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The Astrology Of Robin Williams: Behind The Mask Of Comedy

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Robin Williams is dead at age 63, apparently by his own hand. These are the plain facts of it. This came as a surprise, and it’s the kind of news that hit me like a punch in the gut. And yet, in hindsight  (and isn’t hindsight always perfect?) it is no surprise. There is something obvious we all missed about Robin Williams — or that perhaps we saw and chose to ignore.


Robin Williams (born July 21, 1951, 1:34 PM Chicago Illinois) was arguably the funniest human of his generation. He’s best known as a comedian, and launched to fame in the 1980s in the sitcom “Mork and Mindy.” But his talents were too great to be contained by a sitcom, and before long he was starring in major films and was a leading force behind “Comic Relief USA” which raised millions for the homeless. We can look at Robin Williams’ birth chart and see the signs of potential depression: Moon in sensitive Pisces opposite Venus in Virgo. A Moon in Pisces is sensitive enough to life’s discomforts as it is, without any oppositions. The Moon’s ruler was Neptune, and Robin’s Neptune was in the 12th house. This is always the mark of someone who could stand to have some form of spiritual retreat in his life. It seems unlikely that the nature of his busy Hollywood lifestyle would allow for that sort of thing a lot, although he did end up in rehab a few times. The potential for something alone does not guarantee it will definitely happen. There was more to this suicide then simply indicators of depression in the birth chart.  There were difficult transits happening when he died, but perhaps more importantly: there was something obvious going on all along with Robin Williams that you and I didn’t see, or chose to ignore, despite the fact that it was quite literally staring us in the face.



As far as the kinds of transits that could trigger a suicide: transiting Pluto was closely opposing Robin’s Mars-Uranus conjunction at the time of his death. A Pluto transit opposite either planet is going to be a challenge, and it can be argued that suicide is aggression (Mars) turned inward. Saturn’s recent passage over Robin’s Ascendant and close square to his natal Pluto undoubtedly weren’t helping either. Under the best circumstances, any one of these transits could be the sort of thing that would indicate a significant emotional crisis. And perhaps all of them put together were the final straw for Robin Williams, who had always struggled with depression. Anyone getting tough transits from both Saturn and Pluto is going to have a hard time. But this too misses what should have been obvious.



There is a cliché that artists need to suffer in order to create. I don’t know whether or not that’s absolutely necessary, but it certainly does seem to help. Whatever pain Robin Williams carried around inside of him was turned by the alchemy of Art into entertainment for millions. That is a profound blessing, but it may not have been enough to help him with his own burden. Whenever we see the art, we are also seeing the artist… but (by definition) that art is a distortion. It is what the artist wants us to see. It is an illusion projected from that artists own reality, whatever that may be. When we look at people, we tend to see what we want to see. When we see an entertainer, we want entertainment and not necessarily to dive deeply into his or her soul. When we look at the birth chart in to see the configuration of the planets, we don’t always see the entirety of the person… especially if there is something about that entirety that disturbs us or doesn’t match our expectations.


I can’t claim any special form of clairvoyance or connection with Mr. Williams, but his natal Sun was conjunct my Moon and Ascendant, and his Moon was conjunct my Saturn, so there is a case to be made for me having seen his inner life perhaps a little more than the average viewer did, or wanted to. I can’t claim any special knowledge of the man, but ever since I first saw Robin Williams in the 1980s, and every time I saw him afterwards – whether he was being a comedian or being serious or in any of the roles he was playing – there was always one thing that stood out at me, and always disturbed me. No matter what role he was playing, clown or serious, actor or humanitarian, there was always sadness in Robin Williams eyes. Always.


Go back now and watch any performance of his that you can think of, no matter what the role or genre, and tell me you don’t see it now too. And what’s more: you probably saw it all along but didn’t want to think about it too much. That’s how great his work was. Like a magician, he completely deceived you with his performance, and you were pleased to be tricked, and so was I. Sometimes life is a great adventure. Sometimes life is about facing the next challenge. Sometimes life is just about getting through the day.

And sometimes, in words spoken by Robin Williams in one of my favorite films, What Dreams May Come… ironically about a man who dies and seeks out his wife’s soul in the afterlife to rescue her from hell because she’s committed suicide… It’s about not giving up.


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  • Kathy

    Thank you for this article. I so loved Mr. Williams from afar. I am a very sensitive bipolar Pisces. I took his death hard & I wish I could have been with him to work through his inner demons. We lost a great man.

  • Shihram

    Hi! Uhmmm I think I’m a bit similiar to Robin’s astrological combination. 22/07/1989 born 5:00 am Guadalajara, Mexico

    Having cancer rising, moon in pisces,sun in cancer, mercury, venus and mars in leo. ¡Yup! Life is tough with this combo… But I can relate to Robin in the way that people that surrond you must be happy in order to make yourself feel comfortable. It’s when you lose one’s self, cross the line and start thinking more about others than yourself when you crumble. I think having venus and mars in leo pumps up my courage and determination (obviously adding TONNNS of dramaaaaa yayyyyy [sane, healthy drama though]!!!) But I love me and do my best with what I have.

    Any thing I can learn from this combination?

    Hope you’re doing GREAT Mr. Robin!

    Gonna try ma best with the same pisces/moon, cancer/sun, mercury/leo.

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  • Matthew Currie

    And thank you for dropping by and reading.

  • Matthew Currie

    Over the years, I have noticed this to be true. Thank you for the observation.

  • Debracadabra

    I think having sun, moon & rising in one element may be a bit of a burden for anyone. I’m Scorp with a Pisces moon, but thankfully my Libra Ascendant drags me out of the depths of despair on a regular basis~

  • dee

    I feel like Robin Williams sadness was not just personal, but that he felt the world’s sadness and pain and suffering and did his best as a star to help, which I think helped himself to give so much. I have deep sensitivity, and I think Robin Williams did too, and sometimes it is so unbearably painful and overwhelming, it is hard to cope. And in my deepest pain, I make myself ask for help. I pray a lot, meditate, and do what ever I can. It is a hard thing to handle in life, and I send all my love to Robin and hope a lot of healing happens for him now.

  • Matthew Currie

    Yes. You should contact me for a reading. :)

  • mental mystic

    My birthday s 09/05/1990. Any insight? I’d appreciate it..

  • Tam

    I loved Robin the moment I first saw him on “Happy Days” and followed him faithfully through his career. I always saw the sadness in his eyes as a reflection of my own as I have chronic depression and PTSD from a childhood trauma. Losing him was like losing a close relative. I am still reeling. What I have noticed is that since his passing, many good — unexpected — things have happened for me and several other people for whom he held a special place in their hearts. I think it is his loving energy continuing to influence the lives of others. He is free from the physical body but his essence is very much alive and ricocheting around the cosmos.

  • Antonia

    Thank you… I needed to read that. One of my family members was murdered this week and I’ve been struggling to accept that I can’t remove everybody’s grief in one fell swoop when I’m so fragile myself

  • Matthew Currie

    Yes. Yes I do.

  • Matthew Currie

    Yes. It was a suicide.

  • Maria D’Angelo

    Wow, that is exactly the feelings I’ve always had about Robin Williams. Every time I saw him, he always struck me as a sad person. Even during his most funny comedic acts. How very odd is that…..

  • Helle

    You mention tr. Saturn recently crossing his asc. – but his asc. as far as I can tell, is at 1 degree of Scorpio due to daylight savings time in Illinois in 1951; not standard time as it is listed by Astrodient/Rodden database, which puts his asc. at about 10 degrees of Scorpio.
    So, tr. Saturn crossed his asc. at 1 deg.Scorpio at the end of 2012 and with today’s news about his recent Parkinson’s diagnosis this, along with Tr. Chiron over his north Node, really highlights the challenges to his health and physical body.
    And of course,the aspects made by tr. Pluto as you point out, as well as tr. Uranus.
    A sad story indeed!


  • Daisy

    13 Scorpio Rising here. Saturn ruling my 3rd house of the mind located in my first house and square my Pluto in Leo on the MC. From early childhood on people told me I looked sad and should smile more. I have had bouts of severe depression since I was 17 which was 40 years ago. I was told 30 years ago by a doctor that Robin Williams was bipolar but would go off his meds because they cut his creativity…a common complaint among bipolars. His drug and alcohol abuse (Neptune opposite Jupiter and square his Mars/Uranus) would only exacerbate his depression. I was saddened by his suicide but not surprised. He had many issues going on and reflected in his chart. He had transiting Saturn squaring his Pluto which is really tough…I live with it natally every day. He felt overwhelmed and tormented to be sure. When one is really depressed it is always 3:00 in the morning…day after day (paraphrasing F. Scott Fitzgerald).

  • france

    You’re not breaking anything to me. Your opinion is just that — yours. And opinion. As are mine.

  • ellenastro md

    means : the -error- Moon is in her opposite sign, that’s not comfy for her and you as well

  • Biff Umente’

    Sorry to have to break it to you you, but just because a person dies (leaves his physical body) it doesn’t necessarily mean he is now “at peace.” When a person kills himself, he is only killing his body; and whatever problems (challenges) he had while he was on Earth don’t just magically go away. He still has to face up to, and deal with these challenges, wherever he is now and wherever he’s heading to next.

  • Paula C.

    One of cancers challenges is learning how to receive and be nurtured. This requires the ability to be vulnerable. Yet this allows for being nourished by life instead of drained.
    My south node is in cancer and I am challenged to learn how to allow myself to be nourished by the love in my life. Yes, giving is wonderful and has its gifts. But I think our culture has a hard time receiving into our hearts the love that will heal the loneliness and need for addictions as well.

  • Paula C.

    Yup. As a piscean too, I get it. Plus I have a bunch of stuff in the 12 th house.

  • Paula C.

    Yes Mathew, it is true, he did have a sadness in his eyes. Without a spiritual awakening, he seemed doomed to carry such a burden with cancer sun, Pisces moon and Scorpio rising. Such a sensitive man!!! I also wondered why in the mentioning of his work I have yet to see anyone say anything about What Dreams May Come. Maybe we still do not want to see the obvious.

  • Antonia

    I had a feeling that he was a water sign and have been so disturbed by his death as I used to wish that he could be my father whenever I watched Mrs Doubtfire. I don’t recommend watching the scene from dead poet’s society with “how to save a life” playing over it unless you’d like to sob like a child and want more than anything to somehow give him a hug when you know that can’t possibly happen. I felt guilty when I heard about his death because although I always respected and admired him, my last memory of him was a terrifying dream where he was dressed in lingerie and trying to force me to take 50 dollar bills from him. The dream didn’t make sense and I can’t imagine why I’d choose to dream about him in that way when he was such a gentle and sweet person. Forgive me for rambling, but I just wanted to add that I find it neat how I’m also a cancer sun with a scorpio ascendant and a mid heaven in Leo. My moon is in scorpio though, so the Pisces moon is something that I don’t share with him. We may have lost a compassionate gem but it’s important that we recognize how special the last gift that he gave us is and try to honor him by practicing the art of giving what we can afford to give. In my opinion, a man who spent his life entertaining people while he was suffering is a true martyr. I hope others can recognize his sacrifice and let it remind them that giving to others isn’t necessarily a waste or a loss. I try to remind myself of this when I feel that I’ve been taken advantage of and lately I was making myself miserable with the feeling that I could share as much as I wanted with people and I’d still feel completely alone and disconnected, but I’ve been reminded of how beautiful it is to share what you can only to make others feel better.

  • Joyce

    thank you for the chart. When you have a chance, can you tell me what the ? mark means?? thanks!

  • france

    None of us knows what is or isn’t a “setback for his soul” or if such a thing even exists. His death has affected so many people and opened up valuable conversations, created more awareness. He is now at peace and both his life and death have powerfully affected people. Perhaps this all played out exactly as it was meant to…I suspect it has.

  • ellenastro md

    the -error- Moon is in her opposite sign, that’s not comfy for her and you as well.

    about the “stronger” – you are also Ari’s child, don’t forget about that, the power is your 2nd name !

  • Joyce

    so I have 3 planets in Pisces..yes I believe that..i often keep things, way below the surface..well hidden..also I put on the air of being stronger than I am..I definitely agree with hiding things..I noticed the ? with the circle..what does that mean?

  • ellenastro md

    no Joyce, that’s stupid mistake. Venus-Ari!

    Look, your sensitive is provoked by 3 planets in Pisces sign…

    And yes you are r.Cancer but the owner of your Ist house the Moon, is in Cap. that can take you in error, you are sensitive but you hide this !

  • Joyce

    hmmm..I thought my Venus was in Pisces…I received a book and that is what it calculated..thanks for this post!

  • ellenastro md

    here we go again, RISING CANCER; and your Venus is in Aries sign, not in Pisces.

  • ellenastro md

    1st- Mars in 8th house is “home” (Scorpio – Mars Pluto)

    2nd- for describing death in natal chart it’s not enough only planets in 8th house

    3rd- in generally afflicted planet like Mars or Saturn is not good, but not all time it describes violent death,even if they stay in 8th house

  • Joyce

    30/03/1962 Philadelphia, PA. 11:34am
    Thank you..

  • ellenastro md

    write please your birthday like this : dd/mm/yyyy and name your birth city.

  • ellenastro md

    and, you wanna say , this was a suicide however ?

  • ellenastro md

    yes. but don’t worry about that, yes, many times you are sad, or too much passive… but, to say that you are – a depressed person it’s not enough for rising Cancer.
    (M.G r.Cancer)

  • Matthew Currie

    I know that suicide is often difficult to accept, but that wouldn’t take into account the self-inflicted cuts on his wrists that were apparently made as a preliminary attempt.

  • Matthew Currie

    Unfortunately, there’s nothing accidental looking about it.

  • Joyce

    does that apply to Cancer rising as well? I too have a sort of ‘sadness’ about me..not sure why..have always had, even as a child

  • Joyce

    I have Venus in Pisces. I feel like I can sense any type of pain, sadness, depression in someone. It sticks to me, and its almost as if I have an ‘antenna’. Sometimes I get ‘overwhelmed’ by others’ emotions and difficulties…I was born 3/30/62 at 11:34am. Would love to know if this is ‘seen’ in my birth chart. thank you.

  • NOman

    Also if 8th house mars is afflicted, violent death is possible apparently

  • NOman

    I also heard his mars was in the 8th house like mine :( hopefully my death isn’t sudden I wanna go in my sleep like a G

  • Ron2Bsure

    My sister had Mercury conjunct Pluto in Leo and also committed suicide. You often find suicide in charts of people with Mercury oppose Neptune (disillusionment), especially across the 6th/12th axis. In Robin Williams’ chart, Jupiter substitutes for Mercury in the equation. I liked his work as a comedian; I never really found him especially talented as an actor. His comedy was wonderful, but the manic compulsion to entertain got to be a bit tiresome. And your point about Saturn crossing his Ascendant is well taken. He was entering the tough seven years of the 30-year Saturn cycle, the years of obscurity, and that is difficult medicine. RIP Robin. Your passing is a great loss.

  • k t

    yes, I agree. I was still a kid when Mork and Mindy came. But when I saw Mrs. Doubtfire after that and after a long time, That was what struck me too. I sensed melancholy. I was really taken aback. I was reassured when he got funny. But yes, the sadness in his face or eyes, I registered each much. It did bothered me. Today, I openly mentioned it just an hour ago to someone. And then saw your post. I was looking for a reason based on his horoscope..This is so weird.

  • Grim Citizen

    Oh my, that birth time gave him a Scorpio Ascendant along with his Cancer Sun and Pisces Moon. That man was very emotional and it would not surprise me if he was somewhat affected by the events happening in the world as well as what was going on in his own private life. He wanted to make others laugh to make them forget their own problems, but maybe for him, he couldn’t find anything else to laugh about?

  • Grim Citizen

    Having a lot of Piscean planets will make you a sponge that absorbs other’s pain and every emotion. You have to shield yourself from feeling so much of everything you see.

  • ellenastro md

    )))) hello Saturn’s child, yeah, really funny

  • Lindy

    Thank you for sharing this! I am a sun Cancer, Cancer ascendant, and I always saw his sadness as well as his intense desire for a place to ‘retreat’ to….to ‘escape’ from his own inner demons. I’m just so sorry he had to take his own life. What a setback for his soul. His wife, children will all suffer the loss to immeasurable degrees…and imagine what he could have accomplished had he pushed through these transits? I will always admire him for doing the movie, What Dreams May Come….it helps others see what the other side is like.

  • Lily

    I am so glad to have read your post. I too, noticed the sadness in his eyes and have had enough experience with a range of mental health issues in my communities that I was surprised that so many didn’t see that shadow always with him. I have been amazed at the range of response his death has stirred. I believe he made a difference. He will be missed.

  • sevendandra

    Ugh, I am a cap sun moon in cancer, and my Venus in cap is also opposition to my moon…Fun

  • Not always what it seems

    Jupiter return – maybe an accidental asphyxiation?

  • Jason

    Michael Jackson had moon in pisces also. Gave him incredible creativity, yet too much sensitivity to a cruel and corrupt world.These people were in this world but clearly not of it.

  • Joni Schultz

    Yes, Matthew, the sad clown. Perhaps why he was so great in dramatic roles, the true self manifesting. I suspect in addition to severe depression, he was manic/depressive. When will this country get past the stigma of mental illness and start healing the most beautiful, sensitive souls?

  • ellenastro md

    aham, and all that response for your I hause

  • ellenastro md

    you look mistical, not sad, saddnes is Piscis, Cancer and Capricorns character.

  • ellenastro md

    Hi Matthew, this morning when i heard news about R.W death, i made a horary chart. Look what i sow : you said – ” but it may not have been enough to help him with his own burden ” >> i think yes, you are right, in my chart there was square from Mars to Venus that response to his I house, it’s enough to realise that Robin was attacked by somebody or may be something and -than- died.

  • queefa

    Scorpio rising tho as i am does alwasy look a little sad

  • Sad fan

    Thank you, Matthew.

  • Lauren F

    I actually did notice the sadness in his eyes. The same look I have in mine.

  • Richard in Melb

    Since I heard the news I feel sick. Perhaps that is what a stellium in Pisces will do (16.02.67, 19.40, Dunedin NZ)… @moodtracker

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