He was loved by everyone: the clown who allowed us to laugh through our tears. But then he decided to exit this world in a private, deliberate act. Why? Maybe Astrology can give us a clue.
What Time Did He Die?
Steve Kinsman posted Robin Williams birthchart soon after the events of August 11th. I had been thinking at the same time: would it be possible to accurately chart the fatal moment of the decision, if not the act itself? To do so, I knew I would need that birth information, so this is a public thank you to Steve.
All that is known so far is that Robin was last seen at 10:30 pm on August 10th when his wife, Susan, said goodnight to him. When his wife left for work at 10:30 am the next day, she didn’t disturb Robin, thinking that he was still sleeping. It was Robin’s assistant that raised the alarm when he didn’t answer the knocking on his bedroom door at about 11:30 am. So we have a 13 hour period within which to pin down the ‘exact’ point in time.
“Death” Chart Rectified
When someone chooses to end their life, the planet(oid) Pluto has a part to play in the drama. I needed to see if another planet was passing (transiting) Robin’s birth position of Pluto when the decision was taken. As it turned out, the transiting Sun was exactly conjunct his natal Pluto at 6:30 am PDT. That is the time I chose for Robin’s ‘death’ chart. This also revealed some other transits which are significant. I’ll go through each of them individually. But first I’ll start with the Sun/Pluto connection.
Transit Sun/Mercury/Ascendant Conjunct Natal Mercury/Pluto
Most Astrologers will tell you that a Mercury-Pluto conjunction shows up in an individual’s behaviour as a born investigator. They want to get to the bottom of every mystery and are tenacious in their research. They make good psychologists, because they can understand what makes others tick (Good Will Hunting). It can also make them interested in the supernatural (What Dreams May Come). In Robin Williams’ career his Mork persona was a combination of these two planets in his distinctive blend of zany and alien.
The Sun transiting Mercury brings the individual a ‘restless tension’. Mercury transiting Mercury emphasizes ‘communication’. The Sun transiting Pluto signifies ‘radical change’. Mercury transiting Pluto will bring ‘intense mental activity’. The Ascendant accentuates the energies to ‘laser energy-like focus’.
Transit Venus Conjunct Natal Sun
Robin’s Sun is in Cancer, sitting in the 9th House in his birth chart. That gave him a very restless and emotional response to life. Anyone watching one of his stand-up performances will understand exactly what I mean here. He just couldn’t sit still, and at the same time, he seemed to be walking a very fine line between sanity and insanity. Everything he said seemed to touch a nerve with us: he knew what was emotive.
When Venus transits the Sun (which it does often), the need to ‘create’ is strong. Normally, it is a day when one feels good, but, if the moment of sharing is frustrated in any way, it can be unbearable.
Transit Moon/Neptune Conjunct Natal Moon, Opposite Natal Venus
As Steve Kinsman noted, Robin has his Sun, Moon and Ascendant in three different water signs, giving him the“Triple Water” energy of using humour to deflect perceived pain and suffering. As Robin’s natal Moon is on the cusp of the 5th House, he uses the stage as a way to accomplish this, but because the Moon is opposite Venus, we see the desperate need for love and appreciation (Mrs Doubtfire). Pathos is strong here.
When the Moon transits one’s natal Moon (which happens once a month), there can be a tendency to ‘withdraw‘, not because one dislikes others, but because there is a need to be on one’s own. Add to that a transiting Neptune, and you have a recipe for increased ‘sensitivity’ to the world. From that mixture can come mental ‘confusion’ and/or ‘fascination’ for strange ideas.
Because the Venus opposition is also being triggered, the intensity of ‘hidden tensions’ and an ‘unwillingness to accept reality as it is’ are brought to the forefront of one’s feelings. Could Robin have been obsessing about the recent diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease?
Transit Uranus Conjunct Natal Jupiter, Opposite Natal Neptune
The natal Jupiter Opposition Neptune has two distinct but connected faces: 1) the individual is highly ‘idealistic’ and trusting of others; and 2) there is a high risk of being ‘swindled’ (Moscow on the Hudson). No one has suggested that this has ever happened to Robin Williams, but I can imagine that it was always a possibility.
When the transiting Uranus comes to call, the result is a ‘sudden change in fortune’ when conjunct to natal Jupiter. The effect for transiting Uranus being in opposition to Neptune is even more ‘confusion’ because it exposes the person to higher dimensions of existence, of which he may not be accepting.
Transit Pluto Opposite Natal Mars/Uranus
Mars Conjunct Uranus creates ‘disruption‘ due to restlessness and unconventionality (Hook). In Robin’s chart, this may have been the true basis of his manic episodes on stage, We cannot know for sure what it must have been like to live with that energy for him, but try to imagine what feeling an electric charge from a lightning strike must be like. That will give you a clue.
Now, adding transit Pluto to that energy will intensify the effect. Robert Hand suggests that one ought not to borrow money from loan sharks during this transit, because events may not turn out as one hopes. Pluto transiting an opposition to Mars could help to ‘transform’ the person. That same transiting Pluto with an opposition to Uranus is symbolic of a ‘creative revolution’. If one resists the energy to make positive changes for the future, one will become out of touch with the world and unable to live in it.
So what have we learned? When viewed astrologically, the seeming incongruity of taking one’s life, as Robin Williams did on August 11th, becomes more understandable. Most every day of our lives, some planet or another is transiting sensitive points in our birth chart. But when a whole shed load comes along at the same time, a Perfect Storm carries the individual out of this life and into the next.
May the Lord grant Robin Williams the ‘peace of God that passeth understanding’ (Philippians 4:7). Thank you, Mr Williams for making our lives more bearable. We will surely miss you.
Picture credits: Robin Williams portrait courtesy of Time
Mork courtesy of http://www.dailymail.co.uk
What Dreams May Comes courtesy of fanpop.com
Mrs Doubtfire courtesy of http://www.al.com
Moscow on the Hudson courtesy of mainetoday.com
Hook courtesy of http://www.digitalspy.co.uk