Archive for May 2010
Today’s birthday girl, Brooke Shields, was born at a particularly interesting time. I know because I went to school with dozens of people who were born at the same time (she’s only a few months older than me). The fast-moving planets in Gemini had lined up to form an awkward T-square with some cosmic heavyweights in Virgo and Pisces. The opposition between Saturn and the conjunct planets Uranus and Pluto would define that generation. To be perfectly honest, I believe that this has been an adverse aspect in the lives of most people born in about the last two-thirds of 1965 and the first half of 1966.
Of course, other aspects can mitigate this troublesome T-square. In Shield’s chart, for instance, she has a stellium in Gemini with both the moon and Venus smack dab on her midheaven. What a perfect aspect for a child model and beauty icon! On the other hand, she was born right before the Uranus/Pluto conjunction when Mars was actually making even worse aspects to Saturn.
She’s got a tough chart — the sort of chart that might make an astrologer wince. But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at a chart that looks terrific on paper (just the opposite of Shield’s chart), only to learn that the subject has led a tragic life. Sometimes this sort of adversity on a chart can distract from something as significant as Shield’s Mercury. Not only is Mercury the ruler of her sun sign, ascendant and midheaven, but she has the moon, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto in either of the two signs ruled by Mercury. Mercury isn’t only significant as a result; it’s the most significant feature of her natal chart. It sticks out like a sore thumb.
So now what does that tell me about this über-Gemini with the major mutable T-square in her chart? It tells me that she’s grounded and patient, and that she often belies the inconstant nature of her sun sign because she thinks everything through. At first glance, she’s a Gemini’s Gemini: As Mercurial as they come. At closer inspection, she’s as steady as the day is long.
Already a part of the collective consciousness for more than thirty years, with this chart there’s no reason to believe that she won’t be around for another thirty.
I would never describe one particular sun sign as bisexual. But when it comes to blurring the lines between the genders with fashion, only two signs seem to do it with aplomb: Gemini and Pisces.
Since I began writing about fashion and astrology, I’ve noticed that there are a lot of Gemini celebrities who can “go both ways.” Still, I was surprised to discover that the world’s first well-known transexual, today’s birthday girl Christine Jorgensen, was a Gemini.
In yesterday’s post I mentioned that this is a sign that I don’t expect to see going under the knife for the sake of hypersexualition. I believe that there are other motives that drive Geminis to get cosmetic surgery. What I find interesting about Jorgensen is that she had entirely different motives to undergo her sex change than many other individuals who have had the surgery. She was an “underdeveloped man,” bordering on the hermaphroditic.
Perhaps it would be easier to straddle that line in today’s society, but in the 1950s, Jorgensen felt as if she had to decide which sex to be. I wouldn’t call that hypersexualization. Picking a side doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve gone to extremes. Even as a woman, Jorgensen didn’t become a parody of womankind like so many transexuals do.
I spend so much time discussing the plastic surgery obsession that so many Taureans share that it seems ridiculous to get into again with today’s Gemini birthday girl, La Toya Jackson. But that isn’t going to stop me!
I suppose that the motives of Geminis who go under the knife are quite different than the motives of Taureans who do the same. Geminis want to be young forever. They have a playful, youthful spirit that often belies their appearance. The sun in Taurus, on the other hand, endows an individual with the capacity to overindulge. I believe they get caught up in the moment. One day they say to themselves “I’m not sexy enough,” and the next day they’ve got new boobs.
La Toya Jackson has had some major work. Like her Virgo brother, Michael Jackson, La Toya was born under the influence of a sign ruled by Mercury. It’s Mercury that gives this pair their childlike qualities. In both cases, their cosmetic procedures seemed to be about recapturing lost youth. Neither of them left the doctor’s office looking particularly sexy. Their sister Janet Jackson, however, has used plastic surgery to hypersexualize her appearance. And guess what? She’s a Taurus.
Today’s birthday girl, Elisabeth Hasselbeck, intrigues me. I was captivated by the way she stood her ground against Aries bully Rosie O’Donnell during their onscreen feud as cohosts of “The View.” It even made me believe that Elisabeth has a few IQ points on Rosie.
What intrigues me even more is that Rosie’s other well-publicized feud was also with a Gemini. There’s no love lost between O’Donnell and Gemini Donald Trump. I should be talking about Gemini style, but it’s important to note that this is a sign whose natives have a difficult time keeping their big mouths shut. The same goes for many Aries individuals; they often have a problem with tact and sharing too much information. Geminis, on the other hand, just like to talk, and talk, and talk . . .
Today’s full moon in Gemini comes at an especially auspicious time. On May 23, Jupiter and Saturn made their initial opposition — an event that only occurs once every twenty years. With Saturn sitting stationary at about 28° Virgo, that degree becomes tremendously important — even life changing — for anyone who has natal planets hovering around that degree or making strong aspects to it. Uranus also enters Aries today. The planet has been in Pisces since March of 2003. On May 31 Saturn turns direct, and just over a week later Jupiter leaves Pisces and then conjuncts Uranus in Aries on June 8. That’s also an infrequent aspect, happening every fourteen years or so.
The tone of the latter conjunction should be quite different from the tone of the first events I mentioned. Before I get ahead of myself, let me mention that today’s full moon is a great time to shut your mouth before you stick your foot in it. Don’t start a debate just because you’re feeling argumentative. And above all, if you’re going to argue, know what you’re talking about. In a debate, the full moon in Sagittarius favors the person with a deeper understanding of the issue. It’s no time to impress the world with your surface knowledge of a situation you believe you know because you probably don’t know much. It’s time to admit your shortcomings.
Back to the other aspects. I mentioned the Jupiter/Saturn opposition. A good way to try to understand that aspect is to study the conjunction that preceded it in May, 2000. If you can remember what you were doing then, then maybe you’ll be able to figure out where you’re headed now. I can say that that was an especially optimistic time in my life. My writing career was just about to take off, I was making positive strides in my personal life, and I felt extremely good about myself physically, mentally and spiritually. A few years later, however, I realized that there was a rather ”Pollyanna” quality to that time in my life. I bought into my own hype. That’s what Jupiter can do. It brought me rewards that I had earned, but it also brought me a chronic back injury, a huge tax bill that still haunts me to this day, and an unsustainable career in a discipline that I wasn’t completely comfortable with anyway. It took me way too long to figure that out.
It’s ten years later, and the planets that defined that era of my life are now in opposition. I can look back to the last time this happened: September, 1989. I was in university. I was making friends with the most interesting people I’d ever met. I decided to renew my fitness trainer designation through the YMCA, an organization I still volunteer for almost twenty years later. I was honing my skills as a writer, and I was remarkably content with the minutiae of my life. While it was a struggle, it was a struggle I was willing to take on. I may be idealizing that part of my past, but I don’t believe I am. The things I did in 1989 while this opposition occured have had a far more positive impact upon my life than anything else I’ve ever done.
So, I’m back there again, and so are all of you. And whether or not you want to change things in your life, you’re probably going to have to change them, anyway. The upcoming Jupiter/Uranus conjunction is big news, and I don’t feel like it’s going to be good news. I’m a little worried about it. Perhaps the Jupiter/Saturn opposition does have me feeling pessimistic. Fortunately, I don’t have much happening in the first degree of Aries in my chart, or in the first degree of any of my natal planets. But for those of you who do, it should be a time of major changes, and those changes will probably have a tremendous impact on the people around you — so no one is going to be able to avoid this aspect.
A couple of posts back, I wrote that many Gemini men have a difficult time expressing themselves through fashion because adopting a Gemini style can sort of make you into a spectacle. Today’s birthday boy, Outkast’s André 3000, doesn’t seem to have a problem with making people look his way.
I believe that this guy is one of the world’s best-dressed men. Like his fellow Gemini, Prince, he’s got a style that translates from the stage to his personal life quite seamlessly. In previous posts about this zodiac sign, I’ve mentioned that there’s a “what you see is what you get” quality to a well-dressed Gemini individual. What I get from André 3000 is that he dresses with the enthusiasm of a fourteen-year-old who just discovered fashion for the first time. Done well, Gemini style never gets old.
I became a crazed fan of designer Giles Deacon a few seasons back. I always wondered what his zodiac sign was because I had a hard time placing his aesthetic under the influence of a particular sign. After watching an interview with Giles on The Business of Fashion, I got a disinct Capricorn vibe from the the designer. He seemed so steady and conscious of what it was going to take to build a brand. So many people in fashion want to put the cart before the horse as they try to create a name for themselves, but not Giles. He seemed genuinely concerned about first making clothes that women wanted to wear, thereby allowing his brand to develop on reputation rather than hype. A Capricorn myself, I felt an affinity with his logical, patient approach to the business of fashion.
So I was sort of surprised this weekend when I discovered that Giles is a Sagittarius. I made the acquaintance of a lovely fellow-blogger named Christina Lindsay of Fashion’s Most Wanted. Christina is a friend of Giles, and she was able to confirm Giles’ birthday for me: December 14, 1969.
Although I didn’t have an exact birthtime or place of birth to analyze a complete natal chart, I did punch the designer’s details into my computer to have a look at where the planets were on the day he was born. I wasn’t completely wrong with the Capricorn influence because Giles’ Mercury is in Capricorn. He’s got the intellect of the sign combined with a sun sign he shares with of a couple of my favorite fashion designers, John Galliano and Vivienne Tam. He’s also got a chart that mirrors my own in a few aspects, with Mars and Jupiter in the air signs (in a strong, productive trine in Giles’ case), and the Sagittarius/Capricorn combination of the sun and Mercury. My natal Mercury is in Sagittarius and my sun is in Capricorn. I guess that’s why I’m writing about fashion instead of creating it. I guess that’s also why I idolize him the way I do. I see myself in Giles Deacon, only Giles is me in action rather than me sitting around blogging, or flapping my gums about how much I know about the world of fashion.
But back to his chart. This weekend was especially significant because Jupiter opposed Saturn in the sky. This intial opposition of the planets occurs once every twenty years. When the planets meet every twenty years, the aspect is called “the grand conjunction.” “The grand opposition” is at least as important, and can be even more important when it creates aspects in an individual’s natal chart. Giles has Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Pluto and Chiron sitting on or near the signs cusps in his chart. The Jupiter/Saturn opposition was at 27°52″, almost right on top of his natal Pluto and within orb of aspecting all the other planets mentioned. Combine that with Uranus sitting in the last degress of Pisces, and there probably won’t be a weekend in Giles Deacon’s life with as much astrological significance.
So to read the news that Giles has been named as the designer for Emanuel Ungaro this past weekend was amazing. This should be a transformative experience for both Giles and the struggling label, on par with Tom Ford’s tenure at Gucci. However, over the next week there may be some more news coming. Jupiter makes its rare conjunction with Uranus on June 8, again within orb of all these major planets on Giles’ chart. I can’t say that the news will be what the designer wants to hear. Is Ungaro in worse shape than he realized? Was he sold a bill of goods when he signed his contract that didn’t disclose exactly what he was getting into?
Perhaps, but without an accurate birthtime I can’t tell. Just as likely, the news could be good. In either case, I’m delighted to know that Ungaro is in the hands of someone as talented as Giles Deacon. As the wise Auntie Fashion wrote a month ago, the label is in such a state of disrepair that the only way to go is up. Sagittarian’s are the zodiac’s eternal optimists, so I hope Giles sees that. I’ve got high hopes for Ungaro!
I believe it’s difficult to be a Gemini man who expresses himself through fashion in a typically Gemini fashion. The styles that epitomize a Gemini woman can be rather conspicuous on a man. For instance, when people ask me to name a male icon of Gemini style, I usually refer to Prince or Boy George. I understand why most men wouldn’t be eager to embrace a similar signature style. The word “trendsetter” is sometimes synonymous with “dresses-like-a-homosexual” in our society.
So when I discover that someone like Tarsem is a Gemini, I’m not surprised. Almost twenty years ago, the music video director set trends in the medium that changed the way the world looked at music videos. Anyone who was around at the time can’t deny the cultural significance of R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion” or En Vogue’s “Hold On.”
This is the sign of the trendsetter. Some Geminis can keep it up for years and years, while others find that success can be as capricious as their own personalities. Today’s birthday boy does have a film in production that is rumored to be a potential blockbuster. Two decades ago this Gemini changed the way we looked at video. Will Tarsem be able to do it again? Only time will tell.
I adore today’s birthday girl, Stacy London. Watching her shopping on “What Not to Wear” reveals just what a textbook Gemini she can be. I don’t know a lot of forty-something individuals working in fashion who aren’t jaded by the business. Stacy, on the other hand, is still a kid in a candy store every time she begins to sort through the racks. It’s refreshing to see someone who can be catty on cue, yet still shows genuine delight to be included in the business of fashion.
Gemini is the sign of eternal naiveté. I wouldn’t call Stacy naive, but I wouldn’t define her as a cynic, either. I don’t associate cynicism with youth, and I don’t associate Stacy with cynicism. While she might crack a joke about a problematic outfit, she always offers a solution. When you work in something as frivolous as fashion I suppose that it can be become easy to be dismissive rather than constructive. Remaining fresh in this business is hard work, and it’s naive to believe otherwise.
In my book, “Cosmically Chic,” I urge Gemini women to embrace short hair, simply because of the styling options a good, short haircut can afford an individual. Today’s birthday girl, Patti Labelle, has been a shining example of Gemini qualities since the day she released her breakout hit, “Lady Marmalade,” with Labelle in the 70s.
While not all of Patti’s hairstyles have been short, I suppose the actual hair on her head has been kept short to allow her to take advantage of all the wigs and hair extensions that she’s donned over the years. I can’t think of another celebrity who has consistently wowed me with her devotion to change over such a long period of time. She’s an icon of Gemini style.