Psychology

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 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 if someone has […]

By | 2018-06-11T12:27:02+00:00 June 8th, 2018|Death, Psychology|2 Comments

RIP Kate Spade


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 but […]

By | 2018-06-11T12:27:28+00:00 June 6th, 2018|Death, People, Psychology|7 Comments

The Astrology of Prince Harry’s Revelations

Prince Harry astrologyIn a series of , Prince Harry has revealed some of his innermost thoughts and feelings, something very unusual for the normally strait-laced Windsors of Britain.

Harry’s chart is loaded with the element of Earth – Sun in Virgo, Capricorn rising and Moon in Taurus.  Practical, grounded and anchored in the material world, Earthy people tend to be very responsible and understand the necessities of position and place in the world.  Yet in his youth, Harry was known as the mischievous child, forever pulling pranks on those around him and in school was constantly in trouble, according to Diana’s letters (published posthumously).

Mars in Harry’s chart is in the freedom-loving sign of Sagittarius and widely conjunct Uranus, planet of the rebel. The conflict between this iconoclastic rabble-rouser and the earthy pragmatism is a challenging one and in a conflict like this we often project one side into outer life.  Because Harry was brought up in the tightly controlled environment of British royalty, this need to be responsible to the British people appears to be a strong professional motivator and in fact, the planet of responsibility, Saturn, sits right on the Midheaven (the point of career and public life).  But this Uranian/Sagittarian side inspires him to create change in the monarchy; to modernize it for the 21st century.

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Harry’s chart shows a challenging opposition between Chiron (wounding and healing) and Uranus (electromagnetic energy field).  This aspect is quite common in those born between the mid 1950s and the mid 1980s, but no one else alive today has it.  Individuals with this chart dynamic are typically extremely sensitive energetically and born healers.  They have an […]

By | 2018-06-11T12:27:58+00:00 June 28th, 2017|People, Psychology|7 Comments

Pluto, psychology, transformation and the devil

Pluto astrology

You’ll be reading a lot about Pluto in these pages in the next months because I’m just entering a cycle of Pluto to an important system in my chart (geeky astrological details: to my Sun/Saturn/Neptune conjunction which squares Uranus).  Pluto was discovered in 1930 and is associated with psychology and the understanding of our hidden motivations and the mental and emotional factors that underlie our actions.

Pluto, of course, was the Lord of the Underworld.  In psychological astrology he represents the Underworld of the psyche – the secrets that we hide from others and from ourselves, the dim recesses of the mind where our darkest emotions are tucked away.  In transformational astrology I consider Pluto to act as the “Will of the Higher Self” – the part of us that encourages us to transform our secret darkness into an awakened Self through wisdom and understanding.

If we look to the mythological history of Pluto (or Hades as he was called in ancient Greece) we find that Hades was closely identified with Ploutos, the god of wealth and agricultural bounty. Hades himself was a god of the hidden wealth from under the earth such as precious metals and gems, as well as being the protector and defender of the dead.

We often think of Pluto as being a ruthless Lord of Death and destruction, but this early association of Pluto/Hades with protecting the dead reveals a secret to the Pluto archetype that we don’t often consider – Pluto’s real role is to facilitate our personal evolution if we allow it to.  Under Pluto’s influence we find ourselves facing life in a far more intense way than might be comfortable, but it’s all for the sake […]

By | 2017-01-18T08:50:43+00:00 January 18th, 2017|Astrology in my world, Psychology|4 Comments

RIP Robin Williams, the astrology of Mars and depression

Robin Williams astrologyRobin Williams lost a long battle against depression and substance abuse when he took his own life this week at the age of 63.  Like many comedic geniuses, Williams had a dark side that was evident in some of his darker film roles which allowed the multidimensionality of his personality to emerge through the veneer of hilarity.

Depression and addiction take many forms in the astrological chart.  A prominent Saturn can cause depression through a sense of one’s own failure.  A strong Chiron can bring one’s inner wounds to the surface where emotional sensitivity is the central experience.  Neptune can bring about a desire for escapism and a tendency to avoid the harsh realities of life.  But underlying many forms of depression we find a weak Mars and a buildup of anger and rage that becomes turned against itself in helplessness.

Anger is associated with depression, and . In the astrological chart, anger and aggression correlate with the planet Mars.  The placement of Mars in the birthchart reveals how comfortable the individual is with expressing their own needs and how they respond when those needs aren’t met.  Infants demonstrate the purest expression of Mars: an infant is hungry, they cry to be fed.  There are no filters when those needs are expressed but if the needs are not met, frustration is the result.  Habitual frustration leads to anger, chronic anger leads to rage.  This kind of anger and frustration can erupt into violence on an external level, or internally.

Williams’s astrological chart shows that as the ruler of his Scorpio ascendant, Mars was an important planet and a driver of his personality. […]

By | 2018-06-11T12:25:57+00:00 August 12th, 2014|People, Psychology|9 Comments
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