Astrological Profile for Pete Townshend

by JeanBakula

I recently read and reviewed an autobiography written by Pete Townshend, but as an Astrologer, decided I wanted to take a look at his horoscope and interpret it.

There are so many misconceptions about Astrology, that I decided to interpret a horoscope of a well-known person, and use it as a sort of tutorial, so people could see that Astrology is so much more than the place where the Sun was on the day you were born. I have put years of study into this subject, and it is upsetting that so many people have so little knowledge of a topic, yet they criticize it and act shocked that they need to pay for a horoscope reading!

Searching for Astrological Answers

Teaching Beginners How to Read A Horoscope

Having recently read and reviewed Pete Townshend’s autobiography, Who I Am, the Astrologer in me had certain questions. So it felt necessary to take a look at the horoscope of this artist I admire, to understand him from an Astrological viewpoint. So here is an Astrological Profile of Pete Townshend.  In the interest of saving time, the horoscope used here is courtesy of, as this writer is only looking for a few answers, but will be the interpreter. So if you are interested in learning a bit about how people interpret horoscopes, or Natal Birth Charts, as they are also called; think of this as a tutorial. We will go through the most basic steps of interpreting an Astrology chart, as one can find new things in a horoscope all through a person’s life, and even go beyond that to discover past lives!

Many people have the misconception that a horoscope consists of only where the Sun was on the day of their birth. The reason for this is because during WWII, newspapers and magazines began running “horoscopes” based solely on where the Sun was the day or month the issue came out. This was an effort to divert people’s attention away from the horrors of the War, and the losses and shortages that people suffered from it.

Astrological Profile of Pete Townshend

Interpretation of Townshend's Horoscope
Pete Townshend's Horoscope
Pete Townshend's Horoscope

How To Read A Horoscope

The Distance Between The Planets in a Horoscope are Called Aspects

But actually, a real horoscope is a picture of the sky at the time of your birth. Just as the Sun was in a sign then, so was the Moon, and all the other planets. Your planets are in any of the twelve houses of Astrology, and each house has specific meanings. The distance between each planet is called an aspect, and these distances make a difference. Conjunctions are two planets several degrees apart in the same sign, and they are a powerful influence on you. Sextiles are 60 ° apart, and between two planets which usually make for an easy and creative time, the topics depending on the houses they are in. Squares are 90 ° apart, and mean challenges will arise regarding the planets involved and the houses they are in, but the rewards are great. Oppositions are planets in opposite Astrology signs, or 180 ° apart, but although they cause a little strife, normally they inspire you to look harder for creative or better ways to solve your problems. There are other aspects, but these are the main ones and will suffice for our purposes.

 This Astrologer likes to begin with what is called “The Trinity,” or the person’s Sun sign, Moon sign, and Ascendant or Rising Sign. This is the Astrology sign which was on the horizon at the time of the person’s birth, and is the façade they show to people who just meet them, or do not know them very well. We all have a “face” or mask we “hide” behind until we get to know others better. If you ever have a professional horoscope drawn, you should be asked your day, month and year of birth. You MUST know your TIME of birth, nobody can find your Ascendant without it. The Astrologer needs to know the city and Country or city and State you were born in, or the nearest large city, because the latitude and longitude matter. Any time changes in your birth area matter as well. If you are not asked to provide this information, walk away from the situation, you are being scammed. Okay, now, let’s get back to Pete Townshend, this article is about him….

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Description of "The Trinity" in Astrology

Astrological proflie of Pete Townshend

Pete Townshend is a Sun sign Taurus, which makes him a hard working person. Taurus people love nature, and being ruled by Venus, are normally gentle souls who do best in situations where there is harmony between everyone. It is a fixed sign, so he is slow to change his mind or ideas. He wrote mostly all of the song lyrics and music for the Who, and the rock operas were his idea. He was always working simultaneously on several projects in the book, and usually managed to finish them all. The reasons for that are his Moon in Virgo and his Ascendant in Virgo. Your Moon is the indicator of your deepest feelings, the ones only the people closest to you know. Virgo is an Earth sign, so this gives Pete the energy and sense of responsibility to finish what he starts. The Moon sign also fuels his imagination, an indicator that he would feel like working on several things at once, and be inspired by several projects.

Having a Virgo Ascendant as well means that he appears like a hard working person, and an intelligent one. Virgo people are always smart, well versed in many topics, and on the chatty side. They also have a great sense of wit and humor. People with Virgo Ascendants usually have a slight build, and in his pictures when he was young he looks thin. If you can find a good picture of his face, those blue eyes just shine with intelligence. Virgo Ascendant people are sort of nerdy, and there was no indication that Townshend liked sports, music was always his first love. Virgo tastes are rather refined, and even when he discusses the rowdy, touring days of his youth, he does it with class, considering the 1960’s being the way they were.

Pete’s Sun is at the top of the horoscope, called the Midheaven, and if you look at the horoscope drawing, you can see most of his planets are located in the top half of the “circle,” or sidereal.  This indicates a person who cares more about their public life than their private life. I found this to be true as I read, because whenever a Who tour was over, Pete would rent either a houseboat or a small house near his wife and children, but called it his “studio” and maintained this separate space for himself. He claimed it was because he did not want to disturb the family, and as Virgo influences make a person restless, he would have been up at all hours working and recording, so probably did not wish to disrupt his family’s routine. But that Moon is in the 12th house of secrets, and we know Pete had some issues with his sexual orientation too.

Townshend was always buying and selling houseboats, and this made me curious, because Pete has only one planet in a water sign, Saturn in Cancer. A Saturn placement can show where a person feels safe and secure, and since Townshend’s is in Cancer, he feels safest and happiest while on the water. I was surprised to see this as the only indicator of his love of the water, because he waxes poetic about it quite often in the autobiography. Saturn is the karmic planet, or “teacher” one, which gives us burdens and difficulties to overcome. Since the Saturn in Cancer is so near his Midheaven, it appears that fame in general felt somewhat like a burden to him, but we find this with many famous people and artists. So now we have interpreted the Trinity, and with these 3 bits of information, we have a basic idea of what Pete Townshend is about.


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Each Planet is in An Astrology Sign

Each Planet is Also in One of Twelve Astrology Houses

Next we need to see what sign his planets are in, and in what houses. This usually works out more easily if you consider the astrology sign and house together in one step. His planet Mars (physical abilities) and planet Venus (love and social life) are both in Aries in the 7th house of partnerships and marriage. The Mars in Aries shows a person who is competitive in relationships, but probably as a result of a slight inferiority complex. Pete has admitted to being an A$$hole at times, but did become the spokesperson and leader of The Who. A person with Venus and Mars in Aries is the person in the group who can be depended on to make plans and have ideas for what everyone will do. Pete’s creativity with lyrics is a tribute to both his Virgo gift of communications, but the Rock Operas of Tommy and Quadrophenia are examples of new, creative efforts, the Venus in Aries. Pete’s 1st marriage did last for 25 yrs., and his partnership with The Who endures, although only he and Roger Daltry are still with us. He hangs onto relationships for a long time.

His Mars in Aries squares Saturn, in the houses of both relationships and friends, or organizations he belongs to. This means he alternates between periods of aggression (Mars) and periods of recession and apathy (Saturn) in his relationships with partners and friends. He has times where he is ready to assert himself, but his timing is often off, as Saturn rules time. He has to be careful not to be bitter about occasional setbacks. Pete has the potential to accomplish a lot once he learns his limitations. He needed to learn that there are no shortcuts in life, you must work hard to get what you want. All of The Who’s members came from working class backgrounds, and did well for themselves. Pete’s greatest lessons in life will be learned through his relationships with others, as he sometimes does assert himself too much. We see this also by the Venus and Mars in his relationship house. His romantic relationships are inconsistent because of his temperament of Mars in Aries, and even he is sometimes unsure of his emotional intent. He suffers greatly if his advances are rejected by someone he likes. He tends to hurt the ones he loves, though it’s not his intent. He is in a fifteen year relationship with another woman now, so has grown in this area. He needs to be careful around machinery (I wonder if the arthritis he suffers from all the years of doing his “windmill” move on his guitar counts)!

Pete’s Mars in Aries sextiles his Uranus in Gemini, meaning he needs to click mentally with anyone who he wants to be close to. This is shown again with his Virgo Moon and Ascendant, verbal communication is vital to Townshend, both in his personal and professional lives. His Mars is also trine Pluto, again in the houses of relationships and friends, hopes and wishes, showing he is effective in finding unique ways of problem solving, and has a spiritual conviction that makes him feel obligated to do constructive things in his surroundings. He has an ardent sexual nature and is concerned that the object of his affections truly cares about him in ways other than as a lover. Pluto is about transformations, and Pete realizes that life is a spiritual process in which patterns of increasing awareness unfold. He is fearless in defending his rights and can be courageous in the face of overwhelming odds. He has vast stores of spiritual energies to sustain him through the most difficult times of his life.

A Young Pete Townshend Doing the Windmill

Pete Townshend
Pete Townshend
The Rolling Stone

Explanations of More Aspects in Pete Townshend's Astrological Profile

Townshend Communicates So Well With His Lyrics

His Mercury in Taurus in the 9th house of higher education sextiles his Saturn in Cancer in the 10th house near his Midheaven, once again showing his well developed intellect, resourcefulness, thoughtfulness and organizational abilities. Important facts about a person will show up in more than one way in a horoscope, so if it seems like this writer is repeating certain things, it is just to call attention to the fact they are an important factor in the subject’s life. He is brave about stating his opinions because he knows he is well informed. He decided early in life that he owed it to himself to capitalize on his talents, and both disciplined and informed himself, since he knew he was competing with other very talented musicians. Mercury in this position makes a person an eternal student, he could have had success in a number of career choices, but knew what he wanted and persisted with great determination and work to get where he is today. His Mercury squares Pluto, in the higher education and friendship houses, so at times can express himself to his friends so bluntly it can hurt their feelings. He behaves in a reckless manner at times, and can take risks to prove how brave he is. This was likely often during his times of heavy drug usage. He was never afraid to challenge authority when he felt that anyone abused his trust.

Pluto in Leo in his 11th house once again shows us that he becomes a leader of any group he is a part of.  Pluto in this sign marked the time when atomic bombs became part of life, and Pete has said in his book that he feels rock music was the result of his generation dealing with parents so traumatized by war that they did not communicate well with their children, who in turn had to release their fears and frustrations somehow, and his way was through music and writing.

Pete’s Virgo Moon trine Mercury in Taurus denotes a good memory, and good working cooperation between his conscious and unconscious mind. His thinking is constructive concerning personal and home affairs, and he is careful with his health and diet. Since both planets are in Earth signs, he has common sense. Pete is able to communicate easily about the ordinary kinds of things that happen every day. He has strong business abilities, is fluent in speech and expression, and this comes through by the way he expresses himself through his song lyrics.

An Older Pete Townshend Still Has The Moves!

Pete Townshend Still Moves!
Pete Townshend Still Moves!

Now You Know What a Real Horoscope Is!

Much More Could Be Learned From This Chart

Townshend's Moon conjunct his Ascendant means he identifies his consciousness through his emotions. Pete has a lively imagination and a lot of emotional energy. He is very impressionable, and experiences of his life have touched him deeply. His childhood experiences have had an extreme effect on his personality, and he is still fighting some demons regarding that. He still does identify strongly with his home and family.

His Moon sextile Saturn, in the 10th house of the Midheaven and public life, and the 12th house of secret sorrows has given him patience and practicality. He is organized and frugal. Pete likes to keep his financial affairs in order, and prefers the stauts quo when it comes to money, rather than to take a risk. He has worked hard for his wealth, and is not going to squander it. Neptune in the 2nd house means Pete will give money for philanthropic causes and spiritual ones.  He likes to live well, and will spend to live in comfort, because Taurus people enjoy relaxation after hard work, and like to relax with the best homes and furnishings.

So all in all, Pete Townshend’s chart gives us a picture of a man who has lived a very public life, loved it, and expresses himself best through his lyrics. We could do much more to interpret this horoscope. Since he has a Virgo Ascendant, we could discuss each sign that puts on each of the twelve house cusps, so we would discover his attitudes about every area of life. We could put the planets for today on his Natal Chart, and see what his New Year would be like, this is called looking at the transits. But the objective here was to show you that Astrology is a whole lot more than, “What sign are you?” I hope this is all cleared up now!

Calling All Astrologers!

Add Your Thoughts

If you know about Astrology and would like to make an observation, please feel free to jump in and add your comments! I just covered the basics here because it would take a very long series to explain all the things you can find out in an Astrology chart.

Lennon/McCartney Astrological Comparison

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Check out the issues in John and Paul's working relationship! Even though they were one of the most prolific writing teams in history, both of them wanted to be the leader. Surprisingly, the one who was did not want to be!

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Updated: 01/27/2013, JeanBakula
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JeanBakula on 01/19/2013

Hi Katie,
That could be why I guessed your wrong sign :). I'm usually better than that. You may have only your Sun in Capricorn. You write so smartly about such a variety of things, I really had you down for an Aquarius. But all your planets are in a sign, not just the Sun. Venus and Mercury are closest to the Sun, so are often in a sign to either side, hence Aquarius or Sagittarius. I can't remember people's names, but I know everyone's Sunsign. Thanks for stopping by!

katiem2 on 01/19/2013

Interesting, as we've discussed I'm a Capricorn and yet I am honestly nothing like it. :)K

JeanBakula on 01/13/2013

Thanks for commenting Tolovaj,
So many people think Astrology is only the sign your Sun was in at birth. My experience was like yours, my husband (then BF) and I took a course, and I stayed interested. The reference books alone cost hundreds of dollars and I've been in courses for years to learn transits (how to predict the future). There's no hocus-pocus, if I were to look at the Spring, I'd take out my birth chart,put today's planets on it, and see how that compares to the original chart. Nice to see you!

Tolovaj on 01/12/2013

Good explanation of interesting and sometimes controversial subject. One of my friends studied astrology and made similar chart for me many years ago. She told me things she couldn't know (and I didn't tell) and she even told me some things about my future (thing really happened).
Both can be explained with a healthy mix of logic and imagination but my view on astrology is: even if you don't believe, it works.

JeanBakula on 01/08/2013

Hello Dustytoes,
I believed when I took a course years ago, and the woman teaching it knew so many detailed and personal things without having ever met me before, just from reading my horoscope. It's a lot more complicated than people understand, that's why they diss what they think is only the Sign the Sun was in on their B-day. This is not a complete interpretation, it's about 1/3 of what I would do for a paying customer. Thanks for stopping by. I have more simplified Astrology articles on my blog, if you want to read them, they are more fun. I made up stories of people with certain Astrology traits. Take care.

dustytoes on 01/08/2013

This is all very confusing to me, and I'm not sure if I believe in it, but I have an online friend who is always talking about using Astrology. I'll send him over to read this!

JeanBakula on 01/08/2013

Thank you Hollie. I've been writing about Astrology for some time now, and it always surprises me that people really still think it's only about where the Sun is on your Birthday. Yesterday someone asked me to provide dates for Moon signs. I think they meant the Sun Sign, and even though for convenience it is said to go from the 21st of one month to another, that's really not true either, The Sun can go into the new sign on the 20th and stay there until the 22nd or 23rd, especially in summer. And I had a Moon sign link on that one! I guess people just scan through and ask questions that are answered in some pieces. Nice to see you!

HollieT on 01/08/2013

I really enjoyed reading this, Jean. Very insightful, as is your explanation of how his chart develops.

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