Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Renaissance Man ~ Renaissance Woman: Peter Weller, Barbra Streisand

Renaissance Man: a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas.

Peter Weller, best known for his starring role in RoboCop, but has appeared in a gaggle of other sci-fi TV shows (Odyssey 5 - see yesterday's post - is one example), run of the mill movies, and some oddities such as Naked Lunch in which he played William S. Burroughs. He's recently joined the cast of Showtime's Dexter. But more than this, Weller has directed for TV, writes for travel magazines, hosted his own series, Engineering Empires, on the History Channel. He also holds a master’s degree in Italian Renaissance art history, is self taught on the history of late Republican-early Empire Ancient Rome, developed and teaches a course, ‘Hollywood and the Roman Empire’ at Syracuse University, and conducts field trips for Syracuse University in Florence. Weller, in 2007, was finishing a Ph.D. at UCLA, in the history of fifteenth-century Venetian art, with a minor in Ancient Greek and Roman art. All of that, as well as playing jazz trumpet in a bebop sextet in Los Angeles. (More here)

Renaissance man ? I guess!!

Peter Weller was born on 24 June 1947 in Stevens Point, Wisconsin at 4.47 AM (Astrodatabank).

Any indication of his multi-talented nature, draw towards sci-fi roles, art, ancient history, jazz?

Ascendant, Sun and Mercury in Cancer connect to Weller's love of history. I'm not clear exactly why Cancer connects to history. It's probably to do with roots. Cancer needs roots, home, family etc. and what is history but a deeper level of that same thing?

Futuristic Uranus in Gemini sits ten degrees from Sun in one direction and ten degrees from Venus in Gemini in the other. Ten degrees, though not representing a tight conjunction, in this case provides a kind of planetary sandwich linking a Cancerian love of history with a draw to comminication of all kinds (Gemini), art, music (Venus) and futuristic endeavours and jazz (Uranus).

Moon in Virgo indicates that he's meticulous as well as versatile - that's a fairly unusual, and valuable combination! Often versatility comes with a need to skim over a variety of interests, studies, hobbies, becoming competent enough to get by in each but without delving too deeply, just enough to satisfy a restless mind. Not so in Weller's case. His Virgo Moon will insist on going all the way in any and all endeavours. He must have felt particularly frustrated by the unplanned, sudden cut-off of showtime's Odyssey 5.

Barbra Streisand easily qualifies for the title Renaissance Woman. Singer, actress, writer, director, producer, with countless awards for her many albums and movie roles. Possibly the best known of all her film roles was Funny Girl, both the Broadway and film version for which she won the 1968 Academy Award for Best Actress, the first of two Oscars. Her film hits continued with Hello Dolly, 1969, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, 1970 and The Way We Were, 1973. She starred in and produced A Star is Born in 1976. The Prince of Tides was the first motion picture directed by its female star ever to receive a Best Director nomination from the Directors Guild of America as well as seven Academy Award nominations. With Yentl, which took 14 years of development and persistence, she became the first woman ever to produce, direct, write and star in a major motion picture.

She hasn't plumbed the full depth of her talent yet though. Not content with such incredible success in multiple spheres, Ms Streisand has written and illustrated with her own photographs: My Passion for Design. In addition to her other talents she has become a connoisseur of Art Nouveau furniture and vintage clothing, and has designed and overseen the construction of a luxurious compound in Malibu. Her design notes are said to show that she brought to her design projects the same intense perfectionism that she brought to her movies, recordings and concerts. She has become an expert on the design periods that she’s passionate about, such as Art Nouveau and Art Deco. (See here.)

Barbra Streisand was born in Brooklyn, New York on 24 April 1942 at 5:08 AM (Astrodatabank).

With four planets, including Sun in Taurus - the Earth sign ruled by Venus planet of music and the arts in general, her gravitation to, and talent for, singing is no surprise. These Taurus planets also reflect a love of art... and worldly security.
A quote credited to her: "I can't stand to see red in my profit-or-loss column. I'm Taurus the bull, so I react to red. If I see it, I sell my stocks quickly."

Midheaven point in Capricorn underlines a good business head - her need for, and talent in, obtaining financial security.

Moon in Leo and Aries rising - without these placements I guarantee the world wouldn't not be nearly as aware of Barbra Streisand as it is, and has been for decades. Leo and Aries add the fire essential for pushing the self into the spotlight and, at times, into areas where others have not yet trod. Saturn conjunct Uranus in Taurus adds a touch of the unexpected and daring to her undeniable Earthy work ethic. Moon in Leo conjunct Pluto puts power into her showmanship and glorying in her place in the limelight. Moon conjunct Pluto in Leo might also be translated as "Diva" - a term often applied to Ms Streisand.

Neptune (creativity) in (perfectionist) Virgo is in harmonious trine to the Saturn/Uranus conjunction describing well Ms Streisand's legendary demand for perfection in all her endeavours.

Similarities between the two charts which might relate to Renaissance-ness:

The Pluto conjunction with a personal planet: Saturn in Peter Weller's case and Moon in Barbra Streisand's. Saturn in Streisand's chart is conjunct an outer planet (Uranus). So as we are looking for similarities in career/work styles Saturn is the planet most related, and in both cases Saturn is conjunct an outer planet, adding significance and another layer of meaning. I don't know for sure, that's my own interpretation - but if I discover more well-known Renaissance people I'll check back!

Hmmm - didn't take long! When looking for something else in my archives I noticed a post from 2008 on Shel Silverstein, who I'd called a Renaissance Man-lite; John Lennon was also mentioned there. At that point I wondered whether Fixed Star Alpheratz/Sirrah conjunct a personal planet might have something to do with Renaissance man-ness. However, looking at the chart for Silverstein I see that he had Pluto conjunct Jupiter and Mars! another Renaissance man-type with personal planet conjunct an outer planet. Lennon had a looser conjunction of Uranus/Saturn/Jupiter in Taurus at 25, 13 and 13 degrees respectively. I don't see Lennon as clearly Renaissance-ish as the others mentioned here though - but he might well have evolved that that way.


Diane said...

Mr. Weller aged well--I remember him from one of his more campy films The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai Across the 8th Dimension. Also interesting transiting Mars is conjunct his ASC and you have chosen to include him in your post bringing him to our attention. Thanks for another fun and informative post.

Anonymous said...

GP: --- and she will be remembered foremost as a delightfull Jewish women - from N.Y. that is! As "Funny Girl" also, of course.

PS. Being a Taurus / AS Aries (both initial, primitive signs of the 4 element grouping of signs), must be the reason she is so genuine that no scandals were needed for her to become famous.

Twilight said...

Diane ~~ Yes, he's still looking good. I remember the first RoboCop, and recently have seen Odyssey 5. He has "evolved" rather well.

I hadn't realised the transiting Mars/his ascendant connection - my astro-antenna must be plugged in today, without my realising it ;-)

Twilight said...

Anonymous/Gian Paul ~~~ Yes, her most memorable role will always be as Fanny Brice. I doubt anyone else could ever play it as well as Ms Streisand did.

She has had a blameless career so far, yes - she's gathered a few grumbles about being a diva - but that's always going to be par for the course for a multi-talented woman in show biz I guess. :-)

Wisewebwoman said...

Thanks for the posts on these two enormously talented people.
It is a shame that more so-called "stars" don't pursue more diversification.

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ Yes, I agree - but most of 'em are too busy making more and more and more $$$$$$$$$$$ to bother to expand their talents.