Anne Heche first came to my attention when she began dating Ellen deGeneres back in 1997. I had seen her in a couple of films but it was that relationship that put her in the public eye, especially since Ellen came out as a lesbian while in that relationship – a somewhat shocking event for that time.
Heche and deGeneres broke up in August 2000, and hours later Heche was found in the desert waiting for a spaceship. She later revealed that she had taken ecstasy and went on a bender following the breakup, but tales of her mental breakdown followed her for years and the scandal of her relationship with deGeneres (it was a different time back then!) put limitations on what would have been a brilliant career.
Anne Heche had the Sun conjunct Mercury in the sign of Mercury-ruled Gemini – a triple whammy of Mercury influence. Mercury is curious and changeable, eager to learn about all facets of life including different aspects of love. Mercurial factors in the natal chart of actors imply the ability to disappear into a role, and we certainly saw that with Anne Heche.
Her Venus (relationships) was in the independent sign of Aries and opposed her Libra ascendant, suggesting that the need to balance autonomy (Aries) with compromise and relationship (Venus/Libra) was a theme in her life and chart which we can see in her fierce independence (Aries) combined with serial monogamous relationships (Venus/Libra). Still, ideally these polarities need to be reconciled and balanced, something which few of us manage to do successfully.
At the time Heche met Ellen deGeneres, transformational Pluto was opposite her Sun and Mercury, likely forcing long-buried trauma into consciousness. Pluto is the god of the Underworld, or course, and often Pluto transits are accompanied by deep psychological excavation. Heche claimed for years that she was sexually abused by her father, which not surprisingly was denied by members of her family. However, there’s no doubt that her childhood was marred by a variety of trauma including the death of her brother in a car accident that was probably self-induced when she was 13, followed shortly thereafter by her father’s death of AIDS. Heche has said that she dissociated into a fantasy world that she called Celestia during the abuse by her father (source link but warning, it is pretty graphic).
One of the most notable features of Anne Heche’s natal astrology chart is the tight stellium of four planets plus the South Node of the past in Virgo (Moon, Pluto, Jupiter, South Node, Uranus). Jupiter and Uranus are in the 12th house along with the South Node. There is so much to say about this stellium, but I’ll distill it down to this: A need to find safety (Virgo Moon) pierced by trauma (Moon/Pluto) from previous incarnations (South Node) which hold the key (Jupiter) to advanced wisdom (Uranus) but also the danger of escapism (12th house) with the promise of spiritual growth (Pisces North Node).
This is really an exceptional chart with so much potential, but also a very challenging one. In addition to the challenges described above, Heche’s chart shows a weak Mars – in the sign of Sagittarius, this tends to be a Mars that runs from conflict and prefers to diffuse anger with humor. We see a further Mars problems in the presence of Chiron in Mars-ruled Aries, revealing that her core wound (Chiron) is in Mars-related issues: self-protection, assertion, aggression. A strong Mars can provide the motivation to persist through insurmountable odds, but a weak Mars will often lurk in the background until the pressure is too great. We often find Jupiter, planet of expansion, present when this happens and Jupiter can be the factor which sets off the release valve. In this case, she had been in her Chiron return for the past year or so, triggering old issues and emotional trauma, and transiting Jupiter conjoined her Mars beginning in early May.
On the day of the crash which ultimately took her life, she caused three separate accidents which suggests a great deal of rage and fury (source link). A few days before the crash she had recorded a podcast saying she had been “rocked” by a very bad day. She purchased a red wig the morning of the crash (red = rage, but also Mars). We will likely never know what drove her to immolate herself in a fiery end but we can look at her life with compassion for the difficult road which led her there.