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Dolly Parton (source: CNN)

January 19 is Dolly Parton’s birthday.

Dolly Parton has what we astrologers call a “difficult” chart. Jupiter in the second house is almost exactly square Venus in the fifth. That aspect could indicate an individual who has problems with extravagant spending and/or an inflated sense of self-importance manifested through overindulgence. Mars and Saturn are nearly exactly conjunct in the eleventh house. That aspect could indicate someone with poor timing who allows the opinions of others to frustrate their plans and delay their success. What’s more, both “malefic” planets are retrograde and Saturn is in its detriment. It isn’t a configuration that I would expect to see in someone who has spent a lifetime in front of an adoring audience.

However, as I often say on this blog, sometimes the people with the most difficult charts have the greatest achievements. A quick search of celebrities with Mars/Saturn conjunctions on Cafe Astrology turns up many beloved stars, including Henry Winkler, Dick Van Dyke, Naomi Judd, Ellen DeGeneres, Sammy Davis Jr. and Billy Crystal.

About a week ago, I published a post about benefics and malefics. I am concerned that so many astrologers on Twitter seem to have such a black-and-white view of how these planets work in a natal chart. I even wrote the following:

“Back in the day, my generation was taught that planets weren’t necessarily good or bad. The same went for aspects between planets. It was more of a Yin and Yang thing, I suppose. You couldn’t have darkness without light, or good without evil, or Venus without Mars, etc.”

An astrologer who is unable to comprehend that tension in the natal chart can cause spectacular overcompensation is no astrologer at all. In Dolly Parton’s case, the Mars/Saturn aspect has produced one of the few pop culture icons that almost never faces negative criticism. Who doesn’t like Dolly Parton? Even if her whole persona is a clever marketing ploy devised by a shrewd Capricorn, I honestly can’t think of another American celebrity who is better described as a “National Treasure.” Betty White, maybe?

Anyway, if any of you newbies stumble across this blog post, please consider what I’ve just said. The demonization of Mars and Saturn is as futile an exercise as the deification of Venus and Jupiter. That’s not how planets manifest themselves in the birth chart.

Once again, the old person has spoken . . .

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