Meandering with PujanandaA Fusion of Vedic and Western Astrology
Getting Better with Age
It's hard to imagine a more glamorous and dashing male star than George Clooney. He possesses a special kind of attractiveness that seems to improve with age.
On close inspection astrologically, this attraction comes from Venus, with a strong dose of Saturn... or is it Saturn with a strong dose of Venus ?
Students of astrology will easily be familiar with Libra and its emphasis on beauty and harmony - but less familiar with the idea the Saturn is exalted in Libra. For that reason, Saturn and Venus get along nicely, particularly in the chart of males. See Meanderings 7 for a similar discussion of Robert Redford .
An American actor, filmmaker, and activist, Clooney is well-known for his good looks and understated elegance. Note his Venus, exalted in Pisces. This powerful Venus is located in the 2nd House, which deals with the face. It's made all the more powerful since Taurus is the second sign in the natural zodiac: Venus is "domicile" in the 2nd House. A powerful Venus often brings wealth, so this combination amounts to a double wealth-giving symbol. As a successful movie star, George Clooney has accumulated a sizable fortune.
For his success in the field of communications, we can note his powerful 3rd House, with an exalted Sun and Mercury present. His Sun is opposed by Neptune and a prominent Neptune influence is important for glamour in general and Hollywood success in particular. As in the case of Elizabeth Taylor (see Meanderings 22) who had many marriages, when this influence is connected to marriage (the Sun rules Leo, his house of marriage) it can bring confusion and high aspirations regarding choice of life partner. One result can be a lifetime of searching for the perfect mate. Another can be marriage to someone of an idealistic or altruistic nature.
Most important for his overall success and enduring appeal which seems to improve with age, is the Saturn in his chart. It is placed in its own sign, Capricorn, joined by 2 benefic planets, Jupiter and the Moon. Since Saturn is the traditional lord of Aquarius, this means that his chart ruler is aspected by the 2 best benefics. While Jupiter is fallen in Capricorn - and the Moon is debilitated there - their influence boosts Saturn tremendously. The product is a chart with a powerful first house: the native gets fame, recognition and good looks. Because it's all in Capricorn, the result is a calm, cool personality: smooth, poised, unruffled. Because Saturn improves with age, so does the individual !
Leading Man, Business Man
American film actor and business man Cary Grant was described as "the greatest leading man Hollywood had ever known". Popular with both sexes, it was said that "men wanted to be him and women dreamed of dating him". He was married 5 times and was a real estate developer, described as "one of the shrewdest businessmen ever to operate in Hollywood".
Renowned Hollywood costume designer Edith Head appreciated his meticulous attention to detail and considered him to have had the greatest fashion sense of any actor she had worked with. At the same time, Cary Grant was sitting on the boards of directors of several large companies.
Like Martha Stewart (Meanderings 4) and Grace Kelly (Meanderings 16), Cary Grant was born with Libra rising. Like George Clooney, he had Venus in the 2nd House, the house given dominion over the face. Venus is said to be in debility in Scorpio, but in the horoscope of a man it can give good looks, making the native tall, dark and handsome.
The inherent sensuality and sex-appeal of Venus in Scorpio has been further enhanced by its opposition from Pluto, the ruler of Scorpio. Because Pluto which rules Scorpio resides in Taurus - and Venus which rules Taurus resides in Scorpio, there is a combination called Parivartana Yoga in Sanskrit: an "Exchange of Signs" in English. This combination is believed to strengthen both planets. In one stroke, this simple pattern describes Cary Grant's attractiveness and business acumen.
Like George Clooney, Cary Grant had a strong influence of Saturn and the constellation Capricorn. Note the 4 planets in the 4th House, in Capricorn. There we find the Sun, the Moon, Mercury and Saturn. Saturn in its own sign Capricorn, in an angular house. This makes him not just a double Capricorn, but a triple Capricorn. It's no wonder he exhibits many of the best qualities of Saturn, that same genteel and aristocratic polish we see in George Clooney.
For charts with Libra rising, this is a fantastic combination ! Saturn is the best planet for Libra because it rules both an angular house (the 4th, namely Capricorn) and a trinal house (the fifth, Aquarius). In this chart, Saturn is in its own sign Capricorn. This gives phenomenal good luck with 4th House matters: homes, properties and real estate. Hence it is no surprise to learn that he was an accomplished real estate developer. According to Wikipedia, he "invested heavily in real estate development in Acapulco at a time when it was little more than a fishing village".
Even greater fortune is seen in this combination, because the Moon is involved. It's not only the natural ruler of the 4th sign Cancer (and is therefore domocile in the 4th House), but for Libra rising horoscopes, it's the lord of the 10th house. It's the career symbol. Mercury in the same combination is favorable, as Mercury rules the auspicious and luck-producing 9th House. This makes yet another Raja Yoga, a traditional combination for Royalty.
When we see 4th house emphasis, we usually see someone with a strong interest in family life. According to Wikipedia, "Grant retired from the screen at 62, when his daughter Jennifer was born, to focus on bringing her up and to provide a sense of permanency and stability in her life."
In Indian astrology, planets can cast aspects not only from planet to planet, but from sign to sign. Cary Grant's 4 planet lineup lights up his 10th house, boosting the house of notoriety and recognition to great heights. This shows that we don't have to have planets in the house itself, if the house and its ruler are illuminated appropriately.
Making Others Look Glamorous
Herb Ritts was a photographer and director of music videos who reached enormous influence in the 1980's and 90's. You may not know his name or recognize his face, but you know his style, which strongly influenced subsequent generations in the world of popular music and fashion.
Here we have another Libra rising chart. This time, chart-ruler Venus is in Leo, which is all about glamour. (See Martha Stewart for the same pattern). Venus in Leo is great for the creative arts ! Venus is also the ruler of his Moon sign Taurus, and we find it in the 10th House from the Moon. This is what we expect to find in the chart of a portrait photographer who became a celebrity himself.
Also note the further emphasis on partnerships, the emphasis on other people: Jupiter the great benefic is in Aries, the 7th House. It directly aspects Mars, the lord of the 7th House. Venus and the 7th House are all about others. From Aries, Jupiter casts its favorable trine aspect to Venus: more favor for the arts, favor for relationships, favor for successful relationships with successful individuals. He worked for many of the top fashion designers, movie stars and models.
It's one thing to have successful relationships or relationships with successful individuals, it's another thing to be a celebrity. For career success and recognition, this chart does not disappoint ! Notice the 10th House with Sun, Mercury and... Pluto. Mars in the 1st House, Pluto conjunct the Sun in the 10th House. This promotes a huge emphasis on recognition and influence over others. For more about Pluto, Scorpio and their inherent power and sensuality, see Meanderings 9. In this horoscope, the ruler of the 10th House is the Moon, and it's exalted in Taurus. Taken together, it's no surprise that this is the horoscope of a highly successful individual posessing great sensitivity and intuition.
His black and white images brought together ancient classical style and modern sensuality, combined with a sense of spontaneity and playfulness: a winning combination. He helped invent and define the age of the super model.
Herb Ritt's fine art photography has been featured in many exhibitions worldwide. His prints hang in many museums and appear in private collections. You can view more at the Herb Ritts Foundation here.
Key to Success
Glamour is nice, but to be a successful portrait artist, the subject must be happy. Making portraits is intimate work. It requires a high degree of empathy. This appears astrologically in the powerful emphasis in the sign Cancer and exalted Moon. Perhaps his most glowing endorsement came from actress and super model Cindy Crawford, who once said