The Light of my Genius, She Promised Voltaire, Will Dazzle You


I remembered something Venus-in-Gemini-like today that I read once that I’d like to share since Venus is in Gemini now. Though this particular Gemini vibration I was recalling has some other flavors and undertones in it we will get to. I had read about Émilie du Châtelet, a French intellectual from the eighteenth century. I looked up her astrology tonight, and she is a Gemini Moon trining Venus in Aquarius, Moon opposite Lilith in Sagittarius, a Sun Sagittarius, Pluto in Leo (which we’ll take as the base tone). She also has a Moon-Saturn conjunction which can manifest as playing with cultural gender roles/expectations, as you will see playing out below.

I heard about her from a book called Seductress by Betsy Prioleau which is a pretty entertaining read about historical seductresses. From this book Prioleau writes:

“Émilie du Châtelet was a woman cut to superhuman scale. ‘A genius in virtually every realm of mathematics,’ she outsmarted the leading male scholars of her day. In addition, she looked like a celebrity model, loved like a Lotharia, and lived like a sultana. ‘The wench,’ said a Romeo of her age, ‘is formidable.’ ‘The most brilliant member of her sex in Europe,’ she was also a ‘passionate’, magisterial siren who captured and held the beaux du jour of Paris, the duck de Richelieu and Voltaire.

Yet few parents have ever held out less hope for a daughter. The youngest of four children in a titled, wealthy family, Émilie was an ugly duckling, a plain, gangling tomboy whose mother rejected her in favor of her two tractable sisters. Her father, a pompous court official, had an equally dim view of Émilie’s prospects, but he took a shine to her and gave her an uncommon education. She received the finest tutors and athletic instructors and proved a prodigy, in sports and languages, math and metaphysics. ‘No great lord will marry a woman,’ groaned her father as she approached maturity, ‘who is seen reading every day.’

She proved him wrong. When she arrived at Versailles for her ‘debut’ with crates of texts and philosophy books, she set the jaded court gallants back on their heels. They took bets on who’d have her, but she fought them off, literally, for two years until she found the right husband, dueling a cavalier in the courtyard and gambling the others under the table through ‘prodigious feats with numbers in her head.’

Unexpectedly she’d become a stunning beauty. A five-foot-nine-inch blonde, she had full poitrine and a piquant face; wide-set eyes, a high forehead, and a fetching pointed chin. She wore her thick hair unpinned to her waist and dressed in gold and silver robes volantes with such low necklines she created a fashion for rouging nipples.”

Her and Voltaire:

“Émilie descended the staircase for these dinners in full court dress, her hair upswept and decked with diamonds, her hands bejeweled and stained with ink. As dumbwaiters (the first in France) delivered courses of gourmet food, Émilie and Voltaire jockeyed volubly for attention. They fired off erudite screeds, argued at top volume, traded bon mots and insults in gutter French, then stopped abruptly and burst into laughter.

The revels continued beyond the dinner table. They staged play productions and impromptu poetry readings at 4:00 am, and once mounted a midwinter picnic to a frozen creek, where they sat on satin cushions in the snow and debated politics and drama all afternoon. Sometimes Émilie entertained the company with entire operas, which she played on the harpsichord, singing the parts from memory.”


“For fun, she wrote the first how-to, On Happiness, which became a bestseller and went through six editions. In it she told women how to be as happy as she was. They should, she advised, cultivate “strong passions”, savor the pleasures of the flesh, enrich their minds through study, and make themselves mistresses of the ‘metaphysics of love’.”

The intellectual – mental-stimulation – aspect of love language is highlighted in her story.

I wonder how many women studied in this book have strong Lilith placements/aspects!

Okay and seriously, how Pluto in Leo/Moon in Gemini opp. Lilith is THIS:

“When I add the total sum of my graces,” she noted with mathematical precision, “I confess I am inferior to no one.” “The light of my genius,” she promised Voltaire, “will dazzle you.” It was a light no man, certainly no alpha man, could resist: the primordial lunar light of the goddess who bestowed numerical calculation, along with divine lust and the sex energy of creation.

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