The following biographical material was excerpted from Wikipedia (8/19/2014). I have retained much of it. You don't need to read all of this to comprehend the rest of this paper, but the material written in red is the crucial hint in his biography that shows us what to look for in Williams' suicide astrology: Robin McLaurin Williams (July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014) was an American actor, comedian, film producer, and screenwriter. Starting as a stand-up comedian in San Francisco and Los Angeles in the mid 1970s, he is credited with leading San Francisco's comedy renaissance. After rising to fame as Mork in the TV series Mork & Mindy (1978–82), Williams went on to establish a career in both stand-up comedy and feature film acting.
His film career included acclaimed work such as Popeye (1980), The World According to Garp(1982), Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Dead Poets Society (1989), Awakening (1990), The Fisher King (1991), and Good Will Hunting(1997), as well as financial successes such as Hook (1991), Aladdin (1992),Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Jumanji (1995), The Birdcage (1996), Night of the Museum (2006), and Happy Feet (2006).
Williams was born in Chicago, Illinois on July 21, 1951. His mother, Laurie McLaurin (c. 1923 – September 4, 2001), was a former model from Jackson,, Mississippi, whose great-grandfather was Mississippi senator and governor Anselm J. McLaurin. His father, Robert Fitzgerald Williams (September 10, 1906 – October 18, 1987), who was from a family prominent in Evansville, Indiana, was a senior executive at Ford Motor Company in charge of the Midwest region. Williams had two brothers: Robert Todd Williams (June 14, 1938 – August 14, 2007) and McLaurin Smith. While his mother was a practitioner of Christian Science, Williams was raised as an Episcopalian and later authored the comedic list, "Top Ten Reasons to be an Episcopalian.
Williams described himself as a quiet child whose first imitation was of his grandmother to his mother. He did not overcome his shyness until he became involved with his high school drama department. Williams attended public elementary school at Gorton Elementary School (now Gorton Community Center) and middle school at Deer Path Junior High School (now Deer Path Middle School), both in Lake Forest, Illinois. His young friends recall him as being very funny. When Williams was in seventh grade in the fall of 1963,] his father was transferred to Detroit, so the family moved to a 40-room farm house in suburban Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, where he was a student at the private Detroit Country Day School. He excelled in school and became president of the class. He was on the school's soccer team and wrestling team. In middle school, Williams was bullied and sought out new routes home to avoid his tormentors. He told jokes to his mother to make her laugh and pay attention to him. Williams spent much of his time alone in the family's large home, playing with his 2,000 toy soldiers. [Red emphasis mine.]
Williams' father was away much of the time and, when he was home, Williams found him "frightening". His mother worked too, leaving Williams to be attended to by the maids they employed. Williams claimed his upbringing left him with an acute fear of abandonment and a condition he described as "Love Me Syndrome." [Red emphasis mine.] When Williams was 16, his father took early retirement and the family moved to Woodacre, CaliRfornia. Following the move, Williams attended Redwood High School in nearby Larkspur. When he graduated in 1969, the senior class voted him both "Most Likely Not to succeed" and "Funniest."
After high school graduation, Williams enrolled at Claremont Men’s College to study political science, later dropping out to pursue acting He then studied theatre for three years at the College of Marin, a community college in Kentfield, California. According to Marin drama professor James Dunn, the depth of Williams's talent first became evident when he was cast in Oliver! as Fagin.
Next, Williams attained a full scholarship to the Juilliard School in New York City. In 1973, Williams was one of only 20 students accepted into the freshman class at Juilliard and one of only two students to be accepted by John Houseman into the Advanced Program at the school that year; the other was Christopher Reeve. William Hurt was another classmate. Williams left Juilliard during his junior year in 1976 at the suggestion of Houseman, who said there was nothing more Juilliard could teach him His teacher at Juilliard, Gerald Freedman, notes that Williams was a "genius," and the school's conservative and classical style of training would not suit him, therefore no one was surprised that he left
On June 4, 1978, Robin Williams married his first wife, Valerie Velardi. They met in 1976 when he worked as a bartender at a tavern in San Francisco. Their son Zachary Pym "Zak" Williams was born in 1983. Williams and Velardi divorced in 1988.
On April 30, 1989, he married Marsha Garces, a Filipino American and Zachary's nanny, who was pregnant with his child. They had two children, Zelda Rae Williams (born 1989) and Cody Alan Williams (born 1991). In March 2008, Garces filed for divorce from Williams, citing irreconcilable differences. Williams married his third wife, graphic designer Susan Schneider, on October 23, 2011, in St. Helena, California. Their residence was Williams's house in Sea Cliff, a neighborhood in San Francisco, California.
On August 14, 2007, Williams's elder brother, Robert Todd Williams, died of complications from heart surgery performed a month earlier.
In 1986, he teamed up with Whoopie Goldberg and Billy Crystal to found Comic Relief USA, an annual HBO television benefit devoted to the homeless, which has raised $80 million as of 2014. Williams made benefit appearances to support literacy and women's rights, along with appearing at benefits for veterans. He was a regular on the USO circuit, where he traveled around the world to perform for soldiers.
Williams and his second wife, Marsha, founded the Windfall Foundation, a philanthropic organization to raise money for many charities. In response to the 2010 Canterbury earthquake, Williams donated all proceeds of his "Weapons of Self Destruction" Christchurch performance to helping rebuild the New Zealand city. Half the proceeds were donated to the Red Cross and half to the mayoral building fund. Williams performed with the USO for U.S. troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Williams supported St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital for several years.
In mid-2014, Williams admitted himself into the Hazelden Foundation Addiction Treatment Center in Lindstrom, Minnesota, for treatment related to his alcoholism.
Williams's publicist Mara Buxbaum commented that the actor was suffering from severe depression prior to his death. Williams's wife Susan stated that in the period before his death, he had been sober but was diagnosed with early stage Parkinson’s disease which was something he was "not yet ready to share publicly".
Williams died on the morning of August 11, 2014, at his home in Paradise Cay, California. On August 12, the Marin County Sheriff's Office chief deputy coroner confirmed that Williams had hanged himself with a belt, dying from asphyxiation.
I have written many papers on suicide. Also on depression—manic-, episodic, lifelong, and clinical. And two papers on Parkinson’s disease. All of them established definite astrological parameters for those conditions. That is, they established the common astrology, called significators, shared by people who had the same condition. Here are the links to those papers:Parkinsons I
So, with this paper we are primarily interested in the astrology for two aspects of Williams’ life: that for Parkinson’s disease and for his death by suicide. Those interested in his astrology for his comedic genius can find that in the following paper: Talkers
Saturn, known even to ancient astrologers, is the planet that, when predominant, can lead to severe depression and hopelessness. It is also forefront for all of us when we die and under that guise is known as "the grim reaper." That means that when an individual starts out with saturn predominant for life, it is a bit like being born with one foot already in the grave.
The "path" of saturn's dominance when correlated with mental depression is through the 3rd house of mind. This method casts one harmonic chart (see more below under About This Method) for each of the twelve houses of the traditional Western birth chart. So, with this astrological method, the predominance of saturn-- which correlates with something being depressed, not always the mind--usually shows itself through Angles and 3rd houses in the 3rd and 7th charts. Even though the latter chart is supposed only to be about our significant relationships with others, it contains all kinds of information about our lives.
Saturn on an Angle--and especially more than one saturn on an Angle--can also sponsor depression even when not influencing a 3rd house of mind. This is true because with forefront, i.e., Angular saturn, also comes breakdowns, bad luck, bad timing, and anti-charisma. It sponsors qualities and experiences that oppose success and the glow and feeling of personal power and infallibility that often comes with it.
While some of the papers listed above do go somewhat into the meaning and implications of saturn alone and with its fellow planets, the reader may choose to bypass those papers. That being the case, I would still recommend reading about saturn as correlated with its placement on the Tree of Life of the Kabbala. That discussion occurs in the main paper on autism. Here is its link: Paper on Autism (Search for "Tree"). It is also discussed in particular as to its role in depression in the paper about William Styron's clinical depression, link above. That paper also includes Styron's description of his experience of clinical depression. clearly an extreme condition sometimes claimed by people who are not really that depressed.
First in this paper we will look at Williams' astrology at birth and death and identify the astrology which most sponsored his suicide. His astrology in his birth chart should give us some hint of any major, ongoing life problems. Together with that, his astrology at the time he ended his life will show us what was predominant in his consciousness when he died and how much that played out of "life-long" problems.
Before we start looking at Robin's astrology, below are statements about this astrological method. They can be referred to at any time.
If you are not an astrologer, you can skip this section and still find Williams' suicide comprehensible. This method is not traditional. It uses a birth and conception planets and their harmonics and houses, all of which share the same axis. Conception is based on a formula discussed in the following paper: How to Find Conception
This astrology uses the sidereal positions of the planets based on the Fagan-Bradley’s SVP. My view of the practical differences between the tropical (Western) and the sidereal (Eastern) zodiacs can be found at Tropical vs. Sidereal Zodiac.
Harmonics are taken from the sidereal position of the planets. The Egyptian harmonic, discussed in the paper “About This Method” (link just below), is used.
”Lights” include suns, moons, and moons nodes. When mercury rules an Angle, 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. MAXIMUM orb for static planets with lights is 5°; without lights, 2°. (There is a table in the paper on chartrules which shows which traditional aspects--e.g., semi-square, trine, quincunx, etc.--in the sidereal are converted to conjunctions, squares, and oppositions in the harmonics and which charts they occur in, link below.) MAXIMUM 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.” Throughout all papers 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 Rules for Reading These Charts
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. MC = Midheaven, Asc = Ascendant, and "Angles" is a generic terms for both. 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.” Pc3 mars stands for the harmonic for the 3rd chart of its progressed conception mars. T5 pluto represents transiting (at the time of the event) pluto for the 5th chart.
A “transiting” planet is always one in the sky “right now” relative to an individual’s birth or progressed planetary positions. “Progressed” planets always refer to the change in an individual’s planetary positions from birth relative to any given date. Astrology uses a number of types of progressions. Those used here are called “secondary” progressions. i.e., the positions of the planets in an ephemeris of planetary positions each day after birth (or conception) represent the individual’s experience of them for each year after birth. Several different references to “a day for year” can be found in the Bible. Wikipedia has a long exposition on it. Here is that link: Day/Year Principle
I am not current on research results on the sociology of suicide. It was established years ago, for instance, the people with strong religious convictions and practices (regardless of religion) are less likely to die by suicide than those without them. But I have no idea what has been established since then.
So I am not going to tell you that Robin Williams had to kill himself. But as an astrologer using a method which discloses a great deal more about the individual than does traditional astrology, I am going to discuss astrological stressors (and their implications) operating in his life at the time he died.
Based on the astrology for suicide I have looked at so far—and I have definitely not published all of it—certain general statements can be made, starting with the statement that individuals who commit suicide are not doing it on a whim. They are neither impetuous nor “weak.” Suicide almost always occurs when a person has gone through long-term excesses of consciousness weighted in the direction of severe physical, emotional, and/or psychological pain.
I do not have the breakdown of different reasons people commit suicide. I am not even sure anyone can have that information. The primary reason standing in the way of such a list is that it is quite likely that an unknown number of people kill themselves who are not declared suicides. Sometimes it is because they themselves have masked the reason for their death. Sometime the family hides the clues. Sometimes, even, the family doctor, or even coroner, obfuscate about the cause of death. The untruths occur for a number of reasons--there is a wish to spare the family shame, the family itself does not want the rest of the family to identify themselves as a family in which suicide has occurred, or for insurance purposes. And, even today, when there is much more openness about all kinds of human conditions, it makes most of us uncomfortable to look closely at suicide.
We can, however, make a shortlist of known reasons for suicide.
(1) Long-term, apparently inescapable depression and feelings of hopelessness can sponsor suicide. Astrologically these are sponsored by predominance of saturn in the astrology at the time of death.
(2) In addition, some of us are actually born with an astrology which, independent of progressions, actually develops depression much more strongly as we grow older. This has to do with where saturn is in a chart and its house influences. Strong and affecting a 4th house (which describes our end-of-life years) it is going to be get stronger as one gets older.
Both of the above are correlated with forefront, predominant saturn. There is more...
(3) A lesser (numerically) reason, short in duration, appears correlated with progressions and transits of uranus in Pisces to lights in Pisces (including progressed) with 3rd house (mental) influence. Combined with long-term hopelessness such as occurs with ongoing depression, such an astrology can contribute very high anxiety and acute existential horror on top of the long-term struggle the individual has been engaged in to try to survive.
Uranus is usually forefront (on an Angle, transiting a light) in most cases of suicide. It does not have to be in Pisces on a light. It represents for the suicide the feeling of "now is the time" which brings with it the courage to act. It sponsors precipitous behavior. With non-suicides, combined with mars and forefront, it is found in the charts of brave and courageous individuals. So, by itself it has nothing to do with suicide. It just helps trigger it.
(4) They have a combination of depression (and the repressed anger that sometimes sponsors it) and a peculiarity in their astrology which tunes their minds more to death than is occurs for most people. So when they do kill themselves, the act is not as alien to them as it would be to others. That astrology usually involves something in Scorpio—usually mercury, sometimes the moon, correlated with the 3rd house of mind and the 4th house of end of life. Then it is “mercury” (mind, thought) with Scorpio (death and other transformations) with ending life (4th house). Such was the case with the 14-year-old, Vivienne, with the link to the paper about her above. But she also had an Ascendant progressed to saturn in her 1st house at the time. That is, the Scorpio material by itself did not sponsor her suicide, it just made it "reasonable" when she was in the grips of a severe emotional alienation sponsored by the saturn.
(5) Other reasons exist such as health problems, disappointment in love, grief over the death of a loved one, shame, and so on.
In this paper, we are concerned with the first three above. It would appear we should also be concerned with the "reason" called "health problems." Williams' Parkinson’s was early stage and we are going to look at that, but in a section all of its own.
Robin Williams was a mature man. His suicide falls in categories (1), (2) and (3) above. He had an excess of forefront saturn at the time of his death (1 above). He started out with more depression than most people (as one TV psychiatrist commented, he suffered from genetically sponsored depression) and indications were it would get worse as he got older (2 above). And finally, he had transiting uranus in Pisces conjunct his b3 sun and his progressed c3 sun (both in the 3rd chart of mind), producing a far more temporary, but acute state of distress (3 above). We can get some sense of the validity of the latter because he apparently had not thoroughly thought out his method. His first efforts were to cut himself so he could bleed to death. When that failed, he came up with the belt and hanging. These suggest he felt that "right now" this life has finally become absolutely intolerable.
I should point out that we do not all experience every changing part of our astrology. For instance, I have had transiting Uranus in Pisces passing over progressed harmonic suns a number of times. Twice I experienced high anxiety. The rest of the time I did not experience anything at all. Why some current astrology sometimes manifests in our consciousness and sometimes does not is a matter for further study and comprehension of astrology as it affects our consciousness. Of all our planets, our moons--birth, conception, return, and progressed--nearly always register transits of, for instance, venus, jupiter, or saturn. Every time transiting venus passes over one of my moons I experience it as a sudden pleasant sensation usually connected to some external event, but sometimes internal, a pleasant thought. All our lights are sensitive to transits, but some more than others.
Set (1) occurring as it does in the 3rd chart (of mind in general) is an out-and-out depressive set. It shows saturn in a 3rd house (of mind) in a 3rd chart (of mind) on an Angle (B Asc) and also lighted by b3 moon. Together these show that a saturnian consciousness, among which is depression, is forefront for Williams' whole life. Since b3 moon rules B MC, this set influences two Angles, further increasing its strength.
As it turned out, Williams fought against that depression through his conjunction of a moon in Gemini to uranus, shown and discussed below in his 7th chart. It is the set which sponsors his “manic” behavior--high-powered, creative, inventive, and verbal. As the jokester, he could make people, and himself, laugh.
But Williams was not a classic manic depressive. Manic depression shows primarily in the 3rd chart of mind, and is most often evidenced by two different sets,, both influencing an Angle and a 3rd house within the (usually 3rd) chart. The sets are (1) lighted saturn, and (2) lighted uranus. Occurring in two different sets each influencing a 3rd house, they foster depression (saturn) and mania (Uranus) occurring alternately and mutually exclusively. The individual gets stuck in one state OR the other for periods of time. Williams has no mania in his 3rd chart. His astrology certainly bears something in common with manic depression because his 3rd chart is highly depressive, while his 7th chart is highly manic, making it more likely he was only manic when he was with others--his way of being with others. So all that can be said right now (without further research with similar conditions) is that Williams was not classically manic-depressive.
Still discussing Set (1), since b3 saturn rules b 4th house (latter part of life conditions), it suggests that this set will get even stronger as he ages, that is, his depression will dominate more of his life.
The reason it does that is because different areas of the chart roughly indicate different times of life: the area of the Ascendant (around 6:00 a.m.), our childhood years; those around the Midheaven (around noon) social image, career and mid-adulthood; those around the Descendant (around 6 p.m.) partnerships, marriage, and significant others also occur in mid-life years, and those around the I.C. (opposite the MC with only a 2° orb)--around midnight), the years covering the end of our lives. But because the 4th also tells us something about the foundation of our life (it's natural ruler is Cancer, and opposite our social parameters in the 10th, it covers non-social, that is, private parameters), it just as surely as the 1st house/chart contains information about those early years. This is especially true when a planet in the 4th is conjunct the I.C. or in the 4th and made Angular by the other three Angles in the individual's chart. The latter was the case in William's astrology.
The above indicator of depression increasing later in life are reinforced by Williams' Set (2), shown above. It shows c saturn in Virgo in c 4th house made Angular by C Asc (and lighted by same). The set is a close, therefore strong, one with Angle-to-saturn being off exact 90° by 5 minutes. This is the set that most shows that Williams was bereft of sufficient parenting in early years. It is the set which sponsors Williams' "acute fear of abandonment" mentioned above in his biography. Angular it shows he stayed in touch with that feeling throughout his life, though it would have been far less prevalent in mid-life throughout the period of his comedic and dramatic successes.
It would be reasonable to believe that toward the end Robin viewed much of his life as a variation on the diversion he sought as a child trying to escape his acute pain by playing with his 2,000 toy soldiers. In fact, it would be entirely reasonable to speculate that one of Robin's internal dialogues at the end of his life was, "Nobody likes me." Doesn't it sound absurd to say something like that about a comedian as much-loved as Robin Williams? But that was assuredly something he felt often as a child. So, it is likely something he re-experienced toward the end. Both are represented by the same astrological conditions.
Summing up, Williams has lighted saturn influencing both 4th houses (general condition at end of life). Birth and conception saturns are lighted and in conception 4th house. Birth 4th house is ruled by one of those saturn in c 4th. And he doesn’t have other, helpful, planets like jupiter (hope and help) or even uranus (the wherewithal to struggle more against it) with those saturns. That's an enormous amount of saturnian influence.
There can be only so much forefront influence in any one's chart. What is left has to fall into the background--there but unable to express. When the forefront influence is as strongly saturnian as happened to Robin Williams early and late in life, it means he has little access to the other planets, the "planets of personality" through which we all negotiate life with each other as well as our interests. Briefly and very simply, these are sun (discrete sense of self), moon (automatic habits, good and bad, the familiar), mercury (thinking, communicating), venus (loving, giving, sharing), mars (self-assertion, action, aggression), and jupiter (self-confidence, expansion, exploring). If our early parenting is good, these personality traits are explored, grasped, identified with, and made our own, thus creating a viable personality. No or very bad parenting either mixes these together in a toxic way, or leaves only outer planets (saturn, uranus, neptune, pluto)forefront. These, though excellent for promoting growth by stretching or compressing our limited views, are not good either for a sense of self or for interpersonal relationships. So, with Williams, we could say his planets of personality were not adequately developed to maintain the full projectile of his life.
Autistic children also lack access to, and suffer from, a deficiency of available planets of personality. By "autistic" I mean those diagnosed as autistic who do not have mixed in their autism conditions like retardation, ADHD, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and so on. But with such autistic children the cause of their problem is not their insufficient parenting (which at first was believed the cause), but an astrological condition which short circuits their identity away from planets of personality. Planets of personality, along with their relevance to the Tree of Life, are discussed in the paper on autism. Here is its link: Paper on Autism. This paper also contains an excellent description, made bv her highly observant mother, of an autistic childwho is purely autistic, i.e., without the admixture of the other medical and psychological conditions.
One toxic effect of poor parenting is discussed, with extensive development of examples, in the paper on mass (not serial) murderers. Poor parenting by itself does not create mass murderers. It takes an additional astrological condition mixed with poor parenting to do that. And there are perhaps mass murderers who had excellent parenting. But when that extra condition is present combined with the really negative effects of deficient parenting, a potential mass murderer is one of the results. Here is the link to that paper: Paper on Mass Murderers.
So, with all that forefront saturn at the end of his life, not only is Williams depressed and likely very frightened, he is also incapacitated. He lacks the tools--planets of personality--with which to connect with the world. So much forefront saturn is described in his own words in the paper about William Styron's clinical depression: Styron Paper.
Set (3) above shows that in this, his 3rd chart, Williams has an Angle/mercury/mars. This set occurs often in the charts of litigating lawyers and evidences an aggressive, driven mentality. (It also occurs in the chart of the Mensan obsessive talker discussed in the paper on Obsessive Talkers which includes Williams’ astrology.) So to some extent it mimics the very high energy states (mania) of Uranus, but mercury/mars does not produce nearly the energy high that the uranus of bipolar disorder does.
But the Angle/mars in Set (3) in Williams 3rd chart represents rather a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it allows some aggressive self-expression that excessive saturn tends to inhibit. On the other hand, it gives Williams a “summed” Angle/saturn + Angle/saturn + Angle/(mercury)/mars. Angle/mars/saturn in any chart, symbolizing difficulty in areas covered by that chart--here, the mind. Mercury on an Angle generally favors recognized intelligence or communicative ability.
The set in his 3rd chart which shows part of Williams’ genius and the bright spot in his mentality is the following one:
|Set (4)||c3 venus||18 Pisces 54|
|b jupiter||19 Pisces 49||ruler of b 3rd house|
|b3 sun||20 Pisces 46||co-ruler (30 of 33°) of b 10th house|
|c3 uranus||17 Sagittarius 07||ruler of C MC|
Set (4) shows a golden benefic with influence to an Angle and a 3rd house in a 3rd chart. It often indicates high intelligence, or better yet, “giftedness.” (It can also occur in charts of retarded children and is symbolic of a special talent.) Williams' conjunction of sun/venus/jupiter in Pisces is whimsical, fay, sweet, and creative. (It combines well with his b7 moon and c7 uranus, respectively, at 19 Gemini 14 and 18 Gemini 52 in his 7th chart to sponsor wit, speed, and repartee to generate the humor for which he was famous.
We have seen that Robin Williams started life bright, sweet, and creative, but with a tendency to depression and feelings of lack of self-worth (saturn/4th on an Angle). I should point out that one doesn't just sweep away those tendencies through therapy (or drugs) because they are unpleasant and unwanted. Since they are based on conditions that occurred in and throughout childhood they were predominant before the individual even had a mind capable of choosing what was good and what was bad. How does one wrestle with and conquer ideas about one’s self that are not even rooted in mentation? Their foundations are deep and more like the matrix of the individual's existence rather than any choice. That makes them very hard, indeed, to change.
Let’s look at his progressed astrology for his date of his death, August 11, 2014. Does it shown additional darkness? (His return for the event occurred on July 21, 2014 and its planets and Angles contribute.). Here are the major sets:
|Set (5)||pB MC||29 Virgo 00|
|return NN||28 Virgo 39|
|b3 mars||29 Sagittarius 21||co-ruler of b 6th house of health|
|pc3 NN||28 Gemini 40|
Set (5) is a little bit “early,” but the two nodes are close enough to make the orb acceptable.
|Set (6)||pb moon||1 Gemini 41||ruler of B MC in c 3rd house|
|C Asc||1 Gemini 47|
|c saturn||1 Virgo 53||in c 4th house|
The influence of that progressing b moon doesn’t last long. It moves about 1 degree per month. It was likely “activating” that Set (2) (from the drawing above) for about half a month, maybe even less. But since it was so close at the time of his death, it was most potent around that time. He saw no reason for continuing to exist.
|Set (7)||pb mars||28 Cancer 25|
|b mercury||28 Cancer 04||co-ruler of b 8th house|
|B MC||28 Cancer 11|
Set (7) shows that Set (3) (shown above in the drawing) is being hit by a slow moving progressed mars. Mars represents strife, aggression, tension, anxiety, and disturbance. We’ll look at this set again when examining his astrology for Parkinson’s disease.
|Set (8)||pC Asc||21 Cancer 08|
|c3 NN||21 Cancer 28|
|return saturn||21 Libra 42||co-ruler of b 6th house of health|
Set (8) shows another, temporary Angle/saturn.
|Set (9)||b3 sun||20 Pisces 46|
|pc3 sun||21 Pisces 37||ruler of c 4th house|
|return uranus||21 Pisces 34|
Set (9), along with set (6) above, shows us the timing—at least these are faster moving sets that temporarily increased Williams’ sense of intense darkness along with a sense of urgency (uranus) about his situation.
Altogether, we could say that the above shows that at the time of his death Williams 3rd chart of mind had a total of :
The above represent an excess of malefics in Williams' 3rd chart. As the greater and lesser malefics (saturn and mars, respectively), these two planets sponsor some of our darkest days and most difficult journeys. Their prevalence here is what we would expect to find in the chart of any individual going through a considerably inharmonious period. They make sense in the chart of someone who kills himself. Stating it that way makes it sound so "clinical" when it is actually very distressing and painful. Each of us when going through a longer-term Angle/mars/saturn (the very basic set alone ) very much looks forward to the "end" of whatever problem, situation, or internal condition it represents. We see these as some of the inevitable problems (or mental pitfalls) of life. But when an individual's astrology predominates in such sets over a long period of time, that harshness has become his "life."
Since the significator can occur in any chart, when I make a statement—as is going to happen here—that Williams’ astrology lacked the whole significator for Parkinson’s disease, it means I have had to sift through all twelve charts to make sure. Whereas if he had had such a significator, I could have stopped looking with that, whichever chart it occurred in, starting with the most sensible ones first. "Sensible ones" would be the 7th, 3rd, 6th, 12th, and 1st charts.
True, Robin Williams lacked the full astrology for Parkinson’s. He did, however, have a set which likely sponsored its diagnosis and “early onset.”
Note the planets in Gemini, discussed earlier, which represent his apparent manic behavior—the synapses are always firing. In it is included b moon, ruler of B MC in c 3rd house, and c uranus rules C MC. I write "apparent" manic behavior because this set occurs in the 7th chart of significant others, not in his 3rd chart of mind. It is possible that it was primarily with others--when he was being the jokester, the alien--that his mania manifested. And that by himself, he could be much quieter, or at any rate, did not suffer the intense states of mania (independent of interaction with others) that bipolar individuals experience.
Set (10) above is a partial Parkinson’s. It includes mercury and mars, but there is no light, and there is no influence to an Angle. On the other hand, through b7 mercury the set influences an 8th house, and the conjunction itself falls in a 3rd house. So, it could participate in the “summing” of sets adding to Parkinson’s.
Set (11) above shows us two mercuries conjunct B MC. C7 mercury rules C Asc, so this set influences two Angles. Moreover, when mercury rules an Angle (c7 mercury rules C Asc), it acts like the other lights (sun, moon, node), so this set really represents 2Angle/light/2mercury. The 3rd and 8th influences come from the fact that b mercury co-rules (22 of 34°) b 8th house and the whole set falls in c 3rd house.
What Set (11) lacks for a Parkinson’s significator is mars. But before his death it gets one. And it gets it through a slow, secondary progression. By “slow” progression is implied that the progressed mars stays in the set for a long time. A progressing harmonic mars would pass through it much too quickly, likely, to set up the individual to experience symptoms of Parkinson's. Here is a table showing the position of progressed b mars--the one that lasted long enough to initiate Parkinson's--for a few dates surrounding his date of death (which was August 11, 2014):
|January 1, 2013||27 Cancer 25|
|January 1, 2014||28 Cancer 02|
|January 1, 2015||28 Cancer 39|
Because Set (11) contains a light (as c7 mercury), mars’ progression to it is effective earlier than it would have been without a light.
If we allow and acceptable orb for effectiveness to be 1/2 degree before and after the exact conjunction of MC/b mercury, we can see the set is effective from about June, 2013 through the end of 2015. That is long enough to register symptoms of Parkinson’s.
But it is not long enough to develop the disease much past its initial stages.
So it is reasonable to conclude that Williams’ Parkinson’s would have gone into remission sometime in 2015 or the year thereafter. I have to state it as "reasonable" rather than "certain" because I have no dates of significant remission of people with Parkinsons's.
He also had an astrology, which lasted about two years six months, which sponsored his diagnosis of Parkinson’s. But he did not have an astrology for continuing development of Parkinson’s. With this astrological method, no significator means no expression. His significator was temporary so it would have passed out of the zone of expression. Doctors call this phenomenon "remission" of symptoms.
Based on its potential consequences, we certainly have the right to question whether Williams knowing his Parkinson's was limited (assuming that is correct) would have made a difference about his taking his own life.
But what about knowing ahead of time that he would likely become more depressed with age? Is that helpful or injurious? My take on that kind of question is, "first we start with the truth. And we keep embracing it wherever we find it. Then we are all-ways better equipped to address what can be done about it."
But of course that does not give me, or anyone else, the right to tell those who don't want to know what might be in store. The issue is not about telling individuals, it is rather about learning in general the reality, for instance in this case, of "causes" of depression. Not just for Robin Williams, but for all people. Pinning it always on the unexplained initiation of some brain chemicals, or the unexplained timing of DNA's effects, or even on some past trauma (which is some times right and sometimes not), is just not the whole picture on depression. How can the full spectrum of treatments be developed under such circumstances?
When not excessive, states sponsored by saturn are also known as essentiality, sobriety, practicality, somberness, It is also forefront in grief as the gray, lifeless part of it. In addition, it probably stands as a part sponsor of our capacity for contemplation, not so much the rewards as being the doorway to contemplation. Contemplation involves turning inward away from the phenomenal world and that is easier to do when saturn prevails, at least from the point of view that that outer world has become less inviting. But, with severe depression, the individual has lost the phenomenal world yet not gained any of the rewards of an inner world. S/he is locked into a truly no-man's land.
One example of a treatment modality for moderate depression I rarely hear mentioned is deeply personal. It might happen privately through therapy but this is still a culture in which drugs have become the treatment of choice, ultimately resulting in our belief that they are the only viable choice. Looked at astrologically, and short of the most severe depression--clinical depression simply wipes out the individual's capacity to be an individual-- excess saturn comes with low energy, isolation, experiencing that one's life is meaningless, and intense feelings of personal and social worthlessness. A significant part of the last three do at least some of their damage because of comparing-- of one's self to others, to cultural norms, and to one's own ideals and assumptions about life. Stop the comparing, and part of the depression also stops. Comparing is the primary function of the left brain. One quote that illustrates that conclusion is from the book My Stroke of Insight by brain scientist Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor. Here is the link: [Search for Taylor.]
It isn't easy to address (over-)dominant left-brain function, but it is possible. It can be developed longer-term when not under duress so that when the distress comes, the individual has available his own "medicine chest" of helpful solutions. Moreover, there are no adverse, sometimes very destructive, side effects as often enough occurs with pharmaceuticals.
Some of the methods for increasing right brain function over left (or at least reducing the huge dominance of left) are the centuries-old practices of meditation, yoga, and martial arts, including T'ai Chi. But such activities as gardening and art can work. Likely being devout with a life of regular prayer can help. As does, likely, the successful implementation in one's life of the ceaseless chanting of a preferred mantra. One of the more contemporary methods uses getting involved with open focus techniques which help shift brain dominance from left to right.
Just how much such practices can truly affect severe depression remains to be seen. It can be stated now, however, that we--at least in our Western approach to depression and its potential to lead to suicide--have not even begun exploring the possibilities and implications of dominant saturn. That is, in dealing with it as an excessive condition of a normal part of mind/brain function.
Here I have to emphasize an aspect of depression. When we are not actually depressed, we have little sense of its reality even though we have all experienced various degrees of it. It is the nature of consciousness that we tend to see as "real" (truly real) mostly the state we are in, especially if it is highly charged (negative or positive). This is most easily illustrated by the example of the states of many couples when they marry, when they are under exceptionally good astrology (which generally does not last) regarding significant others. An unknown percentage of them have been known to declare that they are "soul mates." This illustrates an astrological state carrying such conviction that individuals believe it is not only real, but a deep reality that will last forever. Sometimes even within a few years, sometimes longer, an unknown percentage of those same couples end their relationship in bitter divorce and even homicide, killing even the mother or father of their own children. Clearly their earlier perception of their reality was amiss both in their evaluation of its depth and its duration. That does not make them bad people. It illustrates two things. (1) Their sense of "true love" is susceptible of marked deviation from anything even approaching soul mates and the eternal. Some people call that immaturity, but when it comes to love, it is not restricted to any age group. Love is a highly charged experience. (2) That is just how tricky consciousness can be, among other things, relative to anything which might be considered eternal, permanent, or even long-lasting.
An individual under excess of saturn experienced as (truly) severe depression is considerably disabled and needs emergency intervention or personal luck. The latter happened, eventually, for William Styron (link above). Astrologically, his depression, though exceptionally severe, was of limited duration. Even with that, Styron himself wrote that he came very close to suicide. That was not the case with Robin Williams. His depression was a long-term, end-of-life condition. As of right now, we do not have the wherewithal to effectively address something like that.
So, Williams suicide--among an unknown but assuredly some percentage of others--is seen as an event unique to him. In effect, that it was "his problem." But that is incorrect. Williams' suicide belongs in a class of events which could be called "suicides-resulting-from-inadequately-addressed-severe-end-of-life-depression." Since the 4th house--the location of end-of-life parameters-also carries information about the beginning of our life (discussed above), that is, its roots and foundation, it gives us unique access to certain information about each individual. In Robin William's case and that of those who suffered (very) similar trauma in early childhood, it represents those individuals inadequately prepared for life in the first place. Occurring through Williams, it shows us that even great fame and success during life do not necessarily address such a faulty foundation. And, likely, that such an individual does not even know that himself until he gets to that "end" stage.
But, of course, such is not the fate of most successful people. No, Robin's success had to be "taken away from him." That is what his predominantly saturnian 4th house astrology did. It implies that no matter what preceded it (in whomever's astrology it occurs), the end was going to return to meaninglessness. That is abhorrent to most people and goes, in particular, against the grain of the American belief that life is good and bad things don't happen to good people. Such beliefs make it difficult to see.
We could, in fact, say that Williams' life--and those of others who share Williams' category of astrology--was a kind of zero sum game. I do not refer to his social relevance to others but to his internal identity. Relative to zero sum, his competition was not with others, but within himself against himself. In his middle years his life went way out in its apparent vitality and relevance. This is when his "love me Syndrome" mentioned above in his biography, expressed through his sense of humor. Then it was likely successful--much of the time--in making him feel loved, a valuable and viable human being In his last years it went way back in to where he started out in the first place--without anchor, without meaning for him. Robin was a sophisticated man. He surely had access to, and likely tried, innumerable forms of therapy for his condition. He certainly had the money for any of them. It must have been devastating to have to commit suicide (which is what we have to say he saw as his only remaining option) in the end after such a long, arduous, but unsuccessful struggle.
Astrology identifies such conditions. It does not solve them. But a condition not even recognized--except serially, one individual at a time--cannot be treated, grasped, understood, or fathomed. Identification is a beginning.. And it is possible that it could be a beginning because our astrological charts are not so much about our so-called fate, as they are about our complete consciousness--waking (which is a drop in the bucket, relatively speaking) plus unconscious (where the real power lies). This form of astrology gives us unprecedented access to those unconscious parameters.
The following link, from Yahoo News on September 1, 2020, is about the coronor's diagnosis of the medical problem that led to Robin's suicide--that is, from a dementia called Lewy Body disease. There is nothing about the above astrology that precludes that diagnosis. In fact, saturn is heavily linked to dessication, shrinking, and deterioration of many things. On the other hand, we have no (other) examples of Lewy Body dementia, so we cannot look in other charts to look for a significator that might represent such a disease.
Here is the link: Yahoo News Story on Williams
Birth: 7/21/1951, 1:34 p.m. CST., Chicago, IL. From Astrodatabank by Lois Rodden and Mark McDonough. B.c. in hand from the Wilsons.
Conception:10/11/1950, 8:40:49 p.m. CST, Chicago, IL.