The Inventor of VELCRO ®: George de Mestral


John Frawley had a recent “astro-quiz” on his site, which asked: “This guy had a very close, mutually applying, opposition between Jupiter in Cancer and Mars in Capricorn. What did he invent?  Probably all of you have some of it.”

He pointed out that the two planets were in exaltation and mutually applying, which was bringing them together, but were forming an opposition, which would push them apart.  Being exalted, Mars and Jupiter were raised up and being “in mutual reception by fall,” they would not be particularly hard to separate.  The answer to the quiz was Velcro, the trademark for the  generic “hook-and-loop” technology.

The inventor, George de Mestral, got the idea in 1941 when his dog got covered with cockleburs during a nature hike in the Swiss mountains.  Begin a scientist, de Mestral looked at the burrs under the microscope and decided to replicate nature’s design with man-made fabrics, which he finally did in 1952.  His dog’s role in the invention may be shown by Mars ruling the 6th house of pets in the sunrise chart.  Here is the inventor’s sunrise chart (time unknown):

Sunrise Natal Chart of George de Mestral, time unknown

My own jocular guess was the metallic chastity belt.  John graciously commented, “not sure how many of us have metallic chastity belts.”

I was simply following the symbolism and allowing my mind to roam freely.  My chain of associations went something like this:  Jupiter – expansion; Cancer – mothering;  Jupiter in Cancer – pregnancy; Mars – steel, phallus; Capricorn – structure, the god Pan of wanton sexuality; Mars and Jupiter – masculine and exalted – male dominance – intermittent dramatic manifestation (exalted);  Mars opposing Jupiter – separating the phallus from the womb by some dramatic measure (exaltation).  Hence, a chastity belt.

Obviously I was wrong, but it was a fun exercise.

By the way, de Mestral also invented a toy airplane, a hygrometer (used to measure atmospheric humidity), and an asparagus peeler.  I have no idea about the natural astrological ruler of asparagus; Ptolemy did not mention it in his Tetrabiblos.  Can these inventions also be found in his chart?

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About Anthony Louis

Author of books about astrology and tarot, including TAROT PLAIN AND SIMPLE, HORARY ASTROLOGY, and THE ART OF FORECASTING WITH SOLAR RETURNS.
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