Was Anthony Bourdain The Wicker Man? A Ritual Sacrifice?

Share this post

Robert Phoenix

Robert Phoenix

journalist, blogger, interviewer, astrologer & psychic medium

Anthony Bourdain made a fatal error–he let Asia Argento into his life. But this isn’t anything new to Bourdain. He’s been courting fatal errors for years in relationships. This entry will look at all of that and more through the charts of Bourdain, Argento, their synastry and the death chart for Anthony Bourdain.

It all started on last Thursday night, at the gym. I’m on the elipitical and I’m jamming to David Bowie, alternately listening to the studio and live versions of “Station to Station” and “Stay.” I’ve got this strange connection with Bowie, maybe it stems from my time when I interviewed him in 1999 at the board table of Virgin Records in New York.

Since then, I’ve had numerous syncs surrounding him, the most startling when I saw his death as I gazed into his chart on a live broadcast back in my Blogtalk days. It was Friday, January 8th, and I decided to check in on his stars. What I saw troubled me. What I saw was his demise. I shakily said, “We better enjoy him while we can.”

Two days later I awoke to a flurry of texts and emails telling me that, “I had called it,” and “Did you hear the news”? I was a bit stunned, but then again, I wasn’t. It was there, lingering in his 12th House.

Even if by some magical act like the prestige where Bowie played Tesla in the movie of the same name, and he exited stage left, he’s still dead.

So there I am, listening to Bowie and I see him on the TV monitor at the gym. I’m trying to figure out what it’s about and then I see Anthony Bourdain and I realize it’s a musical tie in to Bourdain’s global gastronomy, which he often does, tying music, rock stars and food together. I jump off and finish my workout, but the funny thing is, is I keep listening to the same two songs, over and over again.

“Station to Station” is at once a paean to the great trains of Europe, but is also something else. It’s a song about sorcery and cocaine. “Stay” is a scorching, funk/rock burner that has an obsessive feel pulsing through the fiery riffs of Earl Slick and Carlos Alomar.

Turns out that the Bowie imagery was connected to Bourdain. Bourdain had covered Bowie’s Berlin phase and was going to feature it on his CNN show, “Parts Unknown.”

Over burgers at the Alamo Spring Café, we talked about Bourdain extensively. My contribution to the conversation wasn’t flattering. Bourdain had become a vocal supporter of Asia Argento and the #metoo movement. I regarded him as a bit of a cuck, a middle-aged-man, theoretically old enough to be Argento’s father, jumping into the line of fire for Argento and her full-blast broad side , aimed directly at Harvey Weinstein during a speech at Cannes, which caught almost everyone by surprise, thrusting Argento into the role of courageous accuser, a victim taking her power back, a narrative that’s both popular, and widely supported by all quarters of the media. But something hasn’t felt right about Argento and the other Weinstein accuser of note, Rose McGowan. If I have time, I’ll focus more attention on them in relation to #Metoo, but for now, this will be about Bourdain, Argento, their charts and Bourdain’s death. Let’s start with Tony’s chart.


First off, let me inform you with the terms and conditions of the following post. Some of the things that I might say about Bourdain may not be flattering. I believe that the dead don’t get a pass, just because they’re dead, no matter what their political affiliation was. Clearly, when it came to Magaret Thatcher’s death, many others held the same view.

There’s no birth time associated with his chart, so I decided to take a shot at rectifying it. One of the key aspects to rectification is trying to size up the ascendant from a physical standpoint. Each sign carries it’s own, unique signature on the ASC. Cancer rising tend to have roundish faces and wide chests. Leo rising are generally known for their hair. Gemini rising is pixieish at times and eternally young. You get the picture.

Sag rising tends to be tall and the face can actually be long and a bit horse-like. Bourdain fits the bill. He was 6’4 and clearly exhibited the equine-like features of a Sag Rising. Not only that, but Sag Rising puts his natal North Node in Sag, in the First House. For someone that made his living on the road, traveling to foreign countries and eating their food, it feels like a very clear placement. As a result, I have Bourdain’s rectified ASC at 5 Sag, with his TN at 7 Sag in the 1st House. This would put Jupiter/Pluto in Leo in the 9th, Sag’s house and of course related to travel, philosophy, law, religion, etc.. Bourdain would make his name not only cruising around the world in search of the perfect food moment, but he earned his spurs with the publication of “Kitchen Confidential” and the 9th House also rules publishing. Again, this fits the profile of his life and his chart. So if Sag Rising works as the rectified ascendant, where do we go from here?

With the TN in Sag in the first, Bourdain was a wanderer. His TN opened up the secrets of his purpose as he criss-crossed the globe. Tony galloped around the world, drinking, smoking, and eating his way to celebrity status. It’s a clear example of how following one’s TN can help the pattern of one’s life unfold. However, the backside or the shadow of the TN is the South Node and here we have it in Gemini in the 7th House. The SN is the Achilles heel in the chart as far as I’m concerned. The astrological opinion on it varies, ranging from an aspect that needs to be integrated to a toxic waste site that should be avoided at all costs. I’d lean towards the latter. The South Node is the forbidden zone and should only be visited out of necessity. I can’t preach this loudly enough. Most issues in people’s lives can be skillfully avoided by leaving the South Node in a state of suspended animation. Alas, this is rarely possible, but know this, one can address it with clarity and potential workarounds and thus increase the chances of living a more streamlined life with less drag.

With the South Node in Gemini, in the 7th House, Anthony Bourdain should have steered clear of LTRs for the majority of his life and if he did enter into one, he should have put himself first, always, which is not the key to success in any relationship, since compromise and negotiation are at the heart of most relationships. But it’s not impossible. While I certainly run the risk of sounding 19th Century, Bourdain’s best choice for a mate would have been a soft, kind, gentle woman that would keep the home fires burning while the nomad of nosh would eventually wind his way back home, the horse returning to the stable so to speak.

Bourdain’s second wife, Ottavia, couldn’t deal with his schedule. She noted that he was gone for 250 days out of the year and was only home for the holidays. Clearly, this is not ideal for raising a family, and perhaps Bourdain should have actually avoided that at all costs. He was not a householder, and the only real solution to the complex algebra of being and exploring while having real, adult connections was to either have the aforementioned “range wife” patient and waiting back at the ranch, or for him to have gypsy-like companion to join him on his perrignations, so that it could be done TOGETHER. If not Bourdain should have avoided long term commitments. It sounds harsh, but it’s a celestial truth. That said, we’ll look at what was nearly impossible.


When encountering the Sun/Venus conjunction in the chart (not uncommon by the way) the individual’s identity is not just connected another but also determined by who he or she they are with. This is the individual that needs relationship to grow, like a plant needs a pot and soil. In a positive sense, the relationship feeds and nurtures the individual and vice-versa. In a negative one, the individual cannot function without a relationship for any number of reasons, ranging from vanity, to insecurity to emotional vampirism. If the planets share the same sign, it’s much easier to deal with. If Venus is in front of the Sun, the individual will put the relationship first. If the Sun is in front of Venus, the individual will put themselves first, but still need the relationship as a source of sustenance.

This conjunction is tricky because he’s a Cancer and Cancer(s) by nature need emotional stability, nurturing and even domesticity. Cancer loves food BTW and are often in the hospitality business. But they can also be as clingy as crabs.

Bourdain’s Venus however is in Gemini at 28 degrees and it’s retrograde. The final degrees of a sign are tricky, especially the 27th and 28th degrees as the energy can wildly oscillate before it goes dark at 29.

Here we see Bourdain’s Sun at 4 Cancer and Venus at 28 Gemini Retro. He will put himself first in some ways, but he cannot fully liberate himself from the hooks of certain relationships as the retrograde Venus pulls him back in. Venus in Gemini is wrapped in duality. Relationships aren’t always what they seem and there’s an inherent restlessness at this degree.

Cancer is mostly traditional and conservative, while Gemini can move in any direction, from white picket fence, to fifty-shades of grey. The trine to Neptune in the 11th House does give Bourdain some considerable depth and even soul. That trine made it easy for him to connect with people and the wide range of relationships, from Ted Nugent to Barack Obama. That’s just about what you’d expect from an 11th House Neptune person. But I would contend, that Anthony Bourdain made significant errors in choosing a partner and relationships and that his latest, with Asia Argento contributed to his demise.


So we’ve determined that his strong suit in many ways is not relationship, but what about the feminine energy that’s associated with his home and home life? Bourdain’s 4th House is shared by two signs, Pisces at 21 degrees on the IC (9 degrees) and the rest being Aries (20 degrees). Mars is the ruler of Aries and his second wife, Ottavia, whom he met in Sardinia, literally became a warrior, going from the food business and hospitality, to MMA. Asia Argento, while not adhering to the same archetype, is nonetheless represented in his 4th House. Argento is a self-confessed witch, a Red Witch at that. Red is the color of Mars and Aries, the color of course, of blood. Clearly, he had a thing for not just strong women, but women who could be dominant; In the case of Ottavia, physically and with Argento, metaphysically. But unlike his very Piscean and fluidic relationship with Ottavia, wherein he did share somewhat of a home base with her and their daughter, he did not live with Argento, although clearly, he wanted to, in fact, Bourdain was not just in love with Argento, he seemed almost possessed by her.

When looking at his relocated chart for Italy, roughly the same area that he met both women, Rome and Sardinia, his Mars is conjunct his ASC, so he would be drawn to strong people, and his own male energy would come out more, even in the sensitive sign of Pisces. With both the Sun and Venus relocated to the 4th House, Bourdain should have made Italy home. It might have cured his wanderlust and he might have actually had a shot at having a grounded family.


I could spend upwards of 3K words breaking down his chart with Argento, but I am going focus mainly on four aspects, the first of which is the Argento’s Neptune in Pisces conjunct his ASC and TN in Sag. According to some of his friends, he wasn’t just head-over-heels in love with AA, it sounded like it bordered on mania. Bourdain had told some of them that he would do anything for her. Would he die for her?

Neptune is both heaven and hell in a chart. It can be uplifting and selfless, sacrificial and devotional, and it can also be debased and degrading, demoralizing and addictive. With her Neptune on his ASC, Bourdain got lost, and likely couldn’t see himself any longer through the fog and haze of Argento’s dark mysticism. If Bourdain was that obsessed with her and Neptune runs the gamut from Gothic to God, with Argento’s witchy resume, could she have cast a spell on Bourdain? Was blood a part of their romantic recipe? Did they indulge in sex magick? In a recent, open letter from soon-to-be felon, Rose McGowan, she said that Bourdain had found someone who was even more willing to die than him in Argento. That’s quite Neptunian in many regards; Anthony Bourdain wasn’t just in love with her, he was drowning in her.


While her Neptune on his ASC was providing the undertow for his life, Neptune wasn’t just drowning, it was draining as well. Her Neptune was squaring Bourdain’s Mars in Pisces. Mars is blood and life force, the Neptune squares in a chart can be a clear sign of addiction, especially to Mars. This square feels vampiric to me, desanguinating his essence. But is there something more? Can it also be an aspect of sacrifice, since we we’re dealing with Neptune, which is sacrificial, Mars which is blood and Pisces as the scapegoat?


While I was working on this piece, I began to wonder, was Anthony Bourdain the Wicker Man? Most people are familiar with the 21st Century version of the Wicker Man, aka Burning Man, a technotronic pagan campout in Nevada’s Black Rock dessert, which is now attended by the likes of Silicon Valley billionaires, Paris Hilton, Katy Perry and others. Last year, a man jumped the security line and ran into the giant, burning man. This past year, Burning Man’s founder, Larry Harvey died. Coincidence?

The Wicker Man rituals were first reported by the likes of Caesar and his men as they traveled north into druidic territory. They described seeing wooden men filled with plants, animals and sometimes humans, set ablaze under the midsummer Sun. It’s a ritual that’s been used to cleanse the village of sin, and expiate the bad spirits from the land. It’s also a sacrifice to those spirits as well.

Anthony Bourdain was born on June 25th, just four days after the Summer Solstice.

When looking at transiting Saturn in his chart at the time of his death, it was retrograding and opposing his Sun at 7 degrees, just leaving his 2nd House. Bourdain was at odds with Saturn and as we’ve seen with his tweets, where he snapped at HRC, calling her a “child-eating Satanist” and going on the record that he would gladly poison Trump if he was the cook. Bourdain, an old punk rocker was anarchic and some might say reckless. Clearly, this has added fuel to the conspiracy that he had been killed because he was mouthy and maybe getting ready to name names and while I think that that may be true, I also think there was something else going on, maybe stacked on top of the barking Bourdain.

He was born with Uranus in Leo at 0 degrees, while Argento was born with Uranus at 0 degrees and Uranus was at 1 degree Taurus at the time of his death. This is quite unusual and represent then add Mars in Aquarius at 7 degrees into the mix, and now we’re looking at a grand, fixed cross, with Mars, the activator.

The cross is a symbol of sacrifice.

As I’ve spent more and more time with these elements, It’s my feeling that whether or not someone killed Bourdain, or he was driven to do it himself, his death feels like a sacrificial mirror of the Wicker Man.

4 thoughts on “Was Anthony Bourdain The Wicker Man? A Ritual Sacrifice?”

  1. J

    I would say this is an inspired piece…captivating and enlightening, Robert, and taking your show on Sunday night to a new level. Thank you.

  2. B

    Fascinating analysis here. I did a rectified chart with Sag rising myself. I don’t think it can be any other way. Argento also has a tight Moon-Lilith conjunction, which is witchy indeed. The episodes where they appear together show how deeply infatuated Bourdain was with her. I remember seeing a recent episode of Parts Unknown, shortly before the news broke, and remember thinking to myself how frail he seemed all of a sudden. It was like the sparkle was gone from his eyes, and that he was suddenly going through the motions. I wondered at the time if he was ill. Btw, it sounds like Bourdain and Argento were teaming up to film future episodes of Parts Unknown, and the final episode in Hong Kong was directed by Argento. He spoke of finding it a relief to meet somebody familiar with the celebrity circuit, which chimes with what you said about him feeling ‘at home’ with her. I was a huge fan of his, and actually kind of liked his dickish pomposity. It’s hard to believe that he’s gone.

    1. a

      I dug Bourdain up through No Reservations. The Layover was him in search of an idea and while I didn’t hate it, I was watching more gluttonous excess that was troubling on some level. His arrival at CNN with Parts Unknown signaled the end of Bourdain for me and ultimately, it was.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top