They called him a legend, and he was every bit of one. The New York Times called him legendary, but so will countless others in the media as the news continues to explode throughout the world, from television to radio, from newspapers we’ve all heard of to the smallest ones. Everyone knew the name of David Bowie for his ability to make you stop and watch.
Perhaps in the beginning of his career, it was a matter of his being so “unique,” to put it mildly. A friend of mine said he was “avant garde,” and indeed he was. He could do something that would make your jaw drop and have you wondering where in the world–or perhaps the universe–he was coming from. (Deliberate use of the preposition at the end of the previous sentence, but it fits: After all, he broke rules you didn’t expect him to break.) Then again, he was loved by all–apparently even by Jimmy Fallon.
Bowie had an approach to the world even on first impression that could make gasp in surprise because you didn’t expect it. And why wouldn’t he do so? He had an Aquarius rising with the 12th house Sun-Mars 32-minute partile conjunction in Capricorn. That alone would have surprised anyone expecting the more subdued type. In fact, he had a Western, 3rd quadrant, above-the-horizon dominance that gave me a start. I thought he might have had an Eastern dominance, but yet…it’s possible that others guided him to develop the presence and quirky look he was known to adopt in how he dressed and even the shock of what hair color he had. His Moon as part of stellium with Saturn and Pluto fell in a 33-minute partile conjunction to the 7th house cusp. Bowie saw his long-term relationships as key to who he was: The third quadrant emphasis serves as Self in relation to others with whom one has a relationship. For Bowie, I think it makes a world of sense that he saw his fans and his personal relationships as connected in the sense that he worked to please them rather than what he was actually doing for himself. In this sense, this may even point to him as a trend setter. He lived his life individualistically from his career to his personal life.
Uranus, the chart ruler, actually sits in the 5th house of entertainment (3°06 orb), and it’s so prominent as a singleton below-the-horizon body, despite it distance from the Ascendant, it lends credibility to such a placement.
Of course there are those who would question the 12th house Sun-Mars conjunction in Capricorn, but even that makes sense. He added a haunting, edgy sound that may have made some question his efforts: What was he trying to achieve? Solely trend? Or was he also telling tales about his life in ways some of us–and I admit I’m in that bunch–might not have understood until the two sounds I’m sharing with you now. As I listened to both of them, I had an argument with myself: I originally was going to use the shorter one last. But I’m not. The longer is meant to go last. It would seem almost to imply that he knew he wouldn’t be with us long after the release of the album. His Leo stellium does sextile Neptune, so perhaps that made him intuitive, but I hesitate to see it that way: His Mercury on the 12th house cusp and therefore in the 12th was in an approaching square to Neptune. Whether or not he was highly intuitive, he was creative and imaginative at the very least.
Now that doesn’t mean he didn’t value his fans. He did. And they adored him, all too obvious a point with his 9th house Venus at the apex of the chart, conjunct that Sagittarius MC. He loved the world and its people, and he was probably quite passionate about expressing himself and making a statement on several levels–interculturalism, multiculturalism, theology, philosophy…yes, I get all of that from these placements. His Saturn sits on the contra-antiscion point for his natal Jupiter, giving me a suspicion at the same that he had wanted to avoid being conservative and to break the mold of what people expected of him. But here is where the chart signature plays such a critical role in showing that he was the consummate showman. This was The Performer.
Whether or not you liked him, whether or not you appreciated his music or approach to the world, you knew who he was, and his place in the world will go down in history–truly fitting for a Leo signature! But don’t let the chart fool you. The showman wanted this as his career, and here is where the 12th house Sun becomes so important as well. His Sun was the single heartbeat of the chart, offering a view through his spirit, his soul perhaps and the prism he held up for all to see as he performed. Even the five undecaquartisextiles (no Blooming UQSXT or an UQSXT shadow yod, just simple undecaquartisextiles) point to the quest for recognition, the desire to let the world know that others could do what they wanted but he was doing it like old Blue Eyes (Frank Sinatra) had done years before him– his way.
I normally don’t call the UQSXT between the Ascendant and the Part of Fortune, but it’s so obvious a message, I need to mention it as such since even this point to that “My Way” focus. The Moon UQSXT to the Sun/Mars conjunction stressed the need for recognition. While he didn’t mind even sharing the spotlight, as he did even with David Gilmour, to nme one of many with whom he did so, he had the opportunity in that sharing to brainstorm ideas for what he’d share when performing side by side with the other celebrities standing beside him. He loved it, and it showed for his willingness to take that spotlight from the visuals to the performances he gave.
It was his world, his universe. He didn’t mind sharing it because he hoped we’d all look on, and so we did. And now, we can expect his music to haunt us for some time to come: He left his newest album, Blackstar, as his parting gift from him to all of us on his birthday just two days before it was time to say farewell.
David Bowie, farewell indeed. It will be a long time before another one comes along who stands even a smidgen of a chance to fill your shoes. We’ll be waiting and listening for your inspiration to come through the genius of other performers. It’s sure to peek through what they do. Meanwhile, what more can I say than…