Ingrid Bergman a quiet shocker

Ingrid Bergman, the Swedish beauty, and successor to Greta Garbo, had a tendency in Hollywood films of always playing soft, romantic women; delicate orchids too fragile to face the cold winds of reality and protected in a hothouse run by a domineering, cruel husband, until suddenly a bracing wind blows into her perfumed and warm rooms and makes her wake up with a tenacity and ferocity that would make Mary Shelley proud. It’s always the same, this time Casablanca (an Oscar nomination), another time Gaslight (an Oscar win), and still another in Notorious (her best performance). Of course there is her Broadway role as Joan of Arc, whom she adored, or For whom the Bell tolls, (an Oscar nomination against Gary Cooper channeling Hidalgo in the fifth that is sextile her Uranus) all stellar performances where she entices us in like a spider, and then socks us with that black widow punch.

She was born in Stockholm, Sweden like Greta and Inger Stevens, who succeeded her as the Swedish femme fatale, on August 29, 1915 during World War I and named for the royal princess. Sweden despite its strong ties to Germany, Sweden was neutral during the War. It made its first declaration with originally with the Austro-Serbian conflict on 31 July 1914, after Prince Ferdinand of Austria’s assassination, and then again on the 3rd of August when Germany entered the fray, so the ties to Germany were strong and like many Swedes, including the Royal family, Ingrid was half German, her mother Frieda Adler Bergman was born in Hamburg and Swedish, her father Justus. They had met when the Adlers were on holiday in Sweden, it was common because of proximity and he had been entranced by her great beauty, I guess it was in the genes.

When the movie making craze hit Stockholm, Justus turned to photography shop and photo lessons: he was really a painter by trade, but he needed to impress the Adler’s he could provide for their daughter, and with the thriving film business in Sweden he thought he could cash in. As Ingrid grew, Justus encouraged her playacting skills and filmed many of them (Photographica partile her Sun) obviously taking great pride in her precocious range and beauty. His business blossomed after the War as Swedes become inveterate technophiles.

As Ingrid has a Moon in Aries, which often appears in people whose mother abandoned them in some way, in childhood. Traditionally though illness, or a chronic and lingering illness, but sometimes through her long work hours as in the chart of Kamala Harris. In Ingrid’s case, her mother signifies her mother death when she was about 3 years old in January 1918. After that it was Justus during the school year with summers in Hamburg with the Adlers. Then he too died (Asteroid Prosperina conjunct the Moon highlighting separation from nurturers) when she was thirteen in the summer of 1928 from stomach cancer just about when Pluto (03 Cancer 04 in the eleventh) was discovered.

Perhaps this was a large reason for her turning to film (Cyrallus the asteroid of healing through art, partile her Ascendant both inconjunct her Uranus), to recapture that magic time with her father for surprisingly Pluto, that planets of distant fans and the populace at large, is her focal determinator. It is also part of her stellium in Cancer filled with all the heavies of the astrology: Saturn, Mars and Pluto with Neptune in the same house but a semi-sextile away offering some helpful impressions.

The new time

I have found two different times for Ms. Bergman, and unfortunately I am throwing out a third, because I think it works best of all. Mine is for 5:30 am on August 29, 1915 in Stockholm Sweden. This gives her an ascendant of 12 Virgo 19 (13 Virgo that is conjunct her Sun making her a double Virgo. Her Moon is in Aries, giving her powerful feelings and impressions.

Sextile her father at Saturn 13 Cancer 15 who then took on both roles and Uranus 12 Aquarius 51 this setup shows how she could show such convincing fear of powerful men most notably in Gaslight with Charles Boyer, Casablanca with Humphrey Bogart and Paul Henreid and Intermezzo with Claude Rains and Cary Grant.

Ingrid truly understood what it was to be a pawn in her own life and the bucket handle of Uranus at 12 Aquarius 51 is how she broke out that with her willful abandonment of her own daughter and son and ran away with Roberto Rossellini, the Italian director, and re-created her own mother’s exit. Jupiter in the seventh traditionally highlights multiple marriages, and here is joined by Eris showing hers were not always happy.

She died in London on her birthday from breast cancer.


  • Spoto, Donald, Notorious, 1997. c. Donald Spoto.
    • There are several biography’s on Miss Bergman. I found Spoto’s to be the best. There is one in Italian as well, but it is more of a fanzine than critical look but that is par for the course with the Hollywood set.