Oh My Stars

matthew currie astrology britney spearsPop superstar Britney Spears is currently in court fighting to have a conservatorship order over her, overseen by her father, removed. This comes after her having checked into a mental health facility last month. At first this was said to be voluntary, but Britney now claims she was held in the facility and forced to take drugs against her will by her father.

So now Britney is standing in front of a judge to determine whether or not she is sane and competent enough to run her own life. That can be a difficult call for a judge to make. But would it be any easier if that decision was being made by an astrologer looking at her birth chart, rather than a judge? The answer isn’t as clear-cut as you might think.

Science has given us a little in the way of mental health research that can be applied to astrology — although it’s interesting to note schizophrenia is more likely to appear in people born during the last four signs of the Zodiac. But unfortunately, when we look at many of the traditional rules governing mental health in the birth chart, things don’t become nearly as clear as you might like. Among the factors these are told to look for in a birth chart are:

– An emphasis on water signs in general in the birth chart.
– Sun square Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto.
– Moon square Mercury, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune or Pluto .
– Mercury square Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto
– one or more of the malefics in the Third House of the birth chart.
– the ruler of the Third House in the Second House.
– a preponderance of difficult aspects to the planet ruling the Third House in the birth chart, or to any planets in the Third House.

So at this rate, it’s beginning to look like astrology must think everyone is mentally ill, right? Any human being can have one of these features, or even several of these features calm up and not suffer from mental illness. Let’s have a look at Britney’s chart and see how many of those boxes she checks off.

-The Sun doesn’t have any of the above afflictions, and it it is (arguably) within conjunction range of here Uranus.
-Moon square Saturn.
-No problematic aspects to Mercury (unless you count the conjunction) to Uranus.
-No malefics in Britney’s Third — but Uranus and Neptune are there.
-Jupiter rules the Third House and it’s in the Second House — but has no obvious bad aspects to it.

So, of all the warning signs one might see for mental illness, there are a reasonable number of them — but it’s not incredibly obvious. This seems unusual for someone who has spent much of her life acting… well, kind of mentally ill. What is obvious is that Britney is under tremendous pressure right now due to the Saturn-Pluto conjunction squaring the natal Saturn and Pluto in her birth chart.

In part, it’s because what we call “mental illness” has a strong cultural component. There are some cultures where schizophrenics are treated like shamen, and at one time it is possible in China to be committed to a mental health facility for suffering from “political monomania” — in other words, for refusing to accept that The Communist Party is the best and only entity qualified to run a government.

So apparently, “mental illness” is (in part) a matter of perspective. Keeping that in mind, I’ll be revisiting this subject next time… with Special Guest Star and (possibly) Mad Queen, Daenerys Targaryen!

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