Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, nor do I have training in the medical fields. However, I have a strong interest in the way energy works in the body as described by astrological symbolism.
I had never heard of Nate Dogg, who recently died at the age of 41 after suffering from a series of strokes, until I heard about his passing on the news. It was his age, 41, which grabbed my attention since that is the age at which transiting Uranus opposes natal Uranus in everyone’s life. This is the classic “midlife crisis” transit in which we are forced to reassess everything in our life and when we tend to make big and sudden changes.
Uranus, being the ruler of electricity, also has an effect on the way our bodies manage the electrical charges of the nervous system. Many people going through the “Uranus Opposition” as we call it experience a flood of kundalini energy, known as the “kundalini opening,” which can put stress on the nervous system and result in a high degree of anxiety.
Nate Dogg (born as Nathaniel Hale on August 19, 1969, time unknown) was born with the Sun in Leo and locked in a tight square to Neptune. This is the same Sun/Neptune square that we see in President Obama’s chart, and while it affords a high degree of creativity it also suggests someone who has difficulty (Neptune) establishing an identity (Sun) for themselves.
Mr. Dogg also had Saturn, planet of testing and challenge, tightly opposed to his Scorpio Moon which reveals a deep sense of isolation and a propensity towards depression. That strong Saturn placement also denotes someone who works hard and can be very disciplined at the core. While the Sun represents the physical heart in medical astrology, the Moon represents the emotional heart and often people with a stressed Moon develop heart problems as a result.
Mars is in his chart was in cheerful Sagittarius – a placement which typically shows a high degree of motivation (Mars) to reach beyond the boundaries of that which appears possible (Sagittarius). People with Mars in Sagittarius have a strong drive to be cheerful and to maintain an optimistic viewpoint, regardless of the circumstances, and this influence provided him with a nice counterpoint to the challenge of the Saturn/Moon opposition.
The New York Times wrote that “his blend of cocksureness [Leo Sun] and haunted melancholy [Scorpio Moon opposite Saturn] became a [hip hop] genre staple.”
Mr. Dogg was plagued with personal and health issues. He first suffered a stroke in December of 2007 or January 2008 (news reports vary) at the age of 38 which paralyzed the left side of body (corresponding to the right brain, the creative self). After he had almost completely recovered, he was charged in June 2008 for stalking and threatening his estranged wife, and then he suffered a second stroke in September 2008.
Chiron opposes Uranus in his chart, a dynamic that was quite common between the early 1950s and the mid 1980s, but no other age group has it. This opposition pits the planet of wounding and healing (Chiron) against the electrical planet of radical behavior and sudden change (Uranus) and often instills a high degree of energetic sensitivity. With the Chiron/Uranus opposition there is often an overabundance of electromagnetic energy that needs to be balanced in some ways. Many times people with this opposition become drawn to energy healing modalities such as Reiki, both for themselves and as a tool for helping to heal others.
In Mr. Dogg’s chart Jupiter conjoined Uranus and also opposed Chiron, expanding and exacerbating the challenge of the opposition. The combination of Jupiter with Uranus can inflame the radical tendencies of both planets, and then the job of Chiron (which was also retrograde in his chart and therefore operated more intensely) to facilitate the healing of the psycho-emotional wounds of the soul becomes more difficult. Jupiter’s placement there, in the chart of someone who may not have been particularly introspective or spiritually-oriented, encourages more of an acting-out of inner urges rather than finding the internal balance that is necessary for growth to occur.
Mr. Dogg’s progressed Sun conjoined Uranus at the time of his stroke in 2007, and over the next four years progressed to interact with the entire Uranus/Jupiter/Chiron system in his chart. Progressions of the Sun to the natal chart tend to illuminate the issues of the chart to bring them to the forefront of consciousness. His progressed Sun was exactly square to his progressed Mars (aggression) at the time, and transiting Jupiter had just entered Capricorn and lit the flame for the whole dynamic to erupt. The presence of progressed Mars in the mix suggests that there was a tinderbox of unexpressed rage and pain just waiting to be released, and if you google Mr. Dogg’s lyrics this will not surprise you.
Mr. Dogg made a nearly complete recovery, so presumably once the energy of the stroke dissipated his health returned. With the progressed Sun continuing to light up the recklessness of the natal Jupiter/Uranus conjunction, he chased his ex-wife down the highway and threatened to kill her. At the time, transiting Uranus (radical behavior) was sitting right on his natal Pluto, a transit that often causes us to feel that matters are of a life or death nature, and transiting Mars was sitting right on his Sun, bringing up the rage that he was not so easily able to express.
By September 2008, when Mr. Dogg had his second stroke, his progressed Sun had caught up to his progressed Uranus in an exact conjunction, lighting up the tinder box once again and creating a short circuit of electrical impulses in his body to cause a stroke. Progressed Sun and Uranus were also exactly opposite progressed Chiron, and this stroke was more intense than the first one. Mr. Dogg reportedly ended up in a coma with both a breathing and feeding tube.
Over the next few years, the planets of the Cardinal Drama that we have been discussing here on this blog interacted with this challenging system in Mr. Dogg’s chart. His death on March 15th was blamed on complications from the strokes, but the astrological implications are clear. At the time of his death, Mr. Dogg’s progressed Sun had just moved past an exact opposition to Chiron in the natal chart, and transiting Pluto was in a nearly exact square to both Chiron and the progressed Sun. Pluto transits take us deep into the soul, and often bring experiences that take us into the realm of the Underworld.
All of this does not mean that Mr. Dogg was fated to die of a series of strokes. I suspect that he was locked in an inner world of rage and depression that ate him up from within and from which he was unable or unwilling to extricate himself. We can see this in his lyrics, which describe in detail the story we have used astrological symbolism to tell.
How can I concentrate
With all the problems that I face
I often ask myself if there’s a place
where I can get away (Where I can get away)
I keep my head to the sky
And try to maintain my pace
If I don’t then I’m gone
Somebody gone take my place
No need to go too fast
Cos I know a little time it takes
But my situation’s bad
I’ll be jackin soon at this rate
I ain’t tryin to make you mad
It’s a plain and simple fact you face
If you’re broke you hurt most
From all the bullshit you take
Lately I’ve been feelin like givin up (Don’t give up)
The pain inside makes me wanna reach out and touch
Someone, anyone who feels that I ain’t been hurt enough
You best duck or get stuck
Cos man I been hurtin for months
No more, no more, no more, no more
I’ve been hurtin a while
No more, no more, no more, no more
And I don’t wanna hurt no more
No more, no more, no more, no more
Don’t wanna hurt no more
But the rain keeps comin down