I didn't expect to write a post today, I was actually just getting dressed to go out and run some errands but before stepping out I felt like hearing Edith Piaf singing 'Je ne regrette rien'... and while listening I realized that song is full of yogi wisdom :) And that she must have had some past life connections to the army.
Okay, so before reading any more, you need to listen to the song:
(this is her performing it to an audience for the first time ever, in 1960, after a one year hiatus for health reasons)
Keep in mind the attitude expressed through this song, which I will loosely translate:
I have no regrets, nor the good or the bad done to me, that is all the same. All is payed for, brushed off, forgotten, I don't give a damn about the past. With my memories, I light a fire, my sorrows and my joys, I don't need them anymore. All the loves are swept away forever, I start again from zero. I regret nothing. Today, all my life, all my joy, it all starts with you.
So that is the yogic attitude, where the good and the bad in the world are ultimately the same. Being anchored in the present is also the trait of an enlightened person, and I simply love the ending: 'today, it all starts with you' - that is such an Ace of Spades thing to say. It makes one think of the soul starting a new cycle. Also, 'lighting a fire' with the memories is a very martial image, which leads me to speak about the huge Mars emphasis in her chart.
Edith Piaf's natal chart
Even before looking at the chart, I could have guessed she was a Scorpio rising, with the tiny frame of 1,47 m (that is nearly 4ft10). Her Ascendant Lord Mars is with the South Node (Ketu) in the 10th rasi, with the 9th cusp, in Leo. So that right there indicates a most relevant past life where Edith had some high ranking in a military organisation, as Mars is a warrior (kshatryia) planet, the General (as compared to the Sun-the King- the other kshatryia planet). Leo is a Fire sign pointing to a leadership position in one's own land and to add another layer, the fixed star (Nakshatra) associated with her Mars is Magha. Students of Jyothish are well aware that Magha's ruling deity are the Pitris, the ancestors, so it relates to heritage, tradition.
The 10th Rasi and 9th cusp can also describe one's father, and not surprisingly, her father joined the French army to fight in World War I less than a year after she was born. He took her to his mother - Venus is the significator for one's paternal grandparents, and we see Venus aspecting her self factors Asceandant Lord and Soul Planet, which in her case happen to be the same planet- Mars. Also, Venus in the earthy practical sign of Capricorn and with the 2nd cusp of finances indicates the environment where she grew up - a brother that her grandmother ran. The prostitutes there helped look after Piaf, since her mother had abandoned her- that can be clearly seen using her birth spread, where the Moon card- 6 of Hearts, emotional fulfillment, is populated by the tough, separating and ego-destroying planets Saturn and Pluto. However, she did make it work, because Moon the planet is is a gentle skill-oriented 2 of Diamonds, with the 10th cusp of career and public image. That 6 of Hearts shows up again in her year spread at age 35, when she has two nearly-fatal car accidents. Not surprisingly, the 6 of Hearts is on the Venus (vehicles) card, with Saturn, like in her natal spread, but luckily Pluto was replaced by Neptune - a deeper connection to the world.
Also, having the Jack of Spades a.k.a 'the orphan card' with the 4th cusp of home confirms her childhood environment. Jupiter, the manifester of children, is in the same Jack of Spades Jupiter card. Piaf had only one daughter who died of meningitis at age 2, when Piaf was 19. The potential for such a loss can also be seen from the troubled Moon card that we mentioned above.
Another thing interesting fact worth mentioning: from three to seven, Piaf was blind (and there are three planetary combinations in her chart that point to diseased eyes/blindness but which I will not mention because you need to learn more astrology before you panic :)
So related to her condition, in her 3rd year spread, there is a troubled 2 of Spades on her Saturn card, showing the difficulty to find a cure. Saturn the planet is with the 9 of Hearts of Divine love. Piaf being a King of Hearts birth card, which has a very potent 9 of Hearts flavour, it's no wonder how she eventually recovered her sight: according to one of her biographers, her grandmother's prostitutes raised money to accompany her on a pilgrimage honoring Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. Piaf later called her healing 'miraculous'. We can see that at age 7, she runs a 7 of Diamonds- the semi-fixed card that interchanges with the divine love 9 of Hearts. In the 7 year progressed spread, at age 7 she has a victorious King of Clubs with the 9th cusp- and the 9th cusp relates to journeys of pilgrimage. That King of Clubs contains her soul planet Mars, the Moon, Ketu and mystical Neptune, and links to the Jack of Diamonds Moon card. That card shows temporary opportunities and just enjoying being in the moment. So when she recovered her sight at age 7, she joined her father to do acrobatic performances, and at age 14 she sang for an audience for the first time. That year she has a nice 8 of Diamonds - being in the right place at the right time- on her Ecliptic path. And a Jack of Hearts - a new beginning that will have long-term effects- on her Venus (entertainment) card. Her father used to say that even as a kid with a tiny frame, she would make 'enough noise to draw out the lions'.
Edith Piaf's Birth Card Spread
OK, so now that we got a few words in about her life, let's check out the story of how the song 'Je ne regrette rien', which she embodied to perfection, came into her life.
The composer Charles Dumont tells in the book Edith Piaf, Opinions publiques, by Bernard Marchois (TF1 Editions 1995), that Michel Vaucaire's original title was "Non, je ne trouverai rien" (No, I will not find anything) and that the song was meant for the popular French singer Rosalie Dubois. But, thinking of Edith, he changed the title to "Non, je ne regrette rien" (No, I do not regret anything). Piaf, being weak of health, and having previously decided not to make public performances again, was reluctant to hear the song. However, since she wanted to help (her Soul Planet is in the generous King of Diamonds) the Olympia concert hall, which was on the brink of bankruptcy, she eventually accepted to hear the song, and those close to her say her reaction included the words 'Formidable!' and 'This is my life!'
Funny thing is, she dedicated it to the French Foreign Legion who at the time was on a military mission in Africa. The soldiers really adopted it and sang it before the fight, and the Foreign Legion still uses this song today, as part of the Legion's heritage, during military parades. So there you go, Mars and Ketu in Leo and Magha. Piaf is also said to have helped French soldiers escape during the Second World War by taking pictures while giving concerts for the Germans.
And even though she had her more abrasive side, she was also described by people who knew her as being generous and loyal. She helped a lot of upcoming artists to get into the spotlight, the most famous being Charles Aznavour, and with self-sacrificing King of Hearts as her birth cards and way generous King of Diamonds as her Sun card, with her soul planet in it, I couldn't think otherwise.
Edith Piaf passed either late night on the 10th of October or early on the 11th. That happened during that Dasa of her 2nd lord Jupiter, and if the birth time is accurate, Moon bukhti. We can't ignore that she had very serious car accidents during Jupiter-Jupiter as well. And that her Jupiter card is a Jack of Spades, her year timeframe is a 2 of Spades which is actually encompassed by the Jack of Spades, the day spread of October 10 has a Jack of Spades on the Rahu card. Also, the Moon card in her 7 year spread is a Queen of Spades, the Moon is with the 7 of Spades, and the Queen of Spades also shows up in the week and day spread of her death. So we can see a pattern forming. Her 10 of Diamonds path was fulfilled with her gaining international acclaim and selling millions of records. Even though the Catholic Church had refused to perform a funeral mass for her due to her unsaintly and unapologetic lifestyle, 100 000 people showed up for her funeral the next day.
Anyway, this was only a small snapshot of this remarkable woman's life, who went through a lot of torments with her personal affairs and succeeded a lot in her career, and you really have to admire these Mars soul planet people for being the movers and shakers of this world.
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Research and musings on astrological topics I find interesting