In a previous post, I discussed the chart factors that are typically seen in people who are inclined to pursue acting as a profession (or a serious hobby). In this post, I want to do a similar take on writing, and look at the charts of some prominent writers. As before, I am only choosing writers whose birth dates are know to be highly accurate (rated A or AA by Astrodatabank) so we can do a reliable analysis of the full horoscope, including the angles and the houses.
The theory is this: We start with Mercury as the leading indicator of the mind, putting thoughts together. Look at its placement, and the aspects it makes to any other planet–aspects energize a planet, so the more aspects, the more aspects a planet makes, the more energized it is to pursue its goals.
Mercury rules Gemini and Virgo. However, simply having planets in Gemini or Virgo doesn’t imply writing. In professions, Gemini implies varied interests and a penchant for information, and Virgo lends an analytical, operational bent. These are qualities that are not unique to writing. What does become important is the 3rd house, which has the sign of Gemini in the natural horoscope, and is specifically the house of communication, whether verbal or written. So we look at planets placed in the 3rd house and the aspects made by them, as well as the aspects made by the 3rd ruler.
Of special importance is the close aspect to an angle (Ascendant/Descendant, MC/IC): of Mercury, any planet in the 3rd house, or the ruler of the 3rd house. Likewise, if the Sun (motivating life energy) or Moon (pressing need) is in the mix.
Also, we look at Saturn for perseverance. Writing is an arduous process, and requires the writer to spend long periods of time alone, especially if they are writing a long essay or a novel. Saturn endows the writer with perseverance and the ability to be with themselves and their thoughts for extended periods of time. Saturn also provides the facility to edit and pare, and construct sentences in the most effective way possible so the end product is focused and meaningful. So we will consider Saturn’s connection to any of the factors laid out in the previous paragraph.
Finally, Virgo’s discernment and striving for perfection can serve to elevate an activity into a craft. We’ll keep an eye out for a connection to Virgo as well, as a factor that can tip the scale, but only after considering all other factors listed above.
The first example is Stephen King, one of the most celebrated American writers of fiction. Here is his horoscope (birth time rated A), with the relevant factors marked:
There is a lot going on here!
First, Mercury. It’s closely conjunct the IC, which immediately confers it special prominence. Mercury makes a sextiles to Saturn and Pluto, and to the Moon.
Next, the 3rd house. The 3rd house cusp is Virgo, Mercury’s sign. (This brings in the added Virgo factor of craft.) It is packed, holding the Sun, Venus, and Neptune. The Sun makes sextiles to the ascendant and Mars, and is trine Uranus. Neptune is in sextile with the Moon.
Then, Saturn: We already saw that Saturn is in sextile to Mercury.
So we see that the Sun, the Moon, the IC and the ascendant (angles), Saturn, and Virgo are all connected with Mercury, the 3rd house planets, or the ruler of the 3rd house (Mercury itself).
The other remarkable thing is the number of sextiles made by Mercury, and the 3rd house planets–there are 6 of them! The sextile is an aspect that can be very creative and fulfilling if an effort is made to harness it. Stephen King has clearly made the effort and harnessed these sextiles to their full creative potential.
My next example is the novelist Margaret Atwood. Following is her annotated natal chart (birth time rated A):
Mercury: Is stationary, making it extraordinarily powerful. It is also conjunct the descendant, and sextile the MC, thereby drawing in the angular factor for additional strength and prominence. And it is very closely conjunct Venus.
3rd house: Pluto is in the 3rd house, is conjunct the IC, and is sextile the ascendant.
3rd house ruler: The Moon, which is conjunct Mars, sextile Saturn, and square the Sun.
Saturn: We saw above that Saturn is sextile the Moon, which is the 3rd house ruler.
The Sun and the Moon; the IC, the ascendant, the MC (angles); and Saturn are all connected with Mercury, the 3rd house planets, or the ruler of the 3rd house. There are fewer sextiles in the mix here than in Stephen King’s chart. However, notice the extremely close aspects of the Moon (3rd ruler) to Saturn and the Sun: each of these aspects is under a degree of orb!
This last example is that of writer Toni Morrison, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1993, and the Pulitzer Prize for her novel of slavery, “Beloved”. Following is her natal chart (birth time rated AA):
Mercury: Is conjunct the MC, and sextile Uranus.
3rd house: Mars and Pluto are in the 3rd house. Mars is conjunct the IC, and is sextile the ascendant. Pluto is also sextile the ascendant.
3rd house ruler: The Moon (as in Atwood’s chart), which is lit up with aspects! It is opposite Neptune, trine Jupiter, sextile Venus, and sextile Saturn.
Saturn: As we saw above, it is sextile the Moon.
Mercury, the angles IC, MC, and ascendant, the Moon and Saturn are all right there, and there are numerous sextile aspects, including those to the particularly important Moon.
Writing finds many forms. The authors I have chosen to present here are all writers of fiction. It would be interesting to observe horoscopes of other professional writers who are journalists, or genre writes in non-fiction (travel, science, etc.) and see if there are other factors that show prominence.