The Doors of Perception

Sometimes the astrology of a particular connection is staring us right in the face. Just consider the work of William Blake. For his time, Blake was one of wildest poets that ever lived. In his epic poem, “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell” he introduced the radical idea that everything in life was based around the necessary balance of opposing forces, this includes concepts as ubiquitous as good and evil. But, in order to envision the existence of this necessary relationship, he had to completely redefine the concepts as polarities of energy (“contraries”). Yes, he redefined good and evil. Deeply radical. 

One of the driving motivations for this was Blake’s disgust with the repression of desire. He believed that life was full of suppression that closed off humanity from the nature of reality. He expressed this explicitly with the following phrases:

“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern”.

This conceptual imagery would eventually become the inspiration for writer Aldous Huxley’s book, “The Doors of Perception.” This book details Huxley’s experiences taking mescaline in order to gain mystical insights into other realities. Huxley was attempting to experience literally the spiritual worlds Blake had referenced. Fast forward a decade later and Huxley’s book and mescaline experience inspires a young Jim Morrison in the naming of his new rock band, “The Doors”. This duality of “contraries” supposed to exist in other realities was most prominently expressed in the band’s song, “Break On Through (to the Other Side)”. 

Ultimately, what was powerfully expressed via poem by Blake became the inspiration for a book by Huxley which in turn became the inspiration for the musical identity of Morrison’s band. Through different eras and generations, these three men were defined by the archetypal belief that another reality exists beyond the physical world we observe, but can be accessed (“perceived”) in different ways. And they may not have been wrong. This connection of echoed sentiment and yearning is a glaring example of synchronicity, meaningful coincidences that infer the possibility that their connections are not arbitrary, but part of a larger design. Since astrology is one of the more popular systems in which to analyze synchronicity, can the alignments of astrological symbolism across these three men confirm this possibility? If so, let’s start where this trail of influence began. 

William Blake

Blake’s chart (below) is well studied within the astrological community, but we will address just some of the major correlations. 

Blake’s Saturn – Neptune opposition is the most immediately noticeable dynamic and a type of astrological signature for an individual who is struggling with balancing that which is real, physical and tangible with that which is immaterial, non-physical and spiritual. In many ways, these massive bodies represent archetypal forces that are diametrically at odds with one another. Saturn is restriction and boundary while Neptune is unity and connection. 

The astrologer, Liz Greene, offers some insightful observations on the relationship between these two archetypes:

“With Neptune – Saturn, however, it is not a case of wanting to be a musician, a poet, a healer or a political philosopher. It is a case of having to be, in order to cope with the constant internal conflict between the structures and limits of earthly life and the chaotic flood that waits beyond Saturn’s boundaries. Those with Saturn strongly aspecting an outer planet are perpetually buffeted by collective psychic forces which they must find some way of dealing with.”[i]


“But for very good reasons Saturn – Neptune is also known as the ‘artist’s aspect’ because the apparently mutually exclusive worlds of physical form and boundless imagination can meet, albeit imperfectly, in the artist’s creation. It is the only sphere of human endeavor where fantasy and reality can speak to each other without amputating vital elements of both.”[ii]

For Blake, this opposition manifested quite literally as the “contraries” of energy and reason within “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”. Mars was involved with this polarity as well. It’s alignment with Neptune by both conjunction and declination created a powerful super conjunction, amplifying the fusion of these two archetypes as one of the most powerful contacts in the chart. This fusion manifested as the poem’s “energy”, “the eternal delight”, “the road of excess”, and “the tigers of wrath”. The Leo emphasis represented a strong desire towards uninhibited (and dramatic) expression. Its loose placement within the realm of the 1st house confirms that Blake personally identified with this energy. Saturn’s placement in opposition was the archetype that Blake projected onto others (again, literally). Saturn became “the horses of instruction” and “prisons built with stones of law”. For Blake, the dignified and powerful Saturn in Aquarius represented the barriers and restrictions that reason (“good”) had placed upon the energy (Mars) of expression (again, Leo). 

But, this theme of identification with other realities via sensual excess was represented by more than just Neptune – Mars in the 1st house. This was also represented by his Ascendant’s conjunction to the midpoint of Neptune/Moon. The Moon’s placement within the 12th house represents Blake’s intuition and sensitivity to energies behind the scenes. With Neptune’s association with those energies, the Ascendant’s alignment with this midpoint probably manifested as Blake’s desire to be a visible figurehead for these dynamics. 

But this sensitivity and identification turns into a more comprehensive vision due to Mercury’s rulership of the 12th house and it’s connection to one key dynamic: a conjunction from the Sun to the midpoint of Mercury/Pluto. This midpoint picture is one major reason why Blake became the embodiment and personification of a taboo vision that stirred up archetypal energies below the surface. It also represented the intensity or vision he possessed. But with the added intensity from the Sun’s conjunction to the fixed star, Antares, this midpoint picture reflects some of Blake’s manic obsession in chasing down these concepts through his creativity (5th house Stellium). This midpoint reflected Blake’s genius that appeared as insanity to the rest of the world (at the time). 

When we consider the compounded influence of the imagery from the Saturn – Neptune opposition, Neptune’s connection to the 12th house Moon through a midpoint and then further extension of these themes via Mercury’s rulership of the 12th house and contribution to a more powerful midpoint, we have an accurate picture of someone who was legitimately visualizing or “perceiving doors” to another reality. 

With this baseline delineation understood, we now need to understand why the influence of these themes then also became a defining theme in the lives of Aldous Huxley and Jim Morrison as well. 

The Tri-Wheel Synastry Chart

The tri-wheel below was arranged chronologically according to the influence of each individual. Since Blake represents the source of these themes, his planets are in the inner wheel and the houses are anchored to his chart. Huxley is in the middle wheel and Morrison is on the outside. 

With Blake’s previously delineated Saturn – Neptune opposition providing the highest priority of resonance, it is not surprising to also see its connection to the energies of Huxley and Morrison. 

Specifically, the alignment around Blake’s dramatic need of expression and “energy” in Leo is powerful and multifaceted. The nodal alignment between Blake and Morrison confirms that both individuals were walking the same evolutionary path. Huxley’s dignified Sun at the apex of a T-square configuration (orange lines) involving planets from both Huxley and Morrison at the base aligns with both nodes and reflects his single focused drive and motivation in this area. The Scorpio – Taurus axis at the base echoes the themes of sensuality from Blake’s poem with the Leo apex representing the evolutionary goal of uninhibited and unhindered expression as a means to achieving beauty, truth, and identity. These themes attracted Huxley and Morrison because they instinctually and intimately understood them. 

But this Leo quality is also key to understanding Blake’s polarity of Neptune – Mars to Saturn (red line) which also intertwined with Huxley and Morrison. Both Huxley’s Imum Coeli – Midheaven and Morrison’s Ascendant – Descendant axes aligned with Blake’s core oppositional polarity. This means that what Blake had discovered would be developmental for Huxley and a way of establishing himself. For Morrison, it became a part of his immediate identity that he shared with everyone else constantly. 

What is interesting is that the other angles for each individual were also accentuated in their connections to Blake. With Huxley, his Ascendant tightly aligned with the cusp for Blake’s 12th house. In other words, Huxley desired to immerse himself in the energies hiding away that Blake had referenced and while it is not explicitly imaged here, Huxley’s Gemini stellium within his own 12th house is an accurate depiction of his desire to find the “Doors of Perception” (Gemini can be defined literally as perception). All these dynamics were further confirmed by Blake’s 12th house Moon in conjunction with the midpoint (blue lines) of Huxley’s Mercury (chart ruler) and Venus. From these alignments, Huxley had an insatiable curiosity for this other reality of energies that Blake had so poetically and powerfully described.  

In turn, Huxley’s stellium then inspired Morrison through their alignment with Morrison’s Uranus, Mars, and Saturn. Specifically, Huxley’s Ascendant mentioned above tightly conjoins Morrison’s Saturn that was also on the cusp of Morrison’s 5th house of creativity. This means that while Huxley was taking a more educational approach to expand Blake’s work, Morrison was inspired artistically and musically instead. 

This theme is more explicitly represented with Huxley’s Neptune in conjunction with the midpoint of Morrison’s Mars/Saturn while also contributing to a grand cross configuration (yellow lines) with Morrison’s Sun (opposition), Blake’s Pluto (opposition), Blake’s Uranus (square) and Morrison’s and Huxley’s Chiron (square). The tremendous amount of energy from this configuration represents both Huxley’s and Morrison’s awareness of the revolution Blake had initiated. For Huxley, this inspired his curiosity to probe this area (again, Gemini stellium) to which this work then inspired a wilder, more performative bohemian approach from Morrison (Huxley’s Neptune opposite Morrison’s Sun) in integrating the archetypes into the core of his being (Blake’s Pluto conjoined Morrison’s Sun). Most importantly, Blake’s work agitated this sense that something was “wrong” (Chiron Virgo) with Huxley and Morrison of them. They may have felt that Blake’s work offered an opportunity to experience perfection. Most importantly, if this could be discovered then it might offer improvement for everyone else as well. 

While Huxley’s influence on Morrison was considerable, Blake’s fearless (and ruthless) taboo-busting style of communication became a well recognizable part of Morrison’s reputation. This was represented by Morrison’s Midheaven in tight conjunction with Blake’s Mercury in Scorpio.  

The final major contact between all three was the alignment of Blake’s Imum Coeli – Midheaven axis, Huxley’s nodal axis and Morrison’s Neptune (brown line). In a way, this reflects the pioneering path that Blake and Huxley paved that would inspire Morrison in his music…and drugs and alcohol. 

Overall, the level of alignment between the astrological charts of these three individuals further accentuated by the inherent meanings of specific points of alignment are more than highly improbable. Not only does it offer confirmation of the “energies” and realities they were exploring, but also their shared motivations in these areas. The synchronicity is so rich that it may be fair to say that all of this was or fated or by design. 

“Frame Thy Fearful Symmetry?”

The evaluation of fate is an appropriate segue. With astrology, sometimes the level of “meaningful connections” are so overwhelming that it defies conventional logic. Sometimes these meaningful connections may extend to observers as well, contrary to any belief that their external involvement is inconsequential and incidental. But, if we learn anything from astrology it is that there are no coincidences. As a study of fate, it can reveal the role that we play in scenarios where the significance of our involvement appears improbable.

So it is with this analysis for about half way through I noticed a high volume of significant contacts between these three individuals and the energies within in my own chart. The quad-wheel below containing my planetary bodies on the farthest outer wheel is below. 

My Aquarius Stellium contains the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Pallas Athene (asteroid not imaged). Similar to Huxley, my Sun is also at the apex of a t-square configuration (comprised of the exact same bodies), but my Sun opposes his. Additionally, my Venus – Mercury super conjunction is aligned with the core polarity of Blake’s Neptune – Mars – Saturn complex. 

The irony is that these dynamics happen to contain the same energy quality that Blake disavowed and projected onto others. He viewed the cold reasoning and logic sometimes affiliated with the Aquarian quality as restrictive and repressive due to the placement of his Saturn here. What Blake didn’t realize was that while this quality can manifest in that manner, it also has the capacity of an almost infinite focus and immersion in intellectual pursuits that involve the analysis of large-scale interdependencies of many different components. While Blake and Huxley and Morrison all plunged themselves wholly, body and soul, into the realm of sensation, excess, active energy in order to perceive the infinite, it may also be argued that they struggled (Blake and Morrison more-so than Huxley) to logically and systematically explain how this other realm may be connected to the reality perceived by our physical senses.  

With the planet Saturn dispositing my Aquarian stellium and also in conjunction with Blake’s 12th house Moon, I feel compelled to analyze the “laws” and structure of the “doors” to hidden energies that Blake could feel and was explored and expressed by the Huxley and Morrison. 

Astrology is an example of this overarching structure because it is a bridge to understanding both realities. In fact, this base of knowledge initially attracted me many years ago because it offered the possibility of understanding a reality of energy that exists beyond the physical senses…but could be understood by the rational intellect. My Sun conjoined with the midpoint of Jupiter – Neptune that is also aligned with Morrison’s Sun and Blake’s Uranus offers some insights into these dynamics. It shows that I agree with their conceptions, but explore it from a completely different perspective. 

But my nodal axis’ conjunction to Blake’s Sun and harmonious alignment with the nodal axes from Blake and Morrison strongly infers my role and purpose in providing an analysis necessary for confirming what these individuals were chasing. This work is not separate from the fated alignment connecting these individuals. It is an intimate part of the story. My attempt to “frame the fearful symmetry” of experience via astrology in order to confirm those energies has unintentionally revealed the connection of those efforts as well. In that regard and over two centuries later, hopefully this may offer some validation as well as satisfaction to Blake’s eternal “marriage of contraries”.  

Rest in peace beautiful magicians, explorers and artists…for you were right. 

[i] Liz Greene, Neptune and the Quest for Redemption, Weiser Books, 1996, p.326.

[ii] IBID, p.327.

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