Leonard Cohen & Marianne – his absent muse


The great love affair between Leonard Cohen and Norwegian Marianne Ihlen, which marked both their lives, though they weren’t physically together for long or faithful to one another, has been immortalised in a new cinema-release documentary Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love, directed by English film-maker Nick Broomfield. She was the inspiration behind many of his songs – So Long, Marianne; Hey; That’s No Way to Say Goodbye; Bird on the Wire – his muse and lifetime love, yet their relationship was chaotic and painful and ultimately short-lived.

They met in the early 1960s when Cohen was writing poetry on the Greek island of Hydra which was home to an émigré community of bohemians, artists and lotus eaters, with everyone having affairs with everyone else. Cohen then moved to New York to start a musical career which took off. She ultimately went back to Norway and married into a settled bourgeois life, though the Cohen connection was always there. They died within three months of each other in 2016.

Cohen was born 21 September 1934 6.45am Montreal, Canada and she 18 May 1935 in Norway. Her Taurus Sun was a good earthy fit with his Virgo Sun; and her Scorpio Moon was probably trine his Pluto for a possessive crossover. But there is less of a connection than I would have expected to find.

Their relationship chart did have a composite transformational Sun Pluto conjunction which makes for an intense connection and one that changes both of them, though it needn’t necessarily last for ever. There was also composite Sun and widely Venus opposition a North Node square Jupiter which would bring luck and good feelings.

Pic: Gorupdebesanez


2 thoughts on “Leonard Cohen & Marianne – his absent muse

  1. Their Neptune Venus conjunction in Cohen’s 12th house describes the nebulous and mostly non material nature of their connection perfectly- a perfect love for a poet and his muse.

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