Vphoto from modelimago.com

Ruslana Korshunova was a beautiful young woman who seemed to have everything going for her until she plunged to her death. Although friends said she appeared to be “on top of the world,” her web postings tell a different story, saying she felt lost and as if her heart was being “stomped all over.” Her death came two days before her twenty-first birthday. (Astrological chart here.)

One of the mysteries of astrological profiles is why two people with the same psychological dynamics will take very different roads. Perhaps it’s the environment they find themselves in; perhaps they make different choices. In any event, although we can see the seeds of difficulty in Rusiana’s chart it presented challenges that were no more difficult than those faced by many of us.

Ruslana was born with the Sun in Cancer – exceptionally sensitive and emotional, family would have been very important to her. Cancer is the sign that rules our family connections and geneaological roots, and there is often a strong affiliation to the tribal identity. Mercury was in Cancer in her chart, as was Mars, so the Cancerian influence was very strong. Ruslana was sending money home to her family in Kazakhstan. She was drafted into the fashion industry after a modeling agency spotted her photo in a magazine on the Kazakh club scene at the age of 15. It’s hard to imagine that she did not miss her family, no matter how glamourous her life became.

We don’t know Ruslana’s time of birth so we can’t pinpoint her rising sign which would tell us more about the way she lived her life, but we know that she had the Moon in Virgo, which is not comfortable with any big show of ego or pride, and requires a fair amount of security in one’s life. Combined with the sensitive Cancerian nature, hers is not a personality that would have been particularly comfortable with a great deal of attention. Her Cancer Sun was in a stressful aspect (opposition) to Neptune (illusion and deception), suggesting a difficulty for her to establish any kind of identity (Sun) for herself. Neptune/Sun people are often very malleable in their younger years and often are called on to sacrifice themselves for the sake of family or career. Neptune/Sun also can confer an ability to slip in and out of roles easily because of the lack of a clearly defined Self.

We can see in Ruslana’s chart a desire for more freedom in her Aries Jupiter (expansion and confidence in the sign of the warrior) making a square to her Cancer Mars (anger and desire). Jupiter in her chart also made a trine to Uranus (rebellion and radical change) which reveals even more of an independent streak that had been fed over the past few years by a harmonious transit of Pluto (transformation) which created huge changes in her life.

Still, the Virgo Moon tends toward depression, and Ruslana also had Saturn retrograde in her chart in a challenging aspect to her Moon. Saturn is the voice within us that tells us we’re not good enough so that we will work harder and become successful, and when retrograde (meaning it appeared to move backwards from our perspective on earth at the time she was born) that negative voice is internalized and becomes very self-critical. Ruslana would have always felt that she was not good enough and needed to work harder and do more – yet the combination of Mars, Jupiter and Uranus in her chart would have created pressure on her to flee and become her own person. Despite the glamorous travel and money of the modeling world, there is little freedom and this would have been very difficult for Ruslana.

In addiiton, Rusiana’s Venus (her relationships with others and her own self-esteem) was tightly conjunct Chiron (wounding and healing), signifying painful relationships with those she loves. This planetary combination was also opposed by Uranus, the planet of radical behavior that sometimes in the difficult aspects like this can reveal trauma, in this case coming through relationships (Venus). Her relationships would therefore likely be complicated and perhaps even abusive on some level.

We don’t know the exact degree of Ruslana’s Moon without a birth time, but it’s very likely that she was born in the morning and transiting Saturn had been passing over her Moon over the past few months, creating a sense of heaviness and depression. Saturn was preparing to make a square to Saturn in her birth chart which is accompanied at the age of 21 with a square of transiting Uranus to Uranus in the natal chart, a time that accelerates our pursuit of individuality and freedom. In addition, in two months Ruslana’s Sun would have progressed into Leo where she would have had more energy within her to begin to express herself and her own needs.

The real tragedy is that the drama of Ruslana Korshunova was hidden so deeply that no one around her could witness it and give her the support she needed to hang on until the crisis moment had passed.

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