The Astrology Podcast
Transcript of Episode 429, titled:
With Chris Brennan and guests Camille Michelle Gray and Lindsey Turner
Episode originally released on December 5, 2023
Note: This is a transcript of a spoken word podcast. If possible, we encourage you to listen to the audio or video version, since they include inflections that may not translate well when written out. Our transcripts are created by human transcribers, and the text may contain errors and differences from the spoken audio. If you find any errors then please send them to us by email: email@example.com
Transcribed by Andrea Johnson
Transcription released December 12th, 2023
Copyright © 2023 TheAstrologyPodcast.com
CHRIS BRENNAN: Hey, my name is Chris Brennan, and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. In this episode, I’m gonna be talking with astrologers Camille Michelle Gray and Lindsey Turner about Saturn transits and the music industry. So, hey, thank you both for joining me.
LINDSEY TURNER: Hey, Chris, it’s so nice to be here.
CAMILLE MICHELLE GRAY: Hi, nice to be back.
CB: Yeah, I’m excited to do this episode. This is a really great topic. Both of you kind of approached me separately to pitch a talk on Saturn and how it relates to the music industry and musicians, and they seemed like such complimentary topics that I thought it would be a good idea for the three of us just to do this together.
LT: I’m super excited.
CMG: Me, too.
CB: All right, awesome. Well, why don’t we dive right into it then. Where should we start?
LT: Maybe we should talk a little bit about why Saturn and music. Camille, does that seem like a good place to start?
CMG: Please, take it away.
LT: Awesome. So I associate Saturn with everyday people. Saturn signifies farmers, and at one point farmers made up something like 90% of the population. And Saturn also exalts in the sign of Libra, which I associate with expressions of art and justice, so this signals to me that people are lifted up in creative expression and that this also has a direct impact on equity. And so, at some point I became curious about the way that popular music evolves over time, and I had the idea to track it against Saturn transits through the signs, and what I found was really exciting. The archetypes of each sign that Saturn enters and the planets that have essential dignity in those signs really show up in the themes and the sounds of the music of that particular era. And I also want to give a shoutout to my friend and DJ Liv Minick, who’s DJ Theoretic, who helped me think and talk through this idea when I first had it.
CB: That’s awesome. So Saturn takes about three years to go through each of the signs of the zodiac, and you noticed that it creates different periods in terms of musical expression.
LT: Yeah, it’s pretty uncanny. And I’ve been looking at the year that Saturn ingresses a sign—so Saturn can wobble or toggle back and forth between signs—but I’ve noticed that the first time it goes into a sign, that year gets activated with the themes of the sign that Saturn’s ingressing.
CB: Nice, awesome. Okay, so that was your particular angle and how we’re going to approach it and look at things. And then, Camille, the angle you were approaching things from was looking at the Saturn return of musicians, which occurs between 27 and 30 and what album they put out during their Saturn returns.
CMG: Yes, so I noticed a trend where the songs and the image and the aesthetic of the artist going through their Saturn return tends to make a dramatic shift during the Saturn return. I know noticed a lot of themes in terms of shift in the honesty of the lyrics, a dramatic shift, again, in the persona for people who have stage personas, a lot of common themes, of which a few are confronting shadows or shame, a lot of dissolution of relationships, a lot of depression, getting candid and honest about addiction and sobriety. So, yeah, I was just, as a musical listener, always kind of in the background tracking which of my favorite artists were going through Saturn returns, and I could see it show up in the music. So I will be the ‘Saturn return’ part of this podcast.
CB: Brilliant, I love that. Yeah, I think there’s always that one album that stands out in a musician’s discography that is their Saturn return, that has like a really distinctive feel to it; especially if you have a favorite band or a favorite artist, it’s always one that’s very obvious.
CMG: Absolutely. And I’ve also found that the body of work that these artists are putting out during their Saturn return tend to, for a lot of them, be what they’re known for or be what kind of follows them through time and really, really attaches to their legacy. So it’s very interesting with Saturn ruling legacy and time.
CB: Okay, awesome. All right, so why don’t we set this up. So one of the things we’re gonna do today is we’re gonna go through each of the signs in order starting with Aries and go all the way through, looking at both Saturn returns in those signs, as well as looking at the eras of music during those periods. Is there anything else we should set up before we transition into doing that?
LT: Yeah, I just wanted to mention that I wanted to use something that would be sort of a reliable measure for what was popular at the time and so I’m using the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 list. So I want to acknowledge that I am not gonna cover every artist that was popular during an era, and also that Billboard has its own biases because the music industry has its own biases, so I just want to be clear about that, but there is a pretty standard measure for success when we’re looking at the Billboard record sales and plays and streams and things like that.
CB: Okay. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. You mentioned streaming and how we’ve shifted to streaming over the past decade and some of the things that does, but having objective metrics is super useful with astrology, especially when you’re trying to deal with a topic that otherwise can be somewhat subjective like music.
LT: Exactly, exactly. Yeah, so I listened to about 3,000 songs to prepare for this, so I’m trying to do as much quantitative and qualitative combining as I can.
CB: Yeah, that’s perfect. Doing the hard Saturn work for this episode is very fitting.
CMG: I was just gonna add, as we go through each sign, at the end I will bring up the Saturn return artist who has Saturn in that sign returning, as well as looking at the second Saturn era. So Saturn in Aries in the ‘60s versus Saturn in Aries 30 years later in the ‘90s. So I will be covering the modern side of things.
CB: Got it.
LT: And I’m super grateful for that. Thank you, Camille.
CMG: Of course.
CB: All right, perfect. Well, let’s jump into it then and start with Aries. Shall we?
LT: Absolutely. So we get Saturn in Aries from 1967 to 1969, and we get three kinds of major genres that I could identify. So we get classic rock—or maybe what millennials might refer to as classic rock at this point—like the Rolling Stones. We get “Ruby Tuesday,” and even off the bat the color ruby and the day Tuesday are associated with Mars who rules Aries. We also get late Motown, and so I’m thinking of Aretha Franklin who was an Aries Sun and whose music at this time had a lot of elements of confrontation, which is something we might associate with the sign of Aries. And then also we get psychedelic rock, like Steppenwolf’s “Born to Be Wild” and “Magic Carpet Ride” and The Doors’ “Light My Fire,” and I’m thinking of Aries as a fire sign.
And so, Saturn in Aries brings along with it sounds like the Hammond organ and electric guitar and the newly-invented synthesizer. And so, these instruments have a more metallic sound—and Mars is associated with blacksmiths or metalworkers—so you could almost say the musicians of this time are like metalworkers. And the music of the Year-End Hot 100 during Saturn in Aries has really bright, aggressive, upbeat sounds, and a lot of the songs start off kind of quiet and dark and then grow and they get bolder and brighter. That feels very attuned to the vernal equinox to me, which kicks off Aries season, and it’s also the season in which the Sun exalts. So I wanted to take a look at a few different songs and lyrics for Aries, and a major theme that I identified is freedom and the fight against social and relational inequity.
So we have a list of songs like “People Got To Be Free” by The Rascals and some of the lyrics are: “All the world over, so easy to see / People everywhere just wanna be free / Listen, please listen, that’s the way it should be / There’s peace in the valley, people got to be free.” And we get the song “Love Child” by Diana Ross where she sings: “Started my life / In an old, cold run down tenement slum / My father left, he never even married mom / I shared the guilt my mama knew / So afraid that others knew I had no name.” And “I’m Black and I’m Proud” by James Brown—we get a lot of songs about racial equity—he sings: “Some people say we got a lot of malice / Some say it’s a lotta nerve / But I say we won’t quit moving / Until we get what we deserve.” And my last example is “Think” by Aretha Franklin.
We also get her song “Respect,” and I love her subtle threat at the end of respect that she’s gonna leave if she doesn’t get the respect that she’s asking for. And also, in “Think,” she’s challenging someone like, “You better think about what you’re trying to do to me.” And then she sings “freedom” a dozen times, which I really just love listening to. And then the very last exemplar that I want to pull from this period is Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s “Ain’t No Mountain High,” which really signals rams or sheep. Like nothing stopping them from being able to summit a mountain, and the lyrics: “No wind, no rain / [No] winter’s cold can stop me, [babe].” And so, it’s not only a song about the inevitability of getting to your loved one, but it also seems like a song about the inevitability of springtime.
CB: Wow, that’s amazing. And I love that because we think about the late 1960s and it was such a charged time politically, and astrologers often associate that with the Uranus-Pluto conjunction that was happening at that time. But actually a great point that’s maybe often overlooked is Saturn transiting through Aries and some of the ways that was actually influencing things as well.
LT: Such a good addition, yeah.
CB: All right, that’s pretty amazing, I like that.
CMG: Something that is interesting, Chris—sorry, I didn’t mean to cut you off—
CMG: —if Marvin Gaye’s chart is queued up. It’s just very interesting to end on that song “Ain’t No Mountain High” because Marvin Gaye was having his Saturn return in Aries at that time, and you will see that is in the top of his chart. So “Ain’t No Mountain High” and we have Saturn high in the chart. And then to just wrap it in further, we have that Saturn being ruled by Mars in Capricorn. So Capricorn and mountains, I just thought that was very evocative.
CB: So he was going through his Saturn return at this time while charting?
CMG: Absolutely, yep.
CB: Nice. That’s really interesting. That’s a really good and particular example of that.
CB: Nice. Okay, well, that’s pretty good. So that’s our first example of Aries and Saturn in Aries, and that’s definitely very distinctive of that time period. Are we gonna look at other eras of Aries, or are we gonna jump forward to the next sign?
CMG: We’re going to look at the other era. So we have the second era of Saturn in Aries, which places us between the years of 1996 and 1998. I wanted to start off by saying that this is when the Spice Girls hopped on the scene—
CMG: —and spice and Mars are very related there. And four out of the five Spice Girls even have names that are very ‘Martial’ in nature. So we have Scary Spice, Sporty Spice, Baby Spice, Ginger Spice, the red head, and then there’s Posh, of course, as well. We also get dominance by boy bands on the Billboard Hot 100, and so Aries and masculinity really coming in there. We get a lot of songs about comebacks, about rivalry, about conflict and issues. So, for example, we get “Return of the Mack” kind of saying, “I’m back, I’m here.” We get “Unbreak My Heart.” We get “The Boy Is Mine.” We get “Mo Money, Mo Problems” by Biggie Smalls, and in the background of all of that is the East Coast-West Coast rap rivalry that was happening. We also get the dominance of Maria Carey—Mariah Carey, sorry, and that’ll be actually the first Saturn return example that we look at.
So Mariah Carey, in her chart, has Saturn in Aries in the 12th house conjoined her Venus. We’re gonna look at her album Butterfly around this time, which to me is an album that really invokes a lot of freedom which is key for Aries here. Now Mariah actually considers this album to be her magnum opus, so the great work here associated with Saturn; she sees this as a turning point in her career. This was an album she made as she was divorcing her husband at the time, so, again, the dissolution of relationships really comes up a lot with the Saturn return bodies of work that I’ve seen. Newly-found independence on this album and in the visuals for the album. We see Mariah Carey in a more sexual way, we see her working with more hip-hop and R&B producers—so it just made me think of Mars and what it means to take control, to be sexy, to be hot, or to be edgy. And then just kind of cool here, this is an album called Butterfly. And to me butterflies are creatures of the springtime, and of course Aries season is the beginning of spring, so I thought that was just a really, really lovely kind of tie-in there; it’s kind of quite literal.
CB: Brilliant. That’s really amazing. So she has a whole stellium in Aries to begin with—
CB: —so that’s super fascinating as well. I know this is a digression, but one of the things you mentioned that was really interesting is the East Coast-West Coast hip-hop wars kind of culminated during this time period, ‘cause right at the beginning of it was the death of Tupac and then Biggie at the same time. And that was kind of like the high watermark where things started to recede after that, but that would have been basically immediately after this period.
CMG: Yes. And I believe the Saturn return of Tupac’s death was Saturn in Aries. So that’s something that was happening, I believe—
LT: Oh, wow.
CMG: —currently. I think that’s correct. But, yeah, that was just basically the backdrop of Saturn in Aries in that mid-to-late-‘90s era; and conflict, unfortunately in this case, reaching a very, very triggered end.
CB: Yeah, I just looked up the date that he died, and it was September 13, 1986, and Saturn was at 4° of Aries.
CB: So, yeah, it was definitely part of that transit. And then, yeah, you had both of those tragedies, but then it seemed like it led to some reflection and just some slowing down of that trend after that point.
CB: Okay, cool. That’s pretty amazing. All right, so we’re seeing some patterns here, and I like how we’re seeing the repetition and the echoes of very similar Martian-type patterns as we track Saturn coming back to the same sign 30 years later, after the late 1960s.
CMG: Yes, it was so fun to see that this works through time.
LT: Super fun.
CB: Yeah, I mean, astrology is one of those things in which you can learn so much in the micro picture by studying an individual chart and an individual’s life and the placements, but there’s something that you can’t replicate unless you look at the full scope of history and you look at what happens when the same placements repeat over and over again. That was something that was really driven home to me last month doing the ‘eclipses’ episodes and this is another good example of that.
CB: All right, is there any other stuff about Saturn in Aries to mention?
CMG: I don’t think so. I think we’re on to Taurus.
LT: Let’s jump in.
CB: And do you want me to show briefly your outline, for those watching the video version? Just a snapshot? Or would you prefer not to when we do each of these signs?
CMG: What do you think, Lindsey?
LT: A snapshot? I’m not sure what you mean.
CB: I’m looking at our outline right now and it sort of summarizes the sign that we just went through, and I wasn’t sure if it’d be good to just show that briefly so that people have a visual reference, if that helps them to learn and follow; or if it would be better to not do that. What do you think?
LT: I was gonna have it up on my website—or I can make it available to you, Chris—a little outline, like a cheat sheet, and even maybe a playlist so people could follow along when you release.
CB: Yeah, well, I mean, that would be the purpose of doing this, of showing it really quickly. So this is our opportunity I think to do that.
CB: So why don’t I show that really briefly? There we go. So here’s the quick little overview—for people watching the video version—of some of the main points that we just went through and some of the dates involved. All right, shall we move on to Taurus?
LT: Let’s do it. So Saturn moves into Taurus in 1969 and stays in that sign until 1972. And so, we get pop-soul from The Jackson 5 and from 5th Dimension, and one of the songs I wanted to mention was The 5th Dimension’s “Age of Aquarius,” which is a song about a fixed sign while Saturn is in a fixed sign. We also get funk soul like Sly and the Family Stone. And then we also have someone like Neil Diamond who’s doing more pop rock; Neil Diamond was having his Saturn return during Saturn in Taurus. And we get folk rock from people like Simon & Garfunkel who were also having their Saturn return during Saturn in Taurus. And another big band that I wanted to mention was Creedence Clearwater Revival who’s in the genre of roots rock; and Tom Fogerty, who did rhythm guitar for CCR, was also having his Saturn return at this time.
So Saturn in Taurus really bridged the ‘60s and the ‘70s, preserving some of that psychedelic sound but making it more melodious and less metallic. And in the Hot 100 from those years, we hear a lot more piano and a lot more acoustic electric guitar rather than just electric guitar. And I noticed that the rhythmic patterns get a little softer and slower and more relaxed, and this feels appropriate for a sign that Venus rules. So some of the major ‘Venusian’ themes I noticed in the Billboard—when Saturn was in Taurus—are sweetness and flowers, so we get songs like “Sugar Sugar” by The Archies, “Sweet Caroline” and “Cracklin’ Rosie” by Neil Diamond. “Build Me Up Buttercup” by The Foundations, which is a band whose name even has this fixed earth energy like Taurus.
Another major theme is friendship, especially being there for friends in difficult moments, which I think is so sweet that we’re getting this with Taurus. So we have songs like “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon & Garfunkel, we get The Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There” and we get James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain.” And James Taylor has Venus in Taurus, and so it was interesting that he wrote a song about his friend’s death while Saturn was transiting his Venus sign. And I also wanted to mention this song by The Zombies, “Time of the Season,” which sort of gets to some of the pleasure and material wealth that can be associated with Taurus. And there’s this line where they sing: “What’s your name? / Who’s your daddy? / Is he rich like me?” which feels very suggestive and ‘Taurean’. I also noticed because the Moon exalts in Taurus, a lot of images of mothers and families coming through through the music. So we have The Beatles’ “Let It Be,” and they sing: “When I find myself in times of trouble / Mother Mary comes to me,” and it was also Ringo Starr’s Saturn return during this time; was also thinking about the song “Mama Told Me Not to Come” by Three Dog Night, which is about a mother’s warning not to go to a wild party. And then I was also thinking about how The Jackson 5 and Creedence Clearwater Revival were both family bands, and so we got this expression of the Moon not just in the music but in the actual bands themselves.
And then I just wanted to make a note about social consciousness and Saturn in Taurus because there are many charted songs during this time that speak to the unity and the stability of regular people, of poor people, of working people. And so, for example, we get Sly and the Family Stone’s “Everyday People” where they sing: “I am no better and neither are you / We’re all the same, whatever we do / You love me, you hate me / You know me and then / You can’t figure out the bag I’m in / I am everyday people.” And lastly, I wanted to pull some lyrics from “Proud Mary,” which is a song by Creedence Clearwater Revival. They also released “Down on the Corner” and “Fortunate Son,” which I think really speak to the political times of this era. And in “Proud Mary,” they sing: “If you come down to the river / Bet you gonna find some people who live / You don’t have to worry [‘cause] you [have] no money / People on the river are happy to give.” So these songs about the kind of joy and solidarity of everyday people are really pronounced during this time.
CB: That’s really fascinating ‘cause that’s something we’ve been noting on the forecasts with Jupiter transiting through Taurus and conjoining Uranus. Some of the labor things happening over the past year kind of resonate with that.
LT: Love it.
CMG: Something that also is interesting is that this was when we got Woodstock, which was billed as a relaxing music festival, so very apropos for Taurus.
CB: It makes me think of everyone in the mud when it rained there.
CMG: Yeah, super nature.
CB: Yeah, I really liked the point earlier about themes of sweetness and sugar and things like that. ‘Cause when I was doing the Taurus episode a year ago, I forgot how much that and sometimes the comforts of that which is sweet or that which is nourishing are such core concepts for Taurus, the sign where the Moon is exalted. And things that nourish the body or that feel good to you through the body or things like that—that’s such a core theme with Taurus, and it’s really funny to see that showing up here in a lot of those lyrics you mentioned.
LT: It’s neat. It’s all over the place.
CB: Right, for sure. All right, so that’s good. So then do we move into Saturn returns for this?
CMG: We’re gonna move into very briefly the second era of Saturn in Taurus, which brings us to the time period between 1998 and 2000. So we get songs dominating the chart about money and material, so we get “No Scrubs” by TLC.
LT: I love that.
CMG: “I don’t want broke people near me.” We get “Bills, Bills, Bills” by Destiny’s Child, which is interesting in terms of everyday people having to pay their bills, like telephone bills and all that. We get songs about physical beauty, about sensuality, and about sex, so we get the “Thong Song” by Sisqo, we get the song “Unpretty,” again, by TLC. We get “Genie in a Bottle,” Christina Aguilera’s debut about sensuality and wanting to have that experience for the first time. We even get songs where the titles are kind of emoting some kind of ‘Taurean’ archetype, so we have “Smooth” by Santana, we get “Breathe” by Faith Hill.
We also have songs about women, so we get “Maria, Maria” which is, again, by Santana. And then of course songs about pleasing other people, about figuring out what feels good in a body—we have “I Wanna Know” by Joe, and we have “Everything You Want” by Vertical Horizon. The Saturn return example I wanted to use for this is Gwen Stefani of No Doubt. The title of this body of work is called Return of Saturn, so how could we not talk about this. In the chart you’ll see that Gwen Stefani has Saturn in Taurus in her 5th house; so here the Saturn return having a very direct relationship to her creative expression. Oh, is it in the 5th house, or is it not? Oh, it’s in the 6th house.
CB: What time do you have for her? Let me double-check that I have the right data. ‘Cause I actually just noticed the Mariah Carey one, I had the wrong time—
CMG: Oh, no.
CB: —so I might fix that in post. But she has Saturn in Aries, and I was showing it as Saturn in Taurus.
CMG: Oh, okay. I can look that up really quick.
CB: For Gwen Stefani it should be 2:09 PM. It looks like that’s what you wrote down, so let me fix that. All right, here you go. No, you were right.
CB: There we go.
CMG: All right, so, yeah, looking at Gwen Stefani for the Saturn return example in Taurus, an album called Return of Saturn—how could you not mention that? She has Saturn in Taurus in the 5th house, so this is a Saturn return that has a direct relationship to her creative expression. It was released April 11, 2000 with Saturn in Taurus and also written mostly when Saturn was in Taurus as well. This was an album that explored her feelings of depression and it also hinged a lot on femininity, what it means to be a woman, and so we have the Venus rulership coming in here. And then talking about all things sweet, there is a song on that album called “Artificial Sweetener”—
CMG: —which I just think is beautifully ‘Taurean’, again, talking about very, very sweet things here in a literal way. So, yeah, very, very interesting that those themes carry through literally.
CB: Yeah, she also reflected a lot on themes of relationships and being torn with that, and also at one point motherhood and things like that. Yeah, it was a very stark transition from this huge album that they had just had—which was Tragic Kingdom—a few years before to going into this album, which was a more reserved and much more somber in places album compared to their previous ones.
CMG: Yes, absolutely.
CB: Yeah, so that’s a great example. All right, so where are we at now?
LT: Gemini. All right, let’s do it. In true Gemini spirit, I had pages for this one that I whittled down to an appropriate size, but it’s a very exciting transit to me. So Saturn moved into Gemini in 1971, we have it there till ‘74. And as Saturn moved into Gemini in the early ‘70s, the genres don’t seem to change much. We still have quite a bit of pop and rock and soul and folk, but there’s a twist, and the twist is that the words or the lyrics become much more emphasized, much more narrativized. So a lot of songs set out to tell a story. It’s not just kind of a lyrical song to sing along to, it’s like, “Let me tell you a story,” and they often contain more lyrics in general, songs during this time. And so, of course this feels particularly ‘Mercurial’ to me. Mercury is the ruler of Gemini; it’s concerned with language and communication.
And I also noticed that some of the music itself gets more detailed, more nuanced; there are flourishes that come through that maybe weren’t present in previous music or not as present. And another thing I noticed in the music itself is you get this element of two, of duality in expression. So you might get two different tempos in a song, two different instruments toggling between things, and this also feels like an expression of Gemini and mutability, the Twins, the two-bodied nature of the sign. So one example of this is Cat Stevens’ “Morning Has Broken,” which opens with one of my favorite piano licks of all time; it’s this beautiful piano lick that opens and closes the song. But when he sings, it’s just over very simple rhythmic guitar, so you get this back-and-forth of the music. And another song that I think is really emblematic of this is Karen Carpenter’s “Superstar.” So you might remember the, “Don’t you remember, you told me”—it’s so hard not to sing. “Don’t you remember, you told me you loved me, baby?” and it switches back and forth dramatically between tempos. So it starts really slow and then it goes into almost a double-time tempo and back and forth, so I think that’s pretty neat.
And, as I mentioned, a lot of songs tell stories while Saturn is in Gemini. So we have Three Dog Nights’ “Joy to the World,” which famously starts with: “Jeremiah was a bullfrog,” and it’s kind of like we’re about to hear something, a tale. Then we get Janis Joplin—who’s having her Saturn return—and her song “Me and Bobby McGee,” which is a story. And then this might be the most incredible example, right? We get Don McLean’s “American Pie,” which is the longest song to ever hit number one on the charts, and it remains that until Taylor Swift bests him in 2010. So talk about a multitude of lyrics when we’re looking at “American Pie,” it’s a very long song.
CB: Wow, that’s amazing.
LT: Yeah, it’s so cool. There are a couple more themes I noticed with Saturn in Gemini, one is being in love with your fantasy of someone. And so, there are a number of songs about being in love with someone that the singer has never met but they’ve sort of fleshed out an entire life within their mind, and I think that really speaks to Gemini and imagination. So speaking of that we get the Temptations’ hit “Just My Imagination,” where he sings about being married and raising a family, and I can visualize it all, “but it’s just my imagination running away with me.” And then we also get Tony Orlando and Dawn, “Knock Three Times,” which is a super fun song about someone in the apartment below that you’ve never met, but “knock on the pipes if you want to meet me.” And the last example I have for this theme is Roberta Flack’s song “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”—fun fact: Roberta FL is a triple-Aquarian—but it’s this incredible poetic, stunning song about loving someone at first sight. And so, it’s not just silly imagination or fantasy, it’s also a really potent fantasy that comes through.
Speaking of silliness, too, I found this song—I had never heard of it before—that made the Year-End Hot 100 by Chuck Berry called “My Ding-a-Ling,” where he talks about playing with his ‘ding-a-ling’ for like four minutes. It’s such a weird song, but I thought it was pretty fun to mention; it’s like ‘Mercurial’, kind of childishness and silly. And then just a couple one-offs to end with, with Saturn in Gemini. So there’s this really weird phenomenon of Andrew Lloyd Weber and Tim Rice’s song “Jesus Christ Superstar” whose spiritual theme I kind of attribute to Mercury’s signifying devout people. But Jesus Christ Superstar was the top-selling album of 1971. They couldn’t get it to be successful as a Broadway show, so they made it a rock album, and then it was both a successful rock album and Broadway show. So, again, you get that two-naturedness of Jesus Christ Superstar.
LT: What’s that? Yeah, the duality, absolutely. And then, lastly, Carol King has a lot of hits during this time, but she really had been known up until then and even after as being a prolific songwriter. So, again, we get this kind of two-for-one deal in Carol King who’s an incredible recording artist and also an incredible songwriter.
CB: That’s incredible. That’s already sparking a lot of thoughts for me that I know are gonna come up in the next cycle. So once we get there, we’ll see a repetition of a lot of these themes that you’re pointing out.
CMG: Yes. So in the second era of Saturn in Gemini, we’re in the time period between 2000 and 2003. So we get a lot of songs topping the year-end charts about thinking and about memories: so we have “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” by Kylie Minogue; we have “You Remind Me” by Usher; we have “Let Me Blow Ya Mind” by Eve; we have “How You Remind Me” by Nickelback. We also get songs with heavy word play, trickster energy, kind of like cunning energy as well. “Lady Marmalade,” which is toggling between multiple voices, so we get Lil’ Kim, we get Pink, Christina Aguilera, and Maya. And also, very interestingly in that song, they speak a little French; so here we have the ‘Mercurial’ nature of just bringing in language to tell a story.
We have a song called Hit ‘Em Up Style by Blu Cantrell, which is about stealing a person’s money because they did you wrong, and so we’re gonna rack up their credit card; so heavy trickster/con energy. We get songs about mental confusion, about open-ended questions. So Avril Lavigne’s debut “Complicated”: “Why’d you have to make things so complicated?” We have “Dilemma” by Nelly and Kelly Rowland, right? So just being unable to make up your mind about something. And, very interestingly, we also get songs about talking, walking, travel, and going back and forth. So we get “Drops of Jupiter,” which is about symbolic travel between the planets, and we also get “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton, which is, “I would walk 1,000 miles, if it meant that I could get to you,” so very, very evocative.
The Saturn return example I want to use for Saturn in Gemini is Joni Mitchell. So during this period, she released her album Blue, and of course ‘blue’ means to be down or to be sad, so here we have the Saturn sadness, melancholy, depression even seeping in the title here. This was written during the dissolution of a relationship, and then during the Saturn return she had another relationship that ended as well, so just a lot of heartbreak. This was a period of time that involved drug addiction for her as well, an album that explored themes of loss, transformation, and travel. Joni Mitchell says, “On this album, I feel like I had absolutely no secrets from the world. I couldn’t pretend in my life to be strong or to be happy.” And so, I thought that was very interesting for Saturn in Gemini and this feeling of having to have a really hard talk with yourself and having serious reflections. And then of course this is an album that was regarded ‘best of all time’. So of course while she was recording it, not a really great period to be in, but this just speaks to Saturn legacy and Saturn longevity, and we’ll see that time and time again where the work created during this period for folks really, really, really becomes a definitive piece of work for them.
CB: So even though she was going through a period of hardship personally/professionally, she did some of her most important work?
CMG: Absolutely, yeah.
CB: Okay, that’s super interesting. So I’m noticing a pattern here that brings up a Saturn in Gemini person. But we were talking about Saturn in Aries and the era of East Coast-West Coast rap battles, culminating with Tupac and Biggie, but then Saturn in Taurus, that period immediately after that, was kind of the transition into a more ‘money-type’ rap focus; like Puffy got really big then and Mace, and that shift started to take place around that period for like two or three years. But now that we’re at Saturn in Gemini—and Lindsey mentioned lyricism—one of the people, just in terms of rap in of itself, that became huge at this time was Eminem. Eminem has Saturn in Gemini, and he was experiencing his Saturn return when he released his second and third albums, which were his two biggest-selling albums during that time period.
I just happened to see this stat for some reason a few months ago, but if you look at the sales charts, the second and third albums on this list—The Marshall Mathers LP and The Eminem Show—were just massively huge-selling albums that far dwarfed any other album he’s released since that time. But it just speaks to that idea of Saturn in Gemini and lyricism ‘cause that’s one of the things that he’s known for, but it also speaks to a little bit what you were talking about, Camille, about people sometimes having personal hardships. Because he was really in the thick of drug issues at that time, which he would later get sober for, but he was super in the thick of that and struggling with that, but then simultaneously, ironically, reaching the highest point that he would reach in terms of at least sales.
CMG: Yeah, that’s a perfect example. And I even think of how Eminem’s early work was so silly and it contained a lot of mockery, which is beautifully Gemini.
CB: Yeah, for sure.
LT: He’s such a mimic.
CB: A mimic, and all the skits and stuff like that. But even when he made sort of a comeback in the early 2000s and released “Rap God,” which was this song that was just so lyrically-dense, that’s such a great expression of Saturn in Gemini.
CB: All right, so that’s pretty good. Any other reflections on that?
CB: Okay, cool. Shall we move on to Cancer?
LT: Let’s do it, let’s do it. So when Saturn enters Cancer in the ‘70s, this is 1973 to ‘76, the sound of the Billboard gets immediately darker and moodier and the instrumentation gets a bit heavier, more pensive. And I noticed there was a lot of wah-wah guitar distortion, which is a sound I think many of us associate with ‘70s pornography tracks, but it’s just really present during this transit. And so, I think of Cancer being ruled by the Moon, and the Moon being the luminary of the nighttime, and there’s just more of a nighttime vibe to this music than any of the other signs we’ve looked at so far. And so, during this transit, there seems to be an emphasis on soul and R&B, music that lends itself a little bit more to these lunar expressions of sex and nostalgia and of nighttime, taking things slow. And so, I think I would use the word ‘groove’ to describe the genre shifting that happens during Saturn in Cancer; a lot of the songs stand out more for their rhythm and their feel than their lyrics, like we saw in Gemini, and so that does feel very lunar to me.
We were talking about the emotional life or feelings or the body, right? And so, there’s this more kind of embodied quality to the music. I think some of the exemplar artists of this period are Barry White, who had a Cancer Saturn and Cancer Moon—but his Moon was on his descendant and he makes like a lot of lovemaking music—we get Chaka Khan who also has a Cancer Moon, and Marvin Gaye, who had Cancer rising. And so, between the three of them, we get “I’m Gonna Love You Just a Little Bit More Baby,” “Tell Me Something Good,” and “Let’s Get It On.” And a lot of folks refer to this as ‘baby-making’ music, which feels very lunar and ‘Cancerian’ to me as well. So speaking of making babies, there’s a strong through-line of songs about parenthood during Saturn in Cancer; so we get Jim Croce’s “Time in a Bottle,” which he wrote while his wife was pregnant; we get Paul Anka’s “You’re Having My Baby.”
And then we also get themes of racial identity, particularly around interracial dating and mixed-race identity, which to me feels particular to both Saturn and the Moon which are placements that we can look at to kind of track parents and lineage and ancestry in the chart. So we get this song “Brother Louie” by Stories about interracial dating, we get the band Redbone, which is actually a Cajun word for mixed-race identity, and we get a very controversial song from Cher called “Half-Breed” about her alleged indigenous ancestry, which she’s since apparently disavowed. So lots of songs about racial identity and interracial dating. One of the other big themes for Saturn in Cancer are time and memory—so we get Steely Dan’s “Reelin’ in the Years”—and also songs about the Moon. So one of the best examples of this is “Dancing in the Moonlight” by King Harvest, which just feels too good, right? Too good.
And then this is one that really surprised me—songs about trains. So I’d be curious, Chris, what you think about this. But we’ve got “Midnight Train to Georgia” by Gladys and the Pips, we’ve got “Locomotion” by Grand Funk Railroad, we’ve got The O’Jays’ “Love Train,” and we even have Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling,” which starts with this “Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga Ooga-Chaka,” which is the rhythm that a train makes. And so, it has me wondering about Saturn in Cancer and the Moon maybe signifying trains somehow, like with the Moon’s joy in the 3rd house and transportation or a Moon-Saturn combo of heavy, steady transportation, so I’m curious what you think of that.
And there’s just one last theme that I have, Chris, and that’s bad men we see with Saturn in Cancer. So we get songs “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” by Jim Croce, and we get Carley Simon’s “You’re So Vain,” we get the song “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” by Vicky Lawrence. And one thing that Camille and I noted was that we see a lot of women breaking glass ceilings during Saturn in Cancer and overcoming the bad things that patriarchy has done. So, yeah, a super super neat transit. I really love Saturn in Cancer for this.
CB: Yeah, and you mentioned USA themes and feelings of nationalism or something like that.
LT: Yes, that also comes through as well. And I, just for the sake of time, didn’t mention it. But, yeah, we’ve got John Denver “Rocky Mountain High.” And Elton John’s song “Philadelphia Freedom” comes out during the kind of transition year between Cancer and Leo, so that’s really notable as well. So, yeah, patriotism to a ‘Cancerian’ country totally comes through.
CB: Yeah, that makes such sense. Something I’ve been understanding a lot more lately is those feelings of home and defensiveness surrounding things as being part of the impulse underlying things that you can see locally in a person’s chart when they have Cancer placements and when that’s in a country and how that plays out on a broader level.
LT: Yeah, a lot of devotion and tribalism.
CB: Right. Okay, that’s very interesting. What about the 2000s?
CMG: Yeah, so the second era of Saturn in Cancer we’re looking at 2003 to 2005, roughly. One thing I noticed here is that this is when emo music really, really takes a stronghold.
CB: That’s so funny.
CMG: It started in Gemini, it ends with Saturn in Leo, but the entire time Saturn was in Cancer we get emo culture really, really peaking. And of course Cancer/emo/emotional makes a lot of sense. But when we look at the Year-End Billboard, we get a lot of songs about intense love and intense emotions. So we get Beyoncé’s debut “Crazy in Love,” we get “Miss You,” which was a song that was posthumously released by Aaliyah after her untimely death, so a really, really emotional song there. We get “Unwell” by Matchbox, “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys, “We Belong Together” by Mariah Carey—these very devotional intense love songs about another party or another entity. Another thing I noticed here—and Lindsey and I had a laugh about this—but I just saw a lot of club-bangers for a lot of reasons. So we get in the club, we get a lot of Usher hits like, “Yeah,” and again we were just connecting it to the fact of the Moon and nighttime, right? And so, going into a club of course is an evening activity and perhaps some baby-making happening as a result, so that’s one thing I noticed there.
The Saturn return example I want to use here is Dolly Parton. She wrote “I Will Always Love You” around her Saturn return, and now we’ve also learned she wrote “Jolene” on the same day; so again these huge epic songs that are written during the Saturn return really just defining what a person is known for. So one thing that was kind of interesting here—to kind of break up the rhythm of what I was looking at before—Dolly Parton wrote this song around her Saturn return, but interestingly Whitney Houston sang and released her version of “I Will Always Love You” during her Saturn return in Aquarius, and they are both respectively known for that song.
CMG: So it’s just very interesting here—both of them also have Saturn opposite Venus. And of course this song, “I Will Always Love You,” is about saying goodbye to a lover, knowing that you’re not the best person for them but wanting to see them do well, which is just such a beautiful, nurturing, supportive, ‘Cancerian’ kind of way to say goodbye.
CB: Yeah, that’s beautiful.
CB: So there’s Dolly Parton’s chart. I was just looking through my files, and I noticed that two other musicians I had in my main file that had Saturn in Cancer were Alannis Morrisette and Lauren Hill. But with both of them, one of the things that’s kind of interesting is it means they were both born in the mid-1970s with Saturn in Cancer, and it means they both peaked—at least in terms of mainstream popularity—in the 1990s prior to their Saturn return, and their Saturn return then would have been in the mid-2000s. And it creates almost a separation point in terms of both of their careers and lives where they experienced this great success—especially in their 20s in the 1990s—but then the Saturn return as a maturing point or as a point of transition was a transition to a different sort of era. I know a lot of people recently have been discussing waiting for Lauren Hill to release a new album, ‘cause she hasn’t done something comparable since the 1990s, basically, right?
CMG: Yeah, pretty much. And one thing I noticed that’s not really in the examples here, but a lot of artists around their Saturn return get disillusioned, so we see folks leaving what they once found enjoyable in their teens and early 20s. So that, too, is a Saturn return, it’s just working in an opposite direction.
CB: Yeah, that makes sense. And that would be so challenging seeing some of the people that peaked before their Saturn return. I hate sometimes using subjective terms like ‘peak’, it’s hard not to do. But just in terms of having your greatest-selling album at one point in your life and then wanting to match that or wanting to somehow get back to that level, but maybe being reticent to release something until you think that it could match that because you don’t want it to fall short must create a tremendous amount of pressure for some artists later in life; or when that coincides with during or even after the Saturn return that would be something that would be hard to struggle with.
CMG: Yeah, absolutely.
LT: I think, too, about those two artists as both having really strong voices against patriarchy and that coming through their music as well.
CB: For sure. Yeah, especially Alannis’ very first single “You Ought to Know” and how that was partially written about an ex-boyfriend and just some of the stuff she went through with him.
LT: Yeah, and I think that album came out during Saturn in Pisces, Jagged Little Pill. I remember listening to it when I was about eight or nine and just loving it. But, yeah, so I think that album is having its Saturn return maybe or has just had its Saturn return.
CB: Okay. Yeah, that was such a massively huge album in the mid-1990s. All right, cool. Well, that’s pretty good for Saturn in Cancer.
LT: Shall we jump into the lion?
CB: Let’s do it.
LT: All right, so we get Saturn in Leo from 1975 to 1978, and it seems to be when disco really begins to build momentum in the Billboard. And as I was doing this research, I just realized, wow, the disco ball is such a quintessential image of Saturn in Leo because it’s this kind of bright luminary like the Sun, right? Leo’s ruler in the middle of this dark club thinking about Saturn ruling darkness or signifying darkness.
CB: That’s hilarious ‘cause this summer, with Venus going retrograde in Leo, some of the keywords were ‘glitter bomb’. But, also, you had the Barbie movie come out when Venus station retrograde in Leo, and right at the beginning of it they have kind of like a disco-opening song when they’re doing the dance party that was disco-inspired and a Dua Lipa song that’s very influenced by disco-type influences.
LT: Yes, I love it, I love it. Yeah, and around this time, in the ‘70s, we get the movie Saturday Night Fever, which actually comes out during one of the bridge years between Saturn in Leo and Saturn in Virgo. But I think I looked, and the day that Saturday Night Fever was released was the day that Saturn stationed retrograde at 0° Virgo. So it was almost like Saturn was dipping back into Leo for an encore and we get Saturday Night Fever, which is super cool. And even thinking about the title of that movie, like Saturn ruling Saturday, and ‘Fever’ as a fiery thing in a fiery sign—I think it makes so much sense for this transit that we get Saturday Night Fever. So, generally speaking, the music from Saturn in Leo is super fun, super upbeat: it’s bright; it’s funky; it’s loud. There’s big singing, big belty voices that kind of calls to mind a lion’s roar to me. And there’s also something really courageous to me about this transit and thinking of Leo and the heart and courage because we get a lot of black and gay artists that are hitting the mainstream in some new way. So disco was culturally black and culturally gay and white rockers did not really love its presence on the charts; and so I’ll discuss that more with Saturn in Virgo because I think that disco is really both a Leo and Virgo phenomenon.
But if you look at the music generally with Saturn in Leo on the Billboard, you get big themes of fame and royalty. And so, of the top songs for those years are David Bowie’s “Fame,” you get Queen—just the name of the band—and “Killer Queen,” and then you get Abba’s “Dancing Queen.” And so, dancing and dance music is a huge part of this transit as was the Bee Gees song “You Should Be Dancing,” right? And then of course—like you mentioned, Chris—we get a lot of solar and sparkling, celestial imagery as well: so we get Glenn Campbell’s “Rhinestone Cowboy,” we get Earth, Wind, and Fire’s “Shining Star,” we get KC and The Sunshine Band who sings “Get Down Tonight.” And there are lots of references to gold: so we get David Bowie’s “Golden Years,” and America’s “Sister Golden Hair.” And one Saturn in Leo song that seems to have truly stood the test of time is Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” I don’t know anyone who doesn’t know this song. If you don’t, listen to it; it’s so operatic and bombastic.
CB: What a perfect Saturn in Leo song.
LT: What’s that?
CB: What a perfect Saturn in Leo song. It’s so—
LT: It’s so perfect.
CB: —over the top and it’s so loud and so bold, and those are two of the keywords I’ve really learned from that Venus retrograde in Leo this summer. ‘Loud’ and ‘bold’ are two major Saturn keywords and that song for sure is a great example of that.
LT: Yes, yes. Another really funny or fun Saturn in Leo song is Starland Vocal Band’s song “Afternoon Delight,” which is about having sex in the daytime. So I think that’s great because Leo is a diurnal sign ruled by the Sun, so we get a song about sex but in the afternoon; so that’s pretty silly. We get some other silly songs, one literally called “Silly Love Songs” by Wings. And another fun, silly song is “Why Can’t We Be Friends” by War, and I actually have a little personal anecdote about this. I was friends with Deacon Jones’ stepson, and Deacon was a backup singer on this track. And so, if you don’t know Deacon Jones, he was a huge football star at the time; he coined the term ‘sacks’; he was a Hall of Famer. And so, I think it feels super ‘Leonine’ that we have a celebrity cameo, and he helped this band War become famous. And the last thing I’ll say about Saturn in Leo is that we have two really important artists having their first Saturn returns at this time, so we have Elton John and Freddy Mercury who both dominated the charts as out gay men. And I think that this is really important to note when we’re talking about ‘Leonine’ pride and solar visibility.
CB: That’s incredible. So both Elton and Freddy Mercury had Saturn in Leo?
LT: They’re so showy. I mean, it’s so perfect, right?
CB: Yeah, that’s honestly stunning just because they were, with that Leo energy, so bold and so loud and so out there, but also in that way so trailblazing because they were just so undeniably skilled as musicians and as vocalists. In an era when it was harder to be out as a queer person, it almost forced the mainstream to embrace that because they were so talented, even though there was so much oppression prior to that point. I’m having a hard time articulating that, but it was very early inroads through just sheer musical talent and things like that.
LT: Yeah, it makes me really emotional to think about how important they were to queer people and to music at this time and ever since.
CB: For sure. So they were both having their Saturn returns during those periods? You said “Bohemian Rhapsody” was during Saturn in Leo?
LT: Yes, yes.
LT: And I think Elton John had some hits as well during this time, but for space I just didn’t include them in my little write-up. Yeah, he had “Philadelphia Freedom” that was coming out around this time.
CB: All right, well, this is so good that I’m just gonna throw these in. So here’s Elton John’s chart. He has Saturn at 2 Leo and Pluto at 11 Leo.
CB: And then here’s Freddy Mercury who had Saturn at 4 Leo and Pluto at 12. So, yeah, that’s just really stunning. That’s such a great example. Like that in of itself, you could almost do a whole episode on just those two.
LT: I would love that.
CB: All right, anything else about that period?
LT: Not from me, no.
CB: Okay, cool.
CMG: All right, so the second era of Saturn in Leo, we are looking roughly at the time period between 2005 and 2007, so we get the dominance of very happy, hot club music. So we get “Promiscuous” by Nelly Furtado, “Temperature” by Sean Paul, “Hips Don’t Lie,” Shakira, and “SexyBack” by Justin Timberlake. We get some songs about self-empowerment and glamor and centering the self, so we have “Irreplaceable” by Beyoncé, which is like no one’s going to rise to the level of awesomeness that I am. We get “Glamorous” by Fergie, we also get “Fergalicious” by Fergie—it’s very ‘Leonine’ to have a song named after you. We also get a lot of songs about the Sun and about shining and about smiling. One thing that was really cool here was the song “Unwritten” by Natasha Bedingfield was the most played song of 2006 when Saturn was in Leo, and one of the lyrics is: “Let the Sun illuminate the words that you cannot find.” We also get “Umbrella” by Rihanna; she’s introduced in that song by Jay-Z as: “Little Ms. Sunshine, Rihanna, where you at?”
CMG: Yeah, the chorus is, “When the sun shines, we’ll shine together,” so more Sun imagery there. We get “Hey There Delilah” by the Plain White T’s, and there’s a reference there to shining as bright as Time Square. And then kind of funny here, we get the song “Grillz” with Paul Wall & Co., which is about smiling and having flashy, gold shiny jewelry in your mouth; and smiling to me and happiness to me feels very, of course, Leo. The Saturn return example here—and, Chris, you may also be surprised to hear this—David Bowie had Saturn in Leo.
CB: Oh, wow.
CMG: And of course, as Lindsey said, that prior time period, “Fame” really coming out here. But the body of work I want to talk about for David Bowie is his album called Low; so here we have another title that’s evocative of the Saturn return of melancholy and depression. During this time he moved to France with his friend Iggy Pop to get out of the spotlight and focus on making this music. A lot of reflection here about addiction, so leaving America to go to another country to see if they could get clean. It’s called Low because David Bowie was in a low period here keeping a ‘low’ profile as well. Famously, during this album, David Bowie dropped his persona, like all the caricatures and the shiny stage presence. The music and the lyrics were much more sparse, a lot more human and a lot more humble.
His record label at this time was like, “Nah. Like how can we put this out?” But they ended up respecting his wishes to make it an album release but they kept on delaying it, which I thought was funny during a Saturn return. Later on, this album Low by David Bowie was cited as a major influence for the post-punk genre, and it was later praised as some of Bowie’s best work, and someone said it was ‘his masterpiece’. So here, again, we get of course the sadness and the confrontation of one’s individual experience of the Saturn return, but in the context of culture and society it ends up being something that lives on and ends up being a shining example of the talent of this person and the influence of this person.
CB: Yeah, that’s incredible, and also another great example of somebody that was out relatively early on and who was widely-regarded as an incredible musician and shining basically through his own personality; yeah, he made inroads for people.
CMG: Yeah, absolutely.
LT: Wow, I should have packed my tissues for this episode. I have a Leo stellium, and I’m just feeling so emotional. It’s very sweet.
CB: Yeah. All right, I’m trying to think if there’s any other reflective points about that or any other things that are relevant about Saturn in Leo before we move on. Were there any other examples that you would have included if we threw others in?
LT: Oh, gosh, I don’t have the notes handy. I just have my write-up that I’ve done, so I would have to take a look.
CB: Okay, no problem.
CMG: I can look at some of these. Did you say Earth, Wind, and Fire, “Shining Star?”
LT: Yeah, yeah.
CMG: Yeah, I think most of these were said here.
CB: Okay, cool. Well, why don’t we move on to Virgo then.
LT: Excellent. This is a super interesting transit. I’ve said that about the ‘Mercurial’ signs, but it’s true. There’s some neat/tragic history that happens here. So Saturn in Virgo rounds out the ‘70s and we get a lot more disco during this time. And so, the Bee Gees’ songs from Saturday Night Fever, which I talked about with Saturn in Leo, that soundtrack just takes over the Billboard. If you look at the top songs from ‘77, it’s just like Bee Gees, Bee Gees, Bee Gees and it’s interspersed with Andy Gibb. And Andy Gibb was actually the youngest brother of all the brothers, all the Gibb brothers, who were in the band, the Bee Gees. So they’re all brothers and they’re all dominating the Year-End Hot 100 chart with Saturn in Virgo. So what I think is really cool is that Mercury actually signifies brotherhood according to Valens, so I just think that’s a really neat thing that we have brothers just taking over. I also was thinking about how Mercury rules the hands and the arms and the shoulders, and in disco, you get a lot of choreography that involves the hands and arms and shoulders. You also get at this time the “YMCA” by the Village People, which has this choreography where you’re literally spelling things out with your arms and hands.
LT: I think that that’s really exciting and fun to put together.
LT: Also, the disco club is becoming mainstream and it’s becoming this place for singles to meet. And so, I’m also thinking about singles as kind of an appropriate expression for a sign whose image is the Virgin, or the Maiden, or some someone who maybe isn’t coupled or partnered. And so, if we’re thinking of the Bee Gees as the ‘disco kings’, we get Donna Summer who is the ‘disco queen’, and she was having her Saturn return at this time. And she had so many hits on the Year-End Hot 100. She had “Last dance,” “Hot Stuff,” “Dim All the Lights,” “Bad Girls,” “MacArthur Park,” “Heaven Knows,” “No More Tears,” so I think it’s super important to mention her when we’re talking about Saturn in Virgo.
And I would also be really remiss not to mention Grease. So we get another John Travolta movie, and also his co-star is Olivia Newton John, and so they both make the Year-End Hot 100. And I just think Grease is such a quintessential Virgo expression because it’s about cars and virgins. And so, we have this expression of Mercury, which rules vehicles and transportation, and then virginity, which is so literal to Virgo. Another thing I noticed about the kind of virginal quality of this time was The Knack’s “My Sharona,” which I think was number one for the year when it came out, and it was written about an adult who was in love with a 17-year-old, so that’s kind of an interesting note. I also noted we see bands that are named Kansas and Bread and that feels like a nod to Virgo’s signaling of wheat and grains and the American heartland where those things grow.
So the history that I kind of wanted to bring into this section is that as I was researching Saturn in Virgo, I came across a documentary on the Bee Gees called How Can You Mend a Broken Heart, and something I really appreciated learning about them was that they completely changed their entire sound while they were recording the tracks for Saturday Night Fever. So they had been a pretty popular band, but I think people really know them for the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. And so, this feels very mutable earth-coded to me. They just adapted to the musical climate and it paid off huge for them until—this was the really tragic thing that I learned from this documentary—there was a day that is considered ‘the day that disco died’. And so, this was the info I sent you, Chris, for this chart.
As I had mentioned, disco was really hated in some circles, and I think we can draw the conclusion that this was a kind of racist and homophobic phenomenon because disco was associated with black and gay people. And so, in 1979, this Chicago DJ named Steve Dahl ran a promotional stunt called “Disco Demolition” at Comiskey Park Baseball Stadium, and he invited attendees to the baseball game that night to bring a disco record to blow up in the middle of the field. And what happened—according to this usher that’s on the documentary—is that the records that people brought were by primarily black artists, whether they were disco or not, and he said it felt like a book burning but of black music; and then there was this calamitous riot on the field after that and it was after that that disco really kind of just stopped being popular. And so, I think that chart is so wild. I noticed Uranus is on the midheaven, so you get this exploding, and killing things and Scorpio, and then Mars and its joy in Gemini in the 6th, a burning of books, but it’s music. And, yeah, looking at Leo in the 8th house, of the dying of this sign that kind of brought disco into the mainstream, and the Moon-Saturn opposition on the nodes—I just think it’s a super interesting chart to look at for this particular event.
CB: Yeah, that Grand Square is super prominent in the chart where one of the tightest aspects is Mars squaring Saturn; Mars is at 11 Gemini and it’s squaring Saturn at 10 Virgo. And then the Moon comes up and completes a T-square that night, since the Moon was at 5 Pisces here; so it’s coming up and triggering the Mars-Saturn square. And then Neptune is thrown into the mix in Sagittarius opposing Mars and squaring Saturn, so that’s like a lot of tension just in one chart.
LT: Yeah, yeah, a super sad event. But what’s really interesting is that the Bee Gees then just pivoted again, which, again, it feels Virgo or mutable earth-coded where they just started writing loads of hits for other musicians.
CB: Okay, so they were acting as writers for others. That’s super interesting in of itself, wow.
CMG: I have to say, Lindsey, I think you’ll really like this. So Saturn in Leo as bringing disco—I just looked up and Panic! At The Disco’s first song came out when Saturn was in Leo.
CMG: Isn’t that funny?
LT: Amazing, amazing.
CMG: Disco everywhere. All right, so let’s look at the second era of Saturn in Virgo; we are now between 2007 and 2010. Lindsey actually helped me to generate some ideas here. She sent me a document to, say, lookout for songs about kink and messiness, so we do get that. So we have songs like “I Kissed A Girl” by Katy Perry. We get “Poker Face” and “Just Dance” by Lady Gaga, “TiK ToK” by Kesha, which to me is like a messy party anthem, and even the video was just very chaotic. We get Taylor Swift’s “Love Story,” which I think brings in another side of Virgo, and that’s the storytelling that was in that song, and also, to me, the innocence of Taylor Swift at that time and the innocence of that song. I think in the video she’s wearing a Victorian, very chaste-looking kind of dress as well. We also get “Single Ladies,” and there’s just so much to talk about here with Beyoncé. First, we have hand movements, again, so in the “Single Ladies” video we have that. Single again—so the Virgo, Virgin, the Maiden, I’m okay with being by myself. So I just connected those dots. I was like, “Wow, here we have another hand movement from Queen Virgo herself.”
CB: Yeah, and she famously has the Sun in Virgo.
CMG: She famously has the Sun in Virgo, absolutely. The Saturn return example I want to look at for Virgo is Pink. So she released her album Funhouse during her Saturn return. She has her Saturn in Virgo, as well as a Virgo stellium, so you’ll see here on the screen giant Virgo energy. This was written during the disillusion of her marriage; so time and time again we see that relational drama is influencing these pivotal works. The lead single to this album was So What, which I think is an instantly recognizable Pink song, and it also became her second Billboard 100 hit; so she was having her return as she was topping the charts. She called the album Funhouse because she said, “It’s about when the box you are in does not fit anymore, you want to burn that fucker down and start a new one.”
So it just made me think of the rebirth of the Saturn return period, how we are looking and examining the structures that have brought us to that point of life and are really deciding whether or not we want to keep those structures as we move forward; so her specifically feeling that she wasn’t in the right box and kind of breaking free. She says that this was her most vulnerable album to date; so, again, a Saturn return sadness and honesty and sobriety kind of informing the lyrics here. I think she even got a little bit sober, or she had a song called “Sober” on this album. And then you’ll see in her chart she has Venus nearby her Saturn; so again bringing in quite literally Venus significations of relationships and music.
CB: Yeah, it’s crazy, ‘cause she has so many close configurations to Saturn, which is at 17 Virgo. When you mentioned the ‘burn it down’ thing, it made me think of how she has that very close Mars-Uranus trine, with Mars at 20° of Cancer and Uranus at 17 Scorpio; and they’re both closely sextile Saturn at 17° of Virgo, and it sounds similar to that energy.
CMG: Yeah, and that Aries Moon in the 6th of like breaking free, just going off the Mars there.
CB: For sure.
LT: Thinking about Virgo, too, and how there’s some sort of maybe organizational qualities of it, like putting things in boxes, and then her just being like, “Screw the box. I don’t want to be involved with this box anymore.”
CMG: Absolutely, yeah. Perfect.
CB: For sure. I was trying to look through my files—or was there anything else you wanted to mention about Pink?
CMG: No, that’s it.
CB: Okay. I was just looking through my files and I saw a funny one that just came up, which is one that you would not normally think of as a musician—because he’s not primarily—but Andy Samberg has Saturn in Virgo. He was a comedian that was in a comedy troupe in the early-to-mid-2000s, and they started out making videos on YouTube; but then he got on SNL later in the 2000s and around this time he actually started making music on SNL. So they were doing these skits where they were doing these funny musical numbers but with—
LT: “I’m On A Boat.”
CB: Yeah, exactly.
CMG: Lonely Island. I love all of them, they’re so funny.
CB: Yeah, I love The Lonely Island as well. I knew somebody who was actually an astrologer, who was actually in one of their early skits. Laura Michetti is actually in one of their early skits, which is really funny. ‘Cause I just saw it randomly one day, and I messaged her and was like, “Are you in a Lonely Island skit for some reason?” And she was like, “Yeah, yeah, I am.”
LT: That’s amazing. Virgo can do both.
CB: Yeah, well, it really makes me think of Virgo and Mercury, and that sort of comedian aspect of Virgo is something that I’ve seen very prominently, not just with him but with other people that have that dual role of being both a comedian but also a musician. Donald Glover is another good example of that, who has Virgo rising and I think Mercury and Virgo on the ascendant or something, right?
CMG: Yeah. It also makes me think of how Virgo is about perfecting skills, and how in a lot of ways Adam Samberg, Andy Samberg, was taking his comedian skills and just applying it now to music, and the versatility of that kind of talent is Virgo to me.
CB: For sure, for sure. Yeah, the versatility and the ability to wear different hats—with Mercury being exalted there—and to actually excel in two completely different fields that aren’t normally related, to actually reach the top of both of those. In his instance, he was getting big movie roles or other things like that, but then he started getting awards at that time for some of the music they were doing on SNL.
CMG: Wearing many hats and being good feels very Virgo-coded, yeah.
LT: It even makes me think of Andy Gibb, and one of the big ways that the Bee Gees’ music changed was that he started singing in falsetto. So he was singing in a lower register and then he goes “More than a woman,” and some people thought it was like truly funny, but it just points to, again, that versatility and that ability to kind of do both or adapt. I mean, falsetto can be a little silly-sounding, but it’s catchy and it’s fun and exciting.
CMG: It is, it is.
CB: And that’s the same thing with Donald Glover and his song “Redbone,” remember, in which he sings in that really high tone.
LT: Oh, yeah, interesting. I’m thinking of Mercury signifying kids who speak in a naturally higher voice.
CMG: Oh, wow, yeah.
CB: That’s a good point. And really quickly, here’s his chart, ‘cause we do have a timed chart for Donald Glover/Childish Gambino. And he has 21 Virgo rising and then Mercury’s like right there at 16 Virgo; it was like stationary the day he was born.
CMG: Oh, wow.
CB: And I always just think of him because he’s somebody that’s excelled at all of these different things, like acting, stand-up comedy, music, producing, just many different hats.
CMG: It’s funny ‘cause he has two names, too, which is very ‘Mercurial’.
LT: Yeah, so mutable, so mutable.
CB: For sure. All right, is that good for Saturn in Virgo?
CMG: I think so.
LT: Great. So let’s talk about Saturn in Libra, so we get Saturn in Libra from 1980 to 1983. And it feels really important as we move into this discussion of Saturn in Libra to mention the December 1980 Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in Libra. And so, with this great conjunction we get a very notable transition from from ‘70s disco to an ’80s post-disco era with more industrial stripped-down electronic and mechanical sounds. And so, it just seems really important in the greater context of what we’re talking about here today because Saturn exalts in Libra and great conjunctions mark really big shifts in history; so this was the first air sign great conjunction that we had in a very, very long time. And so, I noticed that 1980 is kind of a funny year for the Hot 100, the Year-End Hot 100; it doesn’t feel quite as cohesive as all the other years preceding it. I got this sense that music was almost having an identity crisis this year; there’s like a huge shift happening and artists don’t maybe quite have their footing.
There’s a great song that’s sort of a meta commentary on this, which is Billy Joel’s song “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me.” The lyrics are so great; I think they really describe the phenomenon of what’s happening in 1980. He says: “What’s the matter with the clothes I’m wearing / Can’t you tell that your tie’s too wide / Maybe I should buy some old tab collars / Welcome back to the age of jive / Where have you been hidin’ out lately, honey / You can’t dress trashy ’til you spend a lot of money / Everybody’s talkin’ ’bout the new sound / Funny, but it’s still rock and roll to me.” And so, I do think we get some artists who are trying to kind of hold onto the past music and then others who are embracing the future; so we do get this really interesting kind of conflict or tension in the Year-End Hot 100 for 1980.
But then in 1981, some more concrete ‘Libran’ themes emerge, I want to name primarily themes of women, beauty, and femininity, also equity, particular women’s equity—what I’m calling ‘mushy-gushy, ooey-gooey’ love songs; I mean, it’s just really laid on thick with some of these love songs, and then other associated imagery with Libra. And I also noticed there were some songs on this list that are sort of canonical for wedding reception DJs; it’s like the songs that you just hear at every wedding reception you go to. I mean, some of the research really made me chuckle so I started looking through, and just the sheer number of songs whose titles alone refer to women, which is of course an identity that’s one of the signifiers of Venus.
So we have Kim Carnes “Bette Davis Eyes,” Kenny Rogers’ “Lady,” Rick Springfield’s “Jesse’s Girl,” John Lennon’s “Woman,” Air Supply’s “Every Woman in the World,” The Oak Ridge Boys “Elvira,” Barbara Streisand’s “Woman in Love,” the Commodore’s “Lady,” it just goes on and on. It’s amazing how many songs are just about women. And then also we get a lot of hearts and roses and kisses, so we get Hall and Oates’ “Kiss on My List,” Juice Newton’s “Queen of Hearts,” Bruce Springsteen’s “Hungry Heart,” Marty Balin’s “Hearts,” Frankie and The Knockouts “Sweetheart,” and Bette Midler’s “The Rose.” I mean, it’s sort of like walking into, I don’t know, a Hallmark store or something, a lot of the imagery that we get from Saturn in Libra, and then of course some really special timeless love songs. So we get Lionel Richie and Diana Ross’ “Endless Love;” we get Grover Washington Jr’s “Just the Two of Us,” The Pointer Sisters “Slow Hand.” And then one of the songs that I was like ‘which of us has not danced to the song at our cousin’s wedding’, Kool and The Gang’s “Celebration,” so super, super fun.
And then just ending on a couple of social notes, we get a few songs about women’s equity in the workplace, notably Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5.” So I pulled some of the verses from this song: “They let you dream / Just a watch ’em shatter / You’re just a step on the boss man’s ladder / But you got dreams he’ll never take away / In the same boat with a lot of your friends / Waitin’ for the day your ship’ll come in / And the tide’s gonna turn / And it’s all gonna roll you away.” It’s interesting, it feels kind of contrapuntal to James Brown’s “Black and Proud,”—some of the lyrics that I read earlier with Aries, seeing this theme, both in Aries and Libra, of songs about equity, social equity. And then we also get Diana Ross’ “I’m Coming Out,” which is a song she wrote about getting out from underneath her label, but then got adopted by the queer community as a queer anthem, which I think is super awesome. And she like went with it; she was like, “That’s fine, let’s do it.” And then the last thing that I noticed about Saturn in Libra is we get the emergence of the band The Police, which feels like a nod to social order and the legal implications of Libra which is represented by the image of the scales. And Sting, who’s the leader of The Police, has his Saturn, Sun, Moon, and Neptune in Libra; and so he was having his Saturn return when The Police made the Year-End Billboard Hot 100.
LT: Yeah, super interesting.
CB: Wow. Yeah, those themes of Saturn in Libra are very, very vivid in those.
CMG: Yeah, in the second era of Saturn in Libra, we’re looking at the years of 2009 to 2012. One thing I noted about the end list of Billboard—I’m saying it wrong; the Billboard 100 End of the Year List for 2010—a lot of them were groups and features; so a lot of collaborations under Libra, which is a sign that famously has a lot to do with collaborations. We also get songs like “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum, now Lady A; so very mushy, gushy love songs here. Songs about women—so we get Katy Perry’s “California Girls,” we get Train’s “Hey, Soul Sister,” we get Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance,” and so that just made me think Saturn is sometimes that which is tortured. I think there’s even a skeleton in that video; so very bones, very Saturn-coded there. If you note it, here, we have two ladies, too; so we have Lady A and Lady Gaga, which I think is funny. In 2011, we get fun party songs, too. So we get “Party Rock Anthem” by LMFAO, we get ‘Love The Way You Lie” with Eminem and Rihanna, so another duet here but also about love. We get Rihanna’s “We found Love…in a hopeless place,” kind of ‘Saturnian’. Somebody that I used to know, Carly Rae Jepson’s “Call Me Maybe,”—it’s so, so flirty there. And then “Super Bass” by Nicki Minaj and that debut album of hers Pink Friday and Pink Everything, and how she was very Barbie-esque—to me, it just screams Libra as well.
LT: I love that song.
CMG: Me, too. The Saturn return example here is Beyoncé. We do not have a timed chart, which it’s very much unknown in the astrology community what her rising sign is, but nevertheless she has Saturn—
LT: Much debated.
CMG: Much debated. Heated debates, might I add.
CB: There’s like a strong ‘Libra rising’ camp and a strong ‘Scorpio rising’ camp, right?
CMG: That’s right.
LT: Which one are you in, Chris and Camille? Do you dare to say?
CMG: You’re not gonna like this, Lindsey, but I am ‘Team Libra rising’.
CB: And then, Lindsey, are you a ‘Scorpio rising’ diehard?
LT: I’m Scorpio rising. I have Libra rising, and I just don’t see it.
CB: I love this. I like that this is turning into almost like a religious fight in the astrological community with different—
LT: And what about you, Chris? Are you remaining agnostic here?
CB: I am agnostic as to the true rising sign of Beyoncé. I could see it going either way. I mean, I lean towards wanting that Libra stellium to be more prominent than it would be in the Scorpio chart just ‘cause it’s so there. It’s like so strong in her chart I would almost want it to be in a place that would be bringing it to greater, I don’t know, prominence than just putting it in the 12th house, but it’s hard to say.
CMG: Hard to say.
CMG: Who knows.
LT: I think Sam Reynolds taught me about associating the 12th house with recording studios, and so I think her being one of the greatest recording artists of all time, that that makes a lot of sense. But, I mean, that’s a topic for a different discussion.
CMG: Yeah, so the Saturn return example is Beyoncé here. So controversy aside, either way, she has Saturn in Libra. So this is when she came out and surprise-dropped her self-titled Beyoncé, which makes a lot of sense for reintroducing yourself, like this is who I am now. It was written and recorded during the latter-half of Saturn’s transit through Libra. She also became a mother at this time, which is a key Saturn return event for a lot of folks. The album was described by others as dark, a little bit more moody, a little bit more textured; it explored more of Beyoncé’s sexuality. Beyoncé herself stated around this time that she felt stifled by the ‘role model’ mold that she was in, and she said she “earned the right to express every side of herself,” so, again, the Saturn return coming of age, showing more facets of one’s humanity.
Interestingly, here, we also see a lot of songs about monogamous love. This is an album that’s hot and sexy, but she’s married to Jay-Z, and so that’s Saturn exalted in the sign of Libra, really going the distance with somebody. Also, this album and the visuals around it and the performances around it really emphasized feminism, and this is like the time I would say Beyoncé came out as a feminist. If you remember, she was performing at an award show and the word ‘feminist’ came up in big block letters behind her. So, yeah, just tying in what Lindsey said about the prior Saturn in Libra era, we get a lot of exploration of gender roles even just through Beyoncé’s album here.
LT: That’s so interesting.
CB: Yeah, that’s brilliant. Well, hopefully, we’ll find out her birth time at some point. We all have our top charts that we just desperately want to see someday, but that’s definitely one. Also, the Saturn in Libra stuff—it just makes me think of that being the sign of Saturn’s exaltation and just hitting the highest point in one’s field. And I think she’s one of those rare artists where you just see somebody hit the highest point and then you don’t think they can ever top it, but then somehow they keep coming back and going higher and higher. That theme of exaltation and rising to the top of something symbolically, I think she just exudes very well.
LT: That’s such a great point, yeah. And her union, right? Like being in a celebrity couple.
CMG: Power couple.
CB: That’s a great point, for sure, how they’ve reinforced each other and both of their boats have kind of risen partially as a result of their union; but also just two people being immensely talented independently and what happens when you put that together.
CB: But then of course it not always being easy. Her album after this period would have been Lemonade, right?
CMG: I believe so, yeah.
CB: Okay, cool. I was just looking through my files and trying to see if I had any good musicians in my personal chart files of Saturn in Libra, and two that came up were Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears. And with the Justin Timberlake one, I just looked it up really quickly on Wikipedia. And his was interesting because during this time when Saturn was in Libra and he was going through his Saturn return, he actually quit doing music for a while and focused on being in movies and trying to make a switch in careers to acting. Wikipedia says: “From 2008 to 2012, Timberlake paused his musical career to focus on an acting career starring in the films The Love Guru, The Social Network, Bad Teacher, Friends with Benefits, and In Time,” and it’s just like 2008, 2010, 2011, 2011, 2011. And then it says he resumed his music career in 2013 with his third and fourth albums, and by then Saturn had moved into Scorpio; it also says that during that time he got married in 2012. So that can sometimes be a theme seen with Saturn returns in other fields, but it seems relevant here as well. Sometimes somebody will be working in one field, but they’ll pause or think about making a transition into a completely different one entirely.
CMG: Yeah. Is it just me or are some of those movie titles kind of ‘Libran’? Social Network.
CB: Social Network. Friends with Benefits.
CMG: Friends with Benefits.
CB: In Time. The Love Guru.
CMG: The Love Guru, yeah. Not all of them, but some of them. That’s funny.
CB: And then Britney Spears also has Saturn in Libra, and during that time she was in the early phases of her conservatorship. She was put under the trust of her father legally, and she didn’t have full control of her own life. And she released an album at some point during that, but that would be an example of some of the tensions that were happening, where her career and her life were completely under the control of somebody else, and that must have been very difficult.
CMG: Yeah, under control of a father figure—so ‘Saturnian’ and paternal and patriarchy, all of that.
LT: Wow. And now we’re having eclipses in Libra, and both she and Justin Timberlake are having some things revealed that were previously obscured.
CB: Right. Her autobiography came out just last month when that eclipse in Libra took place in her 1st house—and I guess all over their mutual Saturn in Libras—bringing to light some things from their previous relationship.
CB: Yeah, that’s super interesting. So I think that’s a good theme of how sometimes the Saturn in Libra ones can bring in relationships in different ways and that ties into the music sometimes directly or sometimes indirectly.
CMG: Yeah, there’s like a mirroring where Britney and Justin are in the same kind of topic but on different sides of the conversation.
CB: For sure, for sure. All right, is that good for Saturn in Libra?
LT: Yeah, I think so. So let’s move into Saturn in Scorpio, 1982 to ‘85. So I would imagine that folks listening or watching by now could guess some of the major musical motifs of Saturn in Scorpio. This time period gets very spooky and edgy and dark. So we have a nocturnal sign ruled by Mars, so it makes sense that the themes and the sounds would resemble things that go bump in the night, right? And so, I will say now that if you ever host a Halloween party, and you want a suitable playlist, just throw on the Billboard Hot 100 from 1982-‘83-‘84 and you will be good to go; it’s really wild. So we go from these almost saccharine and bright pink sounds of Libra to blood, sweat, and tears with Scorpio; so a really, really pronounced shift in the music with this transit.
So a huge theme of Saturn in Scorpio Billboard hits is exercise, and it’s sort of like this theme of training or resistance even. That feels really ‘Martial’ to me, especially in Scorpio; it’s not the performance of the exercise, but it’s the strategic training that goes unseen before the competition. So just thinking about it, we have Olivia Newton John’s “Physical,” and the music video is basically a training montage but also an illusion to sex, so that feels very ‘Scorpion’. We get Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger,” which is part of the Rocky 3 soundtrack; and so this is associated with this Rocky training montage.
LT: It’s so good. We get Vangelis’ “Chariots of Fire;” it’s a song from a movie of the same name, which opens with another training montage, right? So training montages are really Saturn in Scorpio.
CB: It’s like an endurance thing when you’re doing a training montage. And it’s a fixed sign, and that’s one of the things about Scorpio is endurance, but also holding something and holding that in for an extended period of time for as long as you can.
LT: Yeah, yeah, and like getting up before the Sun and training at night when everyone else is sleeping.
CB: I always play “Eye of the Tiger” for me and Austin and Kelly or others for the forecast episodes—when we’re about to do the year-ahead forecast episode and we’re trying to hype each other up—and then we try to go in optimistic and ready.
LT: So good. I mean, it’s funny that we’re doing this with the Mars cazimi in Scorpio. I was listening to some of this as I was preparing, and I was like, “Damn, this is great music for right now.” So if you want to get into that kind of ‘fight’ mood, these years are so good for it. We also get the movie Footloose and the song from it by Kenny Loggins, “Footloose.” And so, there’s this subversiveness to dancing, right? “It’s like we’re gonna dance against the morality laws in our town, and we’re gonna break the law with our movement and our subversive dancing,” so I really love that. Also, you get Bruce Springsteen’s song “Dancing in the Dark,” right? So it’s different from maybe the ‘Leonine’ dancing, which is really bright and it’s out in the open, but this is like secret dancing, nighttime dancing—it’s so good. Then there’s a whole kind of subset of songs with Saturn in Scorpio that are kind of freaky—they’re about stalking and spying and secrecy—and so that does feel very like a scorpion, the animal that hides from the light of the Sun and the Moon. So perhaps most famously we get The Police’s “Every Breath You Take,” but we also get Hall and Oates’ “Private Eyes,” The Go-Go’s “Our Lips Are Sealed,” Michael Jackson’s “Billy Jean,” and Billy Idol, “Eyes Without a Face.”
CB: “Every Breath You Take” is Saturn in Scorpio.
CB: That’s amazing.
LT: That’s so creepy.
CMG: I’ll be watching you.
CB: What’s funny about it, though, it was almost misunderstood later as like a love song or something like that. But it’s actually not, right?
LT: Yeah, it’s not great. It’s like, “I’ll be watching you. I’m gonna be tracking your every move.”
LT: Also, we get some other kind of creepy songs that are more like the objectification or even the vilification of women. So we get songs like The J. Geils Band’s “Centerfold”—so “Angel is the centerfold”—where he talks about someone he went to high school with that he then sees in a porno magazine and then his fantasies about that. We get Hall and Oates’ “Maneater,” and we get The Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me,” which is the creepiest song. I think they used it in a Swiffer commercial like 15 years ago, and I just really remember that. But it’s basically like, “You were working as a waitress in a cocktail bar, and then I met you, and then I like made you who you are; and you say that you don’t want me, but you’ll really be sorry if you don’t go out with me, and you don’t actually have a choice because I made you successful,” and it’s so creepy. So, yeah, some really songs with Saturn in Scorpio.
But of course every sign also has its love songs, right? So I’m thinking, “What are love songs with Saturn in Scorpio?” They are nothing like the love songs we’ve yet seen. They tell us a lot about Venus’ condition in the sign, so here’s just a list of some of the love songs we have. We have Joan Jett & the Blackhearts’ “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.” We get Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love,” Quarterflash’s “Harden My Heart,” Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart,” Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like the Wolf,” Prince’s “Little Red Corvette,” Tina Turner’s “What Love Got to Do With It,” and Pat Benatar’s “Love is a Battlefield”—and all of these songs are so raw and maybe even a little cynical and animalistic. And I’d be remiss not to mention Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing,” and that’s from his final album which was released during Saturn in Scorpio.
LT: And then last, but certainly not least, we get songs that maybe we directly associate with Halloween, which of course occurs during Scorpio season. We get Steve Miller Band’s “Abracadabra,” we get Ray Parker Jr’s “Ghostbusters” and the movie Ghostbusters, and Michael Jackson’s Thriller—so a super fun Saturn period in my opinion.
CB: I am so glad you mentioned Thriller. Look at the astrology of the release of Thriller. It was released, from what I can tell, on November 29 or November 30. November 29, 1982; literally, the day that Saturn ingressed into Scorpio. It was earlier that day Saturn goes into Scorpio and then Thriller, the album, was released. And then the music video for “Thriller” was released about a year later, and that was December 2, 1983. It’s like the Moon was conjoining Saturn and Pluto in Scorpio when “Thriller” was released. Some of the keywords you were using of ‘spooky things’ earlier—it’s such a perfect encapsulation of that.
LT: Yeah, very. That chart made me want to howl at the Moon.
CMG: You know, what’s funny is Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” stayed number one for 37 weeks and set the world record.
CMG: And it made me think of Scorpio and rallying; just rally.
CMG: We’re still number one, we’re still number one. So the endurance of that song is funny.
LT: Like a training montage every day, that song gets up and hits number one on the charts.
CB: So that’s really interesting because he was Saturn in Sagittarius, it looks like, so that means it was released before his Saturn return. But I wonder then if the staying power of that and the length of that extended over into his Saturn return. I guess either it would have extended into it barely, to the beginning, or he would have released “Thriller,” but then the immediate aftermath of that huge hit—which I think was his biggest hit—would have been his Saturn return.
LT: Oh, that’s an interesting thought.
CB: And I forgot to mention—for those that haven’t seen the “Thriller” music video—it’s like they’re literally doing a dance number as zombies, right?
LT: Yeah, and like werewolves; I think different creatures of the night.
CB: Right. Yeah, it’s brilliant, so everyone should watch that, if you haven’t yet.
CB: Those are amazing examples.
CMG: I was just looking at some notes. So Michael Jackson’s Saturn return album was Bad, and it came out after Thriller, but in between those two, it says he was just crushed under the weight of celebrity. So it’s like the bigness of a song right before or during the Saturn return, either way, the pressure is on.
CMG: So that’s very interesting.
CB: Yeah, that must have been intense ‘cause he was just like the biggest musician in the world at that point, but also the public scrutiny must have just been intense.
CB: ‘Cause there was a video out there of him, and at one point he bought out a grocery store just so he could experience what it would be like to go into a grocery store and shop for groceries without just being mobbed by tons of people.
LT: Oh, boy.
CMG: That’s sad.
LT: That’s a bummer.
CMG: Yeah, I remembered when I was researching this, I was wondering if there were associations between monsters and the Moon, because the Scorpio is the sign of the Moon’s fall. Etymologically, the two are actually not related, but monsters are etymologically related to money. And I thought that was very interesting if we think of the Moon as fortune in the chart, and fortune falling in Scorpio, and then this being a sign where we get monsters. And then the “Monster Mash” came out much earlier with Saturn in Cancer, so we also get something with the Moon and monsters as well; so a kind of interesting etymology there.
LT: Yeah, werewolves come out during a Full Moon, vampires stalk in the nighttime, it makes a lot of sense.
CB: We always hear those anecdotes from doctors and nurses about hospitals being so much more busy on Full Moons with people having accidents or whatever.
LT: Yes, it’s true.
CMG: Yeah, so let’s look at the latter Saturn in Scorpio season; now we’re between 2012 and 2015. So in 2013, we get “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons. And I don’t know about you guys, dragons—it also just occurred to me—are very ‘Scorpionic’.
CMG: We get “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke, which was a song riddled with controversy. So it’s like meta-Scorpio, where the content of the song and video itself was hypersexual, and then the reaction to that song both culturally and legally became a huge thing as well. We get Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse,” which she said was inspired by The Craft. We get lyrics like: “She [will] eat your heart out like Jeffrey Dahmer…Don’t make me your enemy.”
CMG: So very dark. We get Miley Cyrus’—
CMG: Please, go ahead.
CB: And she’s my ‘time twin’, Katy Perry, which I always like to joke it could have been my alternate career. So Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” was Katy Perry’s Saturn return. That means that basically when she was on top of the world, music-wise, it would have been around her Saturn return.
CMG: Yeah, so those themes coming out really, really heavy for her.
CMG: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. I was gonna round that year out with Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball,” right? So to destroy something. We get Macklemore’s—
CB: The ‘Miley Cyrus’ one is good also ‘cause that ties in with the ‘Robin Thicke’ one because they did a performance together at the VMAs that year, which was highly controversial and sexualized, not just ‘cause of his song but then her and her performance. ‘Cause she has some Scorpio placements, and that period was very much her trying to come into her own as an adult and make the transition from being a child star on Disney and stuff like that to being an adult and trying to very vigorously, almost violently push away the child star image and step into her adulthood in that way.
CMG: Yeah, I believe she has her Moon in Scorpio in the 7th.
CMG: Yeah, so that makes a lot of sense, like the pressure to shed that skin; and even shedding skin is very ‘Scorpionic’.
CMG: I was gonna round out that year with Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop.” So on its face it doesn’t seem ‘Scorpionic’, but it reminded me of scarcity and resourcefulness and how thrifting is resourceful; so Scorpio kind of tying in there.
LT: Digging through trash for treasure.
CMG: Digging through trash for treasure. Like one man’s trash is another man’s gold, yeah. The following year we get the breakout of Iggy Azalea. And I just want to mention that back to back with Macklemore because their prominence was met with high controversy; so it’s like a lot of these songs -were not only ‘Scorpionic’ in nature but the culture and the reaction to them were also very ‘Scorpionic’. Moving on, we get songs like “Pompeii,” which is about a volcanic eruption. We get darker love songs like “Rude,” “Black Widow,” again, by Iggy Azalea, “Problems,” again, by Iggy Azalea; so that just makes me think of Venus’ detriment in the sign of Scorpio. We get Lorde bursting out on the scene with a darker, moodier pop, and she, too, has Scorpio placements. We get songs like John Legend’s “All of Me” and Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me,” which to me are these slower-burning songs about intense desire or merging with another person; to be ‘under the influence of heavy attraction’, which just feels very ‘Martial’ as well. We get Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda;” so here we have snakes as being very literal.
And then lastly, or not lastly, but we also get “Drunk in Love” by Beyoncé; so from the previous album that she put out under Libra. So this was just about literally having sex. Jay-Z, in the song, his verse makes allusions or the comparison between sex and beating things up, which was also very controversial; I think he references Ike Turner, which people really didn’t like. Interestingly, at the end of this Saturn in Scorpio season, we get Pharrell’s “Happy,” and Lindsey noted that this was like an interesting prelude to the Sagittarius season that was oncoming. But I even saw it as ‘Scorpionic’ in that it is resisting, “I’m gonna defend my right to be happy.” So we have lyrics like, “Can’t nothing bring me down. You can try to warn me, I’ll be fine. Here you come bringing bad news, I don’t care,” pretty much; so that kind of made sense in the spirit of Scorpio.
LT: Yeah, if I recall, that came out—oh, sorry, Camille.
CMG: No, please.
LT: That came out during 2015, the huge Black Lives Matter movement.
CMG: Oh, yes.
LT: Yeah, so a resistance song is exactly how I’d qualify it, too.
CMG: Joy as resistance, absolutely. The Saturn return example I wanted to talk about is Billy Idol; so Lindsey already brought this up. So his album Rebel Yell—in that title we see it. The lead singles there were “Eyes Without a Face” and “Flesh for Fantasy;” so these very creepy ‘Scorpionic’ themes inspired by Idol’s love of French horror films and a particularly gruesome horror film that he was obsessed with at the time. He was also kind of going through personally his own relationship issues; so a relationship had gone wrong at this time. He said during this time he was “on the edge of disintegrating into madness,” so it just feels very heavy, very dark, very ‘Scorpionic’ as well. Another thing here—just a fun fact—is that Billy Idol actually ended up writing a memoir about his life and about this period of time during his second Saturn return when he was 59. So I like seeing the Saturn cycles through time and seeing people age through time and how they look back and reference their own first Saturn return bodies of work, too.
LT: So cool.
CB: That’s incredible. Okay, I had a really famous Saturn in Scorpio example that I always loved—because that was my Saturn return since I’m Saturn in Scorpio—but I always observed this one as it was happening, and it was actually one that I already mentioned earlier. But Donald Glover, or ‘Childish Gambino’, was going through his Saturn return at this time, and I ended up actually writing an article about this way back in the day, 10 years ago now; I can’t believe it was 10 years ago, that we’re talking about events or blog posts from that long ago. But I used to do a blog called Saturn Return Stories with Leisa Schaim, and one of my entries for that was back in 2013.
What happened is Donald Glover was super active, he was doing I think first music album and doing comedy and acting and everything else, and then he just went silent on social media for months and sort of disappeared all of a sudden to the extent that people started talking about, where is he, what happened to him ‘cause he really seemed to pull back from public life. And then just out of nowhere he drops this series of handwritten notes that were these really intense reflections at the time about what he was going through and some of the things that he was feeling; and it was so evocative of a person going through the middle of their Saturn return and his Saturn return in Scorpio. Let me just read some of them; the handwritten notes look like this.
Some of the things that he wrote in this series of five or six notes, he posted—I don’t know, if it was on Twitter or Instagram, somewhere on social media—but he said, “I’m afraid of the future. I’m afraid my parents won’t live long enough to see my kids. I’m afraid my show will fail. I’m scared my girl will get pregnant and not at the exact time we want. I’m scared I’ll never reach my potential. I’m afraid she’s still in love with that dude. I’m scared I’ll never grow out of this”—there was this skit that he did called “Bro Rape” earlier in his career that was sort of controversial. Yeah, I don’t really want to go into it. So he says, “I’m afraid people will think I hate my race. I’m afraid people will think I hate women. I hate people can say anything. I hate caring what people think. I’m afraid there’s someone better for you or me. I feel like I’m letting everyone down. I’m afraid people hate who I really am. I’m afraid I hate who I really am. I’m scared people will find out what I masturbate to,” which is a funny Saturn in Scorpio thing. “I’m afraid I’m here for nothing. I feel that this will feel pretentious. I’m afraid this is all an accident. I’m scared I’ll be Tyrese,” referring to another crossover singer/actor. He says, “I’m afraid Dan Harmon hates me. I’m scared I won’t know anything ever again. I’m scared I never knew anything. I’m afraid I’ll regret this. I’m afraid this doesn’t matter at all.” Yeah, he keeps going, “I didn’t leave Community to rap. I don’t want to rap, I want to be on my own.”
And he keeps going on and there’s other stuff, but it was like such an intense thing. And what happens right after that is then he drops his second album. Because the Internet was the first album where he really started to come out as a musician, and people started to consider maybe he really could be a good rapper; it wasn’t wildly successful, but it was the first indication that maybe his side interest in music wasn’t just a fluke, that he could actually be talented there. And then after that is when he started releasing some of his other albums that became wildly, wildly successful and established him as a major musician, in addition to an actor and a comedian.
CMG: Very heavy.
CB: But during his Saturn return that was some of the stuff he was going through and it was just a very rare instance where we’re able to see insights into somebody’s actual thoughts and reflections as they’re going through that. And I thought those were very similar to what other people experience in their Saturn returns or some of his Saturn in Scorpio reflections and things like that.
LT: For sure. Yeah, very heavy.
LT: Glad you’re both through it.
CMG: Yeah, you came out on the other side.
CMG: I was gonna ask you, Lindsey, where’s your Saturn?
LT: I mean, that could be a great segue; it’s in Sagittarius.
CB: Oh, nice.
CMG: Well, next up—
LT: Cue the saxophone.
CMG: So much sax.
LT: So much sax. Are we ready to move into Sagittarius?
CB: Yeah, let’s do it.
LT: Okay, great. Well, then, literally cue the saxophone. I was just laughing so much going through this music from 1985 to 1988. There is a wailing sax solo in so many different songs to the extent that I even made a note about it in this document here. I guess you looked up the chart of the inventor Adolphe Sax, Camille.
LT: He has a Sagittarius stellium, he had Neptune, Mercury, and Uranus in Sagittarius. So I don’t know, I just thought it was appropriate to start off this section by talking about the saxophone, which was designed for the express purpose of being loud in a military band. And so, there’s something about this that feels very ‘Sagittarian’, like a wild centaur blazing forth on their quest with a loud saxophone solo. But just like Sagittarius, the saxophone is very adaptable or mutable, and so you can get loud or soft. You can do a low growl or a “Careless Whisper,” which is the only joke I’ll attempt this episode; but this was the top song of 1985 by George Michael.
CB: Oh, really? “Careless Whisper” was Saturn in Sag? That’s beautiful. It’s like a classic, almost cliché, saxophone song at this point.
LT: It’s so cliché, it’s so good.
CB: There’s actual skits of that that are just like ‘the sexy side saxophone song’ and people playing it in the supermarket or something.
LT: Yes, yes. So we get that in Bruce Springsteen music. I think I was reading that some people felt that it was really influenced, too, by the house band on SNL and saxophone was a really big thing with that. And so, yeah, it is a funny kind of palette cleanser from Saturn in Scorpio, which is so heavy and serious and spooky, and then you just get like [imitates saxophone]; it’s so good. But beyond saxophone being a theme—which it definitely is with Saturn in Sagittarius—the Billboard music is big, it’s cinematic, it’s aspirational, it’s inspirational. Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, so we get the significations of spiritual meaning and charity and beneficence, and the music really reflects this with strong themes of soul and spirituality and higher love and songs about the world; it’s just talking about the world in general or cities. And we also get themes of social unity, and then there’s even some cool ‘Jupiterian’ or jovial images of thunder and lightning. So let’s just jump into some of the hits.
I mean, a lot of the songs—even the ones about romantic love—have this kind of spiritual meaningful element to them, so I pulled a few, but I think the lyrics are really appropriate for this. So we have “St. Elmo’s Fire” by John Parr, and he sings, “I can see a new horizon,” right? Just there, new horizon feels very Sagittarius. “[Bring me that] horizon underneath the blazin’ sky / I’ll be where the eagles flying higher and higher / Gonna be your man in motion, all I need’s this pair of wheels / Take me where my future’s lying, St. Elmo’s Fire.” So I don’t know, I feel like there’s a Sagittarius image in every line of that. We also get the band Chicago, which is named for a city, “You’re The Inspiration.” So they sing: “You’re the meaning in my life / You’re the inspiration / You bring feeling to my life / You’re the inspiration” so inspirational love again.
And then I love this song—I feel like if I had to pick a song for my Saturn in Sag it would be this song; it’s Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love.” So he sings: “Think about it, there must be higher love / Down in the heart or hidden in the stars above / Without it, life is wasted time / look inside your heart…I’ll look inside mine.” And then I think one of my favorite love songs of this time—that maybe isn’t even about romantic love at all—is Whitney Houston’s “The Greatest Love of All.” And in this song, she sings: “The greatest love of all is happening to me / I found the greatest love of all inside of me / The greatest love of all is easy to achieve / Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all,” so just some really kind of big, aspirational love songs that come through during Saturn in Sagittarius.
And we also get a number of songs that are written for charity at this time or written to address social ills, so one of the biggest examples of this is USA for Africa. So this was a huge celebrity collaboration of 45 mega stars, and they performed the song “We Are the World.” I remember the song coming out—Chris, you and I were old enough to remember; Camille, I’m not sure if you do—but it was to raise money for a famine in Ethiopia that killed like a million people. It was a horrible, horrible thing, but then there was this song to try to address that. We also get Lionel Richie’s “Love Will Conquer All” and Bruce Hornsby’s “The Way It Is,” which I think Tupac sampled; so that’s that’s pretty interesting that that came out during Saturn in Sagittarius.
And then I just have a couple of one-offs—another really interesting phenomenon is we get the song “La Bamba” from Los Lobos, and it was the first Latin song ever to crossover from the Latin charts; it was the first one to ever reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100, on just the standard Billboard chart. And what’s really interesting is 28 years earlier, in 1959, Ritchie Valens’ version of “La Bamba” was the first Latin song to enter the Billboard; so kind of interesting, about a Saturn cycle, 28 years. And the other Latin song that made the Billboard was “Guantanamera” by The Sandpipers, and that was in 1966. So kind of thinking of international or global, we get this song that’s completely in Spanish coming onto the Billboard Hot 100.
And then speaking of crossover moments, this is a super important historical moment in music because we get Run-DMC’s remake of Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way.” And so, I think it’s kind of a cool example of ‘Sagittarian’ mutability or ‘two-bodied-ness’ where you have this song that’s rap and rock and it’s sort of the vehicle—almost like the Trojan Horse, if you will—by which hip-hop ends up on the Billboard; and so, yeah, I just think that’s really cool. And Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” made the Top 100, too, I want to say 10 years earlier, like in ‘76 or something; I don’t have the date right off hand. And then lastly I just noticed songs like U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” and Linda Rondstadt and James Ingram did “Somewhere Out There,” which was from the Fievel Goes West soundtrack. And so, to me these are just really nice songs that convey the ‘Sagittarian’ quest for meaning and that that’s never really over as long as there’s another horizon to go toward.
CB: That’s amazing “Somewhere Out There” was Saturn in Sagittarius.
CMG: I love Fievel. It’s such a great movie, Fievel Goes West.
CB: Even the theme itself was about traveling and going out far away from home.
CMG: Manifest destiny, going out West. It’s very ‘Jupiterian’.
CMG: Yeah, so let’s look at the latter Saturn in Sagittarius era; now we are in the years of 2015 to 2017. So in 2015, we get Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk,” which is funky. There’s sax in this song; I looked up the instrumentation. It’s extravagant, it’s kind of comical, so, again, dealing within the realm of Jupiter quite firmly. We get Maroon 5’s “Sugar,” which was described as a funk pop song. We get WALK THE MOON’s “Shut Up and Dance,” so just have a good time. We get Hozier’s “Take Me to Church” and then we get “Thinking Out Loud” as well, which are two songs about love as this deeply religious experience and love as being quite aspirational. And then we also get Major Lazer’s “Lean On,” which to me just reminds me of friendship and ‘Jupiterian’ kind of support.
I actually am gonna skip to 2017 here because, it’s so interesting, we get “Despacito.” And just piggybacking off of what Lindsey said, this was the first Latin single to be certified diamond; it was also the best-performing Latin track of all time. So under Saturn in Sagittarius we get these foreign-language artists and songs breaking records and becoming relevant to the masses; and I just think that’s so, so, so cool that that was something that was repeated this time around. Also, I looked it up—I don’t think it was on the Billboard 100—but I just wanted to say that “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons also came out when Saturn was in Sag.
CMG: So we get the thundering of Jupiter. And then we get “Believer” by Imagine Dragons, which did top the charts; “Congratulations” by Post Malone, so just celebratory things. We get Cardi B’s “Bodak Yellow,” and this is important in terms of a Latin singer or rapper becoming deeply, deeply popular, and it was a massive international hit as well. We get “Wild Thoughts” with Rihanna, so just having ‘Sagittarian’ recklessness even in the thinking. And then we also get Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble,” which to me is more of this meta comment on ‘Jupiterian’ excess and ego and artifice. The Saturn return example I want to use for this is Lady Gaga. So she has Saturn in Sagittarius, and she released her album “Joanne” during this time. Just like with Beyoncé, we’re seeing this mirroring of names—kind of this is who I am or a reclamation of identity. Joanne is actually the name of an aunt of hers that passed away, so this is a tribute to her; and that made me think of how Saturn has a lot to do with lineage and legacy and inheritance.
Joanne—noticeably for Lady Gaga, just like with David Bowie—was shedding a costume; just a cowboy hat, some jeans, and a white t-shirt, which is very crazy for a woman who was wearing a meat dress a couple years before; the ending of an engagement for her, so the dissolution of a relationship; she was struggling through the death of a friend. And she also said that while she was writing this album it felt like a soul-searching experience, which just feels so ‘Sagittarian’ in terms of this quest for meaning, even if it’s an internal quest. She said she wrote it when she was in a cleaner state of mind. Not sure if this was literal or not, but it did remind me of Saturn and symbolic sobriety, where people can reflect on themselves and their lives just a little bit more clear. For her, she said this album was “about returning to your family, where you come from, and your history, looking at what makes you strong; it was about going to the studio and just forgetting that I’m famous,” which to me just speaks to a Saturn level of again stripping back to the basics who are you really.
CB: That’s incredible.
CB: You mentioning the meat suit for—
LT: I was wondering was that during Scorpio?
CMG: Oh, yeah, let’s look that up.
CB: That would be good to look up. But it just reminded me—her Saturn is co-present with Uranus and Sagittarius, and Uranus is also squaring her Mercury. And it just reminds me of one of the parallels that we’ve seen more recently with Doja Cat, and how sometimes when an artist has those hard aspects with Uranus they’re wanting to do something different, wanting to set themselves apart by doing something almost weird or something really eccentric, or what have you. It’s such a common theme when Uranus is prominent to both set yourself apart in that way, but also to not want to be restricted or held back by something, and I think that’s even more the case in a sign like Sagittarius.
CMG: Does Doja have the square between Mercury and Uranus?
CB: Yeah, ‘cause it was coming up very prominently this summer, but she has the Sun and the ascendant in late Libra at 27-29 Libra, and it’s squaring Uranus at 26° of Capricorn, and that Uranus is just a few degrees off her IC, which is at 2° of Aquarius. So I think the Sun-Uranus themes were some of the things that came up for her more recently this summer with some of the controversy surrounding rejection of her fans in some way, because she didn’t want to be limited by them or something; I guess I don’t fully know what the deal was with that.
CB: All right, so is that it for Saturn in Sagittarius, or were there other things?
CMG: That’s it.
LT: That’s all for me.
CB: Okay. Did anyone mention that Madonna is a Saturn in Sagittarius?
LT: Oh, that’s right. No, I forgot to mention her. Yeah, I think she does “Like a Virgin” during this time period as well. Yeah, so she’s a big one not to miss.
CB: Yeah, she’s big. And so, that Saturn in Sagittarius would have been that period in the mid-to-late-1980s where she’s just like massive at that time and going through her Saturn return.
CMG: Very poetic.
LT: Yes, and Prince, too.
CMG: Oh, sorry, I was gonna say it’s just poetic that the person that Lady Gaga’s most accused of mimicking has the exact same Saturn placement; so she came at her Saturn return.
LT: That’s really funny.
CB: Oh, wow, that’s a really great point.
CB: Lady Gaga is Madonna’s Saturn return.
CB: Wow, that’s really cool. Well, what we know is somebody born in the mid-2010s, with Saturn in Sagittarius, will eventually be Lady Gaga’s Saturn return.
CMG: I’m looking forward to it.
LT: Exciting. It’s like tracking the Dalai Lama.
CB: Right, and the next incarnation of whatever the meat suit will be, we’ll see.
CMG: It’ll be a lab-made meat suit from Uranus in Taurus.
CB: Right, I like that; the Beyond Beef burger meat suit.
CB: Okay, good times, good times.
LT: Oh, my God, amazing. Well, shall we jump into Saturn in Capricorn?
CB: Yeah, let’s do it.
LT: Okay, so this is the first time in our journey through the Billboard that we arrive at a time where Saturn rules the sign, so music during Saturn in Capricorn takes a turn for the industrial and the gothic. And I think this is a really true expression of a sign associated with toil, and a lot of the sound that comes forth in industrial music is what you might hear in a factory or a warehouse. Also, Saturn is associated with the color black, and so we get this kind of goth aesthetic coming through, so it tracks for Saturn in Capricorn. And I think some of the most quintessential songs of this time period are “Rhythm Nation” by Janet Jackson, which has a super industrial sound, and we get The Cure’s “Love Song,” and Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence,” which gets more to that kind of gothic aesthetic that comes through during Saturn in Capricorn.
CB: That’s amazing.
LT: Yeah, really cool.
CB: That darker aesthetic. Saturn is, just symbolically, the furthest and dimmest visible planet, so it’s always been associated with things that are darker or on the darker side of life and things like that.
LT: Yes, exactly. And you’ll even see some of the music videos and stuff from this time are shot in black-and-white, which is really cool.
LT: I mean, Saturn in Capricorn is also the antecedent to a major paradigm shift in the Billboard, and that’s the presence of hip-hop in the mainstream; so we’ll discuss that with Saturn in Aquarius. But Saturn in Capricorn—and I forgot to mention the years I just realized—this is ‘88 to ‘91. Saturn in Capricorn introduces the mainstream to the ‘MC’, the ‘Master of Ceremonies’, and Capricorn is a sign I’ve come to associate with both DJs (disc jockeys) and MCs (Master of Ceremonies). I actually know a number of DJs who are Capricorn Suns, and my theory is that they act as the space-holder during parties, which feels like Saturn, as the outermost visible planet, serving as the boundary for what’s going on in the inner solar system. Also, as I mentioned, Capricorn is associated with toil, and so it would be the sign that’s doing the work to make the party happen.
LT: It’s like the sign that has to be working.
CB: Everyone’s partying and dancing around them, but they’re the only person in the room that’s actually working really hard at that time.
LT: Yeah, and it’s funny, I mean, I think Valens says that Saturn is associated with hunchbacks; and I kind of imagine DJs hunched over and spinning discs, which is just a kind of literal manifestation of that.
CB: I mean, it’s also interesting ‘cause they’re also setting the tempo and the beat for the entire room, and that really sets a precedent that everyone is following at that point.
LT: Totally, yeah. I mean, I think this really gets to, in some ways, the ‘father’ archetype that can come through with Saturn in Capricorn. In early hip-hop, DJs were kind of fathers of their community, trying to build peace in warring communities, so I think that’s really interesting. I looked at DJ Grandmaster Flash—he’s considered one of the first hip-hop DJs, so like ‘the father of hip-hop’—and he has a Capricorn Sun; so, yeah, just a really interesting overlap of Capricorn and DJs and MCs. So with Saturn in Capricorn we get Young MC’s “Bust a Move,” we get Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby;” I also think about ice and Saturn and cold. You get MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This,” and Biz Markie’s “Just a Friend.” So these are some of the breakout hip-hop tracks that we’re seeing on the Billboard Year-End Top 100, which is really cool.
CB: Nice. I’m gonna think of “U Can’t Touch This” from now on anytime I think of Saturn in Capricorn.
LT: Yes, yes. There are some really good titles to songs that could be slogans for Capricorn.
CB: It reminds me of how—famously, in our year-ahead forecast for 2020—we were talking about the pile-up of planets, the stellium in Capricorn in March of 2020; we almost joked that there’ll be no hugging during the third week of March of 2020, and that’s when the lockdowns happened.
LT: That was oracular, wasn’t it?
LT: And it’s interesting, there’s a documentary, like a miniseries on Netflix called I think Hip Hop Evolution, and that actually came out around that time I’m pretty sure, like 2020, with all the action in Capricorn; so just another association there between the two.
CB: What was the movie that came out around that time? It was like Dr. Dre going back—and they made a romanticized version of the early days of NWA. Straight Outta Compton?
LT: Oh, yeah. Everyone was memifying it.
CMG: Straight Outta—
LT: Straight Outta—yeah.
CB: Okay, cool.
LT: So we get, yes, this sort of introduction of the MC and the DJ, but we also get a lot of songs that make ‘father’ references; but it’s not necessarily in the paternal way, but more in the suggestive, “I’ll be your daddy,” kind of way. So I think the top song of 1988 was George Michael’s “Father Figure,” and then we also get Madonna’s “Like a Prayer,” and some of the lyrics for that are: “Like a child / You whisper softly to me / You’re in control / Just like a child / Now I’m dancing.” So we do get this kind of subtle, kind of dom-kink theme coming through in a lot of the music during Saturn in Capricorn, which feels totally appropriate for the sign. I mean, thinking of Saturn as restraint or being bound or being controlled—it makes a lot of sense to me that it would sort of translate into sexual allusion in this music.
And then there’s kind of the spiritual element of Saturn in Capricorn that is about making the immaterial material, so you get songs like Billy Ocean’s “Get Out Of My Dreams, Get Into My Car,” and Michael Jackson’s “Man In The Mirror,” and Wilson Phillips’ “Hold On,” and Mariah Carey’s “Vision of Love”—and they’re all songs about externalizing internal realities or making dreams or visions a reality. And so, I really think of Capricorn in this way of taking the grandiose visions of Sagittarius and actually building something out of them and that’s how that sign completes the other. And so, I pulled some lyrics from Mariah Carey’s song “Vision of Love,” and she sings: “I had a vision of love / And it was all that you’ve given to me / I had a vision love / And it was all that you’ve given to me / I’ve realized a dream / And I visualized / The love that came to be,” so I think this is really a great expression of that phenomenon. And I’ll just say one more thing about Saturn in Capricorn, but there are two tracks that really made me chuckle, one is the B-52’s “Love Shack.” And so, I can’t imagine a more ‘Saturnian’ love song than about going to a hovel for love; it’s so good just thinking about Saturn’s significations of poverty. And the last song—which I think you’ll like this, Chris—is a song by Taylor Dayne, and it really speaks to Saturn’s deliberate nature, and the title is “Don’t Rush Me.”
CB: Nice. That’s perfect. Awesome.
CMG: Yeah, so we can go to the second era of Saturn and Capricorn, and we’re in the time period of 2017 to 2020. So at the end of 2017, we’re still seeing the dominance of “Despacito.” To kind of connect it to Capricorn, one of the artists on the track is called Daddy Yankee. And the word despacito means ‘slowly’—just to piggyback off of “Don’t Rush Me”—and this is a song that literally means ‘slow’. We get, again, Kendrick Lamar’s “Humble,” so, again, bringing people back down to Earth, stripping back to basics; the Saturn return is humbling. We get Migos and Lil Uzi Vert’s “Bad and Bougie,” which is a song about coming from nothing to something, that’s literally one of the lyrics, and even I think a reference to a traphouse; which to me traphouse and a shack—it’s kind of like a glamorization of people who are living in poverty. And then also just about the climb from having nothing and then having a lot to me represents that Capricorn journey.
In 2018, we get Drake’s “God’s Plan” and how God is the ultimate father, and how you’re kind of resigning your control over to a higher power in much of the way that we surrender to the forces of Saturn. We get Dua Lipa’s “New Rules;” so, again, Capricorn and rules, kind of like saying this is the new framework; we’re gonna do this now. We get Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect,” which is a song that is about “focusing on traditional marriage,” so more romantic in nature but still pulling in those Capricorn themes. And then we also get Camila Cabello and Cardi B with “Havana” and “I Like It,” respectively; so, again, just kind of an homage to where they come from, their Latin heritage, and, again, the Capricorn nature of legacy of this is where I come from and this is how I want to continue. Then in 2019, we get Oldtown Road by Lil Nas X; to me this just feels like vintage, kind of ‘old timey’ times, like an old western and how Saturn in Capricorn can rule things that are old.
We get Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy.” So kind of like with the era before this is kind of a ‘pop’ person who has a darker aesthetic, and even one of the lyrics in that song is “might seduce your dad;” so bringing in, again, more ‘daddy’ references. This one may be a little bit silly, but we also get Ariana Grande’s “7 Rings.” And in my ‘Gemini’ head, I was like Saturn is the seventh planet and it has rings; so we have a song that is kind of naming Saturn in a way, when Saturn enters its sign of domicile, which to me is funny; but, again, still a song that is about wanting something and getting it, right? So this Capricorn-coded materialism about earning something, and I’m gonna do what I want with what I’ve earned.
The Saturn return example I want to talk about for this one is Hayley Williams. Hayley Williams is the lead singer of Paramore, and she came out with her first solo debut during her Saturn return in Capricorn. That in and of itself is kind of like a Saturn return reintroduction of the self—this is who I am when I’m not with this group; this is my solo effort here. It was a very dark aesthetic because this was an album that was inspired by her battle with depression, and depression that specifically was following a divorce; so, again, the disillusion of a relationship happening here. One of the lyrics of note that I wanted to talk about here with her—there’s a song on this album called “Resistance”— and it just to me speaks a lot about Saturn themes, so it goes: “If there’s resistance / It makes you stronger / It’s not the end / Make it your friend / When there’s persistence / You can go farther / Beyond the end.” So it just reminds me, again, of the Saturn in Capricorn work ethic or really pushing against a thing in order to get above an obstacle or to get over a challenge. So I feel like that song is very evocative of her relationship with Saturn, and I believe she has it conjoined her Sun, right? So to identify as ‘Saturnian’ or to be a ‘Saturnian’ person.
CB: Yeah, for sure. And I think you said the time for this one’s speculative, right?
CMG: It’s speculative.
CMG: Yeah, so we don’t know if she’s a Gemini rising. Oh, wait, actually I can correct the record there because she went on an interview this summer and said was a Gemini rising. So on astro.com I believe it’s still speculative, but she has said herself she’s a Gemini rising; we don’t know the degree though, but these are the houses, roughly.
CB: Nice. Okay, that’s good to know.
CB: Yeah, that’s such an intense stellium. For the audio listeners, she has Uranus, Saturn, Sun, Neptune, and Mercury all in Capricorn.
CMG: Yep, in the 8th. Welcome to my life.
CB: It’s very evocative. Oh, yeah, you’re also Gemini rising with Saturn in Capricorn.
CMG: Yeah, in the 8th.
CB: Nice, okay. Were there any things about your Saturn return that spoke to you, that were similar overlapping things?
CMG: Oh, yeah, that song—one of the only lyrics that I wanted to talk about in full—it just reminded me of the rally of getting through the Saturn return, specifically in the 8th house, which is a little bit challenging. But, yeah, this is the album I would say that above all I identified with the most, just because I grew up with her and we have such similar placements.
CB: Nice. Yeah, I think that’s such a really great thing to do if you’re going through your Saturn return—like paying attention to other celebrities that are going through it at the same time, or to look back at celebrities that were because what they’re going through can sometimes speak to you in terms of things you’re experiencing as well.
CMG: Absolutely, yeah. And you get a song out of it.
CB: Yeah, exactly, and you don’t even have to do anything; somebody else has written a song about your experience.
CB: Yeah, that’s pretty nice. I was looking through my files for Saturn in Capricorn musicians, and two that I thought were interesting, where there’s a similarity, is, one, ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic (Saturn in Capricorn), and the other is Bo Burnham. Which it’s interesting ‘cause it’s not an exact parallel, but there’s something there that’s like a similarity across generations in terms of the incorporation of comedy and sometimes even social criticism into music. Something that Saturn is very good about is being critical, and sometimes that criticism is turned inwards and other times it’s externalized and turned outwards; ‘Weird Al’ mainly does parodies. I was looking at Wikipedia for his timeline, and it seems like he hit it really big earlier in the ‘80s, like mid-‘80s, by parodying things like Michael Jackson songs. But then it looked like in the late 1980s, when he went through his Saturn return, it was a bit of a low point for him; and he tried to release a movie but it kind of bombed at the time, even though it later became a cult classic. And the Wikipedia entry for that period literally says, 1990 through 1997, it’s titled revived career; so it seems like he was struggling during the Saturn return but then was able to have a revival after that.
And for Bo Burnham, he was born in the 1980s, and he had his Saturn return during the pandemic. And one of the things that he did is he recorded this special titled Inside, but it was recorded during the pandemic when everyone was in lockdown; and he decided to film and record his own music special—just all on his own, without any help—inside his house. And the Wikipedia page, the description says it was “Featuring a variety of songs and sketches about his day-to-day life indoors, it depicts Burnham’s deteriorating mental health, explores themes of performativity and his relationship to the internet and the audience it helped him [to] reach, and addresses topics such as climate change and social movements. Other segments discuss online activities such as FaceTiming one’s mother, posting on Instagram, sexting, and live streaming video games.” But it was such an amazing special that astrologers commented on at the time because it perfectly encapsulated partially what a lot of people were going through during the lockdowns with Saturn in Capricorn, but also especially what some people were experiencing with their Saturn return and going through this introspective phase at the same time.
CMG: And I believe with both of them—maybe more Bo Burnham—there’s a kind of self-deprecation quality or making fun of the self that can come up with Capricorn sometimes; so, yeah, that’s kind of funny.
CB: Yeah, for sure, and to use comedy to do; but ultimately on some level the self-deprecation is almost a form of self-criticism.
CB: All right, so I think that’s good for Saturn in Capricorn. Shall we move on to Aquarius?
LT: Let’s do it. All right, so we have Saturn in Aquarius from 1991 to 1994. And, as I mentioned earlier, when Saturn moves into this sign hip-hop and rap just blast onto the Billboard. So we go from a handful of songs in Saturn in Capricorn to just a massive percentage of the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 hits. And so, there’s a similar phenomenon here as when Saturn moved into Libra, where there was just such a massive change in the style of music that it became kind of a meta commentary or expression of the sign; so for Aquarius—which I think of as a sign that really wants to make the fringe mainstream—we see exactly that happening with hip-hop. So hip-hop—basically the introduction of it is Aquarius; it is the ‘Aquarian’ expression. And so, we get songs like Color Me Badd’s “I Wanna Sex You Up,” C+C Music Factory and Freedom Williams’ “Gonna Make You Sweat,” which is “Everybody dance now.” We get Boyz II Men’s “Motownphilly,” and LL Cool Jay’s “Around The Way Girl,” Sir Mix-a-Lot’s “Baby Got Back,” and Mary J. Blige’s “Real Love” among so many others. So I didn’t really notice a super unifying theme in terms of an ‘Aquarian’ theme emerging necessarily from this music other than it’s music that was once on the fringe that’s now mainstream. And it’s also a time period where grunge—which is another fringe genre—becomes very popular, and so we get Nirvana and “Smells Like Teen Spirit” making the Year-End Hot 100.
CB: That’s an incredible theme that you just picked up right before you said that, which ties them both together, which is things that are on the fringe, that appear weird at first and initially are met with people almost rejecting it because it’s weird and it’s outside of the mainstream. But then there’s like a tipping point with Aquarius where something was once fringe, but suddenly there’s a shift and it becomes mainstream and sometimes that shift happens very rapidly.
LT: Yes, yes, which we’ve seen in more recent times with Saturn in Aquarius as well, which can—
CB: Yeah but that was the—go ahead.
LT: Oh, no, I was gonna say Camille will probably talk about that.
CB: Yeah, but that’s a good point about both hip-hop becoming mainstream at that time and then grunge, which was a very small subset thing. But then all of a sudden just through one or two bands, through Nirvana’s breakthrough album, it happened so rapidly and virtually overnight it becomes the popular mainstream thing. But it was such a rapid thing that even the people in the band struggled with it. Kurt Cobain struggled with it for the next few years—because he had that image of being an outsider in his mind as like a core thing—and suddenly, when he was mainstream, he had trouble reconciling that.
LT: Yeah, totally. And we also get some Red Hot Chili Peppers, which isn’t grunge, but is kind of associated I think with the genre and this rock sound; this funk rock sound that comes out in the ‘90s happens during this time. And if I were to name any particular themes that I noticed one would definitely be having sex that’s just sex. Kind of like no strings attached, or like I just want to have sex, I don’t want it to be serious or anything, which I think is a super fun ‘Aquarian’ expression. I have a close friend who has a huge Aquarius stellium and is a sex educator and is just kind of like, “Yeah, let’s talk about it, let’s name it, let’s do it, it’s fine,” so that sort of detachment in some way that can be associated with the sign of Aquarius coming through.
And I also just wanted to mention I was ages five to eight, and I remember there was an emotional quality of these songs—this is very subjective—that felt kind of penultimate; almost like a song that would be the second-to-last song in a movie where there’s sign kind of a resolution of an era and the hint of a beginning of a new thing. And I think of Aquarius as being the penultimate sign if we order the zodiac starting with Aries—like we’ve done today—that’s really interesting. So I don’t know, that’s definitely like a vibe thing, but I remember those years feeling that way. And when I was reflecting on that I thought about how my mom got a new car in 1993 and it had a CD player, and that was a huge technological change because it made listening to music so much easier in so many ways. You didn’t have to rewind a CD; you could scratch them, but you never had to deal with the problem of tape getting ejected and then going back in with your pencil and twisting the tape to get the tape back in. I remember that frustration viscerally.
CB: Yeah, totally. That was a huge change around that time period, the switch from cassette tapes to CDs.
LT: Yeah, we had a home stereo system that had a five- or six-CD changer, and so you almost became your own DJ. There was this transition of you got to have your own mix of music, so you don’t have to rely on the radio or playing one tape. So I’m just kind of thinking about Saturn in Capricorn as being like DJs that were celebrities that came into the mainstream, and then Saturn in Aquarius is almost like you get to be your own DJ now; like we’re gonna give it to you; we’re gonna give you the gift of fire.
CB: Totally. And the DJ thing also makes me think about music producers and actual DJs that were becoming so huge at the time, like Dr. Dre for example, and him producing albums, like one of Snoop Dog’s early albums that came out in 1993, and that was Saturn in Aquarius. And just so much of that became popular because of the production behind it and the beats that were found, and then you have the rise of these people that are behind the scenes that are coming up with the beats that people are rapping over, but that’s playing this huge role technologically behind everything.
LT: Yeah, totally, totally.
CMG: So in the second era we’re looking at Saturn in Aquarius from 2020 to 2023, so fresh off of this new wave. In 2020, four out of five of the biggest hits of the year were hip-hop, so I think it’s interesting to mirror that from the early ‘90s. One of the top hits was “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd, who is an Aquarius himself, and this brought in themes of synth pop and synth-wave and electro pop. So him just playing around with the production—it was kind of retro and like a throwback to the new sounds before, but him kind of bringing it back. We also get Dua Lipa’s “Levitating,” in which there’s references to the Milky Way, ‘hop aboard my rocket ship, let’s go to space’. She rhymes ‘levitating’ with ‘renegading’, so to not do something of convention, which is very ‘Aquarian’.
We get an ‘Aquarian’ change in terms of the reception of K-pop around this time, so BTS really, really dominates the charts as well and dominates culture and translates in one of the first times in modern history to American audiences really embracing that music. So that just made me think of ‘Aquarian’ change and this tolerance and this openness to other cultures. Thinking about Lindsey bringing up the CD player, it made me think how in the modern era we have TikTok where it kind of democratizes fame. Anyone can be famous. Anyone can put their song on TikTok and do a challenge, and it can go viral. You take out the middleman—if there even is a middleman anymore. But that was just an interesting ‘Aquarian’ invention or new thing that changed music, kind of like the CD player.
The Saturn return example I want to use for this is Demi Lovato. So she has Saturn in Aquarius, and she released an album called Holy Fvck; and this was an album that saw her embracing edginess, anger, revealing more of her personal truth and story. We saw her embracing her gender identity, looking at her relationships to addiction as well. She also put out another body of work prior but still during her Saturn return that’s called Dancing With The Devil: The Art Of Starting Over, and, boy, isn’t the Saturn return a big start over for a lot of people. She described this album Holy Fvck as a return to her; so, again, a reintroduction of the self as being more authentic or genuine. She said with this album she wanted to “return to her roots,” she wanted to “take her power back” as well. On this album there is a song called “29”—which is the penultimate Saturn return age—where she is reflecting back on a relationship that was started with a former boyfriend when he was 29, and it’s also a song that kind of references her own daddy issues and Saturn as the ‘daddy’ planet just being talked about during her Saturn return, so really, really cool.
CB: That’s a great example. I was just glancing through other Saturn returns. We just finished Saturn in Aquarius and actually we need to do the Saturn returns retrospective in Aquarius that I’m working on now. And I’ve sent out requests for people to send in their Saturn return stories, so that’s still open and ongoing. And if anyone wants to send that in, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org with a synopsis of what your Saturn return in Aquarius was, and we’re gonna do a full episode on that soon.
Two of them that I had saved—there was one musician that was actually a really big success story, which is Miley Cyrus who had Saturn in Aquarius. And two of her biggest hits, I think “Wrecking Ball” was her number one hit, and that was when Saturn was in Scorpio and she was going through her Saturn square in that period we talked about earlier. But then her Saturn return was Saturn in Aquarius, over the past three years, 2020 to 2023. And at the end of that she released the song “Flowers” about a year ago, which was just like a huge hit. And it was partially reflecting on her experience with an ex and some of the things that had gone bad with him and being okay on her own as the core of the song, right?
LT: She had an incredible Saturn return, at least from the outside. I was watching and I was like, “Wow.”
CB: Yeah, and I actually called that ahead of time ‘cause that was like one that I knew was gonna be a good one. Her Saturn is just so well-placed that I knew she was gonna be a Saturn return success story, so I said that on Twitter at the beginning of Saturn in Aquarius. If you look at her chart—‘cause we actually have a timed chart for her—she has Taurus rising, and she has a day chart with Saturn in Aquarius. So it’s in its own sign, it’s in the 10th house in a day chart. It’s in aversion to Mars, so it doesn’t have any affliction from the other malefic, and it has this amazing trine from Jupiter in Libra, which is at 8° of Libra, overcoming and forming a superior degree-based trine to Saturn at 13° of Aquarius. And, yeah, she—just in terms of how different Saturn returns can go—definitely knocked it out of the park.
LT: Yeah, yeah.
CB: And then one other of course that a lot of people mourned over—that was right during that time as well or just before—was Mac Miller who had Saturn in Aquarius and struggled with drug and addiction issues, which he ended up succumbing to and then dying really young around that time.
CMG: There are a lot of, unfortunately, Saturn return deaths that we see in music as well. I think Janis Joplin was one of them.
CB: Yeah, well, that’s the infamous ‘27 Club’ of all those musicians that have passed away around 27, which is the very beginning of the Saturn return. And that’s something people have asked me to do an episode on and I’ve sort of thought about it and whether to or not, and if that can be done carefully or gently. I just did my first episode—which I think will come out before this one—on the astrology of death where we first started talking about that broader question of can astrology speak to death and how do astrologers cope with or look at death even in their own lives through the lens of astrology, so that might be something I explore more in the future if we can find a way to do it sensitively. All right, I think that’s good for Saturn in Aquarius, yeah?
LT: Yeah. We’ve got last but not least.
CB: Yeah, always save the best for last, that’s what I say when we get to Pisces.
LT: That’s right, that’s right. So Saturn in Pisces happens from 1993 to 1996, and as to be expected in the sign of Venus’ exaltation, ruled by Jupiter, we get a load of really beautiful love songs. And so, the top hit of 1993 is “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston, which might be one of the most famous love songs of all time; Camille, you were talking about that earlier with Dolly and Whitney. And this is a bridging song between Aquarius and Pisces, for sure—as Whitney released this during her Saturn return in Aquarius—but it makes the Billboard Year-End Chart in ‘93, which was the year of the Saturn ingress to Pisces; so I lumped it in here, it felt right to do that. And an album that’s really exemplary of this era is Mariah Carey’s Music Box. So she has a number from this record that make the Year-End Hot 100 including “Dreamlover” and “Hero” and “Anytime You Need A Friend.” And so, even just thinking about some of these songs, it’s notable to me that a lot of the tracks have a gospel choir and just wanted to name the influence of black gospel on this album, kind of associating faith with Pisces and how it’s interesting that gospel shows up quite a bit in in Saturn in Pisces music.
So Jupiter and Pisces are also given to dreams and dreaming, and so I think Mariah Carey’s “Dreamlover” is such a great song to kind of just feel into what Saturn in Pisces feels like. And so, some of the lyrics from that song are: “Dream lover come rescue me.” And then I’ll skip a few, but she says: “I don’t want another pretender / To disillusion me one more time / Whispering words of forever / Playing with my mind.” So I think even this simple set of lyrics gets to a lot of the themes that show up in Saturn in Pisces: rescuing or redemptive love, love that transcends time and boundaries, and also even disillusionment or insanity. And Mariah, in this song, in this album, she wants love that does the most, and that’s what I really associate with Pisces, love that just does the most. And so, we see that theme coming up in a lot of songs from this era, like The Proclaimers “I’m Gonna Be,” which is “I would walk 500 miles / And I would walk 500 more,” which is interesting; it kind of makes me think of Vanessa Carlton’s “Thousand Miles.” And we also have Celine Dion’s song “The Power of Love” where she sings: “Whenever you reach for me / I’ll do all that I can.” And then a really famous song from this time is Meat Loaf’s “I Would Do Anything For Love.” So just a lot of doing the most for love with Saturn in Pisces.
CB: That’s great. And those themes you mentioned earlier have become so clear this year with Saturn in Pisces. Like empathy is such a huge thing for Pisces and comes up so much with Saturn in Pisces; I think Pisces is the most empathetic sign if you had to try to rank them.
LT: Yeah, yeah, for sure. Absolutely. We also get a lot of music about altered states with Saturn in Pisces, so this I think of kind of like dreaming and also substances. So we get Billy Joel’s song “River of Dreams” and we get Snoop Dog’s song “Gin and Juice.” And I have another personal anecdote from this period because at this age I remember really getting into music. And my friends and I were so hyped up for this European dance music trend that happened during Saturn in Pisces, and we would go to the skating rink and we would roller-skate in circles. And I just think of a school of fish swimming in a kind of trance-like circle, and we would do this. And I don’t know if other people did this as kids, this was like on the East Coast in Delaware. But the DJ would just blast Real McCoy and Ace of Base and these Euro bands—they were just so fun; we just had a great time doing that.
CB: Yeah, I think skating rink culture and music in the mid-1990s was probably peak ‘90s kids culture.
CB: I was talking to somebody about this recently, and I don’t know if the skating rink is still such a central social place as it would have been back then. I don’t know. Camille, you’re a little younger than us. Is it? I don’t think it is, but is that true?
CMG: Yeah, that’s totally true. It’s a niche for the folks who are really into roller-skating, especially in Atlanta, there’s a huge culture there. But, yeah, it’s not as ubiquitous anymore. I want to go roller-skating now.
LT: We should bring it back. That’s our Saturn and Pisces job—bring back the roller rink.
CB: There was that a little bit over the past few years. I’ve seen some social posts where it seemed like older people were going to the skating rink and trying to revive it a little bit. But I wonder if that’s people that were young back then bringing it back.
CMG: Yeah, maybe.
LT: I mean, it was in the early 2000s, but I had my first kiss on a skating rink. It was like a really essential social location for my childhood. So, yeah, I really associate that with Pisces, just everyone kind of like swimming in a school together, really neat. And then another song that I remember really vividly was Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise,” which just the name of that song feels very Saturn in Pisces, if Saturn maybe would signify gangsters and Pisces would signify paradise, right? And I just remember a bunch of the kids in the neighborhood had tapes of the song and they would all bring their boomboxes on the school bus and sync it up; so I just have this visceral memory of listening to Coolio in the fourth grade in this sort of modified surround sound. So that was a huge song at the time and from a huge movie at the time.
CB: Yeah, which was about like Michelle Pfeiffer trying to work with inner city kids, and it was a massively-huge song at the time. That’s such an interesting Saturn in Pisces song ‘cause the lyrics themselves were talking about crime and poverty and the difficulties of escaping cycles of violence and things like that; that’s really interesting and evocative.
LT: Yeah, and then years later that movie kind of got panned for ‘white saviorism’, which I think is also a really interesting expression of Pisces; like a negative expression of Pisces or Saturn in Pisces is white saviorism.
CB: Right. And that was the reason why that song was so big at the time partially ‘cause it was in tandem with the movie; scenes of the movie were spliced into the song, and so they were both sort of reciprocal. But wasn’t that movie, even of itself, a spin-off or a ripoff of an earlier film that had the same theme, but it just wasn’t as big of a blockbuster?
LT: I’m not sure. I just remember the name of the movie, Dangerous Minds. Yeah, I don’t know. I mean, I know that “Gangsta’s Paradise” samples Stevie Wonder’s song “Pastime Paradise,” but I’m not sure about the movie.
CB: Okay. Yeah, I was reading a synopsis, and it just says it reflects a theme of individuals being trapped in a lifestyle that’s hard to break free from, and that just sounds a little reminiscent of some other Saturn in Pisces themes you see in other areas, like dealing with a substance abuse issue that you’re having difficulty breaking out of other things like that.
LT: Yeah, totally. And the last example that I wanted to mention, which feels very full circle right now, is Michael Jackson’s “Say You’ll Be There,” which is from the major motion picture Free Willy, which is a movie about liberating an orca. And now we have orcas all over the news lately with Saturn in Pisces. This is another song that has a gospel choir in it. And so, yeah, I just thought that was gonna be my last contribution to our discussion, naming that song and just the really powerful imagery of that whale jumping over the barricade into the ocean.
CMG: Wow. Okay, so we’re in the second era of Saturn in Pisces. It started 2023 and it’ll go until 2026. So the way that I approached this was to see what has topped the chart so far. So we get “Flowers,” again, by Miley Cyrus, which was released six weeks before the ingress but dominated as Saturn entered Pisces. One of the lyrics I thought was interesting, “We were kind of a dream that couldn’t be sold, we were right until we weren’t.” So to me this is a song about the puncturing of a dream or the puncturing of a fantasy, which can definitely be a ‘Saturnian’ influence there. I also think of Pisces and Venus’ exaltation there and how this song is this declarative statement of ‘I’m just gonna love myself and I’m gonna give myself all these things’. And what could be more exalted than just proclaiming that for yourself? I’ll just get myself flowers.
We also see “Kill Bill” from SZA’s very ocean-themed SOS album. She has a Pisces Moon. The cover is her atop the waves of the ocean, so it’s very ‘Piscean’. This is a song that’s also about dying for love, so doing the most for love: “I’d rather be in Hell, or I’d rather be in jail than to be without you,” so kind of psycho. We also get “Die For You” by The Weeknd, which is the same kind of crazy devotional kind of love that we can see with Pisces. We also have a hit by Morgan Wallen called “Last Night,” which is about him and a partner getting super drunk and essentially saying everything they don’t like about each other, then breaking up; so here we have the Pisces substance and then the ‘Saturnian’, again, disillusion of a relationship. And then we have a song called “Seven” by one of the members of BTS, and this is more of a romantic serenade about wanting to spend every moment of every day with somebody that you love; so ‘Piscean’ merging.
We just recently saw Megan Thee Stallion’s “Cobra,” which is a song that very literally shows a rebirth. And she is going through her Saturn return, so it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. She is quite honest about her alcohol use in that song, she’s honest about her depression in that song as well—again, just kind of pulling these themes full circle—so we’ll see how she finishes this part of her life out. The Saturn return example I wanted to use, Doja Cat was already mentioned here for the controversies of this past summer. So we are witnessing her Saturn return in real-time. What I thought was interesting here was that she adopted a noticeably darker aesthetic, just this ‘Saturnian’ darkness. There’s a lot of creepy—
CB: That’s like an understatement.
CMG: Yeah, I know, right? She got all these crazy, creepy tattoos of spiders being dipped in blood for one of her single covers, people accusing her of being demonic, there’s a lot of occult imagery—so it’s kind of the most dramatic ‘dawn of Saturn’ in someone’s work. And it also seems like kind of what you mentioned before, Chris, that she’s fed up. She’s maybe re-evaluating her relationship to her fans and to her music, like “I’m not gonna rap anymore.” So, again, it’s happening as we are living and breathing currently, so we don’t know how it’s going to end, but we can already see the beginnings of it really, really reflecting the Saturn return themes that we’ve seen so far from everyone else.
CB: For sure. And just the theme of struggling with the restrictions that you’ve built into your own life up to that point. ‘Cause you’re ending the first 30-year chapter of your life, but you’re also setting yourself up for the next 30 years and having that real moment of reflection and questioning. Are you okay with the boundaries and the restrictions and the obligations that you’ve set up in the first 30 years of your life, and are you gonna continue them for the next 30 years? Or, in some instances, are you gonna demolish some of those things and start fresh? And I think with her, you’re seeing some of those interesting tensions between the Saturn themes and some of the Uranus themes.
CMG: Yeah, and then even the whole phenomena of having a parasocial relationship, and just her being like, “You don’t know me. You’re not my friends, you’re my fans.”
CMG: So it speaks distinctly to how Saturn in Pisces for a lot of folks is like I’m creating a barrier where there was none before. So, yeah, seeing her struggle with that, hopefully, she finds a balance that works.
CB: Yeah, for sure. It’ll be really interesting to see ‘cause we’re still early in Saturn in Pisces. Her Saturn’s at 18° of Pisces. So she’ll get her first exact hit next year, right?
CB: Okay, that’s cool. Anything else about her chart?
CMG: That is it.
CMG: That is the end of my notes.
CB: I was just looking at my Saturn in Pisces musicians file, and I actually have probably more musicians in my Saturn in Pisces file than any other sign. I don’t know if you two have seen similar things here, but some on my list are like Trent Reznor and Kurt Cobain of course who passed away during his Saturn return. But then just months before he passed away, they did that famous Nirvana MTV Unplugged show, and it just has this eerie and otherworldly sort of vibe, and I think they even decorated it as somewhat reminiscent of not a funeral, but something similar to that. And it just has this really haunting quality, too, because of course it ends up being their last album and their last major televised public performance, because he would eventually pass away the following year after it was released. But that was Saturn in Pisces and that was part of his Saturn return as somebody who had not just Saturn in Pisces, but a stellium in Pisces at the same time. The other example that I had of Saturn in Pisces was Justin Bieber who has a Pisces stellium—and right now Saturn is in Pisces—and he’s been struggling with some health issues.
LT: He can’t sing right now, right? Is it something with his voice?
CB: There’s something going.
LT: Or he was just sick and he can’t perform.
CB: I don’t know ‘cause it’s a little mysterious what it is exactly that he’s dealing with, and they’ve announced different things; but it seems like both him and his wife are dealing with some sort of health issues. It’s been happening over the past few years. I don’t know if it’s related to the pandemic and different performers getting COVID and stuff like that, or if it’s unrelated. But sometimes people at their Saturn return run into a wall and they’re struggling with not just health issues but getting older and age, and how sometimes you can’t do as much as you did when you were younger as a Saturn return theme.
CB: And then I think Dua Lipa was already mentioned as a Saturn in Pisces. We’re seeing her Saturn return, and she’s had an even bigger explosion over the course of the past year with the Barbie movie and even being featured in that, for example, and having one of the hit singles from that movie.
CMG: Being a mermaid, hello?
CB: Yeah, she was literally—
CMG: That is so ‘Piscean’.
CB: —‘Mermaid’ Barbie at the very beginning of the movie. So that’ll be another interesting Saturn return example to see later on for her.
LT: That Venus retrograde this summer stationed right on her Sun and Venus.
CB: Yes, it was super cool that she has that Venus cazimi at 28 Leo. And that’s exactly where Venus stationed when the Barbie movie came out, so that was pretty cool. And she has Saturn in the 10th house, so we’ll see what the career development is for her over the next few years as she continues her Saturn return. And another one, Tanerélle, is also Saturn in Pisces, and I’m really curious to see her Saturn return and how that goes. I don’t know if either of you follow her.
CMG: Who is she?
LT: I don’t know who that is.
CB: She’s just a singer, but she has this very otherworldly Saturn in Pisces vibe in terms of her music; one of her nicknames is ‘Mama Saturn’.
LT: What’s her name?
CB: Her name is Tanerélle.
CMG: Tanerélle, cool.
CB: Yeah, look her up. She did this amazing livestreamed concert during the pandemic—and that was where I first found her—and it just had this amazing vibe to it, and she’s super cool. So that’s another Saturn return story I’m interested in watching, as Saturn progresses, to see if she continues to blow up.
CMG: Yeah, she looks like a fairy. She’s gorgeous.
CB: Yeah, very Saturn in Pisces, otherworldly vibe.
CB: Okay, I think those are all of my Saturn in Pisces examples. Any other final thoughts on Saturn in Pisces themes, as we’re seeing themes as we’re reflecting on this?
LT: I’m just excited about what’s gonna come out because it’s one of my personal favorite periods in music. And I think a number of people I’ve heard say the same thing; they’re just excited to see what comes out during this time.
CB: Yeah, for sure. Well, we’re right at the beginning of it. Saturn just made its second station in Pisces, here at 0°. So now we’re gonna get into the thick of it and into the second decan of Pisces next year, so it should be really interesting.
CB: It’ll also be interesting actually as Saturn gets later in Pisces and gets closer and closer to Neptune and the intensification of the otherworldly vibe and the alternate states of reality-type vibe that you get with a Saturn-Neptune conjunction.
LT: Yes, truly.
CMG: I’m really looking forward to that. I’m also just wondering if it’ll be finally the rejection of all the social media, everyone looking the same. Yeah, it’s gonna be interesting.
CB: Yeah, for sure. All right, let’s do some final thoughts, wrapping up to bring everything full circle and put some sense of finality on what did we see here, what did we find here. This was amazing. This was brilliant, by the way. I would just want to say this far exceeded any expectations. Either of these could have been an episode but somehow it was merged, and having both of you deal with the two different periods worked out brilliantly, and it was so amazing seeing the echoes of similar themes across generations. And we only looked at two different Saturn generations, but it was just striking seeing those parallels.
LT: Thank you for saying that, Chris. And thank you, Camille, for being such an awesome collaborator.
CMG: Well, thank you. You brought up all those themes. I was so shocked and happy and surprised to see them carry over. I was like, “Yes!”
LT: Good, good. My weird summer music listening project paid off.
CB: Nice. Do either of you have any final thoughts about Saturn returns or Saturn eras, or anything that you’d like to end on, just to summarize? What did you learn, or what did you draw from this?
LT: Yeah, I just think that you could do so many practical applications with this information, right? We have a lot of books and lectures and things and spoken words about what do the signs mean, but I think that there’s something really powerful about listening to music and getting to embody a sign in a different way, and I think that we’ve been able to demonstrate that these Saturn transits really do ignite the themes of the signs; so I just think that it’s a different way of learning about the zodiac, which I think is really neat. Also, I think it’s cool to do some self-discovery or discovery of people in your life by maybe listening to music; like if you have a friend who has a lot of Sagittarius placements, listening to music from that Saturn era and learning something about them, just making connections. And people could make playlists using this information. Make a playlist for your natal chart and go through and pick what song you feel like most embodies Sun in Cancer from the Saturn in Cancer periods, something like that; it’s fun.
CB: Totally. That’s a great idea.
CMG: I guess one of my takeaways is, first, I don’t think Saturn is a planet we associate a lot with music, so I was just happy to see its influence in this field of art that is very essentially healing to the human condition. ‘Saturn’ things have this kind of fear or the PR of being challenging, which is true, but there’s also just so much ripe fruit that you can get from Saturn periods of your life. I also took from this seeing Saturn as the container, right? So throughout these different eras it was like Saturn was the structure within which other things were happening, right? So it’s very fun to see Saturn as influencing even at a musical level; I’m sure you can see it on so many other kinds of levels as well. But really seeing Saturn as what crystallizes and brings things together was one of my main takeaways here.
CB: Yeah, for sure, I love that. And it creates a foundation for everything else in the same way that we were talking about DJs at a party setting the tempo for everything else and setting the beat that everyone then just moves to almost involuntarily, just naturally. In the same way it seems like Saturn is setting a tempo and setting a beat over time during these different eras, these three-year eras, of Saturn moving through different signs and changing the beat and changing the tempo, but setting it so that everyone’s moving to that in a way, even unconsciously, during these three-year periods, and then how that repeats every 30 years when Saturn returns. It’s like discovering the tempo or the beat that’s underlying history and is therefore informing culture, informing things like politics, and so many different things.
LT: That makes me think of that saying that ‘visual art is how we decorate space and music is how we decorate time’.
CMG: Oh, wow.
LT: You just cannot separate music from time, and Saturn is the ‘lord of time’, so they must be connected.
CB: Maybe that’s it. I mean, maybe that’s the answer. That’s a great saying. Where did you get that from it? It really ties together everything we’ve been talking about.
LT: I think I just read it on a meme or something at some point, but it really stuck with me. Yeah, sorry, if that’s someone’s quote and I’m not attributing it, but I don’t know.
CB: No, that’s brilliant. So Saturn is the ‘planet of time’, and music being the decoration of time—that’s beautiful.
CMG: Saturn is the ultimate DJ, I would say.
LT: I love it.
CB: Also, even in a band, the drummer playing the drums is the one that’s setting the framework for everything else and has to keep up the tone and the tempo, and it’s like that’s what Saturn’s doing.
CMG: And visually, the drums are in the back, right? So we’re looking at the guitarist, we’re looking at the lead singer—we’re looking at Mercury, we’re looking at Venus—but without that kind of structure back there it’s like everything else falls apart.
LT: Holding it down.
CMG: Saturn holding it down.
CB: I love that. And I also love the Saturn return connections and some of the things we’re seeing and sometimes seeing different artists having their Saturn return and having that important turning point. But then we mentioned Madonna and Lady Gaga and how they had that similarity—at least on a superficial level, from an outsider perspective—that was commented on. But seeing that was also really striking, both in terms of things that arise organically within an individual’s generation, but also realizing that as we experience Saturn transits now people are being born with that, and the seeds of that will eventually grow and mature and develop in the future; 30 years later you back on it and realize how those themes keep echoing throughout time.
CMG: Yeah, yeah, beautiful.
CB: Awesome. All right, well, thank you both for joining me for this today. This was incredible. I’m blown away right now. I’m gonna be thinking about this discussion for a long time. So where can we find out more information about your work? Let me know what’s going on. Lindsey, tell me about yourself. Tell me about what you’re working on and where people can find out more information.
LT: Yeah, absolutely. So I’m a full-time astrologer and also a minister, so my work is mainly knitting together theology and astrology as a way of repairing some of the wounds that the Church has caused in so many people, particularly queer and trans-people. I’m also a musician and a singer and just really believe in the spiritual power of music. I have Libra rising, so Venus is my chart ruler. Yeah, I love music and art, so that’s a big part of my work as well. And my website is badpastor.me, and you can also find me on Instagram and Twitter under the @badpastor handle. And the biggest thing I have coming up is that this is my third year I’m doing an Advent astrology devotional. So a devotional is just sort of like a daily reflection, and I tie together a meditation on current events and faith and astrology; again, doing that work of kind of knitting these different elements together. And so, you can subscribe for that; that starts on December 3 for Advent, so I’m really excited. And I also teach monthly webinars on the zodiac and intersections with faith and theology and then do one-on-one and group workshops and consultations.
CB: Awesome, cool. And what was your website again, one more time?
LT: Badpastor.me. B-A-D-P-A-S-T-O-R.M-E.
CB: Cool, I’ll put a link to that in the description for this episode. Camille, what about you?
CMG: People can find me at camillemichellegray.com. I’m always offering consultations. I am just across social media always sharing my ideas. You can find me on Twitter and Instagram @millymichelle. Like Lindsey, I am also a musician, and I am releasing a song I think a week from today, so that’ll be within all of this.
CMG: Yeah, to have collaborated with a fellow musician, a fellow ‘person of Venus’, is what made this work.
LT: It’s been awesome. It’s been so great. And I love that we each have a different air rising sign; I think that made it really fun for me, too.
CMG: Oh, yeah, we’re all ‘air risings’, look at us.
CB: What was your Saturn placement, again, Lindsey?
CB: Sag, right. Okay, got it, got it. Well, that’s funny also that you two have adjacent Saturn signs.
CMG: Yes. We all do. Scorpio—
CB: Oh, you’re right.
LT: Oh, Scorpio, Sag, and Capricorn.
CB: Nice. Amazing. All right, we have all three modalities. I’ve got the fixed, Lindsey has the mutable, and Camille has the cardinal sign.
CB: Brilliant, I love that. What was your website again, Camille?
CMG: It’s camillemichellegray.com.
CB: Cool. All right, I’ll put a link to that in the description below this episode. And I meant to thank you, ‘cause the ‘zodiac’ series wrapped up earlier this year with Pisces, with Austin. But you were the architect behind a bunch of those episodes from Gemini onward where you helped me to research and prepare for all of those, so I always meant to thank you ‘cause you played a huge role in that series.
CMG: You’re so welcome.
LT: They were so good.
CMG: My pleasure. It was so fun—a great series, too.
CB: Yeah, yeah, I was so happy how it came out. And this is now a nice addendum or bonus episode to go along with that, ‘cause I feel like we’ve drawn out a lot more subtlety from the signs by looking at it through the lens of music. So thank you both for doing that with me, and thanks for joining me today.
CMG: Thank you for having us.
LT: Thank you, Chris. Thanks for the opportunity. It was so fun.
CB: All right, well, thanks everyone for watching or listening to this episode of The Astrology Podcast, and we’ll see you again next time.
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