The Chancellor of the University of Santa Cruz recently passed away. She committed suicide by jumping off of the 42 story building where her Partner lived in San Francisco. Having lived in Santa Cruz I feel attached to her and can't seem to get her unfortunate Death out of my mind.
Denice Denton, born August 24, 1959 (no time), El Campo, TX.
Her Biography is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denice_Denton.
Virgo Sun conjunct Pluto and Venus shows a person who feels very deeply, is very much attuned to the workings of Nature and the earth, perhaps a bit compulsive and very competitive. This would be masked under a Reserved exterior because of the Virgo. She may have been deeply insecure about expressing her female side. She wouldn't be comfortable standing out in a crowd. She may have been too much of a perfectionist, expecting too much of both herself and others. This stellium is trining Saturn at 0 Capricorn which would build her further into a strong person but with deep insecurities underneath. 0 degrees Saturn is an Aries point showing that she could become prominent for anything involving Saturnian Professions. It is the same degree Saturn of the famous architect Frank Gehry. It's so interesting that Denton became so successful in a career in Engineering which also has to do with understanding Structures, Saturn keyword. This trine in earth shows a very hardworking person who others would rely on for stability and honesty. It is sextiled by Neptune in Scorpio which could add an hysterical but also psychic quality to the deep earth vibe of the Saturn-Pluto trine.
Also in Denton's chart, Mercury is conjunct Uranus showing mental brilliance. It's in Leo squaring Jupiter which could add a lot of flair to her communication style but also create unrealistic and exaggerated communications. She could have been misunderstand at times and followed as a courageous spokesperson at other times because she could stick her neck out and say what others would be afraid to. At the time of her death Mars was conjunct Saturn within 4 degrees of this conjunction which would could have added to her depression (Saturn) and caused her to think rashly (Mars). Neptune had also been opposing this opposition which could lead to unclear thinking and victimization.
There were a couple of indicators that unresolved feelings from the past may have come back to haunt her in new forms. One was that she was going through her "Half Nodal Return" in Aries/Libra. The transiting North Node was conjunct her natal North Node. This is a time of confusion and for her was connected to politics because of the signs involved. She was having problems with politics at Santa Cruz and would have been stressed to develop more Diplomacy and Strategy skills as indicated by her Libra North Node.
Another indicator, I think, is her Jupiter placement. In her natal chart Jupiter is in Scorpio. It is apex of a t-square to a Chiron (wounded healer) opposition to Mercury-Uranus. It receives the 2 most exact aspects in her chart and so receives prominence: square to Chiron (wounded healer) and sextile to Mars (masculine side). Transiting Jupiter had just passed her natal Neptune which must have brought much idealistic thinking, maybe didn't keep her realistic about what to expect out of life. It is now approaching her Jupiter Return. Often Jupiter is associated with luck and good fortune but in Scorpio, especially when involved in hard aspects, it can bring too much of something, life seems exaggerated. This could have also brought up past insecurities from power plays experienced from the time of her parents' divorce. I'm not sure of the date but Denton's first Jupiter Return was in 1971.
The Moon's placement can't be determined without a time but its aspects would be crucial for realizing Denton's emotional state. In her chart it may be opposite Saturn and squaring Mars, one of those aspects that would be great for anyone in the building profession or sciences but could also bring on depression, especially in a woman who would not be encouraged to express the constructive aspects of Saturn and Mars.
Pluto, the planet of death and crisis was squaring Denton's natal Mars, a very violent transit because of Pluto's slow orbit. This would have attracted much negativity to her in her daily life, especially with her new role as Santa Cruz's top Authority figure. Having lived in Santa Cruz I can only empathize. I now always say there's nothing more hostile than a Peace Activist.
May her Soul find Peace and her Contributions to Science, Education and Feminism not be forgotten.