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It's astonishing how many people fantasize about writing. Here's what it takes to be a success:

i By sign: Great writers are born under every sign of the zodiac, but

Gemini is especially haunted by the urge to write. Having the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Ascendant, or Midheaven in the sign of the Twins encourages writing ability.

1 By planet: Becoming a successful writer requires a robust Mercury. Mercury is strong if it rules the Ascendant or Midheaven, if it's in Gemini or Virgo, if it makes close aspects to other planets, and if it's in the third, sixth, ninth, or tenth houses. Don't fret if your Mercury is retrograde. That placement is so common among the authors I admire that I've started to wonder whether it's actually an advantage.

Saturn, the planet of self-discipline, is essential. Imaginative Neptune can be pivotal, especially in writing poetry, fiction, and song lyrics.

The Moon is arguably the most important planet, as the researcher Michel Gauquelin discovered. He found that creative writers are more likely than nonwriters to have the Moon in one of the so-called zones of power: either overhead (that is, in the ninth house or conjunct the Midheaven in the tenth) or rising (in the first house conjunct the Ascendant or in the twelfth house of secrets and solitude).

1 By house: Look for activity in the third house of communication, the ninth house of publication, and the fifth house of creativity.

To observe this in real life, take a look at novelist Toni Morrison's chart (see Chapter 16). She doesn't have every one of the characteristics listed above. Then again, no one does. But her Mercury is conjunct her Midheaven; Venus, the ruler of her Ascendant, is in the ninth house of publication conjunct Saturn; two planets are in the third house (with one more knocking at the gate); and Neptune, the planet of the imagination, is located in the fifth house of creativity. By becoming a writer, she fulfilled the potential of her chart.

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