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Natal chart: Ava DuVernay

Ava DuVernay is a screenwriter, producer, and director. Her newly released (and critically acclaimed) film, When They See Us, which she created, co-wrote, and directed, is a Netflix series about the 1989 Central Park jogger case. (1)

Natal chart: Ava DuVernay (2)
August 24, 1972
5:22 p.m.
Long Beach, CA (33N35, 118W11)
Porphyry houses, True node


Her many previous accomplishments include being the first Black female director to win the directing award at Sundance Film Festival (2012), and the first to  have her film, Selma, nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture (2017).

DuVernay was born on a Thursday, Jupiter’s day; that planet stationed direct in its sign of rulership, Sagittarius, several hours after her birth — a mark of overall fortuitous conditions. (3) The significance of Jupiter is further supported because DuVernay was born in the daytime; in the doctrine of sect, Jupiter has extra ability to fulfill itself in a horoscope for a day birth. (4) Reflecting her current success, the progressed Midheaven came to natal Jupiter earlier this year.

Bi-wheel: Inner wheel: DuVernay, natal; outer wheel: progressed to Feb. 7, 2019

She was born at the Full Moon in Pisces, with Mars (6º20’) conjunct the Sun in Virgo (1º54’) and opposite the Moon (5º07 Pisces). Mars rules the Scorpio Midheaven, aspecting both the Sun and Moon; this suggests the ability both to produce complex projects and to direct people, which requires not only confidence, but also emotional skill and subtlety.

Mercury is in Leo, the sign of entertainment, and in mutual reception with the Virgo Sun — they are in each other’s signs. Mercury helps the Sun by finding the words to express what the Sun cares about. (DuVernay has said about her work: “I’m not a historian. I’m a storyteller.”)

Mercury in creatively expressive Leo is also square to the Scorpio Midheaven; she has naturally faced controversy at moments in her career, yet this aspect also suggests an inner urgency for her words to be heard in the public sphere.

Steady and serious Capricorn is rising, and the nodal axis straddles the Ascendant–Descendant. (5) In a nod to Capricorn rising, with Saturn as the Ascendant ruler: DuVernay’s father was raised near Selma, Alabama — he witnessed the 1965 Selma to Montgomery marches. In an interview, she said that summer vacations to her father’s childhood home influenced the making of her film.

Natal Neptune in Sagittarius is square to the Sun and Moon; looking at midpoint patterns, this shows that Neptune sits opposite the Sun/Moon midpoint at 3º03’ Gemini. (6) In midpoint notation (90º dial), this would read as SU/MO = NE. There will be many ways for that combination to be expressed — a highly creative, artistically sensitive disposition; dreams and imagination being a focal point of the life; and/or involvement in the film industry are some obvious ideas of how Neptune is working in her biography. (7)

The Moon/North Node midpoint is at 15º23’ Aquarius; in midpoint analysis, 15º of the fixed signs (and any hard aspects to those degrees) are known as the Aries Point (AP), which is a point that acts as a portal to the external world, or draws us to the wider public life. DuVernay’s natal Pluto at 0º46’ Libra is also at this point; the formula reads MO/NN = PL = AP. One translation: A pronounced emotional need to connect with others through empowering and transforming themes, or exposing taboo subjects, and having associations with influential people are what brings DuVernay into public prominence. (8)

I think she has a long career ahead of her: Recently (December 21, 2015) she had a progressed New Moon (14º09’ Libra), so she’s in the opening chapters of this cycle of her life.


(1) Biographical material and quotes from Wikipedia

‘When They See Us’ Review: Ava DuVernay’s Magnum Opus of a Broken America
by Matt Goldberg

(2) Ava DuVernay, August 24, 2972; 5:22 p.m. PDT; Long Beach, CA, USA (33°N35’, 118°W11’); AA rated

(3) More specifically, we would expect the natal houses ruled by Jupiter to be especially benefitted. In the chart shown here (Porphyry houses), these are the 11th house (hopes, wishes, and friends) and the 2nd house (income and talents). (Looking at Whole Sign houses, the 3rd house of communications/writing and siblings — she has four — and the 12th house of imagination would be emphasized.)

(4) Not to neglect those born at night: Venus is considered the benefic for a night birth.

(5) Here’s my blog on Kamala Harris, another prominent person with the North Node conjunct the Ascendant (in Gemini).

(6) Cosmobiology is the branch of astrology that popularized the use of midpoints in the modern era.

(7) Actor Tom Hanks and producer George Lucas also have this natal midpoint picture.

(8) Her 2016 documentary, 13th (i.e., the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution), is about race and the criminal justice system.

Bio: Mary Plumb has had a consulting practice for decades and has been with TMA since 1993 as writer and Book and Web Editor. She is President of the Southern Oregon Chapter of NCGR in Ashland, OR and is available for consultations and tutoring. Follow her on Instagram @plumbmary or email:


  1. I’m glad she wrote this piece! I’m seeing more of Mars’s associations with skill, and the possibility of refinement, precision, execution, as its better manifestations, not necessarily impulse and strife. Much sensitivity here, Pisces Moon, the Virgo Sun/Mercury, and Neptune configuration, with Sun in the 8th. Astrologers use different tools and perspectives; I don’t use sect, night versus day charts giving different strengths or weaknesses to planets. She has a Full Moon natal chart, Optics! I dig her fearlessness and clarity. I think Neptune can sometimes urge one to cut through the fog…on a subjective note, gee, she has the same Sun/Moon as my granddaughter, all right!!

  2. I would consider natal Pluto in the first degree of Libra to be a very potent point (on the cardinal “world axes” of zero Aries – Libra / Cancer – Capricorn), granting her access to significant influence upon the public discussion of justice. Black and brown communities across the USA have taken tremendous losses of their boys and men: One need only compare the ratios of white and nonwhite populations of incarcerated, and note the vast expansion of the for-profit prison industry — especially since around the time of Pluto’s entry into Libra. Ms. DuVernay has become a significant voice in this discussion about reform of the justice system, making the point (as others have) that the system is not broken, but rather working as it’s been designed.
    [Check out the astrology of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, 27 October 1970.]

  3. Thanks Mary for bringing this chart to our attention. I was completely floored by this wonderful series When They See Us especially being a New Yorker and lived through these times. This series was amazing and penetrating, and indicative of a Nodal personality. with Pluto, Saturn, and Jupiter coming to her ascendant, I think she will continue to have an amazing impact on the world through her films. I will add her to my list. I just did a workshop on the Nodes and also included Kamala Harris in the collection of people with Nodes so close to their asc-dec axis who have the potential to change lives and have strong effects on people, at least in my experience. JFK Jr. had that charisma and effect and too bad he died so young. His mother Jackie O and Janice Joplin had the opposite with South Node on their ascendant and North on descendant.

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