Saturday, 12 December 2015

The Cycle of Addiction: Ally Sheedy

Ally Sheedy was born on 13 June 1962 at 5:57am in New York, New York (Rodden Rating: A; Collector: Steinbrecher) with Jupiter in Pisces and Saturn in Aquarius.

Jupiter in Pisces pupils can be very slippery indeed and there were so many vague and/or contradictory dates on key events in Ally's life that it is difficult to know who the real Ally Sheedy is. For example, was her rehab stint the result of her own making or was it because drugs were forced on her by Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora? And when were these stints in rehab? Astrology can be very revealing. 

Let us begin with Jupiter in Pisces. As I write in "Growing Pains":

"At around six years of age, Jupiter in Pisces pupils seem to wake up to the incredible possibilities of words. They choose the words they want in their vocabulary carefully and then use them in ways you never would have imagined. They are dreamers and poets, inspiring and very impressionable. They will accept what you tell them and trust that you know what you’re talking about. And they’re easily distracted. For these reasons, precision at this age is vital to guide them onto the right path. They may not say much, but they are taking everything in. Content to read or write on their own, they may worry you and their parents with their simple serenity. They completely ignore their more boisterous classmates in favour of games that allow them to play out their fairy-tale fantasies or medieval adventures."

Ally's life seems to live out its T square with Jupiter opposite Pluto, both in square to Mercury, her ruling planet. She began taking ballet lessons at the age of six during her first Jupiter opposition and has said in interviews that she had planned to make a career of dancing until about the age of 14 when she wanted to become an actress. It's a bit of a strange child to begin making such big decisions before the first Saturn opposition at roughly the age of 14-15 but, as we shall see, there was quite a lot happening at that time.

"She Was Nice to Mice" was written and published when Ally was 12 years old, around the time of her Jupiter return, triggering off the natal T square. Natally, Jupiter is in opposition to Pluto, the panel of obsession and control: throughout her life, Ally would have had to decide is she should simply go with the flow or take control of her life. But, with the T square, it puts pressure on her natal Mercury. Publishing a book, a Jupiter activity, at such a young age would have had a profound effect on her. Although she has not seemed to have indicated that she would have liked to make a career out of writing, the book was successful and well received. It made her the world's youngest author at that time. It certainly went down a lot better than her poetry collection, "Yesterday I Saw the Sun," which was devastatingly shot down in flames when it was published in 1991 just in time for her first Saturn return. 

And speaking of Saturn, let's have a closer look at Saturn in Aquarius. Again, from "Growing Pains":

"With Saturn in Aquarius pupils, you can never really predict how they’ll turn out because they are adept at doing exactly the opposite of what you say. You assign them a straightforward essay and they turn in an indecipherable piece that turns out to be secretly coded. But it’s not a bad piece of work. It’s just not what you asked for."  

Following her Jupiter return in the mid 70s, Saturn transited Ally's natal Venus and natal N Node. This makes for quiet a serious child, one who faces life's responsibilities. A couple of years later, Saturn would have been conjunct Pluto in opposition to Jupiter (that T square again). So this was a young teenager who would have felt under pressure to make up her mind about her career. She chose acting. But her years as a dancer had left an indelible mark on her: she developed an eating disorder. Here's what she has to say about when she developed it: "I was really young. It was when I was a ballerina, when my body started to change, and it was no longer going to be an option for me to be a dancer. Because there was the Ballanchine ethic, very long, straight body with no curves at all." The habits of a lifetime are formed during adolescence--and this T square would have been triggered off again a Jupiter cycle later when further problems emerged. For further information on adolescent brain development from an astrological perspective, go here and for further case studies about eating disorders, go here.

Of course, Ally is probably best known for the movies she starred in from the early 1980s: Bad Boys (1983), War Games (1983), Oxford Blues (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985) and St Elmo's Fire (1985). A transiting Saturn/Pluto conjunction was on her natal Moon in 1983 when she had her big break and her career as a film actress was pretty much finished by the time of her second Jupiter return as Jupiter also crossed over her MC, triggering off issues that may have come up the first time around (i.e. the control issues se had during the first Jupiter return). As a member of the "Brat Pack", she enjoyed the publicity and then endured the ridicule of her success. When the movie roles dried up by the late 1980s, she ended up dating Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora.

Drug addiction is a complex problem but astrology can help. According to an interview, she was dating Richie when she was 27. Richie had already cultivated his own reputation for drug abuse by the time he met Ally. His habits seemed to have both fascinated and repulsed her and she stayed with him long enough to pick up quite a nasty drug addiction herself for which she later sought treatment. During her time of dating Richie, yet again Jupiter was triggering the natal T square. Along with other factors, such as natal Saturn in her 8th house, it makes sense that she would go down the route of being with a musician who was lost in his own addiction and becoming addicted herself. She was overwhelmed--a Jupiter in Pisces by-product. It may have helped Ally to have undergone a little astrological counselling to avoid this route. She needed a deeper understanding of herself. And astrology is so rich, there would have been many alternatives to the addiction that consumed her. For example, she could have developed a healthier habit such as working with an academic (Jupiter ruling the natal 7th) and resuming her writing career when she was in a better state of mind to do so.

There will be more on addictions in future posts.

About the Astrologer

Alex Trenoweth was voted Best International Astrologer, 2015 for her dynamic presentation on Astrology and Education. Her book, "Growing Pains" is an exciting development in astrology as it combines classroom teaching experience, sound research and the potential to have a positive impact on struggling adolescents, parents, teachers and those who have been labelled "at risk". For queries, consultations or syndications, please contact Alex via or leave a message in the comment section.

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