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Neptune and the Price of Fame: Part One

The recent passing of Whitney Houston has caused many astrologers to reexamine her horoscope. Born with the Sun in Leo, conjunct Venus and trine the Moon and Jupiter, she has what many would consider a fortunate chart. These aspects describe a person born with substantial artistic gifts who will have both the self-confidence and the luck necessary to make the most of them. There is little question that Houston manifested these qualities to the maximum degree.

Of course, there are several other things going on in Houston’s chart that aren’t nearly so positive. I’m going to focus on the square between her Sun and Venus and Neptune. Aspects between Venus or the Moon and Neptune are fairly common in the horoscopes of women who become “stars” in our popular culture. (Other contemporary examples include Beyonce, Angelina Jolie and Britney Spears.) Neptune rules glamour and all its glitzy allure. People with strong Neptune aspects are often particularly susceptible to this allure and a lucky few sometimes get the chance to embody the seductive charm of Neptune for an entire generation.

Of course, with Neptune, nothing is quite what it seems. When we look closely at the trappings of Neptunian glamour we realize that it is a sham and that the “stars” that we worship are just as human we are. Since the aspect between Venus and Neptune in Houston’s chart is a hard square and since she was also born with Mercury conjunct cynical Pluto in no-nonsense Virgo, she had a keen awareness of this falsity.

For Houston, being the embodiment of Neptune was not a privilege; it was a burden. She balked at the effort required to maintain Neptune’s glamorous front. She bristled at its deceptions and unreality. For Houston, Neptune stood in the way of her being a real human being. And since Neptune was also square her Sun, her identity, her sense of self, became lost in Neptune’s seductive intricacies.

Houston was one of the lucky few granted to full benefits of Neptune’s gift of glamour but she was unable to deal with what this gift did to the rest of her life. For her, the price of Neptunian fame was too high. In my next article I will compare Houston’s horoscope with that of another pop diva from the same generation; someone who was also born with Neptune square Venus but who handled the aspect in a very different way.

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