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The Secondary Progressed Lunar Return and the 27 Club

By Debra K. Rozek, M.A., M.P.H.


At 27, we experience our first Secondary Progressed Lunar Return, when she returns to her position in the natal chart. Having progressed approximately 1 degree per month, she will have made a complete revolution around the natal chart, and every possible aspect. This represents a milestone on one’s life path, and a prerequisite for development of emotional maturity.

The Secondary Progressed Lunar Return will soon be followed by the Saturn Return at 28-29. Many astrologers use progressions, but frequently overlook the power and significance of the Progressed Moon’s Return, placing greater emphasis on the Saturn Return (1). Both represent important processes in the transition to adulthood. They occur in close proximity between ages 27-30, the twilight of our youth. At 27, you’re not a kid anymore, and you sense that “30” is looming.

This Lunar Return represents an emotional threshold to be crossed in preparation for the second third of life. It’s related to our internal environment ruled by the Moon, including emotions, attitudes, and personality. At this time we “take a look” at ourselves, like Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” so we can “make the change” (2) because it’s time to grow up. Life demands that we move beyond the comfort of doing what feels good to accepting adult responsibilities.

I’ve asked workshop participants attending this lecture to share major events in their lives at age 27. Sample responses include getting my first apartment, giving birth to my first child, purchasing my first house, and “My husband died when he was 27” (3). Each one represents a major personal event with adult responsibilities related to 4th house, home and family issues.

Lifelong astrologer and friend Tom Goyett says that the Saturn Return, correspondingly, relates to 10th house, Capricorn issues (4). In my experience, the Saturn Return is a catalyst for adjustment and changes related to your external environment; reputation, career, status, and your place in the world.

“The 27 Club” is a term created by the mass media. It refers to famous musicians, singers and rock stars that died at 27 (5), the year of their Secondary Progressed Lunar Returns. Many times, these successful megastars perished at their own hands via alcoholism and/or drug abuse.

At UAC 2013, Richard Tarnas correlated the “History of Rock n Roll” to the Uranus/Pluto cycle. He noted their 1965 synodic conjunction in Virgo, as the ‘60s brought the British Invasion, psychedelic flower-power, and Woodstock (6). “Sex, drugs, and rock n roll” became the mantra for a hedonistic lifestyle that included recreational drugs and casual sex with the music.

Uranus will be at 8-9 degrees of Aries this November, in the opening square to Pluto for the 4th of 7 times between 2008 and 2015. Uranus was at 8-9 degrees of Libra when 27 Club members Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison overdosed within months of each other in 1970-71. This article examines their natal charts, progressions and transits when they died for clues to their self-destruction. It is intended as a tribute, to remember them and their music, at the Uranian half-cycle of their passing.

Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin was born on January 19, 1943 at 9:45 a.m. in Port Arthur, Texas (7). She is widely regarded as the best white female blues singer in history. Janis had a 12th house Capricorn Sun, a Cancer Moon in her rulership in the 5th, and an Aquarian Ascendant. Her ruling planet, Saturn, and her chart ruler, Uranus, were retrograde and conjunct in early Gemini in the 3rd. They formed an out-of-sign grand trine with the Sun, and retrograde Neptune in Libra in the 8th.

With beads, feathers and tattoos, Janis Joplin embodied and boldly expressed the energy of the psychedelic 1960s. Her grand trine involved the outer planets that defined the “make love, not war” generation. Neptune in Libra brought artistic vision and social idealism, along with the drug culture. Uranus in Gemini was brilliant, restless and ready for change. Saturn gave it structure, and the world would never be the same.

There were no major aspects to her Moon or exalted Jupiter, also in Cancer, opposing the Sun by sign. This suggests buried emotion, not easily expressed. She referred to herself as a “victim of her insides” (8). Janis had an emotionally unfulfilled lifetime of intense passions and obsessions. Legions of fans, photographers, lovers and sycophants could never fill the void (9).

With the Uranus/Saturn conjunction in the 3rd, Janis endured unmerciful ridicule in her hometown throughout her youth. She suffered childhood obesity and a horrific skin condition worse than acne, contributing to her misery (10). Boys spat at her while throwing pennies, calling her a “cheap whore” and a “pig” (11). After being nominated the “ugliest man on campus”, she left the state of Texas (12).

Life took a dramatic turn and “all hell broke loose” after her ruling planet, Saturn, went direct. Janis hitchhiked to San Francisco where she found safe haven in the counter-culture. Her bawdy, foul speech and eccentric attire were fine with beatniks, hippies, and other freaks. Amongst the Bohemians of Haight/Ashbury, she indulged her appetites for alcohol, recreational drugs, and unusual/extreme sexual behaviors without limits (13).

With 6 retrograde planets, Janis Joplin was a late bloomer who found her voice when she sang the blues. Her powerful vocals erupted with passionate emotion (14). The unique voice came from the Aquarian Mercury/Venus conjunction in the 12th and the Uranus/Saturn conjunction in the 3rd, with Mercury and Uranus in mutual reception.

Energetic Mars in the Leo decanate of Sagittarius in the 10th was sextile to her Ascendant. This facilitated high energy performances and overall stage presence. Ostentatious and over-the-top, she stomped on stage with her trademark bottle of Southern Comfort, rebelling against traditional society that rejected her (15). Pluto in Leo in the 6th, opposing her Sun, gave it more thunder. She was often described as an electrifying performer.

Joplin Joplin died alone in a Hollywood hotel room on October 4, 1970 at 1:40 a.m. (16). She and her band were there to record the “Pearl” album. Janis returned to her room after purchasing cigarettes in the lobby, then died suddenly and hit the floor. Cause of death was a heroin overdose from a potent batch that also claimed the lives of other addicts in Los Angeles that weekend. “Pearl” was released posthumously, containing her only number one hit, “Me and Bobby McGee” (17).

Joplin passed away 5 months after her Progressed Lunar Return. Progressed Sun was on her South Node at 26 Aquarius, in close conjunction to her Ascendant. A Nodal opposition was approaching when Janis Joplin met her fate. Angular nodes (1st/7th) are a recurring theme in natal charts for rock stars, associated with their connection to and rapport with the public.

Transiting Ascendant was close to her Pluto at the time of her death. Transiting Neptune was approaching natal Midheaven, sextile to her Sun. Transiting Uranus was trine natal Mercury as transiting Mercury squared natal Mars. Transiting Jupiter was trine natal Moon, a lovely aspect for the ultimate journey.

The fixed stars, most powerful in the nativity, speak to her sudden rise to fame and tragic downfall. Jupiter, ruler of the M.C., conjuncts Castor, bringing “energetic sudden fame” that may be followed by “loss and disgrace.” Saturn, her ruling planet, conjuncts Prima Hyadum, associated with “sudden events, reversals and tears”. Mars was conjunct Lesath, considered “dangerous and malevolent”, associated with “immorality and poisoning.” (18)

Jimi Hendrix

James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix was named the #1 electric guitar player of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine (19). He was born November 27, 1942 at 10:15 a.m. in Seattle Heights, Washington (20). Early life was marked by poverty, transience and maternal neglect. His father was Afro-American, his alcoholic mother was a full-blooded Cherokee Indian. A 12th house double Sagittarius, Jimi hid in the closet to escape the violence when they fought (21).

Jimi also had Moon and Jupiter in Cancer, giving him great sensitivity. It was further intensified by Pluto in early Leo, as the 3 formed a stellium in the 8th. People with heavy 8th houses are sometimes more famous in death than in life. Today, you see images of Hendrix everywhere in music and guitar stores, head shops, and college dormitories.

A stellium of his personal planets (Sun, Mercury, Venus) plugged into the “love” generation trine between Neptune in Libra and Uranus in Gemini. His stellium made a sextile to Neptune and an opposition to Uranus/Saturn. Jimi became another legend from the psychedelic ‘60s who remains forever young.

Most of his planets were in the southern hemisphere. Jimi loved women and flashy clothes. A showman all the way, he remained unassuming and unpretentious, a natural star. Jimi just played guitar, saying, “Technically, I’m not a guitar player. All I play is truth and emotion.”(22)

Richard Tarnas says that Mars rules the guitar (23). Jimi’s unaspected Mars was at 17 Scorpio in the 11th, lending the energy to extremes. He was self-taught, left-handed, and never learned to read music. He could play behind his head and with his teeth, delivering genius performances. Mars in the 11th made his music Uranian: original, unique, and “electric.”

Jimi moved to London to pursue his musical career. The “Jimi Hendrix Experience” first became an “overnight sensation” in the U.K. Later, his performance at the Monterey Pop Festival during the 1967 “Summer of Love” made him famous in the U.S. After that, he headlined Woodstock, performing his infamous rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner.” (24)

Jimi’s chart had no earth. He sang “’scuse me while I kiss the sky” in Purple Haze, while his life had little grounding or stability. On September 18, 1970, he was living in a London hotel with a girlfriend for only a matter of days. According to her, Jimi took 9 sleeping pills to counteract amphetamine induced insomnia. He was found dead when emergency workers arrived at 11:27 a.m. Cause of death was an overdose of barbiturates and red wine. (25)

Jimi passed away 6 months after his Progressed Lunar Return, with progressed Moon trining natal Sun. Transiting Neptune in Scorpio was trining natal Moon when he made his transition in his sleep. Dispositor Pluto was between Sun and Uranus transiting his 10th, the unexpected death of a celebrity. Transiting Saturn opposed progressed M.C., as Father Time brought his life to an end. Curiously, for a man with no earth, there were six planets in earth, but none in air or fire, when he died.

Royal Star Spica was conjunct Jimi’s MC, helping catapult him to fame. Saturn was conjunct Aldebaran, also portending success. Regulus on his north node/Chiron conjunction in Leo helped, but at the critical 29th degree, it may have related to the brevity of his life and career. Regulus can also bring a “fall from a prominent position” along with success. Procyon, conjunct his ruling planet Jupiter, is associated with “short lived opportunities”. Pollux, conjunct his Moon, can bring “a cruel twist of fate.” (26)

Jim Morrison

Jim Morrison, lead singer for the “Doors”, was born on December 8, 1943 at 11:55 a.m. in Melbourne, Florida (27). They called him the “Lizard King”, with “Mojo Rising” when he came on stage in his black leather pants. Jim was a 10th house Sagittarius with an exalted Taurus Moon in the 3rd, and an Aquarian Ascendant.

Jim’s Sun was in mutual reception to Jupiter in Leo in the 7th. Angular, fiery benefics contributed to his good looks, personal charisma, stage presence and rise to fame. His Sun was semi-square to Venus in her detriment at zero degrees Scorpio in the 9th. Morrison had an insatiable appetite for sexual encounters with groupies. His primary relationship with “cosmic mate” and common-law-wife, Pam Coursen, was marked by jealously, passion and violence. (28)

Jim had the early Libra Neptune/Gemini Uranus air trine. Uranus, his chart ruler, was afflicted by conjunction to Mars, both retrograde and angular in the 4th. The red planet ruled the 3rd, and co-ruled the 10th. On and off the stage, Jim was lewd, crude, and vulgar, with mood swings and rages. As a performer, he was outrageous and over the top, shouting obscenities, taunting security and police. (29)

Jim’s Moon was seriously afflicted, forming a fixed T-square with 1st/7th angular nodes, his Ascendant, and Pluto in Leo. With an IQ of 149 (30), he wrote dark poetry reflecting his obsession with Plutonian themes of sex and death (31). Jim identified with the lizard he considered to represent “the unconscious and the forces of evil.” (32)

Defiance of authority and self-destructive behaviors possibly stemmed from problems in his childhood. Early home life was the antithesis of warm and nurturing. Debilitated Venus ruled the 4th house with Algol, the most evil fixed star in the heavens, on the cusp. Saturn, representing the parents and discipline, was retrograde in Gemini in the 5th opposing his sun by sign with Uranus and Mars in the 4th.

Jim’s family moved frequently because of his father’s naval career. Rear Admiral George S. Morrison was seldom home, and his mother was cruel to him. As a small boy, she got angry and called him a liar when he reported he’d been sexually abused. When he wet his bed, she forced him to sleep on the urine soaked sheets to punish him for lack of control. Discipline was military-style verbal abuse in his face until he was broken and tearful. He left home at 20, said that his parents were dead, and remained estranged. (33)

Libra Neptune in the 8th squared his zero degree Capricorn Mercury. Chronic alcoholism and drug abuse began early and accelerated as his career rose. Jim’s FBI file reflects 10 arrests between 1963 and 1969, including charges of indecent exposure in Miami (34). Jim had incited a riot with fans undressing, throwing bras and panties all over the auditorium (35). Future concerts were cancelled after that, as major venues refused to book the Doors.

Convicted and facing jail time along with a pregnant groupie, Jim and Pam fled to Paris. (36) There, he indulged his appetites and trashed himself beyond recognition. Stories conflict relative to his death on July 3, 1971. It appears most likely that he died in the men’s room of a Paris nightclub after snorting heroin at approximately 2:00 a.m. (37). In 1974, Pamela Coursen also died of a heroin overdose at age 27. After her death, Morrison’s parents came forward to claim their share of Jim’s estate. (38)

Jim Morrison passed away 4 months after his Secondary Progressed Lunar Return. Uranus and Pluto were transiting his 8th, sudden death, while Jupiter and Neptune were conjunct in his 10th, the drug overdose. Transiting Mars was in the 1st, trine to his progressed Saturn. Mars is often prominent when someone takes an action to cause their own death. Transiting Venus was conjunct the progressed 4th house cusp, and for Jim, the party was over.

Fixed stars in Jim’s natal chart include Prima Hyadum on his Uranus, and Alphard on Jupiter. The second brought artistic gifts as well as “powerful passions and immorality.” Demon star Algol on the 4th described conditions at the beginning as well as the end of his life. (39)


Why did 27 Club Members Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison die at age 27, within 6 months of their Lunar Returns? The statistical spike for musicians who die at 27 demonstrates a correlation, but that does not imply causation. We may never be able to answer the question, “Why?”

We can speculate that the condition of their natal moons in context to their overall charts and life experiences greatly impacted the trajectories of their lives. Janis Joplin’s Moon was unaspected, Jimi Hendrix’s Moon was Void-of-Course, and Jim Morrison’s Moon was heavily afflicted. They all had painful childhoods, yet became superstars, carrying emotional scars with them onto their respective stages.

All 3 were talented, creative entertainers. They all had multiple sex partners. They used alcohol and recreational drugs heavily and addictively, only to die from the pain of too much pleasure. Apparently, it takes more than wealth and fame to feed the hungry heart.

They lived fast.
They died young.
Their legacy is their music.
May they rest in peace.

References and Notes:

  • Wilkinson, Robert. “The Progressed Moon, the Saturn Cycle, and Critical Life Choices. Pt. 1.” Aquarius Papers - Global Astrology. Robert Wilkinson, 2008. Web. 23 Sep. 2012.
  • Jackson, Michael. “Man in the Mirror.” Bad. CD. Epic Records, 1987.
  • Conference attendees. SOTA. Niagara Falls, New York. October 27, 2012.
  • Goyett, Tom. Telephone conversation. March 7, 2013.
  • Primi, Michelle. “Tragedies and Mysteries of Rock’n’Roll.” White Star Publishers, 2012. p. 6.
  • Tarnas, Richard. “The History of Rock and Roll.” UAC. New Orleans, Louisiana. CD. May 29, 2012.
  • Janis Joplin was born January 19, 1943, 9:45 AM (CWT), Port Arthur, Texas. Rodden rating: AA
  • Primi, op. cit., p. 44.
  • Friedman, Myra. “Buried Alive.” William Morrow & Company, New York, 1973. pp. 155-160.
  • Ibid. pp. 14-17.
  • Amburn, Ellis. “Pearl.” Warner Books, Inc. New York, NY, 1992. p. 26.
  • Ibid. pp. 38-39.
  • Ibid. pp. 43-54.
  • Primi, op. cit., pp. 42, 44
  • Friedman, op. cit., pp. 134-135
  • Data for Janis Joplin’s death was found in the Biography section of her listing in Lois Rodden’s AstroDataBank, Version 4.0.
  • Amburn, op. cit., pp. 298-303.
  • Plant, David. “Star Catalogue.” The Traditional Astrologer, Issue 5, Summer, 1994, pp. 22-23 (Part 1), and Issue 6, Autumn, 1994, pp. 12-13 (Part 2).
  • Bates, Daniel. “Jimi Hendrix Voted Greatest Guitar Player of All Time on Star-Spangled All-Time List.” MailOnline, 23 Nov. 2011. Web. 29 Mar. 2013
  • Jimi Hendrix was born November 27, 1942 at 10:15 am (PWT), Seattle Heights, Washington. Rodden rating: AA
  • Lawrence, Sharon. “Jimi Hendrix: The Intimate Story of a Betrayed Musical Legend.” Harper-Collins Publishers, New York, NY, 2006. p. 7-11.
  • Ibid. p. vii
  • Tarnas, op. cit.
  • Blecha, Peter. “Hendrix, Jimi (1942-1970).” History Ink/History Link, Essay 2498. 15 Aug., 2012. Web. Mar. 12, 2013.
  • Primi, op. cit., p.38
  • Plant, David. Op. cit. pp. 22-23 (Part 1) and 12-13 (Part 2).
  • James Douglas Morrison was born December 8, 1943 at 11:55 am (EWT), Melbourne, Florida. Rodden rating: AA
  • Hopkins, Jerry and Sugerman, Danny. “No One Here Gets Out Alive.” Warner Books, New York, N.Y., 1995. p. 126-127, 262-263.
  • Riordan, James and Prochnicky, Jerry. “Break on Through.” William Morrow, New York, N.Y., 1991. pp. 32, 200-205.
  • Hopkins and Sugerman, op. cit., p. 17.
  • Morrison, Jim. “The Lords and New Creatures.” Simon & Schuster, New York, N.Y., 1969.
  • Ibid. p.191.
  • Hopkins, Jerry. “The Lizard King: The Essential Jim Morrison.” Charles Scribner, New York, N.Y., 1992. pp. 12-14, 39.
  • Riordan and Prochnicky, op. cit., p. 375
  • Hopkins and Sugarman, op. cit., pp. 230-235.
  • Ibid. pp. 275, 315, 344.
  • Primi, op. cit., p. 54.
  • Hopkins and Sugarman, op. cit., p. 377.
  • Plant, David. op. cit., pp. 22-23 (Part 1) and 12-13 (Part 2)

Other Articles:

Medical Astrology: Surgical Elections Astrology and Experimental Psychology The Valentines That Never Came Secondary Progressed Lunar Return The Miracle of the Sun     (PDF File) Farewell, Dr. Chronos (Tom Goyett)
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