8/11/73: The Night That Changed The World: The Birth Chart of Hip Hop

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One of the ideas surrounding Astrology is that everything has a birth.Whether it’s a person or an event, the placement of the planets at any given moment in time reflects the nature of that moment and whatever is born will embody the qualities of that particular time.

To say that August 11, 1973 changed the world would be a gross understatement.

What initially began as Cindy Campbell’s end of summer/back to school Jam for a few children in a rec room at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx, turned into her brother, Clive Campbell, better known as Kool Herc, hot wiring the base of a street lamp to juice up his Herculoid speakers for three thousand people. The party eventually had to be moved from Sedgwick to Cedar Park. (Source: Joe Conzo)

Since this time, a large number of us have witnessed hip hop expand into a culture of mythic proportions.

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There are very few parts of the world or avenues of expression which hip hop hasn’t affected and we see it’s influence alive and well every day as we board the subway trains, listen to our radios, turn on our ipods, or flip the channels on the television remote.

All of this being said, the questions are: how has hip hop handled this massive growth and transition? What’s next for the culture?  Will the jam at Sedgwick ave always have a place in its heart?

Hip hop was born on August 11, 1973 at 9:00 pm in the Bronx, NY (the birth time came from a flyer advertising the party).

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With it’s charts’ hemispheric emphasis being in the westthere’s the necessity to interact with others.

Hip Hop culture is about participation. It’s subject to what individuals have to contribute to it via their unique style and flavor.

Also, with some planets in the east, the life of hip hop culture is conditioned by ego justification: not only is it about participation, but also who’s the baddest, freshest, dopest and illest.

 With the blend of the Sun in Leo and the Moon in Capricorn, hip hop’s life force is fueled by creative self-expression,  ego acknowledgement and validation of it’s identity.

It desires to be noticed as a shining and authoritative force in the world. This is reflected in a personality form which has a reigning need for status and recognition. It’s nourished by it’s influence over the masses, it’s ambition and the ability to make things happen. 

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The Pisces Ascendant suggest that it’s thrust into the world is a unitive one. Seeking to dissolve boundaries and barriers between individuals and link into the oneness of the collective.

However, in many instances, there is an element of camouflage and some of the energy surrounding the culture isn’t as it appears to be.

The Sun’s placement in the 6th house indicates that the self-expressive and stylistic renderings of Leo would be best served in a field of experience which promotes service to others. Furthermore, the pursuance of becoming master of one’s craft and offering that as one’s work is highly pronounced.

Mercury in Leo’s communication needs center around oratorical flamboyance and the unquestioning self-assurance which makes heroes and heroines.

Mercury is trine Neptune which suggests a free flowing infusion of idealism, creative visualization and lyrical flow. There’s a solid strength in the ability to paint pictures with words. 

However, this can easily escape into the world of fantasy, smokescreens and delusion. The direct opposite of the “keep it real” mentality that has pervaded the culture for so many years. Additionally, Mercury’s wide opposition to Jupiter further enhances the vibe of persuasive, yet grandiose and excessive verbal messages.

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Continuing along the lines of communication, Uranus, Pluto and Venus in the Mercury ruled 7th house suggests that the manner in which hip hop relates to the public has the potential to be highly artistic and creative with shockingly transformative overtones.

Venus in Virgo’s tight square to the Sagittarius Midheaven is indicitave of developmental tension between the purity of culture which hip hop seeks to preserve and the universal face it wishes to present to the world as it’s crowning achievement.

There are regular and sometimes volatile discussions about what staying true to “pure” hip hop culture actually means. So, this might result in the dynamic of large scale striving in the world with less thought of hip hop’s efficient functioning or competence when placed in a social and relational context.

Jupiter’s placement in Aquarius outlines that the rewards for hip hop come through it’s innovation and thinking outside the box.

The ability to push the envelope when it comes to convention and to assert it’s “voice” with courage and emotional fervor as the Moon square to Mars indicates.

However, the flip side of the coin is to strike the balance between it’s obvious business needs (Moon in Capricorn) and it’s desire to apply energy in the world aggressively and sometimes without caution (Mars in Aries).

Tying up the chart, the nodal axis in Capricorn/Cancer means that a balance must be achieved between the deep attunement to roots,culture and security (Cancer) and it’s potential to affect progress and span a broader base of influence (Capricorn).

The difficult questions continue to remain about how hip hop becoming more corporate and commercial has effected the familial environment it was birthed in on Sedgwick Avenue.

Again, as hip hop’s Pisces Ascendant suggests, it presents itself to the world in an inspirational fashion, but the actual reality appears to be much more nebulous and something which can’t be readily grasped at this time. Only time will tell which direction the culture is headed.

©2014 by Sagittarian Mind Consulting

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Aries Sun, Gemini Moon

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Your blend suggests the vital life force of a warrior who’s nourished by mental stimulation.

Your life’s work of establishing impact  is actualized through the channels of intellectual diversity and the appreciation of your many facets.

Your Sun-Moon combination suggests a strong identity assertion. “Fighting” using your mind as the weapon, wielding words like a sword.

Placing yourself in situations which require the cultivation of courage and self-interest could serve to your advantage.

This is intrepid thought, which leads to action.

 

Aries Sun, Scorpio Moon

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When an Aries Sun is blended with a Scorpio Moon in an individuals birth chart, the nucleus of the person’s life energy consists of  making a significant impact in the world by way of an assertive thrust of personal identity.

The sun’s placement here suggests that the motivating stimulus is to be recognized as number one, a leader and a pioneer who thrives on tests of internal fortitude and the grasping of challenges which allow them to “sharpen their warrior steel”.

The Scorpio Moon uses the sun’s light to reflect a personality who needs to pursue this dominance through emotional depth, knowing things and passionate penetration of anything in life which may be considered buried, hidden or taboo.

For this combination, the way to the heights of the top is through the depths of the bottom. There’s a high energy exertion contained in this blend in both the physical and the emotional worlds, so it stands to reason that extremes are something which need to be regulated. Although there’s a strong statement from the Aries Sun saying: “this is who I am”, there’s also a deep need to conserve emotional resources, as to delay full disclosure to the world.

The internal question is: if I reveal ALL that I have, what will be left for me? This combination also holds the potential for a considerable degree of personal magnetism. It suggests the ability to “hold” others whether through sheer force of  presence, or the passionate pulling of heart strings.

 

Pisces Sun, Aries Moon

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One of your keys to connecting with the greater sphere of humanity is to confidently and courageously know your own value and accept yourself in all of your intrinsic worth. After all, this is what fills your heart.

Your life lessons stem from being able to discriminate between working in your self-interest from thoughtless and insensitive behavior toward others. When you fearlessly love yourself and provide the self-care you deserve you have the potential to blossom into someone who understands the unifying principles which permeate through human life. Therefore, you can operate from a place of internal power and respect for self as well as your fellow woman or man.

We live in a society where “might makes right”, but you’ll learn that your application of will requires a touch of finesse to become truly effective. In fact, a potent STRENGTH lies in your SENSITIVITY toward other people.

The willingness to embrace the adventure of trusting your gut and following your inner guidance can serve as the ultimate tool in your self-realization. Visionary warriorhood lies within your grasp.

Aries Sun, Leo Moon

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In a birth chart, when the Sun is in Aries and the Moon in Leo, there’s potential for the hero of epic proportions to emerge.

The fuel which stimulates and ignites this person consists of  a strong thrust of identity into the outside world as to “make one’s mark” and exert a powerful impact into their environment. To assert themselves as the leader by example and proceed in the face of any fear or obstacles is one of the most fulfilling paths available.

The Leo Moon uses the Sun’s light to reflect a personality that needs to be appreciated for who they are. This placement suggests that this person is nourished by the validation of their identity and being noticed by others as someone special.

When you combine the solar and lunar placements, there’s a strong indication that attracting the attention of others is a major theme. To the person with the Sun in Aries, the resources of bravery, autonomy and bold action are yours for the taking, while a dignified, dynamic and proudly confident demeanor are all suggested potentials for the individual with the Leo Moon.

To be the best version  of oneself without guile or pretense and generously sharing your gifts with the world via the passionate fire of the Aries and the warmth and heat of Leo is the ultimate in epic self-expression.

Your theme song is “Epic Dynasty” by Dynasty

You can listen here:

 

Aries Sun, Cancer Moon

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Within the Aries Sun- Cancer Moon blend, we explore themes which emerge from developmental tension between an adventurous thrust into the world  and an emotional attachment to what’s familiar.

Aspirations point toward making one’s mark and a distinct impression of personal identity weighed against a physical or ideological clan of origin.

The questions arise:

Who will take care of those I care about if I’m out attempting to conquer the world?

How can I create a viable identity and still fulfill the reigning emotional need to belong?

This Sun-Moon blend can channel it’s potential emotional power into self care as well as the nurturing of others in a passionately protective manner.

The Cancer Moon reflects and distributes the action oriented light of the Aries Sun. The balance and resolution must come between the assertive and the receptive. Doing battle and resting.

It’s of utmost important to trust and value one’s gut instincts in both the physical and the emotional worlds. Relying on kinesthetic and emotional intelligence.

This is the warrior who has two layers of armor at their disposal. And, utilization of these resources can create a win-win at home and in the world at large.

Photo:  skitterphoto.com

Hip Hop’s Magnum Opus: The Birth Chart of Nas’ “Illmatic”

©2016 by Sagittarian Mind Consulting

How do you begin talking about a masterpiece? I mean… where do you start? First of all I make no apologies for stating my personal opinion that I think Nas’ Illmatic is one of the best (if not THE best) Hip-Hop albums ever created.

Many of us still want to know what the young, 19 year old upstart from Queensbridge was thinking during the making his debut album, which would go on to be critically acclaimed as a standard for Emcees everywhere.

With a heavy hitting “dream team” production from DJ Premier, Large Professor, Pete Rock, Q-TIP and LES, the red carpet was rolled out for Nas, and he delivered in such a colossal way that Illmatic will forever go on the list of albums that set a  blueprint for hip hop greatness.

There’s no question in my mind that Illmatic was needed in the universe right at the time it came out, and it embodied the qualities of that moment, as we’ll see by looking at its birth chart.

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It’s apropos that the introduction to Illmatic is titled “The Genesis”, which is a powerful expression of its 29 degree Aries Sun.  This album signals a sense of “coming into being” and new beginnings,   especially for the New York hip-hop scene.

In addition, Aries at the 29 degree mark suggests the height of competition. There’s a glaring illumination of potential for a colossal impact in the world as reflected by its 10th house position near the top of the birth chart.

Illmatic’s Aries Sun suggests being ignited by the fuel of “champion” or warrior energy where aspirations are centered on winning and being the best. There’s no doubt that the cosmos confirms Illmatic being a pioneering album with aims toward being number one. Nas’ masterpiece was given a coveted “5 Mic” rating (suggesting a “perfect album”) from “The Source” Magazine, who at that time, held significant weight in the area of critical reviews of hip-hop recordings.

In the VH-1 documentary “Driven” MC Serch described Nas’ success with Illmatic as having “Hit 10 Home Runs.”

(photo: dj premier, q-tip, nas & large professor) source : ambrosiaforheads.com

When Mercury and Mars, which are also in Aries, are added to the equation, there’s a “push” factor which undeniably holds the potential to force others into competition and prompt them to apply their will at a heightened level of assertion.

In fact, there have been numerous interviews from DJ Premier, Pete Rock, Large Professor, Q-Tip and LES which discuss the level of competition amongst producers in the making of Illmatic. One could easily argue that this is the finest group of hip-hop producers assembled for one album.

With the Sun’s powerful developmental connections to both Uranus and Neptune, we’re witnessing an album whose originality and genius, borne out of rebellion takes center stage. Nas, in stating his feelings about the recording of Illmatic said that he had to tell a story which was “all his own” (Sun-Uranus). This vibe is coupled with a poetic, flowing self-expression which provides inspiration through vivid imagery and the symbolic painting of pictures (Sun-Neptune).

(photo : nas and a.z.) source: stopthebreaks.com

According to Peter Rosenberg of the radio station Hot 97 in New York, Nas was hailed a “Hip-Hop Messiah of mythological proportions.” (Sun-Neptune) upon the release of this album.

Illmatic’s Leo Moon reflects the light of the Aries Sun through a personality which is fulfilled through gaining notice, praise and validation from others.

There was a big buzz surrounding Illmatic, so it wasn’t just an album that came from out of the blue and snuck up on people. Nas also mentioned in an interview , sponsored by Google that he felt those hip-hop icons that had come before him, and had given so much to the art, HAD to like his album in order for him to feel complete. He wanted the likes of Kool G Rap, MC Shan, etc… those icons that he may just happen to run into at a local bodega in Queensbridge, to tell him “good job”. Nas also mentioned the fact that his career could’ve been over if his album didn’t receive the “co-sign” of those who were respected in hip-hop circles.

Also appropriate for the Astrological signature of Illmatic is its Cancer Ascendant. Nas’ childhood picture (Cancer), graces the covering (Ascendant) of the album, along with his roots and foundation, Queensbridge projects, in the backdrop. Also, within the fold of the liner notes, there’s a picture of his childhood friends as they sit on a park bench. Illmatic is filtered through the lens of nostalgia, with songs like “Memory Lane”, and it also invokes an emotional response as a focal part of its identity expression.

Finally, it’s Cancer rising speaks to a musical lineage, as Nas’ father, Olu Dara, a jazz musician joins him by lending his musical talents on the LES produced track “Life’s a Bitch”. Not only did this track highlight biological family, but also artistic family, as it gave birth to A.Z’s career, and he’s gone on to become a hip-hop heavyweight in his own right.

In the aforementioned VH-1 documentary “Driven”, Peter Rosenberg stated that the release of Illmatic put hip-hop in a position to be taken seriously as an art form, which it’s Pisces MC flanked by Saturn strongly suggests: Not only serious art on the world’s stage, but A standard bearer (Saturn) for music  from a universal standpoint (Pisces).

Looking at Illmatic’s 5th House, which outlines the domain in which both artistic and physical “children” are created, we see circumstances which surround birth, death and the underbelly and ills of life. The themes which pervaded this album weren’t always pretty, yet there were also benefits and artistic riches to be unearthed from tumultuous circumstances on the path to meeting Illmatic’s ultimate destiny (Jupiter, North Node and Pluto in Scorpio).

The death came before the making of Illmatic when Nas’ best friend, Willie Graham, better known as “Ill Will” was shot and killed. According to Nas’ brother, Jungle, in the VH-1 documentary, “Driven”, this occurred on May 23, 1992. This had a profound effect on Nas and would later serve as fuel for a powerful and transformative creativity which connected to his self-expression. The birth would occur on June 15, 1994, a couple of months after Illmatic’s official release date, and that would be his daughter Destiny.

Using whole sign houses, we can easily see that the 3rd/9th house MC/IC axis of Virgo and Pisces suggests that on all of Illmatic’s tracks although Nas is speaking with exactness and precision (Virgo) about his experiences in his immediate environment (3rd house), the cosmic design is to balance that so a much larger sphere of the world (9th house) can relate for Universal (Pisces) understanding.

With the Taurus/Scorpio nodal axis, Illmatic, as a work of art had to find a way to make money (Taurus), while projecting a deeper significance (Scorpio) for hip hop culture.  Although critically acclaimed, the album didn’t immediately catapult to the heights of platinum status as did may more commercially recognizable albums. Nas’ brother Jungle stated that Nas’ advance for Illmatic was a mere $17,000 at the time, so he was forced to, at that time to consider a balance between regenerating (Scorpio) hip-hop and material comforts (Taurus).  In many eyes, Illmatic (and Nas) wasn’t/weren’t receiving the return on investment which it deserved.

Fortunately for the hip-hop faithful, Illmatic is an album which is being discussed 20 + years from its release, and for Nas, it’s enabled him to integrate the works’ nodal axis on the strength of a brilliant display of artistry thereafter.

Representin’ is Illmatic.

Aries Sun, Libra Moon

 

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The blending of the Sun in Aries and the Moon in Libra is fundamentally illustrative of the need to integrate the dynamics of the assertion of individuality and harmonious social relations. The natural opposition, or complimentary force between the signs calls for awareness of ourselves and the other.

With an Aries Sun, the person’s essential life energy and stimulus consists of thrusting the identity into the world with force and distinguishing the self as an individual, distinct from the herd,asserting and claiming themselves as number one in their chosen field of endeavor.

This solar placement suggests an initiating quality which can manifest behaviorally in the form of dynamic, courageous and empowering leadership when operating on a functional level. The Sun in Aries potential centers around the drive to leap forward into action and using their strength to defeat any impediments which may be present.

 

When operating dysfunctionally, the Aries Sun can manifest as someone who’s so vitally “alive” that they think they’re the ONLY one’s alive. The overfunctioning of the ego serves to alienate those who might otherwise be allies.

The Libra Moon uses the Sun’s light to reflect a personality whose nourishment depends on balancing self-approval with social appreciation. Where the Aries Sun is focused on self, the Libra Moon’s orientation is toward others, with a tendency to evaluate themselves from the observer’s point of view. Cooperation, social relatedness and the joining of forces toward a common goal are some of the emotional needs suggested by a Libra Moon.

 

When  the Moon’s placement in Libra is operating dysfunctionally, the individual OVER relates to others. He or she becomes confused about who they are outside of their relationships. There may be a ‘peace at all costs” philosophy at work where the person suppresses their identity in favor of amicable relations. However, this set up ultimately leaves the door open for animosity to creep in causing an eruption of epic proportions. The very dynamic which was trying to be avoided through accommodating behavior has now been created because the individual wanted to be seen as “fair” and “good”.

 Navigating the balance point between the assertion of self as a separate entity and the recognition of how that impacts our relations with other people is the key to constructively integrating this Sun-Moon blendTo have confidence that we can simultaneously claim our individual selfhood and relate as equals to our fellow human beings is essential.

Photo Credit : Remember To Water 

 

Scorpio Sun, Aries Moon: “War”

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Often, when we consider what war means, vivid  images of physical battle pervade our psyche. Sometimes, so much that we lose the complete picture, forgetting that the spiritual and psychological components of war are arguably as important as what we do with our bodies. With the Sun- Moon blend of Scorpio and Aries, two Mars ruled signs, warrior is your middle name.

In a birth chart, when the Sun is in Scorpio, the core life energy which provides stimulus to the individual consists of the desire to plumb the depths of life experience. Even if this investigation happens to put them in the way of danger, there’s an unshakable faith in the finely honed intuition and sensitivity of the Scorpion which will allow them to proceed without trepidation.

The Scorpio Sun is fueled by passionate involvement and possesses incredible amounts of physical and emotional reserves which carry transformative potential for themselves as well as others who might be so fortunate to be close enough to be involved in their realm of life experience, no matter what it may be.

Typically, there are three levels of Scorpio’s existence: The scorpion, eagle and the phoenix. The Sun’s placement here suggests the individual is capable of living all three, from wallowing in the dark, dismal abyss of vindictive and vengeful behavior to rising from the ashes and soaring above baseness to heal, empower and regenerate individuals and systems.

The Moon in Aries reflects the Scorpio Sun’s light in the form of a personality who needs to “ram” ahead as a courageous and autonomous individual. There’s an emotional need to be first and catapult themselves into the forefront.

This placement also suggests the need of the personality to engage in dynamic action and keep the fiery flames burning. The Moon in Aries is nourished by competition. However, it’s not so much the external battles which provide them sustenance, rather the internal “wars” which are waged as a self-honing process which leads to greater personal strength. The key to integrating this combination is learning the most constructive ways which to use that power.

When this Sun-Moon combination manifests dysfunctionally on a behavioral level, there can be a ruthless individualistic streak which somehow forgets that others have the same rights and freedoms to express themselves. An overt “all or nothing” steamrolling quality which alienates others from providing any form of support.

Using this blend constructively, the potential exists for an iron will and untouchable self-confidence. This belief in self extends in the form of goodwill towards others, thereby encouraging them to contact  the warrior within and push courageously through life despite any obstacles which might reveal themselves along the way.

Your theme song is “War” by Nas featuring Keon  Bryce

You can listen here:

image: atlantic.com

Sagittarius Sun, Aries Moon : “Word To The Wise”

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(photo : atlantablackstar.com)

To fight for a cause that we believe in can truly be a noble thing. Accepting the challenges of leadership and the possible consequences is something that’s often discussed and written about, but practiced on much more rare occasions. If there’s a Sun-Moon blend that has the potential to move the world through the strength of conviction, it’s Sagittaries/Aries.

In a birth chart, when the Sun is placed in Sagittarius and the Moon in Aries, the core life energy of the individual is geared toward the aiming and shooting of  free flying intellectual arrows supported by a broad and expansive thrust of thought. The Sagittarian arrow’s symbolic desire is to swiftly travel it’s terrain with a wide, telescopic overview and as few limitations as possible.

This is the Archer’s forte, and it’s all in the name of discovering a meaning to life which is ultimately greater and more comprehensive than when the arrows initial journey began. There is an infinite quest to unearth the significance of interrelationships which explain what we once thought was inexplicable.

The light of the Sagittarian Sun is used by the Aries Moon to reflect a person who needs to “ram” and charge his or her way into the world with forceful impact. The reigning need of the personality is to make a strong and significant statement of personal identity. To actively engage in life through competition with self and others.

The Moon’s placement in Aries suggests that the individual is sustained and nourished through tests of will and courage; through flexing one’s muscles and honing their strengths. This Sun-Moon combination is dynamically energized by passionate faith and the potential potency of big ideas and large scale enterprises. With this blend, subtlety takes a back seat as the principles of desire and expansion are expressed in the most straightforward manner imaginable.

Typically, with this Sun-Moon blend, honing in on intuition and operating off of hunches is second nature. However, there’s a fine line between blending intellect and bravado effectively in order to meet life’s challenges and foolheartedly acting on whims and placing yourself in physical, intellectual or emotional danger. The Sagittarian Sun/Aries Moon individual must learn how to tow this line very skillfully.

Possibly the least constructive behavioral manifestation of this solar/lunar pairing is the dogmatic know-it-all and the overtly aggressive personality which rationalizes “operating independently” as the total disregard of any type of input from outside sources. This potential quality of impulsive action is further explained by David Shapiro:

“If we consider the formal characteristics of impulsive action, certain ones easily come to mind. For example, I have mentioned that impulsive action is speedy; it is typically quick in execution , and more important , it is speedy in the sense that the period between thought and execution is usually short. To mention another, it is usually abrupt or discontinuous in contrast to normal activity , which ordinarily seems to follow from avowed or at least perceptible aims of visible preparations.”

If the individual with this combination should engage in extremely self-centered thought which gives way to haphazard action it can morph into the behavioral manifestation of an  overfunctioning “Type A” [with the “SS” to go along with it] personality.

A productive blending of these Sun-Moon energies has the potential to result in a Visionary who not only possesses the courage to lead, but also the intellectual acuity and flexibility to recognize when it’s appropriate to be receptive to the input of others and cooperate on the basis of strengthening their personal relationships.

Your theme song is “Word To The Wise” by Oddisee

You can listen right here:

Reference: “Neurotic Styles” by David Shapiro