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Man of Surprises

Many folks in the country music business are wondering lately what’s gotten into Garth Brooks, proclaimed by fans around the world during the 1990s as the “king of country music.” With his trademark cowboy hat replaced by a jet black wig and a little mascara, he’s looking more like a moody ex-member of The Velvet Underground. Actually, the surprise look is part of a persona he’s temporarily adopted (at least on his latest CD and on posters) to promote his new concept album, Garth Brooks…In The Life of Chris Gaines, an unexpected departure from his usual crowd-pleasing style of music—a style and talent that has enabled him to sell more record albums than any other solo artist in music history.

With such a new look and a new sound, you can bet that something major is happening to him, astrologically — something that is motivating him to be daringly experimental. It’s a moment of truth for Garth, revolving around his right as an artist to express himself without creative constraints. But it’s more than just artistic freedom at stake that drives him: he was born with a six-pack in Aquarius—eh, six planets, that is—on February 7, 1962. And that alone is something mighty special.

This sextet falls in his Ninth House, the sector of the chart dealing with global interests and expansive outlooks on life. Very few people enter this world with a lot of planets packed into one sign and house. For Garth, this jam-session means he adventurously looks at the world in a wide-angled manner. The bigger picture of life and where it’s going inspires his robust participation.

Such a concentrated influence of planets marks him as a super-Aquarian! Aquarius  is an air sign that periodically veers off the conventional path in favor of trying out something unexpected, unusual and progressive. Aquarian types are full of surprises, and even contradictions. Garth has been influenced by country artists such as George Jones and George Strait, and even James Taylor and Don McLean—but he also grew up loving the theatrical, wilder-looking groups KISS and Queen. Obviously, Aquarians are fascinated with diversity.

Exploring New Territory - Uranus Transits

Musical performers born under this sign have an innate talent for relating to people from all walks of life. Such Aquarians believe that music is “for the people” first and foremost—it’s not just a slick enterprise for corporate profits. Aquarians may clash with the rules of their industry at some point, as they defiantly wave their flag of freedom and individuality. Their ability to communicate to the masses on broad levels could make them successful as cross-over artists. They are less loyal to any one image they self-create. Reinventing themselves is a creative way for them to grow, even if that unnerves the conformists of society.

One of the main astrological influences for Garth at the moment involves the planet associated with Aquarius—Uranus. This planet symbolizes an inner force that sparks us to break out of old, perhaps stale patterns of living in favor of experimenting with something fresh and vibrantly different. We can feel “zapped” by a totally new energy when transiting Uranus  triggers parts of our chart. We feel freer to “do our thing,” whatever it may be, and to take intuitive risks in life.

In Garth’s case, it’s his Aquarian “six-pack” that is getting a good shake, rattle and roll! The time period for all this unpredictable but exciting activity is between April 1996 through the end of 2002. That’s a long stretch, for sure, but Uranus—spending about seven years in a sign—is a slow-moving planet, slow but revolutionizing!

A Bolder Brooks

During the spring of 1996 to late 1997, transiting Uranus triggered Garth’s Saturn (dealings with authorities, the System) and his Mars (the urge to take independent action). This was likely a time when a more temperamental, even conflicted Garth might have begun to emerge, a time when he could have had “creative differences” with the various powers-that-be in the music industry. Such a headstrong period of dramatic self-assertion may have proved challenging and even confrontational regarding his business dealings. However, this period would also have been a boon for his fans, as Garth probably was ready to explode on stage with more vitality and color than ever. Uranus’ energy can push for dazzling, electrifying, no-holds-barred performances!

However, Uranus can also be a very high-strung, rebellious planet—and thus, feathers may have been ruffled, as Garth probably flirted with the idea of altering his award-winning musical format. His inner stirrings at this time likely led to a musical vision of his future that he wasn’t ready to actualize until his next Uranus transit—to his Mercury (planet of the mind, of decision-making). Meanwhile, in late 1997, Garth performed for free (the Uranus way) in Central Park, NY, an event that drummed up much excitement and rave reviews, plus it attracted the largest crowd to ever attend a concert in that park. Garth was buzzing with this new energy!

By the time transiting Uranus had contacted his Mercury in early 1999, Garth was probably ready to brainstorm something daring and innovative, at least in his mind. He was ready to shake things up a bit more. This Uranus/Mercury phase is typically one of great restlessness, backed by an itch to come up with new ideas that guarantee we won’t get stuck in dull, boring routines. Alternative solutions are sought. Yet few changes remain permanent during this stage, since an internal settledness is not easily established.

For Garth, this Uranus/Mercury period lasts until around now, December 1999. He’s probably feeling wired up and is acting as if turbo-charged, regarding his plans and ideas. This is a period when he can remove mental obstacles (and fears) that may have blocked him from making radical changes in his past. It would make absolutely no sense to Garth right now to fall back on his old formula, musically, and play it safe—plus he wouldn’t be open to such conservative advice, anyway. He is without a doubt in a gutsy, boat-rocking mood! His career moves, however, could prove puzzling and alienating to some. Time will tell if this is a transitional Garth that fans will support.

Aquarius is an air sign, although it’s symbolized as “The Water-bearer” pouring out the contents of an urn, making it seem like a water sign. What pours like water out from this urn may actually be waves of electrical force that spark social enlightenment. The energy of Aquarius is one that ideally seeks to raise the vibration of society, helping it to resonate on more humanely tolerant and progressive levels. It’s an impersonal, futuristic sign that does well with group-energy and with collective advancement.

Air—one of the four elements of astrology—is associated with Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. Air symbolizes a mental, somewhat detached orientation to life. Aquarius is very cerebral, capable of abstract reasoning and scientific evaluation, thanks in part to its clear-headed airy makeup. It also has an inventive side that enables it to promote high-tech solutions for living (here’s air with an extra “oomph” of ingenuity, giving it an additional dynamic power). However, too much air influence in a chart suggests difficulty with establishing emotional and even physical intimacy. It can be friendly, but cool and aloof in matters of the heart—definitely not the sentimental, mushy type!

The Ninth House is a sector in our chart where life presents itself as one big, exotic adventure. There is much about this house that can be foreign to our family upbringing. Here’s were we are to expand our consciousness and explore parts unknown. Sometimes the journey we take is geographical, but often it’s philosophical, religious or metaphysical. It’s in this house that the education of our soul takes greater shape. We learn to become universal citizens, blessed with global awareness and breadth of understanding.

Transits, a popular forecasting technique, are based on the actual positions of the planets in the current sky. These planets form various angles (called "aspects") to our planets at birth, with varying results. Transiting planets bring situational influences to bear on our ongoing inner development. These planets can manifest as people and events in our lives, even if this process is largely unconscious (as it often is with Uranus).

Uranus transits are times when we find different options to express ourselves in the world, in ways that clearly go against old social programming. A gutsy determination enables us to make big changes in attitude, as we learn to release doubts and fears that have previously kept us stuck in ruts or other harmful patterns of self-limitation. Things may seem unstable for a while until we get the swing of our newfound sense of freedom.

Part 2: Uranus in Aquarius Rocks Garth's World
by Bil Tierney



Bil Tierney has been in professional practice for over 28 years. He is the author of Dynamics of Aspect Analysis (CRCS Publications, read in five languages), Twelve Faces of Saturn, Alive and Well With Neptune, Alive and Well with Uranus and Alive and Well with Pluto (Llewellyn Publications). His upcoming book, All Around The Zodiac: Exploring Astrology's Twelve Signs, will be released by Llewellyn in December 2001.

For more information about Bil Tierney, click here.

Other StarIQ articles by Bil Tierney:

  • Two Goats Rockin'   5/3/2014
  • Anne Robinson: What's Her Weakest Link?   5/1/2001
  • Survivor II Showdown   4/22/2001
  • Susan Helms: Woman in Outer Space   4/8/2001
  • Will and Grace: A Sitcom With a Twist   2/26/2001
  • Faith Hill and Tim McGraw: Earth Signs in Love   2/20/2001
  • Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera: Sagittarians on Fire   2/15/2001
  • 'N Sync With Success   2/8/2001
  • Will Dr. Laura Conquer TV?   9/22/2000
  • Tina Turner's Farewell Song   8/26/2000
  • An Aries Wins Top Survivor Prize   8/24/2000
  • Bill Clinton Bares His Soul   8/11/2000
  • The Wizardry of J.K. Rowling   7/26/2000
  • Friends Strike It Rich!   7/14/2000
  • Russell Crowe: Aries on the Rise   6/3/2000
  • Steve Case: On Top of the World   2/16/2000
  • The Power of Celine   12/14/1999
  • Celine's Pluto Transit   12/14/1999
  • Uranus in Aquarius Rocks Garth's World   11/27/1999

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