Oh My Stars

Last time I talked about the birth chart of Colo, the first gorilla born in captivity (CLICK HERE if you missed it). There are number of interesting features there that reflect the circumstances of Colo’s life. But: if astrology claims to be able to predict major life events (and you’d think “death” would count as a major life event), shouldn’t astrology be able to predict death?

Well, the answer as it turns out “mostly, yes it can — but it’s complicated.”

(WARNING: Vedic Astrology is approaching. For those of you who aren’t into Vedic Astrology, an emergency escape link will be provided in the next paragraph.)

Death calculations involve a combination of Western and Vedic astrological techniques. If you have an appetite for challenging your assumptions about how astrology works, aren’t afraid of mentally switching back and forth between Western and Vedic (which is a little like switching back and forth between English and Spanish — largely similar except for when they’re completely different), and enjoy learning, I can’t recommend The Astrology Of Death by Richard Houck enough. If not: hey, have you read my new blog yet? CLICK HERE to enjoy!


Now that it’s just you and me… let’s have a look at Colo’s Vedic birth chart.

matthew currie vedic astrology colo

Looks pretty simple, doesn’t it? Well… it’s a lot more complex that you might think, but more than worth the effort to learn if you’re really into astrology.

Vedic can tell you lots of things Western Astrology doesn’t cover nearly as well. For example, Colo had Moon in the nakshatra (lunar mansion) of Magha, which can indicate Colo had a mother who was somewhat detached from either reality in general, or (specifically) from the child. I suspect that “being left on the floor to die immediately after birth” qualifies as a detached mother, don’t you?

But now, about that whole death thing: In the Vedic birth chart, one of the indicators of how or when someone will die are the maraka planets: the rulers of the Second and Seventh Houses. In Colo’s case, those planets are Jupiter and Venus. Yes, fans of fuzzy feel-good astrology… Jupiter and Venus can kill you. Isn’t Vedic Astrology awesome?

Despite a very long life for a gorilla, everyone’s number comes up eventually. In Colo’s case: Rahu (the South Node) was in her 7th House (indicating its transits as a factor in her death), and her Eighth House (which can also inform us about how or when death will occur) was ruled by Mercury.

…and the morning Colo died, the transiting Nodes were within a degree of the exact square to her Venus and the transiting Moon was conjunct her natal maraka planet Jupiter and square natal maraka planet Venus. For bonus points, transiting Mercury (Vedic 8th House ruler) was square her Jupiter within two degrees. Finally, at the time of her death, Colo was in a Rahu bhukti, Moon dasa. This increased the significance of the transiting Nodes and Moon as far as effects on the birth chart.


Well, that was… fun? If not, don’t worry. I’ll be writing something soon that I’ve meant to write about: making some sense of Vedic astrology, written in as close to plain English as I can manage. And if that doesn’t work for you? Fear not. I’m sure some celebrity will do something blog-worthy soon enough…

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