An analysis of the horoscope of Robin Williams shows that the transits on the day he took his life were engaged in an unusual number of planetary contacts of both conjunctions and oppositions to natal planets.
The planets that apply the most pressure for attention are the three outer planets of Significance; Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. All three are extremely slow-moving and are long-term transits that reveal that the problems leading up to Williams’ suicide were plaguing him for some years before the tragic event. There was an intense development of cosmic pressure up to the very end.
The three outer planets’ keyword is SIGNIFICANCE because when they are in an active aspect in a person’s horoscope very important opportunities for growth are synchronized along with their movements. They call for self-conscious awareness and consciousness expansion; however, when individuals do not understand the nature of these profound physical pressures, brought on by transits, and how to handle them properly, a Spiritual Crises can occur.
Astrology plays an irrefutable part in our lives, and if these difficult transit had been explained to Williams years before the day he took his life, he may have achieved a healthier psychological and emotional approach to his situation, which could have contributed to a more positive outcome.
The three outer planets call for transformation and awakening. It is this enlightened perspective that reveals to us our shortcomings and gives us an opportunity for self-correction. When we do not have assurance as to the meaning of these necessary astrological times, we then walk blindly on the path, without knowing how to open ourselves and surrender to these personal and universal lessons. We are caught up short and fail under the enormous pressure to go through the painful yet cathartic process of ego death; an ego death that will bring new life into being, if only the spiritual techniques, so essential for success, were known.
Two of the Significant indicators of the long-term crises are the transits of Uranus and Pluto making exact opposition aspects to Williams’ natal Neptune and Mars/Uranus. As well, transit Neptune is Stationary Retrograde in conjunction with Williams’ natal Moon. Each aspect alone can cause the need to seek help. Having these three intense energies active all at once is something most difficult to experience. Only the forewarned and forearmed are able to pass through the fire of this refinement and come out at a higher level of consciousness.
It is apparent in the chart above that the Transit Moon was exactly opposite a very sensitive point on the evening of August 10th, and set-off the other more long-term indicators. This shows that there was a possible provocation earlier in the day instigating the event that was to take place late that night. The sensitive point that the transit Moon activated is natal Mercury at 23 degrees Leo. Mercury is being multi-aspected by both transits and progressions. Mercury ruling mind and Mars indicating upset and perhaps anger and frustration are increasing as the aspects commence. When both transits and progressions synchronize there is a greater indication of the manifestation of eventful activity in a person’s life.
In progressions, the Moon is coming to square with natal Saturn. The pressure is building, although the exact aspect is yet to arrive. The progressed Moon in the 8th house of social approval indicates that the opinions of others had a direct effect on the native’s continence. Another sign of a long-term issue at the forefront of Williams’ mind is shown by the progressed Sun that passed over natal Saturn approximately a year previous to the date under observation. Several signs of concern can be seen by difficult transits and progressions both in the past and imminent. Progressed Uranus square with natal Jupiter indicates that Williams would feel a pressure to escape and be free of the difficulties he was facing, along with a heightened anticipation and resistance to the public learning of the multiple issues he was grappling with at the time. Here we are at a point where a brief analysis of the birth chart is revealing.
The Temperament Type is a technique showing the way the native approaches life in general. It reveals our psychological outreach in one of seven unique patterns of initiative. This technique was used by astrologers early in the development of horoscopy. The Temperament Types in use, before Dr. Marc Edmond Jones refined and added patterns, were the Bundle, Bowl and Splash. The patterns added by Jones are the See-Saw, Bowl, Bucket, Locomotive, and Splay.
The planets move in and out of geometric formations from a geocentric point of view, and at times a birth or event can be ‘caught’ between several ideal Temperament patterns. In Williams’ chart it is the See-Saw Temperament Type that is outstanding among the seven possibilities.
A first look at the geometric patterning shows a distinct separation defining two segments consisting of 2 and 7 planets, indicating that there is a division in the nature of personality. The opposing groups facilitate a fluctuation of attention between different points of view. A native of the See-saw Temperament has the capacity to unite very distinct and opposite perspectives with a willingness to cooperate and compromise between otherwise conflicting factors. There is an ability to penetrate into the minds of others, and by doing this, bridge the gap between the disparaging perspectives. The See-Saw is the communicator; the one who reaches out to engage the minds of others and draw them into relationship and thus maintain equilibrium. This does not only create an interaction with people, but integrates the divisions within oneself as well.
Looking deeper into the structure of the See-Saw pattern we need to define planetary oppositions of 180 degrees with a 10-degree orb of allowance on both sides of the aspect. An opposition aspect between the two planetary groups will facilitate a natural flow of energies from one area of activity to its opposite segment. In the See-Saw pattern there are possibilities for two distinct types of oppositions; a Delimiting Rim and/or a Core Opposition. Williams does have the required Rim oppositions to indicate an approach to the ideal patterning, however there is a lack of a Core Opposition so necessary for “backbone” to facilitate real strength of character when in the throes of mounting conflicts of interest. There is no Core Opposition because there are only two planets in one of the groups and it is essential to have a third planet that is buttressed by a flanking two. No Core shows the mark of inner weakness, yet offers flexibility of perception. This can lead to twists of perspective that were so apparent in Williams’ approach to comedic dialogue. Delimiting oppositions in Williams’ chart are the Moon opposite Venus and Jupiter opposite Neptune. The two delimiting oppositions allow for direct polarization and dynamic exchange in relationships, but the lack of a Core Opposition leads to insufficient inner strength which could have come into play at several challenging pivotal points in Williams’ life and career.
The planets in the Solar System are paired by departments and each pair represents one of the four categories of Vitality, Motivation, Efficiency and Significance. The pairs are analyzed by determining if they are involved in a major aspect with their planetary partner. It is ideal to have two of the four pairs in major aspect and two not in major aspect to determine the Mode of Self-integration. The Sun and Moon in Williams’ chart are not in a major aspect with each other. Jupiter and Saturn are not in aspect, but Venus and Mars do form a Sextile aspect. Uranus and Neptune form a Square aspect and so the departments of Efficiency and Significance become the Mode of Self-integration of Conjunctive Activity. With this form of integrating oneself into life’s experiences, the native is able to draw all possibly extraneous factors into a coherent organized whole. Life is an adventure and game to be played with impish characteristics in this particular case. There is no detail too trivial to be left out of consideration. Everything needs to be brought into the fold to form an all-encompassing perspective and approach to life.
The Natural Disposition is determined by the quadrature of the oppositions. There is a Mutable and a Cardinal opposition in the chart, so the emphasis goes to the missing quadrature which results in a Fixed Disposition. There is an ambivalence between the two active oppositions which points the attention then to the missing quadrature. The Fixed Disposition reveals a capacity for deep penetration into the meaning of life, and the truth underlying all things and brings philosophical reasoning into everyday experience.
The Focal Determinator of importance in this horoscope is the T-Cross in Cardinal signs. The Point Focus of the T-Cross amplifies the characteristics of the planets Uranus and Mars. They put power into the 9th house of publicity and fame. Indeed the Sabian Symbol of Uranus is quite literal as it describes the nature of Williams’ form of entertainment. Uranus at 11 degrees Cancer is A clown making grimaces. To be even more graphic, the original symbol seen by Elsie Wheeler in 1925 is, A clown is making merry, gently caricaturing all manner of human traits with his grimaces and pantomimes. The Natal Mars and Uranus work together by conjunction, and while transit Pluto taps their potentials by opposition (seen in the chart at top) at the time of his death, Williams “stumbled” in an inability to grasp the nature of the planetary transit to natal challenge. The challenge being, to develop a better understanding of the scope of experience that the 9th house represents. An interest in a Uranus-ruled off-the-beaten-track subject like astrology could have filled that gap, and perhaps helped to give the native vital knowledge capable of offsetting his tragic end.
Pluto transits last approximately 4 to 5 years and develop through those years into the circumstances in life that lead to either successful living or failure on the native’s part to adjust to the demands of destiny as activated through planetary activities. In Williams’ case, it is obvious that with all his talent, he lacked the where- withall to comprehend the disintegration of his abilities in physical and psychological terms, and so sought to withdraw from life for unknown reasons, yet by private choice.