The Death of Angela Lansbury
It is a well-known observation by astrologers that as eclipses approach the news in the world gets juicier. Along with a rise in heightened activity, there is the inevitable death of famous people. Not just ordinary famous people, but more often than not, famous luminaries that have been very prominent in their field. Eclipses honor those that have left indelible legacies, careers and footprints and have built celebrated reputations by having achieved the pinnacle of success. This makes the recent deaths of Queen Elizabeth II and Angela Lansbury more spiritually meaningful and connected to the zeitgeist. Another astrological phenomenon contributing to the magnitude of fame and power of these recent deaths is the upcoming Venus/Sun cazimi at 29° Libra on October 22. The Venus/Sun cazimi occurs at least twice a year, so that in itself is not unusual. This one is extremely significant because it is ending a hundred-year cycle. It’s noteworthy that this is the first to occur in Libra after having been in Scorpio since 1926. These cycles of Venus move backwards in the zodiac similarly to the lunar nodes. This is going to have major ramifications in the world and for individuals with placements at 29° Libra or any of the cardinal signs. More on that in another article.
This Libra conjunction that will now occur every eight years is only one of the arms of the famous star pentagram that Venus forms due to its retrograde motion. Venus retrogrades in 5 different signs that repeat every eight years until each of those individual cycles runs its course after approximately 100 years. The cazimi happens when Venus reaches her superior or inferior conjunction. This particular arm is now shifting from Scorpio to Libra. This is the initial ingress into Libra after being in Scorpio since 1926. It will remain in Libra for over 100 years till 2133 (with one last Scorpio cazimi in 2026). This signifies a major tectonic shift when one era dies and another begins. It is no accident that these two Venusian legends would die at this time. Queen Elizabeth was a Taurus and Angela was a Libra.
They represent an archetypal shift of endings and new beginnings. It’s evolutionary because, as stated above, these shifts occur approximately every 100 years. These are long spans of times and the turning point from one era to the next is happening now. What’s even more synchronistic is that Angela Lansbury was born in 1925 and Queen Elizabeth in 1926; both at the time of the Scorpio ingress and they have died within a month of the transition into Libra.
Angela Lansbury died on October 11 just 5 days shy of her 97th birthday. What a career, what a life, what a legacy! She was a Queen in the field of entertainment. She died only a month after Queen Elizabeth II of England. They were both royal, one by birth, the other by accomplishment and they both proved themselves up to the task of fulfilling their destiny. It’s a fair comparison because each sat on the throne of power for a very, very long time. Elizabeth II reigned for 70 years and Angela Lansbury had an active career for 80 years. They both died at the ripe old age of 96 and were human institutions. They had a comfortable, grandmotherly nature, obviously from their aged appearance but on a deeper, more substantial level was due to the fact that they have been around ever since most of us were born. As far as the general public is concerned, they were always in the public eye. They were stable, secure and you could count on them. They were the crème de la crème, the tops of the tops and were literally Mother figures to several generations.
ANGELA LANSBURY TRANSITS TO NATAL CHART: Birth Info: October 16, 1925, 12:45 am, London
Ms. Lansbury died on October 11 just as we entered eclipse season. You would expect one of the following eclipses to hit her chart dynamically. In this case it is the Lunar Eclipse of November 8th at 16° Taurus. It is in her 10th whole sign house making an opposition to Saturn at 14° Scorpio. Saturn is the planet that rules the end of time, the end of life, reaching your limit. Here in the 4th whole sign house it is the “womb to the tomb” and the sign of Scorpio is a literal death or shall we say transition. The Taurus 10th house placement is the celebration of her legacy, accomplishments, achievements and destiny.
The transiting south node is at 14°31’ Scorpio in partile conjunction to Saturn. The south node is letting go, releasing and again brings up further Scorpio/4th house symbolism. Transiting Saturn has been crossing back and forth over the ascendant/descendant axis all year, a major point of action in the chart. The 7th house is known as a public one and it is the house that sinks below the horizon in the diurnal motion and thus has a symbolic meaning of descending into the depths of the dark night. Transiting Saturn has also been squaring natal Saturn the past year which must have been hard on her health, or at the very least slowing her down.
The upcoming Venus/Sun cazimi at 29° Libra conjuncts Mercury. In mythology Mercury is summoned to shepherd all souls on their final journey home. It is flanked by transiting Mercury just entering Libra, conjunct her Moon and sitting on the world axis, a point of connecting to the world stage in a noteworthy way. Transiting Jupiter tightly opposes the Moon calling her body on a long journey. The 9th/3rd house axis emphasis long journeys of some kind. Death is the ultimate long journey of leaving the body. Dying within days of her birthday ensures that her presence in the news will be guaranteed for a bit longer than usual as we honor her death quickly followed by celebrating her birthday.
Transiting Neptune is sitting on her 8th house Uranus. This is a generational transit and I suppose reading it in the context of her 8th house would represent death, and the removal of her presence from the collective. Transiting Pluto has been squaring her Sun (vitality) for a couple of years and is currently tightly squaring Mercury.
Her progressed Sun has recently (August 2022) ingressed into Aquarius. Progressions of the Sun into a new sign are always important. This is doubly so because the Sun rules the first house of the physical body, appearance and image. This progression signifies a major evolution of her life force. You could say it is an electrical shock to her spirit as it moves into a brand-new whole sign house (the 7th) and connects with the natal South Node in a partile conjunction. In Hellenistic astrology the 7th house concerns relationships as well as death (because it’s the last house before sinking below the horizon). The south node is a release, a letting go and clearing out in a way similar to the transiting nodes conjunct Saturn.
The Progressed Moon at 1° Taurus has just entered the 10th whole sign house of public attention, status, reputation and recognition. It’s interesting to note the transiting Moon also in Taurus on the day of her death.
Progressed Mercury conjuncts Jupiter and opposes natal Pluto. She’s born on a Pluto retrograde station, so this progression is emphasizing an already emphasized planet. This combination being triggered indicates a long journey of a spiritual nature involving death. Mercury here acts as Hermes the Psychopomp, guiding souls to their final resting place.
On closer examination, using the birth time as given, the Solar Eclipse at 2° Scorpio is conjunct her progressed Ascendant at 3° Scorpio. If we rectify the chart to 12:40 am then the progressed Ascendant is 2°49’ Scorpio, more exact. An eclipse to the progressed ascendant in Scorpio is a readiness, or preparation in some way for death or transformation to the physical body. The progressed Moon is opposite this degree at 1.21 Taurus. The rectified chart also gives us a progressed MC at 14°15’ Leo in partile square to Saturn, another strong indication of adjusting the birth time. In summation, when rectifying the chart just five minutes earlier the progressed Ascendant lines up quite closely to squaring Saturn while the progressed MC lines up exactly with the Solar Eclipse of 10/25/22 the one in which she is exiting physical form.
NATAL CHART ANALYSIS: October 16, 1925, 12:45 am, London, England. Whole Sign Houses.
Ms. Lansbury was the supreme example of what is called in the entertainment industry the triple threat. She could act, sing and dance. Her career spanned eight professionally active decades and at the time of her death, she was one of the last surviving stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood. She was the recipient of numerous accolades, including six Tony Awards, six Golden Globe Awards, a Laurence Olivier Award, and an honorary Academy Award. She has been nominated for three Academy Awards, eighteen Emmy Awards, and a Grammy Award.
She has a Libra stellium involving the Sun, Moon, Mercury and Mar in the third whole sign house. This is the house of communication, local travel, education and siblings. In Hellenistic astrology it is also the house of Goddess and Queen because the Moon has her joy in this house. She is born with a third house Moon, so she benefits greatly by having Luna dignified by house placement. She has two brothers with whom she is very close. One became the producer of her hit series MURDER, SHE WROTE while the other became a successful stage and film producer as well. When they moved to the USA, and she quickly became a successful actress in Hollywood she supported her mother and brothers. Those third house placements make her an excellent communicator and endlessly curious about life. With dispositor Venus in Sagittarius in the 5th she brings those talents to the house of creative self-expression, acting, fun, pleasure and theater. Venus has her joy in the 5th house so she, like the Moon, is dignified by house. The Sagittarius part of the equation finds acting success in a foreign country. Another indication of foreign connections is a Libra stellium in the third (local travel) shooting out energy into the Aries 9th house of foreign countries and travel.
A Leo ascendant is perfect for an actor because they enjoy being in the limelight. It emphasizes the third house Sun making it even stronger because Leo is the ascendant ruler. She really wants to shine her star power through the Libra third house placements carried into the 5th via Venus. Though the Sun is in fall, it is somewhat mitigated by having its dispositor Venus powerfully placed in the 5th. Neptune is tightly conjunct a Leo Ascendant. This bestows the ability to adapt her personality and appearance like a chameleon. She has a natural ability to play many varied and different characters. Having Neptune rising is great for helping to get lost into other worlds, particularly the imagination. She is quoted as saying, “I became a self-professed complete movie maniac, visiting the cinema regularly and imagining myself as certain characters.” Neptune has a close affiliation with movies and glamour. It also makes her blind to certain things. For instance, she married first husband Richard Cromwell in 1945. He was 16 years her senior. She didn’t realize at the time that he was gay. They divorced in 1946.
She’s also born on a New Moon which gives the native the ability to make new starts and beginnings. It supplies a very action-oriented flavor to the Libran ability to partner, appreciate beauty and communicate with others. I have always found new moon babies to be dynamic and full of lots of energy and curious to get things started. It adds an extra dose of cardinality to an already cardinal stellium. Katharine Hepburn is another example of an actor born on a new moon.
Mars in the third co-present with the other planets suggests an ability to be an iron fist in the velvet glove when she must fight or assert herself especially when communicating with others. She’s not retiring or shy. I imagine she’s an excellent debater. Mars is in debility so she may have a hard time asserting herself without a long hard deliberation in her own mind about what she wants to say and how to say it fairly. She can lose spur of the moment action because of too much deliberation when Mars would prefer to just jump right in. Mars is the focal planet of a cardinal t-square involving Pluto and Jupiter. Mars/Pluto combinations can be ruthless but Jupiter would soften it to be more about asserting her will through awareness of the other.
A Scorpio Saturn in the 4th house has her experience the early death of her father in 1934 when she was 9. Shortly after the grandfather died, the blitz came to London and Angela’s mother move herself and her children to the United States. The Saturn forces an early sense of responsibility and maturity having to deal with challenging fourth house matters such as deaths of paternal figures, loss of money and moving away from one’s homeland to a foreign country. She became the breadwinner of her family at a very young age.
A Taurus MC puts ruler Venus in the house of its joy. The career is focused on acting, creativity, the arts, pleasure, joy, fun and being childlike. There is a reason it’s called the house of good fortune and it’s where Venus rejoices. It’s very important to note that Venus is the benefic of sect so she is strengthened and has even further power. Mars is the malefic of sect so it helps mitigate some of his more negative Libra traits.
She is born on the retrograde station of Pluto so this planet in her 12th house has greater influence than one might think at first glance. Being born on a station gives that planet extra emphasis and power and with Pluto that can be nuclear. She connects on a very deep level to the collective unconscious. Though she has all the charm and sweetness indicative of the Sun, Moon, Mercury and Mars in Libra, underneath she is a woman of great regenerative power and passion. She rebirthed her career three times in film, stage and television and achieved amazing influence, stature and money in all. The saving grace in keeping that Pluto tipped on the right side of power is the tight opposition of Jupiter which provides luck, grace, awareness, understanding, meaning, and support especially through her 6th house work. Jupiter brings out Pluto’s more positive attributes of passion, influence, persuasion, trust, regenerative abilities and the light-oriented aspects of power to do great good for the collective rather than great harm.
FURTHER BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION
She moved to the United States from England in 1940 with her mother, Irish actress Moyna Macgill, and two brothers to study acting in New York. She proceeded to Hollywood and was quickly signed to a contract at MGM where George Cukor shrewdly cast the 17-year-old as the scene stealing, conniving cockney maid in GASLIGHT starring Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer. She was nominated for a best supporting actress Oscar. She followed this up the next year with another nomination for her heartbreaking performance in THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY. With two nominations in quick succession for two completely diverse characters she was proving her talent. What followed for the next 7 years at MGM were a series of supporting roles in varying degrees of quality. She did get to use her musical talents in films like THE HARVEY GIRLS (although her singing was dubbed) where she tortured poor Judy Garland and TIL THE CLOUDS ROLL BY where she sang in her own voice. She played Elizabeth Taylor’s older sister in NATIONAL VELVET. She had glamorous roles in THE THREE MUSKETEERS and Cecil B. DeMille’s epic SAMSON AND DELILAH but by the early 1950s Hollywood lost interest because they couldn’t figure out what to do with her. She was always playing older than her age, sometimes by more than 20 years. From the very beginning there was always a maturity about her, and while beautiful, was not the classic glamour queen. She was primarily a character actress.
In the 1950s she continued working in film, if unremarkably, did some television and stage work. She also became a mother having married Peter Shaw in 1947, a marriage that lasted 54 years. Her film career picked up in the early 1960s with wonderful performances in films of quality such as ALL FALL DOWN, THE DARK AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS and THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE. In the latter she memorably portrayed one of the most malevolent mothers ever to appear on screen. She received her third Oscar nomination. Good supporting roles continued in films throughout the 1960s.
Then something quite miraculous happened. Through a series of synchronistic and well-timed circumstances she somehow, amidst lots of competition, was cast in the musical MAME with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman and based upon Patrick Dennis book Auntie Mame. It already had two previous incarnations as a very successful straight play and film. It was a smash hit on Broadway, and she was the toast of the town for two years receiving her first Tony Award. This role transformed her into a glamorous and vibrant musical comedy star which is something she had always dreamed of becoming. This newfound success gave her a second career as a great star actress of Broadway with successes in the coming decades such as DEAR WORLD. GYPSY, SWEENEY TODD and many others. She also had great success as a Disney musical star in BEDKNOBS AND BROOMSTICKS and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.
The third major career transformation occurred when she signed for the television series MURDER SHE WROTE in 1983 and the rest is history. It ran for 12 years and garnered a slew of Emmy nominations. It is perhaps the one thing for which she is most famous, having been responsible in making her even more popular and successful than ever. Greater power came her way and its huge success exposed her to a new generation, enhanced her reputation with the older generation, and gave her wider audience recognition, something that the stage and film could never do in such a massive way. It also earned her a fortune and she used this success to catapult herself into many other projects until the day she died. She is that rare performer that never stopped growing and became more popular and active as she aged. Thank you for being a Queen and a Goddess!
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Joseph Addeo is a New York City based consulting astrologer.
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