Is Mental Illness Shown In A Natal Chart?

mental illness line drawingDear Elsa,

In a natal chart, are there any particular alignments that indicate a disposition toward mental illness? Or is it more of an energy thing – all depends in how it manifests in that individual? Or both?


Hi, Curious.

I believe that energy is neutral until directed so I don’t think mental illness can be seen in a natal chart. Other astrologers might give you a list of aspects that would indicate mental illness but you could easily find examples that would contradict their claim so I don’t buy it.

I also know of a number of people with tendency towards “crazy” that work very hard to override their inclinations. In a case like this, you can see the mental stress in the chart, however the person has somehow managed to get a handle on it.

Based on this alone, I would never look at a chart and conclude that the person was mentally ill.

Anyone else?

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24 thoughts on “Is Mental Illness Shown In A Natal Chart?”

  1. Am a very newbie amateur at astrology so I can’t comment on that, but I’d also mention environment and peers. I know my family has made me feel crazed at times. Ha! But, whose hasn’t? Right?

    Right guys???


    (((looks paranoidly around for my loo-loo Aunt Vernie)))

  2. This is so dependant on the individual chart and what’s happening in their environment, I’m not sure where to start. Neptune is often associated with addiction, Pluto with obsessive compulsive behaviors, Saturn with depression, Uranus ADD – and so on. So I go with Elsa on this one . . . completely situational.

  3. I’m just a novice, so this observation may be pure coincidence, but I’ve noticed on, I think 3 or 4, occasions that a chart with close several oppositions belonged to someone who suffered from
    bi-polar disorder.

    This seems like a fairly obvious connection, but it doesn’t mean that everyone with many oppositions in their charts will suffer – other factors would need to be in place – as Elsa points out – it’ll depend on individual situations.

    I suppose the opposite may be true too – oppositions may not be an essential ingredient in the disorder.

    It’d be an interesting study, if data were available.

  4. Thing is only 1% of the population is bipolar and multiple oppositions in a chart are far more common I think this is like finding homosexuality in a chart. People speculate but can’t id homosexuality in a chart reliably, not by a shot.

  5. it’s often a genetic predisposition triggered by environment.
    the genetic predispositons could possibly be seen in a chart, but i’d expect anything you see would be a tiny fraction of the other possible expressions of a particular energy. i don’t think there’s any way one could look at a chart and be able to tell if someone’s experiencing mental illness. i’d imagine it’d run on similar lines to “mental uniqueness” and some of the most fascinating original people have those same expressions.

    and sometimes it’s entirely environmental- anyone coming back from a war has a good chance of developing ptsd, but perhaps some people are more predisposed to developing it, i have no idea. but that sort of thing i think would be expressed through a transit or a progression, and everyone has transits….

    but, in general, i don’t like delineating specifics from chart- all the chart show to me is energy patterns, and the way it tends to flow through the individual- not the infinite variety of ways it can manifest.

  6. I have the charts for two friends of mine who are both certified bipolar. One has a Grand Trine in Air involving Pluto, Saturn, and a Sun/Mercury/North Node conjunction. Also two oppositions: Saturn-Neptune and Mars-Uranus. The other also has two oppositions: Moon-Uranus and Sun-Neptune. The oppositions are in very different pairs of houses and signs.
    So I’d have to go with no unless there’s more info on mulitple oppositions involving Uranus and Neptune.

    Woo! I’m learning!

  7. I don’t agree fully with this. Everything is circumstantial but we do need to find a focal point that would explain why astrology works. As far as I’m concerned, having also experienced (and continuing to experience) mental illness, although not serious enough to require hospitalizations or things like that, the two things to look at immediately in the chart are the moon and mercury.
    I have never seen a chart of a person suffering from some kind of enduring psychiatric problem where the moon was making many aspects, most of which positive. Most of the time the moon is either unaspected or aspected by only one or two planets. I have noticed time and again that people whose moon favorably aspects a big planet (i mean a slow moving planet) such as neptune, pluto or saturn they usually have a good grip on reality so less likely to get lost. If the moon makes, say, five or six contacts, it is less likely that the person will lose their “contact” with people, situations and life at large. Of course having a good contact between moon and a, let’s say, Venus doesn’t necessarily guarantee the native won’t develop some kind of neurosis. The contact of the moon to a personal planet is probably good to have but doesn’t provide that foundation that only a close-orb good aspect with a slow moving planet can ensure.
    Same goes for Mercury. Because Mercury is how we think, an unaspected or heavily afflicted Mercury should raise a red flag in the chart. Maybe the disorder won’t manifest in a specifically psychiatric fashion but it will probably point to a weakness of the nervous system with all its possible implications (impairment, retardation, neurological diseases such as Alzheimer, Parkinsons and so on…). I have also noticed that a strong square Mercury-Saturn puts a gloomy energy around the native (inclining to depression), unless Mercury is well aspected by at least a couple of other planets. So, the bottom line is that, in my opinion, there are indications. One just has to know where to look. It’s a given that the chart is to be interpreted as a whole, always, in every case, and never extrapolating segments of it, but we still need to be alert to read the signs. Otherwise the detractors of astrology might have a point….

  8. I would also like to add a few words on the homosexuality issue raised by Elsa. It’s true that it’s very hard to tell. But even there there MAY (and underline may) be some signs that do not say if the native will act out his/her homosexuality but point to some kind of sexual confusion or indecisiveness or if he/she will possibly fantasize about contacts with the same sex.
    Time and time again I have found in the charts of male homosexuals some type of inversion of energy, both affectional and sexual. Mars in Libra or in Seventh House (or both) or Venus in Aries for instance provide an example of sexual contradictions or paradoxes. These positions alone absolutely DO NOT make of you a homosexual but it is thinkable that they may predispose the native to consider at some point of his/her life other sexual options. Depending on how open and uninhibited and free the native is the homosexual experience might even occur (even if sometimes stays a single experience that the native doesn’t need to repeat in the future). However, in my experience looking at thousands of charts, I have found that if these positions coexist with affliction of the moon from a male planet such as Mars or Pluto or Saturn, we have just added another ingredient to the possibility of homosexuality. Also Venus, so typically female in its archetypical energy, when receiving a square from a male planet (but especially Saturn) adds an element of sexual short circuit that may lead to homosexuality.
    Other examples of homosexuality (especially male) that I have found involve Mars in specific conditions. Mars retrograde is one of these conditions. Mars in Cancer or in IV house (or both) also mixes the femininity of the moon into the concept of the Martian sexual aggressiveness and again the native is receiving mixed messages as to what type of sexual conduct best expresses his/her natal energies.
    Needless to say, none of these examples I just expressed are valid if only one of them is present in the chart. If two of these examples are present, we have a substantial clue. If all of these circumstances occur we definitely have a potential of homosexuality. Whether the homosexuality will be lived out or repressed in favor of a “normal” existence that remains to be seen and it will probably also come from the chart if the native has that type of courage (looking at Jupiter might help – a Jupiter in Virgo or in VI house might have a little problem with manifesting possible tendencies, jupiter in aries as well, but a piscean jupiter will certainly display less moral judgement in the matter). Another form of possible instinctual repression, in a chart that already may indicate homosexuality, can come from Saturn. Especially if it squares Mars or Pluto, but more Mars (because it’s more of a personal sexual energy planet) and especially if Mars is in watery signs. Of course, this is only my personal view on the issue. I would love to read other people’s comments to mine.

  9. @aldo – I have suffered from mental illness and my moon does not aspect any other planets, only my ascendant and midheaven. I also have Neptune in VI which apparantly means I am more susceptible to drugs and alcohol – I am a recovering alcoholic!

  10. Hi A,

    This is what I wrote about my opinion on the role of the moon in mental illness
    “I have never seen a chart of a person suffering from some kind of enduring psychiatric problem where the moon was making many aspects, most of which positive. Most of the time the moon is either unaspected or aspected by only one or two planets”.

    So, I take it that what you wrote confirms my theory.

    (My regards to the landlord. Hello ELSA!)

  11. @Elsa – Thank you 🙂

    @Aldo – That’s right. I agree that, if astrology works, there should be clues in a person’s chart that they might have a propensity for mental illness among other things. I found your post really interesting and am hoping to find out a bit more about other indications in my chart although I know that too much self-analysis is probably not good for me! Anyway, thanks for the info!

  12. Isn’t it the same with health science?

    “something” “runs in the family” but you never know whether it will show or not. right?

    so this might be the same for astrology.

    I wish i could just research it………

  13. Thanks! that’s very kind 🙂
    You always have these very everyday-examples, i love it.

    I somehow have these big questions no one has the answer to (yet) or i have found no one who has the answers to my questions yet 😉

    Im not bipolar, just high mental energy (sun conj moon gemini, sun conj mars (cancer), mars conj mercury (cancer) TRINE pluto.
    opposite dreamy neptune.
    But both pluto and saturn in 3rd house.

  14. Mercury square Uranus is supposed to be a sign of Mental illness according to an astrologer on the web and in fact she says she cringes when she sees it.

    I have it. And I can assure you I am not mentally ill nor am I even sort of mentally ill. I have never even been close. But she swears when she sees it, it makes her cringe.

  15. A psychiatrist wrote a book about mental illness in the chart, as well as Liz Greene some time ago. I haven’t read either. I think you’d have to be a super duper expert to really know something like that from the chart, plus an interview w/ the person. But, guessing through an aspect here or there is downright dangerous and ridiculous to me anyways.

  16. You’d think that something which so marks a person’s life would be easy to pinpoint but apparently it is not. Maybe environmental factors play in so that the astrological indicators might be secondary. My dad was abused and it plagued him his whole life. I read that bi-polar can be aggravated by having love given and then withheld in childhood. Maybe Dad’s chart would show something about his deficient parental relationship but not a mental illness.

  17. I call no, as the birth chart is all good for the native. But it really depends on other factors. These could be trapped in a bad other chart situation, such as a move into an area where you dont fit in to the extreme, and you cant get away. Same for a job situation that you cant get away from. Has its chart as well. Any length of time will jar a person in a bad situation.

  18. I have two bipolar people in my immediate environment, so naturally I’ve looked. It’s a lot easier to “reverse engineer” mental illness in a chart than it is to predict it.

    The most obvious thing is that the dual nature of Gemini *can* suggest bipolarity, though one could hardly say that this is cut and dried. I’d also look at what’s aspecting it and how difficult the aspects are. My stepdaughter is Type II bipolar and is also diagnosed with HPD (histrionic personality disorder). She’s a Pisces sun with a stellium in Pisces on the MC, Gemini moon, Gemini ASC, and her moon is in the 1st house widely squaring the stellium on the MC. That Gemini moon… LOL, I intuit it for her as being more kooky than toxic. I’m constantly having to remind her to get grounded in the world.

    OTOH, my stepdaughter’s mother is diagnosed Type I bipolar, manic. The mom has Moon conjunct Uranus/Pluto, all in Virgo, straddling the 10th/11th house. Unsurprisingly, she has a great deal of trouble holding down a job — some drama always seems to arise involving her at work, and then she dramatically walks out. She’s at her best when she has a creative outlet at work (Pisces being opposite all that tough Virgo energy). Not to mention, the mom also has Leo on the MC/10th… she likes being the center of attention, and will act out for attention if healthy attention isn’t coming her way. Moon/Pluto is a pretty intense combination in the best of circumstances.

    Like my stepdaughter, I also have a Gemini ASC, but no other planets there, and no hint of mental illness. However, I also have Pluto in Virgo 4th house conjunct IC + 8th house Saturn. Throughout my adult life, I’ve been forced by Pluto to continually be cleaning out my 4th house “basement,” so who’s to say it wasn’t there, and Pluto has just forced me to expose and resolve the karma I brought in to this life. I know this is an old thread, but it’s an interesting discussion.

  19. I was wondering about people with very difficult charts: meaning oppositions and squares but no trines or sextiles – I know this is rare. Are these people more prone to develop some mental problem?
    Do conjunctions, even if they are positive ones, make the situation more difficult?
    I know of such a person born in East Europe 20.january 1962. at 3 pm. – there is only one sextile in this chart.
    He has been having multiple mental problems since his mid twenties.

  20. I have been studying Astrology since 1977. I have done many charts for people. While was working as a job coach, I had a client who told me his brother also had a disability, a mental illness. I asked about him and he said he was in jail. He said his brother is bi-polar. I was very curious and looked up the brother birthday. Yep… a full moon person, but also, a See Saw natal chart pattern. My client, described some of life with the brother. It must have been difficult. However, I do agree, one should not assume mental illness just from looking at the chart. … I know another individual who is very artistic. She is a Libra. She is also a full moon. She has never been diagnosed with bi polar disorder, but, she does suffer from mood swings. She will be fine one time you call … and another, it is a very different story. She swings from the Libra sweetness to the Aries defensive mood quickly. You really have to watch what you say. You never know how she will take it… She has never really worked. She is quite the
    artist personality. She has probably over 200 paintings, does sketches and is now making jewelry. She has raised to very successful young men, one is an engineer and one is on his way to finish college for the same thing. Her daughter, is in her last year of high school… and says she wants to be the same thing.
    This person was very quiet growing up. She has Scorpio rising, with Neptune conjunct the Ascendant…. this does, tell a story for sure…. one more thing.. she has Mercury conjunct the Sun in the 12th house opposite the moon in the sixth. She recently, tried to kill her self. Out of the blue, at age, 54. Go figure.

  21. weirdly i was just reading articles on Britney Spears and her mental illness (she has aquarius moon), and i’ve read that the negative effects of aquarius emotionally can be mental illness, thinking everyone is out to get them. Now i read too that Nixon had this, (Aquarius moon too) and he got paranoid thinking everyone is out to get him. Maybe it’s far fetched but thinking of mental illness and since Pluto is in Aquarius, mental health is important and will be have a light shine on. And the connection that uranus is about change and change is good and healthy for mental health. I wonder if something gets stuck and needs to dislodged and make a new pavement for change and healthier mind/living.

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