Updated: Oct 9, 2020
One of the most inspiring feminists of our time, Audre Lorde has a birth chart that speaks to her commitment to truth, justice, and the liberation of the erotic. Born on February 18, 1934, Lorde just sneaks into the end of Aquarius season. With Libra on the ascendant, she has the sun conjunct Saturn, Venus and the true node in the fifth house. Here, Venus is in the house of her joy—the fifth house rules sex, creativity, children, and the erotic, all things that Venus, the planet of love and beauty, absolutely adores. Venus is Lorde’s ascendant ruler, and, as such, steers the direction of her life. In distant, analytical Aquarius, Venus is more preoccupied with understanding love than living it.
While Lorde did have deep, productive, and cherished relationships—romantic and otherwise—she is best known for her critical essays that took sex and love as their topic. The most notable among these is “Uses of the Erotic,” in which she writes of the importance of women reclaiming the erotic for themselves. With such a strong fifth house, Lorde deeply understood the power of using our creative and sexual energy as tools for liberation not just for ourselves, but for our world.
The other ruler of Lorde’s ascendant is Saturn, the exaltation ruler of Libra. In Aquarius, its own sign, Saturn is dignified, and grants Lorde the ability to dedicate herself completely to her work, as well as the clarity of thought to critique the systems we live under with the clarity and precision that she did. Saturn sits next to Lorde’s sun, which is a difficult position, particularly because the sun is in its detriment in Aquarius. This can speak to self-denial, or more accurately in Lorde’s case the dedication of one’s individual life to fostering collective wellbeing. Aquarius is all about community. What’s more, Saturn is all about the hustle and, placed in the fifth house, generally gives people the dedication and drive to see creative projects through even if they don’t get immediate results. Saturn often helps folks to do groundbreaking work, as many individuals with strong Saturn placements are willing to put in the necessary time and resources to carve out a space for themselves in the world—even if such a space has never existed before. Through her commitment to her creative work, particularly writing, Lorde was able to show up in the world as a Black, queer, feminist leader, giving voice to a population that hadn’t historically been represented on such a large, public scale.
When we look to Lorde’s midheaven, we see how intersectional feminism is at the heart not only of her soul’s purpose, but of her life’s work. At thirteen degrees of Cancer, Lorde’s midheaven—the point that represents the zenith of our professional or public accomplishments—is exactly conjunct Lilith. Lilith, known as the dark moon, represents the sides of femininity that under patriarchy women are discouraged from expressing. Lilith can speak to our sexuality, our power, our rage, and our resistance. With Lilith on the Midheaven, Lorde’s work celebrates in public many of the hidden, oppressed aspects of femininity. This placement becomes obvious when we consider the courage with which she writes openly about her queerness, for instance, our even about her journey with breast cancer.
For Audre Lorde, nothing is taboo, and all is sacred. Her courageous writing shared so much of herself with the world, and was a beautiful offering towards the liberation of all people.