The stars are out tonight – farewell David Bowie
The ‘Me Generation’(1942 –1956), born with Pluto in creative and dramatic Leo and Neptune in romantic and artistic Libra, burst onto the scene in the 1960s and 1970s revolutionising the world of music and wowing their audiences with sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. They smoked, they drank, they swore, they snorted cocaine, they dressed in make-up and colourful clothing, they grew their hair, they shocked their parents and they entertained the crowds. But with Pluto in Capricorn, these solar heroes are growing old, succumbing to the ravages of age. Since Christmas, we’ve lost Stevie Wright –The Easybeats (b 1947); Lemmy –Motorhead (b 1945); Glenn Frey –The Eagles (b 1948); Dale Griffin –Mott the Hoople (b 1948); Paul Kantnor –Jefferson Airplane (b 1941) and perhaps the greatest of them all, performance artist, David Bowie.
Born David Jones in Brixton, London, on 8th January, 1947, at 9am, Bowie has the sun conjunct dynamic Mars in practical and ambitious Capricorn in the twelfth house. As befits a Capricorn, Bowie worked hard for his entire life, fighting for fame, putting in long days in the studio and producing music right up to the time of his death. He decided at a young age that he wanted to escape from his working class roots and released his first record at age 17. Bowie also had that classic conservative Capricorn streak and could be absolutely ruthless and single-minded in following his ambitions. Dana Gillespie, a teenage girlfriend, once referred to him as “cool, calm, collected and cold”. Always immaculately dressed, he was described by Geeling Ng, who starred in his China Girl video, as “unfailingly polite, charming and a gentleman”.
The sun in the twelfth house of a birth chart can indicate a person who feels isolated or alienated, struggling to find a sense of identity while guarding their privacy. Bowie himself said in 1972: “Sometimes I don’t feel as if I’m a person at all. I’m just a collection of other people’s ideas.”
Edouard Lock, Bowie’s choreographer and artistic director says: “I got to know David quite well, but there is a reserve, a part that isn’t for public consumption and doesn’t get revealed”and, according to Ken Scott, producer of Bowie’s early albums: “When David gets into a character, he gets into it 110%, for good and bad.”
Bowie’s drummer in the Spiders from Mars said: “In the early days, we’d have a laugh, go clubbing, but later on it became apparent that he’d gone into character. You’d come off stage and he’d do interviews as Ziggy Stardust –you’d be sat in a taxi with this alien. You’d ask a question and he’d look right through you.”
The twelfth house sun placement can also indicate a desire to escape into a fantasy world coupled with an ability to tap into the collective unconscious (Madonna also has sun in the twelfth house). Bowie’s fantasy world was peopled with fantastic characters and in his younger years he escaped through drugs. His amazing creativity spanned the world of film, music, art, acting, costume, poetry and song, and his work has touched the hearts and souls of millions. The twelfth house sun can also indicate an absent father or absence of a strong male role model. Bowie was never close to his father who died in 1969, just before Bowie’s rise to fame.
Bowie’s rising sign (persona) is in quirky Aquarius, indicating a desire to stand out from the crowd and a futuristic approach. Space Oddity, Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders from Mars were typical Aquarian creations. Bowie was always ahead of the crowd, always re-inventing himself, exploring new musical genres and pushing the boundaries, like the character in his song Rebel Rebel. In 2003 he turned down the offer of a prestigious knighthood from the British Royal Family saying he had no idea what it was for.
David’s Venus (love and pleasure) is conjunct the midheaven (public image) in adventurous, broad-minded and travel-loving Sagittarius. Bowie dated women from all over the world; he was widely read; he lived and worked in several different countries and was married to Iman, an African supermodel and Muslim who speaks five languages. The Venus in Sagittarius on the midheaven placement also shows why Bowie was adored by people and cultures all over the world. He allegedly had a wicked sense of humour, typical of Venus in Sagittarius, and enjoyed clowning around.
Bowie’s moon in Leo conjuncts Saturn and Pluto in his seventh house of marriage and partnership. The moon in a birth chart represents how a person sees their mother and how they process and express their emotions. Moon in Leo enjoys luxury and being the centre of attention, but moon with Saturn-Pluto is a challenging combination, usually indicating difficulty in expressing feelings and showing love, due to a childhood where physical love and affection were absent (Saturn) or there was emotional manipulation and control (Pluto). Both sides of David’s family have a history of child abandonment and broken relationships. David was not close to his mother and had an older half-brother from his mother’s first marriage who suffered from schizophrenia and eventually suicided.
One of the few songs David ever covered was Mother by John Lennon, with the line: Mother you left me, but I never left you, I needed you, but you didn’t need me.Perhaps Bowie’s desire to be famous and his cool exterior stemmed from a lack of affection in childhood. His first marriage to Angie followed the family pattern –their son Zowie (who has moon in Leo square Saturn in his birth chart) was left in the care of a nanny while his parents went out partying and taking drugs. After the marriage break-up, he was taken away from his mother and sent to a Scottish boarding school.
Moon-Saturn people often come into their own as they mature, and David seems to have found love through his second marriage to Iman, who has four planets in Leo, all in David’s house of marriage. Their daughter Alexandria is also a Leo, and Zowie (now Duncan) was the best man at David and Iman’s wedding. However, it’s interesting that Bowie’s first hit Space Oddity was about a lonely astronaut lost in space and his son’s first feature film, winner of a BAFTA award, is called Moon and tells the tale of a solitary lunar worker who has to face isolation, fear and his own mortality. As we know, the moon is the primary symbol of the mother.
RIP David Bowie –Ziggy Stardust, Blackstar and Superstar.
Solar eclipse in Pisces
Like any new moon, a solar eclipse represents the end of one cycle and the beginning of a new one –the ideal time to make a fresh start and get rid of old habits, attitudes and behaviour. On 9thMarch we have a solar eclipse at the Pisces new moon (18-19°). The eclipse energy will last for a whole six months; so whatever you experience or choose to focus on during this lunar cycle will have repercussions right through to September, 2016.
With Chiron conjunct the sun, and new moon opposing Jupiter and Saturn at the midpoint, the solar eclipse themes are healing; patience; discipline, kindness and forgiveness. The Greek centaur Chiron helped those in pain using hands-on healing, herbs and the power of the mind. In order to move forward over the next six months, we need to compassionately acknowledge our own shortcomings, while treating others with consideration and respect. Transformational planet Pluto makes a positive contact to the eclipse degree, offering spiritual transformation and growth to those who acknowledge and accept their own pain or weakness. 2016 promises to be a wonderful year for those who work in the alternative health fields, as more and more people open up to the marvels of spiritual and energetic healing.
Lunar eclipse in Libra
Apologising does not always mean that you’re wrong and the other person is right. It often means you value your relationship more than your ego.
All healing requires balance, and this is the focus of the Libra full moon eclipse on 23rdMarch (3-4°Libra). The give and take required for any successful relationship has been a major theme of all Aries-Libra lunar eclipses over the past two and a half years, with Aries ruling the self and Libra ruling relationships. This month the full moon in compromising Libra opposes the fiery sun in Aries and rational Mercury, suggesting the battle between emotions and logic could be fierce. Remember that any fight with an adversary (or partner) is merely a reflection of an internal conflict. The challenge is to remain true to yourself, while at the same time honouring and respecting others.
On March 20th, the sun moves into Aries marking the beginning of the solar year. In all parts of the world there are exactly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness, and we call this the autumn equinox (equi = equal and nox = night). Many ancient civilisations considered the equinox and solstice points the most important days of the calendar, marking the turning points of the seasons. For the next six months, nights will be longer than days, meaning it’s time to start withdrawing energy from the outer world and prepare for the cooler months ahead. Stock up your freezer and pantry and get your house and garden in order. The autumn equinox is a great time to get rid of any unwanted possessions –old clothes, furniture, books, toys, files, kitchen equipment; you know the sort of thing. Remember the golden rule of decluttering. ‘Is it useful? Is it beautiful? Is it sentimental?’If it’s none of these, sell it on eBay, give it away or take it to the op shop and make space for something new!
Launch projects at the new moon, bring them to completion in the period from just before the full moon to the third quarter phase and wind them down and reflect on developments in the week before the next new moon. Important events such as parties, conferences and weddings are best held close to the full moon or when the moon is in the same sign as your sun (or star) sign.
New moon 9th
Autumn equinox 20th
Full moon 23rd
Stella Woods is an astrology teacher and consultant based in St Kilda, Melbourne.
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