In two previous posts, I laid out brief personality sketches of some public figures to show how they manifested the energies of Mercury, Venus, and Mars in Aries through Cancer and Leo through Scorpio. In this post let’s do a quick tour of these planets in the signs of Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, or Pisces.
Of these four signs, Sagittarius and Aquarius have more in common with each other, and so do Capricorn and Pisces. It would be interesting, therefore, to explore the contrast between either of Sagittarius/Aquarius, and one of Capricorn/Pisces. In fact, if you want to look at the most extreme contrast, you would want to pair Sagittarius with Capricorn, and Aquarius with Pisces.
Capricorn is considered to be the best placement for Mars, because it channels the go-getter Mars energy in a most productive way. This is the placement of a general who can marshal forces to victory. Couple this with or Sun or Moon in Sagittarius and you have an interesting combination of Mars-in-Capricorn soldierly discipline that is up against the free-wheeling, freedom loving soaring Sagittarius spirit. Who is the winner? The image that comes to mind is of a dedicated, persevering soldier who after years of toeing the line suddenly goes AWOL and is caught some years later surfing off the North Shore of Honolulu.
There is a very famous individual with just such a combination of Mars in Capricorn and Sun in Sagittarius-Brad Pitt (Dec 18, 1963 – check the Ephemeris for his Mars position.) He’s got that surfer-dude, chill Sagittarius vibe, and if you have seen Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, you know what I mean. He is also very persevering, down to earth, and has labored to work past the instant fame that came from his sheer good looks. In fact, he is about as toned down a Sagittarian as you can meet.
In one of those frequent eerie synchronicities in astrology, Pitt played a tank commander in the World War 2 movie Fury. You can’t get more Mars in Capricorn than that. And in another war movie, Inglourious Basterds, he played the leader of a ragtag bunch of soldiers(?) whose sole mission was to kill Nazis. The role was a terrific blend of gung-ho Martian aggression and Sagittarian wildness, right up Pitt’s alley. And most of all, The Fight Club. Just pure, unadulterated Mars as a fighter, but performing in an institutional or formal structure, which is very much a Capricorn signification.
“By nature, I keep moving, man. My theory is, be the shark. You’ve just got to keep moving. You can’t stop.” That’s Mars in Capricorn right there. “Happiness is overrated. There has to be conflict in life.” This is where the Martian love of conflict somehow overwhelms the Sun in Sagittarius happy spirit. And one more, a lovely blend of Sagittarius and Capricorn: “I have this fantasy of my older days, painting or sculpting or making things. I have this fantasy of a bike trip to Chile. I have this fantasy of flying into Morocco. But right now, it’s about getting the work done and getting home to family. I have an adventure every morning, getting up.“
Earlier I said Mars in Capricorn is the placement of a general who marshals forces–the military is an institution (Capricorn) that sanctions violence and killing (Mars). Another archetypal Capricorn institution is business, and Mars in Capricorn is the uber business executive. In fact, executive leadership, which requires taking firm decisive action after considering pros and cons is the hallmark of Mars in Capricorn, in any field of endeavor.
So what about an Aquarius-Pisces combo? Aquarius is the rational, objective, often dogmatic and principled being that is wary of emotions because emotions cloud judgment. There is that airy detachment that Aquarius employs that is at once refreshingly laissez faire and annoyingly distant. Pisces, on the other hand, is all emotion-watery, empathetic, always willing to lend a shoulder, compassionate. What happens when these mismatched energies are forced to coexist in a person?
Actress Laura Dern (birth date Feb 10, 1967) has the Sun in Aquarius and Venus in Pisces. She also has Moon and Mercury in Pisces. Venus is the planet of relationships, and being in Pisces makes it empathetic and sensitive to the needs of others. (Many Venus in Pisces people become doctors, therapists, or caretakers.) The Sun in Aquarius needs to be free of ties and encumberances so it can do its own thing, so this clashes with the Venus in Pisces need to be there for others. Dern won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the 2019 movie, Marriage Story.
Dern plays Nora, a divorce attorney representing an actress (Scarlett Johansson) who has split from her theater director husband (Adam Driver). In one interview around the movie, she has this to say about her journey as an actress: “[When] I first started I met women in positions of power who were playing with ruthlessness because they couldn’t seem overly sentimental.” This is a strikingly Aquarius-Pisces conflict of coolness versus sentimentality and emotion.
Interestingly, the same dilemma is taken on by her character in the movie, who starts out as a ruthless lawyer who will run over anything in her way to get what she wants for her client. Read “unsentimental” for “ruthless”. (Dictionary definition of ruthless: having or showing no pity or compassion for others.) Of the lawyer character, Dern says this. “I did not have to like her. Divorce lawyers represent trauma, and that’s hard to like. But I did empathize with her: She wanted to represent women who’ve always gotten the raw end of the deal.” That right there is her Venus-in Pisces empathy making itself felt very clearly. And right on the heels of that comes the Aquarius Sun: “playing a woman in a position of power, who’ll never lose her cool — was like, crazy.” Cool, unemotional, above the fray.
Humans aren’t cohesive packets of neatly integrated needs. For instance, having both Aquarian and Piscean predispositions doesn’t mean there will some neat blending of the energies. Often, with conflicting energies, or at the very least energies that don’t relate to each other at all, there is a split: sometimes one of them shows up, sometimes the other. Or they will show up in maddeningly inconsistent ways in the same breath.
In the Marriage Story though, there is in fact a blending that comes through with great authenticity in the form of the Dern character’s monologue on femininity. This is Dern’s take on it: “This monologue was describing why she wanted to step in to the role of representing the voiceless in the business of family law and women particularly, even though she’s not I think particularly generous in every other scene in the movie.” Aquarius loves to champion causes, and here the character is in full Aquarian mode of fighting for gender equality–equality, of course, is dear to Aquarians. But what is the attendant sentiment here? It is “representing the voiceless”, which is the very essence of Pisces: looking out for the victims, the abused, the helpless, the downtrodden.
The fact that Dern got an Oscar (the only Academy Award she has received) for this role is noteworthy, because she carries much of who she is, with that somewhat uneasy combination Sun Aquarius-Venus/Moon/Mercury Pisces, into the role. It’s a testimony to authenticity in playing a role, which made a big impression and was rewarded. I can immediately think of another Oscar for a similar scenario of actor being themselves in a role: Russel Crowe (Sun in Aries, see a short bio sketch of Crowe in the post on Aries) for Gladiator (fighter), even though I personally believe he turned in a much better performance in “Beautiful Mind”, in a role that was way more challenging to play.