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.

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.

2004: George W. Bush Testifies Privately Before 9/11 Commission

George W. Bush white cartoon sketch on brown stucco background.Astrology and Power

Fifty-seven year-old US President George W. Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney testify privately, and not under oath, before the 9/11 Commission. After the nearly four-hour meeting is over, the President explains to the press that he and Cheney testified together so that the commission could “see our body language…how we work together.”

Transiting Venus pre-retrograde is conjunct Bush’s natal Uranus and North Node in Gemini, opposite transiting Pluto in Sagittarius, signifying a symbiotic power dynamic with a close associate in presenting a united front. Transiting Jupiter is stationing direct conjunct natal Mars in Virgo, reflecting the strutting assertion of untouchable confidence.

Venus conjunct Uranus-North Node

George W. Bush astrology bi-wheel chart with transits for his testimony before the 9/11 Commission.

Transiting Venus (outer wheel, upper left) conjunct natal Uranus and North Node in Gemini (inner wheel, upper left), opposite transiting Pluto in Sagittarius (outer wheel, lower right). Transiting Jupiter station direct (outer wheel, lower left) conjunct natal Mars in Virgo (inner wheel, lower left).

Venus Retrograde: TV Provocateur

Astrology and Sitcoms

I just posted a brief excerpt from the new 45-minute astrology video workshop. It begins with an edited version of the intro, followed by an exposé covering the natal Venus retrogrades of TV sitcom stars Suzanne Somers and Ellen DeGeneres, and their roles in advancing sexual liberty in television’s most saccharine genre.

1927: Mae West Sentenced to Jail

Mae West white cartoon sketch on pink stucco background.Astrology and Defiance

Thirty-four year-old actress Mae West is sentenced to ten days jail on obscenity charges. Her play, Sex, which she wrote and starred in, has scandalized New York, particularly due to her dancing the “shimmy” during her performance, a jazz dance belonging to black culture.

Transiting Neptune is conjunct West’s natal Sun in Leo, reflecting her central role in testing the boundaries of taboo in the Jazz Age. Transiting Pluto is conjunct natal Venus post-retrograde in Cancer, signifying the attempted repression of an artist. The transiting North Node and Mars are conjunct the natal Moon in Cancer, square transiting Uranus and Mercury in Aries, indicating a defiant champion of resistance to class conflict and exploitation.

Neptune conjunct Sun

Mae West astrology bi-wheel chart with transits for her 1927 obscenity conviction

Transiting Neptune (outer wheel, bottom center) conjunct natal Sun in Leo (inner wheel, bottom center). Transiting Pluto (outer wheel, lower left) conjunct natal Venus post-retrograde in Cancer (inner wheel, lower left). Transiting Uranus and Mercury in Aries (outer wheel, upper right), square transiting North Node and Mars (outer wheel, lower left) conjunct natal Moon in Cancer (inner wheel, lower left).

New Venus Retrograde Video Workshop

I am pleased to announce my new video workshop on Venus retrograde. This is a much-improved version of my old workshop, taped in January 2014.

This 45-minute workshop offers an in-depth examination of the Venus synodic cycle and its retrograde phases in natal charts, transits, and synastry, featuring 38 example cases drawn from notable nativities.Venus Video cover - The Brightest Star in the Sky by Nick Dagan Best

 

1992: Jodie Foster Wins 2nd Best Actress Oscar

Jodie Foster white cartoon sketch on blue stucco background.Astrology and Feminism

Twenty-nine year-old actress Jodie Foster wins her second Best Actress Academy Award for her role as predator-chasing FBI detective Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs. Three years ago, she won her first Oscar for her role as a working class rape victim in The Accused, a sharp contrast to Starling, whom she thanks the Academy for “embracing such an incredibly strong and beautiful feminist hero.”

Transiting Jupiter is conjunct Foster’s natal Moon and Uranus in Virgo, opposite transiting Mars, Moon, and natal Jupiter in Pisces, signifying a celebration of humanistic values. Transiting Saturn in Aquarius is opposite natal Mars in Leo, square natal Neptune and Venus retrograde in Scorpio, reflecting a feminist adoption of the hero archetype.

Saturn opposite Mars

Jodie Foster astrology bi-wheel with transits for her second Oscar victory.

Transiting Jupiter (outer wheel, upper right) conjunct natal Moon and Uranus in Virgo (inner wheel, upper right), opposite transiting Mars and Moon (outer wheel, lower left) and natal Jupiter in Pisces (inner wheel, lower left). Transiting Saturn in Aquarius (outer wheel, lower left) opposite natal Mars in Leo (inner wheel, upper right), square natal Neptune and Venus retrograde in Scorpio (inner wheel, upper left).

1985: Sally Field Wins Best Actress Oscar

Sally Field white cartoon sketch on pink stucco background.Astrology and Acceptance

Thirty-eight year-old actress Sally Field wins her second Best Actress Academy Award for her role in Places in the Heart. Her heartfelt acceptance speech, in which she references a line of dialogue from her first Oscar winning performance, Norma Rae (“you like me”), will be remembered publicly in both praise and mockery.

The transiting Sun is conjunct Field’s natal Moon in Aries, signifying an earnest and unfiltered expression of emotion. Transiting Mercury retrograde and Venus retrograde in Aries are opposite the natal Ascendant in Libra, resonating with natal Mercury post-retrograde and Venus retrograde in Sagittarius, indicating criticism and scrutiny from others due to misunderstandings or miscommunication.

Sun conjunct Moon

Sally Field astrology bi-wheel chart depicting transits for her second Oscar win.

Transiting Sun (outer wheel, lower right) conjunct natal Moon in Aries (inner wheel, lower right). Transiting Mercury retrograde and Venus retrograde in Aries (outer wheel, center right) opposite natal Libra Ascendant (inner wheel, center left).

1993: Eddie Murphy Marries Nicole Mitchell

Eddie Murphy white cartoon sketch on blue stucco backgroundAstrology and Family

Thirty-one year-old comedic actor Eddie Murphy marries model Nicole Mitchell, 20, in a star-studded ceremony in the Grand Ballroom at New York’s Plaza Hotel. The couple, who have two children and have been living together for nearly two years, met at an NAACP Image Awards show in 1988.

Transiting Jupiter in Libra is opposite Murphy’s natal Sun in Aries, signifying the A-list celebrity’s lavish nuptials. Transiting Venus is retrograde in Aries square transiting Mars in Cancer, mirroring the natal square between Venus retrograde in Aries and Mars in Cancer, indicating a would-be old-fashioned wedding for a couple that has already created a family.

Jupiter opposite Sun

Eddie Murphy astrology bi-wheel chart depicting transits for his wedding to Nicole Mitchell

Transiting Jupiter in Libra (outer wheel, lower left) opposite natal Sun in Aries (inner wheel, upper right). Transiting Venus retrograde in Aries (outer wheel, upper right) square transiting Mars in Cancer (outer wheel, upper left), mirroring natal Venus retrograde in Aries (inner wheel, upper right) square natal Mars in Cancer (inner wheel, upper left)

1857: Roger Taney Leads Dred Scott Decision

roger-taney-brown-stampAstrology and the Antebellum Era

Eighty year-old U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney is the vocal leader in the Dred Scott v. Sanford verdict, a case involving a black slave who is attempting to win emancipation from his owner. The Court decision now permits slavery through the United States territories and does not recognize the citizenship of blacks, denying Scott the right to sue for his freedom.

Transiting Mars and Jupiter are opposite Taney’s natal Mars retrograde in Libra, square natal Jupiter in Cancer, reflecting a perspective that values force and hierarchical order. Transiting Venus is pre-retrograde in Taurus, resonating with natal Venus pre-retrograde in Taurus, signifying the judge’s central role in shaping U.S. social policy.

Horoscope Bi-Wheel

Astrology bi-wheel chart for Roger Taney and the transits for the Dred Scott v. Sanford decision

Transiting Mars and Jupiter in Aries (outer wheel, bottom left) opposite natal Mars retrograde in Libra (inner wheel, upper right), square natal Jupiter in Cancer (inner wheel, bottom right). Transiting Venus pre-retrograde in Taurus (outer wheel, bottom) resonate with natal Venus pre-retrograde in Taurus (inner wheel, bottom)

1953: Nikita Khrushchev Ascends with Stalin’s Death

Nikita Khrushchev White Sketch Yellow Background Astrology Horoscopes Nick Dagan BestAstrology and the Soviet Union

Fifty-nine year-old Soviet politician Nikita Khrushchev sees his boss and tormentor, Joseph Stalin, take his last breath, creating a power vacuum in the Soviet Union that has not existed since the death of Lenin in 1924. Although he is reportedly tenth in line to replace Stalin as First Secretary for the Soviet Union, by September he will outrank his rivals.

Transiting Mars in Aries is opposite natal Saturn in Libra, signifying the end of Stalin’s twenty-nine year reign. Transiting Venus is pre-retrograde conjunct Khrushchev’s natal Sun in Aries, opposite transiting Neptune and Saturn in Libra, reflecting the underdog image that will, ironically, help usher him to the seat of power.

Horoscope Bi-Wheel

Nikita Khrushchev Stalin Dies Astrology Horoscopes Nick Dagan Best

Transiting Venus pre-retrograde (outer wheel, lower left) conjunct natal Sun in Aries (inner wheel, lower left), opposite transiting Neptune and Saturn in Libra (outer wheel, upper right). Transiting Mars in Aries (outer wheel, lower left) opposite natal Saturn in Libra (inner wheel, upper right).

1953: Frank Sinatra Begins Filming From Here To Eternity

Frank Sinatra Orange Stamp Astrology Horoscopes Nick Dagan BestThirty-seven year-old singer/actor Frank Sinatra begins filming his role in the movie From Here To Eternity, thanks to strings pulled by his wife, Ava Gardner. With his faltering popularity, he was hired by producer Harry Cohn for a fraction of his usual salary, after Gardner convinced Cohn to give him audition.

Transiting Saturn is conjunct Sinatra’s natal Ascendant in Libra, opposite transiting Venus pre-retrograde in Aries, resonating with his natal Venus-Saturn opposition in Capricorn-Cancer, signifying his wife’s saving influence on his destiny. Uranus is conjunct natal Saturn in Cancer, opposite natal Venus in Capricorn, indicating his changing fortune.

frank-sinatra-from-here-to-eternity-1953

Transiting Venus pre-retrograde in Aries (outer wheel, center right) opposite transiting Saturn retrograde (outer wheel, center left) and natal Ascendant in Libra (inner wheel, center left). Transiting Uranus (outer wheel, top) conjunct natal Saturn retrograde in Cancer (inner wheel, top), opposite natal Venus in Capricorn (inner wheel, bottom).

1977: Sting and the Police Live Debut

Sting The Police 1977 Pink Stamp Astrology Horoscopes Nick Dagan BestTwenty-five year-old singer and bassist Gordon “Sting” Sumner plays his first gig with his new band, a trio called The Police, at a club in Newport, Wales. Consisting of drummer Stewart Copeland and guitarist Henry Padovani, the group is trying to break into the British punk scene. Following a forty minute set, he and Copeland also perform in headliner Cherry Vanilla’s backing band.

Transiting Venus is pre-retrograde conjunct Sting’s natal Midheaven in Aries, opposite natal Neptune and the Moon in Libra, signifying the ruse of older musicians to infiltrate an emerging youth movement. Transiting Saturn is conjunct the natal Ascendant in Leo, square transiting Uranus in Scorpio, indicating an urge for self-reinvention.

sting-police-debut-1977

Transiting Venus pre-retrograde (outer wheel, top) conjunct Midheaven in Aries (inner wheel, top), opposite natal Neptune and the Moon in Libra (inner wheel, bottom). Transiting Saturn retrograde (outer wheel, left center) conjunct natal Ascendant in Leo (inner wheel, left center), square transiting Uranus in Scorpio (outer wheel, bottom).