Marvin Gaye was physically beaten by an overly strict and moralistic father. As he moved into adulthood, his relationship with his father never improved. His success in the music business is reported to have been irksome to his father. While visiting home and conversing with his mother on April 1, 1984, his father entered the room and shot him three times — killing him. Marvin’s Mars Return had occurred a year and a half earlier on Nov. 10, 1982 at 19 hours, 30 minutes, UT. This chart is shown below.
Marvin Gaye’s Mars Return, 1982. t/Mars conjoins n/Mars at 6:48 Capricorn in the chart’s 12 house. n/Uranus, on the IC angle, opposes t/Mercury, t/Sun, t/Venus and t/Jupiter clustered about the return chart’s MC. Before a comment is offered, it might be useful to consider the natal versions of these four planets. n/Sun and n/Mercury conjoin within 1:07 d/m in the 11th; signifying an incisive and focused view of life and life’s purpose. What he shares with wider circles and what he can do for those wider circles is part of who he is. n/Venus is in the 10th house 40 degrees behind the Sun, valuing his public stance and ability to touch the public, but prone to let his heart and values follow what he perceives in life, the subjects he sings about. n/Jupiter lies midway between Venus and the Sun; his values and views of life are expansive, he brings much of life into his work. N/Jupiter opposes n/Neptune and n/Moon, the source of his imagination, vision of the public mood, and the need to fulfil what he sees as “being needed” by “what he can offer.” Marvin was, if anything, tuned into his music and his fans.
Returning to his transiting stellium at the MC angle, we can see that all of who he is and what his success represents is firmly placed on the parental/family axis of his Mars Return chart.
We quickly note n/Pluto on the Desc. angle of the Mars Return chart. If we first look at n/Pluto in the natal 3rd house we might think of Marvin having an intense manner of communicating, of controlling those he contacts through his verbal/writing skills. Unfortunately, astrological symbolism is just as readily able to be turned around — others will attempt to strongly affect his understanding, to control what he says and thinks. This is quite descriptive of his father during Marvin’s early life. Look back at t/Pluto at the Desc. angle, we might expect this Mars Return period (of some two years) to bring the natal Pluto experience to re-emerge in some way, seemingly instigated by someone else. As life has proved, this is what happened.
At one of the many peaks in his multi-faceted career, Marvin’s life was taken from him.
On that fateful day, t/Mars had come to 28 Scorpio, trine the Mars Return Pluto/Desc. t/Mars is approaching (within 5 degrees) t/Uranus in the Mars Return chart. Here we have t/Mars, n/Pluto, t/Uranus, n/Uranus all mixed up in the Return chart’s soup. These are, as any early studies astrologer would see, an explosive bowl of ingredients. Unfortunately we do not have Marvin’s fathers birth chart to look at, although we know his birth date — Oct. 1, 1914. On that birth date, Mars conjoined Pluto at 2 Cancer! Marvin’s father was wired for anger and control, especially when in a position where power could be exercised.
This Mars Return chart has told us much. Is this the correct way to read such a chart? I’m not sure. For most Return charts I like to look at the transits of the focus planet relative to the planet’s Return position, using “phases” as the key interpretive outline and conjunctions/oppositions to other planets as event and timing indicators. That process doesn’t seem to fit well with the Mars Return. Comments are welcome. Dave.