It’s difficult to spell out just how astonishing was the timing of this death, which occurred sometime during the night last night and was announced on Instagram. Though the exact time of death was not given, he was surrounded by loved ones, so I presume death was expected.
Not only did he take advantage of the forming Saturn/Pluto conjunction (now at 20° and 22° Capricorn) to let go, he did so while experiencing his third Saturn return: his natal Saturn was at 22° Capricorn, exactly where Pluto is now.
And the kicker? transit Mars, now at 22° Scorpio, sextiling the Saturn/Pluto conjunction. BINGO!
At birth (no exact time of birth, so 0°00 Aries automatically on the Ascendant) his Saturn in Capricorn opposed Pluto in Cancer. He was quite used to working with, and learning how to channel, in more and more precise and subtle ways, the power of the life force. At his death, transit Saturn was at 21° Capricorn, within one degree of his 22° natal Saturn, and as I said, exactly conjunct transit Pluto.
If there was ever anyone who typified what a spiritual teacher looked, acted and felt like for hippie America, it was Ram Dass, whose BE HERE NOW! precisely captured the fact that at his birth the Saturn/Pluto opposition fueled a T-cross with Sun, North Node, and Uranus all at 15° Aries, sign of new beginnings, over and over and over again. He transformed himself constantly, with death by his left side, sitting with many people over the years through their own dying process, and never forgetting that no matter what goes on with our changing bodies, and, post-stroke, no matter how many functions his own body/mind lost, he was first and foremost, a eternal soul.
During this rare Saturn/Pluto conjunction time, let us remember: in order for the Plutonian life force to fully emerge, we need to allow to die old Saturn structures (both visible and invisible) that have held us tightly in place. For Ram Dass, the Saturn structure was his own body, which had been deteriorating for years. For each of us, an old, calcified, too strict, tight form of some kind must let go, in order for the surging emergent life to express. Ram Dass showed us how. His death, timed for the completion of the third cycle of Saturn, that of the teaching Elder, blesses us all with his continuing wisdom.