Maya Angelou: Phenomenal Woman

Wednesday May 28th 2014

Maya Angelou

Poet, dancer, dreamer, darer, storyteller, Maya Angelou, died yesterday. Her life was a hero’s journey from mocked child to lauded grand dame. Her own life story became a mirror for America to reflect on. And then there are her pithy observations on everything from creativity, intelligence, politics, sex, racism…. She fulfilled the promise of her North Node in Gemini…

Some of us live our charts more fully than others.


Here is Maya Angelou in her own words from the poem Phenomenal Woman with some astrological observations in parentheses.

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size 

(Sun-Jupiter conjunction in Aries)
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies. 

(Neptune Rising)
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman, 

(Ceres on the Descendant, Juno Rising)

That’s me.
(Sun-Jupiter conjunction in Aries, Leo Rising)

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please, 

(Aquarius on the descendant with Mars)
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees. 

(Libra Moon)
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth, 
(Leo Rising)
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet. 

(Venus in Pisces)
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery. 

(Venus-Mercury in the 8th, Lilith on the IC)
When I try to show them,
They say they still can’t see. 

(Neptune Rising)
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile, 

(Sun in Aries)
The ride of my breasts, 

(Pluto in Cancer)
The grace of my style.
(Venus in Pisces again)
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud. 

(Saturn in Sagittarius)
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud. 

(Full Moon in Libra opposite Jupiter-Sun Aries)
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
(Pluto in Cancer)
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

To hear her reading her own poem, click here.

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  1. Leslee says:

    Maya Angelou performed that poem as part of her commencement address at my college graduation in 1980 (an all-women’s college, so it was so apt!). I was very lucky – she was phenomenal! 🙂

  2. Anonymous says:

    such a beautiful soul!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful soul, beautiful poem …….. and how beautiful she described herself.

    I can relate to that, being an Aries with Leo ascendant !

    I notice that her Chiron is in Taurus and Venus is going to pay him a visit.


  4. Christina says:

    Amazing woman – I saw her once at a Cosmopolitan Book Day many years ago. She read something about “I rise…” and we all went with her… Heather

  5. Anonymous says:

    Neptune and Juno at the ascendant gave her that charisma and glamour.

    I always like seeing old people grow old so elegantly – some just have it all !!

    I hope I grow old in the same way. If you look at her photograph above : she is just beautiful !!


  6. Thanks Christina! I thought you might like reading this interview with Maya in 2000. It’s great after looking at her chart.

  7. Marina says:

    I loved this, such a good idea!! Amazing chart, amazing woman