Richard Wright : Leonine Obscurity

This is both a brief study of the abilities of traditional astrology to provide accurate readings and a tribute to a great musician and gentleman who never received the recognition I believe he deserved. It was first published on a list I moderate immediately after the untimely death of Richard Wright on 15 September 2008. Mr. Wright died of cancer within seven weeks of entering his Mars Firdaria. Ironically perhaps, the article garnered no initial interest on the list.

A Google search for Rick Wright or Richard Wright will generate a number of results and until the news of his death you would be lucky to get the one you were looking for on the first page. Try the same with Roger Waters, Syd Barrett or David Gilmour and Google will complete the name long before you even finished typing it. In fact I note that Gilmour is even included in the Word spell checker!

Amazingly, this founding member of Pink Floyd requires an introduction for many people. He was the band’s self taught keyboardist and vocalist even prior to them adopting the name Pink Floyd. He wrote “The great Gig in the Sky”, “Us and Them” and many, many other works that are played on the air virtually every day since they were written decades ago. Wright remained active in the band, showing up in live performances and recordings until very recently.

The fact that he was the first to die, with nobody outside the family knowing he was even ill, made the event all the more poignant. He was even forced out of the band by Roger Waters during the production of the now legendary The Wall album. He was in fact relegated to the role of sessional musician, preferring not to confront Waters and his reportedly vicious litigations and personal attacks. It is said that Wright became suicidal.

His innovations in keyboard and synthesizers influenced many in the music world. He also had a superb singing voice. I had to ask myself how a man with Sun, Mercury, Jupiter. N. Node and (for the interest of modern astrologers) Pluto in Leo in the 10th and 11th houses could manage to remain obscure in one of the best known progressive rock bands in the world? His solo albums are virtually unknown, despite this fact.  Wright was always eclipsed by other band members.

This might then be primarily a study in the all important Ascendant, a secondary consideration in modern astrology, but not in traditional. My sole purpose for including the outer planets in his chart is to illustrate how traditional astrology can reveal what modern can not.

Richard Wright was born 28 July 1943 @ 12:01 pm in London, England

The Ascendant is disposited by Venus in her fall in the 12th house. She cannot ‘see’ the Ascendant or, to borrow a title from a Pink Floyd album, obscured by clouds. Could this alone explain it? No, but it goes a long way! Who would have thought that those 10th & 11th house Leo placements could hide their light under a bushel?

But there is more. We also see that the Moon is with Saturn and Void of Course. She is slow and well separated from a trine to the Ascendant. Her next aspect will be a square to Mars and then Venus. Mars in the 8th is in detriment and squared Mercury and the Node. This leaves us with abundant musical outlets certainly, but not much in the way of being ‘seen.’

The placement of Mars in the 8th house is unfortunate enough, but he also disposits the 7th house of open enemies. The 12th house of hidden enemies is disposited by Mercury, where we find the fallen Venus in Virgo.

We have found the reasons for his otherwise irrational misfortunes and obscurity.  Of course, there are many factors to aid in his musical accomplishments, just not much help to allow him to shine as brightly as other far less accomplished musicians and even members of his own band.

The dispositor of the 6th house is a Solar Jupiter with Mercury and Sun in the same sign. Venus is almuten of the 5th house. Mercury is the chart almuten and significator of manners.

As far as temperament goes, in spite of all that fire and the Sun as Lord of the Geniture, it is a perfect three way balance of Choleric, Sanguine & Phlegmatic. We could say that disposition of the 6th house in part dictated his comparatively subordinate role in the band.

This phenomenon fascinates as much as his death saddened me, the latter occuring within 7 weeks of his 65th birthday and again in obscurity. His family issued a simple statement that he had passed away after a brief battle with cancer.