Monday, 28 October 2013
Lou Reed – Forever taking a walk on the wild side
You may or may not know that aside from being an Astrologer, music has always been a huge love and passion of mine. One of my abiding memories in my life was meeting one of my heroes Lou Reed at Heathrow Airport, and I didn’t even realise it at the time. I was suppose to collect and assist an unnamed band flying in from Switzerland who were coming in to do a few small gigs in the UK, and one of the party was this aging American guy in a dark scruffy leather jacket. He asked me to help him out to buy some bottles of water before I escorted him to his transportation. After a lovely chat and a warm handshake, he looked me in the eye and thanked me before getting on to his tour bus. When I talked to my colleague afterwards that I had sort of recognised him, he told me “Oh blimey, didn’t you know you were meeting Lou Reed !!”. Actually, I am glad I never knew, and I treasure the 5 mins that I oh so briefly got to chat with the great man. It is therefore with great sadness that I heard today that he passed away, aged 71.
Now unfortunately I do not have a birth time for Lou who was born on 2nd March 1942 in Brooklyn New York. I do know that he had a Pisces Sun and also a rather shy and retiring Virgo Moon. It is quite noticeable that Lou had 5 planet is earth signs split between Virgo and Taurus, so I think that this was quite a modest yet determined man who had a strong work ethic behind him. When on his own path he would stick to it and not want to compromise his principles. There is also a complete lack of planets in cardinal signs on this chart, something you might find rather strange for someone who was such a leader in his field. A lack of a cardinal influence doesn’t mean that one has to lack drive and initiative but rather it would still be there however the subject would be very uncomfortable with being the lead figure in any situation, and yet they would feel almost duty bound to take the reigns. I think that although he knew that he was a someone with a special talent and he didn’t really want to be the main man, he knew he had to.
The combination of Pisces Sun and Virgo Moon see the two personal planets in opposite signs or service and sacrifice. The Virgo Moon need to refine and to discriminate and this would have been combined with his natural instinct and a lot of sensitivity. I feel that his mind would have been very perceptive and clever, noting exactly what he needed to do to get the desired effect he wanted. I also feel a rather warm but quiet feel to this guy, someone who was engaging yet wanted to remain decidedly in the background. Those with Virgo Moons rarely express their feeling and often you feel a humble yet reserved charm from anyone with this placement. That’s the exact response I got from meeting Lou many years ago. Feelings are often held back and though one wants to show that you care, those emotions rarely come out in an expressive form.
The Pisces influence through the Sun obviously gave Lou much inspirational musical talent and an artistic side (Pisces and Neptune rule music) and being conjunct to his South Node, I think that he had much natural ability that he brought into this life. This conjunction often leads to people who are not very ego driven and they live their life needing to make some sacrifices including sacrificing themselves in some manner so that they can get their spiritual message out to the world. Sometimes the conjunction leads to a person who wanted to remain in the shadows, working in the dead of night or having a darker side to their personality that would normally be the case. I think we can put a tick in the box against most of these qualities with Lou. That sacrifice and escapism was I think very much compounded by the square to this conjunction from Jupiter. Jupiter expands and leads to excess and in Gemini, it makes one restless to constantly try out new things, it’s effect is scattered far and wide. I think that Lou’s need for creative inspiration lead to him trying out drugs of all kinds in excess and it took him into those dark places that the South Node says you will visit. By the same token, Jupiter in Gemini allows one to take all kinds of different influences and combine them into a wonderfully coherent form and message, and through his music Lou was an expert in creating this dark sound interlaced with wonderful melodies and poetic prose.
Those melodies I think came from the cool and logical Mercury and Venus conjunction in Aquarius that made individual trines to Jupiter. These two planet in conjunction bring a love of design and beauty, and an appreciation of style, in Lou’s case unconventional style, from alternative rock to ambient music, jazz to metal. Yes Lou was a true artist drawn to making relationships with other talented people, including amongst others Andy Warhol, David Bowie, Nick Cave, Brandon Flowers and even Metallica. Aquarius where these two planets reside is the most friendly sign, cool, caring but also unique too and it is very much a sign of collaboration. Venus out of this combination of Aquarian planets was also in opposition to dark and intense Pluto, the lord of the underworld, and again the style that he was synonymous with would be one who would be tied to. The Velvet Underground has the feel of Pluto opposite to Venus, doesn’t it? The soft and gentle touch of Venus dragged into the back alleys by dark and foreboding Pluto. The songs that he penned were of relationships being lived out in the inner cities, of sex, drugs, abuse and of urban strife, all Plutonian and Neptunian themes.
There is one last set of aspects that need taking note of, a triple conjunction of Saturn, Uranus and Mars making trines to Neptune in Virgo. Neptune in Virgo shows skill and precision in any kind of creative or artistic talent that you possess and the trines to these three planets indicated someone who knew the value of hard work and had lots of determination (Mars Saturn), a progressive attitude to always move forward (Mars Uranus) with a nod to those who had preceded him (Uranus Saturn). This trine from Neptune to Uranus gave Lou a wonderful sense of freedom and knowledge that no idea was too fantastical, no limits should ever hold him back from following his ideals and dreams. Saturn trine to Neptune allowed him to make into tangible form these ideas and inspirations and Mars trine to Neptune not only made him a peaceful soul, Neptune lessens the aggression one feels inside but also made allowed him to come up with inventive solutions to any problems that he faced in the song writing process. These three Taurean planets showed he always would be someone who would keep on going and going, performing nearly until he could do so no more in the industry he loved, and it also gave him a unique sounding voice. Taurus rules the throat and is one of the most musical signs in the zodiac and Saturn brings gravitas and is also surprisingly musical, I think because it is a planet of structure and music of course relies on correct structure to sound in tune. The Uranus Saturn conjunction I think gave him an unusually dark and deep voice, one which though not pitch perfect in any way, shape or form was unmistakeable when heard.
It’s sad to say that rock music has lost one of it’s true pioneers, a man who did walk on the wild side and knew all too well the pain and suffering that accompanied true artistic talent and in my brief experience in meeting him I know that this was a lovely warm and gentle guy too. Our loss is heaven’s gain, although thankfully he left us with a legacy of songs that not only inspired a whole generation of musicians but will also be played for years and years to come.