I wrote the following on the day Joe Cocker died–or rather I wrote what I’ve interwoven with the following on the day he died. Since I hadn’t had an opportunity to post this here in Feature Articles since we hadn’t yet launched the site, I’ve been allowing the original to evolve into what you’re reading today. When better than on his birthday? Here’s to you, Joe!
December 22, 2014: The singer with the raspy, gravelly but still moving voice is gone. Joe Cocker has apparently died of lung cancer today. For a bit, there was a question about whether the news was a hoax or not, but it’s most definitely real, and major news networks around the world are now picking up on the story.
Mars in Cancer, conjunct his 5th house of entertainment, ruled his Aries Ascendant. But while Cocker’s Eastern, first quadrant, below-the-horizon dominance made him something of an enigma, he held the attention of millions around the world for more than 4 decades.
I have a belief that an interception can tend to increase the dynamics of whatever planets and/or luminaries fall into that position. In his first house, both Cocker’s Sun and Moon as well as Mercury and Venus were caught up in that interception–40 per cent of his natal chart! His Moon-Mercury conjunction was especially pronounced and thought to have been what gave him that magical appeal. He was able to convey emotion we all have felt, and that should be no surprise, given the square from that Moon-Mercury conjunction to Pluto in the 5th house. Venus and the Sun are also conjunct although widely. I’d give it a clear conjunction since both are also squaring Jupiter in the 5th.
But surely he was blessed. He has a second interception in his chart–in the 6/12 house axis! Now I realize some people have insisted interceptions are hidden. Perhaps it’s better to say interceptions come with lovely wrapping, offering gifts with far greater value than one might first expect when they’re opened. And although it would seem that Joe Cocker’s interceptions in these two houses didn’t mean very much since no natal planets were there, this pair proved to be equally powerful since his 6th house was at the Midheaven at the time of his performance at Woodstock on August 17, 1969.
How can we help but notice that beautiful Neptune 17-minute partile conjunction to the Ascendant that day at that time? True, Woodstock was reeking of grass of the smoking kind, fitting the line, “I get high with a little help from my friends.”
The Mercury-South Node-Pluto conjunction in Joe’s natal 6th joined the transiting Midheaven (which also fell in his 6th, of course) in the 10th house of the Woodstock performance chart. He was a hit! And is it any wonder, given the Sun in the 9th in square to Neptune and the Ascendant? The man–raspy voice and all–could move millions, and he was showing it that day at Woodstock just three months after his 25th birthday.
As I looked at this chart, I remembered my studies of Chiron, prompted by David Cochrane‘s recent words to me, “charisma and sizzle in performances” and pulled up the comparison chart with the transiting aspects for Woodstock outside Cocker’s natal. But then he was working with a transiting chart boasting an Eastern, 4th quadrant, above-the-horizon dominance. The man had command and presence in performance. He owned the stage and the crowd even though his natal chart showed quite the opposite with that natal hemispheric and quadrant emphasis. Every single planet and both luminaries in his natal chart were below the horizon! Cocker drew from his gut to perform like he did, pulling every depth of emotion and feeling from his core to his vocal chords, and they took it from there.
I was looking for a Chiron cycle, and it wasn’t fitting; but it had just finished opposing Joe’s natal Neptune in Libra and was in the midst of a transiting opposition to Jupiter in Libra. With transiting Neptune on the Ascendant for his performance at Woodstock, this made a world of sense to me! In his natal chart, transiting Neptune was intercepted in the 7th house, squaring the Leo Sun as fell in Joe’s creative fifth.
On a side note, I find myself looking at transiting Uranus at Woodstock that day, caught up in a 20-minute partile conjunction to Cocker’s natal Neptune. It’s as if he had some astrological advice–or learned some astrology–to have realized he needed to do this life-changing performance.
Somehow, his also having a natal Saturn square to Neptune–the Peeling of Life’s Onion–also lent much to the mystery he seemed to present. And Uranus in the 2nd house might have even seemed to say his fortunes were always chaotic. But this was Joe Cocker, and one doesn’t build a career like he did and live in poverty for too long. According to a quick search on Google, he was performing in Paris in 2013 around his birthday.
ABC TV: Joe Cocker Dead at 70
While American news was picking up the story as I wrote the original text to this article, the news throughout the UK had spread like wildfire.
New York Times: Joe Cocker is Dead at 70
The heartbeat of his chart was a single one, Venus. Everything he did was based on that love of the music and the passion he was expressing. He was probably more difficult for many to get to know and understand since the entire chart was contained below the horizon. In fact, I had to look twice because his chart showed that pair of interceptions with the second one from Pisces to Virgo in the 12/6 axis. I normally have seen this in the Scandinavian countries and those from 60° latitude and above, but he was born during British Double Wartime, which created this anomaly.
RIP Joe Cocker. You have serenaded us so beautifully through these all these years. You are missed, but thankfully we have your music recorded and shared in so many ways. I especially loved the tribute, as brief as it was, that ABC News did, shown above in the link at “Joe Cocker Dead at 70.” The commentary the news anchor gave spoke of transformation at Woodstock, where he performed his famed cover of The Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends” as only he could do. Pluto immediately came to mind for me with that word, “transformation.” Pluto would have been in Virgo back then, transiting his 6th house interception, and it did just that: It transformed his life, and he in turn did a lot to transform the way we listened to music.
With A Little Help From My Friends – Woodstock 1969
Happy Birthday, Joe Cocker! There will never be another you in quite the same way.
Namaste, I love you.
©2015 Michelle Young