Roosters crow. It’s what they do. But if you’re a wealthy retired French couple with a vacation home on the sleepy isle of Oleron off France’s Atlantic coast, and you have a local neighbor who owns one, you get perturbed at losing your beauty rest. So, what to do? Why, sue, of course!
That was the case with Jean-Louis Birom and Joelle Andrieux, who accused resident cock-of-the-walk Maurice of noise pollution in a suit brought against owner Corinne Fesseau in 2017. The acrimonious two year legal wrangle ended on September 5th 2019 when a judge in Rochefort ruled in favor of Maurice’s right to sing, awarding 1000 euros in damages against the plaintiffs. Fesseau had made attempts to lessen the annoyance: she draped his abode in black fabric to baffle his dawn-recognition skills, to no avail, then tried sound-proofing Maurice’s coop with egg cartons, also unsuccessful. Try as she might, she could not come to an accommodation with her unreasonable neighbors, who appear not to understand that rural retreats come with rural sound effects.
Maurice’s case became a cause celebre in France and internationally, with a flock of more than 140,000 supporters signing an online petition to allow him to be himself, and t-shirts sold for his legal defense fund, including some emblazoned with his face and the legend “Let Me Sing!” The local mayor, Christophe Sueur, approached by the plaintiffs about a citation for the rowdy rooster, far from supporting his silencing, passed a symbolic ordinance to “preserve the rural character“ of his town.
The judge’s ruling that Maurice’s natural sounds did not constitute noise pollution under French law cheered nativist advocates who have decried the dilution of local culture throughout the country. “Maurice has won his fight,” his lawyer, Julien Papineau, said after the court decision. “The judge recalled that, where Maurice is singing, it is in nature. It is in a rural town. This rooster was not being unbearable. He was just being himself.” Maurice’s owner Corinne, a retired waitress who has lived on Oleron for 35 years, has also become a local singer of note. Here’s wishing them many happy years of duets!
Frequent readers of AAA will not be shocked to find that the skies reflected the Case of the Crowing Cockerel in fine detail. With roosters heralding the dawn, they are ruled by the Sun, while chickens and domestic fowl generally are ruled by Virgo, so the 12 Virgo Sun for the court ruling was doubly appropriate. All the moreso as the Sun conjoined Themis at 15 Virgo, named for the Greek goddess of justice, and squared asteroid Justitia, named for her Roman counterpart, at 17 Gemini, so we can rest assured that justice has indeed been done.
And whether you consider a rooster’s screech to be conversational, or a form of song, as do the French, the cosmos has the bases covered, with both Mercury (speech) at 14 Virgo and Venus (ruling singers) at 19 Virgo conjoined the Sun. Mars at 11 Virgo indicates the dispute and ensuing legal battle; its conjunction with Mercury in the same stellium depicts strife between neighbors. Also in the mix, at the outer limits of a solar conjunction, is asteroid Rochefort at 3 Virgo, the town in which the ruling was handed down, establishing the venue for the case.
Conjoined Rochefort, but too far out of orb to be considered conjunct the Sun, is asteroid Singer at 27 Leo. Singer is exactly semisquare to asteroid NOT at 12 Cancer, representing the attempt to quell his natural vocal urges, and also in a Thor’s Hammer pattern, sesquiquadrate both Saturn at 14 Capricorn (again, repression, as well as legal proceedings) and asteroid Biro at 15 Aries (closest to Birom, surname of one of the plaintiffs).
Maurice himself is specified by asteroid Mauricio at 5 Scorpio, opposed Uranus (controversy, as well as the renewed freedom of expression he was granted) at 6 Taurus and T-Squared with asteroid Byrd (phonetic match for “bird”) at 9 Leo, with asteroid Jean-Lup (closest to plaintiff Jean-Louis) at 1 Leo. Maurice was cock-a-hoop at the positive outcome, which is virtually guaranteed by a pair of winning asteroids, Nike and Victoria (named for the Greek and Roman goddesses of victory) conjoined Byrd from 6 and 9 Leo, squaring Mauricio.
Defeated co-plaintiff Joelle Andrieux is represented by asteroid Joella at 21 Leo, exactly conjoined Nemesis and within orb of Singer, also exactly squaring asteroid Andry (for Andrieux) at 21 Taurus; she (Joella/Andry) attempted to enact that role of antagonist (Nemesis) for Maurice’s vocalizations (Singer), but found herself in a self-defeating position instead (Nemesis again). With Andry is TNO Sedna at 28 Taurus, representing isolation, and here indicating both the rural setting of the cock-crow as well as the public ostracism experienced by the plaintiffs, who had few supporters. Joella and Andry are also T-Squared Achilles at 20 Aquarius, underscoring the essential weakness of her argument, flawed from the get-go. The plaintiffs’ lawyer Vincent Huberdeau is found as asteroid Vincentina, which at 13 Cancer closely conjoins NOT, negating his efforts.
Victorious defendant Corinne Fesseau shows as asteroid Cora, while her lawyer Julien Papineau is represented by asteroid Julienicoles, a “compound name” asteroid which can be split and used for first or surname. Aptly for the defense team, these conjoin each other from 4 and 8 Pisces respectively, representing a united front, and oppose the solar Virgo stellium, in a loose Grand Cross with Justitia and Jupiter, ruling judges generally, at 15 Sagittarius. Mayor Christophe Sueur, who lent his support, is seen as asteroid Christophe at 13 Scorpio, conjunct Mauricio and trined Julienicoles and Cora.
Somewhat crowing herself following the favorable ruling, Mme Fesseau told Reuters, “Today Maurice has won a battle for the whole of France.” Wouldn’t you love to have that chicken’s chart?
[Author’s Note: Thanks to Sue Kientz, reader and astrologer, who suggested this story.]