October 6, 2012

Attempted Suicide or Accident?

Birth data and location of the chart owner is withheld for respect of his privacy. 

I don't use tri-wheels on this blog because I think they are confusing to any novice astrologers who are trying to follow along. All charts are cast in the Tropical method and Placidus house system.
I received an emergency call last night from a woman worried about the welfare of a family member who had reportedly attempted suicide by ingestion of drugs. She wanted to know what happened and if he would be all right. Let's look at his natal chart.





Wow. This is not an easy chart. This person has a difficult time of things. See all the lines in the middle of the circle? Those are aspect lines, and they look like a ball of yarn a cat has been playing with. There is little harmony here, with planets bumping up against each other and quarreling between themselves.  There might be a couple of different reasons for this. It's possible that this person committed suicide in a previous life, and now he must relive those conditions because he failed them before. When we take our own lives, we don't escape our troubles, we make them worse. We now have not only our current life lessons to learn, but also those we must do over. Another possibility is that he chose these conditions for himself in order to work off negative karma from a previous life, or to prepare for a special role in a future life. God doesn't put kindergartners in college.


One of the first things I notice about this chart was what I thought was a "cradle" configuration. 






 But it's not a cradle because cradles have an opposition. This one has an inconjunct instead. Cradles have trines. This one has more inconjuncts. As far as I know, there is no name for this configuration, and yet, I believe that it is one. Inconjuncts, also known as quincunxes (quin kunx), are problematic aspects that require compromise and adjustment between the planets and houses involved. In this case, I’m guessing those adjustments are never made.
The base of this configuration is a square between Neptune and the Moon. This is a person who loses himself in fantasy and indulges in whatever he can to prolong his escape from reality, most likely including alcohol and drugs. He enjoys daydreaming, as many of us do, but he can easily confuse fantasy and reality and be completely deluded about some things. He doesn’t always make the best decisions or take the smartest course of action, and he can be misled by subconscious influences.

The sextiles indicate the means to utilize these fantasies in positive ways. The moon sextile Venus makes him a pleasant kind of guy who enjoys the company of his friends and a lively social life. With Venus in Gemini, he’s a cheerful sort who likes casual conversation and probably plays games like cards or puzzles. This is a person whose thoughts and words are usually pleasant. He has a natural wit and curiosity about others that makes him popular, and his conversations are easy exchanges.  He likes jokes and is probably good at telling them. He would benefit from writing poetry or stories.  He believes that variety is the spice of life, which makes his values a little superficial. He probably has some of the proverbial Gemini fickleness where he will kiss his girlfriend with one eye open just in case someone better happens to walk by. Some things to watch out for here might be a tendency toward self-indulgence or laziness where he expects others to cater to him. “Dude, stop by Starbucks and bring me a latte when you come over, ‘kay?” 

    
A Moon / Venus sextile optimistically lets things slide, thinking it will all work out without effort on his part. That’s a delusion. The temptation to take the easy way out is strong, so he may find it hard to fix the things in his life that are broken, or to make the adjustments or compromises required by the inconjunct aspects. When he doesn’t do this, he allows himself to remain in an adolescent stage of life, never quite growing up. He stays in the cradle. There’s a lot of creativity in this mix, but he may use it to avoid responsibility. He needs to turn it around and find imaginative ways to solve some of his problems instead.

The other sextile isn’t as much help as it is between two outer planets, Neptune and Pluto. It’s a generational influence, and everyone born around the same time has the very same aspect. The life changes it brings are large forces of social change and are generally easy transitions.

But then he has to deal with all those inconjuncts. There’s one between Pluto and the Moon which usually indicates a difficult relationship with the mother, and therefore with all subsequent women. The Moon develops our inner child and the ingrained habits picked up in youth which become neuroses that must be worked on to be overcome. And this is not a guy who likes to work on those sorts of things.
There’s an inconjunct between Venus and Neptune, which is a lovely idealistic illusion of women and ideal love that does not exist and can never be acquired in reality. Those are some very high expectations that no one can ever fulfill. And finally, there’s Venus and Pluto. Venus in Gemini represents the kind of women he’s attracted to—not too serious, talkative, flirtatious, social butterflies. But secretly, he has deep passions and needs intense relationships with a fated quality to transcend himself. He can become obsessed. Nothing superficial will ever be enough. 

Because he doesn’t know why this is happening, or how to blend all these paradoxes, he gets frustrated and angry. He can never see a clear way out of the problems he encounters because of it. As he matures, he will learn to make more informed decisions in these matters, and life will improve.



Some of those aspects just discussed are also part of a different configuration called a yod (yawd). Look anywhere and you'll find this is known as the Finger of God or Hand of Fate. Many novice astrologers believe it points to some special fate or destiny. That can be true, but only after the person who has it in his chart works through all the difficulties it causes.  
A yod consists of planets in a mixture of different elements and modes, which has a turbulent effect. When any of the planets in the yod are transited (or hit by a lunation or eclipse), all three react. The two sextile planets--in this case, Venus, planet of love, beauty, harmony luxury and indulgence--and the Moon, planet of home, Mom, apple pie, women, and ingrained unconscious habits--work together to the detriment of the apex planet--Pluto--planet of intensity, obsessions, sex, death, and transformation. The owner of this chart senses the need to jump in and save the situation immediately, but the yod causes indecision, so he either does nothing or is unable to correct whatever wrong actions he took.

If we examine the planets, signs, and houses involved, and believe we can pin down what will happen when the yod is activated, we will be wrong. It will do something different. The only thing certain about it is the confusion it causes. This poor guy thinks he's getting one thing, but he's really getting something else. He will have a hard time understanding the situation and wonder Why me? How did this happen? What do I do about it? When will it end? The solution is like a bar of soap that slips from his  fingers.
He can never really grasp it. 



As if that's not enough, he has a second yod. 




This one, however, could prove to be lucky. There's a nice sextile between Uranus--the sudden, unexpected and surprising--and Jupiter--planet of bigger, better and more. This can bring unexpected good fortune as well as financial windfalls. With a little discipline the owner of this chart could study enough astrology to learn how to play it to his advantage in gambling and games of chance. Uranus is in his 2nd house of money and it rules his 5th house of games, risks, gambling and entertainment. With the Sun at the apex of this yod and at the top of his chart that finger of fate might very well point to him! When researching big wins, it's not only the 2nd and 8th houses involved. Look to the 5th, 9th, and 11th as well. I almost hate to reveal this fortunate aspect to our guy because I'm afraid he will daydream too much about it instead of putting it to work for himself.



And if two yods aren't enough, here's a third! Hey buddy, leave some for the rest of us, would you?  This yod involves the same planets tied up in his "cradle," namely, Pluto, Neptune and Venus. Remember that the Neptune and Pluto sextile is a generational influence that
sweeps in social change and usually easy transitions. It comes to us in the forms of music, art, literature, film ... those things that shape and mold our world and thoughts. Venus is the other planet. Since so many things hinge on her in this chart, let's take a closer look inside her box 

(for the box theory, see post on December 21, 2012, The New World Order ... look for the feather).

Reaching in, what we find is all warm and fuzzy. We feel love, harmony, peace, kindness, gentleness, sweet things, and things that are beautiful and feminine. There's some money in there, some art, and all kinds of things that make us feel good. If only we could crawl in there and stay! 

However, Venus is in his 8th house, and that intensifies her somewhat. This is the house that belongs to Scorpio in the natural zodiac, so our guy may be confused by feelings of jealousy or possessiveness that he doesn't understand. It's the house of sex, which he prefers to be intense, no wait, fun, no wait, intense, no wait...The 8th house is also the house of joint funds and shared resources, so gain may be a motive in personal relationships.

Yet another yod? 


No, not a yod. Configurations consist of planets only. Nodes, parts of fortune, asteroids, vertex, east point, and so forth are not counted. The rare exception is if the Ascendant or Midheaven holds a critical place in the configuration (such as being the apex of a yod), and it proves to hold water in the person's life experiences. All in all, this guy's yods are not the most difficult to deal with, there are just so many of them that it must keep him dancing trying to juggle them all. 



While these can be difficult aspects to handle, they do not form a Grand Cross. Why? Because they include the Moon's Nodes.  What we do have here is a karmic lesson and information about why the chart owner is in a re-live condition. 

The aspect involves the nodes in square to his Leo Mercury and Aquarian Jupiter opposition. Mercury is the planet of rational thought and the ability to communicate. It is supposed to filter what happens in our brain before it comes out our mouths. In combination with the speed of the moon and the relationship to the sun, it reveals our mental chemistry. This man is a deliberate thinker. 
He takes his time mulling things over (which can drive those with quicker, shallower thoughts to distraction). He wants to make sure he has every fact and detail, before making decisions and drawing conclusions which is in harmony with his Libra ascendant. I'll bet he is always late to wherever he is supposed to be. With all these details, he can be a veritable fountain of information, although many others would consider it useless knowledge. He likes to study esoteric subjects unlikely to produce income such as astrology, philosophy, karma, reincarnation, literature, etc. I can't blame him one bit for that. 

Leo is a fixed sign which is supposed to give good mental stability, focus, and concentration. While he tends to base his thoughts in an ego-centered way, it provides some ability to problem-solve and plan with purpose. He is hard to budge from his opinions. Unfortunately, his Mercury is challenged by Jupiter.

Jupiter in Aquarius makes no class or racial distinctions. It's universal, impartial, tolerant, respectful and democratic. Our guy understands that people are people, regardless of nationality, color, gender, age, or handicap. He is open-minded and wishes the world would just get along. He has all kinds of friends. He is probably agnostic or questions orthodox religion. 


When Mercury is opposed to Jupiter, we get someone who chases dreams. He dreams big, but does nothing to make those dreams reality. He has such good intentions which makes him promise more than he can deliver, so he is often thought to be unreliable. With Mercury, the devil is in the details. Mercury in a fixed sign is supposed help with focus and concentration, but opposed to Jupiter, it tends to be ADD or ADHD; it overlooks small details for the bigger picture. While his interest is in esoteric subjects, his memory is poor, so in conversation he has difficulty defending his ideas. It is hard for him to pay enough attention to follow through with his plans. He cannot keep a secret, and I hope for his sake he doesn't lie, because he would be unable to remember what story he told and would be caught out pretty quickly. With Mercury in the Midheaven (10th house) he could develop a reputation as a pathological liar if he doesn't stick closely to the truth. One thing this opposition is good for is writing fiction and storytelling.

These are issues that the chart owner had to deal with in a previous life. There are many scenarios possible where he told, wrote, or published something that may or may not have been true and was tortured or put to death for it (South Node in Scorpio, Pluto in Scorpio). He may have been a professional storyteller (a court jester, a playwright, a novelist of stories involving ideas or politics that were unpopular at the time, à la Copernicus, Galileo, Alan Turing, James Watson, etc.)
Or he may have inflicted a sentence upon someone else and now must explore the boundaries of what is true and what is not, and how to know the difference.



It seems all I've done so far is pick on this poor guy who is already suffering a difficult time in his life. Let's take a look at his talents and natural abilities. 

Our guy has an awesome trine between Mars and Saturn. Mars, of course, is the penis planet (covered thoroughly in the December 21, 2012, The New World Order post). He represents everything that is traditionally male: sports, competition, war, anger, hostility, tools, weapons, and bloodshed. Mars is physical energy. Saturn is discipline, responsibility, security, tradition, and things that are difficult and often painful. 

When Mars trines Saturn, it gives serious purpose and the ability to work hard. It puts physical energy to use in self-discipline and bestows patience, daring in action,  and strength of will and character. He is skillful and good at sports, and in sex, has staying power. He does not waste energy, but applies it for maximum effect. He can be shrewd and ambitious with the ability to work hard to obtain authority and position. With his tendency to dream big, if he can overcome his attention deficit, he could become a very good architect, engineer, or mechanic. Mars and Saturn in trine give excellent mathematical ability and talent with tools and weapons. He would be an excellent soldier because of his physical strength, stamina, courage, and ability to withstand hardship and face danger. He can shoulder great responsibility when he makes the effort.

Our guy also has a trine between Mercury and Uranus. We've discussed Mercury and his mental processes, so lets move on to Uranus. 

Uranus is the planet of the sudden, unexpected and accidental. It is original, eccentric, inventive, and renegade. It's the planet of freedom, liberty, and justice for all, the values on which the United States were founded. Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin (who started Poor Richard's Almanac, still published yearly) were astrologers. It is the planet of astrology, too. The nature of Uranus is to sweep in, turn everything upside down, and leave town just as quickly. It shakes things up and ushers in the new. 

When Mercury trines Uranus, you get highly original, inventive, intuitive thought. It fosters original ideas and a natural ability in science and the occult (a scary word for ancient knowledge, people, that's all). Our guy tunes into the Universal Consciousness and is a genius in some areas, but tunes out anything that doesn't interest him. 

His outlook is humanitarian and he draws his own conclusions independent of popular opinion (more of that previous life lesson, no doubt). He cares little for tradition except where it applies to physical matters. He may be ahead of his time in his comprehension of life and the universe. This aspects improves his memory, as well. 

Uranus is also the ruler of computers, so with Uranus in his 2nd house of money, and Mercury in his 10th house of career, that is a money-making career option for him. It indicates a specialized skill at the least.

His third trine representing a talent carried over from a previous life is the asteroid Chiron in trine to Jupiter, that planet of the higher mind and bigger picture. Of course that means it's sextile to Mercury, too.  

Chiron is an asteroid that's very popular among astrologers now, but this jury is still out. I am unconvinced, for the record. Based upon the story of the centaur who was the mentor and teacher of Achilles, it is supposed to represent the wounded healer. It indicates a place in our charts where we have been "mortally" wounded and will never heal, but it is teaching others through our pain and wounds that sustains us. This chart owner's wound was probably a verbal wound to his inner child. Many parents do not understand that what they say to their children becomes their inner voice. He may have been berated for not being "smart like your brother," or maybe had to overcome a stutter or learning disability. There may also have been a physical injury to his hands or lungs.

In good aspect to both Mercury and Jupiter, our guy should be fairly optimistic, open to new things, and willing to learn. His ability to see things within a wider context helps him make the right decisions. Although other indications show that he is probably chronically late, he is still liable to become irritated by delays, or if things don't run according to plan. He tends to be very generous, understanding and tolerant of people at work and a wide circle of friends, therefore reaping a good deal of goodwill from others. They come to him for advice and to seek his opinion on things. He is happy to help because he is able to come up with solutions to a wide variety of problems and to communicate his thoughts on them. He likes teaching and helping others.

When interacting with others he encounters certain unspoken differences, reservations or sensitivities, and must be careful to avoid intellectual arrogance or talking over their heads. Because he has been wounded verbally, he must be careful not to wound others in the same way. Without empathy it would be impossible for him to teach or learn from these exchanges.


Did you know that more serial killers and other violent offenders are born under the sign of Cancer than any other sign? That's because the moon is under a constant fluctuation of change, and those under her sway tend to have manic mood swings. Is that what went wrong with our guy? 


I don't have the precise data for what happened, or exactly when. I know where, and was told it took place "the night before" I was being told about it.  

The transits to his natal chart tell very little of the story. Basically, transiting Mercury--planet of rational thought--was conjunct Saturn--planet of things that are difficult. Saturn is the planet of depression. Both were coming up on a conjunction to his natal Pluto in his first house of the physical body and outward presence. This is one of the most difficult transits of all our lives.


In order to teach us self-discipline, patience, control, and the other good things that Saturn can bestow, it has to be rough on those of us who are slow learners, and I count myself among them. Basically, Saturn is "tough love." It restricts and limits our resources. Pluto is the planet of transformation, while Saturn restricts and narrows our focus to that end. The structures of this man's life are being transformed. He has felt it coming for a quite a while. It is not a surprise to him, but more like the inevitable conclusion to his situation. He has had to make do with less and less as Saturn has come closer. Pluto is the ruler of his 2nd house of finances and resources. I do not know what his employment situation is. 

Many things in his life are coming to an end, and new things will take their place, but it's not an easy transformation. Saturn and Pluto together are bringing about evolution and growth. Saturn is basically saying it's time to get out of the cradle and man up. That's not an easy thing to hear or deal with, especially when your resources have become practically non-existent. If it's any consolation, we all go through the same pressures in our lives about every 27 or 28 years. There's also a challenging period when Saturn will oppose this same place in 14 years. The 7 year squares aren't jolly times, either.

Pluto's role in our lives is to eliminate and transform. When Saturn comes along and suppresses that energy--which is like an immovable object meeting an irresistible force--Pluto gets very, very pissed and tends to destroy things. The key to working with this transit is to narrow your focus into building new structures into your life. Build them to sustain the square from Saturn that will come in 7 years. Concentrate on making the necessary changes you know need to be made. Saturn is the carpenter, builder, and architect, so it can give Pluto's transformations structure and strength.

That's not quite the whole story, however. Let's look at his progressed chart for the evening in question. A progressed chart is one means of looking at the future. If I move all the planets in their normal orbits the same number of days that this man is old, and them compare them to his natal chart, it will tell me what will happen in that year of his life. For instance, he is currently 27 years old, so I look to see where the planets were 27 days after his birth. 



 Using this method, the outer planets--Jupiter through Pluto--never move more than a few degrees from their natal positions. What's important in this chart is the progressed Moon, which moves about one degree per month, and works like the second hand on a watch. Tick tick tick. It takes about 28 years, give or take one, to go all the way around the chart. As it does, it makes aspects to each and every planet and sets their aspects into motion. 

Also important are any aspects that the inner planets form, and any aspects to the angles (Ascendant and Midheaven and their opposites, the Descendant and IC), as well as house cusps, and any critical degrees on those cusps. 

In this chart, our guy's progressed Moon has moved all the way around to its natal position. The Moon is not a happy camper in Aries to begin with. It's a calm, watery planet in a fiery, temperamental sign. Not a good combination. The time that the Moon arrives back at her home often creates an emotional crisis. I've seen many death charts with this aspect in them. This is doubly dramatic for this man because the Moon is the ruler of his Cancer sun, and also the ruler of his Midheaven. 

The Midheaven in his natal chart indicates career (as opposed to jobs), reputation and standing in life. It is a place of honor / dishonor, fame / infamy.  The sign on the Midheaven indicates the path he will follow in life, his sense of direction. With Cancer here, our guy would do very well to go into the culinary arts, particularly because the Moon is placed in the 6th house of food and nutrition, and because his chart shows skill with sharp objects like knives. Other Cancerian careers involve hotels, real estate, shipping and sailing. There are more, but I can't think of them off the top of my head at the moment. I'm going to take a bit of a detour here and talk about the Sabian Symbol for the degree of Cancer on our friend's Midheaven:

Contentment and happiness in luxury, people reading on davenports.  It is a symbol of pure mastery of experience in its outer aspect, and a full capitalization on the potentials of all-being in a personal and ultimately immortal realization. The static symbolism warns against idle self-indulgence, and an emphasis on the fact that any lessening of practical responsibility is primarily a call to self-strengthening and a prelude to some greater outreaching. The keyword is repose. When used positively, the degree is a relaxation valuable for the momentary sustainment of human aspiration whenever it is strained beyond its powers of self-regeneration, and when used negatively, the loss of all reality in a needless softness of living.

                                          ~ Marc Edmund Jones

Back at the progressed Moon, having arrived again to its natal position, it is triggering the square with Neptune, the aspect that causes him to lose himself in fantasy and indulge in whatever he can to prolong his escape from reality. He isn't making the best decisions or taking the smartest course of action, and maybe he is being misled by subconscious influences.


 Above is this young man's progressed chart with the transits for the time in question around it. Unfortunately for our friend, Pluto happens to be the ruler of his progressed Ascendant. The Ascendant is not only our physical body, personality, and mask we present to the world in order to protect our inner selves, it is also a place that means "You. Here. Now." So not only does he suffer from restricted resources and finances, he also suffers from depression at this time. According to his natal chart, it is his natural instinct to attempt an escape to where things seem easier. In this case, with the transiting Sun trining Jupiter and transiting Jupiter trining the IC (cusp of the 4th house), which is one of the three houses of endings, ending his life seemed like the best escape from his troubles. 



The chart above shows our friend's directed solar arcs, another means of looking into the future. In this one, everything in the chart is moved at the same rate as the sun has moved in one day after his birth. This is usually right at one degree per day (one day = one year of life) and is easy to eyeball without even having to calculate the math. The planets keep the same aspects to each other that they had at birth. Only the signs change, and that is how they change aspects to the natal planets. Below are the solar arc directed planets around the natal chart. 




In this chart, you can see that the solar arc Ascendant has come to the natal South Node, and Mars, planet of anger and action squares it. The South Node is considered a malefic and a bad influence. Jupiter, planet of philosophic thought is squaring the wounded Chiron in the 8th house. Directed Chiron is conjunct the Part of Fortune, but it's not very definitive, as we don't know if it's healing or wounding in this case. And finally, the directed Sun is conjunct natal Mercury, highlighting the opposition to natal Jupiter, the aspect that for him is all about exaggeration, attention deficit, and esoteric thought considered useless by less intellectual or philosophic people. He probably feels that no one really understands him. Maybe the question for him was not why kill yourself, but why not?  



The chart above shows the transits for the suicide attempt around the solar arc directions. Transiting Mars, the penis planet, the man of action, has come to a conjunction with solar arc Pluto. This energy is volatile and disruptive. It hates limitation, so all those restrictions that Saturn has been imposing are really setting him off. This is such a violent aspect that people are usually advised to stay out of dangerous places when it is occurring in their chart. In charts of violent assault, it is usually active in both the assailant and victim's charts. It tries to overpower others at the same time that it is on the receiving end of someone else's power play. Frankly, I'm a little surprised that our friend chose drugs over a more bloody means of taking his life. He doesn't lack the courage. But then with all the Venus / Moon / Neptune aspects in his chart, drugs were the more natural choice. 

For others who know that Mars is about to transit their Pluto, the way to deal with this aspect effectively is to do some hard labor. It's excellent for making major changes of any kind.  Mars energy cannot be suppressed. It will come out one way or another. That is its nature. We can use it to accomplish great things, or to wreak complete havoc. I guess our friend didn't know that, or his current depression and sense of hopelessness overrode it. 

In addition, the Moon's North Node, considered a point of release, is also conjunct the solar arc Pluto. 

The transiting sun on that day exactly squares his directed Moon's Nodes. 

Transiting Jupiter, the planet of his hopes, has just moved into the 8th house of death, as well. 

And finally, the transiting Midheaven, representative of his goals, conjuncted Uranus, the planet of disruptions, which happens to be the ruler of his 4th house of endings. 


Happily, this man survived. There weren't enough harmful aspects to do him in, and his call for help has been heard. But I'm not sure that he's out of the woods yet. I hope to God that those who care for him--and his chart indicates that's a fair number of people--will look out for him and support him through the difficult times ahead.



On November 13,  2012, there will be a solar eclipse at 21 Scorpio. See above. It falls directly on his natal Saturn. Saturn is in his second house of money and resources, so he continues to lack funds and feels the pressure to take responsibility for himself. He may also feel lonely and unloved. Saturn is the ruler of his 4th house of endings. 


The eclipse Venus, ruler of his 8th house of death, falls on his Ascendant, the "You. Here. Now." Under no circumstances should he be left alone at this time, not in the two weeks previous, nor the two weeks after. In fact, he would wise to check himself into a place that can prevent him from harming himself for the entire month, and provide him with therapy. 

If there is any good in this conjunction, then it would be that his Saturn is trine to his Mars, the planet that makes him strong, courageous and skilled. Some physical exertion works wonders for the soul as well as the body. If he feels depressed and hopeless, I hope he will go out for a run or work out in whatever method is his preference. It will release endorphins into his body. And when those fade, work out some more. Just don't overdo it because of the aspect explained below.


The other troubling aspect in the eclipse chart is transiting Mars coming up to a conjunction with Neptune. Neptune denies the ego. Anytime Neptune is involved in an aspect, things are not what they seem. It is the planet of illusion, delusion, deception and confusion. It represents alcohol, drugs, drowning, chemicals and gas, both liquid and natural. It rules the intangibles in life, the things we cannot hold or touch, things that are illusory, spiritual, ghostly. There is a thorough  workup on this planet in the December 21, 2012 We the People post. Neptune rules his natal 6th house of health and employment. Since Mars takes action and Neptune rules his 6th house of jobs, if he is not confined to seclusion, maybe he will use this time to look for a new job.

Neptune brings discouragement, weird feelings, feelings of inferiority and emotional weakness. We just can't seem to get anything right. None of this should be taken seriously because none of it is real. During this time, our guy needs to stick strictly to the facts, not his version of them, not what they appear to be, not what others tell him they are, but rock-solid realism. Always beware of scams and charlatans when Neptune is activated. Physical energy is low at this time, so he should avoid abusing his body in any way, and that means skipping the indulgences, at least for now. He should exercise, but avoid pushing himself too hard and exhausting his body.


There are a few good things that this aspect can do. It indicates a time to pay it forward, to give unselfishly of ourselves. Volunteering on a suicide hotline would be a good antidote for what ails him, along with charitable work in hospitals, nursing homes, and the like. The key is that the giving must be done for others, not for oneself. 

Another appropriate past time is music therapy. If he's always wanted to play an instrument, this would be a good time to get started. He may want to try ahead of time to get his hands on the instrument he prefers if he doesn't already own it. And if his first efforts don't exactly produce music to his ears, it's okay. You know how to get to Carnegie Hall, right?
Yoga, meditation and prayer are all appropriate activities for Neptune aspects. 
A ray of light in this chart is that the transiting Moon's North Node is trine the natal Midheaven, a saving grace. 
The above chart  shows the solar eclipse transits to our friend's progressions. The targeted Saturn is now in the first house, where it suffers another attack of the blues. The eclipse Saturn conjuncts the progressed Pluto in the 12th house of sorrow. It is the ruler of the Ascendant "here and now."  These are horrible aspects to have to endure, but he will come out so much stronger on the other side of them if he makes the effort.

A ray of light in this chart is that the eclipse Mercury (communication, conversation, siblings) in Sagittarius (philosophical thought, long distances, in-laws) makes a nice trine to the Moon, indicating nurturing conversations. The Moon rules the progressed 9th house (also philosophical thought, long distances, in-laws), a confirmation.  The eclipse Jupiter (again philosophical thought, long distances, in-laws) is conjunct the wounded healer Chiron, but I don't know how that will work out. I'm not crazy about the conjunction taking place on the ultra sensitive cusp of the 8th house.

Finally above, we have the solar eclipse chart surrounding our guy's solar arc directions. The eclipse falls exactly on the solar arc Saturn, which resides exactly on the cusp of the 2nd house cusp, which automatically affects the opposite house, the 8th of death. Saturn rules the 4th house of home and endings.

The malefic South Node of the Moon is conjunct the 8th house cusp. 

Venus, ruler of the 8th house is transiting the Ascendant, saying You Here. Now. And once again Mars is conjunct Neptune, that planet of illusion, delusion, deception and confusion. There is much more to this story. The solar eclipse is followed by a lunar eclipse which also makes frightening aspects to our friend's chart. He will experience his first Saturn Return almost the entire year of 2014, and that can be another difficult time if he has not accepted responsibility by then. It is said that none of us is fully mature until we experience our Saturn Return. 
I also looked at the aspects in the chart of the woman who asked me to do this work to see if her chart confirms what I have found in this one. But I am out of room and out of time at the moment. If I am able to follow up, I certainly will. 
I want to wish our guy the best, and hope he knows that he does have many friends who care about him. If there is one thing I hope he takes away from this it's that the planets keep moving and this, too, shall pass. Life will not always be this hard.The alternative is permanent. P-e-r-m-a-n-e-n-t.

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