Celebrities that live in the fishbowl of the public eye often have the misfortune to have every step of their lives catalogued in the news media. In this blog I have often struggled with the need for every human to be able to process their lives without scrutiny versus the benefit of using astrology to provide insight into the workings of the human personality.
The very public exhibition of Amanda Bynes’ mental problems is one such example. Like so many troubled young actors, Amanda was a child star who rose to fame on the Nikolodeon children’s television channel. She began acting at the age of seven (the time of the first square aspect from Saturn to Saturn in the natal chart) and by the time she was thirteen she had her own eponymous television program. Her troubles began in 2010 at the peak of her fame when setbacks motivated her to announce her retirement, from which she backtracked several times. Since March 2012 she has been arrested several times for driving under the influence, hit and run, drug possession, and starting a fire in a stranger’s driveway. Most recently she was arrested for shoplifting.
Amanda’s astrological chart (born April 3, 1986, 3:55 am, Thousand Oaks California) shows that she was born with the Sun at 13 degrees Aries and if the birthtime (sourced from a news report) is correct, Pisces is rising in the chart. The Sun sign is often not visible in the personality which is why it is difficult to guess a person’s Sun sign – it is the rising sign that is most evident. Pisces and Aries are very different: where Aries is forthright and energized and assertive, Pisces is sensitive, creative and empathic and often seeks an escape from earthly hardships.
The Pisces influence is very strong in Amanda’s chart: Jupiter, the traditional ruler of Pisces is in its own sign which is quite a strong Piscean influence, and her Mercury is in Pisces as well. In addition, Venus trines Neptune (modern ruler of Pisces) which bestows beauty and artistry, and the Moon is in the 12th house (associated with Pisces). Individuals with a strong Neptune/Pisces quality to the chart are typically highly imaginative and creative but the personality can be innately weak. It can be difficult for these individuals to withstand hardship and develop the inner strength required for a challenging life. Her Aries Sun helps tremendously here, but over the past few years her Sun has been challenged by transits from both Uranus (radical behavior) and Pluto (destruction and regeneration).Where actors are motivated by fame we often see a strong Leo influence, but with all of this Neptune/Pisces we see a young woman who genuinely wants to act – to take on a variety of roles and be the shapeshifter for which Neptune/Pisces is so well equipped. However, she also has a painful opposition from Saturn (challenge and testing) to Chiron (emotional wounds) which suggests that she has some painful inner wounded places that we see erupting very publicly at the moment. Jupiter is involved in that aspect also, creating an inner debate between her confidence (Jupiter) and the wounds and challenges of Saturn/Chiron.
In addition, Pluto (intensity and obsession) is in a challenging square to Amanda’s Moon. This is a placement that can denote obsessive emotional behavior under the best of circumstances. With her Moon is in Aquarius, the sign of rational thought and detachment, the challenge of this aspect is even more intense. I suspect there is a buildup of emotion that the Aquarian Moon suppresses until it erupts in the kind of drama we are seeing now.
When her career troubles began, both Saturn and Pluto were in a challenging aspect to her Mars. Mars defines how we go about getting what we want, and she had several career setbacks at that time when film roles were given to other actors or projects were canceled. These difficult planetary cycles often serve the purpose of building inner strength through perseverance but if we give up we fail to utilize that opportunity. In 2011 Uranus began a square of her Mars, instigating the swings between wanting to retire and then “unretiring.”
Amanda has been in the news almost daily recently, possibly triggered by the Aries lunar eclipse which fell right on her Sun. Over the past few days she was accused of shoplifting twice and attacking fans on the street. Uranus and Pluto have both been in a challenging square to her Sun, triggering the breakdown of the defenses which she has carefully crafted over her sensitive emotional nature. Often a breakdown period precedes any significant breakthrough, and if she is able to obtain appropriate psychological help, this can be a beautiful period in which her true self can unfold and emerge.