Life And Death And Brittany Murphy

Some Thoughts Of An Astrologer Who Happens To Be A Medium

Since getting deeply into astrology, I’ve been suspect about looking for indicators of the timing of death in people’s charts. I felt strongly there must be something else at work, something we can’t see in the chart. Just like we can’t see the evolutionary stage of the soul from a person’s chart, I believe we can’t see when a particular transit, progression or solar arc might result in death.

Over the last few years a picture’s been developing in my mind about new ways to look at health in astrological charts. I begin with energy medicine’s perspective that everything’s about energy, and then look at a birth chart in terms of energy. Beliefs, attitudes, psychological and emotional knots, physical issues – it’s all about energy. Energy’s at the root of everything. When we grasp this, how we approach astrology – but really how we approach all of life and our place in the scheme of things – will change. I aim to do this in my work, to address the energetic roots of any and all issues, and I teach others to see charts this way.

It’s also true that as a medium I’ve worked with a number of dead spirits, both those crossed over and those waiting to figure out what the heck happened (that they died) and are not quite ready to cross. Some have shared with me the greater view on their lives and deaths available only to those who’ve passed. I’ve also been guided in meditation back to a death of a previous life associated with my soul (we’d say a past life, but the way I talk about past lives seems to be shifting, so I’m like trying not to pussyfoot around it, but, um yes I can see that I just did…), and saw the higher truth of why that life ended when it did, even as the man felt he was just getting started with the really meaningful part of his life.

Why we’re born when we do and why we die when we do have everything to do with our soul’s journey. When it’s time to come in, we get ourselves born. When it’s time to go out, we die. At the end, it’s always true that we’ve accomplished at the soul level what we came here to do. It doesn’t always look like a person is complete when he or she dies (and it doesn’t always feel to the person that he or she is done – I’ve had that one a lot!), but from the soul’s vantage point, the business is done.

Looking at Murphy’s chart for death indicators might seem interesting, but you won’t find anything concrete that tells you much that’s meaningful. In fact, you can look at thousands of charts of dead folks and how/when they died and you may see certain patterns seem to emerge, but nothing will be definitive. For example, maybe you’ll see Mars indicating accidents in a lot of charts of people’s deaths. Yet why would a Mars transit for one person mean cutting her finger when cutting carrots and being hit by a bus for another? Why would a Saturn transit mean death for one person, while for another a new job?

What I’m offering you here is a look at the energy of her, the karma of her soul as it incarnates in various lives all over the time-space continuum. It explains the heart murmur, by the way, but doesn’t tell us why she died when she did – her soul, her guides and departed loved ones greeting her upon her passing know that. It’s simply not in the chart, no matter how hard we look.

I think we want to look for these indicators; we want astrology to do a little more in this arena than it really can. We want it to be scientific in a way that makes sense to our space-time-bound selves. Yet what it tells us is about our energetic imprints, and it tells of the opportunities we have to change over time.

Murphy was born on November 10, 1977 in Atlanta GA, time unknown. This analysis focuses on one aspect, though the story would be deeper if the entire nodal structure & Pluto were analyzed, the usual M.O. of karmic astrologers.

Murphy’s South Node (SN) of the Moon, the repository of emotional memories, lies in Aries. Aspecting the SN is retrograde Jupiter in Cancer – in a square to the nodal axis, indicating an unresolved issue. Squares to our nodes are about an energy that trips us up in our various lives, and the way out of that tripping up is to learn to make new choices about and with that energy. With Jupiter, it’s about risk. The planet of expansion, belief and faith as a missed step or unresolved issue says that the person has a tendency to risk too much or not enough. It’s retrograde, so the energy is now directed inward. Speaking about karma, Jupiter retro square the nodes is the result of some kind of risk-taking behavior that got us in some kind of trouble, and we’re probably trying to figure out why. In her soul’s other lives, she’s trying to figure out how much risk is healthy, how much is enough. How much faith to have in herself, in life, in the world. Retros like this can indicate extreme overdoing in other lives (needing now to direct the energy inward to regroup or recharge), or extreme underdoing in other lives (needing now to direct the energy inward for the same reasons) – or, perhaps, both: Trying to figure out the right way by risking the extremes.

In the sign of Cancer, this is about risk, belief and faith through the lens of emotion. Cancer’s all about feeling, feeling into things, reading the emotional energy of a room, nurturing – learning how to open the heart and experience life by feeling. Retro Jupiter in Cancer squaring the nodes is about taking risks of the heart, and attempting to recover from risks that didn’t go so well. The learning here is not to open or close the heart, but to learn to make new choices about matters of the heart, when it’s a good idea to risk it and when it’s maybe not.

This explains Murphy’s heart murmur. With traditional medical astrology we would look to the Sun/Leo/5th house archetype specifically about the heart, and perhaps Mars/Aries/1st house about bodily issues, and then more generally Mercury/Virgo/6th for info on illness and disease. Looking at the chart in terms of energy and karma shows that she carried confusion and probably wounding about having risked too much or not enough in affairs of the heart.

Another contribution of energy medicine is that the physical body will conform to the energy held in our other bodies – emotional, etheric, mental, etc. This is the basis of medical intuition, by the way – check out the work of Louise Hay and Caroline Myss for educational and highly relevant explorations and tales of medical intuition. With pain from having risked too much (I poured out my heart to my one true love and was dissed) or not enough emotional expression (I never told my one true love of my feelings and feel heart sick from it) still carried in her emotional body as she was born in this life, Murphy manifested a heart murmur. Her physical body’s heart conformed to the energetic kink in her emotional body, the emotional part of her that is carried from life to life.

What’s imbalanced energetically that we don’t know how to deal with will manifest as physical issues in time – without fail. “Deal with” means process, understand and but most importantly let go. To not cling to the pain of what we experience and the meaning we affix to why it happened to us. To grieve what needs to be grieved and then move on. We’re of course changed by the situation, the feelings and the overall experience, but we don’t have to hold energy in our various bodies, just waiting to manifest physically. I see situations like this all the time in my work and, in fact, help people with persistent physical issues, to get to the root of what’s happening to alleviate the need for physical manifestations to continue. The clients who ask me for this are intrepid to say the least, as it’s a fast lane on the highway of spiritual growth.

Said simply, Murphy brought into this life pain from risk in emotional arenas in other lives. The intention of her soul is to learn about emotion via risking big expressions of emotion, yet the experiences a person has along that kind of journey can leave deep impacts on the emotional body. Still carrying that emotional pain unprocessed at birth, the result was the heart murmur that we may end up hearing is the cause of her death. In some people, that kind of karmic wounding/pain held in the emotional body would not manifest as a heart murmur or any other heart issue, but perhaps as a mark on the chest – a birth mark, for instance, or a scar picked up after birth or in childhood (scars can mark sites on our bodies with karmic importance, as there’s a lot of energy there that needs attention and sometimes that attention is an accident or violent incident, or surgery). In others, it could be a concave or a barrel chest. In some women, it could show up as very large or very small breasts, or something about them that sets them apart. There are no hard-and-fast rules to this, as we’re dealing with energy, which can manifest in myriad ways. But every karmic issue we don’t know how to deal with now will manifest for us physically.

I know that I see that Jupiter-in-Cancer in her acting work. There were moments in her films when I was shocked by the directness and power of her expression – Jupiter in Cancer is, on a practical level, “big emotion/big heart.”

But so why did Brittany Murphy die the way she did when she did? Because her soul was complete with what she came here to do. Her learning for this chapter was complete – it was time for her soul to move on.

Tom Jacobs is an astrologer, medium and channel in Tucson, AZ. Contact him via his website,

One thought on “Life And Death And Brittany Murphy

  1. I’ve heard that you can’t see a person’s death in their own chart, but can see their death in the chart of other people that have some type of relationship with that person. So maybe if you look at her mother’s chart (progressed chart or even natal vedic chart) you might see something.

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