Buffy Sainte-Marie – wanting to be someone else ++ Archibald Stansfeld Belaney, Grey Owl

Singer Buffy Sainte-Marie who has been celebrated through a long career as an Indigenous icon and success story is facing allegations that her roots are Italian/English and not Canadian Cree Indian as she has always claimed.  She said she had been adopted but her story is being contradicted by members of her own family, an extensive CBC investigation and a birth certificate.  


   Assuming this is the accurate birth date – 20 February 1941 3.15 am Stoneham, Massachusetts  – her chart is riddled with quincunxes. There are two yods – one onto her Pisces Sun inconjunct an 8th house Pluto sextile North Node and Neptune, and Sun sextile Mars in Capricorn conjunct Ascendant inconjunct Pluto. So the two apex/focal point planets are the Sun and an 8th house Pluto which suggests problems with a) self-esteem and b) the misuse of power.  Her 12th house Sagittarius Moon is also inconjunct her Uranus in the performing 5th house, bringing a fractured relationship with her mother/family.

  She also has a Jupiter Saturn conjunction in acquisitive Taurus square her Pluto, so again a strange mix of over and under confident.

  Her victim/healer 12th harmonic is marked, which is associated with quincunxes. As is her 9th harmonic – usually written up as pleasure seeking or idealistic but can also be seen in con merchant’s charts.

  There would be nothing about her life which felt comfortable, with contradictory pulls between differing elements. Earth, Water to Fire. Fire, Earth, Air to Water. She would never feel she fitted into her environment as a child let alone find a way to be at ease within herself.

 Her Moon is not only quincunx Uranus it is also in an evasive, uncommitted square to Neptune. Every key element of her life and temperament seems to be at odds with each other.

   Seeking a new identity completely divorced from the reality may have been her way of trying to find stability and wholeness, albeit in a fantasy. A sort of Anastasia complex.

 Tr Neptune is poised to square her Ascendant undermining her image and then along with tr Saturn square her Mars; with tr Pluto square her 8th house Pluto and tr Uranus square her Sun – all over the next three years.

She denies everything.


Archibald Stansfeld Belaney, known as Grey Owl, was a popular writer, public speaker and conservationist. His views on conservation reached audiences beyond the borders of Canada, bringing attention to the negative impact of exploiting nature and the urgent need for people to develop respect for the natural world. Born an Englishman, 18 September 1888, Hastings, he passed himself off as half Indian, the son of a Scottish man and an Apache woman. A relationship with an Indian guide who was of Mohawk Algonquin descent appeared to have coincided with the start of his deception.

  He was a Sun Virgo with Neptune Pluto in Gemini opposition Mars Jupiter in Sagittarius maybe square a Pisces Moon. Neptune Pluto has a tendency to live in a fantasy world, having a connection to the supernatural.

  Mars opposition Pluto is ruthlessly determined. Mars opposition Neptune keen on publicity. Jupiter opposition Pluto Neptune – both pushily confident and prone to scandal. All of this tying into a sensitive Pisces Moon would create an unstable emotional world. He was involved with five different women through his life, having four children and was a lifelong alcoholic.

  In childhood, his parents split and handed him over to relatives. At school he did not mix, ashamed of having been abandoned by his parents, and lived largely in his own world.  Outside school, he spent time reading and exploring St Helen’s Wood near his home. He left for Canada in his late teens keen to become a guide.

  His transformation into Grey Owl happened just as he was embarking on his mid life crisis at 37 years old when tr Uranus in Pisces was opposition his Virgo Sun.

 Like Buffy Sainte Marie he had an exceptionally strong 9th harmonic chart.  It is usually written up in lyrical terms as peace and love and soul-mate partners. But it was also marked in Bernie Madoff’s chart – Ponzi schemer who ripped off hundreds. So its pleasure-giving tendencies may be self-directed and part of a con.

Belaney did do good with his environmental work – his interest in it started young. Maybe he reckoned a brand image of being of Indian descent would catch public attention and help get his message across.  And it would also give him an identity which his ruptured childhood had denied him.

14 thoughts on “Buffy Sainte-Marie – wanting to be someone else ++ Archibald Stansfeld Belaney, Grey Owl

  1. At one brief stage of my life because of employment problems, I had to work under an assumed name. To my surprise, I really liked it. I found I behaved differently. It sort of rearranged me, bringing forward different qualities. I was more open, friendlier, not as constrained by my known personality. I can imagine that these two people and others like Rachel Dolezal, the white American who presented as black, found it very freeing and perhaps, were enabled to become the people they wanted to be.

  2. Technical question, Marjorie.

    Do Harmonic charts always have equal houses? Is that a choice of the software, a choice by you or the default for harmonic charts?

  3. Well for the younger generation it is all about choosing your identity, not necessarily the one on your birth certificate. So they can hardly complain into the future, when people self identify as anything they like.

    • That is truer, and occasionally funnier than you realise.

      I was in Helsinki (in Solioa’s homeland?) on a trip and walking down the street, behind a mother and (5-6 years old) daughter who were talking in English. The mother told her daughter that she could be anything she wanted to be, and the daughter immediately replied that she wanted to be a dog. The mother than had to back-pedal quite a lot and clarify her statement.

      The way children see the world is so different and occasionally so funny.

  4. Fascinating about all the quincunxes and her harmonic chart. Thanks Marjorie. I noticed that Saturn is transiting her Sun while she just had the second exact hit from her Uranus return 3 days before the October 14th solar eclipse which was on her midheaven. Neptune is opposing her natal Neptune and Pluto is starting to oppose her natal Pluto. But what really blew me away is that her progressed Sun is at 22°49′ Taurus, conjunct her natal Uranus. So this was always going to be a life-changing moment. On the one hand she did a lot for Indigenous rights but on the other hand, she may have taken away opportunities from others who were truly Indigenous to shine. With Saturn conjunct her Sun, the crows are coming home to roost. It’s the old story of the tangled web we weave when we deceive (to paraphrase). The Fifth Estate documentary was aired last night and is great. You can watch it at CBC Gem at https://gem.cbc.ca/the-fifth-estate/s49.

  5. Most artists project a persona of some kind, she just made it her identity. Does it really detract from her work? I don’t think so.

  6. A con artist on the make or a Walter Mitty character creating an alternative reality to cover the inadequacies of their real background ? Similar in some ways to Archibald Stansfeld Belaney also known as Grey Owl. I suppose the $64,000 dollar question as to whether their work under their assumed personality has any worth. For all his faults Belaney’s love of the natural wilderness in Canada led him to being an early proponent of conservation and animal rights. In retrospect his con probably aided the recognition of his writings on the natural world which would probably have been otherwise been ignored. I suppose the same judgemental criteria might be applied to Buffy Sainte-Marie though I think she is a bit more of a difficult case. Her song Universal Soldier though has relevance whatever her real background as recent events in the world are proving again.

    • I remember the film with Pierce Brosnan, particularly when he visited his elderly aunts. They saw him as Grey Owl at the theatre and he went to see them at his old childhood home. They had brought him up after his father was sent away to America with a small allowance, to stop him spending all the family money. Archie seems to have been a bigamist too, with a wife in Canada and England. A bit of a fibber and a drinker too. It’s an interesting story. It would be good to see his chart.

      • Archie had Neptune and Pluto conjunct in Gemini trine a Virgo Sun and square a Pisces Moon. Marjorie would be able to tell us more.

  7. The recent solar eclipse (21° Libra) on 10/14 fell on her MC (reputation, public life).

    Today’s lunar eclipse (5° Taurus) lands close to her ASC ruler (Jupiter) and activates the natal Mars – Saturn – Jupiter trine.


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