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An astrological portrait of Billie Jean King

The complete chart interpretation covers four main sections: Personality, Relationship Needs, Relationship Wants and the Marriage Blueprint, and Career. This is a "classic" example of an astrological portrait, first published in October 2013. 

Each section of the interpretation begins with the completed  “Blueprint Sentence” used as the basis for that portion of the interpretation. These fill-in-the-blank blueprint template sentences are one of the exclusive tools available as part of the curriculum of the Online Natal Astrology Class. The value of these templates is that they ensure the correct relationship between the different parts of speech in the language of astrology. Simply by dropping in the appropriate keywords for signs, elements, modalities and houses, you create an astrologically-sound blueprint that you can use to build a more detailed interpretation of that specific astrological signature. 

Billie Jean King

Billie Jean King Natal Chart (Right-click to download PDF)

Birth Data: November 22, 1943, 11:45 a.m., Long Beach, CA • Rodden Rating: AA, Quoted BR/BC

Part 1: Personality

Elements and Modalities

BJK 01 Elements

Billie Jean King has four personal planets in Air signs (Moon in Libra, Venus in Libra, Mars in Gemini and Saturn in Gemini), which indicates that she will be extremely comfortable operating on the mental, social, abstract, and intellectual plane. All of the Air signs are double signs, and inherently concerned with connections and relationships, so this is something worth keeping in mind as we explore the rest of her chart.

Having four planets in a single element usually means a corresponding “lack” of planets in other elements. In King’s case, she has two planets in Fire (Mercury in Sagittarius and Jupiter in Leo), but only one planet in Water (Sun in Scorpio), and no planets in Earth. The “lack” of planets in Earth and Water suggests that King might value the practical, material and grounded qualities of Earth and the emotional and spiritual energy of Water very highly. Not only will she notice and be attracted to these qualities in other people, but she may strive to develop them in herself.

Balance is always the goal in life, and what we see from the elemental distribution in King’s chart is that she needs to balance her natural intellectual and social strengths (four planets in Air) with her desire to become practical (Earth) and emotional (Water). Certainly, cultivating a practical, grounded side would be of great benefit, because it would provide form and structure for her Air-based ideas and perceptions. However, putting too much emphasis on the practical considerations — or on the emotional consequences, for that matter — would suppress her natural intellectual and perceptive gifts.

King has an equal distribution of planets across the Modalities, with two planets each in Cardinal and Fixed signs, and three planets in Mutable signs.

Sun in Scorpio in the 10th House/Sun Almuten 3rd House

Billie Jean King seeks to express her authentic “Big S” Self (Sun) by being assertive, passionate, resourceful and loyal (Scorpio) WITH her writing and communication, her lower (rational) mind, and her personal spirituality (Almuten 3rd House). She encounters these needs particularly IN her career, life path, and public image (Sun in 10th House). [Blueprint Sentence]

King’s Sun in Scorpio is the only one of her planets in a Water sign. This suggests that in order to connect with her authentic “Big S” Self, she will need to look deep beneath the surface, something that may not be entirely comfortable for her. Because Scorpio is a Fixed Water sign, planets in Scorpio tend to move very slowly. “Fixed water” is another way of describing ice — and the pace of planets in Scorpio can often be described as “glacial.” And like an iceberg, there is far more beneath the surface of King’s Sun than we might expect.

King’s Sun is at 29°35 Scorpio. It is getting ready to change signs, moving from the Fixed Water of Scorpio into the Mutable Fire of Sagittarius. King would have experienced this shift by progression before her first Solar Return. Even though her authentic Self resonates with the Scorpio energy, she may have grown up identifying with the Sagittarius energy of her progressed Sun. I don’t know that we can draw any specific correlations here, but it’s worth noting that King didn’t realize that she was a lesbian until she was in her mid-twenties, and already married to a man. Her authentic Self was quite different from the person she thought she was for most of her life.

That King’s Sun doesn’t rule any houses in her chart may also be a factor that made it more difficult for her to connect with her authentic Self. Her Sun is the almuten of her 3rd house, but it still takes a back seat to Mars in Gemini, which not only rules her 3rd house, but also has a total of 8 votes on her Sun’s Board of Directors. It also can’t have been easy for King, with her Sun in the 10th house, because her personal journey of self-discovery played out in her career and on a very public stage. She was officially “outed” in 1981, becoming the first openly gay professional female athlete.

When we consider the Board of Directors for King’s Sun, however, we see even more conflicting information. Even though Scorpio is a Fixed Water sign, every planet on the Sun’s Board of Directors is in Air, and 10 of the votes go to planets in the very fast, very mutable sign of Gemini. King’s Sun may embody the inertia you would expect from a planet in a Fixed sign, but when it does move, it expresses with unexpected speed.

Board of Directors for Sun

BJK 02 Sun

Mars in Gemini in the 5th House (8 Votes)
Mars Rules 3rd, 10th Houses

In order to express her authentic “Big S” Self (Sun’s Board of Directors), she needs to take action and expend energy (Mars) in a manner that is quick, objective, dexterous, and responsive (Gemini), WITH her writing and communication, lower (rational) mind, and her personal spirituality (Mars rules 3rd House) and her career, life path, and public image (Mars rules 10th house). She encounters these needs particularly IN her personal creativity, amusement, and her pursuit of recreation and pleasure (Mars in 5th House). [Blueprint Sentence]

King expresses and experiences her authentic “Big S” Self when she takes action and expends energy. Having Mars, which represents the ego/body and the “little s” self as the ruler of the Sun (the “Big S” Self) might also contribute to King’s need to discover her true Self, and how her authentic Self differs from the person she thinks she is. Because Mars is in Gemini, a Mutable Air sign, the actions that King takes are as mental as they are physical. Mars is never comfortable in Air signs; Mars wants to have a singular course of action, but all of the Air signs are double signs, and Mars in an Air sign is forced to choose between two different, and often opposing courses of action. Gemini is the fastest-moving and most changeable of the Air signs, so Mars in Gemini attempts to reconcile this conflict by moving rapidly between the different choices. In fact, one of the best analogies of how Mars in Gemini expresses is a fast-paced tennis game — although for this to be a completely accurate analogy, you would have to imagine Mars playing both sides of the court.

King’s Mars rules her 10th house, and this, combined with her Sun being in the 10th house, begins to point to a public life. It certainly indicates that she will be known for her energy (Mars) and her skills (Gemini). That Mars in Gemini is in her 5th house certainly suggests a fondness for games and recreation, and Mars in Gemini in particular would be drawn to activities that require physical conditioning as well as speed, dexterity, and strategy.

Saturn in Gemini in the 5th House (2 Votes)
Saturn Rules 1st, 12th, Almuten 9th

In order to express her authentic “Big S” Self (Sun’s Board of Directors), she needs to establish boundaries, limits, structures, and accept responsibility (Saturn) in a manner that is adaptable, rational, and skillful (Gemini), WITH her personality, sense of self, and physical body (Saturn Rules 1st House), her shadow self and personal unconscious (Saturn rules 12th House), and her higher mind, beliefs, and philosophies (Saturn almuten 9th House). She encounters these needs particularly IN her personal creativity, amusement, and her pursuit of recreation and pleasure (Saturn in 5th House). [Blueprint Sentence]

Saturn in Gemini only has 2 votes on the Sun’s Board of Directors; however, it’s worth introducing Saturn here because Saturn plays such an integral role in the rest of King’s chart. Saturn in Gemini seems to embody the idea that one must work diligently to develop and hone skills. And even though planets in Gemini can become notoriously creative with respect to rules and ideas, Saturn in Gemini recognizes that there is a line that cannot be crossed. The 9th house influence could mean that King will defer to the ruling of a higher authority. Because Saturn rules her 1st house, King takes the rules very personally; if she expects other people to follow the rules, she know that she must follow them as well. However, Saturn in Gemini is also the ruler of King’s 12th house, and therefore her personal relationship with the rules, responsibility, and authority may also be how she sabotages herself. It’s interesting, perhaps, to note that when she does sabotage herself, she will experience these disruptions in her 5th house of love affairs and games.

Venus in Libra in the 9th House (1 Vote)
Venus Rules 4th, 9th, Almuten 2nd, 12th

In order to express her authentic “Big S” Self (Sun’s Board of Directors), she needs to feel Validated and align with her Core Values (Venus) in a manner that is balanced, poised, gracious, and harmonious (Libra), WITH her home and family (Venus rules 4th House), her higher mind, beliefs, and philosophies (Venus rules 9th), her money and resources (Venus almuten 2nd), and her personal unconscious and her shadow self (Venus almuten 12th). She encounters these needs particularly IN her beliefs, philosophies, and cross-cultural experiences (Venus in 9th House). [Blueprint Sentence]

Venus only has one vote on the Sun’s Board of Directors, and has negligible influence. However, Venus also aspects the Sun, which makes it worth considering, however, briefly.

Venus in the 9th House (Rules 4th, 9th, Almuten 2nd, 12th) Semi-Square
Sun in 10th (Almuten 3rd House)

There is a minor internal tension of friction (semi-square) BETWEEN her need to be Validated and express her Core Values (Venus), specifically involving her home and family (4th House), her beliefs and philosophies (9th House), her money and resources (almuten 2nd House) and her shadow self (almuten 12th House), COMING FROM her beliefs and higher mind (Venus in 9th house) AND her need to express her authentic “Big S” Self (Sun) WITH her writing and communication (Sun almuten 3rd) IN her career and public life (Sun in 10th House). [Blueprint Sentence]

The blueprint sentence for this aspect is quite complicated, and frankly, makes the aspect seem more important than it actually is. The Sun semi-square Venus is worth considering because it seems to support the theme of an inner tension within King’s personality. Her Core Values (Venus) are somewhat at odds with her authentic Self. This is something that could contribute to the challenges she may have experienced discovering her true Self, and underlie the various costs she endured to be able to live her life in integrity.

Sun square Jupiter

The aspect between the Sun and Jupiter is worth considering, although not in the context of King’s personality. Jupiter is not on the Sun’s Board of Directors; however, the Sun has 8 votes on Jupiter’s Board of Directors, so this aspect is extremely important when considering any of the affairs of Jupiter (such as her 2nd house finances).

Ascendant in Capricorn

When she interacts with the world and other individuals, she appears to be businesslike, practical, responsible and imposing (Capricorn). It’s worth noting that while King has no planets in Earth, she views the world through a very practical, grounded, and achievement-oriented Capricorn filter. King’s Sun is sextile her Ascendant, which allows her authentic Self to shine through in her interactions with the world (although it doesn’t necessarily make her more conscious of the nature of her authentic Self).

Of greater significance, though is the fact that the planets on the Board of Directors for King’s Ascendant are the same planets on the Board of Directors for her Sun, although they have different levels of influence.

Ascendant’s Board of Directors

BJK 03 Ascendant

Saturn in Gemini in the 5th House (7 Votes)
Saturn Rules 1st, 12th, Almuten 9th

Other people perceive (Ascendant) her need to establish boundaries, limits, structures, and accept responsibility (Saturn) in a manner that is adaptable, rational, and skillful (Gemini), WITH her personality, sense of self, and physical body (Saturn Rules 1st House), her shadow self and personal unconscious (Saturn rules 12th House), and her higher mind, beliefs, and philosophies (Saturn almuten 9th House). [Blueprint Sentence]

King’s Saturn in Gemini shows up quite clearly in her personality, although once again, it suggests an unexpected lightness. Saturn is always Saturn; it never stops caring about rules and boundaries and responsibility. But King’s Saturn in Gemini in the 5th house is uncharacteristically playful. Her appearance may be stern and business-like, but beneath that is flexibility, curiosity, and even a bit of mischievousness.

King’s Mars in Gemini also shines through her Ascendant, with a total of 4 votes. It’s worth noting that King’s Saturn is in a wide quincunx to her Ascendant, and her Mars in Gemini is quincunx her Capricorn Ascendant by sign. King may well have used this to her advantage on the courts: her opponents would never be able to anticipate her moves because her focused, Capricorn appearance allowed her Mars and Saturn in Gemini to take people by surprise.

Part of Fortune in Scorpio in the 10th House

She will experience the greatest amount of prosperity and success (Part of Fortune) by being assertive, passionate, resourceful and loyal (Scorpio), particularly IN her career, life path, and public persona (10th House). [Blueprint Sentence]

King’s Part of Fortune is conjunct her Sun in the 10th house. This clearly indicates that aligning with her authentic Self is how she will find the greatest amount of success and fortune in her life. The Board of Directors for her Part of Fortune is identical to that of her Sun in Scorpio, making King’s Mars in Gemini in her 5th house even more important, both in the context of her overall personality, and also in the context of her overall happiness and fortune in life.

Summary of Billie Jean King’s Personality

King’s Sun, Ascendant and Part of Fortune are very closely aligned, dominated by her Mars and Saturn in Gemini in the 5th house. Once King is able to align with her authentic “Big S” Self, she will be able to embody and express it with relative ease. The challenge, however, may be discovering that authentic Self in the first place.