The Return Of The Return Of The Thin White Duke
I’ve been trying to come up with a musical track that I think exemplifies one particular aspect of Pluto in Capricorn and the best example that I could come up with right now, is David Bowie’s anthemic, “Station To Station” off the album of the same name. Bowie (Capricorn) was hanging out a lot in LA, particularly The Chateau Marmont and Harry Houdini’s old place, now owned by Ric Rubin. He was doing loads of cocaine, saw himself as a modern day incarnation of Merlin, dabbled in grey magic and assumed the identity of “The Thin White Duke,” a decadent, Euro, disco vampire.
Most people think that “Station To Station” refers to a train, perhaps The Trans-Euro-Express, but when in truth, he is referring in part to the Kaballah, particularly when he references going from “Malkuth to Kether” or “Station To Station.” The song is a high speed journey on the left handed path of consciousness, it is the manipulation of subtle matter; “one magical moment/such is the stuff from where dreams are woven/bending sound/dredging the ocean/lost in my circle.” The last line seems to be a reference to a magical circle, much like the ones drawn up by Enochian magicians such as John Dee and Francis Bacon when they would summon entities known as “macrobes.”
In interviews with Earl Slick, a metal blues guitarist from Toronto recruited for his ability to wrench big, walloping chords for numbers like “Station to Station” and “Stay,” Slick barely remembers the sessions that took place in LA as they were recorded in a frenzied blizzard of choice, Peruvian flake, a sonic blur, tripping across the over-amplified circuitry of distorted memories.
Bowie had just finished filming “The Man Who Fell To Earth” where he played Thomas Newton, a frail genius from another world. Director, Nicholas Roeg, told Bowie that he thought the character would stay with him for a while after they had completed shooting and so it did, morphing into the icy Duke, reptoidal and reserved on the surface, but manic and possessed beneath it, consorting with alien intelligence through symbolic arcana and magical powders,
For me, “Station to Station” is a sonic ritual, a knowing assemblage of craft on many different levels, and one that invokes power. Just listen to the realm splitting roar of the guitar on this rare video from 1976, a dress rehearsal from a show in Toronto.
I’ve been tracking Pluto in Capricorn from a socio-political perspective, but it can also represent the conscious application of ritual magic and outside of Led Zeppellin and Jimmy Page (also a Capicorn), nobody did it better than Bowie in his dark, astral phase.
Back when I interviewed him in 1999, we touched upon astrology briefly, off record, and how he shares the same birthday as Elvis (January 8th). He confided to me that the closer he gets to his birthday the more pronounced, two protruding bumps in his forehead, one above each eye, like budding horns, begin to bulge.
Pluto In Capricorn, from base to capstone, root to fruit, “Station To Station.”