At 2:45 AM on May 29, Roseanne Barr, star of the eponymous reboot of the classic ‘90s sitcom, tweeted: “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby = vj”. The “VJ” in question referred to Valerie Jarrett, an African American former senior advisor to Barack Obama, and the Tweet generated an immediate controversy as racist. Barr tweeted an apology a few hours later and deleted the post, but at 1:55 PM, ABC announced that her show had been cancelled, labelling the tweet “abhorrent.” Barr was also dropped by her talent agency, ICM Partners.
The incident was hardly the first time that the self-styled “domestic goddess” found herself in the hot seat after injudicious statements. A solid Trump supporter, Barr has frequently been accused of racist, insensitive remarks, but has never before paid so high a price. Even fellow cast members, such as Sara Gilbert (“Darlene”) excoriated Barr, while both actress Emma Kenney (“Harris”) and comedian Wanda Sykes, a consulting producer on the show, stated their intention to cut ties with the production before ABC’s cancellation was announced.
Since the blow fell, Barr has somewhat backpedaled on her apology and assumed a stance of martyrdom, tweeting first that her judgment had been affected by Ambien, a sleep-aid notorious for causing aberrant behaviors, and then sympathizing with Donald Trump’s predicament: “I feel bad for POTUS – he goes through this every single day,” implying that the reaction to her Tweet was undeserved, though she also requested that supporters not defend her.
Born 3 November 1952 at 1:21 PM MST in Salt Lake City, Utah (Rodden Rating AA), Roseanne Barr’s chart well reflects her life and career. With the Sun at 11 Scorpio, Barr has a “stinging” quality to her comedy, which, with the opposition to Jupiter at 16 Taurus, can be “over the top”, exaggerated or extreme. Sun/Jupiter also portrays the weight issues that have plagued her throughout her life, as well as the celebrity status. A conjunction of Mercury at 3 Sagittarius with Icarus at 8 suggests rash or reckless statements heedless of the costs, a difficulty understanding the consequences of her words, and an inability to pull pack and accept good advice. She is well aware where the line is, but cannot resist crossing it. Mercury also opposes the Moon at 5 Gemini; Barr is quick-witted and verbally deft, but reacts emotionally, always a potential source of discomfiture or regret. She’s capable of communicating with sensitivity, but a semisquare from Mercury to Saturn at 20 Libra indicates a dark perspective, often looking on the down side, which she would likely describe as “realistic” or pragmatic.
Venus at 15 Sagittarius closely aligned with asteroid Thalia, the muse of comedy, at 14 Sag, carries the potential to be an acknowledged female comic; in the Tenth House, this becomes a viable career option. A pairing of Saturn and Neptune at 20 and 22 Libra shows another pull toward a television career. But Pandora also here at 22 Libra suggests that there may be some things better left alone, not released into the light of day.
Roseanne’s attraction for controversy can further be seen in the trine from her Sun to Uranus at 18 Cancer, which is also stationary, turning retrograde ten days before her birth. This becomes an embedded, self-defining quality, one which was reflected very obviously in the themes touched upon in the original iteration of her series. “Roseanne” was noteworthy for two Uranian characteristics – its uniqueness and its shock value. “Roseanne” was one of very few sitcoms to attempt to realistically portray a financially struggling Midwest American family, warts and all. But Barr’s unglamorous character, however “white trash” she may have been, was also unstintingly liberal in her views, another Uranian facet. Equality and diversity were hallmarks of the show, which was one of the first to showcase recurrent gay characters and raise issues of same sex marriage equally, reproductive rights and pay equality for women, supported feminist themes generally, and tackled such taboo areas as domestic abuse, alcoholism, and class prejudice. Uranus is conjoined by asteroid Achilles at 25 Cancer, suggesting that her quirky, unconventional, controversy-evoking style could be an inherent weakness or vulnerability which threatens to destroy her. There is also a potential for technology providing a weak spot, a chink in her armor. Achilles is also stationary, turning retrograde on November 16.
The most elevated points in the chart are asteroids Nemesis and Panacea, at 22 and 29 Scorpio respectively, on the 28 Scorpio MC. If it’s true that Ambien played a role in the Tweet that brought her down, then this is foreshadowed by this pairing, with Panacea ruling drugs and pharmaceuticals, and Nemesis proffering self-undoing or destruction. Mars conjunct Damocles at 16 and 18 Capricorn is an indication that Barr’s anger or combativeness could manifest as an impending doom, which can fall upon her unawares at any time. Asteroid Connors is here, too, at 22 Cap, representing her TV family surname of Conner, suggesting that her sitcom persona helped to channel the anger and resentment she harbored. Connors is also exactly squared TV-ruling Neptune and squared career-minded Saturn, making this a logical choice for her “Roseanne” alter ego.
Her own name can be found there, too, in the form of asteroids Rosa (she is often called “Rosie” by her TV husband, John Goodman) at 29 Virgo and Rosanna at 25 Gemini. Both contact the Galactic Center at 26 Sagittarius, granting global notice and attention, a potential for international renown. Additionally, Rosa conjoins asteroid Arnolda at 2 Libra, for Arnold, Barr’s married name, which she initially used in her role as producer of her series. Ex-hubby Tom Arnold is also present in the form of asteroid Thomas, which at 18 Cancer is an exact match for Uranus, exhorting further controversy; their marriage created at least as much news as her career. Like Uranus, Thomas is also stationary, indicating an overarching importance for someone of that name in her biography; Thomas turned retrograde 11 days after her birth.
Incredibly, the other PNA which appears at station is Valeria, for Valerie Jarrett, the proximate case of her undoing, at 16 Pisces. Its station is the closet to her birth, occurring on November 6, just three days later. The seed of Barr’s cataclysmic fall from grace was planted by that station, and came to full flower just as transit Neptune, ruling both TV and disappointments, came to conjoin its natal degree.
The remaining transits for the day of “Roseanne”’s cancellation are just as apt. May 29th was the day of the Full Moon at 8 Sagittarius, which conjoined natal Icarus (recklessness) exactly, also bringing out the natal Mercury/Moon (emotional speech) opposition. Transit Mercury at 29 Taurus was hugging the IC, opposing the MC, and opposed both natal Nemesis and Panacea, that potential for drug-induced undoing. This energetic pairing is repeated in the transit sky, with Nemesis and Panacea conjunct at 2 and 4 Taurus, alongside volatile Uranus at 0 Taurus (Uranus also rules the technology which makes Twitter possible).
Transit Venus at 12 Cancer is approaching controversy-ridden natal Uranus, and opposing transit Saturn at 7 Capricorn, exacting penalties and affecting career. Transit Icarus at 22 Pisces opposes transit Rosa at 24 Virgo, about to return to its natal degree, and this polarity is highlighted on the Ascendant/Descendant Axis of 23 Virgo/Pisces for the 1:55 PM announcement by ABC (set for New York, NY, the network’s headquarters). Transit Roseanna at 15 Leo exactly squares transit Jupiter at 15 Scorpio, still within orb of Barr’s natal Sun, evoking her over-the-top Tweet and the wide publicity it received. Transit Valeria at 25 Capricorn exactly opposes natal Achilles, providing that “Achilles heel” which prompted her ruin, the egregious Tweet about Valerie Jarrett. Transit Pluto at 20 Capricorn exactly squared natal Saturn at 20 Libra, bringing transformation of her career and its devastation in its wake.
The ground for this disaster had been well-prepared in advance by the prior two Solar Eclipses, last August 2017 and February 2018; at 28 Leo and 27 Aquarius respectively, both energized natal Pluto at 23 Leo and the natal MC at 28 Leo, affording both the career opportunity (MC) that presented itself, and its devastating outcome (Pluto). The Lunar Eclipse of February 2018 at 11 Leo exactly squared her natal Sun, highlighting her personally, and the upcoming Solar Eclipse of July 12th at 20 Cancer will conjoin natal Uranus, evoking controversy.
When “Roseanne” originally premiered on 18 October 1988, transit Pluto was also active; at 11 Scorpio, it exactly conjoined Barr’s Sun, prefiguring the total transformation in her life circumstances which would ensue from the blockbuster hit series, often rated first in its time slot. Asteroid Roseanna at 11 Cancer opposed asteroid Connors at 12 Capricorn, encroaching upon natal Uranus, and suggesting the controversial nature of her TV character. These also form a T-Square with transit Mercury at 11 Libra, representing the fine writing which would typify the series, but also its “populist” focus, with an accent on everyday working Americans. Transit Jupiter at 5 Gemini was an exact match for the natal Moon, instantly catapulting Barr into the status of one of the most famous (Jupiter) women (Moon) in America, highlighting her role as matriarch (also Moon) of the Conner clan.
But the seeds of the show’s destruction are also present, in the form of the 25 Libra Sun’s conjunction with transit Nemesis and Karma, both at 23 Libra, reaping the results of our actions. These straddle Barr’s natal Saturn/Neptune pairing, showing the series (Sun) to be a potential source of fated (Karma) undoing (Nemesis).
For now, Barr’s career disgrace appears to be complete, and final. I do, however, expect to see more of the martyr-based justification for her words and the reaction to them, given that asteroid Martir, a phonetic match, appears prominently at 27 Taurus on the IC of Barr’s birth chart, opposing the Midheaven. Playing the martyr comes naturally to her whenever she feels insecure or threatened (IC), especially as regards career matters (Midheaven). As well, transit Martir at 2 Pisces for the cancelation squared natal Mercury at 3 Sagittarius and was bound up in a T-Square with the Full Moon lunation at 8 Gemini/Sagittarius which so ably timed the incident.
I must confess to having a certain soft spot for Roseanne, despite her frequent lapses of good taste and clearly racist leanings, due to my obsession with Halloween and her annual Halloween-themed episode, which I always awaited with great anticipation, and continue to view and enjoy to this day. I even gave her a pass on the rabid support for Donald Trump, feeling that her personal politics should not be disqualifying for watching the reboot. But this type of racial slur is intolerable in today’s world, and I applaud ABC’s prompt action to impose penalties for such flagrant violations of common decency.