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/

Consultations and readings available at https://www.timburnessastrologer.co.uk

David Cameron astrology 2012

Inevitably, like many UK astrologers, I’ve had my eye on the birth chart of UK Prime Minister David Cameron for some time now. In particular, I’m going to focus here on how his prominent Venus in Libra is being strongly tested by Uranus and Pluto in 2012, a process that began for him in the Spring of 2011.

1st house Venus in Libra

Although astrologers are not all in agreement over whether David’s Ascendant rising sign is late Virgo or early Libra (a few minutes either side of the given birth details – 5.55 a.m., 9th October 1966, London – makes a difference in this case), the prominence and importance of his 1st house Venus in Libra is in no doubt. David also has the Sun in Libra.

A few days ago, with Pluto moving towards the first exact square transit of Cameron’s Venus in a few weeks time, Cameron caused a major political uproar by excluding and isolating the UK from a new European economic union. Depending on your point of view, David has either protected the UK’s interests (particularly the City of London), or caused huge long-term damage to a number of relationships, both at home and abroad. Relationship problems of a deep and complicated nature are the classic territory of a Pluto transit to Venus, with long-term resentments often coming to the surface to be healed or eliminated. The UK has often seen itself as a reluctant and distanced member of Europe, separated by land and it’s memories of Empire. Whether on Europe or other issues, there will be more relationship struggles and conflicts of values for Cameron in August, September and October of 2012.

But things could well be even more difficult for David when transiting Uranus opposes his natal Venus from his Aries 7th house. The first pass in May 2012, then the retrograde phase in early September (likely to be a very difficult month as the above Pluto will also be active), with a final pass in March 2013. Relationship breaks, unexpected excitement, brief unusual involvements, upsets and shocks are likely… as always it will largely be up to the individual concerned as to how well these are handled.

All this is a bit tough on Cameron’s Venus! A well-placed Venus in Libra (it sextiles Cameron’s Leo Moon, with little in the way of stressful natal aspects) is charming and eager to please everyone, driven by a need to create harmony and build bridges through relationships of all kinds. In the 1st house, these personality traits are fundamental to David Cameron’s Libra identity. He will not be remotely at home with the sometimes unpleasant emotions and relationship problems. 2012 is a difficult year for Cameron.

Of course there are also less extreme and easier astrological indications for next year. The progressed Sun moves into a nice trine with Jupiter, Uranus trines the Leo Jupiter in January 2012, Uranus also trines Moon in Leo. David’s innate confidence and leadership instincts will help him cope. Saturn is also supportive for most of the year.

See also a related previous blog, Pluto in Capricorn.