With the sad, sudden passing of Whitney Houston we’re reminded again of the brevity of life. That’s an idea that almost everybody readily agrees with, but in reality is very hard to live. Because unlike most precious things, we seem to have a lot of time, it does not seem to be in short supply. Yet when it’s gone, it’s all gone at once. When we look at a chart, we’re looking at potentials that may or may not come to realization over time. If we lived a thousand years, all the potentialsof the chart would come to pass and we would become much and know much, but instead we live for less than a hundred years, not for long really. Time is precious.

When we look at Whitney Houston’s chart, the first thing that jumps out is the extraordinary number of planets in fire signs: Sun, Moon, Venus and Jupiter, all in either Aries or Leo and all making the most supportive aspect possible to the midheaven, which is career, profession, visibility. With the regal Leo placements, we can expect drama and the need for the spotlight. With the Aries placements, particularly the Moon and Jupiter there which she shares with Angelina Jolie, we can look for the aggressive pursuit of Self. And she achieved that, which is important to remember: it’s the chart of someone who sought enormous exposure and attention and she received it.

So what are the challenges of the chart? In my experience, excessive fire in a chart runs the risk of burning out. I mean that literally. There’s a danger of all that fire simply consuming itself. In addition, when we look at the 7th house (the partner), we find a powerful Mercury that is tightly conjunct Pluto. On some level, the interpretation is pretty straightforward: destruction through the partner or a partner that self-destructs. While I don’t know much about her relationship with Bobby Brown, my first impression is that was intense and explosive, which are typical Pluto attributes.

In addition, since addiction plays a role, we look to Neptune (a fairly reliable indicator of addiction, fantasy, etc.) and find it squared to both the Sun and Venus. From that placement, we might say that fantasy or unreality are potential dangers in the chart. Finally, it’s worth noting the absence of water in the chart. One frequent manifestation of people who lack water, which symbolizes the emotional qualities of an individual, is that they don’t know what their emotions are. It’s certainly not that they don’t have emotions, but that they have no frame of reference for what they feel.There’s more, of course. But this is the speed read of the chart. Given the overpowering amount of fire that is in her chart, perhaps it’s best to end with a quote of Houston’s: “I decided long ago never to walk in anyone’s shadow; if I fail, or if I succeed at least I did as I believe.”