What do Keith Richards and Jimmy Page have in common?
They’re both British-born and 72 years old. Both are renowned guitarists steeped in the blues, founding members of world-class rock bands. Both are songwriters and innovators – Richards in 5-string open tuning, Page in technical virtuosity. Both are avid readers – Richards of WW2 history, Page of the occult. Both have large guitar collections – 3000 for Richards, 1500 for Page. And for a time both were heroin addicts.
These two fabled rock guitarists were born in England within three weeks of each other – Richards on 18th December 1943 in Dartford, Page on 9th January 1944 in Heston. Since both were born in the early morning, Page at 4am, Richards at 6am, they both have Libra, a sign of long ascension, rising.
Note: both charts are presented with only the traditional visible planets in whole-sign houses using the sidereal zodiac.
Richards’ ascendant lord Venus is in his first house, Libra. Born three weeks later, Page’s Venus has moved to his second house, Scorpio.
In those three weeks the Moon, which was in Richards’ 11th house Leo, has gone three-quarters of the way around the zodiac to occupy Page’s 9th house Gemini.
Except for the Moon and Venus, every other planet is in the same sign, therefore in the same house for a whole-sign house system.
The Sun has advanced 22 degrees. Mercury went retrograde after Richards was born, so Page has it both combust and retrograde.
Otherwise, everything else in their charts is the same sign and house – Mars and Saturn both retrograde in the 8th, Jupiter retrograde in the 11th, Rahu/Ketu in the 10th/4th house axis.
Both guitarists have a mutual reception by sign between the Sun in Sagittarius and Jupiter in Leo. Since they have the same ascendant, this mutual reception creates for both a powerful link between the 3rd and 11th houses.
Among other things, a mutual reception between the 3rd and 11th can create powerful artistry including musicianship. This is because the 3rd is associated with physical prowess, manifesting as athletic skill or artistic craft, while the 11th is associated with realized talents, particularly within the context of a group effort. Here’s how I described some of this effect in my recent book, Mutual Reception:
The native has the courage to address large assemblies, and may act as a spokesperson for an association or society. He is talented in entertaining large groups of people, through speaking or performing. He takes part in a group adventure, and is a member of a musical group or performing arts troupe. He may be ambidextrous, and has a good musical ear.
Although this wasn’t written with musicians in mind (I looked for case studies after I wrote the effects of each exchange), this does apply to both Richards and Page, who share the mutual reception between 3rd and 11th house lords. Here’s how it manifested in Richards’ life:
3rd house themes are revealed through his guitar prowess, songwriting talent and love of books. Note that the 3rd/11th exchange involves the two houses that rule the right and left hands, respectively. The 11th house theme has played out in “group work”, a huge income, an iconic social profile as a rock star, ongoing dedication to fellow musicians, and a collection of guitars that numbers over 3000.
This describes Page too, except he owns fewer guitars than Richards. But what distinguishes Page is a second mutual reception in his chart, elevating him to a select group – only 3% of the public – who have two mutual receptions.
Page’s second pattern lies in the 2nd and 8th houses, where their lords Mars and Venus have effectively exchanged signs to occupy each other’s domicile.
Traditional astrology considers the sign opposite one’s domicile as a place of detriment. Yet when a planet is there, it looks directly across the chart – casting an (opposition) aspect – into the sign it rules. This is considered by all jyotishi (Vedic astrologers) and some Hellenistic astrologers as being positive, since the ruler can “see” its sign/house and thus ensure its well-being.
Among other things, a mutual reception between the 2nd and 8th houses facilitates the exchange of money and/or knowledge between the native and other people. Here’s what I said about this in my book, Mutual Reception:
Because the lords of money for the Self vs the Other are in mutual reception, the notion of currency or financial exchange is obvious. This could manifest positively, eg, via a banker or investment broker who manages other people’s money, or negatively, as a thief or swindler. We could also view the exchange in light of knowledge. Acquired education may be specialized, or transmitted via an oral tradition, eg, mysticism, occult, or the alternative healing arts. This could appear in the chart of a scholar, linguist, or occultist.
Although you might think that sounds more like JP Morgan or Aleister Crowley, it’s surprising how well it applies to Page. Here’s what I observed about his 2nd/8th mutual reception, with the added influence of Saturn on the exchange axis.
The negative association of a strong Saturn on this exchange axis skewed Page into dark territory – his heroin addiction, his fascination with the occult, and some unsubstantiated rumors about sex with juvenile girls. On the plus side, however, he was well-educated and soft-spoken, and created a massive transfer of wealth from rock fans into the bank accounts of Led Zeppelin. Equally positive, he later turned his own significant wealth back into several charities.
Aside from their Moon positions and the shifted Venus that creates Page’s second mutual reception, the two musicians’ charts are still strikingly similar. Most notably, malefics Mars and Saturn both occupy their 8th houses.
Anyone familiar with the current sidereal transits will note that transiting Mars and Saturn will be in Scorpio for seven months this year, from mid-February to mid-September, except for a brief retrograde foray into sidereal Libra late June and early July.
Transiting Mars and Saturn will form an exact conjunction at 15SC47 sidereal on 24th August 2016, opposite the natal Mars/Saturn pair in the 8th house Taurus of both guitarists’ charts.
It may be morbid, but it’s inevitable that the average astrologer will give at least some passing thought to the possibility of accident or death during this transit. It’s almost inevitable in the case of Richards, our generation’s walking zombie:
Long defying Top 10 lists of who’ll die next, Richards is an archetypal rock star. One journalist compared him to Lord Byron – “mad, bad, and dangerous to know.” Another called him “a capering streak of living gristle who ought to be exhibited as a warning to youth of what drugs can do to you even if you’re lucky enough not to choke on your own vomit.” [Mutual Reception, p.157]
Both Richards and Page were heroin addicts. Although Richards was relatively public about his blood-cleansing holidays in Swiss clinics, Page’s treatment was more discreet. However, both fought the battle and emerged victorious. But however good the vitality and the prospects for longevity, eventually the sand runs out of one’s clock…
So what of that powerful pair of malefics in the 8th house? Are they a pair of killers? And now that they’re directly opposed by transit from their natal positions, does this intimate a crisis, the beginning of the end?
Although Vedic astrologers would now turn to a consideration of the major and minor planetary periods (the dasha and bhukti of jyotish) for guidance, let’s try instead to examine this strictly on the basis of transits to see what we might distinguish vis-à-vis a prognosis for either of these two 72-year-olds.
Note that the transiting conjunction of Mars and Saturn occurs at 15SC47. Mars is strong in its own sign, Saturn is ordinary.
In Richards’ chart, this transiting conjunction forms a very tight opposition (00deg28) to his natal Mars. Mars is lord of his 2nd and 7th houses. Since the 2nd rules family (among other things) and the 7th rules the spouse, one possible outcome is some problem regarding his wife Patti Hansen.
The transiting Mars/Saturn conjunction also forms a tight square (01deg11) with Richards’ natal Moon. Since the Moon rules his 10th house, this could affect his career, reputation and/or social status. But since the 10th is the 4th from the 7th, it could also spell problems for Patti’s mother.
Having seen this much, we could now hypothesize that, assuming she’s still alive, Patti Hansen’s mother suffers illness or death this summer. This would be a blow to Keith’s spouse (the 7th), his mother-in-law (the 10th), and indeed his whole family (the 2nd).
But he’s not sick or dying, because there’s no affliction to either the ascendant or the ascendant lord. His natal Venus is strong in its own sign!
In Page’s chart, the transiting Mars/Saturn conjunction also opposes his natal Mars, albeit here with a larger orb of 04deg00. Again, we could turn our attention to family (2nd lord) or spouse (7th lord) but let’s continue our analysis before jumping to conclusions.
In Page’s case, transiting Mars/Saturn also scores a direct hit (01deg48) by conjunction on his natal Venus, which rules his 1st and 8th houses. The 1st represents health and vitality (among other things), while the 8th invokes physical trauma and longevity.
Note that the transiting Mars/Saturn conjunction in Page’s chart makes close aspects to both natal Mars and Venus, the two planets involved in his mutual reception of 2nd and 8th house lords. And the malefic nature of that transiting pair is likely to have a negative effect.
Of what sort? Two possibilities come to mind.
The first is physical. Venus is Page’s ascendant lord. Natal Mars/Saturn both oppose natal Venus; now transiting Mars/Saturn both conjoin natal Venus. Natal Mars/Saturn occupy the 8th house of the (hidden) sexual organs. Venus is representative of the reproductive system. Since transiting Mars/Saturn affects both natal Mars and Venus, we could hypothesize a prostate problem. Will we ever know? Not likely.
The second possibility is financial. Page’s natal Mars and Venus, both closely aspected by the Mars/Saturn transit, are lords of the 2nd and 8th houses. Led Zeppelin is currently the subject of a lawsuit alleging their famous song Stairway to Heaven represents a copyright infringement. Dubious or not, it’s gone to court. Given the nature of the mutual reception involving the 2nd and 8th houses, eg, implying an exchange of money, this could mean Led Zeppelin is liable for damages. But since both planets are in fixed signs, and Saturn acts as a brake on such transactions, any settlement will likely be trivial.
I know it’s only rock ‘n’ roll but I like it.
Alan Annand, astrologer and writer, is a graduate of the British Faculty of Astrological Studies and the American College of Vedic Astrology. His New Age Noir mystery series features astrologer Axel Crowe, whom one reviewer has dubbed “Sherlock Holmes with a horoscope.” His latest book Mutual Reception is a detailed reference text for one of the least-understood configurations in astrology.