A. A. Milne and the Legacy of Pooh

A writer, poet, and playwright, A.A. Milne is best remembered as the author of the Winnie-The-Pooh children’s stories. Here was a man with the skill to turn his only child’s playtime into an imaginary world that would capture the hearts of people worldwide, a beloved world of make-believe cherished by older generations and still being embraced by the young.

Alan Alexander Milne was born January 18, 1882 in London UK (time unknown). I’ve rectified his chart using 6:00 a.m. with a Sagittarius Ascendant. I realize this may not be correct but I’ve found the chart to line up with multiple life events in Milne’s timeline and feel comfortable using it.

Rectified birth chart of A.A. Milne

Milne joined the British Army in World War I and rejoined the military as captain in the British Home Guard during World War II. Wikipedia notes that Milne served from 1915 to 1920 when he was running his Mars dasha, and from 1939 to 1945 in the second World War. In September 1939, the beginning of World War II, Milne was less than four months into his Jupiter dasha transitioning out of Mars/Rahu. Mars is the ruler of war and Jupiter is in Mars-ruled Aries aspecting his 9th House and 1st House, giving Milne a second opportunity to fulfill a purpose in defending his country.

Milne married Dorothy “Daphne” de Sélincourt in 1913. Though the wedding date is unknown, it is likely that the marriage was in the early to middle part of 1913 while Milne was running Moon-Venus, aspecting his 7th House of marriage. His only child, Christopher Robin, was born August 21, 1920 when Milne was running Mars-Sun. Mars rules his 5th House of children and the Sun rules his 9th House of fatherhood. In 1925, he bought the Cotchford farm, the beautiful country property that became the setting for the Pooh stories and much of the outdoor activity enjoyed by father and son in real life. In 1925, Milne ran Rahu-Jupiter. Rahu is in his 12th House of foreign places while Jupiter rules the 4th House of residency. While some astrologers do not consider the aspects of Rahu, I do, and here we see dasha ruler Rahu casting an aspect not only to the 4th House of the home but also to the 8th House of relocation. Although ‘foreign’ suggested by the 12th House often refers to places of great distance, in Milne’s case, moving from bustling London to the tranquil countryside provided enough contrast to seem ‘foreign’. Cotchford is located in an area of East Sussex that is called the High Weald Area of Outstanding Beauty.

According to Wikipedia, A.A. Milne transferred the merchandising rights for Winnie-the-Pooh to Stephen Slesinger in 1930. Less than two weeks after Milne’s death, his widow sold her rights to Pooh to Slesinger. Later in 1961, Slesinger’s widow signed over the merchandising rights for Pooh to Walt Disney, the same year Milne’s widow licensed off the movie rights to Slesinger. While details and accuracy of transactions are unknown, the dates appear to be consistent with records. In 1930, Milne was running Rahu/Mercury, again assuming Sagittarius Ascendant is correct. Rahu and Mercury hem his Ascendant and while Mercury occupies his 2nd House of income, Rahu occurs in the 12th House of loss. I’m not sure what Milne’s reason was to detach himself from the merchandising rights to Pooh. I suppose at that time, he had little idea of the global sales to come. In 1961, after Milne already passed away, Saturn-Ketu is indicated on his timeline. In his Navamsha (the divisional chart of the spouse) Saturn is in the 5th House of entertainment with Ketu in the 2nd House of finances, confirming a financial loss involving the spouse in relation to entertainment.

It’s highly unlikely that Milne came up with a main character who could not age or die just to ensure the longevity of the story if successful. (Surely a stuffed animal as loved as Pooh would always be mended to, if a bit worn… but the plump toy bear could never die.) What a serendipitous thing! Until someone else writes Pooh into oblivion (who would do such a thing?), our beloved little bear with be with us forever. What a great gift to the Hollywood studios, too.

When I was digging into Milne’s history, I got the idea to look at Walt Disney’s chart, too. What kind of connection did they have? Were there clues in their charts for the business relationship and longevity these two men created?

Using December 5, 1901 in Chicago, Illinois at 12:35 a.m. (with an A Rodden Rating from astrodatabank.com) for Walt Disney, a few similarities in their charts are worth mentioning. First, although Milne has a fire sign on the Ascendant and Disney an air sign, both signs, Sagittarius and Aquarius, respectively, give the innate talent and panache for being visionary—each in their own way. Sagittarius is philosophical, Aquarius humanitarian—each embraces the big picture and global community.

Birth chart of Walt Disney

Sun-Mercury conjunctions are common. Mercury is never far from the Sun, and it occurs in both charts of Milne and Disney. What makes it interesting for these gentlemen is that the Sun-Mercury conjunctions create a connection to business (10th House) and creativity, children, and entertainment (5th House). Milne has Sun-Mercury in the great business sign of Capricorn in the 2nd House, which gave him the ability to turn his writing and self-expression into a lucrative career as an author and playwright. Mercury rules the 10th House of the career and is also the dispositor of his Mars, who rules the 5th House of children and entertainment. Disney has the Sun-Mercury conjunction in the 10th House of career in Mars-ruled Scorpio, while Mercury rules the 5th House. Although different, each possesses the innate ability to create something connecting children and entertainment with business and commerce.

Another similarity that exists in each chart is the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions impacting the 5th House. Milne has Saturn-Jupiter positioned in the 5th House, while Disney has Jupiter-Saturn (along with Mars) in the 11th House aspecting the 5th House. Here we see how debilitated Saturn conjunct Jupiter in Aries for Milne presented the opportunity to create entertainment from personal observation and connection to his only child, Christopher Robin. As an independent writer (Aries 5th House), Milne used his son’s imagination as inspiration to build his own stories, which on occasion caused his son to feel quite exploited and left Christopher Robin struggling to juggle the benefits and the curse of fame throughout his life. (You can read more about that here.)

Disney, on the other hand, has a strong Jupiter in its own sign in the 11th House, which made him a great visionary and big business man. Jupiter, the planet which represents children, aspects the 5th House of children and entertainment. Disney envisioned and built a place where people of all ages could come together and play, beginning with Disneyland in California and expanding to Disney World in Florida, but he also wanted to create a utopian world of possibilities where people could have fun and learn about innovations while bringing inspiration and hope for a better future with the construction of EPCOT, the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. His Ascendant ruler Saturn conjunct Jupiter made this creative manifestation truly a personal accomplishment, regardless of the vast numbers of people involved in its construction. Saturn and Mars form a Dharma Karma Adipati yoga, combining the Ascendant/1st House (trikona) and the 10th House (kendra) while in direct aspect to the 5th House of children and entertainment. Jupiter and Saturn create a yoga for wealth, combining the 2nd House with the 1st House, through the 11th House placement. Both the 2nd and 11th Houses are money houses.

Both men have left incredible legacies and today, decades after their passing, the impact of their creativity continues, despite the current uprising around Disney. That’s another story.

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By Renate Maria Bell – certified Vedic Astrologer, Jyotish Visharada, and approved teacher with the Council of Vedic Astrology. She can be reached at renatembell@aol.com2022© Do not use, post, repost, or reprint in part or whole without the expressed written consent of the author.

Photos of charts by Renate (Shri Jyoti Star software of which Renate is licensed)
Images of A. A. Milne, Christopher Robin, and Walt Disney courtesy wikipedia