I heard that a friend was experiencing a heavy bout of depression. I decided to give him a call to offer some support but before then I asked a horary in order to gain some insight and be more helpful than just giving emotional support.
The diagnosis did not surprise me. This is the fifth chart in the space of one month that I have done for someone suffering from depression who shows an excess of earth. We have a clear illustration of the essence of melancholy (black choler).
My friend is L11, the Sun, located in Pisces. Jupiter, its dispositor, is the cause of the imbalance, the malefic planet. Jupiter is in Capricorn so he has a severe cardinal excess of earth.
The degree is about 3, out of 4. Cardinal means that if he takes measures to counteract it the symptoms will tend to subside. But the measures will have to be quite strong for a time long enough for it to take effect.
The remaining testimonies are remarkably accurate when comparing to what he told me about his life at the moment.
He is in financial difficulties and in a career crisis and that is taking a toll on him. Notice the conjunction of his emotions (the Moon) and the turned L2, his money. Mercury is in its detriment and fall and retrograde. The Moon is in Mercury’s detriment and fall and so is his main significator, the Sun. He is really upset about his finances.
He likes his current career. This is shown by both of his significators being in Mars’ triplicity. But it brings him little income, shown by Venus, the money from his career, being in its detriment. (Turn the chart please.)
Now look at how these factors interact with his excess of earth, and thus his depression: Venus is in a tight square with Jupiter, the elemental cause of his melancholy. Mars, his career, is angular showing how important it is in the situation, but it is conjunct the South Node, so not much can be expected from it. Mars is in Jupiter’s fall so it exacerbates the melancholic excess.
We can also look at Venus as his L3. He told me he does not do any exercise at the moment which is an excellent way of accumulating earth both in actual physical weight and psychologically in the absence of motivation for change. Venus rules both of his significators by exaltation. We have a tightly-knit group of interacting causes to his depression.
What does exercise have to do with house 3?
Exercise is built into our lifestyle. Exercise is not something special in our lives, although that obviously has become the case in our sedentary society. So special that many people opt to remove it completely from their lives. Exercise is the natural functioning our our daily routine so house 3. In this chart it could not be clearer: he does not exercise at all so we have Venus in detriment. Look at Fortuna as a hint about what could be at the center of his depression.
More earth? Yes, more earth.
He told me that he was considering visiting a cemetery as it was the anniversary of his brother’s death. Venus is also his brother in this chart. The Sun is in his turned house 8 cusp on the star Fomalhaut, of the “world beyond”. Definitely death is in his mind. The mind does not get more earthy than that.
He told me he wants to meditate more. That is, slow down and turn inward which will make him colder and further disconnected to the physical world, when his problem is a lack of engagement in the physical world. Meditation is of no use in this case except to make his condition worse. Aerobic exercise is useful.
He told me he was listening to Brian Eno’s “Music for Airports”. Only silence is slower and colder that that. If he insists he could commit suicide by wearing earplugs!
What is next?
That nasty Mercury conjoins the Sun. And the Moon sextiles Jupiter, the melancholic cause under Jupiter’s disposition and with negative reception. There is more unpleasantness ahead. The present process has not come to a critical point yet. As is common in cases of an excess of earth (or water) there is little or no motivation to change, despite the suffering. It lacks the spark needed for action. So, there is more depression up ahead until that spark is somehow found.