A lovely story to start the year off. Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul music is getting engaged at the relatively advanced age of 69 to her long time partner William Wilkerson, and will most likely be celebrating her 3rd marriage later this summer in Miami.
Aretha was born on 25th March 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee at 22.30 hrs. She is a Sun sign Aries, with a protective Cancerian Moon and a Scorpio ascendant. An Aries Sun and Cancerian Moon provides a few problems as Aretha’s need (the Moon shows need) is primarily to be emotionally secure, so emotional issues can get in the way of the the energy of the Sun that wants to pursue it’s goals. In essence, family and emotional issues would get in the way of personal ones and unless Aretha is happy personally, she can get very moody indeed. Between that Cancerian Sun and emotional Scorpio ascendant there is a lot of watery energy that runs deep.
I would imagine Aretha would be quite guarded as a person reflecting that Cancer moon, even though she has an Aries Sun in the 5th house of creativity. The 8th house Moon is in a tricky position. It needs closeness, but in Scorpio’s house there is a very guarded reaction to other people who would want to get near. This effect is doubled combined with a Scorpio ascendant. You can see the influence of relationships and marriage on her life by the four planets stationed in the 7th house. Saturn and Uranus together shows that marriage would always be a problem for Aretha, Saturn shows a responsible yet difficult attitude. Lasting happiness would take time to find, especially with Mars here too. She would be attracted to feisty and impulsive guys, and plenty of behind the scenes arguments would be had. Uranus in the 7th is an eclectic and disruptive influence making and breaking relationships, as well as promoting non-traditional forms of partnership. Not only was she married 3 times but also lived with her tour manager for 7 years having her 4th child with him and had 2 children through unnamed fathers before she was 16. Jupiter and Uranus in the 7th insist on a lot of freedom which goes against the nature of the Cancerian Moon. Very complicated indeed and no wonder her personal life has had it’s fair share of ups and downs.
Aretha was introduced to gospel music through her father who was a Baptist minister. Her Sun opposite to Neptune shows the link between the faith (Neptune) of her father (Sun) and her creative (5th house Sun) talent for music (Neptune). There are a couple of other links to music on this chart, shown by the Saturn Uranus conjunction in Taurus square to the Midheaven. Taurus rules the throat and many times on this website I have shown the Taurean link for musicality and for rhythm. Being tied to Saturn showing ambition and the Midheaven through the square, this Uranus showed unusual talent, Aretha learned to play the piano by ear. This ability was there in her from birth. I think the natural performing style of Aretha could be seen in her Venus in Aquarius, which loves a bit of glam, in the 3rd house which is colourful and communicates with style and elegance, making a t-square to the Uranus/Saturn conjunction and an opposition to the Midheaven.
The other connection to music is through her Mercury. Mercury is in Pisces which shows a poetic, creative mind and this Mercury is quindecile to Neptune in technical Virgo. The beauty of this connection is that these two planets are in mutual reception (in each other’s sign) and the focused connection heightened her senses wonderfully and her ability to sing in a most soulful way. When two planets complement each other so well and work together seamlessly, exceptional talent can be harnessed. Of course here is a link to spiritual communication too, Aretha being brought up on gospel music. Her chart with most of the planets in the Western Hemisphere (the giving side) brought her a need to help people, and her fame brought her into contact with Martin Luther King. That Neptune in the 11th house of groups and associations shared that dream of civil rights for African Americans with Dr King, and her music became the soundtrack of the movement she believed in.
All that determination to change perceptions were so much enhanced by Pluto in the 9th house of wisdom, faith and beliefs trine to her creative Aries Sun. This was a powerhouse of emotion inbuilt into her chart and a driving force for her to become a person of note herself. Mercury square to Mars and Jupiter showed a powerful and aggressive voice for freedom, and here we come back to relationships. That need for freedom and independence has always blighted her personal life, yet it helped her community change perceptions and ultimately gain acceptance where once there was none.
The last couple of years for Aretha as she entered her latter years seems to have proved most profound for her. She sang at the Capitol building as the first black president of the US, Barack Obama, was sworn in and finally she has decided to formalise her long friendship with William Wilkerson in the form of a summer marriage. Everything she has been working towards through her life has now been coming together. That’s Saturn for you. It teaches you to be patient, and eventually, so long as you play the game in the right way, you get the rewards in the end.
On the transits chart, transiting Pluto is approaching a square to Aretha’s 5th house Sun showing a transformation from long term friendship and love affair to marriage. The transiting Nodes are square her natal Nodal axis, showing a change in circumstances in her life, beneficial ones as the South Node is transiting over lucky natal Jupiter in the 7th house of permanent relationships. On the progressions chart, her transiting Moon is approaching a conjunction with her natal Venus, a most happy time when celebrations especially of a relationship nature often happen, enhanced by a trine to that same 7th house Jupiter. As the announcement was made, the transiting Moon was quindecile to natal Pluto echoing the transiting Pluto Sun square. It’s all change for Aretha and change for the better, and as someone who also found love and contentment a little later in life, I hope she enjoys her upcoming marriage and status. Respect to her…
***** Update 24th Jan 2012 – Aretha cancels the marriage ****
I didn’t see this one coming. Today Aretha called off her wedding plans. Looking at the chart, transiting Mars trine to her 7th house Saturn (the house of marriage) turned retrograde overnight and started going backwards. If ever there was a dramatic case of someone reacting to planetary movements here it is. Remember Mars is personalised on Aretha’s chart as she is a Sun sign Aries and as a result packs far more of a punch on her chart. As Mars changed direction, so did Aretha in relation to her wedding plans. One other thing of note. Transiting Uranus was also approaching a conjunction to Aretha’s Sun. Uranus urges freedom and independence, so not that surprising then that she backtracked from marrying William Wilkerson. It just goes to prove what a tricky business astrology is. A subtle change in direction from one planet and the whole situation turns on it’s head.