Ciro Discepolo | English corner | Giacomo Casanova

Giacomo Casnova
di Ciro Discepolo

Casanova's life, extremely singular and extraordinary, can be referred - analogically - to the movie's rhythm The Empire of Senses (1976), by Oshima Nagisa, that, at his turn, corresponds to the one of a sexual intercourse: increasing at the beginning, very strong in the central stage, condemned to an irreversible catabasis in the end. The movie of the Japanese director, considered here like a metaphor of the libido expression of the subject, explains as the life of this Aries has been very intensive between twenty and thirty years of age and has changed after to a slow descendant parable in the maturity/old age, where energy transformed itself in aggressiveness and the phallic power was exhausted in one hundred diatribes of the daily expressed towards the servants (the Sun, as we can observe later is in the sixth House).
This man, characterized by the genital and libido hypertrophy, was, over all, a "rapist". For him we can say, with Freud, also being Jungians, that his mental energy was totally libidinousness, psychosexual energy: when he saw a woman he felt an uncontrollable desire to possess her, to "rape" her, just: after that his greatest interest chanced into the will to indemnify her, in some way, and to get rid of her.
His history is out of the ordinary because he was out of ordinary and even if he was a liar, a cheater, a libertine, a deceiver, a gambler, an adventurer and still many other things, we cannot restrict his life to anyone of these labels, but we have to consider it enlarged to a universe of heterogeneous valences that show him to us like a gentleman, a generous man, a man very learned and with taste, one of the greatest men of letters of his time.
According to some people, as Carl Gassaner that composed the theatrical text Casanova in the Dux's Castle, represented a few years ago by the La Rocca's Group in Bologna - he would have invented all of his incredible past, and in according to Ugo Foscolo the character would not have existed. But, the most famous Venetian of all times, together with Marco Polo, lived and left deep foot prints on his way. Even if the casanovist demonstrated that there are some false facts in his memories, shreds of memories obnubilated by the inclemency of the senescence that doesn't spare anyone, his life is all there to represent a century, a civility, the whole world seen through the eyes of a man definable in many different ways.
Even as a "big turd", in according to the cinema studious Armando Papa, in the Fellini's movie, a kind of a big goat whose mechanical repetitiveness was assimilable to the one of a piston able to do only up and down, a metallic bird with carillon, or a "monster of total physicalness" in according to Alberto Moravia.
In our opinion, Casanova represents, instead, many things together, as we will see through his horoscope, but over all, as we said before, he portrayed a great coitus by the accelerant and sustained rhythm at the beginning, very strong and explosive in the middle, and in dying contraction in the end.
As he declared, Giacomo Casanova was born in Venice on April 2, 1725. His natal hour it is not known, but from a speculative reconstruction proposed in the book The American Book of Charts, by Louis M. Rodden, we comprehend that he came to the world at 8:00 PM (LMT).
This natal time is very convincing for us, very much indeed. His natal chart, in this way, comes to have a Sun in the VI House, the Ascendant about 1° in Scorpio, an extraordinary stellium in Pisces, in the fifth House, and an Uranus' dominant that explains the enormous instability of his destiny, the highs and lows of his life, the dramatic turns, the turning points at square angle, his originality-eccentricity, the enormous need of freedom that always inspirited his choices, the unpredictability of any of his decisions.
We have to note his Sun in the sixth House that pushed him to shave three times a day, to dress as a dandy and to pay a salary, even in the worst moments, a personal hairdresser to always offer the most possible shining look of himself. The same Sun in the sixth House represented a very particular relation with servants that abandoned and robbed him or that haunted him with a thousand malice and daily perfidies in his old age.
The first luminar in the House co-significant of the Virgo sign expressed itself even with his very great interest for medicine, that he would have studied when he was young and that he practiced very often in his adult age; with the diets that he often imposed himself and with the exasperated critical sense that made him become, at the sunset of his life, an old grumbling troublemaker.
His Ascendant Scorpio convinces us because, together his Pisces/fifth House and Aries values, moved his energy prevalently in a sexual direction and justifies the numerous gonorrhoea and haemorrhoids that afflicted him so as the Scorpio tells us of his vocation to the vindication: "my dominant passion has always been revenge" (edition Dall'Oglio of the History of My Life, 1946, page 558/II).
The strong Pisces values, Jupiter-Mars-Venus-Mercury, between the fourth and the fifth House, were emblems of his indulgence, of his enjoying life: ate as a king, beginning with dozens of oysters and precious game birds at every meal, watering them with rivers of very excellent wines.
A great part of his life was spent among the dinner table, the women's arms and the gambling table. He slept very little and even that is quite Scorpio and his love's gallops were fantastic.
He was insatiable, at the point that when he was exaggerating - and it often happened - he came with ejaculating blood, the thing that horrified his women leaving him satisfied and very proud.
He loved with an incredible intensity and for very long periods as he proposed to one of his lovers - that desired to abort - the aroph's cure, a very bizarre coitus to repeat 5 or 6 times a day, for many days. But, if his virility was as a page of the Guiness World Record, not less was the sexual fire of his women, as for the case of the young Elena: "… in the time that I spent for only one, she passed 14 times from life to death" (cited work, vol. II, page 300).
The balance of his sexual-love life tells us of almost two hundred women seduced and of half dozen of children had and spread all over Europe. This, despite the fact that, as he himself narrated, he used without saving condoms that were "… a recent English invention".
But if we want to see Casanova in his dimension purely athletic, of forced by sex, it seems to us reductive and unfair.
As some great studious of the Venetian have put in evidence, studious as Maynial, Zottoli, Kesten, Rives Childs, Bàccolo, and more recently Piero Chiara and Roberto Gervaso, this great seducer, was even a refined literary man and studious that left us one of the most precious frescos of the eighteenth century. His Memories, translated in many languages, were appreciated by big literary talents that have praised over all the simplex and fluent style, the jet production (the Sun in Aries) that not for this we can define without fine passages of erudite prose.
It is true that Casanova had both estimators and denigrators, but he, substantially, went down in history as a great one. Here is from Gervaso's essay (Rizzoli publisher) a little anthology of poisonous critics.
"Men as Casanova - says Molmenti - brought for a walk through the world the show of the Italian's shame, affirming that the old Italy derided, sold and prostituted everything, the ancient heroes and the new saints". And D'Ancona: "As man the Venetian was an indirect and genuine product of its own social putridity in the last period of the Serenissima's life". Closer to us, Jonard condemned him as a "false moralist wizened, a reactionary full of bile, a boaster seducer, that prostituted his own pen selling it to the inquisitors". Bozzòla defined him: "a nomad with an open and alert mind, whose only liberty was the one to live in according to his talent, without worries". And, in the opposite way, Piero Chiara that edited a beautiful but not integral edition of Memories for Mondadori, together with Federico Roncoroni: "Everything that Casanova obtained from life was only his merit and of his ambition, intelligence, his studies, his sure courage, his sense of honour, to tell you the truth a little subjective, that he taught himself in his soul practicing the nobility and constituting himself to a model of the most unprejudiced and hazarded characters of that time, from the cardinal of Bernis to the general Branicki. His name, as the one of Don Giovanni or the doctor Faust or the marquess of Sade, came out from history to enter in the modern mythologies".
Reading the over 2600 pages of Memories we see him busy at the pang, from the top of his almost seven feet, to invent his life every day, to speculate, to gamble, even to cheat, to commerce, to work - with success - of high finance, to loose himself voluntarily in the idiocy of a pseudo magic, to practice a thousand jobs, to travel more than one of his contemporaneous homologue, to be, in only one word, that is what today we would call a "shady businessman".
Every strange enterprise or audacious stimulated him, from the cheats to the marquess of Urfé to the acrobatic defloration of a humped woman, from the dialectic duel with Voltaire to the practical representation of the 35 love positions suggested by Aretino.
His Pisces values were the excessive bad habits that accompanied him all his life, but even the great afflictions: he was many times in misery and as many times in prison. He knew, after the ones of Venice's Piombi, from which he clamorously escaped, contributing to edify his myth already in life, the prisons of half Europe.
He had incredible highs and lows with money, for all his life, so as his Sagittarian Moon demonstrates, in his second House, in dissonant aspects with Neptune, Mars and Jupiter. With this last one, over all, the lady of Cancer was building his blindness in the financial field: he was a spendthrift and, during the period of his life, spent several millions of francs. He left shocking tips, invited whole theatre companies for dinner, indemnified generously all his "victims" that he made, in the maximum percentage, rich and happy "settling them" shrewdly.
But did he love them? Evidently no. He loved over all and uniquely his own pleasure (fifth House values). His physical exuberance constricted him to search continuously for himself some sexual "bleedings". But it is evident that his desire, before being physical, was mental. And what can be at the top of the combination among a Sun in Aries (the hyper-male) with a Scorpio Ascendant and with values Pisces/fifth House? The pleasure, first of all the pleasure, absolutely the sexual pleasure. It was a nail that he had in his head.
When he saw a female he only thought to undress her. It was like a sickness.
A very few women were not able to resist him; and among them the perfidious Charpillon that Casanova came to the point to threaten her with a knife to obtain her favours, but after he expelled her from his life and that not without enormous suffers. He revenged himself of her buying a parrot and teaching him to say, every morning: "Miss Charpillon is a greater bitch than her mother". Teresa (the false castrated Bellino), Paolina and Enrichetta were his greatest lovers, but probably they were such only because destiny took them away from him before he got tired of them.
He fell in love every day, but he never got married, really in according with his Virgo values (the Sun in the sixth natal House).
He had a pleasant taste in his mouth, took every kind: fine, beautiful, ugly, old, the one that he had in front of him; even if he always had a predilection for Lolitas that he collected in a great measure (he began to love mysteries even twelve or eleven year old girls).
In his relation with the "Crazy Sublime" he lived a long love afternoon with this woman, that was the marquess of Urfé, that in that time was over seventy years old and to who he let believe, among other things, having procured her a pregnancy. In according to some persons he came to the point even of incest and gave a child to his daughter Leonilda.
He was virile until the highest stage in life, even if from forty years old and on he lived a long and painful physical decline that concretised itself in many sicknesses, among which great sight disorders, in the last part of his life (the Sun in the sixth natal House).
He was convinced that fortune helps only young persons and he was so identified with this idea that he lived in a paranoia way the last years of his existence, in the voluntary exile of the Dux's castle, in Boemia. Here, really, a part from the exchanged hate of the terrible butler Feltkirchner and of his lover (the coachman), Casanova was treated very well by the count Giuseppe Carlo of Waldstein that put him in charge of a 40.000 volumes library and gave him a good hotel settlement that the Venetian appreciated a lot: "I eat and drink like a horse", he wrote to a friend of his in that period.
His Saturn in the third natal House expressed itself in many ways. For example with the worst relation, the overflowing of reciprocal hate, with his minor brother priest. Then with his scripts. If we exclude, in fact, two minor books that he published at 27 and 32 years of age (Zoroastro, a tragedy translated from French, and Camilla Veronese in the Mercure of France), the most important works were of his maturity. The Histoire de ma vie he wrote it from 1789 until his death, that took him on June 4, 1798, at the age of 73. But Saturn, relatively his scripts, expressed itself even in the fact that his memories have to be considered, under certain aspects, aborted, in the sense that he interrupted them - as story - on the eve of his return in Venice (September 14, 1774), after about nineteen years of exile (his escaped from "Piombi prison" on November 1, 1756).
Various, at this point, the theses of the Casanovists that quarrel, the ones sustaining that he wanted, voluntarily, to cut them off at the threshold of his fifty years and the others that, instead, they (the Memories) hide some mysteries and some one made them disappear in some way.
This same Saturn continuous to haunt him even after his death and censures his Memories.
Here are the two versions of an identical step, first in the most diffused edition today in Italy (Mondadori) and after in the integral edition of Dall'Oglio but that was printed in only 3.195 copies in 1946.

  1. "The last night that I spent entirely with my angel was very sad. Certain, if love, once in a while, did not come to rescue, we would have died of pain. When we appeared in the family…".
  2. "The last night, that I spent entirely, with my delicious countess, was very sad; we would have died of pain, without the voluptuousness of love that comforted us. No night was ever spent so much better than that one. The tears of pain and of love alternated themselves without any break, and I renewed nine times the sacrifice on the altar of the god that revives my strengths every time that the pleasure exhausted them. Blood and crying wet the sanctuary, as much the sacrificer as the victim were tired out, but the desires said: " More!". We had to separate ourselves, commanding us an effort as much painful as had been sweet our union of eight hours… When we appeared together in the dining room…" (work mentioned, volume II, page 438).

It was said a lot and very wrongly about his presumed relations with Astrology. In effect it was a mix of esoteric Astrology mingled to magic and to fraudulent boasting with which Casanova cheated the marquess of Urfé and many other persons. But he read a lot and had a great culture that permitted him to get, on the track of his adventurous life, even the minute particle of gold in the middle of scrap iron and, not considering the date of his Piombi's escape, that he chose by cabala, it is very interesting to note what he writes about the day of the birthday. "… I observed that it was April 2th 1744, the anniversary of my birth, a date that for ten times in my life coincided with a fact worthy of note" (Casanova, Memories Written by Himself - Garzanti Publisher, page 244).
From every point of view we watch him that he is a character to be deepened, a lot. The polemics grow and develop around him. One of these could be around the television Casanova by Comencini in which our hero appears as a shy and short young man and the novel proposes the version of a priest become a libertine through life's circumstances and not, over all, for the astrological and genetic imprinting received at his birth.

But his horoscope, and his DNA, are there that shout. And after, at last, he himself said: "I only blush because I am not able to blush".

Ciro Discepolo



From the book of Ciro Discepolo: Aries, Blue Diamond Publisher, 1999, 128 pages.