Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Gary Oldman - From Sid Vicious to Winston Churchill via Count Dracula

 This is Gary Oldman’s time, receiving universal praise for his role as Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour and picking up Best Actor awards at the Oscars, Golden Globes and BAFTAs, to name just a few.

Darkest Hour tells how World War II British Prime Minister Churchill changed history by making the decision, with the odds stacked against him, to fight on against the threat of invasion from the seemingly unstoppable Nazi forces, refusing to negotiate for peace with Hitler, despite pressure from his parliament and the War Cabinet.

The story picks up key themes in Oldman’s chart. Sun, Moon and Mercury Conjunct in the martial, warrior sign of Aries in his 10th House, reflects his character’s decision to fight, not negotiate, reflected in Churchill’s famous, we shall fight on the beaches speech. We also see Oldman’s Sun in Aries in the 10th House in the movie’s tagline A man with the heart of a nation. And all those Aries planets are disposited by Mars in Aquarius, a placement of stubbornly acting upon one’s own convictions, acting independently but for the good of the whole.
Darkest Hour also uses the taglines Never give up. Never give in. and Never, never, never surrender.
These also reflect Oldman’s Aries warrior spirit, but also his Fixed T Square, that most unyielding of aspect patterns. The T Square is comprised of Uranus in Leo in the 2nd House Opposite Mars in Aquarius in the 8th House with an apex of Neptune and North Node in Scorpio in the 5th House. 

Jupiter, also in the 5th, joins this stubborn Fixed T Square and at the very last degree of Libra, 29 degrees and 56 minutes no less, is an apt reflection of Churchill’s refusal to negotiate with the Nazis. Jupiter, Neptune and North Node in the 5th House at the apex, speak of his career choice as an actor, with Neptune representing the glamorous illusion of the movies. The North Node brings perhaps a sense of destiny around his choice. Jupiter offers faith and opportunity and in the critical 29th degree adds a ‘do or die’ quality. Uranus in the 2nd in Leo is about valuing being at the centre of things, but on one’s own terms, in one’s own way. It is also more generally about earning money unconventionally or erratically and opposite Mars in Aquarius in the 8th suggests tension around the sharing of money and resources within partnerships. It stands to reason that his four divorces would bring financial stress, even, or especially, in the big money world of Hollywood.

Venus and Mars are both in Aquarius in the 8th, but too wide to be in a Conjunction. Venus is Conjunct Chiron. Is there some clue here, as to why Oldman has been married five times? Oldman is known to be intensely protective of his private life, as you might expect with a personal planet in the 8th House, eschewing celebrity and the circus that comes with it. However in the buzz around awards season, his personal life was laid open by his third wife who claimed in a newspaper article that he ‘ruined’ her life and ‘stole’ her children. Neptune in the 5th, Square Mars and Uranus is also evoked here.

The Jupiter, Neptune, North Node Conjunction has also manifested in alcoholism with a spell in rehab and a drink driving charge in 1991, when transiting Neptune Squared his Moon and Mercury.
His Sun is in an out of sign Square with Saturn in Sagittarius and both Sun and Saturn are connected to Pluto by Quincunx and Trine respectively. Furthermore, his Mercury in Aries is in a Sesquiquadrate aspect with Pluto.  Pluto is also in a Sextile to Jupiter, linking it to his T-Square. This can be dark stuff and reflects many of the characters he has played and/or the themes of many of the films he has starred in.  This configuration also symbolises how he is said to reinvent himself for every role. Here are a few examples:

Darkest Hour, 2018, playing the lead character Winston Churchill, who famously suffered from dark moods, which he labelled Black Dog. Oldman is unrecognisable as himself in his portrayal of Churchill.

Sid and Nancy, 1986, in which he portrayed real life punk rocker Sid Vicious’s relationship with Nancy
Spungen and his fatal drug overdose following her death.

The lead role in Prick Up Your Ears, 1987, which tells the true story of the extraordinary life and violent death of gay British playwright Joe Orton.

His roles in Sid and Nancy and Prick up your Ears depicted damaged young men whose lives were cut short, reflected by Solar Arc (SA) Mars Opposite natal Pluto during that time. They also won him great acclaim and opened the door to Hollywood. SA North Node and Neptune were also Trine his Sun and during this period he also had transiting Pluto opposite Moon.

In 1991, he played Lee Harvey Oswald in Oliver Stone’s JFK, a conspiracy theory movie which posited that there was more to the official story of Oswald’s assassination of John F. Kennedy.  Pluto was transiting Oldman’s Venus-Chiron Conjunction by Square, with transiting Uranus applying to Square his Moon and transiting Neptune midway through Squaring his Moon-Mercury.

It’s interesting to note here that in all of the above he played real historical figures which is perhaps shown by the Trine from the Sun and Moon to Uranus, a configuration which suggests the need for authenticity.

In 1992, he played the ultimate dark character, Count Dracula, in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, with SA Saturn Square Jupiter and SA Sun in Taurus Opposite his Neptune in Scorpio, activating his T-Square, allowing themes of vampiric control and desire to come through.

In 1994, he played corrupt DEA officer Norman Stansfield in Léon, the Professional. His character is often named as one of the best villains in cinema. This release had SA Saturn just past a Square with Oldman’s Jupiter.

In more recent years he played Sirius Black in the Harry Potter Movies (from 2004) and in 2005 played police commissioner James Gordon in Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, reprising the character in The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. While neither of these characters were villains, they inhabited worlds full of evils, with Sirius Black in hiding, the victim of a wrongful conviction and James Gordon helping Batman overcome dark forces in Gotham City, In 2011, Oldman earned his first Oscar nomination for playing British spy George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, with transiting Saturn Conjunct and transiting Neptune Trine his 5th House Jupiter and SA Uranus separating from a Opposition to his Sun.

As for his current transits, he has Solar Arc Pluto Conjunct Jupiter in the 5th House denoting a major milestone in his acting career. Solar Arc Mars has just passed over his Sun in Aries the 10th House, suggesting recognition, respect and attention for playing a strong male character.

And the Secondary Progressed Moon - that great timer - is currently Sextile his 10th House Mercury and has just Trined Venus and in September last year Sextiled his 10th House Moon, another indication of a peak in his career and reputation.

© Mandi Lockley BA, Dip.LSA

This article is adapted from the current edition of Infinity Astrology Magazine, which is choc-full of new articles from some of the world's top astrologers and rising stars.


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