Rapper-singer-producer Mac Miller – born Malcom James McCormick on Jan. 19, 1992 in Pittsburgh, Pa. – died tragically on Sept. 7, 2018 from a suspected drug overdose, just 26 years old.
We ask what could have led up to this, and astrology may offer some psychological clues.
I am not particularly well-versed in Miller’s life and career, so this will be a largely unbiased take. We do not have his time of birth, which restricts us from making certain judgments or confirmations. Regardless, a few key features stand out.
Immediately apparent is the preponderance in Capricorn: five planets (Sun, Mercury, Mars, Uranus, Neptune), one major asteroid (Ceres), and the North Node. Capricorn is ambitious, strategic, perfectionistic, materialistic and status-seeking. It provides structure. It makes us aware of our weaknesses and limitations. It may experience a strict upbringing or take on a lot of responsibility at a young age. It’s not trusting and it doesn’t like to surrender. If we don’t proactively exercise self-discipline, it responds by imposing limits, taking things away, and shutting us down. With the North Node also in Capricorn, these are traits that demand to be assimilated and understood during the lifetime – a broad, overarching mission of this incarnation.
Capricorn’s ruler is Saturn, symbolizing our ability to self-regulate. Saturn in Miller’s chart is unaspected, meaning that it doesn’t make any major angles to any other planet in his chart. The drive of an unaspected planet isn’t well-integrated with the personality, so we tend to over- or underdo it. As a result, it takes a lot of effort to reach that part of ourselves in order to work with it consciously. In Miller’s case, he would have had trouble connecting with his interior drive to self-regulate. He may have not known when to put on the brakes; alternatively, he may have felt crippled by feelings of inhibition, inferiority or depression, and self-medicated as a response.
Venus is also unaspected. It is quite rare to have two unaspected planets, and it is especially unusual for Venus to be one of them.
Venus is our drive to relate. It’s what attracts us and how we manage our intimate relationships. When unaspected, Venus can be indulgent and excessive; the individual can be consumed by love, art or luxury -- and often conspicuously creative. Or our psyche may not be able to connect with those concepts at all. It’s very tough to identify and transform why we are how we are in relationships because we just can’t see it, at least not without time, effort and assistance.
Also worth noting is Miller’s watery Moon. Dignified in its home sign of Cancer, this Moon is creative and artistic with a vivid imagination. It is also moody, sensitive to criticism, and easily hurt. Sentimental and nurturing, a Cancer Moon often feels most comfortable at home cooking for friends and family, not out in the public eye.
Positioned opposite Neptune in the natal chart, Miller’s Moon alludes to a mother, probably artistic (we know she’s a photographer), with few emotional boundaries. It also points to his need to manage his emotions in a Neptunian way. Constructively, that could be through creative or spiritual outlets; destructively, it could be through drugs and alcohol. This also indicates a man who wants a mother as a mate. Knowing next-to-nothing about their relationship, I’d say that’s where Ariana Grande comes in.
One broad indicator of compatibility is harmony between the signs of the Sun, Moon and/or Ascendant of the couple in question. Because we have Grande’s full birth data, we know she has a Cancer Sun (check), Libra Moon and Capricorn Ascendant (double check). Cancer is the sign of the archetypal mother. And her Capricorn rising means she can relate, at least in part, and better than most, to that critical area of Miller’s chart that is jam-packed with Capricorn.
As we overlay their birth charts – this is called synastry – more of their dynamic is revealed. His Moon was sextile (60° angle) her Venus; they would have felt an immediate chemistry and ease around each other. Her Moon and Jupiter, tightly conjunct in Libra, are trine (120°) his unaspected Saturn. This is very important because through her, he had a way to connect with that nearly unreachable part of himself. She made him aware of his weaknesses in a way that offered support rather than rejection. Through their relationship, had the opportunity to work on those issues constructively.
There were also serious challenges in their synastry. Grande’s Neptune opposed Miller’s Moon, echoing his dynamic with his mother, and his desire for a woman to take on that role for him. Seemingly exacerbating that, his Mars was at challenging angles to both her Sun and Moon, indicating an urge to control and dominate her, emotionally and otherwise.
Further, there was no connection between her planets and his unaspected Venus. He wasn’t able to connect with his part of himself on his own, and she was unable to provide assistance here, as she potentially did with his unaspected Saturn.