Celestial Times

Aug 2014

Robin Williams’ Astrology and Transition Chart

posted in: Astrology

robin williams birth chart





We have all been touched by the recent loss of one of the great comedians and talented actors of our age, Robin Williams.  I want to share a few key elements in Williams’ birth chart to reflect some of his comedic genius and his struggles with alcoholism and depression, as well as some powerful transits that may have triggered his tragic death.


In Dead Poets Society, a film I watched over and over again for its sheer poignancy and power, this dialogue unfolds between prep school teacher McAllister and teacher Keating, played by Williams.




McAllister: “Show me the heart unfettered by foolish dreams and I’ll show you a happy man.”


John Keating: “But only in their dreams can men be truly free. ‘Twas always thus, and always thus will be.”



Robin Williams was a man who loved to live in his dreams, whose genius frolicked in the eternal playground of the imagination.  One of the things which challenges us most about his suicide is that in one of his most famous films What Dreams May Come, Williams’ character deals with the consequence to the soul of committing suicide as he visits the land of the deceased and specifically his wife, stuck in the purgatorial realm of those who take their own lives.


The tragic reminder of life imitating art sadly emphasizes Williams’ plight so acutely described in his birth chart.  Robin Williams was born July 21, 1951 at 1:34 pm in Chicago, Il.  The first thing we notice in Williams’ chart is that the big three—Sun, Moon, and Rising are all in the Water element, in addition to his Mars/Uranus conjunction in Cancer, and his North Node/Ceres/Moon conjunction in Pisces.  The water element in such propensity in the chart gives a highly sensitive and empathic being very tuned in to the realms of the imagination.


Cancer Suns and Mars are often devoted to their families, while Pisces Moons have a gift for channeling creative energy.  Often naturally psychic, highly intuitive, and dreamy, Moon in Pisces fundamental need is to dissolve boundaries.  This is what gave Williams such a talent for being a chameleon, playing many different types of roles in his art, and slipping into various characters easily from one moment to the next in his stand up routines.  Yet, this Moon sign’s concern for dissolving boundaries, if not deeply connected to its spirituality and Source, can often be attracted to escape through altered states of consciousness such as alcoholism, leading to vicious cycles of addiction and depression.


One of the strongest transits that Williams was receiving upon his death was Neptune conjunct his Moon.  Although this could be one of the greatest spiritual transits of our lives, for an uncentered being, this transit could make us feel as if we are flailing in the middle of the ocean, dissolving away with no anchor to ground us.  Neptune can bring the most profound states of meditation and unitive consciousness, or make us yearn so deeply for heaven’s promise that embodiment is a burden we no longer wish to bear.


Neptune transits to such a watery person as Williams could have felt like a storm looming on the horizon, a storm of madness, with the potential to completely lose both his body and his mind (Parkinson’s Disease) and enter an ocean of depression beyond the point of salvation.


With his North Node in Pisces, Williams’ soul’s destiny was to enter these rapturous and ecstatic states of oneness, through art and spirituality.  But in order to do this, he would have to rise above his South Node in Virgo’s tendency to remain in “lack consciousness,” acutely aware always of what was not working and what needed to be improved upon.  With Saturn and Venus in Virgo as well, the self critical voices of “not being good enough”—likely very old etchings in the soul—could have been indomitable weights, yet these same archetypal configurations gave Williams an exquisite ability to cultivate his craft and commit to excellence in his work.








Many of us have been following the Uranus-Pluto square of the last four years.  Williams was someone directly affected by this square and in fact, April’s eclipses and Cardinal Cross of which I and many other astrologers spoke much about, may have been the ultimate test for William’s faith.  The Lunar Eclipse  and Cardinal Cross triggered Williams’ identity-defining configuration—his Cardinal T-Square with Neptune in Libra in the 12th house opposing Jupiter in Aries in the 6th house and both in close square to a Mars/Uranus conjunction in Cancer in the 9th house.


The effects of eclipses can last up to six months and sometimes even longer in our lives, so the Lunar Eclipse landing on a Neptune in the 12th house could bring a sense of total spiritual disillusionment, a feeling of overwhelming existential tragedy with no direction to run, which reached a peak moment this August through other planetary triggers.


Robin William’s Jupiter-Neptune opposition propelled his over-the-top comedy and love of acting, Shakespeare, story, and also according to wikipedia, video games, for fantasy drives Neptunian and Piscean types.  It may be especially hard for those with Neptune configured to their ruling planet to feel content living in the 3d world.  As a Scorpio rising, Mars is William’s ruling planet, the captain of the ship of life guiding the journey’s direction. In this case, the Mars/Uranus conjunction square to Jupiter and Neptune would create a consistent sense of violent urgency to expand, dissolve, or escape into altered states.


Scorpio risings often have hidden layers, unknown to those they touch, like Williams’ various health conditions.  Saturn’s transit through Scorpio in the last eighteen months added a heavy barrage of serious and hard questions regarding Williams’ sense of self-definition.  Saturn’s often heavy melancholy squared Williams’ mental realm—a Mercury-Pluto conjunction in Leo—in 2014.  Williams’ creative, theatrical, and playful Mercury in Leo was always colored by Pluto’s deeper probing and psychological insights.  But Mercury-Pluto types can suffer self-destructive thoughts, labyrinthine tunnels of doubt, insecurity, paranoia, and negativity, especially when squared by old man Saturn’s serious and stern temperament.


With the two planetary symbols of death, Saturn and Pluto squaring off in his chart this summer, Williams was primed for a shamanic experience of psychological death and regeneration, but his caterpillar could not see the butterfly on the other side of an apparently suffocating cocoon.







Robin Williams Transits

Recently I have been adding in many more techniques from Traditional Hellenistic Astrology, one of these being a simple, but profound technique called Annual Profections, which determines a focal house and planetary lord of the year determined by our age.  Williams was in a sixth house profected year, which alone would suggest that health would be a major theme in the coming year.


With Profections, we look at the most significant transits of the year occurring with the “Lord of the Year,” which would be Mars, ruling the 6th house Aries.  We also must study transits involving the planet Jupiter, which tenants Williams’ 6th house.


Both transits to and from Mars and Jupiter would promise the most important events in Williams’ life this year.


Significantly, since Mars not only rules the sixth house but is also the ruler of the chart, anything that happens in a year when Mars is the Lord, will affect the course of William’s life.


The first transit that jumps out is Pluto exactly opposing his Mars (and Uranus just one degree away.)  This transit symbolizes the unexpected, shocking death and the hidden motivations behind it.


As the Lord of the Year, Mars is traditionally considered a malefic planet, causing problems in our life.  Also, if we just look at the condition of Mars itself we notice that Mars is in a weakened state in its fall in the sign of Cancer.  Mars is also contrary to the sect, since this is a day chart.  This makes Mars William’s most challenging planet, and years when Mars is the Lord could be the most difficult and harrowing years.


Mars had crossed Williams’ Ascendant just a week prior to his death. This places the aggressive and confrontational force of Mars right on the angle of personal identification, giving the force of violence a self-directed thrust.


It intrigues us to note that transiting Mars was applying to the Ascendant when the famous and brilliant author, Ernest Hemingway shot himself.  Perhaps Robin Williams could have supplanted Hemingway’s experience of this transit with Martin Luther King Jr., who used this same applying transit of Mars for his moment of most catalyzing leadership—the March on Washington D.C.


In addition to the Mars transits, the transits to and from Jupiter played a significant triggering role in William’s death.  Uranus had been hovering around the degree of his Jupiter all year of 2014, with Pluto squaring that Jupiter.  These transits could definitely test one’s faith, question one’s philosophy, theology, and sense of life’s ultimate meaning.


Sadly, Jupiter had just entered Williams’ 10th house of career, in fact just crossing the midheaven angle. This could be one of the most prolific and positive cycles for our vocational calling to reach the public.  In actuality, this Jupiter transit has factored in to the high publicity of William’s death, with many tributes to William’s Jupiterian nature—the joyful and playful laughter he brought into our lives.  But Williams’ death has also brought us to Jupiterian teaching about the conditions of depression, insecure mental health, and Parkinson’s disease.


One wonders what kind of positive, uplifting, and inspiring potentials may have occurred if Williams’ had experienced Jupiter cross over his Venus/South Node and Saturn in 2015 and 2016.


Two other transits of importance in Robin William’s transition chart include the wounder/healer centaur Chiron.    His Progressed Moon was in the 8th house of psychological depth and mortality, opposite his natal Chiron.  Thus, his emotional world may have felt lost in primal wounds, stories of victimization or unconquerable sufferings.  Chiron was also exactly transiting natal Ceres, the dwarf planet symbolizing sense of belonging, self-esteem, and the regenerative power of loss and return familiar to all parents.  The daughter of Ceres/Demeter was Persephone who was abducted to Hades/Pluto’s underworld.


When we consider Chiron’s role in our lives we can think of the childhood wounds which could not be transmuted in the life of Michael Jackson, who died at his Chiron Return, but we can also reflect upon Eckhart Tolle, whose The Power of Now appeared also at his Chiron return, and made Tolle an instant Chrion figure—a mentor, a guide, and spiritual coach for others.  In a way, Chiron crossing Robin William’s North Node in Pisces has also made his death and his depression a healing teaching for all of us.


In talking to a healer friend of mine, I faced a deep metaphysical question that only someone like Robin Williams could really conjure in my soul.  The question remains: is suicide part of the soul’s contract—to itself, to its guides, to other souls it has known for lifetimes OR is suicide the ego’s attempt to become God and always a way out of fulfilling our soul-contracts?  Thus, as some religions and spiritual teachings say, if we commit suicide, are we just going to have to come back again to work out the same karma and pattern in the soul?  It is these difficult questions that Robin Williams has raised for us in his tragic, final act.  We will explore Williams’ Human Design chart in our next newsletter to gain further insights into this extraordinary, but troubled artist.




Thank you Robin Williams, for your medicine—the laughter, the depth, the sadness, for shouting out your unique voice at the top of your lungs, and inspiring us to do the same.




John Keating: Boys, you must strive to find your own voice. Because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all. Thoreau said, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Don’t be resigned to that. Break out!


Dead Poets Society


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Mar 2014


posted in: Astrology

Mar 2014

Human Design – Defined, Undefined, and Open Centers

posted in: Human Design

The CENTERS: Defined, Undefined and Open  

Human Design’s Bodygraph is a calculation which displays nine energy centers.  Centers are defined if a planet in either our Conscious or Unconscious design occupies one of the gates in a center and then connects in to another gate.   These defined gates then form a defined channel of energy which synthesizes the meaning of the two gates or I Ching Hexagrams.  On a deeper level, the two planets which are in these connecting gates also share a strong magnetism between each other.

We might think of this in a similar way to an aspect in astrology between two planets.  The two gates which form a channel create an archetypal complex between those two centers, those two hexagrams, and the two (or more) planets occupying those gates.

Defined Centers represent areas which have reliable and consistent energetic flow for us.  In essence, we strongly identify with these centers.  They are how we condition the world around us.  They are the filters through which we perceive and we cannot remove these filters.  Thus, even though we may be empowered, we may also be limited by that which defines us.

On the other hand, Undefined Centers are a foreign land for us.  They represent areas of fascination, discovery, and education in this life, without an attachment to a specific expression.  The challenge with Undefined Centers is our intrinsic insecurity in these areas.  Since we do not have reliable energetic flow through these centers, we are not quite certain how to function with them.  Thus we may compensate by trying to become like those in our environment who have these centers defined.  Subsequently, these undefined centers become prominent sources of conditioning in our lives, often occurring in our early upbringing through parents, siblings, teachers, friends, and extended family.

Some schools of Human Design do not differentiate Undefined from Open centers, but I and other Human Design counselors have witnessed the difference in a center which has no Conscious or Unconscious planets occupying it, which we would label as completely Open.  Naturally, this center could be extreme in its expression.  It could be heavily conditioned and overwhelmed by its environment and thus very easily succumb to conditioning.  However, we have also witnessed that completely Open centers, when approached with intention and consciousness, become areas of potentially pristine clarity.  One who expresses this Open center with this awareness becomes a transparent reflection for what is happening in the environment, without having to own it or experience it themselves.

Thus, with Undefined and Open centers, if we recognize that we are not “supposed to be” living those centers in a prescribed and consistent way, we can actually become quite wise about the nature of that center and the appropriate way of navigating its force.

Just as in astrology, a planet in a sign, house, or aspect can be navigated with intention and consciousness or in reaction, defense, or ignorance, I like to think of the potential expressions of energy in Human Design as a frequency of possibility.  The following is a chart with a description of the frequency of centers as we express them: The “Realized” or intelligent use of the center, followed by the Challenge or Obstacle in place with that center defined, undefined, or open.

Human Design DEFINED Centers our “signal transmission”

Realized:    a place of reliable energy, consistencyallyson HD annotations

-who we “are,” how we condition others;  

Challenge:     assume others to be this way;

-expression in a particular way depending on channels and gates activated, and planets activating these channels gates


Human Design UNDEFINED Centers -our receiving antennae

Realized:    what we learn about, fascinated by, receive education in;

-where we can share wisdom and clear reflection without taking it on

Challenge:     where we are conditioned, influenced, susceptible

some innate insecurity; where we try to be something we’re not

-erratic expression, defensiveness, can be consumed by and burn out here


Human Design OPEN Centers

OPEN – no signal or no consistent energy

Realized:    non-attached clarity, pristine reflection of energy

-transparent mirror for others, pure channel

Challenge:     oblivious, clueless

-delusional, lost, total overwhelm



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Mar 2014

New Moon Pisces 2014

posted in: Astrology


Saturday’s New Moon Pisces is a wonderful time to invoke the ecstatic mystic in you through poetic sketches of the precious moment, spontaneous dances of the playful muse, and all-night chanting and channeling of the Beloved.  With the New Moon conjunct Chiron, this weekend invites a fusion between your lower and higher selves, or a guiding light from a trusted mentor.  The sabian symbol for 11 Pisces instructs us to courageously ascend one step at a time: “Humans traveling a narrow path to achieve spiritual illumination.”  Thus, myth, archetypes, astrology, tarot, and film can all be potent lenses into the multidimensional wounds and gifts seeking integration in the soul.

Although this month’s transits highlight unity and collaboration, we still must be present to the Piscean shadows—the invasion of personal space through projection and the subsequent confusion which follows. The need for direct declarations of your boundaries could also be highlighted Feb. 25-March 3 due to the Venus in Capricorn square to Mars in Libra. Tensions rise as they did mid- January when this square also occurred.  Perhaps instead of a boxing match, this transit can motivate the god and goddess to clearly communicate long term goals and strategic creative projects together.  If the heat rises, let this transit motivate the medicine of passionate love-making between you and a beloved.

Just as last month’s Venus retrograde melted into a Mercury retrograde, now Mercury’s backward cycle ends this Friday as Mars retrograde begins in Libra.  Although next week is a wonderful time to begin ventures or projects, the Mars retrograde through mid-May invites us to cautiously navigate and carefully consider what motivates our actions and our passions, especially in relationships, sexuality, and artistic endeavors.

Lastly, film and music can always act as a great catharsis for our emotional, Piscean tides.  This Sunday, film celebrates the Academy Awards,and there are some supreme performances which directly address Piscean themes, such as pharmaceuticals in Dallas Buyer’s Club. Matthew McConaughey’s complete transformation and daring performance in this film (and his transits!) make him my pick for this year’s Best Actor.    This weekend’s relationship focus could be channeled positively by watching Her—a touching portrayal of love and alienation in the anonymous information age, as Joaquin Phoenix fumbles through falling in love with his new computer operating system. One of my favorite recent films, Her is my pick for best original screenplay.

I will be exploring the links between archetypal astrology and film, by discussing the charts of Oscar winners and also the astrology of death in next week’s Pisces, Neptune, and 12th House class.  You can join us here.

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Feb 2014

Mars Retrograde in Libra Spring 2014

posted in: Astrology


March 1-May 19, from 27 Libra to 9 Libra.

During the 9 week cycle of Mars Retrograde in Libra, the hungry warrior’s shield is laid down.  His mission turns toward those who are supporting—friend, family, lover.  Opportunities to actively listen to the needs of others increase, though the tendency for indecision and frustration at goals being delayed can irritate us.  We must give great caution during this cycle as we may more easily project our little annoyances on those we care for, and unnecessarily create a battlefield in our daily environments.

With Mars in the sign of Libra, this cycle helps us reflect upon previous decisions, and especially our reactive tendencies—emotions such as anger, frustration, self-defense, sexual motivation, and territoriality come up for serious examination.  You may ask yourself the following questions: In what ways do I try to dominate in my relationships?  In what ways do I empower each relationship I am in?

Aggressive forcing of decisions is unwise, as is the beginning of major new business endeavors or personal relationships, as these tend to fizzle out shortly after they begin.  Forward movement of projects or intimate bonds is frustrated to afford us the opportunity to adjust and clarify our true desire.

The way in which Mars retrograde will affect us more personally depends on the house position for Mars.  However, those with a significant amount of Aries or Scorpio in their charts should feel their fires tamed as the cycle forces a more inward reflection on their impulse, instinct, and psychological motivation.

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Feb 2014

Mercury Retrogrades 2014

posted in: Astrology

MERCURY RETROGRADE Dates 2014mercury 8 x 10

Feb. 6 – Feb 28, from 3 Pisces to 18 Aquarius
Jun. 7 – July 1 from 3 Cancer to 24 Gemini
Oct. 4 – Oct. 25 from 2 Scorpio to 16 Libra

One of the most important and commonly known astrological cycles is the Mercury Retrograde cycle. Three times a year, for three weeks, the planet Mercury appears to move backward and all areas which the messenger god rules—technology, travel, business negotiation, communications—seem to go a bit haywire.

In the myths, besides being a messenger Mercury was a renowned thief, and these retrograde cycles often remind us of the preciousness of our information. It is advised to back up all significant information before the cycle, as well as to clean hard drives, secure phone contacts, and repair vehicles.

If we try to move too fast, we’ll likely scatter our brains over too much territory and lose the fine details along the way. Double and triple check important documents and communications. If you can avoid travel, beginning major projects, or signing contracts of any kind during these windows, and instead reflect, integrate, and strategize the next few months, Mercury will bless you.

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