On Saturday afternoon, 11 February 2012, pop icon Whitney Houston was found dead in the bathtub of her Beverly Hilton Hotel room in Beverly Hills, California. No immediate cause of death was found, but the singer’s troubled history with drug abuse may have been a contributory cause. Toxicology results will not be available for weeks, but preliminary reports indicate an accidental drowning caused by a fatal combination of prescription drugs and/or alcohol.
Born 9 August 1963, the peak of Houston’s career spanned the mid ‘80s and early ‘90s, with such Billboard #1 hits as “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)”, “How Will I Know”, “So Emotional”, “The Greatest Love of All”, “Didn’t We Almost Have It All?” and “I Will Always Love You”, the theme from her blockbuster film hit in 1992’s “The Bodyguard.”
In the late ‘90s Whitney’s life spun out of control with an abusive relationship with singer Bobby Brown and a crack cocaine addiction that ruined her voice. A comeback tour in 2010 and her first starring role in a feature film since 1992, “Sparkle”, to debut later this year, were signs that Houston was beginning to put her life back together.
At her death, asteroid Whitney (#4346) at 3 Aries was exactly conjoined Venus, ruling singers, and conjunct Uranus (shocks, sudden disruptions, accidents) at 2 Aries, squared Pluto (modern ruler of death) at 8 Capricorn, and sesquiquadrate her 16 Leo Sun. Pluto was also exactly squared her natal Mars at 8 Libra, and conjoined by transit asteroid Bacchus at 2 Capricorn, indicating the possibility of alcohol or drug interaction in her death (Pluto). Bacchus is also conjunct transit asteroid Ophelia at 28 Sagittarius, named for a character from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” who accidentally drowns herself in a stream. Ophelia is very broadly conjunct transit Pluto at the time of Houston’s death, but there is a reverberation in the natal chart, where the two oppose from 11 Virgo and 16 Pisces.
Asteroid Houston (#3031) at 14 Aquarius conjoined her natal Atropos (named for the Greek Fate who severs the thread of life at death) at 10 Aquarius and transit Panacea (ruling pharmaceuticals) at 9 Aquarius, locked in a T-Square with natal Neptune (drugs, alcohol, addiction) at 12 Scorpio and a natal Venus/Sun conjunction at 10 and 16 Leo.
Transit Mars (also death in some contexts) at 20 Virgo retrograde was traveling with asteroid Polyhymnia, named for the Muse of sacred song, at 17 Virgo, announcing the death of a singer, with Mars exactly inconjunct Houston’s natal Saturn (ancient lord of death) at 20 Aquarius, which the transit Sun had conjoined just two days prior, still well within orb at 22 Aquarius.
Transit Saturn, still at its station retrograde degree of 29 Libra from earlier in the week, was exactly inconjunct her natal asteroid Requiem (the funeral mass for the dead) at 29 Taurus and squared a natal grouping of asteroids Bacchus, Houston and Dionysos (Bacchus’ Greek counterpart, also noted for substance abuse) at 23, 24 and 28 Cancer, while trine transit Dionysos at 29 Gemini, itself conjoined asteroid Kalliope, named for the Muse of epic song, at 25 Gemini. Saturn is also closely sextile transit Ophelia at 28 Sagittarius, and sesquiquadrate natal Ophelia at 16 Pisces. Transit Atropos at 11 Pisces formed an exact T-Square with Houston’s natal Pluto (death) at 11 Virgo and natal asteroid Whitney at 11 Sagittarius, as well as conjoining natal Ophelia at 16 Pisces.