Saturday, 16 January 2016

Alan Rickman:
Sense and Sensibility

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It seems that many are the talented ones that choose to "leave" life, these days. My first thought was to write about David Bowie for reasons that anyone capable of hearing would understand, but I believe much has been written already - astrological or not. So, my second and final thought was to pay homage to Alan Rickman, an also immense artist, because his iconic acting was imprinted in my mind as early as my childhood years, when he played the bad guy in Die Hard, or the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood. And of course because he is the ultimately very dear Professor Snape in my beloved Harry Potter series.  
Actors are agents of change. A film, a piece of theater, a piece of music, or a book can make a difference. It can change the world.
Alan Rickman 
Alan Rickman is born on February 21, 1946, in the starsign of Pisces, in Acton, an indifferent-bordering-on-gloomy neighborhood of west London. He is the second son in a working class family of six. His mother is a housewife and his father a factory worker who passes away when Rickman is only eight. The sesquisquare aspect of his Sun to his stationary Mars - retrograde Saturn conjunction, as well as the conjunction itself are testament to the harshness of the paternal absence. 

His mother remarries to divorce three years later. The sesquisquare between the Moon - retrograde Jupiter* conjunction and stationary Uranus, sketches her ability to change directions swiftly, perhaps so swiftly as to cause a measure of insecurity to Rickman. Thankfully the very quality of the Moon-Jupiter* conjunction and its trine to the Sun-Venus-Mercury conjunction point to the woman who undertakes the care of her four children single-handedly and provides Alan a reliable foundation. This last trine seems to be the reason behind the boy's good fortune in finding himself in a primary school which follows the Montessori method.

His artistic talent, bursting through his stellium in Pisces, finds outlet in calligraphy and water-colour painting. However the Mars-Saturn conjunction's trine to the stellium, and the conjunction itself show that, talent aside, Rickman is a hardworking, studious person, with a keen sense of responsibility, and quite capable of following through. He is accepted to Latymer Upper School on a scholarship, where he fist becomes involved in drama.

The Uranus - retrograde Neptune trine points to a rich mental potential, highly imaginative and creative, with a potent dose of ingenuity. Nevertheless, the activation of said aspect both through its square with Uranus and Neptune's quincunx to the stellium in Pisces, shows that it is not easy for Alan to decide how or even if he will express his many gifts.

Upon graduating from college, he chooses to work as graphic designer, as "drama school wasn't considered the sensible thing" and the trine between his stellium and the Mars-Saturn conjunction pushes him to a more "sensible" path. Neptune's square to said conjunction doesn't help either as it lends him no confidence whatsoever in is ability to succeed. It makes the goal that draws him like magnet unclear although he most certainly senses it.

Rickman's original expression is initially suppressed by the fear underlined by the quincunx between retrograde Pluto and the stellium in Pisces, and its square to Uranus. Alan is further striving to harness his fear of poverty and perhaps maternal criticism, highlighted by the Neptune-stellium in Pisces quincunx. He works as a graphic designer for years paying homage to the conservative commands of the trine between the Mars-Saturn conjunction and the Piscean stellium. Leaving his comfort and the familiar behind, doesn't come easy to him as further stressed by the trine between the Moon-Jupiter* conjunction and his planets in Pisces.

In 1965, aged 19, he meets Rima Horton who is to become the woman of his life. They decide to move in together in 1977 but don't get married until 2012. Rickman's stellium in Pisces -  including Venus, and its square with Uranus, as well as its quincunx with Neptune, justify or rather dictate an unconventional and rather liberal outlook on relationships, albeit based rather on romanticism and maybe his indecisiveness to grant any woman besides his mother, the leading part in his life.

His stellium in Pisces, reinforced by Neptune and magnified by its trine with the Moon-Jupiter* conjunction, once again proves irresistible. The actor cannot ignore the call of art within. Rickman ditches the safety of graphic design and becomes accepted to the RADA, in 1972, honouring his ability to make sudden changes and ultimately, take risks and jeopardise his comfort, as expressed by the aspects of Uranus in his horoscope. In the end, his artistic sensitivity needs more and greater things. Still, the decisive Mars-Saturn conjunction keeps him safely anchored in reality: during his studies, he makes a living working as a dresser. After graduation, he works -among others, in RSC and BBC productions. From the moment he overcomes his fear of the unfamiliar and of losing his comfort, the trines of the Moon-Jupiter* conjunction, and the Mars-Saturn conjunction with the stellium, lend him achievement, opportunities, the acceptance of both audience and critiques, wide acknowledgement, and prosperity.

The strong presence of the element of water in his natal chart and the deep comprehension of the entire spectrum of human emotion and sensibility it lends, in combination with the acting genius attributed by the Uranus and Neptune aspects, earn him the ability to grasp and play brilliantly the ambiguous Viscomte de Valmont in Dangerous Liaisons, in 1985. He finds himself in Broaway and is nominated for a Tony award. For Rickman, acting is not just a profession, it is a means of making the world a better place.

He uses the vast variety of deep understanding of the human condition bestowed by the pronounced Piscean element and the diligence attributed by the aspects of Saturn and plays with great success a very diverse repertoire, from the romantic Coronal Brandon in Sense and Sensibility, to the terrorist Hans Gruber in Die Hard, to Rasputin in Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny, which brings him a Golden Globe and an Emmy. He unfolds his comical talent as Archangel Metatron in Dogma, as Harry in Love Actually. His work earns him numerous nominations and awards but never an Oscar.

Alan Rickman  passes away on January 14, 2016, from pancreatic cancer. The sensitivity of the organ is already implied in the natal sesquisquare between Uranus and the Moon-Jupiter* conjunction.

In his tribute to Rickman, Sir Ian McKellen said that "behind his starry insouciance and careless elegance, behind that mournful face, which was just as beautiful when wracked with mirth, there was a super-active spirit, questing and achieving, a super-hero, unassuming but deadly effective". Maybe this is the best way to describe an artist who was wise enough to combine his abundant talent and charisma with hard work, and use it in his personal quest to make his world a better place. No doubt, he succeeded. The same way he succeeded in preserving the admirable and far from servile modesty of true sensitivity when faced with the seductive Sirens of an envied journey through the universe of dramatic art.  

* Alan Rickman's exact time of birth is unknown and on his birthday, the Moon passes from the last degrees of Libra to the first degrees of Scorpio. In every case though, it forms a conjunction with Jupiter.