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Egon Schiele

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10 minute read
Desire and the Unconscious Mind 

The field of psychoanalysis has put forth a rather intriguing idea that 'desire' essentially drives all life. While some may raise their eyebrows and object to this idea, I, for one, am thankful that Freud has insisted on this. The energy of our desires pulls us somewhat to earth, out of our clouds of superfineness. Rather than living in a world of idealized selves, desire grounds us in reality and helps us see ourselves as we truly are.

Egon Schiele, the Austrian painter, shared a perspective similar to Freud's. He sought to explore the unconscious depths of his subjects through repeated confrontations with sexuality, body, and mortality. Unlike others who focused solely on outward beauty, Schiele had an X-ray vision for the soul, stripping away the superficial pretense to reveal human vulnerability and pure fragility. He revealed the mysteries that lurked beneath the facade of 'the prim and proper' and shared the truth because nothing is more interesting than the truth.

Born in Tulln, Austria, in 1890, he matured in the lap of the bourgeoisie. When he was only fourteen, his father passed away, leaving a profound impact on him. His mother was cold and unsupportive of his artistic endeavors. This created a significant emotional gap between them, and despite living in the same physical space, they seemed to operate in entirely different emotional realms 1 2. As a result, Schiele was forced to navigate the tumultuous waters of life alone, often feeling like an out-casted outsider.

Schiele's journey through the treacherous landscape of his own mind led him to a traditional art school. But little did he know that this decision would pave the way for an encounter with the legendary Gustav Klimt, the High Priest of Art Nouveau. It was a meeting that would forever alter the course of Schiele's artistic destiny.

Wrapped in himself, mercurial and ominous, Schiele was searching for reassurance from someone who represented authority, a father figure on a human and artistic level. Klimt, with his towering personality and impressive artistic prowess, was the ideal figure to fulfill this role. Klimt's influence on Schiele was significant, and it proved to be the catalyst for his creative success.

With his libertine attitude and shameless representations of the human form, Schiele desperately sought to give voice to the tempestuous emotions brewing within him. He not only wanted to reflect on his own solar and nocturnal Eros, but he also wanted to live it and experience it too 3

With the greatest possible frankness, he said,
“I must see new things and investigate them. I want to taste dark water and see crackling trees and wild winds.”

And so he did. 

In my mind's eye, I can almost see him - young, self-infatuated, and visually insightful. There is a calmness to him—casualness—a nonchalance that masks the storm within. He is proud of himself but not as proud to be at peace.

He is aware of that feeling when restlessness would take possession of him like madness—it twitched his limbs when he didn't want to twitch them and jerked his spine when he didn't want to jerk upright. It's a mad restlessness, dark and sweet, with an epic voice and industrial beats. Sometimes, this made him feel alive, in an alive way, and sometimes in a dead way. But he recognized this—he was authentic before it became a curated version of himself.

His strength as an artist depended upon him spiraling, coming back from it, and then going back into spiraling again, allowing himself to be carried along by the flow of his own unconsciousness, a power that he knows and which, in its main current, he does not attempt to control. In his head, he just knew where he was going. At least, that's the portrait my imagination painted of him.

Furthermore, let's take a delightful detour into the realm of Gemini 4, where we will explore the link between the Twins of the sky and the sense of self embodied in Schiele. 

With Gemini, we immerse ourselves in the third house of the human psyche, the house of Mind and, therefore, the house of all creation. In this house, we build our thinking skills and lay a foundation for creating favorable or unfavorable conditions for the self. As a bearer of thoughts, Gemini embodies the dualistic nature of God and lives in two worlds simultaneously - one that is perceived through sensory perceptions and the other, the psychic world created inside as a reflection of the outside.

For the most part, Gemini typically doesn't revolve in the same direction as planet Earth. Gemini aims to 'Know Thyself so they can 'Be Thyself.' In Gemini's mind, you've got to analyze, clarify, define, describe, interpret, point out, reveal, and spell out yourself as far as possible—but not just for the sake of knowing yourself. You've got to know yourself so that you can, at last, BE yourself. 

And since they know themselves so well, they also know others. They can see almost every facet of people's personalities in their appearance, posture, and movement. Even before YOUR lips part and the first syllable escapes, the essence of YOU has already axed its way into Gemini's brain. They are the speed demons of the cognitive world, processing information at warp speed and leaving everyone else in the dust.

Like the spirit of Gemini, one of the unearthed hidden gems about Schiele was his impossible-to-explain, out-of-this-world, real-cool ability to "make it make sense," which presented itself with a kind of vibrational eloquence that can, at first, be almost overwhelming. He craved to touch everything physically and emotionally, but he also wanted to be touched by everything; he had no boundaries, no rules, just pure creative energy 5 6.

To illustrate this point, allow me to present a hypothetical scenario: imagine a young creative, equipped with a camera and a unique vision, commandeering the space of a conventional living room - transforming it into a vibrant - Gen Z-inspired fashion runway. While this may sound extravagant, it serves to highlight the restless, creative potential of the Gemini spirit. Gemini wants the feeling—the momentum of the first emotion to give abstraction form, to pour fluid heat into their artistic imaginings, and to transform raw energy into tangible creations that resonate with the world around them. 
They launch headlong into an exciting, hedonistic whirl where curtains are drawn, secrets are shared, and an instant is frozen in time.  

Unveiling Schiele's enigma, we discover a unique trait akin to the spirit of Gemini. If you examine Schiele's portraits, you'll notice an undeniable intensity that's impossible to ignore. Even in his profile picture, Schiele's daring nature is evident. Take a moment to scroll up and pay special attention to his eyes peering into your soul. Could you doubt for even a moment that he sees you exactly as you are?

Also, notice the overemphasized eyes of the women he painted. The women portrayed in these works exhibit a sense of defiance, as evidenced by their direct eyes, use of hand gestures, angularity, and palpable tension. They stare directly through us, not just at us, but through us. They demand our attention, making it impossible for us to look away. It's as if they are speaking, "Look at me. See me. And never forget me." 

What if this was not just a stylistic choice but a deliberate attempt? Could it be that Schiele crafted his work to stir, within the viewer, some deep preconceived paradoxical longing - the eternal struggle - between the wild spirit and the civilized mind? 

Of course, this is merely my interpretation; I am sure you, the person reading this, will have yours. Please feel free to share it with me. I am so spectacularly curious about the way you see things 7. Whether we connect in 3D, 4D, or 5D reality, know that you are the missing piece that completes the puzzle of this story and that your perspective is valuable to me.

Moreover, have you had the opportunity to view Schiele's most renowned masterpiece, The Embrace, created in 1917? To me, the painting conveys the following message: true togetherness is effortless - to be really together because we ARE together as if it were a phenomenon, not something that must be maintained by effort.

The Embrace captures two souls in a unified connectedness of love, sealed by unencumbered passion. As they hold each other, a soft, radiant light seems to emanate, enveloping all who witness this scene. This is not a mere portrayal of romantic love but a glimpse into a sacred moment where a fragment of Heaven merges with the Earth.

Schiele's quote 

"Bodies have their own light which they consume to live: they burn, they are not lit from the outside,"

 adds a deeper layer of meaning to the painting. 

The quote alludes to the idea that there is a powerful force, a sort of inner fire, that ignites the flames of our souls and brings us to a heightened state of awareness. This partly alludes to the 'light we can not see', which remains private and not overtly expressed, leading me to solicit your insights on this and to inquire about your personal experiences:

How did you know that you had found your beloved? Was it through their eyes, touch, or perhaps an arbitrary gesture? Maybe it was a casual word of warmth and fondness that drew you in. Or was it something else entirely?

We hold an inexplicable emotional attachment to certain souls because their steps so seamlessly fit into our own, and their deep eccentricity perfectly reflects our own unique weirdness. Though we may not understand the science behind it, our souls travel to each other long before our physical bodies do, and meetings happen before we even drag ourselves to specific locations.

Shall we say it's a dance of fate and destiny that we cannot control but one that shapes our lives and leaves an indelible mark on our souls? I dont know, but yes. This mystifying, all-consuming force is forever in a state of flux, drawing us closer, pushing us apart, and molding us into the people we are meant to be. And whatever we may make out of it, this force remains elusive, forever beyond our grasp, yet undeniably real, transforming everything on our path.

Furthermore, I want to draw your attention to Scheile's beloved Walburga 'Wally' Neuzil. Schiele and Wally were unmarried and living together, which was considered scandalous at the time. 

During this time, daring and overly erotic portraits of Wally were openly displayed around his studio. He captured her every bend, flex, stretch, and kneel in a compelling and controversial way.

Despite his ability to take something very personal, widen it up, and make it into every man’s experience, Schiele’s work caused enormous outrage, as it didn’t meet the moral expectations of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. 

His open display of erotic art led to his arrest on the grounds of 'public immorality.' He was imprisoned for nearly a month, and his drawings were confiscated. One of them was even burned by the judge in the courtroom 8.

Schiele's drawings of Wally suggest that their love affair was deep and passionate, fuelled by the kind of energy that made Schiele feel vulnerable. Wally possessed an abundance of temperament and raw sensuality that drew him in like a moth to a flame. 

Their relationship is immortalized in the painting "Death and the Maiden," where Schiele holds onto his lover, whom he must inevitably let go of. It's a bittersweet reminder of the power of love, the sting of loss, and the inevitable passage of time. Following Wally's departure, Schiele's life took a different turn. 

He married Edith Har, a woman who was, in many ways, the opposite of Wally. Where Wally was tempestuous and passionate, Edith was quiet and demure. Schiele's portraits of her capture this difference, with Edith appearing almost unsure of herself, with her wide eyes, raised eyebrows, and lips stretched in an awkward, shy smile. It is not entirely clear why Schiele chose to marry Edith over Wally. 

However, it is possible that the sense of comfort he found in her reflected the purity he had lost in his own wild and tumultuous life. Edith came with the purity he had been searching for all along, a sense of calm and stability that he had not known before. Tragically, their happiness was short-lived as the Spanish flu swept through Vienna, claiming the lives of Edith, Egon, and their unborn child within days of one another. 

To this day, some critics view Schiele's work as pornographic and disturbing. Some even label him an insane manipulator. But can we really say that Schiele was insane? Perhaps, but even the insane can have talent. He also might've been manipulative, but there is an elegance to his manipulation, not a bullishness.

What's important to note is that Schiele had a specific intention: he was a much-needed cultural irritant who sought to spark the imagination of his audience. And let me tell you, he definitely achieved that goal.

Naturally, the audience was getting, can we put it this way, turned on.

But little did they realize that being turned on is a journey back to the great whole. Its rhythm changes and the feeling is continuously transformed, but it never ceases to be what it was originally: a primordial reality, an erotic impulse. Schiele audaciously understood this and took it to the next level
9 10.

There isn't much more to be said about this - not even Schiele has anything to add. Except. Have you ever noticed that even the most primal emotions, which can make our hearts race and palms sweat, are an integral part of what it means to be human? Despite their sometimes carnal nature, these emotions make us feel alive and connected to one another. Without them, we would be mere shells of ourselves, empty and disconnected.


In parenthesis, dearest reader friend, your willingness to engage with Schiele's story fills me with delight and gratitude. I want to thank you for not plagiarizing my work and for sharing it with proper citations. This is not just a simple gesture on your part but a profound understanding of the countless hours of hyper-focus that went into crafting this story. 

My next story will be about Anna Akhmatova, a beloved poet born under the stars of Cancer. I was so lucky to have Anna's poetry accompany me throughout my university years; her verses are a treasure map I continue to return to. I hope to make it a BEAUTIFUL ONE.

Literary Sources 

Bradley, K. 2015 Wally Neuzil: The secret life of Schiele’s muse. BBC Culture Article


Comini A. 1976 Egon Schiele's Portraits, US: George Braziller Inc


Dabrowski, M & Leopold, R. 1997 Egon Schiele: the Leopold collection, Vienna. US: DuMont Buchverlag in association with The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Rioux, Y. 2017 The Mystery of Emerging From, UK: Temple Lodge Publishing Ltd.

Collage Reference 

Cyprian Leowitz - Eclipses luminarium - 1555

Egon Schiele drawings

In his own words, he described her as a very strange woman.

"She doesn't understand me in the least and doesn't love me much either. If she had either love or understanding, she would be prepared to make sacrifices."

It's no wonder then that his astrological chart revealed a Chiron, "the wounded healer," in Cancer placement in the 1st house. This placement suggests that he carried with him a wound shared by all humanity: that of not belonging, i.e., the expulsion from one's original place of belonging and the subsequent ejection from the cosmic womb or home. This separation manifests in various ways, such as feeling hungry, longing for something, or experiencing a lack even amid plenty.

With Chiron in Cancer in the 1st house, Schiele was asked to include his existential shame, embarrassment, and sickness into his own sense of self. And so his journey led him to discover his precious, neurotic things and give home to them. Rather than feeling ashamed of his perceived flaws and vulnerabilities, Schiele embraced them as part of his identity. The misshapen features didn't mortify him; on the contrary, he saw them as part of an archetypal pattern that sought expression.

One of his most famous paintings, "The Hermits," was inspired by Schiele's own Chiron placement. It features two figures, each depicted with a sense of isolation and loneliness, reflecting the poetic summary of the artist's own struggles with his emotions and his place in the world.


Schiele was known for his turbulent relationship with women, which inspired his creations. His birth chart reveals that his Chiron was conjunct Venus, which could explain his deep connection with the female form. His models, often prostitutes and mistresses, were his muses, and he brought their delicate yet brutishly natural sexuality to life.
Based on Venus's positioning in the 1st house in Schiele's chart, it is evident that the artist possessed an intense passion and restlessness that was channeled towards the themes of sex and eroticism to the point of oblivion. This astrological alignment reveals that his artistic expression was not just a reflection of his personal life but also a way to heal and reconcile his emotional wounds.

Gemini's dualistic essence is so beautifully captured by none other than the great William  Shakespeare himself.

In his words, 

“Two loves I have of comfort and despair, which like two spirits do suggest me still. The better angel is a man right fair, the worser spirit a woman coloured ill. To win me soon to hell, my female evil tempteth my better angel from my side, and would corrupt my saint to be a devil, wooing his purity with her foul pride. And whether that my angel be turned fiend, suspect I may, yet not directly tell. But being both from me, both to each friend, I guess one angel in another’s hell.”                                   (Sonnet 144, Passionate Pilgrim 1599)
Schiele and Tchaikovsky, two prominent figures in their respective fields, shared an intriguing astrological placement - a Sun in the 12th house.
The placement of the Sun in this house is known to be complex and contradictory, like a puzzle piece that doesn't quite fit in with the others. It's a powerful yet vulnerable placement that has a significant impact on a person's life. 
Individuals with this placement are known to have a profound connection to the universal cosmic Self or God(dess), which provides them with a deep sense of purpose and meaning. They possess a unique understanding of the world and are often drawn towards spiritual or creative endeavors. However, they also face a considerable struggle to reconcile their physical form with their spiritual beliefs. They may feel limited by the confines of their physical body, unable to tap into the full potential of their cosmic awareness.

I sense here that you, dear reader, share a core frequency similar to Egon Schiele's; otherwise, the stars would not bring you to this very moment, to this very story. Perhaps you, like Schiele, are a beauty-maker rummaging through the dark recesses of your mind, wading through the messiness of things while reaching skyward to draw down the heavens themselves. It's just an abstract sensation that I am picking up on, a tantalizing thought of you I can't help but feel drawn to expressing.

Schiele's artistic genius extended beyond the realm of art. With his Moon in Aries, he was an experimenter, a risk-taker, and an innovator who always looked for new ways to push the envelope.  

Despite his success, Schiele was not one to preach or teach, nor did he seek to lead others. Rather, he was a solitary explorer, driven by something both sinister and seductive. As his Moon was in the 10th house, he had a natural talent for capturing the essence of a moment and conveying it in a way that was both poignant and powerful.

Schiele had his Mercury, Neptune, and Pluto in Gemini in the 11th house.

This alignment is fascinating to analyze through Schiele's own words, as he once said,

"When I see myself as a whole, I have to see myself and know what I want, not only what is happening inside me. The oscillations of my astral light grow faster, more and more straightforward, like an incredible insight into the world. In this way, I get more and more productive, and out of me radiates love, that is all."

Overall, the quote ties nicely with the upper-mentioned planetary alignment as it suggests that Schiele's creative process is deeply connected to his inner self and that his art reflects his personal growth and understanding of the world. The more he learned, the more productive he became, and the more love radiated from him.

If we were to look at Mercury, Neptune, and Pluto in Gemini in the 11th house, metaphorically, we could link this combination to a cosmic cocktail, blending diverse flavors to create an intriguing and nuanced whole.

Like a Gemini, this cocktail would be versatile and able to adapt to different moods and occasions. It would be a mix of sweet and sour notes, just like the combination of Mercury's sharp intellect and Neptune's dreamy imagination. However, like Pluto's transformative power, this cocktail may also have a potent kick that can profoundly change the drinker's life. 

Think of it as a liquid spaceship that would take you through the portal into a new dimension where the laws of physics and time do not apply. It would be a drink not for the faint-hearted but for those willing to venture beyond the confines of reality and into the enchanting space of their 11th house.