director Ridley Scott is mostly associated with his groundbreaking sci-fi
masterpieces, Alien and Blade Runner. His
trademarks include crafted visual mastery, heroes who triumph at the hands
of defeat and strong female characters, like those in Thelma and
Louise and G.I. Jane. He recently directed Hannibal,
starring Anthony Hopkins and Julianne
Moore, a thriller with established characters (ultra villain,
fearless heroine) that match his style perfectly.
his current Best Director and Best Movie Oscar nominations are two in
a total of twelve for last year’s surprise smash, Gladiator,
which recently won five of his home country England’s BAFTA awards, including
Best Film. Astrology’s amazing insight traces the ups and downs of his
career, including his uncanny connection to the women in his movies.
Pluto’s Creative Legacy
present wave of success provides an excellent look at life after a tumble
with Pluto, the transcendental outer planet of transformation.
Pluto transited (traveled) past his Sagittarius Sun, his astrological “self,” in 1997–98
as G.I. Jane’s unfortunate flop seemingly exhausted his
potential, edging him for a while into the comparatively less stressful
job of television and film producer.
Pluto’s transit is associated with unsettling life experiences involving tremendous loss
or upheaval. The planet’s corresponding mythological archetypes relate
to knowledge that is gained at the expense of innocence, or earned at
some high price. As an agent of expanding consciousness, it is inclined
to expose what is hidden, forcing circumstances that test foundations
and rebuilding on those that do not hold up.
over Scott’s Sun reflects not only his fall from grace, but also the process
of his subsequent rise to reinvention and higher achievement. G.I.
Jane’s box office failure was ultimately empowering, as Gladiator’s
blockbuster hit redeemed him after a commercially humbling decade. Set
in the Roman Empire and featuring predominantly male roles, Gladiator’s
extraordinary acclaim also means Scott’s most celebrated work
can no longer be strictly identified with futuristic or feminist themes.
Pluto was also mirrored in the movie’s story. Russell
Crowe played Maximus Decimus Meridius, the betrayed Roman general
whose family was tortured and murdered before he was ultimately sold into
slavery as a gladiator. His rise to glory in Rome’s Colosseum, fueled by
his drive for redemption and revenge against his oppressor, is a classic
(Russell Crowe): “I knew a man once who said, ‘Death smiles at us
all. All a man can do is smile back.’”
for Scott, glory under Pluto could not be met without sacrifice. Oliver
Reed, just two and a half months younger than Scott, died of a heart attack
on May 2, 1999, before he could finish shooting his part as Proximo, the
gladiator trainer. The devastating setback added three million dollars
production cost to artificially reproduce Reed’s likeness and complete
his scenes. This invoked Pluto’s creative legacy, illustrating its definitive
role in themes of bringing life to the dead.
is known to hold secrets that shatter perceptions upon revelation. In
a U.K. television documentary broadcast last July, Pluto’s purging influence
prompted Scott to confirm speculation that Deckard, Harrison
Ford’s character in Blade Runner, was actually
a replicant, the movie’s term for dangerous, lifelike androids. The highly
scrutinizing, fanatical element of sci-fi sub-culture reacted wildly to
Scott’s remarks. Ford made his displeasure public, saying it was agreed
during production that Deckard was human.
script twist was only hinted at in a restored flashback scene from Scott’s
Director’s Cut of 1992, issued ten years after the studio-hacked theatrical
release. Completed as Pluto transited over Scott’s Venus, the new edit
allowed him to completely reshape this pioneering classic to his original
vision. As Pluto’s mythological underworld relates to power exchanges
and big business, it flavored this post-apocalyptic rendering of Los Angeles
with its bleak, ominous landscape, lit by high-rise corporate logos and
blasts of refinery fire.
gloomy finale gave him a rare chance to reverse a recurring creative compromise,
having been repeatedly forced by producers to insert happier endings in
his work. Adding to Scott’s symbolic vindication, the new, improved Blade
Runner drove home what became known as the “Blade Runner
Curse,” since all the real-life companies named in the movie’s backdrop,
such as Pan Am and Atari, were long gone by the time of its re-release.
Essence of Scott’s Work
and consequences of any planetary transit are always mitigated by that
same planet’s own position in an individual chart. Scott’s Pluto is in
the last degree of the sign Cancer, in a special configuration called
a grand trine, with Venus in Scorpio and Saturn in Pisces.
of Pluto with Venus, the planet representative of aesthetics, creativity
and womanhood, and Saturn, the planet of hardship and deprivation, points
to the essence of his work. Integrated this way, the planets tell stories
of survival under assault by powerful elements, stressing the value of
inner victories over gratuitous rewards. Most important, Venus’ place
in this grand trine reveals the major role women have played in his films.
decision to change the gender of Alien’s main character
launched Sigourney Weaver’s career as the fighting survivor Ellen Ripley,
modeling a new role for women in action movies. It premiered as Pluto
transited Weaver’s Sun, reflecting both the nature of Ripley’s riveting
encounter with the movie’s namesake, and her own life-changing experience
with overnight success that year, all thanks to Scott.
Weaver’s Venus is also in Scorpio, close to Scott’s Venus, and forms the
same grand trine configuration with his Saturn and Pluto. More so is the
fact that Scott’s Venus makes similar connections to the charts of virtually
every major actress with whom he has worked.*
Susan Sarandon (Louise from Thelma and Louise) and Demi
Moore (G.I. Jane herself), both have Venus in
Scorpio in exactly the same place as Scott’s. This remarkable connection
reveals his part in their characters’ experience and his empathy for their
feminine view of the brutal worlds he designs.
Force to Terrorize
Hannibal, Scott has found yet another compatible feminine
force to terrorize in Julianne Moore, signaled by her Mercury in Scorpio,
which also meets up exactly with his Venus. Again, the story’s theme echoes
the mythological Pluto, as Clarice Starling (Moore) is stripped of her
reputation and forced to go face to face with Mister Underworld himself,
Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins).
with Pluto and survived, Scott can look forward to far more than just
possibly winning Oscars. He can continue to do as Gladiator’s
battle cry suggests: unleash hell.
actresses with planets or astrological points matching Scott’s Venus in
Scorpio, completing a grand trine with his Pluto and Saturn, include:
(Thelma, Thelma and Louise), Moon's North Node
(Pris, Blade Runner), Mercury
(Lily, Legend), Neptune and possibly the Moon
(Rachel, Blade Runner), Mars