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The Venus Songbird?

About a year ago, I wrote a Horoscope Detective column for TMA (Feb/Mar 2013) on Planetary Types. The gist was that it’s all well and good to make a direct correspondence in astrology (X planet or sign “rules” music, or Y “rules” the law) if we consider these as umbrella terms that link a planet to a field of work or the temperament that ideally suits that work. But all planets (and signs) are represented in every profession; areas of life are too broad to assign to one planet only, and there are people of “planetary types” in every area of life.

I would argue that it’s more important why we do something (for a living, for instance) than what we actually do, because the horoscope shows our motivations, passions, and personal qualities that shine through whatever work or life situation we pursue. Put another way, some astrologers are from Venus, some from Saturn, some from Jupiter, and so on. There is variance in every profession (the Gauquelins understood this when moving from statistical results linking planets to professional eminence to their later studies of keyword traits). Birth charts of those in any field are as varied as the motives, styles, and skills of their owners.

In the recent Music Issue of TMA, I wrote about the charts of 15 vocalists — each a unique song stylist — providing snapshots into some themes of their horoscopes and key aspects of their lives and work. In my research into what represents the voice, I found that Mercury and the Moon spoke most directly about a vocalist’s delivery and interpretation:

“Where is the “voice” in the chart? The first stop is Mercury (its sign position and aspects), which reveals how we compose and arrange both words and sounds. But really, the whole chart — in particular, its major aspects and the Sun, Moon, and Ascendant signs — reveals the vocal style, interpretive qualities, and “personality” of a singer.

If Mercury links to a singer’s physical, technical voice and left-brain analytic functions, the Moon (right brain) reveals how a singer interprets the lyrics and phrases a song. Both planets have specific “connect and communicate” roles, but the Moon conveys a mood to the audience. (“Iconic Vocalists of the 20th Century, Their Music, Their Lives, Their Charts,” TMA, April/May 2014)”

Later I received an email from someone, incredulous that I’d not spoken about Venus. How could I have left it out? Did I not know the links to Taurus and the throat?!

Venus appears to be strong in the charts of manufactured pop stars and MOR (middle of the road) entertainers, and it speaks of “harmony” and “popularity,” but does it say much about the type of singing voice we have? I try to keep an open mind about astrological factors — otherwise, what we expect to see is what we then find in a chart. I research from the outside-in: I like to discover as much as I can about the life and character of a public figure (in this case, their vocal style and interpretation, their musical interests and vocal qualities) and then look for these things in the horoscope.

By approaching research in this way, I’ve found that I’ve broadened my understanding of the nature of the planets and signs. We learn more when we study people who share a set of traits (or life experiences) and then look for common astrological links. And it stops us from simply thinking, for instance, that Mercury (or Jupiter or Uranus, etc.) equals astrology and astrologers, and then making a judgement about its position in charts (and its owner!) accordingly. As we learn (and keep learning), I think we must often resist the need to apply our preconceptions of “what constitutes X” to then rubber-stamp a chart. A narrow frame of reference will only result in narrow interpretations.

In my experience, pinpointing the key players in a chart can help us identify so much about a person’s motivations, choices, needs, lifestyle, and experiences. And key players appear to be planets that are: positioned around the angles; in aspect to (or ruling/dispositing) many other horoscope points (or unaspected); or singled out by being the handle of a chart shape or the apex of a T-square. When researching vocalists, Mercury and the Moon kept describing their vocal style and delivery, and Venus didn’t appear to be a major player in the charts of the hundreds of songbirds I examined.

So, how do YOU think Venus is related to music — not just by association but in actual charts and lives? I’ve posted six of the charts from my Music Issue article and invite you to add your own observations and research about their voices, musical styles, and charts. Please feel welcome to use any planet/sign/house in the chart — not just Venus — and to present other vocalists charts, too.

Data and Sources included with all charts. Charts: Tropical, Placidus, Mean Node

Frank Sinatra, December 12, 1915; 3:00 a.m. EST; Hoboken, NJ, USA (40°N45’, 74°W02’); A: Lynne Palmer quotes Sinatra’s father.
Frank Sinatra, natal

Nina Simone, February 21, 1933; 6:00 a.m. EST; Tryon, NC, USA (35°N12’, 82°W14’); AA: from birth certificate, as quoted in The Gauquelin Book of American Charts.
Nina Simone, natal

Roy Orbison, April 23, 1936; 3:50 p.m. CST; Vernon, TX, USA (34°N09’, 99°W16’); AA: note from birth registry obtained by Edwin Steinbrecher; FCC has a copy on file.
Roy Orbison, natal

Aretha Franklin, March 25 1942; 10:30 p.m. CWT; Memphis, TN, USA (35°N09’, 90°W03’); AA: from birth certificate obtained by Edwin Steinbrecher; FCC has a copy on file.
Aretha Franklin, natal

Bono (Paul David Hewson), May 10, 1960; 2:00 a.m. GDT; Dublin, Ireland (53°N20’, 06°W15’); A: Edwin Steinbrecher quotes a mutual friend, from Bono, “two on the dot.”
Bono, natal

Janis Joplin, January 19, 1943; 9:45 a.m. CWT; Port Arthur, TX, USA (29°N54’, 93°W56’); AA: from birth certificate (Janis Lyn Joplin) obtained by FCC, copy on file.
Janis Joplin, natal

Bio: Frank Clifford writes the Horoscope Detective column in The Mountain Astrologer and recently acted as Guest Editor for its Interpretation issue (June-July 2013) and The Music Issue (April-May 2014). Frank’s dozen books include Getting to the Heart of Your Chart (on chart synthesis and interpretation). A data collector and researcher, he compiled the Clifford Data Compendium for Solar Fire in 1997. His websites are FlareUk.com and London School of Astrology

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3 Responses to "The Venus Songbird?"

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  • Save these charts…this is an article you want to own…famous singers and ….OMG look at JJ chart…Miss speed freak remember?…well check out what astro signtrs she shares
    with you?!!!!

  • Hi Frank. Here are a few observations and comments;

    All the charts have a Saturn theme with all but one Sinatra having Saturn at one of the angles. So you would expect Saturn themes of getting somewhere through hard work or a fear of failure will show up in their personalities or how they perceive life. Saturn on the ascendant may expect the world not be safe and to be a struggle so they leave nothing to chance and so will work harder (Nina Simone’s talent was initially rejected because of her race), and Saturn aspecting the IC a person may learn how to use their roots where they have come from to further their success (Franklin has Saturn square the IC you can hear her gospel roots in her music) and so on…. All of them became an authority (Saturn) in music (Venus).

    A number of the charts also have a Venus and Saturn aspect or a Saturn and Venus feel to the chart. This adds to the Saturn theme and brings in the creative side Venus. The artists who have a Venus Saturn all have had longevity (Saturn) in their creative music (Venus) careers and all of them have had the ability to produce music (Venus) which is timeless (Saturn).

    One of the many things that spring to mind when I think about Venus is harmony. Harmony comes from the Greek word Harmonia meaning agreement (in Greek mythology Harmonia is the daughter of Aphrodite). In music harmony is the way groups of pitches form chords which played successively form the melody of music. So where Venus is in the chart could relate to the type of melody a musician will produce and hence the type of music they make. I think you can clearly see in the charts that the Venus placement and aspects has influenced the type of music ; Janis Joplin has a Venus Pluto opposition her Venus is in Aquarius and she was known for her ‘electric ‘ performances and her songs with titles such as ‘take a piece of my heart’ just speak of her Venus Pluto.

    • Thanks so much for these observations, Hannah. I think a strong Saturn is important for long-term success through hard work and application, and I think you’re right about the Venus melody. Thanks again. Frank

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