Jim Morrison: Moonlight Drive
Capricorn is a strangely conservative rising sign for the self-styled Lizard King until one considers Jim Morrison loved the classics, Elvis, Sinatra, and the blues. Shravana nakshatra shows a character who, if not secretive, can keep a confidence, while otherworldly Ketu (the ‘Dragon’s Tail’) rules lizards and in the 1st house is a perfect symbol for public projection. Morrison was a blank-screen who became whoever and whatever the world wanted to see, and he remained an enigma through all his mystique as a rock star poet who died young.
All seven planets in different signs give Veenya Yoga, ‘a love of music’. Morrison was a film studies major at UCLA until he found his true calling in rock’n’roll: Yogakaraka Venus in its own sign in the 10th makes Malavya Yoga, and describes his iconic, movie-star looks, a rare quality among musicians who more often have a character-actor image. Morrison grew uncomfortable with his sex-symbol status and deliberately bloated and bearded-up in the hope of being taken more seriously as a poet. Zen narcissism. Between 1968 and 1971, he appeared to age about 20 years.
December 8th 1943, 11:55am, Melbourne, Florida
Lagna ruler Saturn sandhi in the sixth house is in mutual aspect with ninth lord Mercury, and with Venus also strong and angular, creates a variant of Lakshmi Yoga. Morrison was an idealist with money and it was his idea for the four Doors members to share their royalties equally, and not to sell their music for commercials. He was a rain-maker. Yet Saturn retrograde and flanked by malefics is also a red flag, showing susceptibility to illness at least, while its rulership of the second house of food and drink sheds light on his drug use – virtually the norm for a 60s musician – and more crucially, his alcoholism. Band mate Ray Manzarek considered booze, along with fame to be Morrison’s ultimate undoing: Jim became a different person after he had made it, particularly while he was drinking. He was a belligerent drunk - Mars makes separate aspects to Sun, Jupiter and Mercury - plus with chart lord in the sixth house showing a propensity to attract enemies, his boorish behaviour managed to alienate even well-wishers.
Moon in the Fourth house, reinforced by aspects from both benefics, shows a happy disposition coming from a stable childhood and attachment to the mother. Ironies: is this really the same dark, destructive figure who famously disowned his family and fantasized about killing his father? The Oedipal narrative at the climax of the Doors’ The End may have been pure poetic licence, but there is an obvious reading for mother love in his chart, while ninth lord Mercury afflicted in the twelfth shows Morrison’s estrangement from his US Navy Admiral father (though this planet in its own sign Gemini in the Navamsha lagna is a sure sign of book-smart intelligence).
So much in Morrison’s chart revolves around the Moon. He was in Moon mahadasha from 1965, through all the years of his fame until his untimely end. Moon triggering the Raja Yoga with Venus shows this was the prime of his life, and its strong condition powered his stellar rise. Yet his musical career also coincided with Sade Sati, the emotionally testing seven-year transit of Saturn crossing the Moon and its two adjacent signs.
Moon rules the seventh house, and relationships were a vital part of Morrison’s life during its dasha. His first ‘marriage’ was a Pagan handfasting ritual with journalist and practicing Witch, Patricia Kennealy, in June 1970 (Moon-Saturn-Venus). Saturn transited his Moon at this point - peak Sade-Sati - and the exotic ritual reflects his natal, maverick Rahu in the seventh house. Yet this ceremony had no legal standing and it is not certain how seriously Morrison took it. Venus in the seventh from the Moon and in the Navamsha shows his conventional romantic side, and despite everything, his emotional centre revolved around his common-law wife Pamela Courson.
Moon ruling the seventh house is also a Maraka - potential killer - and Morrison died of a heart attack on 3rd July 1971, in Moon-Saturn-Jupiter period. Saturn is his other Maraka, and in its antardasha he faced a medical emergency in his Paris hotel room with only stoned Pamela for support. In life, Morrison was preoccupied with themes of entropy and chaos, and a cult has grown up around his death, including numerous fantasies that he is still alive. Jupiter is in the 8th house, aspected by both Saturn and Mars. Yet his chart suggests this troubled genius was taken away not by suicide or a conspiracy, but a tragic - and foreseeable - accident.