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Western Astrology-R.E.M and Nirvana


Michael Stipe      vocals                4/1/60                 capricorn sun/pisces moon
pig year/earth year/ox month     ~~~> elements = water/earth/water
Peter Buck           guitar                 6/12/56               saggitarius sun/aquarius moon
monkey year/fire year/rat month  ~~> elements = metal/fire/water
Mike Mills            bass/ k'bds          17/12/58            saggitarius sun/pisces moon
dog year/earth year/rat month      ~~~> elements =metal/earth/water
Bill Berry              drums                 31/7/58               leo sun/aquarius moon
dog year/earth year/monkey month ~~>elements = metal/earth/metal

Here we have a band not only with pedigree but long-lasting too.Since their inception in 1980, they have consistently pruduced music of the highest quality,emerging from cult status to popular appeal.In michael stipe they have a leader with the determination and practicalities of capricorn, supported by the pioneering spirit of saggitarius.Sound enough credentials So a good place to start,the world of Michael Stipe.
Not knowing his time of birth,or indeed his band colleagues,this will be a study of planets in signs and determinable aspects.In michael's case,the moon could be either pisces or aries.Both would fit aspects of his character with perhaps pisces being the favourite because i cant believe there isn't a water contrast to all that fire and earth[neptune in scorpio excepted] The earth in him is principally capricorn with a virgoan pluto.He is also born in what the easterns call an earth year.Saturn in capricorn is particularly fortunate being in rulership. Self- discipline,perseverance,patience,responsibility and ambition are some of the attributes. Michael would also know how to structure and map out the band's path,as well as its limitations,including his own.The conjunction with the sun indicates that michael has had to do it his own way,putting serious objectives and direction in life before the more pleasurable things.With mercury there too,this serious approach would be inherant in his thinking and logic.


His venus,mars and jupiter in saggitarius provide a welcome and advantageous contrast. Jupiter rules saggitarius,another fortunate placement.Only uranus in leo can be considered a planet poorly placed--and this is debatable.Originality,self-confidence,leadership and an ability to get things done come with this generational influence.However being retrograde might just explain the eccentric,wilder side of michael,best illustrated by his unusual changes in dress and appearance both on stage and off.Reviewing the past is a trait of uranusR and although REM are not a band to re-work old songs,far from it,michael might just use the past to be even more forward looking in his music.But his strong capricorn sense would keep any uranian anarchy in check or at least keep the balance.
The strong saggitarius part of him would give him boundless enthusiasm and optimism with his mars drive very energetic and uncoventional.His moral courage is undoubted and combined with the capricorn energies,makes him the uncompromising person he is.His insistence on freedom would be a venus in saggitarius trait and money would never be an issue.As a band R.E.M.believed in equality and freedom and michael knew the dangers of allowing royalties and song-writing credits overshadowing the prime objective----the music.Jupiter,here,would help him in his study of wider world issues and philosophy.His lyrics do show him to have reached a high intellectual level,covering a broad spectrum of life.Saggitarius people are often visionaries as well as being benevolent and generous.His jupiter in trine with uranus is particularly opportune and again is illustrated by his free-spirit and rebelling against the orthodox and social prejudices.In his vocation,despite the death of close friends,he continued to have better fortune than his peers.

 Thats  me  in  the  corner, Thats  me  in  the  spotlight, Losing  my  religion
Interesting to note that as a predominantly earth-fire type,he has a different personality to ginger baker,equally earth-fire.But michael's lack of air/water doesnt seem to have affected his basic sensitivity and humanity.We can put that partly down to his jupitarian[saggitarius] qualities as opposed to ginger's leo-ness and his mutable[adaptivity]qualities as opposed to ginger's fixed modes.Both would have fire's enthusiasm and inspiration but michael's are better suited to harmony within a band.Where ginger attacks,michael flows.Capricorn too has a more realistic,professional approach than the more rooted taurus,leading by example.


Peter buck,guitarist and record collector of the band has his sun in saggitarius,interacting positively with michael's jupiter there.He would find michael a great source of inspiration consequently and also feel protected by him.Mutual confidence in each other.His scorpio venus,passionate in its desires and intensity finds support from michael's capricorn sun through a sextile which can promote mutual friendship and growth.Like michael, peter has 5 planets in fire but interestingly his 3 saggitarian planets are different to michael's.His mercury there is reflected by his talk of new challenges,when interviewed,of pushing forward with new ideas,forever the student,and good for writing.In saggitarius,mercury is considered in fall because concentration is easily disrupted by mental restlessness. Breadth of  thought and the imperitive to move on would be part of peter's mental make-up.His other saggitarian planet is saturn,who sets boundaries and gives us structure in life.In saggitarius,saturn is concerned with knowledge and intellectual/philosophical matters as well as truths.Peter is likely to have high principles and consider his reputation important.He would be prepared to work hard and again,we see the eternal student and self-motivator.He may be less flexible than others about realising his objectives.


A major part of his chart and a real challenge to him is his T-square involving mercury, jupiter and mars.Such challenges can be either the making or the breaking of an individual.If he can overcome the trials and tensions that arise,then he become a stronger person ultimately.
His arian mars would give him all the necessary drive and determination to force the initiative.Behind his distinctive,chiming guitar is mars at its most powerful.It opposes his jupiter in virgo which can get burdoned down in detail and limitations.Mars in aries is one forceful energy which can give considerable impact to a person or band.Similarly his expansive mercury is challenged by his somewhat conservative jupiter.It is mercury which is the key to the T-square because it receives the two squares involved.The mars challenge could bring out an argumentative,alienating side to peter.Certainly michael stipe's capricorn mentality was challenged by this T-square but seemingly without adverse effects.Similarly mike mill's saggitarian sun comes into contact with it and may well have a beneficial influence on peter through an alliance with his mercury part of the T-square.Peter,a fellow saggitarian would know where mike is coming from.Bill does not come into contact with it.
Peter  has michael's retrograde uranus,which partly surfaces in his case through his  avid collection of records,one of his indulgences the past and his heritage.His scorpio north node tells us much about peter whose path in life is essentially about self-motivation and a strong sense of purpose and direction.Already in michael and peter,we can see why R.E.M. have just passed the 20 year mark in their history.

Mike mills,bassist,is yet another member with 3 planets in saggitarius,making jupiter the godfather of this band.Like,michael and peter he has no air planets but he has 3 in water.He has the obligatory which is a pre-condition to being in the band.Like peter his modes of activity are fixed and mutable,leaving michael stipe to start the initiatives and lead the band.Their strength in the fixed signs could hold REM together and sustain it.All 3 members so far are high in the mutable[adaptive/flowing] signs.It can be taken as read that mike has aspects of the earth-fire personality,so we'll continue with the  water/ feelings-orientated side of him.

Moon in pisces [at last we can be certain of a moon placement]gives mike a kind,gentle, receptive side to him with a well-developed imagination and emotions.As a bass player,one would expect him to tune-in,empathetically to the musical needs of the others and to feel the flow.With his sun in saggitarius,its a beautiful combination for a band member whose role is a supportive one.Tolerance,understanding,insight,idealism,devotion are just a few of a saggitarius sun/pisces moon person's virtues and being in the background for such a person is no problem at all.Not that REM was about hierarchy in any way but to have such a bass guitarist is indeed a benefit to any band.On the debit side however,the sun and moon are in square and that would involve inner issues to deal with,depending how close the square is which cannot be ascertained without the time of birth.His mercury in saggitarius too would make him versatile in his thinking and again we see the intellectuality of REM coming through.Though lacking air signs in the band,REM show that true intellectuality comes in many guises and they weren't lacking in communication areas either.One of the astrological dilemnas of the band----why such an absence of air signs should not seem to have affected their skills in these areas.Perhaps saggitarius holds the key to that enigma.

Mike's scorpio jupiter shows the more intense side of him with strong will-power and perseverance in his ventures,allied to shrewdness and the ability to delve deep into areas of interest,including the meaning of life itself.Like his colleagues,he would take being a rock star as something to hold dear,not to throw away recklessly.REM are a band who always appreciated the position they were in.A garage band who worked hard to reach the top and intended staying there but without compromising their music or philosophy of life.What we want from life is often expressed throigh our venus sign and with mike's in capricorn,we again see an REM member who is realistic and practical about objectives and desires.Their excess of Fire gave them inspiration,creativity and enterprise rather than rash impulsion Onstage all the energies of fire are displayed but off-stage,the grounded,reality of earth, with the ability to work hard, take over.

A distinctive feature of mike's chart is his 4 planets in retrograde.No other member has more than 2 and none of them personal planets.Mike's mercury and mars merit some attention therefore.MercuryR is well-documented,mainly when its 3 retrograde periods each year come into focus.Relatively few people actually have it retrograde in their charts and there are many interpretations of its effect upon the individual.One of them is making your mark in other ways than the voice,in mike's case,his bass guitar and writing collaborations.Another is constant re-evaluating and re-consideration of one's thoughts and actions.Mars in retrograde would also indicate this hesitancy to act until absolute assessment of the situation but a tendency to bottle frustrations can result in sudden releases of tensions or even anger.In taurus this could be quite pronounced.The square from his leo uranus would add to these difficulties and chiron's square too would make it necessary for mike to heal a few wounds.But pisces moon might be a comfort at times.The key to his happiness,rather than success within the band,probably lies in how his saggitarius sun interacts with his pisces moon.As squares go,this is one of the more positive ones,with saggitarius's ruler,jupiter also ruling pisces.A more benevolent arbitrator you couldn't find. Ultimately this square may be more beneficial to his close contacts than to himself.


Bill berry,the drummer,and the only member so far to leave the band [ amicably and after 17 years service], has a sun/moon challenge of his own with sunny leo opposing aquarius moon.The latter one of the more intriguing placements,to my mind,in rock astrology.Syd barrett and john lennon to name but two of the incumbents of that moonsign.Polarities are dynamic in effect and can produce positive results.With leo and aquarius, justice looms strong,leo personal,aquarius inter-personal.If they reconcile their differences,the two can be a potent force.Of all REM members,bill has the best balance of elements.He doubles the air content of the band with jupiter in libra joining his humane aquarius moon.This would necessitate working with others in order to fulfil his artistic potential and develop as a person.Of course,drummers,by definition,do tend to work with others ! REM would benefit too from this influx of air.Bill adds to the social awareness of REM,already a feature of their psyche.His mercury in virgo is well placed and futher develops the intellectual and mericulousness of the band.His drumming would be precise and controlled.

His cancerian venus would have contributed to his being the first to leave the band,being at heart a home-loving sort.This placement can give a tendency to worry and be very protective to those close to him.Sensitive and a little fragile if hurt,such a person would have benefited from working with a pretty decent bunch of people.Mars in taurus is ideally suited to a comfortable,stable life on a farm,being suited to work of a practical nature with a tangible end-product.Security, financial and otherwise is what mars strives for in taurus and perseverance is strong.With these venus/mars placements,a steady,quieter life would suit bill more than most.He doesnt have the others' retrograde uranus but he does have his own T-square to contend with,involving his sun,squared by mars and neptune.Over-working could be a problem and quarrels may arise from the sun/mars challenge,even unnecessary risk-taking. Leo and taurus placements for the sun and mars could lead to intransience and stubborness. The neptune factor could lead to a loss of direction in life and its square to the sun may have contributed to the serious illnesses he suffered.Neptune opposing mars can cause energy to be drained and neurosis is a danger under the stress of this particular T-square.Having satisfied his need for creative,artistic outlets in life,perhaps the time was overdue for a less strenuous lifestyle in a different environment.His only retrograde planet,saturn would approve too and require him to put into practise a long-term strategy for life rather than the lifestyle hitherto experienced.To gain control over one's destiny and to overcome the conflicts.Perhaps as the libra north node asks,to establish better harmony in human relationships which might more likely be achieved in a home,stable environment than in that of the rock musician.Leos love the stage and public arena but they also love the home and all its trappings.

REM are a remarkable band and their individual members remarkable in their ability to stick it out together for so long.To avoid becoming caricatures of themselves,as many bands have,is testimony to their determination to look forward and work at new challenges,rather than fall back on past glories and comforts.Throughout all their charts, the theme of hard work comes through strongly but allied to this the element of fire burns brightly,the saggitarian beacon lights up their music keeping it fresh and flowing.Time's winged chariot calls to us all eventually but let's hope REM dont hear the call just yet.




Michael stipe progressed to aquarius sun at the age of 17.At some time in their life all capricorns have to experience the other side of the planet saturn which though still serious,develops a social conscience to go with the self-determination.Others become the focus more and we also see eccentricity surface at some time.The latter certainly fits the bill for michael.He was just 20 when REM came together in the april of 1980 and as the band developed so did the aquarius-side of his nature.In 2006, pisces energies will start to flow in and it may be then when a change of lifestyle may take place.The scorpio moon progression just before that period will have given his feelings much food for thought with the restless saggitarius moon taking over during the period of his sun progression and urging him to take up scorpio's initiative,during the succeeding two years.Interestingly,when REM were formed,michael was coming to the end of a moon progression to saggitarius.So internal plans were perhaps taking place.It will also be a return to his natal moon sign around 2006 .Venus too,progresses to aquarius in 2006,with mars following 2 years later.So the strong desire to be free and unconventional,as well as social concerns will be given the drive to achieve this by an empathetic to the cause mars.Already his mercury has progressed to pisces,so his thinking is already geared to the changes his sun[his essence]will go through in 2006.

Peter buck's sun progressed to capricorn when he was 15,so like michael,it took place during the impressionable teens.By the time he joined REM he was 8 years into it,so the capricorn qualities added to his explorative saggitarius sun were well-developed.Next year,2001,will be momentous for him as he progresses to aquarius.Expect big changes in peter then,if not already,because he'll start to experience the eccentric side of saturn,like michael has been doing these years.In his case,however,from his natal saggitarian sun perspective.This could also be a period of increased anxiety and worries because he is currently in a virgo moon progression and still will be in 2001.Whether in capricorn or aquarius,his natal moon is in a sign ruled by saturn and the moon is not at ease with this influence on its feelings.Could be a resting period for peter emotionally.


Michael mills sun progressed to capricorn in 1963,so in his case the capricorn-side to his nature was established at an early age.What is interesting is that he,together with bill underwent the sunsign progression during his time with REM.For mike,it took place at the end of 1992 when his saggitarius sun started its 30 years of aquarius input.So,humanitarian and social concerns vying with his more philosophical,explorative jupiterian ones.REM during that period were off the road until their return in 1995.With moon progressed to gemini in 93,it would have been a good time to catch up with things,that he may not previously had the time to fit in,including intellectual pursuits.Venus had also progressed to aquarius some years earlier so those values and ideals were already in place before his sun joined venus there. With his moon currently in virgo,like peter's,he may also be experiencing a period of worrying and self-doubting.
Bill berry's sun progression came at a particularly interesting time for him,during the summer of 1981, just a year into REM.Although essentially still leo by sunsign,the progression into virgo then would have taken some of the shine from the lion-heart.Virgo makes leo go more into the finer details of things with the result that the lion becomes less dramatic and magnanimous but more critical and discriminating.As he does this,he becomes more of a worrier but often he gets his house more in order.Mercury would have already set his thought processes towards virgo's style,from his birth, but in fact progresses to leo round about this time .With venus earlier having progressed to leo in the,the lion largely remains intact in his thinking and values.What is significant for bill,in 97 is that his aquarius moon is undergoing a cancer progression which would motivate him towards the home and family instincts.Mars has not progressed from taurus at that point and with mercury and venus progressed to leo,home and family interests would be strong.

So at the time of REM's inception we have a capricorn sun [Michael Stipe] plus two others with a capricorn sun progression.Bill doesnt have this capricorn connection but he was born in an earth year so he has an honary membership of the club.Being essentially involved in the cancer/leo/virgo side of the zodiac, rather than the more interpersonal saggitarius /capricorn/ aquarius side[which the others are concerned with] we see a marked difference in his values and aspirations which reached their conclusion in 1997 circa.
"I've got to tell you that at 36, I don't really want to be a rock'n'roll star, on stage, and make all the gestures." Words that say it all. Time now for his family and farm.
But a little longer yet for REM as a band.......we hope.


     Krist                    Dave                                          Kurt
Distill  the  life  that's  inside  of  me
Kurt Cobain       guitar,vocals         20/2/67             pisces sun/cancer moon
sheep year/fire year/rabbit month  ~~~> elements = fire/fire/wood...[metal]
Krist Novoselic   bass                        16/5/65             taurus sun
snake year/wood year/snake month ~~>elements = fire/wood/fire
Dave Grohl         drums                      14/1/69            capricorn sun
monkey year/earth year/ox month ~~~> elements = metal/earth/water

A seminal band of the 90s with Kurt Cobain one of the most written about musicians of all time His birthchart is a most unusual one in that his planets cover only two of the four elements, water and earth with virgo being the only earth representative[including his ascendent] Aspect-wise, a grand water trine dominates the chart,developing into a kite at the point where pluto conjuncts the ascendent.With all seven personal and inter-personal planets in water signs,it would be more accurate to describe kurt as a water-orientated person than a water/earth type.Kurt would not only be highly sensitive and emotional in his feelings but he would also be very sensitive to the world around him,taking in things few others would notice.His whole existence would be lived through his emotions rather than be intellectualised or rationalised.Unpredictability,impressionability,introspection,impracticality are just some of the traits kurt would be likely to have.Most of all,the heart rules the head.Mood swings would range from emotional nirvana to the depths of despair.Chiron,vesta and the vertex are also in water signs,as well as his descendent.

By contrast, Krist Novoselic,bass, has a range of elements with earth predominating.A more dependable,cautious type with a good measure of common-sense.Hard work and organisational qualities with a sense of reality,though no cardinal signs suggests not an initiator or leader but rather the mutable sort who is adaptable and changeable in his ways.In the last respect,similar to Kurt who also is strong in mutable signs.In Krist's case,however with both sun and mercury fixed in taurus,seeing another's point of view would be something he'd have to work at and his north node in gemini supports this.If Krist says no..he means no. His main chart feature is his virgo stellium of mars,uranus and pluto.The latter is strongly placed there , together with the celebrated uranus conjunction so any taurean intransience would be off-set by an ability to root out problems.If something isn't quite right,krist would apply all of virgo's reknowned analysis.Mars there,too, would accentuate this.Being the eldest in the band,he has saturn in pisces whilst kurt and dave have it in fall in aries. Saturn at its most sensitive and kindest but moments of vulnerability and uncertainty in dealings with society.However his venus/jupiter conjunction in gemini make krist a cheerful,generous friend to have well able to comminicate with on artistic levels.

Dave Grohl,the drummer,makes up for the cardinal deficiency in nirvana with four in those signs and three each in fixed and mutable.He also has  equal distribution in the elements.So astrologically,he would seem to be the best balanced member of the band.This is also reflected in his eastern elemental make-up.A capricorn sun is usually a stabilising force within any group of people and is a natural leader and his mercury would benefit from aquarius forward-thinking approach and understanding of human nature.With mars well situated in scorpio[like kurt's] he would pursue things passionately and vigorously.No background drummer here His piscean venus[again like Kurt's] would echo Kurts own concerns for the less fortunate.With an aries north node and his libran jupiter/uranus conjunction,dave would be very much his own man,freedom-loving,restless and always ready for the unexpected.This conjunction is thought to bring good luck and his move from Scream to Nirvana co-incided with the bands elevation to stardom with "Nevermind"[perhaps the album of the 90s] and of course "Smells Like Teen Spirit".

I'm  worse  at  what  I  do  best ....And  for  this  gift  I  feel  blessed
Returning to kurt,the first thing to rectify is the discrepency between the east and west charts regarding the crucial element of water. The first thing that strikes anyone looking at kurt's chart is the water content...first 7 planets all there.Courtney too has sun and moon there with saturn and neptune too.How can the eastern chart not show this? Are they so very different? In which case how can we mix or compare the two? The eastern's first answer might be "where is the fire in the western chart !" So clearly in his eastern make-up,yet none in his western.
Curiouser and curiouser.Both elements are rooted in passion,unlike earth and air.So we have a bond there.But the answer to this apparent contradiction between east and west?
I would start the investigation in kurt's 3 water houses,4th,8th and 12th.The houses of cancer, scorpio and pisces.Ruled by moon, pluto and neptune.One might say instinct  /nurturing, perception/sexuality and intuition/ dissolving respectively.And in his chart unoccipied by planets ! Although the north node and part of fortune are active in his 8th with the east point in his 12th.But what's cusping these houses?....FIRE. The chinese sages sit up at that situation.So these water houses are not high on kurt's agenda in life ,though at times transits would activate them and then we would see kurt apply the instincts of fire in dealing with arising issues.
With saggitarius,the fire-cusp on his 4th,one would expect kurt to have high moral standards in respect of family matters but also want to be free and not tied.Yet he had brought a child into the world.Jupiter the ruler of this house is interested in the higher truths and cancerian nurturing matters would be less important to kurt here.Yet jupiter in his chart is in cancer ! Poor kurt is surrounded by the paradox.Matters of the home or roots would become very profound when they did arise.
On his 8th house,aries sits,ruled by mars who, like pluto, watches over this house.With aries here,kurt would be single-minded over matters of how money should be spent or his sexual needs.Mars itself is in scorpio so kurt was certainly passionate in his actions.
Leo cusps his 12th house of the subconscience making kurt self-sufficient and able to sort out private matters for himself.The trine to mars adding strength to his resolve and linking house 8 to 12.
So,though kurt does have so many of his energies in water signs,he has the ideals and aspirations of fire as seen by his water house cusps and mars too which would activate those water energies.When this happens the result can be steam rather the calmer waters.Although only 3 fire signs can be found in his chart,and "minor" ones at that,they are worth looking at.Pallas in aries  suggests that he goes after what he wants vigorously but in the emotional,physical sense rather than pallas's more intellectual side and its in kurt's 8th
Another of his few fire signs is the dark moon,lilith which is with pallas in aries but in the 7th. So we have a water cusped house , pisces, entertaining a very fiery guest,more steam.More of lillith later.His other fire-sign is juno who is exalted in leo in his cancer-cusped 11th house where we share ideals and friendships.Juno is about absolute commitment and in the 11th house it suggests kurt's loyalty would be to causes and ideals before one lifetime partner. With cancer cusping,kurt would give himself emotionally to the things he cared about in true leonine spirit.Fire and water again.Finally,that uranus/pluto conjunction is everything to do with the force of fire as shown in the element of his !
So if one looks deep into his chart,the fire IS there,continually interacting with his water.In that we do see the connection with his eastern chart.Just as pisces amongst other things is there in his eastern chart,in the form of rabbit and cancer is expressed in his sheep.
There is much more to his chart than just his water sign picture.He has the powerful uranus/pluto conjunction at 3 degrees,not quite as close as krist's,but much closer than dave's,whose birthdate takes him out of orb at 9 degrees.We dont know how this conjunction effects krist and dave's angles but we do know that kurt has it right on his ascendent in virgo.Pluto almost exact and uranus at just over 3 degrees.This is a potential minefield,not only in respect of his ascendent but also his descendent with mercury close to that angle and venus and saturn not far away.

The years 1963-1969 experienced this uranus / pluto conj in virgo.The potential of this was enormous.Uranus,the unconventional planet of sudden change meeting the great transformer or put another way, aquarius values at their most original and idealistic blending with scorpio values at their most most intense and penetrating.In the words of the revolutionary 60s----Its a Happening ! In the sign of virgo,which is associated with work and service[also health] society would come under the most intense scrutiny [as indeed it did]Children born with this conjunction would emerge in the 80s and 90s with a powerful urge to change the face of society and with neptune in scorpio,within their charts too,this would be an immense force unleashed on the world.It's no co-incidence that the famed chinese fire-horse fits bang in the middle of this era.As does the heart of the flower-power/hippy movement.To see just what an impact such forces can have on society,just compare the bands of the late 80s and early 90s with their predecessors.Also interesting to compare the different approaches of Blur and Oasis and in particular damon albarn and noel gallagher.

Kurt,along with his immediate peers,therefore has this awesome potential to reform society, to transform and revolutionise it but equally the power to destroy it.Also,as a musician , his creative abilities would be limitless.In his case he has his ascendent sandwiched between uranus in his 1st house and pluto in his 12th causing him to feel the full impact of this union.First house planets are what we usually most identify with but the almost exact conjunction between his ascendent and pluto would deeply embed both planets in his psyche sending shockwaves through his system.Uranus conjuncting his ascendent in his 1st house would considerably increase the nervous tension whilst providing him with tremendous personal magnetism.It would also make him visionary and progressive in his views,as well as eccentric.Genius qualities likely.No ordinary life for such a person. Pluto conjuncting his asc.but in the 12th will cause kurt to undergo psychological problems of the most intense nature,perhaps obsessional due to virgo's involvement or a subconscious desire to break things up in the piscean way and look to start again.Kurt would cut right through the very fabric of things.A higher consciousness than most with his water sign phenomena increasing this ability.Again,this would give him a magnetic appeal to others as well being seen as a figure of authority--as he was by the band's followers."Smells Like Teen Spirit" was more than just an anthem.
In ordinary circumstances,a virgo ascendent would tend to give a calmer,unemotional attitude to life with a practical,analytical approach.It might even be regarded as somewhat cold and unrevealing.There is also a certain shyness in virgo which kurt had and a desire to be of service to others,which he also had.With uranus/pluto knocking at the door and the piscean planets opposite,his virgo ascendent hadmuch to contend with.

I'm  so  happy  'cause  today  I've  found  my  friends . . .they're  in  my  head
We also have a career/public image issue to resolve here with kurt's asc/pluto/uranus conj. squaring his gemini mid-heaven.Gemini cusping the 10th suggests restlessness and the need for variety and challenge vocationally.Hyperactivity would be strong and kurt's ability to communicate lyrically with his followers was undoubted.Mercury plays a key role in the ascendent/midheaven part of the square challenge,ruling his ascendent[and potentially his chart] as well as ruling his 10th house.Interesting with so many water-based planets to have mercury so prominent and no easy situation.Mercury in pisces suggests an impressionable mind,as well as absentmindedness.It is in fall in pisces where intuition and emotion can get the better of the intellectual process.But excellent for creativity and such pursuits as music. Peace and seclusion would help sooth the emotional turmoils that might surface and thats something kurt is unlikely to have found.In the 6th house,mercury is in its traditional house and kurt would feel the urge to be of service and with aquarius cusping the 6th,he would relate well and enjoy the company of those he works with.But health and other anxieties also come with this placing.Being so close to the 7th house cusp, further indicates the ability to feel for and communicate with his fans.Mercury squaring his midheaven would put all this at the door of his career and nirvana's future would always be in doubt as kurt's mind ebbed and flowed, finding it difficult to communicate with authority[ not uncommon amongst rockstars !]

From the eastern horizon,his ascendent/uranus/pluto conjunction puts more pressure on his midheaven with mercury again involved as the ruler of both signs .The intellectuality and hyperactivity of his gemini midheaven is challenged by a heavy brew indeed.Extreme tension,disruption and upheaval would undermine his career aspirations and vocational well-being.Uranus rebelling against authority,as well as routines and schedules that face the rock artist,Pluto the reformer with all its accompanying power issues.With mercury opposing this virgo  conjunction,the dynamics and tensions would be intensified.
Through all this , we find kurt's cancer moon,sitting in his 10th.Well-placed in its ruling sign,his moon is also the highest placed planet in his chart and therefore carrying the weight of the chart too.Its actual aspects are few and none very close in orb.It just about trines mercury giving kurt more of the nervous energy and intuition already seen elsewhere but most of all that ability to communicate his thoughts and feelings in his songs.Moon in the 10th indicates the kind of emotional commitment he gave to his vocation with nirvana, and being in the public eye,finding recognition and acclaim.Being a cancer moon,Kurt would be empathetic to the feelings of others and ,in his position,become an artistic spokesman for them.Its only major aspect,a trine with mercury,is over 5 degrees in orb,so i wouldnt place too much significance to it but a positive influence with a nice combination of mental and intuitive qualities,ideal for  rock singer-songwriters.

Moving on to his water grand trine involving jupiter,neptune and the venus/saturn conjunction.Here we do have something significant and very different to the side of kurt already looked at.A harmonious situation indeed were it not for the saturn involvement and specifically its conjunction with venus.Being in the 7th house , considerably adds to its power and significance in his chart.Nor must we overlook chiron's presence here,forming a stellium with venus and saturn.....and  mercury not so very far away.Venus,exalted in pisces and traditionally,ruler of the 7th but saturn likely to frustrate and restrict in the 7th.Two planets very different in purpose and qualities however.Venus in pisces,needing love and understanding,tender,caring,prepared to make sacrifices for loved ones,easily hurt and of course very creative.In pisces, saturn is more sensitive than usual and also vulnerable, paranoic and prone to inner turmoil,victim and martyr[ kurt wasnt helped in all this by the break up of his parents marriage] but this placement also made kurt  compassionate.In conjunction,venus's desire for relationships can be restricted by saturn who brings duty and commitment/loyalty rather than passion or flow.Suspicion rather than trust.Depression rather than ecstacy with the feeling of being unloved[again childhood experiences influential here] But ideal for a musician in bringing saturn's structure and form to venus creativity.Piscean cusps on the 7th can make relationships difficult,empathetic lovers and colleagues needed. Sometimes the solitary path is taken with few people living up to one's ideals.Kurt certainly had high ideals.Pisces descendents often find the purity of virgo meets some of these needs.We have another factor to consider here though,lillith,the dark moon,here with the fire of aries to add to her already considerable fire,drawn from the earth's very core.Often associated with the sign of scorpio,she seeks to relate to the soul and placed here in the 7th,can be regarded as in arian pursuit of the "not-me".A piscean cusp[lillith is exalted in pisces]however,would make the issues cloudy and the path not as direct as aries would like.I doubt kurt found what he sought thru relationships with others. The night and solitude may have held more answers, withdrawal perhaps with the pisces tone and facing the fire alone in aries fashion.
Chiron is also in this 7th and in pisces. Universal truths and the feeling that there is something out there beyond what is generally known,might frustrate kurt and make it hard for him to feel that he belongs to the society he lives in.In the 7th,suggests relationship are difficult to form and theres healing to be done here.Sometimes easier to heal others than yourself.
The trine to jupiter on the venus-side is very harmonious,apart from the musical ability and aspirations,it shows kurt's compassion for those in need.Jupiter,the joy-bringer,and in cancer , high principles , defending the less fortunate.His music certainly made alot of people happy and feel represented.On the saturn-side,this trine would make kurt perfectly fit the role of a leader to be trusted,able to win the confidence of his fans.A serious purpose to life, songs with alot to say yet a man not truly believing in himself and his self-worth.Nevertheless,there were the trappings of success and good fortune in his career were it not for the other aspects involved.
The neptune factor would further enhance his artistic and mystic qualities,psychic included.The sympathetic and compassionate qualities through the venus connection with the saturn connection putting his visionary insights into a practical context and enabling ordinary people to hook onto them.Again the notion of sacrifice is evident...prepared to endure pain to see something worthy through.The neptune in scorpio generation was a powerful one indeed,an emotional,imaginative,compelling force ready to take on  society and of course incorporating the uranus/pluto conjunction during its latter half.Kurt having his neptune in his 3rd house might compound that drifting feeling that he had.Hardly surprising given the other realities he was likely tuning into daily.He wouldnt have needed drugs to experience the hallucinations that can come with a 3rd house neptune and with vesta and the sense of the sacred conjuncting neptune so ! And always his social concern for the real world "intruding" upon these devotional flights.It must be remembered also that Vesta rules scorpio.Trining jupiter,this neptune/vesta conjunction would be more accessable and human.A general sense of spiritual well-being.One cant help but think that an older,more world-wise kurt cobain might have developed into one extra-ordinary person ultimately coming through the traumas elsewhere faced.A remarkable grand trine,sadly surrounded by a sea of turmoil.
Kurt's sun in the 6th and an exact trine to his scorpio mars in 2 is his major aspect between planets.Also should note that his vertex is conjunct to sun, so a real sense of destiny about his work as well as a learning experience.He had something to achieve and the vertex being such a sensitive[sometimes explosive] point in our charts,it is no co-incidence that kurt's should be joining forces with his very essence, the sun and in the 6th,the house of work and service.Where our vertex is,often is a point where we attract people whom we have a karmic bond with.In kurt's case his vertex conjuncts courtney love's saturn which suggests she indeed has something to teach kurt.Perhaps giving structure and form to aspects of his life? Whether or not this proved ultimately beneficial to kurt is another matter.
For more on their relationship,see Kurt and Courtney.

She  eyes  me  like  a  pisces  when  I  am  weak
It's aquarius that cusps his 6th,not pisces,so friendship and co-operation with colleagues would be expected but with some distance and impersonality.Originality,futuristic tendencies but not without stress.Pisces energies when stressed may dissipate and escape to other waters.Mars trining is powerfully situated in scorpio,which it traditionally rules.This is a difficult energy to cope with,sexually very potent and uncompromising in its goals. From the 2nd, mars would bring business acumen and resourcefulness to the 6th and being scorpio powered,even more so. With libra cusping,it would be important to kurt that others dont waste or misuse these resources,highly prized by him.His standards would be high.This trine with sun is a most dynamic one,high energy levels and stamina with ambition and leadership qualities.The pisces influence would add even more creativity and sensitivity.Integrity and with it popularity and trust comes with this trine,as well as inspiration.A very powerful part of kurt's make-up,echoing earlier traits.The music world lost a significant talent on that april day . Had he lived to collaborate with his friend michael stipes of REM who knows what might have come forth

Its not my intension to study transits for the musicians within this website but in kurt's case i feel its more than proper,given the nature and purpose of astrology.The outer planets have a long-range influence upon us,in transit terms whilst the inner ones change daily,both by aspect and house.For that day and indeed that period,pluto,neptune and uranus were all focusing on kurt's personal expression houses.Pluto was asking him to question issues of self and conscious awareness,particularly in everyday affairs with others and this had been on-going,intensely since Nirvana's breakthrough years.Neptune,in its usual mystical if confusing way had been asking him to let go of suppressions in the 4th regarding home and roots concerns whilst uranus had been encouraging him to experience the full range of experimental pleasures in his 5th house of creativity.
All aspects for that period around the 5th had been positive ones , except uranus' opposition to natal jupiter that may well have brought about feelings of restriction and the need to become free again.Normally aspects beteen outer planets are less impactful but this one may have been an exception to the rule.Saturn had been,for a year now, asking questions of kurt regarding both work and health.Always a hard taskmaster in the planetery world but making no aspects at this time.Though the saturn return was imminent.
It is to the inner planets we look to see notable occurences.Mars had entered the key 7th house just 2 days before his death and together with mercury, who had entered  on the 4th, was opposing natal uranus,suggesting rash , even volatile actions might occur as freedom is challenged. Release of some sort would have been wanted by kurt,as in the other transit opposition.This would involve relationships of various kinds but the transits of the sun and venus in the 8th,focused attention on the deeper issues of life,the darker corners of relationships.Transformation,be it spiritual or psychological or even sexual,may have caused kurt deep anxieties during this day/period.The 8th is the house of death but often in the sense of regeneration rather than physical death.No aspects made by sun and venus but their presence alone there would give rise to activity of some sort.The sun spends about 3 weeks in a house and had just entered the 8th,the day before his death. Venus,same duration,had been there for 2 weeks.

So in the space of 2 days, the transits of 3 personal planets had changed their houses and therefore kurt's focus.Critically in the 2 main houses of relationships,associated with energies important to kurt in his chart,scorpio and libra.The latter because his progressed ascendent [see later ] is libran.Finally,the moon,also changed houses,on or just before the day as it would by transit nature.Its inconjunct aspect to kurt's natal moon on the 5th would have left him feeling more than a little confused because its a strange feeling to have your natal moon without anything in common with the one transitting you! His saturn return,a most critical evaluating period in one's life was a still a year or two away and unlikely to have had direct bearing on this period.Similarly with the progressed moon return.
All in all,it was a very strange day/period for kurt.The previous month's events in Rome when Kurt had to be taken to hospital, following what has been described as an accidental overdose as well as a suicide attempt.Even a third theory that someone else tried to kill him exists.Whatever the truth,kurt  arrived back in the states close to the edge and received hospital treatment for his drug problems.Within a few days of leaving hospital,he was dead. Many of us are but one bad day or an escalation of events away from something we cannot control.His transits for that period ,as described earlier, were not great.But neither can they be described as indicating death itself.Changes in his life,yes, as he himself states in the note found after his death.
However there are several unsatisfactory matters regarding that note and whether it was a suicide note is open to some conjecture.I am not convinced that this period astrologically indicates death by suicide.My analysis of his tzi wei chinese divination chart in fact showed that there were no particular omens either.In fact the picture of kurt was promising with many positive energies released at that time.It was almost as if fate took a hand to affect his destiny or freewill.Other forces which were not determined by the astrological picture we have of kurt cobain by way of his own chart.To determine those other reference points,other charts would be needed. God bless you kurt, we'll miss you so much.


Krist Novoselic's relationship with kurt seems to focus on the 9th and 12th houses.In Kurt's  taurus cusped 9th house,Krist has sun,venus,jupiter,vesta and node.Quite a crowd.This is jupiter's house of higher learning,indicating krist has contributions to make to Kurt in shared philosophies,experiences.Kurt,himself,has no planets in this house,so krist might well have had much to offer.A taurus sun might be seen as somewhat reactionary or dogmatic in its views or as authoritarian.Kurt,though inventive and original,may be less so in matters of philosophy and religion with his own taurus cusp here,sticking to that he believes in. Krist's  venus/jupiter conjunction is the original joy-bringer,a blessed aspect indeed,making for a most friendly,benign person who if he doesnt become self-indulgent is an asset to his friends. In gemini this conjunction brings an easy-going,light touch to things.The influence upon Kurt would[in theory] be one of seeing the world perhaps as less oppressive and intense.However with kurt's sun squared by this conjunction,clearly Kurt didnt see things the same way.Their 2 suns also squaring[pisces/taurus usually harmonious] So conflicting attitudes in the 9th with Kurt not bringing the joy he might have! However krist's sun does sextile nicely with Kurt's own jupiter and venus,part of that grand water trine of his.

In Kurt's 12th house of seclusion,far from the madding crowd,Krist has his potent mars/pluto /uranus stellium.This is a powerful part of krist's psyche.The pluto/uranus conjunction we've already met earlier.With a virgoan mars added,this force might became somewhat critical or interfering and could be difficult for Kurt,though it does sextile Kurt's moon.In Krist's own chart it is 10th house,making him determined in his vocational aspirations and bringing with it virgo's desire for detail and precision in his work.With his leo cusp on the 12th,Kurt would  have a self-sufficiency about him and be prepared to stand alone.Krist's input here could be intense and he could well help kurt bring to the surface some important issues.
Krist's saturn in kurt's 6th may have some well-intended advice for Kurt's gemini midheaven.... slow down! Put some things to one side and focus on the more tangible ones.
The major aspect between them is Kurt's neptune at polarity to krist's sun.From krist's solid taurus point of view,Kurt might seem elusive or deceptive,though krist too has neptune in scorpio and opposing the sun in his own chart.Misunderstandings,even mistrust can result from this challenge between Kurt and Krist.

Dave grohl's impact upon kurt cobain revolves around kurts's explosive 1st house.His jupiter/ uranus conjunction in libra is there , as is his pluto.None are actualy conjunct the ascendent but kurt would feel the force of dave's personality strongly.Perhaps on quite a deep level with dave surprising kurt from time to time.Jupiter here is good for friendship bonds and the uranus conjinction would mean dave would support kurt in the unconventional and innovative.Pluto would add spiritual rapport.
Dave's capricorn sun aspects kurt strongly from his 5th house of creativity and joy.Capricorns do naturally get on well with pisceans,though in this case,their signs are just 37 degrees apart so no sun to sun harmonies.However dave's sun harmonises nicely with kurt's neptune which like his own is of the scorpio generation.As in kurt's 1st house,spirituality is the tie here but more so.Dave would get spiritual vibes from kurt's neptune and a mutual empathy would exist.The houses 3 / 5 nature of it indicates that on a daily basis they would get on very well,benefiting from each others company.Similarly, dave harmonises nicely with kurt's venus/saturn conj in the 7th, showing again that there is an excellent basis for friendship and artistic sharing.Kurt would feel good having dave there at the heart of the band in a morally supportive role.Their sun/uranus trine further emphasises the good vibes.Excellent mutual stimulation.The only potential glitch in this friendship would be kurt's cancerian jupiter opposiing dave's sun.Jupiter in cancer can be rather too protective,a good business sense and caring and generous. Kurt had the fans best interests at heart despite his excesses but Dave's capricorn sun might expect a more responsible attitude from kurt.Although an opposition aspect not a particularly harmful one. Sun expects jupiter to deliver but more about positive dynamics between these 2 planets than dischord.
Dave's venus in kurt's 6th also augured well for a good working relationship ,trining kurt's rather pure cancer moon in the 10th.With a pisces setting for both venuses,we are talking unbridled emotions here but the 10th house moon keeping Nirvana'a priorities uppermost.

Assessing the raport between Dave and Krist can only be done on the basis of their sign placements and some aspects but nevertheless we can form a picture to some extent. Natural harmony between Capricorn and Taurus suns,very close trine indeed.Main difference of opinion might be the sun/neptune factor. Krist's sun challenges dave's neptune in scorpio,as it does Kurt's there too.Of course this is the same opposition as krist has in his own chart,being himself a scorpion neptune by generation.So the same mistrust he has within himself will also apply to his two Nirvanian colleagues.But not a major dischordancy because ultimatelyv sun and neptune are benevolent influences.Krist's inabilty to understand this emotional "confusion" and intensity of the neptune in scorpio generation is as much to do with his being less of this aspect of his generation than  kurt and dave are. Similarly his mars/uranus conj is in polarity to dave's piscean venus.Virgoan ethics being more based in realism and attention to detail than dave [ and kurt's ] more passionate creative interests in pisces.Potentially dynamic interactions but also explosive differences. Really only krist's saturn in pisces is on the  dave wavelength as regards their chart's planets.But dave's capricorn sun would value much about krist and keep their raport  positive.Together both would provide the some sort of grounding for kurt's water excesses. Perhaps absorbing it for mutual benefit.


Kurt Cobain never had the chance to progress beyond pisces,being within 2 degrees of the sign at birth and dying before his sun would have progressed in april 1995.He remained pure pisces.How he might have faced life progressed into aries would have been interesting.This is one of the most significant and  deeply felt of all sun progressions.From the emotional backwaters,suddenly propelled into the realm of fire and survival but keeping the piscean essence.We feel this progression coming,within us,during the months leading up to it but whether a year before can experience it is less likely [though possible, given its a 30 year period ]


At the time of his death on 5th april,1994,his progressed picture was the same as in his natal chart.An unusual situation with even his moon back in cancer after voyaging the other 11 signs.Only venus had moved on,adding aries experiences to its natal pisces.This is very significant.Venus is our values and our sense of the aesthetic.Moreover its how we express our emotions.Although kurt's venus was a pisces one [ and our natal placement remains with us essentially ] it had progressed to aries before he was 3 years old.In aries, venus tends to "move on " romantically,seeking new experiences.Unlike in  pisces,venus in aries quickly becomes upset if one's love life [or artistic expression] are under pressure. Impatience sets in and the normally generous feelings of pisces are superceeded by aries' thrust.A whirlpool of emotional contradictions resulting.Ironically,at his death, his venus was about to enter the much more stable sign of taurus which is venus at her best.An exalted venus at birth was about to return to regality after the fall in aries years.Whether his pisces sun would have experienced similar vibe's to venus we'll never know.
The most significant chart feature on the day of his death was his progressed moon having formed an exact square to his progressed ascendent ,now in libra.This most certainly would have left kurt feeling even more sensitive than usual with his deepest feelings at odds with his personality and view of life.A serious challenge to his very self-existence and to those around him,especially his being a cancer moon.In the 9th house,one looks very intensely at the greater picture.
We also see his sun squaring his part of fortune to the same exact degree and this would involve the very fabric of happiness and hope.Whether family or colleagues another desperate situation coming on top of the moon square ascendent.An overwhelming pressure for a man already under severe pressure.Whether these pressures were coming from within himself or from without is debatable.Did he drive himself to suicide or was he driven by others to it. What if,though driven towards suicide,he chose to stay alive and change the direction of his life? If so, perhaps another human being took kurt's life against his wishes.Who can say.


Krist Novoselic progressed from taurus sun to gemini befire he was five which would have the effect of a more communicative, open-minded taurean than otherwise.Gemini would have put both a spring in his step and in his mental faculties but also left taurus feeling somewhat restless and less grounded than usual.It is his forthcoming progression to cancer on the 5th of november 2000 which should see fireworks in his life.The urge for a settled homelife should be strong then for taurus,who by nature enjoys home comforts.After the whirl of gemini,Krist may be ready to investigate cancer's many mysteries which for a man can be both emotionally rewarding as well as complex.Cancer often brings out,in the man, the need to discover his yin-side and the male taurean may find it difficult to cope with as he examines himself through the women in his life.The best of the male cancer is seen in men like tom cruise who embodies the sensitive with the initiative,Cancer is nothing if not a leader.
Its interesting to note that krist is currently [aug 2000] showing progressions in water signs for moon,mercury and venus,which are fire,earth ans air respectively in his natal chart.So rather a different view on life can be expected.Especially with his sun soon to enter cancer.
With his progressed ascendent now saggitarius,he should be able to explore the watery depths of emotion and see life more as kurt and dave

Dave Grohl,like krist,had a progressed sun early in life.His capricorn good sense would have had an aquarius slant on life,in keeping with Nirvana's social conscienceness.This progression shows the different faces of the planet Saturn who rules both signs.Currently, dave has sun,moon and mercury all progressed into aquarius.His pre-occupations will be very different from those of krist as dave will be more tuned into society around him,rather than emotional discoveries within.The aquarius moon will like his natal saggitarius one tend to be elusive in terms of close contact with one's feelings though concern for others will be felt. Always his natal capricorn sun will be his guiding,no-nonsense advisor.His progressed ascendent should make him more gregarious than his natal aries one or his taurean one during his Nirvana days.