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Gwen Stefani: No Doubt About It
Gwen Stefani, lead singer of the band No Doubt, has recently released an album of solo material as a side project from the group. The album is doing really well, with the first single released off it, What You Waiting For? [sic], establishing the energy and tone of her solo material. The single has been fantastically received by the public and Gwen's reputation as an exciting and unique talent has shot up tremendously as a result. The album has also met with critical acclaim.
Discovering the power of writing
Gwen's brother, Eric, is credited with the formation of No Doubt in late 1986/early 1987. The band's seminal performances took place on New Year's Eve 1986 and a few months later on 14th March 1987. Around this time, Gwen discovered that she could write songs, triggering a major transformation in her life. In Gwen's words
"I remember being this 17 year-old girl, in love and really excited about my future with the boy that I thought was going to be my husband and we'd have babies and that was my passion. Then I learned that I could write songs and that is when my life changed. I went from being this really passive girl to 'Oh my God. This makes me feel so powerful when I write these words.' It was such a turning point to find that I had a talent and I had something to contribute, somewhere."
Gwen was born with the Sun in Libra in square aspect to Mars. This shows that during her life she must get to grips with her capacity to assert herself, and develop a sense of potency. She also has her Mercury on the Sun/Pluto midpoint, which shows that she can use her Mercury (communication) to tap into a deep and visceral level of creative self-expression, and hidden strength. So what were her transits around this time when she discovered that songwriting gave her this feeling of being powerful?
Throughout the three years '86, '87 and '88 Neptune was conjoining Gwen's Mars and squaring her Sun. This shows that her potency was discovered through the arts (Neptune). In early '87 Jupiter made a square aspect to her Mars and opposed her Sun, then shortly after it opposed her Jupiter too. Sun, Mars, and Jupiter are the three 'yang' planets that represent a person's feeling of competence, and their ability and desire to extend outwards from themselves, pushing forwards, gaining recognition, and expressing creativity.
In 1986 transitting Uranus was quintile Gwen's Sun, indicating an awakening of her creative self, and then in early '87 it went on to form a quintile aspect to her Jupiter, again showing a lighting of the creative spark. Uranus was also in novile to Gwen's Mercury thorughout '86 and '87, with Mercury ruling the voice and writing.
In terms of major career changes, all of the above play their part. However another piece of the jigsaw puzzle that really makes sense of this time is transitting Pluto opposing Gwen's Saturn and sextiling her natal Mars. These transits correlate with radical changes in long-term direction, and support the discover of a sense of power. With Pluto also semisextiling her Sun during these two years of her life, the full picture of the discover y of Gwen's talent and potential becomes clear.
Astrology of L.A.M.B.
Gwen's side project album is called 'Love. Angel. Music. Baby.' which she abbreviates to L.A.M.B. Gwen has also designed a line of clothes with this name. Creative projects and branding like this show up in the chart of the person at the centre of the projects, just as signature roles for actors and actresses display a close match to the actor/actress's chart. In Gwen's chart:
Love = Libra cluster of planets, includes the Sun (heart), plus Venus in quintile to Neptune, all traditionally associated with love
Angel = Sun is on the Jupiter/Uranus midpoing, and all 3 are conjunct
Music = Libra cluster of planets, plus Venus quintile Neptune, all traditionally associated with the arts
Baby = Moon in Cancer (traditionally associated with mother-child relationships)
Doubts & inspiration of the 'super-hot female'
In the song What You Waiting For? [sic] Gwen writes about her doubts and delays in throwing herself into making the album:
"Look at your watch now, you're still a super-hot female, you've got your million dollar contract, and they're all waiting for your hot track, what you waiting for?"
Before she started making the album Gwen had got married and was looking at a year off from No Doubt. She wanted to have a baby at some point, and was also due to play a small part as Jean Harlow in Martin Scorsese's film, The Aviator. The clock was ticking as she debated and procrastinated about what to do with the time available. During this time she received a phone call from Linda Perry, former singer-songwriter with 4 Non Blondes. Gwen's official website tells the story:
"Gwen dug Linda but despite Perry's insistence to the contrary, just didn't envision her as the woman who could bring Gwen a dance record. Perry let Gwen know that she was ready to begin work and had a brief window of time available. Yet Gwen wasn't feeling inspired and was still unsure of what Perry could offer. Despite her misgivings she pushed herself to meet with Perry. The two women clicked and immediately began to write, coming up with several tracks, among them the album's first single, "What You Waiting For?" High energy and all attitude, "What You Waiting For?" is an insistent, spiky new wave/dance track that was inspired by Gwen's self doubt and hesitancy to begin the recording process. "When Linda said to me, 'What are you waiting for?' I was like 'Oh no. You did not just say that!' The next thing I know I'm writing my first single. Completing that song really triggered something in me. I had found my inspiration."
Suppose Gwen and Linda had consulted an astrologer about whether they could produce energetic dance music with 'attitude'. Could the astrologer have helped? The answer is - undoubtedly (groan!) - yes.
This style of music is primarily Martian in an astrological sense. In their charts, Gwen's Mars is in trine to Linda's Mars, showing that they are fundamentally in tune with one another at this level. So although Gwen was doubting Linda's suitability in co-writing dance tracks, astrologically we can see straight away that there is a strong possibility of the collaboration being fruitful in this regard.
There is also a Mars trine Saturn aspect between them, which is renowned for good working relationships. Together, Mars and Saturn are high achievers, energetic yet focused, aiming for the top and putting the necessary effort in to get there.
Finally, Linda's triple conjunction of Mars, Uranus, and Pluto lies with Gwen's Venus. Venus is associated with art and music, and it is also the significator of a person's style. Mars is the planet of energy, as we've mentioned above, Uranus is a process of enlivening and electrifying that energy, and Pluto is one of intensifying and strengthening that energy. Combined, they show a high potential for delivering a knock-out collaborative effort that pushes the boundaries of what Gwen thought was do-able, and that tremendously increases the ampage.
In other words, the astrologer could have quickly and confidently said that together the likelihood of delivering the dance track goods is very high indeed.
And that's exactly how the collaboration turned out.
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