The singer Whitney Houston recently passed. Glancing briefly at some of the predictive factors leading up to her death I’ve found that there was a strong emphasis on Saturn, both her natal and transiting Saturn. Her death occurred while Saturn transited through her 8th house (Libra), occupied natally by Mars. There was also a highlighting of transiting Mars in her 7th house by monthly profection. In this article, I provide a brief look at her natal chart, last solar return, last lunar return, and transits of the day of death.
Planetary Years: Sun & Saturn
Planetary years were used by many ancient astrologers for signifying the activation of natal planets and configurations.
Whitney was 48 1/2 at the time of death, which is her 49th year. One of the more interesting combinations due at that age is the combination of the Sun (19) and Saturn (30), summing to 49. Whitney was born with an applying Sun-Saturn opposition across the health and loss oriented 6th and 12th houses, Leo and Aquarius (the houses of the Sun and Saturn respectively). Sun-Saturn is particularly symbolic of death. Saturn is the natural significator of death and coldness. Natally, it opposes the Sun, the natural significator of vital power and the heart. Therefore, this configuration, strikingly symbolic of death, had its main activation by planetary years at about 49 years (49th year from birth).
I bring up planetary years first, because it is an easy but nearly always overlooked technique. A cursory examination of the chart should alert us that there is an applying Sun-Saturn opposition in the chart, involving difficult houses. From there we immediately should consider possibility of important events pertaining to the configuration occurring at about 49 years of age. The configuration speaks of vitality, authority, or power (Sun) eventfully meeting an obstacle, lack, or loss (Saturn), while the 6th and 12th houses speak of danger to the health and well-being. Other indications involving this configuration and Saturn should then be closely examined.
Annual Profection: 1st House, Jupiter – A Benefic Attended by Difficulty
Whitney Houston died at age 48, a multiple of 12. Therefore, Whitney was in a 1st Place, Pisces, annual profection. Jupiter was the lord of the year. While naturally benefic, Jupiter has a particularly broad range of signification in the natal chart. Positively, Jupiter, a natural benefic, is symbolic of abundance, and is here in the house of money, with the Moon (sect light) closely conjoining it, and with rulership of the self and career (1st and 10th). However, more difficult indications pertain to Jupiter’s location in a dark place (2nd), out of sect (it’s a night birth), partilely overcome by Saturn (itself out of sect in a dark place), and the opposition from Mars in the 8th. Mars is noteworthy as it also opposes the Moon, the significator of the body. Therefore, reversals of Jupiter’s fortunate indications can pertain to either malefic.
Last Solar Return: 8th House Saturn Rising
While I find considerable significance in both precessed and non-precessed solar returns in my own practice. Here, I use Houston’s normal (non-precessed) solar return (note: I do no relocate returns). Her final return is striking. Saturn, natural significator of death, is in Libra conjunct the return Ascendant, significator of the self and conjunct natal Mars. Libra is Houston’s 8th house (house of death). Return Saturn is dominated by return Mars in Cancer. Additionally, Jupiter, the lord of the year, is placed in the solar return 8th house.
Last Lunar Return: 8th House Saturn Rising
Whitney’s final lunar return took place on January 28th, 2012, and is pictured.
Her final lunar return echoed the solar return with Saturn in Libra rising again, strongly advancing toward the return Ascendant within 6 degrees.
In this case, Saturn was additionally in the bound of Mars (natal occupant of the 8th house). The lunar return Moon, significator of the body, applies an opposition to Saturn. Saturn is also opposed to Jupiter (lord of the year) out of sign but within 3 degrees. Jupiter is again in the 8th house of the return.
Monthly Profection: 7th House, Mercury
The monthly profection of the Ascendant for the month of death (Feb. 9th to March 9th) is to the 7th Place, Virgo, ruled by and occupied by natal Mercury (side note: nMercury is conj. her nPluto within a degree). The 7th place, the place where the Sun and planets set, was one of the places associated with death in ancient astrology (though often less so than the 8th).
Of the 7th place, Manilius (1st Century CE) wrote, “…wonder not if it is called the portal of somber Pluto and keeps control over the end of life and death’s firm-bolted door. Here dies even the very light of day, which the ground beneath steals away from the world and locks up captive in the dungeon of night” (Manilius, Astronomica, Book 2, 951-954, Goold trans., p. 157-159).
Interestingly, Houston (symbolized by the profected Ascendant) entered the house (7th) occupied by transiting Mars which was at 20 Virgo at the time. Natally, Mars occupies Houston’s 8th House of death. The monthly profection is congruent with the significations that the month beginning Feb. 9th may bring her into contact with danger (symbolized by transiting Mars). Mars was afflicting Mercury (lord of the month) and in the natal chart afflicts Jupiter (lord of the year). Additionally, the lord of the month, Mercury, was at the time transiting through Aquarius, occupied by natal Saturn.
Death Transits: The Moon Arrives, Saturn in Focus
On the day of her death in Beverly Hills in the early afternoon of Feb. 11, 2012, the Moon was transiting through Libra, Houston’s 8th house. She was transiting there with Saturn and past natal Mars. Meanwhile, the transiting Sun, with Mercury (lord of the month), in late Aquarius, cogently emphasized the Sun-Saturn configuration. The Sun’s transit of her Saturn was still fresh within 3 degrees of orb at the time of death.