Matthew Perry, best known for his role as Chandler Bing on the beloved TV sitcom Friends, recently released a memoir, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing, in which he shares his journey going from a child with abandonment issues to a famous celebrity hiding a growing addiction to alcohol, drugs, and prescription drugs. The first paragraph ends with “I should be dead”.
Two planets in Matthew’s birth chart that have strength are the Sun in its own sign Leo and Mars in its own sign Scorpio. While Mars is unafflicted and in a good house (the 5th), the Sun is conjunct Mercury and Ketu in the 2nd House. This combination gives Matthew his cocky, self-absorbed, mischievous, sharp wit and sense of humor. The Sun (self-importance), Mercury (expression, humor, youthfulness), and Ketu (cutting) are good for comedic roles in particular. However, in Matthew’s personal life, this combination could create an enemy or two if he doesn’t watch what he says. He could also tend towards deceitfulness to protect his self-image.
With Moon in Libra, Matthew has likely been a people-pleaser but also has a big heart and genuinely cares (Moon in the 4th House). When it comes to relationships, we can look at the 5th, 6th, and 7th houses to get a quick story of his history and lack of marriage so far. In his memoir, Matthew shares that he’s probably slept with everyone in Los Angeles (joking but making a point). Mars in Scorpio in the 5th House shows a highly active social person who craves romance and interaction, lighthearted fun times. With an empty 6th house of daily work – where two people go once they realize they want to do more than just date, Matthew is not inclined to step into this arena easily and with the 6th House ruler (Jupiter) in Virgo, he can nitpick his way out of any relationship. With an empty 7th house of commitment, aspected by Jupiter in Virgo (too much criticism?) and debilitated Saturn in Aries (difficulty committing), Matthew has clearly been worried that any relationship he dives into will ultimately ruin him and his reputation. (Debilitated Saturn is in the 10th House of fame and status while ruling the 7th House of marriage.) This weakened Saturn also is in mutual aspect with the Moon, causing his feelings to be dominated by fear and anxiety and the burden of Saturn can easily cause depression and melancholy.
With strong Mars in the playful auspicious 5th house, Matthew is always ready to provide for and defend his interest in entertainment and the desire to be the funniest guy in the room. However, since Mars rules his debilitated Saturn, he could easily react to situations out of fear, create dread, drum up excuses due to underlying anxiety and end up in cycles of happiness followed by depression over and over until he learns to proceed with some form of commitment and stability. When Saturn is debilitated, stability, structure, and discipline are hard to cultivate.
In addition to the struggle with relationship commitment, Rahu is in the 8th House of criminal behavior (in Matthew’s case buying illegal drugs from dealers). Rahu also represents intoxicants and drugs. He mentions being afraid of heroin (which would’ve been his last straw, last choice of drugs had he allowed himself to go down that path). I believe we can see this structured fear holding him in check through strong Mars aspecting Rahu from a good house (a house of ‘good karma’) while ruling his debilitated Saturn, the planet causing much worry and mental distress. I think if his Saturn would’ve been in another less visible house (such as the 12th or 8th with Rahu) he wouldn’t have been so lucky. With his ‘healthy’ ego (which he gets through Sun in Leo) and his Moon aspecting the 10th House of fame, he is conscientious of his image and cares what he looks like to others, particularly in relation to his career and the ability to maintain a rewarding, wealthy lifestyle. As he admits in the memoir, he pursued his career in Hollywood seeking fame, fame, and fame. Again, with debilitated Saturn in the 10th House of fame, ruled by strong Mars in the 5th House of entertainment and risk taking, he likely very strongly believed that becoming famous would dissolve all of his problems and inner turmoil.
I don’t want to say much more here, certainly not to reveal details from the memoir. I believe, like Matthew, that his story may help others struggling with addictions and hopefully encourages those in need of help to seek medical, professional care sooner than later, so I’d rather you read the book then get too much from me here.
However, I did want to mention Matthew’s divisional chart of Health. In this particular chart, he has an exalted Mars (to help overcome problems), an exalted Sun (great stamina and vitality overall), exalted Mercury (good nervous system, positive mindset) and a strong Jupiter in its own sign (optimism and luck- the grace of God). It’s also interesting to note that the planets Sun (ego), Mars (activity), and Saturn (discipline) are in prominent houses. If he can keep his ego in check, make better choices by being proactive rather than reactive, and learn to live with greater discipline, he can overcome anything.
And okay, I have to say it- as a fan of Keanu Reeves, Matthew’s name dropping is bewildering (and a bit messed up, childish, and rude) but at the very least a clear opinion of his perception of Keanu. He publicly apologized (indirectly) to Keanu during television interviews while promoting the memoir when confronted about it. ‘I could’ve pulled any name and should’ve used my own’, Matthew responded with. Which doesn’t cut it for me. Not when he stated the same thing regarding Keanu twice in the book. Once, yeah okay, maybe. But not twice. I’m not convinced his apology is sincere -going back to Sun-Mercury-Ketu in the 2nd House. But whatever.
Matthew is currently running Mercury-Rahu-Saturn, so while primarily interested in sharing his story, talking about drug abuse and addiction, he is underneath it all still worried about how he’s perceived. Rightly so. He’s chosen fame after all. But regardless of his worrying, he will always be Chandler Bing to millions and we wish him success, lots of love, and a healthy future.
Renate Maria Bell is a certified Vedic Astrologer, Jyotish Visharada, and approved teacher with the Council of Vedic Astrology. She can be reached at email@example.com
Image of Book Cover courtesy amazon.com; Image of natal chart courtesy Shri Jyoti Star of which the author is a licensed user