I saw Robin Williams being interviewed by James Lipton on ‘Inside the Actors Studio’ and James referred to Williams stand-up comedy performance at the Met in New York called ‘Robin Williams Live At The Met-1986’ as one of those performances that was a masterpiece and a stunning success. On hearing just a few of Lipton’s comments I became very curious about it, so I searched YouTube and bingo, there it was. It is honestly one of the most amazing stand-up comedy performance I have ever seen and it made sense why Lipton referred to it as he did. I was in fits of laughter, very amazed at how Williams continuously kept the momentum of the performance alive, turning aspects of his everyday life, with all its dramas into comedy gold. Watching it made me so happy. It is brilliantly real and refreshing which, is exactly what Robin Williams was – ‘real and refreshing’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mkF5gQdV0I
After hearing about Robin’s early child and his journey towards stardom, I became very curious of what in his chart made him an incredible comedian and entertainer. Of course, there are various ways to invoke laughter in others, various types of wit and how one expresses wit. So what in Robins chart was the driving force behind his wit and humour, the comic genius? Where did it stem from? I am directing my investigation more towards his career as a comedian as that is where the roots of his brilliance derived from.
Moon & Rahu
Robin William’s Moon is in Shatabhisha Pada 3 and Rahu is in his own Nakshatra, Shatabhisha but Pada 4, which places Rahu in the auspicious Pushkara Navamsa position prompting Rahu to behave in an auspicious manner. Furthermore, Rahu’s Lord, Saturn is in excellent Dignity in Virgo. To add more juice to Rahu’s brilliance Saturn is also in Pushkara Navamsa position (Uttara Phalguni Pada 3) which pretty much gave Saturn and Rahu in Williams chart genus status. This very auspicious and powerful Rahu is having a significant influence on Robin’s heart and mind (4th house lord, Conjunct the Moon), intelligence, and creative expression (5th House).
There is less than a 2-degree orb between Rahu and the Moon which is an extremely close conjunction causing the Moon to feel starved and not able to produce anything. Additionally, the Moon is being aspected by Mercury and Venus also causing to the Moon to feeling starved, frightened and alarmed. The Moon is waning, and is in a 6/8 relationship with the Sun (mind/soul & spirit – at conflict with each other) who is sitting in the sign of Cancer (this 6/8 relationship may have contributed to issues between Robins mother and father).
Generally, the Moon is not the happiest in Saturn ruled signs. However, the Moon is Aquarius in Williams chart is in Vargottama position in the Navamsa, meaning his Moon was powerful, and gave him a sturdy connection to his vocation and creative path, the Moon also contributed to his strong emotional depth. Because the Moon a sattvic planet by nature and is associated with an incredible amount of demonic and tamasic energy (Rahu, Saturn, Shatabhisha and Aquarius) this may have contributed substantially to what broke his mind in the end (Shatabhisha, Saturn, Rahu).
Vedic Astrology literature suggests that if a planet is in unfavorable dignity but its Nakshatra Lord is strong then that planet has the capacity to give good results. Based on Saturn dignity, Rahu as a Nakshatra Lord is somewhat favorable for the Moon to a certain degree. Therefore, where the Moon is disadvantaged there is also some advantages (Vargottama, favorable Nakshatra Lord).
The waning Moon would be urging Williams to withdraw and be more introverted. However, his inner urge to withdraw, may have been clouded by the enthusiastic, desiring, obsessive and future orientated nature of this very strong predominant Rahu. It’s Rahu conjunct the Moon, that had such a strong grip on his mind and was the part of his personality and persona that put Williams in the public eye and centre stage.
The healing consciousness (mind) of Shatabhisha Nakshatra is what would have been the underlying drive that prompted Robin Williams to heal via comedy (Shakti – healing; Basis Below – support for all). Williams started performing comedy acts as a young child to cheer his mother up, and this lead him to pursuing a vocation in drama and theatre at collage.
He healed others with his comic and dramatic talents in a creative way (5th hosue). Many favourable qualities of Shatabhisha penetrated his mind (Moon) and artistic expression (5th House). William’s sharp memory, bold attitude as well as his daring and artistic nature was all inspired by Shatabhisha.
Rahu qualities were very visible and heightened in his comic performances. Rahu in Pada 4 gave him the ability to change and evolve as a comedian and then metamorphose into an actor. The Moon in Pada 3 would have enhanced his entertaining desire to perform. Both the Moon and Rahu would have contributed significantly to the ‘intense characteristics’ of his personality that was so commonly seen in his performances.
The Moon (mind & heart) creatively (5th house) is very stimulated and moves quickly in the airy sign of Aquarius. His fast way of thinking and creating is also supported with the Moon in Vargottama position in the 3rd house of the Navamsa. The Moon in the Navamsa was able to explore hobbies, interests and creative talents further with determination, strength and commitment (Saturn). Robin wrote all his own material (5th house Rashi & 3rd House Navamsa) and he was able to express his blunt, honest and gritty life experiences (Shatabhisha) via comic dialogue, while interactively engaging and entertaining others (3rd House Navamsa).
Rahu’s airy fast and quick nature in the 5th house of Aquarius in the Rashi moves to the flowing more nurturing 4th house of Pisces in the Navamsa. I believe that Rahu in the 4th in the Navamsa contributes to Williams sharing personal details of his life as a comedian. Additionally, his self-disclosure as a comedian is also supported via the Nakshatra Lord exchange happening between Saturn and the Sun, because this is not a Shatabhisha trait, who prefer to keep their cards close to their chest (the Sun/Saturn exchange is discussed in more detail below). Additionally, the airy tamasic qualities of Rahu may not have felt at all comfortable in the 4th house of watery sattvic Pisces in the Navamsa. Williams may have found it difficult to find a strong sense of flow and surrender which may have hindered his inner happiness from time to time with Rahu placement in Shatabhisha and in the 4th house of the Navamasa.
Robin Williams chart is all about Rahu. Mars the 2nd and 7th lord in the 9th in Ardra Nakshatra and the Lagna degree is in Swati Nakshatra, which are both ruled by Rahu. All three Rahu ruled Nakshatras are activated in this chart. The element of air is seriously being stimulated, which would make for a very active and exhausting mind. It is not surprising that Williams turned to drugs in order to find some relief from his constant drive and desire for stimulus (Shatabhisha, Rahu, Pada 4).
Overall, the ravenous, desire-full nature of Rahu wants to acquire and strive at all costs with a focus on change, evolving, giving out, sharing as well as escaping in many different ways (drugs, addition, alcohol) to deal (Pada 4) with life’s fortunes and misfortunes.
As an entertainer his fame expanded (Varuna) on a global scale and his craft nourished humanity (Shatabhisha, 5th house). Williams was very open and forthcoming about his problems of drug abuse, alcoholism and addiction (Shatabhisha), but hid his personal turmoil beneath his veil and armor. Williams experienced a long-term battle with depression (Moon, Shatabhisha) and addiction (Rahu, Shatabhisha & Moon conjunct Rahu). He gave up alcohol and drugs many times but eventually returning to it. Williams also suffered from depression intermittently throughout his life (Varuna’s noose – death and destruction – binds those he chooses to punishment).
Interestingly Williams was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease prior to his death but he did not want to share it publicly (keeping things hidden - Shatabhisha). It was revealed after this death that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. However, the autopsy revealed he did not have Parkinson’s but ‘Lewy Body Dementia’, which causes a sudden and prolonged spike in severe fear and anxiety. Williams had been misdiagnosed (mysterious illnesses – Shatabhisha). William’s wife described the disease as “the terrorist inside my husband’s brain”……[she stated that]…. “however you look at it – the presence of Lewy bodies took his life.” She said this referring to his previous diagnosis of Parkinson’s (mysterious illnesses – Shatabhisha).
Shatabhisha is a seriously strong, fearful Nakshatra – Ruled by Rahu, has a demonic nature, predominately tamasic, and is from the ‘butcher cast’ based on the ancient Vedic cast system. There is an element of withdrawal or being more behind the scenes coming from this Nakshatra. The Moon is a very sociable planet and is the lord of the 10th House of vocation, dynamic ability to raise up in life and ones highest action. Sitting in the 5th house supported the Moon to express 10th house qualities via his creative intelligence, self-expression, desire for creative growth, acting and entertaining abilities (there is a Dharma Karmadhipati Yoga occurring with the 9th and 10th Lord aspecting each other). A connection like this between 5th and 10th lord in a chart can indicates a vocation that supports fame and status in the entertainment industry.
Interestingly, Shatabhisha Nakshatras career focus is more incline to be driven towards sciences, engineering, technology, astrology, media, electronic communication to name a few, rather than acting and comedy. Shatabhisha natives are incline to take more of an introverted career path rather than an extroverted career path.
The magnificently placed Rahu in favorable dignity in the 5th house, in his own Nakshatra and in Pushkara Navamsa position which definitely promotes an extroverted desire for fame and abundance. The quite, deep and hidden qualities of Shatabhisha are thrown into the limelight rather than undercover. Because of Rahu’s favorable position in the chart, Rahu is able to absorbed and draw on the essence of the 5th house qualities that supported him to be a brilliant comedian, actor, and entertainer. Additionally, Aquarius is also the natural 11th house of gains, social status, and fortune.
These two predominant planets in Shatabhisha Nakshatra developed and exercised brilliant creative expression, fame and fortitude for many years. However, the smoke screen characteristics of Rahu and hidden side of Shatabhisha shadowed what was going on in the background of Williams mind (Moon).
What's more, malefic Saturn and Rahu dominated the Moon in his chart. As said above, Shatabhisha Nakshatra is known for having a darker shadow side and Williams revealed some of his darker side at times throughout his life, as he made fun of life’s obstacles and personal challenges in his comedy routines. The personal suffering, pain and sorrow he experienced throughout his life aided him to find emotional depth as a dramatic actor. It was not until after his death that the public were privy to what was underneath his armour (Shatabhisha).
Robin said “All it takes is a beautiful fake smile to hide an injured soul and they will never notice how broken you really are.” There was a lot happening underneath with the Moon conjunct Rahu in Shatabhisha Nakshatra.
Nakshatra Parivartan Yoga
There is also another factor concerning Rahu that gives Williams chart attributes of brilliance. Not only is Rahu standing in the light but Saturn (Rahu’s Lord) is also illuminated. Saturn in Uttara Phalguni is involved in a Nakshatra Lord exchange with the Sun in Pushya. All these elements amalgamating together show a significant interplay and bond happening between Nakshatra Lords and the planets, which notably improves and enhances Rahu’s dominant status because of Saturn’s brilliant dignity.
The Nakshatra Parivartan Yoga (also called a Nadi yoga) occurring between the Sun and Saturn gave a tremendous amount of strength to his chart in terms of professionalism, nurturing and bringing people together. This creates an exchange in power and energy happening between these two planets, as each planet is mutually influencing one another. Saturn is the 4th and 5th Lord and the Sun is the 11th Lord. This exchange would have contributed to his courageous (Pushya, Sun), brilliant intellectual mind (Saturn, 5th house), passion & love for his craft (4th house, Pushya – nourish others), as well as gains and opportunity in his field (11th house, 10th house). Pushya Nakshatra also moves people with their articulate verbal skills.
Sixty minutes referred to Williams as the ‘King of Comedy’ (Sun 11th Lord – Pada 4) and this is confirmed with Sun in the 9th House (Dharma, Grace) of Leo (MT) in the Navamsa (guru, authoritarian, king, leader). Additionally, Saturn also draws on that entertaining spirit being in the 3rd house of Aquarius (natural 11th house) in the Navamsa as he would have gained a lot of enjoyment and pleasure entertaining the masses (Saturn – Kama).
The symbol of Pushy is the cows-udder that feeds life and nourishes. Robin nurtured and nourished us with his charisma, charm and wit, which also nourished him on many levels as an entertainer, and gave him rise in financial position and status (11th House). However, most importantly it gave him a tremendous amount of joy to nurture those who love watching him perform (Saturn 4th House lord, Pushya). Robin said that he developed his ability to make people laugh when he was a young boy. He could see his mother was struggling with life and as a way to cheer her up, he would make her laugh with comic routines.
Williams brought people together (11th house, Uttara Phalguni) on a massive scale, replenishing (Pushya) them via laughter, which gave them time to escape from their own lives for a while. Just as he did for his mother. There was a strong element of self-less-ness in how Robin Williams seemed to always nourish others more than he was nourished by others (5th house, 11th house, Cows udder – Pushya). This exchange aided him to tap into and examine the irony of life’s challenges via comedy. With the Sun (11th Lord) in the 10th house, Williams ‘highest action’ was of a raw nature (Saturn, Moon, Shatabhisha, Rahu) as he would discuss personal biographical experiences through the medium of comedy to emphasize the essence of spiritual one-ness we all share in our day-to-day life (Pushya).
In his performance at the Met in 1986, Williams disclosed personal struggles he experienced before married life about drugs, addiction, alcoholism, and then post-marriage, children, and fatherhood that the entire audience related to.
Robin Williams has a Yoga Tara occurring with Ketu in Leo at 17.20 degrees in Purva Phalguni. A Yoga Tara is the brightest star or the biggest star and gives and extra push of energy to the native. Thus, indicating a significantly strong karmic forces was occurring in various parts of Robins life what was focused on self-worth, resources, values, responsibilities, career, highest action, the souls journey, individual power, status, respect, fame, family, desires, wish fulfillment and gains. All are strong influences that Robin Williams brought into this life from past life’s to find closure with.
As mentioned, above all three Rahu Nakshatras are playing a significant part in his chart. This shows a strong air element occurring amongst Rahu, the Moon (Air – Aquarius – Masculine Sign) and the Lagna (Air – Libra – Masculine Sign). You just have to watch Williams when he does stand-up comedy. He uses his whole body to express his narrative. He would glide and swirl around a stage just like the element of wind with a rough, masculine and forward persona stimulating the audience in an original way. Always thinking on his feet Williams would change topics quickly while moving backwards and forwards all over the stage to express the next idea.
•There is a wonderful Raj Yoga happening between Rahu (5th & 4th Lord) and Moon (10th Lord).
•Dhana Yoga is also being formed with the 2nd Lord Mars in the 9th house
•Dharma Karmadhipati Yoga is occurring with the 9th and 10th Lord aspecting each other.
•Budhaditya Yoga is happening with Mercury and Sun conjunct the 10th house, indicating intelligence, excellent skills and abilities concerning 10th house matters.
Rahu is the predominate dispositor in Robins Chart. Though Mercury is in his own Nakshatra (Aslesha), Venus is in her own Nakshatra (Purva Phalguni). Sun is in Saturn’s Nakshatra (Pushya) and Saturn is in the Suns Nakshatra (Uttara Phalguni)
•Rahu in Shatabhisha Pada 4 (Rahu)
•Mars in Ardra Pada 4 (Rahu)
•Saturn in Uttara Phalguni Pada 3 (Sun)
Mars in 18º Gemini (Pisces Navamsha- Rahu Nakshatra - Ardra),
Robins moksha planet is Saturn – which means Robin had a drive to honor the essence of Saturn. Patience, truth, surrender, reality, maturity, the planet of nature, what is real, and what is true – not pretentious at all. Making peace with what is. Acceptance and understanding that success and failure are part of the problem. Try to do and strive just like in nature – But if there is setback or destruction, accept. The house Saturn is in is where we need to take responsibility which for Robins was the 12th House of Virgo. The deity of Saturn is Vishnu – The Sustainer
Note: This analysis has been written to give a small amount of insight into the brilliant mind of Robin Williams.
I have focused predominately on the interplay between 4th, 5th, 10th, and 11th house and the Nakshatras, that the Sun, Saturn, Rahu and the Moon are placed in the Rasi chart. Additionally, how the energy of these planets and the Nakshatras moves to the Navamsa Varga (D9). I have also identified a few other notable qualities in the chart, however this research is only a partial analysis of an stellar chart that belonged to an incredible individual. There are many amazing astrological qualities in the chart that I have not drawn attention too. I feel a wonderful amount of grace and admiration to have had the time and privilege to investigate Robin Williams chart.
•Year length – Nakshatra Dasa (359.0167 days)
•Year length – Rasi Dasa (Saura 365.422)
Date of Birth 21/7/1951
Time: 13.34 (AA rating – Astro.com)
Place: Chicago, Illinois