suicide

Musings on suicide, free will and fate

I’ve been fielding a lot of questions and comments about suicide in the past few weeks, specifically whether suicide shows up in the chart, so there’s something in the Zeitgeist. A close friend took his own life a few months ago so this has been present in my own life too especially since Pluto, planet of death, has been sitting right on my Sun for months. Following the suicide of Kate Spade, and now Anthony Bourdain, the questions and comments are intensifying.

Depression shows up in the chart. Potentiality for tragedy in the life shows up in the chart. Strength of will and personality show up in the chart.  Difficulty in managing stressful situations shows up in the chart. These are things we have no control over and, I believe, are present because they are life lessons to be learned. The choices that we make to navigate the difficulties in our life, like suicide, is part of our free will and NOT predestined.

Suicide runs in my family and I grew up with suicide as a life option, like going to college or moving to California. I considered it many times in the midst of terrible depression, although I never took action. So I do understand what drives humans to want to end their lives.

My friend Leah Whitehorse expressed my own views very well: ” I think something a lot of people forget is that we are not just living the karmic lessons of other lives but we are CREATING (caps for emphasis) karma in this life. My personal belief is that we are here to finish the lessons we came to learn so jumping off early is not part of the agenda. That said, I think it’s different […]

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By |2019-09-25T07:55:47-04:00June 8th, 2018|Death, Psychology|2 Comments

RIP Kate Spade

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Designer Kate Spade, whose handbags can be seen everywhere, has died of an apparent suicide at the age of 55.  A fashion designer for many years,in 2006 she sold the successful company that she started with her husband in 1993.  Their more recent endeavors had not been as well received.

I recently did a session for a client who was very depressed and wanted to know if her chart showed a tendency towards suicide.  The fact is, while a chart can show whether an individual will suffer from depression and what form that is likely to take, how they manage their suffering is not something we can see in the chart.  We can see whether someone has the strength to actively fight for their health and turn their life around, but we can’t predict whether or not they will actually do it.

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Kate Spade’s chart (set for noon, no birth time available) does show the potential for psychological issues.  Emotional intensity (Pluto square the Moon) adds to a deep sense of abandonment as illustrated by stressful aspects from Chiron (soul wounding and healing) to both the Moon and Pluto. Uranus (radical behavior) is involved too in that system, which can sometimes suggest a tendency towards anxiety and a highly sensitized nervous system.  The fact that her Moon was in happy Sagittarius suggests that it would be difficult for her to delve into her unhappiness and would instead attempt to fly beyond her problems.

Ms. Spade’s chart was also weak in the fire element; her Sagittarius Moon provided motivation and drive […]

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By |2019-11-10T19:09:06-05:00June 6th, 2018|Death, People, Psychology|7 Comments

Suicide among “baby boomers” jumps by 50%


News outlets are reporting that suicide rates for individuals aged 40-59 jumped over the last decade. The most pronounced jump was in the age groups from 50-54 and from 55-59 years old but there was also a big jump in suicides for those aged 60-64. (Full report from the CDC here.)

Astrologically, this age group corresponds to the Pluto in Leo generation. Leo is the sign that needs to feel special, and no age group has been as determined to be special as the Pluto in Leo generation of which I am a member. Obsessed with youth and the need to stay relevant, we didn’t trust anyone over 30 when we were young, and refused to grow old (a determination which as I wrote a few years ago has resulted in a tremendous increase in disabilities among this age group.

The baby boomers also demonstrated an increased suicide rate in adolescence: “The baby boomers also experienced higher suicide rates during their adolescence and young adulthood, doubling the rate for those age groups at the time. Their suicide rate then declined slightly and stabilized, before beginning to increase again in midlife.”

The sign of Leo is all about learning to celebrate the Self and find authentic avenues of Self-expression.  Pluto in any sign tends to bring out the obsessive and self-destructive qualities of a sign and necessitates transformation in the areas that are governed by that sign.  Pluto in Leo tends to regard everything as a mirror – failure then has the potential to become a rejection of the Self and not just a momentary obstacle.

Without more data it’s difficult to generalize, but the fact that this age group […]

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By |2018-06-11T12:28:49-04:00May 3rd, 2013|Death, Generations, Psychology|11 Comments

The agony of Bill Zeller

Bill Zeller suicideA reader requested that I look at the chart of Bill Zeller, a brilliant programmer who was best known for creating innovative software such as the MyTunes application.  Mr. Zeller committed suicide on January 5th after struggling for a lifetime with memories of repeated sexual abuse as a child.

It’s unfortunate that we don’t have a time of birth for Mr. Zeller, but the solar chart (born 10/26/1983 in Connecticut) reveals a stellium (tight conjunction) of four planets.  His Sun and Saturn are tightly conjoined in Scorpio, suggesting a pattern of rejection and coldness (Saturn) from the father, and also a tendency towards depression, especially as a young person.  (The beauty of Saturn is that if we can survive his trials as young people we can have a very productive old age.)  A Scorpio Sun reveals an assignment to experience life as deeply as possible, including the dark emotions that lurk under every rock and within every crevice.  There is a powerful emotional intensity with Scorpio that cannot be denied.

Also embedded in this stellium are Mercury and Scorpio in a nearly exact conjunction.  Mercury is either at the last degree of Libra or fully into Scorpio, depending on when Zeller was born, and Pluto is at the last degree of  Libra where it is fully “on the cusp” of Scorpio.  Mercury represents the way we think about things, and with Mercury on the cusp of Scorpio and conjoined by Pluto we have a “double whammy” connecting Mercury–the mind– with Pluto/Scorpio’s intensity.

Mercury is also conjunct the Sun which bestows a high degree of intelligence on the individual, but traditional astrologers, calling this a “combust” aspect, suggest that Mr. Zeller’s capacity for reason would be diminished by […]

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By |2019-11-10T19:10:48-05:00January 12th, 2011|Death, People, Psychology|6 Comments

More on the death of David Carradine

You read it here first: When I put up the post on Thursday afternoon about Carradine’s death, speculating that the likely cause of Carradine’s death was autoerotic asphyxiation, a Google search turned up no other articles on this topic.  Now the details of Carradine’s tragic death have come out and there is no doubt that this was indeed the cause of his death.

When there is a fascination with the dark side of sexuality, we usually find a strong Pluto component to the chart.  Pluto is the planet of death, rebirth and transformation, but it also has to do with intensity and compulsion and a fascination with the dark side of life.  Carradine had a nearly exact opposition of Pluto to Venus in his birthchart, linking that compulsive nature (Pluto) to his relationships and patterns of relating to others. Venus/Pluto combinations can be problematic for relationships, and Carradine was married five times.

While Venus/Pluto combinations are nearly always difficult to some degree, they do NOT manifest the same way for everyone.  The variables in human behavior makes astrology a less-than-exact science, and there are plenty of people with these combinations who go on to lead a healthy and happy life.  I myself have Venus in Scorpio square Pluto, as I told someone in the comments section, and I have never been at all interested in this kind of darkness.  It’s always easier to go back and demonstrate correspondences between the chart and behavior than to predict exactly how a planetary system will operate.  So if your loved one has this in their chart, do NOT worry that they will die in a closet in Bangkok.

We don’t know the exact position of the Moon because we don’t know Carradine’s time of birth, but it was definitely in range to […]

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By |2020-11-03T13:28:13-05:00June 6th, 2009|Death, People|Comments Off on More on the death of David Carradine
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