The global community was shocked and stunned by the sudden, unexpected death of legendary music icon Prince, found unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park compound near Minneapolis on April 21, 2016. Prince’s death just weeks before his 58th birthday is a mystery that is still unsolved as of this writing.
The Minneapolis native pulled himself up from humble beginnings to become one of the most popular and recognized entertainers of the 20th century. At the peak of his popularity in the ‘80s, Prince’s music formed the soundtrack of countless million lives, with such mega-hits as “Purple Rain”, “When Doves Cry”, “Little Red Corvette”, “Let’s Go Crazy”, “You’ve Got the Look”, “Kiss” and “1999.” A seven-time Grammy Award winner, Prince was nominated 32 times, also winning two Golden Globe awards and picking up an Oscar in 1985 for Best Original Score, for his cinematic debut film, “Purple Rain.” A consummate performer, Prince was also a highly accomplished musician in his own right, playing 17 instruments total; on some album recordings, he performed all musical tracks himself.
Prince was noted for his atypical lifestyle among rock musicians. A vegan, Prince was known to eschew alcohol and drugs, and joined the Jehovah’s Witness faith in 2001. Chart factors at his birth and death, however, do suggest there may have been some pharmacological connection to his passing, which we will explore later.
In overall good health and well-preserved for his age, in recent weeks Prince’s health had been cause for comment. On April 7, he postponed shows in Atlanta due to a bout with influenza; these were rescheduled for April 14, despite the fact that the singer was still not at his best. On his return trip, Prince became unresponsive and his flight was diverted to Moline, Illinois for a medical emergency, where he was treated for dehydration and flu-like symptoms.
Prince was last seen alive on the evening of April 20, when a friend dropped him off at his Paisley Park compound, where he spent the night alone. Staffers unable to reach him the following morning entered the compound, and found him unresponsive on an elevator floor.
A 911 call placed at 9:43 AM reported him first as “unconscious”, then moments later stated he was dead. EMTs attempted CPR unsuccessfully, and Prince was officially pronounced dead at 10:07 AM EDT. An autopsy was performed the next day, but results are still pending as of this writing. Prince was cremated after a private memorial on Saturday April 23, and his final resting place has not been disclosed.
Born Prince Rogers Nelson at 6:17 PM CDT on 7 June 1958 in Minneapolis (Rodden rating AA), Prince’s Sun at 16 Gemini was conjoined by asteroids Karma at 20 Gemini, and Euterpe at 25 Gemini. Individuals with Sun/Karma connections often incarnate with a particular mission or sense of purpose, and can be very oriented toward that goal. Although the conjunction with Euterpe is very wide, the fact that this point is named for the Greek Muse of music seems to point us to Prince’s particular purpose. The Sun also opposes one Black Hole, at 17 Sagittarius, and exactly squares another, at 16 Pisces. Sun/Black Hole natives can be very magnetic, even mesmerizing, attracting others into their orbits almost without effort, for good or ill. Chameleon-like, they can be changeable and intense, and very private, having high energy reserves and the ability to adapt themselves to any situation.
Prince’s gender-bending persona and performance style is rooted in this amorphous Black Hole quality, reinforced by having both Mars and Venus in exact opposition to Black Holes, with Venus additionally conjunct a Maser, creating the intense sexual excitation factor in Prince’s work. An additional element in his sexual magnetism was natal asteroid Prinz (German for “Prince”) at 14 Pisces, conjoined Eros at 19 Pisces, a point governing eroticism and passion, both in square to his Sun.
A true professional and dedicated performer, Prince’s Sun also opposed natal Saturn at 22 Sagittarius, giving him the fortitude and follow-through to cement his talents and embed himself in the cultural milieu. Work was Prince’s life, often the case for Sun/Saturn natives. With almost 40 albums to his credit, Prince was also a prolific songwriter for others; among the popular hits he composed but didn’t sing are The Bangles’ “Manic Monday”, Sheila’s E’s “The Glamorous Life”, Chaka Khan’s “I Feel For You”, Alicia Keys’ “How Come You Don’t Call Me”, and Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U”.
Prince’s Sun also aspected natal Jupiter at 21 Libra by trine, granting him a larger-than-life persona and easy access to fame and renown. Reinforcing this is the presence of asteroid Nelsonia (for surname Nelson) closely conjoined Jupiter from 20 Libra, further personalizing Jupiter’s expansiveness and fortune to himself. Both points are also at their station degrees, still points in the sky upon which the rest of the chart revolves, with Nelsonia turning direct just five days after his birth.
Certain natal astrological factors may have had an impact on the timing and manner of his death. A triple conjunction of Uranus with asteroids Rogers (his middle name) and Atropos (named for the mythic Greek Fate who severs the thread of life at death) at 6, 7 and 8 Leo suggests a sudden and unexpected (Uranus) passing (Atropos) for Prince (Rogers). A conjunction to this pattern by transit asteroid Dionysos at 2 Leo was just beginning at his death, suggesting a possible connection to intoxicants of some sort, ruled by this point.
Mercury at 4 Gemini conjoined asteroid Lachesis, named for Atropos’ sister, who determines the span of life, suggests from birth that his death (Lachesis) would make news (Mercury), possibly related to his length of life (either atypically long or short). Additionally, this conjunction is bound up in a T-square with asteroid Rip (for the acronym RIP, “Rest In Peace”, a common tombstone inscription) at 4 Virgo and Nemesis at 6 Pisces. Nemesis represents undoing or destruction, often self-created in some manner. When he died, transit asteroid Karma highlighted this pattern by exact conjunction with Mercury, suggesting some level of fatedness or predetermination in the event.
Eclipses also had a role to play. The most recent Solar Eclipse on March 8 at 18 Pisces fell on natal asteroid Prinz and squared the natal Sun, while the Lunar Eclipses of both March 2016 and September 2015 fell across the natal axis of Mars at 0 Aries, and of Anubis, an ancient Egyptian deity associated with funerary rites, at 1 Libra. Transit asteroid Nelsonia at 20 Pisces had just activated the prior Solar Eclipse degree, and was squaring his Sun, exactly squared natal Karma.
Transit Mercury was exactly conjunct transit Rip at 21 Taurus when he died, with transit asteroid Prinz conjoined from 26 Taurus. This reflects news (Mercury) of a death (Rip), personalized to Prince (Prinz). Prinz is also coming into square with natal Pluto on the natal MC at 29 Leo, modern ruler of death, reflecting a very public (MC) passing (Pluto) for the rock icon. A second Pluto connection appears in the form of transit asteroid Rogers at 17 Leo, exactly inconjunct transit Pluto, fresh from its station retrograde at 17 Capricorn just days before. Transit Anubis at 21 Gemini was still within orb of the natal Sun, more closely conjunct natal Karma, and opposed natal Saturn, ancient lord of death.
Were drugs, whether legal or illegal, properly or improperly administered, a factor in Prince’s death? Toxicology results may not be available for weeks, but there are indicators in both the natal and transit charts suggesting they may have played a role.
Natally, Neptune, ruling drugs on a planetary level, appears at 2 Scorpio, in trine to the Moon at 1 Pisces, suggesting an affinity between Prince’s emotional makeup and physical body, to drugs generally, possibly manifesting as over-sensitivity to chemical substances. Neptune was conjoined at his death by transit asteroid Nemesis, that point of self-undoing, at 1 Scorpio, with both points highlighted by the transit Sun at 1 Taurus, in opposition. This could imply that Prince was in some way responsible for his death, perhaps mixing medications that should not have been combined, or taking an incorrect dosage.
Again, given Prince’s reputation for steering clear of recreational chemical stimuli, some form of accidental overdose seems most likely. The transit Sun was also conjoined by Atropos at 5 Taurus, bringing death to the fore for the period generally, and reiterating the possibility that drugs were somehow involved, in its opposition to natal Neptune. Additionally, when the 911 call was placed at 9:43 AM, the Ascendant at 2 Cancer was exactly trine natal Neptune, and when Prince was officially pronounced dead at 10:07 AM, transit Neptune had come to exactly conjoin the MC at 11 Pisces, two powerful indicators of a drug-related basis to his passing.
Further suggesting some pharmaceutical connection is asteroid Panacea, ruling drugs of all types on the asteroid level, which natally appears at 28 Sagittarius, conjoined natal asteroid Achilles at 0 Capricorn, a point representing weakness or vulnerability. So Prince may have had a predisposition toward drug use, or may have been unusually susceptible to their effects, even if legally prescribed and properly administered. At his death, transit Panacea at 19 Scorpio is crossing his natal 16 Scorpio Ascendant and trined transit Nelsonia at 20 Pisces, providing personalized links between drugs and Prince in the moment.
Whatever the cause, the activation of asteroid Karma both natally and by transit suggests that Prince’s passing, like his life, was a date with destiny. There has never been anyone quite like him, nor are we likely to see his like again.