So many people want to be an author. Whether it's to say that you wrote a book, to get your ideas out there, or just to express your creativity, writing a book or novella is a great way to try something new, as a hobby or career. Astrologically, I was really surprised by what made an author - it wasn't what I expected. Very rarely were there any of the typical Mercury in signs of rulership (like Gemini) or third house typical placements, as many astrology blogs will suggest (though if you have these, please don't think you can't be an author!) Instead, the zodiac sign Mercury was in seemed to reflect the writing style and/or genre of the author. In addition, sometimes Mercury's aspects seemed to matter more than anything else. So here I've compiled a list of famous authors birth charts by genre so we can cross analyze their charts.
Now, please understand this data may be skewed because of the fact that the authors analyzed are famous authors, and can in no way represent authors as a whole. It does, however, make a really good study or reference point, at least astrologically.
Some other data points that seem to be of note:
- Mercury placements of fall and detriment seemed to really suit certain genres/ authors. It made me question traditional notions of rulership, it a good way.
- Mercury in retrograde
- The role of the quintile
- The role of Venus, Neptune, and Jupiter in aspect to Mercury
So I think I'd love to cover my favorite type of literature first: fiction. Specifically, fantasy. Please note that for all authors, each have varying degrees of Rodden Ratings, but most are from the Astro-DataBank. Those which are not, are accounted for using the primary date and location of birth, and noon as the time. Each author has a link to their Astro-DataBank chart on their name, if they have one.
I am sure I will continually add to this list and that it is surely incomplete. If there is an author who is not on this list who you would like to see, comment down below or contact me and let me know, and I will add them.
There is a TL;DR at the bottom of the article if you don't want to read the whole thing.
Fantasy Authors' Birth Charts
Laini Taylor - Laini Taylor is by far my favorite author, and her Mercury is not only in detriment in Sagittarius, but also in retrograde. This fits her fantasy books rather perfectly. Anything she plucks out of her brain becomes a story I can't put down. Her Mercury is loosely conjunct her Neptune (8 degree orb), and loosely sextile her Uranus (6 degree orb).
J.K. Rowling - Rowling's Mercury isn't aspecting much of anything. It's in Virgo, along with Venus, Uranus, Pluto, and her Moon.
George R.R. Martin - Martin is most well known for Game of Thrones, and his Mercury is aspecting Jupiter. It is also worth noting that his Venus is quintile his Mercury. His Mercury also resides in the same sign as his Neptune, Libra, which isn't uncommon for fantasy authors.
Neil Gaiman - I loved Good Omens and can't wait for the next book and tv show season! Gaiman's Mercury is in retrograde. His Mercury is in the same sign as his Sun, Scorpio, and is closely conjunct his Neptune.
J.R.R Tolkien - Would you be surprised to learn that Tolkien, one of the most prolific authors of our time, has his Mercury in retrograde in Capricorn? It was certainly a delight for me to discover. His Mercury is also quintile his Jupiter.
Sarah J Maas - Most well known for her ACOTAR series, Maas has been writing for quite some time. Her Mercury is in Aries with a tight aspect to her nodes and Jupiter, and a slightly looser (4 degree) square to her Neptune.
Stephanie Meyer - Truth be told, I couldn't finish Twilight but thought the series was so prominent I had to include Meyer on the list. Her Mercury is in Capricorn, with a tight aspect to her Moon. Though we don't have a birth time for her, so please keep in mind that this could very well be different depending on her chart. And while she didn't have the idea for Twilight while the nodes were direct (June 2, 2003) the nodes were direct on the day Twilight was published on October 5, 2005. Read about the direct nodes here.
Holly Black - I loved The Spiderwick Chronicles as a kid, so it is no surprise that I also loved The Cruel Prince as an adult. Holly Black's Mercury is actually out of bounds (or OOB). It's conjunct her Venus and Neptune in the sign of Mercury's detriment, Sagittarius.
To sum up the fantasy authors: It wasn't uncommon for fantasy authors to have Mercury in the same sign as (or aspecting) Jupiter or Neptune, nor was it completely uncommon for it to be in its sign of detriment, Sagittarius. The same goes for earth signs and other fire signs. Mercury in retrograde didn't seem to be the traditional "hinderance" that most people think it is, instead working to many authors favor.
Romance Authors' Birth Charts
The romance writers spectrum features:
Nora Roberts- Starting off strong with a stellium in Libra, we have Nora Roberts. Her Mercury is in Libra and is in the same sign as her Neptune.
Danielle Steel - Steel’s Mercury is in Leo with the rest of her stellium. Neptune sextile Mercury with a two degree orb.
Jane Austen - Jane Austen has six quintiles in her chart. One of which is between Neptune and Mercury. Her Mercury is in Sagittarius.
Nicholas Sparks - His Mercury is in Sagittarius and is semisextile his Neptune. His Mercury is also opposite his Jupiter.
Diana Gabaldon- I didn’t know where to put Gabaldon, but I figured romance would work. Her Mercury is in Sagittarius.
Overall, I wonder if I should not have been looking at Mercury but instead Venus, for each Venus was particularly strong (or had tight aspects) in its own way. Even Jane Austen’s Venus, which had no major aspects to it (which I suppose some would consider unaspected) had tight quintiles and biquintiles. Again, we see that Mercury in its sign of detriment is no problem, despite the much smaller sample size for the romance authors. It also was not uncommon to have Mercury conjunct or in the same sign as Venus, a theme we see throughout all the authors in this case study.
The Science Fiction Authors' Birth Charts
Mary Shelley - God, I love Shelley's chart for so many reasons. The Pluto conjunct Midheaven. The Mercury in Virgo inconjunct Pluto and the Midheaven. It is just so good. The mother of science fiction's birth chart certainly doesn't disappoint.
Octavia Butler - Butler's Mercury is so fascinating! It is in Cancer conjunct her Ascendant, with a quintile to Neptune and an inconjunct to Uranus.
Douglas Adams -Are you noticing a theme? The last three birth charts have had planets closely conjunct an angle. They've also all had their Ascendant be in Cancer. In the case of Adams, his Uranus is conjunct his Ascendant to the degree. His Mercury is in Aries, with a three degree orb square to Uranus.
H.G. Wells - His Mercury is in Virgo with a tight quintile to Uranus and Mars.
Frank Herbert - His Mercury is in Scorpio with a trine to Uranus.
Ray Bradbury - His Mercury is in Leo. Though it is not aspecting Uranus (and is instead conjunct Neptune), he has several close conjunctions of the Sun and Jupiter and Venus and Saturn.
Jules Verne - His Mercury is in Aquarius conjunct the Sun. It is also his chart ruler.
Orson Scott Card - Mercury is in retrograde. Neptune isn't aspecting Mercury but his Venus, which in turn is conjunct his Mercury with a three degree orb. However, true to the sci-fi genre, his Mercury is exactly sextile Uranus. Mercury aspecting Uranus appears to be a theme amongst sci-fi writers. His Mercury is also aspecting Jupiter.
Liu Cixin - Loosely has Mercury square Uranus with an 8 degree orb. 3 degree aspect of Mercury to Neptune. His Mercury is in Gemini with his Venus.
Now, for sci-fi writers, I saw an interesting shift. Instead of their Mercury aspecting Neptune, it was usually aspecting Uranus. True to science fiction!It is also worth noting that 4 out of 9 authors had Uranus in a water sign.
Next in line, we have...
Horror Authors' Birth Charts
Stephen King - King is best known for Carrie among other works. His Mercury is in Libra conjunct Neptune and his IC. Venus is also in the same sign. His Mercury has a sextile to Pluto.
Shirley Jackson - Her Mercury is opposite Pluto almost exactly, with a three minute difference. Her Mercury is in Capricorn, with her Sun conjunct her AC.
H.P. Lovecraft - His Mercury is in Virgo with a near exact t-square to the nodes, or "skipped step" in evolutionary astrology. His Venus is conjunct his AC, with a prominent grand trine in air involving Venus, Neptune, Pluto, and Jupiter.
R.L. Stine - Stine has his Mercury at an almost exact square to Saturn. His Mercury is in Virgo. His Pluto is in a tight sextile with Uranus.
All of their charts seemed to have exact or prominent Pluto aspects. Something else interesting to note is that 3/4 of the horror authors had direct nodes. What else do you see in the horror authors?
Next up is...
Mystery Authors' Birth Charts
Agatha Christie - Christie's Mercury is in Libra with a quintile to her Chiron.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - His Mercury is conjunct Pluto with a 2 degree orb, both planets residing in Taurus and square Saturn.
Interestingly, both mystery authors had Mars conjunct the Ascendant. Funnily enough, they have this in polar opposite signs - Gemini and Sagittarius. They also both had Neptune inconjunct or semisextile Venus.
The Birth Charts of Poets
Maya Angelou - Angelou had her Mercury in Pisces conjunct Venus.
Robert Frost - Frost's Mercury is also in Pisces and in retrograde.
Henry David Thoreau - His Mercury is in Cancer.
Ralph Waldo Emerson - I love Emerson's work. His Mercury is in Gemini and is almost exactly square his Jupiter.
Emily Dickinson - Emily Dickinson's Mercury is in Sagittarius conjunct her Sun.
Edgar Allan Poe - Poe's Mercury is in Capricorn conjunct his Sun. He has a Pisces Stellium.
Walt Whitman - Walt Whitman had his Mercury in Taurus, the same sign as his Venus.
Before you ask, yes, I wanted to include Langston Hughes and William Shakespeare. No, we don't have solid dates for them. We think Hughes would've had a Pisces Mercury and Shakespeare an Aries Mercury. Unsurprisingly, water dominated the poetry category.
Dystopian Authors' Birth Charts
Lois Lowry -Lowry's Mercury is in Pisces, conjunct her Saturn and her Sun. Best known for her work The Giver, which I had to read in fourth grade and is forever ingrained in my brain. Shoutout! I still remember it! And love it!
Margaret Atwood - Atwood's Mercury is in Sagittarius and is in retrograde. It is conjunct Venus.
George Orwell - Orwell's Mercury is in Gemini. It is trine his nodes.
Overall, there were 38 authors total and out of those:
- The most common sign for Mercury was Sagittarius. The second most common was Virgo. The third most common was a tie between Libra and Capricorn.
- 12 out of 38 charts had Jupiter in retrograde. That's a third of the charts.
- Venus is in the same zodiac sign as Mercury in 15 out of 38 charts.
- Out of the timed charts, only two had Mercury in the third house, who were Jane Austen (rodden rating A) and Edgar Allan Poe (rodden rating C) respectively.
- The most common degree for Mercury to be at was 6 degrees, with 4 charts containing Mercury at that degree. Second place were the degrees 11, 28, and 0 with three charts each. Third place with 2 charts each were the degrees 1, 5, 15, 20, 21, 22, and 24.
As always, please keep in mind that these are the charts of famous authors, and please keep in mind the small sample size(s) may skew these numbers. This article is meant to broaden your mind in terms of astrology - just because you have Mercury in retrograde or Mercury in detriment or fall does not mean you can't be an author. You can. Beauty and art comes in all different ways. From making us think, to entertaining us, to making us feel, all art has a place in the world. So does yours. So go for it. Write. And most importantly, have fun! Don't let anything tell you what you can and cannot do.
Much love as always,
Some other articles that may be of interest: