I’ve been traveling the past few weeks, and I got so caught up in Carrie Fisher’s story after listening to Chelsea and Tori Dunlap talk about her book Wishful Drinking that I packed up the book as well as Carrie’s subsequent memoir The Princess Diarist and Sheila Weller’s well-researched biography of Carrie to keep me company along the way. Carrie Fisher is the best of traveling companions – funny, interested in everything and everyone, and possessing a back story that wrings the heartstrings and brings you to love her. Once back home, I turned to Carrie’s astrological chart for some clues to help me understand the complex human that she inhabited.
What first struck me was how very hard she was on herself. Capricorn is her rising sign, ruled by that stern critic, Saturn. While these rising signs can be loving and nurturing and forgiving of others, they reserve their harshest judgments for themselves. Saturn resides in the 12th house of Carrie’s chart, where energies hide in the subconscious, giving her an inner voice that would whisper that she was not good enough, she was a mess, a screw-up. As an addict, she must have found this particularly painful, as each relapse would give her fresh ammo to belittle herself. The 12th house also reveals something about our mental health, telling us that this dark voice and the struggle to manage it are at the root of her very public struggles with bipolar disorder.
However, it is a great tribute to Carrie’s strength and life force that she was able to wrestle with this voice and eventually convert it into the hilarious and yet healing and relatable comedy we discovered in Wishful Drinking. Mercury, the planet of communication, is strong at the top of her chart, and it is very well supported by Venus, which gave her a unique skill with language which delights her audience. This also explains that much of her career success was due to her writing skills – through her books and her work as a “script doctor.” She knew how to sharpen her words to create “Funny.”
Born with the Sun in Libra, Carrie had the Libran’s drive and instinct to connect with others. The Sun enters Libra at the autumn equinox, which in the northern hemisphere indicates we will from now on be experiencing more dark than light in our days. The Libran knows it’s best to face the dark when we have another’s hand to hold. Carrie’s gift for uniting her spirit with others is abundantly evident in Sheila Weller’s biography. Childhood friends, co-workers from sets, fellow companions in recovery, and ordinary people she met along the way and just knew they would be great friends were all congregated in her life at any given moment. To them she was magical and a friend whose generosity knew no bounds. Carrie’s childhood babysitter said in the recent documentary that even at the age of two, Carrie was like no human being she has ever known.
So why did a loving and stable romantic partnership evade someone who had so much love to give? Carrie’s Moon in Taurus rules the relationship part of her chart. The Moon is exalted in Taurus, and it is made even stronger because Carrie was born shortly after a full moon, when the Moon’s light was still very visible from earth. Full Moon people are always seen, always on stage to others, and also strongly ruled by emotions that change with the tides. Carrie’s Taurus Moon also seeks pleasure, comfort, and yet fireworks, drama, and enchantment in relationships. She explains her long-troubled relationship with Paul Simon – to whom she was never good enough – by telling us in Wishful Drinking that he was a “magical person.” Dan Ackroyd in a recent podcast said that he was at one time totally in love with Carrie Fisher. He even bought a beautiful home for them on Martha’s Vineyard and took Carrie there to see it. She loved the house, he said, but the next morning, she got up and took a plane back to New York – and to Paul Simon. This Taurus Moon was a rogue Moon, disconnected from her Libra Sun and life purpose. She followed impulses which set her on a path towards sadness, loss, and yearning.
Or did it? The Moon also symbolizes the mother in a chart. This bright, full Taurus Moon tells us that Carrie’s mother would always be a dynamic force in her life. In spite of tumultuous years in their relationship, we learn in Wishful Drinking that Carrie adored her movie-star mother and at this point in their lives, they were next-door neighbors and daily companions. Carrie’s Moon was crossing Debbie Reynold’s deeply fixed Venus in Taurus when Carrie was born, giving them an unshakeable bond in this lifetime. They shared similar trajectories of a stratospheric rise to fame followed by a lingering decline of their star power. They shared similar disappointments in love and marriage and they understood each other’s wounding. Debbie was strong for Carrie when she was struggling with addiction and mental illness, and Carrie was strong for Debbie as she was failing physically in old age. They could go on together, when they each had a hand to hold, but they could not manage without each other.
After Debbie Reynolds died the day following Carrie’s passing, the people who loved them spoke of soul mates. Just as we sometimes search everywhere for something only to discover it was within us all along, Carrie had the committed loving partnership she longed for right next door. Life’s gifts don’t always come to us on our own terms. While the recollection of her life elicits regret for so much pain, chaos, and lost potential, Carrie’s life as a soul on this earth celebrates the resilience of human beings, our very necessary power to laugh at ourselves and to heal, and the reminder that our ultimate success as a human resides in the hearts of those who loved us.