appetite for instruction


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Michael Andrew “Duff” McKagan

One of the first things I did was go to the grocery store to buy food. It was a novel idea at the time, for I hadn’t really shopped for food in about 10 years. Now here I was, 30 years old, and probably doing the first good grocery shopping in my life. I was an adult with a credit card, a checkbook, and an ATM card. I could buy whatever I wanted in the store, but I had no idea where to start. I thought that everyone was staring at me. It had been so long that I had been anywhere sober that I didn’t know how to act or how to deal.

It was like being on LSD. The lights in the store were blaringly bright to me and the music seemed to be playing hidden messages. I bought some milk and barbecue sauce and cigarettes, and that is all. My shirt was drenched in sweat and I was having a full-blown panic attack. As I drove my car home, I stiffly steered my machine out of the way of three accidents as I rode the brakes the whole way. I could smell my brake pads when I got home.

~Duff McKagan, on his sobriety from “It’s so Easy and other lies” (click here)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Duff McKagan rose to fame as bassist for Guns ‘N’ Roses in 1987, when the band released Appetite for Destruction.  
It is is the highest selling debut album of all time in the US, with more than 28 million copies sold worldwide.

Next year’s class of inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will be headlined by Guns N’ Roses, the only group on the ballot to be inducted in their first year of eligibility.  Click here for Cleveland R&RHoF

I’ve been reading Duff McKagan’s autobiography and obviously GN’R partied, but I had no idea how far it had gone for Duff personally.  He is brutally honest, candid and wryly funny in his accounts of his life as bassist of GN’R.

On May 10, 1994, Duff’s pancreas burst and he was told by his doctor if he had one more drink he would die.  He spent two weeks in the hospital recovering and taking small steps in the early stages of detox.  He credits his sobriety in large part to guilt over seeing his mother suffering from worry while he was in critical care.

He describes his recovery from addiction through a love of mountain biking, and his voracious appetite for reading.  He began to write columns for Seattle Weekly, and later many other publications.  For Seattle Weekly McKagan archives, click here.

While in recovery Duff read GN’R financial documents and found he couldn’t understand them.  He decided to enroll in financial accounting courses (got an A in his first class) and discovered his love of academics.  He earned a 4.0 and was on the President’s list, quite an achievement from the earlier addictions he describes in his book.  When he saw a need for musicians to be educated about their financial holdings and business deals, it lead him to start his own wealth management firm, Meridian Rock, to educate musicians and give them the power to make good business decisions on their own behalf.

Duff is a 9 life path, meaning he is in a lifetime of completion.  Nine is the culminated knowledge of all the numbers before it, and is a number of utopian ideals.  Nines are spiritual and often have a lifetime of overcoming difficulties.  They learn how to succeed themselves, in order to teach the world how to do the same.  (I’m a nine too.)
~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is a solar chart, I don’t have the correct birth time, so keep in mind the planets in signs remain the same, houses may change.  

First off, I was struck by how Duff has several difficult fixed (ingrained over several lifetimes) squares (inner conflict, obstacles)  involving the Sun (ego, spirit) and Moon (feelings, fluctuation) - they are the luminaries, the conscious (Sun), and unconscious (Moon).
Hopes (Sun) and Dreams (Moon) forming an obstacle to one another.

Moon and Neptune in Scorpio are quiet, secretive and perceptive, if they do not find stimulation, (speaking from my personal experience here; and Duff speaks of facing it in the ring)  they can turn the Scorpio stinger on themselves to feel something, anything.

Moon (habits, instincts) conjunct Neptune can mean addiction in its low vibration, or spiritual healing at its highest vibration.  This conjunction is intuitive, and feels the cosmos coming in.  It is a conjunction that can bring mystical emotions, heightened perceptions, illusions, daydreams and imagination into the waking life 24/7.

Note also the asteroid Dionysus is opposite Sun and Mars and square Neptune.  Dionysus is symbolic not only of wine and merriment, but also of the sharp pruning of the vine in order for it to bear the best fruit.   Sun (life, spirit), Mars (the blade) and Saturn (pruning) conjunction in Aquarius has indeed led to the bearing of Duff’s best life / fruit.

Coupled with a hedonistic Sun / Mars conjunction in square ( inner tension ) to the often delusional energies of Neptune, that’s one heck of an obstacle.  Sun conjunct Mars is raw power, tempered by Saturn (the tester, restriction, karma) the need to restrict and rein in the wild tendencies inherent to the nature of Aquarius.  That trio of planets in Aquarius, is in itself a hurdle.

Here’s his ace in the hole : Mercury trine Uranus.  Mercury is thinking; Uranus intuition and innovation.  Mercury in good aspect to Uranus is the sign of genius, a quick study.   The mental faculties are very sharp and capable of radical trail-blazing ideas.  Through his love of learning (Mercury is study and is sextile {opportunity} Venus, love) he transformed his life (Sun) his habits, (Moon conjunct Neptune) and his creativity, his love and spiritual health (Venus exalted in Pisces) all by taking the opportunity (sextiles) to learn and stimulate his intellect.

He also took the opportunity (sextile) to keep actively busy through sports (Mars), higher education (Jupiter), and he continually pushes his endurance (Aries) physically in order to improve his self-esteem (Sun).

Duff’s North Node of Destiny is in Cancer, the sign of nurturing.  Once he got himself on his feet, he will push ahead helping others too.  Now Duff is strong in heart, mind, body, and spirit and has a loving family.   He is, by building (Saturn rules building, the earth and rocks)  Meridian Rock  (perfect name- I love it !) reaching out to help his fellow musicians learn how to handle their finances so they can take care of themselves too.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Very quickly I want to say a few words about the day Duff was admitted into the hospital with a burst pancreas.  Moon rules the pancreas, and conjunct Neptune in the natal, it can indicate a weakness.  If circumstances in the life and transits activate it, trouble may arise.  Duff speaks in his book of alcoholism and drug use spiraling out of control, and that will further weaken the body.
Transiting Sun 19 Taurus (life-force) was opposite (call for compromise) Moon 19 / Neptune 17 conjunction (addiction) in Scorpio (the house of death and rebirth).  Transiting Moon was also nearing opposition at 11 Taurus.  Transiting Neptune was conjunct natal Mercury (which is trine Uranus in the natal – that’s a wake up call !)   Transiting Pluto and North Node of Destiny were conjunct in Scorpio as well – a call for transformation, rebirth, and rising to meet your destiny.
Ohm mani padme hum

Duff’s band, Loaded released their 3rd studio album, The Taking, earlier this year, see the video below for an acoustic version of Flatline.


namaste~
gneissmoonastrology.net