Aaron Swartz was a well known programmer and proponent of net neutrality who hung himself on January 11th after allegedly suffering from depression after a long legal battle with the Federal Government. He helped create RSS , co-founded Reddit.com ,and was a strong voice in the fight against SOPA. He suffered anguish due to perceived overzealous behavior of the legal system and was having emotional issues. This is what I want to go over here in his natal chart. The how’s and why’s to his thought process and inner life astrologically that lead him on the life path that he took.
Astrological undoing of Aaron Swartz
Born November 8th 1986 in Chicago, Illinois. I don’t have a birth time available so ignore the ascendant sign here and housing.
If you read up on Aaron Swartz at all you will find that he was a sort of “Robin Hood” figure in the internet programming world. Passing along intellectual information for all to share. This renegade attitude is very apparent in his natal which is dominated by Scorpio and Aquarius.
I’m going to start with Sun conjunct Pluto in Scorpio which is an indicator of a strong ego and aura of power which can draw people to you but at the same time repel people. Then there is Sun square Aquarius Moon which is at conflict because it indicates cerebral emotional nature despite projecting a powerful intensity, a fundamental conflict between action and reaction. Fixed squares are also the toughest to conquer because fixed modality is a willful modality not quick to change. A biggy here to me is the Moon in Aquarius square Pluto in Scorpio. This is a clear sign that he had a rebellious drive and emotional nature. Probably spent a lot of time alone surfing the net and reading. Had a set routine that he didn’t want disrupted. And didn’t mind “bucking the system” and working to undermine it in his own particular way. Indicates a strong but troubled relationship with his mother and women. May even have been undermined by a woman.
This aspect also indicates a deep sadness usually, because the emotions are so random and unstable that the native feels as if their emotions are totally at the mercy of external forces. Extreme ups and downs in the mood.Scorpio is one of the sign known for depression and with the moon poorly aspecting Scorpios ruling planet it’s very evident.
Sun, Venus conjunct in Scorpio indicates making money from secrets, secret information, taking others possessions and profiting from it. Squaring Pluto means that doing such would land him in hot water with the power structure. Mars in Aquarius and Venus in Scorpio another fixed square indicates fights or trouble with women again.
Mars in Aquarius squaring Pluto in Scorpio is a classic homicide/suicide aspect. Most recently seen play out by NFL player Jovan Belcher who “blew it” and killed his girlfriend and then killed himself. He had Mars in Leo square Pluto in Scorpio natally.
This all plays into the rebel with a cause characteristics . And being so heavily fixed he wasn’t going to be knocked off his path.
He helped defeat SOPA in congress and here is what he said after that victory:
“: “And it will happen again; sure, it will have another name, and maybe a different excuse, and probably do its damage in a different way, but make no mistake, the enemies of the freedom to connect have not disappeared. The fire in those politician’s eyes has not been put out. There are a lot of people, a lot of powerful people, who wanna clamp down on the Internet.”
This is someone who definitely wanted to keep internet free (Moon in Aquarius) but this in my opinion was to stick the thumb in the eye of congress and government as well as feed his ego. He wanted to prove he could do it and it could be done. That is the Sun conjunct Pluto in Scorpio willpower and fortitude that it’s known for.
Here we have Aaron’s natal and transit chart for the day of his suicide. The first thing that jumps out at me is Saturn in 10 degrees Scorpio. Natally he had a really harsh set of aspects to Pluto, and in the past few months Saturn just crushed him. The greater malefic squaring natal moon and mars , and conjunct Venus and Sun. Saturn is the taskmaster and also the deb collector. When it touches luminaries that intensely it comes with depression , self doubt , melancholy. On Venus it usually indicates loss of finances , sadness, loss of a spouse or girlfriend. He was facing 1 million dollars in fines and 35 years in prison . It appears with Saturn and Pluto weighing on his shoulders so heavily he didn’t see how he could possibly win the case and decided to take his own life.
This is a sad story on so many levels but I want to use his chart as a lesson to those with heavy afflictions to Saturn and Pluto that there are ways to work through and around these rough energies, and that work is worth it. Because there are better days to come after rough patches. Saturn teaches many lessons about patience, and Pluto teaches you about inner strength. Conquering demons to live another day. Being stronger and wiser.