Artists and Astrology

What makes an artist an artist?  A successful artist must possess natural talent, education and experience, sufficient discipline to work at their craft, and the drive to succeed.  In many cases, when looking at artists there also seems to be an iconoclastic streak  – the need to burst through the boundaries of tradition and make a mark on the world.

This article will examine some astrological factors that appear significantly more often in artists than they do in the general population or a control group.  I will explain my methodology at the end of the article.

What does one look for in a chart to show artistic success?  Many astrologers might look first for Venus and perhaps Neptune prominence when looking at the charts of artists. But are Venus and Neptune the correct places to look when looking at artists?  If so, what sort of Venus and Neptune factors should astrologers look for?

What astrological attributes actually denote a successful artist?  The research shows some interesting results.  Here is a table that compares percentages of factors that appear in a group of 280 artists against a control group:

Control %

Factor

Artists %

85.53

Total Signature Score

93.21

9.11

Moon in Aries

11.79

 9.04

Moon in 3rd House

11.07

7.66

Moon in 12th House

10.71

7.70

Moon trine Jupiter

10.36

5.96

Moon square Uranus

9.64

6.49

Moon square Neptune

9.29

6.95

Moon square Pluto

9.29

9.22

Sun in Pisces

12.86

8.01

Sun trine Jupiter

11.07

7.66

Sun trine Ascendant

10

6.03

Venus square Neptune

8.21

5.78

Venus square Ascendant

8.21

7.98

Mars in Taurus

11.43

9.29

Mars in Leo

12.86

6.52

Mars square Jupiter

8.57

2.45

Mars semi-square Uranus

4.64

8.33

Jupiter in 9th House

10.36

7.84

Jupiter in 11th House

10.36

3.72

Jupiter sextile Saturn

5.71

7.62

Saturn in 11th House

12.14

2.55

Saturn quincunx Uranus

5

10.00

Pluto in 9th House

14.64

6.81

Pluto trine Ascendant

9.29

9.57

Ascendant in Cancer

13.21

7.23

Midheaven in Aries

11.07

8.19

Midheaven in Capricorn

11.07

Please note that it is impossible for all factors to be present in every artist – in fact the highest count of any artist in the experimental group was 9 factors out of 26. The experimental group is made up of artists who worked in art for their living.

Moon in Aries.  Artists are statistically more likely to have Moon in Aries than others.  Why? It might be a quest for emotional independence – marching to the beat of a different drummer when it comes to expressing oneself emotionally.  The abundant emotional energy apparent with this placement also helps the artist’s creativity.  The Cardinality moves the artist forward and on to new things, always ready to take on a new project with a new point of view. 

Moon in the 3rd House.  The Moon’s emotional nature exhibits itself through the 3rd House’s communications theme.   If nothing, the artist communicates on an emotional level.  Paintings and sculpture require no words to display their meaning.  An artist is able to transcend normal methods of communication to make an immediate emotional impact using just the medium of art.

Moon in the 12th House. The emotional life inhabits the artist’s dream world.  Many artists live and work from a place of emotional seclusion.  The studio can become the artist’s cell, with the emotions only allowed to take flight through translating the artist’s dreams onto canvas or other media.

Moon trine Jupiter.  The Moon and Jupiter seem to be extraordinarily prominent in artists’ charts and are in an easy relationship with each other.  Emotional expansion would be the concept that comes to mind with this combination.  The emotional and unconscious qualities that the Moon denotes is energized and enlarged by its easy relationship with Jupiter.  This aspect could also show that the artist connects with the public at large easily.

Moon square Uranus. Squares are exciting and activating. Moon square Uranus suggests the emotional iconoclast.  Could this possibly be a contributing factor to so many great artists having tumultuous emotional lives?  Since some artists have a fairly unconventional way of expressing themselves emotionally (though their artistic medium), perhaps there is sometimes stress when in relationships with those more conventional in emotional expression.

Moon square Neptune. Emotions and mysticism combine to produce great art that awakens to the subconscious?  Perhaps.  For some, Neptune would be thought of as one of the main factors that would be prominent in artists’ charts.  This is a square, however, so there is tension here.  We also see the repetition of the possible emotions/dream world theme seen in the Moon/12th House section above.

Moon square Pluto. All right, so now we have the Moon square all of the so-called Transpersonal Planets.  The Moon’s square with Pluto suggests the artist personally locking into the transformative process.  The Moon so strikingly aspecting these slow-moving, generational planets bring the Zeitgeist through the artist to the world at large.

Sun in Pisces. Along with the normal watery, emotional cast Pisces calls to mind for modern astrologers, let’s not forget that classically Jupiter is the Domicile ruler of Pisces.  As he have seen and will again see in this article, Jupiter is one of the factors that shows up in these combinations most frequently.

Sun trine Jupiter.  Yet another Jupiter contact.  This can signify the ego expansion the artist realizes when their work (and the artist) gains acclaim.  Jupiter give the opportunity to expand the self, and this can be expressed through ar

Sun trine Ascendant. This can be artist leaving his or herself on the canvas (or in the marble).  What you see is what you get – the inner self and the work are one.  The Ascendant is also the first point of interaction with the outside world – the mask the artist wears.

Venus square Neptune.   Venus, the planet traditionally associated with art, squares Neptune – the planet of dreams. Squares show action, activity, and a driving force.  Perhaps the Venus square Neptune shows the driving force to display artistically the dream world.

Venus square Ascendant. Here we see the dynamic tension of the square driving the most personal point in the chart, the Ascendant, working with the artistry of Venus.  The art becomes the person; the person become the art.

Mars in Taurus.  Mars (action, drive) is disposed by Venus, the Domicile ruler of Taurus, the planet most closely associated with artistry by astrologers.  With placements such as this, it is almost as important to look to the placement of the dispositor – in this case Venus – to see where and how Mars will express its energy.

Mars in Leo.  This may denote the self-promotion that an artist has to be accomplished at to succeed.  Mars is Peregrine (without Essential Dignity) for the first 20 degrees of Leo – a “loose cannon” placement.  As above, one should also look to the placement of the Sun as Mars’ dispositor to bring more depth.

Mars square Jupiter. Mars activity meets Jupiter’s expansion.  Often in the art world, nothing succeeds like excess.  Temperamental and irascible are two other words one might use to define this aspect.

Mars semi-square Uranus.  Here we see active iconoclasm.  This aspect shows the energy needed to shock and overturn the status quo.  The unconventional is aggressively sought out and displayed.

Jupiter in the 9th House.  Jupiter is expansion – growing to fill the empty spaces.  Jupiter and the 9th House are also concerned with learning and scholarship.  Art in its execution requires knowledge – not just of the practicalities of painting and sculpture – but of anatomy, the nature of light, geometry, etc.  One of Jupiter’s main themes is inclusiveness – and as an artist one needs to be inclusive.  On a more practical note, it seems that many artists tend to not reside in their country of birth – and Jupiter and the 9th House both denote travel and foreign lands.

Jupiter in the 11th House.  Networking – an expanded circle of acquaintances is the lifeblood of an artist; gallery openings, shows, museum get-togethers, etc. William Lilly, in “Christian Astrology” also said, “Jupiter doth especially rejoice in this House” and that the 11th also denotes, “The Praise or Dispraise of anyone.” So acceptance or dismissal by art critics could also be tied to this placement.

Jupiter sextile Saturn.  Jupiter’s expansiveness meets Saturn’s discipline – ideas are wonderful, but the work must be completed.  There is an easy relationship between somewhat opposite natures of Jupiter and Saturn – expansion versus contraction.  Saturn lends the required discipline to see projects through to completion.

Saturn in the 11th.  Saturn in the 11th shows an even higher percentage than Jupiter in the 11th.  What this suggests is that the artist needs to be serious and realistic with his friends, associates and critics.

Saturn quincunx Uranus.  This can show the uneasy relationship between satisfying the whims of the powers-that-be and the yearning for complete artistic freedom.  Artists though the ages have often had to deal with patron or others who commissioned artistic works while still following their artistic dreams.  What the patron or commissioner wants can often be at odds with the artist’s vision.

Pluto in the 9th.  This could show how art transforms scholarly, religious, and legal systems.  Burn it down to build anew.  Throughout the Centuries, artists also made their living in the employ of religious institutions.

Pluto trine the Ascendant. The transformative power of the Universe expressed though the artist.  With this placement, the artist may be able to draw on the power of the collective unconsciousness and produce work that reflects society at large.

Ascendant in Cancer.  Since Cancer is rising, the Moon is the chart ruler.  This shows expression of emotion to the world at large, with the capacity to touch the public emotionally – depending of course on the position and condition of the Moon in the chart.

Midheaven in Aries.  This denotes the career drive, which would be essential to most working artists.  The position and condition of Mars (Aries Domicile ruler) in the chart will be very important when delineating this factor.

Midheaven in Capricorn. Capricorn provides the drive, discipline and determination that could be very important towards mounting a successful artistic career. The position of Capricorn’s Domicile ruler, Saturn, will need to be taken into account when evaluating this placement.

There were many other chart factors that showed to be statistically more prevalent in artists than in the general population, but these 26 were the strongest.  The more factors one adds in, however, the law of diminishing returns comes into play.

How does the practicing astrologer use this information?  Naturally, since none of these factors show up in more than 15 percent of the 280 charts we can’t say that any of them definitively give us an “artist signature.”  What the astrologer needs to look at is if one or more of these factors is present in the chart, plus how well those factors may tie into the chart as a whole.

Let’s briefly look at some famous artist’s charts and see how some of these factors may be working.

Salvador Dali

 

 

 

Salvador Dali has Moon in Aries, Mars in Taurus, Cancer Ascendant, Aries Midheaven, Moon square Jupiter, Moon square Neptune and Jupiter sextile Saturn. Four of the seven factors he has in his chart involve the Moon, the chart ruler.  In addition, that Moon is on the Midheaven and sits on the Uranus/Neptune midpoint – as well as the Jupiter/Pluto midpoint.  Dali was a highly eccentric figure and a painter who brought dreams to life – and a consummate showman.

Paul Gauguin

 

 

 

 

Paul Gauguin has five of the factors in his chart: Mars in Leo, Jupiter in the 11th House, Pluto in the 9th House, Venus square Neptune, and Pluto trine the Ascendant.  While Gauguin doesn’t have the Moon square Neptune, he does have Moon opposed Neptune, both square Venus giving him a Moon/Venus/Neptune midpoint configuration.   He was best known for his paintings portraying life in Polynesia, and embraced the culture of those foreign lands (Pluto and Uranus in the 9th House).

Georges Seurat

 

 

Georges Seurat has Saturn in 11th House, Moon square Uranus, Venus square Neptune, Venus square Ascendant and Mars square Jupiter.  In addition to those, he also has a mutual reception of the Moon and Jupiter, the two planets that show up most in the list of significant factors.  Seurat shook up the art world with his technique of Pointillism, where small dabs of pure color on the canvas make up the painting.

Peter Paul Rubens

 

 

Rubens has Mars in Leo, Pluto in the 9th House, Midheaven in Aries, Moon trine Jupiter, and Moon square Pluto.  Mars and Pluto are also trine, and Moon conjuncts Saturn and opposes Neptune. Rubens is sometimes called “The Prince of the Baroque” and is credited with uniting northern art with that of Italy.  He was extraordinarily prolific and is considered to be one of the greatest European painters.

So, what does this research tell us?    This small study shows us that the Moon and Jupiter are very prominent in different ways in the charts of successful artists. What these 26 factors give us are starting points for delving deeper into a chart.  The same sort of analysis can be used when trying to find common ground within any profession.

What methodology was used?

Using AstroDatabank version 2, the birth data was filtered for a Rodden Rating of B or above (some sort of documented birth time) and the Vocational category of Art/Fine Arts.  Those without artist, painter or sculptor listed first in their biography were eliminated. This mainly removed people such as Winston Churchill, John Wayne Gacy, and others whose primary claim to fame was outside the fine arts.  This provided a database of around 280 artists, which was then imported into Jigsaw version 2.  Using Jigsaw, possible statistical anomalies were looked for using a graphic representation and a list of factors was developed.  The promising factors were noted for testing.  Then I created AstroSignatures in AstroDatabank based on my Jigsaw findings.  After running the artists Experimental group through the AstroSignatures, a control database was created using AstroDatabank.  The separate dates, years, times and places of birth of the Experimental group were replicated and 2,800 randomized charts were created based on the Experimental data.  This is so that demographic and historical variances would not affect the astronomical factors one has to consider when doing astrology research.  After finding factors that had statistically significant differences between the experimental group and the control group, factors that showed a total variance of less than 2 percent were discarded.  This left us with the 26 factors included in this article.

 

By | 2016-12-10T18:03:34+00:00 October 26th, 2012|Categories: Articles|Comments Off on Artists and Astrology

About the Author:

Frank Piechoski is a professional astrologer who approaches the subject from a practical perspective. He has been practicing astrology professionally for more than 20 years and has been doing charts for more than 35 years. He has lectured regionally, nationally, and internationally at various conferences and workshops. He has also served on the AFAN Steering Committee and the NCGR Board and is President and founding member of the NCGR Philadelphia Chapter. His astrology influences range from Hellenistic to the Modern - with major stops including Lilly and Ebertin along the way. Providing information his clients can actually use is his main aim.