The Scorpion & The Centaur: Explaining the Timing & Significance of Bruce Lee’s Death


Mike was drawn to studying astrology around 2006 when transiting Jupiter was conjunct his Sun-Moon midpoint at 29 Scorpio. Mike is most likely an indigo adult, and he is constantly expanding his knowledge about astrology via books, the internet, and attending conferences when he can. Mike can be reached via and he maintains an active Facebook page at

The Scorpion & The Centaur: Explaining the Timing & Significance of Bruce Lee’s Death

Via His Natal Promise and the Progressed and Transit Charts on July 20, 1973


Michael R. Svehla, MA

Bruce Lee, born in the United States, introduced the West to a piece of Asian culture with his martial arts-based films. He was a pioneer, as an Asian martial arts actor in American pop culture, symbolic of natal South node in Aries and the karmic axis in the fourth and tenth houses. Often, at least one prominent Asian actor has portrayed an Eastern martial artist hero type in American pop culture starting with Lee (Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and David Carradine have all fulfilled this role). The mystery and excitement in Bruce Lee’s films perhaps takes second place to the uncanny relationship between his nativity and his

death chart. Respectfully, this article will introduce Bruce Lee’s charts and show how the prominent patterns and energies of the natal, progressed, and transit charts blended in a way that made death a very strong possibility on July 20, 1973. Author of this article has a particular interest in the astrology of the famous martial artist, because he born on the very day Lee died! That day’s chart, therefore, is quite familiar.

Natal Promise

Bruce Lee was born on November 27, 1940 in San Francisco. His birth certificate time was 7:12am (Rodden rating: AA according to The 7:12am time places the ascendant at 6 Sagittarius.

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Bruce Lee, natal promise: born November 27, 1940, 7:12am, San Francisco, CA, USA

All planets dispositor to a medley of four planets: Sun, Jupiter, Venus, and Pluto. This was a strong pattern for Lee. Both benefices and the rulers of both luminaries are the final dispositors. All personal planets are within about 34 degrees of each other. Four of the five are in Scorpio. A very strong Mars squares his (Mars’) overlord Pluto, and Pluto is at the focal point of multiple T-squares. Thus, an interest and aptitude in martial arts is quite obvious as a possible choice for Lee.

The Aries influence, an interesting part of the zodiac to start searching for martial arts influences in Lee’s chart, appears to be conspicuously absent from Lee’s natal promise, except for his lunar South node. However, Admetus (stamina, persistence), and especially importantly, Hades (muck, waste, antiquity), both resided in Aries. Zeus (highly focused energy) in Leo makes an almost perfect trine to Hades. The three Transnationals suggest a significant influence in his natal promise, signifying determination and developed skill in martial arts. Hades, Zeus, and Admetus manifest in a fiery way via the elements of Aries and Leo. Generally, in Lee’s case, they represent energy of the body and fighting. The nature of the Transnationals themselves reveal some of the energetic manifestations he created and used in practicing martial arts: Admetus, endurance; Hades, reflecting the occult view of martial arts in the West during his lifetime; and Zeus, showing concentrated energy, and control of energy, especially in combat. Lee had an easy flow and understanding of using occult knowledge in the form of concentrated energy in practicing martial arts, to a high degree (Hades in Aries very tightly trine Zeus in Leo and both retrograde). South node in Aries might suggest a long past-life history of dedication to war and martial arts.

Of all planets in the natal promise, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto are retrograde. The energies of the retrograde planets, therefore, would have been either mostly unapparent or very strong (source: Astrology for Yourself) throughout Lee’s life. The remaining planets are direct. Neptune is somewhat close to the Midheaven, but most importantly in the tenth house (dreams/film career very public and accomplishment-based). Neptune is very important in the death chart, and significant in his natal chart based on the transits in July 1973.

Day Of Death

An overwhelming combination of factors point to a strong possibility of death on July 20, 1973, and perhaps even a fate of death on that day. The details of his death (source: Wikipedia) are not entirely unambiguous, but not surrounded by suspicion. Lee laid down before dinner at about 7:30pm on July 20, 1973 and never woke up. Medication and previous injury were thought to be contributors to his death. The time of 7:30pm was used for the death chart. Hours later used as the time of death shows transiting Moon slightly further along in Pisces, but a later time of death would solidify the significance of the transiting Moon compared to the natal promise and progressed chart. Due to exact death time unknown, the angles and Vertex in the transit chart are not considered.

Bruce Lee Death Chart: July 20, 1973, time unknown (7:30pm used), Hong Kong

Significance of the progressed chart and transit chart, showing at least six major factors indicating a strong possibility of death

The death chart, combined with the progressed chart, reveals intriguing clues that Lee’s karma was somehow completed and his life was destined to end around July 20, 1973, or even on that very day. Six major factors in the triwheel are linked to his death on July 20, 1973, and even within the six major factors, several extensions of the factors are present. This includes patterns repeating themselves among the natal and progressed or transit charts; multiple grand crosses and grand trines; and the planetary energies repeatedly suggesting a certain theme on that day, such as a Saturn-type theme.

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Inner wheel: natal chart; second wheel: progressed chart (progressed to July 20, 1973 based on natal chart); outer wheel: transit chart, July 20, 1973

Factor one: Mars in Aries, Uranus, and Hades as factors affecting Lee

18 Aries is a most remarkable degree for Lee. Even looking at the Sabian symbol for his Hades (19 Aries: “The Magic Carpet of Oriental Imagery”) is a bit uncanny. 18 Aries was definitely a sensitive point for Lee in his chart:

He had natal Hades retrograde at exactly 18 Aries

Mars was at 18 Aries when he died

With natal Mars in Scorpio, the dwadasama of natal Hades and transiting

Mars was also Scorpio; Mars repeats a strong Scorpio theme on July

20, 1973

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Mars within a one-quarter degree orb of Hades at the time of death is significant: Mars (application of energy in the form of action[1]), very powerful in his dominion, in the Scorpio dwadasama, acts with Hades (mistakes, waste, occult). Mars in Aries suggests a focus on violence, war or martial arts, and a very fiery and powerful energy. Mars is referred to as one of the malefic planets, and acted with another malefic planet/point, Hades, on that day. The past (Hades), in Lee’s current life and perhaps karma from past lives, indicated a likely life-ending head injury. The two malefics were set in the Scorpio dwadasama, suggesting the ‘lilt’ of the Aries energy manifesting via the two acting together implied death (Scorpio) involving the head (Aries).

Transiting Uranus misses an opposition with natal Hades by about one-fifth of a degree. Uranus in Libra does oppose transiting Mars on that day, within a one-degree orb. A shocking life-ending event rooted in the actions of others – doctors, opponents (Uranus in Libra) – in tension with Mars in Aries, and indicating a violent head injury helps explain the symbolism of Uranus that day.

Lee’s death at a young age on that day has symbolism that repeats in his progressed chart. Mars at 26 Scorpio opposes his progressed Uranus at 22 Taurus. A shocking end to the body (Uranus in an earth sign) due to tension with dark circumstances associated with a head injury (Mars in Scorpio). The opposition in the progressed chart between Mars and Uranus repeats in the transit chart on that day – with Uranus in both cases dispositing to Venus, and Mars in his classical dignity. This calls attention to the Venus-Mars conjunction in Scorpio in the natal promise. It also reflects a masculine-feminine undercurrent in the triwheel on the day of death. In the natal promise, the masculine, fighting, vengeful Mars overshadows the enervated Venus as evidenced by the nature of each in Scorpio. By the end of Lee’s life, the lesson of finding more of a balance appears to be in play (discussed subsequently).

Uranus is still among the trio of planets – Mars, Uranus, and Hades – involved with a shocking death due to violence. Transiting Hades at 22 Taurus is within half a degree orb of progressed Uranus (Hades is also conjunct natal Uranus). Uranus, the wild card, seems to have been influenced negatively by Hades’ influence, namely causing sickness, even injury, something very unpleasant, or a fatal error.

Mars, Uranus, and Hades in the triwheel appear to be in the “appropriate” houses as well. The fourth-tenth axis suggests that his death was very public and associated with his career, while the sixth-twelfth axis is associated with health, the end of his life, and even the heavy karma surrounding his death.

Factor two: A karmic indication – a kite involving two Moons, Sun, and Mars

Sun opposition Moon between the progressed and transit charts gives an indication of achieving a balance between the masculine and feminine. Perhaps Lee was done with this spiritual-type lesson by the time he died, because the symbolism of the Sun and the Moon in the triwheel supports this idea. Transiting Sun at 27 Cancer and progressed Moon, amazingly opposite Sun at 26 Capricorn, speaks loudly to the karmic nature of his death. Moon and Saturn are in the mix via the luminaries’ dispositors. Moreover, the transiting Moon is revealing how important she is as the focal point of a kite involving progressed Mars at 26 Scorpio (aggression, hidden or unknown causes of death, death due to violence). Also, the aforementioned planets share a reasonable orb with transiting Moon at just about 24 Pisces, indicating both life’s end, and the completion of a cycle of learning. Transiting Moon is significant in the sign of Pisces, dispositing to Neptune, discussed later. A reasonable case could be made to include progressed Chiron (very interestingly, progressed Chiron had changed signs at that point in Lee’s life). Progressed Pluto might also be included, although I will only suggest Moon-Sun-Mars, due to the tight orbs.

[1] Definition from Riki Reeves’ The Quindecile: The Astrology & Psychology of Obsession

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Factor three: An additional karmic indication – progressed Sun and the Moon’s nodes

Factors two and three reflect the importance of the Moon as the Eighth house ruler in the natal chart. The Eighth house in the natal chart contains Pluto, and Lee’s Moon is in Scorpio. Thus, the natal promise contains intense elements associated with his inevitable death. The kite formation of factor two considers the importance of the Moon in timing Lee’s death, while factor three deals with an added esoteric element of Lee’s death via the Moon’s nodes.

The Moon’s nodes by themselves are significant in Lee’s triwheel, because the natal nodes almost perfectly square the transiting nodes, repeating a heavy theme of multiple grand crosses in the triwheel that day. One’s attention is called to the Moon’s nodes due to the lack of close aspects to the nodes, with the important exception of the progressed Sun. The signs and houses of the natal nodes are repeated and opposite in the transit chart: natal South node in Aries in the fourth house is inverted by square to transiting South node in Cancer in the seventh house. (Aries South node is opposite Libra-influenced transiting South node, associated with the seventh house; and transiting South node in Cancer matches the natal fourth house South node. Natal North node in Libra in the tenth house is duplicated (Capricorn) and opposite (first house) in the transit chart. This is significant because it strongly points to lessons learned: at the beginning of life, the nodes resided in certain signs and houses, and at the end of life, they transited to the opposite signs and houses.

Progressed Sun conjunct transiting North node within a degree does not have a set interpretation, of course, but one thoughtful interpretation is at that point in Lee’s life (progressed Sun), he was personally ready (North node in natal first house) to depart his current life for whatever was next for him (North node). This appears to have heavy karmic connotations (North node in Capricorn) and in fact, transiting North node is loosely opposite transiting Saturn (and trine natal Saturn).

chart 121

Factor four: Another Saturn link

Progressed Mars and progressed Moon are important in relation to transiting Saturn. The two planets make another indication that Lee had fulfilled his karma or had a destiny to end his karma on earth in July 1973. Progressed Moon and Mars form a yod with transiting Saturn at the focal point within a reasonable orb. Progressed Mercury is opposite transiting Saturn and Mercury and can perhaps be considered the focal point of a narrow kite formation, although the orbs with Mars and Moon are probably too wide. Symbolically, Mercury in the mix is interesting because Mercury is in Capricorn, dispositing to Saturn, and Mercury is loosely conjunct progressed Sun and transiting North node. Progressed Mercury’s sign and glyph suggests that a conflux of past, present and future karma culminated at a point in time for Lee at his death – it was his time to die. Transiting Saturn and progressed Mercury were mutual dispositors, indicating a strong energy between the two in addition to the tension of the opposition. (Very speculatively, it’s possible, depending upon exact time of death, that the electrical axis in the transit chart formed a mystic rectangle with progressed Mercury opposite transiting Saturn.) Transiting Saturn was in Lee’s natal seventh house, and pushing on the progressed ascendant. This suggests karma from other people and the traditionally malefic nature of Saturn opposite the progressed ascendant/self also indicated the timing of death at that point in his life.

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Factor five: The tension on the ascendants and Neptune’s role

A pharmaceutical Lee ingested was implicated as a possible contributor to the swelling in his brain that caused his death (source: wiki). Transiting Neptune was closely conjunct his natal Sun, in his natal twelfth house, and also pushing on his ascendant on the day of his death. His natal Neptune was opposite transiting Moon in Pisces at the time of his death, both further indicating a pharmaceutical, and therefore Neptune link, in connection in his death. Neptune was also active in showing the death was connected to his karma, with natal Neptune forming a strong trine to progressed Moon in Capricorn and natal Uranus in Taurus rounding out a grand earth trine. A shocking blow to the body (Uranus in Taurus) led to ingesting pharmaceuticals (Neptune) and together the unfortunate events weakened his body (Moon in her fall in Capricorn, dispositing to Saturn). The outlet for the grand earth trine is Moon in Pisces as the focal point of a kite pattern – the end of the his life cycle on earth.

Mercury, discussed previously, seems to be a key planet for Lee on July 20, 1973. Progressed Mercury is opposite transiting Saturn, in Capricorn, in the twelfth house of the progressed chart, conjunct within two degrees of the Capricorn ascendant, conjuncts the transiting North node, and is very intense in the Capricorn dwadasama. Progressed Mercury forms a grand cross with transiting Moon, Saturn, and Pluto! Moon and Saturn, a planetary pair (source: author’s opinion), demonstrate a buildup of enormous tension at the time of Lee’s death, perhaps indicating that even at a young age he had intensely depleted his “karmic supply”. Pluto also has very karmic connotations (source: Jeff Green). Pluto equals death, but the next step in Lee’s karmic evolution at the same time.

Transiting Sun and Moon, transiting Moon, and progressed Mars form a watery grand trine with progressed Moon in Capricorn as the outlet of the grand trine: identity, thoughts, emotions, and warrior spirit experience a karmic release (Moon in Capricorn).

Factor six: Moon, Saturn, and Pluto again, expanded by Jupiter! And other fixed grand crosses

The transits reflect the natal promise on July 20, 1973 in an uncanny manner. The Jupiter/Saturn, Pluto, and Moon forming a double t-square in the natal chart repeats in the transit chart (absent Jupiter). Transiting Jupiter cannot be discounted, however, because he is at 8 Aquarius – making the natal double t-square into a double grand cross. Transiting Jupiter reflects the Uranus influence on that day via dispositorship; and transiting Jupiter expands the karmic t-square in the natal promise via tension by aspects to the other three planets (Moon, Saturn, and Pluto).

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Multiple grand crosses due to the positions of several natal planets, transiting Jupiter, and other transiting planets exist in the triwheel. Based on natal Venus and Mars, an additional four grand crosses are in the triwheel in the fixed signs. Adding natal Chiron and considering Sun/Mercury transiting with a wide orb reveals even more grand crosses.

An overwhelming amount of tension via the grand crosses, and malefic influences in the grand crosses and other patterns (such as the grand trines) symbolize both too much for the earthly body to handle, and the right time to progress to the next cycle in his evolution.

Conclusion/the death chart’s relationship to the next step of Lee’s evolution

The next step of Lee’s evolution is a much more speculative topic. The triwheel continues to yield intriguing clues, however. The natal fourth, eighth, and twelfth houses contain the many watery and fiery multiple grand trines that form between the natal promise, progressed chart, and transit chart. Lee’s consciousness and unconscious (symbolized by natal and transiting Sun and transiting Moon) were reborn, or headed to another place to be reborn (Pluto) and it was something related to what he dreamed about during his lifetime (Neptune). The transiting Moon in Pisces repeats the Neptune-Pluto theme, with Saturn (karma) mixed in via a t-square.

Many extensions and extrapolations, again speculative, could be made by observing the position of the planets in the death chart. Chiron at 20 Aries, for example, denotes Lee’s literal head wound (Aries). Chiron is opposite Poseidon (enlightenment, spirituality, wisdom) at 20 Libra. Perhaps this signifies a readiness to move forward into the next stage of his spiritual growth, wherever and however that might be taking place.

Many factors in the triwheel using charts cast on the day of Lee’s death indicate repeating factors that point to a high probability of death on July 20, 1973. The choices that Lee made during his life, and especially in his choice of occupation, contributed to an untimely death. The tragedy might be explained by clues in the triwheel suggesting that Lee’s karma was used up and this was the right window for his soul to move on to his next lesson or evolution.


Charts and pictures from Kepler 7.0 software.

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George, Demetra and Bloch, Douglas, Astrology For Yourself: How to Understand and Interpret Your Own Birth Chart, Ibis, Workbook Edition, March 20, 2006.

Green, Jeff, Pluto: The Evolutionary Journey of the Soul, Volume 1 (Llewellyn Modern Astrology Library), Llewellyn Publications, September 1985.,_Bruce


Imsiragic, Aleksandr, 2012 UAC Hermetic Astrology lecture


Kramer, Arlene. “The Eight Transneptunian “Planets” of the Uranian System.” 2007:


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