The Astrology and Psychology of Jim Morrison
“GET THAT COMB AWAY FROM ME!” Jim Morrison once exclaimed. The front-man of The Doors was not to be groomed, harnessed, or told what to do. And good thing, for our sake: When great but gooey songs like “I’m a Believer,” “Happy Together,” and “Penny Lane” were topping the charts, Jim really did “break on through to the other side” with dangerous music that spoke to dangerous times.
Vietnam-War bloodshed was surging in 1967, while 159 race riots had erupted across the nation. As youth was breaking away from the establishment and embracing hedonism, revolt and chaos, Jim Morrison echoed the protest of the nation. Unafraid to epitomize the zeitgeist of the times, he was able to broaden our perspective beyond it: “If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite,” William Blake (another Sagittarius) wrote, inspiring Morrison’s name of The Doors. In looking at just a few aspects of Jim Morrison’s astrological chart, we gain a deeper understanding of why he was able to do what he did so well.
Rider on the Storm
Sun in Sagittarius
Like a lot of fire signs, Jim had a penchant for alcohol. Sagittarius, especially, with Jupiter being its ruler, doesn’t always know when to get off the bus: “more” is its mantra and it can be extremely prone to excess. Alcohol and Sagittarius tend to go very well together due to the Sagittarian plight: thinking too much, for when you think too much you lose choice. By drinking alcoholically, Jim was able to shut off his brain and express himself more fully—it’s been said that he loved not being in control.
Like every curse, Morrison’s strong Sagittarian intellect was also a gift. Despite his legendary antics as a youngster, he was highly well read and, per his teachers, an extremely intelligent student. When most kids upon graduating high school wanted a car, he requested from his parents The Complete Works of Friedrich Nietzsche. Jim, in fact, wanted to be perceived as a philosopher, a common archetype associated with the sign of Sagittarius.
When You’re Strange
Aquarius is the rebel of the zodiac. They love to shock. Teachers recount his “puzzling,” “startling,” “unusual” ideas. He and his friends would cut out clippings of the funnies and paste Dennis the Menace and Charlie Brown in fowl configurations with vulgar dialogue. Friends say that as an adolescent Jim had an obsession with sex and defecation. Anything to shock.
Anti-authoritarian, Aquarius really likes pushing the limits, irrespective of consequences. At the beginning of his career, when The Doors got a regular gig at the Whiskey a Go Go on Sunset Strip, he made an Oedipal reference in his song “The End,” which got him fired. He even said the line, “Mother, I want to f*** you,” while his mother was sitting in the front row of the audience. They didn’t speak after that.
And of course there was The Ed Sullivan Show in 1967. He and his band were asked to change the Light My Fire lyric from “Girl, we couldn’t get much higher,” to “Girl, we couldn’t get much better.” The band agreed, but when they went live, Jim sang the original lyric. They were supposed to have six more coveted spots on the Sullivan show, but they were never asked back. It was this moment in time — defying the stuffy, stone-faced Ed Sullivan — that helped define Jim Morrison and what he stood for.
This is the End
Saturn rules discipline, structure, order, and the father. When Saturn is retrograde in one’s chart, the native must carve out for himself a path: Usually the father is absent on some level, or just doesn’t understand the best life trajectory for the child. After completing undergrad at UCLA and failing to get a job, he wrote his father of his new plans to start a band with some guys he had met. Mr. Morrison wrote back, calling his plans “a crock” and rebuking him for throwing away four years of college when he had “no musical skills.” Jim did not take kindly to criticism. He never wrote him again. Later, after Mr. Morrison heard Jim’s debut album, he told Jim in a letter “to give up any idea of singing or any connection with a music group because of what I consider to be a complete lack of talent in this direction.” If it wasn’t for Saturn Retrograde — i.e., his father’s limited vision — perhaps Jim wouldn’t have had a reason to succeed.
Growing up, Jim’s parents were strict. His father’s punishment style for his children was to “dress them down,” a military phrase/tactic which involves telling the child what they had done wrong repeatedly until he was all out of tears. Per Jim’s younger brother, Jim never broke down. A case could be made that having to sublimate his emotions made Jim callous and unfeeling, as it’s been said that he liked to torment people.
Love me two times / I’m goin’ away
Chart Ruler (Uranus) in the 4th House
Since Jim was an Aquarius rising, his ruling planet was Uranus. To understand more about him, we can note that his Uranus is in Gemini and in the Fourth House. The Fourth House is often called “The House of Home and Family.” Though his Fourth House is ruled by Taurus, with iconoclastic Uranus in the Fourth, the native is likely to break away from the home, and it’s clear that’s what he did: When his first album came out and they had to write his bio, Jim told the writer that his family was dead. He told other people this, too.
The Fourth House relates to home and family, yes, but it’s really the house of emotional security; it’s where we go to collapse, feel safe and nurtured. With rebellious, unpredictable, detached Uranus in his Fourth, it’s possible Jim made himself feel safe by ejecting himself out of situations. This could have been a defense mechanism, as to avoid being ejected by someone else: Growing up, Jim’s father was in the military, so they had to move around a lot due to his father’s assignments. Having to move a lot unpredictably must have been difficult for Jim who had stability-loving Taurus moon and fixed Aquarius as his rising. In such a situation, one might become the monster of unpredictability himself, in order to survive and sustain.
I’m going to love you / Till the stars fall from the sky
If you listen to Morrison’s slower songs or even listen to his voice in interviews, you’ll notice he has an incredibly soothing, melodious voice, one you’d think could only come forth from a secure, comfortable place. “Secure and comfortable” doesn’t describe Morrison on the surface, but one’s moon depicts one’s most vulnerable and hidden aspects; it also shows their needs. Taurus rules music and the voice, which may account for Jim’s gifts. Additionally, Taurus is an earth sign, very connected to the body. Taurus rules the senses, thus his hedonism may be attributable to his moon.
But what Taurus is known for — more than their stubbornness, musicality or appetite — is their loyalty. Jim considered Pam his cosmic mate. Their charts together have “past life connection” written all over them, and their charts together go quite well. Jim was able to have his Taurus moon fed by loving Pam, and having her as a stable presence in his life. Sure, there were lots of fights and infidelity. One time, in fact, Jim set fire to the room she had locked herself in. But they always got back together. They profoundly loved each other. Pam probably gave Jim a love so strong that he could feel it in every fiber of his being, literally in his body. Grounded. Rich. True.
Yes, The River Knows
Taurus Moon Square Pluto
Jim’s Taurus moon makes an awkward square (90 degree angle) to deep Pluto. This often makes the native emotionally intense, prone to dark emotions and self-destructive behaviors. Emotional reactions come from a hidden place (Pluto), which makes self-control difficult. Plutonian pain is often related to past emotional trauma.
When Pluto connects with the Moon, taboo sexual behavior can be expressed, which may be why Jim’s six arrests include lewd lascivious behavior and indecency. It also may also explain Jim’s apparent interest in the story of Oedipal, which he referenced at Whiskey a Go Go when his mother was in the audience, sitting in the front row: “Father, ‘yes son’, I want to kill you. Mother, I want to, f*** you all night long.” The song (The End) having once been about saying goodbye to an old girlfriend, was now given new meaning. The Doors’ drummer John Densmore explained that Jim was being symbolic: killing the father was killing all those things that are instilled and not one’s real self; sleeping with the mother meant getting back to the essence, what is reality, nature.
It’s interesting. Perhaps Jim knew that the Oedipal story, like all stories, are not about others, but about the battles we wage with ourselves. Perhaps he hoped to convey that when we clean up our perceptions and return to the home within, that we too will see ourselves as infinite as we really are.