Perseus used Medusa’s slain head to save Andromeda from the lurking sea monster. In this myth, the sea monster is more representative of our collective shadow lurking below the surface than any friendly whale depicted by Disney (Brady p.178). 

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Menkar, a star in the constellation Cetus the Sea Monster was the Heliacal Rising star the night of the East Columbia Building incident involving Johnny Depp and Amber Heard
Cetus the Sea Monster constellation depicted by Johann Bayer, Uranometria (Ulm, 1661)

On 21st May, 2016, the LAPD were called to the East Columbia Building. Heard alleges that Depp threw a phone at her, hitting her in the face, grabbed her by the hair and destroyed property. There is confusion about the order of events – who exactly called 911 first – but regardless, they were called and the LAPD responded.

When the LAPD arrived, Depp was nowhere to be found, and no one named him. Mercury, the planet of information distribution, was stationary, not giving anything away. An incredibly common act in domestic violence situations.

Surveillance footage shows Depp arriving at the Hotel at 7.02pm, taking the elevator up to the Penthouse, and re-entering the elevator at 8.29pm, clearly agitated. 

Johnny Depp is seen entering the elevator at the East Columbia building at 7.02pm on May 21st, 2016, and re-enters, clearly agitated at 8.29pm.

This May 2016 evening, Mars was retrograde in Sagittarius, changing phase. Each planet moves through different phases in its cycle around the Sun, some more active than others. This particular phase is said to weaken a planet, and in the case of a malefic such as Mars, it makes it more malefic, upping the stakes for potentially unfavourable outcomes to occur.

Depp arrives at the ECB as Scorpio is rising, with Mars Rx in Sagittarius ruling the chart.

Mars has traditionally been known as the God of War, as far back as Babylonia, sustaining through Greek and Roman times, into modern day interpretation ( George. p51). Mars in Depp’s chart is no less dramatic.

Mars incites bodily strength. In this way, Mars can bring battle. Battle can take many forms – fights, shouting, shrieking, robbery, grievous assault, and the like….Mars is indicative of one’s temper and style of combat. This planet creates hostility and abuse, even homicide, the kind where the victim lies motionless, with amputated limbs, surrounded by massive bloodshed.” 

Vetius Valens, 2nd Century Astrologer

The Moon on this evening was also in Sagittarius, besieged between both malefics, Mars and Saturn. Astrologically, besiegement represents being stuck between a rock and a hard place, or things going from bad to worse; there are no options of escape, or the options in this case are violent and grim. 

Neither Mars nor Saturn were in direct motion, meaning both of them were already weakened, and both in, or approaching, their annual phase change. This was not a good night to have an argument, and even worse for Depp as it activated his ‘Monster’.

The time frame between Depp entering the elevator and re-entering after leaving the suite, puts Mars in a very volatile mood. Scorpio was rising between 5.16pm and 7.42pm, throning Mars as ruler of the chart. Depp arrived at 7.02pm. 

As Sagittarius began rising at 7.42pm, Mars at 1 degree Sagittarius was charging into full view like a Knight in a jousting competition. This doesn’t have to be a recipe for disaster, but if one was looking ahead it would be a time ill advised to seek agreement and unity. 

The redonkulous sport of jousting. Image source: Wikicommons

As this volatile mix of Mars and the besieged Moon crossed the eastern horizon into visibility, the alleged incident unfolded, with Depp leaving at 8.29pm as sobering Saturn was starting to rise.

Depp re-entered the elevator to leave the ECB as sobering Saturn was starting to rise.

To be clear, Astrology does not justify abuse, nor does any natal analysis show who is more or less likely a perpetrator. In this situation, it is illustrating that there was increased potential for violence, and coupled with the security camera footage it highlights who was being activated and which specific areas of the chart was triggered. 

Heard was not having any significant transits at this time, other than being in the thick of the steep learning curve of her first Saturn Return. The Mars phase, however, was clearly activating Depp’s chart, creating a tense configuration with his Mars-Uranus wide conjunction to Pluto in the 1st house, where ‘the Monster’ lies. 

One word for this transit? Explosive

Inner wheel: Johnny Depp.
Outer wheel: Johnny Depp arrives at the East Columbia building at 7:02pm, 21st May, 2016.
On the night of the East Columbia Building incident, Johnny Depp’s Uranus, Mars, Pluto conjunction in the 1st house was being activated by a square from transiting Mars and the besieged Moon, rising.

This 2016 Mars retrograde cycle began at 8 degrees Sagittarius the month prior. The cycle began with a square to Depp’s Pluto, reaching its cyclic midpoint at the time of this incident (exact Sun-Mars opposition 6.08am May 22nd, 2016).

Also on this day, Pluto stationed retrograde at the exact degree of the Moon-Saturn conjunction in the Defamation Filing chart: 17 degrees Capricorn. Anything crossing this point is sensitive to the case.

One word for this sequence of events? Volatile.

Mars stationed retrograde at 8 degrees Sagittarius on April 18, 2016 – square Depp’s Pluto at 9 degrees Virgo, the same day that Pluto stationed retrograde at 17 degrees Capricorn.

The Helical Rising Star for May 21, 2016 in Los Angeles, CA was Menkar, a star in the constellation of Cetus, the whale Perseus turned to stone when saving Andromeda. Menkar rising can give sway to unconscious forces beyond individual control (Brady p 178). 

While Depp has this volatile Mars signature in his first house of physical vitality, it is unlikely an unconscious energy to him. His therapist testified that “rage and chaos” had been themes in his relationship with former partner, Paradis. This 1995 interview quotes him saying, “Why can’t I be human? I have a lot of love inside me and a lot of anger inside as well. If I love somebody, then I’m gonna love ‘em. If I’m angry and I’ve got to lash out or hit somebody, I’m going to do it and I don’t care what the repercussions are. Anger doesn’t pay rent, it’s gotta go. It’s gotta be evicted.

His texts to, and about, Heard clearly state he is still familiar with the energy and has done little to curb it.

Menkar, a star in the constellation Cetus the Sea Monster was the Heliacal Rising star the night of the East Columbia Building incident involving Johnny Depp and Amber Heard
Cetus the Whale Sea Monster – Johann Bode, Uranographia (Berlin, 1801)

Modern day witch hunt

The anti-Amber sentiment online resembles a witch hunt. This text thread between Paul Bettany and Depp on June 11, 2013 illuminates the workings of Depp’s mind and Monster:

Depp: Let’s burn Amber.

Paul Bettany: I’m not sure we should burn Amber. She is delightful company and pleasing on the eye. We could of course do the English course of action and perform a drowning test. Thoughts? You have a swimming pool.

Depp: Let’s drown her before we burn her!!! I will fuck her burnt corpse afterwards to make sure she’s dead.

Paul Bettany: My thoughts entirely. Let’s be certain before we pronounce her a witch.

Depp claimed innocence saying he never intended the text to be real. He further confirmed his unchecked misogyny saying he drew inspiration from a Monty Python skit about burning women at the stake that he had watched when he was 10.

That’s 48 years he’s had to think about this.

The Monty Python skit Depp was referring to in his texts with Paul Bettany

Carrying generational stories

When outer planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are connected to personal planets, individuals can personalise collective, or generationally inherited energies. 

In Depp’s chart, Uranus and Pluto are linked to Mars, the planet of aggression, fighting and violence, which also rules his home and early childhood (Depp’s IC 3 degrees Scorpio). This suggests he has inherited a heavy generational burden relating to anger, physical assertion and explosive rage. 

In Depp’s chart, Mars sits on the cusp of the 2nd house, wedged between outer planets Uranus and Pluto, ruling his 4th house of home and family.

Mars and Uranus in the 1st house (on the cusp of the 2nd) need immense physical release, but the kind it needs is not always socially acceptable, nor conventional.

When Heard detailed Depp’s detachment from reality saying he was, “Erratic, irrational. Not connected to the reality we were in…taking to people who were not there,” Depp smirked. 

Raquel Pennington, a friend of the couple, testified that Depp “Switched sometimes,” saying he was “unpredictable, would disappear by himself where his mood changed to something darker.“ The Court chart emphasises Depp’s erratic Uranus, aligning it with the IC degree.

Inner wheel: Johnny Depp.
Outer wheel: The court chart.
The 2022 Court chart IC (opposing the MC) at 1 degree Virgo tightly conjuncts Depp’s Mars-Uranus conjunction.

There’s no way Depp’s ‘Monster’ suddenly appeared in his relationship with Heard. He knows his Monster. He named it. Unfortunately, through this trial he is being praised as the hero Peruses, slaying the Medusa instead of taking accountability for his own actions.

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Brady, Bernadette. Brady’s book of Fixed Stars. 1998. Samuel Weiser

Brady, Bernadette. Planet and Star Combinations. 2008. The Wessex Astrologer Ltd

Ebertein-Hoffman. Fixed Stars and their interpretation. 1971. AFA

Gehrz, Andrea, L. Vetius Valens of Antioch. 2016. Moira Press

George, Demetra. Ancient Astrology, in theory and practice. 2019. Rubedo Press

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