April, 2000
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Other Papers on Mental Illness:
Schizophrenia and the Charts of Virginia Woolf, Vaslav Nijinky, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Vincent Van Gogh
Patty Duke and Bipolar Disorder
Manic Depression As It Was Reflected in the Life of Robert Schuman
William Styron and Clinical Depression
Alfred Lord Tennyson and Lifelong Depression
2012: Thirteen More Examples of Schizophrenia

Paranoid Schizophrenia
John Hinckley, Jr.
by Sandra Weidner
About 2:30 p.m.EST, on March 30, 1981, in Washington, D.C., 25-year-old John Hinckley, Jr. tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan (1 at bottom for citation). He shot the president and a secret service agent. He also seriously wounded James S. Brady, Reagan’s press secretary. Reagan returned to work ten days later. Brady wasn’t so lucky. Brady’s wife later spearheaded the effort to enact the Brady bill to legislate control of hand guns

Several days after the attempted assassination the American public was informed Hinckley tried to assassinate the President of the United States because he believed it would win him the love of his idol, actress Jody Foster.

Was Hinckley sane at the time? If he wasn’t, where in his astrology do we look for confirmation of his insanity? And, if we use astrology to certify his insanity--if our evaluation is to be believed--then the same factors we use to declare him insane must recur for all people defined similarly insane. That is, our definition must be meaningful, precise and reproducible. By reproducible, we mean each time we judge some one similarly insane, we should find the same or very similar astrological factors.

The area of mental illness we are examining in the case of John Hinckley, Jr. is called schizophrenia.

The Planets of Schizophrenia, Paranoid Schizophrenia, and Their Modulators

Astrology has already established that neptune is a planet whose influence promotes illusion. To quote astrologer and author Rob Hand (2 at bottom for citation):

"Neptune is probably the most difficult planetary energy to understand. Its nature eludes definition because it is associated with aspects of the universe that are unclear, illusory, delusory, ill-defined, and even imaginary....If Saturn is reality, Neptune is unreality. If Saturn is an aspect of the ego, Neptune is denial of the ego. If Saturn is our notion of time and space, Neptune is outside of time and space, in either a non-dimensional or an infinitely dimensioned universe....On a low level, Neptune represents experiences that becloud the ego, which, in order to function, needs a sense of a secure ultimate reality.”

From the above, it is easy to see the strong correlation between schizophrenia and neptune. That is, neptune’s influence should be prominent and decisive in the illness we call schizophrenia because schizophrenics have trouble defining reality.

What about paranoid schizophrenia? Mars' influence describes aggression, war, fight-or-flight, and inflamed feelings. When it is combined with the potentially multiple and non-ordinary realities of neptune, it creates states of extreme fear we identify as paranoid schizophrenia.

Investigation, using this system, of the harmonic charts of people diagnosed schizophrenic has established the primacy of two of them. They are the harmonic charts for the 1st and 3rd houses. The former defines the individual’s identity, his “I am this.” Its information is a direct outcome of what he learned about himself in the first five years of his life. The latter, the chart of his 3rd house, tells us more about the way his mind itself functions.

In the 1st chart of identity, whatever weakens individual existence contributes to mental instability. Specifically, mars and saturn influencing Angles create an identity under siege. Why? Because mars and saturn are planets of dissonance. Biologically and together, they sponsor catabolism, enabling the destruction of old, diseased, or outdated biological matter. Psychologically, they represent the same dissonance, except it is psychological. The individual is trying to exist using coded astrological material that says he shouldn’t, or isn’t good enough to, or, he can, but only with great pain. When his identity was being formed--that is, very early childhood--he was constantly confronted (mars) with his deficiencies and incapacities (saturn), which became “himself.”

Neptune in certain places in this chart creates problems. Since neptune has a tendency to dissolve whatever it is in contact with, its preponderance in the chart of ego formation--this chart of the 1st house of self-identity--is ego-defeating. It promotes a fantastic sense of self which does not bear up in interpersonal encounters. Neptune here also plays a part in all kinds of allergic reactions and physical toxicities.

Certain other skews contribute to imbalance because they are skews. They create an individual too focused in one area at the necessary expense of other areas. If we could define objectivity as the individual’s capacity to perceive the whole elephant, serious skews represent his tendency to identify himself with, say, one foot, while believing that's the whole elephant. With that kind of limitation, in trying to create a life which works, he is going to find out it doesn’t, but he doesn’t understand why it doesn’t.

Investigation of the 3rd chart of mind has shown that the same influence always predominates in schizophrenia: neptune plus a light (sun, moon, node or Angle) is influencing both an Angle (Midheaven or Ascendant) and one of the 3rd houses within the chart. The first condition indicates the whole mind chart is under the influence of neptune. It is a global influence. The second indicates a specific mind house within the mind chart is influenced by neptune. It is more a local condition. Together they describe a preponderance of neptune. When neptune preponderates, it promotes states of non-ordinary--tricky, shifting, deceptive, fantastic--reality.

The light involved in schizophrenia is usually, but not always, the moon. Our moons represent, among other things, our automatic consciousness. Neptune represents (creative) fantasy. Together--without the influence of other planets--they promote automatic fantasy, that is, ideation without reference to commonly accepted reality.

If one of the non-malefic planets of personality--mercury, venus, or jupiter--is part of the influence along with the light and neptune, they reduce the tendency toward schizophrenia. This happens because they enable the individual to peg his mental creations on one of the commonly recognized and shared realities of those planets. We tend to share our positive traits because they partake of the quality of charismatic. We suffer our negative ones alone. Anti-charismatic as they are, if we cannot hide them, they will drive others away from us. So, especially when venus or jupiter--the two benefics--share the light/neptunecondition, its energy can be turned to something that is attractive. Therefore,

light/mercury/neptuneenablescreative writing, thinking, fantasy
light/venus/neptuneenablesartistic and aesthetic capacities
light/jupiter/neptuneenablesreligiousness; mysticism

At the same time, people with the above conditions must express their mercury, venus, or jupiter, or else tend toward unstable mental conditions. So, they are, in a sense, driven. Such is the case, for instance, with painters, who have light/venus/neptune influencing the same areas as schizophrenics, but in their 7th chart (interactions with others). They must paint as part of their expression of the identity they share with others. Through aesthetic expression they experience the positive end of the light/neptune stick--elation and mystical observations.

Before going any further, we should take a brief look at an explanation of the astrological method in use here.

Astrological Method
This method is not traditional. It uses a birth and conception planets and their harmonics and houses, all of which share the same axis. :

This astrology uses the sidereal positions of the planets based on the Fagan-Bradley’s SVP.
Harmonics are taken from the sidereal position of the planets. The Egyptian harmonic, discussed in the paper “About This Method” (link below), is used.
”Lights” include suns, moons, and moons nodes. When mercury rules one or two Angles, it also acts like a light and has the same orb as the other lights. The MC or Asc also acts like a light, but one with only a 2° orb, because when a set is on an Angle it does not need a light to be active.
This method uses only conjunctions, applying and separating squares, and oppositions. Orbs for static planets with lights is 5°; without lights, about 2.5°. Orb for MC/planet or Asc/planet is 2°. Planets so related to each other are referred to as in the same “set.” A set, then, is two or more planets (or an Angle) connected to each other through conjunction, square, and opposition within the defined orbs. Sets without Angles are more active when they contain a light, and less active without one. Learning to look in terms of “crosses” can be helpful in rapidly finding planets that are in the same set.
Because this approach uses both a birth and conception chart and they share the same axis, birth houses usually overlap different houses of the conception chart. These are called “house overlaps.” As it turned out in this paper, house overlaps were not significant. They can be for some other conditions. Throughout this paper I use the convention when writing about house overlaps of putting the birth house first, then the conception house. So, for instance, a “5th/1st” overlap refers to an overlap of birth 5th house with conception 1st house in that order.
Birth planets (including their harmonics) rule only birth houses. Conception planets (including their harmonics) rule only conception houses.
For a more thorough explanation of this astrological approach, refer to the following papers:

About This Method
Empirically-Derived Chart Reading Rules
Discussion of the Practical Differences Between Tropical and Sidereal Astrology
In the partial charts shown below, birth planets and their harmonics are inside the circle. Conception planets and their harmonics are outside the circle. Conception sidereal planets are red; conception harmonic ones, black. Birth sidereal planets are blue; birth harmonic ones, green. Occasionally, because of space limitations, I have had to violate this inside/outside arrangement, but the color coding remains constant.
Abbreviations used are b = birth, c = conception, and t = transiting. Even though the harmonic used for each chart is always two more than the chart’s number, in these papers—for ease of reading—I write the harmonic number the same as the chart number. For example, the 5th chart uses the 7th harmonic, but I have established the convention of writing harmonic planets for the 5th chart as, e.g., c5 mars, which reads, “the harmonic for the 5th chart for conception mars.”

Now we can look at Hinckley’s astrological condition. Only part of his chart is shown here--the bare bones which answer the question: what astrological conditions must exist for schizophrenia to exist?

For an explanation of the astrology used on this site, go to “About This System” listed among other papers on the Home Page. For those who do not want to do that, there is this note: this system uses only conjunctions, applying and separating squares, and oppositions. Orbs with lights is 5°; without lights, about 2.5°. Birth planets (including their harmonics) rule only birth houses. Conception planets (including their harmonics) rule only conception houses.

Returning to Hinckley, non-astrologers can skip the actual astrology, and just read the text. It should suffice for an impression of the astrology of schizophrenia.

The Charts
Hinckley: The Harmonic Chart for the 1st House of Identity
(1)c1 saturn 0 Virgo 36
b moon3Virgo 34
c mars4 Sagittarius58ruler of c 3rd house
b south node2 Gemini 25
bmercury 3 Gemini 52

(2)b mars25 Aquarius24ruler of b 3rd house and b Midheaven
c1moon29 Taurus 58
c1saturn0 Virgo 36

(1) and (2) together show lighted mars/saturn influence to both birth and conception 3rd houses. (2) also influences birth Midheaven, so his lighted mars/saturn influence has become global in his identity chart. Because of the dissonance it creates, he cannot think very well, that is, logically, from a implies b implies c, with value and conclusion, without fear and self-criticism. But, this chart--that of the 1st house--has been asserted to be about one's identity. Why has a thinking problem been attributed to it? It is true, the 3rd, not the 1st, harmonic chart primarily describes thinking. However, the individual's 1st house chart also contains information about his mind. Specifically, the 3rd houses within it contain such information. It is, for instance, the place to look for right- or left-brained emphasis. Such emphases greatly influence thinking and perceiving. Disturbances there, symbolized astrologically by dissonant planetary conditions, are crucial in identity pathology.

(3)c pluto0 Leo 41
c mercury3 Leo 46ruler of c Midheaven and Ascendant
c sun3 Leo 56ruler of c 12th house
b1 neptune5 Leo 08 R
b1 south node7 Leo 15
b Midheaven3 Scorpio 29
c1 uranus4 Scorpio 07co-ruler of c 5th house of sexual expression (28 of 30 degrees)

He has a powerful tendency (south node) to exhibit grandiosity (in Leo) in an unrealistic, even cinematic (neptune with it) manner. Since his Leo planets are all in birth 7th house influencing his relationship to others, it is more correct to say he sees himself with a dramatic, royal (famous), partner.

Harmonic uranus (sudden) in Scorpio (death) conjunct B Midheaven, above, figures in: it deals with ideas of sudden loss. So, his grandiosity includes ideas involving emotional trauma. He--consciously or unconsciously--sees relationship correlated with unexpected death.

(4)c jupiter25 Gemini 34
c Midheaven25 Gemini 35
b1 venus26 Pisces 20

But this is a good condition (because it includes the benefics venus and jupiter)! Well, not altogether. Unless an individual has a strong identity, a prominent venus in Pisces is a difficult placement for venus. Why? Venus (love, affection) in Pisces (non-ego sign) asks for sacrifice of the ego in love. In order for that to work out without disaster, the individual sacrificing his ego needs to know what to diminish and what to hold on to for sanity’s sake.

The above together demonstrate some of the stresses on Hinckley’s identity. They show: (1 and 2 above) his identity is marred by a dissonance and chaotic thinking. Because of this, he probably has little self-confidence. (3 and 4 above) his sense of himself vis-a-vis relationship is confused and contains contradictory demands for grandiosity and complete self-abnegation.

Hinckley: The Harmonic Chart for the 3rdHouse of Mind
Hinckley’s 3rd house harmonic chart is fair. At least, before progressions--that is, before bringing the chart up to the time of the assassination attempt (called progressions)--he is not a raving maniac. Several placements negatively affect his ability to discriminate:

(5)c south node19 Gemini 48
c3 moon19 Gemini 56

(6)c3 pluto3 Leo 26
c mercury3 Leo 46
c sun3 Leo 56

(7)b Ascendant16 Capricorn 18
b3 moon17 Capricorn 49
b venus18 Aries 47in b 3rd & c 7th houses, rules b 5th house

(5) indicates a tendency, with usually poor results (south node), to think young. Gemini indicates a love of ideas for their own sake, with little comprehension the difficulty their implementation might entail. It lacks the more mature overview represented by its complementary opposite sign, Sagittarius, sign of law, religion, and philosophy--all areas involving fine discrimination. South node in Gemini--Hinckley’s birth and conception south nodes are both in Gemini--indicates he has a predisposition to fall into that type of consciousness.

(6) shows an intense (pluto), perhaps subconscious (pluto), interest (mercury--ruler of Angles) in showing himself (sun) to be “mighty” (Leo). If, however, he is not mighty, this type of self-concept will create problems.

(7) has several interpretations. Moon conjunct the Ascendant in Capricorn shows an automatic interest in control. When he feels out of control, he will make exaggerated attempts to regain it. (7) is most important, however, because venus is simultaneously in both b 3rd and c 7th house. His thinking (3rd house) is focused on ardent (Aries) love (venus) through relationship (7th house). These influences are inseparable. Bringing in venus’ rulership of his b 5th house, it turns sexual. As Hinckley was at the time of his assassination attempt, it was a sexuality he could not express. That made it a problem. Since b venus is constantly lighted by his birth Ascendant, his consciousness is rarely far from such fantasies. It is this combination of 3rd/5th/7th venus continually forefront in consciousness which turns unattainable relationships into obsessions. This combination is the astrological signature for the obsessive part of stalker’s behavior.

Has it been demonstrated yet that Hinckley was crazy when he shot the president? It has not. We have seen that he was confused about relationships (1st house chart). That he probably had very low self esteem (1st house chart). He was also obsessive about relationship (3rd house chart).

Surely any one who attempts to assassinate the President of the United States in order to get his girl is somehow crazy. Yes, here is the proof he was :

(8)b moon3 Virgo 34
b3 neptune8 Gemini 33
b mars8 Gemini 38ruler of b Midheaven and b 3rd house

The separation between this moon and his mars/neptune is 5 °--right at the cut-off point for effectiveness. It is too loose to define Hinckley as paranoid schizophrenic. It does, however, show he has one condition that leans in that direction. Enough to drive him to assassination? No. More of the same kind of schizoid-producing influence is needed. In astrology, closer is also more. That is, if a condition is made up of planets all closely(by degree) connected through 90 degree intervals, the condition is considered at its strongest. Hinckley’s pertinent progression for March 30, 1981, brings it into prominence:

(8a)progressed b sun8 Gemini 38

Adding (8) and (8a), he has a closely lighted mars/neptune influence to 3rd houses and Angles. This is the signature for conditions conducive to paranoid schizophrenia . His progressed sun exposes, or develops, his latent schizophrenic tendency. Its influence lasts about nine months--about six months before and three months after exact. It’s effect is strongest as it approaches his mars/neptune, and weakens quickly after passing it. On March 30, 1981, it was in exact aspect to mars, the “do something” planet. Lasting at least 9 months, then, his mental aberration is not just a passing influence.

Does this mean Hinckley is not continuously schizophrenic? Yes, it does. He is probably not classified schizophrenic most of the time. Unfortunately for him, while he was psychotic, he tried to assassinate a President of the United States.

This is not the place for extensive comparisons between charts--called synastry, but it is noteworthy that Jody Foster’s birth Midheaven is at 9 Virgo 33 and progressed birth Ascendant at 9 Sagittarius 09 for event. They fit right into the above sun/mars/neptune. She provides an Angle for--that is, helps give expression to and becomes the recipient of--the condition most representative of his paranoid schizophrenia.

Does that make her--in any way--responsible for his behavior? Absolutely not! It is just that such connections between charts help explain why a stalker picks one person and not another. Chart positions symbolize constantly changing electromagnetic forces within the individual. They have negative and positive charges; they attract and repel. Everything significant that happens between individuals involves the “flow” of these forces from one individual to the other, and vice versa, through Angle/planet interconnections. It is not all involuntary. An individual in control of his manifestations can choose not to express many things he feels. People do it all the time. It gets harder the more "force" involved. In Hinckley’s chart, his schizoid force is stronger than it might be because he is confused about his role and has little practice successfully implementing it.

Hinckley also had this:

(9)progressed b Midheaven28 Scorpio10
c3 neptune28 Taurus 57
This shows another Angle/neptune influence, further facilitating his schizophrenia.

(10)progressed b mars25 Gemini 24ruler of b Midheaven and b 3rd house
c jupiter25 Gemini 34ruler of c 4th house, co-ruler of c 3rd house (26 of 33 degrees)
c Midheaven25 Gemini 35

With (10) he has another Angle/mars, plus mars/3rd house, influence. Mars progressed to jupiter in (or ruling) the tenth house of social recognition is prevalent in the charts of assassins. Why? Jupiter conjunct the Midheaven represents the need for social prominence. Mars coming to it makes the need acute. An individual who cannot achieve prominence through legitimate means may, then, resort to illegitimate ones. In Hinckley’s case, his name will always be associated with Ronald Reagan, President of the United States. It is a sort of borrowed prestige.

So, by timing, at the time of his assassination attempt, John Hinckley, Jr. was a paranoid schizophrenic. His thinking was definitely impaired, as was his ability to correctly assess reality.

To finish with astrological influences, Hinckley had one more worth mentioning. On March 30, 1981, in addition to (10) above (mars to an Angle), he also had (where p = progressed):

(11)pc Midheaven21 Cancer 23
b saturn22 Libra 13ruler of b Ascendant

At that time, with (10) and (11), he was experiencing new, that is, progressed, mars and saturn to Angles in all of his charts. When any of us has new mars and saturn to Angles, we are in a difficult, painful period of our lives. Things break down, loved ones die, relationships end. They break down for quite a period of time, months, not just moments.

Saturn’s placement in Libra (11) identifies lack (saturn) of relationship (Libra) as his major, unsolvable (saturn) concern at the time.

(10)and (11) also represent the stress he went through following his arrest. He was in jail. He had tried to kill several people, including the President of the United States. His parents were flabbergasted, so little did they suspect his true condition. Once incarcerated, it was weeks before Hinckley realized his action had not won him the esteem of Ms. Foster. As the reality of his situation slowly sank in, he was devastated, making several serious suicide attempts.

Establishing what is below, and what above the threshold for schizophrenic expression needs patient participation to be sorted out. What--thinking, behavior, medicine, identity, habits, skills--supports preventing the expression of schizophrenia?

For now, results show that astrological factors for schizophrenia include:

The Harmonic Chart for the 1st House of Identity
This chart indicates that mars and saturn, influencing Angles and 3rd houses, indicative of anything from poor self esteem, poor identity, difficulty in communicating or formulating, to actual biochemical imbalances appear to play an important part in schizophrenia. Additionally, abnormal skews in identity tend to imbalance.

The Harmonic Chart for the 3rd House of Mind
Lighted neptune influencing an Angle pushes the chart substantially toward schizophrenia. When it also influences 3rd houses within the chart, the full set for fostering schizophrenia exists.

One influence without the other suggests:

(1) Influence to an Angle without influence to a 3rd house appears to produce people whose minds are obviously disturbed, who go in and out of shorter term schizoid states. Their general powers of analysis are good most of the time, but their behavior is a little crazy. (3 below for an example.)

(2) The influence to 3rd houses without influence to Angles has not occurred often, suggesting it is less prevalent in those diagnosed with schizophrenia. The individual probably has strange observations, but most people don’t know about them. Or they seem harmless enough.

When the two influences--(1) plus (2)-- occur together, full-blown psychosis can manifest.

Addition of mars to the combined condition turns it into paranoid schizophrenia.

Stalking occurs when there is too pervasive an emphasis on relationship without the capacity to achieve it. So, for instance, when venus is simultaneously influencing 3rd, 5th, and 7th houses, representing the mind, sexuality, and relationships respectively, the individual has love (venus) tying up three significant areas of his personality. He cannot get his mind off it, because his mind is part of it. If he cannot, then, achieve relationship, he is in trouble. It is not his (if he has it) schizophrenia which makes him obsessive, but his literal astrological over-emphasis on relationship. If he is schizophrenic, actual relationship may be blocked (because he is schizophrenic), so the desire for and focus on relationship are tremendous.

Lights (sun and moon) and lighted malefics (mars and saturn) in Pisces, in either chart, especially when influencing Angles and 3rd houses, appear to increase tendency to schizophrenia. This is because Pisces--ruled by neptune--represents diffuse, non-egoic states. Sun, and particularly moon, in Pisces are described by words such as fugue and anomie. Saturn in Pisces stands for feelings of complete defenselessness; mars in Pisces, an inability to act in one’s own best interest.

Further Work
The occurrence of most of these conditions in charts of older people who have never been diagnosed mentally ill would present an opportunity to further refine their relevance. Which influences are, and which are not, crucial under what circumstances?

The individual’s astrology at the time a condition (or event) occurs always provides important clues about the astrology--in general--of that condition. Discrete, fairly well-defined conditions, such as schizophrenia, produce discrete, fairly well-defined astrological factors. Once such factors are clearly established, their value is prognostic.

Finally, certain astrological factors always appear in cases of schizophrenia. Whether or not they mandate schizophrenia is not known. What appears true is their mounting, cumulative effect slowly adds up to too much for most people to handle sanely.

(1) The information on John Hinckley, Jr.was taken from the book, Breaking Points, by Jack and JoAnn Hinckley with ElizabethSherrill. 1985, Chosen Books.

(2) Horoscope Symbols by Robert Hand. Gloucester, MA, Para Research, Inc., 1981, pp. 75-76. He states the higher sense of neptune is connected to mysticism, creativity, and positive self-sacrifice for an ideal. While we agree with that, we add that charts of all spiritual teachers examined show their renown, and perhaps their spiritual success itself, comes not from neptune, but--from light/venus/jupiter, the same planets which produce success in all other human endeavors. Without strong benefic support, the outer planets--including neptune, undoubtedly spiritualizing because it confounds our egotistical schedules--give humanity its most bizarre mental, physical, and behavioral forms.

(3) A good example for this is Nancy Spungen, girl friend of rock star Sid Vicious. After years of her parents chasing after diagnoses from various mental health experts, she was finally classified schizophrenic. What delayed it? Often bizarre, with paranoid episodes, Nancy was nonetheless usually in touch with reality. Indeed, because she could sometimes be very outspoken, her thinking was too clear for some. Her 3rd chart showed mars/neptune on an Angle, but not influencing either 3rd house within the chart. She was subject to paranoid states. In the end, it cost her life.

Data Acknowledgments

John Hinckley,Jr.
Birth: 5/29/1955, 11:42 p.m. CST, Ardmore, OK. In Astro-Data III, by Lois M. Rodden. From DeMarre, from the birth certificate. Note: The mother, in Breaking Points, the biography of her son, states birth occurred at 11:29 p.m. (p.55). Astrologers give priority to data stated to be taken from the birth certificate--even over the mother’s memory. So, the later time was used. In examining charts for both times, the later time worked best for what happened. This kind of data problem--validity of actual birth time--makes astrological research difficult. Until birth times are recorded with the same attention to detail a chemist uses in analyzing hia unknown, our research will always be questionably reliable.
Conception: 8/21/54, 9:56:05 am CST, Ardmore, OK.

Jodie Foster
Birth: 11/19/1962, 8:14 am PST, Los Angeles, CA. From DataNews, by Lois M. Rodden, from the birth certificate sent her by Thelma Smyth and TomWilson.
Conception: 2/5/1962, 6:53:57 p.m. PST, Los Angeles,CA.

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Contact the author at: sleeweidner@yahoo.com