Planetary weather for January, 2015.
Brrr!! I hop you all enjoyed your holiday break. Like me you are no doubt looking forward to warmer weather in Tulsa. If there are any clear nights you can enjoy the full Moon on January 4. Look for Jupiter in the night sky all month, but in particular look for Jupiter near the Moon on January 5 – in fact this entire first weekend of January it will be the brightest object other than the Moon in the night sky. The next new Moon is January 22 in sidereal Capricorn – we can expect the coldest weather of the season around then. Time for quiet and study. For thousands of years astrologers have considered deep winter the time when the planet Saturn is the strongest influence, but while we can acquire deepest insights at this time we have to work to maintain vitality. The counterpoint to Saturn is the joyous radiant energy of the Sun. Be sure to get outside if there is sunshine, if only for a five minute break! A brightly lit corner in your home, firelight or candlelight, warm spicy drinks like cider or spice tea, and cheerful company all are natural remedies which remind of us the Sun and its warmth.
I have been writing articles for AstroLogic, an on-line subscription magazine on Vedic astrology. Every month there is an astro-biography of a notable person – this month I celebrate Robin Williams. I’ve attached a portion of the article for your enjoyment. You may locate the journal at http://www.astrologicmagazine.com/home.
ASTROBIOGRAPHY OF ROBIN WILLIAMS
By Lynn Bootes
Copyright on file.
Birth Data: July 21, 1951, at 1:34 pm, in Chicago, Illinois, AA data from a birth certificate in hand, Astrodatabank.com cites collector Wilsons.
The life of a humorist is often enough shadowed by pain. For Robin Williams, known for his hilarious depiction of the alien Mork in the television sitcom “Mork and Mindy,” as the cross-dressing nanny in “Mrs. Doubtfire,” and lastly as the museum replica of Theodore Roosevelt come to life in the “Night at the Museum” movies, the pain gave his comic depictions a depth that belied the silliness. In a career which spanned four decades he played a huge range of serious roles besides. His suicide by hanging in August, 2013 shocked and saddened the public and brought attention to the issue of the suffering of those with chronic mental illness and early dementia. Only after his death did the public become aware of the full extent of his philanthropic efforts and more important, the personal support and encouragement given to fellow artists, particularly Christopher Reeve.
LAGNA 7:44 LIBRA
Libra rising people generally have a refined nature and a motivation to interact socially and express themselves artistically. Ruled by Venus, the desire nature tends to be strong. For Williams, the ruling planet Venus is in the 11th house of enjoyment and gains, foretelling the ability to express himself in public and gain from his artistic ability. But Venus is EXACTLY conjunct to Ketu, the South Node of the Moon – only 20 minutes difference between the two. If Ketu were an actual planet, the sages would call this a “planetary war,” in which one planet overwhelms the function of the other often with difficult results. Ketu is a shadow planet and cannot engage in planetary war, but such a close connection with Venus implies that Williams was constantly pushing outside the usual emotional boundaries and norms. People who saw him perform live frequently were reduced to a state of helpless exhaustion from laughter such that no comedian could ever follow him in an act. It seemed as though when he was on stage a torrent of imagination was released. Venus and Ketu is in Leo, not the most conducive to personal happiness but indicating someone who loves being on stage. Indeed throughout his life when he suffered from bouts of depression, he coped best by going back to stand-up comedy: he called it his therapy. Venus and Ketu together can also speak of a yearning for love and relationship which is not fulfilled; even though he had several marriages, children who loved him and numerous friends, to many observers he never recovered from the damage of a lonely childhood and the endless quest to engage the attention of his mother with his comedy.
He was the only son of a wealthy 46 year old Ford Motor Company executive and a fashion model with roots in Mississippi upper class society, who spent his early childhood in Lake Forest, a wealthy suburb of Chicago. His childhood was a lonely one, as an only child in a large mansion from which his parents were often absent, busy with their lives. He recalled spending countless hours dreaming up imaginary stories acted out with his large collection of toys, including over 2,000 toy soldiers, an image which brings to mind the hilarious toy soldier characters in “Night at the Museum.” Biographer Emily Herbert describes him as a “shy, plump, melacholic and quiet.”
I think this is a rather accurate birth time for several reasons. First, the lagna and lagna ruler describe him well. Second, he was born in a hospital in Chicago in a year when progressive physicians were beginning to pay close attention to resuscitating newborn infants using the methods of Dr. Virginia Apgar, and therefore they recorded birth times from the moment of emergence. Later in the article, there is confirmation in the timing of the dasha system. But most importantly, the Navamsha chart has this same Venus and Ketu conjunction in the 10th house of career – I can’t think of a better way to express that Williams would become famous for his astounding talent as an artist and performer. The Navamsha chart is calculated by dividing each of the 12 signs into 9 divisions, and then plotting them out in a separate chart. While the rising sign or lagna of the birth chart stays in the same sign for more or less two hours, the Navamsha chart changes lagna about every 13 minutes. When the Navamsha chart is strong and coherent, the astrologer can interpret this as showing the fruits of relationships and of spiritual accomplishment which may be possible in the life whose beginnings are showed in the birth chart. For Williams, in addition to the Venus and Ketu in the 10th house of the Navamsha, the Sun is in Leo in the 9th house, and three planets are in another angle: Rahu, Mars and Mercury in Pisces in the 4th house. Trust me, most of us do not get this much going on in our Navamsha charts!
A DAMAGED MOON at 15:46 AQUARIUS
The other side of the wit and the torrent of talent was Williams’ incredible depth of insight but also of depression. His Moon is in the 5th house which one associates with brilliance of mind and of artistic ability. But it is in Aquarius, a sign ruled by Saturn where depression can linger like a cold blue shadow on the north side of a building in winter. The Moon is only two degrees away from Rahu, the North Node of the Moon, the shadow planet of obsessions and unconscious drives which often enough acts a lot like Saturn in the chart. Does this Moon/Rahu combination reflect his lonely childhood and his desire to somehow attract the attention of his mother through his comic performances? I think it does, and it also hints at a double dose of depression. Saturn, the ruler of his Aquarius Moon, is in the 12th house of the birth chart in Virgo. We associate the 12th house with confinement and solitude, and despite his high public profile Williams was a very private person, who spent many hours running, cycling and walking his dogs. The confinement of substance abuse treatment can be indicated by this 12th house Saturn and Williams was in treatment a number of times, including a month before his death.
Normally we think of Saturn as being a helpful planet for Libra rising, because even though it is a malefic, it rules the favorable 4th and 5th houses for Libra, Capricorn and Aquarius. But for Williams, being born with Saturn in the 12th house, it becomes more problematic, speaking of the depressions he suffered. However, in some respects, having malefic Saturn in a malefic house can be ironically beneficial. He had the self-discipline of Saturn which he used to prepare so meticulously for his comedy routines that they appeared to have been improvised. It can be argued that without his periodic retreats to treatment programs and his habit of solitude, he would have self-destructed at a very young age.
In his Navamsha chart, Moon and Saturn are conjoined and in the very same sign as the birth chart, Aquarius. This is called Vargottama and is another sign of a powerful Navamsha chart and of the power of these two planets. In the Navamsha they are in the 3rd house, which is often active in those who use their bodies for performing music or acting.
MOON NAKSHATRA SHATABHISHAK
In addition to the twelve sign zodiac, Vedic astrology uses the older lunar zodiac of 27 constellations, the Nakshatras, to explore the emotional nature, for timing of life events and for compatibility judgments. Each of the Nakshatras comprises 13 degrees and 20 seconds of longitude, which is close to the distance on average that the Moon changes in position from night to night. Williams’ birth Nakshatra, Shatabhishak, comprises the mid-portion of Aquarius, from 6:40 to 20:00 degrees. Shatabhishak means “the hundred stars,” or the hundred physicians, and is linked with the god of the night sky and of the waters, Varuna. Another connection is to the Crown Chakra. Shatabhishak natives are often deeply intuitive and mystical and have healing abilities, but are often enough wounded themselves and susceptible to depression and addictions. It is ironic that this man who suffered so deeply from depression and committed suicide brought hope and laughter to millions of lives. The ruling planet of Shatabhishak is Rahu, the North Node, and as we have already seen, it is a very strong influence being conjoined with his birth Moon in both the natal and the Navamsha charts.
THE BRIGHTER SIDE: SUN, MERCURY, MARS AND JUPITER
I am treating these planets as a group as they stand in contrast to the elements above, and because they need to be mentioned before going into some biographical details and looking at how the dasha cycles played out. The Sun sign is Cancer and is a noon-time birth. When the Sun is prominent in the 10th house and strong, the father is often powerful, and the individual is drawn to a public career: both are true of Williams. Having Mercury in the same sign as the Sun improves the mental abilities: despite suffering from some dyslexia and probably ADHD, Williams was able to succeed as a student. As a performer he would astonish people with his ability to pull in allusions to literature, history and philosophy and then instantly follow them with absurd slapstick. Once he was an established comedian, he sought out and performed in dozens of movies as a serious actor. The ruling planet of the Sun in Cancer is the Moon which as we saw above, is in the 5th house. He found himself drawn into a career which was built around the performing arts, a 5th house matter.
Mars is in Gemini in the 9th house of the birth chart; the 9th house indicates the father and fits the description of his father’s business career; the ruling planet of the 9th house is Mercury in the 10th – he is able to use education in his career. The 11th house has Venus and Ketu in Leo as described above, and the ruling planet of the 11th house is the Sun in the 10th. Thus the 10th house planets are flanked by planets whose rulers are in the 10th house, reinforcing the potential success of the career.
Jupiter is in Pisces in the 6th house. Jupiter in Pisces is above all kind and compassionate, a trait demonstrated by Williams in his philanthropy and in his lifelong affiliation with his church of his upbringing, the Episcopal Church. The 6th house shows illness and obstacles, and the primary obstacle of Jupiter in Pisces is excess, consumption of alcohol or drugs or gambling, the inability to set limits. Williams was fortunate that he had Saturn in Virgo in opposition to Jupiter; after his first drug rehabilitation, he was able to remain sober for 20 years, a remarkable accomplishment. Jupiter is also the planet which rules the Navamsha lagna, Sagittarius. In the Navamsha, Jupiter is in the second house of wealth, and in fact, he was for many years among the wealthiest men in the United States as a result of his success in television and movies.