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Skyscript Astrology Forum

Judith Hill's "The Astrology of Depression"

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Therese Hamilton

Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 1157
Location: California, USA

Posted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:55 pm    Post subject: Judith Hill's "The Astrology of Depression" Reply with quote

Some thoughts on Judith Hill’s “The Astrology of Depression” posted here on Skyscript:

Judith Hill points out that the traditional humors cannot be correlated with the four elements that have been aligned with the four sets of zodiac triplicities. She points out a number of illogical and impossible sign-humor correlations that have been made by astrologers. She then points out that the classical character of water signs (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) in excess fits the symptoms of chronic depression, i.e. ‘melancholia’ far better than do the practical realistic earth signs. Traditionally the melancholic humor has been assigned to tropical earth signs (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn).

From my experience I would agree with Judith Hill’s observations that tropical water signs correlate best with the melancholic temperament, defined today as depressive tendencies. Melancholy is traditionally associated with coldness and Saturn. So does it make sense that:

Jupiter is exalted in tropical water sign Cancer

Mars is the traditional ruler of water sign Scorpio, but Mars traits have nothing to do with depression.

Pisces, the third water sign is ruled by Jupiter and the exaltation sign of Venus.

So we can ask, where is the logic of the tropical water signs seeming to be predisposed to depression? At this time approximately 80 percent of the preceding sidereal signs lie in the ecliptic area of the following tropical signs. If we look beneath tropical signs to sidereal signs, we see the alignment below for signs said to be prone to depression (tropical water is replaced by sidereal Gemini, Libra and Aquarius):

Aquarius: traditionally a ‘cold’ sign ruled by Saturn, traditionally a cold planet

Libra: the exaltation of Saturn and fall of the hot Sun (i.e. lack of light)

Gemini: Ancient astrologers gave “scarcity of joy” and “mixing of dryness and cold” to Mercury. (Benjamin Dykes, Introductions to Traditional Astrology, pp. 257-8.)

Mercury and Saturn are the traditional triplicity lords of the sidereal ‘cold’ signs, Gemini, Libra and Aquarius. These are in the ecliptic area of the hot and moist ‘air’ in the Tropical zodiac. This is one small example of how traditional concepts and contemporary observation can be logically correlated only in the sidereal zodiac.

For more on sidereal triplicities:
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Therese Hamilton

Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 1157
Location: California, USA

Posted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is he sidereal chart of Morris from Judith Hill’s article. Judith notes that he is a grandson of Holocaust survivors and was born depressed. He has been medicated for years but remains completely without joy. As Judith writes, he is in constant emotional pain and a state of self loathing. For those who accept reincarnation, one wonders if he might have been a Nazi official responsible for sending thousands of Jews to their deaths in concentration camps.

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Morris’ sidereal chart is completely dominated by Saturn. Tropical Sun, Moon and Mars in Jupiter-ruled Pisces move to sidereal Aquarius where they are opposed by Saturn, badly placed in the Sun’s sign, Leo. Mercury, lord of the Gemini ascendant, is in Capricorn, and Jupiter is in the critical first few minutes of Capricorn, sign of its fall.

I have included the navamsa chart which shows the Sun and Moon also in the Saturn sign of Aquarius, natal ascendant lord Mercury conjunct Saturn in Gemini, and Jupiter doubly in its fall in Capricorn. The charts seem to indicate an extreme case of suffering due to karmic causes.
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Therese Hamilton

Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 1157
Location: California, USA

Posted: Sat Apr 08, 2017 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This AA rated chart from ADB belongs to Annamaria Gambineri, Italian TV announcer. Her life was marked by many depressive crises and recoveries in mental clinics. The chart combines the signature for depression (Moon-Saturn-Mercury-Venus) in Saturn's domicile of Aquarius with the ability to function in a career that involved a great deal of public exposure. Here sidereal Pisces comes into the picture as Mars, the ascendant lord, is in Pisces in its own triplicity along with the Sun in Pisces and Jupiter in the first degree of its own sign and triplicity, Sagittarius. The secondary domicile of Jupiter, sidereal Pisces is similar to tropical Aries, active, energetic and extroverted.

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It's interesting that Jupiter, Mars and the Sun could not overshadow the Saturnian influence on the Moon. Sidereal Pisces is often able to function as a duality, two separate lives, one often hidden, which seems to be the case with Annamaria. Jupiter and the Sun are in aspect to each other, but there is no close aspect relationship between them and the Aquarius planets. Jupiter also disposits the Sun and Mars.

So there are two distinct and separate planetary groupings: Jupiter-Sun-Mars and Moon-Saturn-Mercury. Neptune (which Judith Hill suggests can also be linked to depression) closely opposes the Aquarius stellium of planets.

Postscript: Has anyone noted the symbolic inconsistency of the ancient assignment of Mars as triplicity lord to the sensitive tending-toward-introversion tropical 'water' signs?? In the sidereal zodiac this triplicity of signs becomes emotionally impulsive, sensation enjoying, extroverted, and often attention seeking. In other words, somewhat Mars-like: that is, tropical 'fire' signs.
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Therese Hamilton

Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 1157
Location: California, USA

Posted: Sun Apr 09, 2017 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another example chart: Depressed 6531 (ADB ‘A’ rated)

American depressed female who collected disability as an emotionally disabled individual and has never worked. She sustained massive depression when both parents died in the same year and made a "gesture" of attempted suicide 5/04/1981 to gain attention of her psychiatrist.

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This birth chart contains several of the signatures for depression pointed out by Judith Hill, but the emphasis on the Saturn triplicity of signs isn’t so important. Experienced astrologers know that planets carry more emphasis than zodiac signs.

The importance of the ascendant lord is shown in this chart as Venus is the chart ruler and placed in the 8th in Saturn’s sign of Capricorn. Still, traditionally the sign placement of Venus isn't bad as it is in its own triplicity. However, two factors outweigh the sign position of Venus: Mars in the first house in Gemini (triplicity of Saturn) is quincunx (Jyotish 8th house aspect) the 8th house Venus, and dispositor Saturn opposes the acendant from the unfriendly Mars ruled sign of Scorpio.

Saturn is conjunct the Sun and balsamic Moon (dark of the Moon, a factor pointed out by Judith Hill), and the birth is in a winter month. Western astrologers would point to the Yod involving Venus in the 8th in Capricorn, Mars in Gemini, and Neptune in Leo.

It is no doubt significant that Mars in a sign of Saturn’s triplicity and aspecting the chart lord Venus happens to be the dispositor of the Scorpio stellium: Ketu-Mercury-balsmaic Moon-Sun-Saturn. This chart is an example of why the entire chart has to be integrated in order to see a valid psychological signature. The planets ‘move’ and interact among themselves to form key patterns. This chart contains the following patterns pointed out by Judith Hill for depression:
    Venus, ascendant lord in a sign of Saturn
    Light deprived birth: winter birth, Moon very close to new (dark cycle)
    Saturn dominant on the 7th cusp aspecting the ascendant
    Saturn conjunct Sun, Moon and Mercury
I haven't illustrated the navamsa chart, but the navamsa increases the Saturn emphasis: Saturn is conjunct natal lord Venus, and both the Moon and Mercury are in Aquarius.
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