“Whenever we moderns pause for a moment, and enter the silence, and listen very carefully, the glimmer of our deepest nature begins to shine forth, and we are introduced to the mysteries of the deep, the call of the within, the infinite radiance of a splendor that time and space forgot – we are introduced to the all-pervading Spiritual domain that the growing tip of our honored ancestors were the first to discover. And they were good enough to leave us a general map to that infinite domain, a map called the Great Nest of Being, a map of our own interiors, an archeology of our own Spirit.”
—Ken Wilber, Integral Psychology
The troubled actress Demi Moore has been in the news lately after she was hospitalized for what appears to be a combination of prescription drugs, nitrous oxide and alcohol. While her behavior has been more erratic since her separation from third husband Ashton Kutcher, Demi has a long history of emotional problems and drug addiction that nearly caused her firing from St. Elmo’s Fire, the film that brought her to national attention.
Demi’s astrological chart has some of the classic hallmarks of addictive behavior: Pisces rising, Sun conjunct Neptune, Jupiter and Chiron in the 12th house. (Source of birth data: Astrotheme) Pisces, Neptune and the 12th house are all related and share the quality of an urge to transcend the material world. This can occur through spiritual ascension, through romance, through art – or it can occur through addictions to love, alcohol and drugs.
Demi’s childhood was no picnic – after her father abandoned the family her mother became an alcoholic and married an alcoholic who was unable to keep down a job. The family moved 30-40 times while Demi was a child and the stepfather committed suicide when Demi was 15. She was born in 1962 when Uranus and Pluto were nearing their exact conjunction, and everyone born between 1962 and 1968 carries this dramatic combination of radical change (Uranus) and total transformation (Pluto) in their charts.
Between 1962 and 1965, Saturn (challenge and self-doubt) and Chiron (emotional wounding) were opposite the Uranus/Pluto pair – a difficult planetary system that generally comes with an extremely sensitive psycho/emotional system that is can easily become imbalanced if not consciously attended to. Often these individuals carry a great deal of psychic pain, but if they do the hard work of healing they can also become brilliant in their field and lead happily and fulfilling lives.
Demi Moore is noted for her obsession with her looks so it’s interesting that as a child she had to have several surgeries for crossed eyes. The Sun rules the left eye in a woman, and the Moon rules the right eye and in Demi’s chart the Sun is opposed by the Moon. The Sun represents the consciousness of Self and the Moon the instinctive emotional realm, and when these two are out of balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain do not easily connect.
The charts of actors often carry a strong Pisces/Neptune signature, since this urge to transcend the limits of our own personality can make it very easy to slip out of our own Self and literally become someone else. But while this quality makes for a successful acting career, it’s not always the best thing for self-understanding and awareness.
Demi has a stellium in Scorpio which includes a very tight Sun/Venus conjunction which also embraces Neptune and Mercury. Scorpio is very aware of the flow of power and the use of sexuality to achieve it, and this is especially true when Venus, the planet of attraction, is in Scorpio. Yet the presence of Neptune in this mix, especially conjoining the Sun where it blurs (Neptune) her sense of Self (Sun), confuses her motivation and causes her to lose direction. And this tendency is exacerbated by the Pisces ascendant (IF the birth information is correct) which shares the Neptunian qualities of distortion and illusion.
In addition, Demi has Mars, the planet of drive and motivation, in the self-oriented sign of Leo which craves attention and significance. Mars forms a challenging square to the Scorpio planets and it’s also opposed by Saturn, the planet of limitation and self-doubt which often sets up a situation in which the individual feels that they will never have (Saturn) what they most want from life (Mars).
I suspect that under the drug use (Neptune/Pisces) and obsession with beauty (Sun/Venus) and sexual attraction (Scorpio) is a tremendous rage (Mars) that fuels her need to obliterate her consciousness with drugs and alcohol. Demi’s daughter said in a recent interview that her mother has jumped from religion to religion throughout her life, but it takes more than religion (in this case Kabbalah) to facilitate the kind of healing that this kind of personality requires – it takes genuine courage and the desire to strip ourselves of the veneer that cements our false identity into place and prevents us from knowing who we really are.
The Planetary Illuminations report for February is up on my website and you can read the article in its entirety here. My newsletter subscribers receive a translation of this report into easy to understand English, so if you’re not already on my list please sign up in the sidebar to the right of this article.
Meanwhile, here is the introduction which reports on the major planetary cycles this month (for the details of February planetary alignments please visit the article:
Mars turned retrograde on January 23rd, and when February begins it is still moving very slowly through the sky so its influence is felt on a more deeply personal level. The energy of Mars is important for our motivation and our ability to move forward in our lives, and Mars is in Virgo where it is bringing our attention to the details of life – the mundane everyday world in which most of our lives transpire.
Any planet in retrograde motion asks us to look within a little more carefully, and Mars retrograde periods urge us to carefully consider areas of life in which we react to stimuli without thinking. Where do we respond in anger? Where are we blocked from expressing ourselves when our boundaries are violated? What do we really want and how can we put our dreams into action? These are all Mars Retrograde questions and because Mars will be inching along very slowly for the first two weeks of February we will continue to feel its effects. This could include sleeplessness and agitation if Mars is hitting a sensitive area in our chart and we are allowing that energy to implode without giving it an outlet, through physical activity perhaps, or by expressing ourselves more clearly and assertively.
Saturn is preparing to turn retrograde too – that retrograde turn occurs on February 7th so Saturn’s motion is also slowing down to a standstill in preparation for that retrograde turn. Saturn is at the 29th degree of Libra, not quite ready to move into Scorpio but instead going back one more time to complete the work of helping us to re-establish our sense of values and aesthetics (Libra).
Saturn turns retrograde every year, so this is not such an unusual event. Saturn is the planet that teaches us to build and create strong structures that will sustain our lives and grant us success in the material world, but in order to accomplish this it often calls our attention to areas in which our performance has not been adequate. This can lead to feelings of self-doubt and anxiety. Saturn retrograde periods offer opportunities for us to use this awareness of where our efforts have fallen short so that we can improve them and ultimately achieve lasting success.
We also have Neptune re-entering Pisces after a brief sojourn back into Aquarius. You can read more about that here.
And finally, Pluto is moving into position to form a square aspect to Ceres. Ceres represents our ability to nurture ourselves and others, and Pluto presents a challenge to that ability. There are often issues of food disorders under this aspect, or at the very least a difficulty in balancing our emotional needs with the physical ones.
This is the Year of the Water Dragon, which evidently is a very big deal in Chinese culture. I confess that my knowledge of Chinese astrologer doesn’t extend far beyond what’s printed on the placemats in Chinese restaurants, but I do know that I am a Dragon which made no sense when I was younger. It’s only now that I am aging that I see the Dragon within me. But that’s another story…
Evidently the Dragon year is a very popular year during which to have children because it is thought that Dragons will be successful financially. Dragon years are periods of growth and change, and evidently attract events that are larger than life. It’s interesting to me that mainstream publications that don’t traffic in Western astrology will often make a big deal out of Chinese astrology, such as this one:
According to CLSA, Asia-Pacific Markets, the word for “Dragon,” in Chinese is spelled “Lóng.” Automatically that is a good sign for markets, as we are always hopeful for long markets and lots of profit. The Chinese Zodiac takes into consideration all five elements of metal, fire, water, earth, and wood, and in the Year of the Dragon, the zodiac predicts that markets will steadily drop until about mid-August when a huge surge will take place and a “Lóng” market takes us well into the next Chinese New Year. Predominant elements this year are water, which could douse any fire in the markets, and is expected to be a powerful force in February and March, and so the Dragon says to liquidate (yes, liquidate) any funds you have during that period (CSLA).
There’s an interesting corollary between the Chinese Year of the Water Dragon which combines the element of water with the natural fire of the Dragon, with the combination of Uranus in fiery Aries and the entry of Neptune into watery Pisces. I suppose it’s possible that Neptune in Pisces, with its penchant for delusion, could indeed douse the over-the-top enthusiasm of Uranus in Aries.
While there are twelve animal years, each animal year has an element year and since there are five elements in Chinese philosophy this makes for a 60-year cycle. So this next year, my 60th year, is actually my Dragon Return, the first time the Water Dragon has returned since the year of my birth. (Which I guess is now no longer a secret!)
So I have been wondering, what does it mean that this is my Dragon Return year? I asked the proprietor of the local establishment of Chinese cuisine that I frequent, and he shook his head. “Not usually a good year,” he said. “Sometimes it brings out the worst in you.” That was not very encouraging but I can see where that would be the case. Just as with any astrological cycle, much of what occurs depends upon how far we have grown during the preceding period. And since in this case the preceding period is my entire life, I suppose the question will be how far along I’ve come in my mastery of Water Dragon-ness.
In any case, Happy New Year to all! And blessings for taming the Dragon.