Ass Kicker and Guitar Picker
Yesterday was the birthday of Bruce Lee and Jimi Hendrix. Two significant, ass-kicking, culture heroes for me and millions of other kids from the sixties and seventies. Not only born on the same day, three years apart, they shared some other unique details regarding one another’s lives. Both were one of five children. Both were troublemakers as youths. Lee was a street fighter and Hendrix, a joy-rider. Both eventually gained popularity in countries other than their own (Lee, The USA, Hendrix, UK). Both lived in Seattle and both are basically buried there (Lee in Seattle, Hendrix in Renton). Both had two kids, one boy, one girl. Both had Nordic/Caucasian mates (Monika Dannemman/Linda Lee). And yes, they knew each other. Both died under mysterious circumstances. But what we remember most about each of them is how they took their respective crafts to stratospheric heights.
When Hendrix landed in London, Clapton and Pete Townsend were both spell bound and terrified of Jimi’s chops. The Who even refused to go on stage after Hendrix at Monterrey Pop. With Lee, he was often chastised by Chinese masters to not teach his craft to Americans. Lee refused to bow down and challenged the masters to send someone over to his school in Oakland to settle it once and for all. Lee decimated the poor lout. From there, they began to innovate and extrapolate on their work. But as we look at their charts, we can see how each one was taking a different vector.
Jimi had a tight stellium in Sag (Sun/Merc/Venus). Sun and Mercury took up residence at the edge of his eleventh house, freedom loving and iconoclastic. Venus dipped into the 12th house, the house of source and mystery, the house where likely, his last lover Monika Dannemann had some knowledge regarding the mystery of Jimi’s death. Hendrix was likely killed by his manager, who was freaking out over the fact that Jimi was going to dump him. He’d rather sacrifice the cash cow then let it get away. Coroners found unusual amounts of wine soaked in Jimi’s lungs. Never one for downers, they were forced down his throat with large amounts of wine. Hendrix eventually choked on his own vomit. Snuffing rock stars goes all the way back to Jesus. The royalties on Psalms were priceless. Jimi was just another sacrifice at the altar of mammon. Buddy Holly took that dive. Brian Jones and Janis too. But I digress.
Hendrix with that wild Sag in the house of the future was all about freedom baby. Moon in Cancer, conjunct Jupiter made him both sensitive and shy, though able to intuit and feel tidal waves of energy, oceans of space across the plains of time. In the 7th house, it made him an intuitive and generous lover/partner. Saturn conjunct Uranus in Pisces lent him some real discipline in getting his chops down, Saturn in the 6th and Uranus in the 5th. He worked hard at his craft and he was unconventionally creative. Flamboyant to the extreme. Of course, there is Pluto in Leo, like a Golem in the 8th house. Fortunately, for Jimi, it was in the service of his Sag stellium, trining all three. What’s amazing about Hendrix’s chart is that from The Sun to Pluto, he has no squares! Oppositions, but zero squares. They do show up in his True Node and Chiron. In fact, he has a crisis of squares in Chiron, as it squares that same Sag stellium, plus Uranus in Pisces. Chiron in Leo made him compelling and magnetic, but also extremely vulnerable when performing. But zero squares. Bruce Lee’s chart is equally remarkable
While Jimi was exploring the moons of Jupiter in his art, via his Sag stellium, Lee had dueling stelliums. His Sag Sun was the only Sag planet in his chart, he had Moon/Merc/VenusMars all in Scorpio. Moon and Mercury were conjunct, while Venus and Mars were connected. But the four of them were not conjunct together. Lee was instinctual, to the point of being psychic. Mars in Scorpio gave him great generative and regenerative powers. In fact, while training, he nearly broke his back. His ability to recuperate is legendary. But sitting across from that mass of psychic wiring, he had Saturn. Jupiter and Uranus, all in Taurus. The clearly illustrates how deeply invested Lee was in controlling the mind (Scorpio) over the body (Taurus) and unleashing the body in the service of the mind as defined by will. Like Hendrix, Lee also has Pluto in the 8th, but his Pluto is in a dangerous square dance with Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus and The Moon. Pluto squaring all those planets was Lee’s razors edge, particularly the Mars/Venus squares. His Sun oddly enough is un-aspected until it hits Pluto, which it trines. The Sun/Pluto trine is immense power. But Lee’s chart is marked by oppositions–nine in all.
With Sun in the 12th house and the Scorp stellium, it’s no wonder Lee’s great analogy is associated with water. “Be like water” was his famous saying. “When water is in a cup, it becomes the cup.” His chart has almost too much energy. A Grand, fixed square, Pluto in the 8th, Scorp/Taurus stellium was more than a normal human could bear. It would take the likes of a Bruce Lee to survive such powerful aspects. With Neptune in the 10th house, Lee was destined to be a philosopher, a mystic. A warrior/poet.
Hendrix and Lee were cultural giants. Mythical icons. Super men. Deeply flawed in some ways as humans, but they blazed a trail across the skies of our minds and attained and immortality that befits their outrageous gifts.