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The Passing of B. B. KingKingBBImage

It’s been said that “you have to pay your dues, if you want to sing the blues.” The famous blues man B. B. King certainly paid his. The son of a sharecropper in rural Mississippi, he rose to become one of the preeminent musicians of his era. His recent death is a blow to anyone who is a fan of the musical style that has become synonymous with his name, the blues.

We don’t have a time of birth for B.B. King (click on his name to see a chart done for noon on his birthday), but a partial horoscope reveals why this man was so remarkable. King was born with the Sun in Virgo almost exactly opposite Uranus. King said that he decided to devote himself entirely to music after he turned over a tractor while working his “day” job on a farm. This is just the kind of abrupt, crashing change in direction that we would expect from someone with a powerful Uranus aspect.

Luck is often an important factor in the lives of people with Uranus aspecting the Sun. King rose quickly through the ranks of black musicians playing in the Memphis area, first as the member of different bands, then as a radio D.J. and finally as the leader of his own band. He also benefited from the fact that he reached his maturity as a musician in the 1960s, when segregation was beginning to break down and black musicians were being discovered by white audiences.

Of course, a lot of hard work and attention to detail went into King’s development as a musician, qualities we definitely would expect from a Virgo Sun. In fact, the big mystery posed by this partial chart is how a person with the Sun and Moon, along with Mercury and Mars in practical, no-nonsense Virgo excelled in playing a style of music that is so dependent on emotion.

The answer to question probably lies in his Ascendant, which we cannot know without a time of birth. (Personally, I would vote for Pisces rising with Uranus near the angle, or Leo rising with Neptune angular.) However, King does have Venus in Scorpio, an emotional Water sign. Venus is further emphasized by being in a 90 degree aspect to both the Nodes of the Moon. King admitted in his autobiography to having a weakness for the ladies, a fault that played havoc with his personal life.

King had both the Sun and the Moon in Virgo. In my book, Father Sun, Mother Moon, I say of this combination, “You often seem without a long term plan or vision for the future. You solve the problem immediately before you, then you move on to the next.” B. B. King was one of the most successful musicians in the world. He played hundreds of shows every year, and yet he often struggled financially. This partly because of a small army of legitimate and illegitimate children he had to support, but much of it came out the Virgo tendency to focus only on the next tree, and ignore the forest.

Another interest aspect in King’s chart is the nearly exact semi-sextile between his Sun and Neptune. Neptune also forms a nearly exact quincunx with his natal Uranus. Neptune is associated with creativity and music. Even though these aspects are not considered all that powerful, the fact that they are so close makes them particularly significant. The thing about aspects like semi-sextiles and quincunxes is that you have to work in order the get the best out them. You have to pay your dues, just like B.B. King.

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