new adventures. A person with the Moon in Aries is rarely going to be satisfied with a humdrum life.

The most challenging aspect in Peterson’s horoscope is the opposition to that Aries Moon by Neptune. Along with pulling her toward various adventures, Peterson’s restless emotionality also pulled her into some very questionable decisions. The fact that, for the most part, she emerged from these wrong turns relatively unscathed has a lot to do with her Sun which, along with her Mercury and Venus, is placed in Virgo. Virgo’s Mutable Sign flexability allowed Peterson to adapt to some crazy situations while the levelheadedness of this sign helped her avoid the more destructive extremes of such a lifestyle.

There are many other factors worthy of discussion in this chart, such as the house placements of her Sun and Moon and the conjunction of her Mercury with the South Node of the Moon, However, explaining these issues would require getting further into Peterson’s autobiography than I have time for. Her book is certainly worth a look, particularly if you want to seen how a little Virgo savvy and a lot of Aries energy can produce an eventful and, overall, successful life.

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