The Astrology Of Jim Morrison


Jim Morrison was the lead singer for the rock band known as the Doors and was known for his psychedelic inspired music and performances that captivated audiences worldwide. Far from being the average rock band at the time, Jim and his band The Doors experimented heavily with acid which inspired the music and performances that made him notoriously famous. They created a sound that was highly innovative using the latest technology which was a fitting accompaniment to Jim’s distinctive haunting baritone voice. His songs tackled dark and powerful subjects such as death, murder, and madness, along with the traditional themes of sex, drugs, and rock and roll.

Born on December 8, 1943 in Melbourne Florida, Jim would move often with his family since his father was in the United States Navy. He was on duty at the time of Jim’s birth and did not see him for the first two years. According to Jim, one of the most important and formative events of his life occurred in 1947 when he was just four years old. The family was taking a road trip through the desert of New Mexico, when Jim and his parents came across the scene of a road accident in which a family of Native Americans were injured and killed. He said that as a child he felt deeply afraid as he witnessed the event. He believed that the souls of the newly-dead indians were running around, “freaked out”,  and one of whom was the tribal shaman, leaped into his soul as they lay dying. Jim referred to the incident repeatedly in song, poems and lyrics throughout his life.[1]

It seems that this experience and it’s affects was a catalyzing force in Jim’s childhood and was reflected through his personality and performances on stage. We see reference to this by noticing how strongly the Scorpio archetype is constellated in his chart.  Scorpio rules all matters associated with that which is related to the “dark side”,  death, taboo, sex, and mystery. As ruler of his Mid-heaven, Scorpio’s ruler Pluto is located on the cusp of the seventh house in Leo and is disposed of by his sun in Sagittarius in the tenth so it’s easy to see that matters pertaining to darkness, souls, and death were his primary themes of expression in his career. He would quote William Blake by saying that “the road to excess leads to the palace of wisdom”, and we could see why by noticing the mutual reception with Jupiter in Leo in the seventh and the sun in Sagittarius in the tenth. During his performances, Jim would play off the crowd while being completely inebriated in a state of intoxication and mind-expansion. He used acid to “Breakthrough To The Otherside”, as one of his aptly named songs allude to, to the other side of his perceptions which would put him in touch with this primal energy where limitations dissolved  and spiritual and transformative knowledge was made available to him. “On stage he came alive and was the most exciting and dynamic performer I’d ever seen, said a former band member. He would go through trips on stage, you wouldn’t believe the personalities that would come out of him. The intensity that would speak to the audience was unreal.” “It was like Jim was an ‘electric shaman’, and we were the electric shaman’s band, pounding away behind him. It would take him over…You could see every once in a while-twitch! I could hit a chord and make him twitch. And he’d go off again. Just amazing and the audience felt it too!” [2]

He was inspired by Charles Mackay’s “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds-insights regarding influencing and manipulating crowds.” He said to a friend once: “You’ve got to make them believe you’re doing them a favor  by being on stage. The more abusive you are, the more they’ll love it. [3] He liked testing the limits to see how far he could push people before they pushed back. Frequently they didn’t push back which only reinforced the pattern and encouraged worse behavior. [4] This may have something to do with his sun in Sagittarius opposite Saturn, Mars, and Uranus in Gemini in the fourth suggesting that perhaps there were some unpredictable and spontaneous fits of anger that involved punishment and discipline, in particular with his father and family, all of which he incorporated as part of his identity. According to Jim’s brother Andy, their parents decided never to use corporeal punishment on the children and instead instilled discipline and levied punishment by the military tradition known as “dressing down.” Consisting of loud scolding and berating the children until they tearfully acknowledged their failings. As Andy states, the practice never drew a tear from his brother.

With Mercury in Capricorn in the eleventh opposite Saturn in Gemini in the fifth, Jim, as the older brother, would frequently torment and bully his younger brother. This behavior would continue throughout his adult life, constantly pushing the envelope as far as what he could get away with saying. And with Mars and Uranus both found in Gemini in the fourth, anger seemed to grow out of the household. Both planets are opposing the sun in Sagittarius, suggesting his anger may have been out of control and in fact used it to justify his actions to include hurting others especially if they were in opposition to his own beliefs. During his youth, Jim was a dutiful, respectful son of an admiral in the navy who excelled at school. In accordance with his parents hopes, Jim intended to follow in the military footsteps of his father. However, he became disruptive and a discipline problem in school when he discovered drinking in his adolescence, which developed into a life-long pattern of alcoholism and substance abuse.[5]

Females were a common target for Jim’s anger as well. As the focal point of a T-square to Venus in Scorpio in the ninth and moon in Taurus in the third, Pluto in Leo near the descendent seemed to be severely stressed. It’s no surprise to hear, as one female intimate relates that Jim “had a sadistic streak that if allowed to come out, would. He did his best to hurt my feelings.” [6]One time after his girlfriend said something that he did not like, Jim twisted her arm behind her back and threatened to cut her face with a knife and leave “a nasty scar.” [7]

The tight square the moon in Taurus makes to Pluto in Leo may indicate intense connections with his mother. Not much information is available regarding her other than that she was an intense, eccentric, and strong-willed individual  who had a powerful impact in his life. There also seems to be some erotic energy bound up in their relationship. One time at a Door’s concert in 1967 in Washington D.C, Jim’s mother was sitting in a front row seat reserved for her by her son. During the climactic number “The End”, he sang “mother, I want to…” then barred his teeth and snarled “fuck you!” He refused to see her again.[8]

It seems to me that one of the core challenges that Jim had to face in his life was his need to feel safe and accepted as part of his family and ultimately in his career and relationships. He never truly felt that he belonged to his family. From constantly moving around in his early nomadic childhood due to his father’s work, to being verbally abused to tears at home, it was difficult for Jim to develop a sense of feeling safe and stabilized. His environment was constantly shifting which may have lead him to feel insecure. The incident with the dead Native Indians in the New Mexican desert may have compounded the issue even further by influencing him to believe the world out there is truly a dangerous mystery that cannot be trusted. This fear of the existential may be a major reason that lead Jim to turn to powerful hallucinogenic drugs and alcohol in order for the fear to subside as he may have felt a return to his own source of existence. It is there where his perceptions were cleansed  and his truth revealed. He used the power and wisdom extracted from these experiences to combat and deal with his fear of death and the world that he lived in. Through performances and writing, Jim gave death a mouthpiece to speak from. It was his way of making himself whole again. Yet it was destructive and proved fatal as he tested his own mortality by taking it to the limit, dying of a heroin overdose in a bathtub in Paris at the young age of 27.

If he were to ever see me for guidance, I would explain to him that perhaps that event he experienced when he was four in the desert with the Indians may have been a sort of initiation. That he is in-fact a shaman as well and it is his duty now to cultivate and yield that power with greater responsibility and with care so that others may achieve a sense of personal healing and freedom. I would also have him brainstorm regarding other possible constructive  ways of utilizing and manifesting this energy of the dark so that he wouldn’t be inflicting pain or damage to himself or others. It may also prove helpful to give Jim a deeper perspective with regards to his parents and upbringing. By making him more aware of the underlying issues, Jim may be able to see that one of the major reasons why he felt that his parents did him wrong was that because most likely, they themselves were unaware of the negative impact of their own parental techniques and mishaps which they may have acquired through their parents.

It may be possible that through insight  into his own behavior, coupled with his gifts of song and dance, poetry and shamanism, Jim would be able to feel the positive benefits of helping himself and at the same time gaining approval from his audience, while feeling safer and accepted by his peers and the world that he is a part of.


[1] Davis, Stephen-Jim Morrison, Life, Death, Legend (2004)

[2] Rogers, Brent- NPR interview with Ray Manzarek (2013)

[3] Densmore (1990)

[4] Ibid.

[5] Davis, Stephen-Jim Morrison, Life, Death, Legend (2004)

[6] Hopkins, 1992 p. 108

[7] Hopkins, 1992 p. 110

[8] Davis, Stephen-Jim Morrison, Life, Death, Legend (2004)