Please Don’t Let People Do This To Me When I Die

Author David Foster Wallace died last Friday by apparent suicide.

The author of Infinite Jest and other works is being remembered by his fans everywhere…

This tribute may piss you off, though:

Wallace had three planets in the sign of Pisces, his Sun, Chiron and Venus, and four planets in the eccentric zodiac sign of Aquarius, and his moon either in the sign of Virgo or Libra. As an energetic, the Sun in Pisces is difficult energy for men in general. While our society expects men to be well defined in their goals and self confident in themselves and actions, Pisces men generally are neither. They are at heart mystics and seers, with an intuitive understanding of the workings of the Universe. On the other hand, they can have some strange fascinations and addictions. They like to work in the background without much attention focused on them. Many times they are misunderstood. They also can play the part of being misunderstood as well. When pushed too hard to take on well defined societal roles, they often feel put upon and play the martyr. Chiron, the planet of unhealing wounds, sat next to his sensitive Pisces sun. The interaction of these two planets produced a need to be the focal point of attention while at the same time being uncomfortable with the spotlight turned on him. It is a strange dichotomy that may have gnawed away at his sense of self.

With many planets in Aquarius, he would have felt constricted by traditional views and societal roles. His unconventional writing style, signified by Mercury in Aquarius, made him a literary legend. His Saturn in Aquarius sitting on that Mercury made him fear that whatever he was doing was not quite good enough. His Mars sitting along both of these planets would have fueled a driving need to keep working harder and longer to resolve his perplexity at his own dilemma. He needed to be different, to break new ground, but he was faced with the constant anxiety of his own worth.

But was this an intentional suicide?

Not having a time of birth is very limiting and all we have is speculation. However, unless he was born at around 7:30 AM I think a very different thing happened. If he intentionally committed suicide, The Arabic Part of Suicide support a birth time of 7:30 AM. But that would give him a Virgo Moon and a Pisces ascendant. His facial features suggests an Aries ascendant which would also support a Virgo moon. As I said, all this is speculation, but with the Aquarian Moon, the North Node, and Neptune running over (transiting) his collection of Aquarian planets opposing his planet of accidents, Uranus, I think he was engaged in a very different kind of activity and lost control of the situation.

His loss is unfortunate for American letters and for our society as a whole.

Are you $%&#ing me.

And someone please make sense of this image:

Then check out the first couple comments on that posting.

And be worried.

(Thanks to Beth for the link!)

  • ryot

    Flying H. Spaghetti Monster. I can’t really express the kind of confusion/anger that this horseshit fills me with.

  • http://www.otmatheist.com/ hoverFrog

    It’s a dart board and the symbols represent the different children who experimented on hand-eye coordination. Alternatively it could just be a colossal waste of time.

  • Richard Wade

    “People with horoscopes similar to David Foster Wallace most often have initials of DFW. The majority of them have a tendency to be born in upstate New York, and they have a strong literate streak, usually resulting in their becoming novelists, essayists and short story writers. Mr. Wallace, having Mars in retrograde through his Pices/Ares cusp would, as do all men born with this feature, be most likely to receive a PhD from Cornell University, which is by no accident a Leo. All Pisces men with Venus in Sagittarius become famous for writing essays about their experiences growing up in central Illinois, whether they ever lived in Illinois or not. Even Pisces men with Venus in Sagittarius who are born in Timbuktu write about their youth in Illinois, although their stories are not very convincing. They are also always proficient at both tennis and modal logic. His lunar and Jovian dominance in Aquarius fated him to have long greasy hair with a scruffy beard that looks halfway between Jesus and a Renfaire buff bellowing “God save the Queen!” (who amazingly was a Libra.) All water signs kill themselves before their 47th birthday.”

  • http://www.otmatheist.com hoverFrog

    Have you read Greta Christina’s Oscarology? Her results for personalities based on the Best Picture Oscar winner for the year of birth is just as accurate as those given by people examining the stars planets.

  • http://mylongapostasy.blogspot.com ATL-Apostate

    One poster there said,
    “Pisces Full Moon conjunct Uranus opposite his Virgo Moon triggered a strong emotional response”

    WTF?

    The 12year old boy in me can’t help but snicker at
    “full moon”
    “conjunct uranus”
    heh heh

    Can’t tell if that’s supposed to be a joke or not. Probably not, based on the rest of the post.

  • cipher

    Then check out the first couple comments on that posting.

    Yes, but a few comments later you get this one:

    Perhaps your head is up Uranus, If you think that the stars had anything to do with this sad situation.

    It always amuses me that conservative Christians and New Age people dislike one another so vehemently, because each side is just as arrogant, condescending and doctrinaire as the other. They’re two sides of the same devotional coin.

  • http://www.purduenontheists.com Jennifurret

    I hate to admit that the image does “make sense to me.” I was really into astrology when I was about 13 or so – had all the books, could interpret charts…I still instictively reacted “Wow, that guy was probably really troubled!” by looking at his chart.

    I never really believed all of the mumbo jumbo was true, I just thought it was a fun party trick to do with friends. Though now looking back it’s all pretty silly. Maybe we are wired to have some sort of faith, and as I kid I was drawn to this silliness instead of religious silliness?

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  • Undo

    And we laugh at Scientologists.

    You can make up any ol’ shit these days and sell it to morons.

  • http://alcaritown.myminicity.com/ Sanity

    The chart somewhat makes sense to me, but it comes from astronomy (with an N) and some random knowedge.

    The outer edge shows the constelations as you can see them from the northern hemispehere, the inner symbols represent planets and our moon. I’m guessing the numbers represent times or dates, except that they go over 31.

    Other then that, it might as well be a phrenology chart from the how much sense it makes.

  • Lost Left Coaster

    Now’s the time to demand that they teach astrology in our nation’s high school science classes! There’s a legitimate controversy over whether we live in a universe of physical laws or mysterious star powers.

  • http://thegentlepath.wordpress.com GentlePath

    I’m not worried, I’m sad. There are so many stupid humans we can’t afford to lose the smart ones.

    And if it turns out he accidentally asphyxiated himself… I’m even sadder.

  • Desert Son

    Richard Wade wrote:

    “People with horoscopes similar to David Foster Wallace most often have initials of DFW.

    Dallas/Fort Worth? Who knew . . .

    “Pisces men with Venus in Sagittarius”

    Sounds like a problem to get cleared up at a health clinic.

    No kings,

    Robert

  • ash

    Aw, you got a follow up mention, Hemant

    On Skepchick my post recieved a mild lampooning, but at the Friendly Athethist I was given what for in the piece, “Please Don’t Let People Do This Me When I Die.” (Hemnant, don’t think you have to worry. Astrologers generally only write about famous people.)

    To be fair, there are astrologers who believe that we shouldn’t delve too deeply even into public figures psyches. And there are some astrologers who have been subject to some backlash for doing so. But being an Aquarian, I’ve got to be me.

    Bath Tinnage is obviously a sensitive little ‘soul’, but not the clearest of thinkers – and if she reads this, well, you’ve already said you expect ‘drama’ (martyr complex anyone?), so you should thank everyone here for providing your confirmation bias.

  • cipher

    Well, that illustrates my point pretty well.

  • Polly

    Please Don’t Let People Do This To Me When I Die

    That’s just the sort of thing a pisces with a half-moon rising and the Hale-Bopp crossing the Oort cloud would say.

    (um…yeah I don’t know the basic astrology required to make that joke work.)

  • Siamang

    I just want to say that I feel that it’s highly disrespectful, Bath Tinnage.

    It isn’t just that I don’t believe in Astrology, which I don’t.

    It’s that an individual’s beliefs are our own, to have while we live. To come in after someone dies and throw a bunch of your beliefs on top of them is ghoulish and disrespecting of them and their life and the questions that they wrestled with.

    I’ll say that it is quite commonplace among those with a belief-system to push, that they do push, and they’ll ride on the back of someone famous who just died in order to do so.

    I find it shameful, and I include atheists doing it to Mother Teresa as well.

  • http://vegatee.blogspot.com vegatee

    People will buy into just about anything. I have an acquaintance who is very much into astrology and thinks anyone who doesn’t see the “truth” in it is walking around with horse blinders on.

    She also swears by the “blood type diet” due to a mere coincidence which she sees as “proof” the diet is something everyone should try. She has a medical condition for which a plant based diet has been shown to alleviate the symptoms. She also has type A blood. The blood type diet tells people that type A’s should be vegetarians. I tried to tell her that she feels better because a plant based diet is good for her condition, not because some yahoo wrote a book that says type A’s should be vegetarians. She got upset and even offended. I asked her if the blood type diet would work on people who have her condition but are type O’s (who are supposedly carnivores). She changed the subject and never answered.

    Then there’s an older relative I have who got pink eye once after sewing on Friday and now she won’t sew on Friday anymore. She thinks God was punishing her for sewing on Friday.

    I know it is human nature to look for connections in things/events and I also know that when connections aren’t readily obvious, people tend to invent them. But, good grief, how about applying a bit of logic and rationality to the mix?

  • Polly

    I find it shameful, and I include atheists doing it to Mother Teresa as well.

    Is that really a fair comparison? MT admitted, herself, that her faith was a sham.

  • cipher

    Is that really a fair comparison? MT admitted, herself, that her faith was a sham.

    Mother Theresa’s faith wasn’t a sham. What she acknowledged was that she stopped, very early on, experiencing any sort of feedback from God. If anything, it was a purer faith than that exhibited by most people because it was unconfirmed.

    I don’t have a problem with MT because she continued to believe despite the lack of validation, or because her humanitarian efforts were based on that faith. I have a problem with her because she believed in eternal damnation, because she appears to have been something of a closet exclusivist (converting people on their deathbeds so they could go to heaven, etc.), and because, reportedly, she withheld pain medication from those who were in need of it, believing their suffering “purified” them in some way.

  • Richard Wade

    vegatee,

    Then there’s an older relative I have who got pink eye once after sewing on Friday and now she won’t sew on Friday anymore. She thinks God was punishing her for sewing on Friday.

    I think your relative may have stumbled upon one of the Lost Five Commandments that were revealed by Mel Brooks. Until we discover commandments eleven through fifteen, we’re screwed. One of them might very well be “Thou shalt not sew on Fridays.”

  • Siamang

    Is that really a fair comparison? MT admitted, herself, that her faith was a sham.

    No she didn’t. You see? You’re doing the same thing as others do.

    MT is dead. While she was alive she had many different thoughts and sometimes struggles with her beliefs. That doesn’t make her necessarily an atheist, but merely a human.

    Over my lifetime, I have been a Christian, a spiritualist, and variations between and outside of that, most recently an atheist.

    Now, if you uncovered writings of mine where I struggled with beliefs, would and should you publish that posthumously and say “look, this proves Siamang believed in God!!!!”?

    Perhaps my mind may change again on the issue before I am dead. What does it matter? Let me speak publicly on my beliefs, as MT did on hers. Give her the respect to have said her peace during her lifetime on how she viewed herself wholistically, and don’t elevate her doubts to a significance beyond where she held them herself.

    Otherwise, it is IMO a ghoulish practice to speculate on the beliefs, and or eternal disposition of the dead, especially since the recently passed are not their to rebut the claims.

    Lady Hope anyone?

  • Polly

    @cipher and Siamang,

    I misspoke. I didn’t mean that I thought she was an atheist or even anything other than a committed Catholic ’til the end.

    I meant that she engaged in pretense of a much more superficial kind. The pretense of acting like someone fulfilled by their religion, when in fact, she was far from the image she was beaming out to the world. She proclaimed JC’s love as if she felt it, herself. She was held up as an example. She called her own smile “a mask.”

    But, if I were to take her emptiness and call her a secret atheist, that would be going too far.

    “Ghoulish”? Perhaps. That’s a risk whenever someone speaks of the dead.

  • http://agersomnia.blogspot.com Agersomnia

    [...]I find it cruel to be left without any means of closure, but for your most generous astrological speculations. How sad for his fans that astrological speculation is more than what journalists have thus far revealed. Was it with a rope, necktie, bedsheet, garden hose or shower curtain? Shame on the press and his family for keeping this such a secret!

    WTF?!?!

    How is it that people actually get to think let alone formulate such an unkind, unsensitive, question and then starts blaming the family of the deseased one for not revealing enough sick deteails about the suicide?

    Now I have even more reasons never to reveal personal info. about myself: I hide my full name (or my name, for that case) just to keep my data away from spammers, curious eyes, stalker wannabes and general morons. Now I’ll have to hide my b-day data from astrologer-wannabes, and my hands from gypsies.

  • Jen

    So, apparently, “Hemnant” is a jerk because he isn’t famous. Bath Tinnage merely exploits the dead and their personal tragedies for fun and profit. See the difference?

  • Jeff Flowers

    Last week at Barnes & Noble, I had a customer looking for an Astrology book. I checked the computer and we didn’t have it in, but he sat there, going on about how it was the most accurate Astrology book available.

    I really had to restrain myself from laughing in his face.

  • http://perkyskeptic.blogspot.com/ The Perky Skeptic

    Gaaaaahhhh, I so hate astrology– I was judged by this made-up nonsense my whole life! My father was a professional astrologer. I’ve posted a couple of rants on this on my own blog. I feel compelled to post this link mainly because the sight of a natal chart fills me with rabies.

    http://perkyskeptic.blogspot.com/2008/09/personal-view-of-harm-in-astrology-part.html

    I am seriously going to have to plan in advance so that if anyone talks about my planetary aspects after my death, my survivors will be able to push a big red button labeled “HAUNT” which will cause some kind of power grid outage or release a table-rapping swarm of trained bees or something.


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