Inspired living

The link between business success and astrology



We profile the astrology charts and planetary placements of high achievers in business Ita Buttrose, Lorna Jane and Sir Richard Branson.

To honour the rare pile up of cycles from lucky Jupiter, hard-working Saturn and power planet Pluto through Capricorn in 2020 – a sign of business – we’ve profiled three stand-out business people to see what in their astrology makeup might indicate professional success and longevity.

Ita Buttrose by Alicia Yusuf

Born into a journalism family, Ita quickly moved from humble beginnings as a 15-year-old copy girl at Women’s Weekly into a stellar career as a journalist, editor and author. Now, at 77, she has taken on a five-year term as Chair of the ABC. When announcing the appointment, Prime Minister Scott Morrison claimed, “Australians trust Ita.”

What is it about Ita that made her the media legend she is today?

Strength and resilience

“Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.” – Ita Buttrose

This quote sums up Ita perfectly. There isn’t a birth time on record for Ita, so when working with her astrology we don’t have the houses. However, you can use the planetary signatures active on her date of birth – many of which indicate strength and toughness – to gain insight into her personality.

Ita speaks about the importance of resilience in business, of being able to weather the tough times and come through to the other side.

Ita has the Sun in Capricorn, a sign about structure, focus and ambition. Its symbol is the mountain goat, which happily survives in extreme conditions and can find a path in high and precarious places. This earthy sign is known for its hard work ethic, pragmatic approach and ability to find practical solutions when faced with obstacles. Ita embodies all these qualities, which have earned her great respect from her peers over the years.

Mercury in Aquarius thinks outside the box and looks towards the future.

Capricorns can also be natural leaders; from their lofty position they have a broader view of issues, a natural knack for management, and they tend to speak with gravitas. People trust their authority and wisdom and are happy to follow their lead. The cold and dry qualities of Capricorn choose logic over emotion, which would have been a bonus for Ita in the male-dominated world of publishing in the 70s and 80s.

“You can’t run away from obstacles. You have to find the right strategies to overcome them, strategies that work for you.” – Ita Buttrose

In 1985, Ita launched her own publishing company called Capricorn Publishing – perhaps a gentle nod to this sign and the tenacity and endurance it has gifted her. Sadly, she had to let it go during the recession of the early 90s, but her no-nonsense attitude saw her quickly pick herself up and dust herself off, ready for the next challenge.

Innovator and humanitarian

Ita has both Mercury (communication, ideas) and Venus (beauty, women) in Aquarius. Aquarius is the innovator, the visionary, the idealist. While Capricorn tends to be staid and traditional, Aquarius breaks down boundaries and starts revolutions. Mercury in Aquarius thinks outside the box and looks towards the future, seeking new trends before they arrive.

As the founding editor of Cleo Magazine, Ita broke new ground and kick-started a sexual revolution in print media. Featuring the first nude centrefolds and frank discussions on women’s sexuality, Ita’s insights into what was brewing in the feminist revolution ensured Cleo magazine stayed ahead of its competitors.

Ita also has innovative Uranus in Taurus in aspect to her Sun in Aquarius, showing she wants to be free and authentic and is interested in feminism and equality. Cleo Magazine embraced women’s liberation at a time when pay equality was a new concept, single women couldn’t get the pill, and women could not enter public bars. Venus in Aquarius values liberation and freedom.

The Moon in a fire sign indicates the need for movement and stimulation.

In 1975, at age 33, Ita became the youngest ever editor at Women’s Weekly, and worked tirelessly to modernise it. Five years later Ita smashed the glass ceiling when she was named editor-in-chief at the Daily Telegraph. This made her the first woman in Australia to edit a major newspaper publication, and the first woman to sit on the board of News Limited Pty. In this role Ita was ahead of her time, encouraging female employees to continue to work after they had children by offering a family friendly workplace – a nod to her Venus in Aquarius.

The humanitarian side of Aquarius is seen in her tireless charity work. In the 1980s Ita became Chair of NACAIDS, back when AIDS was still feared. She was President of Alzheimer’s Australia from 2011-2014, and served as patron for many other charitable organisations. In 2013 she was named Australian of the Year in recognition of her services.

Strength and style: Saturn in Taurus

When Ita was born Saturn was in another earth sign, Taurus. This adds to her strength and toughness, and the need to produce real, tangible results. Taurus is all about stability and reliability, which was illustrated well in her recent vow to “restore stability” at the ABC and get it “functioning again”1. This placement is also akin to pulling a velvet glove over an iron fist.

Venus, the goddess of beauty, rules Taurus, which explains why Ita is always immaculately dressed; the epitome of elegance and refinement. She always dressed well as a journalist, as she never knew just where her job would take her and who she would meet.

Venus is also about ease and kindness. Perhaps it is these qualities that encouraged Ita to author A Guide to Australian Etiquette, which shares tips on good manners as a way to increase self-confidence and put others at ease.

Mercury, Jupiter and a love of ideas and publishing

Ita has Jupiter in Gemini, which is an expansive, optimistic energy that finds joy in language, communication and making connections. It’s no surprise she knew she wanted to be a journalist from the age of 11. From print journalism to talkback radio host, TV presenter and best-selling author, Ita’s career has spanned many facets of media, so it’s only fitting that she has taken the helm at ABC.

The trine between Jupiter in Gemini and Mercury in Aquarius in her chart means Ita is optimistic about creating change and following her visions for the future. It also offers the flexibility to adapt to whatever circumstances require. Her simple life advice is, “Follow what you love and never look back” – which has Jupiter written all over it1.

Her success is not about one specific trait or quality. Instead, Ita has harnessed her gifts to create a harmonious blend of focused drive, stability and trustworthiness with visionary thinking and flexibility, in a field she loves.

Lorna Jane Clarkson by Cassandra Tyndall

Fashion designer, entrepreneur and author Lorna Jane Clarkson is a British born Australian who built the famous activewear brand Lorna Jane, named after herself, from humble beginnings in the late 80s.

A dental assistant working as an aerobics instructor on the side, Lorna Jane was dissatisfied with the quality of gym clothes available on the market. Unstitching her favourite bathing suit and designing a pattern from newspaper, she created a pair of tights what would end up becoming the foundation stone of a fashion empire worth over half a billion dollars.

With a staunch work ethic, Lorna Jane made the BRW Rich Women list in 2013 and 2014 for being a self-made millionaire. In 2014, Lorna Jane’s take-home pay was estimated at $50 million.

As there is no birth time for Lorna Jane, it’s not possible to work out her ascendant or the rulers of her astrological houses. The Moon did not change signs on the day she was born so we know she has Moon in Leo. For the purposes of analysing her chart, we can ignore the houses and instead focus on planets and their aspects.

The fire element and inspiration

Lorna Jane has the Sun at 2 degrees of Sagittarius, suggesting that professional and public success may stem from her personal philosophy. Her home is said to be filled with inspirational quotes and vision boards that keep her focus firmly on her big-picture dreams. Lorna Jane integrated this concept into her company, using inspirational words and quotes on the clothing and in marketing campaigns.

The Moon in Leo emphasises the fire element in Lorna’s personality. The Moon is associated with the body, and in a fire sign indicates the need for movement and stimulation. As the Moon forms a supportive trine aspect to the Sun in Sagittarius, another fire sign, a big part of Lorna Jane’s astrological DNA derives from the element of fire, which is about movement. Keeping her body active stimulates her spirit, fuels her sense of identity and her vision for the future.

Wealth and stability with Jupiter in Taurus

Her larger-than-life Sagittarian self is ruled by Jupiter in Taurus. This is a distinct elemental shift from uplifting and motivating fire to practical and enduring earth. This helps keep Lorna Jane’s inspirational vision firmly rooted in what is tangible.

The sign of Taurus is earthy, sensual and practical, and is ruled by Venus. This is reflected in her clothing brand, which is functional as well as fashionable. Associated with nourishing the body, the essence of Jupiter in Taurus is embodied in Lorna Jane’s entire personal and company ethos of Move, Nourish, Believe.

The sign of Taurus is earthy, sensual and practical, and is ruled by Venus.

Jupiter in Taurus is also associated with wealth, and when it comes to money Lorna Jane is known to run a tight ship, living well within her means. It is said that she has never used consumer credit, and the company carries no debt. The earthy, fertile qualities of Jupiter in Taurus describe accumulation and the acquiring of wealth. The most lavish purchase she’s said to have made is her 10-million-dollar Brisbane riverfront home, which has retained its value over time. With Jupiter in Taurus, Lorna Jane is guided to spend on solid investments that accrue wealth.

Venus in libra and fashion for women

There are two components to Lorna Jane’s chart that may demonstrate why her brand has set the industry standard for activewear. Firstly, Lorna Jane is exclusively a brand for women. The ruler of Jupiter in Taurus is Venus, which for Lorna Jane is strongly placed in Libra, its own sign.

Venus in Libra represents aesthetic and beauty. The philosophy being that you can be fit, active and look stylish at the same time. Flick through the racks of any Lorna Jane store and you might wonder how you could possibly get hot and sweaty wearing those clothes. Even in business meetings, Lorna Jane wears her own designs rather than corporate style clothing. She has rejected several requests to design a men’s line.

Spirituality and purpose: Neptune in the mix

The second idea worth exploring is that Jupiter in Taurus opposes Neptune in Scorpio. For Lorna Jane, creating an activewear empire wasn’t enough, it also had to evoke a sense of belonging. Both Jupiter and Neptune describe themes of meaning, purpose and faith. The Lorna Jane brand is not just about gym clothes, it blends spirituality and a holistic approach. At the height of its popularity, to purchase a piece of Lorna Jane activewear also meant you were a part of the Move, Nourish, Believe philosophy.

Neptune is a planet that blurs boundaries, and in aspect to Jupiter can show she deeply identifies with her work, as if it’s an expression of her vision in the world. In 2014, Lorna Jane and her husband considered selling the business. They withdrew negotiations when she realised that she’d be half a person without the brand and she wouldn’t know what to do without it. For Lorna Jane, it appears there is no distinction between who she is and the brand itself, an apt description for Neptune opposing Jupiter, the ruler of her Sun.

Saturn cycles and the Midas touch

The first Lorna Jane store opened in Brisbane’s Broadway on the Mall back in 1990. The period from December 2017 to December 2020 signals the first Saturn return for the Lorna Jane brand. In the past, Jupiter-Saturn cycles have seen Lorna Jane exhibit the Midas touch.

During the global financial crisis of 2008, when Jupiter was last in Capricorn – and will be again in 2020 – Lorna Jane used the depreciated market to her advantage. Using the strategic and frugal qualities of Capricorn, she pushed for company growth (Jupiter) by securing leases in top locations that would have otherwise been out of reach in a stronger economic climate.

It’s possible that Lorna Jane may repeat this strategy in the United States. In 2016, she purchased a property in Santa Monica that houses her US residence as well as a design studio. If market conditions decline in this current Jupiter-in-Capricorn cycle, as they did in the last, Lorna Jane has positioned herself for ripe pickings in the American market in 2020 and beyond.

Sir Richard Branson by Samuel F Reynolds

On Richard Branson’s last day at the prestigious Stowe school, before dropping out, Robert Drayson the school’s headmaster told young Branson that he would either “end up in prison or become a millionaire.”

Branson had underperformed academically, partly due to his dyslexia, yet looking at his chart you can’t help but wonder if his headmaster knew a little astrology.

Insulation: Isolation or the setting for success?

Branson’s Sun, the ruler of his Leo ascendant, rises into the twelfth house, which has a lot of fear associated with it. The twelfth house is linked to prisons, asylums and other institutions associated with self-undoing. Therefore it’s not implausible that Branson would serve time, by some interpretations of the twelfth house.

In 1971, perhaps unsurprisingly, very early into his otherwise long and largely unblemished career, Branson was convicted of tax evasion and served a brief stint in jail.

The twelfth house is linked to prisons, asylums, and other institutions associated with “self-undoing.

What’s not often appreciated about the twelfth house is that its insular nature can also be where you experience transcendence and what’s wildly mysterious within yourself. Traditionally, it’s where you might meet your untamed guides, gods, even the unconscious in yourself or in society. It’s also the place where you might, through your actions, refuse to surrender to that transcendence or higher sensibility by committing crimes (prison); failing to take care of your health (hospitals); angering people (hidden enemies); or experiencing deep periods of isolation rather than insulation.

You can either learn to insulate yourself in ways that condition you toward achievement, or isolate yourself in circumstances that leave you separated, perhaps forcibly so, from society.

You might think of the twelfth house as a padded room. It can be the padded room of a psychiatric ward or, instead, a sound studio where you learn to create the sounds you desire. It all depends on your perception. That’s one essential lesson Branson has learned well and, in turn, teaches through what he does.

Music and the start of Virgin

Sound is important to Branson. He made his first fortunes through his love of music. He sold records from the church where he ran his first successful business venture, Student, a magazine. From his record shop earnings he launched Virgin Records in 1972.

Supposedly, the name Virgin was suggested by one of Branson’s early employees because they were all new at business. But again, I must marvel at Branson’s astrology since he has a Moon, Saturn and Part of Fortune in Virgo, the sign of the Virgin, in his second house of finances and wealth! Directly opposite his moon in Virgo, Branson has well-placed generous, grand, yet sensitive Jupiter in Pisces in the eighth house of other people’s money and shared resources.

Expansion and a broad approach with Jupiter

Branson’s twelfth house Cancer Sun and Uranus in Cancer looks to his Virgo Moon for guidance, since the Moon is the planetary hostess for the sign of Cancer. Branson’s Moon in Virgo pulls out his more sheltered Sun, through her opposition with adventurous Jupiter, which can indicate variety.

Many business people claim their fortunes in one area and pretty much stay in that lane. Not so Branson, who: founded an airline; explored space travel; established telecom businesses around the world; established a hotel chain; attempted to break world records racing across the world in hot air balloons (with Jupiter ruling hot air), boats and other kinds of vehicles; and launched multiple humanitarian initiatives to solve global conflicts, help missing and exploited children, stimulate entrepreneurship, and stop global warming, just to name a few of his many endeavours.

As a Sun-powered Leo rising, he certainly likes the limelight. Yet Branson has a more reclusive side, as his twelfth house Sun would suggest. He also can be shy and awkward, and covets his privacy. Having your own private island in the Caribbean would certainly provide that.

A lucky Virgin island

Branson bought Necker Island, an isle in the British Virgin Islands – another independent virgin reference for his Virgo moon – when he was 28 years old, just before his Saturn return. He bought it for $120,000 USD, though the initial asking price was $6 million. I would say that lucky Jupiter in the eighth house, opposing his Virgo moon, was working for him.

But Jupiter’s good fortune comes at a cost. Branson’s palatial mansion on the island has been levelled twice! The first time was August 2011, when lightning struck his home and a fire ensued. Fortunately all 20 guests in the home were safe, including Branson’s own mother, who was carried out of the burning home by none other than Titanic movie star and houseguest Kate Winslet. The second time was six years later, September 2017, when Hurricane Irma almost destroyed the whole island. Again, there were no casualties on Branson’s Necker Island, another Jupiter blessing.

What’s fascinating in terms of timing, is that according to an ancient timing technique called profection, Branson was in a cycle that would emphasise his Moon-Jupiter opposition in both those years. The first part of that cycle was in 2011 with the Moon, then with Jupiter, the other half of that opposition, six years later. This would suggest that Branson will likely face broad challenges with his haven of privacy at least once a decade. Yet Branson always seems ready to meet the challenge, since much of his beloved Necker Island was rebuilt by April 2018, only six months after its devastation. Branson seems to roll as easily with big risks as he does with big rewards — a perfect summary of his second house Moon opposite Jupiter in the eighth house, which are both chart sectors associated with money and investments.

It’s somewhat hard to believe, with Branson’s Virgo moon, that repeating refrains like the virgin theme are completely by accident. However, when you’re willing to live your life authentically you can naturally find the right and even the best alignment with your chart. It appears Branson has found his, and even exceeded his schoolmaster’s dire forecast. He’s neither a prisoner nor a millionaire. He’s a billionaire dropout living his best life.