Tuesday, August 04, 2009


We saw the newest Harry Potter movie last week. It's okay - not mind-shatteringly good but engaging enough. The brightest spark for me, in Harry Potter tales, is Alan Rickman. He may not be on screen very often, for for long, but you can't ignore him - he's the focus of all attention no matter who else shares the screen. It has always been this way for Alan Rickman.

The first time I was aware of him, and have never forgotten, was his role as Sheriff of Nottingham to Kevin Costner's rather effete Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves. He "owns" the screen whenever he appears, whatever the plot, however minor his character. It's a gift few possess. I wonder whether it can be traced in a natal chart?

I'm not going to waffle on about all the many, many roles Rickman has played. Tiscali's biography, one of the best on-line, can fill in the detail. The quotes below come from this source (linked below the post).

Alan Rickman was born in Hammersmith, London, UK on 21 February 1946. Time of birth not known, so in the chart below the rising sign isn't accurate. Exact placement of the Moon would be between late Libra, if born before 6am, and early Scorpio for a later birthtime.

When I first looked at this natal chart I thought, I bet this guy can draw and paint. Sun and two closest personal planets, Mercury and Venus (planet of the arts), all in Pisces (ruled by Neptune planet of creativity and imagination). As it happens I was right! Rickman started out as a graphic artist.

As a child, he was bright, and artistic, capable of excellent calligraphy and watercolour painting..........

Rickman loved acting, but his other artistic talents led him towards graphic design - certainly a safer occupation. "Drama school," he says "wasn't considered the sensible thing to do at 18". So he enrolled at the Chelsea College Of Art And Design, later spending a year at the Royal College Of Art. It was at Chelsea that he met Rima Horton, still his partner today.

Acting came to the fore a little later, and the rest (to use a well-worn cliche) is history.

But why is it that the roles Rickman is asked to play seem to follow a particular pattern? These are almost always dark, sinister, and threatening at worst, sarcastic and sneering at best. Liam Neeson, another wonderful actor, who I think shares a similar facial look, doesn't usually get offered that kind of role.

Where is the darkness in Rickman's natal chart - or rather the ability to portray the sinister characters so convincingly? By all accounts, in real life, Rickman isn't in the least threatening or sinister.
First of all, anyone with prominent Pisces will have the most vivid of imaginations - first step to being able to portray what they can imagine. This Rickman has. But in addition, and importantly, there's a Yod (Finger of Fate) with its apex pointing to the Sun, Mercury and Venus in Pisces, the sextile at its base links Neptune (planet of creativity and ruler of Pisces) and Pluto (planet of power and darkness) to the personal planets via two quincunx aspects.This type of formation is said to channel the natures of the sextiled planets through those at the apex. In this case via Pisces' vivid imagination and acting, Pluto's sinister side can be seen.

A look at Rickman's filmography convinces me that he's a hard worker - Saturn conjunct Mars in his natal chart underlines this. Energy and a rigid self discipline are both fairly foreign to Pisces, so in Rickman's case his Mars/Saturn conjunction provides a useful balance to his more dreamy, artistic side. These two planets are in Cancer another Water sign and harmonious with Pisces, so although they bring a different facet to his nature, there's no conflict.

When approaching the chart of an actor, I usually expect to see some prominent Leo. Here there's only Pluto - the generational planet in Leo, but it's always possible that Leo was rising. Otherwise, in Rickman's case, although he loves the stage and the screen, and they both love him, I suspect the source of his skill is his imaginative core, deriving from a good helping of Pisces.

It's been said that Rickman is an actor with "the perfect voice". That's a subjective assessment. Sam Elliott's voice makes my toes curl, but I have to admit that Alan Rickman, reciting this short poem for peace, gave me goosebumps. Oh yes, and he's a keen supporter of left-wing politics, for which he deserves my Gold Star!

TISCALI Bio of Alan Rickman

Photographs from the top: The real Alan Rickman; as Severus Snape, Professor of Potions in Harry Potter movies; as Sheriff of Nottingham in "Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves"; as Judge Turpin in "Sweeney Todd the Demon Barber"; as Hans Gruber in "Die Hard".


Unknown said...

I agree Twilight that he always seems to be cast as the villain but I also think he has fun with the roles as he always seems to have a twinkle in his eye when playing a "baddie". As the Sheriff of Nottingham he had some of the best one liners and had me in stitches. Dare I say almost camp. It's a fine line to tread and only a seriously good actor gets away with it so you never know if he's playing it straight or for laughs.

Only seen the other side to him in Truly Madly Deeply, though I have to say I prefer him in the darker roles. He's not quite in the mould of Cary or Hugh Grant. That sort of "effeminate" or light weight leading man sort of role.

And anyone who can act Costner off the screen is a hero in my book though that wasn't exactly difficult in Robin Hood was it?

Wisewebwoman said...

Humminah, Humminah.
I'm with you, T. I loved him playing Eamon DeValera in Michael Collins and one of Austen's mini-series. He's got a gorgeous face.
I just saw a Sam Elliot in Off the Grid playing a depressive, he does something to my insides.....
I always got the feeling that AR has a lot of levels.

Twilight said...

Rossa ~~~ I agree that he almost slips into the "camp" camp at times, but to great effect. I enjoy "camp".

I saw "Truly Madly Deeply" a long time ago, I remember feeling puzzled as to the casting choice.
He's good enough to do it, by miles, of course, but somehow his talent seems wasted in a role such as that one.

Costner is fine in some movies (Dances With Wolves is a fave of mine), but he just isn't a good Robin Hood - who seems to me to be a much tougher customer than often portrayed. More like today's biker types I'd say. Mickey Rourke is the only one I can think of offhand who fits my vision of RH.

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ Sense and Sensibility, I think - I haven't seen that yet.
Yes he has an interesting face without being classically goodlooking. Liam Neeson is similar, and Barbra Streisand, they give off a kind of offbeat beauty on screen.

I think it's "Off the Map", rather than Odd the Grid, WWW. I saw it some time back and thought it quite a departure for Sam E., but good to see how versatile he is.
Hope he did things to your insides in a good way though?
My all-time favourite role for him was playing Wade Garrett in "Roadhouse" with Patrick Swayze. Sam at his sexy, lovely best does something to my insides too. ;-)

Twilight said...

Tsk...."Off the Grid"

anthonynorth said...

Yes, he's a brilliant, charismatic actor. A shame he's got so typecast.

Twilight said...

AN ~~~ A shame, in one way, yes. It's the "build a better mousetrap and they'll beat a path to your door" syndrome, I guess.

R J Adams said...

A favorite of mine, also. Rossa's right about his eyes, even in his blackest roles the twinkle manages to negate a little of the evil in his character.

WinkGamer said...

I think Alan Rickman is a fantastic Actor and his best role was in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves for sure.

Twilight said...

RJ Adams ~~~ Yes. It could come from his inner enjoyment of doing something he knows he's so good at.

Twilight said...

WinkGamer ~~~ He brought something new to the role, didn't he? I can't think of anyone who'd have played it better. :-)

Exilul interior said...

hello I am very happy to read what you written about alan dou you know his ascendant??

Twilight said...

Sasha~~~ Hi! No, sorry I haven't been able to find his time of birth so his ascendant remains unknown. This is often the case for people born in the UK, as times are not routinely recorded there.

Exilul interior said...

:) okay I like your blog!!:) Ill come to visit you soon .all good!

Twilight said...

Sasha ~~~ Thank you! I appreciate your visits.

Anonymous said...

He 's so good, playing the bad guy, that i always want him to win in the end. As being "Severus Snape", yes, is the only reason to watch "Harry Potter" .
keep on blogging

Twilight said...

Hi there crazy girl ! :-)

Yes, I feel that way too, watching him as the baddy.

We watched him in a movie on TV recently, he was a good guy in it, for a change - Dr. Blalock who pioneered heart surgery, along with his assistant Vivien Thomas played by Mos Def.
Very good movie if you haven't seen it. :-) It's called "Something the Lord Made" (HBO docudrama, 2004)

Unknown said...

OMG, Finally I've founnd what I was looking for years. I'm also another enthusiastic of Astrology. Just like you Twilight I've never forgotten the Alan Rickman's role in "Robin Hood, Prince of thieves". I do think that the movie IS HIM. I've watched it thousand of times and I never get tired or bored (just to see him). I've also been watching "Die hard" about thousand of times for the same reason. And as leonine I think that HE HAS THE ASCENDANT IN LEO. He's so dramatic, and expressive. I love the way he talks, stressing each ´syllabe.... He is remarkable. I do love watching him acting.
Thank you for the picture you've made of him. I've enjoyed it so much.
Buenos Aires

Twilight said...

Mimi ~~~ Hello! I'm pleased that you enjoyed the post on Alan Rickman. Thanks for your comment, letting me know it.

I haven't seen Alan recently, it's about time we saw him in a big, important role, I think. :-)

Charlotte said...

I discovered your blog today - what a FEAST!! I'm going to be for for days and DAYS ...
Hopefully it's not too late to comment on your Alan Rickman post (which happened on my birthday last year).
I find Rickman breathtakingly sexy and will watch absolutely anything if he's in it, which of course is hardly hardship. I think he simply must have his Moon in Scorpio.

Twilight said...

Charlotte ~~~ Hi there! so pleased that you found something of interest here. :-)

I agree about Rickman - very sexy without even trying. That's the best kind. ;-)

Juno said...

My personal fav is "Truly, Madly, Deeply" - I find him so sexy!

Twilight said...

Juno ~ Hi! I saw Truly, Madly, Deeply back in my UK days.
Enjoyed it, as I recall, but had to refresh my memory by consulting Wiki for the storyline.

I can see why you'd find Rickman sexy. I find him more interesting than sexy myself.

I'd like to see him in a really well-written witty comedy. :-)

TH said...

Hi Twilight,
Just found your journal surfing the web. Fun article. I honestly think Alan is Leo rising. Some his gestures actually remind of Prince Charles (who I still think is an okay fella ) who is definitely Leo Rising ( see Penny Thornton's Romancing the Stars ). In two seconds of seeing him sign an autograph for me, his energy struck me as VERY scorpionic. And since men don't express their moon signs as much as project them (and he possibly has moon in scorpio ) then I'm guessing he's got Pluto in the first house. And Pluto was in Leo when he was born.
Just my 2 cents

Twilight said...

TH ~~ Thanks for your thoughts on this. :-)

Leo rising with Pluto first house is a good estimation, and as Pluto rules Scorpio would blend well with his probable Scorpio Moon.

mike said...

He is now a "was", unfortunately. Lost another good one born in 1946. Interesting that David Bowie had transiting Pluto conjunct his Sun-Mars in Capricorn. Alan Rickman had transiting Pluto opposing his Mars-Saturn in Cancer. The recent new Moon at 19* Capricorn affected both talents' charts, too, as did transiting Saturn.

I've only seen a few of his movies, mostly "Harry Potter", which convinced me of his acting talents...he's quite ominous as Professor Snape. I saw Rickman interviewed on Charlie Rose and I didn't connect the Snape-dots until he was asked questions about his role in the "Potter" series:

I just checked IMDb's page on Rickman...so many movies, a fair number after this post.

Twilight said...

mike ~ Damned Pluto!! I hadn't been aware that Alan Rickman and David Bowie were seriously ill. Their deaths came as a shock.

I've seen only 2 "Harry Potter" films (not a fan). As well as in "Robin Hood Prince of Thieves" I remember him well in "Truly Madly Deeply", "Love Actually" and a few more. Extremely good actor, and it seems a very, very kind and nice human being, from what I've read about him.

Plutonian8 said...

I think Alan had Scorpio Rising with his Moon in Scorpio in his first house. He had the looks of a Scorpio with his hawkish features and he was a very private man, too. He could emote well and make you know what he was thinking with a mere look and his voice was one of a kind. He will be forever missed. But I bet wherever he is now, he is still on the go and moving about like he did in life. He lacked earth in his chart and was constantly on the go. We lost a great man.

Twilight said...

Tonya B ~ Hi there! Scorpio rising and Moon ? We can only speculate, but that would certainly be a good fit.

Yes, a very sad loss.

Unknown said...

Hello twilight,greetings from India.your blog is wonderful and you have done a great analysis of Sir Alan Rickman's chart.for me,there is something about him that seems very'scorpionic'.i have noticed various astrology-related sites have speculated his moon sign to be either libra or scorpio.to me,his eyes and even facial features seem to radiate scorpio Energy.his eyes are quite intense and penetrating and that passion associated with scorpio seems to flow both on screen and even in interviews.i also find him extremely attractive and knowing that he was a soft-hearted,loyal, caring and loving man only adds to the pain i feel due to his passing.his movie rasputin,the dark servent of destiny is there on you tube and if you watch it,you will be able to see the 'hypnotic gaze' i am talking about.my sun is libra,moon virgo and aqua rising,so maybe you will be able to explain my extremely strong liking for alan rickman.regardless of his astrological placements,he will be sorely missed by many people and loved by us all.

Twilight said...

soumali bardhan ~ Hello! Thank you for reading and commenting here. :-)
Mr Rickman's Scorpionic vibe is mentioned by other commenters, I do understand why.
As a first class actor he could be pulling inspiration from his likely Scorpio Moon to assist in portraying the dark characters he was often asked to play. In real life he sounds to have been less of an intense Scorpionic type though. His Pisces Sun and 2 other personal planets close together in Pisces (a gently sensitive and softer emotional Water sign than Scorpio) give me the impression that in real life he related more to Pisces, but in his professional work his Scorpio showed through.

He'll be missed, for sure.

Unknown said...

Thank you for the reply. Yes,he does indeed seem to have a strong pisces nature.many of his co-actors,(Emma Thompson comes to mind) have described him as being gentle,thoughtful and devoted with a strong intuition that helped him understand people very accurately. He was a very private man though,and he only told his friends and close associates about his cancer in december,even though he and his immediate family had allegedly known about it for quite some time.I still find it hard to accept that he is gone....the love and devotion he had for his life-long partner(now wife) is as beautiful as a fairy tale!

Plutonian8 said...

I had a friend whom was a photographer and she knew Alan pretty well. She told me that everyone saw his gentle side and such, but he was not a man to suffer fools. She said he was very private and he could cut your throat with his words. I seem to recall reading that he claimed to have a wounding tongue.

And he had Uranus squaring his Sun, Mercury, and Venus which gave him the excess energy that came out with his running and sudden movements and gestures.

And not to mention with the transit of Saturn in Sag, squaring his Pisces Sun, that is definitely a rough time to go through.

I have always thought that Rima is an earth sign or has strong earth tendencies to have kept Alan so well grounded.


Twilight said...

Tonya B ~ A good example of astrological blending then - thanks for these thoughts.
:-) Pisces and Scorpio both being Water signs possibly make for a fairly easy, if contrasting, blend.

Plutonian8 said...

You are welcome, Twilight. ;-)