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?