In a previous post, I laid out brief personality sketches of some public figures to show how they manifested some of the qualities of Aries, Taurus, Gemini, and Cancer via the energies of Mercury, Venus, and Mars. Here, I will do a similar take for these planets in the next group of signs, Leo through Scorpio.
As I thought about the combinations of these planets and signs, the first thing that came to mind was Venus in Virgo. This is an interesting combination because how does Venus–the principle of relating, of values, of appeal–function in Virgo, the sign of practicality and efficiency, of self-effacement, of discrimination? The pleasure-seeking, often materialistic Venus energies seem to be somewhat at odds with the Virgo way of being, so how does someone with Venus in Virgo live this out?
In looking for public figures whose lives are known well enough to test astrological theories, I wanted to not have Virgo (in this case) for the Sun or Moon because that would make it difficult to isolate the Venus influence – the Sun and Moon, being the foundational all-encompassing life energies would color the entire life with their overwhelming presence. After a few failed attempts at search (several of the public figures I found with Venus in Virgo either had Sun in Virgo or Moon in Virgo), I discovered that the famous actress Julia Roberts has Venus in Virgo, but the Sun and Moon are in signs other than Virgo, and in different signs from each other as well.
Julia Roberts was born on October 28, 1967 — her full horoscope can be found at Astro-Databank, with her listed birth time given the highest rating of AA for accuracy. Let’s pull out the Ephemeris and take a look at the planetary positions for her birth date:
Reading from left to right, Moon in Leo, Sun in Scorpio, Mercury in Scorpio, Venus in Virgo, and Mars in Capricorn. This is about as good a spread as you can get! (Mercury is in the same sign as the Sun, but Mercury can never be more than one sign away from the Sun, so it is in the same sign as the Sun a good third of the time.)
One other thing: we generally can’t take it for granted that the Moon sign shown for the birth date in the ephemeris is indeed true for a specific birth time/place (as explained in the post on Ephemeris – Universal Time), but in this case given the accuracy of the birth time, we can rely on the full horoscope which does indeed place the Moon in Leo.
So what we can say about Julia Robert’s Venus in Virgo? There’s so much media coverage and hype that follows Hollyword actors, that you have to carefully pick out the substance from the noise. (Picking the wheat from the chaff is such a Virgo exercise in discrimination, and it’s an eerie synchronicity that I find myself now enacting a major Virgo activity in being so very careful in looking for a Venus in Virgo whose Sun and Moon signs are different, and then harping on being extra attentive to separate the real from the hype. I can’t tell you how many times I have experienced such telling astrological synchronicities when I have interpreted horoscopes.)
I finally settled on some personal quotes–I figured what a super famous actor says about themselves is a lot more authentic than what strangers might make of her. The other interesting thing about Roberts’s horoscope is this Venus in Virgo is accompanied by the Moon in Leo, and Leo is everything that Virgo is not: proud, self-centered, queening, etc. So I’m going to bring in the Moon in Leo as well, to shine a light on the contrast. Think of how it must feel to carry these two opposing qualities.
So here’s a quote that is dead on for a straight dose of Virgo self-effacement: “I do think that I am fundamentally the same relatively simple person I’ve always been. I just have this flashy, wacky job [actress] that confuses people into thinking that I’m somehow ultrafascinating.” In contrast, here’s another quote that is straight up Moon in Leo self-centeredness: “I’ve sort of grown into my cuteness.”
Here’s another unambiguously Virgo quote, again the self-effacement coming through clear as bell: “I’m just an ordinary person who has an extraordinary job.” Here’s a more complex one: “I’m too tall to be a girl. I’m between a chick and a broad.” This blends the Leo Moon with the Virgo Venus. On the one hand, she is bring critical (Virgo) of her looks (Venus, also femininity in a woman). But on the other hand, she is definitely drawing attention to herself, and you can feel a sense of pride, of being special because of the height – Leo written all over. Fascinating.
And here’s one last quote that just about sums up the Virgo perspective of accepting and celebrating the simple and the ordinary. No fuss, no muss. “If you’re at the sink washing the cup, wash the cup. Don’t worry about everything else. … We forget to appreciate the simplest moments of the day, the sublime in the ordinary.” Venus comes into play here because Venus signifies what we value, and in this particular take, Roberts is alluding to her deepest values.
For my next example, I want to take a closer look at Mars in Libra. Mars signifies assertion and drive, and is particularly interesting to examine in athletes whose livelihood depends on the sheer physical ability and competitiveness that Mars can bring to any event or game.
Mars in Libra is a particularly challenging placement, because Libra is opposite to Aries, the sign that is ruled by Mars. Astrologers thus say that Mars in Libra is in its detriment, because the Libran qualities of airy diplomacy and quest for harmony is 180 degree opposite to Mars’s aggression and go-it-alone tendencies. Often what happens is that the Mars in Libra ends up carrying a chip on the shoulder, fighting to prove that it’s got what it takes. You see this quality in Aaron Rodgers, Mars-in-Libra quarterback for the Green Bay Packers NFL team.
Here are the Ephemeris positions of the planets for Aaron Rodgers birth date of December 2, 1983.
Sun in Sagittarius, Moon in Scorpio (attested to by his horoscope at Astro-Databank, AA rated for birth time accuracy), Mercury in Sagittarius, Venus in Libra, and Mars in Libra. About that chip on the shoulder. As a rookie with the Packers in 2005, he led the scout team during practice. The defense and scouts often complained that he was practicing too hard, and at one point asked him to tone it down. A wide receiver commented that Rodgers took “every scout-team possession like it was the last possession of his life.” It goes without saying that professional athletes work harder than anyone else, but Rodgers was driven to go even further.
“If I can slow it down in my mind, things will be fine.” Rodger’s quote here speaks to the balance (Libra) he wants to achieve between go-go-go of play (Mars), and the success he is seeking. Along the same lines: “The thing you realize as you get older and you play… how important that mental rest is.” He repeatedly goes back to the theme of achieving a kind of mental peace or harmony, which is very much a Libra quality. After all Libra is an air sign, and there’s a good bit of the mental acuity that drives Libra’s actions. For Rodgers, actions (Mars) are always coupled with the head (Libra as an air sign), even off the field. “I have just a new and increased love of life. And I’ve made decisions and changes and habits that put me in a lot better head space…”
For my next, and last take, I would like to see how Mercury shows itself through Scorpio. As with Mars in Libra, this is an intriguing placement for Mercury because Mercury signifies communication and the mindset, while Scorpio is notoriously private and reveals as little as possible. Scorpio is great at keeping secrets, and who better than someone with Mercury in Scorpio, who can be counted to say, “my lips are sealed.” Scorpio can also be cutting and brutally honest in its mission to unmask pretenders–it’s got the world’s best bullshit meter.
Since Mercury is never more than one sign away from the Sun, it is extra challenging to find a public figure who has Mercury in a different sign than the Sun. For Mercury in Scorpio, this means I am looking for someone who has the Sun in a sign other than Scorpio, so either Sagittarius or Capricorn. Scorpio being a water sign has somewhat more of an affinity for Capricorn (earth), than Sagittarius (fire), so it would be particularly interesting to take a closer look at someone with the Sagittarius-Scorpio tug and pull.
Tiffany Haddish is one such person (actor, comedian) who has Mercury in Scorpio and Sun in Sagittarius. If you have seen her movies, or interviews on YouTube, she is all positive, and bubbly, (both Sagittarius qualities) and fast talking (Moon in Gemini.)
The contrast between dark (Scorpio) and light (Sagittarius, Gemini) in Haddish’s life is apparent. She was raped when she was 17, and this early, highly Scorpionic (violation, power imbalance) traumatic experience had a significant impact on her mindset (Mercury), particularly since it happened when she was still in her formative stages, not quite an adult. Her social worker gave her an ultimatum to either attend psychiatric therapy or the Laugh Factor Comedy Camp. Haddish opted for comedy as outlet for her pain. Therapy is a Mercury-Scorpio occupation (a deep dive into the state of the mind) and her choice of comedy is a win for her Sun-Moon personality bedrock of lightness and positivity.
Here’s the Mercury-Scorpio darkness vs Sun-Sagittarius light in her own words: “No matter how bad things go, no matter how dark your life is, there is a reason for it. You can find beauty in it, and you can get better. I know, because I’ve done it. That’s why my comedy so often comes from my pain.” And here’s the unvarnished Mercury in Scorpio powering through: “Everyone has their own personal pain and their own demons, and no one will talk about it, and that’s why they never get better. They’re all afraid to talk about it.” Talking about pain and personal demons – that’s Mercury in Scorpio through and through.
And just a little bit more, ’cause now we’re seriously riding with Tiffany, even as she’s dishing straight-up Scorpio . “Just do your shit. You ain’t gotta tell everybody you got a movie. Just do the fucking movie, Tiffany. Like don’t tell people where you’re at, because they’re going to come for you. They’re going to come for you. Because people will be trying to do bad stuff. They think bad thoughts, and they jealous, and they will try to fuck you up.” Bad thoughts, jealousy, don’t tell…. That salty language, on the other hand, is not so much Scorpio as it is the untamed side of Sagittarius.
Lastly (because I simply couldn’t resist), this one here is a great, big, in your face mix of Sun-Sagittarius Moon-Gemini comic lightness and Mercury-Scorpio mean-sassy letting it out: “At first people were laughing ‘cause they thought I was just playin’. Then I pull my hair off, I took my shoes off, I took my earrings off, I bawled up my fists all furious and I started praying in the microphone: “Heavenly Father give me the strength and power to beat this girl down to the ground and teach her she ain’t never supposed to be disrespectful to anybody because I give zero fucks Lord, just give me the power to whip her ass. All these things I ask in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen”. I guess it was the way I said it because people stopped laughing.“