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Famous Librans
Margaret Thatcher | Oscar Wilde | Michael Douglas | Catherine Zeta Jones | Mahatma Gandhi | Will Smith | more


by Deborah Houlding

How does the Libran Sun play out in the charts of the famous people you know? For the deep-dive into the symbolism of this sign see: Libra - The Sign Symbolism of Libra the Scales.

Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher led a remarkable life as the first woman to lead a major Western democracy. With the Sun, Mars (asc-ruler) and Mercury (MC-ruler) all in Libra, even those strongly opposed to her political views would agree she took the Libran principles of organised strategy and distinguished statesmanship to a very high level. Responding to the call of the scales, Thatcher qualified as a lawyer, specialising in taxation issues before developing her career in politics. She exhibited less of the Libran tendency towards vacillation due to the stern presence of Saturn on the ascendant, and the Moon's elevated conjunction with Regulus, a fixed star that indicates a rigid adherence to principles and a natural inclination to lead. This Moon-Regulus conjunction was a factor that Thatcher shared with Winston Churchill, to whom her rigid adherence to policy was often compared.

Thatcher's ascendant falls on Zuben Elgenub, the Southern Scale of the constellation Libra, a fixed star with a Mars-Saturn influence that indicates many difficulties but success through Mars related activities. Support for her qualities as a leader reached a peak following her uncompromising stance that led to victory in the Falkland's crisis. Her critics would claim she was harsh and uncaring in her politics, but with such a strong emphasis on air and fire, Thatcher would naturally formulate her policies upon a logical basis, and would have no hesitancy in fighting for what she believed in. Such traits make it difficult to convey a warm and sympathetic public image and Thatcher ultimately left her mark as a dynamic and generally respected stoical political leader, rather than a popular and much loved one.

Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde

"In matters of grave importance, style, not sincerity, is the vital thing", wrote Oscar Wilde, literally articulating the trine between the Sun in Libra and Saturn on the Midheaven. Wilde achieved lasting glory for his acerbic humour and shockingly caustic philosophical observances, fully expressing the opposition between Scorpionic MC-ruler Mercury and Uranus (Moon is in square), with Mars, his 3rd house ruler, in Sagittarius. But he is also remembered for his poetic vision denoted by the trine between Mercury and the newly discovered Neptune on the descendant.

Saturn upon the midheaven can be the signature of someone who suffers a fall from high esteem due to indignity or disgrace. Ruled by Venus, the scandals of Librans tend to centre upon relationship tribultations, and with Neptune in Pisces on the 7th house cusp, Wilde was particularly susceptible to sacrifices and an idealistic attitude towards the loved one. Neptune's square to Saturn on the midheaven reflects the disappointment, disillusionment and downfall that followed the widely publicised criminal trial involving his homosexuality. He suffered the painful humiliation of being rejected by society following his imprisonment for "indecency" and shortly afterwards died of a syphilis related illness at the age of 46.

The square of the fallen Sun to the fallen 7th-ruler Jupiter upon the 5th house cusp warns of damage from an immoderate and ostentatious disposition towards love affairs and self-indulgences, and whilst dignified Venus in Libra is on the sextile of Mars, it translates its influence between the two malefics that stand in opposition across the MC-IC axis. Such exuberance made Wilde an easy target for attacks concerning his sexuality, but with the Sun ruling the 12th house he was also a victim of his own mistakes which led to self-undoing. Ultimately, the Moon square Uranus made Wilde notable for standing apart from the crowd, and he will be remembered, not only for his brilliant literary output, cutting wit and flamboyant confidence, but also for his true commitment to love, his tender weaknesses, and the injustices he suffered for being his own self.

Quote source: The Importance of Being Earnest, 1895

Michael Douglas

Michael Douglas

The exploration of sexual attraction has run as a theme through Michael Douglas's Hollywood career. Off screen too, the emphasis on Libran planets brings relationship issues to the fore. Venus conjunct Mars in Libra gives 'playboy' tendencies - a natural response to a configuration that offers good looks, an easy ability to flirt and charm, a wide appreciation of beauty, and a drive to explore it in all its forms. The problem for Douglas is that Venus rules the 7th house of partnerships and the 12th house of 'self-undoing', where it sits, ready to exploit any sexual transgressions to his disadvantage. Douglas attracted widespread publicity in his 1990s confession of "addiction to sex", a claim he says was actually alchohol addiction, badly reported by the press. But he has made public-service of his own problems by being a promoter of information regarding links between cunnilingus and cancer.

The Libran Sun conjunct Neptune signifies an illusionist, capable of living up to the dream and believing it himself. With the Sun ruling the Midheaven this is perfect for a successful actor, but it suggests sensitivity to addictions and confusion over issues connected with self-identity. The Capricorn Moon is in square so there is always a danger that wealth and ambition act as substitute goal posts in evaluating self-worth, but the idealistic Neptunian Sun rejects this and Douglas is challenged to confront many false realities. The opposition of Moon and Saturn (both debilitated in their signs of detriment) shows life-long battles against demoralisation as he battles his own self.

Mars, ruler of the Scorpio ascendant, reveals Douglas to be a character of great emotional depth with strong drives and ruthless passions; but in Libra Mars is detrimented, its outlets are shallow and frustrating. He may have developed a gift for asserting himself through diplomacy, but a deeper part of him yearns for the thrill of conflict; to 'let the devil out'. With Mars trine Uranus in Gemini, Douglas is capable of brilliant strategy and manipulative mind games, but he walks a tight rope with Uranus on the 8th house cusp - there is always the danger of volatile, self-destructive traits arising from his need to break free of moulds he doesn't genuinely relate to.

Catherine Zeta Jones

Catherine Zeta Jones

Catherine Zeta Jones has her Midheaven and four planets elevated in Libra. They are all disposited by Venus, which is debilitated by fall in the 8th house of loss - relationships are NOT easy for Catherine, this being the signature of someone who must sacrifice her own desires. Venus is grounded in earth and tied into a grand trine involving angular Saturn, and Mars which is dignified by exaltation and the strongest planet in the chart (Catherine's charm belies her strongly emphasised warrior spirit). Though Michael and Catherine both appear to live up to the Libran image of easy harmony, Catherine takes her relationships very seriously and they become the source of hard work and dedication, where she fights to hold her ground.

Sagittarius rises and the ascendant ruler Jupiter, along with all the Libran planets, is located in the 9th house of philosophical reasoning. This gives Catherine a wonderful ability to see things from the bigger picture and, besides adorning her with beauty, charm and grace, describes her as broad-minded, fun loving, sociable and easy going. Catherine's light and breezy Libran Sun is out of synch with her emotional Piscean Moon (conjunct Scheat) however, and with Pluto aspecting both there are dramatic and painful periods of soul-searching beneath the surface.

Numerous contacts between the charts of Catherine and Michael (they were born on the same birthday so their Suns are conjunct), indicate the strength and importance of their relationship. Some of the contacts portray the obvious attraction: Michael's Venus falls on Catherine's Midheaven, her Venus trines his Moon; but other contacts are challenging and convey mixed blessings. Catherine's Mars, for example, falls on Michael's Moon, and with that Venus in trine it is easy to see how he would be emotionally attracted to her feisty spirit and energising charisma. But Michael's Moon is square to their Suns, Catherine's is in opposition, and the two Moons square to each other. Either way, they have much to learn and gain from each other. In Catherine's case, Venus as Midheaven ruler, on the trine to Saturn and Mars in Capricorn reflects elevation of professional status through marriage to an older man.

Mahatma Gandhi

Mohandas Ghandi

Mohandas Gandhi, known as Mahatma, (great soul), typified the Libran quest for finding harmony in a world of polarised extremes. Not only is his Sun in Libra, but the Moon on the square of the Venus/Mars - Jupiter/Pluto opposition depicts an image of finely held balance which only absolute focus will preserve. Ghandi's early life was filled with trial; he studied law in England but was ineffective in his early cases, and admitted to being an unfair husband who struggled to provide for his family. His 12th house Sun would suggest difficulties in expressing self-interests effectively, but Ghandi later found strength in ego-suppression as a spiritual philosophy. He was greatly affected by the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, which advocated worldly detachment and renunciation. He took up vegetarianism and celibacy, despite the fact that he was a natural flirt and viewed sex as a constant temptation.

It was following a humiliating personal experience of racial inequality that he decided to make a stand and commit his life to fighting for his own rights and those of others through a policy of non-violence. With Uranus on the Midheaven, which is ruled by the Moon, he could easily connect to issues concerning social division and was capable of shaking the collective status quo. As the Midheaven ruler, the Moon and its involvement in that powerful T-square attracted great forces of support and opposition, and Ghandi underwent several periods of imprisonment and unfair hostile reaction which only served to highlight his cause.

The assasination of Ghandi by a Hindu gunman on 30th January 1948 (5:41 pm, Delhi) shook the world, but assured his place in history as one of the great martyrs in the fight for social freedom and equality. The potential for a violent death is foreshadowed in the nativity by the 8th-cusp's conjunction with Algol and the 8th-ruler's conjunction with Mars. At the time of the event the South Node was in partile conjunction with his natal Mars, transiting Saturn was retrograde in a partile conjunction with his natal Moon, and the transiting Moon was in a partile conjunction with his natal 12th house Sun. Although the Sun appears weak and afflicted in this chart, and modern biographers point out that Gandhi had many 'human flaws', the Libran challenge of acting as an agent of equilibrium and justice was fully expressed in his life, despite all the turbulent and difficult experiences that stacked against him.

Will Smith

Will Smith

Librans love balance and get triggered by extremes. Will Smith’s 2022 Oscar night performance ‘slap!’ was a classic Hollywood staging of the old adage: what goes up must also come down. And so it was that his ascension to a professional zenith was immediately balanced by descent to his nadir.

Will has an essentially dignified Venus, and the Sun in Libra flowing to a grand trine with his ascendant and midheaven. This gives positive radiance, good looks, charm and the kind of popular appeal that flourishes in a career that allows expression of those attractive and vivacious elements of his personality. But behind the light and breezy front, Will’s Scorpio Moon conjunct Neptune shows deep and darkly confused emotions, an instinctively guarded stance, a strong defensive reflex, and a readiness to protect and fight for what he loves or fears losing. When that configuration is coupled (as it is here) with an afflicted Saturn ruling the 10th house of career – placed on the cusp of the 12th house of anxieties and fears of persecution – we see an over-concern for matters of career and public image: a perfect recipe for anyone with a delicate ego to meet with their own downfall over untempered insecurities.

Will says he has done a lot of soul searching since his slap, and we can believe him – that Scorpio Moon is pretty profound. It is also on the sextile of the Jupiter-Pluto conjunction in Virgo, which gives the buoyancy to self-heal and rebound after introspective analysis of trauma. But note the difficult placement of Saturn and Mars in this chart. Mars is strong by angularity but peregrine and accidentally afflicted by its rulership of the 12th house, showing a potential for damage through misdirected anger. This is not a good planet to disposit his fallen MC ruler – it burst into the most public manner of expression at the time of the explosive slap, just as the Moon came to the conjunction of Mars on Will’s MC. The fateful consequence of the moment was given an exclamation mark by the South node’s transiting conjunction with Will’s natal Moon, which was also feeling the pressure of a partile square from Saturn that night.

There is some beautiful astrology in the way the elevated Moon-Mars conjunction culimated on Will's MC at the time of the slap, followed shortly afterwards by the perfectly contradictory conjunction of Venus (blessings) and Saturn (sober dissapointments) as he claimed his award. Ouch.
Will Smith
graphic embellishment

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Published: September, 2003.
Content update: 2022.
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