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In the News:
'Souls Alike' (2005)
by John Townley
Singing is all about style, as is much of astrology, and Bonnie Raitt’s stars provide key clues about what she sings and how she sings it. For instance, take the element of fire. If you want to be a torch singer, you’ve got to have a lot of fire planets — prime examples would be Celine Dion and Edith Piaf. That’s not Raitt’s strong suit, with only generational Pluto in fire. But, if you want to do something funkier and soulful, you’re going to need nitty-gritty earth and the intuitive feelings of water — and she’s got plenty of both, with four planets plus Ascendant in earth (including a supertalented Venus-Mars-Ascendant grand earth trine) and three water planets including a sultry Scorpio Sun.
But that’s still a long way from being a blues singer for a white Radcliffe girl, so there has to be more. There is. To sing the blues, you’ve got to hurt inside, no matter what your upbringing, and Raitt has both Sun and Moon afflicted by the worst there is — the Sun square Pluto and Moon square Saturn — giving her inner pain either real or imagined that makes her sound real from the inside out. The Pluto/Sun part comes from feeling ambitious yet a pawn of destiny, and the Saturn/Moon from emotional insecurity, perhaps associated with (but not necessarily the fault of) her famous father Broadway singer John Raitt. “Father issues,” as astro-psychobabblers might describe it.
The key that unlocks the puzzle is the ambitious, driving nature of her locomotive-pattern chart, led by that afflicted Moon in the unlikely (for blues) intellectual sign of Gemini. How does that fit in? Well, despite the inherited family musical talent, she was never set up to go into the music business, but was rather headed to change the world with her family Quaker values through doing social good — starting with the college pursuit of African studies. But it didn’t lead her to Africa and the third world to serve in some charitable NGO. It sent her around the circle and back to the African-American blues in the form of her mentor black blues bottleneck-guitarist Fred McDowell, where with her combination of emotion, talent, and unique perspective she carved out a new niche in that world — the down-home, white, female country blues singer. Why did she go country blues instead of city blues (like, for instance, Janice Joplin)? Note the Uranus opposition spiking her grand trine — an active Uranus is a known signature of country music (as opposed to city and pop, where Neptune tends to be prominent). All in all, quite an unlikely accomplishment, really. But, it’s all right there in her horoscope.
Current events: With progressed Moon conjunct natal Pluto right now, she must still be feeling rather crushed and betrayed by the presidential candidate she stumped so sincerely for, John Edwards, but that’s the kind of disappointment the blues are forged from. Hey, it wasn’t her fault. Maybe that will wind up in a song or two and pay off professionally, as transiting Jupiter races over her MC and into her 10th house (career and fame) at the turn of 2009, so keep your eyes and, mainly, ears open…