Death

RIP Dr. John

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My younger readers may not know anything about Dr. John the Night Tripper, whose Voodoo-styled brand of psychedelic rock was one of the more intriguing sounds to come out of the late 1960s and early 1970s.  Although he continued to play music throughout his life and won six Grammy awards, the magical persona of the New Orleans shaman draped in feathers and beads was uniquely suited to the cultural revolution of the Uranus/Pluto conjunction in Virgo that marked the 1960s and early 1970s.

Dr. John (born Malcolm John Rebennack Jr – Dr. John was his stage persona) died on June 6th of this year.  We don’t know his time of birth so we don’t know his ascendant (rising sign), but with his birth date (November 20, ) and place (New Orleans) we can see that he was born with the Sun in Scorpio, the sign that rules intense experiences that transform us from the inside out.  His Sun was opposite Uranus, the planet which expires radical behavior.  Individuals with strong Sun/Uranus contacts are often iconoclasts, blazing their own trail, and that was certainly true of Dr. John.  He was a rebel from his early years, quitting school to play music and develop his unique style.  He refused to follow rules of the musician’s union and was subsequently kicked out.

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Saturn conjoins Uranus in the chart, combining the Saturnine influence of repression and restriction with the urge to break out of routines and shackles that Uranus inspires.  These two planets are naturally in conflict with each other, and they are each opposite the Sun which makes for a complex personality.  Saturn opposing the Sun puts a lot of pressure on […]

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By |2019-06-09T16:30:46-04:00June 8th, 2019|Death, People|2 Comments

The astrology of Alexander McQueen

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I just watched the documentary about fashion designer Alexander McQueen on Netflix and was struck by both his exceptional genius and his turbulent personal life and apparently fragile psyche.

McQueen was born on March 17, 1969.  (Geeky astrological details: Astro.com has provided a birth time of 10:45 am but this is not an accurate birth time – apparently his mother is quoted as having said his time of birth was sometime between 9:30 and midnight.  The ascendant is the most visible piece of an astrological chart since it reflects the persona and the style of living.  9:30 pm puts Libra on the ascendant which doesn’t really makes sense with the penchant McQueen seemed to have for digging up the dark underbelly of the psyche and expressing it through fashion.  That is much more Scorpionic which would be reflected by a later birth time.  A Libra ascendant would have been much more driven towards creating beautiful and harmonious art whereas McQueen sought to horrify and disquiet his audience. “I use things that people want to hide in their heads. War, religion, sex; things we all think about, but don’t bring to the forefront. But I do and I force them to watch it.”)

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In any case, McQueen was born under the Pisces Sun, and his Moon was also in Pisces.  This was not a New Moon since the Moon was slightly behind the Sun where it is in the balsamic, or Dark Moon phase – a closing of the karmic cycle that requires lessons to be learned and a type of completion.  That this path was to be a difficult one is shown by the exact opposition of Pluto, planet of power and […]

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By |2019-02-14T15:00:25-04:00February 12th, 2019|Death, People|4 Comments

More on the death of David Carradine

Read the original article here. You read it here first: When I put up the post on Thursday afternoon about Carradine’s death, speculating that the likely cause of Carradine’s death was autoerotic asphyxiation, a Google search turned up no other articles on this topic. Now the details of Carradine’s tragic death have come out and there is no doubt that this was indeed the cause of his death.

When there is a fascination with the dark side of sexuality, we usually find a strong Pluto component to the chart. Pluto is the planet of death, rebirth and transformation, but it also has to do with intensity and compulsion and a fascination with the dark side of life. Carradine had a nearly exact opposition of Pluto to Venus in his birthchart, linking that compulsive nature (Pluto) to his relationships and patterns of relating to others. Venus/Pluto combinations can be problematic for relationships, and Carradine was married five times.

While Venus/Pluto combinations are nearly always difficult to some degree, they do NOT manifest the same way for everyone. The variables in human behavior makes astrology a less-than-exact science, and there are plenty of people with these combinations who go on to lead a healthy and happy life. I myself have Venus in Scorpio square Pluto, as I told someone in the comments section, and I have never been at all interested in this kind of darkness. It’s always easier to go back and demonstrate correspondences between the chart and behavior than to predict exactly how a planetary system will operate. So if your loved one has this in their chart, do NOT worry that they will die in a closet in Bangkok.

We don’t know the exact position of the Moon because we don’t know Carradine’s time of birth, but […]

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By |2018-08-30T09:30:40-04:00June 10th, 2018|Death, People|0 Comments

Musings on suicide, free will and fate

I’ve been fielding a lot of questions and comments about suicide in the past few weeks, specifically whether suicide shows up in the chart, so there’s something in the Zeitgeist. A close friend took his own life a few months ago so this has been present in my own life too especially since Pluto, planet of death, has been sitting right on my Sun for months. Following the suicide of Kate Spade, and now Anthony Bourdain, the questions and comments are intensifying.

Depression shows up in the chart. Potentiality for tragedy in the life shows up in the chart. Strength of will and personality show up in the chart.  Difficulty in managing stressful situations shows up in the chart. These are things we have no control over and, I believe, are present because they are life lessons to be learned. The choices that we make to navigate the difficulties in our life is part of our free will and NOT predestined.

Suicide runs in my family and I grew up with suicide as a life option, like going to college or moving to California. I considered it many times in the midst of terrible depression, although I never took action. So I do understand what drives humans to want to end their lives.

My friend Leah Whitehorse expressed my own views very well: ” I think something a lot of people forget is that we are not just living the karmic lessons of other lives but we are CREATING (caps for emphasis) karma in this life. My personal belief is that we are here to finish the lessons we came to learn so jumping off early is not part of the agenda. That said, I think it’s different if someone has […]

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By |2018-06-11T12:27:02-04:00June 8th, 2018|Death, Psychology|2 Comments

RIP Kate Spade


Designer Kate Spade, whose handbags can be seen everywhere, has died of an apparent suicide at the age of 55.  A fashion designer for many years,in 2006 she sold the successful company that she started with her husband in 1993.  Their more recent endeavors had not been as well received.

I recently did a session for a client who was very depressed and wanted to know if her chart showed a tendency towards suicide.  The fact is, while a chart can show whether an individual will suffer from depression and what form that is likely to take, how they manage their suffering is not something we can see in the chart.  We can see whether someone has the strength to actively fight for their health and turn their life around, but we can’t predict whether or not they will actually do it.

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Kate Spade’s chart (set for noon, no birth time available) does show the potential for psychological issues.  Emotional intensity (Pluto square the Moon) adds to a deep sense of abandonment as illustrated by stressful aspects from Chiron (soul wounding and healing) to both the Moon and Pluto. Uranus (radical behavior) is involved too in that system, which can sometimes suggest a tendency towards anxiety and a highly sensitized nervous system.  The fact that her Moon was in happy Sagittarius suggests that it would be difficult for her to delve into her unhappiness and would instead attempt to fly beyond her problems.

Ms. Spade’s chart was also weak in the fire element; her Sagittarius Moon provided motivation and drive but […]

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By |2018-06-11T12:27:28-04:00June 6th, 2018|Death, People, Psychology|7 Comments
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