While Virgo is often considered to be the one sign that’s driven by an almost insane desire for perfection and purity, a fair number of artists that fall under the spell of it’s arc, from August 23rd to September 22nd, can rarely be called puritanical by any stretch. A quick check list sees Charlie Parker, the archetypal be bop mainliner, shooting junk while deconstructing the song book of his day to blistering triple times. Then there’s Gene Simmons. While Simmons has eschewed alcohol and drugs, the former Chaim Witz, has feasted on the flesh and venerates mammon. Can’t leave out Amy Winehouse, whose appetite for self-destruction is only matched by her detail perfect, post-modern-chanteuse, smokey jazz diva act. The inherent paradox and irony in these Virgoan musicians is plainly and painfully obvious as they are driven, almost obsessively by some form of perfection and and quest for purity. . . well almost. Simmons might seem like a lecherous, old rock god still on the prowl for your little sister, but he is as exacting and systematic in his approach for financial dominance and leverage in all of his deals as any good Virgo obsessed with control would be.
Then there’s Michael–poor Michael.
Driven by some horror from his dark and wounded past, Michale Jackson sought perfection in form, reshaping the face he couldn’t bear to look at in the mirror, a face doctors disfigured to the point of deformity. But while all of these Virgo musicians have a fatal flaw that seeps into the crevices of their psyche, we are not here to judge, nor mourn their humanity–no, we are here to specifically look at one Virgo that seems to have made peace with the infernal, internal and eternal critic that drives Virgos to the edge of obsession and even mania–we’re talking about Richard Melville Hall aka “Moby,” born September 11th, 1965.
On the surface, Moby makes his case for being an archetypal Virgo almost solely on the basis of his devout, radically Christian belief system, vegetarianism and tea totaling. These are all quite honorable Virgoan activities and yet as we dig beneath the surface we begin to see some of the same contradictions inherent in the other Virgo artists that were previously mentioned. While on tour with Lollapalooza and later, Enit, Moby would go one better than Flea, Antony and The Chili Peppers by stripping down to the bone (Mars in Scorpio), with only his guitar, occasionally dangling in front of him, while he and his band would flail away on a grunge version of “Sweet Home Alabama.”
While Play made him a star, it’s the follow up18 that we’ll look at as we rip through the salient points of his chart.
On the cover, we see Moby on Earth in his space suit, helmet off. Here is a Virgo coming to grips with his humanity, his inherent paradoxes, germs and tainted atmosphere. In the liner notes of 18 he alludes to his rigid past of idealism, how it shaped his music and that he is attempting to open up. How does Moby get there, into the open spaces of self-acceptance and faith? The answer might be found in the one, bonafide, hit off of 18 ; “We Are All Made Of Stars.”
Wiith it’s shuffle beat, it’s an undulating, electro. affirmation that sounds a tad “Fripped out” echoing Bowie’s “Heroes,” but here we see Moby extend beyond himself into the collective, the veritable family of man.
Venus is the planet of relating and Jupiter is the planet of expansion, possibility and hope. Moby has these two celestial forces working in harmony, trining Libra (Venus) and Gemini (Jupiter). Here we see expansion of possibility and Moby’s take on the destiny of the collective, comprised by the make-up of elemental forces that binds the universe together as “We are all made of stars.” While it could be said that Moby’s financial success derived form the massive sales and licensing income of Play afforded him the emotional and spiritual luxury to make such grand proclamations, at least according to Maslow, Moby would have always attempted some fusion of “hope” and “affirmation” regardless of the state of his financial state of affairs. Venus trine Jupiter raises relationship and relating in general up to the congregational heights of redemption. In fact the gospel stylings of “In My Heart” also reflect the soulful grace he celebrated on Play but without the drama of hopelessness and despair, voiced by the bluesy sample of Play. With Venus trining his Jupiter, Moby is almost always reaching for the higher chord of relating.
Fame was almost unavoidable for him. Cast into a mythic moment that would set the stage for the rest of his career, he sang for Flipper, a band he idolized while growing up in Darien, Connecticut. The late, Will Shatter, was tucked away, behind bars and young Moby stepped up and sang every song Flipper threw down. It was a prescient and emblematic moment in his life. With Pluto and Uranus, two heavyweights of the zodiac conjuncting his natal Sun in Virgo, Moby was destined for greatness. Pluto adds the drive for power, the endurance to overcome obstacles and a desire to excel, especially in perfection driven Virgo. Uranus, also conjunct his natal Mercury adds a touch of genius and originality, not too mention the ability to innovate and have easy access to technology. This is not a common aspect in a chart, by any means.
There are however a number of contradictions in his chart. His Virgo Sun (differentiation) opposes his Pisces Moon (merging) being chief among them, but Moby manages to put it all together on 18 which comes across as a much more relaxed and self-assured version of Play. Interestingly enough, with the exclusion of Moby’s own and the final track, the voices on 18 are almost exclusively female (including those of Angie Stone and Sinead O’Connor). It represents a state of balance between male and female, perhaps a momentary reconciliation between the obsessive and the manic, a brief interlude of cosmic harmony, that ends with the final track, “I’m Not Worried At All” transcending one of Virgo’s most onerous, yet endearing traits; the fear that chaos will strip it all away.
This piece will appear on emusic.