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Monday, 25 July 2011

Amy Winehouse: Newest Member of the "Club of 27"

It doesn’t seem many people were surprised to hear of the news of the death of Amy Winehouse. For months, she had been tottering on the nebulous edge of reality, every moment of undignified escapism chronicled in the tabloids, held up for ridicule via sloppy double entendre (“Amy boo-zed in Belgrade”), making less hedonistic heads shake in wonder. What a waste of talent, we said.

Indeed. Hers was a voice we’re not going to see the likes of again for some time.

But we said the same about Janis Joplin.

Like Janis, Amy hardly lived up to the reputation of her star sign. A Virgo, Amy reeked of the messy addictions so often attributed to her Sun’s opposite sign, Pisces. Here she was falling out of yet another club, beehive comically askew, stilettos long abandoned, too scrawny, eyes rolling in her head, off her face on God knows what, her family and friends scratching their heads, horror-struck. Where did it all go wrong?
Amy was born to a Jewish family in Southgate London on 14 September 1983 at 10:25 pm (Source: Frank Clifford quotes Winehouse's mother to a mutual friend of astrologer Margaret Zelinski. RR: A). She began singing and playing the guitar shortly before her first Saturn opposition. By the age of 20, she had been signed to Simon Fuller’s record company and the rest, as we like to say, is history. She stormed into our cultural consciousness with “Valerie” and “Rehab”. Beehive blazing, she was a jazzy cross between Sarah Vaughan and Morticia from the Addams Family.

Astrologically, Amy was a Mercurial character: her ascendant was in Gemini with its ruler in Virgo as well as a Mars-Venus conjunction in the 3rd house. Her career and public image were often described as “dichotomous” a handy synonym for Mercurial influences. However, the majority of planets are in the northern hemisphere, countering Mercury’s need to communicate and receive information openly. What we saw in Amy’s performances were pure, gut wrenching, honest emotions—when she sang about not wanting to go to rehab, she wasn’t kidding. No one with Moon conjunct Neptune would take well to keeping one’s feet on terra firma. And in the seventh house, this aspect manifested in her choice of men, none of whom were in any position to be a positive role model to sobriety. Added to this was a trine to the Venus-Mars conjunction in Leo. Nothing Leo energy does is quiet or subtle: we got the drunken lion’s roar with every snap shot of the paparazzi. As she publically fell apart earlier this year, Transit Pluto was beating on the threshold of the Moon-Neptune aspect, setting off the rapid destruction of this aspect. Her Progressed Moon's presence only seemed to signal sobriety was not in sight.

Like the other members of the Club of 27, Amy died as Transit Uranus was trine to her Natal Uranus. Perhaps the age of 27 is the soul's first opportunity for a shot at re-invention. I'll leave it to you to contemplate the other possible manifestations. As the first Uranus trine always occurs before the first Saturn return, the native may simply lack the experience and maturity to survive such a shake-up. We get another chance to re-invent ourselves at around 54 and a final attempt at 84.
Natal Pluto and Saturn, in disassociate conjunction (Pluto in Libra, Saturn in Scorpio) in the fifth house, formed the apex of a magic triangle configuration, also very much like the one prominent in the charts featured in the other members of the “Club of 27”. Any configuration of “easy” aspects produces an electrifying zing of never ending energy. Planets caught up in the configuration by transit or progression only serve as food to be consumed by the raging gods. A Saturn-Pluto conjunction as a focus for this configuration could have acted like a shield for Amy’s emotional turbulence. The need to party away the nerves of Neptune-Moon but yet have all the attention the Venus-Mars conjunction in Leo craves could have led to a much faster burn out had it not been for the steely reserve of Amy’s Pluto-Saturn conjunction. Without this aspect, in the fifth house, performing live may not have been possible for a vulnerable personality like her’s. No matter how much "talent" a person possesses, without nerves of steel (naturally occurring or otherwise), a performer is impotent on stage. And Amy performed live over and over and over again.

Generally speaking, squares usually add "grit" to a chart. They make a character, forcing it to do something to overcome limitations rather than passively wait for answers to arrive like a bolt from the blue. Sadly, Amy’s Sun-Mercury conjunction in 4th in Virgo needed emotional and mental precision as a way to express the anguish of living in an imperfect world. In a career where alcohol, fame and drugs are so readily available, Amy Winehouse fell into the abyss.

And no, I'm not ready to make a joke about that.

2 comments:

Rosie said...

nice one :)

Alex said...

Hey Thanks Rosie! I didn't know you were a blogger!