Jonathan Rhys Meyers, currently starring as Henry VIII in Showtime TV’s “The Tudors,” recently checked himself into a rehab center at the age of 29 – smack in the middle of his Saturn return.
Meyers is an interesting actor – he has a sneering intensity that reveals his background as a bit of a punk as well as blazing if androgynous good looks and startlingly blue eyes. Born and raised in Ireland, his father left the family at an early age and some sources say that he spent some time in an orphanage because his mother was unable to care for the whole family. He was first spotted by a casting agent in a pool hall where he spent much of his time after being expelled from school. An advertising campaign attracted attention and shortly thereafter he was cast in a small role in the film, “A Man with No Importance.” After auditioning with Neil Jordan for the film “Michael Collins,” Jordan noted that he “[came] into the casting session with alarming certainty” and was obviously very gifted (source IMDB database).
Meyers was born with the Sun in Leo, the sign of royalty. It is no surprise that Meyers’ major roles have included playing Elvis the King and King Henry VIII of England! Leo’s quest is to celebrate the Self from within, to achieve a generosity of spirit that is not dependent upon outward acclaim. Like all Sun signs, Leo individuals do not always master this quest right away and instead spend much of their lives in dependency upon the attention and adoration of others until they are able to achieve a healthy expression of the ego. The Leo Sun exhibits confidence and independence, with a strong will and generous spirit. Like the Lion for which they are named, they are born leaders and typically very charismatic. Meyers is no exception to this description although his Leo Sun is colored by some challenging influences from other planets.
Meyers’ Sun is exactly squared (90 degre angle) by Chiron, the archetype of the Wounded Healer. The Sun represents the physical heart, and Meyers was born with a heart condition fitting perfectly into the drama expressed by the square of Chiron to the Sun. This challenging aspect identifies an early wound to his essential Self as represented by the Sun, and since the Sun often signifies the father in the birthchart, it shows that this wound likely came from the father or a father figure in his life. Meyers has said that the scars on his face came from accidents as a child when he fell off of chairs, but this is a typical excuse of abused children and hints of darker incidents in his early family life.
Meyers’ Sun is also squared by Uranus, the planet of rebellion and authenticity. This configuration puts pressure on the individual to express their own identity in the most revolutionary way possible; to open new doors and continually reinvent themselves. Uranus is unpredictable and in challenging aspect to the Sun often describes a rebellious relationship with authority figures. There is an impulsive nature and a fierce resistance to rules and to being controlled in any way. On the other hand, the intuition and instincts of the Sun/Uranus combination is very strong and provides a powerful guidance for these individuals.
Chiron and Uranus, both square to the Sun in Meyers’ chart, are therefore opposite each other by 180 degrees. We call this a “T-square” because of the shape the three planets form in a chart. The opposition of Chiron and Uranus creates difficulty in the nervous system and can indicate a person who has trouble channeling their emotions in a positive way. There can be anxiety and general emotional discomfort, and it is not unusual for these individuals to seek an outlet through drugs or drinking, particularly at an early age. This aspect is also very common in the charts of healers who, having found balance in their internal energy system find that they are able to promote healing in others through various modalities. For Meyers, with both Chiron and Uranus in stressful aspect to his Sun, he has had a difficult time finding himself and feeling comfortable in his own skin.
Meyers’ Moon is in the adventurous sign of Sagittarius, indicating a love of travel and expansive experiences, and it is opposed by a conjunction of Venus and Jupiter which indicates that his expectations (Jupiter) are larger than what he feels he really deserves (Moon). For this reason he may always feel somewhat dissatisfied and may give of himself too freely. The opposition between the Moon and Venus shows a tendency for emotional conflict in relationships.
The Venus/Jupiter conjunction in this chart falls in Gemini which reflects Meyers’ somewhat androgynous appearance and attitudes. He has expressed appreciation for male beauty as well as female, and he was “adopted” at the age of 14 by a farmer he calls his “gay dad.” Gemini is a sign that is very curious and enjoys trying on different roles and personalities, and it is not unusual for someone with a strong Gemini influence to be bisexual although this is by no means a rule.
Meyers has a history of aggression; he and his then girlfriend were arrested for assaulting each other back in 2005 although he later said it was just a shouting match. But this is not the chart of a violent individual – Mars is in Gemini, where it is much more likely to express anger verbally than physically, and his Mars makes a trine (harmonious aspect) to Pluto where it adds intensity and power and an ability to channel his anger through productive means. However, the Sun/Chiron/Uranus T-square is a painful dynamic and together with the insecurity of the Moon/Venus/Jupiter combination we see a touchy and very emotional individual who does not have a natural way to channel these emotions when pressed.
The Saturn Return occurs when Saturn, traveling through the sky in orbit around the Sun, returns to the same degree as Saturn in the birthchart. It is the best of times and the worst of times – it’s the time when we are forced to relinguish the gratification of our ego for the sake of achievement in the material world. This can lead to great success following a period of hard work, and it can also bring endings and painful challenge. For Meyers the Saturn return has brought both. Saturn first returned to its place in his birthchart last September when Saturn was opposing Neptune in the sky. Saturn builds form and Neptune dissolves it, so this dual pressure can be very difficult to manage especially when combined with the inherent difficulties in the Saturn Return. While his career was building (he was chosen as the face of Versace, given the lead role in “The Tudors,” and cast in two major films all at the same time), Neptune was eroding his confidence and sense of self.
The second phase of Meyers’ Saturn Return came just as Meyers entered rehab. Saturn can feel like a vise which applies slow but steady pressure until we finally either surrender or seek release in some other way. In this case, transiting Saturn was pressuring Meyers’ natal Saturn for several months and it is no surprise that he needed a break. The Saturn Return can be difficult, but it builds depth and strength of character as we face the challenges that are offered to us.
The film industry is difficult for individuals who have never developed a healthy ego and sense of self that arises from a relationship with one’s own self. Film stars are always looking in a fun house mirror and never really have the chance to see themselves in that medium. There is an enormous amount of talent and r
aw creative power in this chart, and hopefully he will be able to utilize this time to deepen his own self-understanding so that he can truly realize his great potential.