January 26, 1955 – October 6, 2020.
Images courtesy of Larry Marano, (top left) Owen Sweeney, (top right) and Ebet Roberts (bottom).
Music can bring you right back to certain periods of your life and for me, Van Halen takes me back to High School.
When I heard of Eddie Van Halen’s passing yesterday, as an Astrologer, I naturally wanted to look at his natal chart to get a glimpse of the energy that propelled his life.
A stellium of planets in the 5th House in Aquarius caught my eye. A stellium is three or more planets placed in one area of the natal chart. The archetype Aquarius is described as unconventional, unique, rebellious, and independent to name a few key words. Additionally, the 5th House is related to creativity, self-expression, fun and good fortune. A lot of his energy was definitely focused on creativity, out of the box thinking, and self-expression through music. This part of his chart was literally lit up with both lights, the Sun and Moon, placed here and the world definitely noticed his innovative musical genius and talent.
Eddie was born under the New Moon phase. In general, people born under this phase tend to express as pioneering in nature–the visionary that embodies much creative potential and tends to function best when given the freedom to act on hunches and explore. These are all characteristics found throughout his musical career as he led the way in inventing many techniques that are industry standard today.
An interview with Denise Quan, published in 2017 is an exceptional example of the Aquarian and New Moon energy in Eddie’s chart. Quan picks up on his inventive personality that “pushes the limits.”
In the interview, Eddie mentions that he didn’t take formal guitar lessons explaining, “No, instead of reading a book, I wrote my own.” As the interview progresses, you begin to notice his sense of going his own way, doing his own thing–so typical of New Moon/Aquarian energy. Eddie mentions that if he had learned to read music or hadn’t learned guitar on his own, he never would have played the way he did. He adds, ” because of the things I created technique wise, they had to re-invent a whole new way to write music called tablature using symbols and numbers.”
Quan points out that when the self titled album “Van Halen” came out in 1978, we were hearing sounds from Eddie’s guitar that no one had ever heard before. Eddie explained that a lot of those sounds were from years of experimentation, taking apart guitars and amplifiers, and getting electrocuted in the process. “What drives me to tear things apart is part necessity and some of it is experimenting because I’m always pushing things past where they are supposed to be.” Again, you really see the archetype of Aquarius here–that idea of pushing past boundaries, experimenting, inventing and even being electrocuted brings in electricity which is associated with Aquarius.
Throughout the interview, you get a feel for just how unique Eddie Van Halen was–crossing Fender and Gibson guitars to make one that did the things he wanted it to do, “potting pickups” and changing the voltage in the amp to control the sound. Quan describes him as having a “mad scientist brain” but Eddie describes some of the information as “given to me from somewhere else.” Again, the idea of information coming in from the higher mind is very Aquarian.
Quan’s interview is a fascinating example of just how prominent the Aquarian and New Moon archetypes fueled his life purpose. Strong recurring themes come through in this interview such as pushing past the boundaries, experimenting, progressive creative thinking and inventing,
Eddie admits trying to fit in early on in his career when the band was trying to get work saying, “I tried to make the songs sound like top 40 so we could get the club gigs, but for the life of me, I couldn’t. All I could do was me.”
We’re glad you did it your way Eddie Van Halen.