When clients come for an astrological reading about their relationship, they generally want to hear that their relationship is compatible. But astrologers know that compatibility does not always spell success in relationships. Couples who are compatible with each other: who think the same way, who feel the same things, who want the same lifestyle – these couples rarely marry or stay together. We are more likely to gravitate towards partners who have qualities that we lack; partners who stretch us and help us to develop qualities that may be more difficult for us.
It will surprise no one to learn that Arnold Schwarzenegger was born with the Sun in Leo, but that Leo Sun which is larger than life is locked in a challenging square with Chiron, the planet of wounding and healing. When the ego (Sun) has been wounded (Chiron), that Leo desire for attention and acclaim becomes bigger and more urgent. It doesn’t help that a tight Saturn/Pluto conjunction in his chart (also in Leo) suggests a deeply entrenched fear and anxiety, and the proximity of this conjunction to his Sun shows that his confidence is likely rather superficial. The anxiety of Saturn and Pluto falls in Schwarzenegger’s second house of money and personal resources, and I suspect that he has never forgotten the insecurity of his impoverished childhood.
Such a challenge to the Sun requires hard work and discipline (Saturn) to overcome one’s fears and self-doubts, and Pluto’s presence there shows a nascent connection to one’s inner development of personal power that will be the key to transformation. It’s no surprise that Schwarzenegger sought public office in order to achieve this power in an external manner, but it’s the inner power that is required here.
A distressed Leo often requires constant stroking of the ego (we saw this same dynamic with Bill Clinton), and it’s not unusual for this need to lead to infidelities. Maria Shriver’s friends report that she complained for many years about Schwarzenegger’s “roving eye” and had been planning to leave him before both her parents died over the past few years. But with the family-oriented sign of Cancer rising, and with his Venus in Cancer, Schwarzenegger likely feels a deep connection to his family and a desire to keep his family intact; however, like many marriages, that need and the need for fame and power cannot always be resolved.
Maria Shriver’s chart shows a Scorpio Sun in the sixth house of service and work; in fact, she has five planets in the sixth house revealing her deep commitment to helping others. With Taurus rising she avoids change wherever possible and prefers stability and financial security to a more transitory life. When Schwarzenegger was governor she rarely spent time in Sacramento with him but instead stayed in their home in Los Angeles.
Shriver’s Moon is in Leo, so there is a part of her that also needs the attention that Schwarzenegger seeks so easily. Her Moon conjoins his Pluto which generally shows an intense and powerful connection, although the Pluto person (in this case Schwarzenegger) often overpowers the Moon person who can feel left behind. His Saturn also conjoins her Moon which can feel confining but also protective. This is an important significator for marriage and commitment. The linkages between their charts is less powerful for him than for her which has likely made it easier for him to minimize the marriage if in fact that is what occurred.
Shriver’s progressed Midheaven is preparing to move into Aries – the beginning of a new 30-year cycle that will inspire a powerful motivation to find her own way in the world and develop a career in which she can play a leading role. Last year’s Chiron/Neptune conjunction transited her ascendant between May of 2009 and November of 2010 – a cycle which likely caused her to re-examine who she is and how she wanted to express her life.
The planet Uranus is at work here as well, forming a trine to Uranus in her chart. Because Uranus is the planet of personal innovation and authenticity, under this influence we strive to bring new experiences into our lives that will help us to feel truly free.
The breakup is signified in Schwarzenegger’s chart by a challenging square of Uranus to his Moon. The Moon represents emotional security, but also the women in our lives and this cycle reflects the abrupt change in his living situation. It’s not uncommon for a man to be surprised when a woman leaves, even though she may have been dropping warning signals for years and the timing of this Uranus cycle suggests that this may have been the case.
In any event I know we wish them all the best as they strive, like all of us, to find peace and happiness in a changing world.