Rush Limbaugh died yesterday at the age of 70. Arguably one of the right wing’s strongest influences, he dominated the airwaves of conservative media for over 30 years.
Limbaugh’s chart reveals a cocktail of hidden rage and trauma. With the Sun in Capricorn, he had a strong will to succeed and make his mark, but his Sun was in the 12th house of the hidden and the subconscious, and it was in a challenging square to Neptune, the modern planet which is associated with the 12th house. It’s often said that 12th house Sun people prefer to be hidden, but many politicians and other people of fame have 12th house Suns. However, these individuals tend not to crave the limelight but simply endure it for the sake of their work such as Tony Blair, George W Bush, and Jodie Foster. Perhaps this is why Limbaugh chose the radio format rather than television.
Limbaugh’s Moon was in Pisces – another Neptune/12th house correspondence, but here we have the emotional sensitivity of the Moon in the most sensitive of all signs. In Pisces the Moon tends to lack good boundaries and can easily become overwhelmed. Under its traditional Jupiter rulership, Pisces seeks escapism and the safety of theology, and Jupiter in Limbaugh’s chart is also in Pisces which amplifies the effect of Pisces in the chart. We would normally see these Pisces influences as demonstrating great empathy and depth of feeling, and we will never know if this was true for Rush Limbaugh – if it was, he kept it well hidden. Pisces can be easily deceived and can be somewhat of a shapeshifter and unreliable. Limbaugh was well known to be a fabricator of tall tales and for being somewhat loose with the truth, something which has come to be a hallmark of certain segments of the current political landscape.
But more importantly, the sensitive Pisces Moon was squared in the chart by Chiron, planet of wounding and healing, which suggests a deep sense of abandonment and depression. In addition, Pluto, planet of destruction and regeneration, opposite his Mars (aggression). This is an intense dynamic that typically correlates to a childhood in which violence of some kind is present, and there is often either an inflamed sense of rage, or the rage is repressed and emerges in other ways. Limbaugh’s Mars was in Aquarius which is the orator – the aggression comes out through intelligence and mind manipulation. But in any case, the aggression was potent and powerful especially with Mars, the god of war, in the first house along with Jupiter, the planet that shows where think we should be King.
Limbaugh’s chart includes a hard square aspect between Saturn and Uranus, so it’s interesting that he died on the day that Saturn and Uranus repeated that square in the sky. The aspect is not that unusual – it occurs every 14-15 years. But it does symbolize a conflict between the established order (Saturn) and rebellion against that order (Uranus). We have a birth time for Limbaugh that appears to have been confirmed by his mother reading his birth certificate on the air (per astro.com), and this time presents an Aquarius ascendant. Aquarius can be impersonal, and the combination of this detached facade with the super-sensitive and wounded Chiron/Pisces Moon would lead to a fair amount of overcompensation and a pretense of indifference. As with most individuals who appear to be egotistic, Limbaugh’s pretense at being larger than life would have stemmed from a narcissistic wound. Comments like “Even when I think I’m wrong, I’m right. I am all-knowing” are not usually made by people who are confident and comfortable in their own skin.
As astrologers, we often see the more extreme ideologies when there are inner conflicts between astrological signatures of conservatism (predominance of earth signs, Saturn) and signatures of liberal mindedness (air signs, Uranus). That inner struggle between safety and security and more innovative thinking often results in an individual who becomes dogmatic on the right wing, or angrily rebellious on the left.
This is particularly true for those of us who have strong squares between Saturn and Uranus in our chart such as myself and my own compatriots from the early 1950s. Rush Limbaugh is one of those, with a nearly exact square between Saturn and Uranus, Aquarius, the innovator, is rising in his chart so in some ways you might expect Rush to tilt more to the left. But with the Sun in Capricorn and Saturn opposite the Moon, that conservative bent won the battle between the two ideologies. But more important, the opposition between Mars in Aquarius and Pluto shows an obsession with power that makes the conservative mind view much more comfortable than a more liberal perspective which Rush deems “weak.”
Limbaugh admitted in 2003 to having been addicted to prescription medication for five years, which is not surprising given this cocktail of emotional trauma. He does not appear to have ever sought psychotherapeutic treatment which perhaps would have helped him to get to the root of his psychological pain. In January 2020, with the 2020 Saturn/Pluto conjunction sitting right on his Sun, he was diagnosed with lung cancer after years of denying that smoking was a cause of lung cancer. The irony was not lost on his critics.