The artist formerly and presently known as Prince died yesterday in his Minneapolis studio at the age of 57. The cause of death is unknown (an autopsy is planned for today and this article may be updated after that happens). A plane that Prince was on last week made an emergency landing so that Prince could receive medical treatment for what his publicist said was the flu. Prince had been battling health problems for many years: he was epileptic and had recently been using a cane to get around. It is reported that he needed both hips replaced but his religion (Jehovah’s Witness) precluded that as an option.
The tells an interesting story of a powerful yet troubled individual. Born under the lighthearted sign of Gemini, Prince had a strongly Plutonic thread running through his chart. Scorpio was rising (ruled by Pluto), Pluto opposed the Moon and conjoined the Midheaven, and his Sun was in the 8th house (ruled by Pluto). Where Gemini is flexible and fluid, Pluto is powerful and intense and when Pluto predominates in the chart as it does here there is a need for the individual to travel through the darkness of the underworld of the psyche in order to gain wisdom and a high level of personal power.
Saturn, the ruler of self-doubt and pressure to achieve, was retrograde which signifies a higher degree of self-criticism, and it opposed his Sun which is a potent driver towards success and a relentless critic at the same time. His softhearted Pisces Moon would have been rocked by the intensity of Pluto, and the dichotomy between his emotional softness (Moon) and this tremendous Plutonic force of continual transformation would have been a challenge on a personal level at the same time as it drove his career to soaring heights.
His death at age 57 is significant since the ages of 56-58 corresponds to the progressed Lunar Return and the Saturn Return). Just a few months ago Prince’s ex-partner Vanity died at age 57. Steve Jobs died at age 56. We often hear of the “27 Club” – the large number of brilliant musicians who have died at the age of 27, corresponding to the first progressed Lunar Return.
The progressed chart is a tool astrologers use for forecasting and while there are many methods to accomplish this I use “secondary progressions” which are simple and effective. During the period building up to Prince’s death there were several intense factors in the progressed chart that would have pushed any underlying issues to the forefront of the psyche and potentially create health problems. His progressed Sun had transited natal Uranus (ruler of electricity and the body’s electromagnetic field) a few years ago and aligned with Uranus in the progressed chart this year. This could have exacerbated conditions of the nerves such as epilepsy. In addition, his progressed Mars exactly squared natal Uranus just a few weeks ago which could have triggered any underlying rage but also would have intensified the nervous energy of the other Uranian factors.
We often see Jupiter (the Greater Benefic – liberator, bringer of good fortune) present at the time of death, and that is true here as well: Jupiter was in a challenging square to Prince’s Sun, offering a release from the emotional and physical challenges he was undergoing.
It is sad to see such a brilliant and creative soul flame out at such a relatively young age. Rest in peace Prince Rogers Nelson.