I was watching something about Anthony Bourdain on television, and I was thinking what a lucky guy he is. He went from being a drug-using, paycheck-to-paycheck (if that) chef in New York City, barely making ends meet, to a life of notoriety, abundance, international travel, security and comfort. It got me wondering about his astrological chart.

I don’t know what time he was born, but I found that he was born in New York, NY, on June 25, 1956, with both Jupiter and Pluto conjunct (not exact) Regulus at 27 and 26 degrees of Leo, respectively. (I was born only 8 months later and Jupiter was just entering Libra—already! It went through Virgo in less than eight months’ time! The planet that normally takes 12 to 13 months to traverse a sign).

Anthony Bourdain’s natal birthchart June 25, 1956

But interestingly, not only were Pluto and Jupiter at the 26-27 degree point, so was Neptune (in Libra) and Saturn (in Scorpio)—both at 27, with Bourdain’s Neptune and Jupiter/Pluto exactly sextile. Already this says so much. I’ll get to that in a minute. Also, in his birth chart, Venus is at 28 degrees in Gemini—which rules communication and the media. With Venus there is means happiness and prosperity related to communication, socializing, the media. And it is at a positive angle of opportunity to Pluto and Jupiter—wealth and fame. So it would be a good outcome IF he took action related to the media. The chance for fame and wealth. And, he obviously did.

In order to see why he went from loser to a rich and famous world traveler, I decided to check out his secondary progressions to show the themes of his life. This is interesting, as well. Although I do not know his houses and axes, since I don’t have a time, I am wondering if he has Cancer rising, as well as Cancer sun. That would put Pluto and Jupiter in his house of income and self-esteem (in Leo, also the spotlight and renown helping him earn money) Pluto and Jupiter in the 2nd house, though, would likely mean lucky, extremely wealthy based on his income and his stature –and on Regulus, it is kingly.

That would make Virgo (nutrition, health, perfectionism) in his communications house, most likely. And Sagittarius—international travel, publication and broadcasting—would possibly be in his 6th house of day-to-day work (and his North Node is there—meaning his destiny is travel, publishing and/or broadcasting). Neptune is in Libra possibly his 4th or 5th house, again, sextile to Jupiter/Pluto. Neptune also relates to a high level of creativity in film, photography, music, as well as drug addiction, depression, or lack of clarity—at least two of which he said he had before his New Yorker article was published in 1999, which set him on a whole new path.

He has Mercury in Gemini—TV, communication, social networks, meeting with people. And he has Ceres in Aries close to Eris. Ceres is the agriculture and food connection and Aries is what is important to him, his focus based on what is good for him, and Eris can relate to unexpected disruption (in Aries, impulsive) that leads to growth—likely related to food.

Saturn in his birthchart, at 27 Scorpio, is squaring his Pluto and Jupiter on Regulus in Leo. Saturn causes delays—delays to the luck and stature—and the square (90 degree) angle, represents hurdles he needs to overcome in order to come out ahead.

A really interesting aspect in his birthchart is that (depending on the time of day he was born) the moon in Aquarius was directly opposite Uranus in Leo at 0 degrees. Uranus rules Aquarius—it is a quirky yet brilliant mind and personality. The moon there would indicate he feels at home in changing environments, with alternative perspectives, and may even have had an unusual home or family situation (moon is home/family/mother and Aquarius is atypical—as is Uranus connecting at an oppositional angle). It may have created a tension or spurred a decision in his life. And it may relate to a choice between his brilliance (he had been a student at Vassar College) and one of taking risks, doing the creative work he loved (he transferred to Culinary Institute of America), and even, a personality that may have wanted to be in the spotlight—to be loved, himself, for his unique qualities that maybe someone in his home/family situation did not value.

His mercury in Gemini underscores his high level of communication, and Venus is not far from there, meaning communicating his values, that communication makes him happy with himself and in general, particularly when he is in social situations. His moon in Aquarius also connects to the 11th house (Aquarius rules the 11th house) which represents social networks, peer groups. And moon is where we are comfortable. So he probably feels comfortable in social situations and in meeting with people.

His progressed planets mostly have not moved, other than the moon, the sun, and the fast-moving planets: mercury, mars and Venus. And Jupiter has made strides, as well.

At the time he published his New Yorker article in 1999, his natal 26-degree Pluto was conjunct progressed Pluto, which, at 27 degrees had not moved far, but was now exactly conjunct his natal Jupiter. Fame and wealth clicked in, and progressed Saturn has moved off that exact degree point of 27 back to 26 (it was retrograde when he was born, meaning its strength to delay or limit him was not at its peak). So the stronger influence of Saturn is backing off and his limitations related to wealth and fame may begin to wane here.

The progressed moon—which is the key planet to watch in progressions, since it moves quickly around the chart—was closely aligned with his Jupiter/Pluto and Pluto conjunction. That tells me that 1999 was when his fame and wealth would be activated. The progressed moon was also conjunct his progressed mercury and Jupiter in Virgo – nutrition, health, perfectionism, and service. Mercury there means communication would (Jupiter) expand, grow, be lucky for him, and could mean expand into television. And it could be related to nutrition and health.

Mars in Pisces in the natal chart is square to Mercury. Mars is action, impulsiveness, aggression, energy. In Pisces it relates to Neptune—creativity or confusion—filmmaking and photography or using drugs and alcohol. The square angle represents a hurdle he had to overcome in those actions in order to make peace with his mercury in Gemini—television, communication, writing, meeting people, and so on. So if he had not stopped using drugs, his energy could have gone into that rather than the positive side of Neptune—the creativity, film/video, (intuitive, perhaps?) characteristics—linked to Mercury in Gemini through Mars. There is that strong pull to write, socialize, do television, connect with people and once he overcame the negative pull of Neptune and started writing, he connected to his Gemini energy. Venus, also in Gemini brought in the happiness, and that is at an angle of opportunity to Pluto and Jupiter (his wealth and fame). So once he was able to find happiness in communication, writing, and media, he had the opportunity—if he took action—to find wealth and fame.

Progressed Venus moved into Cancer from Gemini when he was 46. His natal Venus is retrograde, and his progressed Venus is moving direct. Which is a shift in love and happiness. When a planet goes direct after being retrograde, we see that planet’s attributes in a different light. But that happened at age 19 or 20, meaning that is when things related to love likely changed for him. Venus in Cancer can relate to home, family, and parents. I believe Bourdain got divorced soon after his book was published in 2000, which still has direct Venus in Cancer, but having just gone into that sign three years earlier, right before the New Yorker article came out, and connected him to the home, the feelings of comfort and security when it does.

In a progressed chart, when a planet changes between retrograde and direct or goes into a new sign, it means a shift in what that planet represents. He may have shifted his feelings related to love and happiness in the home situation before the article was published, or when he was writing it.

In 1999, his progressed Juno in Capricorn was square to Eris in Aries. Capricorn is our sense of responsibility, discipline, practicality, and grounded state-of-mind. It is also about our work and money. Juno represents marriage commitment—or long-term commitment. His progressed Juno at that challenging angle to Eris in Aries could mean that a self-focused action could have caused a sudden disruption to his marriage commitment and sense of responsibility and practicality related to his commitment, and that became another hurdle to overcome in his life.

In 2000, not much changes except the fast-moving planets. Again we look for the moon, which is now in Virgo, with Jupiter and Mercury, which are conjunct—so they are having an effect on each other—mercury is the writing and Jupiter is the luck, money and expansion of that. Virgo is the nutrition and health—and also getting things in order, re-organizing things (without his birthtime, I can’t be sure what part of his life that represents). The moon there means there is a focus on that part of his life.

Progressed venus is on his sun in Cancer. This means a new phase for love—often a marriage. But in Cancer can mean feelings of love are strong, or it can mean a sense of personal happiness and prosperity and self-esteem and a sense of values related to home and family.

Uranus has moved further into Leo, which means unpredictability, change, unusual events related to love affairs, children, creative projects or being in the limelight, as well as risk-taking.

His Progressed Juno (marital or long-term commitment—which can also relate to a business partnership), is at a highly positive angle to lucky, beneficial Jupiter. Juno is in Capricorn, the sign of disciplines, practicality but also work, the workplace. And Jupiter is in Virgo, and Virgos LOVE to have a job to do. With Jupiter there, he is lucky in the job he is given to do and it benefits his long-term commitment or partnership possibly related to work or business.

Neptune and Pluto are exactly sextile –a positive angle of potential. Pluto is power, rebirth, drastic change, taking charge, and it is connected at an exact degree to his natal Jupiter, so it expands his status in the limelight, in what he loves and loves to create, and it just brings a wonderful possibility related to work on screen—film, video, photography, creativity, at a high level. And his natal Jupiter is sending great possibilities, international, legal, publishing and broadcasting, as well.

In 2013, he began doing his show, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. What is new in the progressions to his natal chart are that his progressed north node—the symbol of one’s destiny and purpose in this life—is in Sagittarius, which represents international travel and cultures, as well as publishing and broadcasting through the media. That progression is at a highly positive angle to Uranus in Leo. Leo is the area of creative projects, what and who we love, and being in the limelight, getting attention, and taking risks. Uranus represents unexpected or unpredictable events, change, alternative perspectives, future-oriented ideas. And Uranus rules Aquarius, where his progressed moon is in 2013. Aquarius is independence, alternative ideas, change, the social collective or community. So there is a very positive and very likely aspect that his creative project would change and positively affect his destiny related to international travel and cultures and publishing/broadcasting.

Also in 2013, we see the sun (the self, the identity) almost exactly conjunct Progressed Pluto, and still close to the regal star Regulus. Pluto again is transformation, rebirth, change, taking charge, power and stature. Here again his identity is undergoing a major transformation, a rebirth of sorts, and a high-level of power and recognition—still expanding (Jupiter), and fortunate.


This year, 2018, the progressed moon is in Taurus—a sign that represents not only finance, but stability, being settled, comfortable, persistent, and it also relates to food, wine, and home, and generally not wanting change. We also see that progressed Mercury has moved into Libra, the sign of balance, relationship, harmony. Progressed moon and mercury are at a highly positive angle to each other, so it is highly likely he will find a very positive outcome to finding balance in relationships, feeling settled, harmonious, comfortable financially and aesthetically and in relation to home and family.

Progressed Mars in Pisces is directly opposite progressed Mercury in Virgo. Mars is energy, drive, action and in Pisces it can represent creativity, spirituality, compassion. Mercury is communication, television, what we write about and think about. Virgo is related to food and nutrition and health. There may be a new energy that is opposite the Mercury energy of being organized, attentive to detail and perfectionist, and putting more energy into going with the flow, being more intuitive and fluid and less rigid and compartmentalized.

Venus rules both Taurus and Libra, and his progressed Venus is still in Cancer—the sign of home and family, comfort and emotions.

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