Ginger Baker

“When the city of Atlantis stood serene above the sea,
Long time before our time when the world was free,
Those were the days.”

~ Those Were The Days, co-written by Ginger Baker and Mike Taylor, from “Wheels of Fire” 1968

Outstanding drummer Ginger Baker died last Sunday.  He didn’t like the term “rock drummer” preferring to be known as a “jazz drummer”.  He was 80 years old, but had survived a lifetime of poor health.  His working life encompassed the membership of several bands, but he is most known for his time in the legendary band Cream during the heady late ’60s.

Birth Chart

We do not have a birth time for the flame-haired Ginger, but his well-known fieriness comes from having half his planets in Fire signs.  It’s a volatile, dry heat of fire, and not an emotional passion, for he had no Water planets.  He did though have 6 (over half) his planets in the Fixed signs, so was very headstrong.

His Sun in Leo denotes the showmanship and natural leadership that he is reputed to have, and its conjunction with Venus inclined him to music.  He was also known for his unpredictability and eccentricity, and that shows up with Sun/Venus square Uranus.

His Moon was square Mars, making him quick to react emotionally, and he was known for having a violent temper.  I have not read his autobiography “Hellraiser” but his close bandmate Eric Clapton’s autobiography is one of the favourites in my bookshelf.  Here, Clapton describes his introduction to Ginger Baker:

“…I was very flattered that he was interested in me. I was also rather frightened of him because he was an angry-looking guy, with a considerable reputation. He appeared physically very strong although extremely lean, with red hair and a constant expression of disbelief mixed with suspicion. He gave the impression that he was fearless and that he would take anybody on…”   I will write more about Ginger Baker’s relationships with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce later in this piece.

There were plenty of strengths in his chart, one being an exact trine between Uranus and Neptune (the ability to process complexity), which formed a Grand Trine in Earth with his Mars.  That was part of his unique energy.  He also had a trine between Jupiter and Mercury/Pluto and Pluto exactly square his Nodal Axis (that’s the “Hellraiser”!).  With Chiron in Cancer, drumming and rhythm was therapeutic to him (and often to those who listened to his drumming).


Baker joined Blues Incorporated in the 1960s.  In his interest in drumming, he found a soul mate in Keith Moon (from the Who).  The latter was responsible for Baker acquiring a two bass drum kit.  They shared a flamboyant mentality, with their Mercuries in Leo exactly conjunct with each other.

Baker met up with bassist Jack Bruce.  The success of the later band Cream depended on a vital third member, Eric Clapton, three being the magic number to produce their exceptional music.

Jack Bruce had Mercury closely conjunct Uranus, a brilliant mind.  He and Clapton were credited for writing most of their hits, though Ginger Baker did appear on a few credits.  Both Baker and Bruce had Venus square Uranus in their charts, and therefore a propensity to estrangements.  We do have a birth time for Jack Bruce, and find his Midheaven (Careerpoint) in Scorpio in the 11th House of Bands.

The two clashed fiercely: Jack’s Sun was conjunct Ginger’s Uranus, activating Ginger’s Inner Rebel.  But Jack’s Venus was trine Ginger’s North Node, so their relationship came back together several times, through karmic forgiveness.  Jack’s Saturn sextile Ginger’s Mercury enabled Ginger to concentrate his mind.

So Eric Clapton joined them in 1966, and Cream was formed.  In the two years until they broke up (due to the clash between Baker and Bruce) they achieved the pinnacle of success, with three albums.

Eric’s relationship with Ginger held an element of fear:  Ginger’s Pluto was exactly square Eric Clapton’s Moon.  Clapton’s Moon was also conjunct Baker’s North Node, so karmically compelling.  Clapton’s Venus was conjunct Baker’s South Node, indicating they were “old friends” from past lives. But Baker’s Mars was conjunct Clapton’s Ascendant, an inflammatory placing.  Clapton’s Pluto was trine Baker’s Jupiter, so Eric did have some power in the dynamic between them, and was part of the glue that held the three of them together.

There was more harmony between Clapton and Bruce, with their Venuses exactly sextile (musical harmony), and their Jupiters exactly sextile.  Clapton praised Bruce in his autobiography:  “The most forceful bass player I had ever played with… His understanding of time was phenomenal. All this was reflected in his personality, fiery and quick witted.”

Eric Clapton reflected on his role in the group: “Maybe I was the necessary catalyst for them to get along, like a fulcrum”.  Certainly in their transits, Clapton seemed to be less affected by intense planetary line-ups, intimating that the primary karma was between Baker and Bruce.

At their first gig on July 29th 1966, the transits for Ginger Baker showed Pluto sextile his natal Chiron in Cancer, a major psychological fulfilment.  For Bruce, the North Node (karmic mission) was on his Sun (self-expression) and trine his Jupiter (a success, or karmic reward).  The impact on Clapton’s chart was not so notable.

At their split in November 1968, Ginger Baker had some strong transits:  Uranus sextile his Pluto (extreme change), Neptune square his Sun (extreme confusion) and Pluto trine his Mars (high energy, possibly inflammatory).

For Jack Bruce: Jupiter on his Neptune in Virgo in his 9th House (a spiritual freedom), Saturn was trine his natal North Node in Leo in his 8th House (karmically dictated event) and Uranus square his natal Venus in Cancer in his 6th House (a classic parting-of-the-ways transit, mirroring his own natal square and that of Baker).

For Clapton, maybe not so heavily affected, Jupiter was on his natal Chiron in Virgo in 12th House, a chance for a healing space.

A Brief Discography

If you’re not a Cream fan, perhaps you’ll remember “Spoonful”, “I feel Free” and “I’m so Glad” from their 1966 album “Fresh Cream”.

Or “Sunshine of your Love”, “Tales of Brave Ulysses”, “Strange Brew”, “Blue Condition” and “Take it Back” from  their 1967 album “Disraeli Gears”

Or how about “White Room”, “Those Were The Days”, “Crossroads” and “Sitting on Top of the World”, from their 1968 album “Wheels of Fire”.  That was the talk of the campus when I went to Uni in the Autumn of 1968.

After Cream

After Cream, Eric Clapton went on to work with the talented Stevie Winwood (from Traffic), and was dismayed when Ginger Baker asked to join them in their band Blind Faith (termed a “supergroup”).  His intuition told him  that history would repeat itself.  The band lasted not more  than a year (1969).

2005 Reunion

Ginger Baker played with Jack Bruce over the years, though their relationship was always volatile.  Bruce was quoted as saying: “It’s a knife-edge thing between me and Ginger. Nowadays, we’re happily co-existing in different continents… although I was thinking of asking him to move. He’s still a bit too close”

In 2005 with Clapton they prepared for a reunion tour, to be played at the Royal Albert Hall and Madison Square Garden.  The reunion took place around 3rd May 2005.  The transits are interesting for all three of them.

For Baker, his exact Neptune/Uranus trine was exactly bisected by Saturn: an orchestrating by the Universe, if there ever was one.  For Bruce, Saturn was sextile his natal Sun in Taurus in 5th House on his I.C., and trine his natal MC in Scorpio in 11th House of Bands.  Again, Saturn was pinning him down for a reunion.  In addition, Pluto was trine Bruce’s natal Chiron in Leo in 8th House – a healing.  For Clapton, it was a moment of triumph in that Jupiter trine his natal Uranus in Gemini in 8th House.  But he was struck down by flu and had to play in that condition, then regretted the encore at Madison Square Garden as he thought they peaked at the Royal Albert Hall – Uranus squared his Uranus, bringing the unexpected into the equation.


Jack Bruce died in 2014, and his funeral was attended by Baker and Clapton.

Ginger Baker suffered ill health for most of his adult life.  He was addicted to heroin, suffered from chronic back pain (from degenerative osteoarthritis), and in later years suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, with serious heart issues.  At his death, Neptune was exactly trine his natal Chiron (a final healing).

A eulogy from Stevie Winwood:

“Beneath his somewhat abrasive exterior, there was a very sensitive human being with a heart of gold.”


“The Autobiography” by Eric Clapton


At tea time today (in the U.K.) we have a sextile between the Sun and Jupiter which can bring happy news, fun and laughter.  It is one of the most upbeat aspects of the year.  A positive story in the news is rare, but look out for one.  In your own life, an opportunity may be coming your way.

Early evening the Moon is Full at 20 degrees Aries.  The Full Moon in Aries (emotional needs) opposes the Sun in Libra (balancing your own interests with that of the other) so it is a tussle, as it always is with a Full Moon.  At the same time, Pluto squares them both, creating a T-square, so there may be drama involved, or at the very least psychological adjustments to be made.

Early tomorrow (Monday 14th) is a day for serious communication, delivered in a measure fashion.  This chimes well with the fact that the Queen’s Speech is scheduled, which will be by no means an easy task for the deliverer.  She will not give away what she thinks about it, and will be well aware that none of it may come to fruition, because we don’t know the duration of the Johnson government (which does not have a mandate).  But it is a good day for laying down your intentions and plans, and realistically evaluating what can be done.

Hard on the heels of that aspect, Pluto actually squares the Sun (it was coming into a square at the time of the Full Moon).  That may be a difficult aspect to negotiate, but keep talking (Mercury sextile Saturn is still operational).  Last minute Brexit and Backstop talks may be going on even as the Queen speaks.  Pluto square the Sun is a deep soul searching aspect.  With the seriousness of Mercury/Saturn and the depth of Pluto/Sun you have to get down to business, and to the nitty gritty.  There is no whitewashing or kicking the can down the road.

It’s an easier ride on Tuesday (15th) which brings a trine between Mercury and Neptune.  While Monday represented hard facts, Tuesday lets in some whimsy and artistry (but established on the foundation of the previous day’s hard facts).  Perhaps you formulated a plan on Monday, and can embellish it slightly on Tuesday.  Not that I am suggesting that you can embellish the Irish Backstop question, some questions are just too hard.  But say you obtained funding for a project on Monday which had carefully laid rules and boundaries, you might be able to work on a more spiritual level with it on Tuesday, and bring forth some higher inspiration.  Monday is the contract (if not disrupted by the square from Pluto), and Tuesday is the opportunity for creativity.

A minor aspect on Thursday (17th) between two of the greater planets may affect us at a deeper level than the more superficial aspects.  Pluto will be semi-sextile Jupiter on that day, which can bring power struggles.  It may for instance be significant in the power struggles between the U.S. and Russia with regard to the Turkish-Syrian situation which is concerning at the moment.  In your own life, you may be re-arranging the furniture in some way.

We end the week, on Saturday (19th), with a sensible and constructive tone, provided by the third sextile of the week, that of Mercury sextile Pluto.  This may be helpful in tying up some of the issues of the week, and settling some scores.  The communication flows, but is not trivial.  It is the day when Parliament is being recalled to discuss the results of the current Brexit negotiations.  It is the first time the Commons have sat on a Saturday since the Falklands War in 1982.  It is the deadline for the prime minister to comply with the Benn Act (to write to Brussels for an extension) before Halloween.  Mercury sextile Pluto honours the gravity of the situation, and enables meaningful debate to occur (no filibustering!).  So if you have something important lined up, keep your negotiations to the point, and  you may find proceedings useful.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – Jovial; emotional tension
  • Tomorrow – serious communication; deeper issues
  • Tuesday – mental inspiration
  • Thursday – rearranging power systems
  • Saturday – grown up communication