Steven Wilson – progressive rock maestro and a typical Scorpio

For several reasons, many people are not typical of their astrological Sun sign. However, all-round progressive rock and musical maestro Steven Wilson (born 3rd November 1967, birth-time unknown) could hardly be more Scorpionic. Although they generally get a bit of a bad press as secretive control-freaks, obsessed with sex and death (haha!), anyone who manages to channel the intense Scorpio “negative” emotional power into constructive outlets is a positive force to be reckoned with. This seems to be very much the case with Mr. Wilson.

In addition to the Sun, Mercury and Neptune in Scorpio (and depending on the time of birth, possibly his Moon), Steve also has a close Venus conjunct Pluto aspect, further emphasizing the potential power and charisma of his personality.  The deepest and darkest emotions are confronted, social taboos are explored. As any fan of Porcupine Tree or his other projects can tell you, Wilson continually probes the dark hidden depths with his music and lyrics, turning these into something still sad, but beautiful. In true Scorpionic fashion, Steve is very much in touch with life’s continual transformational cycle of birth, decay and re-generation. Everything changes.

Wilson is well known for being something of a workaholic and this is confirmed clearly by a close square between Mars in Capricorn and Saturn in Aries in his chart. Astrologically, this is the ambitious driving force that will have him working on a Porcupine Tree album in the morning, a Blackfield track in the afternoon and a King Crimson re-mix in the evening – or something along those lines! Anyone with Mars in Capricorn is a shrewd operator, with the potental for tremendous achievement as a result of self-discipline, patience and careful planning. Virgo is also a strong sign in Steve’s chart, bringing modesty, practicality and attention to detail.

Gabriel and Hackett astrology

From an astrological point of view, these two musical giants had a lot going for them from the start. With their birthdays next door to each other (Steve Hackett born 12th February 1950, Peter Gabriel born 13th February 1950) both horoscope charts have very similar important features. Although obviously not everyone born at that time grew up to be key members of legendary progressive rock greats Genesis, or for that matter, then go on to have hugely successful and artistically brilliant international solo musical careers!

The sign of Aquarius features strongly for Peter and Steve. The essential Sun sign is there, together with traditionally the two luckiest planets Venus and Jupiter. Typical Aquarian qualities include originality, experimentalism and humanitarianism. Venus and Jupiter here show artistic expression and personal development that is eccentric and unorthodox, qualities obviously expressed to the full, both with Genesis and throughout their solo careers.

In terms of the four elements of Fire, Earth, Air and Water, the social and intellectual development of Air is very much the strongest, with Water the weakest (perhaps paradoxically, as Aquarius is sometimes known as “The Water Bearer”). Aquarius is known for a certain emotional detachment, and possible emotional difficulties for Peter and Steve will not be helped by a relative lack of planets in Water signs. Peter is likely to suffer more here, due to the rather heavy and depressing Moon in Capricorn on 13th February. By contrast Steve was probably born with the emotionally lighter and more optimistic Moon in Sagittarius the day before. (Have since found what appears to be a reliable source for Hackett’s time of birth, placing his Moon in early Capricorn. Tim)

Other strong features of their charts are a beautiful Mars and Neptune conjunction in Libra (the drive to turn a beautiful dream into reality, with somewhat magical talents) nicely linked to a Jupiter and Pluto opposition. The latter combines an egoless, humanitarian optimism with a darker, deep-rooted drive for personal power that is all about Big Time ego!

These two gentlemen remain a unique inspiration to many people on many levels. Thank you Mister Hackett and Mister Gabriel.

A slightly different version of this originally appeared in Eclectic Moonlight, a 2007 online magazine.

The Great Escape

I recently had an unexpected opportunity to take part in filming several bands (videos for a website) at The Great Escape Festival down here in Brighton. A great festival and a great few days.

It’s a mighty big festival, with 300 new bands at over 30 venues around Brighton, over three days. Headliners included Sufjan Stevens and DJ Shadow. All the smaller acts we shot were of a very high standard (except, for my taste, maybe one) and deserve to go on to greater things. There was the sad and soulful Antlers from New York, the experimental Thus:Owls from Sweden, some fascinating “treated piano” from a German chappie whose name escapes me, another American band Cults, Alexander Tucker(what a nice bloke) and his looping cello. All these bands are up and coming, mostly on their first or second albums with small record companies.

I’m not sure about “the music business”, but actual new music is very much alive and well.