Vedic Astrology & Palmistry

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Club 27 rockstars: “Hope I die before I get old…”

May 31st, 2015 · 9 Comments · Astrology, celebrity, Karma

Club 27 a

“I hope I die before I get old.” ~ Pete Townshend, The Who. 

Sadly, half of people don’t get what they want, and the other half don’t want what they get. Death is like that for some. They flirt with it, dance with it, lie down with it at night, and sometimes they just don’t wake up.

Club 27 is about the archetypes of modern music, huge talents for the most part, sometimes joined at the hip in pain and revelry, all heading at breakneck speed toward an exit they didn’t know would open quite so soon.

Although many musicians died at age 27, these six were world-renowned, and shared astrological signatures marking them for study:

  1. Brian Jones, Rolling Stone, 28 February 1942 – 3 July 1969.
  2. Jimi Hendrix, guitar virtuoso, 27 November 1942 – 18 September 1970.
  3. Janis Joplin, soulful R&B vocalist, 19 January 1943 – 4 October 1970.
  4. Jim Morrison, iconic vocalist of The Doors, 8 December 1943 – 3 July 1971.
  5. Kurt Cobain, spokesperson of grunge, 20 February 1967 – 5 April 1994.
  6. Amy Winehouse, eclectic R&B vocalist, 14 September 1983 – 23 July 2011.

27 is the deadliest number

For these six superstars, their average lifespan was 27.6 years, a number suggesting key cycles at work.

The synodic period of the Moon, the time it takes to circle the zodiac, is 27.5 days. If the natal Moon is badly placed, eg, 8th or 12th house, then the Moon by secondary progression is back where it started in 27.5 years.

For the moon’s nodes, the cycle is 18.6 years. Add a half-cycle and you get 27.9 years, at which the time the nodes have reversed positions. If the natal nodes were poised to do harm, eg, on the ascendant or luminaries, in 27.9 years the transiting nodes would again line up on the original affliction.

Why the Moon and the nodes? Why not Saturn, to which death is more typically attributed? As we’ll see, Saturn contributes, just not as obviously as the Moon and its nodes.

The Moon as emotional mind

In Vedic astrology, the Moon represents both personality and manas, the unconscious mind that regulates our perceptions, primary desires of attraction and aversion, and our body’s life-preserving autonomic functions.

A strong Moon denotes a vivid personality, a creative mind and a healthy body. Strength comes via sign (at home in Cancer, exalted in Taurus), phase (full moon) and dig bala (directional strength in the 4th house). Weakness lies in debilitation (Scorpio) or darkness (new moon).

Four of these musicians had strong Moons, while three had the Moon in difficult places, ie, the trikasthana (6th, 8th, 12th) houses of conflict, trauma and dissolution.

Club 27 @ 80%Rahu/Ketu and the devouring serpent

In one of the Vedic myths, the great snake Sarpa crashes a party of the gods and tries to drink the soma they’re brewing. But Vishnu throws his discus to cut the serpent in two, dooming Rahu the head and Ketu the tail to eternal separation. Ever after, the nodes have been enemies of the Sun and Moon, eclipsing them whenever they can.

In a birth chart, Rahu/Ketu on the ascendant or the Moon suggests irregular behavior – irrational, lawless, rebellious and unpredictable. Aside from potentially destabilizing the body’s vital systems, it’s often an indicator of aberrant mental and emotional behavior.

The nodes push the envelope in physical, moral, social and legal ways, often with a streak of creativity, insofar as originality represents departing from the norm. These artists were largely ground-breaking pioneers in their fields. Four had prominent placements of Rahu/Ketu:

  1. Jones and Winehouse had Rahu in the 1st house.
  2. Joplin and Morrison had Rahu in the 7th house.
  3. All four had the nodal axis within 3deg30 of the ascendant.
  4. Three of them died when transiting nodes opposed their natal positions.

Aside from being considered natural malefics, Rahu and Ketu by occupation of the 7th house in four of these charts also made them marakas, or death-dealing planets.

sarpaMaraka planets

Maraka planets have the power to summon death. Conceptually, the origin of this principle lies in the notion that the soul’s death is initiated by two base desires – money as indicated by the 2nd house, and sex as indicated by the 7th.

In practice, Vedic astrologers thus regard any planet that owns or occupies the 2nd or 7th houses as offering potential ruin. The time for such misfortune, especially death, arises during major or minor periods of such planets, especially conjoined periods, eg, dasa of one maraka, bhukti of another.

The planetary periods of Vedic astrology

The Vedic planetary periods are launched by the natal Moon’s position in one of the zodiac’s 27 nakshatras, which span 13deg20 and whose ownership are shared among the nodes and the seven classic planets. A person is born into a certain dasa (major period) based on Moon position, after which a fixed sequence of planetary periods follows, ranging from six to 20 years each.

Each dasa is divided into nine shorter periods, each bhukti ruled by one of the nine lords, and lasting three months to three years. Vedic astrologers view any period of life as being ruled by both a dasa lord and a bhukti lord. For greater level of specificity, which I have pursued in this article, we can also drill down to a third level of sub-period called the antaradasa.

Aside from the maraka lords mentioned above, period lords associated with trikasthana houses, ie, the 6th, 8th and 12th, by occupation or ownership, threaten physical danger and death.

Saturn as grim reaper

Saturn is Chronos the timekeeper. Although a distant and slow-moving planet, we cannot outrun him. If we’ve been reckless in our trajectory, sometimes our orbit crosses his, and then his cold reality is forced upon us.

Saturn is a karaka or general significator of longevity. It’s strong in its own or exalted signs, when retrograde, or gaining dig bala in the 7th house. It’s weak by debilitation and combustion. Strong or weak, its role becomes exaggerated.

Five of these artists had an exaggerated Saturn. This isn’t remarkable in itself, but add Saturn’s association with the trikasthana houses (6th, 8th, 12th) and its aspects upon those house lords, and you get an ominous prognosis.

NB: all charts provided below show planetary and cuspal positions in the sidereal zodiac, as is the practice in Vedic astrology.

Brian Jones

Jones was born 28 February 1942 at 7:00 PM in Cheltenham, England. (Birth data courtesy of Astrodatabank.) He drowned in his swimming pool on 3rd July 1969.

Jones’s natal Moon occupies the 12th house, to which position his progressed Moon had almost exactly returned upon his death. Rahu conjoins his ascendant within one degree and, in the last 17 months prior to his death, had been transiting his 8th house.

2x chart - jones

He has a debilitated natal Saturn in the 9th which, by transit, had been back in Aries for approximately a year prior to his death.

At the time of his death he was running VE-MA-JU. Dasa lord Venus occupies the 6th house and is in the star of 12th house occupant/lord Moon. Bhukti lord Mars gives results for its star-lord Sun, a maraka for this chart. Antaradasa lord Jupiter rules the 8th and occupies the star of 12th house occupant/lord Moon.

Jimi Hendrix

Hendrix was born 27 November 1942 @ 10:15 AM (war time) in Seattle, WA. (Birth data courtesy of Astrodatabank.) He choked on his vomit and died in his sleep on 18th September 1970.

Hendrix has natal Moon in the 8th, which natal position his progressed Moon had crossed about six months before his death. The Rahu/Ketu axis doesn’t afflict his ascendant or luminaries, but their dispositors Sun and Saturn occupy the 12th and 6th houses. After a nodal cycle and a half, the transiting nodes exchanged signs to invoke the same badly-placed dispositors.

2x chart - hendrix

From the 6th, natal Saturn aspects both the 8th house and its lord the Moon. By the time of his death, transiting Saturn had circled the chart to late in debilitated Aries.

In Hendrix’s case, the period lords (ME-RA-VE) all conspired in his death. Dasa lord Mercury occupies the 12th, and is in the star of Saturn occupying the 6th. Bhukti lord Rahu acts as a proxy for its dispositor Sun in the 12th. Antaradasa lord Venus occupies the 12th, and is in the star of Saturn occupying the 6th.

Janis Joplin

Joplin was born 19 January 1943 at 9:45 AM in Port Arthur, Texas. (Birth data courtesy of Astrodatabank.) She died of a heroin overdose on 4th October 1970.

Joplin’s natal Moon occupies the 5th house, which natal position her progressed Moon had passed some five months before her death. Ketu conjoins her ascendant within one degree and, after a nodal cycle and a half, was within a few degrees of conjoining natal Rahu on the descendant.

2x chart - joplin

Her natal retrograde Saturn in the 4th aspects her ascendant. By the time of her death, transiting Saturn had circled the chart to the 3rd house, from which debilitated position it aspected five of her planets.

She was running SA-KE-SU at the time of her death. Dasa lord Saturn occupies the star of 6th lord Moon. Bhukti lord Ketu gives results for its sign dispositor Saturn (12th lord) and Jupiter (another maraka lord) that aspects it. Antaradasa lord Sun occupies the 12th and is also a maraka for this chart.

Jim Morrison

Morrison was born 8 December 1943 at 11:55 AM in Melbourne Beach, Florida. (Birth data courtesy of Astrodatabank.) He died of a heroin overdose on 3rd July 1971.

Morrison’s natal Moon occupies the 4th house, which natal position his progressed Moon had passed some four months before his death. Ketu conjoins his ascendant within 3.5 degrees and, after a nodal cycle and a half, had transited to within 6.5 degrees of natal Rahu on the descendant.

2x chart - morrison

His natal retrograde Saturn is in the 6th. By the time of his death, transiting Saturn had circled the chart to the 5th house, from which position it opposed his Sun.

At the time of his death he was running MO-SA-JU. Dasa lord Moon is a maraka for this chart. Bhukti lord Saturn occupies the 6th, while antaradasa lord Jupiter occupies the 8th and owns the 12th.

Kurt Cobain

Cobain was born 20 February 1967 at 7:20 PM in Aberdeen, Washington. (Birth data courtesy of Astrodatabank.) He committed suicide on 5th April 1994.

Cobain’s natal Moon occupies the 11th house, to which position his progressed Moon would have returned a few months after his death. The Rahu/Ketu axis doesn’t afflict his ascendant or luminaries, but their dispositors Mars and Venus both occupy dusthanas (the 3rd being considered a “mild” dusthana.)

2x chart - cobain

His natal Saturn occupies the 8th house. By the time of his death, transiting Saturn had circled the chart to the 7th house, thus afflicting lagnesh Sun and Mercury, both of which are maraka lords for this chart.

He was running SA-SU-VE at the time of his death. Dasa lord Saturn (a maraka for this chart) occupies its own star and is therefore a very powerful instigator of death, since it both rules the 6th and occupies the 8th. Bhukti lord Sun is also a maraka. Antaradasa lord Venus occupies the 8th and is in the star of Jupiter, which occupies the 12th.

Amy Winehouse

Winehouse was born 14 September 1983 at 10:25 PM in Enfield, England. (Birth data courtesy of Astrodatabank.) She died of alcohol poisoning on 23rd July 2011.

(For a more detailed analysis of her life and death, see this separate article.)

Winehouse’s natal Moon occupies the 8th house, to which natal position her progressed Moon returned about six months before her death. Debilitated Rahu conjoins her ascendant within three degrees, and after a nodal cycle and a half, transiting Ketu was within a degree of her ascendant.

2x chart - winehouse

She has a powerful natal Saturn exalted in the 6th from where it aspects her Moon in the 8th, her 12th house and its lord Mars. By the time of her death, transiting Saturn had circled the chart to her 5th house, from which position it made no significant aspects on any key planets except 8th lord Jupiter.

At the time of her death she was running SU-ME-JU. Although her dasa lord Sun made no contribution at her death, her bhukti lord Mercury is a maraka for this chart, as is antaradasa lord Jupiter.

Sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll

In general, these six artists shared a “Club 27” signature: (1) exaggerated Moon in a difficult house, (2) Rahu/Ketu on the ascendant, and (3) exaggerated Saturn in a difficult house.

Given the role of both the Moon and its nodes in their respective charts, this triggered an underlying disposition for conflict, trauma and dissolution in their 27th years. This timeframe coincided with progressed Moon returns (to difficult houses) and transiting nodal re-alignments with ascendants, in most of these cases.

Given the association of the nodes with toxins, their conjunction with the ascendant in four of these cases is virtually a formula for sudden disaster. In all six, substance abuse was part of the lifestyle, therefore a contributing factor in their early demise. In Vedic astrology, food and drink and “consumption” of every kind is ruled by the 2nd house, giving it additional potency as maraka.

In reality, the nodes have always eclipsed the luminaries. As Amy Winehouse said, “Life’s short. Anything could happen, and it usually does.”


Alan Annand is a Canadian astrologer and palmist accredited by the American College of Vedic Astrology and the British Faculty of Astrological Studies.

For a compilation of his writings (essays on astrological technique, in-depth celebrity profiles, and analysis of mundane events) see his book Stellar Astrology.

He is also a writer of crime fiction, including his NEW AGE NOIR series (Scorpio RisingFelonious MonkSoma County) featuring astrologer and palmist Axel Crowe, whom one reviewer has dubbed “Sherlock Holmes with a horoscope.”


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