Horoscopes - Erma Bombeck
Erma's massive stellium in Pisces is an interesting phenomenon, with the five planets being the Sun, Jupiter, Mercury, Venus and Uranus. With a stellium this large, we really needn't concern ourselves with a numerical orb of influence since the energy spreads throughout the entire sign.
I find it most telling to look at the larger, outer planets in the stellium to give us the information on Erma's impact socially. With such an archetypal chart however, we will see patterns repeated throughout.
Jupiter rules social conventions, political systems and government organizations. Erma began showing her influence in these areas with her writing immediately, during a tumultuous time period of western civilization, 1964. While other feminists were burning bras and fighting for equal rights, Erma was making a startling statement for womanhood by helping to break the stereotype of the 'perfect' woman. She poked fun at the Barbie doll, June Cleaver images of womanhood, replacing them with the realities of "thunder thighs" and ironing only the front of the shirt which would be seen. For thousands of women, Erma provided comic relief from the pressure to perform in an artificial manner and even the permission to just be human. She used the comic side of the Sun/Jupiter conjunction to accomplish this.
Erma's Venus/Uranus conjunction shows us the new woman that she personified for women everywhere. Taking off the mask of the madonna, she humanized and equalized women in our society, showing the strength and fearlessness that females must employ on a daily basis in raising a family. In a way that was truly remarkable for that time period, she was able to accomplish these goals without anger, raising her credibility with mainstream America in a very solid fashion. There is a Yod pointing to this conjunction from Neptune and the Moon, again emphasizing the Piscean nature of this individual and the fact that she was ruled by her destiny.
As a Virgo, I'm known to sometimes have a jaundiced view towards that distinctive breed, the Piscean, but I can't deny my fascination and admiration of them at the same time. I can look at Erma's work and see immediately that her charm often was found in her sloppiness, her lack of scheduling and willingness to cut corners. This sort of contradictory impression can drive a Virgo to drink. But this was what was required for this time in our society. Women were still seeing television mothers wearing high heels to vacuum, orienting their days around hubby and having few thoughts of their own. This sloppy, yet highly creative female was a breath of fresh air.
Her effect on the structures of society is mirrored by the presence of Saturn on the 11th house cusp. This is a powerful position, indicating a certain authority over the mass perceptions. This is especially true in the sign of Sagittarius. Saturn is the chart ruler, or ruler of the ascendant, and here we see the essence of Erma being manifested, a description of her purpose on planet earth.
Sadly, Erma's health problems can be seen through her 6th house North Node. We are challenged through this point in the chart, and it seems that this was Erma's big lesson. I suspect that this was to learn about self-nurturing, as it is in the sign of Cancer, and to again serve as an example to others, typical of the Piscean.
There are a couple of chart anomolies which I would hesitate to claim are true in all cases, but have noticed in several situations. The stellium in a water sign is unsurprising for the individual with chronic kidney disease, and ultimately being the cause of death as in Erma's case. Specifically in the sign of Pisces, the inability to purify the system, makes a lot of sense. Also, I've often noted a correspondence between Mars in the 4th house and breast cancer. Nurses are known for having Mars in the 4th and I've known more nurses with breast cancer than any other profession.
Erma's Libra moon demonstrated her own inner conflict between being the perfect Mom, and following her inner voice. Throughout her writing, one sees the battle that ensues over this. The pattern is repeated in her Jupiter/Saturn square which must have been constantly haranguing her to get organized, while simultaneously concocting 20 new creative projects per day.
In my opinion, Erma ranks right up there with Gloria Steinem and Bella Abzug as a world-changing feminist, but one who used the most devasting weapon of all...humor.
Summary: Erma's chart shows a sense of destiny in changing society's perception of women from the sterile, Miss Perfect persona to a far more human look of creative self- actualization. Her health problems are shown in the chart as a need to learn to self-nurture and her humor is clearly demonstrated throughout.