Astrological Musings

by Lynn Hayes


Oprah will announce today that she will be stepping down in 2011 when her current contract expires.  Oprah has dominated the talk show world for 25 years, and it’s not surprising that as she hits midlife she is choosing to take another path.  The triple conjunction of Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune that has been affecting everyone since February of this year has been particularly powerful in her chart for reasons I’ll explain below, and she likely is feeling a push from within to feed her soul in a deeper way than she has been able to do previously.
This paragraph for astrology geeks only:  In any astrological profile, an accurate birth time is very useful but often difficult to obtain. My Solar Fire database has a birth time of 7:51 and rates it “A” but doesn’t provide a source.  Astrodatabank tells the story of a show where Oprah featured a “life clock” that computed her birth time to 7:50 pm.  However, there is no way to know if this “life clock” actually computed from her real birth time.  This time was disputed by astrologer Bob Marks who was told by Oprah after the show that she thinks she was born at 4:30 am but no one knows for sure.  I’m using the 4:30 am time here and I think it works nicely.
Oprah was born under the sign of Aquarius, the sign of authenticity and innovation.  Aquarians are not good followers; nor do they follow rules well.  Aquarius is all about creating new pathways and forging new destinies.  They are the inventors, the revolutionaries, and the trailblazers  The time of birth that we have for Oprah is approximate so we cannot pinpoint her ascendant, or rising sign exactly, but it appears that it was the very last minutes of Sagittarius and moving into Capricorn.  The ascendant is the persona – the way that others see us – so it is the easiest for us to guess and this blend of the optimism and expansiveness of Sagittarius with the grounded discipline and success orientation of Capricorn perfectly describes Oprah’s outward experience and the way that she has navigated the challenges of her life.  
Her Moon is in Sagittarius, giving her the core of positive optimism that has helped to drive her through the extreme difficulties of her life.  The Moon in Sagittarius likes to stay on the move and needs the independence to pursue one’s own adventures through life.  One account tells us that Oprah has eight homes, reflecting this need to find one’s place of comfort (Moon) in a variety of experiences (Sagittarius).  
It’s not only the Sun that falls in Aquarius in Oprah’s chart; her Sun is rightly conjunct Venus in Aquarius, illustrating her ability to draw and attract (Venus) others to her.  Sun/Venus people are typically people magnets; they have a magnetic quality and can be extremely influential.  However, this Sun/Venus combination is squared by Saturn in a challenging aspect that reveals her deep insecurities about her looks and lovability (Saturn/Venus) and a strong need for isolation and a tendency toward depression (Saturn/Sun).  
Oprah’s Venus, Sun and Mercury all fall in the second house of money and wealth, evidence of her powerful need to accumulate financial security.  The square from Saturn, the Celestial Taskmaster, shows that she has had to work very hard to make this happen.  Oprah is lucky financially with Venus in the second house, but Saturn makes sure that she works for what she has.  Mercury (the mind) in the second house often earns a living (money) through communication (Mercury) and shows that she has a facility with money and understands the way the ebbs and flow of finance operate.
Oprah has made no secret of the painful sexual abuse she experienced as a young girl, and we can see that in her chart with Mars (drive, anger, sexuality) in Scorpio (intensity and passion) squared by Pluto (death and transformation).  We call this an astrological “double whammy,” because Mars is in Scorpio, which is ruled by Pluto, and it is squared by Pluto making this a double Mars/Pluto signature.  When Mars and Pluto collide there is often (but not always!!) a history of abuse in the past, and there is nearly always a sense of having been blocked and obstructed that can lead to a deep rage.  
Weight gain is a complicated issue, and as everyone knows Oprah has struggled with her weight in a very public way.  Most of us who are prone to weight issues are emotional eaters, and it is not uncommon for someone with a deep rage such as we often find with Mars/Pluto to use food as a comfort and to block those feelings, which can be very distressing.  
Pluto is also in a stressful aspect to Oprah’s Mercury, revealing her probing (Pluto) mind (Mercury) and a deep interest in psychology and why people behave the way they do.  This fascination with people has fueled her show and brought her millions of fans, like me, who also enjoy taking a deep look beneath the surface (Pluto) of a subject to see what’s really going on underneath.   She also has Jupiter (optimism and success) in Gemini, the sign of communication, in the sixth house of work and it forms a harmonious trine to her Midheaven, the point of career.  No wonder she’s successful (Jupiter) in the communication (Gemini) field!!
Oprah’s relationship life is a topic of much discussion.  Why doesn’t she marry Stedman?  Is she gay and having an affair with her best friend Gayle King?  Like many of us, relationships are complicated in Oprah’s chart.  She has the Sun in Aquarius which needs to be independent.  She has the Moon in Sagittarius which needs emotional freedom, not emotional closeness, and her Moon sits in the eleventh house of friendship.  Oprah really wants friends, not lovers.  Not that she doesn’t have a sexual side – that Mars in Scorpio is extremely sexual and together with the square to Pluto can be extremely obsessive.  Oprah herself has told stories of relationships (with men who were largely unavailable) that she considered killing herself over.  Too much sexual connection and obsessive intimacy such as Scorpio and Pluto can bring is likely  frightening for her, something that is echoed by Saturn (insecurity) in Scorpio (sexuality and intensity).  In addition, Uranus (autonomy and rebellion) is in her seventh house of marriage and partnership, suggesting an unconventional (Uranus) approach to marriage (seventh house) and a need for freedom in that area.  I suspect that her current relationship with Stedman is much more comfortable, although perhaps less satisfying emotionally.  
The triple conjunction of Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune has been deeply affecting many people since they aligned earlier this year.  This is a combination that digs into our soul and calls on us to experience our true selves more deeply, and if these planets are affecting planets in our own chart the process is that much more significant.  All three planets have been transiting over Oprah’s Mars, Pluto and Mercury.  Many of us that were born in the early 1950s have Pluto at 22-26 degrees Leo, and the triple conjunction, at 22-26 degrees Aquarius, has been causing a great deal of introspection and a digging down deep (Pluto remember rules the underworld) to see where our life needs to have more meaning; to find ways in which we can connect more deeply to our own inner se
Transiting Pluto crossed Oprah’s ascendant in 2007 and 2008, a transformative planetary cycle that motivates us to take a deep look at our own life and our relationships.  It is likely that this move has been in the works for some time, and there is some speculation that she is going to keep the show on her own cable channel.  In May of 2010 Uranus will square her ascendant and the urge for change will accelerate.  At the same time, Saturn and Pluto will square her progressed Sun, and I suspect that whatever she is planning for now will be under review when these three planets start to exert their influence.
Oprah is a powerful example for anyone with challenging planetary aspects who worries that their life is doomed because, say, Mars squares Pluto in their chart.  She demonstrates vividly that sometimes it is the greatest challenges that offer the opportunities for the greatest power in our lives.
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