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Photo above, Pink Floyd in 1967.
Syd Barrett is second from right.
Dark Side of the Aquarius Moon - VIDEO
Dear Friends Around the World:
Roger Keith "Syd" Barrett, the co-founder of the British rock band Pink Floyd, died earlier this month in Cambridge at the age of 60, it was reported Tuesday.
Barrett was one of the true pioneers of psychedelic music, whose songwriting and performances profoundly influenced several generations of musicians. It was Barrett, mythologized in numerous later Pink Floyd songs, who named the band, and whose compositions and haunting voice stoked its artistic originality and led to its initial success.
He died in the days before the Capricorn Full Moon of diabetes-related illness July 7 in Cambridge, England, where he had lived in reclusion for many years.
Pink Floyd began performing in 1965, at the peak of the conjunction of Uranus and Pluto in Virgo. Around 1968, then one of the most famous guitarists in England, he experienced a mental breakdown, widely felt to have been exacerbated by his use of LSD and other psychedelic drugs. He went into reclusion and, though he had a brief solo career through 1972, he remained out of sight for decades, unless you count numerous instances of harassment by paparazzi photographers who would hassle him when he went out to buy milk.
But he recorded two albums with the band before leaving: Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967); and Saucerfull of Secrets (1968). His voice, evocative fairy-tale like songs and psychic ambience are a familiar presence from countless acid trips millions of the band's fans experienced over the years. "Arnold Layne," "Remember A Day," and "See Emily Play" are songs from this genre.
Barrett was replaced by lead guitarist David Gilmour, whose guitar sound would become among the most familiar in all of rock. Bassist Roger Waters, to some surprise, stepped up to the challenge and took over as the band's main songwriter creative influence, coming up with numerous concept albums such as Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall.
Barrett was known to most fans as the "missing member" of the band, immortalized in the folklore of its most famous albums, particularly on the 1975 album Wish You Were Here.
Barrett mysteriously appeared at the recording session of the song "Shine On You Crazy Diamond," which was about him, though he had changed so much due to his illness that band members did not recognize him when they saw his face. Two are reported to have broken out in tears when they saw him in that condition after seven years of absence.
Several of Pink Floyd's albums portray the plight of the mentally ill in a time when such public comment was having tremendous impact on social values.
Barrett was a Capricorn, born Jan. 7, 1946. The time in this chart is my rectification by a horary method, in a sense randomly selecting the birth time based on the time I'm doing the work. This method consistently produces working charts, but this is not a definitive chart, as actual data may become available at some point.
The very late Leo ascendant gives an image of someone who lives on the edge, and experiences life from the edges of his personality. This is one version of the "anaretic degree" -- which is usually said to be the 30th degree, but which often appears with the same properties in the 29th degree, which we in this chart, we have rising. It is known for its intense karmic implications, a sense that all of life focuses on the issues represented by the planet or point occupying the degree, as well as bringing out the extremes of whatever it may represent -- in this case, Barrett's personality and sense of self (Leo rising).
With a late degree ascendant comes a late degree descendent. This puts Barrett's 7th house cusp exactly on a point associated with visioning things five years into the future -- a strong suggestion that he had much more to do with inspiring the band's later, massively successful work than has yet been observed.
Barrett's quality of existing on the edge of reality is also shown by Pluto in his 12th house -- a placement that often gives the feeling of living at the brink of the abyss, where he seemed most at home. When transiting Pluto crossed his natal ascendant in 1957 at age 11, Barrett's father died -- which is considered by some to have been a trauma from which he did not recover, implicated in his later mental illness. This is something to watch with Pluto transits: their effects can be experienced long after they've passed, and often people seem to forget that the transit really is over.
Most striking about Barrett's chart are the distinct concentrations of energies: Mars and Saturn in Cancer (a configuration which just repeated one month ago in Leo, and is currently present in the sky); a packed stellium in Libra; and another in Capricorn. Feel those concentrations of energy for a moment.
From this image we get a look at the defined facets of his artistic personality (Libra, painter; Capricorn, lyricist; and Leo, guitarist and lead vocalist). This is also an image of a fractured and divided mind, because the points on this T-square are not easily resolved or integrated.
Squares to Neptune (he has Venus and the Sun in fairly tight squares to Neptune, and Saturn and Mars in looser ones) are always reminders to be careful with drugs and drink, and for the astrologer working with the chart to check with the client for any potential excesses that need to be monitored. They can represent a drive to expand or alter consciousness, as well as an underlying weakness or flaw in the psychic structure that can be brought out under chemical influences.
Overall, this T-square, which is a highly stressed aspect. In the cardinal signs, it has a driven, fast-acting quality, but it's highly vulnerable to transits that create what might feel like earthquakes in the personality.
One particular structure is worth a closer look: Chiron and Jupiter in Libra square Mars and Saturn in Cancer. The Chiron-Jupiter conjunction is something of a magic ring, creatively, where Chiron focuses the enormous influence of Jupiter (which is often scattered by lack of focus). In Libra, this is the ability to bring in a transformative kind of artistic energy, which is expressed (by trine) through his sensitive Aquarius Moon. The trines to the Moon suggest that the flow of that galactic energy coming through the Jupiter-Chiron conjunction was easily available and may have flowed at too great a pace for him to handle.
On the mental and creative levels, this is a source emitting a lot of light, and it cast just as dark of a shadow.
The Jupiter-Chiron conjunction, squared by Mars and Saturn in Cancer (extreme insecurity, and an emotionally raw quality), puts it under considerable emotional stress and often, outright conflict. In other words, it would seem that Barrett could not express his creativity (Jupiter-Chiron) without smashing into internal limits (Mars-Saturn) that he most likely attempted do dissolve with some rather potent drugs. But that was the spirit of the time.
Taken alone, the Mars-Chiron square is a significant block for natives to work through, and it often expresses itself as some form of obstruction to expressing sexual energy that can become destructive if not addressed.
In the years subsequent to his going into reclusion, Uranus and Pluto moved through Libra, and Chiron moved through Aries, pressuring many angles of his chart with outer-planet influences. He was, in a real sense, a victim or casualty of the Sixties, an era which was very much defined by the movements of Uranus, Pluto and Chiron.
His Aquarius Moon was something he shared with rockers John Lennon (also a painter) and Neil Young. This is a restless, creative, mentally driven Moon. It never thinks for itself alone. Many identified with what Barrett went through, and fans never stopped being aware of his ideas and influence.
He also became something of a poster child for mental illness. In its most famous album, Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd appeals for gentler treatment of the insane, which was a cause gaining momentum in the early 70s when the album came out.
We find that another planet addressing mind and creativity, Mercury, is exactly aligned with the Galactic Core in Sagittarius, which is some extraordinarily deep inner connection to a cosmic source.
Note that his South Node is in the last degree of that sign -- a strong influence of galactic energy as well as a striking alignment to the "2012 zone" of the night sky. His lunar nodes (in the last degrees of Gemini and Sagittarius, respectively) will be exactly squared by an eclipse later in the year, an example of how an eclipse that hasn't happened yet can have effects on the present. This eclipse square the nodes is a symbolic "dividing line" or break of continuity in the flow of his life. Contact with the nodes can easily bring a person back into public contact, as his death surely has done.
Let's take a brief look at the minor planets -- particularly those that aspect his Sun, Moon and Neptune. Here is the chart, cast in Solar Fire 5.
The minor planets reveal a similar planet of intense concentration -- though in different parts of his chart. This diagram reveals the centaurs and trans-Neptunian objects -- not the asteroids.
One concentration is in Aries, and includes Varuna and Sedna, two of the most powerful newly discovered planets (neither of which was known at the time of his birth). These complete the grand cardinal cross from Aries, which feels like an ominous, expansive sense of self, and of self existing beyond everything, words that have been used to describe the feeling of Varuna. This worked out to be true for Barrett, as his composition, singing and playing influenced many of the best known rock musicians of the next 30 years, up to the present day. He was something of a "proto" rock musician, pioneering in psychedelic rock experiments even before the Beatles.
Asbolus, a Centaur, much like Chiron, appears as the highest planet in the chart, occupying the 10th house cusp (profession, career, reputation). Asbolus is a planet that tends to appear angular in the charts of people who endure great hardship or abuse, though usually they survive it. In another sense, Asbolus (which means "carbon dust") represents an elemental force that all life has in common.
Barrett certainly was an elemental force, one whose fragile personality changed the world, influenced his most talented contemporaries from Paul McCartney to David Bowie; but could not stand his own impact on it, or its impact on him. The band he co-founded became one of the most artistically original, emotionally potent and commercially successful experiments in music history.
Below is a bit of tribute to Barrett, by former bandmate Waters, from Wish You Were Here:
So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell,
Thank you Syd Barrett.
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