©7-5-2011 by Donna Cunningham, MSW
I’ve been feeling for a couple of weeks that I MUST write about the O’Neal family, but I resist it. I made myself watch their interviews on CNN promoting their new reality show and the first couple of episodes, although it gave me a queasy/uneasy stomachache.
It’s ugly to watch the secrets come out in the open and the shaming and blaming pattern between the two of them.
And, yeah, it’s a bit like old home week—family trash being aired publicly in humiliating ways, the squirmy feeling of being confided in by warring factions and trapped between them. At home, I wound up feeling emotionally exploited by both my alcoholic parents and wishing I wasn’t related to either of them, and that’s exactly the same effect watching the O’Neals has on me.
I don’t want to rehash the toxic O’Neal saga, with all the arrests and rehabs and mutual accusations, but you can download the charts and a summary of the most pertinent biographical data from AstroDataBank here: Charts-Ryan and Tatum O’Neal.
(Incidentally, even if your cable package does not include OWN network but you have the On Demand feature, you can watch past episodes under “Ryan and Tatum O’Neal.”)
Do Stelliums Run in Families?
Seeing the connections between their charts, I knew I had to write about the case. Chart features—and even specific aspects—do run in families.
Three of the O’Neals have stelliums—Ryan has 5 planets in Taurus in the 11th house, and Tatum has 4 planets in Scorpio in the 2nd.
Tatum’s mother, actress Joanna Moore, also had a stellium in Scorpio. (According to Joanna Moore – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, she was born on November 10, 1934, no time given, so the house placement is not known.) Joanna, who died in 1997, had very serious drug and alcohol problems that led to Tatum being in Ryan’s sole custody after the couple divorced.
Okay, by the strictest of rules, Tatum’s and Joanna’s 4-planet pileups in Scorpio aren’t quite legal stelliums, since they include the Sun, Mercury, and Venus with only one other planet. However, as you’ll see in the table below, the way the trio’s planets are all clinging together is like the inside of a wasp nest. Here’s how the pertinent planets line up:
Ryan’s stellium is in the 11th (saying that more than anything, he wanted friends and that he had issues around belonging) while Tatum’s and Joanna’s stelliums fell into his 5th (the house of children and romance). These oppositions emphasize perhaps one of the biggest issues here, confusion between parenthood and friendship.
He treated Tatum like a pal—or maybe even a girlfriend—rather than his daughter, depriving her of the solid parenting and sense of security she so badly needed, given her mother’s instability. Ryan’s Saturn is exactly opposite Tatum’s Sun-Mercury-Neptune conjunction—showing her confusion over boundaries and whether her dad was a parent or a sibling.
Disputes over the money for the films they costarred in are one of the causes of their falling out. His Taurus stellium fell into her 8th house, opposite her Scorpio stellium in her 2nd. We’re talking about the two money signs activating the two money houses.
And money, I suspect, is their main motive for working together on this reality show on cable. Reality shows where the camera follows you around are the last bastion of has been or never was celebs who want to resuscitate their failing careers.
In watching the series, Tatum seems more motivated to heal the 25-year breech between them. I was moved by her fragility and yet her strength in the determination to recover from her addictions by facing her own flaws honestly.
Ryan, on the other hand, seems to have little commitment to the truth and zero interest in changing any of his own destructive behaviors like his explosive temper when anyone mentions something he’s done. He gives occasional lip service to having made mistakes, but immediately turns to rehashing of the same old issues and rushes to blame Tatum and her brothers once again.
Watching his shame-faced but narcissistic behavior in the CNN interview with Piers Morgan, I could see why he’s been so convincing in his role as Bone’s estranged con man father on the television series–he’s basically playing himself.
Understanding Symbiotic Relationships and Why They are Toxic
The relationship between Ryan and Tatum through her teen years would be classed as a symbiosis—a toxic, codependent merging in which the boundaries are neither clear nor healthy. (A folie a deux, the French would call it.) Throwing Joanna Moore into the mix, I’d infer a similar set of symbioses (that’s the plural, in case you’re a wordie.) Here’s how one internet site defines the term:
“Psychologically, we use the term symbiosis to describe a relationship where two people function as one. However, it refers to a relationship pattern that is not healthy, since a couple is existentially two separate people who need to be separate in order for both of them to be able to express their individuality and different needs.
“The symbiotic pattern results in the classical set-up of a rescuer or caretaker and a needy and dependent partner in a relationship. It doesn’t allow for flexibility or equality and it limits both partners in their freedom to be themselves. However, both partners may have an investment in keeping the symbiosis going. Symbiotic relationships can be extremely stable and feel like they are very close, because they don’t allow for difference.” (Read more here: symbiosis in relationships.)
Another term that is somewhat like symbiosis is Codependency. You can download one of the chapters of my ebook, Counseling Principles for Astrologers that goes into codependency and its implications for practicing astrologers in depth. Download it here: 2014 Ch7 CPA. buy the book at moonmavenpublications.com..)
Are Stelliums Prone to Symbiotic Relationships?
Thinking about the O’Neals made me wonder whether people with stelliums would be likely to enter into symbiotic relationships. I’d hate to think that, being a stellium type myself, but I had to ponder whether it was possible.
If all the planets in a stellium are in one house, then the matters of that house come close to being EVERYTHING to that person. And that being a primary focus of energy, the people associated with that house would assume a huge importance, more than people encountered in other areas of life. (A Who’s Who of your Horoscope–the Players in all 12 Houses.)
Losing them could pose a huge threat, so they might well hold onto them for dear life and make any number of sacrifices to keep them. Doesn’t that sound like a setup for symbiotic relationships?
So, yes, maybe stelliums can be a one place where symbiotic relationships could result. But not the only place—growing up in an alcoholic home can be another.
Hmm. Looks like something to ponder more and to do a bit of research about here on Skywriter. Here are some questions that occur to me:
- Would stelliums in the people houses (4th, 5th, 7th, 11th) be more prone to symbiotic ties than, say, the vocational houses (2nd, 6th, 10th)?
- Would there be signs that were more prone to it, like the Water signs—Pisces, Cancer, and Scorpio?
- Would certain planets predispose the pattern—say Neptune, the Moon, or Pluto as part of the stellium?
UPDATE: I have recently published an astrology/self-help book on stelliums. Download a sampler from The Stellium Handbook here: Stellium Handbook Sampler and a Fact Sheet about the Capricorn Stellium Generation here: Fact Sheet on the Capricorn Stellium-Donna Cunningham .
How about it, Readers who have a stellium or have loved ones who do? Does the stellium pattern run in the family? Or do birds of a feather—friends who have stelliums—flock together? And would you characterize any of the stellium people you know as having symbiotic relationships? Share your observations in the comment section.
The Stellium Series:
- Skywriter’s Impact Test for Stelliums and Multiple Conjunctions–Version 2.0
- (Download a printable version here: Stellium Test 1 page .)
- Readers Ask: Question and Answer Session on Stelliums by House
- Four Big Things You May Not Know about Stelliums
- John Edwards’ Rise and Fall–a Stellium Meltdown
- Q&A Session: Transits to Stelliums
- The Incredible Vulnerability a Stellium Creates
- Readers’ Insights into their own Stelliums
- A Few Last Insights into Stelliums from Readers
Posts Related to Boundaries:
- What your Astrology Chart Says about your Boundary Issues
- Boundaries 101 ~ A Course for Neptunians
- Boundaries and Friendship — Are You and Your Friend Codependent?
- Neptune in the 11th House–Setting Boundaries in Friendship
- 6 Common Misconceptions about Boundaries in a Relationship
- The 3 Major Ways of Setting Boundaries—Which Type are You?
- Saturn in Libra: How to Set Healthy Boundaries
- Blending without Drowning: How Saturn Saved a Neptune Type
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