Exploring Paul Newman's Authentic Self

As I have been working my way through Demetra George’s Astrology and the Authentic Self, I have used her approach to chart analysis when looking at various charts. The chart of Paul Newman caught my eye after I watched the HBO series on Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, The Last Movie Stars. Following the steps laid out in the book, we first would look at the natal and progressed lunation phase.


Paul Newman was born during a New Moon, with the Moon just 25 degrees ahead of the Sun. This would describe him as a youthful soul, open to new experiences, impulsive, and in a constant state of self-discovery. Given that he chose as his career a path that would lead him from one new project to the next as he explored new identities through the roles he played, this tracks perfectly with the energy of one born during a New Moon.


Through our progressed lunar phases, however, we live through each lunar phase at different times in our lives, with each cycle taking about 30 years. If Paul Newman had come to us for a reading on January 29, 1958, we would tell him that he is in a crescent progressed lunar phase. This is a time when the life begins to take on a new direction, requiring us to learn new skills and overcome the resistance to stay in the past. Paul Newman had recently appeared in two movies, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and The Long, Hot Summer, roles which required him to stretch as an actor and perform at a level of peak excellence, and he had been particularly challenged by one of his co-stars, Joanne Woodward. On January 29, 1958, he and Joanne Woodward married, beginning a decades long partnership both personally and professionally.


Demetra George indicates that we should next consider the Ascendant and its ruler. With earth sign Capricorn rising, Paul Newman will be motivated to build material security, and with Capricorn’s ruler, Saturn, at the Midheaven, much of his focus and energy will be poured into building his career. Saturn itself seeks to create structure and order, and in Scorpio, it will invest itself in deep commitments and transformation. The documentary demonstrates beautifully how his intense, challenging, long-term marriage to Joanne Woodward helped him to grow as an actor and as a human being.


Paul Newman’s chart ruler, Saturn, is also particularly strong, conjunct an angle, visible, moving quickly, and in sextile to both benefics, Venus and Jupiter. Demetra George tells us that good planetary condition is an indication that the native will experience success in life in the areas it rules. We see here that success will come through career, the 10th house, and in self-development and the amassing of personal resources, the 1st and 2nd houses which are ruled by Saturn.


Looking at Paul Newman’s identity and the motivation of his life path, we need to also consider any planets in the 1st house, which are going to be very strong influences. Jupiter, Mercury, and Venus in Capricorn all inhabit the 1st house, emphasizing a strong search for meaning and purpose (Jupiter), a need to speak, learn, and listen (Mercury), and the ability to attract what one loves (Venus). While Mercury and Venus are in good condition, Jupiter has the disadvantage of being in its fall in Capricorn, telling us that Paul Newman will struggle for most of his life to understand and live by a higher purpose.


Next to be considered are the Sun and the Moon. Born with an Aquarian Sun, Paul Newman had the need to innovate, as he always sought new challenges as an actor, and to enact social change, often engaging in political movements and philanthropic endeavors. In the 2nd house, though, the Sun also shines a light on one’s livelihood and one’s need to earn a living. Paul Newman would eventually have six children to support. He would at different times have to take movie roles for the money, and he had to concern himself with staying relevant as the culture of movie goers would change with the times. These struggles are shown in the Aquarian Sun, which is in detriment, dependent on the community around it to bring its light into the world. The Sun also does not have any help from the benefics and is in square to a malefic, Saturn. Finally, it is in what is considered a “bad” house, where it does not always get the support it needs from the rest of the chart.


The Moon in Pisces occupies a fairly “good” house, the 3rd, where it also has the advantage of being “in its joy.” The Moon thrives in the area of our daily life and community, giving us emotional support from those around us as we go about our daily life. It is also his primary sect light, as Paul Newman was born at night. So, while his Sun will struggle as described above, Paul Newman will find people to help him, well-wishers, and congenial environments as he travels and works. These advantages are also enhanced by the benefics falling in a sign-based sextile, and neither malefic making a difficult angle to it.


Finally, Demetra George looks at the timing in a chart, by transits and secondary progressions. At this reading on January 29, 1958, we can tell Paul Newman that the ruler of his marriage house, the Moon, is by progression exalted in Taurus, in his 5th house of pleasure and children, and in sextile to his Descendant. The Moon is also joined by progressed Mars in Taurus, and both oppose his natal Saturn – the ruler of his chart. The dynamism of this time, as he launches into a long and rich partnership, is shown by these aspects, but also some conflict, as he has left his first wife and will be dealing with the fallout from this decision throughout his marriage to Joanne. The progressed Moon in the 5th house also mirrors another interesting fact about this day – Paul and Joanne’s daughter Nell would be born a few months later.


By transit, Venus, the greater benefic in this night chart, was conjunct Paul Newman’s Sun – in fact, transiting Sun and Venus had conjoined just the day before, on his natal Sun! Transiting Jupiter, the other benefic, was in its joy in the 11th house of hopes and dreams at 1 degree of Scorpio, exactly trine his Moon in Pisces. Even the malefics cooperated, with Mars and Saturn in the 12th house (Saturn’s joy), in trine to Paul Newman’s Mars in Aries in his 4th house, bringing him an enduring but ever-challenging home life. The planets truly lined up on this day as these two “stars” embarked upon their legendary love story.