This will be a rather focused revisit of the astrology of Whitney Houston’s death, simply to showcase a couple of the important facets of the primary directions at the time of death.
I discussed the important basic major astrological factors relating to her death previously – please click here and refer to that post for a more detailed discussion than provided here. To simplify and summarize, a number of predictive techniques highlighted the importance of Saturn generally, her natal Saturn-Sun opposition, and Saturn’s transit through the 8th House of her chart (the one that pertains most strongly to death). At the time of death we find the transiting Sun conjunct her natal Saturn and the transiting Moon in her 8th with natal 8th House Mars and applying to that transiting 8th House Saturn. Altogether, 8th House and Sun-Saturn themes abound in the predictive indications.
Some commentary on that article prompted me to explore primary directions next within my series on ancient predictive techniques, so as to establish what counts as pre-Renaissance traditional type of primary direction, basic manner of use in ancient astrology, and how one can calculate such with free software. The first post on primary directions concerned the primacy of the Ascendant in early directions and the time lord technique of directing the Ascendant through the bounds. This later came to be known as the distribution. The bound lord is called the distributor, or jarbakhtar from Persian terminology. I also explained how to calculate primary directions. Since that time an update of the Traditional Morinus version of the software has been released which improves the display when directing through bounds. You can download the software here.
In this post, I won’t be discussing all the ancient theories and techniques regarding death prognostication. I will hit on them a bit in future posts, particularly those in this series and the primary directions series, but here the main thing to note is that many of the techniques involved direction of a malefic planet, star, lot, or point (for instance, the Descendant is symbolic of death so a direction of the Sun to the Descendant could signify death) to a planet, lot, or point that signifies health and the body, particularly one of the Lights or the Ascendant. Even though conjunctions, squares, and oppositions are more important, for the most part the type of aspect is not as important, since primary directions take so long to occur, and often a planet will only aspect another planet or point a few different times and ways throughout the whole life.
Directing Through the Bounds
I advise that one should always look at the direction of the Ascendant through the bounds, taking the bound lord as an important time lord, known as the distributor or jarbakhtar. This is done in Morinus as discussed in the past post on primary directions, producing the following table.
As we can see from the table above, Saturn is the main time lord of the period (day of death was Feb. 11, 2012), and we find that this technique, as with many of the others, also highlights the influence of Saturn.
While the distributor of the Ascendant is typically most important, and is the one used by Abu Ma’shar, some authors, including Masha’allah, use the technique for other life-signifying points, particularly one of the Lights or Lot of Fortune. While I consider the distributors of the Ascendant to be much more important, I’ve included below a table of the distributors of the Lights and Lot of Fortune for Whitney from Age 25 to 50. It is interesting that the Sun and Lot of Fortune, like the Ascendant, have malefic distributors, in this case Mars.
Algol to Ascendant
One of the most striking primary directions at the time of death is that of the fixed star Algol, which is largely considered to be one of the most malefic fixed stars, if not the most malefic. Algol is in the constellation of Perseus, which images the hero Perseus grasping the head of the Gorgon, Medusa. Algol is the eye of Medusa in the constellation. The star has separately been associated with demons, evil, death, decapitation, horror, tragedy, and such in many different cultures. For those unfamiliar, you can get a quick briefing on Algol on Wikipedia and a better one on Constellation of Words.
A table showing all the directions of fixed stars to the Ascendant from Age 25 to 50 is below. The table says the direction was exact on February 15th, which in primary directions is still “exact” even on February 10th, because even seconds of inaccuracy in recording the birth time equates to days of difference in timing by primary directions.
Saturn transiting over Directed Sun
One of the more interesting directions at the time of death concerns the direction of the Sun through the zodiac (or direction of the zodiac over the Sun). As seen above, the Sun was in the Mars bound of Libra by direction. This bound is 2 degrees in length starting at 28 Libra and ending by 0 Scorpio. Interestingly, that is in Whitney Houston’s 8th House, and is the very bound that Saturn has been transiting in. In fact, if we pull up a chart of zodiacally directed positions at the time of death, we find the directed Sun at about 29°14′ Libra.
Comparing this with Saturn’s transit position at death, we find Saturn transiting at 29°29′ Libra at the time of death, moving retrograde toward that earlier position, only a quarter of a degree from it, within the same degree and bound, in the 8th and bound of Mars, with the natal Mars.
In my opinion, this was one of the more striking repeat Sun-Saturn significations, in addition to Saturn as distributor, the over-arching Sun-Saturn planetary years manifestation, and the transit of the Sun over natal Saturn.
If you’re new to primary directions, I hope this has whet your appetite for the technique and given you a glimpse into its great value. Please check out the other posts on directions to start working with them yourself, as they are really not hard to work with when there is great free software available for the calculations. Until next time, give someone you love a big hug , let them know how much you care, and continue having fun exploring traditional predictive astrology.