Asteroid 1537, Transylvania, was discovered on August 27, 1940 by Gyula Strommer at Budapest, Hungary. It has a period of 5 years, 112 days, and is about 10 and 1/3 miles in diameter.

Transylvania was named for the section of the old Austro-Hungarian empire in which Strommer was born, a region now in northwestern Romania whose name, originally the name of a Roman province, is Latin for "beyond the forest."

A view from up high in the rugged countryside of Romania's Transylvania region.

The Transylvania region is famed as the area from which the 15th-century warrior prince Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler) hailed.

Vlad Tepes, aka Vlad The Impaler, aka Dracula.

Born in 1431 in the town of Sighisoara, Romania, Vlad got his nickname from his favorite method of execution: impalement on wooden stakes. He impaled Turkish prisoners of war, condemned criminals and political enemies by the thousands. Another nickname of his was Dracula (Romanian for "son of the devil"). Bram Stoker turned him into a vampire in his classic horror novel.

There are lots of people who call themselves vampires, and engage in behavior characteristic of vampires such as nocturnal activity and blood drinking; for some people this is a lifestyle (and for some an aberration).

Rod Ferrell, a self-styled vampire convicted of murder.

However, it is believed by many (erroneously) that the vampire legend originated in the behavior of people afflicted with the disorder porphyria, whose symptoms include extreme sensitivity to light, blisters on the skin, hair loss, receding gums (resulting in prominence of the front teeth) and psychological disturbance. It can be treated with periodic removal of blood and transfusions of red blood cells. Garlic, traditionally held to be a protection against vampires, allegedly contains a substance which aggravates porphyria. One famous porphyria sufferer was England's King George III.

King George III

Astrologically, Transylvania seems to relate to an affinity for gothic or horror-themed art, literature or music; how one deals with antisocial or objectionable behavior, anarchy or degradation of the functioning of society or the threat thereof. Transylvania may also relate to diseases or disorders carrying a social stigma or having superstition attached to them, such as porphyria, albinism, leprosy, mental illness, physical deformities or AIDS. And, of course, it may relate to the Transylvania region itself.

Police and demonstrators in clouds of tear gas during the 1999 disturbances at the World Trade Organization summit in Seattle.

The famous 1991 beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers, caught on tape.

Rodney King, who suffers from chemical dependency and whose beating by police after they chased him down driving recklessly while intoxicated led to deadly 1992 riots in Los Angeles, has Transylvania in the sixth house of health, on the Descendant, trine Ceres (nurturance) as well as opposite the Ascendant (personal appearance).

Adolf Hitler had Transylvania in the tenth house of career and reputation, semisquare Pallas (politics) and square Venus (values, sweet-talk) and Mars (aggression, war, violence, the military).

This Canadian boy with deformities incurred as a result of prenatal thalidomide exposure was put up for adoption shortly after birth.

Thalidomide was first introduced in West Germany on October 1, 1957, with Transylvania semisquare Mercury (writing, speaking) and sextile the Sun (to shine) and Mars.

Chris Burke, a successful actor who has Down syndrome, has Transylvania conjunct Mars (assertion), sextile the Sun and square Juno (the disadvantaged, the disabled).

Veteran rocker Edgar Winter (born December 28, 1946, in Beaumont, Texas), who is an albino and has played albino characters in the movies, has Transylvania opposite the Sun, trine Chiron (the maverick) and sesquiquadrate Ceres (family, nurturance).

Vaclav Nijinsky, early 20th-century dancer and famous schizophrenic.

Vaclav Nijinsky, who died in a mental institution in 1950, had Transylvania conjunct Neptune (insanity) and Juno, sextile the Moon (the public, lunacy) and square Vesta (dedication, to be secluded away) and the Midheaven.

Ryan White

Famous teenage AIDS victim Ryan White (born December 6, 1971, in Kokomo, Indiana) was a hemophiliac who contracted the disease through tainted human blood clotting factor and was vilified, attacked and driven out of his Indiana hometown in the 1980s. In the process he helped raise the consciousness of the public toward AIDS sufferers. He had Transylvania square Pluto (viral diseases, mass hysteria, criminal attacks).

Father Damien (born Joseph de Veuster January 3, 1840, 12:30 p.m., Tremeloo, Belgium), a 19th-century Belgian Catholic priest famous for his selfless work with leprosy sufferers exiled to the leper colony at Kalaupapa, Hawaii, eventually contracted leprosy himself. He had Transylvania sesquiquadrate Saturn (work, career, rewards and consequences).

The aforementioned King George III (born June 4, 1738 at 6:30 a.m. in London) had Transylvania in the tenth house, semisquare the Midheaven, square Hidalgo (to act in another's interests), and trine Uranus (activism, breaking loose). His porphyria resulted in such severe psychological disturbance that his son, the future King George IV, had to take over from him as regent; there were protests against him toward the end of his reign, and Percy Bysshe Shelley called him "an old, mad, blind, despised and dying king."

Ozzy Osbourne has Transylvania tightly semisquare the Sun.

Marilyn Manson (born Brian Warner January 5, 1969, 8:05 p.m. EST, Canton, Ohio) has Transylvania in the first house of appearance and personal interests, sesquiquadrate Vesta (commitment).

Stephen King has Transylvania in the second house, semisquare Vesta and opposite Pallas (conceptualization).

Boris Karloff, famous for playing Count Dracula in the movies, had Transylvania in the third house, sextile Pallas.

Shannen Doherty, who has played witches, psychopaths and vilified characters and hosted a reality series depicting practical jokes on TV and has found herself in a variety of strange predicaments, has Transylvania in the third house, sextile Uranus (television, unpredictability, accidents) and trine Chiron (the maverick, need to pay attention).

Fairuza Balk (born May 21, 1974, 3 a.m. PDT, Point Reyes Station, California), another actress who has portrayed much the same kinds of characters as Doherty (and, in 1996's The Island of Dr. Moreau, played a wolf transformed into a human being by Marlon Brando's mad scientist), also owns an occult bookstore in Los Angeles. She has Transylvania trine Neptune (illusion, motion pictures), quincunx Ceres and opposite Pallas.

Anton LaVey, founder of the Church of Satan, was well-known for his theatrics and flamboyant rebellion against established mores; he had Transylvania in the second house, but conjunct Uranus (eccentricity, rebellion) and square Saturn.

Trey Parker, co-creator of South Park, has Transylvania conjunct Mercury and Uranus and opposite Chiron.

The glyph for Transylvania is mine.

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