This chart captures the moment a beautiful soul, Charles Michael Conroy (he went by Michael), left the human realm and went stellar on us. What can we see? What can this moment tell us about the person’s soul journey through the vast reaches of the cosmos?
I learned of Michael’s passing through a heartfelt instagram post by his daughter, Mary Conroy (@luminousmary13), an Energy Alchemist. Mary had the unique privilege of holding her papa as he transitioned, and has given her blessing for this blog post, which I hope is as much of a tribute as it is an analysis.
The first thing I noticed was that the Sun (spirit) was setting. Traditionally, just as the Rising degree represents a coming into life — or a birthing (which is why the Rising Sign is so important in the Birth Chart), so can the Setting degree represent dying. The great flaming orb in the sky is exstinguished on the horizon and the darkness comes. I find my self wondering if the Setting Sign is as important for a Transitioning Chart as the Rising Sign is for a birth? If so, then we could consider that Michael’s beautiful, loving spirit (Sun/Venus) encapsulates the moment of his passing. Indeed, the Descendant is midway between Venus in her domicile and the Sun. What a beautiful time to die! They’re in Libra, making this a “Libra Setting” chart. Libra is the ultimate relater and balancer. This sign setting honors the meaningful quality of relationships that Michael had with others during his life.
The Rising Sign could represent Michael’s birth into the afterlife, wherever that might be. I have no doubt that the soul continues on. But where to? Well here we have Aries Rising: to boldly go forth! Aries is one of the, if not the, most infrequent rising signs, at least in the northern hemisphere. There are less Aries Rising people out there, for example, than Gemini Rising. Go do a poll! It’s true, because of the curious way that Aries rises in a “crooked” manner. Therefore, it rises fast! Fast and furious. I do not know the details of Michael’s passing, and it may have been soft and peaceful — but perhaps his passage into his new realm, hidden from us, was one of bravery and immediacy. Perhaps he leapt over clouds in single bounds and slashed away evil spirits of karma not yet fully resolved. Why do I say this? Because he also had Jupiter and Chiron rising: the victor over wounds. Jupiter also gives hope, which is always useful when entering unknown lands.
The Moon is not only “angular” (a good omen) but also peaking, closing in on the midheaven, reaching up to its highest point in its journey across the sky that day. This is exactly the kind of placement you’d choose if you were selecting a time to perform magic, or a wedding, etc. Well timed, Michael! Luna is far from home in Capricorn, it’s true, but so is Michael about to venture far from his 21st century earthen home, so that’s appropriate. The Moon is also perfectly square the Sun, making it a first quarter phase, a point of friction and challenge, but also activation. At exactly 90˚ from the Sun, it’s no wonder that Michael chose that hour to pass.
The day before he died, the Moon had passed Pluto in the sky, which in this chart sits up there with the Moon in the 10th house of public visibility. In Mary’s instagram post, she emphasized Phantom of the Opera as one of Michael’s favorites, and proceeded to quote some lyrics from that musical, stating also that she played some of Phantom during his last hour. Pluto is the Phantom.
“Close your eyes, start a journey to a strange new world
Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before
Close your eyes and let music set you free
Only then can you belong to me
Floating, falling, sweet intoxication
Touch me, trust me, savor each sensation
Let the dream begin…”
These lyrics lend themselves to Neptune in Pisces in the 12th house — the house of loss, the unknown and subconscious — but also bliss, and universal truths. A planet there acts as an inner guru. Neptune, the planet of compassion, of a love that extends beyond personal love, has a natural resonance with the 12th house and sits at home in Pisces there. As Michael was slaying those post-life monsters, perhaps he was guided by his inner joy and love, feeling his way through the labyrinth of the subconscious with an intuitive light to guide him, like Frodo’s Phial of Galadriel, which contains the very light of the Star of Earendil, a star of hope.
Why die at all? As someone said: “to live again.” There are many reasons besides this, but it’s sufficient for my next point: life purpose (or death purpose), characterized by the north lunar node (NN). This chart has it in Taurus in the 2nd house. I like to think of the the NN in Taurus as a calling to grow into the clear simplicity of the Buddha under the Bodhi tree, or Jesus in the garden. It’s not about complications or mental understanding. More about being. In the 2nd house, it’s about values and self-worth. How can Michael move into a straightforward embodiment of his values and divine self esteem? It’s not far from Uranus, so there are plenty of revelations coming his way! His journey is not nearing its end yet. And here’s a crazy idea: maybe Michael’s next reincarnation will have a Taurus NN??? I see the nodes as the thread connecting the lifetimes, although working out the details is beyond the scope of this article.
This next graphic is a bi-wheel, showing Michael’s Transitioning Chart in the center, and his birth chart on the outside (time unknown, so ignore the As, Ds, Ic and Mc on the outer wheel). The point of this is to compare the two sets of planets.
Here’s some words from Mary about her father:
“He taught me when I was a kid, without saying the system is corrupt, that the system is corrupt — there’s the law, and there’s the universal law. He taught me to listen to the unseen; to enjoy the edge, and to be devoted to the spirit of those you love, to be compassionate; and to listen to the language of the soul. His journey, it’s interesting because our family vacations used to be planned around hurricane season in Sanibel, and so when hurricane Ian hit Sanibel, I was like ‘Oh papa, I know part of you is already joined the forces of nature because you have now broken the causeway to even get to Sanibel so no one can get your seashells.’ at this point he wasn’t opening his eyes, he just raised his eyebrows at me, his eye brows always said it all. He always said seashells are like portals. Now I feel those portals more than ever before. As he laid there and I caressed him I am yet again reminded of the phantom of the opera and our connection of the importance of devotion and of love.”
This draws my attention to the relationship of his his natal NN in Gemini (listening) to his Transitioning NN being the 12th house from his natal NN. If we re-drew the chart so that Gemini was Rising, as though the natal NN placement dictated the first house, highlighting the NN and life purpose, it’s as though he took that Gemini purpose, and transmuted it into its 12th house energy, which was described above in the section about Pisces and Neptune. He took the curious, information-hungry nature of Gemini, and transformed it into the plain sense of fulfillment that comes as a result of all that learning, having digested it. And Venus rode into the world on a seashell, she who rules Taurus where his Transitioning NN is located.
I like that his natal Cancer Sun conjoins the Transitioning IC, the root of the chart. We can interpret this as grounding his consciousness in the more solid substance of emotions, rather than the ephemeral part. This can help to illuminate his path with an unwavering attention through the realms he currently traverses.
I’ll make one final point. His natal Neptune conjoins Transitioning Venus in the 7th house of relationships, blending personal and impersonal love. I can see Michael sending universal bliss vibes to his relatives and friends from the ether, assuring them that he’s doing just fine in his travels.