Rapping With Sally Eaton of Hair
by Sally Eaton
Astrology Today Magazine - circa 1970

To see the photos that accompanied this article click here.

Sally Eaton is a contributing editor to Astrology Today who specializes in the magical - candles, incense and spells.  Her Sun is in Aries, her Moon is in Libra, and her rising sign is four degrees of Pisces.  Sally often does the charts of other cast members of  Hair in her spare time, of which there is now very little.  An ambitious girl, Miss Eaton is soon to have her own record out, an LP in which she sings her own songs.  It is tentatively titled "First American Tour". - Editor

When the moon is in the seventh house, and Jupiter aligns with Mars....this is the dawning of the age of Aquarius!

This is also the opening number in the Broadway show Hair, the first commercially successful theater piece about the new age and it's people.  I've been performing in it now for two years, and I've watched audiences react to the new ideas and lifestyles it portrays with a great deal of interest.  From a ;little off-Broadway project that only a few people believed in, it has, in two years, come to be a million-dollar enterprise.

The Age of Aquarius has become a household word, getting millions of people interested in astrology.  I, too, have become involved with astrology as a result of Hair.

My name is Sally Eaton, and I was born April 6, 1947, 3:58 AM, CST, at Great Lakes naval Station near Waukegan, Illinois.  My Sun is, therefore, in Aries, my Moon in Libra, and my Ascendant, along with Venus, Mercury and Mars, are in Pisces.

When I first got into Hair, I had just begun to learn what these things mean.  Now I can see the astrological significance of Hair, itself, and the characters in it.

I first got into astrology seriously in 1967, at just about the same time I got into Hair.  I was living on East Seventh (The East Village of New York), and several of my friends had begun to learn to cast charts.  At that time the hippie thing on the street was just beginning to flower: People were taking a lot of acid and looking toward the occult and ancient teachings to find correlations for new areas of consciousness they had discovered in themselves.  The poster stores and head shops had been in business for awhile, and the first set of really perceptive zodiac posters had been published.

I had always thought that astrology was fairly valid stuff, but before this time I'd never realized how complicated it could be.  When I first decided to do my own chart, I went to Samuel Wiser's Bookstore and bought ephemeris, house of tables, chart blanks and Sydney Omarr's My World of Astrology, which my friends had recommended as a good beginner's book.

I flunked math all the way through school because the explanations of mathematical concepts just don't make much sense to me - so, after carefully reading the good, simple directions in Omarr's book, I succeeded in doing my own chart upside down.  Well, it struck me that anyone who has as much trouble with multiplication tables as I do obviously doesn't have Virgo rising, as my chart indicated, so I decided to take the whole mess to a professional astrologer.

Enough about my chart, let me explain how I got into Hair.  I had a friend who ran a small dress shop on East Fourth Street.  She and other East Village designers had formed a sort of co-op council to present small fashion shows to attract business.  My friend asked me if I'd like to model for her - no pay, of course - but interesting experience.  The shows were to be benefits for the East Village Other's Community Breast Fund, that underground newspaper's charity devoted to raising bond money for those unfortunate enough to be busted at demonstrations and for drugs.

We did three shows altogether, one at the Cave, a coffee house on Avenue A, and the other two at The Village Theater, later to be known as the Fillmore East.

At the second show, in May of 1967, a rock group performed and a light show was added to the fashion model thing.  My friend Trina, the dress designer, was directing the whole show, and asked me if I'd like to sing and play guitar as an intermission entertainment between the halves of the fashion segments.  I naturally said I would, and decided to prepare three of my own songs to perform.

On the night of the show, the announcer, a local freak who had rehearsed his part with us only once, got ahead of himself with the list of who was modeling what for which boutique.  I was upstairs at the time, changing from the little green knit bikini I had just modeled to a pale blue sari which I would wear to sing in.  I heard some commotion downstairs in the backstage area, then someone rushed in to tell me that I had been announced onstage.  Downstairs the announcer was frantically ad-libbing, as I came charging down the iron staircase, sari in one hand, guitar in the other.

I hit the stage trailing three yards of sari and draping the other half like mad, as I had absolutely nothing on underneath.

The audience cracked up.  I realized that I was completely defenseless and couldn't have made a bigger fool of myself, so I started rapping to them off the top of my head, prolonging the laughter (although I still don't remember what I said that was so funny) for another two or three minutes.  Finally, I got them quiet and sang my three songs.

I suppose totally blowing my cool was a help to me.  I remember singing very soulfully and being very relaxed.  I got a good hand from the audience, and then finished out the other half of the fashion show modeling clothes.

I was sitting backstage in the dressing room when suddenly a freaky-looking guy walked in with a little note for me:  "Work! New York Shakespeare Festival, call Delores Piggott at  ------------." The character with the note had long busy red-streaked hair, and seemed a bit peculiar for a Shakespearean actor.  But I though, Why not?

It turned out to be an audition for a little off Broadway musical called Hair.....The freak was Jerry(sic) Ragni, one-half of the authors.

On the first day of rehearsal, I asked him what sign he was born under.  He said "Virgo."  He introduced me to his partner, Rado, a large blond man in denim.  Rado is an Aquarian.  Apparently, Rado's research into his own sign is responsible for the song Aquarius.

Neither one of them will give me or anyone else their birth data, I guess because they're uptight about someone knowing how old they really are.  Jerry says he's a Virgo with Leo rising, Moon in Aquarius.  Jim Rado says he's Aquarius with Virgo rising, Moon in Leo.  This seems like it might be right, incredible as it sounds.

Astrology per se does not figure very heavily in the script of Hair.  But the symbolism in occult and astrological terms that runs throughout the Broadway version is worth some study.  First we have the purely Leonic stagey, entertainment-oriented aspect of the show, which director Tom O'Horgan emphasized strongly.  In ancient times theater had it's origins in the temples of religion.  The first plays were pageants in which the King-priests took part.  The subjects of the plays were mythological, thus the characters had to be archetypes of gods and royal heroes.  At that time, the audience participated, too, because the play was a form of worship.

Because Hair is a play about hippies (who are in themselves quite mythological beasts), Tom O'Horgan decided to remove from the script most of the character development elements in Hair.  Thus, the major characters in Hair are not so much people as symbols, presumably of the changing roles in a society moving towards emphasis on the group.

Claude, the main character in the show, is a typical Aquarian.  He is friendly towards everyone, but somehow he feels different from even his best friend.  When confronted with his draft notice, he cannot make up his mind whether to go into the army or to resist.  He is against war, but he is also curious, perhaps, to learn what fighting is.  He says he "fashions his future on films in space" and wonders "where do I go?" But he has the Aquarian tendency to accept whatever fate leads him to.  In the end, he achieves his greatest ambition: to become invisible.

Berger, Claude's best friend, represents Leo.  He is the leader of the tribe, by reason of his superior strength.  He is outgoing and out spoken, regal, proud, and domineering.  Berger wears the loudest clothes, has the prettiest girls, and wants to "stay high forever".

Both Leo and Aquarius are fixed signs, representing the unchanging aspects of their respective elements ; fire and air.  But the other two fixed signs, Scorpio and Taurus, come into play in the actions of these characters.

At the end of the play, Claude dies and is symbolically reborn, like the phoenix, which is one of Scorpio's symbols.  Berger, on the other hand, is Taurus-like in his desire to re-establish the tribal customs of old.  After Claude's death, he might be among those who will move to the country and start a commune.

Claude represents the destruction of form through the vision of a better future.  Berger is the child of the earth whose leadership and endurance will create the future reality.

By contrast, the two major female characters in Hair represent the cardinal signs of the zodiac: Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn.  Sheila, who lives with Claude and Berger, has always been played by a girl with strong Libra or Capricorn influences in her chart.  She is a love goddess, but at the same time she is a scapegoat for most of Claude and Berger's problems.  She represents woman as a sex symbol, who asks "How can people be so heartless?....Especially people who care about strangers?"  She is loved for her beauty, but only tolerated when she expresses herself.  In spite of her gentle Librian nature, she is treated like a slut ("Oh, Claude, why do you treat me like a wonton woman?")

Jeannie (sic), my own character, is an Aries with Cancer's problems. She's a pushy, independent type who is determined to win Claude's affections, even though she is about seven months pregnant.  She also plays Claude's mother in the scene when he is given his draft notice.  In the war scene, Claude hallucinates her leading the tribe in his destruction.  But as he dies, he falls into her arms, when she becomes again the great mother of the universe.

The Aquarian side of the show, it's real message, is in the anti-war theme which runs through the show.  Aquarian theatre tends to be didactic and intellectual;  the emergence of the anti-hero theme is a product of the new age.  This influence is tempered considerably by the pageantry and color of the setting, but we still have a play about a man who doesn't know where to turn and lacks the will to control his destiny.  The point is that these very human qualities are something everyone can identify with much more than the godlike nature of the other characters.

But the real message of the show comes out in the last song of all, the fervent pleas to "Let the sunshine in!"  The sun rules Leo, but the request applies to everyone.  In a chart, the Sun is still the most important thing, because it represents the real self, struggling, through the Ascendant, to be expressed.  The purpose of astrology is knowing oneself, and learning how to get the best use out of one's individual talents and abilities.  Everyone can in some way learn how to let the sunshine into his life by studying astrology.

Copyright Astrology Today Magazine.

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