Käthe Kollwitz: Dragon on the Doorstep (1)


Käthe Kollwitz* is best known for her graphic art. The pure human depth of her work moved many in her lifetime and does so even now, almost 60 years after her death. She was the first woman to become a member of the Prussian Academy of the Arts (1919) and was expelled from the Academy in 1936, after the national-socialists came into power, for anti-Nazi activism.

As you can see in the chart, Käthe Kollwitz has the Dragon sitting directly on her doorstep. The North Node is one degree inside of the first house. Morever. what is very important for an understanding of the chart is that the Sun/Moon position of the prenatal eclipse (March 6, 1867) at 15 Pisces is exactly conjunct the Descendant. The central theme of this eclipse is focused on “the other”. But with the axis of the Dragon, south node and north node, this takes on increased significance. Her son, Hans Kollwitz in the Introduction to her Diary, “Ich sah die Welt mit liebevollen Blicken” (I saw the world with loving eyes) writes:

“Käthe Kollwitz wird oft nur als ‘die große Mitleidende’ gesehen. Wie oberflächlich aber wäre dieses Mitleid, wenn es nicht gespeist würde durch die Einsicht in die eigenen menschlichen Untergründe und Traurigkeiten.”

“Käthe Kollwitz is often seen as ‘the great compassionate’. But this compassion would be superficial if it weren’t fed by a deep insight in one’s own human depths and sorrows.”

It is the theme of “the other” that is central to her work. And this theme finds expression at a basic existential level. Hunger, Death, War, Pain, Social Unjustice. But as her son says this is not without a cost to herself. The pain she depicts is not merely as an observer but out of a pain experienced out of the depths of her soul. We will find in our later discussion how much the nodes play a role here.

* born in Königsberg, Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Poland) on July 8, 1867 at 9:30 am.

6 thoughts on “Käthe Kollwitz: Dragon on the Doorstep (1)

  1. That is really fascinating Thomas, thank you :0)

    Just out of interest, what would your interpretation of a ‘reversal’ of the Nodal axis across the Ascendant/Descendant axis be.

    For instance Queen Elizabeth II of England has the South Node on her natal ascendant, and I wondered what you made of it?

    Her details are:
    02:40 BST -1
    21st April 1926
    London, England
    51N30 000W10

    Ascendant 21* 22’ Capricorn
    South Node 20* 06’ Capricorn
    Prenatal Solar eclipse 23* Capricorn
    Prenatal Lunar eclipse 8* Leo/Aquarius.

    Or are you getting to this with a different example?


  2. Dear CarO,

    You are welcome!

    Generally, without forgetting that the individual details of each chart must always be considered, the axis is important. So there will be similiarities whether SN or NN is on the Ascendant, only the weighting is different.

    I would venture to say that a major life theme as monarch, is between the royal “we” and the individuality. You could say that with SN on the Asc.,and its dispositor, Saturn on MC, square in mundo to Asc. and SN, that Elizabeth II as a person experiences what it means to be subsumed by being monarch. This is I am sure not easy.

    Yes, I have a different example in mind. But this chart is also interesting particularily as it has parallels with that of Käthe Kollwitz. We can look at the chart more closely at a later point if wished, with the provision that the private sphere is protected as much as possible and that only public comments be used (this requires some research). No astrological papparazzi here!


  3. Beautifully summed up if I may say so Thomas :0)

    There is no need to go into this chart in depth; I just wondered if your thoughts on this tallied with my own, which they most certainly do. When my local astrology group studied this chart a few years ago, we saw the SN and prenatal eclipse on the Capricorn ascendant as signifying a life of ‘public service’ with the SN Dragon devouring the Ascendant of personal experience and consigning any chance of normal intimate relationships into the abyss.

    I see HM The Queen as a deeply religious woman who takes her position as God’s anointed representative very seriously (Saturn culminating in mundo square Nodes). The SN on the ascendant imbues her with the abnormal social conscience of one who is on a mission, destined to devote her life to others, but at much emotional sacrifice and personal cost.

    She is a remarkable woman and one who inspires respect and a deep affection amongst her people.


  4. Dear CarO,

    And your description complements it. 🙂

    Thank you for this reference, it enriches an understanding of this theme at this early stage of applying it to actual natal charts. The chart certainly has parallels – even as far as the prenatal eclipse is concerned.


  5. Hi Thomas & Caro

    An interesting article and discussion, to be sure. So I will throw another idea into the melting pot 🙂

    Some time ago I read a description of the nodes which depicted the NN as that which we strive/reach for – while the SN represents the past or what is known (that which we often fall back on as it is familiar). This description is one I rather liked and feel it often gives a broader view of the typical increase/decrease to often atributed to the nodes.

    I can relate it to both Kollwitz and QE 11 – I wonder if either of you can?


  6. Dear Vicki

    Thank you for your comment and a further enrichment to the topic of the nodes. If one views the two nodes as forming a potential then this would fit in quite well. One however has to be careful with SN, the past and NN the future. There I think that this in particular context might be true but in another misleading. I will be posting a further “episode” on Käthe Kollwitz tomorrow and there it is the axis as both nodes activate a reciprocation between her view of self and view of husband.

    best regards, 🙂

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