The world of music and the whole of India will be mourning the passing of one of the foremost sitar players in history, Ravi Shankar. His was a career of 80 years, a master of one of the most difficult instruments anyone would want to play. He came to prominence in the swinging 60’s when his friendship with George Harrison of the Beatles fame catapulted him onto the world stage. He passed away in California, a week after an operation from which he failed to recover. He was 92 years of age.
Ravi was born on 7th April 1920 in Varanasi, India - the magical golden city on the banks of the Ganges. He had a fiery Aries Sun which was peregrine in his chart, the sign of a true pioneer. Ravi’s chart was balanced between planets in assertive fire signs and emotional water, either 4 or 5 in each element (depending on the position of the Moon). He has an optimistic, expansive and very spiritual Jupiter/Neptune conjunction in showy Leo square to a strong willed Mars in Scorpio, this was a man with deep convictions, strong ideals and deeply creative abilities. Mars formed part of a grand water trine between Pluto in Cancer, Uranus in Pisces, which extended into a creative kite with Saturn in detail orientated Virgo. Pluto in Cancer is very tender hearted, and is very tied to one’s homeland as well as one’s national traditions.
That Saturn Uranus opposition drove this kite showing ambition, an ultra perfectionist attitude (Saturn) and genius like artistic talent (Uranus in musical Pisces). This was probably squared by his Moon (either in Scorpio or Sagittarius). He would have always wanted to marry new styles with more traditional ones - this would have come naturally to him, thus his connection to Western musicians, especially his relationship with George Harrison. Ravi was a classical musician at heart, but he had the foresight to open up and spread his influence to a much wider audience, so I suspect that his Moon in this case was just into Sagittarius which highlights travel and international links.
Allied to the deep emotion of the water trine which picks up rhythms from within his soul (this is why Ravi was so brilliant at what he did), Mercury/Venus also in Pisces brought idealism, a poetic and abstract mind which could understand a sense of style and design as well as the complexities of music; he wrote as well as he played. Saturn made a quindecile to Mercury, bringing a career focus to his musical and communicative ability.
Ravi had that wonderful Uranus in Pisces influence conjunct the Star Deneb Adige, which sits in the constellation of Cygnus the Swan. This is the shaman's star, a star with mystic and transcendental feelings, and his music perfectly reflected these qualities. Ravi may have now departed this earth, but his music and legacy will live on for ever...