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Bruce Springsteen: Darkness on the Edge

Bruce Springsteen isn’t an artist one generally thinks of as anything but tough and upbeat, so it’s some surprise to hear The Boss writing in his forthcoming autobiography of his struggle with clinical depression. How little we know. He has linked his condition to his father, whose side of the family had a history of mental illness, and Springsteen Jr. wonders out loud: “Can I get sick enough to where I become a lot more like my father than I thought I might?”

The Moon and Mercury are symbols of the mind in Jyotish, one emotional, one intellectual. We also look to the condition of the 3rd house for the mind, 4th house of happiness, the 5th as it relates to intelligence and zest for life, and the 6th of illness. One could also look at the ascendant ruler as a general guide - specifically of the head - which means virtually the entire lower hemisphere of the chart has some relevance. Springsteen’s waxing but still dark Moon is in the first degree of Libra/Chitta, on the cusp of the sixth house, aspected by Mars and Saturn. This shows a struggle for emotional buoyancy. His Mercury on the other hand is exalted in a trine with Ketu making Raja Yoga, showing intelligence and creativity, aptly enough for a celebrated singer and wordsmith. Yet a close Mercury-Ketu connection is also highly impressionable and given to anxiety. Writing about his low spirits has long been a way for Springsteen to deal with his troubles, and escaping the bounds of one’s home town is one of his big lyrical themes.

Bruce Springsteen September 23rd 1949, 22:50, Freehold NJ.

Saturn in the 4th house of the heart and happiness, flanked by malefics, shows someone lacking inner peace, and it ruling the 9th and 10th (yogakaraka) goes back to the father relationship. Springsteen Snr. was a tough WWII veteran, who later had episodes of paranoid schizophrenia that went back into his family line. A Sun-Rahu conjunction Bruce's D-12 Dwadashamsha (parental) chart suggests family history - a curse, even - and it is often true that it takes some greater life perspective to realise it.

He said: “I was crushed between sixty and sixty-two, good for a year and out again from sixty-three to sixty-four. Not a good record.” Between age 60 - 62, Saturn was transiting natal Sun – rarely a time in life anyone wakes up punching the air. Then age 63-4 was tough again: peak sade-Sati, with Saturn sitting on his natal Moon. Again, this is a classic time for brooding and weighty emotions. These transits occurred in Mercury mahadasha, which placed with Ketu gives potential for a restless and troubled mind.

If it could be confirmed Taurus rises, then a diamond would provide general support and protection (29° Taurus, coincidentally, is also both Amy Winehouse's and Joe Perry's ascendant). A blue sapphire would usually work for yogakaraka Saturn, but may be rather strong medicine for a man prone to depression - perhaps try a paler blue gemstone. Graha Shanti yagya for Moon, Mercury and Saturn would also be beneficial, along with special yagya for peace of mind. Ayurveda also has a simple and effective regime for depression, recommending regular yoga asanas, meditation, oil massage, organic diet, and exercise, as well as herbal rasayanas that balance the doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

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