In January of 1998, I gave a lecture for the Washington DC NCGR group based upon research that I had conducted in 1990 with some of my best astrology students. Our goal was to take birth and death charts and assess if there is some easy-to-spot, reliable pattern for determining the possibility of death for an individual. As a responsible astrologer, I never speak of death with any client. This project was conducted for pure research. This information should not be used to warn a client.
In my 30 years of study in astrology, I can easily determine a death “around” an individual but it has been difficult for me to spot those factors that contributed to the death of an individual. While I was originally writing this article, a client and her husband were both experiencing the transit of Pluto square to the natal Saturn. The husband died suddenly but my client lived. Could it have been determined ahead of time who was in danger? The husband did not have an accurate birth time so I cannot use this example.
In our project, only examples with accurate birth and death times were used. There were different types of deaths – by accident, by heart attack and by cancer and even a death at birth. I also have a large collection of charts with accurate birth times but not the time of death or, in several cases, the date of death is only approximate.
In this project, I used secondary progressions, solar arc progressions, transits to the natal and progressed planets, the eclipse before death and, if this eclipse was a lunar eclipse, I also included the solar eclipse before death.
Initially, I included the Part of Death but, when this proved irrelevant, I discontinued using it. We experimented with several planetary “part” combinations. One of my particularly intuitive students, Sonia Valdizan, suggested the following combination: Jupiter + Ruler of 4th Cusp – Descendant or the 7th House Cusp. We noticed the significance of these points at the time of death. This combination worked in every case. We now call this point in the chart “The Part of Sonia,” named after its discoverer. Since Sonia was born in Cuba, we refer to it as a Cuban Part rather than an Arabic Part.
The two chart examples that I used in the original article were selected solely because I have the permission of the families to publish the charts. I do not have the space in this article to reprint the chart maps. In the chart for “Harry,” the significant trigger aspects were: Solar Arc Saturn at 20°59’ Aries aspecting both the natal Moon and Mercury (near the 4th House cusp); Solar Arc Venus 15° Jupiter/square Nodes and opposing transiting Pluto; transiting Sun-Mercury-Venus in the 8th House near the natal Neptune; the Solar Eclipse at 29° Cancer activated the progressed Mercury-Pluto conjunction; the Lunar Eclipse opposed the Part of Sonia; the transiting Pluto had been squaring the Part of Sonia all year, Uranus (natally on the 4th House cusp) was crossing the natal Ascendant; and, particularly significant was the transiting Jupiter in the 7th House squared the natal 4th House Mars. Harry died of cancer.
In the chart for “Bob,” the Solar Arc IC conjunct the 6th House Pluto and Transpluto at 0 Leo; Solar Arc Jupiter conjunct the natal Moon; the Secondary Moon conjunct natal Jupiter (this man was a writer and it was the peak of his career); Solar Arc Sun-Mercury at 14 Taurus opposed the Part of Sonia; Lunar Eclipse at 13° Aquarius squared both the Solar Arc Sun-Mercury (rulers of the 4th and 7th Houses) and the Part of Sonia; the transiting Mercury (ruler of 4th House cusp) squared the Solar Arc Saturn; the Solar Arc Neptune at 13° Scorpio near Part of Sonia; the transiting Mars conjunct Solar Arc Ascendant and Secondary Uranus; the transiting Jupiter crossed the Solar Eclipse point at 29° Cancer; Jupiter conjunct (within 1 degree) Solar Arc IC and natal Pluto-Transpluto and it is inconjunct the Ascendant; the transiting Moon was conjunct the natal IC. Bob died very suddenly as a result of a congenital arterial aneurysm.
In an evaluation of all of the research charts, I found that 1) Pluto was significant in each case. This may signify the release from the physical, a release of control (death being the ultimate loss of control) and a transmutation of energy into another dimension. In the case of an auto crash, the transiting Pluto was exactly square (to the minute) the 9th House Venus. In both of the example cases, the transiting Pluto had been aspecting the Part of Sonia all year. 2) The eclipse before death was always significant. I strongly advise including both the Solar and Lunar eclipse points. 3) Jupiter was always involved at the time of death. In many cases, it was in the 7th House or inconjunct the Ascendant from either the 6th or 7th Houses. 4) The 4th and 7th Houses and their rulers were always involved. The 4th House is traditionally known for being “the end of the matter.” 5) I have found a somewhat significant occurrence of aspects from Venus and Uranus but they do not occur consistently.
Because of the high incidence involving Jupiter, the 4th and the 7th Houses, my student suggested the combination which we refer to as the Part of Sonia. With regard to the sign of Scorpio, use Pluto as the ruler and not Mars. I have also observed that this Part frequently does not work in cases of suicide or murder.
There is another pattern that I have observed wherein there is an onset of a disease followed by death. If the onset occurs when an outer planet enters a planetary configuration, often the disease is concluded just as the planet leaves the configuration. This “conclusion” could be when the individual gets well. However, I have many charts showing the onset of a terminal illness at the time when an outer planet entered a configuration such as a t-square and the individual died just as the outer planet was leaving that configuration.
In one example, an individual experienced a reoccurrence of cancer when Uranus entered his Fixed t-square. Natally, Neptune was at 22° Leo, Saturn at 23° Scorpio and Mars at 28° Aquarius. When Uranus in Scorpio entered 22°, the disease was discovered. The individual died when Uranus reached 28° Scorpio. Mars and Uranus are the rulers of the 4th and 7th Houses. The lunar eclipse before death opposed the Part of Sonia (within 2 degrees). The transiting Jupiter and Pluto squared the Eclipse Point (exact) and the Part of Sonia.
In my lecture for the Washington group, I included some timely additions. 1) Princess Diana: Solar Eclipse at death was conjunct her 8th House Mars-Pluto in Virgo and the transiting Venus was crossing the Part of Sonia while opposing the transiting Venus. Her death was more obvious in the progressed horoscope of Prince William. His progressed Mars was conjunct his progressed Saturn in the progressed 8th House. This conjunction would have been exact in November. 2) Sonny Bono: Part of Sonia at 16 Libra formed a transiting Cardinal T-Square with the Moon-Saturn in Aries and the Sun at 15 Capricorn. Neptune was crossing his 4th House North Node and the transiting North Node was crossing his 12th House Neptune. His death was obvious in Cher’s horoscope as her progressed Sun opposed her 7th House Moon and squared her 4th House Jupiter. The Sun is natally in her 11th House ruling “a death in the family circle,” being the 8th House from the 4th House. 3) John Denver: Lunar Eclipse before death opposed his Part of Sonia at 25 Virgo, the 7th House cusp at death was conjunct the Part of Sonia, the transiting Pluto made many powerful, hard aspects including a square to the progressed 8th House Sun.
After conducting my first level of research, I quickly realized that the Part of Sonia in any horoscope would be transited many times in one’s lifetime before it actually triggered one’s death. In 1990, I could not see how significant this Point was in my own horoscope since I was just beginning to experience the many changes and ultimate transformation of my life. Later, I could see that this was a Point of Transformation. If one was willing to experience great change, it would transform your life. If you could not allow this, the transformation would be death. I realize that this is the great significance of this Point – where and how great transformations are experienced in our lives.
When discussing death, I refer to this point as the Part of Sonia but, when referring to its transformative qualities, I will refer to it as the Point of Transformation.
In my own horoscope, the Point of Transformation occurs in my 7th House. In this lifetime, I will experience major transformations due to relationships and relationship issues in my life. When Uranus trined this Point, I formed a “marriage type” relationship with a man that I ultimately knew for 28 years. We first met in school when Uranus opposed this Point. From late 1986 through 1990, the outer planets transited aspects to this Point and this led to the series of events that ultimately compelled me to travel to Eastern Europe and transform my life. From the Spring 1994 through early 1995, Saturn was crossing this Point and it was the only time that I did not travel to Eastern Europe… or anywhere. I began to gain weight, I fell into a rut and felt out of control with the lack of connections in my life. In 2002, when Saturn squared this Point while crossing my Moon, my mother suddenly died.
A friend, Stephany, has this Point in her 4th House ruling ancestral patterns connected to home and family issues. When the outer planets began crossing this Point, she began studying astrology with me. This significance of this is that what she learned in the classes gave her permission to end her “good girl” relationships with her dysfunctional family. I remember her telling the class that her parents always warned them that, if they ever wanted to be happy, they must never have children. No one ever had the courage to break with this tradition… until Saturn crossed Stephany’s 4th House Point of Transformation. With the first crossing, she discovered that she was pregnant at the age of 43 years. With the exact second crossing, she gave birth to Alexandra. The birth of this baby totally transformed both Stephany and her family. She now has a good relationship with her mother who is devoted to the baby.
I will use my own chart to demonstrate how simple it is to convert the formula in the Part of Transformation. Remember, the formula for this Part is The Ruler of the 4th House Cusp + Jupiter – the 7th House Cusp. 1) I have the sign of Scorpio on my 4th House cusp. Its ruler is Pluto and it is at 10Leo40. 10 degrees of Leo converts to 130. 2) My Jupiter is at 1Libra03. 1 degree Libra converts to 181. 3) My 7th House cusp is 2Pisces37. 2 degrees Pisces converts to 332. I will omit the minutes and only use the degrees here. So, the formula is 130 + 181 (311) – 332. I cannot subtract 332 from 311 so I must add 360 to the 311 to get 671. 671-332=339. I look up 339 and it is 9 Pisces. This is my Part of Transformation. If you have trouble with the calculation, send me an e-mail. The Arc Conversion Table to which I refer can be found in Llewellyn’s A to Z Delineator.
This link will give you an arc conversion table