Robert Johnson – Blues Legend

Birth Details : 8th May, 1911 Hazlehurst, Mississipi, approximately 9.30am 

Here’s an attempt to put forward a rasi chart for blues legend Robert Johnson.

Blues man

Robert Johnson was considered the greatest bluesman of all time. There is no record of his birth time, even the day of his birth is not fully substantiated, although it was said that he was most likely born on the 8th of May, 1911 or 1912 in Hazlehurst, Mississipi. Details of his life are sketchy and it is not even certain that the two photos of him in circulation are genuine portraits.

The accounts of his life are that  :-

  •  He was said to be very handsome and always attractively fashionably dressed no matter what occasion.
  • Height is not certain, but he was said to be skinny and his fingers peculiarly long and skinny.
  •  He possessed tremendous liveliness and energy and had an inability to stay in one place.His insatiable wanderlust kept him continuously on the road travelling from town to town performing which meant he kept disappearing from those who encountered him. In his childhood also he moved constantly from plantation to plantation.
  • He had 10 elder siblings, was born illegitimate but grew up under a couple of father figures.  One was of expected age and the other was very young and more than 20 years his mother’s junior.
  • Although he had a certain amount of regional fame during his life, it wasn’t until 30-50 years after his death that his post humous fame made him the most legendary blues icon of all.
  • He was said to have great power over women and was a womaniser with a woman in every town he visited. The reason was because it provided him a place to stay.  Apart from that he had a couple of marriages. His first wife, still a teenager died before giving birth to their child.  He had a brief relationship following that in which he had a surviving child. Shortly after that he remarried to an older woman but that relationship was also shortlived due to his travelling.
  •  He was a multi instrumentalist, proficient in both harmonica and guitar, and his guitar playing and singing ability was completely unique and set him apart as the finest in country blues art form.  His compositions have also stood the  test of time.
  • He loved dancing and drinking.
  • The power of his talent shocked many people and thus rumour spread that he had sold his soul to the devil which was fuelled by the constant reference to the devil in his music.
  •  He was said to have died of poisoning at the hands of the husband of one of his lovers at the age of 27 years old.
  • Although he was an amicable fellow he was considered a loner who kept himself apart from others.
  • It was thought that he forsook god after the tragic death of his beloved first wife, but at the time of his death he left a note signifying his pledge to Jesus as his savior.

Piecing together a chart we would discount 1912 as his birth year and opt for 1911. He died an agonizing death 16th August 1938 during Mars maturity when he was running Rahu Saturn Sun. His 8th lord Saturn is debilitated , combust and heavily afflicted by malefics
and exchanging with 6th and 11th lord mars. This would indicate a violent death as these malefics in the chart are placed in a martian sign  8th from Moon. 6th lord Mars can imply death at enemy hands by the husband of one of his lovers, being the 7th lord from the 5th house of lovers where his 7th lord is placed.

His mercurial dexterity seems suited to Gemini Ascendant, and it explains the whole voodoo mystic surrounding his persona, with mercury also ruling Chandra lagna and being placed in the 8th house from Moon  with the other charismatic Aries planets Sun and Rahu.

Mercury is always close to the Sun, so its combustion is not as strong as it would be for other planets. However Exalted 3rd lord Sun combusting 1st and 4th Mercury 
would indicates a need to move around alot  and very quickly, Aries being  the most fast acting sign. The Aries occupation of his Sun and Ascendant lord Mercury already make him lively and energetic which is increased ten fold by their placement 8th from Moon.

His 11th house is packed and aspected by Jupiter. Jupiter also aspects his 11th lord which should indicate many elder siblings. It also indicated his powerful influence on others.

Venus in Gemini in Ascendant gives him alot of charm with the opposite sex and made him conscious of having a  handsome well presented appearance, as well as making
 him a great artist, Venus being 5th lord. Venus is helpful in allowing him to express his artfulness in multiple ways, whilst the Aries planets makes him a pioneer,musical
 lord Sun shining in the 11th house in exaltation.  Sun being atmakaraka and 3rd lord in Venus’s nakshatra, his music was  everything as was his need to keep rambling around.  He was said to have a soft voice, Moon being 2nd lord, but the way he could express his voice (third house)  was magical, unusual, dynamic, pioneering and powerful noting his Aries planets. Initially he was shunned for his horrible guitar playing and then after disappearing for some time to further his education he reappeared on the scene possessing  supernatural genius in his guitar playing . This would seem to be something to do with having his debilitated Saturn  conjunct 3rd lord Sun and Mercury, but attaining neechabhanga and exchanging with mars in 9th..  He was not just a great musician he was a great writer, as indicated by Mercury ruling both rasi and Chandra lagnas, and exalted 3rd lord. He had his first major recording hit in 1936/ 1937 when he ran Rahu Saturn.9th lord  Saturn exchanging with 11th lord Mars is giving Mars results in terms of generating sales profits which were pretty modest. He was said to have a special connection to his audience and the  town folk whom he visited. Moon in 4th usually  endears one to the general public.

Venus the natural karaka for spouse occupies a dual sign and  aspects his seventh house. His first marriage took place in February 1929 when he was 18 years old and his wife died
shortly after . He was running jupiter maturity, and Mars Mercury Jupiter when he got married.  His 7th lord is heavily afflicted by the aspect of the 11th house malefics. The Aries planets are  strong marakas for his wife  and child. Despite his afflicted Jupiter, we could expect him to have a surviving child with 5th lord in first in friendly sign aspected by Jupiter and Saturn,. His other relationships and surviving child occurred somewhere during his Rahu Jupiter.  The 7th lord Jupiter in 5th house with ketu and mutually aspecting so many 11th house planets indicates many short lived  love affairs.  Finding maternal women to shelter him for the night was the most important thing for him. For Gemini Ascendant mother/shelter is highlighted because Mercury also rules 4th house and Jupiter is ruling both the 7th and 4th from 7th (1oth-property of partners). Also if we give him Purnavasu Ascendant this would be a stronger need, and also as his Moon occupies 4th house.  His 7th lord jupiter aspecting his 5th and 12th lord venus in ascendant indicates high degree of sexual pleasure. Venus and Moon  in angles made him popular with women.

His Venus and Jupiter made him sociable, but the malefic Aries planets with Saturn so close to his Ascendant lord clearly kept him separate from others. He was said to be highly friendly and up beat but could also be extremely sulky, noting the dichotomy of his
 Ascendant and 4th lord Mercury with both an exalted Sun and a debilitated Saturn. He should have long skinny fingers, Saturn being only one degree away from his Mercury. The
 Aries planets made him appear much younger than his age.

His neechabhanga Saturn and its exchange with Mars helped him have posthumous fame. Saturn causes great delay but mars has a certain amount of power because so many planets occupy its sign including exalted sun, and these Aries planets are 8th from Moon. Fame in general is a 5th house issue. It would  seem that purnavasu ascendant, which often gives results twice for a person, would duplicate the fame aspect of his jupiter occupying the 5th house. The purnavasu factor would seem to have played some part in the reason why he had two fathers,  two marriages, two types of fame. The fact that the two guardian fathers were quite extreme in age may be attributed to the exchange of 9th lord Saturn (old age) with Mars (young age).

His 2nd lord Moon and 12th lord Venus are carrying the energies of his 11th house planets who are all closely conjunct Rahu including Sun  in bharani nakshatra and thus contributing to  his addictive tendencies with drinking and other enjoyments.

There are many more interesting things going on with this chart, the combustion of his Mercury and Saturn, the extreme  nature of 4 planets in the 11th house including ascendant lord, sun and rahu in bharani the most extreme of nakshatras,  and the fact that saturn and mars, the two exchange planets occupy the same longitudes.

Saturn and mars play such a big role in his life, and show the redeeming quality of his attitude towards divine during his time of death

His constant reference to the devil in his songs would not be that surprising with debilitated 8th and 9th lord  Saturn   conjunct writing lords Mercury and Sun. My teacher once told me that blues was a Bhairav thing.  Bhairav is strongly related  to Saturn  establishing how important his Saturn was in the chart.  The impact of Neechabhanga planets can often be stronger than  exalted planets, particularly as Saturn is so close to his Ascendant lord and involved in an exchange.

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This entry was posted in Jyotish Writings by Veno and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Robert Johnson – Blues Legend

  1. Leave it to the cool Maha-Jyotishi (and stone-blueswoman) Veno to combine RJ and Jyotish, two of my favourite esoteric topics.

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