I have to say I am a bit creeped out by Mackenzie Phillips’ admission that she had what amounts to an affair with her father for ten years. There has been much debate in the news media about whether the affair was rape or not, since Mackenzie reportedly was 19 years old when the initial incident occurred.
Mackenzie is the daughter of John Phillips and his first wife, Susan Adams, but John left the family when he married his second wife, Michelle Phillips, in 1962. So John was the distant father to Mackenzie, most likely idealized by her and never available.
Her astrological chart shows that she has a Scorpio Sun in tight conjunction to Mars (sexuality and aggression), both of which are squared by Uranus (shock and sudden change). That Sun/Mars conjunction has a strong sexual component, and the square to Uranus can signify a shocking early trauma, or simply a rebellious nature that relishes the shock value of radical behavior. In any case, Uranus square the Sun often shows the sudden departure (Uranus) of the father (Sun) that leaves a gaping hole in the life of the individual.
Mackenzie’s chart is made more difficult by a square from Saturn to both the Moon and Venus. Venus in the birthchart shows where we feel attractive and deserving of love, and that square from Saturn indicates a deep insecurity and sense of rejection. The square from Saturn to the Moon, which represents emotional security and safety, exacerbates that insecurity and adds a note of isolation and loneliness.
She also has Chiron (wounding and healing) square to the Sun and directly opposite Uranus. The square of Chiron to the Sun reveals the difficulty she has had in developing a sense of Self and a healthy ego (the Sun), and the Chiron/Uranus opposition is often associated with anxiety and because it requires a transmutation of energy it can be extremely intense. It is prevalent in the charts of people who do healing work but it is also commonly found in people who have drug addictions as they seek to medicate the intensity of their experiences.
The hippie culture in the 1960s embraced a different morality in an effort to separate from the uptightness of traditional American society of the 1950s. I lived in communes in the early 1970s and it was not uncommon for parents to give their children LSD and other psychedelics in an effort to “free their mind.” Looking back, it was an incredibly delusional period, but we were trying to forge a new culture where everyone was free. As it turned out though, that freedom nearly killed many of us.
Mackenzie had tried both pot and LSD by age 12, and by 18 she was injecting heroin with her father. At the time that the incestuous affair began in 1979, John Phillips’ career and life were spiraling down into a morass of drug-induced stupor. His addiction was so intense in the late 1970s that he was unable to complete an album for the Rolling Stones, and Mackenzie was arrested for drug possession and suspended from her television series. She barely worked again until 1992 when she achieved sobriety and appeared to stay out of trouble until August of 2008 when she was arrested with cocaine and heroin.
During that period in 1979, transiting Uranus conjoined Mackenzie’s Sun, setting off the Sun/Uranus square in her chart. I can just imagine that here is this depressed and insecure young girl, whose father is a gorgeous rock god who left her and her mother when she was just a baby, and finally he is giving her the attention she has always longed for. She knows it’s wrong by conventional moral standards, but she’s a rebel at heart (Sun square Uranus) and Uranus is activating that morality buster. Uranus brings us experiences that alter and change us forever, and that would certainly have been the case here.
Over the past year and a half transiting Pluto has been activating the Saturn/Moon/Venus complex in Mackenzie’s chart. This is a very challenging planetary event that would have excavated (Pluto) all of Mackenzie’s insecurities and anxieties, as well as releasing memories and feelings from the past. At the same time she has been going through her Chiron return, which is a cycle we go through around age 51 when Chiron returns to its place in the birthchart. This activates the release of old feelings and emotions, and while it can be overwhelming at times there is also the opportunity for healing.
The combination of the Chiron return (with transiting Chiron also activating Uranus in the chart and the desire for real change and evolution) with the transit of Pluto and its potential for transformation along with the revelations of deep dark secrets from the Underworld, must have been an intense one. Dr. Drew Pinsky who has treated Mackenzie, said in an interview that the revelation of this secret (Pluto) is part of Mackenzie’s healing (Chiron).