INDIVIDUALS with their sun in a fire sign (Aries, Leo and Sagittarius)
are born enthusiasts, success-orientated, and the people who will set
the world on fire. So it is not surprising that seven of this year's 10
Oscar nominees for the Best Actor and Best Actress were born under fire
signs. But the stars are truly aligned for two actors this year -Philip
Seymour Hoffman and Reese Witherspoon.
The Winner - Philip Seymour Hoffman, "Capote"
July 23, 1967 - LEO
Jupiter aspects are common in the horoscopes of actors, and Hoffman's
sun-Jupiter conjunction in larger-than-life Leo certainly gave him an
edge in getting to grips with real-life Truman Capote's monumental ego.
But it is Hoffman's Mars in Scorpio that brings actor and author
together in the story of the latter's international best seller "In
Cold Blood," a groundbreaking "nonfiction novel" about a brutal
multiple murder in Kansas. Mars in Scorpio is associated with violence,
but can also be cunning and manipulative, words not infrequently used
about Capote himself. Hoffman ("Boogie Nights," "Red Dragon") certainly
seems to have an affinity for the dark side. Saturn, planet of
restriction but also rewards, moved into his birth sign in July 2005
and remains there throughout 2006, so Oscar success - a reward for hard
work - is very much in the stars.
Heath Ledger, "Brokeback Mountain"
April 4, 1979 - ARIES
A combination of masculinity and sensitivity was needed for the part of
Ennis Del Mar, who carries on a long-term homosexual relationship with
fellow cowboy Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal). His Aries sun and
Mars-Mercury conjunction means there is no doubting Heath's manliness,
but the union falls in sympathetic Pisces, which, with a moon-Jupiter
link in compassionate Cancer, gives the right combination to carry it
off. With the changeable moon so strong in his chart, Heath will
continue to attract a wide range of roles, but a star-making persona
may elude him, a fact his Aries ego may find hard to take.
Joaquin Phoenix, "Walk the Line"
Oct. 28, 1974 - SCORPIO
Joaquin Phoenix's triple conjunction of the sun, Mars and Venus in
passionate Scorpio makes a perfect angle to a triple union of the sun,
Mars and Mercury in sensitive Pisces in the chart of country legend
Johnny Cash. This role was made for him. Phoenix's star will rise ever
higher over the next few years, although there is enough variation and
intelligence (Mercury-Uranus in Libra) in his chart to suggest that he
won't accept being typecast.
David Strathairn, "Good Night, and Good Luck"
Jan. 26, 1949 - AQUARIUS
David Strathairn has an "actor's aspect" - moon-Jupiter - in the
hardworking sign of Capricorn, and with more than 80 movie and TV
credits, as well as considerable stage experience, will continue to be
in demand. Superstardom may have eluded Strathairn, but that won't
worry him one bit - as a sun-sign Aquarius, he doesn't need the
adulation that drives the egos at the beginning of the zodiac. As one
of his peers put it: "It's all about work and not about him."
Terrence Howard, "Hustle & Flow"
March 11, 1969 - PISCES
The highlight of Terrence Howard's horoscope is a Venus-Saturn
conjunction - an aspect often found in the charts of talented artists -
in the go-getting sign of Aries. Venus rules and Saturn is exalted in
Libra, sign of harmony - so it is no surprise to find Howard is a
talented musician - while his Aries side gives edge to his character
DJay, a small-time Memphis pimp hoping to hit it big in the music biz.
There is also a quirky side to Howard's horoscope that suggests more
varied roles in future, most likely around the time when transiting
Saturn sparks his Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in Libra in 2009. His best
is yet to come.
Charlize Theron, "North Country"
Aug. 7, 1975 - LEO
There is something of the big cat about Charlize Theron, something
feline and powerful, befitting her Leo-dominated horoscope and her
larger-than-life presence, as well as the 30 pounds she put on for the
role that won her 2003's Best Actress Oscar -serial killer Aileen
Wuornos in "Monster." That award coincided with her coming-of-age
Saturn return, and with a hugely ambitious Mars-Saturn aspect in her
chart, too. There will undoubtedly be more success in the future for
the talented South African. However, with Mars also conjunct with the
moon's south node, she won't always get along with the Hollywood
hierarchy. Those Leo claws may come in handy!
Keira Knightley, "Pride and Prejudice"
March 26, 1985 - ARIES
The most striking thing about 20-year-old British newcomer Keira
Knightley's horoscope is the fun-loving and independent-minded aspect
between Venus/Mercury and Uranus that joins her Aries sun sign with
freedom-loving Sagittarius. One thing Keira won't ever be is
predictable, either in her private life or her choice of future roles.
However, her Taurus Mars shows great determination, as well as an
outsized capacity for hard work - although not yet 21, Keira has
notched up a considerable list of performances, including the cult
classic "Bend It Like Beckham." But as Mars also opposes Pluto, she
must watch out that the strains of stardom don't get too much for her.
The Winner - Reese Witherspoon, "Walk the Line"
March 22, 1976 - ARIES
"Legally Blonde" she may be, but Reese Witherspoon is anything but dumb
when it comes to the movie business, having just negotiated herself a
staggering $30 million payday for her next big project, "Our Family
Trouble." Her money sense comes from the heavy water-sign influence in
her horoscope, along with her Aries sun's natural desire to be No.1.
Reese has also recently undergone her Saturn return, the maturing
aspect that affects everyone around the age of 29, so now she is
focused and knows what she wants out of her life and her career. It
bodes well for an Oscar, too, as Saturn is the planet of well-earned
success. On top of which, Jupiter, planet of luck, has recently been
making an excellent angle to communications planet Mercury and values
planet Venus, so more good news is on its way.
Judi Dench, "Mrs. Henderson Presents"
Dec. 9, 1934 - SAGITTARIUS
British actress Dame Judi Dench's energetic Sagittarius sun is tempered
by a Venus-Saturn aspect that helps bring both grace and gravitas to
her roles. Sagittarians never slow down, and despite being in her 72nd
year, Dame Judi is unlikely to be exiting stage left any time soon, not
with go-getting Mars occupying the workaholic sign of Virgo. Retire?
Perish the thought. There may, in fact, be a very big payday coming up
soon as Jupiter, planet of good fortune, highlights her sun-Venus
conjunction early next year.
Dec. 9, 1962 - SAGITTARIUS
Venus-Neptune aspects, as well as signifying generosity of spirit, are
sometimes linked to emotional confusion, so it's interesting to note
that Felicity Huffman, who plays preoperative transsexual Bree in
"Transamerica," has a Venus-Neptune conjunction in her horoscope - in
sex sign Scorpio, too! Like Judi Dench, whose birthday she shares,
Felicity has a Sagittarius sun, linked in her case to a very
masculine-looking Mars in Leo - an interesting combination for a woman
playing a man who wants to be a woman. A major change of direction is
signaled in about two years' time when Saturn transits Uranus, planet
of upheaval. Her interest in something outside the movie mainstream
will take center stage, at least for a while.