February 2, 2014

The Death of Philip Seymour Hoffman

I'm truly sad that Philip Seymour Hoffman has left us. I didn't see all of his films, but I loved him as Dusty in Twister and as Lester Bangs in Almost Famous. He was a great character actor, and I cheered him on because he wasn't the typical Hollywood Pretty Boy; he was a real actor. I missed Capote and The Master, and now I'll have to catch up.

We don't have a time of birth for Hoffman, and I have been trying to rectify it for the past couple of hours, but I'm not getting far enough fast enough, so I'll have to put it aside for now, and just use a solar chart. Ordinarily, I use a sunrise chart for this purpose, but in this instance, a noon chart works extremely well.


July 23, 1967
12 PM EDT
Fairport, NY

Whether or not that time is correct, most of the aspects I'm pointing out in this "death  axis" chart would hold true nevertheless simply because the outer planets move so slowly. They might be in different houses, but the energies involved would remain the same.



Hoffman's solar chart is on the inside, the transits for the time the police received the call from his apartment 
February 2, 2014
11:15 AM EST
NY, NY

are on the outside. The sun was changing signs on the date of his birth, so we don't know for sure if it was in Cancer or Leo. This is simply where the sun ends up when the chart is cast for noon. A good case can be made for both. Leo is the sign of acting and entertainment.

As you can see, there are aspects to every angle, as well as transits to the cusps of the 2nd and 8th houses. But, if this time is incorrect, then all those things could go away. One interesting thing is seeing Jupiter transiting the midheaven here which generally brings public recognition. It has been transiting back and forth since last November. It first made contact to Hoffman's Mercury in August 2013, when director Vincent Cassel replaced him in the film Child 44. No reason for his dismissal was given, but now we can imagine.

This was the second sweep by Jupiter which is retrograde. That leaves me with the impression that maybe the midheaven should be in Capricorn rather than Cancer, but based on the date of his Oscar win on March 5, 2008, I can't make it work. The harmonics for various dates also don't line up that way, so I'm going to dismiss that theory for now. I also tried giving him a Capricorn ascendant, so that Jupiter would square the midheaven, but no luck there, either.

In this chart, the transiting vertex (a date with destiny, a matter beyond our control) is conjunct Hoffman's natal ascendant which represents both the physical body and a timing indicator meaning "You. Here. Now." Transiting Uranus, the planet of the sudden, unexpected and accidental opposed that combination. It conjuncts his descendant which can represent where the sun sets on life. With Libra on the ascendant, Taurus is on the cusp of the 8th house of death. Both are Venus ruled, and transiting Venus just turned stationary direct, which is highly significant if it aspects the natal chart, which it does.

All of the aforementioned, Jupiter, the vertex and Uranus form hard aspects with transiting Pluto, the destroyer, which is transiting the 4th cusp of endings. Pluto is conjunct the transiting stationary direct Venus. Notice that Venus and Pluto are the rulers of the so-called "death axis" and are meeting at the 4th cusp "end of the matter." The entire crew form a Grand Cross and afflict his natal Saturn on the descendant, which is the ruler of the 4th house of endings. I've said it a million times; there are three planets I never like to see facing off with each other - Mars, Saturn and Pluto. This is treacherous, insidious energy, and here we have two of the worst in square. Transiting Pluto (irresistible force) squares natal Saturn (immovable object), and are further afflicted by Uranus and Jupiter.

Transiting Saturn was conjunct his natal Neptune, a depressing transit known as the dark night of the soul. There's a great deal written about it in Neptune Over Saturn: Nasty Little Transits, if you want to know more. This is one of the few conjunctions where it doesn't matter which is transiting which, they mean basically the same thing and they both suck. If the noon birth time is correct, then the natal Neptune would rule Hoffman's 6th house of health.

Finally, the nodes of the moon are opposite their natal place in the chart, with the transiting south node being conjunct the natal north node, and vice-versa. This is a major turning point and time of crisis in life. And that remains true whatever time he was born.

Note that the transiting ascendant was conjunct the natal vertex at the time of the emergency call.

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