Summertime movie audiences notoriously like their big-screen experiences to be boisterous, larger-than-life, and explosively focused on good guys vanquishing evil in whatever form the bad guys dish it out. In “The Conjuring,” which releases on July 19th, those dark forces happen to be demonic. And battling them head-on is ghost-hunter and clairvoyant Lorraine Warren, an authentic yet rare type of action hero who’s mired in the sort of plots that Hollywood could not have dreamed up on its own.
Warren, now 86, and her husband Ed (1926-2006), a demonologist, were a formidable team. Together, they investigated paranormal occurrences and hauntings, the most famous probably being the Amityville Horror case in the mid-1970s, which provided the raw material for several movies. The house-haunting that the duo investigates in “The Conjuring (with Vera Farmiga portraying Warren and Patrick Wilson playing Ed) involves malevolent entities swarming through a rural home in Harrisville, Rhode Island, in 1971.
The personal and professional information the viewer learns about Warren through “The Conjuring” is one way to approach her birth chart. Born on January 31, 1927, at 6:40 p.m. in Bridgeport, Connecticut (birth data confirmed through Astro-Databank), Warren, with Neptune a prominent part of her horoscope, has never been a stranger to the spirit world.
Warren’s Ascendant is 0° Virgo, conjoining her 12th-house Neptune at 26° Leo. The 12th house is traditionally associated with places of confinement, and Warren’s life work has involved her selfless and spiritual (Neptune) assistance to families literally imprisoned in their own homes with demons, intent on possession, in the captor role. Evil forces are capable of literally jailing the living, as doors slam shut and lock and disembodied forces push people down stairs into metaphoric dungeons.
With Neptune so aligned with her persona, Warren is extraordinarily sensitive both to people and situations. “The Conjuring” makes this point when Carolyn Perron (Lili Taylor) approaches the couple in the parking lot after they’ve given a lecture. (You can catch a glimpse of the real-life Warren, who plays a lecture attendee, in the lower left part of the screen.)
Perron is desperate. The audience has already witnessed the ever increasing evil generated from “the other side” that the Perrons – her husband Roger (Ron Livingston) and their five daughters – have endured in their new home in Harrisville. Ed, who is extraordinarily protective of Warren, hints at a previous job-gone-bad in which Warren’s Neptunian porosity has left her unprotected from an exorcism’s fallout. “Whatever Lorraine sees takes a toll on her,” he says. But Warren is firm in her compassion to assist, citing the couple’s mission.
Warren’s Neptune, which rules both her 7th and 8th houses, is also the apex of a yod, with Uranus at 27° Pisces in the 8th house sextiling her Moon at 22° Capricorn in the 5th. As part of her work with clients, she deals with Uranus’s highly unpredictable and wickedly out-of-nowhere underworld behavior emanating from her house of death. Fortunately, her earthly and practical Capricorn Moon recognizes the spiritual life-and-death stakes, and the movie isn’t shy about featuring the rosary beads that are wound around her hand, almost like a bandage.
Her 5th-house Moon reflects Warren’s emotional (Moon) commitment (Capricorn) and responsibility (Capricorn) to children and their adult caretakers who, because of their inability to protect their offspring, are similarly in need of a shepherd who’ll risk (5th house) it all. Warren’s Moon is also opposed by Pluto in the 11th and, because of Scorpio on her 4th-house cusp, it’s clear that she is at “home” in the collective. However, the pull between powerful Pluto – and its association with either literally saving souls from death or damning them – and her Moon wreaks havoc with Warren’s personal commitment to her own daughter, whom the film shows to be tended to by Warren’s mother. With Neptune, sacrifice is a given.
Warren’s Saturn in the 4th house further underscores the responsibilities tied to protecting the literal homes of her clients, and sheds light on what the Warrens’ home has come to represent. In their own domicile, out of a profound sense of responsibility, is a so-called “museum” filled with artifacts from their house-haunting projects that are safer when kept as whole objects, rather than being destroyed.
Early in the movie, a reporter interviews Ed, who explains the story behind a creepy doll so powerful that it’s kept in its own glass enclosure, a clear example of the “rules” that Warren’s Saturn demands in the home. The Harrisville case also has its own “toy,” a circus-themed music box whose mirrored design can reflect spirits, again evoking Warren’s “responsible mother” role in the 5th house of playthings. Literally, every toy must be in its place – the order of the universe might depend on it.
In addition to her yod, Warren has another prominent configuration in her chart: a fixed t-square, with Mars at the apex at 20° Taurus in the 9th house and conjunct her Midheaven. Mars squares her Neptune-Ascendant and her Venus at 28° Aquarius.
Warren’s Mars suggests a public career (MC) as a fighter (Mars) for the status quo and security (Taurus). This placement also needs to support her personal 12th-house spiritual connection with divine forces (Neptune) which links to her Ascendant. Neptune opposes her 6th-house Venus, which rules her Midheaven and conjuncts her Descendant. The sign Aquarius gives Venus its capacity to love and be the light bringer (Uranus) in a highly idiosyncratic (Uranus) way, tying those progressive energies to an 11th-house North node.
Further emphasizing Warren’s Aquarian proclivities toward intuition and seeing the future (Uranus) is her Sun-Mercury conjunction at 11° and 14° Aquarius in her 6th house. Her chart ruler, Mercury, is tied to the Sun, further underscoring her purpose (Sun) in life, through her work (6th house) to liberate (Uranus) people from spiritual disruption and tyranny (Uranus) through the media (Mercury).
With respect to the timing of this movie, it’s worth noting that Jupiter, the ruler of Warren’s 5th house of entertainment, is at 3° Pisces in her 7th house, in an out-of-sign conjunction with Venus. In May and June 2012, Neptune, which rules motion pictures and also rules her 7th house of dealing with the public, conjoined Jupiter at this degree and made its third exact pass in March 2013. This fall, and in early 2014, Neptune will contact that point again.
Whether this transit brings Warren additional recognition, acclaim or instills greater public awareness of her work, it’s a nice bit of conjuring. The good kind.
Bio: Coeli Carr comments about archetypes in pop culture at Astrolass.com.