Cascading Towards Death –– the Anne Heche Tragedy

by Marilyn Muir, LPMAFA

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Credit: Wikipedia

May 25, 1969 – August 12, 2022

The recent death of actress Anne Heche is a strange tale to tell, full of more questions than answers. The news has continually changing information. I have sorted through what is available from news sources as of August 21st, sixteen days after her fatal accident. This is a teaching article.

The tale starts with her purchase of a red wig from a local Los Angeles, CA store “just before 11:00 AM” on August 5, 2022. During the roughly ten-minute transaction, Ms. Heche was reported to exhibit normal, average behavior, with no red flags. Between that transaction and 10:55 AM, there were a series of events that led inevitably to her tragic death. Videos from street cameras and testimony from participants tell a completely different and very strange tale.

  • The first known incident after leaving the store involves Ms. Heche crashing into the garage of an apartment complex. Passers-by attempted to get her out of the car but she refused, backed her car out of the scene and sped off. Chaotic but volitional.
  • Next, travelling at a high rate of speed, she almost ran into a woman walking in an alley, swerved around her, did not hit her, and then sped off without a word or gesture.
  • Ms. Heche then ran her car into a Jaguar automobile, backed up and sped off. The Jaguar driver was not injured.
  • She then drove at high speed into a large two-story house. She was traveling at such a speed that the entire car ended up inside the ground floor of the house. That moment was officially recorded as 10:55 AM. The car crash set both the car and the house on fire. It took sixty firefighters to bring the raging fire under control, and to rescue and remove Ms. Heche. She was immediately ambulanced to a hospital. (There was no specific indication of the exact moment of personal rescue.) The house totally destroyed.
  • This tragedy eventually led to her death a week later.

As the reporting proceeded, there was lots of speculation including the possibility of drugs or alcohol as a contributing factor. Also included was an investigation of the circumstances by police. It fell into the “gossip” category for me, uncertain, confusing the issues. The investigation was dropped by the Los Angeles police once Ms. Heche died, a customary practice. We can casually look at such stray comments at the end of this story. But at this point, it is pure speculation.

In order to study this amazing cascade of events, all within an approximate 1 to 1.5 hours, I had to speculate on the unknown times. Ms. Heche entered the wig store “just before 11 AM”, and had about a ten-minute dialogue to make her purchase. This was followed by the last in the series of accidents at 10:55 AM (timed).

  • This led me to set the first event (wig purchase) chart speculatively for 10:30 AM PDT.
  • The second event is the house crash/fire itself, accurately timed at 10:55 AM PDT.
  • The third event is the finale of the rescue 65 minutes later at 12:00 PM PDT. Speculative: is this the moment of personal rescue or the completion of the fire-fighting effort?

In order to study this part of the tragedy, I cast the three event charts as mentioned, plus Ms. Heche’s natal, progressed, Solar Arc Direction and personal diurnal (day’s transit) charts. This combination becomes an astrological snapshot of a moment in time.

To look at her eventual death a week later, I grouped her natal, progressed, and that day’s diurnal charts.

  • Because the progressed motion is “a day for a year” in actual planetary motion, that motion barely moves in only seven days. Thus, the accident and death progressed charts are nearly identical, as would also be true of the Solar Arc Directions. (Note: just in case Solar Arc Directions are not understood by the reader, the changing relationship between the natal and age-progressing Sun supplies a degree and minute value which can then be added to all thirteen natal positions: ten bodies, Ascendant, Midheaven, and North Node. Solar Arc is one of three methods of Primary Direction.)
  • The personal diurnal (transits) are better indicators for this moment in time because the daily transit motion is much faster and capable of generating activity on a daily basis.

All of the charts mentioned above are listed on the spreadsheet at the end of this article to make it easier to see the multiple connections and to reduce the number of times I had to count and recount the aspects. They are color coded for ease of reading. Where to begin? At the beginning:

Anne Heche was born May 25, 1969 at 4:51 PM EDT in Cleveland, OH according to the Astrodientist (aka Rodden) database. The information is rated AA (reliable). I will not attempt a personal reading here because it would have to be lengthy and may not contribute to our unfolding of this tragedy. This event was a catastrophic death of the native. Where do you look for that in the natal chart?

  • If her physical body was injured and she died, you can expect involvement of the  Ascendant and / or its ruler.
  • Catastrophe and death are 8th house issues.
  • Self-inflicted death is a 12th house issue (self-undoing).
  • Hard aspects are key. There was nothing nice about this event, except buying the wig.

Here are natal chart sensitivities for this event:

  • Ascendant 19:07 Libra is ruled by Venus 21:10 Aries, which is opposing the Ascendant.
  • Venus also rules her 8th house of death / catastrophe, cusp 16:28 Taurus (intermediate cusp activations do work).
  • Venus is also square Midheaven 22:31 Cancer.
  • Her 8th death / catastrophe house contains a Sun 4:27 / Mercury 9:46 Rx Gemini conjunction.
  • That conjunction has two opposition points: out of sign Neptune 27:09 Scorpio Rx to the Sun, and Mars 11:54 Sagittarius RX to Mercury and the Sun more widely.
  • Natal 12th cusp is Virgo, with a four-planet Virgo stellium straddling that cusp. All the bodies in a stellium are considered conjunct regardless of orb. This one is tight (11˚ overall). The S Node point can be included as part of the reading, but only bodies are counted to determine if a stellium exists. Four planets and the S Node is a very large dose of potential self-undoing.
  • Retrogrades can indicate unfinished lessons at birth. Her chart has Mercury, Mars, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto retrograde. Five planets Rx is outside the norm for a standard chart (two or three are average).
  • Sun opposed Neptune, Mars opposed Sun / Mercury, along with the 12th house stellium – there are lots of issues and lessons (natal reading material). Mercury is the 12th house ruler. This natal chart has a great deal of conflict.
  • These are the points to watch for event triggering. Always include the Ascendant (the physical body) and the Midheaven (mission, purpose or goal of life). Angles are commonly involved in important activations.

To me, the speculative red wig purchase event chart does not appear to be a triggering moment. The angles are not challenging (hard aspects) any of the natal points in question, and that list turns out to contain most of the natal chart. Also remember that this is a speculative beginning point. If the time is wrong, it could be closer to the wreck itself.

  • These chart angles are square (Ascendant 7:10 Libra, Midheaven 7:48 Cancer), and are accompanied by Jupiter 8:37 Rx Aries, resulting in a T-square. But benefic Jupiter can still mitigate difficult moments.
  • Do look at the fatal day’s at Venus 22:38 Cancer (natal Ascendant and 8th house death ruler) conjunct natal Midheaven 22:31. This Venus also rules the moment’s Ascendant. Exact aspects work best.
  • Chart ruler Venus is opposed Pluto at 26:58 Rx Capricorn in the 4th house of the grave.
  • I do not like the wide fixed cross involving the Moon 16:39 / S Node 18:22 Scorpio opposite Mars 21:05 / Uranus 18:46 / N Node 18:22 Taurus, all square Sun 13:17 Leo and Saturn 22:34 Aquarius Rx. This is strongly 8th house, but part of the 2nd / 8th death axis. See this as two ends of the same pencil. If you use one end, the whole pencil vibrates, including the other axis point. This presents a picture of a cross to bear and rotates through the day’s activities.
  • Transiting Neptune 25:04 Rx Pisces is opposing that natal Virgo stellium (and has been for at least three years).

The catastrophic crash itself (accurately timed), using tight aspects shows:

  • Less than an hour later, the slow rotation of the angles brings them to the “critical” 13 cardinal degree positions. Jupiter has now moved into the sixth house and is weaker and less able to act demonstrably benefic.
  • The Moon opposite Mars / Uranus and squaring Sun / Saturn is tightening (effect is getting stronger) in the 8th/2nd axis by motion of the Moon and the 8th cusp’s forward motion towards those Taurus positions. Ms. Heche was injured at this moment, but not dead. She was hopefully unconscious. That eventuality increased as she inhaled noxious fumes and was critically burned (requiring surgery, also an 8th house topic) during the 65 potential minutes between the crash and the fire being declared controlled (sixty firemen were required).

The “speculative rescue” chart shows:

  • 26:04 Lib rising square the Pluto end of the Venus / Pluto opposition and square the Midheaven 28:55 Cancer.
  • However, that midheaven is past Pluto / Venus by about 24 minutes on the clock.
  • The moving Ascendant also triggered that opposition Venus about twelve minutes earlier.
  • This indicates to me that the personal rescue was slightly earlier than this chart by about twelve to 24 minutes. There would have to be many phases to this rescue. Timing is what is being revealed.
  • Note also that the violent Mars / Uranus opposed Moon has rotated out of the 8th house, again twelve (Mars) to 24 (Uranus) minutes earlier. Catastrophe but not death at that moment.

Even though rescued, extensive personal physical damage had been done. The die was cast and seven days later Ms. Heche was declared brain dead, the legal moment of death for the State of California.

Before we move to the death charts, we should look at the progressions, directions and diurnal for this catastrophic accident. Progressions reveal the unfolding energy of the natal. The natal is the first indrawn breath, when the newborn has emerged from the womb, and wherein the Mother’s support system stops and the child must make it on its own as a specific entity. Up to this moment the Mother / child relationship is symbiotic, dependent on one another (yes). At that moment, division occurs, and we call that the birth moment. It is quickly marked by the cutting of the umbilicus which has served its purpose and can be discarded. But the child does not remain a newborn throughout the life – the progressing chart reveals its gradual growth.

  • 29:59 Scorpio rising, the Ascendant on an exact moment of change from Scorpio to Sagittarius.
  • 29 Scorpio is opposed the fixed star group Pleiades: Alcyon, considered a malefic energy, “something to weep about”.
  • The progressing Ascendant is besieged (between malefics) and looks to have been so for about three to four years prior.
  • Mars is closely conjunct the Ascendant, contributing friction or intensity to the moment, and is square the progressed at Moon 3:28 Virgo and square the natal Sun in the natal 8th death house. Mars can be quite aggressive.
  • Progressed Sun 25:15 Cancer is 3+˚ past the conjunction to the natal Midheaven (a positive aspect, but again effective about three to four years prior).
  • Progressed Mercury is 19:54 Cancer square the natal Ascendant / Descendant/ Venus.
  • Both progressed Sun and Mercury are again conjunct in the catastrophic 8th house.
  • Progressed S Node 22:30 Rx, Pluto 22:57 and natal Pluto 22:25 Rx Virgo tightly conjunct, intensification of that 12th house natal stellium.
  • While not a progression, be aware that transiting Neptune 25:04 Rx Pisces had been activating both the natal and progressed Virgo positions for at least three years prior, which leads me to believe she did not have an easy time for several years prior to the accident itself. 

Solar Arc Directions allow the slow-moving outer planets to make continuing connections not otherwise visible:

  • SA Midheaven 13:19 Virgo about one year (1˚) past square to natal Mars 11:54 Rx Sagittarius. This is history, but other indicators given showed a hostile energy for the past three to four years. What we have not resolved tends to continue into our present, and the past-activated Mars could have produced unresolved anger issues.
  • Look at the SA Scorpio stellium straddling the 12th house of self-undoing – the Virgo stellium in its current rendition. Very psychological, with power and control issues strong. Can they contribute to self-undoing behavior or attitudes when they are on the 12th?
  • SA Saturn 23:58 Gemini is plowing through the square to the natal Virgo stellium, one position after another.
  • SA Ascendant 9 :55 Sagittarius is directly opposite natal Mercury in both the natal and the SA 8th houses. I particularly watch the angles for timing – I watch them in natal, moving (progressions and directions) or transits (diurnals).
  • SA Sun 25:15 Cancer is three degrees past the natal Midheaven. There could have been a career opportunity three to four years earlier (separating aspects point to past activations). I am wondering if the several difficult aspects within that period cancelled out the opportunity I mentioned.
  • SA Neptune 17:57 Capricorn is applying to the square of her natal Ascendant / Descendant. Even though Ms. Heche has passed on, her chart can still be read. The recklessness of those few moments did a lot of damage to other people’s property that will have to be resolved through estate matters and that will also show up in her chart.

And now for her daily transits (diurnal) to see how the day’s energy played out in her life. Each day brings a new chart with the house cusps moving plus or minus 1˚ per day depending upon latitude on the globe (360˚ in 365.25 calendar days). The planets retain their individual daily motion, with only the Moon making multiple or quick aspects. We have read many of the activations, but will pay particular attention to the angles and the Moon. Don’t hesitate to read the Descendant or IC as each angle is pertinent!

I use both the diurnal (personal transits) and the event charts. Yes, there is redundancy, but you do get specific pieces of information out of both, so it’s worth the time and effort to check both. The diurnal provides you with a specific, personal Midheaven and Ascendant and gives a more accurate (to that natal chart) lunar position, which cuts back on the fudge factor. I choose not to repeat the accident as event positions, only noting new information if available from the diurnal.

  • Look at the diurnal Venus conjunct the Diurnal 8th house death cusp AND the natal Midheaven within ¼˚. Remember that transiting (diurnal) Venus opposes diurnal Pluto widely pulling in diurnal Mars in T-square.
  • That combination is square natal Ascendant / Descendent / and Venus as natal 8th death house ruler and event 8th house planet.
  • Ms. Heche lived seven more days in a coma, never regaining consciousness as we know it.
  • Reminder: diurnal Mercury 2:36 Virgo sets off the natal Sun / Mercury conjunction opposed natal Neptune and Mars across the natal 8th house axis.
  • The moment’s self-identity Sun 13:25 Leo is also in the diurnal 8th (fated).

The date of death material has several unresolved questions, but is worth a view. Why questions? We are not completely sure if Ms. Heche was ever conscious after the accident. I vote for unconscious because the poisoning of her lungs with the noxious fumes and the actual fire is a horrifying thought. She was burned badly enough to require surgery. Her progression from accident to DOD shows little change. But I do find it interesting that the two physical afflictions mentioned are evidenced by Neptune of noxious, poison gases and Mars of fire or surgery bracketing her progressed Ascendant at the astrological transition point of 29:59 Scorpio moving to 00:00 Sagittarius. She definitely made a transition surrounded by those energies.

Because California views brain death as an actual moment of death, then August 12th is the correct date. She never awakened from her coma. Her body could continue on life support, but  she was considered dead for legal purposes. She was kept on life support until organ donation could be arranged, as that had been her living choice. It is not known when her bodily functions ceased.

  • Her DOD diurnal Ascendant 20:56 Sagittarius is square her natal Moon 20:10 and approaching her natal Pluto at 22:25 Rx Virgo.
  • Diurnal Mars 25:32 Taurus is conjunct malefic fixed star Caput Algol, “losing one’s head” or perhaps consciousness itself.
  • Diurnal Sun 20:08 Leo opposes diurnal Saturn 22:02 Rx Aquarius across the 8/2 death axis, and that’s appropriate. But the Sun has two more degrees it can travel to perfect that aspect. I am wondering if this can be the indicator of the final act of dying once she was taken off the life support machine. She was declared dead August 12th, but was still on life support. The date or time of removal was not given, but could it possibly have been August 14th?

As this article was being proofed, Debra asked if I had speculated about the time of the body’s death after the Friday August 12th brain-dead declaration (legal death in California). I had not seen that final timing in any of the articles I read. But since this is a study of cycles, is it possible to project ahead as speculation, and not necessarily fact? How do you do this chart-wise?

Using the work we have already done, go to the two diurnals for the date of the accident and the legal date of death (brain dead, but on life support). We will look at three of the fast-moving diurnal points: the main angles (Ascendant and Midheaven) and the Moon. Other positions move at varying speeds, with the outers moving very slowly. The Sun, Mercury and Venus could be additional fast-moving, daily factors. We may encounter activity from any or all of our selected points, plus the chart itself may offer surprise information. Here is how to do this.

  • The time between the accident on August 5th and the legal death on August 12th is seven days.
  • The Midheaven moved from 5:55 Libra to 13:24 Libra: 7˚29’, approximately 1˚ per day. Note: the motion of the Midheaven and the Sun is similar.
  • The Ascendant’s motion is dependent on the latitude of birth at that Midheaven. It moved from 15:06 to 20:56 Sagittarius in that same seven-day period, five degrees and 50’, slightly under 1˚ per day.
  • The Moon traveled from 18:34 Scorpio to 01:18 Pisces during that period. The Moon can travel from 12 to 15˚ daily, approximately half a sign. 

We are arbitrarily choosing a 48-hour range possibility because time was not provided. After the declaration of brain death, Ms. Heche was kept on life support while organ donation was arranged. Once accomplished, she was removed from life support, but the exact moment the physical body shut down is not known. The timing for organ removal and insertion into the recipient is a delicate balance known to only the doctors. Chart-wise, what aspect was activated that suggests that final stage of the shutdown of the body once she was removed from life support? Remember the state considered her to be legally dead on the 12th. The difference only allowed for the time needed for organ donation.

Move any of the three chosen figures forward until new aspects to the natal or within the diurnal perfect. Watch natal and diurnal angles particularly! Why new aspects? Because we have already applied the aspects up to her August 12th DOD. Her history = separating aspects. Applying aspects = now to future.

  • On the 12th, the diurnal Ascendant is slightly past the square to the natal Moon. Why would past (separating) be okay in this instance? The diurnal is tied to the natal, using the actual time of birth. When an event occurs early in any day that is based on a birth chart late in the day, you might have to watch the diurnal day’s prior motion as well. I have found this to be true in multiple examples. Don’t hesitate to ponder if you encounter a new concept. We are using relatively fast-moving points, so the time of the event and the time of the birth might need to be examined if you encounter an aspect closely past.
  • What is the next hard (this is death) aspect the diurnal Ascendant makes now that it has engaged that natal Virgo stellium? At 22:25 the diurnal Ascendant squares natal Pluto, the natural ruler of Scorpio, and the natural (not actual) 8th house death ruler. The diurnal Ascendant on the 13th is 21:47, close and still applying. Diurnal Ascendant on the 14th is 22:38, about thirteen minutes of arc past exact. Since all diurnals are based on the natal birthtime as explained above, this death-of-body speculative moment must be timed between 4:51 PM August 13 to 4:51 PM on the 14th. Total motion of the Ascendant is 51’; 51’ divided by 13’ past equals exact and would have occurred around 10:51 AM on the 14th. Since the energy is strongest when applying, I would speculate close to but prior to 10:51 AM on August 14th. There is no way to prove this speculation at this moment, no solid info. I am teaching you how to extrapolate timing.
  • What is the next hard (again, this is death) aspect the diurnal Moon makes to the diurnal and natal positions? Watch both. Traveling about 15˚ (fast-moving Moon) in 24 hours, the diurnal Moon opposes both the natal Moon and its conjunction to Pluto. Same definition applies.
  • The Moon will then continue to tick off an opposition to each natal Virgo 12th house stellium position, all within two days after the 12th because this Moon travels at 15˚ a day, or two days for the entire sign. That would include after-the-fact news reports, autopsies, funeral arrangements, etc.
  • Additionally, as explained in the early part of this study, transiting Neptune has been triggering that natal Virgo stellium for the last three or so years by opposition. While not one of our three choices, it can’t be ignored as a diurnal position because it has been and still is activating that natal stellium.
  • I don’t see anything new involving the diurnal or natal Midheaven, unless you want to count that same diurnal Neptune that was trining the natal Midheaven. Neptune will not retrograde back to that position before It turns direct. It will “refrain” from completing the aspect (refranation).
  • While staring at the possibilities, I noted that August 13 diurnal Sun will exactly oppose diurnal Saturn that day (1˚ per day Sun travel).
  • Also, August 13 – 14 diurnals show diurnal Venus 3:47 Leo square Ms. Heche’s natal Saturn 3:09 Taurus, applying on the 13th and separating by the 14th. That’s two triggering aspects on the 13th. Hmmm!

It is possible that there were other personal or medical considerations going on that we know nothing about. I do not have the medical knowledge to speculate any deeper. Student, this is how we learn. We try and correct when necessary.

Have I broken your brain? The astrology charts do have answers. Sometimes astrologers have to work at it and let the charts teach them. Here are the two diurnals for August 13th and 14th.

This was an amazing opportunity to explore the cascading effect of aspects. I am just sorry my example was the tragic loss of Ms. Anne Heche. May she rest in peace.

Namasté, I salute the light within you.

While I read many reports, my source for timing was: Timeline: ET news article Aug 17, 2022.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.