2016 – Cloak and Scythe

This has been a year fraught with the loss of some of our most luminous and beloved

artists, visionaries, thinkers, and other celebrated individuals. That there have been so many who have died this year has many of us blaming the year – 2016, for these deaths, many of which seem so untimely, and leave us feeling robbed of such immense and rare talent.

So how is 2016 responsible for the losses incurred these last 12 months? It’s a 9 energy that has moved through this year, sweeping and culling and clearing and engulfing. Many that seemed ready to go found its swirling vortex energy opportune, and others who perished much too soon were caught in this energetic tornado.

I noticed that many this year have died of heart related conditions. Heart disease is the number one killer in the US. From a spiritual perspective, the heart is the seat of the soul. A 9 attribute is an enormous capacity to love, to empathize, to put others first.  Zsa Zsa Gabor, Alan Thicke, Pete Burns, George Michael and so many others this year succumbed to heart failure.

If you look back to the last 9 year, which was 2007, you’ll notice many notable deaths that year, including Anna Nicole Smith, Molly Ivins, Richard Jeni, Wendy O Williams, Tom Poston, Jerry Falwell and others. The 9 year before that would have been 1998, when we lost Frank Sinatra, Shari Lewis, Sonny Bono, Phil Hartman and others.

Death is always jarring, in any year. It wends and slinks its way to each of us eventually, and maybe that’s why we take notice in years like this, when it feels unnervingly proximate.



Autopsy # 9 Amy Winehouse

Amy Jade Winehouse

Date of Birth: 9-14-1983

Date of Death: 7-23-2011

Aged: 27

Cause of death: Alcohol Poisoning

Well, let’s just get the 9s out of the way first.

Her personal year is a 9, and her age at death (27) adds up to 9 as well. There.

So Amy Winehouse is the latest inductee into the infamous 27 club. I don’t think a lot of people are surprised.  So many young people in the public eye have died at this age over the decades, that I wonder how many ordinary people have also passed on at 27?  Are there temporal windows during which any of us can die? Age 5, age 27, age….?

A pattern emerged in Amy’s numerology chart consisting of 8s and 1s. Right away, I understood where her rebellion and issues with authority stemmed from (on a spiritual level).

Both 8 and 1 energies must assert themselves as being in control, in the lead, directing and delegating. Individuals with 8s and / or 1s in their makeup are fiercely independent, competitive, aggressive, as well as being creative, visionary, and natural leaders.

Amy was out there – on the fringe – her style, her voice, her music – undeniably her own and she paved the way for other singers like Adele, Duffy, Florence (And the Machine), and others.

She was a loose canon bent on self destruction, but at her core she longed to be grounded and rooted,  wanting to settle down and have children. It’s hard to picture – but that was her heart’s desire. Her Soul Undercurrent was a 4, and her Attainment number was a 6. These energies lend themselves to the nesting urge that Amy had displayed in this last year.

Her 9 personal year is of course, indicative of endings, and had the singer lived, 2012 would have been a time for Amy to reinvent herself, to start down a different path, and to receive fresh inspiration into her life. But this proved to be her final year.

Her cause of death is still pending, as her body was discovered only two days ago. She seemed a difficult personality to understand from afar. People close to her have stated that Winehouse was lovely, smart, funny, and more lucid than the general public and entertainment media believe.

Her public behavior was certainly enigmatic, and this may arise from the 7s in her chart. Her Soul Aspiration number is 7, which is the number of mysteries, dreams, the depths of the unknown. This is likely the ground from which her creative vision sprang. Her Destiny number is also 7, which says to me that the mysterious workings of life called to her, enticing her to look beneath the surface, to delve into the darker realm of consciousness. This may be one reason she abused drugs and alcohol, as a way to alter her consciousness.

She’s died in a personal 7 month as well. This autopsy will be updated as details about her death become available.

Autopsy # 8: Jimi Hendrix

Johnny Allen Hendrix – 11-27-1942

James Marshall Hendrix (changed by his father in 1945)

Died: 9-18-1970

Accidental Drug Overdose

A member of the infamous 27 club, Jimi Hendrix made an indelible mark on rock and roll music  in his brief but extraordinary career, before overdosing on sleeping pills after a night of drinking nothing but red wine.

I’ve just come to expect a 9 to show up somewhere when someone young leaves this world under tragic circumstances.

I suppose if they are young, this would make their death tragic, always. Anyway…

The number 9 shows up as Jimi’s Life Path number. It’s also the sum of  his birth day(27), the sum of his death day (18), the month of his death (9), the sum of his age when he died,  and he had swallowed 9 of the very potent Belgian sleeping pills.

As discussed in many of the profiles here at CNA, 9 is a force of destruction. People working with 9 Life Paths often struggle with loss from early childhood. Jimi’s life certainly fit this pattern. His father was stationed at Fort Sill in Oklahoma, so his mother was left to care for him and his siblings, two of whom were disabled and were placed in foster care. The Hendrix family suffered in abject poverty, and in 1951, his parents divorced. When he was 15, Jimi’s mother died from cirrhosis of the liver. These events created a shy, guarded young man. This is common for 9 Life Paths – a kind of closing around whatever life hasn’t taken away from them as a means of protection.

His personal year was a 1 when he died.  As a personal year, 1 energy presents an opportunity to start fresh and change direction. It is also a time of increased creativity, focus, and inspired action. Because 1 also represents the Self, its energy can feel isolating, and amplifies issues around one’s place in this world.

One of the universal struggles of the Self, is its relationship to its world. One of the lessons of 9 is that the individual is connected to all life, and that separation is an illusion. The number 2 is how we experience this connection in an intimate fashion with those closest to us: Parents, siblings, partners, and colleagues. Intimate here does not imply romantic or sexual, but rather  it measures the close proximity with which we relate to one another, and the deep karmic bonds that have entwined certain people to work and live closely at a given period during a lifetime.

The number 2 is an energy that appears often in Jimi’s chart. It is his Karmic Lesson in both calculations (Johnny Allen and James Marshall), it’s his first Pinnacle, and would have been his second challenge, and it’s the difference between both of his Destiny numbers (calculated for Johnny Allen: 5, for James Marshall: 7), and his Attainment numbers are also 5 (Johnny Allen) and7 (James Marshall).

Knowing this, it would seem that Jimi may have experienced some difficulty in understanding his relationship,  or just being in relationship to those around him. When one has experienced loss, especially as a child, there is a reluctance to become attached to someone they may lose. There is also a need to acquire, the attempt to hoard, fill space, accumulate, and store up. Jimi’s reputation as a womanizer may have been symptomatic of this impulse.

He spent a lot of time alone, he preferred solitude say those who knew him best. He was engaging, generous, intelligent, and very funny when he was in a social gathering. But he was most comfortable alone with his own thoughts. Trust may have been an issue, and fear of the unknown, reluctance to fail in front of others (7), so it’s just easier to have kept to himself.

His main challenge was a 5, the number concerned with freedom, movement, and the appetites. No doubt, the observable ingredients in his death were textbook  ‘dark side of 5’  hallmarks: over consumption of wine and pills, in league with the less visible but irresistible pull of 9 – dragging the self back to oblivion.

Autopsy # 7: John Lennon


John Winston Lennon – 10-09-1940

Date of Death: 12-08-1980

Age: 40

Assassin’s bullet

John Lennon was only 40 when he was gunned down by Mark Chapman a few weeks before Christmas, 1980. Only now I realize how young he was to be struck down so prematurely. Of course, everyone has been confounded by the irony that this man who used his fame to advocate peace and understanding would perish under such senseless, violent circumstances.

John‘s lifepath was 6, a number concerned with family, responsibility, love and harmony. Though his own childhood was marred by his father leaving when he was four or five, then his Aunt Mimi assuming custody from his mother, Julia, John proved to be a devoted husband and father to his second wife, Yoko One, and his sons, Julian (from his first marriage) and Sean.

There is a lot of 6 energy in his chart, showing up as one of his intensity numbers, and as his accessible soul number.

There are 3 6s in his name – all of them the letter O. Yoko Ono has 4 6s – all the letter O. He had legally added Ono to his name at some point after moving to the United States.  It seems he couldn’t get enough of this loving vibration.

Those who knew him best, remember his arrogance as a young man – and that he just assumed he would be famous. His destiny number was 1, and his soul aspiration was 8 – lots of ambition and confidence present in these numbers. The 8 would lead him to integrate his values and passions into his livelihood.

The number hovering around his death is 4. His age was 40, one of his karmic lessons was 4, his second & third challenge was 4, and 4 of the 5 hollow-point bullets  fired entered  his body, causing extensive tissue damage and fatal blood loss that December evening – which was a4 personal month in his 1 year.

Concerned with building, stabilizing, and foundation, 4 is an unlikely energy around death, but its prominence in Lennon’s untimely demise requires examination.

Both 4 and 6 govern aspects of family and responsibility. Lennon was eager to return to their apartment that evening to say goodnight to his son. Otherwise, he and Yoko may have gone out to dinner after a long day involving a photo shoot with Annie Leibowitz, finishing tracks on Double Fantasy, an interview, and of course, obliging fans with autographs – one of whom was Mark Chapman. His sense of responsibility for family and to his fans, his love for his son, put him on a a schedule that would deliver him into the sites of his murderer at 10:50 pm. The time adds up to 6, by the way.

One of 4s qualities is heart, that ability to act from a place of honesty and a belief in goodness. The fourth chakra is located in the heart/lung area, which is where the damage was done by the bullets. It is a strange thing to think that Chapman – whatever his motivation may have been, set out to destroy, symbolically,  something in a peace-loving man that Chapman himself did not possess: Empathy

The address of the Dakota building is 1, which was Lennon’s Destiny number, and his Personal Year in 1980. When he added Ono to his name, he added 9 to his Destiny. The number 9 is about endings, self-negation, and release, and like 6, is motivated by love.  Also of interest is the fact that he had staggered up 5 steps to the security station after he was wounded, before collapsing. His pinnacle was a 5 – and here it is a literal representation – ascending to the 5th step. When I look at his chart layout and see the Pinnacle /Challenge written: 5/4 – it almost seems to foretell the details of his death. The 5 bullets fired, 4 bullets penetrating, ascending 5 steps before collapsing and bleeding out.

A sick man administered the fatal shots,  but Lennon’s love for his family, dedication to his fans, put him on a course that would deliver him to his slaughter at precisely 10:50pm at 1 West 72nd on December 8, 1980.


Autopsy # 5: Heath Ledger

Heath Andrew Ledger – 4-4-1979

Date of Death: 1 – 22-2008

Accidental Overdose

I don’t know a lot about Heath Ledger.  I follow famous musicians more closely than actors, but I remember the astonishing news of his death 3 years ago. He had finished working on The Dark Knight, for which he earned a posthumous Oscar (Best Supporting Actor) for his beautifully twisted portrayal of the Joker. The release of the latest Batman installment was already being eagerly anticipated. The Aussie actor’s death heightened the fervor with which we waited for its release.

He had some trouble sleeping. A lot of trouble. He couldn’t quiet his mind, couldn’t shut it down. He had  prescriptions for Lunesta and Temazapam for his insomnia. He also had prescriptions for Valium, Ativan, and Xanax for anxiety. He also had some Oxycontin and Vicodin on hand for pain.

The toxicology findings identified a lethal combination of six medications in his system at death. His Karmic Lesson was 6, meaning that when this energy was present, he’d feel a bit of a drag or some turbulence in his momentum. Because 6 was also his accessible soul energy,  its influence as a karmic lesson was likely less of a disturbance – but in the end, it proved to be poetic, I suppose.

Family, responsibility, and community are all governed by 6. This is also the number of the natural world – plants, botany, animals, as well as the natural movement toward harmony and balance. When I mention harmony and balance, I’m not talking about  social ideals, per se, but the real and instinctual tendency of all things in the natural world to exist in balanced ecology. In humans, this necessity for balance is sometimes, misinterpreted by our pre-frontal cortex as the need for perfection. Balance  is a desirable state– it is necessary, it is homeostasis, and as such is attainable, sustainable, a thing that can be realized.

Perfection, on the other hand,  will keep you up at night.

Ledger’s Life Path number was 7 – specifically a 16/7. There’s that 6 again. The equation is basically this: The Self encountering or exhibiting an energy of needing to control in an attempt to attain perfection will collapse under the weight of that expectation, ending up in the realm of 7 – where one has no observable control over anything.

An extremely cerebral energy, 7 governs the realm of ideas, plans, knowledge – the mind. It is also the vibration around  prayer, wisdom, and dreams. Individuals working this energy like to have their ducks in a row before they act. They feel more comfortable having a contingency plan, and sometimes exhibit a crippling fear of the unknown.

It seems that Ledger challenged his fears of the unknown, mastering the fear aspect of his life path number by meeting challenges head on deliberately and on purpose. I would attribute this courage to his 5 Destiny and Intensity. His desire to live in the moment, attached to neither past nor future, is a textbook 5 quality, and in fact is the gift of this number for those who balance its energy. It changes direction often, as life does. This is a number that moves, expands, and so carries some instability. It is also an energy which governs the appetites, and curiosity, enticing its subject to taste everything.

On the surface, 7 and 5 want different things. 7 moves through life more calculating and cautious, whereas 5 moves with reckless abandon, but in the end they require the subject to remain present and faithful that are OK now, and will be OK – wherever they end up. It seems that Ledger managed to use the gifts from both of these numbers to complement each energy’s influence.

So what went wrong?

Let’s look at his main challenge, which was 4, the number around grounding, focus, structure, and the physical body.

Looking at the abundance of mental energy in his chart, I would guess that lack of grounding was a troubling pattern for the actor. Both 6 and 4 have a domesticating influence, and while his Destiny number may have encouraged a wanderlust, his 6 soul longed for the stability of a family and a home base. The 4 challenge also indicates a need to reign in appetites and reckless behavior, and to attend to one’s health.

His personal year at the time he died was 9, a time of endings, release, and reward. January was a 1 personal month, indicating a time of increased energy, creativity, focus on his place in this world. His last personal day was a 5 – sudden and unexpected changes.

I don’t know the apartment number where he died,  but I’ve heard it was on the 4th floor. The building’s address is 421 – which adds up to a 7, his life path number. This is another instance of the poetic appearance of numbers in key events, particularly at the time of death.

Probably the most ironic thing about his death, numerologically  speaking, was his lack of sleep (and dreams). Dreams are governed by 7. This is the number of quiet places, of sanctuary. The word sanctuary adds up/reduces to 7.

He lives in that mystery now. Sweet dreams, Heath.

Autopsy #4: Kurt Cobain

Kurt Donald Cobain – 2-20-1967

Date of Death: 4-5-1994


Kurt Cobain would have turned 44 today. He ended his life in April of 1994 by putting a shotgun in his mouth, after injecting himself with a lethal dose of black tar heroin. According to Charles Cross’ biography of the doomed singer, Heavier than Heaven, he had accomplished the same feat three other men in his family had years before: he killed himself twice.

Inheriting what he called “suicide genes”, Cobain deeply internalized all the losses in his life: his parents’ divorce, the violent deaths of his uncles and grandfather, his mother’s rejection,  among other real and perceived losses and failures.

Both disaffected and sensitive, Kurt Cobain was a complex man and difficult to know. Two numbers seem to influence his life and behavior more than any others: 2 and 9.

Governing the emotions, attraction, and reflecting his self-image, 2 appears in Kurt’s chart as both his Destiny number and his Attainment number. It’s also his birth date, and one of his Intensity numbers. Except for the fact that there are no 7s or 8s in his name, and three 3s and 2s, there are two 1s, 4s, 5s, 6s, and 9s in his name.

2 is a number which seeks to connect. It wants relationship, it needs to belong. It finds purpose and value in connection. This was certainly true for Kurt, whose close bonds with his parents  were ripped apart by divorce when he was nine. His world unraveled, his sense of security undone, the split proved to be the pivotal event in his life. The desire to please is a 2 quality most recognizable in Kurt’s deference to his wife, Courtney Love,  and in his devotion to creating authentic and inspired music for his fans. 2s are also known for their likability, easy-going nature, and attractiveness. They are quiet, patient, and passive. These traits were evident in Cobain, who could sustain long periods of silence.

The most troubling number around Kurt Cobain is 9. This is an energy of destruction and self-negation, especially in the position of Life Path, which is one of the key places it shows up in Cobain’s chart.

In the end, 9 wants its subject to not take life so personally. It attempts to destroy the bonds of ego in order to impart the understanding that self-preservation is futile  within the vastness of Source.  In this context, neither Self, nor Preservation has meaning. Our essence cannot be destroyed, changed, insulted, or even improved. It is immutable. And this is the difficult lesson of the 9 life path.

In Kurt Cobain’s life we see this demonstrated in the losses he experienced, the destruction of life and relationships became a repeated pattern over the course of his 27 years. An interesting dichotomy occurs between the destructive, unraveling trajectory of 9 and the attachment driven 2. This may explain the  paradox of a  sensitive, loving soul, and the hardened, jaded, apathetic misanthrope. Both 9 and 2 are generous and loving energies – the 2 expressing love within intimate relationships, and the 9 opening up to love on a bigger scale, recognizing the connection between all life.

The negative aspects of both of these energies presents as apathy, narcissism, and especially in 9, guardedness. Boundary issues are a problem for both numbers, as the need to please and be loved and accepted make people working these numbers vulnerable, self-effacing doormats.

In Kurt’s life, 9 carries out its destructive mission to the hilt – it is his life path, his personal year at the time of his death, his age at the time of his death (adds up to 9), the personal day at the time of his death, and the address of the home where he committed suicide, a home he and his wife purchased in January of that year, was 171 – adds up to 9.

It’s interesting to note, that just shortly after his 9th birthday, his parents divorced. This was also a 9 year for him.

While 9 and 2 both desire love, what they require of the subject is self-love and forgiveness. These processes are crucial in moving through events that force us to see ourselves in they way others treat us. It is easy, and natural, to focus on our failures, to dwell on our imperfections, and then to decide that we are not worthy of happiness because of these things. This makes it difficult or even impossible to receive love from others. He had no difficulty loving others. He mentions that fact that he “loves and feels for people too much” twice in his suicide note.  Self-hatred killed Kurt Cobain. That the world failed to be a loving place was his fault, in his mind.

I’d like to add a thought about his address, 171. The 7 appears between two 1s. 7 is the number of the dark night, of depression, of fear of the unknown. The two 1s, of course add up to 2, and each represents the self – one in this world, the other in the next, on the other side of the mystery of 7.

Happy Birthday Kurt.

Autopsy # 3: Janis Joplin

Janis Lyn Joplin – 1-19-1943

Date of Death: 10-04-1970

Age: 27

1 Life Path, Attainment, Personal Year at Death, Main Challenge, Intensity, Birthday, Soul

As I calculated Janis Joplin’s chart, I was astounded at the number of 1s that kept appearing. Not only in the positions in her numerology chart, but in two of Rolling Stone’s polls, her rankings add up to/reduce to  1 as well. (46th Greatest Artists of All Time, 2004, and 28th Greatest Singers of All Time, 2008).

Certainly, she was a pioneer blazing the trail for women in the male dominated world of Rock and Roll. But even before she had made a name for herself as an outstanding blues and rock vocalist, she stood out. A self-described misfit, she hung out on the fringe with other outcasts in school, and  even though she made attempts at walking the straight and narrow, was never able to remain for very long within the boundaries of convention.

The experience of a 1 life path, especially with so much 1 energy elsewhere in her chart, can be isolating. This is the spirit of the maverick, the leader, the consummate risk-taker.  The challenge is to lead without alienating – to entice others to follow – not drive them away.  Over a lifetime, an individual has a lot of opportunities to balance this energy.

There is a lot of creative energy in 1, which can be expressed a myriad of ways: Art, invention, sex,–this vibration is the dynamic, throbbing verve urging to become manifest. Janis had it in spades.

2 – Personal Month at death, Karmic Lesson & 6 – Personal Day at death

The reflective, harmonizing energy of 2 is missing from Janis Joplin’s chart and her name. It only appears as the energy in play as her personal month in October of 1970.  This energy drags a little(compared to 1) – and is passive, waiting, reflective.  Because of its reflective quality, tension can arise in relationships when 2 is active. And not just one’s relationship to a lover, friend, colleague, etc., but the relationship to all aspects of one’s life is brought to the fore during this time. Sometimes doubt creeps in  when 2 energy is heightened, and the need to reach out and connect is necessary. That her personal day was a 6 underscores the craving for connection, harmony, and love, and the fact that she overdosed in room 105 (adds up to 6) casts a poignant light on  her attempt to feel love, relief, balance with artificial substances. Interestingly the room number is composed of 1 – her life path number, 0, the field where choices are made, and 5, the number of freedom, abandon, and debauchery.

5 – Soul Number (undercurrent), 1st Pinnacle,  & 3 – 1st Challenge

Exploring number 5 further, it appears as one of her soul numbers ( undercurrent) and as her first pinnacle. This energy has much in common with 1, it’s adventurous, in perpetual motion, curious, and impatient. The movement of 5 is chaotic and changes direction often. Its purpose is to expand and move forward, but there is instability in this movement. As her undercurrent soul number, this vibration would lend itself to a fearlessness needed for a trailblazing 1 life path. 5s and 1s are willing and eager to try anything once – anything. Janis’ 5 soul likely heightened her sensual appetites and amplified her craving for drugs and alcohol.

As her 1st pinnacle, the 5 energy is available as a motivating force, presenting many opportunities to taste all that life has to offer, to promote one’s self, to travel, and to experience the freedom of living in the moment, being neither tied to the past, nor afraid of the future. Her challenge during this time was a 3, which has many of the sensual and creative components of 5, but is more emotional, and presses its subject to remain focused instead of scattering energy and resources.

7 – Soul (Aspiration) Pearl

Janis’  Soul number in the aspiration position was 7. Her nickname Pearl, reduces to a 7 also. The number in this position represents  a quality that the soul wishes to embody, a  gift that we wish to express, it is often a talent or an ability that we think we don’t already possess. I can only surmise that she may have wished to have faith  in herself, in god, in the supportive action of the universe. 7 is the number of sanctuary, of prayer, of mind over matter. This energy shares some of the qualities in 1 – namely isolation,intelligence, perfection, and the willingness to get from here to there alone.

It’s possible that in the persona of Pearl, Janis sought a place to  reinvent herself, to temper her soul, and perhaps to eventually emerge more actualized, purified. Or maybe, Pearl was a place to hide and dream.   Interestingly, the heroin that killed her was as lethal as it was because of its purity.


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