Shirley MacLaine’s Enlightening Life

In a bit of spiritual synchronicity, a few days ago I wondered what Shirley MacLaine was up to. Then, browsing through my antenna TV channels the next day, I stopped at the Dick Cavett Show and one of his guests that night was Shirley MacLaine.


First, a moment about the Dick Cavett and his interview show(s) that aired from the late 1960s until the mid 1990s. As we get older in any place and time, I know, there is a nostalgia for the past. I’ll admit that up front as I say that I wish we could have Dick Cavett or clones of him doing all of the interviews of all people in all news shows today.

Kind and humorous but penetrating, Cavett evokes in his guests conversations that are varied, interesting and utterly unique. He allowed guests to be themselves and say what they wanted to say. Maybe because of that, so many guests came and shared how they’d been misunderstood. In fact, during his interview with MacLaine they talked about image and Cavett noted, “People don’t know what we are like from the images they get.”

Shirley MacLaine

The Shirley MacLaine interview with Dick Cavett noted above and linked below occurred in 1972 when she was campaigning for George McGovern for president of the United States.  At that time, she had published her first book Don’t Fall Off the Mountain where she wrote about her life beyond acting, her early life and her interests in traveling and politics. This was years before her book Out on a Limb (1983) where she explained her spiritual awakening while in her 40s.

The New Age image is now the one most associated with MacLaine. But if we pay attention to her 1972 interview, she was already an enlightened individual. In her campaigning she explains that in meeting people all across the country she discovered that:

The thing they’re most concerned with is the truth.

[People think] Corruption is synonymous with leadership.

[People think] And honest person can’t govern.

Too bad we didn’t listen to MacLaine in 1972. Maybe today we wouldn’t be mired in a social-media manipulated world of gumbo-jumbo information where you can’t get two people to agree on the temperature.

MacLaine saw in 1972 the need for truth. That was her journey and now it is ours.

MacLaine’s Enlightenment

That we don’t know another’s experience until we are in their shoes is more than true. For those who believe in reincarnation, it seems to me the reason for it. For many, they have to find themselves in slavery before they commiserate with the slaves. And they have to find themselves born into wealth and privilege to understand the responsibilities and social response that comes with it.

Or, we could understand each other now and avoid all that. The arts seem to help with understanding others’ realities.

MacLaine’s Mars/sun conjunction in Taurus and moon/Neptune in Virgo have both recently undergone aspects relating to enlightenment and spirituality.

Uranus the planet of enlightenment (and shock and sudden change) is traveling through Taurus and changing our relationships with our bodies and earth.  For MacLaine, the direct hit was in the 2018 – 2019 timeframe. Possibly she had body changes at that time; possibly her own enlightenment; possibly an expression of pent-up anger with that Mars/sun conjunction.

Natal moon in Virgo is conjunct Neptune, the planet of spirituality (and fantasy and escapism). The current transit of Neptune in Pisces is glamorizing and spiritualizing double Pisces Mr. Rogers as well as all media, alcohol and mood-altering substances. This is an interesting aspect for MacLaine because moon is reactive and in Virgo is a difficult position because it “thinks” its emotions rather than feeling them. Neptune rules the sign opposite of Virgo so makes the Virgo in constant search for the perfect this and the perfect that. Idealism is extreme with this aspect and the constant chase for it.

Neptune first entered Pisces in 2011. In the few years after that, Neptune would have been opposite MacLaine’s natal moon/Neptune conjunction in Pisces indicating disillusionment. Disillusionment has a negative connotation but is ultimately good because it means clarity, a Virgo goal if there ever was one. MacLaine’s daughter published a book about her disillusionment with her mother in 2013 – that must have been tough and provided a lot of clarity about how another felt.

Pluto’s transit of Capricorn is opposing MacLaine’s native Pluto in Cancer. Pluto in Cancer tore apart the family structure for most cultures which is now at half-life having been replaced by corporate life and social media life. My guess is as MacLaine gets older, like many she has some nostalgia for old-fashioned family life. When we get older and social life shrinks, human encounters become more meaningful. I probably won’t be around when the digital generation experiences this but am curious how they will deal with it.

In early 2023, MacLaine will experience her third Saturn return at 26 degrees of Aquarius. This transit of Saturn in Aquarius brought “social distancing.”  If MacLaine is social distancing herself now, in 2023 we may hear from her. Maybe she’s got another book in the works explaining her Uranus and Neptune transits. With Uranus and Neptune, you never know what surprises await.


Dick Cavett show with Shirley MacLaine, John Lennon and Yoko Ono


About ohioastrology

I'm just another soul trying to make sense of the world. As I've grown, so has my understanding of astrology. I'd like to communicate that astrology is not occult and not fortune-telling but that it is a fluid, creative description of the life we choose to live.
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