Matthew Newton and Family Karma – The Curse of the House of Atreus

The Newton Family Crisis – The Curse of the House of Atreus

Matthew Newton

“In every family there is a cross to bear.” – Patti Newton

Nobody could fail to be moved by the anguish of Bert and Patti Newton as they recently faced the cameras on A Current Affair. They showed courage in facing the public over what is also a very personal family matter, the latest drama involving their son Matthew’s violent outbreak in assaulting his partner and fellow actor Rachelle Taylor. They chose to reveal the skeletons in their family closet in the hope of helping others who find themselves in a similar situation. It was very telling when Patti said that in every family there is a cross to bear and admitted her vulnerability in saying that they don’t know how to handle it and that is devastating to read about their child in the media.

The Genealogy of Orestes.jpg
The Family Tree of the House of Atreus

 Like the Newton family we all have family karma to work through. Not everyone has it played out in the public arena. It’s very dramatic but it is not the first high profile family to deal with heavy karma. There is a precedent in antiquity in the Greek myth, The Curse of the House of Atreus, where the son Orestes is called upon to deal with heavy family karma that went back to his ancestors one called Tantalos whose arrogance and barbarity so offended the gods that they cursed Tantalos’s line. this curse was in turn passed on to young Prince Orestes in the form of a terrible choice. Orestes was the son of King Agamemnon and Queen Clytemnestra,and the curse had passed down through Agamemnon’s father and grandfather. Agamemnon who was a Greek warlord who led the armies against Troy was punished for his arrogance by the gods. Hecate the goddess in question responded in fury sent a terrible storm which pinned the Greek fleet in the harbour. To make reparation he had to sacrifice his own daughter Iphigenia to the altar of Aulis or else forego the glory of leading the Greek armies to Troy. He chose glory over his daughter, deceiving his wife telling her that Iphigenia would be married at Aulis when in fact she was led there to her slaughter.

The Remorse of Orestes by William-Adolphe Bougereau

To avenge her daughter’s death Queen Clytemnestra takes a lover and together plot his death, stabbing him in the bath. The god Apollo who stands for father right demands that Orestes avenge his father’s death or suffer a terrible punishment. Despite being reluctant to be a matricide he agrees to the god’s demands and with help of his sister Electra he avenges his father’s death by slaying his mother and her lover. Orestes is then pursued by the Furies who represent mother right. In desperation he seeks sanctuary at the shrine of the goddess Athene who takes pity on the young Prince who through no fault of his own is torn between these two powerful destructive forces. She sets up a jury of twelve human judges who are split six for and six against. Athena casts the deciding vote in favour of Orestes just as he was in the point of expiring. The goddess placates the furies by offering them their own shrine and honourable worship, and thus Orestes is freed and the ancient curse is lifted at last.

Orestes at Delphi flanked by Athena and Pylades among the Erinyes and priestesses of the oracle, perhaps including Pythia behind the tripod - Paestan red-figured bell-krater, c.33o BC

 Mental Illness in the Birthchart

Although we may not experience quite such dramatic family events as the retainers of the House of Orestes, there is no doubt that some family members seem to carry the family karma. In a presentation I gave to the NSW Astrology Association last year on Mental Illness in the Birthchart entitled Madness, Murder and Mayhem, I examined some charts of people known to me who had been victims of murder, violence and suicide. At our April meeting of AA NSW the speaker gave a talk on retrograde planets. In our afternoon session Anita Ings put up the charts of some well known people including those of the Newton family to see what events may have occurred in their lives when their retrograde planets turned direct by progression. It is always fascinating to see the family patterns. It is interesting to note that Bert has Pluto conjunct Mars while his son Matthew has Pluto square Mars. One  newspaper article referred to the fact that Bert suffered from a mental illness. In 1964 he suffered a nervous breakdown. Bert Newton revealed in his autobiography that doctors had injected him with the psychedelic drug LSD, then in common use as a psychiatric treatment. So while on the surface they may have seemed like the golden family of Australian TV living the dream – their dream has been shattered. Is it a case of the sins of the father being visited upon the son as in the myth of the Curse of the House of Orestes? Friends of Matthew who were interviewed claim that Matthew claim that Matthew has struggled to cope with the constant glare of  spotlight since he was a child.

Judy Hall - Karmic Astrologer

Hades Moon – by Judy Hall, karmic astrologer 

In a previous posting entitled Hades Moon I wrote about the research that Judy Hall the UK karmic astrologer. Judy Hall explained in her book that she has a tight square between her Scorpio Moon and Pluto. She traced her family history of Moon Pluto back 5 generations and forward into the next two and seemingly endless karma carried over from past lives. To describe the impact of Pluto Moon in our charts she uses such keywords as birth, death and rebirth; abandonment and rejection: catharsis and crisis: hubris and nemesis, karma and transformation. Judy Hall’s mentor, the late Howard Sasportas claimed it revolves around mothering karma. Judy Hall entitles some of her chapters as the Devouring Moon, the Rejecting Moon, the Raging Moon. According to Judy Hall people with Pluto Mars contacts have incarnated with a past life residue of violence and power issues and are here in this life to resolve the karma.

Matthew Newton – the Raging Moon

We have certainly seen evidence of the Raging Moon as Patti acknowledged in the recent interview with A Current Affair that Matthew has always had a problem with his temper even as a child. His mother said that he has never accepted the fact that he has an illness. His parents took him to a psychologist at the age of 14 and even then was warned of the dangers of drugs and alcohol taking over his life. Matthew Newton has already been in the headlines in 2006 from his previous assault of his former girlfriend Brooke Satchwell.  The strong Neptunian component in his natal chart would account for his addictive behaviour with Venus in Pisces squaring Neptune and Moon in Pisces. It won’t be an easy time for Matthew as his mother said that he is on suicide watch.Patti admitted in the interview that Matthew had threatened to commit suicide many times. In April and July 2011, transiting Chiron will conjunct his Natal Moon in Pisces, indicating that he will be challenged to heal the deep emotional wounds from the past.

Kay Redfield Jamison

Touched with Fire – Icarus – That Fine Madness

One friend of Matthew’s is reported to have said that he is extremely insecure and jealous and that he would “turn” when under the influence of substances. and that ” He’s just got that typical tortured artist’s mind. In the presentation I gave on mental illness last year one if my sources was Kay Redfield Jamison who is professor of Psychiatry at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine. In her book entitled ‘Touched with Fire: Manic Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament’, she says in her introduction that the title Touched With Fire alludes to Icarus who flew too high. She continues, “It is also a book about artists and their voyages, moods as their ships of passage, and the ancient and persistent belief that there exists such a thing as a fine madness – beliefs held by philosophers and great thinkers in ancient Greece the poet and priest communicated with the gods through ‘inspired madness’ and sacred enthusiasms.” It is also the link between madness and genius which is one of the oldest and most persistent cultural ones. We can trace its roots back to Ancient Greece with the Dionysian struggles between violence and creation and madness and reason.

Lord Byron

In her book she examines the lives of some very gifted but tortured souls who personify this ‘fine madness’. Redfield Jamison claims in her book that noone better epitomises this ‘fine madness’ than George Gordon Lord Byron. She writes that toward the end of his life his rages and paranoiac outbursts became ungovernable astonishing everyone present. Byron had Mars prominent in his chart being in his first house. Matthew has channelled his Pluto Mars energy successfully in his acting when he received acclaim for his role of Terry Clark the drug lord in the TV series Underbelly but he may have been taken over by the archetype with his strong Neptunian energy in his chart causing the edges to be blurred between fantasy and reality.


Contact Anne for an astrological consultation


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