One of the most fascinating branches of astrology is that of family dynamics.
Conventional psychology points to many examples where someone’s early childhood experiences can condition the type of partner they look for as an adult and also even the type of experiences that they attract.
The thinking would be that the early experiences cause the later ones.
But astrology would suggest that this cause and effect model is not necessarily strictly true.
An astrological chart points to themes that an individual would have to experience and live through.
These themes would apply when they were a child as well as when they were an adult. The actual expression of these themes may differ as an adult but they would be from the same symbolic range.
Childhood experience is not the cause – it is just as much an effect as the adult one.
There is one sign more than any other that can link adult experience to childhood, and that is Cancer.
But what does that mean ? Does it imply that anyone with the Sun in Cancer is going to choose their relationship experience based on their childhood one ?
One simple guide is that if someone posts a theory based on the Sun sign only, there is a 90% chance that they don’t know what they are talking about.
If another one suggests another planet in sign, particularly the Moon, Venus or Mars, then that chance is reduced to about 70 %.
If they include house positions as well, it probably comes down to 40 %.
If they mention a specific planetary aspect, perhaps 10%.
If they cover all of the last three, then you are fairly safe to assume you are reading about proper astrology.
Mars is the planet that rules sexual drive. If its in Cancer, it is said to be in the sign of its fall – an indication that it does not work so strongly or at least it is very dependent on how the person feels. It would fluctuate with mood.
And there is some possibility that it can be impacted or conditioned by early childhood experiences or one’s sense of identity and security that came from their relationships with their parents.
The house that a planet is in will show what specific area of life its energy will focus on. So if that Mars in Cancer is in the 7th house it means that all this will impact on and be a theme for the person’s married life.
With this combination in the chart of a woman, it would be possible to say that she would look for a certain type of partner based on her experience with her own father.
This is a start, but if we want to know how this would actually play out in her life, we would need to see what aspects Mars has.
If Mars was aspected with Saturn, we would expect her to have an extremely frustrating time in relationships. This is because Saturn is the opposite to Mars. It is stop when Mars is go.
If she had the conjunction of Saturn and Mars, we would expect that something in her character would bring her suffering in her love life, the exact opposite of what her Mars in Cancer desperately needs.
If Mars was opposite Saturn, that suffering would be more intense and would be something that is imposed on her from without. There would be a loss of love.
If that opposition was exact ( within a degree or two ), that loss would be catastrophic.
So let’s see how such a combination might play out in an actual life.
Paula Yates was a TV presenter whose life can only be described as tragic. She has an extremely difficult chart.
She has the Sun in the 4th house and the Moon in Scorpio, so is bound to live a life of powerful deep experience, where family and home issues will dominate.
Her 4th house Sun is opposite Neptune, so her very psychological roots and foundations will be seriously undermined. Everything that she thought she could count on will turn out to be illusory.
She will never have security.
As this focuses on the Sun the cause of all this will be something in her relationship with her father.
And as previously mentioned, Paula does have Mars in Cancer in the 7th house exactly opposite Saturn in Capricorn in the 1st.
Paula Yates was the daughter of Elaine Smith, a former showgirl actress and Jess Yates who hosted a religious TV programme – Stars on Sunday. Jess Yates was 19 years older than his wife, and their marriage was unconventional.
Her parents marriage broke up in 1975 when appropriately Uranus was opposite her Sun.
But this transit had a much bigger role to play as well because under the same influence in 1976 she got together with Bob Geldof.
In 1985, Yates met Michael Hutchence and was ‘ reportedly asked to leave him alone by the road manager of INXS when she walked up to him and said, “I’m going to have that boy.” ‘
This happened while Pluto was opposite her Sun. Clearly a major turning point in her life.
But it was the last few years of her life where the real catastrophes occurred.
To quote from Wikipedia –
” Geldof and Yates divorced in May 1996. Yates’s daughter with Hutchence, Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily Hutchence (known as ‘Tiger’) was born on 22 July 1996.
On 22 November 1997, Hutchence committed suicide in a hotel room in Sydney, Australia. Yates wrote in her police statement that Hutchence was “frightened and couldn’t stand a minute more without his baby.” During their phone conversations on the morning of his suicide he had said, “I don’t know how I’ll live without Tiger.” Yates also wrote that Geldof had threatened them repeatedly with, “Don’t forget, I am above the law”. Yates became distraught, refusing to accept the coroner’s verdict of suicide. She eventually sought psychiatric treatment.
In December 1997, while Yates was fighting for custody of Tiger, it was reported in the media that Jess Yates was not Yates’ biological father. A paternity test proved that the talent show host Hughie Green, who died six months before Hutchence, was her biological father.
In June 1998, Geldof won full custody of the couple’s three daughters after Yates attempted suicide. She met Kingsley O’Keke during her stay in treatment, but the pair broke up after a six-week romance. O’Keke later sold his story to a tabloid newspaper.
On 17 September 2000, Yates died at her home in London of an accidental heroin overdose. The coroner ruled that it was not a suicide, but a result of “foolish and incautious” behaviour. Yates was discovered in the presence of her then-four-year-old daughter, Tiger. A friend disclosed during the inquest that Yates had not taken illegal drugs for nearly two years, and the coroner, Paul Knapman, concluded that though the amount Yates had taken would not have killed an addict, as “an unsophisticated taker of heroin” Yates had no tolerance to the drug. “
A horrendous few years by anyone’s standard. So what was happening astrologically ?
In 1996 Uranus was square to Paula’s Sun.
This is fascinating as it only made two aspects to her Sun during her life. The first one, the opposition, occurred when her parents marriage broke up and this one when she and Geldof divorced.
But the real doozies were down to Neptune.
If the Sun is natally in aspect to one of the slow movers, it is when that planet makes another aspect to it, that the thing that is indicated in the chart will most likely occur.
Neptune is opposite Paula’s natal Sun. It only made one transit to it in her lifetime, the square aspect from the end of 1997 to her death in 2000.
Let have a look at the other major players in Paula’s life, to see if we can spot any themes.
We don’t have a time for Jess Yates so we don’t know which houses everything is in, but its fascinating how often the noon chart compensates for this.
Its as if the Universe realises that astrologers are not going to get hold of a birth time and wants to compensate them for this fact.
Even without consideration of houses the synastry and links with Paula are astonishing.
Yates has Venus opposite Pluto at 4 Capricorn / 6 Cancer right on Paula’s Mars / Saturn opposition. This would indicate a massive upheaval in his own family.
The noon chart gives this 10 – 4 houses, thus focusing it right on his home life.
He also has the Moon in Leo conjunct Neptune opposite Mars. This indicates a dissolution ( Neptune ) in his relationship with his female ( Moon ) child ( Leo ).
The noon chart shows the Moon falling in the 5th house ( children ).
This Moon / Neptune / Mars aspect falls exactly square to Paula’s own Sun / Neptune opposition, creating an excruciating synastry Grand Cross.
What is more, Jess Yates will experience the same transits as Paula.
Uranus would be square to Jess’ Moon when he and Paula’s mother split up.
Neptune would be opposite his Moon when the truth of him not being Paula’s father came out ( remember it is conjunct his Moon at birth ).
If you think this synastry is astonishing, just look at this.
Paula’s actual biological father, Hughie Green, has the same aspect as Jess.
His Venus is at 5 Capricorn opposite Pluto at 6 Cancer, again slap bang on Paula’s Mars / Saturn opposition.
He also has a difficult Sun / Neptune aspect, the opposition, just like Paula.
It’s no wonder Paula Yates was doomed to play out Mars in Cancer in the 7th house opposite Saturn themes.
So let’s have a look at those 7th house themes.
Geldof is the Moon / Ascendant Sagittarius character that everyone knows from the Boomtown Rats and Live Aid.
But the difficulties in his chart definitely lie in the area of relationships.
This is an important area for Librans after all, and he has the Sun conjunct Saturn and Neptune in the sign, so his experience is not going to be great.
Also this Sun is part of a T square, opposite Jupiter focusing onto an apex Uranus in the 7th house so his married life would be unconventional, erratic, disruptive and changeable to say the least.
This T square sits on Paula’s Mars / Saturn opposition as well, so her karma becomes the cause of it.
But the really powerful synastry patterns with Paula Yates chart can be seen in her other big 7th house affair.
Michael Hutchence has the Sun at 1 Aquarius square to the Moon at 3 Scorpio.
He also has the Moon conjunct Neptune.
This Sun / Moon combo falls in hard aspect to Paula’s own Sun / Neptune opposition at 3 Taurus / 5 Scorpio.
But also Michael’s Mars is at 5 Capricorn conjunct Saturn, falling right on Paula’s own Mars in 7th house / Saturn opposition.
If any planet rules suicide, it is Neptune.
Michael Hutchence has Neptune conjunct his Moon and square his Sun. It would only make one transit to these two in his lifetime.
This happened when it conjoined his Sun and squared his Moon in 1997 when he died.
This would have been catastrophic for Paula and as we know led up to her own death a few years later. But there is one person for whom the suffering would undoubtedly be even greater.
Paula and Michael’s child, Tiger Lily has very similar natal chart afflictions to her parents.
She has the Sun right at the end of Cancer opposite Neptune ( remember Paula had the opposition, Michael the square ).
To make matters worse, Tiger Lily also has the Sun opposite Uranus.
She also has her Moon in Libra opposite Saturn in the 8th house of death ( in exact square to Paula’s Mars / Saturn and also to Michael’s ).
She was only 1 year old when Michael died, but both the Neptune opposition to her Sun and the Saturn one to her Moon perfected in November 1997 when he committed suicide.
Sadly for all involved, Paula’s death was not the end of the suffering.
In 2014, Paula and Bob’s daughter Peaches died, like her mother as the result of a heroin overdose.
Peaches with the Sun in Pisces in square to the Moon in Gemini was an artistic and sensitive soul.
As the Moon is in the 8th house of death it could be said that it was possible she would die as a result of misuse of drugs ( Pisces )
She also does have an exact Saturn / Neptune conjunction, on top of the Saturn placings of Paula and Michael.
Sadly Peaches didn’t live long enough for Neptune to make a transit to her Sun or Moon. She died when it was conjunct her Mercury.
This tragic event would have been the major turning point of her father Bob’s life as Pluto was square to and Uranus was opposed to his Sun at the time.
It’s quite possible that Freudian psychologists could have ” enough material for a whole conference ” from this tragic family, but they could keep astrotwitter going for years. Or at least it would, if any of the regulars on there actually understood astrology.