David Bowie’s Rise to Fame Part 1: The Beginning 1962
I have taken key events from the BBC television documentary David Bowie Finding Fame (2019) that lead to his spectacular rise to fame in 1973. The article demonstrates how astrology can highlight significant events using secondary directions (progressed and converse).
To simplify astrological chart interpretation for students, I make select the most relevant progressions during 1962 when David Bowie first embarked on his musical performing career. However, I shall start with a summary interpretation of David Bowie’s astrological chart. This will be followed by an interpretation of the secondary progressions when David Bowie formed his first band the Konrad’s in 1962 and began his journey of becoming a famous world-wide pop star.
Natal Chart Summary
Aquarius rising, ruler Uranus in Gemini conjunct 5th cusp, indicates someone who is highly creative, innovative and develops original ideas through writing stories. Sun-Mars conjunction in Capricorn (12th house) square Neptune in Libra (8th house) indicates on the one hand that Bowie was very self-aware of his isolation, sensitivity, vulnerabilities and fears (Sun 12th house) and on the other hand how he struggled to define his own sense of identity. This was demonstrated by the creation of different stage personas that blurred the boundaries of his sense of identity. For example, he said. ‘[Ziggy] wouldn't leave me alone for years. That was when it all started to go sour... My whole personality was affected. It became very dangerous. I really did have doubts about my sanity.’ (Readers Digest, 2016). Sun-Mars also tells us that Bowie was highly motivated, assertive and ambitious (Capricorn) who dissolved sexual boundaries (square Neptune in 8th) through artistic performance (Neptune in Libra).
The strong Aquarius-Leo polarity combined with Leo Moon conjunct 7th cusp trine Venus conjunct Sagittarius Midheaven, indicates a talented person who expresses creativity through the arts and performance world-wide. Moon-Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Leo (7th house) indicates a challenging childhood with him constantly seeking approval from his mother, who did not show any affection. In the BBC documentary Bowie often referred to his parents as being soulless, even though friends of the family said his father dotted on him (Sun-Neptune square).
The Progressed Chart
I will use Ronald Davidson’s secondary directing system which involve moving the planets, ascendant and midheaven forward (progressed) and backward (converse) in time, using a day for a year paradigm. Solar aspects are the most significant progressed aspects when someone is destined for permanent fame (Davidson, 1972), especially aspects to the ascendant and midheaven (natal, direct or converse).
Planting the Seed of Fame
Many astrologers might think it is pointless investigating David Bowie’s secondary directions eleven years before he obtained world-wide fame and success. However, based on research Ronald Davidson found that when significant directions occur at the same time a person develops a new idea or starts a new enterprise, they may not reap rewards of their efforts until many years later. David Bowie’s progressed chart in 1962 demonstrates this theory of delayed success which will be further discussed in the following article David Bowie’s Rise to Fame Part 2: 1969, 1972-1973, when Bowie achieved world-wide acclaim as a musician, composer, singer and performer.
As mentioned, previous the most important secondary directions (progressed and converse) are solar aspects and other planets to the angles of the chart e.g. Ascendant and Midheaven, followed by solar aspects to planets. Supporting interplanetary aspects indicate a very creative period in his life.
Progressed Sun conjunct progressed Mercury conjunct natal Ascendant in Aquarius, demonstrates Bowie’s increased self-confidence, desire for creative self-expression and ability to develop novel ideas and theories (Gemini 5th cusp and Aquarius-Leo polarity). During the BBC documentary Bowie said that he enjoyed experimenting with different forms of artistic expression because of his desire to find one that would make him famous.
Jupiter-Midheaven Conjunction and Venus-Jupiter Conjunction
Converse Jupiter conjunct converse Midheaven in Scorpio (9th house). Jupiter is ruler of the natal midheaven (Sagittarius). This converse direction indicates professional success though support of wealthy influential people (Jupiter in Scorpio, 9th house) from the music industry. This is supported by converse Venus conjunct natal Jupiter in Scorpio indicating success in the arts and financial abundance. Even when his records failed, he kept reinventing (transformation) himself on a professional level (Jupiter in Scorpio) and maintaining his vision (natal Sagittarius Midheaven) of becoming famous (natal Sun in Capricorn square Neptune in Libra).
Natal Venus in Sagittarius (conjunct Midheaven) square to progressed Ascendant in Pisces. This progressed aspect tells that his experiments with artistic self-expression had disappointing outcomes or was not always valued.
Uranus Opposition Midheaven
Natal and progressed Uranus (chart ruler) in opposition to the progressed Midheaven in Sagittarius indicates the need to express his independent and unconventional approach to his professional life and to shock the world (Midheaven). This progression would have created much tension and stress in his family life.
This covers all major directions in David Bowie’s chart when he was 15 and demonstrates they were the seed to his world-wide fame, success and financial abundance in the arts. In part 2 the article will investigate the directions when Bowie achieved his first recording success ‘Space Oddity’ in 1969 and world-wide fame in 1972 and 1973.