DAVID BOWIE (born January 8, 1947)
Ah, here’s our birthday boy for today….David Bowie. With the Sun in shrewd, ambitious, hard-working Capricorn and the Moon in dramatic Leo (and in Bowie’s chart the signs of Capricorn and Leo are both strongly emphasized), we see a capacity for hard work, and a desire to be noticed for it. Add to this pair his Aquarius “gotta be me” Ascendant, he’s determined to stand out from the herd, especially when you consider that his chart ruler, Uranus (ruler of his Aquarius Ascendant) is the lead planet in his chart signature, which is in the Locomotive pattern. “Turn and face the strange”, indeed. With a Southern hemisphere emphasis, he enjoys living the high profile life and feels at home in front of the public, which is essential for any performing artist. He was a Full Moon baby, and that Moon’s in Leo, doubly emphasizing the need for “feedback” and a desire to establish strong emotional relationships and a talent for mimicry and “mirroring” (he trained to be a mime).
In his chart the Moon is conjunct Saturn and widely conjunct Pluto, with Pluto in the 7th house and the Moon/Saturn combo in the 6th. There’s a great deal of intensity here and a desire for all-encompassing relationships with others. There can be an underlying insecurity and a tendency towards depression or fluctuating moods (With the Sun and Mars in Capricorn in the 12th and Uranus in Gemini in the 4th and I’d say that unusual conditions in his early home life, including deeply-buried secrets involving his family and his mentally-ill brother have taken him to the depths from time to time.) There’s more than a few indicators in his chart that indicate wounds from the past related to his upbringing and his family have cut deeply and fueled some of his behavior through the years. With that Sun in the 12th and Moon/Saturn pair in the 6th, he may be generally self-protective and reticent about revealing himself to others. He’s probably difficult to get to know, but with Venus trine Saturn, once trust is established and he feels comfortable, he forms long-lasting and productive relationships and partnerships, both business and personal.
An elevated Venus in Sagittarius and Jupiter in the Scorpio in the 9th house show his fondness for world travel, his attraction to foreigners and any and all things mysterious and exotic–he was born in London and has lived in the United States and Berlin but obviously traveling, touring, and interacting with people from all over the planet has been a large part of his life, providing him with a major source of inspiration. Note that his wife, Iman, is a former model (Venus) and is originally from Somalia. His Venus is conjunct the South Node, so relationships with people from foreign lands may feel fated and mark important turning points in his life. In any case, one of the things he’s here to learn about (North Node in Gemini in the 4th house) is the nature of personal relationships in his home zone; he’s learning the lessons of communicating one-on-one with those close to him.
With Gemini on the 5th house of creative expression, he’s very changeable and a bit of a trickster. It’s no surprise he’s tried on so many personas during his career. His Sun conjunct Mercury and Mars makes him a forceful communicator, someone who is always looking for outlets to express himself–he wants people to hear what he has to say. Toss in a quincunx to Uranus, and the message is an unusual one–it may have taken him a while to get others to accept his quirks, but there’s a “strange fascination” with anyone different, and eventually he found his fan base. That Mars in Capricorn does NOT give up easily and fuels great ambitions. The Sun and Mars both sextile Jupiter, which brings on the luck and helps open doors. Bowie also has Saturn conjunct Pluto, a powerful combination which may cause others to feel stifled at times the relentlessness of his nature–this combo occurs in Leo, so there may be a bit of the autocratic ruler here at times! Mars also rules his second house of money and resources, so there’s great potential here for wealth and financial security.
With Neptune in Libra widely squaring Bowie’s Sun and Mars in the 12th house, there’s a great deal of creativity indicated, but also an element of self-destructive behavior patterns and the possibility of getting lost in a drug/alcohol haze. Bowie did have a substance abuse problem earlier in life, but as he matured, he grew into his essential Capricornian traits and has established a relatively quiet life in recent years as he focuses more on his painting. Of course he also has an elaborate web presence, as befits someone with a strongly Uranian birthchart. Neptune is also quite active in his chart, aspecting his Ascendant, Nodes, Sun, Mercury, Mars, Saturn, and Pluto, showing someone who can draw others into his inner landscape through an ability to shape-shift and the fluidity of his creative abilities. I’m sure the man has very interesting dreams!
One of the most interesting concerts I’ve seen was a Bowie “warm up” concert for one of his tours some years ago. He lives in upstate New York and was performing at a club in Poughkeepsie. It was a small show in preparation for his larger tour. He was dressed casually (no glitzy outfits or fancy tailoring), his wife Iman was in attendance, sitting among the crowd, and he was extremely relaxed on stage, to the point of telling really corny jokes (which is not something I generally associate with David Bowie). The show was excellent, he was in fine form and seemed utter at home in his own skin. It’s often said Capricorns get better as they get older, so at 66, David Bowie may be approaching his best self. But I suspect he may still have a few surprises in store for us.