Dear Friend and Reader,
Paul Newman, the beloved actor-philanthropist, died Saturday at the age of 83. The cause of death was cancer. Newman will be remembered as one of the most generous, humanitarian and talented people to grace the American arts in recent history, extending to all of us a model of values and an example that life can be lived well.
He was born Jan. 26, 1925, which places his Sun in Aquarius and his Moon in Pisces. This combination of the two latest signs, combined with Capricorn rising, is a fitting image of one who could succeed personally and make one of the most significant contributions to society, never sacrificing one for the other.
Aquarius is the sign of humankind or more exactly, community. The word ‘community’ suggests a level of cohesion and compassion within a group. For example, consider the difference between those attending Burning Man and a group of consumers in the aisles of Target during holiday shopping season. Hollywood usually acts more like the second than the first, and for this reason we know that Paul Newman was truly an original, expressing his love for humanity above all else.
One thing almost always bound to enhance originality is a strong Chiron placement. One is not only inclined to be original, but to allow that quality to guide one’s life. Newman had Chiron in Aries, in a close conjunction to Mars. This combination is the very emblem of the spiritual warrior. In Aries, it is the essence of self-awareness and relentless curiosity about himself, which he explored in his more than fifty Hollywood roles.
Newman was one of those people who was lucky enough to have a leaden humility that fame and fortune could not tarnish. He pursued his passions in an elegant manner that was not flashy. His house of ambition and success has steadfast Scorpio on the cusp, and is occupied by Saturn in that sign. He put tenacity over talent, and refused to take roles in violent or sexually graphic films. This reveals a slow-burning kind of passion that was more about substance than it was about appearances.
Newman was trained at Actor’s Studio in something called Method acting, which produced many of the greats of the 20th century. Wiki tells us:
Method acting is an acting technique in which actors try to replicate real life emotional conditions under which the character operates, in an effort to create a life-like, realistic performance. This can be contrasted with the technique of the actor putting him/herself into a strong “imaginary” circumstance which then induces an emotional reaction parallel to the amount of mental immersion the actor puts him/herself into. “The Method” in method acting typically refers to the generic practice of actors drawing on their own emotions, memories, and experiences to influence their portrayals of characters.
In other words, the method is to be real. If that is not obvious from Newman’s life, nothing is. A study of Newman’s ascendant gives us the image of someone who was simply a real human being. Mercury and Venus in Capricorn, exactly rising. The ascendant is what you offer to the world; it is the person you are, who radiates out. Venus rising is substance. Mercury is the ability to relate. Capricorn is a steadfast sense of tradition, grounded in some tangible form.
Here is the obvious question, though: how can you be real and also be so many characters so compellingly? Well, how can a novelist handle all those characters? The astrological answer can be found in his Pisces Moon, which is the consummate shape-shifter.
Of course, none of this explains a life as authentic and as meaningful as Newman’s. Many factors contributed to who he was, just as much as he contributed to the world. If you want to thank astrology, you have to first remember that he is someone who chose to live out his chart, and to take his quest for his own identity — and his reality — as if it were something worth bothering with. We can learn from that as much as we can learn from his philanthropy.
— Genevieve Salerno & Eric Francis