27 Club

Prince Rogers Nelson has died

Prince astrology chartThe 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 astrology chart of Prince Rogers Nelson 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.

By | 2016-04-22T08:09:34+00:00 April 22nd, 2016|People, Uncategorized|21 Comments

Amy Winehouse, dead at 27

Amy Winehouse dead The number of musicians who have died at age 27 (putting her in the sadly named “27 Club”) has just increased by one.  Amy Winehouse died Saturday July 23 of a drug overdose at her home in London.

I profiled Amy Winehouse back in 2007:

Amy Winehouse is a Virgo (see chart), the sign known for its reticent and modest behavior which just shows how little validity Sun Sign astrology has. There is another brand of Virgo which some call the “Radical Virgo” in which the famous Virgo powers of analysis and perfectionism are combined with other elements in the chart to create a more reactionary personality. Amy’s chart shows six planets in fire signs which keep her locked forever in a battle between the conservative side of her Virgo nature and the urge that the fire element evokes for a freer life.

Her Sun is squared by Neptune, the planet that dissolves the boundaries of ordinary reality. While this combination stimulates tremendous creativity, there can also be difficulty establishing boundaries and confusion over one’s own identity as defined by the Sun. Neptune conjoins her Moon which is another significator for creative brilliance as well as musical ability, but again there is a struggle to keep one’s feet on the ground. This strong Neptunian signature often suggests an individual who is either a saint or a drunk as the desire to transcend reality can go in either direction. …

This conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus is opposed by Chiron, a small planet in the Kuyper belt that signifies the Wounded Healer. When in a difficult aspect to other planets, Chiron indicates a deep psycho-emotional wound that doesn’t heal, but which ultimately serves as the guide to the individual’s ability to heal themselves. In Amy’s chart, Chiron is in Gemini which shows that this deep wound for her is in her ability to express herself to others. We see another indicator of that in the fact that Mercury is retrograde in her chart (meaning it appeared to move backwards at the time she was born). Chiron is also retrograde, suggesting that this wound runs deep. The opposition of Chiron to Uranus, which is not uncommon in individuals born between 1955 and 1985, has a well-documented tendency to evoke addictive behaviors because of its intense effect on the nervous system.

This is a dramatic combination of diverse planetary influences that can be difficult to reconcile, and Amy’s strong Neptunian influence facilitates her amazing creative expression but also creates delusion and illusion in her life. read the whole article here.

The 27 Club

Other musicians who died at the age of 27 include Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain.  See this article for more information about the astrology of the 27 Club.

Astrologically this age is defined by the progressed lunar return – the time when the progressed Moon returns to the same degree as the natal chart.  (There is a second Return at around age 56-57 before the second Saturn Return, and if we’re lucky a third one as well.)  During the progressed lunar return there is an emotional opening that prepares us for the work of the Saturn Return.  During this time we are opened up in a way that can be painful for some since it necessitates a frank and honest awareness of who we are at the emotional level.

All of this would have been more difficult than usual for Amy Winehouse since transiting Chiron was (wounding and healing) making a challenging square to her natal Chiron and likely bringing up many past wounds in order to open her heart.  Because alcohol and drug addiction was her coping mechanism, it probably took more of those substances than usual to numb the pain.

Sadly, I suspect that this was an accidental overdose rather than intentional.

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By | 2011-07-23T20:17:40+00:00 July 23rd, 2011|People, Saturn Return|3 Comments

The 27 Club and the Progressed Lunar Return

Progressed lunar returnI found this article in a link from Astrococktail about the frequency of musicians who have been found dead at age 27.  Most of us know about the potentially problematic experiences of the Saturn Return at age 28, but this was a connection I had not thought much about.

Before each Saturn Return we all experience something called the Progressed Lunar Return which occurs when the Progressed Moon returns to its place in the natal chart.  (The progressed chart marks the passage of time and the evolution of the natal chart as we age and evolve.)  The Progressed Moon takes 27-28 years to complete the cycle around the natal chart, and it generally marks an opening of the emotional body that can be exhilarating or painful, depending on the chart and the way the individual handles challenges.  The Progressed Lunar Return prepares us for the Saturn Return the following year.

Here are just a few examples of the musicians in the 27 Club:

Brian Jones (2/28/42, time unknown), original member of the Rolling Stones, died July 3, 1969 by drowning.  His natal Moon was extremely stressed by a conjunction of Saturn and Chiron, and at the time of his death transiting Saturn was exactly square to that difficult triple conjunction that included his natal Moon.

Jimi Hendrix died about six months after his Progressed Lunar Return, with transiting Saturn was crossing the IC of his chart (the cusp of the Fourth House which in some systems is connected to death).  The Moon in Hendrix’s chart was not particularly stressed, conjuncting Jupiter which typically confers a positive and confident attitude, but that Moon/Jupiter conjunction made an exact square to the Midheaven of his chart and it is likely that his career (Midheaven) pulled him away from a satisfying emotional life (Moon/Jupiter in Cancer).  The Progressed Lunar Return would have brought this dissatisfaction to a head and the transit of Saturn would have forced matters to a crisis point.

Janis Joplin died five months after her Progressed Lunar Return.  The sensitivity of her Cancer Moon was squared by Neptune which can show emotional imbalance as well as a heightened creative power.  During the months prior to her death, transiting Chiron and Uranus were opposed in the sky, and both planets were exactly square to Janis’s Moon at the time that her Progressed Lunar Return was opening her emotional body and creating even more vulnerability.

Both Joplin and Hendrix had an exact conjunction of Chiron (Wounded Healer) to the North Node (evolutionary purpose), suggesting a potential crisis in the completion of the Earth Mission.

There is no need to fear the Progressed Lunar Return, any more than we need to fear other challenging transits.  There is great potential for growth and the exhilaration of transformation in the more difficult planetary events, but we must be willing to open ourselves up to new possibilities of awareness.

Update: Laura Boomer-Trent emailed me that the Astrological Lodge of London had done work in this area back in 2004 and you can find more about that here including an interesting but complex calculation connecting the Uranus and Neptune trines here.

By | 2009-05-25T07:37:17+00:00 May 25th, 2009|Death, People, Saturn Return|Comments Off on The 27 Club and the Progressed Lunar Return