Beseigement is a Medieval aspect concept that occurs when a planet is separating from an aspect to one malefic and applying to an aspect with another malefic with no intermediary aspect.
Drew Barrymore’s Moon in Cancer is besieged by two malefics. It is separating from a conjunction to Saturn retrograde in Cancer and applying to an opposition with Mars in Capricorn.
Born into a famous acting family, Drew Barrymore carried on the legacy of acting from the age of 11 months. (1)
For Barrymore, beseigement manifested as a fast paced life that was densely saturated with activity from an early age. Her natural talent for acting earned her many roles, which also put her in front of the public eye at a young age. In the Hollywood lifestyle in the early 80’s, she got involved with intoxicating substances from the age of 9, developing a pattern of abuse that would lead her to multiple stays in rehab centers.
In Barrymore’s chart, exalted Mars in Capricorn is making a very challenging opposition to the Moon in Cancer. This Mars in a day chart is the ruler of the 11th house of friendships and alliances. In an interview at age 15, Barrymore reports that people she thought were her friends were the ones who encouraged her to drink at the age of 9. She said they dared her to drink, encapsulating the nature of diurnal Mars to push beyond a limit, to egg on, to be impulsive in a way that is destructive.
The Moon in Cancer is conjunct Saturn retrograde in Cancer in the 2nd house. Saturn in Cancer is the ruler of the house of inheritance. Barrymore was born into and given the Barrymore family name, along with its legacy of acting talent and substance abuse.
Barrymore did have the strength of her strongly placed Moon in Cancer — the quality of support found in the life circumstances she was born into and found herself in over the course of her life — to overcome the challenging aspects of being born into a life of almost immediate fame and all its trappings.
On a psychological level, I would like to think that Barrymore did work to heal the ancestral legacy by going through the enormous task of developing awareness around her behaviors, and changing them. Especially with respect to substance abuse.
Another aspect concept that I want to point out is the Hellenistic configuration called overcoming. This is when a planet is making an aspect from the right side to a planet on the left, in the zodiacal order of signs.
In this chart, Mars is in an overcoming sextile to both Jupiter and Venus in luminous positions in the public 10th house of career and reputation. Since Mars is in a day chart, it did have the impact of “corrupting or degrading” (textbook definitions — I see it as a neutral soul experience, which definitely can be experienced negatively in the extended moment of a lifetime) her reputation due to some of her professional choices and personal behaviors. But owing to the strength, or effectiveness, of both Jupiter and Venus in Pisces, a great sign for them both, Barrymore redeemed herself through sheer effort and hard work.
And the work was relentless. This Mars opposition to the Moon with Saturn is like being in a never-ending, action-packed Mars profection year. Reading through her screen credits on wikipedia is a marathon effort itself. The lady has been in a lot of films, and has accomplished much in her career.
On a yogic level, I believe Barrymore may have had previous lifetimes in the public eye, or as an actor. Her soul, born into an ego identity, may have struggled in some way with substance abuse in these former lifetimes. In this lifetime she had to go through the karmic difficulties of her life experiences in the first two decades of her life. She exercised great will power to come out on the other side to a more healthful life. She was given the ticket to experience some negative karma seed blossoms in this life, but also the great ability to overcome, which she did with her will and with Grace.
Sidenote 1 — In her first year of life itself, Barrymore auditioned and landed a puppy chow commercial. She was in a first house profection year, a year emphasizing her identity, her body, her self, and the direction of her life.