The Astrology of Robin Williams’ Suicide: When Venus & the Moon Can’t Bring Comfort

Like everyone else, I was shocked and saddened by Robin’s death, especially because of the way he died. When it was still in question whether or not it was suicide, I cast a Horary astrology chart to see if it could shed light on his death.

This is a Celebrity Artist Profile so it’s longer than a typical post.

Here is the Horary chart for that question:

(THIS LINK will open into a separate window so you can look at the horary chart while you read)

The Ascendant lord (1st house), Mars, represents Robin as his “head”, and the Moon represents him too (his “heart” or feeling side).

Was He in His Right Mind?

Mars is in it’s own sign of Scorpio, but from a medical astrology point of view, it’s a hot, dry planet in a cold, wet sign. In other words, there is an imbalance in his body.

The coldness and moisture of Mars is phlegmatic in temperament and represents his alcohol addiction. It’s another way of saying that he was imbalanced in his body and not in his right mind.

In the sign of Scorpio, Venus and the Moon are harmed (Venus is in Detriment and the Moon is in Fall in the sign of Scorpio according to the Table of Dignities used in Horary astrology).

Venus is the 7th lord, which represents his wife and his public. Venus is in the sign of Cancer, which “likes” Mars (Robin), but also dislikes Mars far more (it doesn’t mean his wife dislikes him, just that she dislikes what he did to himself, the context determines the meaning).

Venus being “harmed” by the sign of Scorpio, and being in the sign of Cancer where Mars is in Fall, shows that his wife, and his public, are deeply grieved by his apparent suicide.

The Moon is also Robin, but representing his “heart” or his feeling side. Mars “hating” the Moon (the Moon is in Fall in Scorpio) shows that his “head” hated his self-destructive emotional side.

Mars is also ruling the radical 8th house of death and it’s approaching the 8th house cusp showing he was “ruled” by his thoughts of death.

Mars is just past a square aspect (this is a difficult aspect) to Jupiter too, which I think represents the drug and alcohol rehabilitation hospital (and/or the doctor, or death, which I’ll talk about later).

I’m don’t know for sure, but the square aspect suggests that his last stay in rehab may not have been as successful as previous visits were, or it’s just his reaction to the doctor’s diagnosis.

Jupiter is also an alternative planet to represent death (because Mars is already representing Robin), and in that case, the square aspect shows the difficult and violent nature of his death.

Where Robin’s Heart Was Coming From

The Moon (Robin’s heart, or emotional side) is also in a cold and moist water sign, but this time it’s compatible with the nature of the Moon, which is also cold and moist.

This implies that his heart was motivated by love because the Moon in the sign of Pisces it shows that he was “exalting” Venus, his wife (and maybe his public).

Pisces also “likes” Mars, the other planet that represents him, as well as death, the 8th house lord, meaning his heart also liked the idea of death.

Furthermore, the Moon in Pisces is just past an easy trine aspect to Mars, indicating the agreement between his heart and mind.

This suggests that he thought he was doing his wife a favor by sparing her the coming ordeal of dealing with Parkinson’s disease on top of his other problems.

However, the Moon is in his 12th house of self-undoing, meaning that while his heart’s motives were good, they were misguided. His wife was not pleased by his death (she is Venus in Cancer, and Mars is in Fall in the sign of Cancer). It looks like she was horrified.

I usually ignore Neptune, but it’s right there in the 12th house and the Moon was just recently joined with it. Neptune, in its negative expression represents self-deception or self-undoing, and addiction.

As you know by now, he had recently received a diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease. The Moon in Pisces is ruled by Jupiter, the 9th house lord of the doctor and the diagnosis.

Him being “ruled” by it means he felt that it was stronger than he was and his life would be dominated by it.

Venus, representing his wife in the sign of Cancer, shows that she was exalting the doctor (Jupiter is exalted in the sign of Cancer) possibly because she felt he could help Robin manage the disease with medications and treatments.

The South Node of the Moon is also in the 1st house showing that his body was in a losing situation or in degenerating condition (the south node is the funny-looking horseshoe shaped symbol I obviously drew with the mouse).

Finally, we can see the Moon is just past a trine aspect (an easy aspect) to Mars showing that he did indeed kill himself and was basically at peace with his decision (even though the manner of death was not easy).

While the Horary chart gives us insight into why he killed himself when he did, it doesn’t explain why he was tormented by depression and addiction throughout his life.

For that we look to his birth chart:

(THIS LINK will open into a separate window so you can look at the birth chart while you read)

The Moon and Venus hold the keys to understanding Robin’s emotional nature, why he couldn’t beat his enemies– depression and addiction–for very long before they got him down again.

Please keep in mind that a person is more complicated than what can be explained by the Moon and Venus in the birth chart, but these two planets are key in Robin’s life, and writing about all the planets in his chart would take a whole book!

In horary astrology, the meanings of the planets change depending on the situation, but the meanings of the planets and what they represent are fairly fixed in natal astrology.

In the horary chart, Robin’s head (or mind) was represented by Mars, but in his birth chart, his mind AND his heart are represented by the Moon.

The Moon is the Mind

In Vedic natal astrology the Moon is more important than the Sun because the Moon represents the Mind (or consciousness), the ego, and the emotions.

When the Moon is with Rahu, the north node of the Moon, like it is in Robin’s chart, it indicates some kind of weakness of mind. Where Rahu is in the chart points to the evolutionary direction of the soul and the area of life that is “under construction” in the present lifetime.

Robin’s soul task this lifetime was to develop his mind and learn to center it in his heart. Many of his movies were emotional and heartfelt; he worked out much of his soul’s task through his art and in so doing, left a wonderful legacy for the rest of us.

The Moon with Rahu means that his mind’s focus is too externally oriented, which leads to depression, because the outer world can’t provide fulfillment for very long.

The discontent with what the world has to offer can lead to addiction and depression, and a persistent feeling of “is that all there is?”

The Moon with Rahu in the 5th is also an “insanity” yoga meaning he had an excess of the cold and dry Air element creating a chaotic energy interfering with lasting mental peace.

This yoga indicates a form of mental discontent that leads to rages and quarrelsomeness. He may not have expressed this outwardly, but kept it inside (the Moon in the signs of Pisces and Virgo tend to suffer in silence), resulting in an intense hatred, or anger, towards the self.

If that wasn’t enough, his Moon is also opposed by Saturn, the planet that makes us painfully aware of all that we lack, of our separation from each other, and of our perceived separation from the Divine.

Saturn also rules his 4th house of the inner life, and Saturn opposing the Moon tends to make a person feel deeply defective, fearful, and more inclined toward the negative interpretations of events in life.

If you look at the small chart with the #9 in the middle of it to the right of the bigger chart with the 1 in the middle of it, you’ll see that the Moon is with Saturn. The #9 chart (called the Navamsa) is an important divisional chart that modifies the basic birth chart (the #1 chart).

The Moon with Saturn is even more difficult than the Moon opposed by Saturn. There is no relief here.

Ketu, the south node of the Moon, is also opposed to his Moon and an indicator of introversion. According to People magazine, he was painfully shy when he was young.

Then, in the Hora chart (the #2 chart) which is specifically about emotional happiness, you can see the Moon is with Rahu and Saturn and opposite Venus in Virgo with Ketu, intensifying this painful configuration of planets in his birth chart.

Ketu influencing the Moon can cause a person to self-scrutinize as if under a microscope (Moon/Ketu people are natural psychologists too).

This intense introspection leads to feeling like an alien, as if one comes from another planet altogether. One of his most famous comic characters was Mork from Orc , an alien from another planet!

Later, he won an Oscar award for best-supporting actor in the movie Goodwill Hunting where he played a psychology professor (Ketu opposing the Moon)!

It’s interesting to note that the Moon/Rahu conjunction is in the 5th house of creativity, and he has Jupiter in the second sign from the Moon showing that he was able to find happiness to some extent through his talent and creativity.

Finally, the Moon is in the nakshatra of Purvabhadrapada, one of the fierce or severe nakshatras indicating that he had a turbulent emotional nature. The Moon in Purvabhadrapada can also result in a wavering or unstable mind.

Venus the Comforter & Planet of Satisfaction

Venus aspects the Moon (to nearly the full possible 60 points) which makes relationships difficult as it indicates that Robin was trying to do two things at once; get his emotional needs met (the Moon) at the same time he was trying to meet the needs of relationship (Venus).

In this sense, relationships were not fulfilling for Robin either (the Moon and Venus are enemies). Moon/Venus aspects makes a person beloved by the public, but his partners would experience him as being too self-absorbed to connect to him easily on an emotional level.

When you’re struggling to stay sane, it’s pretty hard to figure out the give-and-take required by healthy relationships (Venus). Robin was married three times.

Venus is the comforter and the planet that indicates whether or not a person can be satisfied. Venus is the water element and when strong in the birth chart, a person can have just one drink, one cigarette, one cookie, etc, and be satisfied.

When Venus is weak, such as when it’s debilitated in the sign of Virgo like it is in Robin’s chart, then satisfaction and fulfillment is always out of reach.

(However, I want to point out the positive side of Mercury-ruled planets in the sign of Virgo. Mercury rules the sense of humor and Venus, Ketu, and Saturn in Robin’s birth chart are in the sign of Virgo, Mercury’s best sign as Mercury is “exalted” in the sign of Virgo).

Saturn with Venus and Ketu, creates a Venus that feels “ashamed.” A shamed Venus is a person who is ashamed of his needs and his behavior in relationships, leading to a lack of fulfillment in love.

Any planet with Saturn is a “starved” planet. With his Venus shamed and starved, Robin had no way to soothe or comfort himself when life inevitably dealt him pain. Coping in a healthy way didn’t come naturally to him, he had to learn how to do it through his sobriety program.

Even then, life threw him a curve ball that overcame his learned coping methods.

When Robin received the diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease right on the heels of returning from rehab (he has been in rehab multiple times in his life), it was just too much for his Rahu-afflicted Moon and weak, starved Venus to handle.

In Conclusion

There are bound to be harsh judgements about Robin’s suicide, but the light of astrology shows what he was dealing with (Venus represents the DNA and his depression was likely inherited), and when seen in this light, compassion is the natural response.

Important Note: if you have Rahu with the Moon, or an afflicted Venus, it does NOT mean that you will suffer a similar fate! Everyone’s birth chart is unique and there are many factors involved in what makes a person who they are.