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Lee Alexander McQueen, one of the world’s most innovative, creatively independent and controversial fashion designers, was found dead in his London home Thursday morning. British press is reporting that he committed suicide about one week after his mother’s passing; the cause of death was hanging.
Like much else that happened in Lee’s birth year of 1969 (Woodstock, the Moon landing, the Manson murders), McQueen was iconoclastic and yet became an icon. His designs were favorites of such stars as Sarah Jessica Parker, Lady GaGa, Rihanna, Bjork and Cheryl Cole.
McQueen was a Pisces Sun, Moon and Mercury: deeply sensitive, intuitive, receptive, feminine and creative. His body was found hours before Venus ingressed Pisces.
Despite his sensitivity, other factors suggest not just the ability to tolerate controversy but a passion for it, even though it took its toll on him. An avid explorer of the dark side, if his life was an exploration of the edge, it was an inner edge that he subsequently expressed in his work.
The Times of London said in his obituary Thursday night: “His tastes were eclectic. He had an apparently effortless ability to move between the low culture of the ‘bumster’ trouser, via outrageous confections which envisaged women metamorphosing into reptiles, to essays in haute couture that pointed to his early apprenticeship in pattern cutting, and demonstrated that when he wanted to, Alexander McQueen could drape the female form with consummate art and grace.”
Not surprisingly, his chart is focused on the Aries Point, indicating his astonishing level of influence in the world. Aries Point charts personalize collective issues and tend to broadcast individuals into the collective. His lunar nodes — which have a similar property on their own — are precisely aligned with the first degree of Aries/Libra. His south node is clustered with the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction, suggesting an incredible inheritance of talent from prior incarnations. Chiron is on his North Node, illustrating how he would inevitably use that talent in a highly individualistic way, letting nobody dictate his course.
He was no doubt feeling the pressure of the approaching repeat of the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in Aries, closely opposite his own, coming in early June. As well, transiting Pluto in Capricorn was pushing on all of those Aries/Libra points and planets.
McQueen was openly gay, something he is said to have known about himself from age six. He described coming out at a young age: “I was sure of myself and my sexuality and I’ve got nothing to hide. I went straight from my mother’s womb onto the gay parade.” This offers a clue to his emotional proximity to his mother, and a check of his progressed horoscope indicates that her death was indeed the influence that seems to have pushed him into deep enough despair to have lost contact with reality.
Numerous factors in his chart suggest an unusual sexuality. On first look one sees Pisces planets in the 5th house (risks, creative endeavors, sex play, pleasure and concealed karma), in true Pisces style suggesting an imagination as vividly erotic as it was artistic. Chiron in nearby Aries was continually pushing this into the realm of experience; in other words, fantasy was clearly not enough. He was obsessed by making his ideas real.
Yet his Venus-Saturn conjunction reveals a sense of being trapped in something — perhaps a male body — and his Nessus-Vertex conjunction in the 8th house illustrates a deep connection to the dark side, giving him a fated quality that he danced with constantly. This is someone who walked with one foot in the land of the living and one in the realm of the dead, and felt comfortable doing so.
My sense is that he viewed women as dark and unfathomable (Black Moon Lilith square the lunar nodes) and his life and fortunes seemed to hinge on this fact.
With this astrology, it would not be easy for him to maintain his stability under extreme stress, and my hunch is that when toxicology reports are available (if they are made available in England) we will, once again, see prescription drugs implicated. This is visible with his Pholus at 27+ Aquarius, right where the Moon, Sun, Chiron and Neptune will be meeting on Saturday.
As the years go by, McQueen and his ideas are likely to be elevated to the stature of high art, and he will continue to influence many generations of young designers: facts that may be of little comfort to his friends and family today, but which will no doubt be of great consolation in years to come.