Carlos Santana and that Old Black Magic

Wednesday January 15th 2014
It’s not many people who have their own typeface,
but then Carlos Santana has Sun in the third house. This is his latest album.

Here’s a fun one.

Carlos Santana, the shimmeringly brilliant guitarist who periodically gets rediscovered by new generations, has a fascinating natal chart.


See – everything is below the horizon. You might think he’d hate performing in public. In fact, he’s blistering. So what makes the difference? How does he translate this private world into stadium rock?

Well, there is one important point above the horizon: Lilith, the Black Moon in the 9th house, the only thing near the midheavean, the point of fame in our charts. If you watch the performance that made Carlos Santana famous in 1969, it’s wild. He says himself that he was so high that all he was thinking was “please let me stay in tune and on time and I will never do drugs again.” To us it looks like the band is possessed by the wild spirit of Dionysus. They are taken by the music. Michael Shrieve, the drummer, was just barely 20 years old.

Santana himself says that two of his songs are probably the most indelible for his fans: Black Magic Woman (1969) and Smooth (1999), which is about a, well, black magic woman that Spanish Harlem Mona Lisa. They are both about a Lilith character, mysterious, wild and free.

Of course, one of the things about Carlos Santana is that he pulls together great bands. He turns them into family. This is the gift of Cancer at its finest, the ability to create families. Santana often refers to his fellow musicians as brothers and sisters, and to all musicians as one big family.

So his Sun (self), Venus (art and beauty) and Mercury (communications) are in the sign of pure emotion, Cancer. Mercury is the musician, the hands, and he is in his own territory, the third house. Mercury provides a direct channel from Lilith (in exact opposition at 18°) to those sensitive, personal planets in Cancer.

But there’s more, Lilith in Capricorn is ruled by Saturn on the IC. Capricorn is the sign that makes things real. It’s a shamanic sign, connected to earth magic. The fish goat has his head in the clouds and his tail in the sea. Saturn conjuncts Pluto, which brings depth and intensity and more black magic. Both these planets are in Leo, the sign of the perfomer. Being right on the IC again connects them directly to Mother Earth. They are plugged right in to her magic.

He also has his Moon in Leo, so he is at home on stage, and for Cancer there is no place like home. What is more the Moon conjuncts Regulus, the star of the king.

But I wanted to keep this post short so I’ll just point to exactly how Lilith  has helped Santana reach his audience. On that day at Woodstock in 1969, Lilith conjuncted Santana’s magical Mercury and opposed natal Lilith. When his career was relaunched in 1999 with the album Supernatural, released in June that year, Lilith exactly opposed his North Node. She gave him a push on the right path. She was transiting his seventh house of collaboration – and Supernatural’s success was partly down to the numerous guest artists who took part – family again.

PS. Santana’s natal North Node is rising and ruled by that clever Mercury.

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  1. P says:

    How fascinating. He’s found a way to express Lilith (Merc opp Lilith), who just happens to be the highest point on his chart.

    …. And is it just me, or does his chart say ‘conduit’ to anyone else? It seems like the chart just has all this energy that sits and simmers and percolates, and then comes on out.

    Back to ‘Black Magic Woman’: check out the cover art for Abraxas, the original album BMW (hee hee) was on – very Lilith.

    Oh, and: My brain went on a bit of a tangent with the Lilith. I was just watching an interview of Oscar contenders – actresses (they didn’t call it that, but you’ll see). I was struck by the comments Oprah Winfrey and Julia Roberts made about wanting to ‘retain their light’ and not delve too deep into their own darkness (I’m paraphrasing). It’s striking, I think, how they have managed to sublimate / express their Liliths into their work, and into their personalities.

    There’s a darkness to both of them, I think, that would be something to see, indeed, if they chose to express it on the screen. The closest Julia has come, I believe, is her latest work. Too bad, really, because I think they’d frighten a whole generation of men if they chose enraged roles. (Thank God, then, for Meryl Streep)

    If you want to see the interview, here’s the link:

    • Christina says:

      Well, he looks like he’s wearing spiritual armour. He almost always covers his head and he wears these talismans on his hat and around his neck, so he is protected and within a shell.

    • Anonymous says:

      What does dressing like a crab look like?

    • Christina says:

      Julia Roberst was fabulous in Snow White — and terrifying. I’m going to go have a look at their charts now.

      I agree about the channelling. I didn’t address Santana’s spiritual side which is the source of his musical power, nor the fact that he dresses like a crab!

  2. Thank you for such an interesting reading of Carlos Santana’s chart, it’s timely for me as I have been listening to Moonflower in the last few days. I would love to know more about his spiritual side being the source of his musical power…..:-)

    • Christina says:

      Sorry that should be Saturn/Pluto on the IC.

    • Christina says:

      Oh my goodness, where to start. At it’s best music is spirit and musicians are channelling the divine, I guess. But how do we see that in his chart?

      •First of all, there’s the shape of it, like a cup or vessel open to divine inspiration.
      • Ruler of the 12th house of spirit in the first. This ruler is Mars, so highly energetic, turbo-charged, physical. A physical manifestation of spiritual energy.
      • Chart ruler Mars trined by Neptune, the most spiritual planet. Neptune is also music of course, so we get that highly energised sound.
      • Mini-grand trine between Mars, Neptune and Saturn/Pluto on the MC. Saturn/Pluto connected directly to the source, the earth. And if we put an arrow in that bow, where is it pointing? Straight to heaven.
      • Sun and Moon are in mutual reception, of course, but that’s not particularly spiritual. It does, however, give him a kind of emotional authority. He is the maitre d’ after all. But the midpoint of the Sun and Moon is Saturn/Pluto again, so there’s the focus.

      There’s more in his chart to do with emotional power which is so important for an artist. Jupiter in Scorpio gives his Cancer planets even more depth and intensity.

      I’m sure there’s more but that’ll do for now.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wow, what a natal chart! I recall an interview with him, circa 1999. It was long ago, and I’m working from memory, so bear with me! He said he was meditating about making a new album, when a voice told him that the music would happen and it would be successful, but there was something difficult he would have to go through first: going public about his experience of childhood sexual abuse. A sad manifestation of Saturn/Pluto hugging the IC, but another example of his spirituality channeling itself into his music.

  4. Jamma says:

    OMG, Christina! I have been blasting Smooth (on repeat!) everywhere I drive, doing a funky swivel-hipped Cha-lypso (I love car dancing — don’t give an eff what I look like!) …
    This song is totally empowering for me, a Pisces girl with Sun sextile Lilith in Cap in the 12th (conjunct my Asc) …
    O wonderful Carlos, thank you for this love letter to Lilith!
    And thank you oracular Christina for, as per usual, bringing us an inspired post!

  5. RodJM says:

    I was first introduced to Carlos Santana by my older brother, he has Scorpio Sun and Neptune in Scorpio, takes water to spread water.. at least in our family…lol..

    Everytime I hear material from the 1974 Album – Borboletta, I am uplifted and invigorated like never before..

    There are many other Albums I love of his too…

  6. C. King says:

    really amazing how it all fits!

  7. […] out by Jupiter up in the 9th and crucially by Lilith opposite the Leo stellium. Take a look at Carlos Santana’s chart for a very similar example. He’s another great collaborator, too, of […]