David Bowie 1947-2016: the passing of a pop music icon

(11 January 2016) The world was saddened today by the passing of one-of-a-kind pop music icon David Bowie.  After a stellar music career that spanned six decades, Bowie succumbed to cancer at the age of 69.  For those us in the West who came of age in the 70s and 80s (and other decades too), the shocking news of his death made today a sad day.  Not only did Bowie sell tens of millions of albums, but he was incredibly influential for other artists as a pioneer of new forms of artistic expression.  His fearlessly independent and creative approach to music allowed him to re-invent his style many times throughout his storied career.

Simply put, David Bowie was born at a very auspicious time.  Bowie's horoscope clearly shows his artistic talents, his fame, and his independent nature.  As we know, each planet in astrology has a specific set of symbolisms and associations.  Artistic pursuits such as music are represented by the planet Venus. Any person who is artistically inclined therefore is likely to have a prominent Venus in their chart.  Either it is aligned with the Sun or Moon or it may be aligned with the angles, i.e. the Ascendant (horizon) or the 10th house cusp (zenith).  In Bowie's chart, we can see Venus (9 Scorpio) right up at the top of the horoscope conjunct the 10th house cusp, or MC. The 10th house is connected with career and status, so any Venus placement in the 10th house signifies art and an ability to discern aesthetic value.  The fact that Bowie's Venus is just one degree from an exact conjunction is one reason why he excelled as much as he did in his musical career. 

But Bowie's chart is more remarkable because he had both Venus AND the Moon up on the angles.  It is difficult to overestimate the importance of this double placement of sensitive and aesthetic planets.  The Moon is the seat of emotions, consciousness and the female principle.  It is also a creative and intuitive energy which can be give a natural sensitivity to others and sympathy with the wider world.  This can be used to boost connections with other people based on feelings and it can also be a source of creative inspiration as the angular Moon person can act as a channel for the wider world. 

David Bowie was born just as the Moon (10 Cancer) was setting in the sky at the 7th house cusp.  This placement near the eastern horizon is said to denote a strongly emotive and popular disposition.  The Moon is extra strong here since it is in its own sign of Cancer.  That gives Bowie an even greater facility to both feel emotions deeply and to channel them to a wider public through this art.  Needless to say, it is very rare for anyone to have both the Moon and Venus angular in their charts.  To top it all off, both Venus and the Moon are in nearly an exact 120 degree trine angle to each other.  This is a strongly enhancing angular relationship between the twin sources of creativity.  Clearly, this is the chart of a singularly creative and artistic person.

Interestingly, Bowie was born with Saturn also conjunct the Moon in the 7th house.  The Saturn (13 Cancer) influence is important here because it may explain David Bowie's trail-blazing nature and his desire to be true to himself and his vision.  Saturn tends to reflect the ability to discipline the self, and in so doing expresses a preference for order and control.  Bowie always maintained a strict notion of artistic control in all his endeavours and never accepted the dictates of record executives no matter how wild his latest venture may have been.   He also never pandered to his audiences or to fall back on his previous successes.  His Moon-Saturn conjunction can therefore be seen as a desire to control and direct his emotions into his art above all else.   The fact that Pluto (19 Cancer) is nearby adds to this need to control and resist external manipulation and maintain his independent spirit. 

His fame can be seen through the position of Saturn and Venus and the houses they rule.  Fame and public profile are typically seen through the condition of the 1st and 10th houses along with their sign rulers. With Capricorn rising in his chart, the 1st house ruler is Saturn and that is in very close four degree opposition aspect to the 1st house cusp (Ascendant) in the close company of benefic Moon, no less.  That combination in itself points to a publicly noteworthy life. 

The 10th house rules status and it contains the sign of Libra.  Libra is ruled by Venus and as we have seen, Venus it is tightly conjunct the unequal 10th house cusp (MC).  So we have a powerful double feedback loop of fame.  The 1st house lord Saturn aspects its own house within a few degrees with the help of a nearly Full Moon, while the 10th house ruler is similarly positioned to magnify its own power onto its particular cusp within just one degree.  Both houses of public profile and fame are therefore intensified by the aspects of their own house rulers.  It is a stunningly powerful chart of a musical and cultural icon.