Who didn’t react strongly, even cry immediately, upon hearing of his death? And especially how he died? Not me. I lost it. In looking at Robin Williams’ chart, I wanted to discover why this might have happened to someone who brought joy to so many. I went looking for a complex human being, and I found one.
His Moon in Pisces describes an emotional nature so subtle and refined that it almost cannot be in the world, and will inevitably lead to disappointment as the world does not live up to one’s ideals. When discussing Moon in Pisces, I wax poetic and quote Whitman’s Song of Myself: “Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. I am large; I contain multitudes.” A Pisces Moon person, especially one with a stellium (grouping of planets) in Pisces, will often feel less like an individual and more like a crowd, a veritable sea of possible persons he could be. He will often feel he is alternately swimming, drowning or lost in a sea of longings, urges, sensations, drives and passions and he isn’t entirely sure which are truly his. Often, he doesn’t know who he is, really. Some of these currents of feeling may be his, some may be leaking in from the people he lives and works with, others may be memories that feel real and present right now, and others still may be the tendrils of past-life memories that also feel equally real as they pass through him like an apparition. With all this going on, how can a Pisces Moon be other than a dreamer? How to get his feet on the ground? And he may be prone to gloom and escapism if he doesn’t find his way to a peaceful retreat on a regular basis, where he can empty his heart, before returning to the world where it will inevitably go on sponging up emotions and sensations.
In fact, Williams’ chart is so full of sensitivity (loaded with Water), intensity, darkness and even gloom (Scorpio Rising with Pluto culminating and square the Ascendant) that in looking at it, I wondered where the comedian was. I looked at Saturn, the usual career indicator, but Williams’ Saturn is equally serious, placed in Virgo and square Chiron. I finally found the funny bone in his Jupiter square Uranus (a placement Ellen Degeneres also has, and also in Fire and Water). This is an apt descriptor of Williams’ electric, fast-moving and even manic wit, and explains the attraction to cocaine. It also explains his amazing capacity to free-associate new material on the spot. One critic called him “an endless gusher of invention.” This ability was amply used in some of his best-loved work: Mork & Mindy, Good Morning, Vietnam and Aladdin.
But I’m coming to a major point here: the comedian in Williams was not his whole self—not remotely—and when someone who can be funny is expected to be funny all the time, it takes its toll.
Having Scorpio Rising isn’t easy—it usually gives its natives a feeling of being raw and exposed all the time. How each Scorpio Rising individual copes with his own unremitting feeling of overexposure is his own business, but if life is a university and we are tested on whether we live out our charts in positive or negative ways, then Williams deserves a high grade. His Wikipedia page says, “Many comedians valued the way he worked highly personal issues into his comedy routines, especially his honesty about drug and alcohol addiction, along with depression.” Not easy for anyone to be that transparent, let alone a highly sensitive, at times paranoid, Scorpio Riser.
If Williams struggled with anything, it was marriage. He was married three times (1st House Juno trine Sun was probably responsible for that) and fathered several children. His Venus in Virgo tightly conjunct the South Node suggests a tendency towards extremely high, perhaps unattainable, standards in relationship. Some Virgo Venus natives apply these standards to their partners and some to themselves; either way a Virgo Venus individual has a hard time simply allowing love in. The South Node connection implies re-engaging with past-life partners in this one, sometimes for completion of past karma, sometimes resulting in entanglement that prevents the native from moving forward. Williams’ Pisces Moon opposed that Venus, suggesting the ability to be emotionally devoted to a partner, but also to give and receive in unequal measure. Such a person often has trouble balancing love of another with care of oneself. He may give to others too much, then retreat and suck energy from the other excessively. It’s extremely hard to balance, as it contains a big streak of self-sacrifice and self-abnegation.
I mentioned before that his chart was loaded with Water, and we need look no further than this when we ask ourselves, “why suicide?” One astrological blogger comments, “No matter what role he was playing, clown or serious, actor or humanitarian, there was always sadness in Robin Williams eyes. Always.” The guy just plain felt everything. It shows in his chart’s trifecta: Cancer Sun, Scorpio Rising, Pisces Moon. All Water.
This is the kind of situation I can only hold in my mind because I believe in reincarnation. So I think this life is one of many, and not just many hundreds, but uncountable millions of lifetimes that an individual lives. If you believe that suicides go to hell (whether literally or metaphorically), then you might think Robin is in hell now. And that’s a very sad thought. But I have a different one. Maybe that Pisces Moon of his never came all the way into the world in the first place. Maybe it had one toe in the otherworld all along. Maybe this was a relief, to let go of the burden of the body, to slip out and away into the light.
But that would be heretical to say, wouldn’t it? Against all our instincts and our morals too (in an area where for once they agree). But the fact is, we don’t know what happens after death. We have what religions have told us and we have what those who have come near death and returned report to us. But mostly, we just don’t know. For my own peace of mind, I have to think that suicide is seen by God/the Universe/All-That-Is as a chance for a reboot. I have to believe that being alive is a choice. Not to be taken lightly, but a choice nonetheless. A choice that can be revoked if the soul gets in too deep. I also have to believe that every human life belongs to its owner first and foremost. If we own anything, our own life should top the list. So if Robin Williams decided he was done, and he wanted to grip the otherworld with the toehold he still had in it, and pull himself over there, who am I to judge? If I were family, then I know I would feel differently, and I’d have a right to. But because I’m not, all I can say is, “Look for the light, Robin, as you fly, fly away.”