Saturday night I had cocktails and dinner with two of my favorite characters: my nephew and his girlfriend. At one point, the topic turned to the iconic Patti Smith and later on I was wondering what her chart might look like. She was born, of all places, in Chicago, which surprised me as I so associate her with New York City. The chart is below. Let’s walk through it a little bit.

Patti Smith

Before I start, I have to say that one of the things I’ve always found interesting about Smith is the odd blend of sensitivity with a very down-to earth sensibility. Reading her book, she is entirely, almost brutally forthright about her strengths and weaknesses.

Not surprisingly, the chart is loaded with interesting placements. In the brackets on the left side, we see the Sun and Mars conjunct in Capricorn. That’s about as down-to-earth as you can get: there’s a practicality with Capricorn, as well as a high potential for self-discipline and ambition. With Mars in Capricorn – which Smith shares with Lady Gaga along with the Sagittarius ascendant – the energy will be bold, forceful, self-reliant and so on. It’s sometimes said about Capricorn that work is the most important thing in their lives and one might say that Patti Smith has worked very hard at being Patti Smith.

But what about the sensitivity? The Moon in Pisces (bottom of the chart in brackets) is highly sensitive, perceptive and intuitive. That Moon makes a very strong aspect to both Venus & Jupiter (both circled in the upper left of the chart) in Scorpio, which lends a passionate, aggressive quality to her emotional nature. And then of course, the Moon is also in touch with Mercury – communication, thinking – in prophetic Sagittarius on the Ascendant. With this placement, we might say: “Smith sees and reaches for things that others don’t know are there”.

Certainly there’s more, but much of it is nuance and largely repeats the main themes: the balance of the practical and the poetic. Or as Smith herself has said: “In art and dream may you proceed with abandon. In life may you proceed with balance and stealth.”