The Astrological Portrait
of Ziggy Stardust
“There's a Starman waiting in the sky
He’d like to come and meet us
But he thinks he'd blow our minds”
– David Bowie "Starman"
David Robert Jones, widely known as David Bowie, came to this planet on a cold morning on the 8th of January, 1947. Brixton, London was the place where his first crying was ever heard.
David Bowie is a Capricorn and has his Moon in Leo. His birth time at 09:00 am, as mentioned by his parents and wife, places his Ascendant in the sign of Aquarius.
Counting the Planets
An initial glance at his natal chart shows that he is having four planets placed in Fire Signs and equally, four more in Earth Signs. If we add his Ascendant and Midheaven in the sum, the Fire elements gains preponderance, but let’s keep in mind that his chart is vibrating both with Fire and Earth energy.
Four planets in Cardinal Signs and four more in Fixed give another tie, but adding the Ascendant and Midheaven in the mix, it yields for the Fixed Quality.
This overall placement of the planets shows that his natal chart is vibrating with Leo Energy (Fixed Fire) but the personal planets give intensity to the Capricorn Energy (Cardinal Earth). This couldn’t be more fitting for a man that has his Sun in one of the two Signs (Capricorn) and his Moon in the other one (Leo)!
His natal chart is diurnal. This means that at the time of his birth the Sun is above the horizon and most of the planets are placed in the southern hemisphere of the chart. This shows him to be mainly an extrovert person who finds it easy to socialize and to interact with his social environment. Six planets in the 3rd quadrant of the chart and three planets in the 4th quadrant make him share, collaborate and depend on others, while at the same time he is having the ability to act with self motivation and to leave his personal mark.
The numerous collaborations he has been involved with artistically, many of them important and ones he was based upon during his long career, is characteristic of his heavy 3rd quadrant. The most important probably the one with Brian Eno in the so called “Berlin Trilogy” during 1977 – 1978, a collaboration that re-launched his career when at low point and which was quite formative.
David Bowie’s Moon is above the horizon and that shows that it is easy for this Moon to express publicly and feel exposed. It is a Leo Moon that desires recognition and craves adoration and devotion, it is a soul that expresses theatrically and full of passion.
With such a Moon, that wants to create and needs public acceptance, placed in the 3rd quadrant, and a Sun in Capricorn that aims for recognition through achievements and is ambitious to reach to the top, David Bowie had no problem whatsoever to desire fame from a very young age. According to his own words, he declared his intention to be England’s greatest rock star when at the age of eight! He has formed his first rock band when he was seventeen years old and he has created the first and most known of his many personas, the androgynous Ziggy Stardust, when twenty five.
The Saturn – Leo Motif
The Sun is placed in the 12th house and in the Sign of Capricorn that is ruled by Saturn. Saturn is placed in the 7th house and in the Sign of Leo, which is ruled by the Sun. So the two planets are in mutual reception, working in unity, supporting each other.
Saturn makes us approach seriously what is that we do and makes us effective, disciplined and patient. The Sun is our identity, our self, our aim in life and our will. The Sun in David Bowie’s natal chart is placed in the 12th house. This placement of the Sun, in other nativities and always in relation to the overall chart, can make it function rather solemnly and to not come to the fore. This is not the case with David Bowie because it is the mutual reception that empowers both planets and in a sense “brings” the Sun as a king in Leo and Saturn as an executive director in Capricorn. This, is a mutual reception that once again repeats (!) the motif of Leo – Capricorn that we have seen earlier when we did the elemental and modal analysis of the chart!
Saturn conjuncts the Moon and gives emotional and psychological maturity, organisational skill and responsible nature. It would be totally different if we have had Saturn conjunct the Moon and Sun in the 12th without the mutual reception, than what we are now having, where the Sun and Saturn talk to each other and so Sun comes to the fore and “lights up” Saturn and the near-by Moon which it disposits.
Now we can easily understand why David Bowie throughout his career, was simultaneously a great performer, expressing his theatrical Moon and a competent businessman and entrepreneur (Saturn in Leo empowered by the mutual reception with the Sun).
David Bowie is the first ever artist that issued Corporate Bonds with underlying collateral his performing royalties. This came to be in the 90’s and nowadays this kind of intellectual property securitization is called Bowie Bonds!
Ziggy comes from Mars
His Mars conjunct the Sun and exalted gives him the intensity with which he unceasingly worked all these years. It is also this Mars-Sun conjunction in the 12th house of hospital cure that bestowed him with courage, as he was fighting his cancer, working up until the very end, so as to leave his final album as a legacy to his fans. An album in which he made numerous and obvious references to the fact that he was about to die.
A very interesting aspect is the Mars-Neptune square. Neptune is associated with illusions and addictions, everything that has a deceptive and ephemeral quality, it is the transcendental glow of glam-rock while it lasts. Mars is exalted but it is also placed within the “secret” 12th house, something that could hint to Bowie’s bi-sexual orientation.
This becomes all the more interesting since Ziggy, the glam androgynous alter-ego that Bowie had adopted in his early career, obviously a statement of his own bi-sexuality, had supposedly came from planet Mars. Ziggy was attired in glam clothes and with his Stardust surname alluded to drug taking and illusions (Neptune).
"Ziggy Stardust represents the definitive rock star: sexually promiscuous and wild in drug intake, but with a message of peace and love. He thinks he is a messiah in the end he is destroyed both by his own consumptions, and by the fans he inspires". 
This is a description of messianic self-deception wrapped in ephemeral glitter, clearly a Neptune motif. Ziggy's end in fan adored martyrdom and in a state of drug induced illusory haze is reflective of both the taboo 8th house and the self-destruct and self-sacrificial 12th house themes, that the square of the two planets brings together.
The Mars - Neptune square in Bowie's natal chart, channels the energies of all of his creative (Neptune) urges (Mars). It expresses Bowie's glam art, his ambiguous sexuality and is embodied in his famous alter-ego.
Music comes from Venus
If we move from the melancholic 12th house and raise our glance upwards to the top of the chart we see the beautiful Venus conjunct upon David Bowie’s Midheaven. The planet that gives beauty and artistry is right on the 10th house cusp and shows that Bowie will express his art, his aesthetics, in society, publicly and with a manner that will make him famous and renowned.
Expressing his sentiments through art and the theatricality in his expression being the most important aesthetic criterion for Bowie, are denoted by the trine that Venus makes to his Moon. Venus (Art, Music) rules his 3rd house, how he communicates, and the Moon rules his 6th house, his everyday work, combining them once more in productive creation.
Venus is also art and music from within the Sign of Sagittarius, and his music becomes an artistic quest and an experimental journey, with Bowie liking to explore nearly all musical styles and expanding on his musical and singing repertoire throughout the years. Folk Music, Glam Rock, Hard Rock, Electronic Music, Pop, Rhythm & Blues, Bowie has sung them all and according to many, he has also influenced them all.
A little bit to the right of Venus, Jupiter, her dispositor, is a very special case on the chart, placed on a critical degree and ruling Bowie’s mid-heaven bringing favour and expansion to his performing career.
“Rebel Rebel” & “Changes” the names of the songs.
Uranus is the planet of changes, eccentricity, ingenuity, originality and anti-conformity. The songs “Rebel Rebel” and “Changes” come to mind as well as the numerous changes that Bowie has had in his appearance and his artistic personas throughout the years.
Uranus rules Bowie’s Ascendant and is the chart ruler. It is also the leading planet along with the Sun in the Locomotive pattern of the chart. Uranus is quincunx the Sun and sesquiquadrate the Ascendant. Both Uranus aspects show that Bowie’s sense of identity (Sun) is indirectly expressed (12th house & inconjunct aspect) through constant changes and through the various alter ego’s (Ascendant) that Bowie adopts on stage.
The Aquarian Ascendant gives out both a strong Uranus and a Saturn flair to his appearance. Two flairs like two colors, like his eyes that appear to be different while being the same color. So Alien eyes, so Alien personas.
Bowie is an Alien who fell on Earth from the sky (Uranus), he is Ziggy from planet Mars and has a constellation named after him in the sky.
David Bowie has returned to the heavens on the 10th of January, 2016.
He has left behind, stardust, silver screens in drive-ins and music that comes from the Stars and is for the Stars.
David Bowie as a case study for Declination Aspects.
1. Declination aspects that emphasize
the same two planets in Ptolemaic aspect by longitude
Using a 10 degree orb for the lights we can perceive the following:
The Moon- Pluto conjunction in Leo and in the public 7th house is reinforced by the Moon Pluto parallel in north declination giving a strong emphasis on the fact that David Bowie’s has had a powerful need to express his emotional self in a theatrical and performing manner and that the whole process was indeed deeply transformative for him, changing moods and personas reinventing himself again and again.
The Sun - Mars conjunction in Capricorn and in the 12th house is reinforced by the parallel in south declination between Sun and Mars. This emphasizes his ambition that fuelled his ceaseless work and more than this his fighting spirit, so very obvious in the last year of his life when he found the courage to record his last album from within the hospitalized 12th house knowing that he was dying of cancer.
2. Important declination aspects
Mercury is out of bounds at -24°23’ and Pluto is out of bounds at 23°35’ being also contra-parallel to each other. Bowie surely had unconventional and re-creational ideas.
Sun parallel Mars and near the maximum south declination is an aspect indicative of his defiant spirit, the one seen in the film “Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence”
Moon parallel Pluto parallel Uranus is a triple stellium that shows deep constant emotional changes that could be argued to be reflective of his various personas.
Please note that it is of extreme interest that the above declinations are:
- near the North and South Maximum Declination and that
- they are 2 sets of parallels that are contra-parallel in between them.
It seems that Mr Bowie has found a perfect way to balance these two different aspects of his personality.
3. Interesting declination aspects
Sun parallel south node and contra parallel the north node is a strong indication for his destined status but the aspect is not found in the natal chart. It is nevertheless interesting that it is found in declinations.
Jupiter parallel Venus in south declinations could be indicative of his charismatic appeal but the two planets are not in aspect in longitude.
THE IMPORTANCE OF AN ASTROLOGICAL READING
Andrew Ifandis approaches the horoscope as a portrait of a person’s inherent potential. A reading can reveal your natal chart’s dynamics, prepare you for the future and can constructively help you towards awareness, self-realization and externalization of the creative within yourself.
© Andrew Ifandis-Cosmos of Astrology