Autopsy # 2: Ian Curtis

Ian Kevin Curtis  7-15-1956

Date of Death 5-18-1980


13/4Personal Year at time of death, Destiny Number, 1st Pinnacle

Ian was 23 when he died, just as Joy Division was to embark on their US tour. People often see an increase in work, responsibility, and need for organization during a 4 year.  This number appears several times in is chart: as his Destiny, one of his  Soul numbers (soul aspiration position) one of his Karmic Lessons, and it’s his first Pinnacle.

4 energy is  denser and slow moving, and people working with it may feel like they are wading through cement, expending a lot of effort but seeming to get nowhere. Unless one is patient, this can be a frustrating number to deal with. But what it attempts to do is stabilize. It forces one to stay with the process and build steadily. The gravity of 4’s plodding movement may have been what proved to much for Ian, who hanged himself in his kitchen after sending his wife away for the night.

Ian craved stability – but struggled to achieve balance as he attempted to cope with  depression, the ramifications of an extramarital affair on his marriage, and frequent epileptic seizures. He desired the rootedness of family but rebelled against the oppressiveness of the responsibility.

9 – Personal Month and Day (at death), Intensity, and Soul Undercurrent

The number 9 is prominent in Ian Curtis’ chart. In a 4 personal year, May would be a 9 personal month, and the 18th would be a 9 personal day. Ian’s intensity number was also a 9, and his soul undercurrent was a 9.

On the surface, 9 is about endings, so his death is not a surprising event in this context. But the fact that this energy of self-negation appears frequently in key positions in Ian’s chart is interesting. As an undercurrent, it is a subtle influence, nearly imperceptible, but moves him through the events of his life the way a rutter propels a ship. 9 is a vortex energy (like 6 and 1) so its movement is powerful. It wants to do two things: Destroy and Resolve. This is the force that pulls matter apart, and is also the place where matter exists for rebuilding. It is a force of renewal, and offers a sense of fullness, safety, all-encompassing love, and oneness if one is courageous enough to surrender to its pull.

“Love Will Tear Us Apart” is perhaps Joy Division’s best known single, and the title’s  message corresponds to the action of 9 energy, essentially that all things are resorbed into oblivion. The cosmic force behind all destruction and rebuilding is attraction, gravity,  or as we qualify and romanticize it, love. Cosmically speaking, the force we call love is more impersonal than we care to admit. But its pull is,  in the end, irresistible, and we are undone by it.

We make judgments about failure, weakness, self-destructive behavior, but in nature, this action is a necessary part of creation. All of us will eventually be reduced to our component parts, becoming food or flower. The cycle goes on; this is the action of 9. It is possible to open to 9 without literally destroying the body, but one must be willing to forfeit everything to get there.

7Life Path, Karmic Lesson, Middle Name,

Ian’s middle name, Kevin, reduces to a 7. The middle name tells us about our emotional life, qualities that aren’t so obvious to casual observers. This number was also his Life Path – governing the terrain of his short journey here.

7 rules the world of dreams, prayers, all that lies beneath the surface – the hidden, mysterious forces that move through everything. Individuals who are walking a 7 life path are often hard to read, and prefer to be left to themselves, in quiet, in solitude.

The lesson of 7 is that of faith. When there are no obvious answers left, we have no other recourse  but go inward, to our dreams, to our god, to our own wisdom.

In Ian’s chart, we discover two energies that wish to accomplish opposing things: the anchoring, physical, matter-loving energy of 4, and the ephemeral, consciousness-dwelling aspect of 7.  To resolve these numbers, we subtract, and our resolution should be found in the number 3.  The difference then  between the material world (4) and dreams(7) is expression: art, music, celebration, love.

Certainly, Ian was able to express his soul through his music and poetry. There are those who wonder that if his epilepsy was better controlled,  then maybe he would have had the constitution to work through his depression. Epilepsy is an electrical surge – like lighting in the brain.  Lightning is the result of electrical charged air (7) making contact with earth(4). The discharge is seen and heard, and the air is purified. Perhaps his epilepsy was (holistically speaking) the surge of much creative energy  seeking outlet.

7 is also the vibration around the dark night of the soul – because it isolates. Interestingly, the house number of his Macclesfield home was 77. Part of the difficulty of working with 7 is the  fear of the unknown.  Ian Curtis’ life path energy would have taught him to have faith – that the answer will come, and the 9 energy in his chart would have reassured him that he didn’t always have to be right, it was his purpose to exist and dwell in love no matter what.

It’s been reported that he had been listening to Iggy Pop’s The Idiot before he died. The journey of 7 is to chance  looking like an idiot – of misstepping, of taking a risk and failing, of making a move without having all the information or having a Plan B. The 4 energy would have resisted this urge to move forward without due diligence.  Both vibrations seek perfection – a painful struggle, indeed.



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