Founder of Earth, Wind & Fire Maurice White has left us as of yesterday according to a news release from the Associated Press (AP) earlier today. But perhaps it was that close to the shift between Wednesday and Thursday since Earth, Wind & Fire announced his passing as having taken place early this morning. Earth, Wind & Fire created a dynamic sound and raised music to new heights in what the AP described as “flashy and eclectic.” Indeed it was! Have a listen while we turn back the clock and examine Maurice White’s natal chart….
The founder of Earth, Wind & Fire, Maurice–“Reese” as they called him–apparently had a pretty solid grasp of what he was seeking in creating the group, making sure he neither took center stage in deciding what would go next nor that he would give up his own voice in the direction the group would go. Neither the Eastern nor the Western hemispheres took the lead in this case, and the two were equally balanced. He listened to those closest to him, and he shared a spot as one of the lead singers in Earth, Wind & Fire, which was mostly comprised of his brothers and him. When I first began to write this, I hadn’t yet seen the biographical information and hadn’t known for sure that most of the group actually was his family. It seemed to me in the chart itself that even if the group hadn’t been family, it would have felt that way to him. At the same time, he may have allowed his intuition to assist in what he was seeking from the group for fulfillment.
Take note of his 12th house Sun/Mercury conjunction in Jupiter-ruled Sagittarius at the same time his 12th house Moon in Capricorn was already within orb of his Ascendant. He also balanced his Northern and Southern hemispheres, trying to play a lower key perhaps than one might expect from someone capable of creating one of the all-time great groups dating back to the Sixties.
As transits go, the moment I saw this chart, it didn’t take long for me to spot triggers with these kinds of placements, and those of you in the know about transits will see it too: Pluto was making an 18-minute partile conjunction to his Saturn-ruled Capricorn Ascendant! In the midst of that, Uranus was also in a separating square to the Ascendant while preparing to make a conjunction to natal Mars. And as if that hadn’t been enough, Mercury was still in a separating conjunction to transiting Pluto, squaring transiting Uranus.
I can’t help but note a sense of the focus on relationships from such a series of dominances, none focused too much on one quality or one sector of life that much more than another. For him, it would seem to have been all about balance: Balance of relationships, of leadership roles, of the ability to create greatness from what seems like the chart of one who was truly humble. So much from a man who was nominated for 21 Grammys–and had won seven of them!
From these early views, it seemed to me I was looking at the chart of one who was either deeply religious or at least very spiritually connected, so I wasn’t surprised to read in Wikipedia that he had been singing at his local church from around the age of 6 although he developed an interest in Egyptology. Seeing the way the group announced his passing, just pulled this curious point together for me.
Saturn with a mere 00°36′ partile orb to the Scorpio Midheaven (MC) opens a series of undecaquartisextiles in his chart, followed by Mars to the MC (2°28 orb) and the Sun to Jupiter (2°36 orb) and then two very wide ones coming in with Pluto to the Ascendant (ASC) (3°57) and Mercury to Jupiter (3°58). I nearly missed that while his Mars and Saturn were not within orb of a semi-sextile, they did fit the necessary parameters of a Blooming Undecaquartisextile. The Mars/Saturn midpoint falls at 6 Taurus 09, in a 56-minute partile opposition to the MC, meeting that fine tuning needed to call it as such. This was a man who was an initiator and brainstormer, an intensely passionate hard-worker who was focused on achievement for both himself and others.
“Reese” apparently needed to be able to flex with the unexpected that may be shown in the 7-minute partile quincunx between his Sun and Uranus. That might have been at least partly related to his Parkinson’s Disease, but the diagnosis came later. On the other hand, he did have a tight yod between the 46-minute partile sextile of his Jupiter and Chiron, both of which were forming quincunxes to the Moon. Such a yod actually could have been to his benefit since he was conscious of his need not to manipulate or become overly emotional in the midst of challenging times here and there.
The heartbeat of his chart was probably one of the most unique ones I’ve ever seen with Mars in its own sign, and a mutual reception of Venus and Uranus–and a far more significant mutual reception in the interplay of Mercury and Jupiter with the majority of the chart.
Even though he had no planets or luminaries in Libra, the chart gives me a feeling of a significant presence of Libra. His signature is split between Taurus and Virgo, Mars was in its own sign, and yet this shared role of quadrants, hemispheres and bodies above- and below-the-horizon seem to point to a feeling that Libra was strongly in play. I don’t always notice that kind of “flavor” in the chart. It’s as if this chart offers layer upon layer in ways we don’t always see. But then from someone who was simultaneously so strong and so silent in that powerful role as founder of the group, perhaps that’s exactly what was needed.
In tribute to you, Maurice “Reese” White, thank you for Earth, Wind & Fire, and thank you for being you. Farewell, you will be missed.