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Bessie Smith

AN AMERICAN HERSTORY

13-sign Pisces Bessie Smith was born April 15, 1894, at the very end of that sign, at its weakest. She knew firsthand about struggle and heartbreak. A Busker for coins as an impoverished child, (Capricorn Mars; learning the hard way) she fought to the top to become the highest paid African American performer of her day. Her hits were a litany of complaints about men and disappointment in life, and include “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” “Empty Bed Blues” “Hard Time Blues” “You Ought To Be Ashamed” “Me and My Gin” “See If I Care”.

The titles tell you about the usual frustrations of the Pisces female; she is in a male-oriented society that uses force and coercion; is impervious to emotion, against which she has no weapons, and can only accept the blows. Her marriage to Pisces addictions, drugs, booze and sex, ruined her body but not her voice. As a Pisces woman with ambitions and a raging bull personality, she had to hide behind a man—use men as a front to protect her. But her protectors often turned into her tormentors, and her last boyfriend, inadvertently or not, killed her with his incompetence.

Smith did not go down without a fight. With a Leo Moon, and three planets in Taurus, Smith wanted command and authority—and money. However, in spite of her talents, she was constantly short-changed. Everyone had a hand in her earnings. She raged against the patriarchy right until the end. She gave everything she had, spoke angrily about the bitter fruit of womanhood in her generation. Her own ego-fueled passive aggression got her in a lot of trouble and she was brutalized. She was a Pisces diva of the dive bars and after-hour clubs.

Compare this with a more modern 13-sign Pisces Aretha Franklin’s more feminine request for a little “Respect”. Franklin also suffered mightily at the hands of men, a Pisces woman’s lament. Bessie Smith’s frustration at her predicament must have given her three planets in Taurus endless aggravation, and made her Moon madder than hell. She had the raging bull inside her. Her Capricorn Mars finally did deliver and gave her the endurance to beat back her enemies and demons—but not for long. Mismanagement, alcoholism and her contentious relationships took it all away. Her marriages with Earl Love and Jack Gee were unhappy and violent, with Smith giving as good as she got. Her Aquarian Venus gave her permission to vacate the premises when things became too hectic.

A hoped for musical comeback was ended when Smith was critically injured in an auto accident during her tour in Mississippi. Richard Morgan, her lover, crashed their car and sheared off the passenger side in which she was sitting—he emerged unhurt. In deference to the Jim Crow laws of the day, Smith may not have been taken to the “white” hospital nearby, but was forced to travel further and died of her wounds later at a “Negro” clinic, after surgery. Here's how wikipedia describes it:

"Jazz writer/producer John Hammond gave this account in an article in the November 1937 issue of Down Beat magazine. The circumstances of Smith's death and the rumor promoted by Hammond formed the basis for Edward Albee's 1959 one-act play The Death of Bessie Smith. In a conversation with Dr Hugh Smith (no relation) who was the first person on the accident scene, Hammond says that Smith told him: "The Bessie Smith ambulance would not have gone to a white hospital, you can forget that. Down in the Deep South cotton country, no ambulance driver, or white driver, would even have thought of putting a colored person off in a hospital for white folks." 


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Comparison of the Zodiac systems

Sign

Tropical

Sidereal

13/Sign

Aries Mar 21 - April 20 April 15 - May 15 April 19 - May 13
Taurus April 21 - May 20 May 16 - June 15 May 14 - June 19
Gemini May 21 - June 20 June 16 - July 15 June 20 - July 20
Cancer June 21 - July 21 July 16 - Aug 15 July 21 - Aug 9
Leo July 22 Aug 22 Aug 16 - Sep 15 Aug 10 – Sep 15
Virgo Aug 23 - Sep 22 Sep 16 - Oct 15 Sept 16 – Oct 30
Libra Sep 23 - Oct 22 Oct 16 - Nov 15 Oct 31– Nov 22
Scorpio Oct 23 - Nov 21 Nov 16 - Dec 15 Nov 23 – Nov 29
Ophiuchus NA NA Nov 30 – Dec 17
Sagittarius Nov 22 - Dec 21 Dec 16 - Jan 14 Dec 18– Jan 18
Capricorn Dec 22 - Jan 20 Jan 15 - Feb 14 Jan 19 – Feb 15
Aquarius Jan 21 - Feb 19 Feb 15 - Mar 14 Feb 16– Mar 11
Pisces Feb 20 - Mar 20 Mar 15 - April 14 Mar 12 – April 18

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[These books are for 12-sign astrology; However, aspect and transiting angles are the same in all systems.

Go to our Ophiuchus Rising page for the meanings of the angles, planets and asteroids in Ophiuchus]

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