While Charles Bukowski has reached legendary stature these days, it would be sad to see his literary merits surpassed by his status as a cult icon. An original and controversial poet and a brilliantly direct prosaist, Bukowski had the rare talent of being able to hit right upon the sensitive parts of our societal and moral armour.
A quick look at Bukowski's horoscope reveals a bundle of planets centred on the signs of Leo and Virgo through houses 10-12. This perspective fails, however, to account for what is really the driving force of Bukowski's creative self-image and vision, namely the fifth house Uranus in Pisces. Uranus is a "singleton" - a term used by late astrologer Marc Edmund Jones - meaning it is the focal point and in this case the only planet within the western half of the horoscope. (Pluto clearly belongs to the other half, especially considering the zodiac signs involved, even though it is placed about 8 degrees west of the midheaven). The spread of planets should be categorized under the so called "bucket" type. Graphically, Uranus becomes the handle of this imagined bucket. It acquires as single planet a tremendous importance that will influence most aspects of Bukowski's character. Uranus is opposed closely by Venus in Virgo, and indeed it seems that this axis dominates the essence of Bukowski to the extent of obsession. Uranus is the power of and desire for invention and deviation, and coupled with Venus it searches out fresh creative paths, with typical disinterest for public opinion or for what is "acceptable". On top of this Venus is also the ruler of the horoscope (through the Libra Ascendant), taking on even more focus of importance.
As Bukowski's Uranus is singleton and in the fifth house, it is likely that his erratic desires will find outlet in his creative pursuits, as indeed they do in his books. Bukowski's independent Uranus is in Pisces, noting his constant siding with the underdog and the great compassion that lies just below the surface in his usually vulgar stories. Of course, the fifth-house Piscean Uranus tells us something also about his self-destructive nature, and pure enjoyment of (5th house) and disregard for any limits (Uranus) in his relationship to alcohol (Pisces). Its opposition to Venus in Virgo creates the aesthetic and moral dimension of his choices, ensuring that Uranus also becomes part of his value-system and way of defining himself. Bukowski wrote about the everyday, work, drinking, himself, the down-and-out, often about sexual divergence (Venus-Uranus). At the same time, Virgo works like a butcher's knife to Venus, using its considerable sense of discrimination to cut away the "spare fat parts" of his writing. Not least those parts that are only aesthetically pleasing, since Bukowski is obsessed with making a true and full statement of things as they are, to him.
The pleasure-seeking quality of the Uranus-Venus axis is strongly augmented by Bukowski's Sun, which is conjunct Jupiter in Leo (the mark of the gambler). This conjunction expands any latent tendency to self-indulgence. Bukowski went to the horse races his entire life, usually several times a week, even if he was short on money. Of course, the joy and élan that is also a result of this conjunction helped Bukowski both physically and psychologically to get back on his feet after any misfortune.
The Moon, also in critical and sensible Virgo in the 12th house, illuminates a man different from his celebrity image. In spite of his drinking habits and generally bohemian lifestyle, Bukowski was extremely cautious about his worldly duties. Things like rent and bills worried him to headaches, and he always paid promptly if possible. The 12th house placement of the Moon also reveals the deep fears that for him were connected to practical matters and the everyday functioning of Virgo. It is also the classic mark of the loner, or one who needs much solitude - Bukowski constantly expressed a wish to be left alone, in spite of being flattered by the attention he received in the latter part of his life. The Moon in Virgo is also a creative indication for the spare, straightforward prose that Bukowski became known for. He was also somewhat of a workaholic, signified by the Virgo Moon, sextiled by Mars in Scorpio, and intensified by Mercury and Neptune (writing and fantasy, also drinking) in the 10th house (almost a career from out of these very things).
So much more could be said about Bukowski and his horoscope, but this outlines the defining creative focus and personal values of the man, as shown mainly by the opposition-axis that is also the handle of a bucket pattern.