We’re rarely gifted with a time of death in the astrological community, but thanks to timely social media we have one for Carrie Fisher, the actress who portrayed the iconic Princess Leia in the original “Star Wars” franchise, and again in the 2015 reboot. According to family tweets, Fisher passed away at 8:55 AM PST on December 27, 2016, in a Los Angeles hospital, four days after suffering cardiac arrest during a flight from London.
Bizarrely, Fisher’s mother Debbie Reynolds, another film icon, died on the following day, suffering a major stroke while discussing funeral preparations for her daughter. I have been unable to obtain a time of death for Ms. Reynolds, but Lois Rodden’s Astro Data Bank website provides confirmed birth data for Fisher, her mother, and her daughter Billie Lourd (star of the Fox comedy horror series, “Scream Queens”). A comparison of these charts shows a striking web of familial interaction via PNAs (Personal-Named Asteroids), MNAs (Mythic-Named Asteroids) and the traditional planetary energies.
Born 21 October 1956 at 12:49 PM PST in Burbank, California, Fisher’s openly discussed struggles with mental health and substance abuse issues are plain to see in a close conjunction of the Sun at 28 Libra with Neptune at 0 Scorpio. Both areas are Neptune-ruled, but film acting, another Neptunian arena, provided a potentially positive outlet for these energies. Unfortunately, Fisher’s involvement with drugs and alcohol began in her early teens, and already had a strong foothold in her life when she became involved in the cultural phenomenon that was 1977’s “Star Wars” and its subsequent incarnations.
Adding to the power, complexity and thrall of this Sun/Neptune conjunction is a Black Hole, which at 28 Libra exactly conjoins the Sun. This greatly increases obsessiveness and addictive behaviors on the part of the native, and can also lead to conditions such as the bipolar quality Fisher experienced, which she often used drugs to quell or manage. The alternate reality qualities of the Black Hole also gave Fisher the ability to step into a role and inhabit it fully, a useful quality in an actress which Fisher used to great advantage in the early stages of her career.
Further reiterating the theme of drug abuse is asteroid Panacea, named for the daughter of Greek god of healing Asclepios, and a ruler of pharmaceuticals generally, both legal and illegal. At 21 Virgo, Panacea is an exact match for natal Jupiter, also within orb of asteroid Pandora at 20 Virgo and Venus at 18. Fisher had a strong attraction (Venus) for drugs (Panacea), a tendency to overdo or go to extremes in their use (Jupiter), and frequently faced the consequences of opening that Pandora’s box.
Carrie’s familial PNAs are well represented in the chart. Asteroid Fisher conjoins the Sun/Neptune conjunction from 29 Libra, and not only establishes this surname as a vital part of her identity (Sun), but also reflects her inheritance of the substance abuse problem (Neptune), with father Eddie Fisher suffering a thirty year battle with alcohol and drugs. Asteroid Cari is a phonetic match for “Carrie”, the closest we have for her first name; at 11 Libra, Cari conjoins Mercury at 14 Libra, representing the naming function. It also identifies Fisher as closely entwined with writing, an affinity borne out by her four published novels and three autobiographical works.
The most popular of these was “Postcards From the Edge”, an autobiographically-based novel which Carrie later turned into a screenplay, for the 1990 movie starring Meryl Streep. Fisher was also a noted “script doctor,” performing largely uncredited rewrites on many major Hollywood films, including “Hook”, “Sister Act”, “The River Wild”, “The Last Action Hero”, “The Wedding Singer” and “Outbreak”. Her work with rewrites actually began on the “Star Wars” set, where she tweaked many of Princess Leia’s lines during production. Mercury is without major aspect in the horoscope (though it is semisquare to both Pluto and Saturn); its conjunction with Cari goes far to explaining the central role of writing in Fisher’s life and career, as a function with which she strongly identified personally (Cari), often a cathartic exercise in exorcising her internal demons.
Fisher’s parents, partners and child are also well imaged in the chart. Asteroid Eduarda (for Eddie Fisher) appears at 16 Taurus, exactly on the IC, a point representing family roots and inheritance. Asteroid Edoardo at 7 Sagittarius, another “Eddie” variant, is broadly conjoined Saturn, the father, at 1 Sagittarius, though asteroid Reynolds is much closer at 27 Scorpio, establishing her mother as the authoritarian figure and disciplinarian in her daughter’s life, as well as a career mentor. Asteroid Debye opposes the Sun from 24 Aries, an homage to the strained relationship between them. At times, they seemed about as far apart as one could get (opposition), but there was a bond that always brought them back together.
First husband Paul Simon has his own asteroid, Simon-Garfunkel, jointly named for himself and musical collaborator Art. At 13 Cancer, this point closely opposes natal Juno at 14 Capricorn, representing the partner. Bryan Lourd, a later partner and father of her child, appears as asteroid Brian at 1 Libra, exactly sextile Saturn (the husband/spouse), with asteroid Laird (closest match to Lourd) at 9 Sagittarius, very broadly conjoined it. Laird of course also represents her daughter, actress Billy Lourd; in addition to its conjunction with Saturn, establishing Fisher as Lourd’s parent, it is also squared to asteroid Child at 4 Pisces.
As is typical of PNAs, Cari and Fisher’s celestial peregrinations continued to mirror Carrie Fisher’s terrestrial circumstances. For example, for the premiere of “Star Wars” on 25 May 1977, asteroid Cari at 2 Gemini was closely conjoined the 4 Gemini Sun, which also trined Fisher at 3 Libra, placing a bright spotlight on the actress, seemingly impossibly young for such success, at just age 20. Sun/Cari opposed Fisher’s natal Saturn at 1 Sagittarius, focusing attention on her career.
Similarly, when Fisher wed singer Paul Simon on 16 August 1983 (the two had met in 1977 and dated for six years before embarking on a marriage that would last just 11 months), double pairings showed the bond between the couple. Asteroids Simona (for Simon) and Fisher were conjunct at 16 and 20 Leo, within orb of the Sun at 23 (and in trine to Simon-Garfunkel at 19 Aries), showing the couple as a focus of the day. Asteroids Paul and Cari were even more tightly enmeshed, at 4 and 5 Libra. Adjustment and accommodation was the key to that union, as seen by matching inconjuncts from Simona/Fisher to Hera (Greek goddess of marriage) at 22 Capricorn, and Paul/Cari to Juno at 2 Taurus (Hera’s Roman counterpart). Unfortunately, the marriage failed, possibly due to the rare conjunction in its chart of transit Pluto and Saturn, which at 27 and 29 Libra sat directly atop Fisher’s natal Sun/Neptune. Although Saturn was urging her to “grow up” and accept the adult responsibilities of marriage, it may also have felt restrictive or critical, and Pluto here can seem overwhelming. Both feelings may have spurred further substance abuse binges (natal Neptune), reportedly a leading cause of the couple’s break-up.
At her death in Los Angeles on 27 December 2016, at 8:55 AM PST, transit asteroids Cari and Fisher were conjunct in the sky, at 24 and 20 Pisces respectively. Fisher was exactly with Chiron, which I would suggest was the “wounding” of the original heart attack on the plane, which did not kill her outright, but weakened her system. Fisher/Chiron are also exactly squared to Saturn, ancient lord of death, at 20 Sagittarius, itself in a precise conjunction with asteroid Nemesis, representing undoing, and the transit Moon closing in fast from 18 Sagittarius.
That’s fairy impressive, but the truly stand-out aspect of the day involves asteroid Lachesis, named for the mythic Greek Fate who determines the span of life. At 27 Capricorn, Lachesis had come to exactly conjoin Fisher’s Ascendant; this certainly radically altered how others see her, as now deceased. But even more staggering is the fact that the Ascendant for the time of death, 6 Aquarius, is an exact match for Fisher’s natal Lachesis! So she had a double hit on the issue of “span of life”, made all the more remarkable by the timing. Lachesis circles the zodiac every 3-4 years, so its Ascendant conjunction repeats in that time frame, and lasts 2-3 days. But the transit Ascendant changes degrees roughly every four minutes, and although it conjoins every chart point daily, including Lachesis, it beggars imagination to conceive that Fisher passed during that four minute window, which recurs only every four years in tandem with transit Lachesis simultaneously on the Ascendant.
I you want to strain your brain further, you can add to that the fact that transit Lachesis was exactly square Debbie Reynolds’ natal asteroid Rip (for “RIP”, Rest In Peace, a common tombstone inscription) at 27 Libra, and that Billie Lourd’s natal Lachesis lies at 6 Leo, exactly conjunct the Descendant of her mother’s death chart, permanently altering their relationship. Both contacts illustrate Fisher’s family members’ brushes with death due to her passing; for daughter Billie, the effect was fleeting, as the transit Descendant swept across a natal death indicator for those few minutes. For mother Debbie, the aspect was still in force when she herself passed away the following day.
Multiple additional indicators of death abound in the chart of Carrie Fisher’s passing. Transit Osiris, named for the ancient Egyptian god of the dead, at 24 Capricorn is exactly sextile transit Cari at 24 Pisces. Transit asteroid Rip was stationary in the sky, having turned retrograde just the day before, granting it additional clout in the heavens, and at 1 Virgo, was closely conjoined Fisher’s natal Pluto, modern ruler of death, at 0 Virgo. Transit Anubis, named for the ancient Egyptian deity governing funerary rites, at 16 Virgo conjoined her natal Venus/Jupiter at 18 and 21 Virgo, was exactly sextile her 16 Scorpio MC, and exactly trine transit Pluto at 16 Capricorn. Pluto itself broadly opposed two of Fisher’s natal death-related points, asteroids Requiem (named for the funeral mass for the dead) and Anubis, at 12 and 18 Cancer respectively. Finally, transit Requiem at 18 Aquarius formed a precise Yod, or Finger of Destiny, with inconjunct aspects to Fisher’s natal Venus at 18 Virgo and Anubis at 18 Cancer, seemingly setting the seal on this fated moment.