Elements of Horror

John Carpenter

John Carpenter


Night Chart  


Saturn Node + Pisces Moon
 (Saturn at bendings of Nodes; Moon in final degree and third decan of Pisces, and bounds of Saturn) 

Prominent Neptune  film, imagination, the unreal and projected
 + Uranus on Midheaven (shock factor) 

Moon Neptune  parallel southern declination
 ~ film, illusion, prophecy, music

Sun Hades  square
 (Sun applies to wonderfully notorious TNP, Hades, ruling secrets, decay, catastrophes, garbage, death, murder)

Mars Rising  above Ascendant (in Mars' bounds) in technical Virgo
 (Mars with its natural cutting/cathartic attributes inhabits the mental sphere of the whole sign first house)

Mars Neptune  =  Ascendant (midpoint)
 ~ the will directed toward fantasy and the arts

Sun in cold, dry Capricorn  (by night)  in the fifth house of Venus' Joy: arts, music, fortune
 (Sun tightly connected -sees- the Ascendant by trine)

Moon in Setting Place  (seventh house) and increasing in light
~ waxing/gains in place of setting sun (death)

Saturn Awards  Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films ~ many for Best Music :  
  Listen to John Carpenter here.


As always, there's so much more to say . . . 



Today it has been nineteen years since Kurt Cobain's death. To commemorate him, his life's work, his bittersweet poetic and musical contribution to the world (which I personally think was of tremendous importance), I will delineate a few elements of his natal chart that I believe speak a great deal to his style and character and maybe also to his destiny.  

As you probably already know, much about astrology is finding recurring or reiterating themes (i.e. confluence). Usually one does not make a judgement or assessment about a chart based on a single factor alone. This is especially true when examining a natal chart (a person's birth chart). When an astrologer sees repeating or similar factors emerging from different aspects of the chart, they can be near to certain that the expression of those themes will be present and active in the native's life. With Kurt Cobain we see this.

First, some basics. You can see in his chart the Sun is under the horizon in the sign of Pisces, Venus' exaltation. He was born after sunset. The rising sign is Virgo, and in the hour and minutes of Cobain's birth the long-standing conjunction of Uranus and Pluto were rising right on the horizon at his Ascendant. His character was greatly defined by these two radical outer planets.

Mercury is the lord of, and is exalted at, the Ascendant and is another major definer of character. It is in Pisces, which is the sign of its fall, and it sees the Ascendant from the seventh place. A planet in its fall frequently must do things outside the box -- in some way outside what society deems is acceptable or normal or appropriate. This somewhat androgynous Mercury, guiding souls to and from the underworld, is a powerfully descriptive planet for him. In earlier times, when we would not have had Uranus and Pluto to help us see immediately the revolutionary or rebellious qualities inherent in his chart, we would associate much of these things to Mercury in Pisces (along with the position and aspect of Saturn, more on that in a minute). 

Cobain's powerful Moon in Cancer (the Moon rules Cancer) is positioned in the eleventh sign from the Ascendant, the place of friends, gain, and Good Spirit. The Moon is the sect light (the 'luminary of the sect in favor' - due to it being a night chart) and is of supreme importance. It is configured with Jupiter which is also in Cancer (Jupiter is in its exaltation). Jupiter is a great benefic and can bring great success, and Jupiter is positioned here in its own house of Joy strengthening the association. There can however be a tendency toward indulgence and extravagance with Jupiter and that possibility is increased here due to its being a night chart. Because Jupiter is a planet belonging to the day sect, and is therefore out of sect in this chart, its potential for boundlessness, knowing no limits, is increased. This can be good and bad, and in Cobain's case I believe we see both. The good and bad is reiterated again by aspects the Moon and Jupiter receive: superior trines from both Venus, the benefic that is of the sect in favor (for a night birth), also in its sign of exaltation, and Saturn, the most difficult malefic being out of sect at night. Venus Saturn being dark art, torment and love. (As an aside, you see the Moon configured with Jupiter in Whitney Houston's chart too, though in the second sign from the Ascendant; Saturn also is in a superior aspect. She too was a night birth. I'm not implying that you will always see problems associated like the ones shared by these two artists, but wanted to mention this similarity in expression.)

Returning to Pisces, the seventh sign from the Ascendant -- classically a place of marriage, enemies, the later part of life, and death -- we see the Sun configured with Mercury, Venus, and Saturn. Saturn being contrary to sect is a very important player here, it colors Cobain's character in a very strong and distinct way -- a way of decay, darkness, and heaviness, like lead. (Another aside, these are a lot of planets dispositing to a very dignified (by sign and place) benefic, Jupiter. We see something similar in Jimi Hendrix's chart: the Sun, Mercury, and Venus all in Sagittarius disposing to Jupiter also exalted in Cancer and configured with the Moon.)
*See charts for both Houston and Hendrix at bottom of article. 

Next we note Cobain's Mars, the "better" of the hard-working malefics, is dignified in its own sign Scorpio, which favors meaningful conflict and struggle and a preference for experiences that are passionate and devotional. This is the third sign from the Ascendant, one might say a place of oracles, and as it's Mars (in Scorpio) its expression is intense. Configured here with Mars is the south node of the Moon (a.k.a. Ketu, a mystical, otherworldly figure) and Neptune. This leads us to an importantly precise grand trine between Neptune, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn. Flowing, and again, knowing no bounds, for better and worse . . . inspiration, devotion, manifestation of melancholic beauty, fantasy, slipping into escape, overwhelm . . . a dream that's gotten out of control.

The Lot of Fortune (an alternate Ascendant) is in Taurus and its ruler Venus is located in the eleventh sign from fortune, a place of acquisition. Again: the place of friends, gains, and Good Spirit, a place associated with Jupiter; a theme is reiterated. 

Much of what we associate with Neptune was originally expressed through Jupiter and Saturn. Something to think about....



Cobain was born just a couple of days before both Mercury and Neptune stationed retrograde. Because stations occur over time, meaning the planet from our perspective doesn't just stop on the day of its station, but slows down and stalls out, literally standing still for days at a time, any planetary station which occurs within a week of one's birthday (on either side of the date) is of huge importance. 

Indian astrologers hold the opinion that retrograde planets are actually at their strongest -- this usually differs from traditional or modern Western thought. 

Mercury, along with Venus, is very much associated with music and musicians.
Neptune, the imagination. 




Being the huge nerd that I am, I also love to examine declination +and+ antiscia.

With Cobain we see parallel conjunctions of Mercury, Venus, and Saturn. We already know that the planets are conjunct by zodiacal degree (longitude), but by declination (sharing the same latitude) they are even more closely aligned. This further strengthens their conjunction and because they all rest near the celestial equator (by 2.5 degrees of Southern declination), they are very much tied to the earthly plane.

Note too that the Moon is way Out Of Bounds. Another signature for a bit of a radical character and unrestrained energy; and ruling the eleventh, extremes apply to fortune and friends, and, as astrologer Austin Coppock points out, fans.



Planets and angles connected by antiscia (symmetry around the zero degree cardinal points) have been recognized as important and potent for at least two thousand years.

A more modern perspective sees connections across the axis as illuminating 1) that a person will connect to the world, and 2) how that person will connect with the world (whether it be intentional or not).

With Cobain we see a strong connection between the powerful and dignified luminary of sect the Moon and his Midheaven. The Moon is emotion, it rules the public, also women and the feminine. And this ties the lord of the eleventh (again), the place of Good Spirit, fortune, and friends, to the MC (Midheaven) - the point of profession, one's mission or path, and culmination in the life, and for Uranian astrologers: the soul. In fact, in Reinhold Ebertin's classic book, The Combination of Stellar Influences, the principle delineation given for Moon|MC is =

"One's own soul." 


To me, Kurt Cobain expressed, exposed, and shared with us his soul. He certainly touched other souls. Like the Moon, his work and nature was not, or seemed not to be, rational. And his music, his lyrics, prose and poems, uncomfortable at times (Saturn), sometimes desperately sad, touched and spoke to others on what I can only think of as an emotional (Moon) soul level. 


Leave a comment if you like. 

androgynous mercurial chart ruler 

androgynous mercurial chart ruler 

The Ugly Truth? March 19 Full Moon


The Full Moon occuring on March 19 is being called a super moon because it is particularly close to the earth. The exact time of the Full Moon is 11:10AM PDT (2:10PM EDT). Occurring in the tropical and sidereal signs of Pisces and Virgo, this lunation emphasizes concepts of sacrifice and/or service. The Sun and Moon sit tropically at 28 degrees 47 minutes (chart below).

Interesting to note the Heliacal Rising star for the day is Deneb Algedi, located in the sea goat's tail in the constellation of Capricornus. Deneb Algedi, the "ancient law giver," is a justice-oriented star and, according to Bernadette Brady, is symbolic of an "ancient god who was seeking to bring civilization to his people." It promotes benefic rulers. And when it's rising she says it relates to the seeking of "legal, physical or metaphysical laws that govern the world," and of "knowledge or solutions... endeavoring to help others in one's community." I think the reference to serving our community is quite interesting here, as is the mention of physical or metaphysical laws (or limits) governing the world. We'll return to this idea when we consider Hades, another important point in the lunation chart. 

The Heliacal Setting star for the day is Regulus. A star located in the heart of the lion in the constellation of Leo. This star points to "the need to avoid revenge." It can indicate success and natural talent (military success is related to Regulus as well), but one must be careful to avoid hubris and excessive anger. 

Could we say:  The time for revenge and dictatorship is Setting (or needs to set) -- and the time for service in one's community and benefic leadership is on the Rise..? As always, I hope so.

Full Moon chart on the pie wheel set in Washington DC:

dc supermoon.jpg

There are many interesting points to note with this Full Moon. It is square the nodal axis and square the Dec 21, 2010 Total Lunar Eclipse. Jupiter is culminating, while Saturn lies at the Nadir. The Mercury Saturn opposition has passed, but is actually very strong by paran (chart at bottom of this article). Other important parans for the day are: Moon rising (E) with Uranus setting (W), and Mercury Jupiter rising (E) while Pluto culminates (M). Parans are important combined planetary statements. For more information on parans see my previous post

Now I'll head to the 90 degree dial, with the TNPs (transNeptunian planets - used commonly by Uranian or Symmetrical astrologers). On the dial there is something that catches our attention right away: Hades

super moon dc 90.jpg

(See Hades snuggled right in between the Sun and Moon.)

Hades (the symbol at the top of this article - a waning crescent with a cross) is a hypothetical planet, though it very likely has a body floating around out there in the Kuiper belt somewhere. In addition to symbolizing things used, old, and thrown out, it signifies those things which are hidden or from the past and therefore relates to astrology and the occult. 

Hades sometimes carries with it connotations of sickness and deformity and importantly nursing, i.e. providing relief to those things (including parts of ourselves and other people or places) that we'd rather not look at. In its highest expression it relates to selfless service, pure unadulterated service provided without ego-attachment or a need for recognition. It is giving even though you may receive nothing in return. This echoes (the Full Moon) Virgo/Pisces - and is a perfect synthesis of the two.

At this lunation, Hades is in a precise square to the Sun and Moon. It currently presides in 28 deg 47 min of Gemini (the exact degree and minute of this mutable Full Moon). And it sits very close to the Nodes (the south node specifically). The Nodes signify connections - fated, possibly karmic, and just unions generally. Hades with the Nodes will likely bring a greater concentration of, and focus on, things like poverty and stormy circumstances, even literally stormy weather and floods. It may contribute to an increased interest in hidden knowledge, objects,or people; thingsfrom the past. It may also signify bringing to light (Full Moon) some criminal activity or deeply buried secrets held by governments or others in power. 

If we direct our attention specifically to the Sun Moon Hades combination, some other important points also come into focus. 

supermoon dc hades.jpg

You can see on the dial some other points are strongly connected (note the midpoint lines tying these objects together) to this Full Moon. Two more hypothetical planets are illuminated: Cupido and Apollon. But even if we took these points out, we would be left with the Full Moon occurring at the precise Neptune Ascendant midpoint (for Washington DC). This is powerful and ought to be quite descriptive. Will there be more fraud and deceipt coming to light, or being actively hidden? Neptune Ascendant also signifies weakness or illness, even poisons; who is at risk, who needs healing - the government, the American people? Likely both.

Yet another expression of Neptune Ascendant is sensitivity. Some could likely use a little more, especially if it means developing more compassion and trusting intuition instead of listening to the 'experts' or to people who don't have your best interest in mind. Neptune Ascendant can dissolve things too. Aren't we, as a collective, in the midst of recognizing just how much there is to "clean up?" Neptune, like water, is a universal solvent.  

Speaking of cleaning, other Hades significations are things dirty, ruined, ugly, or just plain mean. Hades also rules catastrophes. To be blunt, I think this lunation is forcing us to look at the ugly truth. With the other two TNPs playing into this picture, Apollon with Neptune, and Cupido with Pluto, the ugly truth gets more descriptive. It is one involving corruption, mass deception, and "bad smelling matters" (Neptune Apollon = Hades per Alfred Witte's book, Rules for Planetary Pictures), where social and family conditions are in decline and communities are suffering (Pluto Cupido = Hades). In light of Japan's earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear issues; dictators killing their people; and increased attention finally illuminating our country's greedy and malicious Wall Street bank robbers, is it really a surprise we'd find this reflected in the current lunation?

So how can we use these energies to serve something more positive? By actively directing them into something for the common good. I think we must take action. We must participate in the solution. Uranus, the planet of revolution and change, is part of this picture too and there is no time to waste. Contribute in whatever tiny way you can. Drive your car less. Better yet, sell it! Especially if it's a gas-guzzling S.U.V. The days of mass-consumption are Over. Participate in making a better future (ensure a future period), don't turn the other way and contribute to the problem. (Okay, enough ranting..)

One last thing I'd like to point out about these combinations is that they are actually quite beautiful for those interested in or who study and practice ancient astrology. It is a highly favorable time for the occult sciences. The wisdom of the past meets a science for the future.  

Ne + Ap = Ha  Su  Mo

Paran chart :

supermoon paran best.jpg

I welcome you to leave comments +/or feedback.

The Moon passes through the Water Bearer's Urn

The Moon may be in the zodiacal sign of Pisces today, but she is passing through the constellation of Aquarius. The Babylonians referred to this constellation as the Seat of the Flowing Water. Yesterday the Moon passed over the star Ancha --a drop of water falling from the urn. And today she passes near Situla --the first star in the flow of water at the edge of the urn

These waters are symbolic of the cycle of creation, both in its life-promoting forms and floods and in the storms that take life away.