Jane Birkin, the elfin English-French actress, best known for her decade-long, often controversial, liaison with French singer Serge Gainsbourg, has published her diaries in the UK. She’s had a wild life, marrying at 19 to a much older John Barry, the composer, divorced at 22, scandalous years with Gainsbourg and then a relationship with Jacques Doillon, a French film director – with a child from each.
Born 14 December 1946 3pm London, England, she has a volatile Sun Mars in Sagittarius in her relationship 7th opposition a rebellious 1st house Uranus with a searching-for-her-identity Gemini North Node on her Ascendant. She’d be attracted to adventurous and assertive men, even though her relationships meant suppressing her own individuality. She had a battened down Saturn Pluto in her 4th house, a hint of her controlling naval father who appeared also to be a spy, though she talks of him in affectionate terms. Her Saturn Pluto square a seductive and sensual Venus Jupiter in Scorpio. A complicated mix of wanting to drown in passion and wanting the freedom to find herself. Her Neptune in the performing 5th is creative but not so good at commitment. Her Virgo Moon square her North and South Node would arguably make her overly sensitive and disorganised emotionally. Better at relating to a public audience than one-on-one.
Her first husband, John Barry, 3 May 1933, had his Mars Venus in Sagittarius in her 7th house conjunct her Sun Mars with his Scorpio Sun close to her Venus – so there would be a sizzle of attraction initially. Though the relationship chart was controlling, trapped and not mutually supportive. The daughter from that relationship Kate Barry, a photographer, committed suicide in 2013, having long struggled with addictions and depression, some of which was ascribed to her chaotic upbringing amongst the bohemian Paris set.
Serge Gainsbourg, 2 April 1928 4.55 am Paris, was an upfront and provocative Sun, Jupiter and Uranus in Aries in his 1st house with his Sun Jupiter in a controlling and pushily confident square to Pluto in the attention-demanding 5th house. His Saturn in Sagittarius fell in her 7th conjunct her Sun Mars and opposition her Uranus, so a ratchety mix where he put her down a good deal though she stuck it out for 13 years.
Their relationship chart, like her first marriage, has a one-upmanship struggle Jupiter Pluto, a dominating Mars Pluto; Saturnine endurance; and Venus in an illusory trine to Neptune and a fun trine to Uranus. There would be a love-hate dynamic running under the surface. She never really got over him.
Together they released a song – “Je t’aime… moi non plus” (“I love you … me neither”) which was deemed offensive and banned radio plays in various countries for its sexual explicitness in referring to sex without love; and it finished with what sounded like an orgasm. It became a hit.
Her third affair which produced a child, with film director Jacques Doillon, was no more astrologically well-matched than the others. His Pisces Sun square Mars Saturn in Gemini collided with her Sun Mars in Sagittarius opposition Uranus. Though his Jupiter in her 4th would help. That relationship chart had a power-struggling composite Sun opposition Pluto; with a defensive, chilly Venus Saturn and an idealistic, illusory Jupiter Neptune.
Not a dull life, for sure, though she could never reconcile her conflicting needs for sexual intensity and independence. Until now.