Emily Dickinson (1830 – 1886) and Taylor Swift

“If my lyrics sound like a letter written by Emily Dickinson’s great-grandmother while sewing a lace curtain, that’s me writing in the Quill genre.”

~ Taylor Swift

A genealogical link was reported this week between America’s currently most popular singer Taylor Swift, and its most popular female poet, Emily Dickinson.  Popular genealogy site Ancestry  revealed that they are sixth cousins thrice removed.  Is it possible also that Taylor Swift may be a reincarnation of Emily Dickinson?

Part 1

Emily Dickinson

“Some keep the Sabbath going to Church

I keep it, staying at Home”

~ Emily Dickinson

Birth chart

The two have birthdays within three days of each other, Taylor 13th December, and Emily 10th December (Sagittarians, both).  They were both born in the same early segment of the morning, within an hour of each other, 4.40 a.m. (Emily) and 5.17 a.m. (Taylor).  Consequently, they both have Scorpio Ascendants (Scorpio Rising).  They are both high in Cardinal signs: 6 out of 10 for Taylor, and 5 out of 10 for Emily.

Emily has a supremely literary triple conjunction in Sagittarius of the Sun with Mercury and Venus.  Mercury and Venus together depict the Writer’s Archetype.  Much of Emily’s poetry is described as transcendent, and she has the mystical conjunction of Jupiter and Neptune exact in her 3rd House of Poetry in Capricorn, the poignancy of which is shown by the trine of Chiron to that conjunction.  Chiron itself bears a poignant position in her birth chart, appearing exactly on her Descendant (relationship point).  Dickinson lived much of her life in isolation, and this is clearly shown in her having the Moon (day-to-day lifestyle) in the 12th House of Isolation.  Much of her poetry was also concerned with death and dark romanticism (she was hit hard by the many deaths of loved ones in her life), and that is shown by Venus loosely trine Pluto (the planet of death):

Because I could not stop for Death –

He kindly stopped for me –

The Carriage held but just Ourselves –

And Immortality.”

Her passion, too, is shown by the conjunction of Mars and Pluto.  Saturn being conjunct the Midheaven (Career Point) points to the fact that she was not known about in her lifetime, occurring in the 10th House of Reputation.  This is also part of a triple conjunction, with the North Node (karmic mission), indicating that it was her destiny to plough that anonymous path.

Life and Career

Emily Dickinson was born in Amherst, Massachussetts.  Her father was a lawyer, and she was one of three siblings, having a brother Austin and a sister Lavinia, to whom she always remained close.  As a child, she developed her musicality and played the piano well.  She was educated at Amherst Academy, then stayed for a while at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary.

At the age of 14, she experienced her first traumatizing death, and its accompanying melancholy, that of her second cousin Sophia from typhus.  Pluto was transiting opposite her natal Moon at the time, death of a close female.

She was especially emotionally close to her brother’s wife Susan, whom she first met in Boston while recovering from the death of cousin Sophia, long before Susan married Emily’s brother Austin.  Susan was born only 9 days after Emily in the same year, so shared close ties in their birthcharts, and may have been soul mates.  Because of the mystery and ambiguity in her writings and her isolated lifestyle, Emily’s relationships have been a cause of intrigue, and she did have a number of close relationships, often alluded to in her writings.

One of these was Samuel Bowles, a married man, who published a few of her poems in his newspaper The Springfield Republican  He was close to her until he died in 1873.   She met him in her brother’s home, and they often discussed their shared interests of politics, and reform.  During the course of her life, she wrote him many letters and poems.  Their synastry indicates a constraint in their relationship (his Saturn opposite her Venus), as well as a complexity (his Uranus on her Neptune).

She became increasingly withdrawn and isolated in her life, by choice, taking to wear white and hardly leaving her home.  She did, however, continue to correspond to friends, sending flowers and snatches of poetry.  She suffered from Bright’s disease, a condition of the adrenals, which exacerbated her withdrawal.   She died on 16 May 1886, at 6:00 p.m., in the same house she was born in.  The prolific extent of her poetry was only discovered after her death in 1886, with the discovery of over 1000 poems by her sister Lavinia.  Some of these were published posthumously in 1890.  Among her letters that remained (Lavinia burned some of them in accordance with Emily’s wishes) were three letters, known as “The Master Letters”, to an unknown love, or composite loves, which have been a source of conjecture about the various identities of her male friendships.

Literary Output

Early influences in her writing were William Wordsworth and Ralph Waldo Emerson.  She also came to love the work of Shakespeare, Charlotte Bronte and William Blake.  Her style was succinct, with idiosyncratic punctuation and unconventional capitalization.  Her use of punctuation gained effect from pauses and silences.  There is a great sense of ambiguity in her work, so that her poems repay revisiting in order to subsequently glean more meaning.

“The Soul has Bandaged moments –

When too appalled to stir –

She feels some ghastly Fright come up

And stop to look at her – “

Her poetry has been compared to that of W.B. Yeats.  Early publications of her work were distorted by alterations made by the Victorian sensibilities of the time according to traditional poetic forms and punctuation.  She may have been ahead of her time, in her more streamlined style.

Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

Part 2

Taylor Swift

“If my lyrics sound like a letter written by Emily Dickinson’s great grandmother while sewing a lace curtain, that’s me writing in the quill genre.”

Regular readers of my blog who have good short-term memory, will realize that I only just wrote about Taylor Swift on 11th February!  Here is some re-cap:

Birth Chart

“Taylor has over half (6) of her planets in the Cardinal signs, marking her out as a leader, which she is in many ways.  She has the Sun in Sagittarius, but unaspected, making her very Individualistic, and Venus. An exception is a karmic sextile to her Sun from the North Node, so she may be driven by destiny.  She has a fascination for storytelling, and one of the Archetypes for Sagittarius is The Storyteller.  Venus is also unaspected, making her a free spirit in terms of relationship…”

Life and Career

“Swift’s parents were very supportive of her ambition (Saturn trine her natal Midheaven), and she began song-writing professionally at the age of 14.  By 2005 she had signed with a record label, Big Machine Records.  She was heavily influenced by the country music genre (Shania Twain being a favourite), and her first album “Taylor Swift” was released in 2006, but by 2014 (the year when she moved to New York after living in Nashville) she had departed from this genre with her fifth album “1989” (which was her birth year)…Harvard University has her lyrics as part of their curriculum, entitled “Taylor Swift and her World”, acknowledging the phenomenon that she is.”


“Relationships are all good fodder for songwriting, and Taylor Swift has had a stream of boyfriends, including Joe Jonas, Jake Gyllenhaal, Calvin Harris, Tom Hiddleston, Matt Healy and Joe Alwyn.  Most of the relationships were short lived, except for the six year relationship with Joe Alwyn.  And so to Travis Kelce..”.

Part 3


Physically, there is some resemblance, particularly around the mouth area.

Astrologically, they have extraordinary “coincidences” in common: close birthdays, the same rising signs, similar birth times.

Both have had problematic relationships.

They are both highly popular in their country as wordsmiths.

However, their lifestyles are completely different: one reclusive, and the other seeking the limelight.  Their natures may be different, but sometimes souls choose a completely different type of life for balancing purposes.

It’s also interesting that although she rarely ventured from her home at Amherst, Massachussetts, she did once, uncharacteristically, undertaking a long journey to Pennsylvania – the place where later her descendant Taylor Swift was born.

So, are they merely related, or is Taylor Swift a reincarnation of Emily Dickinson?  The astrology is compelling (and I have looked at many such pairs over the years, including Kate Bush and Emily Bronte).  A particular detail which could indicate a reincarnated soul is in their synastry, where Taylor Swift’s Pluto (Rebirth) is exactly conjunct Emily Dickinson’s Ascendant. But the jury is still out, not quite there.


First of all, Happy Mother’s Day!

The day’s aspects started in the early hours with the ingress of Mercury into Aries.  You might need to be prepared for plain speaking today, whether your own (perhaps without engaging the brain!), candid words from others, or unpalatable government announcements. You will need to get to the point much more directly in your communications, and there is more sense of urgency about paperwork.  So, more direct communication is on the cards.

At breakfast time, we were treated to a New Moon in Pisces, which is the most sensitive manifestation of the New Moon, and a time to set intentions, make affirmations, and creatively visualize along the lines of peace in your own environment, and the plight of war-torn nations around the world.  Lessons we have recently learned can be put to good use.  It may be time to soothe old wounds and move on.

This evening Mercury is sextile with Pluto, a harmony which can produce profound thought and communication, honouring the gravity of a situation if necessary, and enabling meaningful debate to occur.  It is a good space for reading something profound, such as the poetry of Emily Dickinson.

Tomorrow, Monday 11th, Venus enters Pisces, bringing in a greater component of compassion.  You may have been looking at things in a mental or practical way, and may be able to relax a little and allow the heart greater expression.  The trend towards tenderness lasts until her entry into Aries on 5th April.  Charities can be honoured and prioritized, and the Arts can be especially inspired during this period.

We’ll have to be content with a Fixed Star for the rest of the week, in the absence of aspects.  Wednesday 13th has an alignment between our Sun and Markab, the alpha star of the constellation of Pegasus. “Starlight Elixirs” by Michael Smulkis and Fred Rubenfeld reveals of this star’s influence:

Markab can strengthen the ability to share psychic gifts such as telepathy in a loving way.  The characteristics of individuals who have struggled with telepathy will come into greater focus and consciousness so that they can resolve the deeper issues.  There is an enhanced ability to travel to remote locations with the astral body and exchange information easily with others at such a location.  This is a form of telepathy.”

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – plain speaking; new beginning; profound thought
  • Tomorrow – greater compassion
  • Wednesday – the development of telepathy