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Astrologer Walter Mercado Has Died And People Are Mourning The Loss Of An Intergenerational Icon

He was "always the brightest sequin on life's glittering cape," wrote one social media user.

Posted on November 3, 2019, at 3:52 p.m. ET

Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo / AP

Beloved astrologer and Latino icon Walter Mercado died on Sunday at the age of 87.

Mercado, who was born in Puerto Rico, was famous for his televised astrology readings, which were a mainstay in many Latinx households, reaching an estimated 120 million viewers each day, according to the Smithsonian affiliate HistoryMiami Museum.

He was known for his warm manner, ending every program with the words "mucho, mucho amor" — or, lots and lots of love — and for his bold, unapologetically non-conforming gender-presentation.

"For many of us, he’s one of the first interactions the Latino community had with a gender non-conforming person," wrote Latinx blog Remezcla. "And no one, not even your abuelita seemed to care."

He commented on his ability to break barriers and connect with people during an interview with Remezcla about an exhibit of some of his capes, saying, “I’m so into who I am, and I do [what] feels right for me."

"I’m so connected to people and to the divine for that," he added.

"That I look feminine with a cape? Everyone knows we have two energies — yin and yang — and I know how to balance them. If I have to be a warrior, then I’ll be that. If I have to be soft and subtle, I can be that, too. I broke the barriers."

Mercado died of kidney failure at Auxilio Mutuo hospital in San Juan, a hospital spokeswoman told the Los Angeles Times.

Social media users mourned his passing with emotional tributes, calling him a legend and an icon.

Walter Mercado has passed away and took a piece of my childhood with him

I wanted to meet you ... 😔you are a icon in our community... Rip. #waltermercado #muchoamor

Some said that Mercado "opened up the world of the stars" to them.

What a somber day for Latinx around the country. We lost our astrology king. If it wasn’t for Walter Mercado, countless of us wouldn’t even know about our moon, or our rising sign. Walter opened up the world of the stars to us. Rest in power king, con mucho mucho amor 🥺✨

Others said that they were "spooked" by his predictions.

Walter Mercado spooked the shit outta me when I was little!!!! An ICON a LEGEND. May he Rest In Peace. ♌️

Many on social media commented on his "profound" influence on Latino culture, saying his program was more important than a weather forecast.

RIP #waltermercado who had a profound influence on Latino culture. https://t.co/unNjo7QI9T

There wasn’t a Latino household that didn’t pay more attention to Walter Mercado & his astrology report over the actual news or weather forecast. A light that always reminded us to live our lives con mucho, mucho amor and that’s how he forever will remain in our hearts.🔮✨

Damn dawg, Walter Mercado died... If you grew up in a superstitious Spanish house hold, your family always put that dude on the TV. He would always dress like a JoJos villain and he always spoke like he was in a stage play.

Many remember being introduced to Mercado by their grandmothers and older relatives.

Wow. Walter Mercado. Que descanse en paz 🕊 My grandmother would make the entire house shut up when he came on the screen. An icon. What a life. Thank you.

REST IN PEACE TO LATINX LEGEND WALTER MERCADO!!!!! 😢😢😢😢 THIS IS WILD B I WATCHED THIS GUY MY ENTIRE LIFE AT EVERY ABUELA AND TITIS HOUSE. DESCANSA EN PAZ Y MUCHO MUCHO MUCHO...AMORRRRR🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽💪🏽💪🏽💪🏽

My abuela would watch him all the time. RIP Walter Mercado an icon of Puerto Rico. https://t.co/gcBi7LCWTK

But his influence crossed age barriers.

Damn, reading about the death of Walter Mercado really hurts. I can remember my mom glued to the TV, making me be quiet so she could hear our horoscope. Then as I got older I would be the one glued waiting for him to dramatically say, “Pisces!” RIP to a Hispanic legend.

Many users celebrated his bold style, calling him "the brightest sequin on life's glittering cape," and describing how his appearance broke down gender stereotypes.

a legend across generations and always the brightest sequin on life's glittering cape. hasta la próxima, walter mercado.

Walter Mercado was the first gender non-conforming person I ever saw in the spotlight. My mother wouldn’t criticize his appearance. I never thought it was “odd” that he dressed so boldly and loud, so sure of who he was. Pero lo admiraba, aun k no sabia porque.

He never identified as queer, but it felt like he refused to be constrained by gender norms and antiquated ideas of masculinity. He even rejected our understanding of time. When an interviewer once asked his age, Walter Mercado responded "Soy ageless." AGELESS NEVER DIES, BEBÉ.

To everyone mourning his passing, amor.








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