A Broken Heart is an Open Heart
The Life of George Michael
Philanthropy and Compassion Personified
George Michael was an icon and pin-up of my childhood, being a child of the 80’s and all. Finding fame with his pop band ‘Wham!’ then later going onto be a solo artist, he would go on who sell 120 million records worldwide, making him one of the best selling music artists of all time. I have a vested interest in George as he lived up the road from me in the Oxfordshire village of Goring-on-Thames. This was also where he was found dead by his lover, Fadi Fatwas, on Christmas day, 2016.
Born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou on the 25th of June 1963 to hardworking Greek Cypriot immigrant father and an English dancer mother, George grew up in a 2 bed flat above a launderette in Finchley, London. Although it is now common knowledge that he was gay, much of his early life was spent trying to hide the fact, particularly from his parents, confiding only in his sisters and a couple of close friends. George’s early fantasies about women led him to believe he was straight, or as George said was ‘….on the path to heterosexuality’. In fact, in his early Wham days he was quite the womaniser, sleeping with scores of female fans, up to 4 a day while on tour, according to his cousin. But George found it hard to commit to any of them, because although he was attracted to them, it was never love. This hetero persona was invented by him in a bid to hide his true sexual nature, and would also enable him to fulfil his dreams of fame. Regarding this ‘mask’, George had said ‘I created a man the world could love if they chose to. Someone who could realise my dreams and make me a star’. Reflecting back upon this time, George admitted that it was ‘…a nurture thing, via the absence of my father…’ who, according to George, was ‘…. always busy working’. His father, who apparently had a habit of putting him down, had also told a young music obsessed George that he couldn’t sing, which would have really dented his confidence. But this didn’t deter him, instead his determination to prove his father wrong was used as a springboard to success. But George was exceptionally close to his mother, another reason that he tried so hard to hide his true sexuality, for fear of hurting her.
George with his parents, Kyriacos (Jack) and Lesley
This need he felt to hide his sexuality eventually took its toll mentally, leading to a deep depression. It wasn’t until he met his first real love, Brazilian designer Anselmo Fileppa, in the crowd at one of his concerts, that he finally began to feel comfortable with his true nature. According to George, not only did this relationship help him come out of the closet, Fileppa also helped him learn to relax and enjoy life more. But tragedy would strike 6 months into the relationship when Fileppa was diagnosed as being HIV positive. George found his lover’s subsequent death particularly hard to cope with and it took him three years to fully grieve his loss, only to then lose his mother to cancer, which would have had a devastating effect. He had lost both of these central people within 5 years.
Being quite a private person he generally hid much of his pain, although sometimes we would get a glimpse. George opened up about this dark period in what was to become his final project, George Michael: Freedom, the 90-minute documentary he was working on in the days before his death, remarking that he felt “picked on by the gods”. He went on to say that “From the day I found out about my partner to the day I can say I was on the mend from my mother, it was just constant fear. It was either fear of death, or fear of the next bereavement. I’d never felt that kind of depression. It was the darkest time” Another time, whilst performing at Prague State Opera, he opened up regarding the storminess of his love life, admitting that it had been ‘….a lot more turbulent than I have let on’. It is true that Cancerian people, of which George is definitely one, tend to hide in their shell, hiding a very soft and sensitive inner core. Cancerian people also have a very strong need for close bonds with others, yet it was hard for George to find the emotional stability he craved.
George, looking pensive
What was well known about George was that he was quite generous when it came to giving to charity. Not only did he sing with charity super-group ‘Band Aid’, he also donated the royalties from his hit ‘Last Christmas’ to Ethiopia. His proceeds from ‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me’, whom he duetted on with singer Elton John, was split between 10 different charities, including children’s, AIDS and education charities. He also found the time to be a LGBTQ rights campaigner and HIV/AIDS charity fundraiser. In fact, he supported and donated to so many charities that I could write an article on that alone. Yet it wasn’t until after his death that we came to know the full extent of his philanthropy, when a number of people started coming forward with their stories of his kindness. He had anonymously paid for one lady to have IVF, after seeing her plight on the ‘This Morning’, only revealing to her his true identity in a small congratulations card, which she received shortly after her daughter Betsy was born in 2012. Another time he left an extremely generous tip for a student barmaid/nurse, who was upset due to her mounting debt. He also volunteered anonymously in a soup kitchen, making it very clear to co-workers that they weren’t to say a word to anyone about it to anyone.
Astrology Reading for George Michael
Born 25th June, 1963. Finchley, London. England.
George’s astrology chart
George was born under a crescent Moon phase, indicating a soul intention to struggle out of past patterns and insecurities. Although he would have been quite self assertive when confident, but would have faced lots of obstacles on his path.
Elementally this chart is quite watery, adding a great deal of sensitivity and impressionability and also bestowing George with an amazingly vivid imagination and innate creativity. This water influence reflects George’s huge sense of compassion for the suffering of others, which can be seen in the astounding amount of charitable work he did, but also indicates a tendency to be a little too self-sacrificing or to give too much of himself away in his personal relationships. This trait is also indicated by his 12th house Sun, Venus and Mercury, the 12th house being naturally ruled by watery Pisces. Another downside to this placement would have been that George quite likely suffered from over emotionality and impressionability, leaving him at times feeling adrift and rudderless on a sea of emotion. And not only would George have been quite emotional himself, he would also have been very open to ‘absorbing’ other peoples emotions too.
Often when the 12th house plus the personal planets are involved there can be a deep desire to escape the harsh realities of life through all sorts of means, including getting lost in fantasy or indulging in drugs and alcohol; anything that enables one to transcend the mundane realities of life and soften the edges a bit. George’s drug use is no secret, being something he was quite open about. In the past he had admitted to taking crack-cocaine and had revealed in another interview that he was “existing on a balance of Starbucks and weed.” In 2010 George was imprisoned for four weeks after crashing his car into a storefront while driving under the influence. George later said that it was the crash that led him to address his drug problems, although sadly he would never really get to grips with them.
George, Victoria, Australia. Clearly the 80’s!
Now on to the Moon, which shows a deeply ingrained pattern from the past that we intend, on a soul level, to overcome, as well as who we are at a soul/unconscious level and what our deepest needs are, and George’s Moon is in Leo. Leo is the showman, the extrovert who enjoys being in the spot light and who wants, no needs, to be noticed. This was the side we saw of George when he was up on stage and the persona mentioned in the introduction. George was therefore likely to have had two different sides to him, the part which wanted to stand out and shine and the part which wanted to hide away from it all and blend into the background.
This Moon sign also shows a past tendency towards egocentricity, fiery emotions and excessive pride, likely all due to a deep inner insecurity, so a major lesson there is to learn to balance the emotions and to not act from instinct. Overall, Leo is to do with overcoming the negative ego and working on building a stronger sense of self, one which is balanced and without excessive pride, so that one does not need to lean on others for validation and praise. Then, on a higher level, Leo is to inspire, empower and lead others by their example. Other positive Leo traits that George would have been developing are the qualities of generosity, warmth, loving whole-heartedly and heart-centeredness; all qualities that he was able to openly express throughout his life. We are clearly looking at quite an evolved soul.
With the Moon placed in the second house this is further indication of a need to learn to nourish himself and others, both spiritually and physically. Although it is clear that George was very caring towards others, he may have struggled to provide this for himself, instead turning to less than healthy methods of sustenance. There is also a tendency shown here to hold back his true emotions, which would have further led him to seclude himself.
Now onto the Moon’s aspects, i.e. the contacts the Moon makes with other planets. A flowing aspect between the Moon and the the planet of love, Venus, shows George as a likable, sociable, creative and highly artistic character and also shows that he would have gained a lot of emotional fulfilment through his creative endeavours. But unfortunately, this aspect is another indicator of how George would have found it hard to express himself emotionally, and although he would have always appeared calm on the surface, there was anxiety and uncertainty building within.
With a harsh opposition from task-master planet Saturn we again see that George was overcoming feelings of loneliness along with this fear of emotional expression, which as mentioned is what caused him to often feel distant from others. On a deeper level this aspect shows the root cause of George’s fear – many past life experiences of being rejected and let down by others. On one hand he desperately needed love, trust and close connections, but on the other expected, and often experienced, rejection, loss and pain.
A square from Neptune, ruler of Pisces, again focuses on his sensitive side. He was easily hurt and likely felt inferior to others. This Neptunian influence can denote someone who is overly self-sacrificing and maybe also liable to be deceived by others, as Neptune can often cloud reality and blur the edges. It can also show that someone is overly idealistic when it comes to matters of the heart, especially true as Georges Venus is also quite closely aspected by Neptune. Although this aspect reveals someone highly compassionate and sympathetic towards others, this is a surreal, spiritual and nebulous sort of energy, one which can create a lot of confusion, making it hard for a person to separate reality from unreality, fact and fiction, and to know where they begin and the other person ends. This is not the energy of everyday mundane reality. Overall this placement speaks of unrequited love and a pervasive, underlying feeling that love and sorrow go hand in hand, a belief he often expressed through his music.
Now on to George’s rising sign, which is in the sign of Cancer along with his Sun. The rising sign can be seen as the face we show to the world and also the lens through which we view the world. In evolutionary astrology it indicates where we are meant to be moving towards, away from the ingrained, past patterns of the Moon. The lesson of the sign of Cancer is to gain control over emotional fluctuation and oversensitivity. Cancer people are a often a lot more sensitive than they let on and deep down are quite shy and insecure. Due to this feeling of insecurity they yearn for a strong sense of belonging and putting down strong roots is essential for to them. Cancer men are also notoriously tied to their mothers, and George famously had a very close and loving relationship with his. People would generally have seen him as a very caring person, maybe a father figure, and George in turn would have seen a world full of people who needed to be cared for.
Known as the ‘nurturer’ of the zodiac, there is a strong need within them to conceive and then nurture something to completion, although not necessarily another physical being (although I have no doubt that George would have made an extremely caring and doting father). Cancerians are often intensely creative and imaginative, and anything that involves creating something which helps them express themselves in this way, as well as emotionally, is very therapeutic for them.
As mentioned, Cancerians are very sensitive and so easily able to pick up on other people’s energies and feelings, and as a result George would have been acutely aware of the needs of others, and on a deeper level, also of their suffering. George is well known for his charity work, although much of it went hidden from the public. This can be seen with George’s 12th house Cancerian Sun. A 12th house Sun will usually prefer working behind the scenes, often on something that will better conditions for others, yet without the need for recognition. This placement would have definitely tempered the ego of his Leo Moon.
Astrologically the Sun indicates who we are on a more conscious level, as well as indicating the traits that we have which can help us fulfil our rising sign mission. With George’s 12th house Cancerian Sun the focus is again on his creativity, sense of compassion and sensitivity, all things that have already been covered. Georges soul mission was to continue to build a stronger inner foundation and sense of self and to be proud of his individuality, yet indicates someone likely to be unduly hard on themselves and who instead would have been prone to seeking identification through others, to the point were they may struggle to know who they really are. Furthermore, a Cancer person, with their retentive memory and strong ties to the past, can be prone to clinging onto pain, so another lesson here would have been to learn how to forgive, forget and let go.
The Chariot tarot card, which is ruled by the zodiac sign of Cancer, Georges Sun and rising sign. This card is to do with learning to control the emotions and overcoming self-doubt so that one can move ahead and achieve one’s goals. The figure here can been seen taking control of opposing forces (the Sphinxes).
George’s Sun is only really aspecting one other planet, it is in a gentle flowing sextile aspect with the unconventional and often radical planet, Uranus. An Uranus Sun contact indicates that even though George had a strong need to connect with and fit in with others, there was also an almost equally strong need for him to stand apart, live his life without restriction and to have enough space to grow and be his own person, because the soul intention was to break out of past pattern towards a more progressive future. So another lesson there is to learn to balance these two needs; freedom (pardon the pun!) and togetherness, because I feel he would have felt a sort of a split here. Those times spent alone and away from the spotlight, although isolating, would have helped him to re-balance and heal, George basically being an emotional and psychic ‘sponge’.
This contact also shows someone who is alert and restless, prone to brilliant ideas and sudden insights, which can also seen with his Mercury. Mercury, the planet which signifies the workings of the mind in astrological terms, is at home here in one of the two sign it rules. With Gemini there is a strong desire to connect with others on a mental level, to exchange ideas and concepts, and shows a lot of skill when it comes to communication and also writing. But Mercury in Gemini people can find it hard to relax and wind down and the nervous system can also be quite highly charged. Gemini is butterfly-like, restless, curious and never still, so there can be real trouble with concentration and focus, although the trine from Saturn suggests that he probably had developed some control over this.
Mercury is placed in the 12th house, again showing strong ties to the past and a tendency to withdraw. George was also likely to be quite in tune spiritually and any decisions will likely have been based on his intuition and also influenced by his unconscious. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had some psychic ability there too.
To recap, here is someone whose true inner being was quite different from their confident stage persona, and it is likely that his Leo Moon allowed him to wear this mask and become the hugely popular artist that he became. But this mask hid a very soft, sensitive inner-self, the ‘real’ George.
Struggling to overcome the patterns of the past and grappling with insecurity and deep sensitivity, it is no wonder that George turned to drugs in order to soften the blows. But it is these very traits which made him the generous, benevolent and open hearted person that he was, who brought so much good to so many.
But there are some dichotomies here. One one hand a strong need to merge with others and an idealistic view of love, on the other a need to be alone and withdraw from the craziness of life, and also possibly from the onslaught of other’s emotions. Due to past loneliness, hurts and betrayals, George would never really have expected to experience anything other than pain in his personal life, causing him to retreat ever inward in a bid to protect himself.
I had the most beautiful, loving (and also sad) feeling reading this chart, and what came across most to me was his absolutely HUGE heart and his openness to other’s pain.
I am proud to have lived so close to him. He was someone I would have loved to have met, not because of his wealth and fame, but because he was someone who was real.
Not so common in this day and age.
George’s Goring home, laden with tributes.
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