In 2013, I had one one of the biggest crises of my life.
It is, somewhat ironic- that as an Astrologer and the daughter of an Astrologer I did “see the storm coming” energetically- but wasn’t able to get to safety or mitigate its effect at all. I had to experience and endure a kind of hell that lasted for years.
During a period of time afterward as I got through days barely, always keeping the promise of “checking out” close- like a security blanket almost, I read and read about the idea of fate, how the world’s myths, religions and cultures interpreted this concept. Was it God? Was it Man? Was it our “ stars”? Do we shape our fate or suffer it?
Regardless, the place where our own self-rule and personal choices intersect our souls design, horoscope or fate is fascinating.
I personally have seen as an Astrologer, counselor and observer of life how little some of us are able to escape our human suffering - and I also see how powerful our own attitudes and choices are in shaping whether we do “ suffer OVER our suffering” or not.
It is a slippery slope trying to control life- yet I do believe we have some control.
We CAN and DO make choices every day that have tremendous power over our experience.
I personally believe that our choices are how we co-create our lives with the great mystery. I both “ sense” this and see it manifested as my own truth. These choices are often in the form of personal thoughts and judgments about our life as well as the actions we make/take every day.
Recently I’ve written and spoken about the tremendous power of the outer planets of our solar system as agents of great growth and change. These slow moving planets represent energies that affect us collectively, and we each have our own personal connection to them- dependent on our own natal chart.
Pluto is an agent of soul evolution, often through some of the most difficult, dangerous and intense crisis experiences we can imagine.
Uranus is a revolutionary element, bringing shocking change, liberation and illumination into play. Another trans-personal planet, Neptune offers us idealism and delusion, a sense of possible martyrdom and loss of boundaries.
These three planets are strongly at play in our world events now- Pluto is in the sign of Capricorn, where it was last in 1776, Uranus just transitioned from Aries to Taurus where it was 84 years ago during the great depression (1934) and Neptune in Pisces now mirrors some of the last transit energy it had from 1847-1862 (lead up to the American Civil War). Chiron, a special Asteroid-like planetary body between Saturn and Uranus just recently moved in Aries, where it was during the intense civil rights protests and other U.S. traumas in 1968. Let’s just say – from the perspective of Astrology (a meaningful interpretation of Astronomical movement)- there seems to be a lot of interesting “synchronicity” between our current national crisis and some of the others we have experienced as a nation.
I mention some of the big stuff (A nation under crisis, delusion, illusion and polarized ideologies etc.) as these factors affect us collectively and personally- we ALL FEEL this crisis but may not always have a “perspective” or context to put it in. Much of the time we all tend to operate from within our own solar “ ego” sitting ourselves at the center of our own Universe. As the pressures of the world push down, we sense our crisis, it may or may not be personal, but we often make it so.
I was reading recently that the suicide rate in the United States has been steadily increasing, and surprisingly more than half of those (approximately 54%) who choose to commit suicide have no lengthy history of clinical mental illness, depression etc.,
This brings me to the last weeks deeply shocking suicides of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade. They join a long list of very surprising recent suicides of seemingly successful and variously content people. Although I know very little now about the events leading up to both of these individual’s choice to take their own life- I did see some correspondences in their Natal Charts. (Note- neither has a birth time available so the chart can’t be fully completed)
For Kate Spade, I noticed she had a Capricorn Sun (very close to mine) and since 2008 at least was probably dealing with a kind of personal evolution that felt more like destruction (Pluto conjunct Sun). Like Singer Chris Cornell who also took his life in a similar fashion she had a Moon in Sagittarius and from an Astrological perspective it’s likely pessimistic Saturn’s tour of Sagittarius (from 2014-2017) left her both deeply depressed and feeling that nothing much would change. In December Saturn moved to conjunct Spade’s Sun- Identity. Saturn is all about taking responsibility and can be quite grim. Saturn is often the depressing taskmaster, bringing ever-higher obstacles in front of us. Saturn is dry and barren, tough and stern. Without context, feeling this energy by transit can be experienced as a pressure of insurmountable proportion- especially when it is not something normally experienced- it becomes a crisis.
Bourdain had a Moon in very late Capricorn (there is a debate about whether it is 0 Aquarius) and at the time of his death Saturn was opposing his Natal Sun, Pluto conjoining his Moon and Neptune right on his Natal Mars in Pisces. In addition the Lunar Transiting North Node (an elliptical point connected to one’s “fate or destiny) was conjunct his Uranus.
So we have some of the BIG intense energies mentioned above, Pluto, Neptune and Uranus activated in Bourdains chart. Essentially these planets can be the agents of transformation in any chart- Bourdain’s emotional, instinctive self was being triggered by Pluto’s darkness. His Mars- the ability to assert oneself, deluded and even martyred with Neptune. North Node to Uranus- a sudden and shocking decision to “ liberate” himself from what seemed like darkness, a pressure filled and too tough existence…
These are speculations only on my part, based on my experience with Astrology. Certainly we cannot know exactly what goes on with an individual’s decision to leave a personal crisis through suicide. It may be, that as a good friend suggested (one who has walked through the fire of extreme crisis herself) some people feel that they themself or others around them do not have the patience for grief or healing. That their own problems may not be heard and given space when they are voiced, that others may reject or dismiss them when they do. This is true especially if one has had crisis in the past, or ongoing issues or even if one is collectively seen as “ successful”. As she put it “ You get scared to reach out for help- because after a while even when you ask you are ignored”
When I was in the throes of crisis in my own life- the pithy advice others offered such as “ it will get better with time” etc. did little to help my pain. I thought it would never end and honestly a small part of it never has. But I have learned to live with this expanded experience of life, to hold the idea that crisis and pain and negativity and extreme pressure are included in our experience of life, - as is death and loss and whatever we may personally call failure.
The fact is things have gotten better for me as I accepted this and as “the energetic storm passed”. What does seem to be true is that the wheel turns for us all.
Crisis can be a catalyst for positive change- can be a part of the "continuous rite of passage” life offers us. I truly understand that certain experiences can make or break us.
Life brings us events that force growth and evolve our experience often through pain.
But Astrology informs us of what we may have to endure. We do so to live our lives with as much integrity and awareness possible. It is my understanding that we each have a special purpose- and within this purpose we live and we die.
All I know for sure is that the compassionate heart of this Universe offers us clues to our suffering and many times the antidote to our poisons.
This is available to us all if we wish to receive it.
(Note: This is opinion and personal experience. I do understand we all have our own.)