Dec 28, 2015

"Good stuff!" And an Astro-Portrait of Cary Grant

Cary Grant, Suspicion {public domain}

A happy Cary Grant often exclaimed, "good stuff!," proving that a positive attitude makes all the difference.

Here is a screen crop of two of the film industry's most enduring film legends Marilyn Monroe (to be astro-profiled in a later post) and Cary Grant appearing together in Monkey Business (1952):

Marilyn Monroe and Cary Grant in Monkey Business trailer 2

There are no copyright notices (Monkey Business trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Here you can view the full film: Monkey Business.

And now, let's focus on Cary. Here are 2 minutes 36 seconds of Cary Grant: A Gentleman's Gentleman (Trailer):

Source: The Orchard Movies {Public domain}

And now it's time to place the gentlemanly Mr. Grant under an astrological lens:

Astro-Notes: Cary Grant and his New Moon in Capricorn

The natal horoscope of Cary Grant reveals attractive Venus as chart-ruler since late Libra rises. Tap or click for a brief bio including his filmography details and a view of his natal chart which is rated B for Biography. Born Archibald Leach on January 18, 1904 (1:00 am UT) in Bristol, England, the yet-to-be Cary Grant had a tough beginning--some gossips said he was an illegitimate child though that isn't obvious in his natal chart for mysterious Neptune is not posited in the 4th house of Roots and Family as is often the case of unknown parentage. Baby Archie's Neptune in Cancer is in the 9th house of Philosophy, Religion, Higher Education, and Foreign Travel (denoting trips across water--his first was to NYC as a teen). Still, Neptune in Cancer, sign of mother and family shrouds his birth with a sense of loss and this suggests the death of his older sibling John, a tragedy his mother never recovered from emotionally. Baby Archie was produced in an attempt to console his parents for the loss of their first child and to 'save their marriage', a typical if misguided solution in those days. Needless to say, this put huge pressure on little Archie Leach who escaped through an early interest in a variety of entertainments which included movie-going with his Dad.

Please enlarge his natal chart for closer viewing:

Hour of Saturn; the element of Air (mental) is strong. With Sun in Saturn-ruled Capricorn (26:31) and Moon @00Aquarius (4 degrees 12 minutes past a New Moon) we find the actor with an Earth-Air personality blend denoting the skeptical intelligence of a practical idealist. Here is one with a mixture of order vs change, social yet solitary, conservative yet progressive. Earth-Air types prefer to take an extremely rational approach to matters and can bring abstract thought together with real issues to find solutions. "Applied knowledge" can be an Earth-Air descrption. (See conflicting indicators of unconscious obsessions, below.)

Now much has been written about Grant's difficult childhood (Saturn in Aquarius rules 4th house; Hour of Saturn) and his mother's overbearing nature which may be seen by his natal Moon (mother) in aloof, detached Aquarius (but just barely--if the birth time is off by much his Moon could be in status quo Capricorn). Ruled by Saturn and co-ruled by Uranus, an Aquarian Moon placement may support all or some of the prevalent theories and rumors--including the one about his mother Elsie not actually being his birth mother. However, one key clue is that Mr. Grant was not born with the Moon out-of-bounds of the earthly plane and therefore, separation or a distant relationship with his birth mother is not in evidence, at least not immediately after birth. However, her sense of isolation as she grieved over her first child is indicated. Read on...

His birth at a New Moon phase (26Cap01) shows an impulsive and spontaneous nature but under control of inhibited Capricorn's ruler, Saturn. While he was away at school his father Elias institutionalized his mother and told Archie she had died--and when dad remarried there was no room for Archie. There be deep scars here and it isn't unusual for a talented individual with such scars to strive toward fame and fortune in order to fill a deep emotional void--this Archie fellow certainly achieved the success he aimed for! Plus, a New Moon phase at birth also indicates confusion and a lifelong journey to discover who one really is. His later use of LSD (under guidance of his therapist) was a part of that journey and an attempt to make peace with the past. He eventually discovered that his mother was living and managed to have a relationship with her which must have been a relief.

Yes, there is restrictive, cold, controlling Saturn 9 degrees from his Moon and both snugged around the IC of Home and suggesting a seriously depressed mother who had lost her first child and was married to a philandering husband, Elias Leach. Mercury (young people; the thinking process) is present as well, retrograde in Capricorn (sign of the father), and affecting him psychologically so this depressive indicator adds to his emotional issues of Moon-Saturn-IC and may certainly describe his later control issues with women. And on a sad note, it is reported that Grant made at least one attempt to commit suicide after his marriage in 1934 broke up by overdosing with alcohol and sleeping pills. His enjoyment of alcohol is supported by overindulging Jupiter in Pisces, sign of negative escapism (as in, 'drink like a fish')--and Jupiter is apex planet of an opposition between Venus and Pluto (see below) which means that the planet of actors in creative Pisces is squared by both Venus (women; romance) and Pluto (manipulation, control, sex, wealth) so that dynamic tension results in all things relating to the three planets.

Perhaps he tended to overreact to every nuance in romantic relationships and probably tended to fall in love at first sight but fall out of love just as easily. Playing "Mommy" and "Daddy" may have appealed, too. How curious that onscreen he played the role of a man who was a little afraid of women (ex: Monkey Business) for that is just what his Venus-Jupiter square with its mother/anima issues reveals with the sign of Jupiter denoting how he related to others--as a compassionate, sympathetic, creative Pisces--or, as an evasive, deceitful, slippery fish? My guess is that he alternated these reactions as most people might do in similar circumstances and with similar obsessions.

(Yes, Grant is known to have had a longstanding homosexual relationship with actor Randolph Scott and others but that's beyond the scope of this portrait.)

In their gender-bending films Hollywood studios and directors made good use of Grant's comedic talents honed during his vaudeville and New York theater days. A very popular 'heart throb' for women, he was seen as non-threatening by men who enjoyed his portrayals in 'screwball comedies' where equality between the sexes was heavily and subtly promoted with humor, style, and elegance.

Now on the deeper level of obsessions, add in the powerful energies of his Jupiter-Pluto square and the plot thickens including in the financial realm. With this square the relating principle of Jupiter is blocked in some deep way by images from the Collective Unconscious (Pluto) which results in--you guessed it--control issues. Early childhood memories affect motivations in relationships and confusion over what relating is gums up the proceedings with others. This condition describes one who confuses relating and sharing with being in control and manipulating partners and he obsesses over any relationship that doesn't go his way. "Control games" and "role-playing" are used as substitutes for the genuine give-and-take a successful relationship requires and this negates the emotional security one should feel within a true partnership. Actually, an apt motto for a Jupiter-Pluto square is: "a law unto himself" which for Cary Grant is well supported by his Saturn-ruled Sun ("Daddy" the authority).

But project his handsome face on to Neptune's Silver Screen and it's a different story!

For here stars his attractive, artful, charming Venus in happy-go-lucky Sagittarius ("good stuff!") playing lead planet in a Locomotive pattern as she attracts money and beautiful possessions (2nd house) and sexy partners (Pluto in 8th house of Sexual Unions and Shared Resources)! In Astrology, a Locomotive pattern promises high-powered success and with his Venus-Pluto opposition across the 2/8 money axis, it's small wonder that Cary Grant was able to use his creative talents and sex appeal to build a very successful worldwide career in the Neptunian film industry of Hollywood even though he turned his back on the movie studio system, a maverick move that probably cost him an Oscar or two.

And although his passionate Venus-Pluto opposition aided his career it was not as beneficial for him in personal relationships. With this opposition we find the controlling mother again having a deep and profound psychological effect on her son and there may have been a particularly difficult event just prior to his 4th birthday (Venus-Pluto 3A50 = 3 years 10 months, if his birth time is reasonably accurate). In addition, Venus rules the 12th house of the Unconscious so there are shame and guilt issues involved as well (mother Elsie was on the puritanical side), issues he may never have been able to consciously recognize without benefit of therapy. Yet there is dramatic Leo on his Career Cusp (Midheaven/MC) to gloss over any sadness or feelings of inferiority by entertaining the public via glamour, sophistication, elegance, and a studied self-deprecating manner--and being highly paid for it as royal Leo would expect to be.

A wide conjunction between Venus (relationships; romance) and quirky Uranus (separation; freedom) suggests entering and ending relationships quickly though they may crackle with erotic energy while new.

As for his gender-bending, equality of the sexes film roles, Grant's 4th house Mars, planet of desire, is in detached yet friendly Aquarius conjoined with two asteroids: Lilith the glamorous woman archetype (or harlot) and Hera, the legal wife who keeps the accounts. Perhaps confused gender roles and cross-dressing for the camera are suggested by his Mars-Lilith-Hera trio.

Uranus and Neptune and his Solar Eclipse in Virgo

Though in dissociate signs in 1904, Grant was born during the Great Opposition between generational planets Uranus (science; reason) and Neptune (faith; imagination), Cary Grant's North Node @29Vir27 of public contacts (near his Pre-Natal Eclipse degree of 27Virgo in the 14 North Saros Series with themes of unexpected happenings in relationships and finances, unrequited love and despair, and confusion/delusion - Brady) is involved with the opposition through a double square: Uranus square the Nodal axis denotes nonconformist leanings that conflict with societal standards; Neptune square the Nodal axis reveals mystical tendencies, visionary pursuits (and with Urania rising--see chart), and an interest in the occult, psychism, and/or possibly Astrology. With Uranus also in opposition with powerful Pluto, we see a revolutionary soul with the capacity to unsettle the status quo of society. Putting on an apron in a screwball comedy might do it!

Well, there's my astro-portrait of Cary Grant though of course there is much more to say about this complex man. His childhood memorabilia burned during World War II which was a loss for him and is now a loss for us. He never penned his autobiography so in its place I highly recommended his daughter's revealing book about her father who retired from the film industry in 1966 in order to take care of her and who turned out to be a very good and doting father indeed!

Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant was published in 2011 and is available on Kindle or in print.

Now let's close on the topic of his shiny Leo Midheaven of Career and Public Status (which happens to conjoin America's natal North Node @6Leo!) for you may wish to check out an October 6, 1984 NYT article announcing that MGM Turns 75--Toasts Cary Grant, a ceremony during which they presented him with 'a 10-inch gold lion with diamond eyes', a symbol of the studio's roaring Leo the Lion (and the mega-bucks he made for the studio with films like Hitchcock's North by Northwest). In response, an 80-year-old self-deprecating Cary Grant "read what he called a prayer on the technical difficulties of growing old."

And I'll wager he was very amusing, wouldn't you?


Related post: Christmas Dinner with Cary Grant 1934 and then-wife Virginia Cherrill.


  1. Very detailed and studiously yet communicatively, described! You have illuminated thoughts and reflections one might have regarding this fascinating actor who rose from the ashes of heartbreak and loss. Thank you.


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