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Whitney Houston and Her Battle to Prevail as a Leo Sun

In his essay on the Sun in The Luminaries, Howard Sasportas tells us that we “have to be our Sun while acknowledging the Moon in us.” We begin life in a lunar space, dependent upon our mothers, and as we learn to “differentiate” from the mother, we gravitate towards the solar realm of the father. While Sasportas acknowledges that the roles of father and mother have evolved in our society, he describes the archetypal mother figure as the one who nurtures us and keeps us safe, while the archetypal father challenges us to grow and meet the expectations of the outside world. Sasportas sees the Sun in the chart as a symbol of the father – as well as an indication of our path of self-actualization.


Sasportas describes the Sun’s sign as the path we must follow to develop a healthy sense of self. The Sun’s house tells us where we need to pour our talents and distinguish ourselves. The aspects to the Sun describe the energies which are linked to our journey of self-expression, and also the people we encounter throughout our life. They also particularly describe our experience of the father.


I turned to the chart of Whitney Houston to examine the role in her life of her heavily aspected Sun in Leo. Whitney’s Moon in Aries conjunct Jupiter very much describes the lunar world which nurtured her. Her mother was a famous gospel singer, from a family which included the stunning and powerful female singer Dionne Warwick. The trine from this conjunction to Whitney’s Leo Sun describes how her talent was recognized and celebrated by the women in her family. The Sun, however, is more complex.


The Leo Sun, of course, loves to shine, and its gifts are enhanced by a conjunction to Venus. But the sixth house placement challenges it. This is the house of obligation, duty, hard work, and the strain this puts on one’s body. Whitney’s Pisces rising sign is in quincunx to the Leo Sun. The two signs are incompatible. With the Pisces benevolence of wanting to be what everyone expected from her, her Leo Sun would struggle for self-expression. Her journey to self-realization would be a long struggle down a foggy and uneven path.


The Sun from the sixth house applies to an opposition to Saturn in her twelfth house. Whitney would have experienced her father as remote, cold, and difficult to please, and this would be an underlying drumbeat throughout her life as she encountered other authority figures. We know from Whitney’s biography that her father was her manager for many years, making money off of her, and expecting her to fund his business enterprises. Conflicts arose, leading to long periods of estrangement. When he became terminally ill in 2003, John Houston was in the process of suing his daughter for one hundred million dollars. Whitney reconciled with him during his final days and says she forgave him, and believed that his actions were the result of bad influences around him.


Whitney’s Sun in square to Neptune tells us that she would also meet Neptune on her path to actualizing her Leo Sun. Just as she forgave her father, she could be very vulnerable to those who attempted to manipulate her. It also tells of her voice which poured out of her as if from a band of angels. This also describes her very public life, with few boundaries around her to shield her from the gaze of the media and the public. This conflict from a ninth house Neptune could describe how religion played a formative role in her development, but she had to break free of its domination to be uniquely herself. And, too, addiction a possible signature of a Neptune square to a personal planet. One can well imagine that with all the pressures on Whitney from others who expected her to carry them with her gifts, drugs and alcohol would have provided a welcome escape and relief.


Yet, for all the blockages put in her way, Whitney Houston fulfilled her Leo Sun destiny and lived as a shining light in this world – and leaves behind a wealth of recordings to lift hearts in generations to come.


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