Vedic Astrology considers the Moon as the karaka (manifester) for music. But what happens if the Moon is Debilitated in the Rasi chart? Can one still make music, and successfully? The short answer is
The long answer is yes, but... keep reading :)
So as I'm doing my never-ending research on musicians charts, I found a few who happen to have the Moon in the first three degrees of Scorpio, so in debilitation. Seeing a DB planet is rightfully concerning, as it will cause an imbalance in the chart, a.k.a. in the person's life. It can also be a factor for fame, as for instance in the Tara Arkamsa dasa, under certain conditions, it can make one a Sri Mantaha (wealthy, glorious person, satisfied with their life).
Also, if you read my previous article on cancellation of debilitation (here), you know the unfavorable effects can be nullified to some extent under certain conditions (but never fully). I think I mentioned in that article particularly that if a person has the Moon in the first 3 degrees of Scorpio, in the 9th division of their chart (navamsa), the Moon will be in Cancer - own sign - so these people will somehow find fulfillment with their Moons, according to Jaimini.
Another important factor to look at in order to asses the Moon's influence is its total Shad Bala value. That shows how much of the planet can actually manifest in a person's life. So I would say if a musician has a low Shad Bala Moon, it could be worse in a way than a DB Moon, as they will not be able to manifest their full musical potential.
Also, it's helpful to look at the Moon's Avasthas (states), and get an idea of how much the Moon is hurting (shamed, starved or agitated) or happy (delighted).
OK so that being said, let's get this show on the road :)
The musicians with the Moon in the first three degrees of Scorpio that we'll be looking at in our Swan Song/ Music of a Debilitated Moon Series are: George Harrison, Phil Collins, Romina Power and Alanis Morisette.
We'll start with George Harrison.
George Harrison, 'The Quiet Beatle'
The sign of Scorpio is, among other things, a so-called 'voiceless Rasi'. That immediately reminded me of George Harrison's nickname 'The Quiet Beatle'. During one of their tours in the States, the group members were asked how they slept at night with long hair (since long hair in men was still an extravagance back then). "How do you sleep with your arms and legs still attached?" Harrison fired back. That reaction also illustrates another feature of Scorpio, who, although classified as a gentle Rasi with a live-and-let-live attitude, is still ruled by Mars and very capable of harm if provoked.
What I really like about George Harrison's chart is that the Moon gets manifesting strength from an exalted Jupiter (so whom it is the lord of) as well as from its own Lord Mars, also exalted. Not to mention his Soul Planet Venus is exalted. Venus is in Pisces in the Rasi and Navamsa charts, testifying about his spiritual pursuits that made a mark on his career - he was a Hare Krishna devotee from the 60's to his death, helping the organization become established in Britain.
Shad Bala-wise, George's Moon has 143.5% of the required amount, so another plus for its power to manifest.
In the Rasi chart, Moon is in the 5th from his Soul Planet Venus, thus making him an author. This authorship yoga is confirmed in the Navamsa, with Moon in the 9th from Venus.
As for the Moon's Laajitaadi Avasthas, the only active influences are delighting ones of Sun and Mercury. These two friends of the Moon help to adapt its behaviour towards the vision of his life, as well as to make good, practical choices.
It's interesting to note Moon is in the 2nd house from the Lagna, and the 2nd house relates to the throat. That's a favorable placement for a musician. However, I think the positioning of a debilitated planet there contributed to him getting throat cancer (that and planets in Capricorn and Cancer in the Rasi, Navamsa, Trimsamsa as well as other factors which will be addressed more thoroughly in a medical astrology post).
Is George a Sri Mantaha though?
Well, if the birth time is correct (it's rated A, 'from memory' on astro.com), he isn't from the Rasi Chart. However, he has the Sri Mantaha status from the Tara Arkamsa, since the Lord of the first TA Dasa is DB in the Hora (side note: you can learn about the Tara Arkamsa dasa and other Jaimini techniques from where I learned, www.astrology-videos.com)
South Indian Rasi Chart of George Harrison
Moving on to the fun part: his Cards of Truth birth spread.
His birth card is Ace of Diamonds, a diamond in the rough :)
With a 9 of Diamonds on his ecliptic, you can imagine he had humanitarian pursuits all throughout his life, and beyond - the George Harrison Humanitarian Fund for UNICEF, a joint effort between the Harrison family and the US Fund for UNICEF, was set up to support programs that help children caught in humanitarian emergencies. We can also attribute that to his exalted Jupiter (karaka/manifester of children).
His Moon card is a difficult 5 of Hearts which points to emotional crisis, so not a happy placement for any benefic planet. Moon the planet is in a 3 of Clubs Mars card - a good Mars card but a bad place for the Moon. This may show the difficult collaboration with his bandmates and him feeling underappreciated, since the Moon - his music- is suffering in that position. Just a quick example of his exalted Mars in a good place - the 5 of Diamonds Saturn Card - in the 70's, George lost a $ 700,000 lawsuit that claimed he had copied a song to make his 'Oh My Lord'. Harrison subsequently wrote a song called "That Song", whose lyrics and video parodied the courtroom experience. A few years later, he bought the company that sued him for the same amount that company had been bought - another example of the Scorpionic 'revenge is a dish best served cold'.
Another classification of the Scorpio sign is that it's 'many-footed' (as opposed to 'footless' like Pisces, 'two-footed' like Aquarius or 'four-footed' like Leo). In order discover themselves, 'many-footed' signs Scorpio and Cancer need the public or partnerships in order to discover themselves. So it's interesting to see how the Moon is in the Mars card with the 7th cusp of partnerships and public, which emphasizes the previous statement. We also can't ignore the strong Jupiter in the Moon card, who besides being Proud and Delighted, is with his own numerical manifestation of 5. Also interesting to note that the Moon card, a 5, is with the 9th cusp, while the Jupiter card, a 9, is with the 5th cusp. Both are heart cards, and they created a painful but creative interchange. And it makes me think of the famous Beatles song he wrote and performed, "While My Guitar Gently Weeps': I look at the world and I notice it's turning/ While my guitar gently weeps/ With every mistake we must surely be learning/ Still my guitar gently weeps.'
The lyrics to that song were written as an 'exercise in randomness' after reading the Chinese I Ching. Randomness makes me thing of The Fool figure in Tarot, which translates into red 9 cards. George has the two red 9s in his natal spread, one on the Jupiter placement- linked with the 5th cusp of creativity, and one as his Ecliptic- life path.
Birth card spread of George Harrison
To further illustrate the lyric writing process, I will quote the man himself:
I wrote "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" at my mother's house in Warrington. I was thinking about the Chinese I Ching, 'The Book of Changes". The Eastern concept is that whatever happens is all meant to be, and that there's no such thing as coincidence – every little item that's going down has a purpose.
"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" was a simple study based on that theory. I decided to write a song based on the first thing I saw upon opening any book – as it would be relative to that moment, at that time. I picked up a book at random, opened it, saw "gently weeps", then laid the book down again and started the song.
So this is how he penned the text, but when did he write the melody?
Like most songs from the Beatles' White Album, George began composing the melody while in Rishikesh, India, during his band's residency with the Maharishi to practice Transcendental meditation. Practicing meditation with a Guru is a very Jupiterian thing and that illustrates again the Jupiter-Moon connection and the Jupiter card being the very spiritual 9 of Hearts.
It's fascinating to see that during the residency in India, between February and April 1968, George was running a Jack of Hearts on his Sun card. That shows a permanent change of attitude regarding his creative vision, and mostly his career since the 10th cusp is also there. So it shows the conceiving of that song which was a turning point in him being taken more seriously as an artist, and the writing of some of his best-known songs. Sun the planet is in the Jack of Diamonds (new temporary pursuit- new song) Jupiter card (spiritual teacher flavour), of course, with the 5th cusp of creativity. On the second day of the song being recorded, September 6 1968, George was running an Ace of Clubs ecliptic day path - same card as his year's Mercury card inhabited by Jupiter and 11th cusp of gains.
Another song George was credited with on that album was 'Long, Long, Long' (listen here). The song started being recorded on October 7 (and they stayed up all night) when George was running a Jack of Hearts (so a fixed card also present in his year spread) on his Mercury card of planning his vision. That card has Jupiter and Mars in it, so a combination for wealth, and Pluto - since he probably had to let go of some ego to make the recording work. The recording "Long, Long, Long" has received praise from many music critics for its lilting, expressive qualities. Critic Ian MacDonald described it as Harrison's "touching token of exhausted, relieved reconciliation with God" and considered it to be his "finest moment on The Beatles" ["Long, Long, Long"] is the first of dozens of Harrison love songs that are ambiguous in that he could be singing either to his lady or to his Lord. "I think all love is part of a universal love," George explained to Rolling Stone years later. "When you love a woman, it's the God in her that you see."
Well, if those statements don't make you think of the divine love (9 of Hearts) on the Jupiter card with Venus in it, I don't know what does! Also keep in mind: that sounds excellent and saintly in theory, but in the practice of the rock'n'roll laced with alcohol and drugs, Harrison loved many women, even while married, and even his former bandmate Ringo Starr's wife Maureen. His attitude seems to have become more grounded when he married his second wife Olivia and they welcomed their son Dhani.
Age 25 Year Spread of George Harrison
However, you can see that year was not all roses. His ecliptic card, an 8 of Hearts, draws attention to his Rahu card- 10 of Diamonds of financial success but also his Rahu planet, a separating factor joined by another separating factor, Saturn, in his Jack of Clubs Mars card. That coincides with the time when during album recordings, and in the context pf personal tensions, Harrison and band-mate Ringo Star pulled an unprecedented move and flew to California on 7 June so that Harrison could film his scenes for the Ravi Shankar documentary Raga. So this Jack of Clubs shows the beginning of new projects and also separation - due to the factors mentioned above- laced with frustration (Mars sharing a card with Saturn). Interestingly enough, that day Harrison had the same quadration - 23- as the day when Ringo Starr came back to the studio after taking a months-long hiatus (he has said he was quitting the band). That day was September 5 and Harrison made sure to decorate Starr's drums with roses.
George's 25th year progressed card is a 2 of Clubs under the Jupiter placement. That seems to further describe the tensions with the band regarding creative differences during the recording sessions. Of the 30 songs on the White Album, only 16 have all 4 members performing together- a reflection of the fragmentation that eventually lead to the band's break-up in 1970.
7 Year progressed spread of George Harrison (ages 21 to 27)
So the date the White album was released, November 22 1968, the day card was a Jack of Hearts and George was running a nice Jack of Hearts on his Mars card- with separation courtesy of Saturn and Rahu, making a step further towards his solo career, and the Ace of Clubs that is on the Mercury position in the year spread repeated on the Venus position in the day spread.
The Ace of Clubs is a semi-fixed card showing a new idea with mid-term ramifications.
There would be so many more things to say and release dates to analyze, but I think it will be enough for this time. I will just re-state the important role played in his life by Jupiter on the Red 9 (Justice and divine friendship) with this anecdote: when Harrison recorded a new album in the 80s, he let his 9 year-old son Dhani pick the first single off his interestingly-titled album Cloud Nine (again the divine friendship), and his son auspiciously picked the future Number One hit "Got My Mind Set On You". That was the last Number One song that any of the Beatles ever had in the US.
George Harrison with 2nd wife Olivia and son Dhani
George's birth time is minutes away from his Ascendant changing. Since I mostly focused on placements from his Atmakaraka and the cards, the only thing that would shift with a Scorpio lagna would be: Moon is obviously not in 2nd house but on the Lagna and George is a Sri Mantaha from the Rasi as well with an Exalted Venus in his Lagna Pada. So if I ever rectify his birth time and it's way different, I'll let you know ;)
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Research and musings on astrological topics I find interesting