The announcement that Robin Williams had been found dead at his home – suicide by hanging – was a shock to all those who knew him at a distance and a loss beyond compare to those who loved him. In the days following his death, it emerged that he was suffering from depression, was on the verge of bankruptcy and had been recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Thus, we do not have to look very far for the reasons this brilliant man took his own life.
According to Robin Williams’ birth certificate, he was born at 1: 34 in the afternoon of 21 July, 1951 in Chicago. However, there was a state law in existence at the time which stated that all births had to be recorded in Central Standard Time. Thus, although the clock would have shown 2: 34 pm at the moment he was born, an hour had to be subtracted to keep in line with the law.
At 2: 34 in the afternoon Scorpio was rising with Pluto, the ruler of the chart, conjunct Mercury on the Mid-heaven. The Sun was in Cancer (9th house) and a Grand Trine was created by the Moon in Pisces trining a Mars-Uranus conjunction in Cancer in turn trining the Scorpio Ascendant.
If you’re looking for comic genius – genius, period – it is to be found in the above factors.
It was well known that Robin suffered periodically from depression and had sought escape in drugs and alcohol. Certainly, the combination of Moon in Pisces and the angular Mercury-Pluto conjunction would provide a breeding ground for addiction, self-destructive behaviour and periodic bouts of inner darkness. However, it was from this same deep pool that Williams drew his material and his performances.
Many of those he worked with commented on how very kind and supportive he was as an actor. They describe a quiet man, away from the stage and screen. He was also a man who actively helped those who suffered from addictions. And I think we can see this in the abundance of the element water in his chart: Sun and Mars in Cancer, Scorpio rising and the moon in Pisces.
There is not only a Grand Trine in this chart, but a Cardinal T-square, also involving the Mars-Uranus conjunction: Jupiter in Aries opposes Neptune in Libra and both square Mars and Uranus. Here we find Williams the showman, Williams the risk-taker, Williams the performer, Williams the controversial and Williams the quirky. Yet these same astrological factors also reflect someone who travelled perilously close to the edge and more than once threatened to go over it. And, indeed on 11 August, 2014 as Pluto opposed his Mars-Uranus conjunction, Uranus opposed natal Neptune, and the sun and Mercury perched on his Mid-heaven and the natal Mercury-Pluto conjunction, he finally toppled over the edge.
What may have been hugely instrumental in precipitating the crisis that led him to take his life in the early hours of Monday morning was the super-moon that had taken place a handful of hours beforehand. The full moon at 18̊ Aquarius was precisely opposed to his natal Pluto, and squared by transiting Saturn. Sunday must have been the darkest of days for Robin.
Of course, we would say he died too young; there was still more life to live, more performances to come, but when I look at the transits on the day he died it seems to me that his time had come, his work was done.
That Mercury on the day conjoined natal Mercury and the Mid-heaven has an air of completion about it. That the moon was in Pisces, nudging Neptune, not only lends an aura of despair and sacrifice to events, but in his natal chart Neptune is the leading planet in a Locomotive shaping and the Moon the “tail”. Thus the qualities and themes associated with Neptune and the Moon have been redolent in his life and work, and were present at its end.
Also playing a part in these final days were Saturn and Mars. Saturn may not have been precisely on his natal Ascendant in Scorpio, but it was only five degrees away; more importantly, on the day Robin died the Mars-Saturn mid-point fell on his natal Ascendant.
Many, many years ago when I was spending time with the late Ingrid Lind, my mentor, one of her “flock” – a beautiful but emotionally disturbed woman – committed suicide; it was her fifth attempt. I remember Ingrid saying that it was finally her time, and pointing out to me the various astrological factors involved, but what she added nonchalantly, and made even more of an impact on me, was that she’d seen angels gathering around her the day before. “I knew they were there to carry her over; they were full of joy”
Robin Williams certainly gave millions of people an enormous amount of joy, and we must trust that he has at last found it for himself.
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