I think I may have been in the throes of transiting Neptune Squaring my natal Venus (and the inevitable elusive romantic bliss that ensues), that I first heard the famous Birkin and Gainsbourg duet, Je t’aime… moi non plus (“I love you… me neither”).
It’s intoxicating languid sensuality. I liked it.
It’s easy to understand how it became quite a hit in its day, and how their song may have offended conservative tastes; it was banned in some countries when it was released.
My curiosity was piqued when I saw this iconic image of Jane sitting on Serge’s lap.
The sensual intensity of their connection seemed palpable. Serge looked like an interesting and charismatic guy, and beautiful Jane (in the picture at least) seemed to me to posses that soft and seductive doe-eyed naiveity that is just about every man’s dream. I realized that this music was made by real people, by real lovers to be more precise, and so naturally their music would embody something of the character of its creators.
I’ve only just begun this case study, but what I’ve found here at very first glance really excites me, and so I hasten to share it. It’s beautiful astrology.
The first thing that catches my eye is the fact that their two Moons are in a fairly close Conjunction, and, even more interestingly (though this would be a rather obscure piece of information to most people) located in the sexy Purva Phalguni Nakshatra (the 11th lunar mansion of Jyotish, located between 13 degrees 20 mins and 26 degrees 40 mins of Sidereal Leo).
With such a close Moon-Moon Conjunction between them they would ‘get each other’ at a basic level, and this Conjunction would be key, I believe to making them feel they naturally belong together.
Light on Life says the following about Purva Phalguni:
“Purva Phalguni’s symbol is a bed or hammock, and its deity is Bhaga, one of Adityas, the gods responsible for protecting and maintaining conjugal bliss and wealth. Its alternate deity is Shiva Lingam, a symbol of Shiva.
Hammocks symbolize rest, relaxation and enjoyment, and Bhaga adds love, affection between the sexes, sexual passion and pleasure to this Nakshatra’s symbolism… Purva Phalguni also indicates the creative arts… Music, musicians, actors and other creative artists. Things, places and people associated with rest and relaxation, vacations, and entertainment (especially theater, cinema and classical music). Dressing up and going out. Professions connected with marriage: wedding planners, marriage counselors, sex therapists etc.”
Jane’s chart contains a conspicuously tight orbed Venus/Jupiter Conjunction; she’s not afraid love, and she seeks a love that’s bold and expansive. Venus Conjunct Jupiter brings social opportunities, and with such a tight Conjunction, blessings may literally fall into your lap on many levels. There can be an element of the extravagant and over-indulgent in a Venus/Jupiter hard aspect, and when their famous duet was released, some would have argued she was manifesting just this type of Venus/Jupiter excess. Having Uranus in the 1st House Opposing the Sun and Quincunx Venus and Jupiter would reinforce her ability and inclination to shock and surprise with her liberal and flaunted sexuality.
The Moon’s Nodes are one of astrology’s more mysterious elements. There seem to be a number of different but effective ways of interpreting them. Vedic astrology sees them very differently to western astrology, and even among western astrologers there are some widely differing takes on what the Nodes represent. One approach links them to our associations and bonds with others. From that angle Jane’s close Node/Ascendant Conjunction looks important. She needs to be ‘bonded’ and in relationship; Reinhold Ebertin, in The Combination of Stellar Influences, describes Node/Asc as ‘personal relationship‘.
Now, quite impressively, Jane and Serge have their Nodes too in close Conjunction! They were born an entire 18 year Node cycle apart. My feeling is that this Node/Asc Conjunction in Jane Birkin’s chart contributed to her ability to gain fame and recognition, and Serge’s Node Conjunct her’s seems to have reinforced this potential.
Serge’s chart shows Mercury and Venus close to the Ascendant, and in Square Aspect to Saturn. Mercury and Venus on the Ascendant can make one an artist and a writer, and perhaps also something of a charmer. It would contribute to a person’s attractiveness, even if they’re not a classic beauty. Venus Square Saturn is a textbook indication of notable age difference in marriage and romance.
The Sun and Jupiter in Conjunction in Serge’s chart gives him confidence, and it can enable a person to become ‘big'; a type of larger than life personality. It seems to be part of why he would fit Jane’s Venus/Jupiter desire for a love that could expand her horizons and teach her things. Serge was as much a mentor to her as a lover.
Here are their Vedic charts:
Jane’s Vedic chart places the Ascendant in the Sidereal sign Taurus, and lovely Venus, the Ascendant lord, is located rather awkwardly in the 6th House, but in its own sign Libra, and Conjunct benefic Jupiter, as already noted. Simply having the Ascendant ruler in its own sign is a great boost to one’s ability to make a success of life. There may however be some initial frustrations. When she first met Serge, for example, he was severely critical of her, but they thereafter become inseparable.
Work and employment in an artistic or cultural field, where you’re not really working all that hard at all, is a natural manifestation of Venus and Jupiter together in the 6th House.
Sun in the 7th House by itself affirms that the partner is someone with a strong sense of identity and authority, and it may have contributed to the naturalness of Serge’s father figure role in her life.
Look at Serge’s Vedic chart; if he was not born 4 or more minutes later than the given birth time (astro.com’s astrodatabank rates his birth data AA) he has Sidereal Aquarius rising, with Moon (and Neptune) in the 7th House. His partners may be famous, conspicuous, they shine, and there will be a strong emotional bond with partner. Neptune in the 7th House not only fits the theme of a partner involved in the arts or film, but also imbues his ‘marriage’ with an almost mystical or otherworldly quality. He can idealize his partner and his relationship, but this does make one prone to emotional misery if the partner disappoints.
They met soon after Serge commenced Rahu Mahadasha (the major period of the Moon’s North Node), according to the Vedic system. His Rahu is located in Rohini Nakshatra (as Jane’s Ascendant and Node).
Again, using Light on Life (by Hart de Fouw and Robert Svoboda) as our guide, we find this on Rohini:
“One ancient Indian myth makes Rohini, the red star Aldebaran in Vrisabha, the favorite of the Moon’s 27 Nakshatra wives, because of her beauty, charm and culture, her expertise in art and music, and her skill in the conjugal arts. The word ‘Rohini’ is etymologically linked with a Sanskrit term for red, a color which symbolizes passion and sensuality and is the color of its principal star. Classically feminine qualities and articles, including physical beauty, love, romance, perfumes, scents and fragrances are all associated with Rohini…”
Rohini Rising in Jane’s chart would have given her the the desirable feminine qualities as permanent personal attributes. For Serge Rohini was ‘switched on’ shortly before his romance with Jane began- the themes of a planet’s Nakshatra position always come into fuller manifestation in its period or ‘Dasha’.
Jane was in her Moon period when her romance with Serge began; you’ll recall the sexy themes associated with both of them having Moon in Purva Phalguni.
Interestingly, when they met they were both running the Dasha period of a planet that was Conjunct the same planet in the other’s chart. Serge was in Rahu (North Node) Dasha and his Node is Conjunct hers; she was in Moon Dasha and her Moon is Conjunct his.
Needless to say, these are merely first impressions! I leave it to you, dear reader, to dig deeper if you like…