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Stars of the Silver Screen

[Introductory note from blog editor, Mary Plumb:

On Saturday I was driving to a neighboring town to hear local acupuncturist and Chinese scholar, Ken Bendat, speak on the Wood Horse Year (also known as the Cloud Horse). Our local NCGR group hosted Ken at our last meeting and I was rather taken with his talk: his discussion of the symbolism and the quite different view from Chinese astrology to the Western approach. For me, Ken’s talk was a provocative introduction to a different mythological view.

It started pouring rain, much needed in this southern Oregon valley. I was happy and relaxed and enjoying the drive through the vineyards and farms to Jacksonville. The rain made me a bit disoriented for a moment and a thought formed in my mind: “I have no idea where I am, I’m just following the road.” What caught my attention was how relaxed I was, with none of the familiar anxious thoughts that tend to whip through my mind: i.e, I’m lost!, I’ll be late!, Yikes, I don’t know where I am!, etc. It was just a lovely moment where my short road trip was basking in the deep, ongoing, ever-present grace of the unknown; just keep on moving. For a moment, no edge or challenge from Uranus or Pluto or Mars or Saturn, just a delightful balm in the heart (and a display of Mercury retrograde in Pisces conjunct Neptune). Sometimes we really don’t know where we’re going, just keep on following the road.

TMA Managing Editor Jan de Prosse offers this week’s blog. We are in a series of Jupiter-Pluto oppositions (exact on August 7, 2013; January 31 and April 20, 2014). Her article finds Jupiter-Pluto hard aspects as a marker in the horoscopes of three very famous actors.

I so appreciate all the recent blog writers; my marbles are not quite all settled into place since my bump-on-the-head incident last summer. Getting there, for sure, and in the mean time, I am completely enjoying others’ contributions to TMA’s blog. Thank you, one and all.]

Stars of the Silver Screen
by Jan de Prosse

Many thanks to my dear friend Kate Sholly for her invaluable assistance with this article.

I wondered: Why do some people succeed beyond all expectation in the movie business? What might I find in the birth charts of hugely popular 20th-century movie stars? I considered three charts — male matinee idols from my parents’ generation. (I also fell under their spells growing up.) I evaluated the charts in terms of the significators of film stardom in the realm of Hollywood. All three of these extraordinary lives were marked by a Neptune–Uranus aspect (Neptune rules film), a challenging Jupiter–Pluto aspect, prominent Aquarius/Leo, and a strong Venus placement. Remember, too, that whenever any of the outer planets are involved, the successful manifestation of gifts depends on grounding in Saturn.

Neptune–Uranus aspects indicate people who dream of a better world. Stressful Jupiter–Pluto aspects (like the square and opposition found in these three charts) mark people who challenge lofty ideas. These men were trailblazers in their chosen field of endeavor. According to Stephen Arroyo, Jupiter–Pluto bestows “tremendous unconquerable courage,” which would certainly be necessary to make a mark in a competitive profession. This aspect also conveys “innate abilities to determine the motivations for people’s behavior,” a talent that would definitely come in handy in the acting profession. (1)

Paul Newman
This marvelous man has a Jupiter–Pluto opposition conjunct his Ascendant–Descendant axis and Saturn (in the 10th house of career) trine Pluto. The Jupiter–Pluto aspect relates to power and opportunities, and there were plenty of both in this man’s life. Paul has Pluto on the Descendant opposed a stellium of Jupiter, Mercury, and Venus straddling his Ascendant. Besides his stellar career in the cinema, in midlife Paul and a partner started a business selling his own salad dressing recipe, branched out into popcorn and spaghetti sauce, parlayed that into a money-making enterprise, and donated all the profits to charity. By the time Paul died, millions had been given away to all sorts of worthy causes. Another sideline, summer camps for children with life-threatening illnesses, had gone international. This was a man with a huge destiny, an important role to play in this life. Jupiter in his chart made him bigger than life, lent him confidence and optimism, and along with his Moon in Pisces and Sun in Aquarius, accounted for his philanthropic ideals. (2)

Saturn trine Pluto added a stabilizing influence, allowing Paul to be constructive and to be seen as a hard worker. A prominent Saturn also gives the native the discipline to do what is necessary to reach his goals and can lead to genuinely earned and long-lasting success. (A person can’t bypass Saturn on the road to success.) In Paul’s case, Saturn square his Aquarius Sun adds humility to the mix. Paul felt lucky and wanted to help those less fortunate.

One of Paul’s best known roles was opposite Robert Redford in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Neptune in Leo in the 7th house trine Mars and Chiron suggests a glamorous fantasy career. Astrologer Priscilla Costello says that Neptune uses the imagination but is controlled and focused. Having Neptune conjunct the North Node lends a fated quality to the fame and fortune that Paul enjoyed.

Jack Lemmon
I will always have a soft spot in my heart for another Aquarian, a gifted comic actor who was an excellent dramatic actor as well. (Comedy is harder to pull off.) He played an extremely convincing alcoholic in one of his finest roles, in the movie Days of Wine and Roses.

Like Paul Newman, Jack also has a Jupiter–Pluto opposition conjoining the Ascendant–Descendant. Priscilla Costello says this about Jupiter–Pluto: “Luck blends with ambition and determination to create material success.” He has a Sun in Aquarius–Moon in Leo opposition and the Sun square Saturn. (3) The latter generally indicates pressure to succeed from one’s parents, making the native insecure and thus propelling him forward. In other words, this aspect gives a person the motivation to strive toward his goals. Jack fulfilled his dream: He had a prolific career, starring in dozens of movies. His Neptune aspects gave him the ability to do well in any creative field, and his Mercury–Venus conjunction square Mars lent him the charisma he needed.

Cary Grant
This silver-screen heartthrob was known for his suave demeanor. His leading-man roles were mostly light comedies, like the classic Arsenic and Old Lace. He never seemed to take himself too seriously. In this man’s chart, we find Jupiter square Pluto. (Both Paul Newman and Jack Lemmon have the opposition.) We can expect the square to manifest similarly to the opposition, granting power and fame. Venus, Pluto, and Jupiter form a t-square in this chart, and Libra on the Ascendant adds to the Venusian energy that made Cary seem so smooth, sexy, and approachable. Cary’s Venus–Pluto opposition might suggest that he was a controlling person — but compelling and passionate as well. Women were definitely attracted to him. Jupiter in Pisces in the 5th (Leo’s house of creative endeavors, such as acting) lightens the energy of the t-square. He also has Leo on the cusp of the 10th house of career. (4)

Cary has a Moon–Saturn conjunction in Aquarius straddling the IC; the Moon is also in an out-of-sign conjunction to his Sun in Capricorn. Saturn near the IC means there was probably a taskmaster in his early life, a parental figure who pushed him to excel. His Venus–Pluto opposition suggests the need to work out anger toward loved ones, perhaps the demanding parent.

The common elements in these three horoscopes are indeed striking. Looking at their charts, it would be hard to imagine any of them leading mediocre lives outside of the spotlight, but that might have happened if any of them had failed to live up to his immense potential.

Notes and References

1. Stephen Arroyo, Exploring Jupiter: The Astrological Key to Progress, Prosperity & Potential (1996, C.R.C.S. Publications).

2. According to Priscilla Costello, The Weiser Concise Guide to Practical Astrology, Weiser, 2008, Jupiter is the great benefactor who “generously bestows wealth, success, honors, gifts, and graces … He oversees growth and expansion on every level.” Pluto, on the other hand, “has to do with increasing your wealth … and possibly … distributing it with the intention of improving society. Pluto can evolve from a drive to amass material things to a detachment that enables you to dispense with them.”

3. Although the accuracy of Jack’s birth data is in question, the Moon in Leo seems to fit a famous actor’s chart. In this case, the Moon is in mid Leo with the questionable 2:00 p.m. birth time, so it is fairly safe to assume that the Moon was in Leo all day. The Moon conjunct Neptune would also be an indicator of a career in the film industry, and the North Node, as part of that conjunction, gives Jack’s entire movie career a fated quality, as it does in Paul Newman’s chart.

4. In Practical Astrology, Priscilla Costello lists these qualities of people with Venus–Pluto aspects: “erotic magnetism … boundless creativity … can generate and regenerate resources/money.”

Bio: Jan de Prosse is Managing Editor of The Mountain Astrologer magazine.

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