While the Sun and Moon are foundational to the personality, influencing the life direction and general attitude, the planets Mercury, Venus, and Mars are responsible for much of the color and diversity we exhibit in various personal and professional pursuits.
I have here a few personality sketches to illustrate the placement of Mercury, Venus, or Mars in the signs Aries, Taurus, Gemini, or Cancer, especially when they are different from the Sun or Moon signs. Since the Sun and Moon signs tend to permeate the life, in order to ensure the specific manifestation of Mercury, Venus, or Mars stand out, I focus on their placement in signs different from the Sun or the Moon. So, for instance, if I am looking at Mercury in Aries, I want the Sun or Moon not to be in Aries as well, and better still (if possible) not in any fire sign. While pointing specifically to Aries, Taurus, Gemini, or Cancer, I will also pull in some of the other signs as appropriate, so you can see how the picture builds up into a cohesive whole.
Thomas Piketty is a French economist who works on wealth and inequality. He shot to international fame with his 2013 best-selling tome, “Capital in the Twenty-First Century”. Piketty was born on May 7, 1971 – you can get his full horoscope at Astro-Databank, his birth time is accurate enough to earn a full AA rating. We don’t need to go through the process of getting the full horoscope, though, the ephemeris is more than adequate. Here it is for his birth date:
Let’s read off the placements from Moon to Mars going left to right: Moon is in Libra, Sun is in Taurus, Mercury is in Aries, Venus is also in Aries, and Mars is in Aquarius. As a side note, as explained in the post on Ephemeris – Universal Time, we generally can’t take the Moon position in the ephemeris as is for everyone born on that day. But given the birth time accuracy, if you look at the full horoscope for Piketty, you will see that the Moon is indeed in Libra.
Piketty’s book made a huge splash, was #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, and was reviewed and critiqued by numerous economists and policy pundits. Here’s the essential thrust of his book, with my astrological take in parentheses: Piketty aggressively (Mars) goes after wealth inequality, proposing a redistribution (Aquarius wants equality), with a bold (Aries) idea (Mercury) of progressive (also Aquarius) capital taxation. Not to miss out on the other obvious thing: this whole thing is about money and wealth, the domain of Taurus. And Piketty has the Sun in Taurus!
This next illustration is of the novelist Celeste Ng. She was born on July 30, 1980. Astro-Databank has her horoscope with a rating of C, so the birth time is only approximate. Here’s the ephemeris table for her birth date:
Reading from left to right, Moon in Pisces (can’t rely on it, accurate birth time not known), Sun in Leo, Mercury in Cancer, Venus in Gemini, and Mars in Libra. I’m pulling some quotes about her, weaving in my astrological take.
“… known for her literary page-turners that disassemble family dynamics [Mercury in family-oriented Cancer], and parse suburban life and attitudes about race in America” – the Cancer symbolism of family can be amplified to tribe in general, which includes race and country.
“… can fix anything: leaky faucets, her son’s windup toy, a dishwasher and even her clothes dryer once.” The natural inclination and ability to fix household things is often seen in Leos, not at all surprising given her Sun in Leo.
“Ng often user her enormous Twitter influence — 95,000 followers and counting — to amplify the voices of those she thinks deserve to be heard.” With Venus in Gemini, Ng relates (Venus) to a wide audience using Twitter, the ultimate Gemini medium of rapid fire communication.
Lastly, let’s take a look at Queen Latifah. Her name is widely recognizable, although many people probably don’t know exactly what she does. She’s listed in Wikipedia as “an American singer, songwriter, rapper, actress, and producer”. Her birth date is March 18, 1970, and her horoscope at Astro-Databank comes with a top accuracy rating of AA. Here’s the ephemeris for her date of birth:
She has Moon in Leo (her full horoscope does indeed have Moon in Leo), Sun in Pisces, Mercury in Pisces as well, Venus in Aries, and Mars in Taurus.
Apart from singing, Queen Latifah has written a book on confidence and self-respect called Ladies First: Revelations of a Strong Woman. Taurus signifies strength, stability, and endurance, be it mental, emotional, or physical. Also, Taurus is very bodily aware. Mars signifies musculature and combativeness. The combination of Mars in Taurus is highly apt for the reference to “strong woman” in the book title. As for Venus in Aries: Aries is about being first, and Venus is the feminine, and the title leads off with “Ladies First”!! The resonance between the title of the book and her Mars and Venus positions is simply mind-boggling.
Speaking of body strength, Queen Latifah is known to work out with a trainer for kickboxing. Boxing is a quintessential Mars/Taurus sport, combining combativeness with endurance. Muhammad Ali also had Mars in Taurus, and was famous for withstanding a lot of beating to wear out his opponent, demonstrating extreme levels of endurance. Mars is also the athlete/sportsman, and the Mars+Taurus combination made Queen Latifah a “power forward” on her high school basketball team. “A power forward being asked to rebound, play physical defense and run the floor needs to be in tremendous physical shape.”
Lastly, about her assumed name. Her given name is Dana Elaine Owens, but she assumed a stage name, Queen Latifah. With her Moon in royal Leo, how it could have been otherwise?!