Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Robin Williams – A maverick actor and performer haunted by his past.

 

RobinWilliams

It’s so sad when I have to write about the passing of a famous person and this morning I woke to hear the shock news that Robin Williams, actor, comedian and all around nice guy of stand-up and screen had taken his own life. He was 63 years of age. He had entertained and delighted up with all manner of films, TV shows and his comedic brilliance, from “Mork and Mindy” to the wonderfully improvised “Good Morning Vietnam”. He starred in “Dead Poet’s Society”, the “Fisher King”, showed his more manic side in “Mrs Doubtfire” and he excelled in more restrained roles too including his Oscar winning performance in “Good Will Hunting”.

RobinWilliams natal

Robin was born in Chicago on 21st July 1951 at 13.34 hrs (source AstroDatabank) an only child into a wealthy family. A Cancerian by birth, he was born with the star Alphecca on his Ascendant. This is a star in the constellation of Corona Borealis, the crown of thorns. This shows you being given a gift in your life but also for it you have to pay a heavy burden for it. He was born into a life where he could have whatever he wanted, he had amazing talent at his fingertips but the price he paid for it was a lack of perceived love, something so precious and needed for anyone born under the sign ruled by the Moon. 

His father was a high executive in the Ford Motor company, his mother a model. On the chart you can see them. His father shown by the Sun sextile to Saturn (an administrator and someone of authority) as well as the 10th house cusp indicating the father figure too with Mercury and Pluto together conjunct it. Pluto shows power and control as well as big business and Mercury rules transportation. I think that Robin was dominated by his father, lived in his shadow and could never live up to his father’s wishes. His Moon (Mother) opposed Venus, the planet of beauty. The 4th house cusp shows the nature of the mother and with Aquarius there ruled by Uranus which itself was closely conjunct to Mars, this indicates a fiery woman who was independent and was maybe kind but not overly loving. Robin was much closer to his mother with the Moon and Venus clamped to his North Node/South Node Axis but not I am not sure she reciprocated in the way that he wanted. He may have found her unpredictable and maybe even though he was close, maybe he was scared of her too?

I come to these conclusions because of the very very close square aspect from Chiron in Sagittarius to his Saturn in Virgo, just 0.04 degrees of separation. His 11th house Saturn craved to be loved, it needed it, he wanted it but the square to the wounded healer indicates a problem in this regard harking back to childhood, a problem that I don’t think he could ever come to terms with. Chiron is the maverick and in the 2nd house in Sagittarius it shows someone who will eventually making their living from being a little different and from having freedom. I don’t think that Robin’s father could ever accept that Robin was going to be “different”. This would have lead to feelings of rejection and when this emotion is ingrained into the psyche when young, it is very hard ever to be truly accepted. All this pain and wounding he would have felt personally with Chiron inconjunct to his Sun. He had to adjust to relieve the pain but maybe he couldn’t achieve this and he felt he had to stick to his values and be himself? Without the love of the parents that he craved, I strongly suspect that he looked for love and adulation elsewhere, and he found it through acting crazily and making a fool of himself.

The way you communicate and how you speak is controlled by the mind and Robin’s Mercury was in proud, over the top, rather self-centred Leo. Mercury in Leo will always have strong opinions and shows lots of flair and dramatic verve. With Mercury exactly conjunct to his Midheaven, the point of career, he made his career as someone who was known as a wordsmith with a great imagination. He could see the dark side of life though this conjunction, and all great comedians have personal sadness or insecurity that they hide behind. Again the maverick nature of Chiron comes in here making a triple trine to his Midheaven, Mercury and Pluto. Yes he was going to emulate the power of his father, but internationally (Pluto in 9th house) and through the power of the way he communicated. There is a double edged sword feeling about this trine too, as Chiron not only brings a sense of uniqueness but also a sense of suffering and wounding too. Chiron orbits quite erratically between Uranus and Neptune and it tends to take on a bit of each of these planets, the rebellious independence of Uranus as well as the need to be different and compassion that it gives. It also absorbs the suffering, sadness and the inspiration that Neptune exudes. Remember, he was a Cancerian and they more than any sign need the security of family around them. When it is not there, they feel isolated, moody and left out. Robin suffered for being different, there was a melancholy that was evident in his personality, and yet he found healing in the career he forged for himself. Robin’s mind I think was plagued by the conjunction to Pluto, with intense scarring and secrets hiding within that would have stayed with him always, caused by the hurt of the lack of a loving set of parents. That wasn’t the only hurt that he was to face in his life as I will explain later.

As we know, Robin found international fame in the way that he was spontaneous and uninhibited in his actions. He had a wild and crazy streak that stemmed from a Mars Uranus conjunction at the point of a t-square connected to a Jupiter Neptune opposition. Mars is action, Uranus is rebellion and uniqueness, put them together and you have someone who will act in an unusual way, he was extremely talented and gifted and this conjunction gave him the manic personality he had. Square to both Neptune, the planets of no limits and Jupiter the planet of excess and joviality and you can see how this Mars Uranus could get out of control. The film world (ruled by Neptune) realised his talent and gave him an worldwide presence (Jupiter) that he took advantage of; his antics and his quick fire humour and behaviour gave him the reward of a career in movies and on TV.  He not only excelled in the crazy side of acting, he picked up several awards for his more studied and serious roles. Saturn sextile to his Sun as well as that deep incisive mind and the poetic use of emotion from his Pisces Moon showed he could be serious and though provoking in his work too.

Both Mars and Uranus were in the nurturing and caring Cancer and so there was no malice here in his actions, Cancer is only an aggressive sign when it is protecting those one loves and cherishes, it is naturally defensive in nature. Here was another sign of him being alienated from his family though. Uranus does not want to have a traditional family life and yet Robin was a Cancerian and his nature would be to have a closeness to his family and friends. This push and pull of emotions would have been a constant thing inside him, unsettling him more and more. Look where this conjunction lay? It sat in the 8th house of inevitable change, of sharing with partners and of power and control. It showed battles with loved ones over money and what you jointly own and Robin had a couple marriages all ending up in bitter separations and divorce. It connected with his Ascendant making him naturally madcap and active, sextile with his Venus ruling his 7th house of relationships and trine to his Moon affecting his home life too, making it an unpredictable battleground. I suspect at home he got little peace at all. With Venus opposing his Moon from 10th to 4th houses, he would not have known what he wanted emotionally and in his marriage and in his work, and it would have complicated his relationships in both.

The opposition between Jupiter and Neptune caused it’s own problems and gave him gifts too. Neptune is a planet of suffering and escape as well as a planet without limits and Jupiter pushed this even more. With his need to act differently and to experiment (Jupiter square to Mars/Uranus) and the need to act out one’s fantasies in the most unstable way (Neptune square to Mars Jupiter) here was an incredibly on edge, creative and talented soul. Music and drama would have inspired him and he would have been unafraid of almost doing anything. This lead him in those darker moments too, the times when he felt unloved and in trouble. To find solace elsewhere and to relieve himself the pain he surely felt, he found it in taking drugs and drinking alcohol. Some people can’t handle the hurt in their hearts and minds and so they feel the need to escape. Robin with the Jupiter Neptune opposition fuelled by Mars and Uranus in that dark 8th house ended up in rehab several times early in his career. With Mars ruling his 6th house of health affected by Uranus, Neptune and Jupiter, he was always apt to being active in doing things to excess, and soon after his first bout of drug use and heavy dinking he realised he had to live a clean life. He unexpectedly took up extreme exercise and gave up meat becoming a vegetarian. This lasted for a long time, but once you dip into the drug habit it rarely stays away for ever.

Robin suffered with depression. There are a few indications of it on this chart. Firstly that deep and emotional mind, Mercury conjunct to Pluto which does motivate it to think dark and destructive thoughts. Secondly, the house of the mind, the 3rd is ruled by Saturn with Capricorn, its sign, on the cusp. Saturn is the planet of fear and loss and with Saturn sitting in the 11th house of love received, if Robin didn’t receive the love that he needed and wanted, then I sense he would get very down, upset and fearful that it would never ever feel it. Thirdly, his natal Venus sat in conjunction with the star Zosma. Zosma is a star of victimisation and Venus rules relationships, money and your values. Venus sat in his 10th house of work and career, and he would have felt that he suffered for his career, he may have felt victimised too. It is also noticeable that with Taurus (ruled by Venus) on the cusp of his 7th house of marriage and permanent relationships, he would have had trauma in them as well, and he may have been dominated or hurt by the women in in his life, especially over the money and possessions he acquired. Zosma with the planet Venus is a classic sign of depression, of not feeling socially accepted and loved. He was, by all of us who watched his films, but the insecurity, anxiety and fear of rejection that built up over years and years plaguing his intensely emotional mind I believe eventually lead to the suicidal thoughts that got the better of him. With the Moon in creative dreamy Pisces in his 4th house conjunct to his North Node, all he wanted was a perfect ideal home, a loving family and the affection of those around him. The North Node shows where the hardest path in life is and despite all the trappings of wealth, fame and power he had, I suspect it was the simple emotions of being loved by your family and the settled domestic situation eluding him that were the things he wanted the most.

RobinWilliams transits

The full Moon of a couple of days ago occurred at 18 degrees Aquarius, directly opposite his chart ruling Pluto conjunct to Mercury and this would have had a big effect on him reflecting all those darker thoughts. Saturn was square to this full Moon sitting close to his Ascendant and making a square to his Pluto and Mercury as well as his Midheaven. In the past year or two, he would have had Saturn trawling through his subconscious 12th house and dredging up all those childhood fears again. With the chart ruling Pluto opposing his natal Mars Uranus conjunction in the 8th house of death activating the excessive Mars Uranus Neptune Jupiter t-square, I am not surprised he took his own life under the pressure that these outer planets were exuding. I suspect his marriage was being affected with Pluto trine to his natal Venus, something about his current relationship was being altered. Neptune had been close to his natal Moon in the past few months eroding the sense of a happy home in his eyes, opposing Venus and causing problems at work; he had a new show cut after just one season. We may never know what was going on in his mind, but that Full Moon shone a light on his situation and being a Cancerian ruled by the Moon, he took independent action to end the internal pain and dread inside him.

Robin was a fine actor and one who touched many lives. We will miss him on the silver screen, and I send my best wishes and condolences to all his colleagues, family and friends…

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