September 21, 1981 Berkeley, CA noon* (time unknown)

Reality TV star and tabloid fashion favorite Nicole Richie turns 27 today. Hard to believe she has packed so much into such a short life! The child of a music industry professional, Nicole was raised on the road, until at the age of 2 she was taken in by musician Lionel Richie and his then wife Brenda, to be raised as their own. This was a huge turning point in her life as this was also the year that her progressed sun moved from Virgo into Libra. Virgos like their lives to be ordered and comfortable and Nicole’s early life was probably marked by a strong absence of these things, leading her to value them even more greatly. With her progressed sun in sociable Libra from age two onwards, she has learned much more about enjoying people and creating trusting relationships.

The most fascinating thing about Richie’s chart is how precisely all of the progressions coincide with important times in her life. With a stellium of 4 planets in Libra, Nicole has had her fair share of ups and downs as her progressed sun came into conjunction with each of them in turn. At age 13 her progressed sun hit her natal Saturn, a time that usually causes difficulty. For the first time she probably became aware of the attention her famous family could bring her and struggled to reconcile this with her own self-esteem and self-awareness. Age 17 her progressed sun came conjunct with party-loving Jupiter. She was probably living it up and throwing herself into the wanton world of priviledged Los Angeles children and indulging (Jupiter’s key word) in drugs and alcohol. Though this period may have been ‘fun’ it was also stressful, as indicated in her chart by the tense aspect between Jupiter and her moon in sensitive Cancer. She was trying to celebrate (Jupiter) and be social (Libra) but was not talking care of her own emotional needs (moon in Cancer).

By the time her progressed sun hit Pluto, planet of power and transformation in 2006, she was a huge star… but also a huge mess. Rumors of drug problems and eating disorders swirled around her and culminated with a brief (very brief) trip to jail after a DUI arrest. Pluto is one of the most complex, fascinating planets in the zodiac. Pluto can bestow great magneticism and power upon you. Indeed, Richie had become a fashion icon and an influential celebrity by this point. But it also forces you to dig deep into yourself, to go beyond the superficial, and if you refuse it can stir up situations in your life that make you confront yourself. Just as Nicole was facing her DUI, she became pregnant with Pisces boyfriend Joel Madden. And of course, the power of Pluto is also there to help you turn your life around once you have truly made the decision to do so.

In 2008, with the birth of her daughter Harlow, a Capricorn, Nicole’s progressed sun made it’s last conjunction in Libra, with Mercury, Virgo’s ruler. This was truly a time of empowerment and self-confidence for her, where she was finally finding her own ‘voice’ and deciding where she would want her life to go. She will probably weigh her options and multi-task for a few more years, before her progressed sun goes into Scorpio. Then, in 5 years time, expect a decidedly more private life from this very public star.

Nicole’s Virgo/Cancer astrological signature can be seen in her famous fashion sense. Virgos are wild about jewelry and accessories. Scarves, headbands, sunglasses, bangles… these have become the trademarks of the Nicole Richie look. A look that was more or less masterminded by her one time close friend and stylist, fellow Virgo Rachel Zoe. And Cancers have an attachment to things that have sentimental value, soft materials and especially love cozy layering. History-loving Cancer has a very vintage vibe as well and Nicole’s nostalgic decade of choice is the 1970s.

COMING UP: Communicative Mercury is strong in Nicole’s chart this year. She may decide to write a follow-up to her first book. This one would likely be more personal though, perhaps exploring her recent transformation from party girl to mom. Now would also be the perfect time for her to tie up any loose ends on the business front. If she has started projects and hasn’t completed them, she should close the door or finish up. All of this boring maintenence work will pay off when the big project she finally wants comes along next year and she can focus all of her attention on it. This is set to be a happy, satisfying, creative year for her.