The Resiliency of Molly Shannon

I just loved the recent episode on podcast The Celebrity Bookclub

on Molly Shannon’s memoir, marveling at Molly’s very sad and yet triumphant story. When I looked at Molly’s astrological chart, I could see both the tears and the laughter.


As a Virgo Sun, Molly Shannon finds her identity in being of practical service to others. A Virgo thrives when given the opportunity to drive you to urgent care, mow your grass and feed your cat when you’re away, or hold back your hair after a few too many cocktails. This hard-working energy of Virgo is even stronger in Molly’s chart, however, because her generation has the slow-moving planets of Uranus and Pluto in Virgo as well. These children of the 60’s were born into an era when we knew we had to work very hard to make a better world.


Opposing, swamping, and confusing Molly’s Virgo Sun is the planet Saturn in Pisces. This planet tells us something about the father. In Pisces and retrograde, Molly’s Saturn indicates a father who is weakened, saddened, and longing to escape. As we learned on the podcast, Molly’s life path since childhood was her struggle to live out her own destiny versus her father’s dependency on her very capable care after the tragic loss of Molly’s mother and baby sister. When living out these conflicting pulls on our spirits, we need to learn, as Molly has, to honor each demand and bring them into balance. Molly came to understand and love her father with all his limitations, but she fought for and won the right to live her own life away from him, too.


Molly’s strength of character, her ability to survive great tragedy and thrive, is indicated by the placement of her Moon in Capricorn. Those born with this Moon sign often have to raise themselves and experience a loss of the mother, or a mother who was too burdened by her own cares to nurture her child. While this creates a difficult childhood, the lessons of inner self-reliance can carry one into a stable and emotionally centered adulthood. Molly also has a keen and analytical mind, shown by Mercury in its own sign of Virgo, giving her the ability to see her life path clearly and make positive choices.


But what about Molly’s comic genius? Leo, the sign which loves play and spontaneity and enthusiasm, holds both Molly’s Venus – what she loves – and Mars – what drives her actions. In the midst of the trauma of her childhood, Molly found joy. Through play, jokes, and performing, she learned to create characters and absurd situations which delighted her and made others laugh. Know this was what she was born to do, Molly harnessed her workman-like Virgo power to bring her sense of fun and absurdity and laughter to everyone she could pull into a theater seat – and so the healing began.