August 13, 2014
Alfred Hitchcock’s Fate Was In His Stars [by David Lehman]
At 3:15 in the morning, in London, England, one hundred and fifteen years ago today, the great film director Alfred Hitchcock was born, a solid Leo with a macabre imagination
When August 13 falls on a Friday, as in 1993 and 1999, you may expect bats to fly in through the slightest opening in the bathroom window, and the phone will ring at 11 PM and it will be someone you have never met, who asks you for a job and sounds drunk. Hitchcock was short (5’5) and stout and perhaps unaware that he shared his birthday with both Annie Oakley and Fidel Castro.
There is a tremendous amount of fire in his natal chart (see below): more than 50%. This accounts for his energy, drive, ambition. The water in his chart, topping 18%, indicates a man of subtlety and sensitivity. He has three times as much yang as yin in his personality, and no one should be surprised to learn that a man whose dominant planets are the sun, Venus, and Mars may luxuriate in bathtubs in the English manner and have an almost phobic distrust of showers, which comes through in such movies as “Vertigo” (in which Kim Novak does not drown in the Pacific Ocean) and “Pyscho” (in which Janet Leigh meets her shocking fate behind a torn curtain). Leo, Sagittarius, and Scorpio are the predominant signs of a man whose self-confidence can lead him to commit the sin of pride. I hear that Janet Leigh greatly prefers baths to showers and has ever since working with Hitch.
A picture of the master of suspense emerges from a study of Hitchcock’s chart. He is a Roman Catholic; a lover of blondes (especially American blondes); and a prankster of the imagination who knows that a straight face is best for effects either comic or scary and that the best way to get an actor and an actress to understand their parts as quarreling lovers is to handcuff them together and lock them in a room overnight, as in the filming of “The 39 Steps.” When he was a boy, Hitchcock’s dad sent him to the local police constabulary with a note instructing the officer on duty to lock the boy in jail for a few hours. This experience had the desired effect on the lad, who worked out his guilt complex by dispatching heroes, heroines, and villains to their deaths from the top of a church tower, or from a moving train, or in a wood stove, or by an attack of killer birds, or in an out-of-control merry-go-around at an amusement park, or by a nasty piece of goods who uses his necktie as a strangling device, or sometimes with a gun, a knife, or a pair of handy scissors. The leonine Hitchock had his sun and his Venus in Leo. This makes him a most logical man, a constant man, generous in his affections but domineering, and almost tyrannically loyal to his lovers and friends.
Given this man’s stellar combination of assertive confidence and deep-seated guilt, it comes as no surprise to students of the great man’s chart that (1) the great Hitchcock actors (male) tend to be old-fashioned types (James Stewart, Cary Grant) rather than the method-trained new breed; (2) in some (not all) of the best Hitchcock movies, the villain is either more interesting than the hero (Robert Walker versus Farley Granger in “Strangers on a Train”) or at least exceptionally complicated in an attractive way (e.g., Joseph Cotten in “Shadow of a Doubt,” James Mason in “North by Northwest,” Ray Milland in “Dial M for Murder,” the birds in “The Birds”); and (3) the perfect Hitchcock heroines are, in descending order of high greatness, Grace Kelly, Ingrid Bergman, Kim Novak, Doris Day, Janet Leigh, and Teresa Wright. Hitch shows us the craziness inside every man and his (almost invariably) blonde fantasy lady.
A tip of the old fedora to Bernard Herrmann, who wrote the music of Hitchcock’s mind– DL
Note: Readers of “astrological profiles” know that the use of astrological terms is laid on pretty thick but with tongue in cheek, firmly so, on the nervy assumption that the horoscope — like the “haruspicate or scry,” “sortilege, or tea leaves,” playing cards, pentagrams, handwriting analysis, palm-reading, and the “preconscious terrors” of the dreaming mind in T. S. Eliot’s “The Dry Salvages” — may be a bust at prediction bur may turn out to be not only “usual pastimes and drugs” but the means of poetic exploration.
5 thoughts on “Astrology about personality, with a dash of poem: David Lehman on Alfred Hitchcock”
The moon in Scorpio does not surprise me 😉
Yes, and how each aspect (literally) and sign position, the nodes, etc… makes a chart a comprehensive whole…
Fascinating man and read … I watched a programme about his life, and it appears he enjoyed scaring people..
You also have an amazing talent with your Astrology … 🙂
Thank you, Sue! I am enjoying your visit here.
He is a fascinating man, and might I add quite a character! I cannot take any credit for David Lehman’s analysis of Alfred’s chart.
In my own reading, I would have noted that with Sun and Venus in Leo, in the 1st house of Self and Persona (even the physical characteristics) He’s quite a presence – no wonder he carries a heavy signature! I’d even make mention that it’s these characteristics, the strong Leo presence (casting a shadow), and yes the fire element, that makes him what the French call an auteur. “Auteur theory, which was derived largely from Astruc’s elucidation of the concept of caméra-stylo (“camera-pen”), holds that the director, who oversees all audio and visual elements of the motion picture, is more to be considered the “author” of the movie than is the writer of the screenplay.”
His natal moon is conjunct Jupiter in Scorpio in his 4th house, squaring his Leo ascendant. This gives him the pushiness/edginess (of the square), perhaps, that is evident in his startling others – and making the public fearful of what’s behind their own – domestic (4th house) – shower curtain. I saw a clip where he talked about a child’s fear – and then subsequent laughter. Perhaps he wants to demonstrate human nature by revealing its capacity for fear (and man’s relationship with animals as triggers: the birds) – and I wouldn’t doubt that he wants to craft every little detail of his movies based on his Mercury in Virgo in the 1st house.
This filled 1st house gives him a powerful Self/Authorship by itself, even without the strong planetary energies of Leo. Which there are a ton of. The last thing, and I didn’t mention it, is his Natal North Node (future orientation of his soul development) is in the Leo-ruled 5th house in Sagittarius, making him quite the risk-taker, if only it weren’t for Saturn, again further evidence of his ultimate creative heavy-hand. I learned recently that critics in France took to him first, but he won over the audience before the critics. – overall, very interesting.
His Scorpio moon, no doubt, aided his interest in human behavior (psychology) as well as his manipulation of it via film, 11th house Pluto – domination in his community. My favorite movie of his I remember being North by North West. Although, I’d have to see it again to remember why I liked it. Hugs right back to you! xoxo Ka (sorry for my long reply)
I loved your long reply and also its content Ka… I am in awe of your Astrological knowledge.. Both you and Linda amaze me with your knowledge by doing Star charts etc.. And you impress me immensely.. 🙂 Love and Blessings ❤ Sue xxx