Today (26 Jan 2020) there was shocking news from California. Basketball star Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash. Bryant was born on 23 August 1978 in Philadelphia. The time of birth is not independently verified but one source gives it as 5 pm EDT, Rodden rating C. Here is the 5 pm birth chart in the tropical zodiac with Placidus houses.
In judging death we would consider the 8th house, its ruler and occupants; the 12th house of dissolution, limitation and loss; and the 4th house of final endings and the grave. If this 5 pm chart is accurate, the 8th house is ruled by the Sun and contains Mercury, the Sun and Saturn. The Sun has dignity only by decan (face). Both Saturn and Mercury are totally without essential dignity and is thus peregrine. In addition, Saturn is combust the sun. The lack of essential dignity and the presence of malefic Saturn in the 8th raise the possibility of a shorter than average life span. The conjunction of 9th whole sign ruler Mercury with the 8th Placidus cusp is consistent with death related to air travel. The conjunction of 4th ruler Mars with Pluto could symbolize some type of violence at the end of life.
Now let us consider the solar return for the current year. Here is the natal 5 pm chart with the solar return at the birthplace superimposed.
In the combined chart, we see that transiting Saturn, South Node and Pluto are in the natal 1st house rising toward the Ascendant, suggesting that themes related to these planets will be a major focus during the year. Saturn rules the natal Ascendant and occupies the natal 8th house. Solar return Mars almost exactly conjoins natal Saturn in the 8th house. Mars is his out-of-sect malefic in the natal chart, so its aspects can be particularly difficult. SR Mercury, which rules the natal 9th whole sign, conjoins the natal 8th cusp in the return chart. SR Venus, which rules the natal 9th Placidus cusp, conjoins natal Saturn in the natal 8th house, again linking 8th house matters with the 9th house of air travel.
We should also consider the profected Ascendant. At age 41 Bryant’s profected Ascendant lies in the sign Gemini, ruled by Mercury. Gemini is both the 6th whole sign and the 6th Placidus house, thus issues of bodily injury become a major theme for the year. Natal Mercury at the cusp of the 8th house raises the possibility of death from such injuries. In addition, the SR Ascendant is closely conjunct SR Jupiter which rules the natal 12th house.
If we consider primary directions, the Venus term/bound of Pisces has risen to the horizon at age 41 so that his “distributor” or “divisor” for this period is Venus, which is partnered by the Sun, ruler of the natal 8th house of death because the opposition of the Sun from the natal 8th Placidus house has risen to the horizon most recently before the bound of Venus. SR Venus conjoins natal Saturn and SR Mars in the natal 8th this year, again raising the risk of death.
Regarding primary directions, we see the following calculated by Placidus semi-arc with the Naibod key, with and without latitude:
He began the year with the opposition of Saturn coming to the Ascendant by primary direction. This is especially prominent because Saturn rules the natal Ascendant, and the SR Saturn occupies the natal first house during this solar return year. The period when the Ascendant ruler opposes the Ascendant usually indicates potential harm to the physical body through illness or injury.
If we look at Bryant’s chart from a Hindu perspective with the Lahiri ayanamsa, we see the following:
In the sidereal chart Sagittarius rises. On the date of the helicopter crash the Vimshottari dasa is Rahu/Saturn/Saturn/Saturn. Rahu lies in the 10th sign from the Lagna with the Placidus 9th cusp (air travel). Rahu is disposed by Mercury, which rules the 7th sign from the Lagna, so Mercury is a maraka or killer planet. Saturn rules the 2nd sign from the Lagna and is also a maraka or killer planet. Thus, the crash occurs during a period when both marakas are activated in the Vimshottari dasa system. In addition, Saturn occupies the 9th sign from the Lagna where the 8th Placidus cusp also resides. In the Chara dasa (KN Rao version), Bryant is running a Leo/Leo period. Leo is the 9th sign from the Lagna and contains the maraka Saturn and the cusp of the Placidus 8th house cusp.
Even though the 5 pm birth time has not yet been verified by other sources, the chart it produces is consistent with the potential for death in his 41st year.
Addendum (27 Jan 2020): in a comment, Patrick Ross pointed out the true lunar nodes in this year’s solar return are stationary and turning direct. I have repeatedly found that when the true nodes are stationary at the time of the solar return, the individual has a year marked by dramatic changes and unexpected events. In Koby Bryant’s solar return for the date of the helicopter accident, the true nodes are not only stationary but they are closely conjunct the Placidus 2nd/8th house axis and they fall in the whole sign 2nd and 8th houses, which have to do with the native’s mortality. The South Node (Ketu) is not only stationary but it also conjoins and lies between two cruel planets, Saturn and Pluto.
An aside: I believe there is an error in the birth data in AstroDataBank (astrol.com) regarding Kobe Bryant’s birthplace. All the sources I haved checked state that he was born in Philadelphia (39n57, 75w10) but astro.com lists the birth place as Harrisburg (40n16, 76w53). The confusion appears to have resulted from the fact that Harrisburg is both a separate city from Philadelphia and that there is a suburb of Philadelphia named Harrisburg. Kobe grew up in the suburb of the city of Philadelphia which is named Lower Merion. Changing the birth location from Harrisburg to Philadelphia gives him an ascendant of about 9 Capricorn 51, rather than the one listed at astro.com.
Addendum 28 Jan 2020: Here is the chart for the time and place the helicopter took off (according to news reports) superimposed on Kobe’s natal chart.
At the time of take-off, transiting Mars was conjunct natal Neptune near the cusp of the natal 12th house. This position was also emphasized in the solar return chart. Transiting Jupiter, which rules the SR Ascendant and is in its fall in Capricorn, is conjunct the transiting South Node and the natal Ascendant. At the same time natal Jupiter is opposed by the transiting Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn (Jupiter’s fall). The poor condition of Jupiter may explain was Jupiter rising in the solar return was not protective enough to prevent this tragedy. Transiting Uranus is closely conjunct the natal 4th cusp, warning of sudden unexpected disruption. The transiting nodes, which are malefic, lies almost exactly across the horizon axis. Also noteworthy is that on 10 Jan 2020 there was a lunar eclipse across the 20th degree of Cancer/Capricorn, which activated the transiting Saturn/Pluto opposition to natal Jupiter.