Death is a topic that I shy away from in predictive readings, though I am asked about it sometimes. You can never predict an event with absolute certainty as the planetary alignments are descriptive of themes and trends which can give insight into the type of karmic unfolding one is experiencing at any given time. My philosophy is to be prepared for the general tone of a period of time but not to give mental energy to specific negative events that are not certain to pass. Our thoughts create our reality. Yet, people have valid reasons for wanting to know about an impending death, especially if a family member is ill, which helps them in their own emotional processing and life/ financial planning. I usually advise that the 8th house is being activated and death is only one possibility. There are many ways for 8th house energy to manifest. At the same time, I've observed from studying a significant number of charts of people whose family members have died or of the deceased person themselves, death will rarely happen if the 8th house is not activated in both the person who will die and their family members' charts. By activated, I mean by several factors such as eclipses, solar/lunar returns, solar arc directed chart, dashas, progressed charts and transits all showing the same trends.
The 8th house symbolizes not only death but rebirth, transformation, mysteries, esoteric subjects, metaphysics, legacies, alternative healing, rituals, surrender, taxes, sex, other people's money, inheritances, crisis, financial settlements, windfalls, humiliating experiences, losses, fall from grace, taboo subjects, irrational fears, repressed memories, power struggles and obsessions/ compulsions. These associations extend to the natural ruler of the eighth house pluto and the sign it rules, scorpio. Rarely will a house give you just the good or just the bad, it's almost always a mixture of both. In an 8th house period, you will experience a mixture of these things. You may also notice more interaction with people who have a heavy emphasis of 8th house energy in their birth charts. For example, Pluto angular, a singleton, making many aspects in the chart, someone with many scorpio planets or scorpio ascendant, a heavily tenanted 8th house or strong 8th house ruler/ dispositor, or any of these factors by progression.
The following are astrological characteristics you may see in a year that a loved one passes away. You have to have several of these simultaneously in order to indicate a death.
1. Multiple eclipses which fall across the 2nd/8th house axis, that make a conjunction, square or opposition to your 8th house cusp, ruler or dispositor, and/or any planet in the 8th house. The orbs are to be kept within 5 degrees. Keep in mind eclipses can be active for up to 5 years afer they occur (depending on its strength) and up to a year retroactively. Retroactively means an eclipse occurring November 2021 can be descriptive of an event that will occur around November 2020. Eclipses to the sun, moon and ascendant indicate life changing years.
2. Transits by the outer planets (Pluto, Neptune, Uranus, Saturn and Jupiter) to the 8th house cusp, ruler or dispositor, and/or any planet in the 8th house of the natal chart. Planets are most powerful and outwardly manifest when they are either entering or exiting a house. Inner planets transits to the 8th house can help time an event but because they move so fast are not enough to indicate an event such as death. The outer planets need to be activated for this to occur.
3. Being in a dasha or sub-dasha of a planet connected with the 8th house (ruler, dispositor, planet in the 8th house or closely aspecting it, nakshatra ruler)
4. Being in sade sati (saturn in the houses adjacent to the moon and over the moon), particularly the third phase which is notorious for death of loved ones.
5. Uranus making a close aspect to an angle (especially the MC-IC axis which is descriptive of the mother and father), can indicate an unexpected death or death under unusual circumstances. Uranus can symbolize the event even if it has yet to cross the angle or has retrograded before crossing but makes a conjunction with 3-4 degrees. The IC tends to relate more to the mother and MC to the father. The sun symbolizes father and the moon mother, sometimes Uranus' aspect can indicate unexpected events related to the father or mother.
6. In the solar or lunar return, look for the 8th house to be brought to the ascendant by degree (for example if your 8th house is 5 degrees virgo to 7 degrees libra, then if your solar return ascendant falls in that range, the 8th house would be brought to the ascendant). You could also see the solar return 8th house cusp close to a natal planet, particularly saturn or pluto. There could be the chart ruler falling in the 8th house, a stellium in the 8th house or the ruler or dispositor of the 8th house prominent by being angular, well-aspected or a singleton. Look for Pluto or Saturn's angularity.
7. Look at the dwadashamsha (parents) sub divisional chart in the vedic system. The major dasha and sub dasha planets you are currently in will most probably be connected in some way in the subdivisional chart, either by full aspect, special aspect, being a dispositor, or being in a nakshatra ruled by that planet. The 4th and 10th houses of this chart are of particular importance.
8. Look at the 8th houses in the secondary and converse progressed charts, as well as the solar arc directed chart in the same way as you would a natal chart.
9. Secondary and converse progressed planets and solar arc directed planets will often be at either 29 degrees or 0 degrees of a sign signalling endings and new beginnings.
10. The 10th house, sun and MC are associated with the father, the 9th house is as well. Activation here can bring about death of the father. The 4th house, moon and IC are associated with the mother. Activation here can bring about death of the mother. The 4th house is associated with endings of all kinds. The IC is thought to be descriptive of the circumstances surrounding death.
11. Changes of maha dasha or sub dasha can very quickly bring about major life changes in a very short period of time. This is because the karma of the new planet(s) is now unfolding, replacing the energies of the previous planets in the dasha sequence.
12. Transits to the 8th house ruler, 8th house dispositor, 8th house planets and 8th house cusp by multiple outer planets at the same time are significant. The orbs are typically within about 5 degrees and no more than 10 degrees for conjunctions and oppositions. Tighter orbs are more powerful.
13. The nodes and vertex are highly fated points in the chart, when they conjunct an axis (cusps of opposing houses) it will bring fate to that area of life.
14. Since the sun represents father and the moon represents mother, multiple hard aspects from outer planets to the sun can indicate the death of the father and multiple hard aspects to the moon can indicate the death of the mother.
This topic is particularly relevant for me as my dad passed away in late October 2019. I will share some of the factors activated in my chart when that happened:
I was running venus-mercury. At the time of my father's death, in the dwadashamsha (parents) subdivisional chart, venus and mercury were in opposition along the 4th-10th house axis. Venus was in mercury's nakshatra. In the birth chart, mercury was in the 8th house from the moon and ruler of the 8th house. The moon was my chart ruler (though its common practice to read the chart from the chandra lagna even if the moon is not the chart ruler). He died just 3 days after I entered mercury's subdasha.
I was in the third period of sade sati
The exact time of death was recorded and at that time my natal 8th house cusp was just a degree away from the MC of the death chart. My natal 8th house ruler neptune was placed in the 10th house of the death chart. The transiting moon was one degree away from my natal ascendant.
Uranus was less than 3 degrees away from my natal MC and within minutes of leaving my secondary progressed 8th house (closely conjunct the 9th house cusp).
In the vedic system, ketu, saturn and pluto were in Sagittarius, which was the 8th house from my dasha lagna. Jupiter would enter Sagittarius within a few weeks. Pluto was about to leave Sagittarius and enter Capricorn in January 2020. Because Pluto moves so slowly and is very powerful in its effects, changes in its house position and sign can be felt for a few months prior and after the actual sign and house change.
Transiting Neptune made a square within 1 degree to my natal saturn which was the dispositor of my western 8th house and ruler of my vedic 8th house from the regular ascendant.
Transiting Neptune was conjunct my natal 8th house cusp within 8 degrees
Transiting saturn was opposing my natal neptune, ruler of my western 8th house by 7 degrees
Transiting venus and mercury were in my natal 4th house (both vedic and western). Mercury was within a degree before leaving the vedic 4th house. Transiting venus made an exact semisextile to natal saturn, ruler of vedic 8th house and dispositor of western 8th house.
Transiting sun was making a 7 degree opposition to my natal jupiter, traditional ruler of the western 8th house and ruler of the 8th house from the dasha lagna. Tr sun was at 29 degrees, symbolic of endings.
Transiting jupiter was 1 degree away from making an exact opposition to my natal sun.
Transiting (Tr) pluto made a 6 degree opposition, (Tr) saturn made a 1 degree opposition, (Tr) ketu made a 2 degree opposition and (Tr) mars made a 1 degree square to my natal mars and mercury which were both in the 8th house from chandra lagna, mercury also being the ruler of the 8th house. Mars was the dispositor of saturn, the vedic 8th house ruler from the regular ascendant
The eclipse occurring February 26th 2017 was exactly conjuncting my natal 8th house cusp, 8 degrees Pisces. The ruler is neptune and the dispositor saturn in the western system.
The eclipse on January 5th 2019 was 2 degrees away from my exact mars -mercury conjunction and the eclipse on July 5th 2020 was exactly opposing it.
The eclipse on December 26th 2019 made a 3 degree conjunction to neptune, the ruler of my natal 8th house
The eclipse on June 5th 2020 made a 2 degree conjunction to saturn, the dispositor of my western 8th house and ruler of the vedic 8th house from the regular ascendant.
The eclipse on January 10th 2020 and July 12th 2018 fell on the same degree. This degree made an exact conjunction both to my secondary progressed sun, and to my solar arc directed sun. The sun symbolizes the father
The eclipse on November 30th 2020 makes an exact conjunction to my solar arc directed MC
The eclipse on June 21st 2020 made a 1 degree conjunction to my solar arc directed venus in the 10th house.
The eclipse on August 11th 2018 made an exact conjunction to my natal ascendant
My secondary progressed descendant is only 4 degrees away from my natal 8th house cusp
My solar arc directed 2nd-8th house cusp axis is only 1 degree away from my natal nodes
The nodes in the solar arc directed chart are conjunct the 2nd-8th house axis of the solar arc directed chart and are in the 3rd-9th house. The nodes in this chart also make a conjunction to my natal MC-IC axis within a degree.
Transiting Uranus was about to leave my solar arc directed 8th house, being just 1 degree away from the solar arc directed 9th house cusp.
My sun received multiple hard aspects within tight orbs from the outer planets on the day of his death. Transiting (Tr) neptune made a 4 degree square, Tr Uranus made an exact semisquare, Tr Jupiter made a 1 degree opposition, Tr Pluto made an exact quincunx and Tr Saturn made a 1 degree biquintile to the sun.
My lunar return (LR) for the month following the death brought up my natal mercury-mars conjunction to the ascendant within a degree. Saturn, pluto and the south node were 1 degree, 6 degrees and 3 degrees respectively conjunct the descendant. The sun was on my natal IC, mercury and venus would have been in my natal 4th house which represents endings.
My lunar return (LR) for the month in which the death occurred showed LR Saturn exactly opposing the LR 8th house cusp. The LR nodes were conjunct the LR 2nd-8th house cusp by a few degrees and LR Pluto was opposing the LR 8th house cusp by 6 degrees. The LR ascendant was conjunct natal Saturn by 7 degrees. LR jupiter was conjunct natal saturn by 1 degree. LR mars conjunct LR MC by 2 degrees. LR sun conjunct LR MC by 9 degrees. Both LR venus in the 11th house and LR vertex in the 8th house made a 1 degree square to my natal jupiter which is the traditional ruler of my natal 8th house.
My solar return (SR) for the period in which the death occurred showed my natal saturn being brought exactly to the SR 8th house cusp. SR Jupiter was a few degrees away from the SR 8th house cusp. Pluto, saturn and south node were all within 9 degrees of the MC from the 9th house. The SR moon was exactly opposing my 9th house cusp (father is a signification of the 9th house). Mars, mercury and south node were all in the 3rd house making oppositions to the 9th house. The SR sun opposed the SR 8th house cusp by 3 degrees. The SR vertex made an exact opposition to my natal Jupiter, which is the traditional ruler of my natal 8th house. The SR ascendant degree would have been in my natal 10th house, which is the house representative of the father. The SR nodal axis fell exactly on my natal 6th-12th house axis. The 12th house is associated with hospitals and the 6th house with medical professionals and health. The SR chart influences me from June 11th 2019-June 11th 2020. From June 2019-October 2019, I spent a lot of time in the hospital visiting my dad and another severely ill relative, who also died that summer.
The precision corrected SR had an ascendant degree which made an exact square to my natal mars-mercury conjunction. The SR moon made a square within 3 degrees to natal mars-mercury. SR Uranus was just 5 degrees away from the SR 8th house cusp. SR mercury, mars and north node were all within a few degrees of conjuncting the SR MC. South node, saturn and pluto were all within 6 degrees of conjuncting the SR IC. The SR chart ruler was placed in the SR 8th house. The SR vertex made an exact conjunction to my dad's sun. The SR 8th house cusp made an exact conjunction to my dad's natal mars.
As one can see, there are several indicators needed to bring about death, the aspects must be within a tight orb and symbolic features occur in most of the predictive charts simultaneously. It should be only under very limited and special circumstances that these indicators are shared with clients prior to a death.