Written in the Stars: When music and astrology align
When I learn the birth charts of people I already know well, I’m never surprised. I easily, and possibly problematically, lump them into categories. My party animal friends have Sagittarius risings, and my ambitious and driven friends have Aries Moons. When I click with someone instantly they almost always have a Taurus placement, as it’s my Scorpio Sun’s complementary sign and a match to my Taurus Moon.
Thus, finding out the astrology placements of my favorite music artists is no different. Music is the ultimate gateway into a parasocial relationship. I’ve never had a conversation with Taylor Swift, but through her discography alone, I know (probably too much) about her deepest insecurities, familial relationships and romantic woes. With 10 albums (12 including her re-records), Swifties have a pretty good grasp on many aspects of her life.
So when I did a deep dive into Swift’s chart and the charts of my other top Spotify artists of 2022, I wasn’t at all surprised by what I found.
While I could write a whole column on its own about Swift’s astrology, “Run” off of 2021’s “Red (Taylor’s Version)” perfectly encapsulates her Sagittarius Sun. Sagittarians are known for their spontaneity and desire to travel as a means of escaping their current situation: “And run, / like you’d run from the law / Darling, let’s run / Run from it all / We can go like they’re trying to chase us / Go where no one else is / run,” Swift and featured artist Ed Sheeran sing.
Swift’s Scorpio rising allowed her to pull off the edgy, rebellious energy of her Reputation era flawlessly. It’s kind of metaphorical, being that your rising sign is often people’s first impression of you. Characterized by the intimidating, mysterious scorpion, of course people would assume she was in the wrong during the whole Kimye fiasco.
The placement that made the most sense to me after reading her chart was her Capricorn Mercury. As Earth signs, Capricorns are methodical, grounded and hardworking. This placement comes through in what she dubs her “fountain pen” lyrics. Bridges that feel more like prose in her 2020 release “evermore” come to mind, such as in the album’s title track: “And I was catching my breath / Barefoot in the wildest winter / Catching my death / And I couldn’t be sure / I had a feeling so peculiar / That this pain would be for / Evermore.”
It’s extremely typical of an Earth sign to write an entire album about their hometown. Kahan’s junior album “Stick Season,” released Oct. 2022, pays homage to his birthplace of Strafford, Vermont. Having heavy Earth placements in his Capricorn Sun, Capricorn Mercury and Virgo Mars, he captures the element’s groundedness and stability by exploring his resentment for having these emotions. In his song “Homesick,” he turns the popular term on its head by explaining that he is sick of home instead of sick for home. In “Growing Sideways,” he explains that he’s giving into his depression and is simply going through the motions of his day-to-day life, something he resents his parents for passing onto him. “But I ignore things, and I move sideways / till I forget what I felt in the first place / at the end of the day I know there are worse ways to stay alive,” he sings.
One of the weird things about learning the astrology of artists after you know their music is that you can make sense of the more emotion-based placements before others. When meeting people in person, their rising sign can be immediately apparent, while their Moon sign may take more time to figure out. With Kahan, his Earth placements were incredibly clear to me, but I would have never known he has an Aries rising from the contents of his music. Having seen him live, however, Kahan’s rising comes through with his unexpected fiery persona.
With all of her Gemini placements, it makes sense that Peters is the queen of unhinged. In her “Psycho” music video, she assembles an army of her cheating boyfriend’s exes and current girlfriends to dress exactly like her and get back at him. Total Gemini behavior.
After dying her hair from brown to platinum blonde, she released a song about it, fittingly titled “Blonde.” “Kinda like your worst nightmare but double / Is that an angel? No, it’s your ex / Remember how you screwed up when I was a brunette? / I don’t think you knew just what you’d done / Woah, I’ll fuck your life up as a blonde,” Peters sings. Both the lyrics and music are confidently chaotic, the trademark of any Gemini.
Her Pisces Moon, however, shows her creative and sentimental side. In one of her first singles, “Best I’ll Ever Sing,” she compares her past relationship to her songwriting portfolio: “Maybe we brought out the worst in each other / A million full stops on our skin / But baby the songs that I wrote as your other / Are the best I’ll ever sing.” Although most of her recent songs have been more like “Blonde,” she isn’t afraid to show her Pisces Moon every now and then.
McAlpine’s ability to describe her daydreams in such detail that it convinces the listener of its reality is such a Libra Mercury quality. Particularly in the song “ceilings” off of her sophomore album “five seconds flat,” she describes a beautiful and simple romance with lines like, “Lovely to be sitting here with you” and “it feels like the start of a movie I’ve seen before.” Then, at the climax of the track, she hits the listener with, “but it’s not real / and you don’t exist / and I can’t recall the last time I was kissed.” Libra Mercuries, in particular, are very good at recognizing and communicating all sides of a situation, something McAlpine does effortlessly in many of her songs.
“Means Something” off of her debut album “Give Me a Minute” combines McAlpine’s daydreaming tendencies with her observant Aquarius Moon. Throughout the song, she mentions various “signs” she sees that she takes to mean her and the person she’s singing about should be together. Something as simple as seeing their name on a street sign or (fittingly) their zodiac sign being a Leo means they are destined to be together.
Jenna Peterson is junior writing about anything and everything astrology related. She is also the managing editor of the Daily Trojan.