The current news story is that actor Ben Affleck has completed an extended rehab session to deal with alcoholism. Reportedly he entered a rehab facility in Malibu, CA last Aug. 7th after leaving his director’s job. He felt that he wasn/t functioning to his fullest potential and needed to make some adjustments.
This is an example of how we can pull stories out of the news to further our understanding of astrology. In this case we will find that the chart’s break many of the rules for t/Moon-to-n/Sun Returns! This happens when we study astrology. Do we ignore these charts? Or, do we try to figure out why our expectations are dashed?
Ben’s natal chart is shown above. Venus is rising, attesting to his likeability. Note the Part of Fortune (PoF) at the IC, indicating that he is used to changes that shape his life, seems to welcome them. Mars squares Neptune from the 3rd, indicating a struggle to remain focused. We always note squares and conjunction, and oppositions in a natal chart because they can activate several angles in a Return chart, signifying an event. In this sense we also can recognize Moon-square-Mercury which introduces a tension between feelings and thoughts. In the broad theme of life, perceptions and plans can take one away from family and feelings — something which seems to have played out in his recent separation from his wife. We also saw this theme in his movie, The Town, where he played a petty criminal who was controled by his gang while he was pursuing an attraction to a women in the neighborhood. His criminal life made the affair impossible to fulfill.
Affleck’s t/Moon-to-n/Sun Return of Aug. 3, 2016 is shown above, transits inside, natal planets outside. t/Uranus is on the Desc., suggesting sudden changes relating to another. We can not t/PoF-t/Juno-n/Moon in the first house; an upsetting emotional situation relating to relationships (Juno). Also, we have n/N.Node at the IC angle, pointing to the start of a ‘new’ relationship or association. That is it for angular placements.
Now, considering the natal chart patterns, we have in this Return chart t/Mars-conjoining n/Neptune; the natal ‘struggle’ to integrate these two planets is here being joined — not in an angular house, but in a middle house or ‘non-active’ areas of the chart. The t/Moon-n/Sun are in the 10th house of career and life-direction, so the decision to take his life back under control from his addiction is correct. This is amplified by t/Sun-n/Mercury; a decision-making pattern, also in the 10th.
So, let us look at the Advanced chart for that Sunday when he admitted himself into the re-hab center.
What has changed in a few day’s time? t/Moon-conjoins-n/Uranus in the 12sth. An emotional but quiet/hidden event (not public). Note n/Juno also involved in the pattern, alluding to husband-wife relationships. This pattern is ‘doubled up’ due to the first house t/Juno-n/Moon, making this the focus of the chart. We don’t often see a 12th house trigger — and I don’t view t/Juno as a strong trigger for the n/Moon just on its own.
t/Mercury lies in opposition to t/Neptune, but not in angular houses. Also, t/Mars is still contacting n/Neptune, but, again, not in angular houses. So, we have to ask ourselves this question: Do we make our interpretation for an event based on just the angular planets (t/Juno-n/Moon) and any doubled-up patterns (t/Moon-n/Juno-n/Uranus in the 12th) . . . or do we try to define non-angular patterns as being just ‘supportive’ statements?
The attractiveness of cyclic and Return charts is that the few angular patterns provide a sense of ‘clarity.’ We can make a statement based on t/Juno-n/Moon-first house that says, “You will experience deep feelings about addressing a husband-wife relationship.” If we include the ‘doubled up’ pattern, we would add, “You will change your daily routing (Moon) to fulfill this relationship commitment, but you will find a very private way to do so.” (this is the secluded re-hab center).
Once we go beyond this point, and start to use supportive statements based on planet patterns that are not close to the angles, we are in danger of losing the clarity of the above chart assessment. Yes, in this case the supportive statements are appropriate, but that is not always, even often, the case.
My approach has always been to stay within the bounds of being sure of what I say, and to avoid straying beyond that point in the chart’s assessment. Now, if a client want to conversationally explore other influences, we can state what these non-angular patterns are and mean, but we have to continually ask if they fit the context of the person’s life. If not, they should not distract from the basic assessment. Astrology is a symbolic view of life. Astrology does not drive life and life’s events. Astrology only mirrors those events and situations. Dave