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Don't Think Twice, It's All Right

Being the rock-singer son of a rock legend (and cultural icon) has got to be a little awkward. In the case of Bob Dylan's youngest son, Jakob, frontman for The Wallflowers, it's previously been a “don't ask don't tell” situation. The handsome singer with the voice that at times is eerily reminiscent of Dad's (but smoother than the gravelly tones of Bob) has made a business of not talking about his family legacy or how it's affected him. The Wallflowers just released their latest CD, Breach, and at last, the enigmatic son of an enigma tells us how it feels.

Born under opposite signs, the two Dylans have astrological connections that are respectful but distant. Father Bob is a Gemini (with the three planets in the brilliant and quick-witted sign), while son Jakob is a Sag (with four planets in this restless sign of the student and teacher). Jakob's Venus in Sagittarius is in the same sign as his father's rising sign. The rising sign (aka Ascendant) is all about a person's image in the world. The Venus-rising sign connection is warm, but the underlying message from the father is "You are a romantic reflection of me and my artistic talent" (Venus rules romance and art).

Young Dylan seems to acknowledge this role of keeper of his father's reputation/reflector of his glory, but longs for more knowledge and unconditional love. On the album's first single, "Sleepwalker," Jakob (who writes all the songs on the CD) sings:

"Maybe I could be the one they adored
That could be my reputation,
It's where I'm from that lets them think I'm a whore
I'm an educated virgin."

Young Dylan's role seems similar to the dignifed, privileged, late-bloomer role that John F. Kennedy Jr., another Sag, played in response to his legendary father, who, like the elder Dylan, was also a hyper-articulate, charismatic Gemini.

It Ain't Me, Babe

Jakob Dylan never acts or talks like a brat (at least not publicly), complaining about being the son of a historical figure, but he does seem to turn the public's perceived disappointment in him on himself. In "Hand Me Down" off the new album, he sings:

"You're a hand me down
It's better when you're not around
You feel good and you look like you should
But you won't ever make us proud."

Jakob's Mercury (planet of communication) is in Sagittarius, the sign of the late bloomer. The archetypal Sag needs to do a lot of roaming, meandering and aimless living before he matures into the philosopher figure who is finally ready to preach from experience. Father Bob has Mercury in Gemini, the quick-witted sign that rules the planet of articulation, and it sits opposite his son's Mercury in Sag. (Editor's Note: Jakob Dylan's planetary positions were calculated using a sunrise chart. If he was born in the afternoon, his Mercury would be in Capricorn.) No doubt Jakob is able to pick up on his father's detached and unimpressed reaction to his music.

But if Bob lives long enough, he may end up finding that the fruit didn't fall far from the tree. It may take the son awhile to come into his own as a social commentator and rock poet, but with Sun, Moon, Mercury and Venus all in Sag, a sign associated with sometimes embarassing truthfulness and fanatical idealism, he will grow into this role eventually, and honestly. Bob may just have to understand that it's a lot easier for a man like himself with Sun, Mercury and Venus in verbally-brilliant Gemini to articulate his vision, than a stumbling Sag archer.

You Gotta Serve Somebody

So what's coming up for both Dylans? Well, Bob recently went through his second Saturn return. Saturn returns come three times, (every twenty nine years, approximately) if we live that long. Bob's first was shortly after Jakob's birth, and his second one was this past May. This return of Saturn, which normally occurs around age fifty-nine, signifies a "coming to terms" period in an individual's life, particularly where it comes to issues such as mortality, spirituality and leaving a legacy on this Earth.

Even though young Jakob's songs reflect his "under-achiever" persona, the elder Dylan may also be dealing with the possibility that his most significant working years on this Earth are behind him. Perhaps he will find the real spiritual meaning in his life that he searched for so awkwardly in the public eye so many years ago. Of course, when lucky Jupiter transits Bob's Sun, then Venus, then Mercury in spring 2001, the father may once again outshine the son.

One year later, in late winter/spring 2002, volatile Pluto will go over Jakob's Sun. At that time, Jakob may make a radical change in the way he makes music, and finally find a way out of his father's shadow. It may not be as radical as when Bob first went electric, but it should still make pretty big waves in the rock community, and certainly within Jakob's own psyche. In the meantime, as lucky Jupiter opposes Jakob's Venus (in November 2000), the Wallflower may have to explore issues around gratitude (a strong Jupiter theme). He may at times wish that he didn't have such a famous dad and could truly "make it on his own," but during this current cycle he is being pushed to thank his lucky stars for the good fortune of being born a Dylan.



Jill Dearman is the author of the gay best sellers Queer Astrology For Men and Queer Astrology For Women (St. Martins Griffin/1999). She has been professionally practicing astrology for twelve years and currently writes horoscopes for the national magazines Twist and Girlfriends as well as numerous papers syndicated via Q Syndicate. She has written about subjects from astrology to literature to film and theater in Mademoiselle, Publishers Weekly and HX. An excerpt from her upcoming novel, The Great Bravura, was featured in Best Lesbian Erotica 2000(Cleis Press). She also writes and produces films. The Village Voice called Dearman a "risk surfing playwright" whose work "shocks and rocks." She is a 1999/2000 artist in residence at HERE in New York City.

Jill is also the author of LoveCycles, an email-delivered guide to love and relationships based on individual birth data, available in the Shop@StarIQ.

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Other StarIQ articles by Jill Dearman:

  • Brendan Fraser: More Than Just a Pretty Face   4/27/2001
  • Sarah Michelle Gellar: Every Girl's Heroine   4/25/2001
  • Geoffrey Rush: The Moody Marquis   3/23/2001
  • Julia Roberts and Benjamin Bratt: Still Peaking   1/30/2001
  • Kate Winslet's Passionate Choices   12/29/2000
  • Helen Hunt and Hank Azaria: What Does This Woman Want?   12/5/2000
  • Bounce Star Ben Affleck: The Ball is in His Court   12/1/2000
  • Charlie's Angels: Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu   11/25/2000
  • Jim Carrey and Renee Zellweger: Dr. Seuss Meets Nurse Betty   11/17/2000
  • The Bedroom Astrologer 11-15-00   11/15/2000
  • Bono's Return to Roots of Rock   11/4/2000
  • The Bedroom Astrologer 11-1-00   11/1/2000
  • Geena Davis and Bette Midler: Big Stars on the Small Screen   10/27/2000
  • Janet Jackson's Down-to-Earth Planets   10/21/2000
  • Gloria Steinem: Happy At Last   10/14/2000
  • The Strange Musical Path of Bjork   9/26/2000
  • Picture Perfect Couple: Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston   9/15/2000
  • Harrison and Michelle: A Return to Classic Hollywood   9/8/2000
  • Drew Barrymore: Happily Ever After At Last?   9/1/2000
  • Meg Ryan in the Middle   8/18/2000
  • Mark Wahlberg: Marky Mark is Back   8/12/2000
  • The Return of Cat Stevens   8/4/2000
  • Lou Reed and The Smashing Pumpkins: Piscean Themes   7/29/2000
  • Patti Smith: Her Gung Ho Comeback   7/21/2000
  • Rupert Everett: The Ultimate Gemini   7/7/2000
  • Angelina and Billy Bob: Hollywood's Mod, Odd Couple   6/30/2000
  • The Virgin Suicides: New Hollywood Meets Old Hollywood   6/2/2000
  • Opposites Attract On Screen   5/26/2000
  • Beatty and Bening's New Baby   5/19/2000
  • Aquarian Psycho   5/12/2000
  • Puff Daddy and Jennifer Lopez   5/5/2000
  • Chloe Sevigny's Scorpionic Exploration of Sexuality   3/25/2000
  • Water Signs Rule the Cider House   3/23/2000
  • These Men are from Venus   3/10/2000
  • The Tangled Web of Ripley   3/2/2000
  • Aries Grrrl Warriors: Where Will They Go From Here?   2/18/2000

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