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Fiona Apple broke her way into the music business at the age of seventeen, when her self-made demo tape found its way into the hands of a record company exec at a cocktail party. She made her stage debut at a music business function in Paris. Her first album, Tidal, was released on July 23, 1996, and launched her to stardom.

Despite her lack of experience, the maturity in her voice and compositions echoed the wisdom of age. Most of the songs on Tidal were tough-spoken poetic confessionals, delivered with clever insights and harsh conclusions. Her music recalled the sophisticated pop styling of Carole King, her lyrics the brave honesty of Maya Angelou.

Pale September, I wore the time like a dress that year
The autumn days swung soft around me, like cotton on my skin
But as the embers of the summer lost their breath and disappeared
My heart went cold and only hollow rhythms resounded from within
But then he rose, brilliant as the moon in full
And sank in the burrows of my keep
“Pale September”

Astrology Horoscope: Fiona AppleApple’s Sun, Mercury and most likely her Moon are in the sign of Virgo, though the Moon would be in Libra if she was born between 10:00 pm and midnight. Virgo is associated with humble qualities like hard work and service.

Ruled by Mercury, Virgo characterizes various mental abilities and behavior, including analytical and critical thinking, curiosity and nervousness. A creative and intellectual prodigy, Apple’s precocious interests are common to the Mercury-ruled signs (the other being Gemini) during youth.

The Devil Wants to Know

Apple was born as Mercury was slowing down to an apparent stop, called a “station.” Mercury is stronger when it travels this slowly. It has more impact in its relationship with the other planets, for better or worse. This is especially true for her since Mercury rules her Sun and most likely her Moon.

I’ve acquired quite a taste
For a well-made mistake
“A Mistake”

The planet’s classical astrological function is to destabilize or suspend matters, or to contest and challenge.* Mercury can represent questions, answers, suggestions, discussions, arguments or exchanges.

Its arbitrary and somewhat duplicitous nature can be as ambiguous as language itself. This reflects Mercury’s association with thought and communication, areas of life that are driven by curiosity, rewarded by knowledge and often caught in confusion.

Just Because She Can

Apple’s lyrics have occasionally included warnings of her chronic one-upmanship, describing a distinctly powerful natal Mercury. 

A girl will break a boy
Just because she can
“Criminal”

Mercury’s strength in her chart magnifies certain qualities associated with Virgo. For instance, Virgo is known for its conscientious character, always concerned with doing a good job. Apple has publicly apologized twice to her fans for her “unprofessional behavior.”

The first time was for cutting short a European tour after personal pressures mounted too high. The second was on February 29, 2000, when she walked offstage during a show in New York City, frustrated with technical sound problems.

Thanks, But No Thanks

Always purposeful, Virgo doesn’t approve of anything purely gratuitous. In 1997, Apple blasted the MTV Awards during her acceptance speech (“this is bulls***”) for the Best New Artist award.

Bold counter-stances like this exemplify the notorious “critical” Virgo trait, and its familiar contempt for crude public displays of self-congratulation. Virgo prefers to award its own capacity to rise above that sort of thing.

Apple’s outspokenness has received some negative backlash, as she has been forced to contend with manipulative elements in the media (Mercury again). Interviewers have portrayed her as a neurotic, self-pitying harpy. Record company sanctioned videos have cast her as a cynical, Lolita-type degenerate (“Criminal”). Now all the wiser, Apple has applied more caution and control in terms of how she presents herself to the public.

Tidal

"My album is called Tidal partly because all this has hit me like a tidal wave but also because 'tidal' refers to ebbing and flowing, and that's really what life is, a constant ebb and flow."

Though we can’t be certain of Apple’s Moon sign, lunar themes are very present in her work.  Her sensitivity to natural rhythm (the Moon) is supported by the planets Mars and Jupiter being in the sign of Cancer, the Moon-ruled domain.

It's calm under the waves
In the blue of my oblivion
“Sullen Girl”

Two or more planets occupying a sign (conjunction) are said to have their “energies” blended, and their influences qualified by the interests of their sign’s ruling planet. In her case, the dissociating, “male” force of Mars is merged with the enduring, spiritual joy found in Jupiter. Together they operate in service of nurturing and protection conditions set by the Moon through its rulership of Cancer.

A Good Defense

This combination of Mars and Jupiter is in a harmonious connection with Mercury, in what is called a sextile aspect, reinforcing their critical function in her chart. They maximize Mercury’s “challenge and defend” exchange found everywhere in her work.

Mars-Jupiter describes “fighting conviction,” such as Apple’s refusal to be beaten by adversity, her readiness to show strength and defend herself. This has proven to be a common theme not only in her songs, but also in her career so far.

Grammy For When the Pawn…?

Mars-Jupiter can also account for having 90-word long, self-asserting album titles, such as Apple’s latest, commonly known as When the Pawn… Released on November 9, 1999, it has been nominated for two Grammy Awards this year, in the Best Alternative Album and Best Female Rock Vocal Performance categories, and Mercury could be poised to usher her to success. If so, we can expect another interesting acceptance speech, or at least one that refers to past exploits.

The inter-relationships of Apple’s dominant planets favor consistent creativity as she grows over the years. With the knowledge of Mercury and the confidence and direction of Mars-Jupiter, she will maneuver her way through her life and music like a master. The Virgo master she has always been.

Notes

*Classical definition of Mercury quoted from Robert Schmidt, Whether and Whence, Cassette Two, an introduction to his translations of Hellenistic Astrological texts for Project Hindsight.

 

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For more information about Nick Dagan Best, click here.

Other StarIQ articles by Nick Dagan Best:

  • Seth Green Makes It Look Easy   5/14/2001
  • Ray Liotta: An Open Mind For Something Wild   4/24/2001
  • Ridley Scott Unleashes Hell   3/19/2001
  • Joaquin Phoenix: Good People Doing Bad Things   3/16/2001
  • Beck's Musical Lunaverse   2/18/2001
  • Julianne Moore Breaks the Silence   2/9/2001
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman: Fearless Actor   1/25/2001
  • Christina Ricci: Is Madness Too Glamorous?   12/28/2000
  • Frida Kahlo and Salma Hayek: Peas in a Pod or Saturn in Pisces?   11/30/2000

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