I just finished reading Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell for my book club, and first: it was great. Such a good read. And a timely one, too, since the movie is coming out in theaters for its 75th anniversary this next week.
Second: it had a bunch of really interesting stuff going on from an energetic perspective.
Here are just a few things I noticed.
1. Influence of Saturn. If you read Progressive Prophetess's blog, she's been talking a lot about Saturn and Jupiter, the planets of justice and mercy.
Saturn is the planet of justice, and the planet of the harvest. It is the planet that ensures people receive their just rewards. It runs on a 29.5-year cycle. Between the ages of 28-30 and 57-60, people tend to reap the harvest that they've sowed with their lives. Examine:
|SATURN. Public domain.|
As Lord of Karma, Saturn brings you what you've earned through your disciplined pursuit of goals and experience. You'll find out during the Saturn return what you've manifested up to that point, how well you've used your talents. No wonder it's a feared transition -- this is like the mid-semester exam!
In myth, Saturn is also the God of the Harvest, and it's harvestime during your Saturn return. If nothing's been sown, and therefore, very little reaped, you'll realize it's time to get busy. The scythe of Saturn prunes, cuts away the useless bits, and that can feel like a death of the self. Saturn often brings a death to the old ways of doing things, but later on, you're likely to say, "Good riddance!" The death phase is never easy, but keep in mind that rebirth will come.What is the ending of Gone With the Wind but this exact thing? Scarlett finally reaps what she's sown all along: she's been ugly at heart, no matter what Melanie sees in her, and in the end, she gets an ugly ending. I hope I'm not spoiling the ending for anyone--dude, has anyone in America not seen Gone With the Wind?--but in the end, she realizes that she's loved Rhett all along, but then he leaves her. Because she has been a super jerk to him the whole time. Sounds like a Saturnine comeuppance to me.
At the end of the story, during her retribution phase, Scarlett O'Hara is a perfect 28 years old--which perfectly fits with the Saturn Return.
FYI, my life is so weird now: I was just searching Google Images for the perfect pictures for this post, and I came across one of Scarlett and the Tarleton twins, and this was the page it linked to. Seriously? Seriously. Amazing. Go read it. Basically it's about how someone found Mitchell's notes on astrology that were connected to Gone With the Wind--Scarlett is a typical Aries, the Tarleton twins are Gemini, Rhett Butler is Leo, etc. Think of the name of the Wilkes plantation: Twelve Oaks. Duh. The book was organized around astrology after all--according to Mitchell's own notes. Bazam. What.
2. Scarlett's Out of Body Experience and Ancestral Visitation
At the end of Chapter 24, Scarlett O'Hara gets "drunk with fatigue and whisky." The chapter goes on: "She only knew she had left her body and floated somewhere above it where there was no pain and no weariness and her brain saw things with an inhuman clarity. She was seeing things with new eyes."
She then understands, again, with "inhuman clarity," the strength of her ancestors. She internalizes their stories, and then,
All of those shadowy folks whose blood flowed in her veins seemed to move quietly in the moonlit room. And Scarlett was not surprised to see them, these kinsmen who had taken the worst that fate could send and hammered it into the best. Tara was her fate, her fight, and she must conquer it.
She turned drowsily on her side, a slow creeping blackness enveloping her mind. Were they really there, whispering wordless encouragement to her, or was this part of her dream?
"Whether you are there are not," she murmured sleepily, "good night--and thank you."Here, right here in Gone with the Wind, we have a description of an out of body experience (OBE) and ancestral vision! Bizarre and awesome!
Knowing that Margaret Mitchell had planned a connection between the zodiac and her characters in the novel, it kind of makes me wonder if she didn't write this scene based on some kind of personal experience with OBEs or ancestral visitation. People at church all the time bear testimonies and stuff about deceased ancestors helping them find genealogical records, or helping them in times of extreme need--why couldn't such an event have happened to Mitchell? Fascinating stuff.
When I read Chapter 24, and got to this part, I was totally shocked. An out of body experience in Gone with the Wind??? Seems kind of "out there" or "woo woo" for what is practically the most popular American novel ever. And true, during the scene, she is both literally and figuratively drunk. But it's kind of a cool validation that such an "out there" part of the human experience would make it into such a famous, successful book.
3. Yin and yang.
Now, nowhere in Gone With the Wind is the term "yin" or "yang" used, but there is a CONSTANT commentary on the differences and interplay between masculine and feminine energy. Overall, that is considered Scarlett's biggest problem: a yang imbalance--too much masculine energy. "Despite her pink cheeks and dimples and pretty smiles, she talked and acted like a man. Her voice was brisk and decisive and she made up her mind instantly and with no girlish shilly-shallying. She knew what she wanted and she went after it by the shortest route, like a man, not by the hidden and circuitous routes peculiar to women. [...] Scarlett was guided by no one but herself and was conducting her affairs in a masculine way which had the whole town talking about her" (Chapter 36).
Grandma Fontaine accuses Scarlett thusly: "You're smart enough about dollars and cents. That's a man's way of being smart. But you aren't smart at all like a woman. You aren't a speck smart about folks" (Chapter 40).
Scarlett ruins Ashley's life, turning him into a shell of what he could have been--he attributes this to "when [Scarlett] went to Atlanta, shouldering a man's burden." When Scarlett did that, Ashley said, "I saw myself as much less than a man--much less, indeed, than a woman."
|Scarlett walks all over Frank.|
He lets her.
Of course, Rhett mostly doesn't mind Scarlett's masculinity--but arguably, that's because he himself is so far masculine on the masculine-feminine spectrum. The narrator explains of Scarlett in Chapter 36, "She never could respect a man who let her run over him and the timid, hesitant attitude [Frank] displayed in any situation, with her or with others, irritated her unbearably." Rhett doesn't let her run over him, ever. He understands the truth about women--that they "[have] a hardness and endurance unknown to men" (Chapter 36). He knows what it takes to be on the masculine side of the spectrum compared to a masculine woman.
Scarlett is only truly happy when she surrenders in her heart to Rhett, in the night following Ashley's birthday party and the drama surrounding it. But even though she's submitted to him in her heart, she refuses to submit in person--and their next interaction leaves them both smarting. If Scarlett had been submissive in that interaction with Rhett, things would have been totally different in the end. In other words, Scarlett's yang imbalance, since that is what prevented her from openly submitting to Rhett even when she wanted to, was directly responsible for him leaving her in the end.
I highlighted just about every reference to the yin-yang spectrum in the 1000+ pages of Gone With the Wind, but suffice it to say: the yin-yang spectrum plays a huge role in this book. And this role is directly explored in both dialogue and narration.
4. Scarlett's prescient dream.
Starting about halfway through the book, Scarlett begins to have a horrible dream that haunts her through the end of the book. She's running down a street, looking for something, something and she doesn't even know what it is.
It isn't until the very last chapter--or perhaps the second-to-last chapter--that we learn what it is she's been dreaming of the whole time. And she runs back home after witnessing Melanie's death, with a sickening feeling in her heart she realizes that she recognizes her surroundings--the mist, the lights, everything--it's what she's dreamed of all this time. And the thing she is searching for is no thing: it's Rhett. The man she loves, and has loved all along, even though she didn't know it.
... Scarlett had a vision of the future. And this recurring vision plays a role throughout the book.
All in all, I loved the book, even though the end was so hard to read! So sad! It really shocked me, though, how very spiritually progressive the book was--if that's how you would term it. With veiled references to astrology, an out of body experience, a prescient dream and ancestral visitation, and constant yin-yang spectrum commentary, this book is surprisingly cognizant of the more esoteric aspects of human life.