Nicole Richie is one of those celebrities famous for not much other than being famous, but there’s something about her that moves me, particularly now that she is unraveling at a rapid pace. Abandoned by her mother, raised in opulence but with no firm structures, she has struggled to find herself yet I feel she has an inner strength that will carry her through this difficult time.
If it weren’t for Paris Hilton, no one would have heard of Nicole Richie. The adopted daughter of Lionel Richie, Nicole was born to one of his band members and then later turned over to the Richie family for financial reasons. Lionel and his then-wife adopted Nicole and gave her their name but divorced shortly thereafter when Nicole was 10. She attended the University of Arizona for two years after graduating high school and dabbled in rock and roll before she was chosen for the reality show “The Simple Life” with Paris Hilton, her friend from grammar school.
Nicole Richie was born with the Sun in modest Virgo. Virgos typically shun the limelight, preferring to spend their time perfecting their craft and their lives in general. Where Virgos can sometimes become stuck due to their cautious approach to life, Nicole’s Sun is in a harmonious aspect (sextile) to Uranus, the planet of individuality and innovation, showing that she approaches life as an individualist and isn’t afraid to do things differently.
Nicole’s Cancer Moon gives her a deep affection for family and shows that she is extremely sensitive and protective of those that she loves; however, her Moon is squared by Saturn, the planet of isolation and restriction. The Moon in the birthchart often shows how the individual was mothered, and Saturn in square to the Moon indicates a powerful sense of loneliness that originates in childhood and remains an issue throughout the life of the individual. Saturn threatens our sense of self-esteem and creates a deep insecurity in early life that can deepen into a strength of character as the individual matures. Often with Saturn square to the Moon there was an early rejection by the mother, and Pluto is also widely square to the Moon which accentuates that sense of rejection.
Nicole has other signatures of the Plutonic intensity as well: Venus in her chart falls in Scorpio, signifying a passionate nature and desire for deep and lasting relationships, and Mercury conjunct Pluto, linking her communication process (Mercury) to the probing depth of Pluto. She is not one to shrink from an argument and will stand up for herself where necessary.
A square of Jupiter to her Moon suggests that Nicole is subject to dramatic mood swings and although she is exceedingly generous with others, she has a tendency to lose herself in the process. She may tend to idealize (Jupiter) those around her and overestimate their ability to take care of her emotional needs (Moon
Mars in Nicole’s chart is in Leo, showing a strong sense of pride and a flair for the dramatic (Leo) and a drive (Mars) for admiration (Leo) that fuels her career goals. Mars is square to Venus, showing an impatience with others when they fail to meet her expectations and impatience with the pace of relationships in general.
With transiting Chiron (wounding and healing) opposing her natal Moon, Nicole was arrested in early 2003 for heroin possession just before she was to enter rehab for her addictions. But 2003 was the best of times as well as the worst of times for Nicole, with transiting Pluto making a harmonious aspect (sextile) to her progressed Sun, she became known and loved as Paris Hilton’s adorable and slightly chubby sidekick in “The Simple Life.” Harmonious Pluto transits create transformation and change, but they occur easily and with great exhilaration.
2004 and 2005 was more challenging for Nicole, when transiting Saturn was conjunct her Moon and set off the stressful emotional complex in her chart. Under this influence her friendship with Paris Hilton fell apart in a very public way, necessitating the end of their television show. She began to lose weight and although she was initially lauded for her classy new look, by summer of 1995 she soon became the subject of much speculation as her weight dropped to dangerous levels.
In September of 2006, as Nicole’s weight continued to be a source of news and speculation, transiting Saturn and Neptune both are making challenging aspects to Chiron in Nicole’s chart. Chiron shows where in our chart we hold a deep wound that we try to ignore, but when a transiting planet activates that point, the old pain is activated in order to promote healing. Under the influence of Saturn to Chiron we are forced to face that part of ourselves from which we are hiding. Neptune is the planet that rules mystical experiences and shows where we delude ourselves, and the difficult transits of Neptune to Chiron can blur our senses and make it difficult to find our way. Nicole has been in the news lately, passing out at nightclubs and recently being arrested for driving under the influence. Her arrest report cites her weight as 85 pounds.
Ultimately, this difficult cycle which will last throughout next summer has the potential to bring about a deep healing for Nicole but the path will not be easy and will require facing some truths about her family history and her psychological issues that she has denied for some time. Fortunately, her progressed Sun is making a harmonious aspect (trine) to Pluto this year, facilitating her ability to let go of the past and move into the future if she maintains her focus on healing the person within rather than building her career and public persona.