Heath Ledger 1979 - 2008
Movie fans around the world have reacted with shock and sadness with the untimely death of Australian actor Heath Ledger in New York on January 22. While the cause of death is not yet known, Ledger's depression and mental difficulties is widely believed to have been a factor. The Brokeback Mountain star was recently separated from his girlfriend Michelle Williams and had a long history of abusing illegal and prescription drugs. As is often the case with situations of stress and hopelessness, Saturn played a crucial role in reflecting Ledger's final moments of despair.
Heath's natal chart revealed a great sensitivity and tendency towards repressed feelings. His three planets in sidereal Pisces gave him an ability for emotional receptivity, especially since that was magnified by Jupiter's aspect from the watery sign of Cancer. His capacity to enjoy life may have been thwarted by Saturn's opposition to Venus. This is a very close opposition aspect and is likely the key astrological signature for his marital unhappiness. Although we don't know his birthtime, we can use the Moon in Gemini as the ascendant to represent his first house. His great career success can be seen in Jupiter's close aspect to Mercury in Pisces. Mercury's debilitation in Pisces is nullified through this aspect from its dispositor in the sign of its exaltation. Mercury, therefore, rules the first (profile) and tenth (career) houses in this Chandra lagna chart and its enhancement by Jupiter gives a massive boost to the outcomes of these houses.
We get a hint of his potential problems with drugs through the 12th house of undoing. Taurus is in the 12th which is ruled by Venus. But Venus is heavily afflicted: it is with otherworldy Ketu and opposed by distorting Saturn. This suggests that Heath would have experienced more of the negative sides of the 12th house, including escapist behaviour in the form of recreational drugs and also problems sleeping. Ledger was widely known to have prescriptions for several sleep medications. For drugs, we can also note the presence of Neptune in Scorpio in the 6th from the Moon. The 6th represents illness and things that we have to confront. Neptune, like Ketu, signifies dreams, illusions, and a perfected world beyond this Earth. Ledger's 6th house Neptune directed him away from material realm of the real world and led him towards the release he found in drugs.
At the time of death, Saturn had returned to his natal position -- the Saturn Return, as it is known in astrology. What made Ledger's Saturn Return many times worse than an ordinary Saturn return is that Venus sits opposed to Saturn in his natal chart. The recent Saturn station in late December therefore was hammering away his Venus relentlessly for two months. Interestingly, even Jupiter's normally favourable trine aspect to natal Saturn couldn't help him. Although it was close to exact, Jupiter had moved in the nakshatra of Purvashada a few days before. Purvashada is ruled by Venus, however, which was a chief source of his misery. Jupiter's aspect here was therefore exaggerating all of his feelings of being unloved (natal Saturn opp. Venus). The t-square formed by the transit Mars-Venus opposition and his Mercury-Mars conjunction may have incapacitated his ability to think clearly in his final days. Whatever choices he may have had to act differently, his chart depicts a life blessed with success but cursed by unhappiness.