David Lynch is famous for his dark fantasy movies, Twin Peaks, and for drinking lots of coffee. He’s also known for practicing Transcendental Meditation, the yogic technique he learned in 1973 and has not missed a day of since. In 2005 he established The David Lynch Foundation to raise funds for highly-stressed people to learn to meditate, a mission that focuses on displaced people, prison inmates, abused women and military veterans suffering from PTSD.
20th January 1946, 3:00am, Missoula, Montana
The contrast between the creator of dark, violent movies like Eraserhead and Blue Velvet and the utopian message of his charity is remarkable. For surreal kinkiness, Lynch’s chart has all the malefics bundled in the ninth house in Gemini, including an exact Mars-Saturn conjunction in Punarvasu. The mutual aspect with Mercury makes a powerful Raja Yoga, while the nodes amplify and add an otherworldly dimension. This is a signature for fame and wealth, bringing the second and ninth lords together with yogakaraka Saturn. Western astrologers will also note Pluto in the tenth house.
He had his first run of success in his Moon mahadasha, and hit the big-time with successive Mars and Rahu periods 1982-2007, which saw Dune (a big-budget flop), Blue Velvet (a critical success) and Twin Peaks (a cult classic). He entered his Rahu period in 1989, just before Twin Peaks was aired, and the TV series made his name for many people. Shadow-planet Rahu picks up the influence of its ruler and planets aspecting it, and here becomes very powerful in the ninth house. It is perfect for Lynch’s surrealist noir, a theme he continued with Lost Highway and Mulholland Drive.
Jupiter rising in Libra is a potent protective symbol generally, especially for a man on a mission. Lynch started his foundation shortly after spending a month’s course with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, with the promise of experiencing of higher states of consciousness. He entered Jupiter mahadasha in 2007, the year before Maharishi died (Lynch attended his guru’s funeral rites in Allahabad) and since then he has toured the world promoting TM at his own expense, while maintaining his simple and upbeat Mercury in Sagittarius message: “Stay regular in your meditation. This is the way to happiness and creativity. Life will get better and better”. This sounds like a Jupiterian pulpit, but Lynch is never pompous or preachy, and he has no vested interest. He is rich anyway, doesn’t need the publicity, and breaking cover on his meditation has inspired countless other Hollywood stars to do the same, some, like Lynch, who go back decades with the TM technique.
His Moon in the 11th shows an idealist or crusader with a sense of community, and his foundation being named for him is perfect in showbizzy Leo/Magha. Yet his Moon has no planet in signs on either side, nor any in angles to it, which makes the dread Kemadruma Yoga. Moon simply on its own is common enough, but this ‘complete’ Kemadruma is a rare condition which is regarded by all Jyotish rishis as disastrous. Parashara says the native will be ‘very much reproached, be bereft of intelligence and learning and reduced to penury and perils’; according to Varahamihira, Kemadruma yoga produces ‘dirt, sorrow, uneasiness, beggarliness and servility’, while Mantreshwara says this yoga will ‘make even a king beg’. Other authorities claim even that it renders all other yogas null and void.
Classical Jyotish slokas are set out in hyperbole which one cannot apply literally, but the question arises: why, with this rare textbook dosha, Lynch has escaped its worst effects? An individual’s mind-level and lifestyle must always be taken into account, and along with powerful yogas elsewhere, perhaps his longstanding yoga practice is itself a factor. His life could also have taken a different course: the mahadasha of his impeded Moon started in 1972, which coincided with his breakthrough movie, Eraserhead, though his first marriage had broken down and he was depressed and short of money, and began to meditate shortly afterwards when he needed something to centre himself. This may have been a game-changer; certainly he thinks so.
Though far from dumb or destitute, Lynch is certainly quirky. His unsupported Moon is aspected by Ketu and Saturn, giving both a heaviness and a signature escapist quality, and despite his TM regime, Lynch still smokes heavily and drinks up to twenty cups of coffee a day. Second house lord Mars with Saturn represents ‘bad food’, and Rahu has an obsessive and addictive quality. More incongruity, though all it proves is that not all TM-ers are squeaky-clean organic obsessives: plenty of eccentric, actual human beings practice the technique too. God bless him.