David Bowie: Stars of the Starman
©2016 by Gail Lawson Clough a/k/a Sister Ray the Astrologer
Not to be used or copied without author's permission
The Double Yod
The Art Detective
The Starman’s Fixed Stars
Mom and Dad
Soul Choice Houses
Sister Ray’s Eulogy to David Bowie
The whole world wept when David Bowie left planet Earth on January 10, 2016, two days after his 69th birthday. He was not just a rock superstar and fashion icon, David Bowie was an agent provocateur of sexual liberation who challenged the boundaries of gender identity, but his panoramic embrace of sexual roles is only part of what made him so unique. Bowie showed by example that your life is a work of art in progress. You create yourself as you travel the path of life. Bowie created and re-created multiple identities for himself in an all-in-one incarnation, beginning as a folksy singer/songwriter who then transformed himself into Major Tom, Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, the Diamond Dog, the Avant-Garde Berlin Expatriate, the Man Who Fell to Earth, the Cracked Actor, the Thin White Duke, the Peach Zoot-Suited Model, the Earthling and the Heathen, finally ending up as a devoted, monogamous family man! He even turned his death into a work of art, releasing his first number one album in the United States on his last birthday (and two days before his passing). Among David Bowie’s many achievements are 27 studio albums, nine live albums, more than a dozen feature films, numerous TV special guest appearances, including his famous duet with Bing Crosby, the lead role in two Broadway plays, and several exhibitions of his paintings.
The stars of the Starman are as awe-inspiring as one might expect. David Robert Jones was born on January 8, 1947, the same day and month as Elvis Presley. Not only did he have the two luminaries conjunct the classic malefics, Mars and Saturn, he had multiple fixed star contacts and a double Yod!
The Double Yod
Sister Ray’s upcoming book about the Yod has a sign-by-sign analysis of all the possible Yod Fulcrum/Foot combinations between the luminaries and planets. Here are the ones that pertain to Mr. Jones:
Sun Capricorn Yod Fulcrum
With a Sun Yod in Capricorn, you want to manage and administer the Yod energy. Of the twelve signs, Capricorn and Pisces are the best equipped to adapt to the Sun Yod. Organized Capricorn can devise a method or methods to cope with the pressure of having a Yod. Capricorn's Ruler, Saturn, favors the steady, methodical approach to solving problems and putting excess energy to practical use. By compartmentalizing the Yod and breaking it down into its components, you are able to sort and manage its power. You may find that you have a series of mini-Special Purposes that come together and lead to a grand finale. This will be triggered by your Moon-ruled Cancer A.P. For the greatest insight into your Special Purpose, pay close attention to your inner self and higher mind when the Moon transits Cancer and Capricorn every month.
Mars Capricorn Yod Fulcrum
Mars in Capricorn is at its best and you have a Special Purpose to administrate. Business administration comes naturally to you, as the executive ability of Capricorn can harness the energy of Mars to make things happen and achieve serious goals of a business nature. You could be head of a corporation or principal of a school. Whatever activities you are involved with, you are always the mastermind behind making things happen in an organized way and you are matter-of-fact about it. You do it because you can. Your Cancer A.P. could be a source of irritation for you when your home and family distract you from your seemingly important activities in the public world, but remember that every empire needs a solid foundation. Try not to neglect your home and family.
Uranus Gemini Yod Fulcrum
This is an exciting and effervescent Yod, bursting with energy. You have a quick, clever mind and love to flit from topic to topic freely. Without a doubt, your Special Purpose involves inspiring others at the least and also teaching them. There is a spiritual component to this Yod because of its Sagittarius A.P. Gurus and spiritual leaders often have mutable fire sign Sagittarius prominent in their horoscopes. You can inspire others by your very presence, whether you are aware of this or not. In your case, it is possible that you will find your Special Purpose without knowing it.
Yod Bearers tend to have many ups and downs in life, the “see-saw” effect. This was discovered by Dutch astrologer Karen Hamaker-Zondag and published in The Yod Book, etc., Samuel Weiser, 2000. David Bowie (“DB”) was a driven Yod Bearer who went through many dramatic ups and downs in his life, from his long struggle to secure a recording contract; to his wild and crazy open marriage to his first wife; his early experiments with cross-dressing and bisexuality, which led to the genesis of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars; his years of addiction to cigarettes and cocaine; his exile in Berlin where he overcame his addictions; his second career as an actor; his second marriage and commitment to a monogamous relationship which resulted in the birth of his second child; and finally, to his last days as a recluse in upstate New York. David Bowie’s musical career came full circle with his last two album releases in 2013 and 2016.
Bowie had a powerful, interlocking double Sun/Mars and Uranus Yod with the two Yod Fulcrums connected by a shared Yod Leg from the Sun/Mars to Uranus. The shared Yod Leg represents his parents, with the Sun/Mars Yod Foot symbolizing his father and the Uranus Yod Foot symbolizing his mother. David Bowie was driven by the stars and his Yods, but his parents were the vehicle. DB’s parents seem to have reversed their roles, with the father playing the nurturing role and the mother playing the role of the distant authoritarian. DB’s mother, Peggy, was afflicted with schizophrenia and had difficulty expressing emotion, especially love. His father, John Haywood Jones, supported and encouraged DB’s creativity, lavishing on David the attention that he craved. The father Yod, the Sun/Mars Yod, has Pluto and Uranus at its base, symbolizing DB’s ability to influence an entire generation. He transformed the viewpoint of his generation towards homosexuality and bisexuality (Uranus), bringing these issues out into the sunlight (Sun/Mars), with himself as the focal point. The mother Yod, the Uranus Yod, with its Sagittarius A.P., has Jupiter and the Sun/Mars at its base, symbolizing DB’s ability to revolutionize (Uranus) attitudes toward sexuality (Jupiter in Scorpio), once again, bringing them out into the light (Sun/Mars). The Uranus Yod A.P. at 23.5 Sagittarius, is the archer’s arrow of libidinal liberation, the catalyst of which was the androgynous Ziggy Stardust persona. At the heart of this gestalt is DB’s craving for his mother’s love, symbolized by the Sun/Mars Yod A.P. at 15-degrees Cancer, which is in the same house as his Moon/Saturn conjunction, which also represents his mother. I believe that the need for his mother’s love was a big influence on him.
The Art Detective
All of us are influenced by our parents to some degree or another, and this is true for DB, but the main focus of his life was creation. Above all, David Bowie was an artist. Venus in Sagittarius was his most elevated planet. She was parallel Jupiter, which is like a conjunction. Having both of the classic benefics in the same house is a gift which Bowie used well. Venus was in freedom-loving Sagittarius and free of the Yod. David freed himself from pain through artistic expression of all kinds. He is best known for his musical shows and recordings, but he was also a serious and successful film and stage actor, respected painter and a sculptor. His raison d’etre was art. He even turned his death into a work of art! In his brilliant existential masterpiece, 1. Outside, he plays an art detective, his quintessential role!
Once he attained international success, Bowie reached out to other struggling artists to help them get back on their feet, contributing songs and producing their albums. He produced, Transformer, Lou Reed’s LGBT album with the smash hit, “Take a Walk on the Wild Side.” He also co-produced the Stooges’ Raw Power, and had a lifelong friendship with Iggy Pop, the lead singer of the Stooges. DB and Mich Jagger had a #1 hit with their remake of “Dancin’ in the Streets.” He rejuvenated the popular British band, Mott the Hoople, writing the title song and producing, All the Young Dudes. His collaboration with Queen also resulted in a big hit, the operatic, “Under Pressure.” He collaborated with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and formed Tin Machine with Soupy Sales’ two sons, Tony and Hunt Sales. He also had long-time relationships with other talented musicians like Mick Ronson, Reeves Gabrels, Brian Eno, Adrian Belew, Mike Garson, Carlos Alomar, Gail Ann Dorsey, his school chum and tour mate, Peter Frampton, and the longest collaboration of all, with record producer, musician and singer, Tony Visconti.
Once his success was assured, Bowie could afford to be generous, but prior to that, he was ruthless in managing his career. He broke up the beloved Spiders From Mars on July 3, 1973 at the end of the show, unbeknownst to all of the band members except for Mick Ronson. He had a long-term rivalry with Mick Jagger, which was largely amicable due to their mutual admiration, but DB was always one step ahead of Jagger. This trend in Bowie’s career is an example of the Yod Bearer “before-and-after,” or “see-saw” effect, a reflection of the turmoil that Yod Bearers endure when their lives change drastically from year-to-year, and even sometimes month-to-month. It is like Yod Bearers are living multiple incarnations at once, matriculating in a crash course in Earth School. Having a Yod is like being on a permanent roller coaster. Having one Yod is hard enough, but having two is a challenge. Other famous double Yod Bearers are Aleister Crowley, Meryl Streep, Chuck Berry, Prince Albert of Monaco and Michel Gauquelin.
DB was an artist of the first magnitude, but he was also a deep thinker. He had an insatiable desire for knowledge and it is evident in his lyrics and his choice of subject matter. His Mercury was in Capricorn, and feeds into the Yod by sign and proximity. Although the orb for a Yod planet is only 2-3 degrees, sometimes an exception should be made, especially if one of the lumanaries is involved (in this case, the most important one, the Sun). Venus rules his third house of the mind and she is in free-thinking Sagittarius. Bowie was a seeker, and it is evident through his work. Here are a few of my favorites.
I still don’t know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild, a million dead-end streets
And every time I thought I got it made, it seemed the taste was not so sweet.
So I turned myself to face me, but I’ve never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker, I’m much too fast to take that test.
I’m sinking in the quicksand of my thought.
I’m not a prophet or a stone-age man just a mortal with potential of a superman.
Don’t believe in yourself, don’t deceive with belief
Knowledge comes with death’s relief.
Time: He’s waiting in the wings.
He speaks of senseless things.
His script is you and me, boy.
“You know who I am," he said.
The speaker was an angel.
He coughed and shook his crumpled wings,
Closed his eyes and moved his lips --
It's time we should be going.
“Look Back in Anger”
This chaos is killing me.
You’ve gotta have a scheme,
You’ve gotta have a plan,
In the world of today, for tomorrow’s man.
I should live my life on bended knee
If I can’t control my destiny.
I don’t want knowledge, I want certainty.
“Law (Earthlings on Fire)”
Stars are never sleeping.
“The Stars (Are Out Tonight)”
The Next Day
Lord, I kneel and offer you my word on a wing.
And I'm trying hard to fit among your scheme of things.
It's safer than a strange land, but I still care for myself
And I don't stand in my own light.
Lord, Lord, my prayer flies like a word on a wing.
My prayer flies like a word on a wing.
Does my prayer fit in with your scheme of things?
“Word on a Wing”
Station to Station
The Starman’s Fixed Stars
There are multiple fixed star contacts in DB’s horoscope, including two of the four Royal Stars of Persia. Aldebaran and Antares, are one-degree from DB’s Nadir and MC, symbolizing his status as rock royalty. Antares is in the heart of the Scorpion, and its influence is one of deep penetration, even to the point of obsession. This would be symbolic of DB’s obsession with sex and cocaine in the middle part of his career. Aldebaran, the eye of the Bull, is considered one of the greatest stars, bringing success and good fortune, but, with a price: Without moral rectitude and integrity, success will be hollow and elusive. Indeed, happiness eluded DB until he met Iman, his second wife. He said his marriage to Iman made him happier than he ever thought possible. The birth of their child sealed his joie de vivre. The second half of his life was the complete opposite of the first half, once again, the Yod see-saw syndrome at work. He went from being a promiscuous bon vivant to being a committed family man.
The twelfth house, the Soul Choice House of Walking the Path, has fixed star Vega on the cusp – Vega is located in the constellation Lyra (the Lyre) and rules music and musicians: DB would find the path of his destiny through music and achieve international fame. Although fixed star contacts are usually limited to one or two degrees of orb, the fact that Vega is the brightest star in the sky, combined with the fact that it is three degrees from the Sun/Mars Yod Foot gives it an influence over the Yod. Music was the vehicle for Bowie to drive his message home.
Bellatrix, a fixed star in Orion’s left shoulder, is one-degree from DB’s Uranus Yod Foot. Bellatrix is the female warrior, or the Amazon Star, and symbolizes all the strong women in DB’s life, from his mother to his manager and close friend, Coco Schwab to his two wives. Bellatrix brings good fortune, but, again, with a price to pay. According to Bernadette Brady, “the potential success indicated by Bellatrix comes only after a journey through darkness.” This would be symbolic of DB’s journey of self-discovery and confrontation with his dark side. His fear of mental illness is well-known and his unhealthy lifestyle in the 70’s to mid-80’s almost drove him over the edge of sanity.
Both of DB’s luminaries are conjunct the classic malefics, the Sun with Mars and the Moon with Saturn. Balancing this negative potential is the fact that the Sun and Saturn are in mutual reception and working together. Also, Mars is in his exaltation, so he gives his full support to the Sun. The Sun easily dominates Saturn because the Lord of Karma is in his detriment. This person is deadly serious, but always playful.
The two luminaries are located in the sixth and the twelfth houses – DB was a driven workaholic who loved his work, but always kept his motivations secret. His Sun Yod A.P. gives insight into his true motivations. I believe that this unique and unusual individual was motivated by the same need that drives most of the human race: the need for approval, especially from his mother. His Sun Yod A.P. is at 15-degrees Cancer, the midpoint of the sign that symbolizes the home and mother. He craved his mother’s approval, but this was denied because his mother was mentally ill, as symbolized by the Gemini Uranus Yod Foot in his fourth house of the home, mother, early childhood, and end of life issues.
Mom and Dad
The fourth and tenth houses are traditionally interpreted as being symbolic of the mother and father. Disruptive Uranus in mutable air sign, Gemini, the sign of two faces, indicates an erratic, unstable relationship with the mother, not surprising because she (and most of DB’s other female relatives, as well as his half-brother) was afflicted with schizophrenia. She was cold and distant towards her son, although secretly, she was very proud of him and kept a secret shrine dedicated to him. DB’s father lavished him with attention, and was like a “stage father.” The tenth house is symbolic of the father and is in freedom-loving Sagittarius, which is ruled by Jupiter. DB’s Jupiter is in Scorpio in the ninth house, along with Venus in Sagittarius. Free love and sexual liberation were key themes in Bowie’s early career. Mr. Jones Sr. encouraged his son’s artistic aspirations and supported him unequivocally during his early struggle for success. His father gave DB the nurturing he craved, but there is no substitute for a mother’s love. The Moon’s Nodes also occur in the parental houses, with the North Node of karma you want to work towards in the fourth house of the mother; and the South Node of karma that needs to be cleansed in the tenth house of the father. Perhaps DB’s father felt the need to purge negative karma of his own through service to his son; and DB did the same through service to his mother, for despite their troubled relationship, he eventually reconciled with her and supported her for most of her life, although they were never close.
Soul Choice Houses
Soul Choices are the choices a soul makes between incarnations and are reflected in the Fifth Soul Choice House (“SCH”) of choosing the path, the Ninth Soul Choice House of finding the path, and the Twelfth Soul Choice House of walking the path. DB’s Fifth Soul Choice House is empty, with Gemini on the cusp and its ruler, Mercury in Capricorn, the sign on his Twelfth Soul Choice House of walking the path in the eleventh house, connecting it to the Sun/Mars Yod. Both of DB’s Yods are connected to the Fifth SCH – its Ruler is in the same sign as the Sun/Mars Yod and the Uranus Yod is in the same sign as the Fifth SCH cusp. As previously discussed, the Sun/Mars Yod is the Father Yod and the Uranus Yod is the Mother Yod. One of DB’s reasons for incarnation was to cross paths with the two souls who would be his parents, especially his mother. There was very likely unfinished business between them that needed resolution.
The Ninth SCH of finding the path, has Pluto-ruled Scorpio on the cusp, with Jupiter in Scorpio and Venus in Sagittarius residing therein. DB found his path through promiscuous sexual experimentation and role-playing, which he then turned into a business. The Ninth SCH Ruler also ties in to the Sun/Mars Yod at the leg and base. DB’s Yods were a slingshot that catapulted him into the forefront of the sexual revolution.
The Twelfth SCH of walking the path has Capricorn on its cusp and the Sun/Mars residing therein in Yod formation with Uranus and Pluto. DB was a lightning rod of sexual liberation for his generation, but, in typical Capricorn fashion, he turned this phenomenon into a lucrative business.
Bowie had two intercepted signs in his horoscope, Virgo and Pisces, which fall in the seventh and first houses, respectively. Often, intercepted signs do not function at their full potential, but in this case, the nature of the signs and their house position work together. Intercepted mutable water sign in the first house gave David the versatility to play many roles in his life and intercepted mutable earth sign, Virgo in the seventh house, was an influence on him in serving other artists whose careers were stagnating. When intercepted signs occur in a horoscope, there are “double-duty” signs, i.e., four houses that share two signs each. Gemini, the sign on DB’s empty fifth Soul Choice Houses is a “double-duty” sign, along with Sagittarius. Bowie was a deep thinker with the drive to explore the highest regions of the mind, then teach others through his art. He was one of the most influential artists of the late 20th century. His sense of style and sexual liberation created the glitter rock movement, but that was just the beginning of his leadership in the artistic community. He was an avant-garde existentialist who was always ahead of the crowd. If you were lucky enough to see him perform, you have experienced the magic of David Bowie. A Facebook comment that was shared with me says it well: “Count yourself fortunate to have incarnated at the same historical time as David Bowie.” Seeing him perform Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars at the Beacon Theatre in Boston was a turning point in my life. I have never seen another show like it and probably never will. Goodbye, David, and thank you. I hope you now have the answers you were always seeking.
Sister Ray’s Eulogy to David Bowie
Previously posted on Facebook and Sister Ray Astrology
David Bowie is gone. But, he is soaring now. He was an intellectual, an existentialist, a unique mind, one-of-a-kind. His lyrics are alive in my mind: I don't want knowledge, I want certainty -- I'm sinking in the quicksand of my thought, but Lord, I kneel and offer you my word on a wing, and I'm trying hard to fit among your scheme of things when I've only got five years and must beware the savage jaws of 1984. Ziggy played for time like some cat from Japan with the wall-to-wall calling and the Starman waiting in the skies, floating in a most unusual way, face-to-face with the man who sold the world. Stay with me baby for a thousand years, nothin's gonna touch us in these golden years.