Grace Jones: Jamaican Aphrodite
There are few genuine originals like Grace Jones in entertainment. Her style and career straddles – and Grace would approve of this word – pop, funk, reggae, avant-garde, songwriting, producing, fashion modelling and film acting, and being a queer icon. And like a trooper Taurus born on 19th May, she is still going strong at age 70. Happy solar return Grace and it is interesting that Venus and Uranus are conjunct this birthday conjunct the Scorpio full moon, as she kind of represents that edgy, alien transformative energy. She is still feisty and ebullient, still wearing outrageous body sculptures and head pieces and pushing people’s buttons. She performed outside Buckingham Palace for the Queen’s Jubilee in 2012 rolling a hula-hoop around her waist the entire time she intoned ‘Slave to the Rhythm.’ There was no doubting who was the real queen on that occasion.
She was photographed standing naked opposite her brother looking very alike. This was taken by her lover, the stylist Jean-Paul Goode who stirred a huge buzz out of the fact that both their bodies were muscular. He emphasized her masculinity and sharpened the alien look. She has Mercury conjunct Uranus on the Descendant in Gemini – another of her lovers was her bodyguard Dolph Lundgren (Scorpio) whom she persuaded to become a film actor. Goude (Sagittarius) positioned Jones as his muse, saying she was “beautiful and grotesque at the same time.” Jones’ signature look that he helped create was both intimidating and androgynous back in the seventies and eighties long before androgyny obtained the vogue it has in the 21st century. In Synastry, his Mercury in his chart conjuncts her Jupiter on the Ascendant making him one of the greatest ambassadors of how she was portrayed: ultra-shiny, physical and a total glamazon who claimed she had ‘warrior DNA’. She may not have needed Goude at all however as she has Neptune and the Moon conjunct the Midheaven, so she would have been visible to all as a powerhouse of gender-twisting art and flamboyance anyway, and Jupiter is so strongly placed in Sagittarius just one degree from the Ascendant. So she is also having a Jupiter return right now.
Some dispute her birth year, offering an alternative in 1952 which would give her sensitive Cancer rising, whereas the 1948 chart offers a triple whammy of Venus with that strong splash of Jupiter on the Ascendant. Not only is the Moon and Neptune close to the MC in Libra, which is ruled by Venus, and the sun in Taurus, in the 5th, is ruled by Venus, but that sun is trine that Moon/Neptune/ MC conjunction. Venus herself is in Cancer somewhat of a rival to the Moon that rules that sign. Venus is also currently in Taurus her own house as it happens, and Jones is the first to advocate the restorative qualities of Venusian luxury.
But what really stands out for anyone with curiosity is that the Janduz version of the Sabian Symbol for 28 degrees of Taurus as featured on Astrotheme.com is: “A mighty man holding a whip pushes two enchained slaves before him. He is followed by a wild woman who pulls a billy-goat by its horns.” It is straight out of a possible video scenario and tunes directly to the rampant energy of Grace Jones. This raw and juicy style makes me think she resonated more with the Aphrodite side of Venus who is the wildest party animal in any room. She challenged conventions with that fierce look, using a powerful and capricious sexuality to project herself, yet what is refreshing is her complete absence of regret. In the memoirs she claimed she would never write – it was actually written by Paul Morley (2015)- she is a self-confessed “voracious she-centaur emerging from an unknown abyss and confronting people’s fears.” Perhaps she should have her very own dwarf planet or asteroid? She does in fact have asteroid Aphrodite conjunct her Saturn in Leo, giving it that very stern face that she has.
Bullishness is mentioned frequently with Taureans and of the many things she has said this statement sums up her imperious attitude to others, how she has aimed to be an impassable monument: “There was always someone else in the way until I worked out how to make myself the one who was in the way of others.” Plain and simple speaking also are qualities of this sun sign as when she cheekily hints at a very Venusian twist: “I can be a pain, but most of all, I can be a pleasure.”
Although her image was doctored and enhanced for greater effect, it is as if she blossomed almost fully formed as the Aphrodite of Jamaica. In the Obeah tradition of African spirituality, Oshun is goddess of sweet water and sensuality, and only loosely equates to Aphrodite -AFRO-DITE in this case- but it seems Jones was channeling Oshun long before Beyonce got around to it. Let’s not forget that in the source mythology, Aphrodite was both ruthless, cruel, jealous and fickle. Her sons all from adulterous affairs included Eros and Priapus. She often brought chaos wherever she went and allegedly started the Trojan war on a whim. She loved her sons Eros and Priapus though was horrified at the gross size of Priapus’s erection and so rejected him. So any notion that Venus is modest and mild or only goes for ‘pretty in pink’ style has been nailed once and for all by James Hillman in his lecture on pornography where he says Aphrodite ‘drives us crazy’. Jones loved to do just that wherever she went.
I once saw Grace Jones live in Central Park and she was late, and that created anticipation, part of her plan. She let the wind machine blow off her top to expose her breasts to public view which was par for the course. The audience nodded to each other and said “it’s just Grace Jones.” The double standard in society is always that if a white woman did that, there would be total uproar and outrage in the media.
In Sophie Fiennes’ documentary film Bloodlight and Bami (2018) we see Grace rightly chastising a French TV company for not presenting in the best of taste, so she had artistic standards indeed. A Venus must value herself highly as Russell Harty once learned to his cost live on TV? But she can also be hectoring and somewhat of a drama queen when on the phone to Sly Dunbar (Taurus) and Robbie Shakespeare (Libra) to organize her recording schedule.
Yet, we see her in more relaxed mode too- in family kitchens preparing food, getting back to her roots in Jamaica and enjoying the simple life, tapping into the fixed earth side of Taurus that loves to be rooted. Nothing apparently seems to be slowing her down as she is in her own words ‘her own sugar daddy,’ so it is safe to say that she has got a good few years of la vie en rose still to come.
© Proteus Astrology, May 2019
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