There is no question that a great deal of the double-edged success which Jim Morrison attained as an artist came about through a mixed-bag of themes related to his 1st lord, which for his Aquarius ascendant refers to the malefic graha Saturn. Secondarily, the influences of the planet Mars, which sits with Saturn, as well as the positively placed Moon in his chart, all combined in his life to create his sardonic and satirical, yet often optimistic, persona. These contrasting elements are what manifested the enigmatic, black-and-white tones which we all know and love in the work of Jim Morrison as a celebrated artist.
Much of what creates a sure-footed, confident person lies in the building blocks of their early childhood experiences. While a positive family upbringing may not fully remove the potential heavy karmas promised in the chart, it does wonders for a person’s capacity at bottom to find stillness within themselves in difficult times. In Jim Morrison we see a well-educated mind on one hand, contrasted with an unrelenting spirit that is hungry for personal expansion on the other hand. Jim’s positive prospects in early childhood are shown by the state of his 4th house, the 4th being a significator of one’s emotional environment growing up. Note the benefic waxing moon, almost full, in the 4th house of Taurus (its sign of exaltation). The moon is emphasized here for better and/or worse, as the karaka of the 4th house in the 4th house. We observe the positive support of Mercury towards Taurus, where the moon is placed, by rashi-aspect. (Mercury in the 12th house probably afforded him the time and inclination to contemplate himself and the universe while he was growing up, which would positively affect his emotional foundations in the 4th house.)
The sign of Cancer, which rules the moon, was also auspiciously supported by a Rashi-aspect from benefic Venus and its own lord, the waxing moon itself. However, the story of the moon in Jim’s chart was not picture perfect, owing to its ownership of the malefic 6th house and its vriddha avasta status. We can imagine that Jim may have been constantly preoccupied (6th house theme) with feeling good (Cancer), an attribute which may have contributed to his nasty alcoholism habit later-on. The outlook of the moon on his early emotional environment is generally positive though, and it probably precipitated a feeling that the constant conquest (6th house theme) of education (4th house theme) could provide him with a soothing neurological axe to grind, which bodes well for the high-education Jim received from his parents in university, not to mention from his own introspective curiosity – Jim’s education in Jungian psychology and the mythos of Fredereich Neitzche is often lost on his fans and detractors alike. The 4th Lord
Venus was also supported by the 12th house Mercury, and rested in the auspicious 10th house, which we might take to mean that Jim’s family may have invested in his luxury in youth, in their fervor to see him grow into a respectable name for their family. Somehow however, in spite of all this emotional support, the outcaste idiosyncrasy of the Aquarius ascendant would not disappear in Jim’s basic persona; for Jim was destined to become an ironic example of one whose “comfortable, smooth existence” in childhood, conferred by wealthy parents, is not always enough to satisfy the evolutionary appetites born in the spirit.
Jim Morrison was a certain special brand of cosmonaut, whose concern was not for material comforts, but instead, for experimenting with and observing the alchemy of elements in the soul. Since his 1st lord falls in the 5th house of honest, curious gemini, in friendly dignity, it is safe to suggest that Jim Morrison’s creations would likely denote the flavor of self-awareness. Indeed, Saturn as the keystone of the rising personality in the 5th house gives us some insights into the magic behind Jim’s uncanny ability to put his own growing pains into a musical language which most people could relate with. Certain stories can attest that Jim’s Saturnian front gave him notoriety as a tough, rather abrasive personality in his day. Yet somehow, those close to Morrison have continuously held him very dearly and in high regard while he was alive, and long after he was gone.
The cause of this contradiction probably lies in the fact that Jim may have taken a mostly-innocent, curious (Gemini theme) pleasure (5th house theme) in playing the role of the community “coyote” shaman in his group circles, as he would curiously prod the parameter of his friends’ sanity (Aquarius ascendant theme), in order to draw clarity from the reactions evoked from their egos. Being “experimented upon” by Jim’s curious mind must have been a daunting prospect for those who did not understand his motives, especially when the haunting spectre of his own ego, in the form of the malefic influences to his ascendant lord, surfaced. (Note also that his ascendant lord Saturn was in vriddha avasta). We can imagine how frustrating his presence must have been for those whom he took as his subjects, as well for Jim himself, in his self-appointed role as Saturn. Such a mentality can be seen as an interpersonal gateway to heaven through the furnace of hell, when understood in its proper place. It was under this guise of positively apprehending the limits of the personality, and “breaking through them,” that Morrison crafted some of his most inspired poetry:
“We chased our pleasures here, and dug our treasures there.
Do you still recall the times we tried
To break on through to the other side?
To break on through to the other side?”
The fact that Saturn’s rulership was also shared by his 12th house Capricorn is not lost on us, though. The secret energy behind the workings of any Aquarius rising personality tends to come from the trance-like, mystical promise of bliss emerging from the 12th house. Without any higher values, such a personality is vulnerable to be sucked in by the abysmal desire to rid oneself of the tensions which the Saturn-ruled personality is bound to collect in the physical body. Unfortunately, the intense focus which Jim placed on his role as shaman-interlocutor for the public, wrapped-up with his 12th house drug-fueled escapist tendencies, might have been the straw that broke the camel’s back and ate him in the long run.
Mars was another arbiter of character and virtue which would share prominence in Jim Morrison’s life, being the 3rd/10th lord situated in yuva avasta with Saturn. Mars sharing ownership of the 3rd and 10th house shows that sportsmanship (3rd house) and career (10th house) are tightly wound together in Aquarius people, and having Mars together with Saturn would only emphasise this. Thus was Jim Morrison a person whose recreational experiments on the brink of poetic self-exploration (1st Lord Saturn in the 5th house) would intertwine itself with his career prospects as a famous public figurehead (10th lord in the 5th house), and he would sportively fight to keep that friction in the air wherever he went (3rd house theme). We note that the combustive Sun had 53 points of kashta in Jim’s chart. His call to react with authority (Sun theme) towards those in his close relationships and identified groups (7th Lord in 11th House themes) probably deeply absorbed the energy needed for his own grounding, where his poetic soul (5th house) was concerned, as Mars and Saturn respectively took hits of 52 and 56 points of mutual aspect from the Sun. Mars, being a friend to the powerful Sun in Sagittarius, probably worked better with this demanding aspect than the 1st/12th Lord Saturn did. This suggests that Jim worked well, and with good devotional willpower, when in a group. While his close association with group objectives may have made his 1st Lord feel rather claustrophobic, the Mars in Jim Morrison probably enjoyed the fame (10th) and the interpersonal passion (3rd) that these social obligations would have brought him. It is unfortunate that in the end, though, the fruits of Mars and the Sun were destined to grow so heavy that they would break the central stalk of the tree.
The positive potential displayed in the use of Jim’s natal tamasic planets ultimately elicits a sad reality. There is nothing more glorious than tamasic planets well-groomed by the sands of time and experience, if and when they do fully bloom. Morrison’s life was a bottle of vintage wine destined to be dropped on the floor and never fully enjoyed. His story is that of a tragically flawed, relentlessly honest poet, whose heavy malefic influences were too interwoven with his more transcendental qualities to let those qualities shine. While it is upsetting that the influence of his benevolent moon could not carry the heavy weight of his rough character, it is no stretch of the imagination to suspect that the positive, artistic potential of a malefic-riddled natal chart like Jim Morrison’s will be hard to come by again.
Written by Dustin Cormier – Astrological Apprenticeship Program Student
Categories: Vedic Astrology Lessons