For most of us we connect Easter with eggs. So we thought it would be of interest to consider some of the parans in the chart of the man who, in 1885, gave eggs to jewellery: Peter Carl Fabergé . The son of a jeweller, Fabergé began what was to become his trademark when he presented Czar Alexander III with a bejewelled egg that the Czar had commissioned as a gift for his wife, Czarina Maria Feodorovna. Easter is the most important feast of the Russian Orthodox Church calendar, celebrated with the exchanging of eggs and three kisses. The egg reminded Czarina Maria of her homeland and from that moment on it became an Imperial tradition: the Easter gift was to always have an egg shape and it was to contain a surprise which was to be kept a secret. When Czar Alexander III died, his son, Nicholas II, continued the practice and over this time, fifty-six Imperial eggs were created, including eggs commemorating the coronation of Czar Nicholas II, the completion of the Trans Siberian Railway, the Uspensky Cathedral, the Gatchina Palace, and during the time of war, the Red Cross and the military.
Fabergé is a jeweller, so an obvious starting point when looking at some of the fixed stars that sit underneath his chart is to consider his Venus in Aries (in detriment) conjunct Uranus. This combination suggests an independent, challenge-orientated approach to his relating, socializing and networking pattern (Venus in Aries), flavored with the love of difference or freedom to engage with many people (Venus-Uranus) yet a difference that still relies on the support and help of other people and/or taking an alternative, non-mainstream approach (detriment). In his young years he has the following star-planet combination:
Venus is rising as Scheat is on the nadir
Independent ideas concerning fashion, relationships and social customs
As part of the Great Square of Pegasus, this star adds intellect and the challenge of logic to his personal and business networks. Brady writes of this star in Starlight:
You will want to think independently and may well have issues about needing to break with conventional thought or philosophy.
Thus we begin to see that this love of independence of thought and difference expressed by the Venus-Uranus natally is being emphasized in the fixed stars that connect with the Venus by paran. This is seen most clearly when his younger brother Agathon, a trained jeweler, joined him in the business in 1882, for it was then that a new dimension came into Fabergé’s work. The two began to make copies of ancient Russian treasures and sell them. Their designs were inspired by historical art works imitated or copied by Fabergé from his travels or from the Hermitage, a treasury which stored all of the precious objects of the Russian czars, including gold artifacts and ancient treasures and where Fabergé volunteered his time.
However, until that time many felt the value of jewelry was intrinsic, based upon the precious metals and stones that were used in the piece, such as malachite, jade and lapis lazuli. Fabergé believed it was the fine craftsmanship of jewellery that made it art and that it was this artistic creativity that transcended bullion value.
As one visitor to an exhibition of the Fabergé eggs at the Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia wrote:
The eggs are each unique masterpieces with intricate designs and clever engineering created with precious metals and gems, each capable of fitting into one open hand. Though small, the eggs are dazzling to behold.
Fabergé also has the following:
Venus is rising as Altair is on the nadir The bold artisan, a person who is sexually and sensually orientated
Altair is the bright star in the Eagle and is associate with boldness of action and thought. Again, the story of his natal Venus in Aries conjunct Uranus is being underscored with Altair in paran with Venus, allowing him to take a non-mainstream approach and changing the idea of value in jewellery (Venus).
The hard work that makes it happen: Fabergé’s Saturn
Fabergé’s Saturn is in Pisces conjunct his Moon, suggesting an empathic connection with mother but which suffers from some form of separation anxiety at birth. Without a birth time, we do not know the natal house placement or house rulerships of this Moon-Saturn. However, the Fabergé family is French by origin. Their home had been the village of La Bouteille in the Picardy region of North Eastern France and they were Huguenots in a predominantly Roman Catholic country. In 1685 King Louis XIV of France revoked the Edict of Nantes and they lost religious freedom and civil liberty and fled east, living over the next 150 years firstly in East Germany, then Livonia, then Russia. Given this background, it is possible this Moon-Saturn may be an inherited pattern, particularly since Faberge repeated this pattern of escape later in his own life.
More closely, young Fabergé was educated in Germany and gained his apprenticeship as a goldsmith there. His father was a Master Goldsmith in St Petersburg but retired at the age of forty-six in order to live in Dresden, leaving the business in the hands of two managers, and at the age of twenty- four, his elder son.
Taking over as head of his father’s business suggests the striking once more of this bitter-sweet chord, the gift of responsibility mixed with the wrench of emotional separation. Yet under this Saturn sits some potent fixed stars:
In his young years Saturn is rising as Deneb Algedi is rising
A person who believes in the value of persistence and hard work
Deneb Algedi is the star in the tail of Capricornus, the sea-goat, the law-giving, justice-orientated ancient god who is trying to civilize his people. Translated into this star-planet paran in Fabergé’s pre-Saturn Return years tells us that he has the strength not only for such early responsibility but the gift of hard work that can achieve productivity through a genuine desire to help through a leadership role.
As well, Saturn is rising as Sirius is setting
To be a founder of an institution; an idea that goes from strength
Sirius is one of the great stars of the sky, the brightest star in the heavens. When it touches a person’s chart through being in paran with a planet or luminary, the mundane becomes sacred through that planet. In this case, touching Fabergé’s Saturn allows him to take an idea and build it into an institution.
Fabergé and his younger brother exhibited their work at the 1882 Pan-Russian Exhibition held in Moscow. Their work was a sensation. Czar, Alexander III, and his wife, Czarina Maria were in attendance and made a purchase at the Faberge exhibit and Faberge was presented with a gold medal honoring him as “…having opened a new era in jewelry art”. In 1885 he became the Tsar’s Court Goldsmith.
Fabergé changed the face of jewellery through his designs and raised the humble egg to exquisite proportions, all because the most important feast of the Russian Orthodox Church calendar is Easter, celebrated with the exchanging of eggs and three kisses.
Brady, Bernadette. (1998). Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars. York Beach, Maine USA: Samuel Weiser, Inc.
Starlight Software (2002) Barnswood and Brady:Zyntara Publications