Neptune, Venus and the Tragic Death of Whitney Houston

Last month, many of fans were taken aback by the shocking news of the sudden and mysterious death of the singer, Whitney Houston the day before the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on February the 11th.

Houston’s death was officially announced by her publicist as taking place at 15h55 LA local time in her suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel and occurred after several nights of heavy partying in the run-up to the music awards ceremony. News soon spread that she was found submerged in the bath – an assertion that was later confirmed by the LA coroner’s office. The cause of her death is, as yet, unknown – an autopsy of her body revealed no trace of injury or disease – and the results of blood toxicology tests are not due to be available for another four to eight weeks.

Astrologically, it is perhaps significant that the day before her death on the 10th, a Venus-Uranus conjunction in Aries occurred. Although usually a fairly benign combination, this particular planetary pairing can also be symbolically associated with sudden, unpredictable events, especially separations, involving women and/or over-indulgence. However, things get spookier when we relate this planetary combination to Houston’s natal chart. Firstly, Uranus happens to rule Houston’s 12th house cusp. This house can be associated with, amongst other things, self-undoingconfinement and death. Having Uranus rule this house could suggest a sudden, unexpected demise, although this is only one of many ways of interpreting this placing.

What is even more significant, though, is that in Houston’s natal chart, Libra rules her 8th house cusp, and is therefore governed by Venus. In traditional astrology, this house has long been associated with death as well as legacies and inheritances. (Although it I should say, that ethically and technically, astrology is not really suitable for trying to predict deaths even if length of life did preoccupy some astrologers of the Hellenistic and Renaissance periods.) Given that both Venus and Uranus appear to be associated with death and self-destruction in Whitney’s chart, it does not therefore seem completely surprising she might die under what might otherwise be considered a fairly pleasant, if disruptive, transit for others.

What’s more, the Moon happened to be at 16 degrees 48 Libra at the time of her death. Horary astrologers will probably immediately note that the Moon had therefore just entered the Via Combusta. Traditionally, the Via Combusta is a 30 degree corridor in the zodiac between 14 degrees Libra and 15 degrees Scorpio[1] ’It is mentioned in Arabic astrological writings of the Al Biruni, who described it as:

not congenial to the Sun and the Moon on account of the obscurity and ill-luck connected with them and because each of them is the fall of one of the luminaries.

Of course it is also worth noting that the signs of Libra and Scorpio are both considered to be where the luminaries are in fall, which may be why this position was considered dangerous for the sun and moon. Skyscript therefore concludes that: ‘This may be a very ancient aphorism, originating from the period when 15 Libra corresponded with the autumn equinox.’ [3]

According to Marc Edmund Jones, this section of the zodiac was ‘known to the ancients as the “burning way.” He goes on to say that whilst ‘the conventional explanations for the curse on this span of the zodiac might be the presence of certain violent fixed stars,’ a more recent and in his opinion, more plausible explanation is that ‘the “burning way” represented a sort of zodiacal eighth house’ at a time when the equinoxes took place halfway through Pisces and Virgo (due to precession of the equinoxes). Jones then elaborates: ‘This would imply a place of spiritual death or universal destruction, but the idea remains highly speculative.’ [2]

One thing that may be further worth noting that natally, Whitney has Neptune in Scorpio in her eighth house. When negatively expressedNeptune can be associated with both drug abuse and drowning, given its rulership of water and escapism, whilst Scorpio is associated with extreme behaviourself-destructiveness and death.

Neptune also happens to be Whitney’s chart ruler because she has Pisces rising. Natally, Neptune happens to make a square to Whitney’s natal Venus, which resides in the 6th house of health and illness. This suggests that for Whitney, love relationships can have a negative effect on her physical health and sense of wellbeing if she isn’t careful or doesn’t exercise realistic judgement. It is well-known that the 48-year old singer developed a drink and drug addiction problem during her tumultuous marriage to fellow singer, Bobbi Brown and many suspect that her death may well have been narcotics-related or as a result of bodily damage sustained during this earlier period of substance abuse. Of course, whether this turns out to be the case, or whether she simply drowned after falling asleep in the bath, remains to be determined….


[1] This has been disputed with Lilly, Bonatti and Ficino giving different degrees. See Royin Akiyama’s article at:

[2] Edmund-Jones, Marc. Horary Astrology, pp. 272-3

[3] See the definition according to Al Biruni at:


6 thoughts on “Neptune, Venus and the Tragic Death of Whitney Houston”

  1. Sadly, a post-mortem revealed that Whitney died of drowning but that narcotics had played a role in her demise:

    A recent documentary revealed that she had fallen off the wagon again in the months leading up to her death, and that friends were concerned that her return to LA, the city of temptation, only 9 months after leaving rehab, together with her alleged relationship with Ray-J, the DJ and former boyfriend of Kim Kardashian, might have played a role in her relapse because of the party lifestyle that the couple led. See:

    Both new evidence seems to point to the influence of Neptune (drugs, self-undoing, drowning) and Venus (sex, decadence, relationships, self-indulgence) as the main planetary indicators in the astrology of her death.

  2. […] The Sun in Scorpio, is also rising, conjunct Zuben Elegnubi, the South Scale. This star seems to be  a lot more difficult to interpret than its northern twin. According to Vivian Robson, it is a malevolent star associated with disgrace, professional ruin, and lack of support from superiors.11 However, Bernadette Brady sees this star as symbolising ‘higher ideals than its northern partner, for in its meaning the prime motive is not  personal gain but rather to benefit the group.’12 It is possible that the reason some astrologers interpreted this star in such a negative light is because it is located at the end of the via combusta – a highly tricky area of the zodiac associated with the entrance and exit to the underworld. For more information on this, see my post on Whitney Houston’s death. […]

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