Fish and Steve Hogarth of Marillion – astrological birth charts

Fish, the charismatic front man of eighties progressive rock band Marillion (the big hit was “Kayleigh”) has a fascinating birth chart. Famously, Fish left Marillion in 1988 to pursue a solo career. Astrologically, this was just past his “Saturn return”, an important time of re-assessment for everyone at around age 29 or so.

fish1Fish (born Derek Dick, 25th April 1958, 5.07 pm in Dalkeith, Scotland) has all the planets scattered fairly evenly around the birth chart, pulling him in many more directions than most of us. Even though he is a Taurus Sun sign, Earth is in fact the weakest element, bringing more problems with keeping one’s feet on the ground than a “typical” Taurus. Like many driven and famous individuals, Fish’s chart shows the likelihood of more than his fair share of problems to overcome.

There is a close T-square in fixed signs of the zodiac, involving his Taurus Sun with Uranus and Neptune, both planets of “higher consciousness”. Here is a challenge to combine the visionary spiritual gifts of Neptune with the electric revolutionary energy of Uranus, a combination that could equally lead to enlightenment or madness. From his lyrics, Fish seems to have embraced a good deal of both!

FishAstroThe independent and intelligent Mars in Aquarius is in close aspect to several planets. A close explosive opposition to Pluto indicates powerful, even ruthless, self-assertiveness. Fish is capable of eliminating anything that stands in his way. Mercury in Aries shows direct and forceful communication. On the other hand, Venus in Pisces and his Moon show the selfless romantic – kind, compassionate and vulnerable. Fish’s prominent 10th house Moon in Cancer is in an excellent position for popularity with the general public. It indicates strong mothering and nurturing instincts as well as a strong emotional attachment to one’s roots and the past.

A Libra Ascendant (rising sign) is concerned with balance, harmony and justice. As the ruling planet of the chart, the position of Venus plays a key role in expressing basic life energy. It is placed in Pisces, the Fish-es.

The birth chart for Fish is shown here, taken from, an excellent website for anyone interested in deeper astrology.


There are an extraordinary number of similarities between the charts of Fish and Steve Hogarth, the singer who replaced Fish in Marillion and made the role his own. They share the same Sun and Moon signs, Mars in Aquarius, Saturn in Sagittarius and close aspects to Uranus, Neptune and Pluto – the powerful planets of transformation and higher consciousness. Steve was born with a similar potential for creative brilliance and accompanying emotional crises and struggles. Since originally writing this piece, I’ve noticed that the birth details Steve gave me some years ago include a different year of birth to 1959, which is on Marillion’s website. The details ‘h’ gave me himself make much more astrological sense.

Thanks to Steve, Fish and the magical Marillion for their often excellent music over the years – all power to all of them.

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Looking backwards

At its best, a balanced interpretation of the astrological birth chart can give one a sense of belonging to life, a sense that it is actually okay to be who one is – a sense that however often it may appear otherwise, life is unfolding exactly as it is supposed to.

Contrary to many people’s idea of astrology (often based on Sun signs and horoscopes in the media), it can actually be most useful as a tool for self-awareness when looking backwards at the past. Although astrologers “predict” the meaning of planetary cycles and patterns for the future, much of this is inevitably unknown and open to change. The events of a person’s past on the other hand, can be clearly interpreted using astrological correspondences, often with startling accuracy. Serious astrology can offer a greater understanding of the meaning of previous life experiences.

The Saturn return at around age 29 is a good example of this. Anyone over 30 can look back at that time (the exact period depends on the individual birth chart) as a major turning point of some kind. Issues of commitment, responsibility and “growing up” are themes at this time. People get married, get divorced, change career, start a family… the individual chart reveals more specific information, the changes may be relatively smooth or difficult. Or we can look back at where Jupiter was 12 years ago, the last time round, giving us an idea of where we might be ready to expand and grow in our lives now. And so on.

In fact astrology can help us see how the past, the present and the future are all connected. By understanding our past better, we can hopefully use this self-knowledge to consciously create a better future.