Leonard Cohen was one of the most talented and influential singer songwriters the world has ever seen. Using everyday language in rich, complex, metaphoric ways he was able to take the simplest themes and make them complex and express most complex subjects simply and directly. Regardless of the subject, there was always a juxtaposition of the sacred and the profane, the practical and the mystical and everything in between.
It’s not surprising when we look at his birth chart to find someone ruled by Mercury, in his case he was a Virgo ascendant. Virgo, ruled by Mercury, the one of “metaphoric speech”. In Leonard Cohen’s case he had Mercury exulted in his first house, which easily accounts for his gift with language. In addition to being a singer-songwriter he was also a novelist and poet.
In addition, Mr. Cohen had very prominent Saturn, retrograde in his fifth house of creativity. This Saturn is joined Rahu, the North node making for a bit of “creative obsession”, and also a focus on the dark side of life. Such a prominent Saturn, ruling his fifth house, tinged his work with themes of mortality, humility, disgrace and pain. And yet underneath it all, Leonard Cohen was never cynical or bitter in his music. One would expect such heavy subject matter to be depressing. But it was anything but depressing. Where one phrase turns sad, the next uplifts. His song lyrics were truly the personification of mercury “neutrality”, And seeing things from all angles.
One would expect such heavy subject matter to be depressing. But it was anything but depressing. Where one phrase turns sad, the next uplifts. His song lyrics were truly the personification of Mercury “neutrality”, And seeing things from all angles.
Mr. Cohen confessed to have suffered ongoing bouts of depression for his whole life. At times this was debilitating. In 1997 he became a fully ordained Buddhist monk, residing at the Mount Baldy monastery in Los Angeles. He would live there off and on for several years, eventually waking up one day with the depression gone. That makes me feel good to know.
Mr. Cohen just released his final album at the end of October 2016, called “You Want it Darker”. It is reported that he had been battling cancer the last few months, until on November 7 he died in his sleep after suffering a fall in the middle of the night.