Long before movie studios were run by overgrown adolescent boys; and before weekend box office receipts were fodder for the news on Monday mornings; even before Meryl Streep began garnishing Oscar nominations faster than you can say, “Katherine Hepburn,” there was a matinee idol in a place called Tinseltown and he had a secret….or two.
His first secret was in a time in Tinseltown’s history when the press benefited from protecting a star’s image and covered up possible scandals.
The other secret took place shortly into Pluto’s reign in Scorpio when the paparazzi, as we know it today, flourished by exposing such juiciness to the public.
Actually, Rock Hudson’s homosexuality was not much of a secret in Hollywood. No one there cared so long as the public didn’t find out and that his movies made money. However, he was private man, as we can obviously see with so many planets below the horizon, including Venus, ruler of the chart, at the nadir, not to mention all the Scorpio energy!
He was born on November 17, 1925, at 2:15 A.M. C.S.T. in Winnetka, IL.
Here’s an interesting take on his chart formation. Consider Pluto and Chiron were not yet discovered at the time of his birth. That makes for a natal chart in a bucket shape with Neptune as the handle! And certainly a case can be made for this: the glamour, the image of a romantic icon, the illusion, as well as the secret.
As this singleton, Neptune’s strength is further emphasized as the highest elevated planet and the one in the tightest aspect (a square to the Sun). More important, it’s the 11th house placement of Neptune that set him up for making a sacrifice for the great social good.
By all means, Pluto’s position in the 10th house has great significance, not only as his obsession with success and as a sex symbol in his day, but also as part of his legacy. Chiron, in the 7th house, of course, must be considered in the interpretation of his difficult personal relationships as well as his sexual attraction to young men who he called his ‘studs.’
It’s hard to believe, but some NCGR members were not even born when Rock Hudson’s AIDS was announced. It might be hard for some to remember, or even believe, that such news would be scandalous as recently as 23 years ago and an AIDS-related death would happen so quickly after diagnosis…. thank goodness! Although AIDS is still a crisis, it is no longer a stigma, a public shame, a plague. It’s become a manageable disease.
The announcement of his AIDS was on July 25, 1985, and his death took place on October 2, 1985.
Back in the 80’s, with Pluto just into Scorpio and Neptune entering Capricorn and a president who would not even utter the name of the disease, the world needed something to happen. And Rock Hudson was in the right time and right place.
With Uranus conjoining his Mercury, ruler of the 12th house closet, Neptune hitting his cardinal angles, and Pluto crossing his Mars in Scorpio, the collective grabbed him and said, “I want you!”
His personal secondary progressions were right for answering the call too. Progressed Venus entering into the square of the natal Sun and opposite to Neptune brought on the symptoms of the illness and as She was leaving orb of this progression, the news of the illness came to public light and he died.
Progressed Venus also stationed, and only weeks after his death, She turned retrograde!
The progressed new moon prior to his death took place in the form of a Solar Eclipse at 23 Capricorn 21, just within orb of the World Axis, and making a Yod with natal Neptune and 6th house Uranus.
In addition to the aforementioned transits, Saturn was moving through Scorpio, i.e., his second Saturn Return as well as the conjunction to his Sun.
The cyclical relationship, however, with the first Saturn Return was even more notable. The film studio arranged for his first and only marriage to a woman, and it quickly turned sour and ended in an acrimonious divorce.
It also was the first time he was considered a serious actor, and not just a pretty face, in the movie, “All That Heaven Allows.” In it, he portrayed a man whose motto is “To thine own self be true.” A variation on this movie was made in 2002 under the title, “Far From Heaven,” in which one of the main characters, played by Dennis Quaid, ends his marriage and his alcoholism when he realizes his homosexuality.
Eclipses should always be considered in such public events too. Those, which surrounded his announcement of AIDS and soon-to-follow death, were in the signs of Taurus and Scorpio, activating houses 2 and 8, and forming aspects to the aforementioned Saturn, Sun and Neptune, as well as his natal Mars.
I offer this brief case history as a lesson in astrology at work, but more important, as we approach Gay Pride Day, it is valuable to acknowledge the many gay men and women who are currently active in our community as well as those who have passed away, be it from AIDS or from other illnesses.
Also, as we face the unknown of Pluto in Capricorn, let us not forget that we survived the miseries of Pluto in Scorpio.
Happy Gay Pride to all and celebrate the stars!