Many factors contribute to the astrological story. This sketch on Whitney Houston focuses on Jupiter and Saturn.
Whitney Houston was born into a loving musical family and achieved incredible success but still could not escape the nightmare of addiction.
Houston was born on 9 August 1963 at 20:55 in Newark New Jersey (Rodden Rating: AA; Collector: Rodden) with Jupiter in Aries and Saturn in Aquarius. She was one of the most successful music artists of all-time and achieved the rare feat of being popular with white and black audiences.
Readily available information around Whitney’s early childhood is sparse so her astrological story starts at her Jupiter return.
Jupiter in Aries learners are competitive and impatient. They thrive on fast paced lessons and typically become a master of one particular skill. Saturn in Aquarius pupils are very much like Victor Frankenstein: they have difficulty accepting that rules exist to protect them. These pupils have to learn to be accountable for their actions and be ready to accept that if they bend a few rules, they will have to bite the bullet and accept the consequences. This is a hard lesson for all pupils, but especially so for Saturn in Aquarius pupils who get it into their heads that they are not really human and therefore don’t have to follow the same rules humans do.
Houston sang in her local gospel choir with her mother Cissy and performed her first vocal solo as Jupiter transited her ascendant in Pisces, just before her first Jupiter return. The title of her solo piece was “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah”, which beautifully suits the transit. She was described as shy but well was able to stand up for herself.
By the time of her one and only Saturn opposition (in Leo), she was gaining attention for her work as a backing singer. Saturn in Aquarius tends to shun the limelight unless they feel they can shine in their own right. Clearly, Whitney was fully capable of holding her own against seasoned, adult performers. A year later, at 15, Whitney was backing up the well established Chaka Khan on the track, “I’m Every Woman,” a song she would make her own in 1992 a half Saturn cycle later.
Following her final Saturn opposition in adolescence, between 1978 and 1983, Houston worked as a fashion model and became the first Black woman to appear on the front cover of Seventeen magazine.
In 1983, she was signed to Arista records and released her debut album, Whitney Houston, in February 1985 just before Jupiter transited her natal Sun by conjunction. Although other singles from the album were released before it, the track “How Will I know?” shattered the MTV video scene and catapulted Whitney into what had been an all white market. In January 1986, transit Jupiter was conjunct her natal Saturn. After a slow start, Whitney’s debut album had secured its place in music history. The album topped the Billboard 200 chart and stayed at the top for 14 weeks. “The Greatest Love of All” was the final tracked released. As they say, the best is kept for last. This track made her the first female to have 3 number 1 hits. The video was released in April 1986 and featured Whitney’s mother Cissy a complete Jupiter return after Whitney’s solo debut at the age of 11. Later that year, she won her first Grammy for “Saving All My Love For You,” which she performed at the awards show. She would eventually win 7 American Music Awards.
From the beginning of 1987, transiting Saturn made a series of three conjunctions to Whitney’s MC. It is often difficult to replicate such high success and indeed Whitney’s follow up album endured criticism for being too much like her debut. Still, she won a Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and several other awards.
In the late 1980s, Whitney was involved with several charitable campaigns and joined with other celebrities to wish Nelson Mandela a happy 70th birthday. But the support from the Black community that had helped her reach the top of her game had started to wane. In April 1989, as Jupiter squared her ascendant, then later Mercury, Pluto and Chiron, she was jeered at an awards show for “selling out” as a Black performer. We can hear the echo of Saturn’s influences when she said: “If you’re gonna have a long career, there’s a certain way to do it, and I did it that way. I’m not ashamed of it.” This show was also where she met fellow singer, Bobby Brown, the bad boy of the pop world who had been kicked out of his band “New Edition” for poor behaviour.
Whitney’s 3rd album was released in November 1990, just after Saturn had made a series of three conjunctions to her South Node in Capricorn. The album was credited for having a more urban feel though this was equally criticised for being superficial. Later this year, as Jupiter was in the middle of a series of 3 hits to her natal Venus and as her romance with Bobby Brown was heating up, she sang the Star Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl XXV. Whitney became the first person in history to turn a patriotic anthem into a pop hit.
Whitney’s descendant is in Virgo with Uranus, Mercury and Pluto in conjunction to it. As she recited her marriage vows with Bobby on 18 July 1992, Jupiter had made its final conjunction to her descendant and the planets conjunct to it. Although it is unfair to blame Bobby for Whitney’s downfall, the astrological significance of the opportunism associated with Jupiter’s transits is hard to look at. Bobby’s Saturn is conjunct Whitney’s Jupiter/Moon in Aries. For the rest of her life, his short comings would taint her successes.
Transit Saturn was also in the middle of 3 oppositions to her natal Sun. Arguably, this was the biggest year of her life. In November 1992, a Jupiter was conjunct her Mars in Libra, the film, The Bodyguard, was released to much commercial success. Whilst Whitney was singing “Guide me, O Thou Great Jehovah” in 1974, Dolly Parton had released “I Will Always Love You” in the country/western scene. Dolly’s Neptune in Libra is conjunct Whitney’s Mars in Libra and so with Jupiter transiting this point, it is no surprise Whitney’s rendition of the song put both women into the spotlight.
In 2000, as Jupiter and Saturn were both in conjunction in Taurus, the two planets made a series of squares to Whitney’s natal Saturn. During this time, she and Bobby were caught with cannabis in their luggage and shortly after, Whitney was fired from her performance spot at the Academy Awards. Her erratic behaviour was a sad giveaway of her addiction and not even her protests that “Crack is whack” could persuade her fans that all was well.
Copyright: Alex Trenoweth, 2010