The Uranus/Pluto conjunction in 1966 and 1967 was the celestial dynamic that coincided with a global cultural and social revolution, active over a period of a couple years, but forever changing the world from post-war conservatism. Though the radicalization of consciousness was most immediately apparent in North American universities and youth culture,through their music, style and consciousness, within two years following the conjunction this historical phenomenon became global. The active participants in that cultural revolution of the mid nineteen-sixties, were the post-war babies, now called the Baby Boomers, the majority of whom were born immediate after the Second World War and had the Saturn Pluto conjunction - many with Mars therein - in their horoscopes.
The most dramatic and forceful focal point of the mid nineteen-sixties revolution was activated by the transit of Saturn moving into opposition to this powerful conjunction. The individuals born with UR/PL conjunct came in with the imperative to blow the last of the superficiality off the surface of society. Whether or not "society" wanted or liked this, is quite beside the point. Clearly it was needed, or it would not have happened.
All individuals who take it upon themselves, consciously or unconsciously, to live out the drama of the heavenly imperative, have profoundly disturbing aspects in their natal charts. How they are able to translate those aspects depends on myriad circumstance. Since we are looking at a "collective aspect" - that is, one that is long term, involving planets that are both personal and global in their agency - it is important to realize that only a few people will be activators of the conjunction when they come of age. The most active revolutionaries - whether that is in literature, consciousness, or inventions - have aspects in their charts that set them apart from the general mass of people.
They are born to live out life in ways which take consummate courage, consciousness and are often fated to have major confrontations with the status quo.
The planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, though deeply personal in transits to natal charts, causing people to look more deeply into heir hidden parts, thus are "evolutionary" in individual development, are primarily motivators for large groups and cultures to undergo massive reorganization and transformation.
When an individual is born with one of the cultural collective aspects in a personal placement in his or her chart, he or she is called to take on the responsibility as well as the supervision of cultural revolution. People who have the 1947-48 aspects of Mars/Saturn/Pluto, for example, in personal configurations such as conjunct their Sun or Moon, or on any one of the angles; or secondarily, implicated into the Gestalt of their horoscope in certain houses, such as the fourth and the first, then we have a signature of an individual whose process of self-becoming is tied directly into social and global movements. Kurt Cobain was born to ask serious questions to which there are no satisfactory answers. With that, his "symptoms" of collective disease, killed him. I have several clients who have the "same" chart, in that they have monumental collective aspects in personal points of their natal charts, such as the Uranus/Saturn in Gemini and Taurus, or the MA/SA/PL of the mid-forties, and then this one, the one that Kurt carried on his ascendant/descendant axis.
There is no way to predict how an individual will carry a collective aspect. This is information that astrology does not have privy to. The element of fate and destiny is so entwined in the individual's soul, that astrology can only define the astrology, and the soul and Individual must find its way to work with it.
When one is born with even one of the outer planets on his or her angles, or conjunct or in hard aspect to a personal planet, then their task on earth is exceptional and difficult. The most sensitive place for an outer planet, or combination of those to be found, is on the ascendant, because not only does that place describes the conditions surrounding the birth itself, but also is the place in which one imprints the collective environment into his or her personal receptive zone. Thus, setting a predisposition to view the world through those "eyes", and have the world project that aspect onto the persona of that person.
Kurt's ascendant, with Pluto Uranus on it, talks about existential questions that simply must be pondered, and that he would have been aware from the first breath that he was "selected" to take on a major role in his culture as a spokesperson for cultural angst. The fact that he endured a chaotic and non supportive childhood is not helpful at all, and indeed, all heroic births are marked by immediate threat to the life, and an endangered childhood, followed by various tests and trials - very often to "find their father". In a more modern context, the hero seeks to find his authority, authenticity and be author of his own destiny in the eyes of the archetypal "father" - society.
The most shocking and sad part of his childhood is the Victorian concept that children should be "seen and not heard". Unfortunately for many parents, little boy's behaviour is over demanding. There is nothing to suggest that Kurt was any of the diagnosed popular acronyms of today - ADD, ADAD, hyperactive or anything. Nothing more than a typical boy with vast amounts of energy, living in an imaginary world of heroes and dragons - and they drugged him. Ritalin is the single most psychoactively destructive drug to a child's developing neurology and cognitive mind.
Any drug introduced in childhood predisposes that child to more drugs - later if not immediately. Of various kinds. With Neptune in his natal third house, he should never have been given drugs in his early childhood, but rather, a more compassionate understanding. However, with the UR/PL on the ascendant, he was not "made" to be given such a response, but one which was further alienating and isolating. The hyperactivity of Kurt as a little boy should have been seen Individually - and here is where astrology is so very important. We can see in a second, that he was filled with energy, anxiety and very likely, prescient. His level of gut and psychic responsiveness to his environment is likely the cause of his over active behaviour. As well as him being the first of the newly emerging Indigo Children, a term that originates in the cosmic spectrum.
At one end of the spectrum is the colour red, at the extreme other end, is violet. Red has a low wave frequency, while indigo/violet is the high frequency wave. Hence the term "indigo child" is about the frequency at which the child's mind vibrates. . . in Kurt's case, as in the case of a majority of children born after 1966, increasing in numbers of children (2002) are operating with an high frequency neurology. This is another intimation that Kurt Cobain was a high powered, visionary and active person in the collective changes in the third millennium.
More small boys than girls demonstrate aggression, inattention, "inappropriate" behaviour and are more often badly treated for this behavior. It is really the adults who should be drugged, because the children - unless there truly is a disorder or dysfunction - will prove to be more interesting, more innovative and more contributing to novelty and change as adults. There is a level at which this is normal, and just simply must be understood - men are more difficult to civilize than women, we all know that. But, must they be drugged or beaten into submission - I think not.
In Kurt's chart, his Cancer Moon trine his Sun/Mars midpoint, which is tied into his Mars in Scorpio (creating an operative grand trine in water, which means his emotions are running in a closed circuit, enriching his inner imagination, but not easily externalized) his need for love and sympathy and gentleness, peaceful quiet times filled with reflection, reading, drawing and listening to music. He was coming of age to the music that was so revolutionary in his birth generation. He was born to rebel, since his "reception" to his birth was marked by the UR/PL 180 SA.
His mother's rejection must have gutted him - literally - because his Cancer moon loved his mother, needed her badly, and being sent to his father at age nine, a man who is clearly demonstrated by the Saturn configuration in his chart, was likely the last straw for this boy. Saturn conjunct Venus in any chart speaks of the ability of the 'wearer' to take more pain than they even know, and accept less than they are worth, virtually starving themselves of love - and with that aspect, in the seventh house, opposite to the UR/PL, it is clearly the father who was the "stoic", the wrestler-jock and "The Man" who said, "you are a wimp".
And, being a bit of a wimp, or rather, a sensitive little boy, he introjected this cultural epithet, taking it in with all the pain of a good Pisces with a Cancer moon. With his soulful eyes, set in a heart rendingly beautiful face, he must have turned the soul of every person he met. But, would he know that? Could he feel the love he received? Apparently not.
After leaving his father, moving to his grandparents in his adolescence, during which the first half-Saturn was transiting his loaded ascendant, conjoining Uranus/Pluto and opposing his sad little Venus/Saturn - he spent time ridiculing jocks, and blowing weed. Makes perfect sense. His mother set his dark anima pattern up perfectly - and it too is reflected in the Saturn/Venus conjunction 180 Uranus/Pluto Ascendant. Women, to him, had to be in pain, angry, revolutionary, unavailable, dark, and, in the case of his lover, Courtney, a drug addict as well. Theirs was a match made in astrology, for sure, but that is another article.
The Cancer Moon is his stomach, and the Moon is trine to his Sun/Venus (and thus his Sun/Saturn as well) so his lack of deep and consistent affection from his mother, and the anima mundi (world soul) would be both the source of and the symptom his stomach pains. Those very pains that could not be diagnosed, partly because when there are Neptunian influences in the sixth house of "soma", the body is enacting the problems of the "psyche" - he was a psycho-somatic person, where the soma/body and the psyche/soul were entwined. In part, this is a manifestation of the Virgo/Pisces axis, as well as a symbol for the currently dying age - the age of Pisces.
More Virgo/Pisces persons now suffer from environmental sensitivity and illness today because the epoch of Pisces is in the death throes, and thus they exhibit the pains of the world in their very bodies. Also, his idealism was loaded with impossible feelings - Since his natal Saturn and Venus are trine to his natal Neptune, he longed for the ultimate love and acceptance from the very father, and the archetypal father - "society" - that he hated - the society that dashed his dreams, and the collective dreams of his generation. With Neptune in Scorpio, that generations dreams have an inherent nuclear quality - another legacy from the Pluto in Leo generation, out of which his generation emerged.
He was an idealist with a dark realism. As the one polarity to the axis of victim/voice, Kurt screamed out his existential passion, and introjected the collective dark shadow of the grunge. No culture is exempt from their shadow, and the American dream does not allow for the catabolic elements to be present within its own mean. America is highly polarized where the darkness is either projected on to cultural enemies, or relegated to the subcultures of the county.
By nature he was attracted to the shadow, and the counter-cultural expression so needed by any culture. As Jung said, mediating the inner conflict is the life work - but Kurt didn't live long enough, nor maybe simply could not muster the sturdy, sane world-view that such individuation needs. He had only two earth representatives in his chart - and those are the Uranus/Pluto conjunction. To repeat, because it is on his ascendant, his "karmic" lesson is to learn about earthiness, he was not essentially earthy. He had eight planets of ten in water and the south node too! . . .and the violent earthy component on his ascendant drew him to his destiny as a revolutionary voice and victim of the collective.
The Movement toward Suicide
In the spring just before Kurt shot himself in the head, he took an overdose of some form of tranquilizer and loads of champagne. This put him into a deeply subliminal state of temporary coma. On that date, Venus had returned to his natal Venus at 25/6 of Pisces, and the Sun at 13 Pisces, was in a perfect trine to his natal Moon. Jupiter retrograde was at 14 Scorpio, so he was really on a "trip", on a journey back (Rx) to the womb. Symbolically this is a chilling feature, but I would have to say that it must have felt beautiful, as he was back to the womb, the place where two hearts beat as one, and the unification of all is present. His longing to be fused with the divine, and to not be Individuated was temporarily satisfied.
He was on the verge of his secondary progressed Lunar Return, as his Progressed Moon was at 9 Cancer, in a matter of three to four months, he would have achieved the astrological "emotional coming of age". . .the precursor to the arrival to the threshold of adulthood at the Saturn Return. Many people who become archetypes, who lose their individuality to the collective fold, collapse or even die under this loss of self. When an individual takes on the archetype (in this case "Rock Star") without tending to the inner Self, and thus are wholly their persona, are dead in a way. Kurt was not exempt from this phenomenon, and introjected the projection of the collective to the point of toxicity. The Moon being in the natal tenth house has "fame" connotations, in that he felt the needs of the collective, and voiced them. His dark soulful beauty reflected back to his generation the despair anger and existentialism that is contained in the Uranus/Pluto generation. He also, in the obverse fashion, needed love and mothering from his public, but in reality that is never the love that makes your dinner, kisses you, makes love to you and understands you unconditionally. But, due to various and sundry circumstances, such as his sad childhood, violent treatment, desecration of his psyche with Ritalin as a developing child, the constant use of aggressive drugs to self-medicate - and the times, we must never forget the context of the times when we look at a chart - there are so many factors leading into his psychotic break which was apparent by the 28th of March, when he went into "rehab" (absurd euphemism) in California, and then left 36 hours later, on the 30th of March.
As he left the clinic, he was already in deep danger - crazy, guilt ridden, frightened, all the boundaries that are normally in place between the conscious and the unconscious mind totally disintegrated, he must have been dreadfully ill with no inner resource left at all. By then Jupiter had retrogressed to the exact trine of the natal Moon (stranger in a strange land I call Jupiter retrograde) and this likely had brought up all his past longings for love, affection, mothering, and even thought his natal moon is in the tenth, the love and care from the public simply was not personal enough.
The transit of Jupiter seems omnipresent in the charts of individuals who die - the presence of Jupiter in death charts is usually outstanding, and in Kurt's it was thus. He was preparing for the "long journey" from early FEBRUARY (not to say this was not something that might have been designed from the very moment of his birth) when Saturn was transiting his natal Sun, and Jupiter, moving direct, was trine his natal moon. The station of Jupiter occurred on March 1, 1994, at 14 Scorpio, thus it was trine his Moon for almost two months. Ah, the journey, to recall the steps back to the place of perfect harmony, where there are no hard edges, and things to scream about. Kurt has a Mars/Neptune midpoint in 13 Scorpio, precisely where Jupiter sat for almost two months, stationing and retrogressing. So, his passionate fantasy of the Utopian place was activated powerfully by Jupiter sitting virtually motionless, then drawing back to sit exactly on that midpoint on April 2nd - just two days before he shot himself in the head (Mars ruled, as well as the Sun being at 16 Aries in his eighth house). The violence of his death-choice characterizes the rage he felt toward his body and soul, which not only had violated him, but also had been violated.
Ultimately, the two days between entering the rehab clinic and walking out were the trigger. Transiting Mars was moving across his natal Mercury between 16 - 18 Pisces in those couple of days, aggravating his rage, anger, and making his physical state acute (Mars is acute, while Saturn is chronic in health matters). And, the planet Saturn had been conjunct his Sun, between the 6th and 14th of February, just three to four weeks prior to his overdose. His drug needs and addiction were chronic by then, truly systemic (Saturn) and the Mars transit brought it to the acute stage. He departed the clinic in a drug originated psychotic fog with Mercury conjunct the natal Venus at - oh love, where are you? (Again the relationship with Courtney Love - what a perfect name for an anima figure - is redolent with mythic imagery, but again, that is another, if adjacent, story).
So, with Saturn in his sixth, and making strong aspects, his body was falling into disintegration, and his soul was too, and the result is a too too classic "health problem".
With someone who had arrived to the "existential transit" of Saturn in the sixth house, with such a conflict within, it is no wonder, really, that the end of his life sought him out. He had no real sense of the path in front of him, as most people feel when they have Saturn transiting the sixth, but the context in which he arrived to this time is the key to his voluntary departure.
Saturn is here again, only this time, with the progressed Sun (and the Solar Arc Sun) conjunct his natal Saturn in t he seventh house. So, not only was he having transiting Saturn on his natal Sun, but also the progression of the Sun to Saturn amplified the depression, addiction, entrenchment in his psychosomatic state of hopelessness. The outer world was bleak, and his inner world too.
What is it all for, then? One Man's Heroic Journey
Saturn transiting the Sun by conjunction is a time when even the most "whole" person feels his or her limitations, and the unconscious intent of that transit is to break down the old Ego and begin he reconstruction of a new way of being. Since his natal saturn is it the Seventh house, and he was not but a few months from his "Call to Return" in his heroic journey, we must consider what it was exactly that he was bringing to the world.
When Saturn transits the descendant, and begins its transit of the upper horizon, according to the Heroic Journey paradigm, the person is "bringing the boon to mankind, in J. Campbell's terms, but in everyday language, he is bringing the sum and total of his life experience to the world as an exemplar. In the case of Kurt, his death was his "boon to mankind", and the profound effect it had not only on his contemporaries but on a vast and global spectra of myriad people, it seems there is more to be said about him than not.
The release of his personal stories, drawings, letters, band memos - and his cries from the soul - in November 2002 -occurred with Saturn in his tenth house. The title of which is "Journals", the root of the word, obviously, to do with journeying and is related to the Latin "itinerary" - a story of travels and the diurnal motion of an individual in a itinerant mode.
The culmination for the Heroic Journey is at the Midheaven, when Saturn transits the MC and "the hero, is lured, called, forced or voluntarily proceeds to the threshold of adventure" (J. Campbell, in The Hero with a Thousand Faces). ( As well, refer to Saturn in Transit: boundaries of Mind body and Soul, by Erin Sullivan, and her personalized reports "Your Personal Heroic Journey" available online at this site.)
At that stage in the astrological "Call to Adventure" when Saturn crests the MC and moves through he tenth house, we leave the past behind and venture to the unknown, the place in which we will find our fame/infamy.
Well, Kurt, your public now know the most intimate aspects of your self, your heart, your soul and all the things we don't know if you wanted us to know - in this, your second "Call to Adventure", were you lured, called, forced to the threshold of adventure - or have you voluntarily contributed your voice to the collective once again? I hope many are truly listening to your journey.