Chiron opposite Uranus

The Astrology of the S-town podcast

S town astrologyThis post will be most interesting to those of you who have listened to this podcast.  If you haven’t yet heard it you might want to take a listen before reading the post, it will be much more revealing. 

S-Town is a serial podcast from the folks that bring you This American Life.  It begins as a story about a murder, and ends up as something else entirely.  Along the way, the darkness of a human soul is revealed. It’s a fascinating psychological study of a man imprisoned by his own rage and self-loathing and the layers of mysteries that lie within the people surrounding him.

I recently took a long flight and listened to most of the seven episode podcast on the way home and over the following couple of days.  At the very end of the series the birth date of the main character, John B. McLemore, was revealed:  March 15, 1968.  I wanted to learn more about this guy and delved into his chart.

I’ve tried not to reveal any podcast spoilers for those of you who intend to listen.

John B. McLemore was a southern gentleman who lived in Woodstock Alabama, which he calls S-town (using the full expletive rather than the polite version).  The story is full of twists and turns like the maze which John grew on the farm on which he lives.  Over the course of the podcast we learn that he is brilliant, but desperately unhappy and lonely – that he hates his life but feels trapped within it.

This is a theme that many of my clients struggle with – they want to change but they feel they lack the courage or the will to take the necessary steps to get there.  I usually see this as a fire problem – a weakness in the fire element or in Mars that keeps them from being able to take action.

McLemore’s chart (click to enlarge) is fascinating.  Born with the Sun in watery Pisces, his natural tendency is to go with the flow.  He is sensitive and finds boundaries difficult – Pisces is the sign of the ocean and boundaries simply stop the flow and prevent its easy trajectory.  Chiron (wounding and healing) conjoins his Sun, indicating a deep and painful soul wound that requires conscious growth in order to heal.  Uranus (electromagnetic energy, radical behavior) is opposite Chiron and the Sun, revealing a rebellious character (Uranus opposite Sun) who is also extremely sensitive energetically (Chiron opposite Uranus), and to top it all off Pluto (obsession and transformation) gets involved, opposite the Sun and widely interacting with Chiron and Uranus.

Already we see that this is not an individual who can fit easily into the mold enforced by small town life in the deep south.  Then we see that his Moon is in Libra, creating a longing (Moon) for connection (Libra) – but his Moon is opposed by stern Saturn which creates in him a predisposition to feeling lonely and isolated despite his desire for love.

Mars is in Aries, its own sign, which is the strongest place for Mars.  Mars is the planet of action and shows how we assert our personal Will: what we want and how we go about getting it.  An individual with Mars in Aries has strong desires and a strong Will; however, McLemore’s Saturn is also in Aries which creates insecurity around taking the steps to manifest that Will and attain his desires.

A chart like this does not make life easy.  I have counseled many individuals with similar charts, and often their fear keeps them stuck in places or relationships or jobs or other situations which are ok enough, but not really satisfying.  Often these people want to know when their chart says they will be able to make a change.  Or they want to know where they should move so that their live can be easier.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.  Astrology can’t fix our lives – we have to make the difficult choices and take the hard steps to make the necessary changes that will bring us the satisfaction and joy that we crave.

What astrology CAN and DOES do, however, it to reveal the internal workings of the chart so that we can better understand the inner motivations that create our problems, making it easier to repair and transform them.

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By | 2017-05-20T09:04:43+00:00 May 20th, 2017|Astrology, People, Psychology|1 Comment

The astrology of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds

Carrie Fisher astrology photo by Gage Skidmore

Following the tragic deaths of Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds within a day of each other HBO re-released the 2016 documentary about the mother and daughter.  The film depicts clearly the disconnect between the way these two viewed their relationship.  This incongruity is common in all relationships but is particularly painful in connections between mother and child since that is the primal relationship that sets the stage for all of our other connections throughout our life.

One of the gifts of astrology is the lens it provides to see the motivations and energies behind our own actions and the actions of others.  We tend to ascribe our own motivations to the way others behave but if we are able to understand their perspective it can begin to heal the most challenging of relationships.

Carrie Fisher came to fame as Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise, and since then she has played out her mental illness in the public arena which is not surprising since her Libra Sun, representing her Self, sits at the top of the chart (the Midheaven).  The Midheaven is the cusp of the astrological house of career, and when your Sun/Self sits at that point you tend to live your life in the public eye in some way. Libra seeks balance and harmony through pleasing others, which often comes at a cost to one’s self.  Dutiful Capricorn is rising in the chart, and her Taurus Moon, like Libra, craved the peace of stability and harmony. Carrie’s chart also shows a challenging square between Saturn (self-doubt) to Pluto (destruction) which often results in inner fears that require self-comfort in order to achieve the peace she craved. Both Saturn and Pluto form a challenging square to her Moon, representing the Mother, delineating the intense relationship she had with Debbie Reynolds.

Like many people born between the early 1950s and the late 1980s, Carrie had a stressful opposition between Chiron (the metaphysical energy of wounding and healing) and Uranus (electromagnetic energy of change and radical behavior). This opposition is prevalent in the charts of healers and substance abusers because of the intensity of the energy it generates.  In the HBO documentary family members noted that Carrie had a personality change at the age of 13, and this was exactly the time when transiting Saturn (stress and challenges) formed a challenging square to both Chiron and Uranus, triggering her nervous system in a way that she was unable to handle. She was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1985 following a transit of both Saturn and Pluto (destruction and rebirth) to her Sun and a nearly fatal drug overdose.

This Chiron/Uranus opposition does not always suggest mental illness, but like other planetary aspects it does require a certain amount of conscious transformation to be utilized successfully. At the time of Carrie’s death, Uranus in the progressed chart had lined up once again with Uranus and Chiron in the natal chart over the past few years, triggering an electrical reaction that likely caused her reported relapse.

Carrie’s relationship with her mother, Debbie Reynolds, is a fascinating one.  The HBO documentary shows how in love Carrie was with her mother – how desperate for her love and attention.  With the Sun in Aries, she was self-oriented and had a strong drive, and a Sun/Uranus (autonomy) conjunction imbued her with a need to live her life her own way.

The synastry between Debbie and Carrie’s charts shows a basic lack of understanding between them but also a deep love, with Debbie’s Venus opposite Carrie’s Moon, a very strong emotional link.  The Nodes in each chart form a harmonious aspect to the Ascendant in the other, a karmic connection.  At the time of their deaths, Debbie at age 84 was in her “Uranus Return,” the time when Uranus returns to its place in the chart and instigates some type of major change.

Perhaps Carrie and Debbie can find the connection now that they both craved during their lifetime.

 

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By | 2017-01-13T15:23:56+00:00 January 13th, 2017|People|4 Comments

Sinead O’Connor and the Chiron/Pluto Cry for Help

9781720752_17ac4105b6_zSinead O’Connor, the Irish singer with a long history of controversy and dramatic life events, was recently in the news after a post on her Facebook page claimed that she had taken an overdose and was in an unnamed hotel.  She was eventually found and was not harmed, but her apparent mental illness has become a topic of discussion in the entertainment news circles.

Between 1962 and 1968 or so, Uranus (radical behavior) and Pluto (destruction and rebirth) were aligned in a conjunction in the sky, the last time these two planets were locked in a dance that deconstructed and transformed the status quo.  Everyone born during this period has this urge for radical reconstruction locked into their astrological chart, and for much of that time Chiron, the planet of wounding and healing, formed a stressful opposition to Uranus and Pluto.

People born with a strong Chiron aspect in their chart like this tend to come into this incarnation already wounded – they are more emotionally sensitive and often in some degree of psycho-emotional distress.  The evolutionary purpose of this woundedness is to clear and release these painful emotions so that awareness and wisdom can take their place but not everyone is able to understand their distress from this higher perspective.  I call the Chiron/Pluto combination the aspect of “soul surgery” – the core wound generally requires some focused effort in order to be fully released so that the soul may be liberated and free.

To make matters more complicated, between 1967 and 1968 the planet Saturn aligned with Chiron – the “Celestial Mentor” (Saturn) adding another layer of challenge to the already painful dynamic. This intense Chiron/Saturn opposition to Uranus/Pluto formation figures prominently in the chart of Sinead O’Connor (born 12/8/1966).

It’s somewhat of a mystery why some people have such difficult astrological chart (and lives) and others sail through life rather unscathed by turmoil.  It is said, and I do believe this to be true, that before we incarnate into life we choose a course of study in the Earth school which will help us to complete unfinished business or learn important lessons.  I myself have one of these difficult charts, and I believe that this has helped me to grow and evolve in a way that would never have occurred had my life been easier and less painful.  However, it has taken many years of study, meditation, and therapies of various kinds!

Ms. O’Connor has made no secret of her difficult childhood and the physical and sexual abuse she experienced at the hand of her mother and the Irish Church.  She has had a colorful relationship history and most recently has been embroiled in a child custody battle.

Ms. O’Connor has the Sun in Sagittarius, and while Sagittarians are delightful people who tend generally to be positive and optimistic, that does not always work in their favor when they are faced with challenging life experiences.  The Sagittarian archetype tends to want to fly above trouble rather than face it head on.  According to Astrotheme her birthtime of 7:37 am would give her a Sagittarius ascendant, doubling the influence that inspires one to flight rather than spend time in the much of the psychic underground.

What makes life especially difficult for her now (and others born in 1967-1968) is that transiting Chiron is making a return to Chiron in the birthchart, setting off this difficult dynamic and triggering unresolved emotional pain to be released.  This is a time that requires lots of healing work: psychotherapy, energy work, yoga and meditation, vision questing but most importantly, understanding the evolutionary purpose of the psychic distress so that it can be best utilized for the growth of the personality and of the soul.

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By | 2015-12-05T08:24:55+00:00 December 5th, 2015|People|5 Comments

The astrology of Andreas Lubitz, suicide co-pilot

Andreas Lubitz astrologyRecent news reports reveal that the copilot in the recent crash of a Germanwings airliner had locked the pilot out of the cockpit and steered the plane into a mountain, killing himself and 149 other people, leaving the rest of humanity mystified.  Those who knew him described him as friendly, polite, quiet – something we often hear in these situations.

A look at the astrological chart of an individual can often provide an explanation for why someone behaves in a certain way.  It should never be taken as an excuse.  There are plenty of people with the same planetary configurations that this gentleman had who would never have flown a plane full of passengers into the Alps.  I present this analysis in order to educate about the workings of the planets – not to excuse the actions of the copilot.

Andreas Lubitz (born December 18, 1987, time and place unknown) has several difficult and painful combinations of planets in his chart.  Born with the Sun in Sagittarius, typically a freedom-loving expansive personality, his Sun was flanked by Saturn (restriction) and Uranus (rebellion) and opposed by Chiron (wounding and healing).  The stressful opposition (180 degree aspect) of Chiron to the Saturn/Sun/Uranus combination shows an individual who has come into this life with a predisposition towards emotional sensitivity and probably with a great deal of psychological wounding.

Strong Chiron contacts such as this often result in depression because one must go THROUGH the wounds in order to heal and ultimately become free of the emotional pain.  Some personality types are better suited to the kind of introspection and psychological work required to heal Chironic wounds.  Sagittarius does not care for that kind of emotional work and often responds by running away from it.

The Sagittarius stellium forms an exact square aspect to the North and South Node in the chart, the points that reveal our soul’s passage from past (South Node) to future (North Node), and a Grand Cross is formed when Chiron is included.  This suggests that in Lubitz’s evolutionary journey this was a pivotal lifetime to resolve major issues from the past.

However, the Scorpio stellium in the chart embraces one’s wounds with a mad passion and in an ideal situation will fearlessly dive into the psychological wasteland in order to dredge up these old wounds so that they can be revealed and ultimately healed.  His Moon was in Scorpio, revealing his passionate nature, and the Moon was aligned with both Mars and Pluto, the traditional (Mars) and modern (Pluto) rulers of Scorpio.  Mars/Pluto people often carry a great deal of anger and sometimes rage that can be difficult to express when it is hidden behind the Sagittarius veneer.  The Black Moon Lilith, a point that is associated with rage and relationship issues, is locked in a square to his Mars/Pluto and we will probably see a great deal of drama in his relationship history.

When you combine the deep grief of the Chiron alignments with the rage of Mars/Pluto, it is not hard to see where the impetus for such an act of brutal fury could arise.  Ideally someone with this kind of rage and anxious depression would seek help, and in fact we know that Lubitz did seek help. However, he disregarded the advice of psychiatrists to stay out of work despite a written excuse, and hid his illness from employers.  I suspected that this act of vengeance was planned and deliberate and news reports this morning revealed that he had told his girlfriend that he was planning “a heinous act that will be remembered forever.”

At the time of the crash the planet Saturn, which has been stationary for about a month, had been sitting right on Mars in the progressed chart.  This is a transit that can be enormously frustrating as Mars seeks action and Saturn puts the brakes on.  At the same time transiting Jupiter comes along bringing confidence and a tendency towards expansive acts, setting off the Mars/Pluto conjunction and triggering a firestorm of anger and rage.

As I said earlier, planetary configurations are NEVER an excuse for actions that destroy or harm others in any way.  Each of us always has a choice to take positive actions to improve our own lives and the lives of others.  But the astrological chart can provide insight into the inner workings of the mind that is otherwise unavailable.

 

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By | 2015-03-28T08:19:20+00:00 March 28th, 2015|Crime|8 Comments

From the Advice Column: Will I Ever Receive a Proper Diagnosis?

I’ll be on vacation until November 12th so forgive me if I don’t participate in the comments.  I will try to put up a timely post or two during that time, but meanwhile I’ve selected some oldies but goodies for you.

have a particular interest in energy medicine and the underlying causes of illness as they appear in the birthchart. This is particularly true of mysterious symptoms that defy diagnosis. That said, I am not a medical professional and my comments are not to be considered a substitute for regular medical care. Still, I strongly believe that most illnesses originate in an energy imbalance and that correcting this imbalance can improve our health.

Q: Twenty years ago, I had an attack of shingles in my head.. leaving me with vertigo, deafness, no taste or smell on the left side of my head, paralysis there too, and intellectual deficits. Up until this point, I was a journalist. Afterwards ? Well I had days when I couldn’t remember what side of the envelope the stamp went on. The nerves at the lower end of my spine got involved somehow and though I can walk, etc. I’ve lost functions of elimination… I have to use catheters daily to drain my bladder etc. (I know TMI…) this has been for two years now.. I underwent several tests this summer to try to find out the underlying cause of my physical problems.. and got.. No answers. I’m wondering what to do next ? Is there any light at the end of this long and painful tunnel?

A: Your chart shows difficulty expressing the energy of Mars, something I like to call a “Mars problem.” Mars, being the god of War, is the planet that urges us to defend our borders, to respond appropriately when attacked, and gives us the drive to get what we want. Mars is our desires and often is tied into our physical energy (although the Sun is also an important piece of the vitality puzzle). This is a very complex issue and situation but I will try to shorten and simplify it to fit into this format.

Your Sun is conjunct Neptune, both in Libra – a lovely and creative placement for imagination and beauty, but Neptune does tend to drown out our physical energy at times. This Sun/Neptune conjunction is the apex of what we call a “T-square”, meaning the Sun and Neptune are square to a tight conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus in Cancer on one end and Mars and Chiron in Capricorn on the other. This is a powerhouse of a dynamic that when balanced properly can give you a great deal of power for change and evolution. But when it gets blocked that powerful energy can implode within us.

Let’s break this dynamic down: The conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus in the first house seeks a an independent, innovative and exciting approach to life. However, their placement in the sign of Cancer combined with your Cancer ascendant makes it difficult to do things that are truly for you. You are geared towards taking care of others, and hope that this will serve you in the end.

This combination of Mars and Chiron in Capricorn show that you are a hard worker and very disciplined with a tremendous focus on what needs to be done. You are able to push through most obstacles and keep your eye on the goal. This can lead you to ignore signals your body is sending you to warn you of impending health crisis until it is too late. The conjunction of Mars and Chiron often signifies a difficulty expressing ones own needs which is reflected in several places in your chart. The Sun conjunct Neptune also can be a signifier of one who is sacrificed or made a scapegoat. And in Libra, the Sun strives to achieve balance and often gives up one’s own self in the process.

The opposition between Jupiter/Uranus and Mars/Chiron can be explosive. Jupiter opposite Mars expands the aggressive instinct and requires an outlet for this increased energy. Uranus opposite Mars evokes rebellion and resistance to control. Chiron opposite Uranus heightens the flow of energy through the body and in itself can create energy imbalances if not grounded properly, and the opposition of Jupiter to Chiron, while it provides an enhanced perception of multidimensional reality, can also increase health problems should they occur.

The picture I am getting here is of a person who has a tremendous amount of energy and spark of life, but who gets bogged down with the day to day responsibilities of watching out for others. Aries is on your midheaven, revealing the key to achieving your highest goals and aspirations is through aggressively asserting your needs and independence.

At the time that your first shingles attack occurred you were undergoing quite a few transits of Mars which were stimulating your need to express yourself in a more powerful way. Perhaps there were things you were angry about that were buried in the need to do what needed to be done. This was exacerbated by a transit of Jupiter across your Aries Midheaven that opposed the conjunction of the Sun and Neptune and set off the whole six-planet T-square combination. Without an outlet, all of this energy just imploded into the shingles attack (shingles are an immune system disorder that is commonly associated with stress).

About three years ago your Moon progressed into Aries (the last time this happened was 30 years before if you can remember back that far) which enhanced your need to have that Aries experience of independence and asserting one’s own needs. Xena the warrior princess is the Aries archetype of women: she is noble and kind but doesn’t take any s*&t from anyone! This would have been an excellent time to take up kickboxing or some other kind of aggressive activity that would help to release some of this energy and increase your sense of empowerment. If you had no such outlet again the energy would have imploded into your nervous system.

At the same time you began your Chiron return, when transiting Chiron was conjunct Chiron in your own chart and again set off the T-square dynamic. Chiron brings to the surface all of our hidden painful wounds from the past, demanding that these wounds be brought into conscious awareness where that can be healed. Resistance to this process can lead to health problems.

I want to emphasize that the opposition of Chiron and Uranus, which is very common in the charts of people born between 1953 and 1985, shows a particularly sensitive nervous system.

Without doing a full reading on this individual I am reluctant to make specific recommendations, but understanding what is needed to regain the balance of appropriate aggression and expression of one’s own needs and desires (Mars) is the first step to recovery.

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By | 2009-11-04T12:14:12+00:00 November 4th, 2009|Health & Healing|Comments Off on From the Advice Column: Will I Ever Receive a Proper Diagnosis?
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