Albert Camus

Author of “The Plague”(“La Peste”)

Essayist, Novelist, Dramatist, Journalist, Philosopher

Sales of Albert Camus’ novel of 1947 have rocketed these last few weeks, because of how much it says about our current struggle.  Though he lived much of his life in France, Camus was born in Algeria, and drew inspiration from episodes of plague (cholera) which had taken place in his home town of Oran.  Not only does the book take us through all the different phases of the epidemic, but it examines the psychological struggles of many different characters in their response to the plague and its phases, in both their efforts to help their fellow man, and their guilts.  Ultimately he concludes that the goodness in them outweighs the bad.  The tale is informed by his philosophies, chief of all being absurdism, and his explorations of morality.

Birth Chart

Our own reactions to reading this type of material differ in this climate.  Some would run a mile rather than dwell on what would seem such a depressing read.  Others would read it in order to arm themselves and steel themselves psychologically.  In the years since 1947 dystopian novels and films have undoubtedly been popular, and there would be different motives for confronting such material.  So it is no surprise to find that Albert Camus had his Sun in Scorpio, the sign most likely to look at worst case scenarios and try to make sense of them, and even prepare for them.  I am not going to spell out the many ways in which his life, character and creations resonate to this sign.  But his chart is also rich with Archetypes, which is interesting.  His Ascendant is in Virgo, one of the signs associated with The Writer, square exactly the Midheaven (Careerpoint) in Gemini, another sign which holds that archetype.  He is a Leader, with Sun trine closely the North Node and 5 (half) of his planets in the Cardinal signs: certainly a leader in terms of being prescient, ahead of his time, and being a wayshower.  He was a Philosopher, with the Sun exactly sextile Jupiter, the planet of philosophy.  He was a Healer, with the Sun trine Chiron.  He had Moon trine the Midheaven, an aspect I associate with novelists (Stephen King has this).  Mercury sextile Uranus in his chart suggests a brilliant mind, with futuristic tendencies.  However, Mercury square Chiron which he also had can bring mental crises.  His Mars is strongly placed, being sextile his Ascendant and exactly trine his North Node, bringing in the Warrior Archetype, and also a lifelong passion for football.  He also had a strongly Saturnian side (Saturn square the Ascendant, conjunct the Midheaven and square the Nodal Axis and Chiron): this may show the political interests he had, especially his interest in the country of his birth.  The aspects to Saturn may also reflect the poverty of his childhood.

Life and Career

At the age of 17 he contracted tuberculosis.  He went to live with his uncle, and began to take an interest in philosophy – his progressed Sun was just moving into Sagittarius, the sign of philosophy.  He attended the University of Algiers, and gained a B.A. in Philosophy, with the subject of his thesis being Plotinus.

He wrote several novels, including “The Outsider” (“L’Etranger”), and his essays included the philosophical work The Myth of Sisyphus.  He started The Plague in 1942, and it was finally published in 1947.  People have been able to read it on several levels, and some have thought it to be an allegory of the French Resistance, in which he took part during the war years.  He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957.

“The Plague”

Camus organized his work into cycles of three parts.  Each cycle contained a novel, an essay and a play.  The Plague was the first part of the second cycle he wrote, under the theme of the revolt. In this novel he analyses this theme from various different angles.

Set in the Algerian city of Oran, the plague is spread by rats (bubonic), and affects the characters (which include a doctor and a cleric) in different ways, showing the morality of their choices or otherwise in the face of suffering and death.  The effects and course of the plague are eerily similar to the insidious encroachment of the coronavirus epidemic on our lives, e.g. the gradual stringent measures which have to be taken. Some people shine in their selflessness (like our keyworkers) and some sink to a lower form of behaviour (those who flout the social distancing rules deliberately).  Camus shows the “absurdity” and randomness of the human condition, in line with his philosophy.  His style contains multiple layers and meanings.

Personal Life

Camus married twice, but had numerous affairs, in a turbulent and passionate love life.  His first wife was Simone Hie; his second wife Francine Faure suffered from mental illness, partly caused by the anguish of his infidelity.  The higher purpose of their relationship was about healing, with her Chiron trine exactly his Sun and sextile exactly his Jupiter. Their union produced twins, Catherine and Jean.  Camus also had a long term mistress Maria Casares (a Scorpio), who was an actress. His daughter devotedly manages his estate, and has some interesting things to say about his work in an article in the Guardian:

“Perhaps with the lockdown we will have some time to reflect about what is real, what is important, and become more human,” she said.


Philosophy is full of -isms, and Camus is associated with his fair share.  Top of the list is:-


Definition(s) from the Oxford book of Philosophy:

“In  existentialism, a term for the pointless or meaningless nature of human life, and action”.

Next in line is Existentialism: he was a friend of Jean-Paul Sartre.  They fell out at some stage, but Sartre was magnanimous on his death:

“A loose title for various philosophies that emphasize certain common themes: the individual, the experience of choice, and the absence of rational understanding of the universe with a consequent dread or sense of  absurdity in human life”.

Anarcho-Syndicalism: (definition from Wikipedia)

“Anarchosyndicalism is a political philosophy and anarchist school of thought that views revolutionary industrial unionism or syndicalism as a method for workers in capitalist society to gain control of an economy and thus control influence in broader society.”

[I once travelled to the Eurovision Song Contest with a Sagittarian Anarcho-syndicalist, and mentioned it in a blog, but that’s another story…]

Other -isms associated with Camus are:- Pacifism,  Surrealism, Libertarian Socialism and Humanism


Camus died in a car accident on 4th January 1960.  At the time, Pluto was exactly square his Mercury (literally death while travelling).  I hasten to reassure that this transit does not always manifest so dramatically, but it is interesting that it is a rare transit because Pluto takes so long to travel round the zodiac.  No one would experience this transit more than twice in their lifetime.

In the car was his latest manuscript, an autobiographical work, unfinished, titled “The First Man” (“Le Premier Homme”).  The book was published posthumously in 1995, so if you thirst for more meaning behind the man, it is another book to order at this time.


A huge conjunction of Jupiter and Pluto occurred in the early hours of this morning – did you experience a shift of any kind?  Often described in dramatic terms, because Pluto is drama and Jupiter expands everything it touches, I tend to see it as a symbol of hope.  As I have been doing this blog since January 2007, and a Jupiter cycle is every 12 years, I actually encountered this in my first year as a blogger.  So I have had a chance to review my material (which also had a separate “Jupiter-Pluto Extravaganza blog”!).  I was quite optimistic about it at the time, and did not see any dark happenings arise during that actual time, though Financial Astrologer Raymond Merriman says it presaged the 2008 recession.

We are living in a much different time now, and of course, it behoves me to be more cautious and realistic!  This conjunction would bring out extremes, e.g. of behaviour.  It mainly relates to power, and the expansion of ambitions.  But with Saturn in Aquarius, our wings are clipped.  Our aims in some ways are more modest, but inwardly there is a far greater potential for growth.  So if you feel you are on a good path in your life, despite the prevailing challenges, then it is a time you can expand and test your own power.  If you feel you are out of kilter or out of balance, then be extra cautious (you could be hoisted by your own petard!).  It is clear that as a country the U.K. is still gathering apace on the number of coronavirus deaths, and Jupiter-Pluto is not likely to ameliorate that.  But I do think the conjunction helps to bring out the best in human nature (which is the message of Albert Camus’ “Plague”).

On Tuesday (7th) Mars squares Uranus, which is a warning for caution, as it can be explosive, especially at a time when people are frustrated and unable to go out, or let of steam in some of the ways they are used to (such as barbecues in the sunshine with gatherings of more than two).  So the best you can do is chill out, and urge others to stay safe and stay at home, and hope the message radiates.  This square can also be accident-prone, so if you are out riding your bike, make sure your helmet is firmly held on.  If you have elderly relatives, make sure they are wearing their alarm pendants [this from personal experience…].

A more constructive aspect occurs that evening, in the shape of Mercury sextile Pluto.  It may be instrumental in regaining balance, if that was overturned by events earlier in the day.  Mercury in harmony with Pluto in this way can produce profound thought and communication,  honouring the gravity of a situation if necessary, and enabling meaningful debate to occur.  It may provide an opportunity for Keir Starmer to establish some good ground rules for his new role as the Leader of the Labour Party, both in his relations with the government in a concerted effort to steer the course of the coronavirus crisis, and in forming a strong shadow cabinet, and forging a new vibe in the party to attract back the disaffected.

Some good news may be possible on Wednesday (8th) – we can but hope!  Mercury sextile Jupiter favours communication, sales and travel.  Some worries about business may be alleviated.  Higher learning is also a benefit – I know many people are learning new things on the internet in their isolation, including foreign languages.  It’s a good time to practice your new language skills!

The Full Moon in Libra also on Wednesday has been dubbed a “Pink Supermoon”, which is a sight worth looking out for!  Normally the Full Moon brings a lot of emotional tension, but the bubbly mindset of Mercury sextile Jupiter which accompanies it may steady the mood somewhat, and Libra is a more equable sign than most.  This Full Moon is emotionally dedicated to relating, while the Sun which opposes it in Aries wants its own way.  Thus a delicate balance operates, which may be resolved in common aims, e.g. in a united effort.

Mercury enters Aries on Saturday (11th) and you need to be prepared for plain speaking, whether your own (perhaps without engaging the brain!), candid words from others, or telling it like it is from the daily government briefing (which may be a shock to some). You will need to get to the point much more directly in your communications, and there is more sense of urgency about paperwork.  Of course everything is now being done online; even our local post office has closed down.  So more direct communication is on the cards.

And at the very end of this week, at 23.58 Hrs on Saturday, two minutes before midnight, Mercury sextiles Saturn.  This favours exacting mental work and documentation: you may get out of bed just to write that definitive email!  Otherwise it is helpful for focussing your late night intentions for a dream of guidance about an issue currently on  your mind, and the result may be a detailed and straightforward dream, without too many frills in the symbolism or interpretation.

The week in bullet points:


  • Today – grandiose
  • Tuesday – dramatic
  • Wednesday – good news; heightened emotion
  • Saturday – straight talking; mental focus