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Astro-logical Forecast for Wednesday & Thursday 8/13-14/2014: Robin Williams, RIP

Up and at ’em.

As of 9AM ET, Moon charged into pioneering Aries, the zodiac sign associated with new beginnings. This feisty energy may feel like a breath of fresh air after two days of potential melancholic floundering in ethereal, soulful Pisces, the sign associated with endings. After the news of Robin Williams’ tragic suicide, followed last night by news of Lauren Bacall’s passing, we could use a lift. Exact planetary patterns today suggest a warm, personal vibe as the fiery Moon makes an easy connection to loving Venus at 11:43AM  ET…followed by an expansive/optimistic connection to Jupiter at 7:27PM ET. Huzzah.

There’s no Moon void today or tomorrow to deter your initiatives or shopping sprees. The Moon makes its weekly contact with ruthless Pluto and rebel Uranus at 3:54AM ET and 12:14PM ET on Thursday. These contacts suggest a potential power play or catharsis, followed by a revelation or other shake-up of the status quo. Any upsets tomorrow may well find an easy balance by the end of the day, as the Sun and Moon make a harmonious connection.

Take advantage of the resourceful energy flow suggested by an easy connection between action hero Mars and potent Pluto, which will be exact on Friday. This pattern suggests stamina, drive and focus in your quest for world domination. Go for it.

And now, the news.

Like every other astrologer on the planet, of course I went straight to my computer to see how the potential for Robin Williams’s suffering and self-destruction was suggested by planetary patterns — not only in his horoscope, but in context of what we would expect in the headlines in the aftermath of 1) last weekend’s Full Moon in Leo/Aquarius; and 2) transiting Mars triggering April’s solar eclipse. These events were discussed in my last two forecasts.

Regarding the Full Moon, remember how we expected that people with planets or points at 18 degrees of Leo or Aquarius would be more personally affected. We could expect a release of energy in matters specific to the individual’s horoscope, and as an example, we talked about Barack Obama’s Ascendant (how he needs to be seen) at 18 Aquarius. Got that? Thus it is no surprise to see that Pluto, the ruler of Robin Williams’ Scorpio Ascendant (here is his horoscope) is at 18 degrees of Leo, and it is squared by the important Sun/Moon midpoint at 18 degrees of Taurus. The Sun/Moon midpoint refers to relationship.

Regarding the trigger of April’s 8 Taurus solar eclipse by transiting Mars, we anticipated a release of energy not unlike what we experienced when MH17 was shot down by Ukrainian rebels last month. On that day, transiting Mars hit 25 Libra, the degree of April’s lunar eclipse. We could say that the innocents on board MH17 were eclipsed. We could observe that we are reacting to Williams’ suicide/sudden release with a  similar outpouring of emotion, as he, too, was eclipsed. I’d argue that millions of people felt like the lights had gone out ever so briefly in their own personal worlds, too, as they paused to consider how a man who was loved by so many could have suffered so much that he left it all  — and us — behind. When an eclipse is triggered by a transiting planet, a new awareness can emerge out of the darkened pause.

This made me think about a very compelling review a friend sent me a few weeks ago of a book called Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It by Jennifer Michael Hecht. One of the arguments Hecht makes is that there’s a little bit of homicide in every suicide. When someone extinguishes their mortal spark, a little spark in all of us is extinguished, too. We are obligated to stay on Earth because we are all connected, she argues.  Here are her exact words — they are so apt for the Pisces Moon we experienced over the past few days:

“We are indebted to one another and the debt is a kind of faith — a beautiful, difficult, strange faith. We believe each other into being.”

Really, the whole book review is worth a read. And the book, too.

Robin Williams was born July 21, 1951 at 1:34PM (CST) in Chicago. He has Sun at 28 Cancer; Moon at 9 Pisces; Ascendant at 12 Scorpio. So immediately we are alerted to these probable needs: 1) to provide emotional security; 2) to work with intangibles, ideals and impressions; and 3) to be seen as someone of depth, power and control.

Sun in Cancer with Moon in Pisces suggests, according to astrologer Grant Lewi, “a sailboat personality, tacking with the wind and tide…keeping in cahoots with with the weather conditions as you find them.” This is likely a highly intuitive person with a strong emotional flow. He may seek approval by being agreeable — possibly overly so. Other patterns in the horoscope echo this potential, suggesting 1) someone who is pushed around by forces beyond his control; and 2) who likely gives himself away to others at the expense of developing his own talents. I’ve just read an interesting tribute to Williams posted on Facebook by actor Peter Coyote suggesting that by not being fully trained to harness his dreams, this led to the choice he made to end his life. The struggle among dreams, excess and control is so clear in Williams’ horoscope, especially in recent months.

His Pisces Moon is opposed by Venus in Virgo and the South Node; it is conjunct the North Node. This suggests a strong maternal influence, as well as self-indulgence. It is interesting to learn that Williams’ first comic impression was reportedly of his grandmother. His mother was a fashion model, and likely exposed him to the world of entertainment. With Saturn in Virgo at the Aries Point (and in the 11th, ruling the 3rd), we would expect the father to be prominent and perhaps critical, strongly affecting Williams’ heavy mindset and feelings of loveability.  Interesting to note his father was a prominent executive who, when told of Williams’ decision to become a performer, suggested  he have a Plan B, “like welding, just in case.” Ouch.

A need to broadcast his razor-sharp perspectives without censorship is suggested by his Mercury in regal Leo conjunct ruthless Pluto and the Midheaven (public status/career). This pattern makes me think of the wise-cracking DJ he played in Good Morning, Vietnam.  A lovely expression of his Cancerian need to nurture reminds me of Mrs. Doubtfire. His Pisces Moon reminds me of What Dreams May Come and The Fisher King. And so on.

Williams’ need to be seen as in control — suggested by his Scorpio Ascendant — is echoed by a Grand Trine (three planets or points that form an equilateral triangle) among the Pisces Moon, Mars and Uranus together in Cancer, and the Scorpio Ascendant. Sure, a Grand Trine in the Water signs can be seen as “lucky” because it’s not afraid to live by its own set of rules (and gets away with it).  But it also suggests a projection of emotional self-sufficiency that functions as a defense against hurt. It would likely be difficult for someone with a Grand Trine to ask for help, especially in these Water Signs. Grand Trines tend to keep people far away.

Part of the defensive structure of the Grand Trine includes the Mars-Uranus conjunction, suggesting his potential for comic genius. This volatile combination is also part of another dynamic pattern in Williams’ horoscope called a T-square. Here, Mars and Uranus are blown up into dazzlingly imaginative proportions, as they sit between a challenging opposition between Jupiter (expansion, wretched excess, optimism, generosity) and Neptune (vision, drugs, showbiz, faith, charity). Of course he’d make a wonderful genie — as he did in Aladdin. But note that all of the planets in this T-square have been under intense pressure by the never-ending Uranus-Pluto square.

Given the above patterns, is it any surprise to read in Williams’ NYT obituary that he was:

The privileged [only child] of a Detroit auto executive who grew up chubby and lonesome, playing by himself with 2,000 toy soldiers in an empty room of a suburban mansion…

Can you see how he brought to life the patterns that were in his horoscope?

There’s one other pattern of note that suggests the potential for suffering.  And that pattern is a connection between his vulnerable Pisces Moon and a midpoint between Saturn/Pluto. I noticed this pattern in Steve Jobs’ horoscope after he died and was struck by its implications. This pattern suggests (again per Noel Tyl) “emotional coldness; renunciation; giving up”.  But  Steve Jobs seemed to have such a perfect life (reflecting his Virgo Ascendant’s “need to be seen as perfect”). Yet this pattern so suggests there’s more to the story, and in fact, that’s what came out after Steve Jobs died.

And this is what is so intriguing about astrology: we do see things in the horoscope that a person’s closest associates — including therapists — fail to appreciate or understand, and we do see when difficulties are likely to arise. Carl Jung said as much when he wrote a letter in 1947 offering his “opinion on astrology” (with gratitude to astrologer Steffan Vanel for bringing this to my attention).

Since you want to know my opinion about astrology I can tell you that I’ve been interested in this particular activity of the human mind since more than 30 years. As a psychologist I am chiefly interested in the particular light the horoscope sheds on certain complications in the character. In cases of difficult psychological diagnosis I usually get a horoscope in order to have a further point of view from an entirely different angle. I must say that I very often found that the astrological data elucidated certain points which I otherwise would have been unable to understand.

The challenges — and potential — in Robin Williams horoscope for 2014 are clear. We see it in the super-charged T-square. We see it in measurements involving the Ascendant, Mars (action) and the potentially self-destructive South Node. And we see the trigger for action with Sunday’s Full Moon, which conjoined his Pluto (ruler of the Ascendant) and squared the Sun/Moon (relationship) midpoint. Transiting Saturn, which rules Williams 3rd house of mindset squared Pluto and opposed that midpoint. Saturn-Pluto transits are nearly always difficult. Saturn in touch with the Sun/Moon midpoint suggests difficulties in relationship. Adding to this heavy period is the bewildering fog of transiting Neptune, which was very close to Williams’ Pisces Moon. Neptune-Moon transits can be dangerously dreamy. It’s no surprise that Williams, who struggled with drug and alcohol addiction, had a relapse earlier this year.

And here is the sorrowful part, from the point of view of an astrologer. We can also see when this challenging period is likely to end! By the end of the year, transiting Jupiter to the Midheaven may well have been reflected in professional opportunities and accolades similar to what he experienced in prior Jupiter transits. Other measurements also support the potential for rebirth and personal happiness next year. Now, Robin Williams will still likely receive the acclaim and recognition in professional status, because curiously enough, the horoscope continues to reflect life events whether you’re dead or alive. I like to believe that we have a choice, most of the time, about whether to stay or go.

I do not know who Sue Moses is, but I appreciate this  quote attributed to her:

“Your problem has already been solved. You just haven’t gotten to that point in time yet.”

We’ve left the reflective Pisces Moon behind, but don’t worry, it will return next month. That’s what planetary cycles do. Now we have an Aries Moon to inspire us to begin anew.

Cue Robin Williams as Genie now, please. Onward!

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Astro-logical Forecast for Saturday & Sunday 8/9-10/2014: Full Moon in Aquarius

You may find more than the usual share of chores on your plate this Saturday, once the Moon is fully engaged in Aquarius as of 9:52AM ET. A heavy challenge between taskmaster Saturn and the Leo Sun at 11:11AM ET suggests a need to take care of business, even on a summer weekend. You may feel this weight more personally if you have a planet or point around 15-19 degrees of Leo, Taurus, Scorpio or Aquarius…or if you were born around the 9th of August, November, February or May.

With the Moon waxing to its fullness on Sunday at 2:09PM ET, emotions may also be building to a release. Saturday around 6:24PM ET suggests grand feelings and indulgence, following by a clash of stubborn will around 10:51PM ET or some other expression of a fighting spirit. Pay attention on the roads.

On Sunday, the serious focus of today’s Sun-Saturn challenge is echoed by tension between Saturn and the Moon, exact at 12:32PM ET. After the Full Moon is exact, the only other aspect of the day is a face-off between the Moon and mental Mercury at 6:12PM ET, leaving us with plenty to think and talk about for the next 14 hours when the Moon is void of course. That’s your chill time — until 8:55 AM ET on Monday, when the Moon will be fully engaged in the next sign, Pisces — and ready to start the work week.

This Full Moon is a Super Moon — and here is an article written by a meteorologist that explains what the astrological term “Super Moon” suggests from his point of view. It seems to have been posted today, during a potential “wet blanket” reflection of the weekend’s heavy Saturn patterns…and isn’t it interesting that the third line of the article begins, “I really don’t want to be the wet blanket at your moon party…”

The Leo Sun suggests creative self-expression; love and other matters of the heart. The Aquarius Moon suggests a need for a more cerebral approach — one that is less personal, more humanitarian. How to integrate these seemingly opposing forces is the potential illumination of this Full Moon. But with stern Saturn sitting right between the Sun and Moon in a T-Square formation, what is revealed will likely require dogged determination, ambition, focus and authority.

Also of note in this Full Moon chart: Mars, planet of action, will be at 8 degrees of Scorpio, opposing the solar eclipse we had at 8 Taurus on April 29th. You may remember that when Mars hit 25 Libra last month (the degree of the April 15th lunar eclipse), MH17 was shot down by Ukrainian rebels. When past eclipses are triggered by current transiting planets, we often see events reflecting an outburst of energy, for better or for worse.  If you have a planet or angle around 8 degrees of Taurus or Scorpio, you, too, may experience a burst of energy in your own personal world.

The Sabian Symbol for the Sun at 19 Leo is “a houseboat party”; the Symbol for the Moon at 19 Aquarius is “a forest fire quenched” (per Sabian Symbol guru Blain Bovee) or, as astrologer Dane Rudyhar describes it, “a forest fire is being subdued by the use of water, chemicals and sheer muscular energy” (I include this to show the enormous effort required to quench your average wildfire). What are we to make of these symbols?

Bovee observes that a houseboat is a place for social gatherings. It does not have a keel and is thus challenging to navigate in turbulent waters. “Forest,” he notes, is “derived from the word ‘foreign’ — meaning outside one’s own country; a forest fire is a wild, uncontrollable conflagration…imagine a flaming left-wing liberal finding himself at a conservative right-wing party on a houseboat. It’s a difficult situation calling for diplomacy and delicate matters so as not to rock the boat.” Yep, he really wrote that, and this book was published in 2004.

I find the Symbols of this Full Moon especially intriguing because the Sabian Symbol for Barack Obama’s Ascendant — suggesting the way he needs to be seen — is 19 Aquarius. This is an especially significant Full Moon for him, reinforcing other patterns of significance discussed in the last forecast. For the rest of us, Bovee advises us to apply the Symbols of this Full Moon “with a mind to the challenge of controlling the burning passions of belief in light social circumstances divided along party lines; stewarding combustible situations; keeping an even keel in potentially interesting times.” For more of Bovee’s insights on this and other Symbols, consider getting his wonderful book. Meanwhile, let’s watch and see how the symbols of this Full Moon are reflected in the headlines and in your own personal world.

And now, the news.

Reflecting the heaviness suggested by Saturn’s prominence in current planetary patterns, I could not find a single light story on the NYT homepage. President Obama has authorized airstrikes and humanitarian supply drops in Iraq, and is telling us to prepare for a long-term engagement. Grrrrrrreat. Fighting continues in Gaza and in the Ukraine. Lack of water is a prime focus in stories about California’s Catalina Island and Iraq. Even the usual cheerfully irreverent Gail Collins was focused on a subject topic that is really no laughing matter in her Saturday column. Coincidence or conspiracy?

Determined not to end this forecast on a such a sober note, here are a few stories not seen on the NYT homepage which you may find uplifting. First, how interesting on last week’s harmonious connection between Venus (love) and Saturn (endurance) to see this story of a couple who had been together 62 years pass away within four hours of one another. Their story was told in papers around the world; this loving photographic tribute was put together by their granddaughter. Second, plenty of photos from the website Barnorama  show how animals can bring out the best in us.  Finally, the interim president of a university in Kentucky came up with a novel way to increase the hourly wage of the school’s lowest-paid workers to $10.25/hour. He took a 25% cut in salary. And he still makes over $250k per year.  How magnanimous (Leo) and humanitarian (Aquarius). Food for thought on this Leo-Aquarius Full Moon. I bet he’s nice to dogs and cats, too.