Friday, 11 January 2013

David Bowie – Musical maestro returns from the wilderness

David Bowie

David Bowie has been absent from the world music scene for around a decade, that is until his birthday a couple of days ago when from out of the blue a new single “Where are we now” appeared out of nowhere. Legions of music fans from around the world hailed this understated comeback song, and it will surely be catapulted to the top of the download charts at the end of this week. It just so happened that on the launch, the Sun had just been conjunct the musical fixed star Vega and Mercury, the planet of news and media was close to approaching it, conjunctions that often herald the arrival of a charismatic person. David Bowie in that sense in the music world has few equals.

BowieDavid natal

David Robert Jones was born on 8th January 1947 in Brixton, just south of the river Thames in central London. He is a Sun sign Capricorn with a Leo Moon and an Aquarian Ascendant. Capricorn is one of those signs which produces a lot of musicians, I think possibly because it is a sign based around structure and form, something integral to the rhythms of music. The combination of Capricorn Sun and Leo Moon bring ambition into contact with the Leo Moon’s need in wanting to be the star of the show. In truth there is an ego here, that wants to get to the top.

Now look at this chart. All of the planets here are above the horizon line except one, Uranus. This chart leans on Uranus, it is his crux and his driving force. This is an exceptionally strong Uranus because firstly it is the ruling planet of this chart (Aquarius ruled by Uranus on the cusp). Secondly Uranus is peregrine, not making a “major” aspect  to any other planet (by major I mean conjunction, sextile, square, trine or opposition). In this case it will dominate the whole chart. Thirdly, Uranus does make one striking aspect, a laser like quindecile aspect of obsession and focus to David’s Sagittarian Midheaven (his public image) and to Venus (the planet of style). Put all this together and what do we have. Uranus dominant is very independent, a rebel, unique, electric and connected to space, the universe, all things far out and weird. The Sagittarian ascendant is international and global, liberal, expansive, optimistic and fun. Venus here is social and connecting to the people as well as promoting fashion and style and in David’s case make-up too. Do I need to say any more? In the 60’s & 70’s, David Bowie as he became a superstar was also a style icon, daring to present an image no-one had ever seen before. David was primarily known for his dress, hairstyle and his wacky lyrics as much as for his music. Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, The Man who Sold the World, Space Oddity, Pin Ups, Earthling, these are all album names which highlight a combination of all these weird and wonderful influences, Uranus, Sagittarius and Venus. David has never ever stood still, from  psychedelic to rock, glam to new age, soul to industrial he has always seemingly been ahead of the game, setting trends for others to follow, just as Uranus his ruling planet does. 

The Sun, Mars the planet of action and Mercury, the planet of communication make a triple square to Neptune which rules music and film in the 8th house in Libra. Interesting that the Sun and Mars were in the hidden 12th house, as if David was performing behind a veil or mask, behind his make-up. Here we have Mercury in Capricorn, the planet of the mind in musical Capricorn making a tension aspect to Neptune, impelling David to create and to write music. The Sun and Mars in conjunction brought him the energy, inspiration and charisma via the square to Neptune to be a brilliant visual and musical artist on stage, and the Leo Moon gave him the confidence and the brash nature to perform.

What of that Leo Moon? It sits in his 7th house in a fearsome conjunction with Pluto and Saturn opposite to his ascendant. These two planets together can have two effects. Either they impel you to work very very hard to succeed and to make a name for yourself or they can also act as a blockage in your chart which can lead to a complete suspension in one’s work or career or even to drag you down into a depression like mode. The Pluto influence also brings the nature of transformation (Pluto) of the self (Ascendant) through one’s work (Saturn). From his name change to his image changes, Saturn and Pluto brought Ziggy Stardust, the White Duke and David Bowie out of David Robert Jones.

With these two planets in connection with the emotions of the Moon, one can imagine that David’s Moods would rise and fall dramatically depending I guess on the state of his relationships (all these planets being in the 7th house) and whether he was getting the attention that his Leo Moon required with this triple combination trine to the Midheaven and Venus. Here again through Pluto and Saturn we have a deeper, darker and more incisive edge to the image, and to one’s sexuality. That Venus, the planet of was picking up on a quindecile from experimental Uranus, and from intense and intimate Pluto. With the triple conjunction in the 7th house, it was obvious that David would have at least one marriage breakup during his life. Pluto transforms this part of the chart concerned with relationships and marriage and Saturn brought difficulties and harshness to the partner, especially early on in life. As you get older you learn from mistakes however, that’s the beauty of Saturn, and his marriage with model Iman has endured now since 1992.

These planets also make a sextile to Neptune in the 8th house bringing a serious and darker hue to his musical work. Had Saturn not been here at this pivotal point on his chart, I suspect he would not have survived as long as he has, however Saturn brings longevity as well as a business brain to the table. Music however creative and however good has to sell to bring more success.

The only other planet I have yet to look at is Jupiter in David’s 9th house in Scorpio. This brings international links and in his case fame, and Jupiter in Scorpio wants to experience everything as an intense experience. This is also the house of faith, and David devotion to Buddhism shows a willingness to learning and acquiring knowledge and wisdom. I suspect that Neptune, which also rules spirituality sitting in peaceful Libra in the 8th house of secrets and the unexplained also motivated him to choose Buddhism to find an inner sanctum and to explore his own mind, his motivations and to look deep inside himself.

 BowieDavid transit 

David has been quiet for a decade now since his heart bypass operation in 2005 around the time he was having his Saturn return. Transiting Saturn would have hit the Moon first, ruling his 6th house of health (via Cancer on the cusp) before hitting Saturn opposing his ascendant (the physical body). Saturn of course was sitting in Leo, ruled by the Sun which also rules the heart. Since that time, Saturn passed through his 7th house of partnerships and he has gone on to say that during his rehabilitation he took time off to reconnect with his family in particular I think his wife. Saturn then entered his hidden 8th house which would have naturally been a quieter and more reflective time in his life and career. Saturn is now on the cusp of his 9th house of international links, a good time to reconnect with the world and to open out to new influences again.

The release of a new single comes as Uranus his ruling planet makes a constructive trine to Saturn his planet of career. It also makes a square to Mercury the planet of the media and a trine to his Venus and Midheaven, just as transiting Jupiter is conjunct his lucky North Node. Pretty good timing me thinks. When the new album “the Next Day” is released in March, Jupiter after it’s retrograde period will be back there again conjunct to the North Node for a final time before heading for his 5th house of individual creativity, again perfect timing for reward and success. Is he advised by an astrologer I wonder?? Whichever way, great to have him back on the music scene again…

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