A stellium or multiple conjunction of planets in one sign is probably the most eye catching planetary pattern in Astrology. The sheer power of so many planets coming together in such a small space of the Zodiac can propel even the most unlikely person to prominence. Someone with this configuration will so naturally place all of their ” eggs in one basket ” that when Pluto comes to transit to take that basket to market there is a very fair price to be made. In some circumstances there can be a similar price to be paid, much depends on the type of eggs that we are talking about.
Brian Connolly was a Scottish musician, a platinum blond lead singer and guitar player in the band “Sweet,” which had enormous popularity in the mid 1970s. Readers with long enough memories will remember the explosion of pop music in the 60s was followed by a whole generation of talented musicians deciding to leave on mass in their desire to explore the ” concept album ” leaving an enormous vacuum in the singles market ready to be exploited by anyone with a handy stellium in Libra. With five planets within a space of eight and a half degrees, Brian Connolly was perfectly placed to pick up the baton.
The fact that the central three of these planets were the Sun, Moon and Jupiter shows that an extraordinary level of success and popularity was guaranteed.
Having discovered this chart, most people would spend a great deal of time looking at the Libran character and personality and linking these traits with Connolly’s personality. This approach would no doubt be very revealing but Capricorn Research as usual does not like to focus too much on character types because of the subjective nature of assessing these traits.
The ex British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan when asked what he most feared, famously replied, ” Events, dear boy, events”, probably with the Profumo affair in mind. Capricorn Research wants to focus these articles on such events, not so much because they are to be feared, more because they are measurable and objective.
Brian Connolly may well have been the archetypal Libran but it seems that the main reason he was born with 5 planets in the sign was that his career with the Sweet would have turbo charge once Pluto came along. Pluto first moved into the stellium conjunct Neptune, at 6 degrees Libra, in 1973 when the band had their first number one hit with ” Blockbuster “. As Pluto left the last planet in the stellium Mercury at 15 degrees of the sign in 1978, Connolly left the band. The reason for his departure was mainly due to the type of eggs in his Libran basket.
Neptune, as any astrologer and many musicians of the time will tell you, rules drugs and intoxicants in general. When Jupiter is involved with anything the level of indulgence will often go through the roof, but also the drug of choice seems to invariably be alcohol.
Capricorn Research has a collection of 338 Alcoholics and by far the highest scoring indicator is Jupiter’s conjunction with the Ascendant with 180% of the expected figure. Connolly doesn’t actually have that one but he does have the giant planet closely conjunct his Sun and Moon so its clear what to expect.
Jupiter of course is the planet that everyone wants on their side and the promise of next time round with a conjunction to the Sun and Moon would be a dream incarnation that many people would happily die now for. Jupiter can bring problems with it however and these are invariably tied up with extravagance and excess. As Pluto reached Connolly’s Moon / Jupiter exact conjunction in 1974, Neptune’s Sweet Dreams started to become drowned in alcohol.
One of the things about a stellium, particularly during Pluto transits, is that the person has no choice, he absolutely has to go in the direction demanded by the planets. For Brian Connolly this meant a succession of chart topping hits but also a monumental alcohol consumption.
Given that the stellium is in Libra, a sign that rules the liver and kidneys, such a Jupiter / Neptune path can bring rewards of a dubious kind to say the least.
Any readers of these articles will know that Pluto’s transit to conjunct the Sun will be the watershed of that person’s life and this occurred between 1976 and 77 as the full impact of Connolly’s alcohol problem was felt. His abuse compromised his role with the band as his voice began showing the impact in recordings and on stage. As time progressed issues between Connolly and other members of Sweet developed and he would find the band excluding him from decisions. During 1977, when no tours were undertaken and two of Sweet’s most successful albums were recorded, a power struggle within the band developed which brought an end to Connolly’s Sweet Dreams. A drunken and incoherent performance that terminated early in the set with his collapse on stage, leaving the rest of the group to play on without him was probably the final straw.
At this point it might be useful to have a more detailed look at Brian Connolly’s chart to see if we can find other reasons for the alcoholism.
Connolly has a Mars / Saturn conjunction on either side of his Ascendant in Cancer. Everybody has to have a Saturn but this is a really difficult placing for the ringed planet. Saturn and Mars do not go well together as their natures are so different. Mars is all go, Saturn is all stop, the conjunction of these two is a very frustrating aspect and to have it so close to the Ascendant is likely to have a massive affect on his life.
Anyone looking at the Sun / Moon / Jupiter in Libra with jealousy in their eyes might like to revise their plans for the next time round if Mars / Saturn / Ascendant are involved in the package. The fact that Connolly has the latter conjunction in Cancer shows where some of the problems lie.
Cancer is the sign of the family and the fact that these issues would dominate his life are reinforced by his Libra stellium being in the 4th house of home and parents. His 4th house Sun is also square to the Mars / Saturn / Ascendant conjunction.
Brian Connolly’s mother was a teenage waitress named Frances Connolly who left him in a Glasgow hospital as an infant whilst he was possibly suffering effects of meningitis. This occurred as Neptune closed to an exact conjunction with his Moon the perfect symbol for the mysterious disappearance ( Neptune ) of his mother ( Moon ).
As Neptune made the exact conjunction with his Sun, he was fostered, aged two, by Jim and Helen McManus and took their family name.
It is interesting that Connolly has one other planet in his 4th house besides his Libran stellium, which is Venus in Virgo. Both Pluto and Uranus were conjunct Brian’s Venus when, at the age of eighteen he inadvertently discovered his lineage and reverted to the name Connolly.
During 1995, Connolly’s partner Jean finally managed to track down his missing biological family. It emerged that he had an aunt in Ontario, Canada. She was able to reveal that Connolly’s true birth mother had died in 1989. However, she was also able to inform him that he had a living brother and sister. Both flew almost straight away to England to meet Connolly during November 1995, the result giving him some closure to an issue that had haunted him since the age of eighteen.
The astrological symbol of this closure was Neptune’s transit to oppose Connolly’s Saturn in 1995 bringing him release ( Neptune ) from his suffering ( Saturn ) about his family past ( Saturn in Cancer, Neptune in the 4th ). If any readers are not sure about this application of symbolism, they might be interested to note that Saturn was in opposition to his Neptune at the same time.
It also sad but true that both Saturn and Neptune were transiting square to Brian Connolly’s 4th house Sun and Moon when his birth mother died in 1989.
With these issues working away beneath the surface its hardly surprising that Connolly was drawn to Jupiter’s excess when given the opportunity.
Jupiter and Saturn are planetary opposites, the principles of expansion and contraction. Jupiter encourages you to do what you like, Saturn tells you to stop. Saturn is the most parsimonious planet, absolutely against Jupiterian excess and when it comes to transit it will always make the person pay for irresponsibility.
Saturn was conjunct Connolly’s Libra stellium in 1981, when he was admitted to hospital with bloating, and he sustained multiple heart attacks. His health was permanently affected with some paralysis on his left side which would later develop into a nervous system condition. These problems were most likely related to Connolly’s excessive alcohol consumption.
As usual Saturn had the final say in 1997 when it was opposite Connolly’s Libra stellium. In January 1997, he had another heart attack, after a week in hospital, he discharged himself, but he had to be readmitted the following week. This time there was little more that could be done. He died late in the evening of 9 February 1997, from renal failure, liver failure and repeated heart attacks, attributed to his previous chronic alcoholism. He was 51.
Brian Connolly had an extraordinary life propelled so strongly by the Libra stellium but one problem with putting all your eggs in one basket can be irreversible damage done to the said basket.