Is 69 The New 27?

Monday January 18th 2016
David Bowie at the Berlin Wall, 1987.

David Bowie at the Berlin Wall, 1987.

As you probably already know, the 27 Club is a term for all those singers who died too young, at the age of 27. The list is long and it includes, off the top of my head, Amy Winehouse, Jeff Buckley, Jimmy Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Kurt Cobain and Janis Joplin.

In fact there is something important that happens astrologically for everyone at 27. It’s the Progressed Lunar Return. This is a 27-year cycle that astrologers use to prognosticate. The Moon is “progressed” through the chart, spending two and a half years in each sign. By the age of 27, an individual has lived a complete progressed lunar cycle, emotionally experiencing something of what it feels to be each of the 12 signs. Knowing where your moon is by progression is always a useful guide to the emotional impact of a particular phase.


No birth time for Alan Rickman. Neptune was going over his Pisces planets and Saturn is at 12° Sagittarius squaring is Mercury (cutting off the beautiful voice).


Birth time for Kilminster is from astrodatabank. Notice that he has just had a progressed New Moon in Pisces — a beginning or an ending. PrSun is being squared by trSaturn, which is also hitting his Mercury. Neptune (by transit) applies to the PrSun and opposes the natal Moon. Notice that Uranus, the planet of swift surprise, is also involved. Apparently Kilminster found out he had cancer and then died a few days later. Also the prAsc is on the IC, the angle of endings.


Notice that the Venus-MC conjunction in Bowie’s natal chart has progressed to his Ascendant and is joined by the Moon. He certainly went out on an artistic high. That group opposes his Pluto-Saturn. Meanwhile, progressed Mercury and Mars are conjoined at 10° Pisces where transiting Neptune is applying and Saturn (as noted in the previous article) is on the South Node. What is more, by progression his Ascendant is on the North Node.

The other astrological phenomenon that happens for everyone in their late 20s is the infamous Saturn Return, of course, which is on a slightly longer cycle — usually 28 years or so.

These two cycles follow a similar timetable initially and then pull gradually apart. Both are about maturing, coming of age and growing into each of our seven ages. Both the progressed Moon and Saturn (by transit) spend around two and a half years in each sign, but gradually Saturn falls behind.

Amy Winehouse was just a few degrees from both an exact Saturn Return and an exact Progressed Lunar Return when she died. Jim Morrison, on the other hand, was having an exact (to the degree) Progressed Lunar Return when he died, but his Saturn Return was still a full sign away.

So for the 27 Club, Saturn was returning or in the previous sign when they died. This is because the Saturn Return does not happen at exactly the same age for everyone. Your exact Saturn Return will happen at some time between the ages of 27 and 30. For example, Morrison’s was not due to become exact until 1973, and Saturn would not enter Gemini (the sign of Morrison’s natal Saturn) until after he died.

Now, since Christmas, Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilminster, David Bowie, and the actor Alan Rickman have all passed through the veil. Lemmy had just turned 70, but Rickman and Bowie were both 69.

None of them were having a Saturn Return or a Progressed Lunar Return.

However, both Lemmy and Bowie were a few degrees (3°) from an exact Progressed Lunar opposition. In other words, by progression, the Moon was in the opposite sign to when they were born. They were at a point of maximum emotional extension. Furthermore, Bowie’s Progressed Moon was exactly opposite his natal Saturn in Leo.

But Alan Rickman had already been through the Progressed Lunar opposition, more than a year ago.

The Saturn cycle is not exact by degree for any of them either. Kilminster and Rickman both have Saturn in Cancer, so the Grim Reaper is a whole sign away from an opposition. Bowie had Saturn in Leo, so transiting Saturn was actually in an easy trine to his natal Saturn.

In conclusion, I think the Progressed Lunar cycle might be significant, but the Saturn cycle not so much.

I haven’t looked into any generational generalisations about the recent sad departures, but there may be something there. Old Man Saturn is in detriment in both Cancer and Leo, of course, and all three departed before becoming old men.

I don’t think there’s a 69 Club, but there’s no such thing as coincidence. I suspect the Saturn-Neptune square which dominates this year may have a hand in this: it is a hard aspect between the Grim Reaper and the planet of glamour. You can see it at work in all three charts, and it hardly needs pointing out that these men were, each in his own way, iconic.


In the charts on the left, the progressed planets are in green round the outside. Remember that outer planets barely move in the progressed chart. It’s the angles and the inner planets you’re looking at.

In case you’re wondering. yes, Bowie moved to Berlin on his first Saturn Return and produced the great Berlin trilogy in those years. On his second Saturn Return in 2004, he had a heart attack and stopped making music for a while.


Here is lovely young Alan Rickman singing in the film Truly, Madly, Deeply with Juliet Stevenson.



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  1. anna says:

    think chiron in scorp 8th squre venus moon aqu opp all his moon Saturn pluto,were operating ,also think his fingers of fate had a hand in it.
    shown in some of his symbols in his dying picture show.

    • anna says:

      liver cancer has a very specific meaning, as do all diseases.

      • Leonora says:

        In Chinese medicine the liver is the seat of emotions – it also controls the sinews, (Bowie was very sinewy), it opens into the eyes and also houses the Hun or eternal soul. How odd then that he should have two completely different colour eyes – almost as if two souls were looking out. Perhaps he was always at odds with himself – his Uranus inconjunct to the Sun Mars conjunction would make him passionate and yet oddly dispassionate! Awkward even. He’s passionate about himself and very driven and yet isolated (here am I sitting in my tin can… etc) – The Hun or ethereal Soul seated in the liver is related to the ability to be resolute, to plan and have creative drive and assertiveness. When the Liver is out of balance in excess for instance, this becomes anger. I do wonder about people who are great creatives – because most of them have a spell where the creativity just flows through them (from a higher source) then they over identify with it as theirs and struggle to retain it. Then the drugs come in to try and force the muse perhaps. They certainly challenge the liver anyway . His chain smoking didn’t help I’m sure and in the Chinese system there would be knock on effects of smoking to the liver. Of course he was very challenged by the cardinal square of recent years and I suspect there was a deeper initiation in place – he was not an ordinary person and despite his lovely wife and daughter and son, there may well have been an inner conflict between the two souls of the two different eyes… just a thought! Herewith a link to the liver in Chinese medicine.
        He must have had Jupiter (liver in medical astrology) transit over his Leo planets almost from the tie of his diagnosis? And he has the Vertex in his natal chart at 7 Virgo – so Jupiter Sept 2015 was conjunct his Vertex (and the star Zosma -champion of a cause) and Neptune was opposite. Jupiter and Neptune together would be very real significators of Cancer IMO. This may have been a real turning point for him and his illness.

  2. anna says:

    plus, his vertex in scorp conjunct chiron 8th ,have found those with near death experience ,have vtx natally in the 8th ,but those are the ones that come back.

  3. Hi Christina Interesting post! Clearly Saturn and progressed moons play an important role but in my opinion there is something that explains both ages more accurately. I wrote about the 27 club here and am planning to write about 69 in my Pisces blog. Both are on significant age points in the Huber system. 27 is at what Huber calls the Leo low point and 69 is at the low point of Pisces.

  4. Leonora says:

    Glen Frey, founder member of the Eagles just died too aged 67.

  5. Gavin says:

    I’d be interested in your thoughts on where these charts (and Glenn Frey’s) point to successful artistic expression in the public eye. Maybe that’d be the area of any transiting or progressed similarities?

    • Christina says:

      I think the generational Uranus-Neptune trine is signficant for them all, but each chart is expressing the artistic achievement in a different way — although with Bowie the high Venus is an obvious one.

  6. aqua says:

    Nooo, this makes me paranoid…..

    In slightly unrelated news but riveting to Astrologers everywhere, the Guardian has an article about the 9th planet beyond Pluto right on the edge of our solar system.

    Im demoting Pluto as the Cerebus guarding the way to the underworld and instating Planet X given its on the edge of the SS and deep Space.

    For want of a better name I vote Charon, Anubis or perhaps Isis…sorry -couldnt help it…

  7. James J Cisar says:

    Michael Wolfstar mentioned recently in Neptune Cafe about Lilith under affliction is associated with death and or activated by transiting Lilith in the current post of those of that age.

  8. aqua says:

    Initially on this article I made a flippant comment out of discomfort at the topic.
    But what i really wanted to say is that as Astrologers I think we should be very circumspect re the issue of ‘predicting’ death.

    I dont know about others astrolological training, but my lecturers made it very clear about certain ethical issues regarding Astrology that the AFA adhered to. A kind of Hippocratic oath if you will.

    Apart from doing no harm, etc etc, the biggie was predicting demise and for good and excellent reasons.
    No psychic worth their salt does it, nor can we with any accuracy or validity, instead we merely fuel fear and worse case scenario, we actively ‘point the bone’.

    Nor can I see any practical or helpful purpose to it, thats not potentially tainted, and in my experience people into astrology who overly invest themselves in this, invest in a kind of ghoulishness and need for ultimate control.
    As it is, as astrologers we walk a perilously fine line re looking at peoples charts without their permission, we could very easily be accused of indulging in Grey magic with some validity.

    I am not referring to you specifically here Christina , just making an observation of issues all astrologers need to consider regarding this subject, when impacting others life.

    • Christina says:

      It’s OK aqua, I didn’t take it that way since we’re not really talking about predicting death here — and I think your point is well made. I have wondered how Evangeline Adams, Lilley etc predicted their own deaths — and why would you do that? Maybe it was close to the event.

      What we’re looking for here is the sense of a completed life as a story or narrative — and in case it’s not clear from the post, I don’t think that 69 is the new 27…

      • aqua says:

        ‘That 69-question haunts me. I was reading about Grant Lewi’s Saturn-Cycle. He describes the transit trough houses 1-3 as the most difficult. IC is the lowest point, but also the beginning of a new cycle. Saturn starts rising there. MC is of course the highest point.’

        And its these kind of fears that are prevalent [and understandable, given the ‘authorative’ tone of the literature Elenora is refering to] that Im saying breeds fear.
        Fear is so prevalent in Astrology online and in books, a point I made in an earlier post when I was admiring Dennis Elwells aproach, and I suspect it is, as ever that Astrology reflects social consiousness rather than drives it.
        A double edged sword that we can easily fall on if we are not careful…

        • aqua says:

          And personally I think Michael Wolfstar is one of the worst offenders when it comes to astrological fear mongering, like so many of his Baby Boomer compatriots writing in the 80s – and he is so often howlingly innacurate re his predictions.
          His posts on Obama being a classic example.
          So best to take him with a huge grain of salt.

      • aqua says:

        Thanks Christina, its an issue thats been bugging me for ages, not here specifically, as I realise thats not what youre driving at, but generally, I see a lot of speculation online, and I dont think its a ‘healthy ‘area of research.
        As to Adams Lilley etc, I suspect its a case of pointing the bone at themselves! I see no reason that they would have anymore accurate or ‘true’ tools than we, or the ability to do genuine research that wasnt affected by their own astrological prejudices or pet diagnosises.
        I just think there are far too many variables, including that of free will, society mores, poor health care etc etc.

  9. Eleonora says:

    That 69-question haunts me. I was reading about Grant Lewi’s Saturn-Cycle. He describes the transit trough houses 1-3 as the most difficult. IC is the lowest point, but also the beginning of a new cycle. Saturn starts rising there. MC is of course the highest point.

    Now, if we take only the charts with the birth time, Bowie and Lemmy both had transiting Saturn in the highest houses, 10th and 11th. I think that could be important, since both are strong saturnians.

    On the other hand, the persons from “27-club”, have had a very low Saturn before their death. For usally it just crossed IC and was rising, or it was about to do so – 3th or 4th house, it never crossed the DC, which is the main point for saturn.

    I still don’t know what to make out of this. It does not explain why exactly 69. But it’s bit like Bowie and Lemmy decided to stop when it was at their best, before saturn (reputation) start falling, while 27-club was not ready for that rise of social obligations, reality-check and responsibility.

    Of course nodes are the main factor anyway.

  10. […] Today, you can see that the Gates marriage has a Progressed Lunar Return to the exact degree — (astrology works!) This happens when a person is about 27 years old — and is one explanation of the 27 “early death” club. […]