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Home | Jim's chart

Jim Morrison: Mr. Mojo Risin'

by Pete Watson

Jim MorrisonThe self-styled "Lizard King" died young and, surprising some, left a less than beautiful corpse, six short years after a chance meeting marked the start of The Doors. Since then his legend has grown, not least because the facts of his death have been doubted by so many. His Paris grave is variously a top drawing tourist attraction, a graffiti-covered shrine, and a hot-spot for rebels, hippies and hippy-rebels. An Oliver Stone bio-flick has been made; permutations of Doors "best ofs" have been released, re-released and released again. The band even reformed with a 1980s Goth usurping Jim's irreplaceable place. The mystique of his death refuses to fade, and presumably at every hour, someone heeds Jim's deeply charismatic dulcet tones and contemplates if they might "break on through to the other side".

Morrison was supremely intelligent, he had the looks, voice and opportunity to do as he would. Yet his was also the most self-destructive of lives. We might see the path in his fraught relationship with his powerful but often absent authoritarian father, and/or in the constant switches in homes and schools he went through throughout his childhood. Indeed, these are mirrored in the unsettling switchback-ride of that Mars-Uranus conjunction residing in the fourth house, in the father-figure polarities implied by oppositions between the Sun and Mars-Saturn. Add the fact that this is all set in the cantankerous opposition between Gemini and Sagittarius, and much of the life falls into place. But there is something going on in the astrology above and beyond all this. Biographies of Morrison give us the sense that Jim was more than a little complicit in his fate, there is the feeling that he chose to go to the extremes; that he directed his life story more than most.

This piece explores the aspect patterns in Jim's chart, and some of the turning points in his life. Beyond this the main aim is to examine the astrology of choice we can extract from his the deeper aspect patterns and locational side of the astrology of his life. [1]

Mojo Man

Jim Morrison, held an anagrammatic alternate name – Mr. Mojo Risin' – close. Indeed it is used in his song L.A. Woman. As a name it reflects the power of Pluto in his chart, and consideration of this moniker gives us an excellent lead into understanding both the man himself and his related astrology.

"Mojo" connotes Plutonian themes in many ways; it can signify:

  1. A bag and magic charm kept hidden and close to the wearer's body. Used for protecting the wearer from harm, as well as for drawing love and good fortune.
  2. Male libido, virility and the penis
  3. Cocaine.
  4. Karma.
  5. Charisma.

These meanings concern factors that involve taboo, hidden and magical aspects of human experience, the banned and the illicit. They include issues of power and abuse, of what is acceptable and what must be rejected; the depths and the inexplicable areas of our lives. These are all places people with Pluto strong in their chart often find themselves.

World-renowned artists often have Pluto powerfully placed in their charts, for the planet also signifies where the potential to influence of the mass of humanity lies within the chart. Amongst its other functions it acts as some sort of collective tap-root. Examples of sixties icons with strong Pluto placements abound; the Beatles all had hard Moon or Mars aspects to Pluto, Beach Boy Brian Wilson has it conjunct his Sun/Moon midpoint, Mick Jagger has Pluto conjunct his Sun and Bob Dylan has Pluto sextile Sun.

Amongst these, Morrison shared a hard Moon-Pluto aspect with Beatles John Lennon and George Harrison. Lennon lived out his Moon-Pluto opposition at different levels through a traumatic childhood, through his complex, transforming and somewhat overpowering relationship with Yoko Ono (who he allegedly would call "mother"). Harrison's Moon-Pluto square was seen in his rather closed nature, flashes of temper and his closing himself away, particularly during the renovation of his ancient country house.

Yet neither of these had Pluto on an angle, bringing their emotional bugbears into the open, making them something they simply had to bring to the audience and put on record. In his angular Pluto square Moon, Jim was unique amongst his sixties contemporaries. It meant his emotional extremes, his lusts, loves and hates were played out with maximum drama, albeit sometimes away from public glare (Pluto likes to remain hidden). Add to this the exact semisquare between his Moon and Saturn and we picture the extreme control, complexity and withering self-hatred Morrison seemingly experienced from a young age. Indeed, here we also see the potential to bury and be deeply affected by the alleged rape by his father during a disciplining beating[2]; if true, this horrific, violating domestic incident was surely the starting point for so much that Morrison subsequently did, of what he became. These energies astrological and worldly, found expression in his sinister behaviour, bullying his siblings, his fascination with cruelty and rebellion, his status as an outsider and his ability to both cut people dead and hold an audience in his thrall in utter silence. Once success came, Jim would annex his past and claim his parents were dead. A pure and cruel expression of the Pluto-Saturn denying the Moon its rightful connection with past, family and vulnerability, but a logical one if his allegation of his father's action is true.


Coupled with this Pluto power, Neptune sits in a crucial of place overwhelming power in Jim's chart. Precisely square the Ascendant-Midheaven midpoint is a point where any planet gains immense strength to find expression as a constant energy in a person's life[3]. That Jim spent years in a state that the medical profession would consider alcoholism, chimes readily with this pattern. This also matches his love of evasion, confusion and alternate states of consciousness; his desire to take audiences to places they hadn't been, his involvement with theatre, music and the blending of the two.

Neptune is also part of another pattern in the chart. In aspect it is precisely quintile (or 1/5th of a circle from) the Sun and biquintile (2/5ths from) the Moon. These five-series aspects alert us to the deeper underlying qualities in the chart. Five series aspects concern the ability to construct our own reality, to pattern and connect; the brilliant functions of the mind. Their very hidden quality – most astrological charts don't list them – clue us in to their nature of indicating a kind of often unnoticed mind-based agenda. Those with strong five-based patterns in their charts can be obsessive, brilliant constructors of mental realms and ideas, possessed by the will to impose their mind's vision on the world around them.

The power of five in Jim's chart is suggestive of what band mate Ray Manzarek pointed out, that "Friedrich Nietzche killed Jim Morrison" and that he had witnessed the process. I make this connection because it was Nietzche's philosophy that impacted on Jim's life in the summer of 1959, when he read and re-read The Birth of Tragedy and never let go. Put simply, a philosophy that runs with the notion that things that don't kill you make you stronger was very attractive to Jim and seemingly lit the fuse in his relentless pursuit of experience, of grasping everything he could, from endless drinking, sexual conquests, literally standing on precipices, and onward. Thus Nietzsche's ideas took a hold of Morrison and made him. This, it seems, was the moment he chose his life's path.

Pamela Courson

Pam's Chart

Note how Pam's assertive Mars sits at the same degree as Jim's Ascendant-Midheaven midpoint and her Pluto is just 12' from his Descendant.

Morrison's great love was Pamela Courson, born 22nd December 1946 at 11:10 am PST. Perhaps appropriately, given her subsequent interest in narcotics, she was born in Weed, California. Her Pluto sat exactly on Jim's Descendant and she lived the role to the full. Not only did she find herself involved with an increasingly powerful, polarising cultural icon, she was also caught in a complex and seemingly fated relationship where her outrageous demands and extreme personality contributed to dramatic permutations on themes of love, hate, jealousy and outrage. She considered herself married to Jim, but he would not marry her.

Theirs was a deep compulsive attraction that never found balance, not least because both could be sexually rapacious. Friends also allege that sexual incompatibility was also a crux of their problems, Jim's turn-ons being Pam's turn-offs. Pluto found expression in their constant battles, Pam throwing Jim's things into the street, both of them involved in endless public rows and humiliations. Pam was controlling and stood up to Jim's will with an equal will of her own; she sank his wealth into a failing fashion boutique. Both of them were unfaithful, acting out with other partners and having open affairs, presumably motivated by indifference to taboo, lust for life and desire to hurt the other. There were endless cycles of reconciliation, abuse and redemption.

Given the times and their status it seems almost inevitable that heroin would enter their lives. It did, in classically murky style, toward the end of Jim's life, allegedly via Pam. At least by that time she had Jim – in true Pluto style – alone and exiled, allegations of Jim's 'marriage' to Patricia Kenealy in a Wicca ceremony having been left in the States. His exile also, it would seem, took him away from numerous paternity cases.

The Doors

The peak of Jim's public trajectory came in his career as chief agent-provocateur, lead singer and focal point of The Doors. The band gave a public forum to one of the angriest and most intelligent rock stars of the times and Jim took the opportunity to shove at boundaries (of taste and stage craft) far harder than almost all his contemporaries.

The band's genesis sprang from a chance meeting between Morrsion and Ray Manzarek on Venice Beach, California in July 1965, when Jim sang Ray the words of his composition Moonlight Drive. Ray was tremendously impressed and the two immediately agreed to form a band, and that Jim should share Ray and his girlfriend's place. That month, Jim's flair-filled centre, the Sun in Sagittarius, was receiving transits from Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Pluto and the Moon's North Node. They were all squares and oppositions making up a t-square of push onto that Sagittarian Sun. Finally he was set to fly. At that time Morrison was hungry with ambition, and lean, like the Lizard King persona he liked to project. Through his binges, his hard to satiate appetites, Jim's weight and appearance varied enormously, but here with transit Saturn and Pluto biting at the Sun, Jim was trim and prepared for an incredibly fast ride to fame and beyond.

Morrison's entire Doors career coincided with the long transit of Pluto through Virgo, beginning with its exact square to Jim's Sun in the mid-sixties as the band was forming. Throughout this time Jim took it upon himself to challenge the cultural mores of the era and push them to increasingly wild places, often with a flavour of danger and taboo. This began with his rendering the Oedipal myth in music, drama and salty language in the song The End not long after the band formed, and continued in a career packed with incendiary, provocative performances, very much informed by both his knowledge of theatrical arts and deep interest in audience psychology. Such tendencies to theatrical pushiness and experimentation are characteristic of Sagittarius, which loves freedom and hates to be boxed in or tied down by the concerns of Virgo. In fact, we could consider that Jim played the role of a world Sagittarian shaman-icon, his Mojo uncorrupted by 'square' Virgo-style concerns of order that so-called 'straight' society lived by.

Indeed, Jim was aware of the astrological meanings of Sagittarius, going so far as to point this out in his biog for Elektra records[4]. The themes of the Archer play out in the best known Morrison biography, Jerry Hopkins' and Danny Sugerman's No One Here Gets Out Alive, its sections named "The Bow is Drawn", "The Arrow Flies" and "The Arrow Falls"[5]. Yet, it would seem that his extremism and ultimately Plutonian instincts precluded Jim taking astrology seriously; he was recorded on stage in 1970 saying "I think it's all a bunch of bull****, myself." [6]

Perhaps the peak of the Door's career came on 22nd and 23rd March 1968 with transit Neptune perched exactly on Jim's Midheaven and Jupiter making the only return it would in Jim's short adult life[7]. The transit combination with a penchant for huge (Jupiter) theatrics and transcendence (Neptune) were in exact hard aspect to a fundamental pattern in Jim's chart. The result was that the band played what Doors fans consider were the greatest of their concerts, stunning the crowd with an anti-Vietnam film clip of their song The Unknown Soldier and generally playing with an intensity and conviction that blew the crowd away. Such things happening were very much dependent on Jim's not being too inebriated, stoned or cantankerous; these nights he had clearly found his form, integrating the impulses of his chart into performances that brought all of his potential together.

Close inspection of Jim Morrison's chart reveals that not only is Jupiter exactly square his Midheaven, but that the critical Sun/Moon midpoint is exactly opposite Jupiter, and thereby also square the Midheaven. This pattern is suggestive of a heart and soul (Sun/Moon) push toward conscious and focussed expression (Midheaven) of the expansive, freedom-loving and sometimes overblown tendencies of Jupiter. Indeed, the second show featured a (rare for the Doors) encore, ending at quarter to four in the morning. No one who was there would have forgotten the impact Morrison made.

The End

Jim's Locational Astrology

Detail of Jim Morrison's locational astrology map, showing the proximity of local space Uranus and the Pluto Descendant line to Miami where he was arrested for alleged indecent exposure. Note that the Uranus-Pluto conjunction was the pivotal astrological event of the Sixties, and the aptness of Jim Morrison's destruction beginning at a place which connects with him through such planetary lines.

The beginning of Morrison's eventual downfall can be traced to his alleged Mojo self-exposure in Miami on 1st March 1969, which eventually led to his arrest. This coincided with a progressed first quarter Moon that linked precisely with natal and progressed Jupiter. A pushy progression, further encouraging his penchant for excess in all, linking exactly to his Sun/Moon midpoint, Jupiter and Midheaven pattern.

That night the whole planetary gang were lining up, seemingly conspiring the beginning of his downfall. Jupiter and Uranus, the planetary combination most associated with the big and unusual, were in conjunction with Jim's Neptune, the planet that sat in the chart's endless here and now. Recklessness and excess were pushing him onward, and Jim provoked the crowd into wild behaviour; clothes were thrown aside in a riot of crazed hedonism as Jim led wild dancing at the end of the gig.

Crucially, transit Pluto had reached 24 degrees Virgo, precisely square Saturn and in exact hard aspect with Moon and natal Pluto. The mood for self-destructive behaviour was strong, and Pluto wanted to take its toll, taking Jim to the point where the powers that be would bring him to book. A few days later trouble began as a story in the Miami Herald provoked police interest and the FBI and Nixon administration made their move to silence the Lizard King.

Jim's Chart relocated to Paris

Relocated chart for Jim Morrison, set up as if he had been born in Paris. In addition to the points in the text note how Pluto is close to the IC, the "end of the matter" and "resting point" of the chart.

Famously Jim flew away from the States to evade the madness of his notoriety, gain some anonymity and pursue his poetry. Here, the midpoint of his Mars-Saturn sat in conjunction with his Ascendant, while Sun sat on the Descendant. On the 3rd July 1971 at about 6am, Jim died, perhaps of a heroin overdose. That night Jupiter, the planet of excess, of constant exploration and never saying "No" sat exactly in conjunction with his Midheaven. Jim's experiments with the ideas of Nietzshe, taken up a precise12 year Jupiter cycle earlier, reached their end with an experiment too far.

When Jim was born, 27 years earlier, the Sun had been setting in Paris. Now as the Sun sets each evening his remains lie in the cold cemetery ground, a literal permutation of the Mars-Saturn=Ascendant pattern in his relocated Paris chart[8].


In common with all the club of twenty-seven, Jim died as transit Neptune reached a point a sextile away from its natal place and transit Uranus reached a point a trine away from where it had been at his birth.

The Uranus-Neptune combination has so much to say about the artistic experimentation of the nineteen-sixties, the joy and power of the combination written into so many artists astrological birth DNA through the long-term trine in the early nineteen-forties, when, crucially, Pluto spent much of the time sextile both and in conjunction with their midpoint.

The peak of the sixties came in 1966-7 when transit Neptune spent time in opposition to its position in the charts of Dylan and the Beatles[9], and as, at the same time Uranus made a conjunction to their natal Neptune positions. This combination inevitably germinated the inherent artistic peak that lay in the outer reaches of consciousness of these people and in their generational contemporaries. Reinhold Ebertin's definition of the principle meaning of Uranus-Neptune came to the fore in the double-edged appeal of "The elimination of waking consciousness"[10]. Experimentation, inevitably including drug taking, rapidly took people to the positive and negative expressions of this far-out outer planetary pattern and a combination of inspired psychedelia and drug casualties stand out from this time in history and its fall-out[11].

At the moment of Jim's death, the transit Uranus-Neptune midpoint was at 5°07 Scorpio, precisely square his natal Uranus-Neptune midpoint at 5°14 Leo. At 6am the Moon was in conjunction with transit Uranus-Neptune, at 6°11 Scorpio. His consciousness faded as he lay dying in a Neptunian bath and then went out. Having expressed so much astrology in its extreme, his legend as a Sagittarian explorer and showman was assured.

[1] An understanding of locational astrology can be gleaned from the author's website

[2] See page 24 Jim Morrison - Life, Death, Legend by Stephen Davis, Gotham Books 2004.

[3] Other examples of planets on this point include the endlessly vigorous Margaret Thatcher and actor Harrison Ford, both who have Mars here, and comedian, author and traveller Michael Palin with Mercury on the Ascendant/Midheaven.

[4] See page 154 Jim Morrison - Life, Death, Legend by Stephen Davis, Gotham Books 2004.

[5] These were an extension of Jim's line in the same Elektra bio, "You could say it's an accident that I'm ideally suited for the work I am doing. It's a feeling of a bowstring being pulled back for 22 years, and suddenly being let go." (Jim's first Elektra bio quoted in Jim Morrison - Life, Death, Legend by Stephen Davis, Gotham Books 2004 (page 154).

[6] Concert in New York, 17th January 1970. See page 363 Jim Morrison - Life, Death, Legend by Stephen Davis, Gotham Books 2004.

[7] Jupiter returns to its natal position every twelve years.

[8] Reinhold Ebertin considers Mars-Saturn to be 'The death axis'. His delineation of the Mars/Saturn midpoint on the Ascendant includes this, "illness, separation, mourning and bereavement." See The Combination of Stellar Influences Ebertin-Verlag, 1960, page 147.

[9] All slightly older than Morrison.

[10] Reinhold Ebertin The Combination of Planetary Influences Ebertin-Verlag 1960.

[11] The most famous case of psychedelic brilliance followed by drug burn-out was that of Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett. Born 6th January 1946 with Pluto in precise conjunction to his natal Uranus-Neptune midpoint, Barrett died on 7th July 2006, when transit Saturn was within minutes of this natal chart pattern, having begun suffering a probable drug-induced mental illness since 1971-72 when the transit Uranus-Neptune midpoint sat square the same point

Pete Watson

Pete Watson has a special interest in locational and midpoint astrology. He has written articles for various publications, including The Mountain Astrologer and is co-authoring a book on the astrology of the Beatles. He is an active member of the Astrological Lodge of London. See his website at:

© Pete Watson 2007 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED