I do a fair amount of what I call “repair readings” – readings for people who have been told things by other astrologers that are upsetting and sometimes ridiculous. Like the time a client was told that at a certain time she would meet someone and it would be the only opportunity she would ever have to find her soulmate. Or when an astrology told a client that her daughter would die on a certain date.
In 2008 I wrote a post “If you could predict death, would you?” The subject has come up again because of a discussion on a Facebook group in which I participate and since 2008 there is more information available on the subject out on the web.
The whole idea of predicting death is based on the idea that the time of death is fated – that it is set in stone and can’t be changed. This concept in itself is a huge point of argument among astrologers. I personally believe that our family of origin, our astrological chart, and the timing of the planetary cycles that affect us are all fated, but that at an early age we begin to make choices that affect the rest of our lives.
When I was with my mother in the last months of her life I witnessed something else that was pretty amazing – when she was near the moment of death she suddenly decided that she wanted to go to the hospital. She was quite insistent about it and the ambulance was called, and she lived another three months. The hospice nurse told me that this is quite common – they speak about it as a “surge of energy” that lasts for a few days or a few weeks. My mother had a very strong will, and she was determined not to die. And she didn’t, until she was able to return home. At that point she died within 36 hours. I believe that she was then able to relax and let go.
My point is that it appeared to me that she had some choice as to the moment of death. You hear stories about people who remain alive waiting for family members to arrive. Or until after Christmas. All of these events point away from the idea that the moment of death is fated.
Sometimes there are events that DO appear to be fated. An acquaintance of mine was walking with a friend at 6:30 in the morning last week and was hit by a drunk driver and killed. Certainly that experience had nothing to do with choice. I did examine her chart and there were clearly stressful aspects on that day but nothing that would lead me to suggest death.
Modern astrology has no techniques for predicting death and indeed, the idea of predicting death goes against everything most modern astrologers believe in which is empowerment of the client. Medieval and Hellenistic astrology as well as Vedic, all of which are more based in the idea of fate, do possess techniques for predicting death. One well known astrologer, Richard Houck, wrote an entire book about it called the “Astrology of Death” – however, he was unable to accurately predict his own. Using his own techniques he arrived at a date of 2031 for his demise – in fact he died of cancer in 2001.
Which brings me to the point – even if you could predict death, why would you? How is that helpful? Saturn in his role of Kronos the time keeper has already told us that our lives are fleeting – that time is passing. We already know that death is coming – we do not need to know when that moment will arrive. At every moment we have the opportunity to make choices to enhance our lives and those of our loved ones and our communities, and in my mind that is the most important thing that astrology can do for us.