After writing about David Viscott’s horoscope in the Pisces 1997 Mutable Dilemma, Bill Wrobel, a co-author of one of my books, sent me a newspaper clipping which solved my question of why he died of a heart attack at a relatively young age. As readers know, Letter Five (Sun, Leo, fifth house) is associated with the heart, so heart problems may be exacerbated by problems in the life involving personal love-relationships or ambition for fame and power in the world. The article appeared in the Los Angeles Magazine on January 26, 1997 and was written by Nora Zamichow, who apparently had a problem with Viscott, since the article is quite hostile. However, if her facts are accurate, they certainly fit the psychological profile for a heart attack.
Zamichow writes: “The life of David Viscott contains a lesson that he did not intend to teach. The next time you’re listening to one of the countless self-help masters make life sound so simple, remember that the expert’s life may well be as messy and contradictory as yours.”
“At the time of his death, Viscott was depressed, estranged from his wife, a daughter, and several close friends. He’d been bumped off his KABC radio show because of poor ratings and never found his radio footing again. His two attempts at television shows never took hold. The fiction that he loved writing didn’t get published. His efforts at a screenplay were a flop. He’d lost his $1.5 million Hancock Park home after declaring bankruptcy four years ago and his $1 million-a-year income plummeted by 80%”.
Zamichow continues that Viscott’s second wife, Katherine, had a drinking problem and that police had been called repeatedly in response to domestic squabbles . David had separated from her twice, filed for divorce, then changed his mind. He hated to be alone and admitted that his love for Katherine was really an “addiction.” There is still more in the article, but the preceding demonstrates that Viscott was in a state of crisis in both of the Leo areas: personal love relationships and ambition for respect and power in the world.
We will repeat Viscott’s horoscope in this issue of The Mutable Dilemma since new readers do join us periodically, but I will not repeat the chart delineation. For those interested in the “new” asteroids, I will summarize briefly some of the relevant aspects at Viscott’s death. The three named for goddesses of death, Hel, Hela, and Libitina, were all very prominent in the secondary progressions. P Hela was conjunct N Ascendant, square N Sun, and had been opposing P and N Jupiter for several years as his life went downhill and Viscott obviously had death on his mind. His triple conjunction of P Sun, P Mars, and P Pluto opposed N Libitina. P L (local for Los Angeles where he died) MC was conjunct N Sun, so connected to squares to N Ascendant and P Hela by the overlapping orbs. P L Part of Death squared P Ascendant and opposed P Libitina. P Ascendant was also quincunx P Moon and connected to an opposition to P Saturn by overlapping orbs. P Moon was also square P Davida. P L Ascendant squared N L Part of Death. P MC was quincunx N Hel and P Hel was conjunct Viscott’s name asteroid, Davida. P L East Point was on N Part of Death and quincunx N Libitina and P Pallas to form a yod. N Moon was connected since P Pallas was on it within the one-degree orb used for progressions and for the new asteroids. P L East Point was also conjunct N Part of Death and square P Juno (a Pluto asteroid).
Many more asteroids could be listed, but the preceding provide a clear picture of character producing destiny. Now that we have the facts of what was happening in Viscott’s life, the chart makes perfect psychological sense. P Vesta on P north lunar node for several years pointed to issues involving both work and relationships. A prominent Vesta emphasizes the importance of work and the danger of either health problems (to escape frustrating work and/or to avoid guilt for not working successfully) or alienation from relationships associated with an over-emphasis on work which results in neglecting the relationships and/or displacement of the critical work attitude into the relationships. P Mercury, the ruler of Viscott’s Ascendant, squared the P Vesta/Nodes axis and had previously been quincunx Pallas for the separations from Katherine. With the strong water emphasis in his chart and the idealization of partnership shown by Pisces in the partnership houses, Viscott apparently could not live without her He gave “tough love” advice to many, but was not able to follow it himself. As astrologers, we need to be aware that much of the time, the advice we offer others involves issues we need to face in ourselves.