Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Robin Williams (1951-2014): Cosmic Cancer Goes Home

 Article © 2014 by Joyce Mason on The Radical Virgo

By making the voices in his head so public, Robin Williams was the one human being who assured me that I’m not crazy … or if I am, it might just be a gift. He’s the first person I ever encountered whose mind works like my own and then some. A psychic once likened my mental energy to “a flea on a hot griddle.” Robin was a flea pinging off the griddle so fast and in so many directions; it was like watching a swarm of them on speed in mating season.

Robin would have held major real estate in my heart just for how much, hard and how often he made me laugh, but this secret link to my wild mind and imagination—one my Capricorn Moon keeps under wraps until I really trust someone—made him feel like my brother. With Sun, Vesta, Mars and Uranus all in Cancer, there was something familial about Robin. He felt very adoptable, very ours. Even though he was an international celebrity, he was such a treasure to our Cancer country; even President Obama eulogized him on the day of his death for all his contributions.

Even so, I think people the world over would want to claim him as theirs, too. In that respect, Robin was a cosmic Cancer, uniting the world, even if only for moments, as one happy family in the love of laughter. To gift someone with seeing life through the lens of humor is the most loving thing parents can do for their offspring. True to his Cancerian core, one of Robin’s most famous roles was in Mrs. Doubtfire, a movie where he plays a cross-dressing father so eager to spend time with his children after a divorce, he impersonates a nanny. He manages to get his ex to hire him, and we’re shown once more how far we’ll go and how many laughs often come out of what we’ll do for love.

Like many others, I am deeply affected by the loss of this great performer and human being. It has caused me to ponder many things. One of them is the expression about how there’s a fine line between genius and madness.

What people don’t talk about nearly as often, and what Robin’s suicide underscores, is that that cutting edge of genius/madness is often sharp with depression.

How many great artists, writers and performers who, like Robin, gave us the divine comedy as a direct channel … how many of them have struggled with depression and lost?

The internal chemical cocktail that is clinical depression leads to a hangover of heaviness that taking two aspirin and calling the doctor in the morning will not touch—nor will all the positive thinking in the world. It is one of the trickiest medical conditions on earth, and having lived through it with a spouse (who I’m happy to report lived through it himself); I have some idea of the agony it wreaks on the depressed person and everyone around him. I’ve also got my own overdose of sensitivity and my own experience with acute, short-term bouts with the bad blues. Frankly, knowing how painful that feels for a few days; I can understand why someone is unable to bear it when it persists without relief. We have so much more to learn about healing this plague for anyone who suffers from it, including saving the sensitives that make all our lives worth living for the beauty and laughter they share.

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Much will be said of Robin Williams’ chart over the next days and months, but what stands out for me is all happening in his 4th House with his Pisces planets. I attended a workshop with astrologer Maurice Fernandez recently, where he pointed out that though the signs of Cancer and Pisces are in trine, they are very different. Cancer loves personally in its own little nest. Pisces loves everyone in a home without borders, a more diffuse and impersonal love of all. Robin had strong expressions of both of these energies in his natal chart. This is probably why we’re hearing in various interviews that many people who actually knew Robin didn’t feel like they really knew him. In paradox, fans the world over who didn’t know him felt as though they did.

Maurice also talked about how it takes Pisces planets or a 12th house focus to be able to give yourself to the public as a performer, politician or anyone whose life is permanently onstage. Robin gave himself as if we were all family. We were his 4th House. His natal Chiron is at the Galactic Center, highlighting his mission to bring healing laughter from the heart of space, first landing in our consciousness and living rooms via an egg-like spaceship from another planet on Happy Days.

Robin died at a very Neptunian/Moon time, a time when the veil between Here and the Other Side is thin. He was waxing into a Lunar Return at the time of his death with Transiting Neptune approaching his Pisces Moon as well. Most evocative is nearby T-Chiron. Without eye witnesses, his death chart will never be exact. Even a completed autopsy will only provide an estimated time of death. Still, the closeness of transiting Chiron to Robin’s natal Ceres will be retained; whenever it is determined he passed between 10:30 pm on August 10, when he was last seen alive, and 11:45 am on August 11, when his body was discovered. At the death pronouncement moment, when his death became public, the T-Chiron to natal Ceres conjunction was within a second of arc.

It’s as though the shaman/healer Chiron brought Robin Williams to the cusp of the Ceres myth where one possible outcome was being abducted by his demons to the underworld, just as Pluto snatched Persephone while her mother Ceres wailed her loss. Another possibility was shamanic reassembly of the lost parts of his soul. Robin’s natal Ceres is the apex of a yod with Pluto and Neptune, so all the outerplanetary cast of characters were present for the turning-point moment.

For all these years, Robin Williams has given himself to us in spite of any personal pain (including addiction and depression) and like Chiron, Robin traded places with Prometheus (society), willing to offer up his suffering to make us laugh and lighten our load. In the Chiron myth, the gods are so impressed with Chiron’s altruism, they free him from the bonds of his immortality and allow him to die and leave his pain behind.

I know it’s a poetic rendering of a terribly sad passing. (Robin’s part in Dead Poet’s Society seems ironic in the middle of this thought.) I’d have loved to have decades more laughter with Robin Williams …

… but I am called to accept what-is with the hope that such a high profile ending will urge others to take depression seriously and to seek help.

Meanwhile, I will remain forever grateful for the whirlwind of energy that was Robin Williams and for the films and small screen footage that captured his work for our continued enjoyment.

To borrow from another movie he wasn’t in, combined with our wonderful first exposure to Robin as the alien Mork from Ork, our ET has gone Home.  

Photo Credit:  WikiCommons, Robin Williams at Happy Feet 2 premiere in Sydney


Jane said...

Chiron conjunct the Galactic Center--that describes Mork to a T---

Joyce Mason said...

Thanks for this astute observation, Jane. I couldn't agree more (or Mork!). Even down to his rainbow suspenders, immortalizing Barbara Hand Clow's "rainbow bridge" metaphor for Chiron. Another way Mork was very Chironic is by turning things on their ear and viewing the world from a different perspective, like sitting on his head. :)

Over the weekend I found my LP of Robin's comedy act, "Reality, What a Concept." The irony of the title leaves me feeling that Mork/Robin just flew back to Ork/the Galactic Center.

Godspeed, dear Mork. Nanu-Nanu!