Robert Zimmerman was born on 24 May 1941, 21:05 CST, Duluth Minnesota (AA rating; collector Steinbrecher) with Jupiter in Taurus, (ruled by Venus in Gemini) and Saturn in Taurus (also ruled Venus in Gemini). Although in the same sign, Jupiter and Saturn are just out of orb to be a Great Conjunction. Interestingly, his idol, Woody Guthrie was born with his Saturn conjunct Bob's Jupiter: the older man's mastery of folk music clearly made a lasting impression.
By the time of his first Jupiter opposition just over the age of 6, Bob's father had fallen ill to polio and the family moved to be near Bob's mother's family. At the age of 10, Bob started writing poetry and by his first Jupiter return in May 1953, he was playing the guitar and piano. Not much is recorded about Bob Dylan's adolescence. However, in my book Growing Pains, I point out the specific learning style of Jupiter in Taurus:
"Although Jupiter in Taurus learners may not verbalise it (because it is such an intrinsic part of their makeup), they are body conscious: they know their bodies work by the natural process of eating, digesting and eliminating. Having masticated the lesson, pupils need time to digest the information and then time to eliminate the things they don’t need. And let’s face it, in a classroom of thirty pupils, a lot of rubbish can go on and teachers have to accept that not everything that happens is directly relevant to every child. Drop some information into their brains, check to see how it has grown in a few days by letting them nurture, and add to their thinking in ways that allow them to see and feel how much they’ve learned. For example, use projects they can add to bit by bit to be displayed and admired later, binders that can be filled with new pages for a class project or photographs that record new experiences or graphs that demonstrate progress. Once they can see their potential for growth, this group will expand and develop their knowledge independently and in their own time. They are also more likely to retain and absorb what they need. Just because they are quiet, doesn’t mean that learning isn’t taking place. "
This appears to be exactly what young Bobby Zimmerman did during his high school years. In his senior yearbook, he declared he wanted to join Little Richard on stage--a clear, no bullshit proclamation on the idea of segregation, a hot topic in 1959.
By 1963, transiting Saturn in Aquarius had begun a series of squares to Dylan’s Saturn in Taurus. e year before, he had changed his name from Robert Zimmerman to Bob Dylan and had signed a contract with Albert Grossman. Although it is unusual to achieve long lasting success before the first Saturn return, at twenty-one he was already so successful that he felt he could storm out of the Ed Sullivan Show without damaging his career. But then, by this time he already had released two successful albums. By July the same year, he was singing protest songs with Joan Baez at the Washington Monument. Although appearing far less glamorous than the typical successful singer, Dylan displayed the possessiveness typically present in someone with Saturn in Taurus: in his case, this related to his beloved motor bike.
In the summer of 1966, Saturn made two oppositions to Dylan’s North Node. Saturn stops us in our tracks and, for Dylan, this manifested in two distinct ways. One, he was booed off stage for using an electric guitar that summer. A few days later, he had a serious motor bike crash that left him unable (or unwilling) to perform for several years.
In his song “A Song for Bob Dylan” David Bowie described Dylan’s voice as being “like sand and glue.” But yet his voice, his songs and his spirit of rebellion have endured across the generations. As the author and poet Joyce Carol Oates described him: “When we first heard this raw, very young, and seemingly untrained voice, frankly nasal, as if sandpaper could sing, the effect was dramatic and electrifying.” Nevertheless, as transiting Jupiter joined up with Saturn again, he launched the Never Ending Tour and has played well over two thousand shows to date.
The sign of Taurus rules the neck and vocal chords. Although it would be a stretch to indicate anyone with Saturn in Taurus has a memorable singing voice, it is indicative of someone with Saturn in this position to make the most of what they have. To date, Dylan has recorded thirty-four albums plus released many live recordings and compilation albums. Indeed, the number of successful musicians who cite him as a major influence is, frankly, quite staggering. Out of fourteen nominations for prestigious awards, Dylan has won thirteen.
Not a bad for a singer who can’t really sing! A final note about Saturn in Taurus is the idea of not having enough. As Jupiter opposed the natal position of Saturn, Dylan released a book of his etchings in 1994. Further, even though he is one of the most prolific and influential artists of our time, as transiting Saturn and Jupiter made a series of contacts to his natal Saturn in 2003, he agreed to participate in several lucrative commercial advertisements. Saturn made a series of squares to its natal position in 2007 and shortly after, the Pulitzer Prize jury awarded him a special citation for “his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.”
About the Astrologer
Alex Trenoweth is an MA graduate of the Cultural Astronomy and Astrology course at Bath Spa University (2007) and has gained recognition as an outstanding schoolteacher for her tireless and innovative education of adolescents. Her unique expertise in both astrology and teaching, coupled with ground-breaking research, led her to her write Growing Pains, a book aimed at helping parents and teachers support and guide young people into maturity. Alex’s articles have appeared in astrological magazines across the globe and in addition to her many writing accomplishments, she was voted “Best International Astrologer, 2015” by the Krishnamuti Institute of Astrology in India for the energetic presentation of her original and thought-provoking investigation into astrology and education. As of October 2015, Alex is on a world tour, lecturing on a variety of astrological topics and is enjoying meeting other astrologers from different cultures. The articles on cycles of addiction are a part of the case studies that will be presented in her next book due for release later this year.