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Astrology in the Old West: Calamity JaneCalamityJaneImage

In all the movies and television shows I’ve seen about the old west, there’s never been an astrologer around. It seems a shame that the great figures of that legendary time were denied to wisdom of the stars, so I’ve decided to rectify that situation and take a look at the horoscopes of some of the more famous of these heroes and heroines.

We’ll start with Martha Jane Canary Burke, better know and Calamity Jane. Of course, we’re working with a partial horoscope (click here to see her chart done for noon), but several interesting features can still be seen.

First of all Jane was a Taurus by Sun sign. In fact, she has the Sun and four planet clustered within a range of eleven degrees in Taurus. Taurus people (and Taurus women in particular) are strong willed and determined. Even though many of the claims she made later in life as to her adventures and heroism are suspect, just that fact that Calamity Jane was able to survive as a woman alone in the male dominated world of the old west is a testament to her incredible toughness and resilence.


Jane’s Taurus Sun, Mercury and Saturn are all square her Mars in Leo. When Saturn squares Mars, particularly if the Sun is involved, it generally means that the person will encounter a lot of hardship in his or her life.

Calamity Jane’s life certainly fits this description. She was orphaned when still quite young and forced to take care of her younger siblings. She was constantly moving from one place to another, making her living by whatever means was available. She apparently worked at everything from dancehall girl to mule skinner. Her itinerant lifestyle placed Jane on the fringes of society, where life was hard and typically quite short.

Jane’s fame came largely from her association with the famous gunfighter, Wild Bill Hickok. It seems likely that she only knew Hickok a short time before he was killed, but it is clear from her horoscope that Calamity Jane’s fascination with this man was real.

Jane had Venus in Gemini and Mars in Leo. Sex was not that important to her. Associating herself with someone famous was. Also, the Moon in this chart is in Libra, a sign that needs partnership. Jane married late in life and apparently, but separated from her husband after a short time. However, Jane’s real marriage, the emotional connection that meant the most to her, was to an ideal. The dead Bill Hickock was that ideal.

As I said, most of the stories that Calamity Jane told about her life as a scout for the army and Indian fighter are disputed. Jane told these stories while she was a part of Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show. She was eventually fired from this job because of her alcoholism.

Neptune in this chart is in an almost exact sextile to the Sun. Neptune is associated with fantasy and with escapism (often with the aid of substance abuse.) The famous Calamity Jane was largely a fantasy created by the poor, orphaned Martha Jane Canary, and she bolstered this fantasy with copious amounts of alcohol.

And yet, because the aspect is a sextile, the fantasy stuck. It didn’t make Jane rich. She spent her final years working as a cook in her friend’s bordello. But it did make her a legend, and give her a name that has endured through the centuries.