Actor Paul Walker died on November 30th when a 2005 Porsche Carrera he was riding in crashed into a light pole and burst into flames. Walker was most noted for his role in the “Fast and Furious” franchise of vehicular-oriented action films so it is ironic that he died in an automobile accident.
Automobiles are ruled by Mercury which is concerned with short journeys as opposed to plane rides to distant lands. Mercury was important in Paul Walker’s chart in several ways: Mercury is the traditional ruler of Virgo (I personally believe that Chiron is the modern ruler of Virgo although this is a matter of interpretation) and Walker’s Sun was in Virgo, as was his Mercury. When Mercury is in one of its own signs (Gemini is the other) it is stronger in its expression and more important in the chart, and when Mercury rules the Sun, the essential Self of the individual, its power becomes magnified to an even greater extent.
We typically don’t think of Virgos as being particularly reckless, although there is a type of Radical Virgo (such as Amy Winehouse) in which other chart dynamics (such as Mars or Uranus placements) conflict with the Virgo element to drive the individual into reckless and radical behavior. We don’t see that in Walker’s chart, and indeed Walker’s “Fast and Furious” character Brian O’Connor served as the steady counterpoint to Vin Diesel’s wild and testosterone-driven lead character.
This makes sense with Walker’s Taurus Mars – a slow and steady Mars that is not excitable or overly aggressive. Mars in Taurus is the proverbial bull who is slow to anger, but when anger erupts it explodes with a powerful force.
Walker’s chart was not a particularly difficult one and his biography is not particularly dramatic. However, he had a powerful and challenging square (90 degree) aspect between Saturn and Pluto – the two most difficult planets in the chart. Saturn is the planet of tests, hard work and achievement, and Pluto governs death and regeneration – experiences that change us completely. People with challenging Saturn/Pluto aspects often have periods of deprivation and a sense that life is a hard slog and an uphill climb.
Walker had enough positive aspects to offset the intensity of the challenge, but this Saturn/Pluto aspect was connected tightly to the Nodes of the Moon – the points in the sky that serve as the gateway to the past (South Node) and the future (North Node). The Black Moon Lilith, representing the deep pain of previous incarnations, is also tied tightly into the system – all of these points are within one degree which is a powerhouse of intensity. Traditional astrologers will look at the presence of Saturn in its “detrimen” conjunct the South Node as a symbol of tremendous ill fortune. However I think we can all agree that Paul Walker led a relatively charmed life up until the moment of his death.
One of my esteemed colleagues wrote of some transits at the time of Walker’s death that would have predicted his demise, but the transits written about in that article were relatively minor and could be a harbinger of a wide variety of things. The time that I would have been most concerned about would have been back in 2009-2011 when Saturn, Uranus and Pluto transited this powerful system of fate, a time that would have brought extreme changes into his life. And so they did – but not a death in a fiery accident. Instead he devoted his energy and resources to assist the victims of the earthquake in Haiti, founding a disaster relief organization that has since worked tirelessly around the world. In 2011 his life was further transformed when his daughter moved in with him and he became a full-time dad.
Yes, there were some interesting transits at work at the time of his death. Transiting Uranus was exactly inconjunct Mars (a 30 degrees aspect that creates tension without release). (Astrologers: Before arguing with me over the use of this term please read this article). This transit actually began back in March and April 2013 and there were no dramatic accidents. At the time of his death Uranus was stationary as it prepared to change direction so it was more powerful, and this would have exerted more pressure on Walker to be more reckless and certainly as an astrologer I would have cautioned restraint and the possibility of accidents.
Perhaps most interesting is that transiting Mercury was in an exact transit to Walker’s progressed Mercury and the ascendant of his natal chart, suggesting automobile rides or some other kind of activity. In addition, transiting Mars was conjunct his natal Mercury which would have amplified the restlessness and recklessness of the Uranus transit described above.
Because we don’t know Walker’s time of birth we are missing some elements of the chart that could have provided further guidance. But I think it’s important not to perpetuate this idea that we can predict the moment of death using astrology. To do so is not only irresponsible, it’s just plain wrong as I’ve written many times before. Yes, there are techniques that claim to do so, but they all fail in practice. Death is the supreme mystery of life and therein lies its magic.