Tony Robbins: Guru or Snake Oil Salesman?
|Anthony Robbins, self-invented|
Anthony Robbins is a phenomeon. If you haven’t come across him yet – well, you will.
In a nut-shell he is the top, or one of the top, personal development salesmen in the world – hosting seminars, writing books, making the infamous “infomercials”, giving lectures, flogging motivational CDs – he even had a TV show for a while, which has just been picked up by Oprah. He is brand Tony Robbins.
If you want to get thinner, richer, fitter or just more fulfilled and successful, Antony Robbins says he can help you.
I find Robbins mesmerisingly fascinating. I’ve been watching him on youtube and I recommend this video of him giving a TED talk.
The guy has extraordinary communication skills. He speaks so fluently, the anecdotes spill out of his mouth as he strides around the stage. His gestures are perfect. His message is simple. He might be an evangelical preacher man, but he’s not selling God. He’s selling success in the modern world.
And to do that, he must epitomise it himself. He certainly looks awfully rich somehow.
His message is simple because he puts everything into bullet points. There are six ways of doing this and three steps to that and nine means of etcetera. When life is cut up into bite-sized pieces like that, why, anything seems possible.
I’ve met people who go to his seminars repeatedly to drink at the fountain of Tony. They have a dazed look because they are on a mission, the Tony mission, to be the best they can be, and to go back for more. Since his seminars are rather expensive, you are already part of a very special, select group of people who are able and willing to fork out thousands of pounds a pop.
Now, this guy has incredible powers of persuasion, so I’m grateful that what he’s selling is essentially harmless, although it has a dark side. Imagine if, instead of selling self-help, Tony Robbins were stirring up racial hatred or sectarian violence. He has the power.
So what of his chart?
|Date and time for this chart were found by|
Well here’s another contemporary Pisces who has moved millions with the power of his vision, and made millions doing it. I’m thinking of the late Steve Jobs, and the lamentable Rupert Murdoch. Both born fishes.
And yet, what’s this? One of the most brilliant communicators of our times has Mercury, the planet that rules communications in Pisces. That means it is both in detriment and in its fall. That’s bad, right? Well, I guess not if you’re trying to sell a dream, a vision, an ideal.
Because that is what Robbins is doing. He is selling you back to you. He holds up a mirror and instead of seeing humdrum little old you, you see the fabulous, glamourous you that you could be, if only you could follow the five steps or the seven ways or the 52 cards.
But if Robbins’ chart was all about water, he would have no drive. He has the fire that every salesperson needs. With the Moon in Aries, he is competitive, energetic, and this Moon is made even more excitable and exciting by a trine from electric Uranus in fiery Leo. The Moon is applying to this trine which makes it stronger. Then Jupiter in fiery Sagittarius sends a beam to the Moon also.
And here we have something. Robbins is huge – 6’7″ – and large with it. One of his books is called Awaken the Giant Within. Here’s what he says: “The path to success is to take massive, determined action.” He likes large, and where is the planet of large?
Jupiter is domicile in Sagittarius, the sign of adventure and expansion. Not only that, it’s in the last few minutes of the sign, so it carries a huge punch. One of the keys to Robbins success is his optimism, Jupiter. He really has faith (Jupiter again). This faith feeds his Aries soul directly and it’s intensified by Pluto. Jupiter is, of course, in the house of communications, talking.
This is quite a difficult chart. It’s filled with inconjuncts and squares and a serious opposition from Pluto to the Sun (ouch). But then Robbins whole approach is one of facing up to problems, and beating them. Clearly, he had to do that himself. With the Pluto opposition, you tend to either be blocked or you stand on the blockage to give yourself a leg up. Another of his books is called Unleash Your Potential.
“One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.”
|Robbins Venus-Uranus opposition: Beauty and the Beast|
If Tony Robbins were simply a super-selling self-help guru, people would not find him objectionable. There is quite a lot of common sense in what he says, combined with a lot of wishful thinking. But he has a real flaw: greed. He has become very, very wealthy by getting people to come to his seminars and workshops on how to become very, very wealthy.
This is part of the Pluto-Jupiter-Moon dynamic in his chart. He is insatiable. One of his mantras is that to find fulfilment, you need to give back. This is true enough – but even his giving is insatiable. He doesn’t give one turkey, or a dozen he goes on and on giving those turkeys.
Another reason for Robbins’ success is his ability to structure his ideas into formats that people can copy. Listening to him speak, I could hear Saturn (structure) and Pallas (intelligent design) talking. And they are conjunct in Saturn’s home sign, Capricorn. They also conjunct the IC. This strong desire to find rules for human behaviour is at the foundation of his chart, holding up the whole edifice.
Finally, one more word about his charm. He has Libra Rising, which usually gives grace and people-pleasing potential. It also means Venus in the humanitarian sign Aquarius is the chart ruler. But she is opposed by Uranus in Leo. This says something about Robbins unusual appearance. He manages somehow to be both beauty and the beast wrapped up in a single package.
Also he loves (Venus) an audience (Aquarius) – and I guess quite a few of them love him back.
For more on Robbins, click here.