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How a Chart Lives, Even After Death: Joan Crawford

by Astrologer Joseph Addeo (August 2016)

Though we are no longer incarnate in physical form after death, our charts continue to live and breathe. Famous people are wonderful examples of how a chart can still be used to predict events, especially with the way a person’s legacy remains alive in the public consciousness. There is further insight into the unfolding of their personality, growth, and psychology through the events that occur after death as represented by transits and progressions. That person often comes back into the consciousness of the public for a reassessment of their talents and contributions, as well as learning more about who they were and why they influenced the world in such a profound way.

As most of my friends and colleagues know, I have an obsession with Joan Crawford!! I love studying her chart. She is a larger than life star, actress and film legend of the 20th century and never did anything in a small way. While alive, she led an extraordinarily active and complex life, so it’s no wonder that in death she remains a fascinating and polarizing woman who continues to have an active and complex afterlife that is under constant scrutiny and reassessment.

On August 12, 2016, coinciding with transiting Saturn’s direct station in Sagittarius, there is a major revival of one of her greatest hits from 1952, “Sudden Fear,” for which she received an Oscar nomination as Best Actress. It is being re-released in a digitally remastered version and is playing for a week at Film Forum in New York City, a revival house known for premiering Hollywood classics of yesteryear, as well as current independent, foreign and art house releases. The film is having a sold out run as it is rediscovered by new and old fans and film aficionados. Modern critics have been praising the film, Crawford’s performance and her enduring legacy. She’s getting reviews now, well after her death that she often didn’t get while alive. There is a reevaluation of her talent, as well as resurgence of her popularity and reputation.

Joan Crawford’s birth information is somewhat in dispute, but I am using the chart that came with Solar Fire. This time was given to astrologer Nelle Sliter by Crawford herself. I have used this chart since 1999, and it works incredibly well. Though you will see more popular dates such as 1904 and 1906, it is the 1903 date that has worked so very well in all my research.

Birth Information: March 23, 1903, 10:00 p.m., San Antonio, Texas

Let’s interpret transits and progressions to the birth chart for August 12, 2016. I use this date because it is the re-release date of the film “Sudden Fear,” and numerous reviews of Crawford’s work in on-line publications such as Film Comment and Roger Ebert, as well as Karina Longworth’s sensational podcast “You Must Remember This,” which chronicles Crawford’s ground-breaking career. There has also been an announcement of the upcoming made for TV series by Ryan Murphy called “Feud,” which chronicles the tense rivalry between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis during the filming of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane,” due for a 2017 telecast and starring Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon.

Since there currently is a resurgence to rehabilitate Crawford’s professional standing and career achievements, I thought that there must be something happening with the planet Saturn, which has to do with one’s legacy, reputation and status in the world. Saturn, at its best, is a builder, and there is a restructuring element going on to re-establish Crawford’s legacy and stature.

The re-release of this film along with the positive articles and reviews are occurring on the station direct of Saturn at 9.46° Sagittarius. This alone can account for the prolonged showing of the film for a week at Film Forum. To have a film from 1952 play for an entire week straight at any theater is quite an accomplishment, and the Saturn station symbolizes the long lasting nature of the run as opposed to a one-time showing that one can miss with the blink of an eye. She’s lasting and durable!

Keep in mind that we are entering an eclipse season and the important degrees are 9 and 24 of the mutable signs. The solar eclipse takes place on September 1 at 9.21 Virgo followed two weeks later by the lunar eclipse at 24.20 Pisces. When looking at transits and progressions to her natal chart, we will see these degrees highly emphasized.

Her progressed MC (reputation, status, standing, career, legacy and recognition) is 9.03 Sagittarius. Transiting Saturn is conjunct it, indicating her reputation is due to undergo a restructuring and rebuilding. It is ready for this overhaul now, at this moment in time. Transiting Saturn and the progressed MC are forming a tight sextile to natal Mars (the handle of a bucket chart and co-ruler of her natal Ascendant and Aries Sun). The solar eclipse degree occurs in her 10th house, doubly emphasizing career resurgence. Progressed Venus at 7.14 Virgo tightly opposes natal Jupiter at 7.32 Pisces and squares natal Juno at 7.30 Sagittarius. This T-square resolves in the 7th house of the opinion of others. There is a rebalancing and recalibration by critics and public as to the true self-worth and talent of the woman, which has been dimmed and somewhat undermined over the years (Taurus on the cusp of the 7th, Venus as ruler of the 7th and 12th, Jupiter as ruler of the 2nd and 5th). Juno forming the apex of this progressed T-square has something to do with gaining an understanding and reforming our negative opinion on just how much of a shrew she really was as new information of the facts comes to light through the written word (Gemini is the empty leg). Juno is also the first lady of the zodiac and here we have some important work to resuscitate her standing as one of the great first ladies of the cinema.

The lunar eclipse degree is also highly emphasized through the healing of Chiron and Jupiter. Progressed Jupiter is 23.14 Pisces, progressed Moon is 25 Pisces and transiting Chiron is at 24 Pisces. All this indicates the chart is ready for a healing via a more optimistic and empathetic view towards Crawford by the public and how she connects with the collective unconscious. The biggest indication of a reversal in our outlook and view of her talent, self-worth and historical significance is that her natal Uranus at 25.36 Sagittarius is being hit hard by the September 16 lunar eclipse. New information is coming to light and something is being awakened and reversed (Uranus) about the past and history of this woman (Uranus as ruler of the 4th). There is a more detached and objective perspective being revealed about a woman who is a very polarizing figure–I mean you either love her or hate her–there is very little middle ground when it comes to Joan Crawford. She’s a rebel, maverick, independent and revolutionary 20th century person.

Progressed Saturn has been retrograde for many years and will make an exact conjunction to its natal position of 6.47 Aquarius in 2020. It currently is approaching exact conjunction by 17 minutes. Here again we have the slow influence of Saturn reassessing her reputation, which will only increase over the coming years as more and more is written about her (natal Saturn resides and rules the 3rd).

Progressed Mercury tightly squares natal Mars, so the written word is being activated. A new direction is needed and the chart is ready to change direction on what is written about her persona and career.

Transiting Uranus is trine natal Uranus and that’s a rather upbeat energy regarding her career and talent (natal Uranus sits in the 2nd and transiting Uranus is in the 6th). It indicates an awakening to what her true talents and skills are as an actress and revising the past story (Uranus rules the 4th).

The frosting on the cake is the transiting Sun conjunct the MC on the day of the re-release of this film. It’s a day of victory, basking in the glow and light of being a star!

On top of everything, as this article goes to print, the week long run at Film Forum has been so successful they extended it another week. This is a good example of Saturn slowing things down in a beneficially enduring way.

Joseph Addeo is a Level IV NCGR-PAA Certified Astrologer and serves on the Board of Directors of the New York Chapter. He can be reached via his website at or on Facebook at



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