We’ve been offered two movies recently with Christopher Robin at the center of attention. In September 2017, Goodbye Christopher Robin came out, followed by the August 3, 2018 release of Christopher Robin. Christopher Robin Milne was the son of A. A. Milne, the author made famous for his beloved children’s stories of Winnie-the-Pooh and friends.
Last year’s Goodbye Christopher Robin depicted a biographical account of A.A. Milne’s life and showed Christopher’s own struggles with his parents and with his father’s success specifically with the Christopher Robin character. This year, Christopher Robin takes us into the fictional life of the beloved characters where Christopher Robin is now an adult and in need of the friendship and support from his Hundred Acre Woods ‘family’.
(Here’s a link to the video if you prefer to watch my analysis of Christopher Robin Milne’s birth chart on Youtube.)
I’m not going to review the movie here. I’m interested in Christopher Robin Milne. I find it fascinating that these two movies have been brought to the public, almost back to back, and from an astrologer’s standpoint, of course, had to wonder why.
When I looked up Christopher Robin Milne’s birth data, I smiled when I saw that we share the same birthday, August 21st. Using August 21, 1920 8 a.m. Chelsea, England from Astrodatabank (with a B rating also shown as 8 a.m. on Wikipedia), the story of Christopher Robin Milne’s childhood struggles immediately come to light.
Christopher Robin had Leo Ascendant with a stellium of Jupiter, Sun, Venus, and Saturn in the Leo First House. At first glance, this could encourage an enjoyment of attention to one’s self. You would think that Sun in Leo on the First House supports the excitement and egocentric pleasure of seeing one’s self turned into a character that goes on to become famous and wealthy for it. Apparently Christopher had moments when the attention was welcomed and moments when fame became burdensome and regrettable. But the Sun also represents the father in the birth chart and A. A. Milne became famous because of his son. Perhaps “because of his son” was the key to Christopher Robin’s occasional ethical dilemma. From an early age Christopher Robin had felt exploited and was never truly comfortable with the attention his father created. For this struggle, we have to look at a few things.
Jupiter is the planet that represents our growth, expansion, adventure, and philosophy. It is the planet of our convictions and beliefs and through our own expansion we realize a certain level of freedom. Christopher Robin’s Jupiter is deeply combust—which in astronomical terms simply means that it is positioned in its orbit at a point in space that is so close to the Sun when we look from our perspective from Earth that it is unable to be seen due to the Sun’s powerful radiance. Jupiter is “burnt up” or ‘hidden’ from the proximity to the Sun. In one way, this translates into the Sun, A. A. Milne, outshining his son. Christopher Robin probably felt at times hidden behind and playing second-fiddle to his father and his father’s success throughout his life, perhaps even resentful since he inspired the success.
Both Sun and Jupiter occupy Magha nakshatra, which represents lineage and ancestry, and it can show the burden, heaviness, and possible restriction one might feel when being defined by their family, particularly during childhood when the person is less mature and unable to experience a broader understanding and appreciation.
A.A. Milne’s presence must have felt conflicting to Christopher. They likely shared occasional moments of joy and playfulness, which we see from Venus in the Leo stellium. However, Venus is also ‘outshined’ by its association with two natural malefics and a weak Jupiter. Certainly, this could indicate how Christopher ended up with his beloved toys in the first place and has become identified with them. I assume the toys were gifted to him from his parents, though it is clear from accounts that he did not have an easy relationship with them and spent most of his childhood in his nanny’s presence.
In his Leo Rising chart, Mars is the ruler of both the 4th House of the mother and the 9th House of the father simultaneously. This natural malefic is a difficult energy creating competition, jealousy, anger, and conflict. Mars is not a ‘loving feeling’ but a powerful, energetic, defensive, and controlling experience. On top of that, Christopher’s Mars receives an aspect from the confining and obstructive energy of Saturn, supporting the general accounts of his rigid relationship with his parents—and this sheds light on the relationship to his toys. His ‘silly old bear’ and friends became his oasis in the potentially dry and harsh desert of his parental absence and displeasure. You can understand now why and how he felt exploited. At that particular moment in his life, he likely felt quite violated by his father’s decision to expose what to Christopher Robin was his personal, private sanctuary and self-made place of peace in his own young life.
Compounding the rigid effects of Saturn on his Mars is the dasha time-line. Christopher Robin was born right into the start of a nineteen-year major planetary period of Saturn. Wherever the dasha planet is located in the chart and whatever conditions or effects it’s involved in will be particularly emphasized during its planetary period. As someone with a strong Saturn in my own chart and running my Saturn dasha currently, I feel deeply compassionate whenever I see Saturn dasha running during an individual’s childhood. The pressure Saturn brings can be challenging enough as an adult, but children must exercise their creativity and insulate their innocence from the harsh realities of life at such a young age. And when that fabricated world, built of necessity, is exposed to the public, all sense of respect, security, and protection could be easily lost in the mind of the child who created it.
According to the biographical information presented on IMDB.com, Christopher did not have a very good relationship with his mother either and it grew worse as he got older. She disapproved of his marriage and they were no longer in contact with each other until she died in 1971, fifteen years after A.A. Milne’s passing in 1956. Contrarily, Wikipedia states that his mother refused to see her son even on her deathbed. So while its not clear what caused the rift between them, the rift was there. The complications of debilitated Moon in the 4th House are a bit confusing. The debility challenges a comfortable and happy outcome regarding his relationship with his mother. And while the Moon gains directional strength (dig bala) when it is located in the 4th House, there are challenges presented when a planet that represents something is also in the house that represents that same thing—in this case, the mother.
At the time of A. A. Milne’s death, Christopher was 36 years old and running his Ketu dasha. Ketu is in his 9th House of the father and is known for having a detached attitude and the ability to cut things away from us. I believe the death of his father gave Christopher a renewed sense of identity and the courage to step into his own life finally freed somewhat from the weight of his father’s legacy, if not presence. However, we mustn’t forget that the Moon, which represents not only the Mother but his own mind and emotional state as well, is ruled by Mars, as is Ketu. Despite the difficult relationship with his parents (not one without love but uneasy and complicated), the entire experience was certainly an emotional hardship, one that Christopher signed up for (to some extent) when he came into this life as shown by the karmic axis of Rahu-Ketu in which Mars is bound.
1939 brought ups and downs in Christopher’s personal life. After failing the physical exam, his father helped secure him a sapper position with the Royal Engineers of the British Army to provide assistance with military and combat engineering. I’m not aware of what he performed specifically but having been skilled with his hands early in life, he clearly brought this talent to the position. Astrodatabank.com notes that he was wounded during active duty, returned home with small bits of shrapnel unknowingly embedded in this brain, which would go undetected for nearly fifty years.
He shifted from Saturn and entered his Mercury dasha in 1939. Mercury is in the 12th House of foreign land and places and in the 9th House of purpose from the Moon. The combination of Mercury (his dasha ruler at that time) and Mars (the ruler of his Moon and in the 3rd House) brought out his technical and mechanical skills. He had (as stated on Astrodatabank.com) the knack for sewing, knitting, and tearing apart and fixing clocks by the age of seven.
Mercury is located in the 12th House of isolation and enemies while ruling the 2nd House of security and income and the 11th House of gains. There is no connection to the 7th House of marriage. In his Navamsha, the divisional chart of the spouse, Mercury occupies the 2nd House in Jupiter-ruled Sagittarius while Jupiter is in the 7th House. He married on July 24, 1949 when running Mercury/Rahu. Both planets are in Jupiter-ruled signs in the Navamsha while Jupiter is in the 7th House conjunct the Sun. Mercury is, as previously stated, in the 2nd House of security and Rahu- the planet of desire- is in the 5th House of romance and children.
According to Wikipedia, his mother had been uncertain of the marriage and the business Christopher and his wife opened together, a bookshop that would not only require Christopher to run a business (not his usual interest) but it would also invite fans of the Pooh stories, which at other times he wished to run away from.
His wife, Lesley, was Chistopher’s cousin from his mother’s side. I use the 6th House to represent cousins, and in the case of his Leo Rising chart, Saturn rules the Capricorn 6th House and Aquarius 7th House, giving him commitment to marriage while Mars (planet of passion and sexuality) aspects the 6th House. We also see from the chart that Saturn, ruler of the house of cousins, is conjunct his Sun (self), Venus (sensuality and pleasure) and they both aspect the 7th House. I make the assumption also that, being cousins, they knew each other as children and officially met while Christopher was running his Saturn period. Saturn, after all, is the planet of longevity.
In 1956, a few months after his father passed, Christopher and his wife welcomed a baby girl, Clare, into the world. This appears to have been around the last phase of his Mercury dasha. It is possible that the child’s birth can be seen more readily for her mother’s chart. In Christopher’s Saptamsha divisional chart of children, Mercury rules the 5th House of children and the 8th House of chronic health problems while occupying the 4th House with the Moon, where it receives an aspect from Jupiter in the 8th House. After her birth, any money received from the books went to his daughter’s needs. She had cerebral palsy and died at age 56 in 2012.
Remember when Christopher went to war during his Mercury dasha, he came home wounded without realizing that shrapnel had been lodged in his brain. Mars, the planet of war and weapons, is located in Mercury-ruled Virgo on the Ascendant of his Tajik Shashtamsha divisional chart of Health, and the Ascendant or First House represents the head and brain.
Christopher died April 20, 1996 from complications with the autoimmune disease myasthenia gravis, a chronic neuromuscular disorder which blocks the nerve impulses that are supposed to trigger muscle contractions. Mercury represents the nerves and Mars the muscles. At this time, he was running his Moon dasha in the subperiod (bhukti) of Mercury. I wonder if long-term effects from the embedded shrapnel that apparently did not get treated in a timely manner had anything to do with it. In any event, Mars in Virgo on the Ascendant of the health chart speaks of this difficulty. Mercury in Moon-ruled Cancer in the 12th House in the natal chart certainly did not help.
Whether he wished for an ordinary life or not, the life of Christopher Robin Milne was extraordinary. Whether he made peace with it or not, his childhood personality shaped the characters in his father’s imagination that the entire world, children of all ages, continues to cherish. The mixture of fame and suffering is evident in the chart. You see, Mars, though it brought about its expected difficulties and lessons, forms a Trikonal Raja Yoga with Ketu, Moon and Jupiter are in an angle from each other, forming Kesari Yoga, the Sun and Jupiter form a Dhana Yoga of wealth, and he has an overwhelming thirteen Dharma Karma Adipati Yogas (as seen from the Ascendant, Moon, and Sun).
So why the attention to the man and the fictional character in 2017 and 2018?
Even after someone passes, we can continue observing the timeline through their birth chart to see any continued effects in life. On September 29, 2017 in the UK and October 13, 2017 in the USA when Goodbye Christopher Robin opened in theaters, Christopher’s timeline shows he would’ve been running Rahu/Ketu, a time, I believe, in which he would’ve had little enthusiasm for the biographical depiction and might have been insulted by it. However, the latest movie Christopher Robin which opened on August 3, 2018 when Christopher would’ve been running Rahu/Venus, I believe would have been received with more interest and pleasure. The fictional character Christopher Robin brought back to life on the big screen in 2018 would not have felt so imposing and exploitative and he probably would have been delighted to see his playmates in the beautiful CGI available today.
Many of the planets in his natal chart are located in nakshatras ruled by Rahu, Ketu, and Venus—the three planets based on Christopher’s timeline that show in his birth chart what would be manifesting in his life during this time when his name and remembrance has lit up in the cinema. His Rahu is in its own Rahu-ruled nakshatra Swati. His Sun and Jupiter, as mentioned earlier, are in Ketu-ruled Magha. His Ascendant, Venus, and Saturn occupy Venus-ruled nakshatra Purva Phalguni and his Ketu is in Venus-ruled Bharani. All of these nakshatras have the primary motivations of either Artha (wealth) or Kama (desire). Perhaps he is watching from not too far away, and for the first time, truly basking in the light and love of the childhood legacy that continues to live on in the hearts of millions of people.
I recently ordered Christopher Robin Milne’s books and look forward to reading about his childhood in his own words. If I learn something new worth mentioning or perhaps contrary, I will post comments below or create a new blog! Please feel free to post your reaction to the movies below as well. Thank you, Renate
Featured image courtesy google search
Movie poster images courtesy pxhere
A.A.Milne image courtesy wikimedia commons