If you think of disco music, there were few more iconic artists than Donna Summer. Hits like “I Feel Love”, “Hot Stuff” “McArthur Park” and “Love To Love You Baby” blared out every Friday & Saturday nights in neon lit discos around the world. She won 5 Grammy awards but a conscious attempt to change her style to a more new wave and rock based style in the 80’s failed, and she drifted out of the mainstream pop charts. Nevertheless, Donna’s impact had been made and she will forever be synonymous with the sounds of disco, the original dance music pioneered by Donna and her producer Giorgio Moroder at Casablanca Records in the 70’s.
Donna was a double Sun sign Capricorn, born on 31st December 1948 in Boston in the United States at 21.00. It is really interesting that you find a lot of musicians with a lot of Taurus or Capricorn in their charts. Both signs are associated with structure, and Taurus is associated with the throat and voice and the physical act of singing. Capricorn through Saturn rules time – without time and structure we do not have music. Maybe this is one of the reasons why Capricorns make such a big impact in the musical world?
Donna Summer’s chart just shouts music and entertainment at you and has so many indications that this was what she was destined to do. We have a totally packed 5th house of artistry, entertainment and creative spirit. Over half the planets on the chart are found here including the Sun and fortunate Jupiter. These two made a trine to an exact Saturn/Ascendant conjunction. Here we have ambition and the self combined as one, aimed at the creative 5th house Sun and international links and fame through Jupiter. That Saturn/Ascendant conjunction in turn was square to her Midheaven, showing real ambition to be successful in her chosen career as well as having an attention to detail through the Virgo Midheaven to get her image just right. Despite her fame and fortune, there would have been a serious, quiet, reserved and very private side to Donna, completely opposite to her showy side on stage. She was a conservative person away from the bright lights, devout for her beliefs (Saturn trine Jupiter) and needing her own space, peace and quiet.
The other three planets in the 5th, Mars, Mercury and the Moon brought emotion, a clear and decisive voice and tons of ambitious Capricorn energy by trine to Donna’s Gemini Midheaven. Her mission in life was to sing, to communicate and perform with feeling in a sassy, sexy manner and in a wholehearted way. We have Venus in Sagittarius in a party like mood making a quindecile to the Midheaven, this was a lady who wanted to enjoy her life and have a good time and it showed. Venus also made a quindecile to Uranus which sits alone in her 10th house; Donna was a solo singer showed by the independence of Uranus. The more outgoing side of her character would have been seen especially in regard to relationships. Venus and Uranus is electrically attractive, and I am sure that this would have taken it’s toll on her. Love affairs at the drop of a hat are common with people who have very stressed aspects between Venus & Uranus, and it is known that Donna went into depression and threatened suicide on several occasions simply because of her “complicated” personal life. Venus and Uranus and this electric theme thoroughly describes the high tension and energetic feel of the disco where Donna ruled.
There is a mini grand trine which connects the outgoing Venus to Pluto in the 12th house and Neptune in the 2nd. Inspirational Neptune in the 2nd house is so often found in people with musical careers and with those who end up appearing on TV and on film. The 2nd house is Taurus’ house, what did I say about Taurus and Capricorn and their connotations with rhythms and songs? Pluto in this mini grand trine added to her fame and power, and Venus showed the style she had. Neptune also squared to the Sun/Jupiter bringing a soft gentle hue to her character as well as strong faith - her father (Sun) was a devout Christian, and quite appropriately her singing career began as a child when she stood up in a church in Boston, and reduced her father to tears with the beauty of her voice. This square also brought with it the temptation to take drugs to excess, and she did become addicted to prescription drugs, brought on by the stress of her fame and fortune. Neptune made one more aspect a square to Mercury, a highly imaginative, creative & dreamy link perfect for singers, poets, writers and performers.
Looking at her fixed stars, she had so many creative connections, I’ll pick a couple. The star Scheat in the constellation of Perseus (The winged horse) was in paran with her Mercury which Brady says made her “far sighted, an innovator and gifted with words and rhythm”. She also has the star Castor, one of the twins in Gemini in paran with both her Sun and Jupiter which made her a “person with the soul of a romantic poet”. Both these influences would have been working for her in her early years, just when she hit the heights in popular music.
I think that the fact that she dominated for a short era in the music world, and could not translate her style as the times changed was shown with the fixed star Sirius the main star in Canis Major (the dog star) in paran with her Sun as it was setting on the day of her birth. Sirius is known as the scorcher, and it brings great success to you, but this success will not last forever; it will “burn” for only for a brief time in your life. The connection being at the nadir of her chart it shows that Donna’s star did shine so brightly, and being at the nadir, she will forever be remembered for the impression on the music world she made.
She passed away after suffering a battle with breast and lung cancer. Just look at the stress on her chart from Pluto and Uranus. Uranus rules her 6th house of health and was square to her Sun and Jupiter conjunction. Transiting Pluto was also bang on her natal Sun trine to her Saturn and ascendant. Neptune in that 6th house was opposing the same Saturn/Ascendant conjunction and it was also being buffeted by a square from the Nodal axis. As ever Jupiter at a time of death, Jupiter was making a significant aspect, trine to her chart ruler, Mercury. Being under so much planetary pressure, I believe that the role of Jupiter is to come along to relieve the stress and take the soul on a journey to it’s next destination. She leaves behind her husband Bruce Sudano and three daughters, Brooklyn, Amanda and Mimi.