Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley: Death and Venus Retrograde

All Blues

Miles Davis dies September 28 1991Trumpet legend Miles Davis died twenty-four years ago today, fifteen days following a Venus direct station in Leo. The cause of death was pneumonia, followed by a stroke.

Earlier that summer, the usually forward-looking Davis had performed a one-off concert of his old 1950s material, using musicians from his past bands. Given that he died fairly suddenly so shortly after this rare musical look backward, in hindsight it almost seems like it is what killed him.

Venus Retrograde in Virgo

Venus stations retrograde in Virgo-to-Leo on a regular eight-year interval. With every successive eight-year passage, the retrograde and direct stations occur two-to-three calendar days earlier, and two-to-three zodiacal degrees earlier than the previous one.

The retrograde period itself lasts about 40 days, however in examining the overall retrograde phase, astrologers often include what are sometimes referred to as “shadow periods”. This refers to periods occurring thirty days prior to and following the actual retrograde period, during which Venus transits back and forth through the same zodiacal degrees.

We are talking about a total of about 100 days that occur once every eight years. Relative to total time, this is a ratio of about one-in-twenty-nine. Quite a small window of time.

Kind of Blue

Miles Davis Kind of Blue album releasedDavis’ classic LP, Kind of Blue, the biggest selling jazz album of all time by a long shot, was released on August 17, 1959, when Venus was retrograde in Virgo.

The record featured a band that included tenor saxophone player John Coltrane, alto saxophonist Julian “Cannonball” Adderley, pianists Bill Evans and Wynton Kelly (on one cut), bassist Paul Chambers, and drummer Jimmy Cobb. Evans would later describe this short-lived group as being “composed of superhumans.”

Assault at Birdland

Miles Davis assaulted August 1959Just over a week after the record’s release, Davis was involved in an incident with a New York police officer outside the Birdland club, where his band was completing a two-week headlining stint.

After seeing Davis help a white woman into a taxi cab, the officer told Davis to move along, to which Davis replied that he was performing at the club they were standing in front of, and he wasn’t going anywhere. It was then that the policeman struck Davis with his nightstick, causing a wound that required stitches.

The assault, as with the release of Kind of Blue the previous week, occurred while transiting Venus was still retrograde in Virgo.

Coltrane and Adderley

John Coltrane dies, July 1967Interestingly, Davis and his two horn players on the record, Coltrane and Adderley, all died during the Venus retrograde in Virgo-to-Leo phase.

Cannonball Adderley dies August 1975Coltrane died of liver cancer 22 days prior to Venus‘ retrograde station in Virgo, on July 17, 1967. Adderley died from a stroke on August 8, 1975, while Venus was retrograde in Virgo.

The chances of all three horn soloists dying during the same Venus retrograde phase as the release of their most memorable collective recorded work, and Davis’ subsequent headline-grabbing assault, are staggering. But then again, we are talking about superhumans.

Astrology Restored Conference, Cape Town, South Africa

Astrology Restored ConferenceI am pleased to be included in the speakers’ roster for this November’s Astrology Restored conference in lovely Cape Town, South Africa.

I will be giving two presentations over the course of the week-long conference, on a schedule that also includes fellow speakers Rob Hand, Kate Petty, Kenneth Miller, Samuel Reynolds, Michelle Gould, and numerous others. Check here for complete details.

My talk on Mars synodic cycles in history will be given on Sunday, November 8 at 4 p.m, and my talk on Uranus through the twelve signs of the zodiac will be held on Monday, November 9 at 2:30 p.m. We hope to see you there!

Hexagon Astrology Magazine Premiere Issue

Introducing a New Publication

Hexagon Astrology Magazine Nick Dagan Best AstrologerHexagon is an edgy new astrology magazine that just published its premiere issue on August 19th. It is a long overdue update of the pop astrology format, and this first edition includes contributions from some of astrology’s best writers, including Michael Lutin, Austin Coppock, Andrea Gehrz, Jason Fleming, Madame ZolongaYerevan Yacoubian, and my fellow Canadian blogger sensation, Willow. There is also a great interview with my dear friend and colleague, Samuel Reynolds. Not to be missed!

Venus Retrograde: Long Hot SummerI am grateful to be included in this fine roster, and my article on this summer’s Venus retrograde transit, titled Long Hot Summer, can be found on page 20.

Publisher/writer Matt Savinar deserves serious kudos for putting it all together. A copy can be purchased here, and why not subscribe?

I Love Astrology Podcast Episodes 2 & 3

I Love Astrology Podcast with Nick Dagan Best

I have two episodes of the I Love Astrology podcast to promote here.

My new episode, number three, is about censorship. My co-host is Leisa Schaim, and our three guests are Karen Christino, Kim Farnell, and Gary Christen. We discuss the lives and work of noted astrologers Evangeline Adams, Alan Leo, Alfred Witte, Elsbeth Ebertin, and Karl Ernst Krafft.

Episode two, which I did last month, is about Venus retrograde and consensus. My co-host is Kate Petty, and our three guests are Nina Gryphon, Christopher Renstrom, and Gary Caton. We discuss the phases of Venus, and their use in astrology.

I Love Astrology Podcast

I Love Astrology PodcastMy name is Nick Dagan Best and I love my new astrology podcast.

The podcast is about the passion of astrologers. I am planning on making this a monthly show, at least through the summer.

The topic for episode one is oil. Join me and my co-host, Patrick Watson, as we explore the astrological story of oil, including interviews with Laurence Jones, Jonathan Pearl, and Tony Dickey.

Also, I talk to Ginger, who was born the day of a Venus retrograde station, about the Venus retrograde transits of her past.

1994: Bobcat Goldthwait Sets Fire on Tonight Show

Bobcat Goldthwait white cartoon sketch set on orange stucco background.Astrology and Arson

Thirty-one year-old comedian Bobcat Goldthwait sets fire to his chair during a taping of The Tonight Show. Although host Jay Leno is furious with him for the stunt, he is not banned from appearing on the show, and is soon inviting back as a guest. However, he is tried and convicted for premeditated arson, for which he has to record PSAs for the fire marshal.

Transiting Saturn is conjunct Goldthwait’s natal Jupiter in Pisces, indicating strict repercussions for an error in judgment. Transiting Jupiter is conjunct natal Neptune in Scorpio, square natal Saturn with the South Node in Aquarius, signifying a stunt falling amiss of an artist’s exaggerated reach.

Saturn conjunct Jupiter

Bobcat Goldthwait astrology bi-wheel chart, with transits for his setting a couch fire on The Tonight Show

1969: Jack Nicholson Attends Easy Rider Cannes Premiere

Jack Nicholson white cartoon sketch on purple stucco background.Astrology and Stardom

Thirty-two year-old actor/screenplay writer Jack Nicholson attends the premiere of Easy Rider at the Cannes Film Festival. The film was shot fourteen months earlier, with Nicholson assuming the role of George Hanson at the last minute, after actor Rip Torn left the set following a scuffle with director/co-star Dennis Hopper. At the premiere, when Nicholson’s face comes on screen, the audience instantly recognizes that he has just become a star.

Transiting Saturn is conjunct Nicholson’s natal Sun in Taurus, signifying his character Hanson’s murder in the movie, a sacrifice made on the road to its Mardi Gras climax. Transiting Mars is retrograde in Sagittarius, resonating with natal Mars retrograde in Sagittarius, reflecting the emergence of a new Hollywood iconoclast.

Mars retrograde in Sagittarius

Jack Nicholson astrology bi-wheel chart, with transits for the premiere of Easy Rider at the Cannes Film Festival in 1969.

Transiting Saturn (outer wheel, top) conjunct natal Sun in Taurus (inner wheel, top). Transiting Mars retrograde in Sagittarius (outer wheel, lower right), resonating with natal Mars retrograde in Sagittarius (inner wheel, lower right).

1866: Otto Von Bismarck Survives Assassination Attempt

Otto Von Bismarck white cartoon sketch on yellow stucco background.Astrology and Survival

Fifty-five year-old Prussian Prime Minister Otto Von Bismarck is shot from behind on a street in Berlin, by a 22 year-old gunman named Ferdinand Cohen-Blind. Slightly wounded, he manages to wrestle the gun out of his assailant’s hands. Cohen-Blind will slash his own throat in prison tonight. Bismarck’s plan to provoke Austria into declaring war against Prussia is five weeks from fruition.

Transiting South Node and Neptune are conjunct Bismarck’s natal Sun in Aries, square the natal South Node and Moon conjunction in Capricorn, reflecting weak and ineffectual enemies. Transiting Jupiter is conjunct natal Mars in Aquarius, signifying determination to increase one’s sphere of influence.

South Node-Neptune conjunct Sun

Otto Von Bismarck astrology bi-wheel chart, with transits for the 1966 attempt on his life.

1965: James Brown Records I Got You (I Feel Good)

James Brown white cartoon sketch on green stucco background.Astrology and Breakthrough

Thirty-two year-old singer James Brown records a new song, I Got You (I Feel Good), in Miami. He is re-recording the single, because the existing version was withdrawn due to a legal dispute with King Records. It will become his highest charting hit, reaching number three on the Billboard 100. His previous single, Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag, is presently number one on the Billboard Rhythm & Blues chart.

The transiting Sun and Venus are conjunct in Taurus, resonating with Brown’s natal Sun-Venus conjunction in Taurus, while transiting Mars is post-retrograde in Virgo, resonating with natal Mars post-retrograde in Virgo, reflecting an energetic performance by an extraordinary entertainer. Transiting Pluto is conjunct natal Jupiter in Virgo, signifying a rise in fortune.

Mars post-retrograde in Virgo

James Brown astrology bi-wheel chart with transits for the recording of I Got You (I Feel Good)

Transiting Sun and Venus (outer wheel, lower left) and natal Sun and Venus (inner wheel, lower left) conjunct in Taurus. Transiting Mars post-retrograde (outer wheel, lower right) and natal Mars post-retrograde in Virgo (inner wheel, lower right). Transiting Pluto (outer wheel, lower right) conjunct natal Jupiter in Virgo (inner wheel, lower right)

1985: Ronald Reagan Visits Bitburg Cemetery

Ronald Reagan white cartoon sketch on blue stucco background.Astrology and Honor

Seventy-two year-old US President Ronald Reagan honors the dead at Bitburg Cemetery during a state visit to Germany. Intended as a healing gesture on the 40th anniversary of German surrender in World War II, the visit is controversial for the fact that 49 former SS officers are among the buried. The president acknowledges the event has “opened old wounds”.

Transiting Jupiter is conjunct Reagan’s natal Sun in Aquarius, indicating a spirit of inclusivity and optimism. Transiting Jupiter in Aquarius is also square the transiting Sun in Taurus, resonating with the natal Sun-Jupiter square in Scorpio-Aquarius, signifying unintentional conflict over rigid ideological certainty.

Jupiter conjunct Sun

Ronald Reagan astrology bi-wheel chart with transits for his 1985 visit to Bitburg Cemetery

Transiting Jupiter (outer wheel, lower left) conjunct natal Sun in Aquarius (inner wheel, lower left). Transiting Jupiter in Aquarius square transiting Sun in Taurus (outer wheel, lower right), resonating with natal Jupiter in Scorpio (inner wheel, upper left) square the natal Sun in Aquarius.

1988: Joe Biden Undergoes 2nd Aneurysm Surgery

Joe Biden white cartoon sketch set on red stucco background.Astrology and Aneurysms

Forty-five year-old US Democratic Senator Joe Biden undergoes his second brain surgery in less than four months. The first surgery was to correct a larger aneurysm on the left side of his cranium, while this one is done to correct a smaller one on his right side. The Senator withdrew from the presidential race last September, after it was revealed that he had plagiarized a journal article during his first year in law school.

Transiting Pluto is conjunct natal Mars in Scorpio, opposite transiting Jupiter and the Sun in Taurus, indicating the purging or correction of a corrupted system. Transiting Mercury in Taurus is opposite the natal Sun and Venus in Scorpio, signifying a life-saving rescue by a specially skilled individual.

Pluto conjunct Mars

Joe Biden astrology bi-wheel chart with transits for his second aneurysm surgery in 1988.

Transiting Pluto (outer wheel, upper left) conjunct natal Mars in Scorpio (inner wheel, upper left), opposite transiting Jupiter and the Sun in Taurus (outer wheel, lower right). Transiting Mercury in Taurus (outer wheel, right center) opposite natal Sun and Venus in Scorpio (inner wheel, left center)

1962: Jayne Mansfield Files to Divorce Mickey Hargitay

Jayne Mansfield white cartoon sketch set on purple stucco background.Astrology and Acrimony

Twenty-nine year-old actress and sex symbol Jayne Mansfield files to divorce her unsuspecting second husband, Hungarian bodybuilder Mickey Hargitay, who thinks she is out running errands. Hargitay only learns of the suit when newsmen phone to interview him. Mansfield will soon begin an affair with Italian film producer Enrico Bomba.

Transiting Saturn and the South Node are conjunct Mansfield’s natal Saturn in Aquarius, indicating the outgrowing of past attachments. Transiting Uranus is stationing direct in Leo, opposite the natal Moon in Aquarius, signifying unpredictable emotional swings. Transiting Pluto is conjunct the natal South Node and Neptune in Virgo, opposite transiting Jupiter in Pisces, reflecting a yearning to explore the unknown.

Saturn Return

Jayne Mansfield astrology bi-wheel chart with transits for her divorce to Mickey Hargitay.

Transiting Saturn and South Node (outer wheel, upper right) conjunct natal Saturn in Aquarius (inner wheel, upper right). Transiting Uranus station direct in Leo (outer wheel, bottom left) opposite natal Moon in Aquarius (inner wheel, top right). Transiting Pluto (outer wheel, bottom left) conjunct natal South Node and Neptune in Virgo (inner wheel, bottom left) opposite transiting Jupiter in Pisces (outer wheel, top right).

1967: Huey Newton Orchestrates Black Panthers State Capitol March

Huey P. Newton white sketch cartoon on green stucco background.Astrology and Militance

Twenty-five year-old activist and recent founder of the nascent Black Panther Party, Huey Newton, organizes a march of thirty armed Black Panthers, led by co-founder Bobby Seale, to the California State Capitol in Sacramento. The BPP is protesting a new bill that would rescind a law allowing loaded firearms to be carried in public, and their dramatic entrance into the Legislature is also an introduction to public exposure.

Transiting Pluto and Uranus in Virgo are opposite Newton’s natal Moon in Pisces, square transiting Venus in Gemini, signifying a new revolutionary voice introduced to a mounting volatility in US racial tensions. Transiting Neptune in Scorpio is opposite natal Saturn in Taurus, indicating the powerful but fragile movement’s targeting for infiltration and destruction by government authority.

Pluto-Uranus opposite Moon

Huey P. Newton astrology bi-wheel chart with transits for the Black Panthers armed visit to the California State Legislature in 1967.

Transiting Pluto and Uranus in Virgo (outer wheel, upper left) opposite natal Moon in Pisces (inner wheel, lower right), square transiting Venus in Gemini (outer wheel, upper right). Transiting Neptune in Scorpio (outer wheel, middle left) opposite natal Saturn in Taurus (inner wheel, middle right).

1903: King Edward VII Arrives in Paris

King Edward VII white cartoon sketch on blue stucco background.Astrology and Diplomacy

Sixty-one year-old King Edward VII of Great Britain arrives in Paris for a state visit. The British Empire is unpopular due to atrocities committed during the Boer War in South Africa, and the King is poorly received by the French public. However, he wins their hearts overnight, when he is heard speaking fluent French to a renowned actress. A treaty of alliance is soon signed between the two nations.

Transiting Mars retrograde is stationing direct conjunct Edward’s natal Moon in Virgo, reflecting a shift in reception, from hostile to friendly. Transiting Uranus is conjunct the natal Ascendant in Sagittarius, signifying a swift image makeover. Transiting Neptune in Cancer is opposite natal Saturn in Capricorn, introducing a warm, familiar charm to stiff diplomacy.

Mars retrograde conjunct Moon

King Edward VII astrology bi-wheel chart with transits for his 1903 visit to Paris.

Transiting Mars retrograde (outer wheel, top center) conjunct natal Moon in Virgo (inner wheel, top center). Transiting Uranus (outer wheel, center left) conjunct natal Ascendant in Sagittarius (inner wheel, center left). Transiting Neptune in Cancer (outer wheel, middle right) opposite natal Saturn in Capricorn (inner wheel, middle left).

1994: Jim Carrey Begins Filming Dumb and Dumber

Astrology and Rising StarsJim Carrey white cartoon sketch on purple stucco background.

Thirty-two year-old comedic actor Jim Carrey begins filming his role as Lloyd Christmas in Dumb and Dumber. To play the role, he had a cap removed from his front tooth, which had been accidentally chipped when he was a child. His first hit movie, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective is a recent surprise success, and his next, The Mask, will soon be released.

Transiting Uranus is stationing retrograde conjunct Carrey’s natal Sun in Capricorn, indicating rapidly rising star status, following years of struggling in obscurity. Transiting Neptune is conjunct natal Venus in Capricorn, indicating the revealing of a well-concealed physical disfigurement.

Uranus conjunct Sun

Jim Carrey astrology bi-wheel chart with transits for the filming of Dumb and Dumber

Transiting Uranus station retrograde (outer wheel, lower right) conjunct natal Sun in Capricorn (inner wheel, lower right). Transiting Neptune (outer wheel, lower left) conjunct natal Venus in Capricorn (inner wheel, lower left).