Where ever trans-Saturnian planets figure prominently in a chart, the native is going to have to deal with impersonal forces. Today I’m analyzing two extremely similar charts of two gods of alternative rock from the 1990s, both of whom had a big, fat Pluto-Uranus conjunction sitting on the ASC: Kurt Cobain and Billy Corgan.

Kurt Cobain, lead singer and guitarist of the grunge band Nirvana, was considered the voice of a generation. He died in 1994 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, joining the notorious 27 Club.

Billy Corgan is lead singer and guitarist for the alternative rock band, The Smashing Pumpkins, which recently released its latest LP, Oceania. He is the sole remaining member of the original band lineup.

I don’t know what it’s like to have two heavyweights sitting on top of my ASC like that, but it can’t be easy to handle that energy without becoming, I don’t know, a total megalomaniac. Or maybe… a rock star. By the way, for the Pisces haters, Cobain and Corgan are another two examples of Pisces suns being pretty badass, accomplishing extraordinary things and sharing their incredible gifts and talents with the world.

Kurt Cobain’s natal chart. Click to access astro.com’s bio and full size image.

Billy Corgan’s natal chart. Click to access astro.com’s bio and full size image.

If you look at both charts, the similarities in the configurations really leap out at you. A gorgeous water trine made more productive with a forceful Pluto-Uranus conjunction pulling all that energy into a kite and focusing it on the ASC.

So the key planets with both men’s trines are Jupiter-Saturn-Neptune. You have a beautiful combination here: the optimism, generosity and buoyancy of Jupiter is perfectly balanced with the discipline, structure and constriction of Saturn and touched with faith and idealism of Neptune. However, trans-Saturnian Neptune is the key here for as much as it may bring faith, this planet can also bring deception, escapism and a resulting disillusionment. In either case, Neptune brings a dissipation of energy and structure and the lines between reality and fantasy are blurred, for better or for worse.

But it’s really the other two trans-Saturnians, Pluto-Uranus, that form a powder keg. There is incredible tension between Saturn, planet of restrictions and obstacles, facing off rebellious Uranus and overlord Pluto. Due to the opposition, it is possible that both men went as far as to identify with Uranus-Pluto’s more impersonal desire for power and control, as well as the need to overthrow old structures, railing against  Saturn as the Other, as authority, as rules and limitations, as societal conventions. As DC is activated by Saturn, we can see that one on one relationships could be both incredibly productive and flowing due to the trine, but also dramatic and explosive, sources of power plays, obstructions, withholdings, etc. While 7th house is best known as the house of marriage, it is also known as the house of open enemies.

With Cobain, Venus is exalt in Pisces, and right inside the water trine with a conjunction to Saturn, opposition to Pluto-Uran and trines to Jupiter and Neptune. This suggests a high potential for being unlucky in love despite the trines. With such a Pisces heavy chart, the willingness to take the position of victim or martyr is strong. Venus is the most personal planet of the kite and if this is the planet Cobain identified with, we see a desire to love and be loved unconditionally is just completely battered in and beat down, yet kept eternally hopeful as Jupiter and Neptune trines add a high degree delusion and unwarranted optimism. It’s kind of a masochistic set up for Venus here. Fortunately, art is an excellent expression for this energy. Although Cobain channeled this into music, he was also known to be a gifted visual artist.

With Corgan, it’s his sun that is conjunct Saturn. We can see how this plays out in his confrontational, critical nature (Saturn-sun) and his aspirations/delusions of spiritual grandeur (trines to Jupiter and Neptune). There is perhaps, also a sense of persecution, which is one likely expression of a challenging Saturn-sun aspect opposing two bad motherfuckers like Pluto and Uranus.

I think the key differences between the men’s charts, and perhaps what we might deem Corgan’s saving graces, include his detached, analytical Gemini moon which contacts chart ruler Mercury and is placed in the 9th house of higher learning and philosophy. This is a great outlet for Corgan. Compare this with Cobain’s moody Cancer moon, placed in the very public 10th house, something that is more in conflict with his Piscean nature.

Corgan’s Aries planets (Saturn and Venus; Saturn is still within orb to complete the kite formation) also bestow him with a stronger sense of self and ambition. Indeed, Corgan has developed a reputation for things being his way or the highway, the most notorious example being the recording of Siamese Dream in which he re-recorded all of the guitar tracks himself. Contrast this with Cobain’s chart which is drowning in water with neither air planets to help detach and analyze, nor fire planets to assert himself. While the young Corgan was described as having a burning hunger to succeed, Cobain’s fame was said to made him conflicted and uncomfortable.

Another key difference is the personal planet involved in the kite configuration. Corgan’s Venus in Aries, out of Uranus-Pluto’s sights, may help him keep his personal relations with others, as challenging as they may be, on a more human level, while it is his ego, his sun, strengthened greatly by being angular, that has to manage all that trans-Saturnian energy, even if it comes at the price of incredible tension between inflation of the ego (Uranus-Pluto) and depression (Saturn). Cobain’s Venus on the other hand, was enmeshed in the kite and perhaps the power of that was projected onto the women in his life. His sun is also weakly placed, in the misfortunate 6th house of illness and servitude.

So while we see that both men had similar upbringings, being emotionally sensitive and creative boys who both recount being severely affected by their parents’ divorces and resulting unstable childhoods, Cobain, suffering from chronic stomach pains, became addicted to heroine and eventually committed suicide while Corgan poured all his efforts into his creative talents and aspiring to create the best American rock band. Of course, this drive did not come without its own price, as evinced by his highly public and acrimonious breakups with each one of his band members, as well as with other high profile relationships, such as his friendship with Courtney Love, the widow of Cobain (another watery chart with a Cancer moon-sun conjunction).

So there you have it. Trans-Saturnians on the ASC can be quite a handful. But if you have a couple of these bad boys on your ASC, don’t worry. You can always be a rock star.