Lana Del Rey has captivated audiences ever since bursting on to the scene with her 2012 debut album Born to Die. After the subsequent release of the albums Ultraviolence in 2014 and Honeymoon last year, Lana has carved out a place for herself as a sort of Queen of the Non-Mainstream. She has a huge following, for sure, and I am a big fan of her myself. But, she doesn’t have the overexposed fame of Beyonce or Rihanna or Adele. In spite of being very popular, she is more of a cult icon than anything, remaining rather under-the-radar and quite a woman of mystery because of that. Just what is it about her astrologically that has gotten her to this point?
Lana - also known by her birth name of Elizabeth “Lizzy” Grant – was born on June 21, 1985 and, according to Astrotheme, at 2:46 AM. I always use my own judgment when it comes to Astrotheme’s charts because they can be a little iffy, at times, particularly in how they often change certain people’s charts around. But, everything about the chart they have for Lana feels accurate. First off, she definitely has her Sun in Gemini. This is a commonly debated thing about her. But, it’s just that her Sun is at the 29th degree and I’ll get into that more later. She also has her Moon in Leo and her Ascendant in Taurus, which is also conjunct her Venus and North Node in Taurus in the 1st.
Her Taurus Rising is so strong in so many ways. One of the easiest ways to distinguish a Taurus Ascendant is their voice. Taurus Rising folks with a planet conjunct their Ascendant, in particular, usually have remarkable, distinctive voices (think Cate Blanchett, who has the Sun rising in Taurus). Lana not only has that low, rich, seductive singing voice but she has a speaking voice that is just as melodic and striking. In fact, it’s pretty surprising to hear her speak, outside of her records and in interviews. In her music, she sounds like a husky-voiced siren. In interviews, her voice is girlish, calming, and sweet; so sweet that it’s surprising that she is the same person who writes such dark, haunting songs like “Ultraviolence” and “Gods and Monsters” (a big hint of her Gemini duality).
Secondly, having Venus rising in Taurus and in the 1st gives her such a strong, noticeable aesthetic. This is a wonderful combination for an artist and Lana is most certainly an artist. Venus represents one’s creative sensibility, style, and taste and Venus is dignified in Taurus, as it rules this sign. With her dignified Venus in the 1st and conjunct the Ascendant, Lana has an outlook on and approach to life that is just very aesthetic and preoccupied with beauty. Venus in Taurus artists deliver work that appeal to our senses in such a powerful way, especially if they’re dealing with visuals of any kind. Lana’s music videos are vivid, cinematic, and just downright beautiful, like her music video for “Freak” which ends with an extended sequence of three women swimming in the ocean, with lush classical music playing in the background.
If the Ascendant/1st House is one’s vision and individual perspective, I feel like only someone with a Taurus Venus rising in the 1st could come up with the kind of creative output that Lana does; something so beautiful and elegant and pleasing to the senses. Also, what strengthens her Ascendant is its conjunction to her North Node. Having a 1st House North Node is powerful enough but having it also conjunct the Ascendant is really powerful. It means that this lifetime is about Lana doing whatever she wants to do and with the North Node in Taurus, this grounds her and brings her pleasure. Her Taurus North Node is challenging her to just be happy and feel secure with whatever pleases her and whatever she values. And with Venus conjunct the North Node, this inevitably ties into her creative work and her style as an artist.
In an industry where many performers jump on the bandwagon of trends just to win mass appeal and be popular, Lana has always done her own thing. She is expressing her North Node in Taurus in the 1st through cultivating such a singular and unapologetic creative style just because that’s what she likes and values. In an interview, she had this to say about her creative process: “I’m very selfish. I make everything for me, kind of. I mean, every little thing, down to the guitar and the drums. It’s just for me. I want to drive to it, I want to swim in the ocean to it. I want to think about it and then I want to write something new after it.”
It’s an apt expression of her North Node combination, complete with the sensory and pleasurable experience she gets from her work, and she’s not wrong for describing herself as creatively selfish. In the end, this is her path: to do what she likes and enjoys and to be secure in that. And really dedicating ourselves to our North Node’s path leads to great success. So, it’s what has allowed her to become the number-one downloaded female artist on Spotify last year. When you listen to a Lana record, you hear something so uniquely her: the operatic, orchestral song “Honeymoon”, the cool, jazzy vibe of “Shades of Cool”, and the hip-hop/nursery rhyme feel of “Off to the Races.” No one else can do what she does and that’s just how a 1st House North Node wants it.
Another indicator, I think, of her particular style as an artist is the fact that she has Venus in an opposition to her Saturn in Scorpio. Venus opposite Saturn is an aspect that she shares with Adele (in addition to the 1st House North Node) and even though their music is different, there is an elegance and classiness to both of these ladies’ work that sets them apart. Venus-Saturn artists have a style that is sophisticated and quite a throwback to a previous era, which is why it’s a common opinion that Lana Del Rey feels like an artist from the 1960’s. By her own admission, she is highly inspired by those of that era, frequently referencing Jim Morrison, Elvis Presley, and Marilyn Monroe in her lyrics and videos.
That classy, old-soul vibe also comes from her Midheaven in Capricorn, which is ruled by her 7th House Saturn, further cementing this relationship between her and the public. Her Capricorn Midheaven is another reason why I’m so convinced this is the right chart for her. The Midheaven is one’s public self as well as how one’s career progresses. In addition to being seen as a “throwback”, which is quite a Capricorn term, Lana is also probably most famous for the sadness, loneliness, and darkness in her music. Even people who aren’t fans of her see her this way, as some of her most famous songs are “Summertime Sadness”, “Born to Die”, and “Pretty When You Cry.” So, the melancholy of her Capricorn Midheaven makes quite an impact, on fans and non-fans alike.
For the record, Lana’s music is not all dark or depressing. Even the songs that are, to many fans, including myself, have a certain feel to them that actually make you feel less lonely or depressed. Yet, the “sadcore” element of her music is something that gets a lot of attention. Also, as a Capricorn Midheaven, her time in the public spotlight has been far from easy. Whatever house you have Capricorn in is how you will experience major struggles. With Capricorn in the 10th, these struggles play out before the world. Now, on one hand, she does have Jupiter in the 10th and in Aquarius. I can see this playing out through how she got famous: releasing her homemade music video for “Video Games” on the Internet in late 2011, which quickly became a viral sensation and led to a major-label record deal. Jupiter in Aquarius people can experience great benefits, in this day and age, through social media or the Internet and with it being in the 10th, that can really be great for one’s career, bringing a lot of luck the person’s way.
But, Lana’s Midheaven in Capricorn threw a major monkey wrench into that process when people immediately began criticizing her and very harshly. Her Born to Die album is one of those albums that’s become more appreciated in hindsight. When it first came out, it got polarizing, mixed reviews, with many questioning the authenticity of her persona. It’s a sad thing that happens to many Capricorn Midheaven people: they get big success and people instantly try to take it from them, in the earlier part of their career, often by doing what they can to tarnish their reputation. So, talk began to spread of Lana calculating her way to the top, as often happens with people with this placement, and using her family’s money for connections. Also, people began questioning why she changed her name, as she made a previous album under the Lizzy Grant name, what kind of cosmetic surgery she had done, and if she was even that talented, which was the result of a performance on SNL that had a lukewarm to scathing reception.
Ultimately, Midheaven in Capricorn people have to tough it out and persevere their way toward the public’s respect. Her Jupiter in the 10th also probably made it harder because with lucky Jupiter in this house, the world can perceive her as having had too many easy breaks on the way to fame. It’s why becoming successful is often not very fun for those with this Midheaven. Lana was quoted as saying, of her rise to stardom, “It doesn’t feel like success. Because with everything that could have felt like something really sweet, there’s always been something out of the periphery of my world, beyond my control, to kind of disrupt whatever was happening.” But, Lana Del Rey has indeed persevered throughout the years, overcoming her huge stage fright to develop a more confident live presence and vocal prowess as well as proving the critics wrong with increasingly well-reviewed, well-rounded albums. She has put in plenty of effort and yet still probably feels like she has a ton of more effort to do. Capricorn Midheaven people will never feel like they’ve “made it.”
However, since Saturn rules her Midheaven, I feel like she reached a new place of public respect and recognition during her Saturn Return in Scorpio, which occurred around the time of Ultraviolence’s release. This is when she began to really cement her place in the industry and when the initial criticism began to die down significantly. Speaking of Saturn in Scorpio, the Pluto influence is huge in her chart. When she speaks of these tragic, heartbreaking, and often masochistic relationships in her music, I feel like it’s coming from very personal experience. Her 7th House Saturn in Scorpio is very striking, as it’s also conjunct her Scorpio South Node in the 7th. To top it off, she has a Scorpio Descendant, as well. So, her 1st House and 7th House are very powerful in these very concentrated Taurus and Scorpio expressions, showing a certain tension between peaceful self-reliance (Taurus in the 1st) and passionate connection (Scorpio in the 7th).
It shows that she has endured a ton of emotional drama in her partnerships and has had to push through a feeling of being held back by these turbulent relationships. This is all part of karma and patterns from the past (South Node), with her feeling like being close to someone has to be profound yet also highly dramatic and even upsetting. For Lana, commitment can come equipped with plenty of pain, possibly too much to bear. Also, it could lead to obsessive or destructive co-dependency, which is a part of her music that certain feminists have often criticized (“I would die for you/without you” is a recurring theme in her work). Hopefully, during her Saturn Return, she found a much healthier balance, particularly since Venus is opposite Saturn here and, in the end, what she really values is peace and stability in her personal relationships, becoming more independent (1st House) in the process. And by doing this, she’s achieving her North Node.
I think that having Saturn in the 7th in Scorpio is also what has led to such a deep bond with the public. I believe that the 7th House will represent a celebrity’s bond with their fans; the kind of loving relationship and mutual connection that’s established with this person, even if you don’t actually know them. To be a Lana Del Rey fan is to feel her pain and feel like she knows yours. She has an addictive (Scorpio) quality that appeals to those that love her work, as well as a real wisdom and substance (Saturn). Let’s also not forget to factor in her Leo Moon square Pluto, as well as Pluto’s trine to her Mercury and Sun. This is a woman with a ton going on underneath the surface. It’s why Plutonians make such wonderful artists and performers. They have a lot of emotional depth and a strongly insightful understanding of human nature and life. (And with her having such a strong Pluto/Scorpio influence, her famous “trust no one” tattoo is not the least bit surprising)
Her Leo Moon is dignified in the 4th House, the Moon’s ruling house. With a 4th House Moon, Lana is very sensitive and emotionally aware, feeling really rooted in this understanding of her needs and feelings. Since her 4th House Moon is in Leo, she possess a natural creative skill and has built a foundation for herself through this emotional form of self-expression. I feel like her greatest strength could possibly be her songwriting. As a Gemini Sun, she identifies as a communicator in this life and writing music is the perfect vehicle for that. Like one of her heroes, Bob Dylan, also a Gemini, she uses her Gemini love of wordplay, irony, wit, intelligence, and even literature in such lyrics as “His Parliament’s on fire and his hands are up”, “Light of my life, fire of my loins” (a quote from Nabokov’s Lolita, which is also a song of Lana’s), “Elvis is my daddy, Marilyn’s my mother, Jesus is my bestest friend” and a certain part of her body tasting like Pepsi-Cola.
So, people who say she’s more like a Cancer Sun aren’t really getting it. Yes, her music can, at times, be quite sentimental. But, that’s more of her Mercury and Mars in Cancer, as well as the fact that she is a 4th House Moon (and the Moon always shows an artist's instincts and natural form of expression). With her Gemini Sun at the 29th degree, Lana has sharpened and honed her mind and tongue into an amazing artistic weapon. The fact that her Sun is also in an out-of-sign opposition to Neptune only makes her skills more enchanting and otherworldly. Sun opposite Neptune can give an artist an ethereal grace and when the Sun is in Gemini, that can definitely emerge through writing. I’m not a big “cusp” person. I don’t think in those terms. Instead, I look at the degree, which shows the evolution of the sign, and how being a very late or very early degree influences the sign’s expression.
Sun in Gemini at 29 degrees tells me that Lana is the highest, most evolved form of Gemini. She “gets it”, when it comes to this sign’s will for communication, in a way that many of her other Gemini Sun brothers and sisters do not. This allows her to be the songwriter she is and Gemini usually makes for an excellent songwriter, from Paul McCartney to Alanis Morrissette to Lenny Kravitz. But, Lana already understands all things Gemini, thanks to the feeling of completion that the 29th degree represents. Because of this, she is constantly taking in information all around her and she knows exactly what to do with it: turn it into a song or a video that will really cast a spell on everyone who listens or watches. She can communicate in a very evolved way and that’s another part of what makes her the artist that she is.