January/February 2017 Issue
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The Astrology of Johnny Cash & John Ritter
This article was written by Stephanie Jean Clement, Ph.D.
posted under Astrology
Johnny Cash and John Ritter gave up their physical bodies within hours of each other on September 11 and September 12, 2003. Astrologically it was a lot like any other two days. For the music, movies and television world it marked the passing of two remarkable entertainers.
Johnny Cash had the most prolific career of any country or rock star:
Cash also starred in numerous movies and had his own television show from 1969 to 1971. He had guest appearances on shows as diverse as The Cosby Show, The Simpsons, and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.
- He recorded more than 1,500 songs on about 500 albums.
- He is the youngest person ever chosen for the Country Music Hall of Fame.
- He has placed 48 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 Pop charts, about the same number as the Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys.
- His 1975 autobiography Man in Black has so far sold around 1.5 million copies, about 300,000 in hardcover.
- He is one of the very few people in the history of music to sell more than 50 million records.
- Over a hundred acts have recorded Cash's I Walk The Line.
John Ritter, son of musician and actor Tex Ritter, went to college to study psychology and architecture, got talked into taking an acting class, and immediately changed his major. He studied acting with Nina Foch and Stella Adler. His early career included stage plays in England and continental Europe.
Ritter was best known for his role in the television series Three's Company. The show ran from 1977 to 1984. Ritter won an Emmy, a Golden Globe and a People's Choice Award for the role as Jack Tripper. Before that he played a minister on The Waltons.
In addition to television, Ritter also had a prolific career in movies and on Broadway. His most recent job was on the television series 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, which won a People's Choice award in its first season. He was in the process of taping the new season when he suddenly fell ill.
The Heart of the Matter
Both Johnny Cash and John Ritter had heart ailments. Ritter suffered a tear of the aorta, the result of an undiagnosed flaw in his heart, and died within hours. He was 54. Cash, who previously had heart surgery, died of diabetes complications at age 71.
How does astrology account for the tremendous talent these two men enjoyed? They both had the Sun in the Twelfth House, a placement often associated with contemplative occupations. Yet they were out on stage their entire careers.
Both men had planets in Pisces, a sign associated with glamor. Cash had the Sun, Mercury, and Mars in Pisces, along with the Ascendant. He was able to put his heart and soul into his music, and was beloved by millions of fans.
Ritter, popular in a very different segment of the entertainment industry, was known for his comedy work, but also for more serious drama. He had the Moon in Pisces.
Part pf the glamor of Pisces is that the person tends to be shy or retiring. This creates mystique regarding who the person truly is, thereby increasing the glamor. Both Johnny Cash and John Ritter had naturally likable personalities—fans wanted to get to know them better.
Another Piscean quality is the desire to be understood by others. Pisces needs to make an effort to express his or her feelings in words and action. Cash and Ritter were pros in this regard. Both flourished in more than one area of the entertainment business, capitalizing on their individual performance strengths to connect with a wide variety of audiences.
Both Cash and Ritter had Jupiter well-placed by sign. Cash had Jupiter in Leo and Ritter had this planet in Sagittarius. Quoting from the interpretation in Mapping Your Birthchart for Jupiter in Leo, “Self-confidence is your calling card. You are able to take on huge project. Your leadership skills improve with every venture, as does your popularity.” Both performers had long careers with significant successful runs and awards. Both finished their lives at the top of their game.
Astrology of the End of Life
Astrologers do not predict the death of an individual. This highly personal moment is tied to individual will in some cases. In others it is related to accidents that are beyond the scope of one individual. In addition, predicting a person's time of death is rarely helpful to them.
It is interesting to examine the chart for times people have died to see what thoughts and feelings they may have had. We can see what the general physical tone of their lives was at the very end.
We know that he was at the end of a long illness. This is supported in his chart by a set of aspects that indicate slowing of the pulse and breathing process:
These progressed and transiting aspects are backed by aspects in the birth chart (a necessary factor in clear forecasting):
- Solar arc Sun semi-sextile birth Uranus
- Transiting Uranus conjunct birth Mars (affecting the heart rhythm)
- Transiting Pluto trine birth Uranus
- Secondary progressed Mercury sesqui-quadrate birth Neptune and semi-square birth Mercury
Indications about the end of Johnny Cash's life from the mental/emotional perspective hint that he could have been well satisfied with his accomplishments. Solar arc Venus aspecting the North Node suggests that he made a significant mark among his associates as well as his fans. The solar arc Midheaven conjuncting his birth Mercury indicates that he knew his career was successful. It was a success not only for him, but for his wife, his associates, and his millions of fans.
- Mars semi-square Uranus (stress in the area of heart activity)
- Sun opposition Neptune (sluggish, paralyzed cells; inclination to use drugs and alcohol)
- Mercury opposition Neptune (paralysis of nerves)
- Moon sesqui-quadrate Ascendant (tendency to overindulge in alcohol)
John Ritter's death was a complete shock. No one knew he had a weakness of the aorta that could cause a severe internal bleeding problem at any time. As with any sudden illness, the event would have been very difficult to predict, as the weakness in the aorta was hidden.
Ritter's birth chart had at least two indications of the kind of illness that could occur:
Progressions and transits reflect the power of Ritter's career as well as the circumstances of his final illness:
- Moon quincunx Pluto (sudden and powerful changes involving bodily fluids)
- Saturn sextile Uranus (opportunity for heat blockage or changes in rhythmical processes. This aspect is involved in sudden illnesses accompanied by chronic conditions.)
Ritter was at a peak point in his career, starting a new season with a very successful show. The above astrological indicators show that each combination forecasts more than one possible outcome.
- Solar arc Mercury trine birth Neptune (conditions for success in communication)
- Solar arc Jupiter opposition Pluto (attainment of leadership; blood transfusion)
- Solar arc Pluto conjunct birth Ascendant (commencing of an illness)
- Progressed Ascendant semi-square Midheaven (tension, yet clear mind concerning career and family activities)
- Transiting Pluto conjunct progressed Mars (potential for injury; dynamic, persuasive action)
- Transiting Neptune sesqui-quadrate birth Sun (illness; chaos)
- Transiting Mars trine birth Uranus (heart activity: injury causing loss of blood)
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