The passing of Joyce Brothers and Primary Directions

I heard on the news today that pop psychologist and TV personality Doctor Joyce Brothers died today (13 May 2013).  The cause of death was respiratory failure.  AstroDataBank gives her birth data as:

Brothers, Joyce Gender: F
Birthname Joyce Diane Bauer
born on 20 October 1928 at 18:21 (= 6:21 PM )
Place New York, New York, 40n43, 74w0
Timezone EST h5w (is standard time)

Her natal chart looks like this:

Dr. Joyce Brothers natal chart

Dr. Joyce Brothers natal chart

Dr. Brothers died at the age of 85.  Jupiter rules her 8th house of death.  One would expect Jupiter to be active in her chart at this time.  In addition, Saturn and Pluto are natural rulers of death, so they might also be active by primary direction.  Her primary directions within a year either side of May 2013 are as follows (major aspects, Ptolemy measure of 1 degree = 1 year, with and without latitude):

Joyce Brothers' primary directions within a year of her death.

Joyce Brothers’ primary directions within a year of her death.

Note the prominence of Pluto opposing the ASC by primary direction this year.  Pluto lies natally in the 3rd house, which is associated with the lungs and respiration.  Pluto also disposes Mercury in Scorpio in the 6th house of illness.

In addition, the MC opposes 8th house-ruler Jupiter at this time by primary direction.  If she were born at 6:20:40 PM (just 20 seconds earlier than her stated birth time), then the MC opposing Jupiter by primary direction would be exact on 13 May 2013, the date of her death.  Primary directed MC lies in the 6th house of illness and opposes natal Jupiter in the 12th house of hospitalization and confinement.

The primary directed ASC also squares natal Saturn during this period.  Our hypothesis about which astrological factors should be active is born out by the timing of events at the end of her life.

About Anthony Louis

Author of books about astrology and tarot, including TAROT PLAIN AND SIMPLE, HORARY ASTROLOGY, and THE ART OF FORECASTING WITH SOLAR RETURNS.
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2 Responses to The passing of Joyce Brothers and Primary Directions

  1. james says:

    hi tony,
    thanks for sharing. i know of someone born the same day, but in the 50’s who has the moon at about where joyce’s jupiter is. in his chart is is a wide sun/moon opposition. in joyce’s chart it is a wide sun/jupiter opposition. saturn has been in the vicinity of the sun in the past year and now jupiter in joyce’s chart is being opposed by saturn, although not exact by degree. i am so used to thinking in the typical astrological way that we need to consider the closest aspects to understand why an event happens at a particular time. but, i continue to wonder about what the general impact a transiting saturn would have in the close proximity to this sun/jupiter opposition for the past year? saturn is a general signifactor for death. in joyce’s chart it is in the 8th house/sign from the ascendant – sag. at the same time i wouldn’t want to fall back on transit data exclusively to get a good read on a chart, i do find the wide lens view worthwhile to consider.

    in the case of the person i know, he was diagnosed with esophagus cancer and it not expected to live another year. something about having both lights caught up in a saturn transit is a part of it. i certainly wouldn’t make a prediction off of only transit data and even with the knowledge of transiting saturn moving thru an important part of the chart involving either of the lights, i would suggest a time of greater caution and care would be warranted. making predictions in advance is a precarious thing, but it is very worthwhile to study in retrospect which is why i liked your exercise here..

    • James,
      I agree about making predictions about illness or death. We can never be certain we are interpreting correctly and need to avoid creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. When I see difficult aspects by transit or otherwise which might indicate illness, I usually say something like “this is a stressful aspect … it generally means you will be dealing with such and such issues … but it can sometimes indicate an illness or accident, so it would be wish to follow up on any symptoms and schedule a routine medical checkup during this period.” Such a statement is honest, outlines the possibilities, but does not issue a dire fated prediction. I always learn a lot by examining a chart after the fact. If someone has suffered a serious injury or illness or even death, there ought to be indications in the chart. I agree with you about not relying too much on transits. My own “hierarchy” of importance is first the natal chart, followed by primaries, then secondaries, then the solar return, eclipses to the natal chart, the lunar return and finally transits.

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