All the world’s a stage, according to William Shakespeare. It certainly was for him, unfortunately we have no birth time for the Bard but it would be fitting if he had a strong 5th house. The 5th sign, Leo tends to produce people who like to express themselves dramatically as if performing centre stage and the 5th house has connections with both film and theatre. One person who did have a strong 5th was opera singer Montserrat Caballe.
Caballe has the Sun, Venus and Uranus in close conjunction in Aries in the 5th. There would be no stage fright or reservations about performing here, it would be a let me at ’em, show what I can do combination. Aries is an assertive sign but with the Moon closely conjunct the Ascendant in Scorpio Caballe would have an extremely strong will to succeed whatever the odds.
With the Sun conjunct Uranus, she would be keen to experiment with different styles of performance and types of music. Her Scorpio side is strengthened by a close square between the Sun and Pluto which means profound personal transformation would be a major feature in her life.
An important Scorpio / Pluto theme is death and rebirth, it is experienced during the person’s life as a capacity to completely reinvent themselves, a bit like a snake shedding its skin or a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. For Montserrat Caballe this capacity for resurrection began even before she was born.
Her life began with a miracle as she was born with the umbilical cord around her neck and was being strangled until her head was completely black. Her mother prayed to the Virgin at the monastery of Montserrat, and when the baby survived, she was named after the place and the “Black Virgin,” because the wood of the statue is black with age. These kind of miracles do happen particularly if you have the Moon rising in Scorpio with a Sun / Pluto square.
The Moon rules childbirth and the 5th house also rules childhood. The Ascendant symbolises the beginnings of things, the moment when the individual emerges as a separate entity, so as the Moon is so close to the Ascendant and Pluto so exactly square the 5th house Sun, we are talking about a miracle of resurrection happening at the moment of birth.
Pluto would make two transits to the Moon / Ascendant conjunction during her life. The first one was a square between 1954 and 56. Montserrat Caballe graduated from music school with a gold medal in 1954 and moved to Basel, Switzerland, where she made her professional debut in 1956 as Mimì in Puccini’s La Bohème.
With a Mars / Jupiter / Neptune conjunction at the Midheaven, Caballe was destined to have a successful career in music ( Neptune ). Pluto was conjunct Jupiter when her international breakthrough came in 1965 when she substituted for an indisposed Marilyn Horne in a performance of Donizetti‘s Lucrezia Borgia at New York’s Carnegie Hall, which earned her a 25-minute standing ovation, a performance that made her famous throughout the opera world.
By the mid 1980s she was in her 50s and her career seemed to be mostly over but in an extraordinary demonstration of her capacity to reinvent herself she teamed up with rock star Freddie Mercury of Queen, to record “Barcelona“, in 1988. This became the anthem of the 1992 Summer Olympics which was hosted by Caballé’s native city, and she was suddenly a pop star throughout Europe. In 1992, Pluto was conjunct Caballe’s Moon and Ascendant, easily the most powerful transit of her life.
When Pluto was in square to her Jupiter / Neptune / Midheaven conjunction in 1999, Caballé performed the song live at the age of 66, accompanied by a recording by Mercury, who had died 8 years previously, before the UEFA Champions League football final in Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium.
It seemed Caballe’s capacity to come back from the dead was so strong that it even influenced the match. The 1999 final was noted for one of the most dramatic comebacks of all time. Man United were losing to Bayern Munich having been outplayed for the whole game, only to score twice in injury time to take the trophy.
Throughout her life Caballe demonstrated an incredible ability to reinvent herself and to emerge phoenix like from the ashes into a new phase of her career with a completely fresh energy and direction. Write her off at your peril.
Great comebacks in football matches are often accompanied by the commentator saying, ” It’s not over until the fat lady sings “. With Montserrat Caballe you can never be sure that its over.