The astrology of singer Susan Boyle: Corrected birth date and time

Susan BoyleUpdated with new birth date and time.

The You Tube video of Susan Boyle’s audition for “Britain’s Got Talent” has become a sensation all over the world.  When an average person shoots from obscurity to international acclaim literally overnight, there is usually a very interesting astrological background.

Date of birth saga.  A birth date (June 15, 1961, time unknown, Blackburn, West Lothian, Scotland) was posted in a profile in the Sunday Times in the UK, but this was later disputed by the UK astrology website Cainer.com who obtained the date of April 1, 1961 from the publicist at Britain’s Got Talent.  This date was confirmed by telephone by David Nicholson at Cainer who called the Registrar of birth records in Bathgate.  Marjorie Orr had a birth time of 9:50 am on her site, which she told me came from Caroline Gerard, a genealogist in Scotland, and this birth time was confirmed by Kathryn Cassidy (who also works for Cainer) this morning.

This has set up an interesting conundrum for astrologers because we really like the other chart – it fits perfectly with our idea of who Susan Boyle is.  But this is the pitfall of doing an astrological profile of celebrities about whom virtually nothing is known – they become nothing more than a hook for our own projections.  I find that the most surprising readings that I ever do are for acquaintances whom I know slightly.  I have an idea of who they are, and then when I do the chart it doesn’t fit with my concept of that person, but it fits exactly with who they really are..

So I have posted the new chart here, and have thrown away my fantasy of who I think Susan Boyle is.

Susan Boyle has the Sun in Aries, so the quest of her lifetime is to develop the courage and honesty to follow her own instincts and pursue her own adventures.  However, that Sun is opposite the Moon in her chart, which is in Libra.  That Libra Moon longs for the safety and security (Moon) of peaceful and harmonious relationships, and in opposition to the Aries Sun shows an inner conflict between the need to pursue her own desires (Aries) and the need to accommodate others (Libra).

With a 9:50 am time of birth we have 28 degrees of Gemini on the ascendant, which is bleeding into Cancer, and Mars in her chart is in Cancer so there is a strong Cancerian component.  The Gemini ascendant shows an ability to blend in with any environment, and to take on any role that suits at the moment.

Cancer is ruled by the Moon, and has to do with a focus on the family and on nurturing the ones we love. With Mars in Cancer, she is driven (Mars) by the need to take care of others.  With Cancer there tends to be a hope that if we take care of others enough, we will then be cared for ourselves and this is particularly true for those with Mars in Cancer.

This Cancer Mars forms what we call a “T-square” with the Sun and Moon, in which Mars forms a challenging square to both the Sun and to the Moon, which are already in opposition and in a state of tension.  The battle for Susan between the need to do what she wants and the need to care for others is one of the primary issues in this chart and she has likely wrestled with this for quite a long time.

Venus in Susan’s chart is retrograde, meaning it appeared to move backwards at the time she was born, which often creates shyness in an individual, and a reluctance to engage in relationships.  In Aries this becomes an interesting combination of the Aries aggression with the retrograde shyness.  Much has been made of Susan’s claim that she was never kissed, which she later said was “just joking around.”  Still, she was never married, and the challenging square of Saturn to her natal Venus usually depicts an individual who is deeply insecure about her attractiveness and ability to attract a mate.  I have seen plenty of people with Saturn square to Venus who are happily married, but the insecurity tends to run deep.

It appears that Susan never left home, and cared for her eight brothers and sisters, then her father and finally her mother who died in 2007 at the age of 91.  I wasn’t able to find a date of death for Susan’s mother, but that fall, transiting Saturn passed over Pluto in Susan’s chart.  When the Lord of Karma (Saturn) meets the Lord of Death (Pluto), there can be some dark times and surely this was true for Susan as she lived alone in her family home after 39 years of caring for others.  But with Pluto there is always a rebirth connected to death, and an opportunity to begin a new life and this is certainly true for Susan!

The challenges in Susan’s chart are ameliorated by the Grand Trine in water signs between Neptune, Mars and Mercury.  Grand Trines are harmonious aspects that promote ease and bring good fortune, but also can bring a tendency towards complacency and difficulty in moving forward in one’s life.  The combination of a Grand Trine with the challenging T-square offers a more dynamic approach to one’s life, but the desire for comfort with the Grand Trine is difficult to overcome.

Had we taken a look at Susan’s chart before this event we could have predicted that something significant was about to happen for her.  Her progressed Midheaven is exactly trine her progressed Ascendant, by itself a harbinger of an event of significance, and both are in harmonious relationship to Jupiter, the Great Benefic.  Transiting Pluto has been challenging her progressed Midheaven, which could have the effect of forcing a major transformation that is enhanced by all the harmonious energy around these aspects.

At the time of the audition transiting Jupiter had just conjoined natal Jupiter, something we call the “Jupiter Return,”  time of great opportunity. Jupiter was also aspecting many other points in her chart, and clearly this was a time of great expansion and freedom for her.  And then on April 17 transiting Jupiter opposed Uranus in her chart, signaling a surprising (Uranus) opportunity (Jupiter).  Surprising indeed!  That was the day that Susan Boyle went viral on the internet, changing her life forever.

More on the transhuman: Autism and savant skills

Thanks to Rich for this link to an article that confirms what has only been hinted before: that many people with autism possess skills not found in the general population:

Savant-like skills, such as astounding memory, perfect pitch or the ability to multiply very high numbers together, may be much more common among people with autism than previously thought.

A new study of about 100 adults with autism shows that one third have skills that stand out, both in comparison with their other abilities and with the skills of the general population. Previous studies put the prevalence of savantism in autistic people as around 1 in 10.

“People often focus on the things people with autism can’t do,” says Patricia Howlin of the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College in London, who led the study. “One of the things our study illustrates is that these are people who do have special skills but they are not being used.”

read more here…

This is a topic of particular fascination to me, and I have for a long time speculated on the connection between autism and the development of a new breed of humans.

One-third of the population is not a hugely significant number, but I think what is more significant is that researchers are beginning to look for positive aspects to the autism phenomenon.  I predict that with more and more research like this, we may discover that the human brain is in fact evolving and changing, and that rather than a disorder, autism is a new modality of consciousness.

For more on the savant/autism connection, check out this amazing interview with Daniel Tammett, a noted savant with Asperger’s who has written two books on the subject including Born On A Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant .

Venus prepares to turn direct – stock market reversal?

Planets of course do not really change direction and move backward, but astrology studies the motion of the planets from our perspective here on earth which distorts the actual planetary motion but provides accurate astrological data.  When a planet is preparing to change direction, it appears to slow down and come to a standstill, just like a car that is preparing to make a U-turn.  We call that “stationary motion,” and the news of Venus today is that it is “stationary direct.”

The influence of a planet is more powerful when it is stationary,  Venus rules over our values and the power of attraction.  It is in charge of money and wealth and pleasure as well as relationships with others, art and beauty.  Because Venus is associated with wealth and possessions, it has some influence on the stock market (although since the stock market has to do with investing in other people’s money it is also ruled by Pluto, ruler of the 8th house of shared resources).

A look at the history of the New York Stock Exchange over the past couple of months provides some interesting information.  The market dropped suddenly on February 9 at the lunar eclipse in Leo which incorporated the conjunction of Chiron and Neptune and opened up old wounds and fears.

The market continued to drop, with a strong rally beginning on March 6 when Venus turned retrograde.  If historical trends prove true there will be a reversal today, tomorrow or Monday with the direct turn of Venus.

The financial markets are nearly completely dependent upon the optimism of investors, which is why they did so well when Pluto was in optimistic Sagittarius.  In more realistic and dour Capricorn, investors need real results to return to the markets.  The markets rallied yesterday with the conjunction of Mars to Uranus and investors tried through sheer force of will to raise the optimistic bar despite weak economic data.

The turn of Venus direct will also relieve some pressure on our personal relationships and make it easier to move forward in many areas of our lives

Mel Gibson sued for divorce

Mel GibsonBack in August of 2006, the image of Mel Gibson underwent a well-publicized breakdown after he was arrested for drunk driving in California and launched into a tirade against Jews.  I profiled Mel at the time:

Gibson has some challenging planetary systems in his chart, including a conjunction of Pluto (power issues) to Jupiter (philosophy and shared values). The combination of these two planets can indicate a person who seeks to impose through power and manipulation (Pluto) their values and ideology (Jupiter) onto others. Mars is conjunct Saturn in Gibson’s chart, both in Scorpio which is ruled by Pluto and deals with issues of power and secrecy. Mars in Scorpio is extremely charismatic and sexy, but conjunct Saturn, which tends to be more repressive, it often doesn’t find its full expression. The combination of Mars with Saturn can indicate a frustrated individual who is unable to activate the assertive urge of Mars, it’s like driving with the brakes on.

These combinations create a huge challenge as they constantly conflict and create a buildup of energy that needs to be released. Gibson’s films have provided this release for him; they have tended to portray characters who are tortured emotionally and face physical abuses in order to attain their noble goals. Evidently Mel Gibson has battled alcoholism throughout his career as he attempted to keep these emotional challenges in check.

Everyone now knows that Mel Gibson was arrested for drunk driving in Malibu California on July 28, and that the transcript of the arrest record shows that Gibson is currently experiencing a transit of Pluto in square to his Midheaven. The Midheaven is the point of highest aspiration in the birthchart; it also shows how our life is played out in the public eye. This cycle began for Gibson back in December and is currently in the second phase of the cycle. The television film on the Holocaust which was announced when Pluto first aspected Gibson’s Midheaven has now, during the second phase, been canceled. The last phase of this cycle will take place in December, coinciding with the release of his next film Apocalypto (since Pluto rules death and rebirth, this is perfectly symbolic).

The current scandal over Gibson’s remarks in the current climate of religious conflict has already affected his career (Pluto transiting the Midheaven), but it may create an environment for him where real transformation can take place, and I suspect that what we are seeing is only the tip of the iceberg. But in the Midheaven, particularly since he is a public person, that transformation will take place squarely in the public eye.

What wasn’t so well-known is that Mel and his wife separated on August 26 of 2006, shortly after his arrest.  According to a family insider, Mel had been depressed beginning in the summer of 2005, but by early 2006 his alcohol addiction had returned.  These dates correspond exactly to a transit of Pluto, the planet of death and rebirth, in a challenging square to the Midheaven of Mel’s chart that describes his career and public persona, and also to the Nadir of the chart which represents our home life.  The final phase of that cycle came in August when the separation occurred.

This is no doubt a painful time for Mel.  The triple conjunction of Chiron, Jupiter and Neptune, which is creating some emotional pain for many people, is exactly square to that combination of Mars and Saturn in his chart and he is no doubt experiencing a level of powerlessness that he has not felt before.  Transiting Saturn is exactly square to the Nodes of the Moon in his chart which point the direction of our evolutionary growth, showing that this is an extremely important time for him to find his way.  He also has a number of challenging transits of Jupiter which indicate that his ego is likely to be challenged and that the liberation that he is experiencing may not be exactly what he is looking for.

It’s also interesting that Mel and Robyn are in the 28th year of their marriage, which is a Saturn cycle.  There is some evidence that marriages run in the same 7-year cycles (hence the 7-year itch) as human development, and so this is the Saturn return for their marriage.

More on Pirates: The Original Rebels

In the astrological language, Uranus is the planet of rebellion and revolution against the establishment.  The more repressive the establishment, the more radical the rebellious behavior becomes.  Yesterday I wrote about modern piracy being signified by the current opposition between Saturn, representing the repressive establishment, and Uranus, the rebel.

Johann Hari has an interesting article that has been widely published over the past few days called “You are being lied to about pirates”:

Pirates were the first people to rebel against this world. They mutinied – and created a different way of working on the seas. Once they had a ship, the pirates elected their captains, and made all their decisions collectively, without torture. They shared their bounty out in what Rediker calls “one of the most egalitarian plans for the disposition of resources to be found anywhere in the eighteenth century”.

They even took in escaped African slaves and lived with them as equals. The pirates showed “quite clearly – and subversively – that ships did not have to be run in the brutal and oppressive ways of the merchant service and the Royal Navy.” This is why they were romantic heroes, despite being unproductive thieves.

The words of one pirate from that lost age, a young British man called William Scott, should echo into this new age of piracy. Just before he was hanged in Charleston, South Carolina, he said: “What I did was to keep me from perishing. I was forced to go a-pirateing to live.” In 1991, the government of Somalia collapsed. Its nine million people have been teetering on starvation ever since – and the ugliest forces in the Western world have seen this as a great opportunity to steal the country’s food supply and dump our nuclear waste in their seas. …

At the same time, other European ships have been looting Somalia’s seas of their greatest resource: seafood. We have destroyed our own fish stocks by overexploitation – and now we have moved on to theirs. More than $300m-worth of tuna, shrimp, and lobster are being stolen every year by illegal trawlers. The local fishermen are now starving. Mohammed Hussein, a fisherman in the town of Marka 100km south of Mogadishu, told Reuters: “If nothing is done, there soon won’t be much fish left in our coastal waters.”

This is the context in which the “pirates” have emerged. Somalian fishermen took speedboats to try to dissuade the dumpers and trawlers, or at least levy a “tax” on them. They call themselves the Volunteer Coastguard of Somalia – and ordinary Somalis agree. The independent Somalian news site WardheerNews found 70 per cent “strongly supported the piracy as a form of national defence”

read more here...

This view of pirates is a depiction of Uranian characters who seek social and economic revolution, rather than being motivated through greed.  When you are starving and desperate, and all around you are wealthy trading vessels, the raiding of those ships becomes a means to feed your family and community rather than an act of terrorism.  It is said “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter,” and in the battle between Saturn and Uranus those lines are more clearly drawn.