Anne Sexton was born Anne Gray Harvey in Newton, Massachusetts to Mary Gray (Staples) Harvey (1901–1959) and Ralph Churchill Harvey (1900–1959) and raised in Weston.She was the daughter of a successful businessman, but her relationships with her parents were difficult. Her closest confidante was her maternal maiden great-aunt (grandmother’s sister).
At age 19, she married Alfred “Kayo” Sexton II and while he was serving in Korea, Anne became a fashion model. In 1953, she gave birth to her first child and in 1955, her second both times suffering from post-partum depression that eventually developed into bipolar (manic) depression. She committed suicide at age 46 on October 4, 1974. in her garage.
Download the chart for Anne Sexton.
We are using her public birth times that gives her an Ascendant of 30 Pisces because any fraction of a degree is a whole degree i.e.: Aries 15°0′ is Aries 15°, but Aries 15°1′ is Aries 16.0, as is Aries 15.59′. The symbol for 30 Pisces Nathaniel Hawthorne’s conception of the Great Stone Face¹ brought to fruition in a huge mountain carving. It is a a symbol of where the physical form is emblematic of the higher poetic truth.
On Mrs. Sexton’s chart several houses are highlighted in green, they are where her retrograde planets reside. Retrogradation occurs because of the motion of a planet looks like it is moving in a reverse direction from normal. In Sexton’s chart because she has fifty percent of the eight possible planets retrograde — neither luminary appear as such it is rather remarkable as are all her retrogrades are on the Eastern side of the map like critic H. L. Mencken of Baltimore; the others either stationery or direct are on the west.
We do not know the exact time of her death so we are postulating that it was around 8 pm.
A preponderance of retrograde planets on the Eastern side of the chart, points to someone who is of a rebellious spit and a strong tendency to be self-centered when the circumstances of life force them to make choices. They will alway choice what they like no matter how inconvenient it is for anyone else. Supporting this tendency is Mars found in its detriment in Cancer in the fourth house conjunct its fellow co-lord of Scorpio Pluto that is retrograde.
Here the two rulers of Scorpio are trine their native home of the eighth where the strong indomitable Sun is found, indicating how difficult she was to live with because of domineering personality that was not concerned with the people in her life, as much as she was with disseminating the experiences she received from them. This of course causes friction, and her daughter, writer Linda Gray Sexton, has written that she felt “used” like a mop as her mother exploited family relationships and childhood musings for her art.
At the time of her death, Sexton, looking at her transit chart, felt worn out (her Ascendant conjunct the natal Pluto) and was looking for the next stunt to bring her everlasting acclaim like fellow poetess Sylvia Plath. With transiting Saturn in the fifth, she knew that the girls’ father would take care of them, so she was absolved from that concern, and instead could die for her art.
- Hawthorne, Nathaniel, The Great Stone Face, short story. This work can be found for free here on the Classic Reader site, as it is in the public domain.