“I’m tired of pretending I’m not a total bitchin’ rock star from Mars, and people can’t figure me out; they can’t process me. I don’t expect them to. You can’t process me with a normal brain. … I’m different. I have a different constitution, I have a different brain, I have a different heart. I got tiger blood, man. Dying’s for fools, dying’s for amateurs. …. I am on a drug. It’s called Charlie Sheen. It’s not available. If you try it once, you will die. Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body.”
– Charlie Sheen, various interviews, March 2011
Charlie Sheen’s melt-down has been a long while coming, but even so, as it played out over late winter 2011, on virtually every communication medium known to man, it was hard to watch. The hard-living actor has been fodder for the tabloids for over 20 years, with frequent drug and alcohol binges, sensationalist sexual escapades, and brushes with the law, but this was something different: clearly aberrant, increasingly disturbed, wildly irrational, to the point of incoherence.
The son of noted actor Martin Sheen, the 45-year-old Charlie, born Carlos Estevez, began his career with important, critically well-received roles in “Platoon” (1986), “Wall Street” (1987), and “Eight Men Out” (1988), but he rapidly devolved into a comedic parody of himself in such film franchises as “Major League” and “Hot Shots!”, which, while popular successes, did not have the same gravitas.
A decade of such movie roles ensued, until in 2000 he moved to the small screen, replacing Michael J. Fox on ABC’s “Spin City” after the latter left for health reasons. When that series was cancelled in 2002, CBS picked up Sheen for “Two and a Half Men”, playing Charlie Harper, a character loosely modeled after his “bad boy” reputation. The series, currently on hiatus, is one of the most popular comedies on TV, but although nominated, Sheen has never received a major award for his work on the show.
Married and divorced three times, the father of five, Sheen has a penchant for drugs, alcohol and porn actresses. Several stints in rehab were merely temporary pauses in a lifestyle noted for reckless abuse of chemicals and allegedly violent abuse of partners. The roots of the current crisis began in 2009, but accelerated over the past few months, as Sheen trashed a New York City hotel room in October, threatening his porn star companion; then was admitted to hospital in January for abuse-related trauma; and finally being suspended, then fired, from “Two and a Half Men” on March 7.
Sheen’s most recent attempt at rehab in February was served at home, and ended with the actor’s declaration that he had healed himself of addiction. For several weeks, Sheen’s proclamations have become increasingly ranting, nonsensical, and deranged. TV psychiatrist “Dr. Drew” Pinsky has suggested that Sheen suffers from hypomania, a state denoted by pervasive euphoria/irritability, increasingly erratic behavior and high intensity energy, which may result from either excessive substance abuse or withdrawal; Pinsky recommended involuntary committal.
Born 3 September 1965 at 10:48 PM EDT in New York City, NY , Charlie Sheen’s chart well reflects the image for which he has become renowned, and also suggests the triggers which have led to this present crisis. The Sun at 10 Virgo is thoroughly enmeshed in Black Hole energies, being conjunct the Black Hole at 9 Virgo and exactly squared a second at 10 Sagittarius, as well as forming the Apex of a Yod, or Finger of Fate, with inconjuncts to the Quasar at 10 Aries and a third Black Hole at 11 Aquarius.
Black Hole Sun individuals can be compelling and attractive, but often spin out of control at some point in the life, due to the extreme effort required to maintain an image, and the boundary-less quality of Black Hole interaction, which promotes psychic implosion. There can be a sense of inexhaustible energy and power which deludes the native into believing anything is possible, as well as revisionist tendencies or an inability to rationally appraise one’s true circumstance, caught up in the alternate reality of the Black Hole which creates its own view of the world. Black Hole Sun natives are often record breakers, establishing new parameters, as evinced in Sheen’s life by the two Guinness World Records he holds, as the highest-paid TV actor (at a reported $1.8 million per episode for “Two and a Half Men”) and the quickest acquisition of a million followers on Twitter (which occurred just 25 hours and 17 minutes after inaugurating his account on March 1, 2011).
The Sun is also conjunct both Uranus at 14 Virgo and Pluto at 15 Virgo, as well as a dizzying spate of asteroids which further modify Sheen’s essential self. Sun/Uranus is noted for restless, reactive behaviors, “acting out,” violent tendencies and an erratic, eccentric temperament, although it can also denote genius, something that would seem to be conspicuously absent from Sheen’s resume. Sun/Pluto, if undeveloped, can be drawn to self-destructive, manipulative, controlling attitudes, and flirts with “the dark side” of sexuality, taboo, forbidden, obsessive/compulsive behaviors.
Also here is asteroid Hybris, which at 3 Virgo is conjunct a Pulsar, indicating a likely high level of media involvement. Hybris denotes extreme arrogance or pride, something in evidence throughout Sheen’s public life, but never moreso than in the past few weeks, as he identified himself with Zeus, Adonis, and alleged extraterrestrial and tiger DNA. The constant refrain of “Winning!” even as he was so manifestly losing, is symptomatic of a Hybris gone wrong, unable to see anything but its own arrogant projections. Setting the seal on this energy is an exact semisextile from asteroid Narcissus at 10 Leo to the Sun, suggestive of extreme self-focus to the exclusion of all else, where one’s self image is so demanding and compelling as to prevent so much as acknowledgment of anyone else’s needs or existence.
Askalaphus, named for a tale-bearing denizen of Hades, at 6 Virgo suggests an inability to keep one’s private life private, a need for exposure reflected not only in others’ disclosures, but also in the bursts of self-revelation/incrimination which Sheen is seemingly unable, or unwilling, to stop. Not content with appearing on every imaginable public forum in the days following his suspension, Sheen also embarked on a self-produced internet reality show venture, “Sheen’s Korner,“ faithfully chronicling his downward spiral.
Of extreme importance in delineating his sexual proclivities are asteroids Pecker and Ganymed, at 9 and 10 Virgo respectively. Pecker, a euphemism for penis, often betrays vulgarian tendencies in the chart of a man for whom it is strongly placed; with the Sun, it shows extreme self-identification not just with sexuality, but with the male genitalia as a personification or embodiment of the individual.
Ganymed, named for Zeus’ prepubescent cupbearer and boy-toy, is representative of an attraction for partners who are hugely disparate in age or social status, as reflected in Sheen’s frequently expressed preference for prostitutes much younger than himself. Currently involved with not one, but two twenty-something live-in girlfriends (one a porn actress, another a cover model for a marijuana magazine), whom he terms “goddesses”, Sheen’s pattern of liaisons with much younger, “professional” women is well documented, and stems in part from this pairing.
Enhancing this placement is an incredible quadruple conjunction of asteroids Hebe, Panacea, Psyche and Atlantis, all at 11 Gemini and tightly squared the Sun. Hebe relates to sexual attraction for underage partners, as indicated by the term “hebephilia,” a desire for post-pubescent youths which is one step above pedophilia (sexual desire for prepubescent children).
Panacea is named for a daughter of Asclepius, Greek god of healing, whose purview was medicinal cures, or drugs, indicating an attraction for pharmaceutical diversion.
Psyche here indicates the imbeddedness of these two leitmotifs in Sheen’s mental processes, while Atlantis suggests a sense of being “drowned” or overwhelmed by these urges.
Significantly, all these points will receive an exact conjunction from a Solar Eclipse this June, which will also square the Sun, while the prior Solar Eclipse of January at 13 Capricorn activated the Sun and its satellites by trine. Also incorporated into this stellium are centaur Nessus at 7 Gemini, indicative of inappropriate sexual activity or responses, and asteroid Phaeton at 12 Gemini, named for a mortal son of Apollo who hubristically misjudged his capacities and embarked upon a reckless course of action which required his destruction at the hands of Zeus.
Opposing the Sun are Eros at 15 Pisces, yet another indicator of erotic passion as a means of self-identity, and Saturn at 14 Pisces. Saturn should be able to ground some of Sheen’s impetuosity and verve, providing stability and responsible action, but is hopelessly outgunned by Uranus, Pluto and the asteroids conjunct the Sun, remaining in a somewhat vestigial state, denoting merely the importance of career matters in Sheen’s life.
Mars’ placement also reflects an unorthodox relationship with sexuality; at 9 Scorpio it is exactly squared a Black Hole at 9 Leo, indicating an excessive sex drive, addictive tendencies, an inability to establish self-restraints or to interact “normally” with others in sexual settings, and enormous amounts of energy channeled into sexual pursuit. By his own estimate, Sheen has had sexual relations with more than 5000 women, a tally which places him in the same class as noted seducers Wilt Chamberlain, Gene Simmons and Warren Beatty. Mars sextile the Sun reinforces these issues as central to Sheen’s self-image and overall make-up.
Lending further support for aberrant sexuality fueled by substance abuse is an unfortunate combination of asteroids Bacchus, Roman god of wine and revelry, with Dionysos, his Greek counterpart, both appearing at 22 Gemini. Dionysos’ followers were especially noted for the frenzied self-abandonment they sought during their orgiastic rites, which they believed granted them spiritual release, whereas Bacchus’ adherents were more along the sloppy drunk variety, but both indicate an intimate connection between altered states of consciousness and the uninhibited fulfillment of desire. Sheen makes no secret of his love of partying, stating in a “20/20” interview on March 1,
“I mean, what’s not to love? Especially when you see how I party man, it’s epic. The run I was on made Sinatra, Flynn, Jagger, Richards, all of them, just look like droopy-eyed, armless children. … I probably took more than anybody could survive. … I was bangin’ seven-gram rocks [of cocaine] and finishing them because that’s how I roll, because I have one speed, one gear.”
Having these asteroids conjunct inflationary Jupiter at 28 Gemini, itself never averse to a good time, further enhances and emboldens these elements of Sheen’s psychological make-up, and with asteroid Charybdis here at 27 Gemini, named for an inescapable whirlpool, the effect is much magnified. Try as he might, it is virtually impossible for Sheen to pull himself out of the depths, inexorably dragged back into Charybdis’ vortex, with all the while Jupiter pooh-poohing the seriousness of the situation with an inappropriate bonhomie that suggests it’s all just in good fun. A spotlighting Quasar at 26 Gemini ensures that Sheen’s bacchanalian exploits receive full exposure, and the Lunar Eclipse of December 2010 at 29 Gemini fell closely on natal Jupiter, further heightening these effects.
These points in turn are all squared to Nymphe and Nemesis at 21 and 27 Virgo, indicating the sexual obsession (Nymphe/nymphomania) which brings retribution and karmic comeuppance in its wake (Nemesis). Additionally, all these points interact with the Moon at 25 Sagittarius, itself conjunct the Galactic Center, bringing the force of habit and subconscious compulsion (both Moon) to these issues, while guaranteeing global notoriety or notice for them (the GC).
If the eclipses mentioned above have triggered the current crisis in Sheen’s life, there is one overarching transit which has set the stage. Pluto made a retrograde station atop Sheen’s natal Icarus at 3 Capricorn in April 2009, re-crossed the point in December 2009, and stationed there direct in September 2010, spending fully two months at that degree then. Icarus relates to rash, reckless actions and decisions, endeavors entered into impulsively, undertaken despite good advice or warnings to the contrary, heedless of the ramifications or risks, resulting in tragic outcomes.
On Christmas morning 2009, with Pluto exactly atop Icarus, Aspen, Colorado police arrested Sheen at his wife’s rented home, after a frantic 911 call Brooke Mueller made where she alleged that Sheen had threatened her with a knife and choked her. In the transcript Mueller tells the 911 operator, “…I’m scared for my life and he threatened me…. I thought I was gonna die for one hour.” Charged with second-degree assault, menacing and criminal mischief, Sheen spent Christmas Day in jail, later posting an $8500 bond. On August 2, 2010, with Pluto back at 3 Capricorn, Sheen pled guilty to a reduced charge of misdemeanor assault in connection with the incident, and was sentenced to 30 days rehab, 30 days probation, and 36 hours of anger management.
After Pluto went direct in September atop Icarus, the tension increased, and with Pluto still at the critical degree on October 26, another incident occurred which invoked a 911 call. The caller this time was security at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, where Sheen was found naked and intoxicated to the point of incoherence after a rampage causing $7000 damage to the room he shared with Christina Walsh, a 22-year-old porn actress. Walsh also claims to have been in fear of her life during Sheen’s trashing of the room, and is suing the actor.
Sheen was admitted to hospital for treatment of alcohol abuse and a psychiatric evaluation, but later dismissed the incident, stating “If a guy has one bad night, everybody goes insane and panics. I’m not panicking, everything’s good.” At the time, Pluto was actually exact to the minute to its placement at the August hearing, and just ten minutes of longitude further than the previous Christmas’ choking incident. Some people never learn their lessons.
Sheen’s slow motion exit from “Two and Half Men” began on 27 January 2011, when he was admitted to L.A.’s Cedars Sinai Medical Center, complaining of acute abdominal pains following a binge at his home reportedly involving five young women (two of them porn stars) and a briefcase of cocaine. Sheen had been awake and partying for more than 48 hours before the early morning 911 call. The following day, CBS announced that “Two and Half Men” would go on hiatus, while Sheen began yet another rehab stint, this time in his own home.
Questioned in an early March interview on “The Today Show”, Sheen described his unorthodox treatment thus: “I closed my eyes and made it so with the power of my mind, and unlearned 22 years of fiction … the fiction of AA. It’s a silly book written by a broken-down fool. … I just don’t do it [relapse]. I will not believe that if I do something then I have to follow a certain path because it was written for normal people. People who aren’t special. People who don’t have tiger blood and Adonis DNA.”
Within days of the end of the month-long course, just as he prepared to return to work, Sheen appeared on the Alex Jones radio show and verbally trashed series creator and lead writer Chuck Lorre, stating: “I embarrassed him in front of his children and the world by healing at a pace that his unevolved mind cannot process. OK, last I checked, [Chuck], I’ve spent, I think, I don’t know, the last decade effortlessly and magically converting your tin cans into gold, and the gratitude I get is this charlatan chose not to do his job, which is to write. Clearly someone who believes he is above the law. Well, you’ve been warned dude. Bring it.”
CBS brought it, responding by cancelling the four remaining episodes of the season, still to be filmed. Less than two weeks later, on March 7, Sheen was fired. In an interview with TMZ, the increasingly out-of-touch actor declared, “This is very good news. They continue to be in breach [of contract], like so many whales. It is a day of big gladness at the Sober Valley Lodge [Sheen’s fanciful name for his home since rehab] because now I can take all of their bazillions, never have to look at whatshiscock again and I never have to put on those silly shirts for as long as this warlock exists in this terrestrial dimension.” Sheen later appeared atop a building in downtown Los Angeles, brandishing a machete while chugging a bottle of red fluid labeled “Tiger’s Blood”, and yelling “Free at last … free at last!” Warner Brothers, the producers of “Two and a Half Men,” and Sheen now have competing lawsuits, each alleging breach of contract and damages by the other.
On the day of the firing, the Sun at 16 Pisces had just conjoined Sheen’s natal Saturn (limitation, loss) at 14 Pisces, opposing the natal Sun at 10 Virgo; Mars (disputes, arguments) at 9 Pisces was also opposed the natal Sun. Asteroid Narcissus (self-involved retreat from reality) at 22 Sagittarius exactly opposed the natal Bacchus/Dionysos (drunken revelry, drug-induced abandon) conjunction at 22 Gemini, with Panacea (drugs, glossing over problems) at 15 Sagittarius squared natal Sun/Uranus/Pluto. A combination of Sisyphus (repetitive, pointless action) and Nymphe (sexual obsession) on the Black Hole (alteration of status quo reality) at 5 Sagittarius opposed Achilles (congenital weak spot, point of undoing) and Askalaphus (tales told out of school) on the Maser (controversy, volatility) at 7 Gemini, all squaring natal Hybris (arrogance) at 3 Virgo and the natal Sun. Transit Saturn at 15 Libra was conjunct natal Venus at 18 Libra, suggesting impending financial (Venus) privation (Saturn).
As noted above, the upcoming Solar Eclipse at 11 Gemini on June 1, 2011, falls exactly on Sheen’s Hebe/Panacea/Psyche/Atlantis conjunction, and closely squared the Sun. If there is another shoe to drop in this saga, expect it then.