Spiritual Company Newsletter
By Steffan Vanel • Astrologer • Tarot Reader
August 13, 2014
Robin Williams: His Astrological Drama
Looking at the Astrology Chart of Robin Williams after hearing of his death by suicide yesterday is both sad and frustrating.
It brings to my mind comments made by psychologist Carl Jung:
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.
Elsewhere, however, I remember Jung stating that curing the psychological problems of the creative/artistic person bears an additional consideration because healing their neuroses can actually have an effect on their creativity.
What has also sprung to my mind upon hearing the sad news of Robin Williams’ suicide is in relation to the fact that I have been working on the production of an EBook version of the Hilarion Book ‘More Answers,’ where Hilarion answers questions on a huge variety of topics. There are two rather somber commentaries about suicide in this book, which I will paste in at the end of this article.
Robin Williams’ Astrological chart does reveal the complexity of who he really was. To start with, he was a Cancer, who thought he was a Scorpio, pretended to be a Leo, and in his childhood he had to be a Pisces. This gives us the general ‘lay of the land,’ as it were, but not the really glaring, obvious, traumatic, and yet, genius-creating tensions within his soul and psyche.
As far as this general ‘lay of the land,’ his Sun was in Cancer, which was evident in his capacity to portray authentic caring and nurturing in his roles, and his personal and civic life.
His self-image, his Ascendant, was Scorpio, evident in his rather intense moody, broody attunement to sexuality, and to those intense Scorpio eagle eyes with x-ray vision which can look right through you.
He pretended he was a Leo, with his Leo Midheaven, his projected image to the world. What Hilarion has to say about Leo on the Midheaven is already a clear sign that there was ‘more than meets the eye’ with this man:
With Leo at the Midheaven, the image projected to the world has elements of magnanimity, pridefulness, generosity and occasionally arrogance. This picture may not conform to the inner picture and it may not be very close to the real complex of qualities in the individual, but it is given primarily to allow him to overcome feelings of inferiority which are inevitably carried over from a previous existence. In this case, even if the individual has a shaky inner self-image, the prompting to put a brave face forward, which Leo at the M.C. gives, may eventually cause the inferior inner picture to change. This is due to the great power of action in the world, not only in its effect on the physical level but on the emotional and mental levels as well.
I think we all could easily sense his dichotomy between a pride and confidence to be out there like he was, and the insecurities that lay behind it all. The stories of problems with alcohol, drugs and depression, at first so surprising, and then, at second look, not so surprising….
Of course we Astrologers, when we are witnessing alcohol, drugs, depression and now suicide, we immediately look for the Astrological signatures of the sign Pisces, and/or its ruling planet Neptune.
And yes, Robin Williams had these energies prominent in his chart, ‘in spades.’
First his Pisces Moon which he had with both positive and difficult aspects.
The positive aspects would generally indicate a childhood which has a deep emotional sensitivity and perhaps a quality of spirituality, attunement to Nature, and/or creativity and imagination.
The difficult aspects will likely bring in qualities of confusion, illusion, delusion, victimhood and martyrdom in the childhood. I often observe a difficulty aspected Pisces Moon as having ‘grown up in a fog,’ emotionally.
As Robin’s Moon had both kinds of aspects and, from what I can ascertain from the very limited biographical details I could find online, his childhood had both components as well.
His father was known to be a Ford Motors executive and an Episcopalian Protestant. His mother was a model as well as one of those much more otherworldly, Piscean/Neptunian faith dependent adherents to the beliefs of Christian Science.
Robin also spent a significant portion of his childhood in a large old mansion outside of Detroit described in this way in this interview in the Detroit Free Press:
Listen tight, as Robin Williams might say when in his John Wayne mode, because this could explain a lot: They tore Robin’s playhouse down.
“It’s gone; it doesn’t exist anymore, ” says Williams, the winsome memory of his childhood sanctuary written all over his face. Of course, everything is written on Williams’ face: He might as well have a sign in his hair that says, “Post bills here.”
Williams plays an overgrown — and I mean way overgrown — 10-year-old child in “Jack, ” which opens Friday. He’s recalling his own childhood in Bloomfield Hills in a home at the corner of Woodward and Long Lake, which, in his memory, was little short of a fairyland.
“It was a giant, beautiful old mansion, with a gatehouse, an empty garage with room for 25 cars, barns, and there was a very wonderful old English man, Mr. Williams, who looked after the gardens, ” Williams says. He is looking out the balcony window of his Los Angeles hotel suite onto a busy street, but Williams clearly is visualizing the past.
“We didn’t own it; we just rented it, ” says Williams, whose father was an auto executive. “Then we moved to Chicago, and when we came back to Detroit a few years later, we just lived in an apartment. And it was very different, you know. But the first house, it was so wonderful, so peaceful. There was no one for miles around. Only this giant golf course with people named Tad whacking the old ball.”
With that, Williams shakes off the wistfulness and becomes Tad, whacking the old ball and muttering upper-class inanities between clenched teeth.
Williams, at least in public, is nobody for very long.
Yes, Robin Williams was ‘nobody’ for very long.
But: “in his memory, little short of a fairyland.’ This is very Pisces Moonish.
The planet Neptune, as it is transiting above us in the sky right now, was two degrees away from being in exact conjunction to his Pisces Moon. It would have been exact next April, but he would definitely be feeling the desire for that Neptunian sense of surrender and release, which may have been resonant with his recent relapse into alcoholism after 20 years of sobriety, although there are additional, more intense factors to recognize here.
The Pisces Moon is not the really obvious, deepest component of his suffering, or of his creative, expressive brilliance, a brilliance which could bring that Piscean imaginative, fantasyland into roles that are now being etched into our psyches as cultural mythologies.
There is another configuration in Robin Williams’ chart which is most obviously the deeper reality of his being, and the configuration which was experiencing the most intense Astrological ‘exams’ by transiting planets in his chart in this time period.
As usual, there are many layers and levels of this configuration, some of which I would have to ask Robin my 30 – 45 minutes of questions I normally pose with a client before I launch into my Astrological interpretations. But there is plenty here which is quite obvious.
Starting with the aforementioned Neptune. In Robin Williams’ natal chart he had Neptune in his 12th House of the deeper unconscious, in difficult aspect to Mars/Uranus conjunct in Cancer in the 9th House of philosophy, religion, and belief system.
The Neptune was also opposite to Jupiter in Aries in the 6th House of work, service, activity in the world. I will return to these factors.
On the positive side, his Neptune was in positive aspect, sextiling, his Mercury/Pluto conjunction in Leo in the 10th house of work, career, ‘role’ in the world. This would be another indicator of his being able to confidently (Leo), express (Mercury) imaginative, sensitive, deeply felt (Neptune) energies into roles in the world (10th House) which are incredibly transformative in the lives of others and in his own experience of himself (Pluto).
Robin Williams’ incredible energy and what could be called his ‘manic genius’ is more evident by the Jupiter in Aries, an abundance of energy which thinks it can ‘do anything,’ playing out in his 6th House, house of the way he spent his day, along with a ‘pumping up’ of a 9th House morally courageous and feisty Mars, combined with a Uranian eccentric, unorthodox, impulsive, highly intuitive element of spontaneous genius.
The deeper source which really drove or triggered these pumped-up, actively expressed energies, however, was their square and oppositional tensions with the Neptune in the 12th House of the deeper unconscious.
Neptune in such difficult aspects is, again, going to create themes of confusion, illusion, delusion, victimhood and martyrdom, and/or problems with drugs and alcohol.
Robin Williams was an only child. And in his early years he was very serious and quite shy. He was certainly not the boisterous showman we know today.
He was also attacked by bullies for being overweight.
I would say that, quite likely, as a child, Robin was Neptune, alone, shy, living in his own isolated fantasy world, and these kids who victimized him were the exaggerated, over-the-top, righteous Jupiter in Aries, Mars/Uranus components of his chart. The Mars/Uranus conjunction is in Cancer indicating the likelihood of conflict and aggression being experienced in childhood.
There would quite likely have been some other components of his relationship with his parents, and/or their relationship with each other, which would also fit into this ‘T-Square’ of Neptune vs. Mars/Uranus, vs. Jupiter pattern as well. I don’t, however, have enough specific reliable details to confidently plug them in here.
We do know that his father was a Ford Motor Company executive who traveled a lot for his work. This would resonate with Jupiter (ruling travel) in the 6th House (work, service, activity in the world), in Aries (a propensity to over-do things). This couldn’t have been so great for his Mother or for young Robin.
Later Williams said, in regard to the bullying he experienced, that he saw that he could make people laugh, and that doing that freed him from being victimized by their abuse and was thereby more socially accepted.
It is interesting to note, however, that when he was in high school he again felt not very accepted by the majority of white Anglo-Saxon Protestant boys there, and preferred to hang out with, and make friends with, the Jewish boys who were also treated as outcasts or victims.
The thing I would have told Robin Williams is: Just because he was able to be a workaholic, enthusiastic, genius, showman doesn’t mean that that sad, vulnerable, suffering, victim/martyr Neptune little boy…. – He didn’t go away.
According to Liz Greene: Until we heal both ends of a difficult aspect the tendency is to project one end or another on someone else in relationships. Williams does seem to have made victims of some of the women he had been in relationship with.
As he said: ‘I was shameful, did stuff that caused disgust – that’s hard to recover from’, and he called one of his comedy routines: “Weapons of Self-destruction.”
This configuration is relatable to what I call the ‘victim/victimizer’ program where you feel that you have to be one or the other, and the only way out of this program is the positive side of the planet Neptune. That being unconditional love, for yourself and for others, total forgiveness, for yourself and for others, and spiritual faith, trust and surrender, to where there are no victims or victimizers but just all of us little boys and girls doing the best we can.
The thing is, if we bring in a unique interpretation of the 12th House, according to Hilarion, we can see that Robin Williams was carrying this difficult complex pattern of energies within his soul before he was born or as we say: ‘a gleam in his daddy’s eye.’
This is what Hilarion says about planets in the 12th House:
Twelfth House The twelfth sector of a birth chart is a complex and very revealing signpost in terms of the traits and characteristics which an individual brings over with him from the most recent life. We emphasize that this house points directly to the most recent life in sequence, and not to the “most important” life in terms of the present experience. As such, since much of the residue of the most recent life is stored in one’s subconscious, the twelfth sector also indicates certain subconscious recollections, biases and preferences.
Clearly, for those of us who believe in reincarnation everyone has had whatever was their most recent past life. Not everyone, however, has planets in the 12th House. Those who do are carrying a complex of memory from that life, and the nature of the planets and the nature of the aspects to those planets will reveal the nature of that life.
Neptune in positive aspect, to his Mercury/Pluto would indicate an opening to spirituality, healing, creativity or imagination (Neptune) in relation to a deeply transformative (Pluto) expression or communication (Mercury).
The opposition to Jupiter, however, would show him having suffered from some exaggerated, fanatical, ‘over-the-top’ kind of energies, and the square to Mars/Uranus would indicate the likelihood of violent (Mars) surprise, sudden, crazy, revolutionary (Uranus) energies being the causes of Neptunian victimhood and suffering in that life. To repeat, Robin Williams was carrying this complex of energies before he was born.
In light of what Hilarion says about suicide, which is pretty heavy, it makes me wonder if suicide may have been a theme somehow related to this past-life memory.
It is interesting to note that it was while Robin Williams was working on a film set in Alaska, more or less alone and isolated in nature (Neptune) that he gave in to the urge and started to drink again.
In this present time period transiting Uranus in the sky had been squaring Williams’ Mars and his Uranus, and was conjuncting his Jupiter, and was about to oppose his Neptune.
Transiting Pluto had been opposing his Mars and his Uranus, and was squaring his Jupiter and was staring to square his Neptune.
These would have been the most intense simultaneous ‘exams’ on these components of his ‘curriculum’ that he would have faced in this lifetime.
Unfortunately, it was so intense for him that he decided to try to escape it all. Unfortunately, according to the following commentaries by Hilarion, suicide is no escape at all:
What happens when people commit suicide? Do they go into a state of limbo?
The question of suicide is a complex one. Generally speaking, the suicide is taking his own life in order to end the pain of existence – or at least what he perceives as pain.
Usually this is emotional or mental pain, rather than physical. When the life is cast away for such a selfish reason, the law requires that the post-life experiences be somewhat more limited than is usually the case, and generally, the soul will be allowed less option in determining the nature and circumstances of the next incarnation. Also, there is an unavoidable requirement for the soul that has taken its own life while in incarnation, to be presented with precisely the same test in the next life – i.e. the same temptation to commit suicide. In the next life, that temptation will be even stronger, and the forces impelling him to take his own life will be even more difficult to resist. At the same time, the incarnated personality who must endure this harder test will also be given more “weapons” with which to fight the temptation, which usually means being on the receiving end of more love and support during the childhood phase.
The idea that such souls go into a kind of limbo has some validity, but it must be realized that always such limbo experiences are of the personality’s own making. The experience of being in a “fog” without anything substantial around one arises simply from the expectation of the individual that, after death, there will be nothing. Since the astral realms always conform themselves to the mental expectations, the person will be presented with exactly what he expects: nothing. In time, since the individual is in his astral body – which he can feel – he will ultimately realize that he must in fact be existing. When this happens, he can be contacted by rescuers who specialize in such work, and can be coaxed out of his self-imposed fog or limbo. If only the person had realized before death that he would survive the killing of the body, such a limbo state would not arise. And in all probability, the person would not have taken his own life. Most suicides believe that death is the end of consciousness, and it is this “obliteration” which they are seeking in their desperate act.
Is the abnormally high suicide rate in Seattle the result of the excessively cloudy and wet weather in that city?
The suicide rate is partly due to the oppressive nature of the weather patterns of that city, but there is another side to the story. Indeed, those who are drawn to Seattle as a birthplace are in many cases souls who have yielded to the temptation of suicide in past lives, and now must again be put through the temptation – in the hope that they will prove stronger this time. Here is an opportunity for us to explain the true nature of suicide, and the karmic consequences which it brings in its wake. Suicide is almost never a positive act. Almost without exception it is an act of desperation, resorted to by one who wishes merely to end the pain of life. In most cases, the person attempting to take his own life does not understand the spiritual realities surrounding his earthly existence, else he would not allow such a temptation to sway him . For the truth of the matter is simply that anyone who attempts or succeeds in committing suicide must inevitably be presented with similar circumstances in a later phase of his earth experience, with the proviso that the test must be a little bit harder the next time. Thus, not only is the person not solving his problem through suicide, but he is guaranteeing that he will have to go through the same pain again which he tried to end before, and that the choice against self-destruction will be even harder to make. This notion should give serious pause to any contemplating the ending of their physical lives.
Now, since a previous suicide must inevitably be drawn back into incarnation at a location and in a life-pattern which will again present him with the choice of self-destruction, it can be understood that, with its oppressive and gloomy weather, Seattle is an ideal location for enacting the drama this time around. Indeed, in a large portion of Seattle’s population there is at least a distant history of self-destruction in past lives, even though most have more recently passed the same test as once they failed. However, because the germ of self-destruction is still faintly alive within them, they have been drawn back to that city for an incarnation in order to give themselves the opportunity to transmute that negative fragment into something positive – for by living most of an incarnation under an oppressive weather pattern, such persons are able to develop an attitude of acceptance and insularity which allows them to withstand the pressures which the depressing weather exerts.
It is more complicated than that. Such persons – those who have turned themselves around, so to speak – are able to pass along a certain suicidal tendency genetically to their children. This then makes them ideal parents for a soul who has recently failed the suicide test, and has taken his own life: firstly the parents pass along the genetic imperfection which prompts the depressive attitude that leads often to thoughts of suicide, but secondly the parents are ones who have passed that same test themselves, and thus can show the new soul, by example and by teaching, how one goes about resisting the negative pressures of a suicidal tendency.
I know this is kind of heavy information to share after losing someone we all knew and loved to suicide. I do feel, however, that if this information was more widely known, then those who face the temptation of suicide would be better able to make a better and more conscious choice in their lives.
With the intense Astrological karma Robin Williams was dealing with I can understand how it could drive him over the edge like this. I feel that he needed some really profound spiritual/psychological transformational experience to cope with the intense energies that he was dealing with. The kind that comes from things like deep, intensive, silent meditation retreats, or perhaps drinking the visionary drug Ayahuasca.
I feel that we should all pray and psychically support Robin Williams in whatever space he finds himself in now, with the prayer that he can find the faith, and self-forgiveness, healing and surrender which he couldn’t master in this life.
And yet, who knows, maybe his was a very advanced soul who volunteered to, on some level, take on this particular karma, to knowingly leave in this manner, to forever etch into our psyches the mythology of what Robin Williams brought into our lives in all his various roles.
The role which stands out the most poignantly to me now is his performance in: “The Fisher King,” where he portrays a traumatized soul, who is inspired by that trauma to reach for the Holy Grail, to reach for a Higher Goodness, Beauty and Purity, and in that traumatized aspiration, he leads others to profound, deep healing of themselves.
Thank you Robin for this,
Love and Blessings,