You know you’re in for a treat when an astrologer tells you they didn’t quite know how to interpret your chart. That’s what happened when I spoke to Narayana Montúfar, the Senior Astrologer at Astrology.com. This wasn’t, however, any ordinary chart reading: Montúfar was using the stars to interpret what kind of music I like — and Ron Nenni, the director of music programming for Pandora, was on hand to suggest a playlist of songs I might like based off Montúfar’s findings.
I’ve learned a lot about my personality from my horoscopes and chart readings (I’m a Virgo sun with a Scorpio moon and rising sign, in case you were wondering), but I’ve never had the stars recommend music to me before. It turns out, they’re pretty damn good at it.
Once we got through my Virgo and Scorpio basics (organized and driven for the former, good at reading subtext for the latter), we got to the good stuff. Montúfar used my Venus and Neptune placements, which she tells me are both musical planets. Mine are in fire signs, Leo and Sagittarius specifically — neither of which were signs I’d read a lot about. What it told Montúfar is that I enjoy taking the stage in karaoke and like music that’s passionate, with a special place in my heart for dark, sulking, romantic music (shoutout to Amy Winehouse).
I genuinely do like all kinds of music, and Montúfar accurately deduced that from my chart. “In the beginning, I was like, Uh-oh... How is this going to turn out?” she tells me with a laugh. “You like basically everything!”
A deeper look showed her that there were certain things to help narrow my taste down. My Virgo sun — a sign that cares about justice and equality in the world — told her that I’d probably appreciate music that has a degree of social consciousness. My Leo also speaks to this, Montúfar tells me, teaching me something new: Leos are compassionate, and my Leo in Venus placement likes to “shed light onto people who want to be seen.” To put it another way: for me, good music is music that does something to speak to the common good.
My Moon and rising signs in Scorpio are where Montúfar extrapolated about my rich inner emotional life and being someone loves to keep secrets. “When you’re home, you probably love to listen to old classics and love songs,” she determined. “And when you’re sad, you prefer soft electronic tunes, jazz, and R&B.” Whereas my Neptune and Venus told her that I enjoy, when I’m being more extroverted, to listen to “hard rock, pop, musicals, world music, hip hop, and dance” — you know, the big and bold sounds. Those were all accurate, except for musicals — can’t stand ‘em. But do I bump soft electronic tunes? Anyone who listens to my weekly picks of the best new music for Refinery29 knows that I do. Will I blast some João Gilberto and Fela Kuti? Yes, I will. Do I roll deep with Fleetwood Mac and Cardi B? A resounding YES!
I also learned how to find out if someone is going to be a lyrics or music person from Montúfar: A strong Mercury indicates a lover of words, while Venus reveals whether music is the go-to aspect of music for someone, as well as what kind of sound someone prefers.
At this point, Nenni stepped in. From all of the info Montúfar intuited, plus looking at my birth year for the eras of music I’d be most likely to care about, he made me my own personal celestial playlist on Pandora to speak to my chart.
He threw in Brandi Carlile’s “The Joke” and Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” to speak to my social justice and equality loving side. He threw in songs from some Scorpios, Ella Mai and Lorde (obviously, I made him take infamous Scorpio Drake off for reasons of social justice), and from Virgos, Beyoncé and Florence + the Machine. He gave me a little Queens of the Stone Age and U2 to scratch my rock-loving itch and A Tribe Called Quest and Lizzo for the hip hop lover in me. I listened and enjoyed it all very much — my celestial playlist fit just like a cozy sweater.
While Pandora isn’t quite ready to make personalized playlists for your chart for everyone, they have launched a collection of astrological playlists for all your sun signs, populated with songs by artists who are all analyzed for their communication style by Montúfar. Jump into Scorpio season, which is winding up right now, or find your own sign and see how well the musicians who share it speak to you. Your love for them is probably already written in the stars.