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Mirror Mirror: The Astrology of Famous People and the Actors who Portrayed Them

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Have you ever reached the end of a film and thought, “Wow. That actor really nailed it. How did they do that?” Think Julia Roberts and Erin Brockovich; Leonardo DiCaprio and Howard Hughes; Daniel Day Lewis and Abraham Lincoln – and possibly my absolute favourite, Taron Egerton and Elton John. In this true labour of love, for which Alex Trenoweth sat through many, many hours of films, the astrological links between a wide range of famous characters and the actors who portrayed them are revealed in all their glory.
Watch the live reveal when we received our proof copies on Youtube here. Such fun!
As well as being a film buff extraordinaire, Alex is also an incredibly gifted teacher who uses astrology to gain insight into the ways that different year groups behave, and the best way to teach them. You can read more in her book Growing Pains: Astrology inAdolescence.

Alex Trenoweth

Alex Trenoweth

Alex Trenoweth, DfAstrolS, ISAR CAP, MA (CAA) is a professional schoolteacher as well as an astrologer specialising in child development, ...

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Why should a particular actor be able to portray a real life person so perfectly? Is it because they are a good actor or because there is something within them that resonates with the person they’re playing? In this book, Alex Trenoweth answers these questions. This is a book that demonstrates the magic of Astrology at work.
Ana Isabel Lightways Astrology

The book, Mirror Mirror: The Astrology of Famous People and the Actors who Portrayed Them, written by astrologer and educator, Alex Trenoweth, is a most impressive and fascinating study of the connection between famous figures and the actors who portray them. Alex Trenoweth, American-born and UK based, is an author, award winning, world renowned astrologer who runs her own astrology school, Rohini Academy of Astrology. She is a professional educator and also runs a thriving consultancy, specialising in families. Her qualifications include an MA (CAA) and DFAstrolS. She is also Director of Education for Kepler College.
In her previous book, Growing Pains: Astrology in Adolescence published in 2013, Alex marries her astrological insights with her pedagogical expertise as an aid for adolescents, their parents and their teachers. Since writing Growing Pains Alex has travelled across the globe lecturing on the topics of astrology and education. In 2015 she was voted as Best International Astrologer of the Year by the Krishnamurti Institute of Astrology in Kolkata, India. As a gifted communicator and teacher, Alex knows how to write a book that is informative, entertaining and thought provoking which makes Mirror Mirror an eminently readable book. Alex has long been a film buff and in her Introduction acknowledges that the inspiration for this book originated from her viewing the movie Julie & Julia. As a child she was fascinated with Julia Child and used to faithfully watch her on television. On first viewing the movie Julie & Julia, she was completely enthralled by Meryl Streep’s portrayal of Julia.
In the Foreword Julia Parker, well known astrologer and author, gives Mirror Mirror a glowing review.
From 2009 – 2019 Alex watched almost 200 movies which she pared down to just over 100 biopics. The case studies are categorised by the predominant planet starting with Pluto all the way through to the Moon and the Sun and ending with the Nodes and Chiron. This is then followed by a section entitled Multiple Versions where more than one movie has been made of a particular person. Alex’s final chapter, Favourites, is dedicated to her own favourite biopics.
Each chapter begins with a short introduction of the quality of the key planet, what it represents and how it fits into the theme of the planet. For example Pluto includes the movie, Schindler’s List, which relates the Plutonian theme in which Oskar Schindler, an ethnic German from Czechoslovakia, carries out daring rescues of Jews from the fate of being sent to a concentration camp and to death. In the chapters on the Nodes which portray a certain fatedness there is a feeling that the actor was destined to play this part. For example in the film, Gandhi, Alex points out the shared nodal axis between the inspirational leader Mahatma Gandhi and the actor, Ben Kingsley, who portrayed Gandhi. The chapter on Chiron, the wounded healer, includes Judy with Renee Zellweger’s powerful portrayal of Judy Garland. Zellweger has her Chiron conjunct Garland’s south node enabling her to portray Garland’s pain and suffering earning her a Golden Globe and nomination for an Oscar.
Each analysis of the movie has a neatly formatted synopsis using a triwheel with the chart data of the person being portrayed as the inner wheel, the actor/actress as the middle wheel and the release date of the movie as the outer wheel. Her analysis focuses on conjunctions and oppositions, leaving it for astrologers to delve into it more deeply.
This book is truly a labour of love with a wealth of knowledge that would appeal to astrologers and film buffs alike. I particularly enjoyed the chapters on Favourites where Alex gives her personal impressions of her favourite biopics which include such movies as Erin Brockovich, Julie and Julia, Rocketman, The Imitation Game, and The King’s Speech. She skilfully outlines the powerful astrological connections between the actors and the famous figures they portray and how the synastry enables the actor to successfully render the characteristics of the figures they are portraying. Alex also notes the connections in her own natal chart which have drawn her to these particular movies and the actors portraying them.
There is something for everyone in this book. For me it was a trip down memory lane reliving some of my favourite movies and the impact they had on me at the time. Alex also suggests comparing your birth chart to the triwheel of your favourite movie. As one reviewer writes of Mirror Mirror,”You can sip and savour it one movie at a time or gulp it down to feed your curiosity.” I heartily endorse Julia Parker’s view that Mirror Mirror “should be the bedside book of the year”.
Anne Robertson  FAA Journal

The concept embodied in the title of this unique offering by Alex Trenoweth seems simple enough, but aside from the writing necessary to produce a book of this size, making it real required some careful decisions that readers will appreciate. It began with an astrological exploration of Meryl Streep’s notable portrayal of Julia Child in Julie & Julia that convinced her that there was indeed an astrological connection between the two, and that in turn led to the viewing of 200 biopics, and the establishment of some rules to decide what performances would provide the best examples of how the astrological connection between the actor and the famous person could best be portrayed, and how to keep the astrology as direct as possible.
That last point is quite important, because when using astrology to make a comparison like this, it is all too easy to wander off into aspect and rulership complexities in order to make things work. Wisely, Trenoweth chose to focus on conjunctions and oppositions and leave the exotic details to the reader, something that makes the book more than a good read by turning it into something to enjoy both for the examples and the clear, accessible writing, but also for the way it encourages further study.
I can’t imagine a reader reasonably versed in astrology not sitting down with Mirror Mirror in hand and open to a particular example, with the relevant film on the screen and ready for viewing. That might make for slow reading, but it also encourages deep study, which means this is likely to be one of those books found in everyone’s library, and not just this year or next year either, but for years to come. Don’t hesitate to put Alex Trenoweth’s Mirror Mirror in your library as well! Ken Irving – Horoscope Guide

Alex Trenoweth’s Mirror Mirror is a series of essays (more than 100!) on the astrological synastry between characters in film and the actors who have portrayed them. It is a thought-provoking and appealing way to see astrology in action. The book is organized by planet, e.g., Pluto’s chapter includes the films Al Capone, Schindler’s List, Madame Curie, and A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Actors in these films include Tom Hanks, Liam Neeson, and Ralph Fiennes. The author is careful with data sourcing throughout, and most charts are AA data. The horoscopes are nearly all tri-wheels depicting the character, the actor, and the date the film was released. The chapters go through Chiron, and there is a section on films that carry themes connected to the lunar nodes.
Another part of the author’s survey covers characters (e.g., Ted Bundy, Thomas Edison, Queen Elizabeth I) who have been portrayed multiple times; in this section, Trenoweth comments on the distinct synastry of the respective actors with their respective portrayals. The book is also a guide to
film in general, as the author writes in some detail about the storylines in the movies, as well as the astrological links. I’m sure there is no other book that examines so many films through the astrological lens. Read Mirror Mirror if you are curious about why Renée Zellweger’s portrayal of
Judy Garland is featured in the Chiron chapter. Or, likewise, why Leonardo DiCaprio’s version of Howard Hughes is discussed in the chapter on the nodes. Alex Trenoweth has written an easy-to-read book that is also an astrological education about the entertaining diversions many of us love.
Mary Plumb The Mountain Astrologer Libra Nox 2022

The opening scene

What an idea for a book! You really have to have an inspired moment to think this up. And that’s exactly what Alex Trenoweth had, when she was watching Julie & Julia with her mother, because in her childhood the author had been a huge fan of Julia Child. During the film she was wondering how the average sized Meryll Streep could fill out the huge frame (6ʹ2ʺ) of the television cook from the 1970s and 80s. But she did. Big time.
So, Alex being a keen astrologer, started to research into the charts of both portrayer and portrayed, and – lo and behold – came up with significant synastry connections between the two. This was in 2009 and an idea was born.
Between 2009 and 2019, Alex watched nearly 200 biopics, i.e. movies depicting famous people, and diligently studied the astrology of the stars and their actors. Another two years later, the essence of her findings (about 100 movies) found their way into this amazing book.

Whatʹs in it?

The structure of the book is actually quite interesting, as it categorises the chapters according to the planets, starting with Pluto, all the way through to the Moon and Sun, even the Nodes and Chiron have a say.
Each chapter starts with a short introduction of the quality of the key planet, what it represents and how the films fit into the theme of the planet. For example, Neptune contains Goodfellas, Sid and Nancy and Pursuit of Happiness. All of them dealing with Neptunian themes such as confusion, dreams, addiction, psychic insights and imagination, illusions and disillusionment, dissolution and decline, but also the immense creativity and faith associated with this realm.
Each film analysis contains a short summary of the story of the movie, the chart data of the person being portrayed as well as the portraying actor/actress, plus the release date. All these are put in relation in a triwheel synastry chart and into key words on the synastry connections. This brief analysis focuses on conjunctions and oppositions and provides a skeleton for deeper analysis.
This is an amazing number of films to go through (from 1950s to present) and a wide range of topics. As a non-film-buff, I found it fascinating to read the summaries and found myself browsing youtube for the trailors to get a feeling for the movies and see the actors (also being very ignorant when it comes to putting faces to actorsʹ names). As a film layperson, it makes you want to find out more about the films and the people they portray. In order to be made into a film about, you obviously need to be or do something special, so the analysis is also interesting from a psychological point of view.
The astrological remarks, as mentioned, are mostly brief and to the point, mainly listing planetary connections and transits (of the release date). Insofar, it is a book that requires some astrological skill, as explanations on synastry aspects or transits are kept to a minimum. Of course, had they been more detailed, the book would have been twice as thick, and it might have overwhelmed the reader with astrological analysis.
As it is, the book is a great encyclopedia of biopic movies, and the brief astro analysis is enticing the more seasoned astrologer to look deeper, and the beginning astro enthusiast to get to grips with the planetary energies.
After all, there is nothing like a moving picture to illustrate the core of planetary meanings:

  • Pluto is about transformation, profound changes, crime, the dark side, science and research, life and death – or just death, a phoenix rising from the ashes, healing. The films in this category are A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Al Capone, Madame Curie and Schindlerʹs List.
  • Neptune was already mentioned above.
  • Uranus is associated with upheavals, revolution, rebellion, thinking outside the box, miracles, inspiration. All of this comes across in Amadeus, The Miracle Worker and The Story of Louis Pasteur.
  • Saturn deals with boundaries, strength and limitations, about discipline as well as about punishment and the consequences of oneʹs actions. Themes that come up in 127 Hours, Ali, Coalminerʹs Daughter, Dead Man Walking, Eddie the Eagle, Invictus, Shine, The Iron Lady.
  • Jupiterʹs omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence, his restlessness and need to explore, his traveling and not least his excessiveness are portrayed in Frida, Lust for Life, Moulin Rouge and The Spirit of St. Louis.
  • Evita, James Dean, Jesse James, Looking for Mr. Goodbar and Raging Bull represent the temper, passion, aggression and fire of Mars, god of war.
  • Venusʹ love and beauty as well as the astrological topic of relationships are illustrated in Diamond Jim, Iris, Jackie, Lady Sings the Blues, My Week with Marilyn, Stand and Deliver, The Dolly Sisters and Wilde.
  • Bohemian Rhapsody, Frances, Grace of Monaco, Mata Hari and Young Man With a Horn deal with the Mercurian themes of communication, learning, but also confusion, double messages and spying, and not least communicating via music.
  • The changeable and versatile Moon connects us with the past, with mother, emotions and memories, with empathy, caring and children. These and more lunar themes are emphasised in the main characters in Chaplin, Gorillas in the Mist, My Left Foot, The Pianist, The Queen and Walt Before Mickey.
  • The Sun, center of our solar system and all of life, features films whose characters are important for their impact on culture and the issues they raised. These are Boys Town, Cry Freedom, Hotel Rwanda, La Bamba, The Elephant Man.
  • The Nodes and their quality of ʹfatednessʹ make you feel that actor was actually destined to play this part, as in A Cry in the Dark, Coco Before Chanel, Funny Girl, Gandhi, Lincoln, Patton, Miss Potter, Ray, Selena, The Aviator or The Buddy Holly Story.
  • And finally, the Wounded Healer Chiron, with its themes of pain and suffering, but also healing and the complicated lives of wounded people: Dance with a Stranger, Factory Girl, Judy, Silkwood and The Karen Carpenter Story.

Following the planet sections, there are two more categories:

  1. ʺMultiplesʺ, i.e. different films on the same person, portrayed by different actors, such as Ted Bundy, Thomas Edison, Elizabeth I … and more, and
  2. Alexʹs ʺFavouritesʺ.

If youʹre interested to know what they are … well, youʹll need to buy the book.
And true to movie form, you even get an extra feature at the end: a sneak preview of Alex Trenowethʹs book Growing Pains with an extract of the introduction and the chapter on kids born with Jupiter in Aquarius.


Reading this book, Iʹd say, it was worth every hour Alex Trenoweth spent watching near 200 movies, analysing and comparing hundreds of charts and characters, and finally spending two years putting it all on paper.
In her book, she makes it clear that not any old actor or actress can play any old role. There has to be a connection between the personality of portrayer and the portrayed, as Julia Parker also points out in her Foreword. Actually, even with characters in ʹnormalʹ films (not biopics), the role needs to fit the actor, and if we were to check out the charts of fictional characters, we may even find connections there.
Mirror, Mirror is very stimulating for further research into both movies and astrology, as well as just a really good and inspiring read for film and astrology buffs – even for those who previously thought they werenʹt into movies.
By the way, if you are still undecided, check out this extract from the book:
Mirror Mirror … featuring Eddie the Eagle, Raging Bull, Wilde, Gorillas in the Mist and Erin Brockovich
Karin Hoffman for Astrodienst

There aren’t too many astrology books that are just plain fun. This is a delightful book that will both entertain and educate and a treat for people (like me) who are die-hard film buffs.
Trenoweth assembled over one hundred examples of well-know people about whom biographical films were made and compared their charts to the actors who took the roles. The chart connections are startling and quite precise. The book presents a smorgasbord of case studies useful for beginning and intermediate astrologers, as the best way to learn astrology beyond the basics is to look at a lot of charts and learn how to read and compare them.
The book is organized by planets. The author works her way from the outermost invisible outer planets – Pluto, Neptune and Uranus – to Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Mercury, the Moon, the Sun, the Nodes, and Chiron. There is a section called “Multiples” that features famous individuals who have been portrayed by more than one actor. The comparisons include a description of the film’s storyline and remarks about the chart connections. The final presentation of charts is called “Favorites” and offers the dual charts of eighteen historic figures and celebrities with the actors who immortalized them on film.
The innumerable charts in this book deserve special mention, both for the extent of data collection as well as the effort that went into formatting charts into a book format. Both are quite substantial chores! Each historic person’s chart is the inner chart of a biwheel, the actor’s chart as the outer wheel, and chart data on the edges (not all have time of birth). Charts are provided for all of the comparisons, providing a gold mine of chart data and charts! The biwheels make it easy to see the shared contacts. The charts occupy a full page of the 6” x 9” book size; the glyphs are small but legible. The only peculiarity is that no retrogrades are indicated on the charts.
It’s uncanny how the specific planet connections between subject and actor aptly describe the focus of the film portrayal. No biographical film portrays every aspect or incident in a person’s life but rather highlights a crucial period of development, achievement, or in some cases, ruination. Actors channel a particular facet of their subject through these planetary connections, and the shared chart contacts make them particularly suited for the roles.
Each chart comparison occupies 3 – 5 pages, making this book perfect for short spurts of reading and absorption. Trenoweth doesn’t delve too deeply into the chart contacts, leaving plenty of room for teachers with students to explore the charts together.
“Mirror Mirror” is a good book for experienced astrologers to acquire for the chart data and amusement. It’s as close as any book has ever come to being “escapist astrology literature”! That said, this book has the potential to be extraordinarily valuable as a tutelary text for astrology teachers. The sheer abundance of charts to examine and discuss makes the book a great text for students with a basic grasp of astrology who are ready for practical exercises to take them to the next level with chart-reading. Well done!
Elizabeth Hazel for North Face

This book teaches synastry in a different way. It is astrology in action. Alex chose 100 biopics ( movies about real people) to show the connections between the person the movie is about, the actor who plays that person, and the transits on the day when the movie was released. She organizes the book with chapters that show the connections between specific planets, starting with Pluto and ending with Chiron. Her chapter on the Nodes of the Moon emphasizes the fated quality of why a certain actor takes on a certain role. There is some overlap with planetary connections showing where some person/actor charts have more than one planetary connection. The examples do vary as to where the connections are more obvious.  There is a section showing when many actors play one person or when one actor plays the same person in different films.  Judi Dench as Queen Victoria and Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth are examples of this. There is a wealth of information in each tri-wheel. You get to read the charts and see the connections yourself as you read and look at each chart.
(Spoiler alert! Alex tells the plots of the films. Because the scripts are written about real people you may already know the ending. If you are not familiar with the person’s life story, may not want to know how the film ends. You can skip right to the astrology.)
Alex works with children and she knows how to make learning fun. This book is fun to read while it makes you think. It is like taking a very good astrology workshop that is so interesting that the time just flies by. The book shows that she put in much work and thought in collecting these examples of actors and the roles they play.
It is thought-provoking to read these connections. The chapter on the Nodes shows where fate has a hand. Gandhi and Ben Kingsley have the same nodal axis as do Ray Charles and Jaime Foxx. Renee Zellweger has her Chiron on Judy Garland’s South Node. It must have been healing for her to portray Judy’s wounded soul.
To add to the wow factor of this book, Alex suggests you compare your chart to the triwheel of your favorite movie, the one you watch over and over. Mine is Lawrence of Arabia. I see that Lawrence’s Saturn and Peter O’Toole’s Sun are conjoined my Pluto. Peter O’Toole’s Moon is the same degree as my Sun. The movie was released when the transiting North Node was at that degree. How can I ever forget feeling the heat of the desert sun when I watched that movie for the first time. The old saying “you can’t make this stuff up” rings true here.
This is a book to enjoy. You can pick it up and savor it one movie at a time or gulp it down to feed your curiosity.  It’s a book you want to own so that you can make notes and circle the correlations you see, especially those to your chart. It makes a great gift to an astrologer friend.
Arlan Wise OPA Journal April 2022

Researcher. That is what her bio says about Alex (check the end of her article “The Crown” in this issue). Her new book is about research into something she just loves – biographical films. ‘Research’ is such a serious word, and an arduous process, but one that ISAR values most highly. This research comes out of the fun of investigating what you love.
The book is especially for those who love movies, celebrities, and comparing charts. This is creative research about creativity. I am personally passionate about those two: ‘creative research’ and ‘creativity.’ Researching the creators who act out the dreams and life narratives on the screen inspired by real, notable people is the goal and purpose of Alex’s new book, Mirror Mirror: The Astrology of Famous People and the Actors Who Portrayed Them.
The aspects of comparison in Trenoweth’s study are basically but two: conjunct and opposition, using tight orbs. Other aspects come after for support, verification, and detail. Each example of a famous person’s chart, to the chart of the actor depicting them in their biopic, to the chart for the release of the film, make up the tri-wheels. Alex tells the core narratives that are necessary to blend her interpretive remarks. They are a starting point. They invite and leave room for much further analysis of the charts.
The over 100 famous people and their biopics make up her ‘database’ of examples organized by planetary emphasis starting with Pluto, including Chiron and the Nodes. Other categories are those with more than one biopic, from the infamous Ted Bundy to Queen Elizabeth I, and a special list of Alex’s 18 favorite biopics of all. Seeing the qualities in the actor’s chart connecting to their subject’s life as a role is amazing. It is as though Astrology was a secret casting director. Secret no more.
This is a natural gift book for anyone who loves astrology and films, and yourself, too, of course. But don’t leave it on a shelf. Put it by your ‘spot’ on the couch, or on your night table. It is a good read in tasty bits, or whole hog. Significantly, it demonstrates that anything you enjoy, as Alex enjoys biopics, is a potential subject for astrological research. Do it with whatever you love. Put the beloved idea through an astrological research process. Now you’re having fun.
Victoria Smoot in  The ISAR Journal

When I heard that Alex Trenoweth had written a book on famous people, my response was, “Oh. Okay.”
If I was a little unenthusiastic, you have to understand that I think her previous book, Growing Pains, is not only a classic in astrology but one of the most important astrology books in the last decade. Taking the reader far beyond sun sign astrology, it’s a book that is useful to parents and educators, and accessible to anyone – even if they don’t know their sun sign.
And now she wrote a book on famous people? Ho-hum.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Mirror Mirror is a real delight. It’s an insightful book that weaves together the strands between real people, the actors who portray them, and the time that the movies are released. Keeping to her knack for simplifying complex astrology, the author focuses on conjunctions and oppositions, which makes reading easy and leaves it to the reader to plumb more subtle connections, if they are inclined. Certainly, though, there is no lack of powerful evidence from the aspects Trenoweth uses.
A few good examples of actors playing biographical parts would be interesting, but there are about a hundred films in the book, and in some cases there are multiple actors in the same film.
The result is a wealth of evidence that actors often have strong astrological resonance with the people they portray.
The book is organized by planetary aspect. For example, Neptune is prominent in the connection between actor Ray Liota and Henry Hill, the gangster he played in Goodfellas. Al Capone’s connection to Rod Steiger is, unsurprisingly, Plutonian (as are connections with Oskar Schindler and Marie Curie – think about that). Karen Silkwood and Meryl Streep appropriately resonate along Chironic lines, while Streep connects with Margaret Thatcher via Saturn. Freddy Mercury’s connection with Rami Malek is, you guessed it, Mercurial.
Thus we see that not only do powerful connections exist between the actor and the real person, they often reflect what the famous person is known for (Fred Rogers and Tom Hanks along Plutonian lines are an exception). The chapter on nodal connections is a favorite, both powerful and somewhat haunting.
The release date of a film is another piece of the puzzle that often fascinates. Consider that Diana Ross was born at Billie Holiday’s Saturn return, and Lady Sings the Blues was released at her Saturn return (Holiday’s second return).
Mirror Mirror is available in both softcover and Kindle editions, and although the softcover is twice the price of the Kindle version, I think most readers will appreciate having the physical book in hand. While it can be read straight through, it’s likely that after getting a little way in you’ll want to skip to favorite movies, interesting historical figures, and favorite actors. You’ll also want to be able jump to a specific film when you see it, and while you can do that with an electronic version, it’s easier with the softcover (as is writing your own notes). I’m sure many of us will use this as a starting point for our own research into film and the entertainment world in general.
Get a copy of Mirror Mirror, and leave it out within reach of your couch, or wherever it is that you watch movies. You’re going to enjoy it for a long time – both on your initial reading and as you revisit it time and again. There’s so much of value in this interesting and enjoyable book.
Reviewed by Armand Diaz for the NCGR memberletter

The moment I opened Mirror Mirror, memories were revived. Before astrology beckoned me rather late in life (thank you, Saturn) I reviewed movies and attended film festivals – Cannes being by far the most glamorous and cool. I was transported back to the Palais des Festivals, the vast entertainment hub of Cannes on the Croisette, and heard once again Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals, the ‘Aquarium’ movement in particular which was played on a loop morning, noon and night, year after year, in the Palais’ public halls and corridors. I didn’t know it then, but Cannes had enjoined the movies showcased with a piece of music that summons up dreams and magical phantasms of reality (as well as an aquarium) ­– Neptune in a word. In modern astrology, Neptune rules the movie, the arena of light illusion, all that appears real but is not. Unwittingly, the organisers of Cannes had found the perfect Neptunian, watery serenade for the celluloid fodder of the dream factories.
Another one of those…coincidences.
Mirror Mirror takes us into the domain of Neptune for an amazing and original exploration. As a film buff herself, Alex Trenoweth started to notice the astrological connections between real-life stories and the illusory renditions on the big screen, and between the real people portrayed (such as Oscar Wilde or Elizabeth I) and the actors hired to portray them. We may say, for instance, that Taron Egerton gives us a remarkably good impression of Elton John in Rocketman, but only an astrologer can make something of the Sun/Moon conjunction in the two men’s synastry which enabled the actor to get under the skin of the subject and persuade us that he was in effect Elton John.
Trenoweth puts a hundred movies under the astro-microscope, supported by hundreds of charts – mostly biwheels and triwheels. She rewatched all the movies under discussion, with Mr Bubbles by her side, her pet cat who has since departed for purr-heaven. And what helps make this an astounding book is its structure which ensures that a love of the movies does not eclipse the astrology.
This is achieved quite simply by allotting each of the planets and lunar points its own chapter with a selection of films that share its astrological themes. As Trenoweth explains in her Introduction, films are categorised “by the planet that showed the strongest synastry between character and actor”. So, to take one planetary example, Pluto embraces A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood, Al Capone, Madame Curie and Schindler’s List because each features highly transformative, Plutonian themes. But also, there are interesting aspects and synastry involving Pluto: Greer Garson, for example, was perfect to play Marie Curie, a scientist who researched radioactivity, because Garson’s Pluto (radioactivity) was conjunct her own MC (career).
Another wise move structurally was the decision only to look at the films that are about real people living or dead – this roots the astrological associations in an origin actuality, a discrete starting point from which to trace the links that take us into the filmic dream. And the astrology.
Trenoweth imposes a disciplined, set format on each movie analysis, upholding order, and this reminds us that this is not a book to be confused with the spirit of Photoplay. Under each title, birth data of selected starring performers is set out before Trenoweth treats us to a faithful synopsis of the storyline. Then she moves to the aspects and synastry. So, in the case of Wilde in the Venus chapter – the biopic of Oscar Wilde’s decline and fall starring Stephen Fry – it is significant that the two men’s Venuses in Libra are conjunct, and that Fry’s MC sits on Wilde’s North Node. This aspect alone suggests a fated quality to Fry’s uncanny conjuring up of Wilde, as if he were born to play the part. (Arguably, Fry has never done anything better since the brilliance of his Wilde.)
Trenoweth also notes that Fry’s co-star Jude Law’s Pluto in Libra is conjunct the Moon of Lord Alfred Douglas, aka the infamous Bosie whose affair with Wilde and feud with his own father were largely responsible for Wilde’s destruction. It is as if the astrological dynamics of the actual story are played out at a filmic level in an interplay of matching cosmic energies – crossing boundaries of time, personal identity, fact and fiction, and locations ­– a mirroring only to be found in the horoscope.
Countless other new things are to be discovered in this compendious book. In the later chapter Multiple Versions, Trenoweth revisits those famous people whose lives have been turned into more than one biopic, people like Ted Bundy or Stephen Hawking. My favourite chapter is…Favourites, at the back of the book, comprising the flicks that have turned Trenoweth into a fangirl. I share a lot of her loves. I was most pleased to see Michael Douglas’ Liberace film Behind the Candelabra – not strictly a big screen film but a TV movie, largely thanks to Hollywood studio homophobia – analysed, as well as the Meryl Streep classic Julie & Julia. The astrological connections in these and many other films are breath-taking.
If ever a book should come with a carton of popcorn, it’s Mirror Mirror. Prodigiously researched, painstakingly detailed to satisfy the worst cases of data freakery, and beautifully turned out (applause for publisher Margaret Cahill), this is a book that (like all good movie franchises) most probably will end up with a sequel and a prequel.
Victor Olliver   The AA Journal

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