Just A Little Broken: RIP George Michael
Fragile, strong, sweet, sharp — a little broken. George Michael was a superstar with a seemingly boundless musical gift, but it was his vulnerability that made him special. Something, somewhere, had been cracked (one felt), and, like a “golden repair” on a Japanese pot, it made George Michael beautiful.
Michael’s soul seeped out gradually into his stage persona. At first, he just seemed like a pretty, talented teenager eager to have fun and make money with his schoolfriend. But then there was Careless Whisper: we heard that sweet, strong voice deliver the wistful, hurting lyrics, and it was clear his talent was bigger than Wham!
This is such a sensitive chart. You need to have real grit to make it in the world with Cancer Rising and the Cancer Sun in the 12th house. Cancer Rising needs to learn how to create a protective shell because they easily sponge up atmosphere and energy — good or bad. It’s a Rising sign with allure though, drawing people in — and that Sun in the 12th might create a home for the masses.
The chart ruler is the Moon in the 2nd house of talent. You’d think that the Leo Moon might fight with a Cancer Sun — but in fact they are in “mutual reception”. Even though they are in such different signs, they work together. This gave Michael a core strength and resilience that helped him survive for so long.
All that Cancer: here’s a person driven by emotions, he is tossed on a stormy sea inside, but he has to act them out — and he has a route to do that. The Moon connects also to a very talented pattern Moon in Leo-Mercury-Venus in Gemini-Jupiter in Aries. This is quite driven. Jupiter in the 10th wants recognition and Aries can give that a one-pointedness, very helpful if you want to get to the top of your profession. Mercury-Venus in Gemini is a great poet’s combination, which connects with his strongly placed Mars.
That Mars is critical to the whole functioning of the man. It’s in Virgo — perfectionist, critical, sharp — and it kicks the Mercury-Venus into action. There’s the wordsmith and craftsman. Virgo is not a butch placement for Mars, but it can be gracile. (Michael was a great dancer — and appeared to really enjoy his body when he was performing as a young man.) And libidinous — by his own account he liked plenty of sex.
However, Mars in Virgo opposes Chiron on the MC. The Mars drives the Chiron. He said that he was driven to succeed by his toxic relationship with his father, who thought his singing ambitions were ludicrous. The MC is our ambition and also the way we’re viewed by the world. And Chiron is the damaged person driven there by the angry Mars right on the angle of childhood. So the story Michael told of ambition driven by a need to prove himself to his father was exactly true. Perhaps it felt like his father saw him as a damaged person.
Back to that dominating Moon. That’s an extrovert hidden in an introvert — and it’s opposite a very strong Saturn in Aquarius. Again, that might be a dominating, oppressive father squashing his creative, expressive, shining Leo Moon. Moon-Saturn oppositions can be tough, even depressing to cope with — and sometimes they can also be self-sabotaging. A Moon-Saturn opposition might stay in the closet for the sake of ambition. Michael said he felt that his career might not have gone as far as it did in the early 90s if he had been openly gay.
George Michael had a weird relationship with cars. He was in no fewer than five serious crashes — and those are only the ones we know about. This was clearly partly due to his straightforward relationship with drugs: he liked being high. Apparently he managed to cut down to seven joints a day, but every interviewer tells a different story. What’s clear from all of them is that he liked to toke — a lot. But back to the cars. These are a third house thing — and look at the Uranus right there in Virgo exactly sextile his Sun. Indeed his Sun would be unaspected if it were not for the Uranus contact.
And that is very interesting.
His ego (the Sun) is floating around in that strange 12th house, untethered. He’s experiencing huge emotions all the time. It’s a sea in there. I bet he liked driving because he connected him more to himself somehow, but because the connection was to Uranus, he was accident prone.
OK, back to the pot-smoking. This is also to do with the almost unaspected 12th house Sun. That’s the house of oblivion and self-undoing. Frankly, it is the stoner’s house. It’s a house of the loss of ego — so to have the Sun here is hard. You feel connected to everyone — and that’s a pretty lonely feeling. It might make you inclined to look for some connection in a Los Angeles public toilet. But it might also mean that you can feel other people’s pain.
It turns out that what George Michael did in secret was work in a soup kitchen, give tons of money to charity, hand out cash to strangers in need. He let hung his dirty linen out for all to see and keep his generosity quiet. What a gent.
And then there’s Michael’s North Node on the Ascendant in Cancer. His life’s journey was about coming home to himself, of course. He did that best perhaps through his close partnerships. These may not have been monogamous, but so what, they were long-lasting and deeply-felt, for sure. When Chiron hit that NN, George Michael fell in love with a man for the first time, and a few months later found out that man was dying. Chiron broke him open and the songs poured out — including the beautiful Jesus to A Child in the clip above.
When he was forced out of the closet in April 1998, Chiron, transiting the 5th house of fun and games, was exactly trining his MC (public image), where Jupiter (fame) was by transit. Although far from damaging his reputation, the outing enhanced it — and he was able to embrace life as a gay man at last. Of course, his hilarious response, Outside, to being caught cottaging by the Los Angeles police, helped endear him to his fans even more. In fact, a sense of humour must have helped his through the rough patches often. Cancer can be a funny sign and that Lilith-Neptune conjunction trines his Sun, so he must have enjoyed breaking the odd taboo and stirring up the occasional hornet’s nest.
He died too young. Uranus and Jupiter were both exactly squaring his NN, Venus opposed his Moon — all at 20°. (By progression, Venus had reached his Moon too.) So many of his songs are about love lost or unrequited, it’s sweet to think that he left this life in the embrace of the goddess of love herself.
I think this is the best version of Long And Winding Road I’ve heard. He gives the words a depth and sadness that come straight from the soul.