Recently I was listening to a podcast about the history of the birth control pill in America. The speaker mentioned the history of oppressive laws in the United States aimed at suppressing women’s interest in their own sexuality. Many of these laws were the brainchild of compulsive masturbator Anthony Comstock, the “father of American censorship.”
As a biographer explains:
“Comstock’s own sexual frustration may have led to such hatred of obscenity. During his war years, “lust, masturbation, and the reading of pornography also worried the young soldier. In the diary that he kept during this period he often confessed to a nameless sin, which, in the opinion of his biographers, was probably masturbation.” Psychologists today would argue that Comstock’s failure to express his own “sinful” sexuality eventually sublimated itself in the form of ruthless censorship.”
Comstock even has a law named after him. The Comstock Law is a federal act passed by the U.S. Congress on March 3, 1873 for the “Suppression of Trade in, and Circulation of, Obscene Literature and Articles of Immoral Use”. This act makes it illegal to send the following items through the U.S. mail (which is probably how Comstock orginally ordered his own masturbatory pornography): erotica, contraceptives, abortifacients, sex toys, or information about any of these products!
I wondered what Comstock’s natal chart might look like in light of his documented sexual compulsions and his need to force his extreme version of morality on American society. My speculation was that he would have an afflicted Mars (the male sex drive), a prominent Pluto (compulsive behavior) and a rigid Saturn (stern morality).
According to wikipedia, this bastion of uptightness was born on March 7, 1844 in New Canaan, Connecticut (my home state). Here is a chart for Noon (birth time unknown) with Sun sign houses and the Egyptian terms around the wheel.
As expected, Mars is prominent opposite his natal Moon, and Mars-Moon-Saturn form a significant T-square in the natal chart. Mars lies in detriment in Taurus and disposes the stellium of Uranus, Pluto and Venus in Aries (ruled by Mars).
Pluto (compulsion) closely conjoins Venus (sexual pleasure) in assertive Aries. The planets of sex, Venus and Mars, are in mutual reception, each occupying the sign of the other. In addition, Venus and Pluto are in the terms of Mars, and Mars lies in the terms of Venus — a configuration which again emphasizes his compulsive sexuality.
Mars forms an extremely tight semi-square with his natal Sun, again highlighting the importance of Mars to his sense of identity.
Saturn (laws, restriction, oppression) dignified in Aquarius very closely squares his debilitated Mars in Taurus, suggesting a powerful need to suppress his male libido and perhaps his felt need to impose his stern morality on the rest of society (perhaps symbolized by the Moon).
Neptune conjunct Mercury does not incline toward logical thinking but puts him more at the mercy of his beliefs, fantasies and imaginings. This Mercury/Neptune conjunction, which describes his mode of thinking, takes place in the terms of Mars whose glyph depicts the male phallus.