Excerpt from "Growing Pains"
Copyright: Alex Trenoweth
All rights reserved
Case study - Madonna
16 August 1958 7:05 EST Rodden rating: DD (conflicting/unverified); collector: Rodden Bay City Michigan 43 ̊N35’40”83 ̊W53’20” Jupiter in Libra, Venus in Leo
Saturn in Sagittarius, Jupiter in Libra First Jupiter return November 1969 (June and July 1970) age 11 years 3 months First Saturn opposition August 1972, November 1972 and May 1973 Time between first Jupiter return and last Saturn opposition: 3 years, 7 months
During 1963, Saturn was conjunct Madonna’s Chiron three times. Both Saturn and Chiron are associated with pain and loss, creating a veritable sore point in the native’s life. In this year, Madonna lost her beloved mother to breast cancer. In the months before her mother’s death, Madonna had noticed her mother’s personality had changed from the attentive homemaker she was, although she did not understand the reason. Her mother, unable to explain her dire medical condition, would often begin to cry when questioned by Madonna, at which point Madonna would respond by wrapping her arms around her mother tenderly. Madonna recalled that she felt stronger than her mother during this time.
Madonna later reflected more poignantly: “We were all wounded in one way or another by [her death], and then we spent the rest of our lives reacting to it or dealing with it or trying to turn into something else. The anguish of losing my mom left me with a certain kind of loneliness and an incredible longing for something. If I hadn’t had that emptiness, I wouldn’t have been so driven. Her death had a lot to do with me saying—after I got over my heartache — I’m going to be really strong if I can’t have my mother. I’m going to take care of myself.”6 It’s a beautifully reflective statement of Saturn conjunct Chiron.
Madonna was a straight A pupil and a cheerleader, but she also had the reputation for being rebellious: she would do cartwheels and hang upside-down on monkey bars to show her underwear to the boys. Even at a young age, Madonna knew how to get attention. Eventually, she persuaded her father to let her take ballet lessons and she won a dance scholarship to University Of Michigan.
In 1977, as Jupiter was conjunct her MC and opposed to her natal Saturn, she decided to move to New York to try her luck as a dancer. “It was the first time I’d ever taken a plane, the first time I’d ever gotten a taxi cab. I came here with $35 in my pocket. It was the bravest thing I’d ever done.”7 Later, as Jupiter was conjunct her natal Venus, she was sexually assaulted in an alleyway. Around this time, she had also posed in the nude — for very little money — and the photos would come back to haunt her.
By 1979, transiting Saturn had made a series of conjunctions to her stellium of planets and ascendant in Virgo. Within a few months, transiting Jupiter made the same connections by conjunction three times. During this time, she had met and fallen in love with Dan Gilroy and became a part of the band Breakfast Club. By 1982, she had left the group and enlisted the help of a different boyfriend, Jellybean Benetiz, to release her first album Madonna, in October 1982 as Saturn was exactly conjunct her natal Jupiter.
By late 1983, transiting Jupiter was conjunct her natal Saturn. In 1984, Saturn was in opposition to her natal Mars in Taurus and she had successfully convinced young girls that fishnet stockings, Capri trousers, rosaries, and see through, lacy tops were the height of fashion. Like a Virgin (so appropriate for someone with a stellium in Virgo!) released that year made her a global superstar on par with Michael Jackson. Her performance at the first MTV awards, where she appeared on stage atop a giant wedding cake, wearing a wedding dress and bridal veil, adorned with her characteristic “Boy Toy” belt buckle and rolling around on the floor in a mock display of sexual ecstasy, took place as Saturn made its last in a series of three conjunctions to her natal Mars in Taurus.
In 1985, as transiting Jupiter was square her natal Mars, she appeared in her first film Desperately Seeking Susan and went on her first world tour with the Beastie Boys. Transiting Jupiter also opposed her natal Venus and squared her Mars when Playboy and Penthouse published photos of her taken earlier in her career. In August that year, she married Sean Penn and her third album, released in 1986 as Jupiter made a series of oppositions to her stellium in Virgo, was inspired by him.
In 1997, Jupiter opposed itself and Madonna embarked on the Who’s That Girl tour and by December she had divorced Penn. In 1989, as Jupiter was in the middle of three conjunctions to her natal MC, Madonna made a deal with Pepsi to promote its products. Madonna, who had always pushed her luck with her use of rosaries and other religious symbols, completely overstepped the mark by choosing this campaign to debut her single Like a Prayer. The symbols of stigmatas, burning crosses and Madonna’s fantasies of making love to a black saint were a little too much and, after condemnation from the Vatican, Pepsi canceled the sponsorship arrangement. Not all was lost, however, as she got to keep the $5 million retainer fee.
Between Jupiter’s conjunction to Venus in August 1990 and Saturn’s opposition to Venus in February 1991 (the final opposition was in February 1991), Madonna appeared in Dick Tracy, had a relationship with legendary lothario Warren Beatty (shortly after they split, he married the actress Annette Bening and had four children with her) and began her Blond Ambition tour. Rolling Stone called it an “elaborately choreographed, sexually provocative extravaganza”.8 The Pope told everyone to avoid it. 9 (The laser disc version of the tour would win her a Grammy in 1992). She also released In Bed with Madonna, a chronicle of her tour, as Jupiter made a series of conjunctions to her stellium in Virgo. The other active transit during this time was Jupiter’s series of three conjunctions to natal Uranus in Leo that began in November 1990 and ended in June 1991. It was the era of her press baiting antics.
As Saturn squared her natal Mars, Madonna began production of her book Sex, which featured adult themed photographs of her that attracted negative publicity and also released her album Erotica. Perhaps it was because the book and the album coincided, or maybe it was because the CD wrappers for the single resembled a condom packet, or because her next tour (The Girlie Show World Tour) featured her as a dominatrix or that she appeared in the box office flop Body of Evidence or that she asked David Letterman to sniff her underwear - whatever it was, by the time of her Saturn’s opposition to her natal Sun in 1993, everyone reckoned they had seen enough of Madonna and her career was finished. Or so everyone thought.
By the time Saturn made oppositions to her stellium in Virgo and Jupiter squared her natal Sun in 1994, Madonna got the message. Her next album Bedtime Stories was far more subdued. By 1995, as Jupiter squared her stellium in Virgo, Madonna won the title part of Evita, a role for which she won several awards. In October 1996, she gave birth to her first child, Lourdes, as both Saturn and Jupiter made minor aspects to her natal planets by transit.
The following year in 1997, as Jupiter made contacts by conjunction to her natal Chiron (the same planet Saturn had made conjunctions to when her mother died), Madonna adapted her religious beliefs from Catholicism to Kabbalah. During the release of the subsequent album Ray of Light, both Saturn and Jupiter again form heavy transits to her stellium in Virgo. The album is far more thoughtful and introspective than her previous work and eventually won four Grammies and was honoured as one of Rolling Stones’ 500 greatest albums of all time.
Saturn’s conjunction to natal Mars in 1999 saw the release of “Beautiful Stranger” for the film The Spy Who Shagged Me, which won her another Grammy. In 2003, Jupiter made another series of conjunctions to her stellium in Virgo. This time, she open-mouth kissed Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera on live TV, thus resuming her press baiting antics, on astrological cue one complete Jupiter cycle later from her Erotica era as transiting Jupiter was again on natal Uranus by conjunction. Saturn’s opposition to her Chiron, the very combination active when Madonna’s mother died, from September 2006, was the beginning of her quest to adapt David, a Malawian child. The public reaction against this was strong. But who are we to deny a mother’s love to a sick child?