💜 PURPLE REIGN 💜
Dearly beloveds, we are gathered here today to remember Prince (and check out his chart).
When Prince passed away one year ago today, I shared this on my personal FaceBook page:
Will never forget fighting with my mom about buying the Diamonds & Pearls album when I was 7. I instinctively knew there…
Prince WAS sex, and for most of mainstream America in the 80’s and 90’s, it was all too much to handle. Between the high heels, assless pants, and scoop-neck tanks that nearly scooped down to you-know-where, Prince pushed boundaries wherever possible.
And yet, what Prince seemed to personify in the public’s eye – scandalous sexuality, a nebulous identity – was not at all what the man himself was like.
Besides being an incredibly devout Jehovah’s Witness, Prince was a serious-minded businessman and a fiercely independent creative that sought absolute freedom in his identity, finances, and art. His relationships were more monogamous than not, and he was an erudite raconteur who knew his way around etymology, climate change, and conspiracy theory.
Without further ado, here is the birth chart of our Petit Prince, may he forever R.I.P. (Rest in Purple).
THE BIRTH CHART & ASTEROIDS OF PRINCE
Prince (né Prince Roger Nelson)7th June 1958 at 6:17 pm in Minneapolis, MN, USA
7th June 1958 at 6:17 pm in Minneapolis, MN, USA
THE BIRTH CHART OF PRINCE
“Recent analysis has proved that there’s probably two people inside of me, like a Gemini, and we haven’t determined what sex that other person is yet.”
– Prince to Oprah, 1996
Prince’s Sun in Gemini is as good a place to start as any.
Prince, as he said himself, is a classic Gemini: just like the zodiacal shapeshifter, Prince was not just a pop superstar, but a performer extraordinaire, style icon, accomplished musician (he played at least 27 instruments), producer, actor, and composer. Typically, the danger Gemini faces is becoming the ‘jack of all trades, master of none,’ a problem which our purple hero clearly never suffered. Here, my feeling is Prince had his Scorpio ascendant to thank.
Although it’s likely the most beleaguered sign of the zodiac, and just like Prince, receives much more than its fair share of criticism, Scorpio is not all death and darkness, sex and sting. Scorpio is also the sign that has, as Grant Lewi put it, ‘never produced a shallow person’, and when this intensity collides with authenticity, it often makes magic.
With a strong Gemini-Scorpio distribution one can morph from the ‘master of none’ to the ‘master of many’: the focus and control of Scorpio married with the eclectic, bouncy nature of Gemini create a masterful mind that is always on the move.
Given Prince’s infamous disposition for flamboyant, over-the-top performances, I certainly wasn’t expecting him to have his Sun in the 8th, a house traditionally associated with mental anguish, as well as loss, decay, and death – although as a ‘hidden’ house it goes part of the way in describing his ultra-private nature. Perhaps there was more than met the eye with Prince’s ice-cold cool demeanor, or perhaps his connections to the 8th House come from other aspects, namely, money belonging to other parties and financial obligations.
Prince’s career was characterized by a very public battle with Warner Brothers over the rights to his name and music which is indeed a very 8th House problem. Wherever resources are combined and divided, it involves the 8th. A secondary aspect I think of in the 8th House is ‘inheritances,’ which aren’t limited to money but rather to all of what we receive from our parents and ancestors. In Prince’s case, I wonder if the inheritance wasn’t music itself, being that he was born to a jazz singer (his mother) and a musician (his father).
Unsurprisingly, Prince has the performative, theatrical sign of Leo ruling his 10th House of career alongside a bevy of powerful planetary partners; the ruler of this house is his Sun, found in the 8th House of mental anguish.
In shorthand, this looks like: career = [power + control + self-expression + rebellion] ÷ [mental anguish + shared money].
Most interesting to me in terms of Prince’s career set-up is his natal Pluto (control, obsession, manipulation), which is tightly conjoined his Midheaven, or career point; both points are conjoined the ‘royal’ fixed star Regulus, which was meant to bring honor, fame, and success. In his 6th House of work, Mars in Aries provides a rough and sexy, braver-than-thou disposition to one’s work.
The next stop on the purple brick road is Prince’s natal Neptune in the 1st House. Oh, Neptune, that misty little patch of spiritual fog, which in this case is being magnified and increased by its position next to the North node (a point of calling, destiny).
Prince played out nearly all quarters of Neptune’s domain: the sensitivity, the religious devotion, the spiritual bend to his nature, as well as the nebulousness of his identity. Neptune in the 1st House often creates something about a person that is hard to nail down or put your finger on; there’s a sense of the shifting mists about a Neptunian that is both enchanting and confusing, too. Caught in the rays of Neptune is Prince’s natal Pisces Moon. The Moon represents our emotions as well as our body, so here I’m thinking of all the androgynous glamor of Prince in his heyday, leotards and all.
Matters of love are not too well-expressed in Prince’s chart: he’s got both Juno, Goddess of Marriage, square his nodes, suggesting marriage gets in the way of his calling; Venus (love, sex, beauty) squares both Uranus (rebelliousness, individuality) and Ceres (nurturing). Additionally, his 5th House of lovers, romance, and sex is connected to the 12th House, which is like having sex (5th) in a cemetery (12th).
His 7th House of marriage looks relatively robust upon the first view, being that its ruler, Venus, is in the same house and its home sign of Taurus. However, that aforementioned patch of spooky astro-land, the 12th House of suffering, illness, death, and isolation is ruled by…Venus, found in the house of marriage. Connections between loss, death, and love abound here.
Equally, there is a loose but present connection between the South Node, which some consider karmic, and others consider depleting or draining, next to the planet of love and sex.
It may be a point of interest that one’s birth chart never dies, even if we do. As of now, Prince’s estate continues to be plagued with issues, with the most recent disagreement having arisen over a new release of music by a record producer who evidently does not have the rights to do so.
This year, we will have eclipses across the Leo-Aquarius axis, and the next Leo eclipse will occur not only in Prince’s career house but on his Midheaven, a very powerful and personal career point. Watch for developments to occur circa the Solar Eclipse in Leo occurring August 21st, 2017, with the eclipse conjunct his Midheaven, and transiting Saturn conjunct natal Saturn (in the house of money!!).
THAT NAME CHANGE
Just a few words here, friends, to talk symbols.
Symbols are a huge part of astrology, as you may have already noticed. In fact, for many, it’s the reason why they choose to hire a professional astrologer at all, being that the look of a birth chart is decidedly foreign for the average Joe.
I wasn’t aware of the origins of Prince’s personal symbol, sometimes called ‘the Love symbol,’ which he used in place of his name professionally and legally from his birthday in 1993 until 2000. Cleverly, Prince had devised this name game to thwart his foes at Warner Brothers, as they had the rights to use his public name ‘Prince,’ as and when they wished.
The story goes that Prince asked a few designers to create a symbol that would merge the symbols for woman (♀) and man (♂), and this was what was made. They never edited it again or even cleaned it up. Prince was now known by this symbol, or sometimes as ‘the artist formerly known as Prince.’
Within this glyph, you can clearly see the presence of both Venus and Mars, and in my own view, you can also see the glyph of Eris, a dwarf planet that was yet to be discovered in 1993, which was named after the Goddess Eris, famous for her discord-loving, no-shit-giving ways – an attitude I think Prince would have appreciated.
Venus’ glyph on her own is meant to be the ‘mirror of Venus’; many ancient depictions of Venus in statue form show her gazing into a mirror as a sign of her vainglorious manner. Although the glyph of Venus acts a replacement for all things female, it actually holds significance astrologically. Firstly, the glyph is perfectly symmetrical, which for the Greeks was the basis for beauty. Secondly, it illustrates the clean, even way in which Venus’ orbit is drawn through the sky.
Mars’ glyph, on the other hand, evokes the emblematic sword of the warrior Ares (aka Mars). Interestingly, the glyph of Mars also describes its astronomical tendencies, as the asymmetry of the glyph mimics the zig-zagged, lopsided way Mars marches through the sky.
Prince’s symbol may have also included more than just Eris as an unintended reference. The spiraled part of the symbol is significant on its own, whether that was planned or not.
Spirals bear a connection to the cycle of death and rebirth, a passage that Prince seems to have undertaken by letting his Prince persona die, so something else can be born.
As for the astrology at the time of Prince’s change of name, there are a few very telling planetary aspects at play. Saturn, which loves to recalibrate any given area of our birth chart, sometimes to our disdain, had just, and I mean *just*, entered Prince’s 5th House of children, lovers, and creative endeavors. A conjunction with his Moon shows that this was a heavy time emotionally and not a spur-of-the-moment discussion by a spoiled artist – this was a creative revolution in the making (Saturn in the 5th, trine the North Node).
Also on the same day, Mars (conflict) had just finished meeting up with and opposing Chiron (pain, healing) in the part of Prince’s chart handling his career and public reputation. Quelle surprise! There’s something in this small transit that speaks to the pain this change will cause him, but the eventual healing it may offer, too: for the entire period of his name change, his reputation suffered and his sales plummeted, but in the end, he won.
A FEW CHOICE ASTEROIDS
Firstly, just like Muhammad Ali and David Bowie, Prince has a prominently placed asteroid ‘Fama’ (fame, scandal), right on top of his natal Pallas-Athena (creative genius, androgyny). Pallas-Athena is in fact quite an important player in Prince’s chart: one of the strongest aspects in his chart is Venus sextile Pallas-Athena, which Demetra George has described as,“the ability to channel sexual energy into artistic expression. One’s feminine sexual identity can also be integrated with outer world accomplishments. Because of the internal sexual balance that is present, the individual may be androgynous and experience ease in a variety of sexual interactions.”
And how! As Prince himself said, “Ain’t no particular sign I’m more compatible with”…!
A Scorpio Ascendant, 5th House Moon, and Venus-Pallas connection would be enough to up the sexual ante, but asteroid Bacchus on his North Node and Dionysus opposite his Mars blow the sexual-spiritual-orgiastic vibe out of the park.
Bacchus and Dionysus were one and the same, Bacchus being the Roman iteration of the original Greek Dionysus. Primarily, these gods are involved in partying, singing, dancing, and drinking (Bacchus and Dionysus are the Gods of wine), as well as the cathartic release of pent up energies via celebratory (even orgiastic!) practice.
Dionysus opposing Mars (conflict) in the 6th House (health) makes me wonder if the source of his chronic pain and later hip replacement wouldn’t have been all of the Dionysian diving from pianos while wearing high-heeled boots (which is very Mars in Aries – physical and daring).
I was interested to see where some of the musical asteroids sat in Prince’s chart. Two of these are found in his 10th House of career: Polyhymnia (Greek muse of singing and dance) and Harmonia (harmony).
I’m also interested in Saturn (maturity, authority, discipline) next to asteroid Pandora (letting all hell break loose due to our curiosity) in the 2nd House of money and personal resources. Prince’s push for artistic independence certainly brushed a few folks the wrong way, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they considered him a bit of a pain-in-the-Pandora. Interestingly, Prince’s Chiron (pain) is in good relationship to Saturn (structure), so it seems to suggest that financial pains could be healed by opening up Pandora’s box.
There is a smattering of tragic asteroids in Prince’s chart, too, which may describe the children he lost to illness and miscarriage with his wife, Mayte. Conjoined Prince’s Sun, there is asteroid ‘Lucina,’ which in Rome was the Goddess of childbirth; normally this would be fine, but its presence in the 8th House of Death describes something possibly more problematic. Also, asteroid Ceres, who is also a significator of childbirth and conception, is sandwiched next to her Roman equivalent Demeter as well as Uranus, which often creates trauma wherever he looms. Prince’s natal Persephone, the child of Ceres lost to the Underworld, is conjoined his Pallas-Athena, and the Roman equivalent Proserpina is found in the 5th House of children, squaring his natal Saturn, which suggests the denial of children.