Jean-Michel Basquiat, Untitled (source:

December 22 is Jean-Michel Basquiat’s birthday.

I’m writing two birthday profiles today because I’m excited to learn that Jean-Michel Basquiat shares my zodiac sign.

I don’t have a birth time for Basquiat, so I don’t have a rising sign or a moon sign to put his chart into context. The moon moved from Aquarius to Pisces right around noon on the day he was born, so even speculating about his moon sign seems foolish. However, he does have Mercury in Sagittarius.

Mercury can only be in the sign that shares your sun, or either of the signs that flank your sun. Sun/Mercury combinations, therefore, provide an interesting, fairly exact character portrait of a lot of people. In Basquiat’s case, it reveals the open-mindedness of an artist working in a medium that has fairly traditional roots.

I share that combination of planets. When I look at the charts of my fellow Capricorns, I often make a quick judgment based upon the Sun/Mercury combo before I look at anything else. I’m sure I do the same thing when I look at the charts of others, too, but I don’t share the same reference points as those individuals, so the conclusions I come to don’t hit so close to home.

I’m sure that I’ve read through the entire thirty-six Sun/Mercury combos before — I just can’t remember where. To be honest, those sort of books can be the most illuminating of all astrology books. I feel the same way about Sun/moon books and Sun/rising books. Even Sun/decan books provide an invaluable resource for astrologers who interpret natal charts.

Yesterday, I had a conversation with an astrologer friend about astrologers who can’t see the forest for the trees. Sometimes, something as simple as a Sun/Mercury combination can be one of the most revealing details of a natal chart. It can be what distinguishes a Jean-Michel Basquiat from a Ted Cruz, for example. When it’s right there in front of your eyes, you don’t need to look much further.

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