Meowmorphosis / Venus in Capricorn

January 9, 2021 Author Debra DeLeo-Moolenaar

Last month, Venus, the planet symbolising love, beauty, and harmony was in Sagittarius, where she was warm and friendly, ready to offer a helping hand. Venus is now in Capricorn. No longer is she warm much less friendly and naturally being standoffish, rarely does she extend her hand.

Nonetheless, Venus in Capricorn is hugely sensuous, the likes of which Scorpio might not even consider. In part this is because Saturn, host of Venus whilst in Capricorn, is now himself in Aquarius where he enjoys being out of step with societal norms. 

This reminds me of Meowmorphosis, a quirky parody by Coleridge Cook on Kafka’s magical realism novel, Metamorphosis. Although superficially Cook's story parallels Kafka’s, it differs significantly in the author’s use of the hero, Gregor's, treasured picture of a woman in a fur coat, itself believed to be a metafiction to Sacher-Masoch’s sadomasochistic novella, Venus in Furs

In Kafka’s original, Gregor – a dull man with a dull job who toes the party line -  wakes up to find he’s turned into a cockroach. In choosing the image of a cockroach (or in the German literally an ‘unclean animal not suitable for sacrifice'), Kafka immediately establishes a strong link to his theme, the risks the rewards of conformance with societal norms. Cockroaches are lowly creatures indeed. One can be pretty certain how a cockroach will fare and it won't be pretty, which of course it isn't.

But, in Cook’s parody, Gregor wakes up to discover he’s been changed into an adorable kitten. Although cockroaches are easily understood as being something to be squashed under foot, which is what happens to Gregor, kittens are not and indeed in many societies it is just reverse. Yet somehow the reader has a niggling fear that things will not work out well for our hero else why would he be reading the novel.

Whilst Kafka crudely links Venus in Furs to Gregor’s sister, who ultimately proves to be his undoing, and then drops it, Cook shines a direct spotlight on Gregor's potentially incestuous relationship with his sister. Could it be that like the hero in Venus in Furs, Gregor is so infatuated with his sister that he has become her slave and it is for this reason that he encourages her to treat him in progressively degrading ways? 

This is not to suggest that whilst Venus is in Capricorn, your relationships will take on either a sadomasochistic or incestuous tone. It is, however, meant to suggest … well, I’ll leave that for you to discover.

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