Robin 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 it is often the denied or unexpressed anger or aggression which correlates most closely in depression. 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.