For the past day, I have fallen down an astrological rabbit hole centered around the astrology chart of Rachael Ray. I’m working on a bigger project and needed to pull up her chart, and was reminded that she has an insane stellium in Virgo – her first house.
I’m sure many astrologers before me have written about the micro-generation in 1968 that has this Virgo stellium in their chart. I was inspired to do my own deep dive into it, in the context of Rachael Ray’s life.
Take a look at her chart:
The first time I looked at this, my brain gave me a 404 error. What a stellium, and right there in the first!
Stelliums put a huge influence on one particular area of the chart. It can be tricky to sort out a proper interpretation of them, and figure out how they shape up in the life of the native. With a stellium like this in the first, I had to wonder: what is Rachael Ray’s sense of self like? She has five planets and both luminaries in her first – so many different planetary hands steering the wheel of her life.
She also has both malefics, Saturn and Mars, in the dark houses (the eighth and the twelfth, respectively). My initial impression was that she’s got tons of competing influences on her personality, which is perhaps the reason for her popularity – there’s something that appeals to everyone.
With the malefics hidden away in the eighth and twelfth houses, I wondered if she had some hidden darkness in her life. I did find a National Enquirer article from back in 2005 featuring an interview with her father, who stated that he threatened to shoot himself in front of his wife and children when Rachael was 9. He also described some other difficulties in her childhood.
Now, this is a tabloid so I take it with a hefty grain of salt, but this event would track with the malefics in her eighth and twelfth houses. Also, pretty much all the biography info that I could find on her focused on her career and accomplishments, with very little on her personal life.
Granted, I only did a couple hours of research today and am by no means an expert on Rachael’s life, but this did strike me as a bit odd. However, with all the focus on her first house, it makes sense astrologically that the majority of the information circulating about Rachael centres on her personality, charm and career.
As a way to dig into interpreting that stellium, I wanted to see how things tracked with her annual profections. I would expect that first house profection years would be very important/busy for her, given all those planets in the first. I would also expect big things in her tenth house years. This is because her Virgo Ascendant is ruled by Mercury, which is in the first house; Mercury also rules her tenth house and Midheaven in Gemini.
All of the planets in her chart report up to Mercury if you consider the chain of sign rulerships, so Mercury is really calling all the shots. (Though admittedly he has to compete with all those other planets in the first as well!)
Rachael Ray rose to prominence in the early 2000s and became a household name across North America.
Things really kicked off in 2001, a tenth house profection year – just as I had suspected. This year was the debut of 30 Minute Meals, the first of her four shows on Food Network. It aired from November 17, 2001 until May 5, 2012. The tenth house is, of course, associated with career and public reputation, so it makes perfect astrological sense that she launched her TV career during this year.
The show was based on her popular cookbook Comfort Foods: Rachael Ray’s 30 Minute Meals which was first published in November 2000. Since its initial release, Ray has published several other books in the 30 Minute Meals series.
Ray was in a ninth house profection year in 2000 when her first 30 Minute Meals book was published, which corresponds well to publishing. The ninth house is associated with education and publication, so that certainly tracks! Ray’s ninth house is in Taurus, which is ruled by Venus, which is exactly conjunct her Moon and is part of her massive first house stellium.
“Comfort food” is absolutely a keyword I would use to describe the earthy fixed sign of Taurus, so that symbolism is just *chef’s kiss* perfect. (Signed, a proud Taurus rising who loves her comfort foods.)
Publishing that book also directly led to Ray becoming the host of a very popular TV show, which occurred in her tenth house year, so the shift of her profection years is really quite striking.
2004 was a turning point for Ray. She had reached unparalleled levels of fame and all eyes were on her, but the next set of major events didn’t happen until a year later when she had entered a second house porfection year.
This shifted the focus to her money and resources, though her second house is in Libra, ruled by Venus in the first, so of course it brings in her first house stellium too.
Ray launched her magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray, in October 2005. Also late in 2005, she signed the deal for her nationally syndicated talk show, The Rachael Ray Show, in 2005. She got married to John Cusimano on September 24, 2005.
You might think it slightly odd that these major events happened in a second house year instead of a first house year. However, consider the fact that both the magazine and the show contributed greatly to her (already steadily growing) fortunes. Marrying someone also means you are combining your resources with them, which is a very second house thing – and Cusimano has a net worth of several million. (Granted, his wealth pales in comparison to that of his wife’s!).
Having Venus as her annual time lord certainly aligns with getting married then. Also, the Venusian air sign of Libra is a great symbolic match for a food and lifestyle magazine and talk show. Air signs are often about communication and ideas, and the magazine/talk show was all about that.
When I started researching Rachael Ray yesterday, I had no idea that she had just ended the 17-year run of her daytime talk show, The Rachael Ray Show, a few days earlier. The last episode of this nationally syndicated show aired on Wednesday, May 24, 2023. So I guess I know why the universe nudged me to do this research right now – it’s very timely!
Ray is currently in a seventh house profection year, because she hasn’t turned 55 yet. Her seventh house is in Pisces, ruled by Jupiter who is less than a degree from her Ascendant.
Annual profections can show which topics will be more prominent that year, but they also highlight which planets will have more sway over the chart if there is a natal planet in the profected house, or a transiting planet there.
So, being in a seventh house year means partnerships are going to be more important for Ray, and the cancellation of her show will certainly alter her dynamic with her partner as well as any business partners or close friends with whom she has a tight one-on-one relationship.
This event is also very much tied to the influence of Saturn’s recent ingress into Pisces, since Saturn is brings restrictions. Also, note that her show was cancelled, which is very Saturnian – Saturn says no.
Furthermore, the cancellation of her show was announced on March 3, 2023 which is just three days before Saturn ingressed Pisces. Talk about timing!
The cancellation of Ray’s show occurred on the same day that Ray announced she was launching her own production company, Free Food Studios. Ray is launching the studio with her longtime collaborator and friend Brian Flanagan – there’s that seventh house influence, in the form of a close business partner.
Ray will enter an eighth house profection year, ruled by Mars, on her birthday this August. I expect she will have more money-related events and updates in the latter half of 2023 and/or early 2024. The eighth house is often other people’s money, so it could be some sort of new deal that she signs, an inheritance, or even a surprise tax bill or debt that must be cleared.
Ray has Saturn in her eighth natally, so Saturn’s influence will continue for some time. There’s the possibility that her new venture has some troubles that must be dealt with. This is also in the sign of Aries, ruled by Mars, so that brings in a martial influence and perhaps some twelfth house topics.
Given that both malefics are being activated on her birthday in 2023, Ray might be entering a slightly more difficult year. Certainly with the ending of her show, she is stepping back from the spotlight for a minute and that fits with the symbolism of the eighth and twelfth houses.
However, given how much sway her Virgo stellium in the first has over her chart, any difficulties are likely to be very surmountable and won’t last for two long.
I’ll leave it there for now. I hope you enjoyed this deep dive into Rachael Ray’s natal chart and how some of her annual profection years have manifested.
If you’re curious to know what your year might look like, book a consultation with me! I use annual profections and several other timing techniques in my year-ahead consultations.