Neil Peart and Rush – astrological birth charts

Canadian drummer and lyricist Neil Peart passed away in January at the age of 67, following an eighteen month battle with brain cancer. Through his work with the band Rush, he has left an astonishing legacy of world-class drumming, great rock music and a whole library of sophisticated and insightful lyrics across the band’s studio albums since he joined them in 1974. Peart was born on 12th September 1952 in Hamilton, Ontario, time of birth unknown. The perfectionist streak of Sun and Mercury in Virgo showed in his approach to both drumming and writing lyrics. He continually strove to improve his drumming technique, even to the extent of re-inventing his style to incorporate more jazz influences in 1994. The sharp Virgoan analysis features in the words of his songs and no doubt also in the seven non-fiction books that Peart wrote in later life.

Mercury square Mars

One of the closest natal aspects is a square between dynamic Mars in visionary Sagittarius and the perfectionist mentality of Mercury in Virgo. Astrologer Stephen Arroyo has written the following on Mercury-Mars aspects in the chart: “Conscious mind blends with physical energy (possibly good hand-eye coordination), stimulating both powerfully – an energized intellect”. To say Neil Peart had good hand-eye co-ordination and an energized intellect is a major understatement! He has consistently been ranked amongst the top drummers in the world for many years, fourth behind John Bonham, Ginger Baker and Keith Moon in a poll by Rolling Stone magazine in 2016.

With Pluto conjunct Neil Peart’s South Node squared by Jupiter, it’s perhaps no surprise to see that despite his extraordinary success, the hands of fate dealt a tragic blow to Peart. The birth chart doesn’t predict extreme misfortune but it does show tendencies towards certain types of experience. In August 1997, Peart’s first daughter was killed in a car crash and his common-law wife of 23 years, Jacqueline Taylor, died from cancer the following year. In true Plutonian style, Peart eventually rose from the ashes and returned to drumming.

Peart, Lee, Lifeson

All three members of Rush were born with Saturn conjunct Neptune in Libra, aspected in each case by various personal planets in their charts. This shows the potential to work hard at the reality (Saturn) of living the beautiful (Libra) dream (Neptune). Bassist and singer Geddy Lee (Sun in Leo) was born in July 1953, guitarist Alex Lifeson (another Virgo) was born in August 1953, Peart in September 1952. Peart had an additional emphasis on Libran art and beauty due to Venus in Libra. A civilised and humane desire to balance (Libra) ideals (Neptune) and reality (Saturn) is reflected in much of the lyrical content of Rush’s music and also some of the album titles – Grace Under Pressure (Neptune in Libra grace and Saturnian pressure), Counterparts (Libra) and Clockwork Angels (Saturnian clockwork time and Neptunian angels).

Final album Clockwork Angels (2012)

The cover of final album Clockwork Angels is notable for a clock face that looks suspiciously like an astrological chart, even though different symbols with different meanings are featured. Many fans of Rush consider the following lyrics from The Garden some of Neil Peart’s very best, a fitting farewell from a great man.

The Garden

In this one of many possible worlds
All for the best or some bizarre test?
It is what it is and whatever
Time is still the infinite jest
The arrow flies when you dream
The hours tick away, the cells tick away
The Watchmaker keeps to his schemes
The hours tick away, they tick away
The measure of a life is a measure of love and respect
So hard to earn, so easily burned
In the fullness of time
A garden to nurture and protect
In the rise and the set of the sun
‘Til the stars go spinning
Spinning ’round the night
Oh, it is what it is and forever
Each moment a memory in flight
The arrow flies while you breathe
The hours tick away, the cells tick away
The Watchmaker has time up his sleeve
The hours tick away, they tick away
The treasure of a life
Is a measure of love and respect
The way you live, the gifts that you give
In the fullness of time
Is the only return that you expect
The future disappears into memory
With only a moment between
Forever dwells in that moment
Hope is what remains to be seen

 

This is an edited version of an article originally published in IAM Infinity astrological magazine https://infinityastrologicalmagazine.com/

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