Temple Grandin & Susan Boyle – Autism and Aspbergers ** updated



Astrology isn’t always a helpful diagnostic tool when it comes to labelling psychological conditions or developmental disorders, since it works within its own framework. But it can track similarities between the charts of known sufferers, bearing in mind that the chart influences can manifest in different ways in different individuals depending on life circumstances and other variables.

One of the best known high functioning autistics is  Temple Grandin, a Doctor in Animal Science, consultant to the livestock industry in animal welfare and a spokesperson for autism.

She was born on 29 Aug 1947 at 2.30pm Boston, MA, USA so is a 9th house Sun in Virgo conj Venus, Mercury which fits with high education and communication. She also has serious Saturn Pluto in Leo in the 9th.  Her chart is bucket shaped with all the energy funnelled through the handle which is Moon in Aquarius in the 3rd. A singleton Moon is highly sensitive emotionally, rather overloaded, and in her case is blocked by an opposition to Saturn Pluto.

I haven’t researched enough autistics’ charts to be definitive. But two thoughts from this and other charts below – one is the 3rd house and indeed Mercury, both of which rule the rational mind. Conditions like Autism and Aspergers though they do result in significant emotional disengagement, do suggest a brain-wiring problem which impacts on the ego wall. Obviously with high-functioners there’s nothing wrong with their brain per se, more to their ability to function amongst people. That’s not well explained but it doesn’t seem to me emotional damage at the root of it, that’s more of a secondary outcome.

The second thought is afflicted Moons. From an old discussion I recollect that a number of autistic examples had Saturn Pluto Moon.

Of the famous Asperger sufferers (a milder version of autism) Moon Mars crops up in quite a few.

Susan Boyle, the Scottish singer, has her Moon square Mars; and a difficult Uranus, Pluto, Moon in her 4th. Prince John, the Queen’s uncle, who died young, 12 July 1905 3.05am had a Moon Mars conjunction square Mercury; and North Node in the 3rd. He had epilepsy, a learning disability and was thought to be autistic.

Of others listed as famous Aspergers – Daryl Hannah, like Susan Boyle, has Uranus Pluto in the 4th, and a heavily afflicted Mars in the 3rd opposition Saturn. Robin Williams had Moon trine Mars Uranus; Bill Gates has a singleton Moon opposition Mars Mercury. So afflicted Moon and Mars.

All of this is speculative. And what you have to watch with diagnostic labels is they can sometimes be ‘trashcans’ into which people suffering from a variety of conditions get dumped because not enough is known. There is always a broad spectrum for any condition especially affecting the brain or the mind; and there may be other factors involved – so brain-wiring plus environmental emotional damage. Initially when autism was diagnosed ‘freezer’ mothers were blamed, which notion then became discredited. Though there may be a genetic component involved.

What we know about the brain/mind interface is remarkably limited, let alone how conditions are passed down through generations either via DNA or psychologically. The nature nurture argument has never been resolved and the likelihood is that both play their part.

Also to remember the logical fallacy – just because the grass is green, not everything green is grass. If you have a tricky Moon Mars or Moon Saturn Pluto it doesn’t mean you have an undiagnosed condition. You’ll have lived it out in a different way.

Add on:  Thanks to Jed for the data of her son with ‘high functioning autism (not aspergers), 15th July 1998 3.19am London. He had a main stream education and is now working. Although shy he has a handful of very good friends and is a gentle and lovely soul.’

He has Mercury in the 3rd opposition Uranus; with his Moon square Mars, trine Pluto, semi-sextile Saturn and sextile Neptune. So some similar markers to above.




14 thoughts on “Temple Grandin & Susan Boyle – Autism and Aspbergers ** updated”

  1. This is all very interesting. I’m not diagnosed, but like Jo, I score very high on the online tests. I have Aquarius Moon and Mercury conjunct in the 12th, inconjunct retrograde Mars in Cancer in the 4th. Pluto in Virgo on my Dsc sextiles Mars and is also inconjunct my Moon/Mercury, forming a Yod.

  2. Thanks Jo, It can’t be said often enough that all of these conditions are on a spectrum, which starts with ‘normal’ behaviour and extends out to an extreme. There was a psychoanalytic book years ago called something like The Autistic Core which argued that everyone has a blocked off inner core, which doesn’t wish to relate to the outside world.
    It’s not to underplay the difficulty of having a pronounced version of the above. But it’s not like, for example, a cleft palate which you either have or don’t have.
    I’ve resisted posting this since it tends to raise extreme ire. But it does produce a conundrum for astrology which simplistically defines a Moon Saturn Pluto or Moon Mars as a cold or angry mother. But it can also be taken the other way round that the child experiences the mother as cold or angry, because of some developmental failure in the child, which makes relating, emotional connection and being restricted difficult.
    Years ago there was an intriguing BBC Horizon science programme on the work of neurologist Ganz, who was studying dyslexia and stammering. He found that 16 weeks after conception, the male foetus chromosomes triggered testosterone in the mother which promoted the growth of secondary male sexual characteristics and also promoted the left brain hemisphere which rules maths, logic and language; and damped down the growth of the right emotional side of the brain. If for whatever reason the womb is flooded with too much testosterone, either malfunction or due to stress, then the end result can be a genius in maths but less well able to connect emotionally. [All heavily stamped on by feminists who insist there is no distinction between the genders.]

  3. This is a really interesting post, Marjorie! I had wondered if something like Aspergers and Autism can be alluded to in a chart like strong mutable energy does with bipolar disorders. Never knew Daryl Hannah or Robin Williams have/had it.

    Me and my family have also wondered about myself being on the spectrum and I have done the test several times on the Aspergers test site and scored 35+. Apparently, anything under 21 is normal and anything over 32 would indicate a strong likelihood of Aspergers but of course a proper diagnosis would be needed. Think I should consider it. I too have the Saturn Pluto Moon aspects and an overload of Mercury throughout my bucket chart (Sun, Venus, Mars, Asc in Virgo/Gemini MC). I know here in the North East of England its been reported that women are more likely to go undetected when it comes to being Aspie/Autistic.

    When reading about Aspergers I came across a psychologists blog about it in which she has her suspicions, albeit positive ones, about Taylor Swift being on the spectrum and says it’s not really a disability per se but a different way of thinking and processing information than the rest of the world do. Doesn’t she also have a lot of stressful oppositions to her Moon/Jupiter as well as Mercury on the Asc? It’s a very interesting article by Dr. Rachel Kitson:

    Other Autistic/Asperger people:
    Architectural Artist – Stephen Wiltshire (Autistic savant), 24 April 1974, London.
    Naturalist/TV Presenter – Chris Packham (Aspergers), 4 May 1961, Southampton.
    Motorcycle racer/TV personality – Guy Martin (Aspergers), 4 Nov 1981, Grimsby.
    Actor – Dan Aykroyd (Aspergers), 1 July 1952, Ottawa, Canada.

  4. Thanks Marjorie, that’s interesting about Moon/Mars. I have seen a small amount of charts, mostly children of friends and those I work with through volunteering. Keeping in mind that it’s a very small sample, what I have observed is:

    Uranus/Moon hard aspects, sometimes Moon in Aquarius or Uranus in the 4th.
    The signs Virgo, Libra and Sagittarius crop up a lot, though not exclusively.
    Busy 4th and/or 9th houses.

    These children were born 2006-2009 and all male but one. ASD presents very differently in girls and they are typically diagnosed much later, if at all.

    There is growing opinion that Autism, which has always been in the realm of neurology and psychiatry, should perhaps be treated as a whole body disorder due to the comorbidities it often presents with; gastrointestinal problems being one of the most common, which would also fit with an afflicted Moon.

  5. Very interesting, my little dude will turn 6 tomorrow, he doesn’t really talk yet, but very social in his own way, the medical world kept trying to diagnose him, but he’s just different & unique. I live in a small MTN town, our community makes him feel “normal,” our school has hired a Special Ed teacher to teach him within the kindergarten classroom next year, we are very blessed with this support. I’m gonna look at his chart, unlock some of the mystery of my silent guy, thank you for this great article.

  6. I once dated a guy I suspect was really highly functioning asperger person. He hadn’t been officially diagnosed, because he had a genius level IQ and more than managed academically and his mother was on deep denial. But he was a MD, almost literally dying doing his residence, which involved really stressful environment given his inability to process facial expressions and body language the way “normal” people would, as well as exposure to sensory stimuli. So he drank a lot, up to 60-70 units at weekends. I told him he was ruining his life, without using The A Word. I am not qualified. His friends/colleagues saw what was going on too, and not long before we broke up for things not having to do with aspergers, they staged an intervention, too.

    The guy has a Moon/Mars on his Ascendant Virgo Ascendant. I honestly hope he got back on his feet, but haven’t even googled in 10 years. His best friend, on the other hand, has appeared on neuroscience white papers. He is, quite literally, poking brains. So, maybe his friend was an inspiration.

    • This is such an interesting discussion.

      I’m pretty sure along with the rest of my family that my Dad had undiagnosed Asperger’s. He had many of the classic characteristics of the syndrome, was high-functioning but hopeless in social situations and it was impossible for him to discuss emotions. He was a Cancer rising with Sun, Mercury, Venus, Pluto and Mars in Cancer, first house. Quite an overwhelming amount of Cancerian planets for a man incapable of emoting. His Leo Moon squared Saturn in Scorpio. His mother was 45 and his father 65 when he was born, and of course older fathers are apparently more likely to have children on the autism spectrum, so I’ve read. Sadly he also self-medicated with alcohol which became worse and eventually unmanageable after he retired. Because of him, I often reflect on those of older generations who went undiagnosed and no doubt struggled to be understood and understand themselves.

  7. True Trish it is a developmental disorder, my son was born beautiful but unusual and as I am a registered nurse in developmental disorders, I knew deep down he was autistic. He was diagnosed at 2 and a half. He had beautiful loving from this mum and his Dad, still does, in his bedroom right now having a nice long nap.

  8. My son has severe autism, I will see if he has any of these aspects on his natal chart. I am glad you discussed this issue, thanks.

  9. Many thanks Marjorie, and very interesting. I am a complete amateur but here is the birth time and date of someone diagnosed at age 3 with high functioning autism (not aspergers), 15th July 1998 3.19am London (my son) . He had a main stream education and is now working. Although shy he has a handful of very good friends and is a gentle and lovely soul. I am not knowledgeable enough to understand his chart, but I believe he has his moon square mars, you can add it to your examples and maybe it will help shed light on the subject in the future.

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