Aretha Louise Franklin was born in Memphis on March 25, 1942. Her mother, Barbara Siggers Franklin, was a gospel singer and pianist. Her father, the Rev. Clarence LaVaughn Franklin, known as C. L., preached. When she was 6, her parents separated; she remained with her father. Her mother died about five years later from a heart attack, but Aretha had already begun singing in the choir of her father’s New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit. Soon she was the star soloist.
Our header image is of Ms. Franklin at President Barack Obama’s first inauguration. He was a fan. The video below is from the quintessential The Blues Brothers.
This chart below is from the Astro.com. It places her birthdate on March 25, 1942 at 10:30 am. We disagree though, with this map on several points and have rectified Ms. Franklin to 6:45 am in Memphis.
We prefer this chart for the Queen of Soul with a 6:45 AM birth time putting the asteroid Memphis in her first house. Her Ascendant now becomes 29.10 Virgo instead of 16 Scorpio, making Neptune reside on the first house cusp and showing an unfortunate depicting proclivity to alcoholism. Virgo also rules the pancreas, and it is opposite her Sun in the seventh next to asteroid Siwa (sound) showing how her relationship and opportunities were all surrounded by sound i.e. music, and giving her a point focus at her midheaven at 29 Gemini, that is conjunct (luminaries get wider spheres of influence) the Moon.
As the Moon is exalted naturally in Cancer, this gives strong weight to the influence of her two mothers, her biological one — the gospel singer who died when she was young, and her mentor Mrs. Mahalia Jackson who helped nurture her career and realized her great talent.
Another notable asteroid is Child in the second. This tells us that her early life was shaped by singing in her father’s Church & was a great testing ground for her skills (Child square Venus in Aquarius). It gave her outward self-assuredness (inconjunct the Sun in the seventh house) but as that aspect also creates a Yod in her chart, with the sun as the apex and her ascendant as the head in the first house, but it was a stage bluff and she suffered from stage fright. Always the consummate professional, she never let that show.
Ms. Franklin has a preponderance of planets in the ninth house of travel and higher calling, which Mahalia Jackson called her gift. The asteroid Terpsichore (dance) in Aries semi-sextile highlighting the physicality of Saturn in Taurus and is a good picture of rhythm (Venus in Aquarius trine Saturn + Venus trine Jupiter) and blues (Venus inconjunct the Moon + Neptune opposite Sun/Siwa) for which she and the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, catapulted from the crooning 1950’s music. That setup also shows how her drive to excel led to some dicey relationships (mars conjunct Jupiter) believing that they had the ticket to success (Square Mercury in the sixth conjunct the South Node).
Like Alex Jones, Ms. Franklin is a Lost Locomotive, always trying to take charge of her life but somehow it always slipping from her fingertips.
This final chart is her rectified chart against her reported demise. Transiting Uranus (uncontrolled external upheaval) is semi-sextile her natal Uranus, but it is also conjunct Sedna or the release point. This suggests that her body was tired and worn out after a lifetime of abuse. Mars is sextile Pluto so thankfully, the end probably came quickly, or at least a lot quicker than expected. She died in her adopted hometown of Detroit Michigan with kith and kin. We know you join us in thanking her for all the great music she bestowed.
download her chart here: aretha franklin natal chart