Astrology as Prophesy? The Tragedies of Bruce & Brandon Lee

“The rabbit hole is deep.”

I often say this to clients and students when describing astrology’s scope and depth of what it can reveal. It is much more than just personality assessment. In fact, sometimes our charts contain clues to potential fates so unfathomable that it is almost as if they are some types of prophecy. It all depends on how deep you go. Once you start digging, it may blow your mind what you discover. 

So it is with the tragic stories of Bruce and Brandon Lee. For the vast majority of people, Bruce Lee needs little introduction. He was a martial arts movie star who introduced martial arts to the West. At the height of his fame, he suddenly and mysteriously died due to a rare health condition that involved swelling of the brain (brain edema). His son Brandon followed in his footsteps. Quite literally. Brandon also became a martial artist, actor and suddenly and mysteriously died at the height of his fame due to an accident on the set of a movie he was filming. Brandon was killed with a gun that had been accidentally loaded with live bullets. 

This type of trend in life themes is rare and we usually brush them aside as coincidence because there is not a way to evaluate their connections or symmetry. But, this is where astrology can help because our charts contain symbolism that foreshadows events that seem arbitrary, random and fated. 

Let us begin with an evaluation of their bi-wheel synastry.

The Synastry Comparison

The set of bi-wheel charts below are our entry points into this analysis. While we can always find clues of an untimely death within the chart of the individual who died, we cannot ignore the inference that this fate appears to be shared across the two individuals because they were in the same family. So, what we are looking for is symbolism within either chart that may reveal the echoed fate of the other. Yes, many astute astrology students and practitioners may immediately notice that both individuals had a natal Pluto in the 8th house of death, but that is not enough. We need to go deeper. 

For the first bi-wheel, Brandon’s natal chart has been anchored to the center with Bruce’s natal chart on the outside. The reason for this approach is simple: Bruce died first. So, if we are looking for clues to Bruce’s death, we will look for it using Brandon’s house system structure. By using derived house system methodology, we can evaluate to possibilities of one individual’s fate through the house system of the other. 

For Brandon’s chart, our focus starts with the 5th house because the 5th is the 8th house (death) from the 10th house (father). As a result, it is the derived house that represents the death of the father. Here, Bruce’s 8th house Pluto is in opposition the midpoint of Brandon’s Mercury/Moon – Sun. This is significant because Mercury rules the 5th house. 

If we flip this around then Bruce’s house structure becomes the foundation for the evaluation of Brandon’s death. Here, the 12th house is the focus because the 12th is the 8th house (death) from the 5th house (children). In Bruce’s chart, both the Moon and Mercury are straddling the cusp of the 12th. The Moon is the ruler of Bruce’s 8th house of death. Brandon’s Aquarian Sun – Moon is square Neptune and Bruce’s 12th house Mercury. Brandon’s Sun rules his 8th house of death as well. Finally, with Scorpio on the cusp of Bruce’s 12th house, that would make Mars (traditional) and Pluto (modern) the rulers of this house. These rulers are in tight square aspect and, again, in hard aspect to the midpoint of Brandon’s Mercury/Sun – Moon.  

All these contacts between the two natal charts make direct connections with the symbolism for an untimely death. In other words, they infer that this “fate” was shared. This synastry reveals that the symbolism was a type of “reciprocal foreshadowing.”

And this theme is much clearer in their composite chart. 

The Composite Chart

Composite charts are interesting. They are a combination of separate natal charts in order to produce one chart. This “combination” chart is then believed to represent the energy of the relationship itself. Sometimes it is the energy that can be felt by two people (or a group of individuals) when together. But can this chart tell us anything more? Does its symbolism offer insights into the fates of the individuals connected to it?

In their composite chart and using whole sign houses[i], the Moon is tightly aligned with the Ascendant by only a couple degrees of orb. In this chart, the Moon is the ruler of the 8th house of death. This means that the concept of death would define the immediate identity of both individuals in a manner that would be considered more significant than an average person. This significance has one strong possibility: tragedy. 

Within the 8th house is Uranus in square aspect to Mars. This aspect represents surprising attacks or violence. With the 8th house’s association with death, this aspect provides an appropriate correlation to the shocking nature of their deaths. 

The Sun square Saturn provides a bit more detail. At a high level, this aspect represents barriers and inhibitions that prevent the expression of self. Saturn is debilitated in Aries and this placement has a bit of a reputation for violence and nastiness. In other words, this square aspect is an attack on the core self. Saturn rules the 3rd house of general consciousness/mind…and accidents. 

The chart ruler Jupiter is retrograde and placed in the 6th house of health as well as the apex of a Yod configuration with Venus and Mars. The mutual reception between Venus and Jupiter highlights the importance of health for the two individuals. Jupiter’s archetypal function with expansion has a strong correlation with the swelling of the brain (cerebral edema) that eventually killed Bruce. 

The second Yod involved Mercury (apex planet) and Uranus and Chiron. Mercury’s representation of the brain as well as shootings is fitting since it is angular and the focus of this configuration since these were the primary factors that killed both individuals. In fact, it is a bit surreal that the planetary body associated with both manifestations was responsible for their deaths. Again, Uranus’ association with surprise events while placed within the 8th house of death also played a hand in their eventual demise. 

Chiron’s involvement with the Yod is further accentuated due to its square with Pluto. Chiron represents wounds of all kinds and this may include physical complications. Here, it offers another dual manifestation of Bruce’s issues with his brain as well as the injuries Brandon sustained through the shooting. Pluto is death, karma and fate. The square between the two was the agitation that triggered Pluto into ending things. 

All of this brings us back to the Moon. 

The Moon rising at the Ascendant is also tightly aligned with the Galactic Center (also positioned around 26° Sagittarius). Theoretically, the significance of planets or angles that are aligned with the Galactic Center are thought to be “enhanced” or “charged”. Since this connection with the center of our universe happens to be in the sign of Sagittarius there is also a perspective that these energies are teachers. This association with the Galactic Center adds emphasis in that there might be something that can be learned. In this regard, it is important to keep in mind that the center of our universe is a super massive black hole. And what do black holes do? They suck things in. Everything. Their gravitational pull is so strong not even light can escape. Essentially, nothing escapes the pull of a black hole. That, in and of itself, is key. Nothing escapes. Yes, black holes are powerful. That is obvious and some of that power translates to the manifestation correlated to an astrological chart, but they are also a mystery. There is so much about them that escapes us, but there is nothing about us that escapes them. 

This might be instructive in observing its behavior astrologically because its force was pulling both Bruce and Brandon Lee towards something. Given the rest of the dynamics in their composite chart, this alignment with the Galactic Center created a type of inevitability that neither could escape.

By burrowing down this rabbit hole we have arrived at the mother of all rabbit holes, the black hole at the center of our universe. And in true Sagittarian fashion, it has revealed that what we are doing is not digging, but exploring. We are pushing the boundaries of what we know in order to expand.

With that perspective, let us go one step further and explore the dates of death for each of these individuals to evaluate the initial inquiry.

The Tri-Wheel of Death

The tri-wheel chart below contains the composite chart from Bruce and Brandon in the center, the chart for the date of Bruce’s death (7/20/73) in the middle wheel and the chart for the date of Brandon’s death (3/31/93) in the outer wheel. The hypothesis is that we should expect to find significant contacts from the transits from each of these dates to the bodies within the shared composite. Additionally, we may also discover specific contacts that repeat across the events. 

Bruce’s Transits

  • Transit Venus conjunct composite Pluto & square composite Chiron.
  • Transit Mars – Chiron opposite transit Uranus and all in hard aspect to composite Mars – Uranus square. 
  • Transit North Node conjunct composite Sun. 
  • Transit Moon square composite Mercury. 
  • Transit Saturn opposite composite Moon. 
  • Transit Jupiter square composite Jupiter. 

Brandon’s transits

  • Transit Moon – Mars conjunct composite Uranus. 
  • Transit Pluto square composite Pluto. 
  • Transit Saturn opposite composite Pluto. 
  • Transit Sun conjunct composite Saturn. 
  • Transit Mercury square composite Venus. 

All these contacts by transit are highly resonant for each event, but I will not belabor things with a delineation of each one. Instead, we will review just a few of the higher priority contacts. These specific contacts have been highlighted within the tri-wheel chart. 

For Bruce’s death, transit Venus triggered off his health problems (Venus is ruler of 6th house) when it aspected the composite Pluto – Chiron square (yellow lines). Because transit Pluto had just ingressed into Libra and Venus rules Libra, this strengthened the significance of Venus’ aspect to composite Pluto – Chiron. 

Also, transit Saturn’s opposition (brown line) to the composite Moon manifested the connection to the Galactic Center discussed earlier in addition to creating ripple effects into the house the Moon rules, the 8th. 

For Brandon, composite Pluto was again activated by aspects from transit Saturn and Pluto (yellow lines), creating a particularly ruthless and nasty t-square. 

But the most significant involves composite Uranus in the 8th house. As it was noted in the initial delineation of this composite chart, this planetary placement and aspect was seen to have a strong correlation to the surprising deaths of these two individuals. The series of aspects aspects from each death confirm it because Mars was in partile aspect with composite Uranus for both events. Mars is violence. It is an attack. For Bruce, the attacked manifested through a series of health-related transits. For Brandon, the attack was more visceral and direct. But the improbability of exact timing of Mars’ transit to this shared chart in correlation with each attack can’t be overstated. It is surreal beyond belief. 

Typically, composite charts are thought to represent energies of people when together. As stated earlier, it is the energy of the relationship itself. But here is the thing: Bruce was not alive at the time of Brandon’s death. There was no relationship. And yet, the chart manifested and confirmed everything else that had been inferred everywhere else. Their untimely deaths were suggested in their natal charts, their shared composite chart and in the precise timing of transits to that shared chart. The fact that the structure of these things can be understood intellectually is no small feat because it is ultimately the comprehension of karma and fate.

Astrological charts do not just represent a “real time” map of the archetypal energies around us, but also the degree of fate in our lives. It represents the potential waiting for us. We may use our free will to navigate and mitigate most situations, but sometimes there exist situations beyond our control. People contract cancer. Newborn babies die of SIDS. Freak accidents remove our friends and loved ones every day. We view these instances as random or refer to them as freak occurrences, but as we track down seemingly random events to a series of improbable synchronicities it starts to look less random…even to a point where it feels like prophecy. What is crazy is that even this level of confirmation does not always provide resolution. Instead, it often raises more questions. Possibly, even bigger ones than before we started. This is how deep the rabbit hole goes. This is the black hole where nothing escapes. This is the abyss gazing back into us. And it is the titanic struggle for meaning.

So, I guess if Bruce and Brandon left us with anything it is this awareness of this black hole within the center of all things and the Sagittarian need to cling to hope and meaning…despite the awareness of foundational structures that may hold prophecies of our futures.

[i] Due to the uncertainty of location, the analysis defaulted to whole sign houses for the composite chart evaluation.

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