American underground & avant-garde filmmaker, actor, author of the Hollywood Babylon books
"A group of people who have overeaten and enjoyed it" - Sabian Symbol for Kenneth Anger's unaspected, 8th House Pluto (14° Cancer)
Sagittarius Ascendant, Aquarius Sun & Moon, Unaspected Pluto
BORN: Kenneth Wilbur Anglemyer, 3 February 1927, Santa Monica, California, USA. RR: AA. Sy Scholfield [copyright] quotes data (including time of birth for chart) from birth certificate in hand.
FEATURES: PERSONALIZED PLANETS:
Sagittarius SATURN (conjunct Ascendant), Aquarius MOON (conjunct Base), Pisces VENUS (conjunct Base), Pisces JUPITER (conjunct Nadir), Taurus MARS (square both Luminaries), Cancer PLUTO (conjunct North Node), Leo NEPTUNE (conjunct Midheaven).
UNASPECTED: Pisces URANUS; Cancer PLUTO.
PATTERNS: FIXED T-SQUARE (Neptune opposite Mercury & Moon, all square Mars), WEDGE (Neptune, Moon-Venus, Chiron). SHAPE: HORSESHOE.
CHINESE SIGN: ??. NUMEROLOGY: "6" LIFEPATH.
[with Astrology notes by Sy Scholfield]
"He [Bobby Beausoleil] was of the astrological sign of Scorpio and I'm Scorpio rising" - Kenneth Anger (quoted in Frumkes*).
ASTRO-TRIVIA: Despite his claim, Kenneth Anger was born with the first degree of Sagittarius rising, at least according to the time of birth on his birth certificate. While it's possible that he was born three minutes earlier than the officially recorded time, thus giving him the last degree of Scorpio rising, we know for sure that he has Pluto (the Scorpio planet) placed strongly in his chart: unaspected in the Scorpio decanate of Cancer in the 8th House, and conjunct his North Node and quincunx his Sun nonetheless. Anger's landmark film, Scorpio Rising (1963-1964), is the product of his Sagittarius (motor-biker) Ascendant and Mars (tough guy) in Taurus (in leather), along with his personalized Pluto (the dark, eroticism, fascist symbolism, etc).
Kenneth Anger is an American underground avant-garde film-maker [unaspected Pluto in 8th House conjunct American Sun (American underground); Uranus (avant-garde) in Pisces (filmmaker)] and author.
Anger attended the Maurice Kossloff Dancing School [dancer?: Jupiter in Pisces ruling Sagittarius Ascendant] with Shirley Temple [same Jupiter conjunct Venus (young female star)]. He gained fame and notoriety from the publication of the French version of Hollywood Babylon in Paris in 1959 [Solar Arc progressed Pluto (fame and notoriety) in 9th House (publication) quincunx natal Mercury (book)], a tell-all book of the scandals of Hollywood's rich and famous [Uranus (scandal) in Scorpio (tell-all) decanate of Pisces (glamour, the rich & famous) ruling full 3rd House (writing, books, plenty of story materials)]. A pirated (and incomplete) version was first published in the U.S. in 1965 [transiting Pluto (piracy) on natal MC sextile American Sun]. The official U.S. version was not published until 1974 [Solar-Arc progressed Pluto semi-sextile American Neptune].
He became fascinated with the supernatural and Aleister Crowley ['fascination with the supernatural' = Leo Neptune on Midheaven ruling unaspected Uranus], as well as becoming an adherent of Crowley's religion of Thelema, sometime in his late teens ['fascination with Crowley': Anger's venus-Jupiter in Pisces conjuncts Crowley's Part of Fortune]. Many of his films reflect occult themes [unaspected Pluto in 8th (occult obsession) ruling 12th House (film)].
He began making films around age nine, but his early films are now lost [Solar-Arc progressed Part of Fortune square natal Neptune]. His first film to see distribution was Fireworks [Neptune (film) in Leo (about fireworks)], filmed in Los Angeles in 1947 [Solar-Arc progressed Neptune at Pluto-PoF midpoint; SA progressed Sun conjunct natal Jupiter in Pisces], which gained the attention of Jean Cocteau, who then invited him to go to Paris. In 1949, Anger directed The Love That Whirls which according to the 1972 book Experimental Cinema contained (faked) nudity, and was thus confiscated by the film lab [SA progressed Mercury (ruler of 7th House love domain) conjunct natal IC]. While most of his films are short subject (ranging from 3.5 minutes to 30 minutes) mood pieces, in 1955 he made a documentary film of the ruins of Crowley's Thelema Abbey in Cefalý, Sicily, which is now considered a lost film.
He developed a close friendship with Dr. Alfred Kinsey of the Institute for Sex Research. Anger would later recall that Kinsey was his first customer after Kinsey purchased a copy of Fireworks when they first met in 1947. Anger eventually helped Kinsey build his film archive. The Anger Collection includes correspondence between the two men, as well as letters to and from former Institute director John Bancroft. Anger would later speak openly of his participation in Kinsey's research, including being filmed masturbating [Kinsey's Mars at 0° Aries conjuncts Anger's 5th House cusp].
During the late 1960s he associated with The Rolling Stones, as well as Bobby Beausoleil (before he gained notoriety as an associate of the Charles Manson family). Beausoleil, a musician who had played with Arthur Lee, was cast as Lucifer in Anger's proposed film, Lucifer Rising [Anger has Saturn (Lucifer) Rising]. Beausoleil and Anger had a falling out and Beausoleil left, taking most of the completed film with him (Beausoleil is also rumored to have buried the film's negative in the desert at one of Manson's former hangouts.) British singer Marianne Faithfull [Faithfull's Sun is conjunct Anger's South Node] later appeared in Anger's re-shot version of the film. Some footage from the earlier version of Lucifer Rising (including Beausoleil) ended up in Anger's The Invocation of My Demon Brother.
Kenneth Anger had a widely publicized spat with Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page over the Lucifer Rising soundtrack [Page's early Gemini Mars-Uranus conjunction opposes Anger's Saturn]. Anger claimed Page took three years to deliver the music, and the final product was only 25 minutes of droning and was useless. Anger also accused Page of "having an affair with the White Lady" and being too strung out on drugs to complete the project [Page's Mars-Uranus squares Anger's Venus-Jupiter in Pisces]. Page countered claiming he had fulfilled all his obligations, even going so far as to lend Anger his own film editing equipment to help him finish the project. Page's music was dumped eventually and replaced in 1979 by music written and recorded by Bobby Beausoleil - the only movie soundtrack in history recorded inside a prison [Anger's Pisces Venus (film soundtrack music) trines his 8th House cusp (prison)].
In the mid-1980s, Anger sold a 16mm print of the incomplete Lucifer Rising, containing the Page soundtrack, to Christopher Dietler, who eventually released the soundtrack taken from film on an album titled Kenneth Anger's Lucifer Rising Jimmy Page Soundtrack. Anger filed a lawsuit and won an injunction against Dietler who turned over the digitally enhanced master and agreed not to press or sell anymore record albums [Anger's SA progressed Venus conjunct natal Chiron, apex of his Wedge pattern].
Anger's lifelong interest in the occult brought him into contact with a variety of groups and individuals [Pisces Uranus (occult) ruling Sun, Moon & Mercury in Aquarius (broad spectrum of society; people from all walks of life)]. He was a lifelong friend of Anton Szandor LaVey, both before and after the founding of the Church of Satan in the 1960s, and lived with LaVey and his family during the 1980s. In more recent years Anger accepted initiation into the Ordo Templi Orientis in a semi-honorary fashion. For 20 years from the early eighties, Anger released no new material. In the new millennium he has since returned to filmmaking.
Anger makes an appearance in the 2008 feature documentary by Nik Sheehan about Brion Gysin and the Dreamachine entitled FLicKeR.