The Soul Behind The Story: Natal Chart Reading for Poet Maya Angelou
Here is a look at the soul behind the story, and the natal chart underlining the poet Maya Angelou. Maya Angelou was born on April 4, 1928 in St. Louis, Missouri, making her an Aries Sun. According to Poetry Foundation, "An acclaimed American poet, storyteller, activist, and autobiographer, Maya Angelou was born Marguerite Johnson in St. Louis, Missouri. Angelou had a broad career as a singer, dancer, actress, composer, and Hollywood’s first female black director, but became most famous as a writer, editor, essayist, playwright, and poet.”
This natal reading is wholly based on the astrology and is meant to be an outsider's look into the soul of the writer. Instead of going house-by-house and sign-by-sign, I’ve intuitively followed the path of the chart itself, and the harmony and dissonance within it.
So let’s read between the signs to better understand the makings of this incredible woman, writer, and activist. Every chart is unique, but each also contains echos of the universal. In her may we see aspects of our own lives and stories.
I AM ALWAYS EXPANDING THROUGH EXPLORING
Angelou has a strong Aries signature in her chart, with the Sun, Jupiter and Uranus all making themselves known in her 9th house of higher learning, philosophy, and faith. Aries is known for having a headstrong nature and a tendency to dive into life the moment an idea goes from subconscious to conscious awareness. With Jupiter conjunct her Sun, this stubbornness and dogged drive is amplified and turned toward the things the expand her horizons.
Education, understanding different cultures, and faith are all key components of how Angelou may have thought about herself. But not in a traditional sense. With Uranus in the mix, she likely had an unpredictable and innovative approach to achieving her spiritual and cultural goals. Born at the time she was, traditional methods were not open to her, giving space for her Uranus placement to serve her well and direct her energy into pioneering new ways of learning and exploring her world.
I SEE THE VALUE OF CREATIVITY AND EXPRESSION
Angelou took her creative pursuits with a level of seriousness that she matured into more and more with every year that passed, showcased in her chart as Saturn in her 5th House of Sagittarius, which is Trine her Sun in Aries. Sagittarius has the ability “to see” into the past and future and Saturn gives her a path to earn of hard-fought wisdom and discipline when it comes to her generative nature. Combined, this allows for an incredible level of maturity when it comes to her craft and the way she expresses herself in the world. It lends her more headstrong nature a level of poise and grace. With every Saturn return (about every 27 years), she would have had to confront restrictions and boundaries tied to her expression, and evolve her strategies as a result.
I FEEL CALLED TO FIND A SENSE OF SAFETY IN LIFE
Angelou came to this life with an inability to feel safe and secure in her authentic self, as characterized by Pluto in Cancer in the 12th House. This was not something she let define her. With a square to her Sun in Aries, this root fear acted as a driving force of her will to expand through education and exploration. Faith was a critical requirement in handling this placement, and while faith may have been a challenge with a Square to the 9th house, when it was found would have solidified her foundations and been the bedrock of her inner power.
I BELIEVE IN THE TRANSCENDENT POWER OF WORDS AND IDEAS
A gift of her road to solidifying her own foundations and bedrock of faith, Angelou would find solace and power in words of all kinds. With Mercury in Pisces in the 8th House, the exchange of ideas and writing would help her transcend her own circumstances and fears. The 8th house is an incredibly intense place in any chart. It’s the Venn diagram of life, the reciprocal give and take between individuals, the exchange of resources, and the merging of one with another.
Writing was a way to merge her vision for the world with the reality of the world, creating something wholly new and wholly her own. In offering her words to others, she found freedom to express her authentic truth and deepest beliefs. And this all would have been done with love and a love of beauty, as Venus was conjunct her Mercury. Love and writing were likely inseparable for Angelou, one predicated on the other, two parts of herself intertwined irrevocably.
But this desire for freedom of expression and expression of love would have been continuously challenged through a Square to her Saturn in Sagittarius. While this earned wisdom helped her in the long-run, she had to fight to for the right to her have own emotions and beliefs in public.
I KNOW THIS IS A FIGHT FOR THE FUTURE
Angelou’s sun sign is ruled by Mars, the planet of aggression and energy and drive. Her Mars is in 7th House Aquarius. Angelou needed partnerships that would help her fight the good fight. As an individual, she had limited resources and energy. But as part of a collective, or one half of many wholes, Angelou could be bigger than herself.
This gave her a passionate and idealistic nature. And, while powerful, may also have made her a challenge to be in partnership with. Mars is not necessarily a team player. They’re a general, a fighter, not a lover. And Aquarius can often be a bit removed from the present, off thinking through the needs of the future. With little Earth energy in her chart, she likely would have struggled to ground herself, consumed by fiery passion and deep emotion. Partnership was critical, but certainly not easy.
I WILL CLAIM MYSELF
With a Leo Ascendant, Angelou likely had a very strong sense of self. As a memoirist, claiming herself and her story was a key part of her legacy. Her ascendant is also in a close conjunction with Neptune, the planet of imagination and dreams. She may have felt as if she lived in and through her dreams, that her imagination and sense of fantasy were closely linked to how she saw herself and thus how she was perceived by others. Outwardly, this may have been a bit surreal for others. She would have been poetic but hard to pin down, like an iridescent school of lion fish that can never quite be captured on film and certainly never in a net.
So while Angelous understood herself, those she was in partnership with would have always found her somewhat undefinable and unattainable. For while she had a finely honed awareness of the other, others would have struggled to reciprocate her perception.