Updated: Oct 9
In honor of Pisces season and Black History Month, we are taking a look at the birth chart of legendary novelist, the late Toni Morrison. Born on February 18, 1931—exactly three years before Audre Lorde, fun fact—Morrison actually has her sun at twenty-nine degrees of Aquarius. If you believe in cusps (which we don’t, but to each her own), you could say Morrison was an Aquarius-Pisces cusp. But this isn’t the reason we’re choosing her chart to study. Morrison has the moon at 11 degrees of Pisces, sitting in an exact conjunction with black moon Lilith. This beautiful aspect is deeply artistic, spiritual, and emotionally intelligent. The moon’s prominence in Morrison’s chart makes her astrology interesting to explore through a Pisces lens.
The best word for the moon in Pisces is porous. Ruled by Jupiter, Neptune and Venus by exaltation, Pisces is concerned more with compassion than concrete details. Jupiter wants to expand while Venus wants to create relationships, and together as rulers of this sign, they gift Pisces with the empathy necessary to form relationships easily with people from all sorts of different backgrounds.
Pisceans have a penchant for befriending the most vulnerable among us, seeking to benefit those who most need the healing balm of compassionate care. Because the moon speaks to one’s emotional life and instinctual nature, the moon in Pisces tends to absorb—physically, energetically, emotionally—the experiences of those it is in relationship with. Folks with this placement know when someone in the room is suffering, because they feel the suffering themselves. The ability to hold and feel so many emotional experiences grants Pisces, over time, great emotional wisdom. Morrison’s tremendous capacity to feel certainly gifted her with a depth and intelligence that allowed her to create nuanced, original characters whose deep inner lives give complexity to the topics Morrison addresses in her writing, such as femininity, race, beauty, and slavery.
The moon’s conjunction with black moon Lilith makes Morrison’s emotional life particularly creative and fertile. Lilith is said to represent the power of femme erotic energy—creative and sexual—as well as feminine experiences that defy the norms and power dynamics that society expects of women. Morrison’s portrayal of femme characters is unique in its complexity, in its willingness to hold with equal compassion both beauty and cruelty in her descriptions of female characters. The protagonist of Beloved, Morrison’s 1987 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, stands out in particular. In the book (spoiler alert) the main character is a mother, born into slavery, kills her baby to prevent her from being subjected to the same brutal fate. Morrison is able to paint the mother’s remorse, her ferocity, her compassion, and the pure violence of this action with intricate detail and emotional density. Morrison takes the archetype of the mother and complicates it, weaving it in with with the horrifying, dark reality of her character’s choice to kill her baby as an act of love. The union of Morrison’s moon with black moon Lilith speaks to her skill at portraying such a complex character.
Morrison passed August of 2019, leaving an extraordinary legacy not just in North American literature but in literature worldwide. Her books cast black women characters with a depth and integrity that few authors can do. If you liked this article, consider buying one of Morrison’s books, honoring black history month by supporting the celebration of black art.