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The Miseducation of Miley Cyrus?

So often, successful people in control of their business and/or influencing their generation have Pluto prominent (in particular, conjunctions or hard aspects to the Moon or Mercury). In addition, publicly successful people often have Ascendant and MC complexes in dialogue (e.g. MC ruler conjunct Ascendant or its ruler), or making repetitive statements, (e.g. MC ruler in major aspect to the MC).

These signatures are present in the chart of controversial actress-singer-songwriter Miley Cyrus. Miley has the Moon and Mercury conjunct Pluto in Scorpio. Her MC in Aquarius conjuncts co-ruler Saturn, and Ascendant ruler Venus conjuncts MC co-ruler Uranus (along with Neptune). (Chart below)

Before recent events, Cyrus was best known to fans of her show Hannah Montana and established herself as one of the most successful teen idols of her generation. She was named “Destiny Hope” because her parents believed she would accomplish great things, and was later nicknamed “Smiley.” All three names “speak” her chart with the Sun in Sagittarius and Jupiter in the 5th house exactly trine her MC. When a parent has notable achievements of their own, or has a belief that the child will be accomplished, or those parental expectations are perceived as burdensome, we often see natal Saturn–MC aspects; this is also a signature for those who tend to be judged according to the accepted values of the day. Miley is the daughter of country singer Billy Ray Cyrus (whose line dancing song Achy Breaky Heart was a smash hit the year she was born), godchild of Dolly Parton, and granddaughter of Republican politician Ronald Ray Cyrus.

At eight, she decided to become an actress and soon won a role on her father’s TV series Doc. By 11, she had auditioned for the lead in Hannah Montana, a Disney show about a schoolgirl who leads a double life as a teen pop star. The show aired on March 26, 2006 and became, along with its star, a sensational study in mass marketing and a $1 billion franchising and merchandising phenomenon (including clothing, jewelry, dolls – you name it). A 3D concert film of her tour, a further TV series, and a handful of films followed, making her (at the time) the richest teen celebrity in the world.

When Neptune transited across her Equal 10th house cusp (28° Aquarius) in 2010, savvy Cyrus began to break free of her wholesome figure — for so long crafted with care by Disney — and received much attention and criticism for her new-found risqué sexual image. Adopting the Scorpio emphasis in her chart and the provocative/scandalous mix of Uranus–Neptune conjunct her chart ruler Venus, Cyrus shed the last vestiges of her wholesome image in 2012, a year she also changed labels and manager. This willfulness peaked in 2013 with a controversial performance writhing around with Robin Thicke at the MTV Video Music Awards on August 25 — just days after the Full Moon at 28° Aquarius made a conjunction to her Equal 10th house cusp.

When Sinéad O’Connor (born December 8, 1966) wrote an open letter to Cyrus (on October 2, 2013) asking her to reject the music industry’s attempts to make a prostitute of her, Cyrus responded by mocking O’Connor’s recent struggles with suicidal depression and mental ill health. This led to further open letters (and the threat of legal action) from O’Connor on her website. Their synastry is apt, with Scorpio planets conjunct each other, and Cyrus’s solar arc directed Scorpio–Sagittarius planets crossing over Sinead’s Sun and Venus in outspoken Sagittarius. (Text continues after these two charts.)

O'Conner sunrise

Perhaps O’Connor’s mistake is in thinking that Cyrus is being manipulated by the industry, when in fact (and more in line with her chart) she may be expressing her generation’s overtly sexual Pluto signature.

So how is the recent scandal seen in her natal chart? Although the current secondary progressions are unspectacular, her solar arc directed Neptune has reached 8° Aquarius, exactly on her natal MC (Uranus will follow suit in 2015). Also, this year and next, transiting Uranus and Pluto activate natal Venus at 12° Capricorn, and transiting Saturn travels through Scorpio. In her lecture at the UK’s Astrological Association Conference in September 2013, Darby Costello likened Saturn in Scorpio to the story of Medusa and how she is depicted pictorially with a protruding tongue. It’s a pose Cyrus has adopted recently on stage and in a set of sexually explicit photographs published in October 2013.

What do you make of Miley’s talent, her current image and behaviour as seen in her natal chart and transits, directions and progressions?

Miley Cyrus, born November 23, 1992 at 16:19 CST (+6), Nashville, Tennessee, USA (36n10, 86w47). Source: Frank Clifford quotes a note from the Tennessee vital registry office, copy on file (Destiny Hope Cyrus). RR: AA.
Sinéad O’Connor, born December 8, 1966, Dublin, Ireland, sunrise chart. Source: Wikipedia

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). 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 and London School of Astrology


  1. Solar Arc Venus (ruler of ascendant and chart), the femme fatale of her psychology changed sign from proper Capricorn to unrestrained and rebellious Aquarius about 2010 too. Jupiter will change sign this year, from popularity and approval seeking Libra to Scorpio. Yikes.

  2. Yes, thanks for spotting that Paula. As for Jupiter, I hope the move into Scorpio which “speak” to the 6th House Scorpio planets will bring about a positive empowerment and metamorphosis rather than spiralling into self-satbotaging ‘habits’ or relationship patterns (Scorpio on the 7th). Fascinating chart… and similar in a Scorpionic way to Lady Gaga’s.

  3. Interesting:

    Madonna: Moon conjunct Pluto & Merc in Virgo at the ascendant.
    Miley: Moon conjunct Pluto & Merc in Scorpio, closely trine Mars
    as handle planet.
    Gaga: Moon conjunct Pluto in Scorpio as leading planets.

    And all with Sun in a fire sign.

  4. Also, her ascendant is conjunct fixed star Algol, Medusa’s head. The orb is a little wide @ 2.5 degrees but I think it is still valid.

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