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Astrology at Work: The Beatles’ Rooftop ConcertBeatlesLogo

Peter Jackson’s documentary “Get Back” has sparked renewed interest in the surprise rooftop concert given by the Beatles in 1969. Though it was not clear at the time, this brief concert would be the group’s last public appearance before they disbanded. For fans to the Beatles and for people just interested in the history of pop culture, it was a pivotal event and I thought it might be interesting to take a look at the astrology behind it.

The chart for the event is itself striking. (Click on rooftop concert to see the horoscope). We have Jupiter in a tight conjunction with Uranus, an interesting combination of good fortune and the unexpected. For many (though definitely not all) of the people nearby, the impromptu concert was a surprise treat. Uranus and Jupiter are in Libra, a sign associated with the arts and in the Fifth House, the house that rules entertainment. Also, the two planets are aligned with the South Node of the Moon, adding an element of fate to the proceedings.

However, what’s more interesting is the fact that each member of the Beatles was undergoing a significant transit at the time of the concert and during the two week period before the concert documented in Jackson’s film.

In John Lennon’s chart (click on John Lennon to see the horoscope) transiting Saturn was passing over his natal Descendant. This is an important Saturn Cycle aspect and this importance is reflected in his relationship with Yoko Ono. Lennon learned during the filming of the documentary that Yoko Ono’s divorce from her first husband had been granted. Since Lennon had already divorced his first wife, this meant that the couple was now free to marry. Watching Yoko give John this news is watching a Saturn Cycle transition take place in real time.

Also in Lennon’s chart, Uranus was close to a conjunction to his natal Mars. A constant source of tension during the filming of this documentary was the fact that Lennon had more-or-less given up his role as leader of the band. It is common for people under the influence of a Uranus aspect to walk away from onerous responsibilities and restrictions of all sorts. They sense that the time has come to move on to something new.

There is some controversy about the birth time of Paul McCartney. I am using a birth time of 2PM. (Click on Paul McCartney to see the chart.) With this birth time transiting Pluto is conjunct McCartney’s Ascendant. Pluto is also square his Sun, but that aspect is about two degrees off from exact. Pluto brings pressure and it is obvious in the film that McCartney is feeling the pressure of having to step into the role as “boss” of the band. He even complains about this to Lennon. Pluto also aspects bring transformation and, in this film, we seeing McCartney begin the process of transforming himself from the member of a band to a solo artist.

George Harrison is also feeling pressure. In his case, it is the pressure of Saturn nearing a square to his natal Mars. (Click on George Harrison to see the chart.) As often happens during a Saturn transit, Harrison was feeling oppressed by his situation. He had a bunch of songs he had written but, as the junior member of the band, he was only allowed to include one in each album. At one point this feeling of oppression caused Harrison to walk out of a recording session and say that his is quitting the band. Though he was eventually persuaded to return, this was the first sign that the cohesiveness of the band was waning.

Paul McCartney wasn’t’ the only Beatle struggling with a Pluto transit during the filming of documentary. Ringo Starr has Pluto conjunct his Descendant during this period. (Click on Ringo Starr to see the chart.) As people born under the Sun sign Cancer often do, however, he kept his misgivings to himself. His attitude during the period leading up the concert was rather like that of a man calmly watching the house he grew up in burn down. Along with his Cancer Sun, Starr has four planets in Leo. He understood that a transformation was coming but he had an innate self-confidence that allowed him to greet that transformation without alarm. Regardless of what happened to the rest of the guys, he knew he would be alright.

What “Get Back” also reveals is how seamlessly the four members of the Beatles could work together when they were at their best. It is a fascinating study of group chemistry. The fact that all four of them were going through major transits at the same time shows how that togetherness can be validated to astrology.

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