Note: And see this.
Lucille Bertuccio had always wanted me to look at her astrological chart. But for years, events always intervened. Finally, I think it was just last year, she walked over here for a session with me on the topic of Lucille, who she was originally, who she came into this planet to become.
That she wanted her chart read was classic Lucille; her curiosity about everything was passionate and unceasing. When I got to town in 2003, she discovered that I had been the publisher of Crone Chronicles: A Journal of Conscious Aging, and instantly, wanted to hold a “croning ceremony” with me and her friends. That I wasn’t as eager as she to do this is telling. While she continued on with extreme interest in all sorts of things, I spend a huge amount of energy getting things up and running and then tend to fade away from that project while dreaming up others. The difference between us is telling, and shows up in her astrological chart. For Lucille Bertuccio came in here with her Sun (and Mercury) in a fixed sign, Aquarius. Her Moon was also in a fixed sign, Taurus. Though I too have my Moon in Taurus, my Sun and Ascendant are in a mutable sign (Sagittarius), so while I keep changing, she instead kept adding more and more causes to those she already supported, never letting any of them go! She was utterly determined, and deeply concerned about the state of our planet, long before others turned their attention in that direction.
I deeply admired Lucille. As did everyone I know. Her Capricorn Venus was exactly on her Ascendant (and exactly conjunct my own Venus!), so she radiated her love and care, interacting easily, if sternly (that Capricorn!) at times, with others, both in private and publically.
Her Jupiter in Sagittarius beliefs were strong, and at times unyielding and judgmental. In fact, I tried to tell her, as delicately as possible, that being angry about something won’t fix it. That she needed to nourish her Aquarian detachment, and get that sense of humor going always, not just when things were overtly funny! Over the years, she did begin to listen to this advice, hearing me when I told her that, “as a Sagittarian, I used to be a violent peace activist, furious that most people had no idea what I was talking about, and furthermore, didn’t want to know. Who cares if we have 50,000 nuclear missiles poised to annihilate the Soviet Union?” She recognized the inherent contradiction in my attitude, and I could feel her striving to get past her own tendency to bitterness by dissolving her own judgments.
That was about the only “advice” I could offer to this astonishingly indefatigible icon of a woman who taught me, and everyone around her, so very very much. With her Aquarius Sun, she was connected with many groups and causes, seeing connections between issues and concerns, networking widely and constantly. With her Taurus Moon, she was deeply engaged with the Earth and all living things. She knew Earth, knew her plants and insects and animals like the back of her strong, calloused hand.
Her Aquarius Sun was 90° from her Taurus Moon. So those two most obvious aspects of Lucille, her conscious self (Sun) and subconscious self (Moon) were “square” one another, in conflict. Supposedly. In most people they would be — theTaurus Moon dragging down the high-flying Aquarian Sun into the mud and the Aquarian Sun detaching from the weighty gravity of earthy Taurus Moon.
But Lucille knew, perhaps innately, how to combine these famously warring fixed signs. She used her Aquarian Sun to speak about the relationships among Taurus earthlings, especially wild plants, giving their names, and pointing out their habits, how they work with others to create abundance and diversity. And she would use that Aquarian Sun to join and generate groups of people who, combined, can do more good for Earth than operating alone. She knew that. She lived it.
Besides the fixed square between her Sun and Moon, Lucille was born with another major aspect pattern, called a T-cross, and this one included four (out of ten total) planets: Jupiter/Saturn/Mars/Neptune, all in mutable signs. The only mutable sign that was missing was Gemini, and she filled that in with her constant learning and teaching of the names and functions of whatever her interest picked up on.
Saturn and Mars in Pisces, the sign of empathy, compassion, mystic oneness.
Jupiter in Sagittarius, its ruler, a preoccupation with ever larger perspectives on the whole of which the details were constantly filling in.
And Neptune in Virgo, a generational placement that she shared with others born between 1930 and 1942.
Virgo is a difficult placement for Neptune, since it lies opposite to the sign Neptune rules, Pisces, wherein we find her Saturn and Mars. Those in her generation tend to be skeptical of mysticism, and insist on scientific analysis and evidence. Likewise, Pisces is a difficult placement for Saturn, since Saturn governs rules and structures, and Pisces tends to dissolve them into oneness. Mars doesn’t much like Pisces either, since Mars wants to move, fast, impulsively, and Pisces tends to confuse and wash energy away. Indeed, of all the planets in this dueling T-cross, only Jupiter is happy with its sign placement, and yet it too, had its troubles, being located in the hidden 12th house, where it must work behind the scenes, rather than out in front, proclaiming the Truth!
And Lucille did tend to know what the Truth was and is! she constantly studied and learned and communicated her findings to all who would stop to listen. Her 2013 book, Au Natural: Ruminations on Nature, is, unfortunately, the only permanent record we have of her unusually wide comprehension of and empathy with the natural world. However, what she taught lives on in the hundreds (or is it thousands) of those whose lives brushed hers and found themselves inspired.
Just today I noticed a facebook post of one of her students in a class she had taught at Indiana University. She had put up a video of Earth, with time speeded up, so that you could see the planet greening in the north and browning in the south, and then reversing, by turns. This student swears that the video let her know that the living Earth is breathing.
I focus on Lucille’s strong mutable T-cross because it was the main feature of her chart at the time of her death, at about 12:20 p.m. on Saturday.
But first, let me note that her natal Venus, that which made her so attractive to others, originally, was also featured, on the Descendant of her death chart! The horizontal Ascendant/Descendant axis, along with the vertical axis with the Midheaven at the top and the Immum Coeli at the bottom, move one degree every four minutes. Which means that her soul precisely timed her death for a Venus crossing, and, even more significant: Sun was conjunct Neptune, and both were within one degree of the quickly moving Midheaven!
Venus symbolizes personal love; Neptune impersonal love. Love was in the air that day, and we are all the beneficiaries.
Whenever someone dies, I look first to either Jupiter or Neptune, since these are the planets that feature the idea of expansion (Jupiter), and letting go of form (Neptune). In Lucille’s case, note where her Saturn is in the natal chart, at 8° Pisces! Exactly conjunct transit Sun/Neptune (8-9° Pisces) of her death chart. Not only was Neptune decidedly featured, and interestingly enough, along with the Sun, which just that day made its annual conjunction with Neptune, but these two planets were also just then, at the time of her death, crossing the Midheaven of her path.
Her old old soul that was on this planet to help all of us remember our love for the natural world, chose a very precise (Saturn) and trusting (Neptune) point of exit as she let go. Furthermore, she made her dying process public — the midheaven, the path — with Jeanne’s story of her dying process.
I also noted that this Sun/Neptune conjunction was happening during our healing event, “Raising the Frequency of Blessing,” which we had scheduled to begin at noon, Saturday, with lunch.
It is these kinds of synchronicities, those which mysteriously connect the planets and their interactions with events in human life, and connect events in one corner of the world with other events elsewhere during the time of an important planetary alignment — like this one, the annual Sun conjunct Neptune — that keep me going, offer me near-continuous affirmation of both the blessing and the miracle of living and dying upon this beautiful, beleaguered planet.
Our ceremony to raise the frequency of blessing on Earth feels deepened by the final passage of Lucille Bertuccio, an intensely driven Earth lover, from this world to the next.
Bon Voyage, dear Lucille!