Bowie Turns To Face The Strange

Monday January 11th 2016

David Bowie must have known he was dying when he recorded ★ (Blackstar), his final album, released on his to birthday three days ago. It’s a privilege to hear from this liminal place, the place between this world and the next, from such a great artist and poetic visionary.

The title song ★ is an apocalyptic vision, possibly a warning about the dark tides sweeping through the collective mind. The song Lazarus is about being dead. Can’t Give Everything Away, the final song on the album, sounds exactly like a swan song.

In both the videos for his last album, Bowie is blindfolded. This is inner vision. It’s somewhere he has taken us before. His conjunction of Mars (energy), Sun (life) and Mercury (communication) in the shamanic sign of Capricorn is mostly in the 12th house of the collective unconscious — perhaps this was where he was most comfortable. Capricorn at its finest connects the spiritual with the material — connects the ancestors to us and to the future. It’s interesting that he’s said the creative process could make him “quite angry” — Marsy.

This is also the house of loss of self or self-undoing. Twelfth house people often spend time ill, addicted or lost in their heads. The 12th house is our inner space, boundless, the star-studded sky within. This is the space that Bowie often explored.

Birth data from Astrodatabank

Birth data from Astrodatabank

Bowie is a Uranian — with Aquarius Rising and the North Node conjunct Uranus. Uranus is on the point of a decisive Yod from Jupiter and Mars-Sun. Uranus is the planet of aliens, space travel and futurism. And the North Node is the gateway to the future. Even in his last album, Bowie’s experimenting with new ways of making music and movies. He’s so inventive. He is the poet of strangeness, of feeling weird, of being an outsider, disjointed, of disjuncture.

A poetic image that recurs in his work is the astronaut lost in space. In the video for ★ the astronaut is back, but he’s no longer living. All that is left of him is a jewel encrusted skull worshipped backwards.

No wonder Bowie’s last visions are so very dark. His solar stellium has been transited by Pluto, the Lord of the Underworld, for several years. Right now, Uranus, his guiding planet, is exactly squaring his Sun. The Sun by transit has travelled in the last few days from Pluto to Bowie’s Sun. On Bowie’s birthday (Jan 8), Jupiter, who is often the angel of death, turned retrograde.

Bowie is well-versed in esoteric ideas. The ★ in the film looks like the five-pointed communist red star — indeed he holds a book rather like Mao’s little red book — but it may also refer to Saturn, called the black star in esoteric literature. Or it may refer to a kind of negative Venus, who is also represented by a five-pointed star because of the pentacle pattern her retrogrades make in the sky. All of these are probably true. It’s a multi-layered poetic vision, and therefore more powerful because the meaning comes at you slantwise through your 12th house.

Saturn, according to astrologer Liz Green, is the dweller on the threshold, between the inner planets and the outer planets, in other words, between the personal and the collective. This is the space of ★, the threshold between this world and the next.  Until quite recently, Saturn was believed to be the last planet in the solar system. Saturn, of course, rules Capricorn Bowie’s Sun sign and traditionally, his Ascendant (although Aquarius does have two rulers, Uranus and Saturn).

In his natal chart, Saturn is conjunct the Moon and Pluto in Leo, the sign of the performer and artist. You can expect Bowie’s work to have long-lasting impact (Saturn), and we know already that his career was long, varied (lunar) and inspiring (Leo). The strength of this seventh house shows how important partnership was to him — both in his private life and at work. All his best work is collaborative. He has needed other people to help him pull out that huge imagination and inner vision. This final album is released as Saturn transits Venus and the MC and moves into the 10th house of status. This is 30 years of work harvested, status confirmed.

But we could pick this chart apart indefinitely, thanks the richness of Bowie’s cultural legacy and the strange beauty of it. (Bowie’s Venus on the MC = a career as an artist.) Instead, here’s one more thought on Saturn, the grim reaper, on the day he died, Saturn conjoined Bowie’s South Node. This is called Ketu in Indian astrology and it brings the cycle of birth and death to a close.

Rest in peace — and thank you.

 

 

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  1. Les says:

    This is beautiful. Thanks, Christina.

  2. Michael says:

    I’ve seen different birth times, and the one that most seems to fit is this one: http://www.librarising.com/astrology/celebs/davidbowie.html
    Neptune on the ASC makes perfect sense to me – he had no clear idea about his identity, so he had to keep trying on different ones to see which ones fit.

    • Abella says:

      I think that the “collecting of personalities” was due to his Sun in 12th house, and he used that to achieve his dreams. To me, he had a very clear direction, on where he was heading.

      • Leonora says:

        As soon with the Sn and five putter planets in the12th, I can agree – every day I “see” an identity I’ll take on for the day but have yet to decide which one is the essential me! I just bought a red military style coat affect watching War and Peace… I’m sweltering away in 35 degree heat in S Africa but somewhere I’m in a snowy waste, wearing my coat on horseback!

        • Leonora says:

          WOW This mercury retro is throwing up some terrible typos!
          As SOMEONE with Sun and five other planets… and AFTER watching War and Peace…
          Mercury is my ruling planet… the small fool!

    • Christina says:

      This one is from astrodatabank, . The boundless identity would also fit with Sun in the 12th — oh dear astrology! Birth times! It does have a Rodden rating of A.

      Here’s what they say:

      “”LMR quotes biographers Peter and Leni Gillman, “Alias David Bowie,” Hodder & Stoughton, 1986, p.41, gives 9:00 AM GMT, “from his parents” His former wife, Mary Angela Barnett, gives 9:00 AM in “Backstage Passes,” written with Patrick Carr, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York, 1993, p.31. Craft quotes “Bowie: A Biography” by Marc Spitz for 9 AM, Three Rivers Press, 2010, pg. 5. Bowie was born at the family home in Brixton, therefore his parent’s recollection of his birth is likely the most accurate.

      (Gary Lorig quotes him personally for 9:30 AM GMT, at UAC 5/1998. David Douglas, “David Bowie,” gives, “just before midnight,” 1975, p.3.)

      Sy Scholfield confirms from an online copy of the birth certificate that “David Robert Jones” was born on 8 January 1947 at 40 Stansfield Road, Stockwell. http://web.archive.org/web/20020208130455/http://www.online-homesales.co.uk/samples.htm“”

  3. Mirette Mjau says:

    Amazing article. Thank You!
    This Great Sage and beautiful Soul will be missed.

  4. mister says:

    I heard about this event today. I immediately wondered if just like Lemmy the transiting Saturn was opposing natal Pluto. Need I say more. Both of cancer as well.

    • mister says:

      Sorry – my bad as they say. Its a trine not an opposition. Something inside due to the somewhat wrong training/study direction came out with opposition – cant believe it but there you go proof that Saturn is bad no matter what the angle.

  5. aqua says:

    The Starman has gone home.

  6. Moon says:

    T. Saturn conj SN in the 11th. RIP

  7. Janelle says:

    Beautiful piece Christina! There’s something to be said when you look at someone’s chart after they’ve transitioned and see how well they’ve done with what they chose to work with. Well done David, for living & loving authentically <3

  8. katy says:

    way to young , thanks for the music , we will miss you R.I.P

  9. Derek Roberts says:

    I am so ignorant to astrological information. I was born On January 7, 1978 at 11:31pm. What does that mean astrologically? I am a Capricorn but what house am I etc. Any help would be much appreciated.

  10. Julie says:

    Original and Brilliant to the end! RIP

  11. mimi says:

    I read he died on Sunday -> New Moon !

    mimi

  12. anna says:

    Think David Bowie was expressing his, higher inspired white moon, on galactic centre, “look up here im in heaven, look up here im in hell”, vacillating between , Capricorn , Saturn conj pluto conj moon.the heavy earth plane where he appears to live. The vibrations of loving beauty are expressed ,if we don’t drop the frequencies, but are constantly aware, in this illusion of REALITY ,that its not the only plane of existance ,others exist simultaneously. See neuro sugeon Dr Eben Alexander and Anita Moorjani,and countless others of us on Jeffery longs, Near Death Experience site. There is no death .energy is all ways recycled ,or recircled ,spirals of the life currents.it all preincarnationally written in the blue prints.

  13. mister says:

    Hey Christine

    Have you looked at the astro chart above that you have posted. Jupiter at 21 degrees is aspecting Saturn at 6 degrees? And Saturn and Chiron are not in aspect (no lines drawn) – again more proof that Saturn is OK in the birth chart, because any other way and he would have had a difficult time in his career with that aspect (saturn/chiron)

  14. Jill says:

    I was born at 9:02am on January 8th, 1970, David and I celebrated many birthdays together (even if he didn’t know it!) I haven’t seen my chart in a few years, but I’m also Aquarius rising with the Sun, Moon, Mercury and Venus all in the 12th House. I need to dig it up and compare. Thanks for this article 🙂

  15. Ms D says:

    I am fairly sure, by his other writing, that the little red book was a reference to Crowley’s little red ‘Book of the Law’ that discussed how every person is a star in a company of stars, had a goal to become the most unique individual star relentlessly, and used five pointed star imagery to define aspects of manifestation.

    • Abella says:

      It does look like a “book of the law”, or bible.

      “Saturn, according to astrologer Liz Green, is the dweller on the threshold, between the inner planets and the outer planets, in other words, between the personal and the collective.”

      And therefore…
      I strongly believe that Saturn / Satan is the ruler / warden of Earth. Given David was a Capricorn, and in touch with occult wisdom — I’m sure he realized his sign was ruled by Saturn. It also seems that black star refers to Saturn, but also the Metis symbol (just Google it, images), and other ideas that Christina mentioned.

      To me, Saturn, Jupiter, Pluto, Uranus, and Chiron play a role in death and a whole bunch of David’s charts were being hit by these celestial objects. In other words, kind of no way out — we all release from our material bodies at some point and this was his point.

      In the progressed chart, Moon was in 8th opposite Pluto and in Aquarius (more Uranus going on). In his solar return chart, Uranus was floating around in there and I’ve seen that in the chart’s of people who have passed away, unexpectedly to most — Elvis had it. There’s more. I’ve got to write up a blog post too.

      Now, I wonder if his birth time is slightly inaccurate. I would like to see Venus in the 10th AND Saturn was a little too much into the 10th for my liking. In the sense that generally speaking, Saturn can “stop” one from working or stop one’s career, upon entering the 10th. Christina also made a good point that Saturn being in the 10th reflected his “30 years of work harvested, status confirmed.”

      I really appreciate your post.. lots of food for thought / filling in the blanks. Thank you.

    • Christina says:

      Excellent points, thank you.

    • aqua says:

      Yes and the five pointed star is the pentagram that he has used as imagery many times before.
      Particularly during his pro nazi/cocaine mania period.

  16. Abella says:

    I’ve rectified the chart to 8:53 or 8:54am. Saturn is well into the 10th though. So maybe the album was in large part complete, when Saturn entered his 10th and with Venus-Saturn conjunction it does support what Christina said about a lasting legacy of artistic work.

    • Christina says:

      Thanks for you thought-filled contribution Abella. I am googling Metis now. Bowie knew astrology, for sure. You can’t spend that much time reading Crowley without it.

  17. Sabrina says:

    Beautiful piece Cristina. And today Alan Rickman…this moon transiting Chiron today has been painful.

  18. anna says:

    hi Christina, think the symbols at the base od david bowies black star bit, are the platonic solids and all geometric shapes fitting in to the golden section, of 1.618 ,the spirals of life forms, spiral around from, dna ,to weather patterns, to galaxies and beyond. they also show up in geometric structures inthe kabbalah and appertain to geometories of patterns, which relate to the chart.there are many more platonic solids which relate to other dimensions ,therefore more possibilities. beyond our limited 6 senses.

  19. anna says:

    you could say hes gone back to the gene/Jeanie pool,but that would be too crass. his issues with Neptune and Jupiter in scorp ,are big hidden issues.

  20. People seem to miss the fact that David Bowie’s chart is driven by three otherworldly septiles with incredibly tight orbs. Dane Rudhyar called septiles the aspect of “fate.” I see them as Uranian with intense energy coming through from the other side. They denoted the presence of parallel universes, higher dimensions, non-physical realities that come crashing through with incredible power. Bowie’s Pluto is triseptile the Sun-Mars midpoint with an orb of 2 minutes. His Moon (conj Saturn) is triseptile Mercury with an orb of 4 minutes. His Venus is septile Neptune with an orb of 4 minutes. These are ridiculously tight orbs that resonate his chart. In my 30 years of exploring septiles and quintiles, Bowie’s chart stands out. Other strong septile charts include Michael Jackson, Prince, and the World Trade Tower bombing.

    • Waki says:

      I believe the tight Neptune septile Venus is THE trait that made him the amazing musician and myths player he was.

    • Christina says:

      Thanks for pointing that out. The more I think about Bowie — since writing this piece and listening again to the music and the interviews — the more extraordinary and visionary I believe him to be. So the fact that his chart has this otherworldly “Seven” vibration makes sense. It’s clear that he was in touch with somewhere out there. A septile aspect is 51°. a triseptile is 154°. It’s a division of the circle by seven.
      In particular, I have been listening to his last two albums — those made after the decade of silence — powerful, aligned, energetic art. Here’s a thought: “The Stars Are Out Tonight” seems to be about astrology and making a poetic connection between the stars our there and the stars on earth. About “fame” and about something else too…

  21. […] out more on the esoteric meanings of David Bowies works here: From the Oxford astrologer http://www.oxfordastrologer.com/2016/01/bowie-turns-to-face-the-strange.html […]

  22. Sol says:

    Hello Christian..Were did you find the hour of death?

  23. Sol says:

    Oh sorry about the misspelling…Hello CHRISTINA..omg…sorry..