This is a question that even fans of his have struggled to answer, perhaps without ever really admitting it to themselves. Of course he was a huge rock star, of course he was an actor, and of course he was a great showman. But there was always a quality about him that suggested he was an object of extraterrestrial origin. He wasn’t distant and unreachable: he was just always slightly to the left of where everyone else was, and his persona compelled you to step that way to see if you could get a little closer. Sometimes you could and sometimes not, and sometimes when you got there what you saw wasn’t what you were expecting at all, until he moved again and shimmered and became a new iteration of his own theme.
Now the show has ended, and there will be no encores. David Bowie has died in the shadow of a Pluto-laden New Moon on top of his Sun. It’s as if the Solar System itself conspired with him to make one last statement.
“I had to phone someone so I picked on you
Hey, that’s far out, so you heard him too!”
David Bowie was born January 8th 1947 at 9:00 AM, in Brixton. I have a hard time imagining what an astrologer of the time would have made of it, describing the birth chart of this new arrival to his mother, Peggy Jones. With a Sun-Mars conjunction in Capricorn in his 12th House, he was obviously a fighter of some sort, someone who would always be struggling with or towards something. This was most obvious as a child, when he got in a lot of fights… most notably in 1961 when a fight over a girl left his with a permanently damaged left eye, forever dilated more than the right eye (The Moon rules the left eye, and Bowie had Saturn and Pluto conjunct his Moon). That Moon-Saturn-Pluto aspect was opposite his Ascendant, and his showman’s charisma beamed through his Aquarius ascendant like an unexpected signal from Andromeda.
Today in the early 21st Century we struggle to adapt to ideas like “gender fluid,” but since his fame in the early 1970s David Bowie was gender-fluid, stylistically-fluid, and something approaching species-fluid. That Sun-Mars conjunction, with Mars exalted in Capricorn, drove him to strange landscapes in the mind and we followed him, if only to see what the heck he was up to.
Perhaps that theoretical astrologer would have told Peggy that, with Uranus in the Fifth House and Venus on the Midheaven, her son would be prone to creating strange and shiny works of art, and that perhaps he’d even have some material success at it. Peggy might then say something like “what kind of works of art?” And if that astrologer were honest, he’d look at young David’s Neptune in Libra, aspecting six other planets and the Nodes in his birth chart… and that astrologer would probably be forced to say something like “God only knows. This child’s creative imagination is a lot better than mine.”
Who was David Bowie? He was The Starman. He was Ziggy Stardust. He was The Man Who Fell To Earth and The Thin White Duke and Jareth the Goblin King.
David Bowie was an artist.