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After seventeen years of marriage, veteran actor and family man Harrison Ford is separating from his wife, screenwriter Melissa Mathison. Long hailed as one of the most stable marriages in Hollywood, their cozy relationship hit some cosmic turbulence this year, leading to a flurry of tabloid rumors, and finally their announced separation on November 7.

Long-Term Romance

Ford's star was rising fast when he first met Mathison in 1976. She was a young assistant on the set of Apocalypse Now, and he was just realizing that his movie career looked more promising than his life as a carpenter. His wife at the time was his college sweetheart, Mary Marquardt, but their twelve-year marriage was on a downward spiral. Marquardt, a native of Wisconsin, didn't fit in with his new Hollywood lifestyle.

According to biographer Robert Adele, Ford found Mathison, who was raised in Los Angeles, "very sharp, well-read, quick and witty, and lots of fun." This description fits in perfectly with Mathison's astrological profile: her Sun in Gemini naturally takes to intellectual pursuits and delights in charming conversation. Eventually, Mathison (born June 3, 1950) turned her passion for words into a screenwriting career, with her blockbuster hit E.T. arriving in 1982, and Kundun in 1997.

Harrison Ford was born with both his Sun and Moon in Cancer (July 13, 1942, 11:41 am, Chicago), a combination that creates a compelling nesting instinct and the desire for long-term security within a home environment. Ford has two sons from his earlier marriage, and he and Mathison have two children of their own. Ford's Cancer planets probably had a lot to do with his decision to make only one movie a year so he could retreat to his Jackson, Wyoming ranch and spend quality time as a father and husband.

Ford also has three planets in Gemini (Venus, Saturn and Uranus), and this makes him compatible with Mathison. His Saturn in Gemini near her Sun is particularly notable as a factor leading toward an enduring relationship. Her Sun activates his authoritative side (symbolized by Saturn), and within the traditional family bonds he becomes the disciplinarian. As he told Redbook magazine in 1998 about raising kids, "It doesn't matter where I draw the line—they're always over it. If they want to go skateboarding, I have to insist they wear helmets."

His Venus in Gemini is also near her Sun, and light-hearted, pleasure-seeking Venus mellows out the stricter vibrations of their Sun-Saturn bond. Venus in Gemini loves to travel, and since this planet is harmoniously linked (sextile) to dramatic, sexy Mars in Leo, Ford has developed a passion for flying and motorcycles. Astrologically, Mars is our inner warrior, and in the dramatic and royal sign of Leo, Mars becomes self-confident, spirited and full of enthusiasm. Ford's Mars describes his succession of heroic roles in Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark and a long string of other top-grossing movies.

With strong determination, Mars in Leo sets out to accomplish seemingly impossible tasks, and with creativity and energy the impossible is often achieved. However, in October 1999, Ford got caught in wind sheer while making a landing, and was nearly killed. This incident, along with the death of his father earlier that year, must have alerted him to the tenuousness of life, and perhaps convinced him to make some big changes.

Personal Crises Lead to Change

To the astrologer, these personal crises have clear connections to the transit of Uranus, known for rudely sparking the individual when life gets too stagnant. Uranus can be called a troublemaker where stability and normalcy are top concerns. Uranus is alternatively known as "the divorce planet" and "the awakener." Whenever transiting Uranus moves into an important degree zone, independence beckons, pushing the individual to break free from any constraints.

Over the past year, transiting Uranus has been opposite Harrison Ford's Mars and trine his Venus. The opposition to Mars is the major tension leading to separation from his wife. Transiting Uranus opposite Mars ushers in a time of bursting energies, rebelliousness and extreme irritation at any attempts to be controlled by others. Impulsive behavior is common under this influence, and taking risks becomes a love of the dangerous. This transit of Uranus is so powerfully dynamic that it has the capacity to undermine seventeen years of marriage.

Then, transiting Uranus trine Ford's Venus leads to experimentation with new relationships. Just before their separation was announced, the National Enquirer and other tabloids featured headline stories about Ford and 30-year old Lara Flynn Boyle. The two had been seen together at a New York club, taking a romantic carriage ride, and sharing a booth at a Vogue Fashion Award post-party.

Melissa’s Life Changes

Melissa Mathison might see these changes in her partner and recognize that it's just a passing mood. However, her own horoscope shows major life changes now too, indicating that the separation is not temporary, but irrevocable. Over the past year, transiting Pluto has been opposite her Sun. Pluto's challenging transits to the Sun are rare and powerful, often leading to an identity crisis and complete personal transformation.

In both Mathison’s and Ford’s charts, the partnership break-up coincided with major planetary transits. Now, the transits of Uranus and Pluto are pushing each of them toward new, more independent roles.



Michael WolfStar O'Reilly is a professional astrologer and columnist living in Oregon. He has been writing his column, NewsScope, continuously since August 1997, and also writes regularly for Dell Horoscope and as a freelancer.
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For more information about Michael WolfStar O'Reilly, click here.

Other StarIQ articles by Michael WolfStar O'Reilly:

  • NewsScope October 30, 2007   10/30/2007
  • NewsScope October 2, 2007   10/2/2007
  • NewsScope September 18, 2007   9/18/2007
  • NewsScope September 11, 2007   9/11/2007
  • NewsScope August 14, 2007   8/14/2007
  • NewsScope August 7, 2007   8/7/2007
  • NewsScope October 17, 2006   10/17/2006
  • NewsScope 11-20-2001   11/20/2001
  • NewsScope 11-13-2001   11/13/2001
  • NewsScope 11-5-2001   11/5/2001
  • NewsScope 10-23-2001   10/30/2001
  • NewsScope 10-23-2001   10/23/2001
  • NewsScope 10-16-2001   10/16/2001
  • NewsScope 10-9-2001   10/9/2001
  • NewsScope 10-2-2001   10/2/2001
  • NewsScope 9-25-2001   9/25/2001
  • NewsScope 9-18-2001   9/18/2001
  • NewsScope 9-11-2001   9/11/2001
  • NewsScope 9-4-2001   9/4/2001
  • NewsScope 8-28-2001   8/28/2001
  • NewsScope 8-21-2001   8/21/2001
  • NewsScope 8-14-2001   8/14/2001
  • NewsScope 8-7-2001   8/7/2001
  • NewsScope 7-31-2001   7/31/2001
  • NewsScope 7-24-2001   7/24/2001
  • NewsScope 7-17-2001   7/17/2001
  • NewsScope 7-10-2001   7/10/2001
  • The Dalai Lama's Journey   5/24/2001
  • NewsScope 5-08-2001   5/8/2001
  • Prozac Gets Competition   8/30/2000

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