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I really like the Scottish psychiatrist RD Laing—so let’s take a look at his natal chart. Laing had Pisces Ascendant—these people are always part of a larger whole. They are often victims who are trying to escape from a negative situation. The central point in Laing’s life was his relationship with his mother, who was schizophrenic (and/or a witch)—the way she controlled him with double-binds was central to the way he came to understand schizophrenics, his main interest in psychiatry, later in life.

Other elements in his chart suggest he was a person who sought to escape victimisation—for example, he had Chiron in Taurus; it points to a situation where someone was belittled by a parent or teacher and never overcomes the wound no matter how much success they have later in life.

People with Pisces Ascendant are also artistic—Laing was a poet and pianist. They’re often saviours who dedicate their lives to ending suffering—and that was exactly what Laing did with his life, he was dedicated to helping the most marginal psychiatric patients through psychotherapy. Indeed, Laing had the ruler of the Ascendant Neptune in the 6th House—this indicates an interest in health in a person’s work.

Further to his Neptune in the 6th House—these people need to provide services connected with health, they have a spiritual urge to help others. But they can be grandiose—Laing later became a “TV psychiatrist” and 70s “celebrity doctor”, when he lost that status in the 80s he became depressed. With Lilith (Mean) in Libra, Laing was the type to be a superb counsellor—these people can explain everything to another person, but their own desire for mental balance can lead to fanaticism. Sure enough, Laing became a quasi-cult leader in the 70s—and once threw a bottle of wine through a storefront for the Osho cult, being jealous.

His Moon was in the 12th House—this indicates very kind and warm-hearted people who must work in a hospital or charity (Laing founded a charity, the Philadelphia Association, and ran it day to day). With Mercury in Scorpio, he was a type predisposed to work as psychologists—they see through things; and Laing was adept at seeing through double-binds and psychological manipulation of all sorts.

However, this type does not seek reconciliation—they use their imagination to think about revenge, especially against people who like art, mysticism, and psychology (his mother believed in, effectively, magic). Laing was sure to hate her.

With Jupiter in Pisces, Laing was bound to be hospitable, charitable, and friendly—these people help castaways in society, they are the “true angels” who help the sick or homeless. Sure enough, Laing spent his whole career engaged with “hopeless cases” of schizophrenia that nobody else would touch and managed to open communication with them where nobody else could.

These people easily perceive the influence of the “invisible world”—and, in fact, schizophrenics really are in touch with the invisible world. Laing was quite Nietzschean and atheistic but he did exorcise a priest’s house he had bought by telling a malevolent spirit to “fuck off”—he went to Sri Lanka to immerse himself in Buddhist mysticism. Laing also had Pluto in Cancer—these people like to mother others. He had 10th House in Sagittarius—these people are not interested in power, it’s about what they do and that somebody cares about it.

However, although Laing cared a lot for other people he had some drawbacks. He had a negative relationship with his many children, at least one of whom drank himself to death—one child said that he was always there to solve other people’s problems, but never theirs. Indeed, with Pluto in the 5th House the children of men like Laing can be stubborn and difficult to handle.

Laing was in many ways a tortured man, an alcoholic. His ruler of the Ascendant was Neptune—these people are knowledgable but in an evasive manner; they’re intuitive and unpredictable—inclined to cheating and indecision. If you watch Laing, he was not a straightforward man—and I’ve read through his works and caught him in lies before.

He had his Moon in Aquarius—these people make excellent psychologists, but they are often trapped because they want to free themselves of negative emotions, such as anger and jealousy, but find themselves forced to be good listeners to other people instead. They can be moody and unstable—as was Laing with his alcoholism.

Laing had Venus in Virgo, which is a conflicted position—it means a great ability to analyse art and appreciate it, but also a tendency to ruin it through analysis. As a medical doctor who produced poems and played the piano to an excellent standard, Laing was always caught between science and art. His work on schizophrenia often protests against “the medical model”, but he himself still worked within it.

With his Saturn in the 8th House, Laing had a predisposition to financial troubles—this was true at the end of his life, he lived a luxurious life and had ten children and several ex-wives; and that took a toll. With Mars in the 7th House, he was bound to marry too young (which he did) and have unhappy marriages—which he did (elsewhere in the chart, the reason is lack of assertiveness; and he was cuckolded at one point, though he forgave his partner—Laing was still dominated by his mother).

So it’s all there with Laing, as usual, in his natal chart: Laing was a Libra—an artistic sign that seeks balance. He never, ever got over the domination he experienced at the hands of his mother (who also relegated his father to the spare bedroom). Although he cared for others he never forgave his mother—and he had a moody and irascible side, with a tendency towards fanaticism and jealousy (he went through a New Left phase, later became a quasi-guru). A definite wounded healer—so say the stars.


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