CHAPTER THREE: The Astrology of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho
“Well, a son’s best friend is his mother.” —Norman Bates
You’re reading WOODRUFF. I cover the convergence of pop culture, psychology, and astrology with a bit of the Tarot and dream work tossed into the fray.
Throughout October, I will be serializing my new book,
The Astrology of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.
HOROSCOPES CAN BE DRAWN and read in many different ways. Natal astrology uses the birth chart as a symbolic map of a particular human life. A narrative that’s linear and moves from birth to death.
Psychological astrology takes that same natal map and employs analytic techniques, ascribing psychological drives and complexes to specific features within the chart.
Horary astrology, based on the traditional style of divinatory reading, employs a defined set of rules and formulas to answer particular questions. A chart is cast for the exact moment a query is made, using the Zodiac and the position of the lights and planets to derive an answer.
In my reading of the horoscope for Psycho, I will combine modern interpretation with a smattering of traditional rules. As mentioned in Chapter Two, the opening of the film does not list a year. I used 1959. This was the year Psycho‘s screenplay was filmed, and it’s the only December 11 that matches up with a Friday, as displayed in the opening sequence after the film’s credits have rolled.
The equivalent of ‘Once Upon a Time’ is mirrored in the horoscope’s Ascendant and the degree of the Zodiac ‘rising’ at that exact moment in time. Consider the rising degree as the first sentence from the first chapter of a book.
Psycho‘s opening ‘sentence’ has the sign Taurus rising at four degrees. Within Sabian astrology, each of the Zodiac’s 360 degrees is given a specific image or tableau to represent that degree’s influence or meaning. The picture for Psycho’s rising degree is shocking in its aptness. It reads: “A widow at an open grave.”