It adds fuel to the tragedy of Heath Ledger’s early demise that his work in the latest Batman film is garnering reviews that call him the greatest actor of his generation. Although his death was considered accidental, the quantity of (legal) pharmaceutical drugs in his body indicate a troubled soul desperate for relief.
Heath Ledger was determined to win fame through serious acting and not by capitalizing on his “pretty boy” looks. He won an Oscar nomination for his breakthrough performance in Brokeback Mountain, and won critical acclaim in his character performances in other films. He dated Naomi Watts for two years before apparently settling down with Michelle Willliams when their baby was born in 2005. They ended their relationship in 2007 and were often photographed by paparazzi in various arguments.
Although Ledger had a fiery Aries Sun, his astrological chart shows that he was an extremely sensitive individual. His Moon (emotional needs and nature) was in the sign of Cancer which rules emotions and moods. Mars (drive and aggressive instinct) was in Pisces where it tends to blur our desires and make it difficult to achieve them, and so was Mercury (mental functions) which shows an extremely empathic and delicate individual.
Both of these planets have been stressed by cycles Pluto over the past two years, creating upheaval in his life and likely dredging up (Pluto rules the Underworld of the psyche) old emotions and thoughts that were problematic. Venus in Ledger’s chart was also in Pisces, showing that he was a romantic and yearned for relationships (Venus) where he could connect totally with his mate. However, Venus was opposite the planet Saturn which can be cold and critical, indicating that he never felt that he was good enough for his partners.
Saturn in his chart was retrograde which intensifies the effect even more and suggests that he was most critical of himself. It is difficult for someone with a fiery Aries Sun to have so many planets in water signs in the birthchart since that fire is not able to be easily expressed. This sometimes leads to depression and an inner rage. Ledger was in the middle of his Saturn Return at the time of his death. This is an event that happens to all of us when we’re about 28-30, and Saturn in the sky returns to the same degree as Saturn in our birth chart. This is a time of either great stress or great achievements, and sometimes both.
For someone who is innately self-critical, the Saturn Return can be a very difficult time when all of our dreams and longings are blocked by the Lord of Time (Saturn). Saturn can be a severe taskmaster, and these two years are best spent in hard work and struggle for achievement which can then be rewarded. Some people experience their greatest success during these periods. But many others instead struggle against the Taskmaster’s pressure to grow up and face the next stage of our life, and for these people the Saturn Return is difficult indeed.
Because Ledger’s Venus made a tight aspect to Saturn in his chart, Saturn affected Venus during the Saturn Return which culminated in November of 2007 (he probably started feeling it in October as Saturn approached his Venus and natal Saturn), coinciding with the period immediately following his breakup with Michelle Williams in September of last year. At the time of his death, transiting Mars made a square to Mars in his chart, perhaps the irritating influence that pushed him over the edge. It’s such a tragedy when someone so young takes their own life, never realizing that time is the greatest healer.
At the time the Batman movie came out last week, transiting Jupiter (abundance and opportunity) was making an exact trine to the North Node in Ledger’s chart. The North Node is a signpost that points to our destiny, and a transit of Jupiter to the North Node often brings about a significant event that aligns us with a successful traverse of our life’s path. This is a fitting conclusion to the short life of Heath Ledger.