His aquiline face, with all it’s magnificent hauteur: made him a star: something between an eagle and a big cat.”

 ~ Peter Bradshaw, the Guardian


One of my favourite actors, Alan Rickman, died in the same week as David Bowie at the same age, of 69.  He had the Sun conjunct Venus in Pisces, was greatly loved and had the ability to move people.  The Sun, Venus and Mercury, three personal planets all in Pisces, had a mystique and an enigmatic quality which was part of his appeal.

Pisces is one of the two main signs associated with acting: Leo is for Drama, Pisces is for the portrayal of emotion and subtle psychology required in a great actor.  Pisces and Neptune its ruler are also associated with the medium of Film.

We have no birthtime for Alan Rickman, and therefore don’t know what may have provided a major balance to Pisces in his chart.  Pisces describes a lot about him, but we don’t have the whole story.

Alan Rickman had 0 planets in Earth signs, and may not have been practical, unless his Ascendant was in Earth.  A quote from him: “ If you could build a house on a trampoline, that would suit me fine”.

What we do know is that he had 6 of his 10 planets in water signs, and therefore operated very much on an emotional level.  [In contrast, Bowie had 1 planet in Water, a much cooler customer].


Without knowing his birthtime, his Moon could be in Libra or Scorpio.  But it has to be in Scorpio, with the depth of that sonorous, hypnotic and gravelly voice.  This would also give him a trine between the Moon and his Sun/Venus: an appeal to women, and a strong marriage.

Mercury, Venus and Mars

With Mercury conjunct Venus, he was a Wit! Mercury square Uranus tells us he didn’t mind sticking his neck out and being controversial. Venus trine Mars provided sex appeal.  Mars conjunct Saturn gave him the rough edge used in portraying villains such as Severus Snape.


Jupiter was exactly trine his North Node, comedy part of his karmic mission, and the eulogies testify to his sense of humour.  He made his audiences, and his friends laugh. Even his villains could make you smile at times, however convincing.

His Life

His father was a factory worker, and his mother a housewife.  He attended a Montessori school as a child – That is perfect for a Piscean!  His father died when he was 8, leaving his mother to raise four children alone.  He was talented in art and drama, and eventually trained at RADA.

Acting Roles

He first came to public attention in 1985 in a stage production of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, as Vicomte de Valmont, his skills admirably suited to the subversive schemer (all that Pisces and Scorpio).

Another role as villain, Hans Gruber, in the film Die Hard in 1988, cemented his reputation as a great actor.

Then in 1991 he played a Cellist in a TV drama Truly, Madly, Deeply with Juliet Stevenson, which had us all reaching for Kleenex tissues.  That story of love beyond the veil touched us all.

The film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves came out the same year.  His role as the Sheriff of Nottingham was my favourite of all his roles. I never realized a villain could be so delicious.

While Truly, Madly, Deeply was  poignant, bittersweet, heart-wrenching and downright sad, the fulfilment of romance came in 1995 in his portrayal of Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility alongside a very worthy Kate Winslet.  Her eulogy was particularly Piscean in tone.  She called him “the kindest and best of men [who] had the patience of a saint”.

Further dark and ambiguous roles were Rasputin (1996) and Severus Snape in the Harry Potter series of films.

More lightheartedly, he played the philandering husband of Emma Thompson in Love Actually (2003).


However lucky his leading ladies were, he was spoken for from an early age!  He met his life partner Rima Horton in 1965, at the age of 19.  They lived together from 1977, but he did not marry her until 2012, when his Progressed Sun was sextile his natal Venus.  He is reported as saying: “It was great, because no one was there. After the wedding in New York we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge and ate lunch.”  They lived a quiet life together.

Rima Horton has a great proportion of her planets in Air signs, but she does have Jupiter and Chiron in the water sign of Scorpio to flow with Alan emotionally.  She too has 0 Earth planets!  Her Sun trines Neptune exactly, symbolizing a strongly Piscean man in her life, and matching him for sensitivity.  His Neptune was trine exactly her North Node – he was sensitive to her karmic path, and she was in tune with his spirituality.  They did not have any children.

Labour Supporter

Alan was a lifelong Labour supporter, and Rima was a Labour councillor for twenty years.  She was also an Economics lecturer.  They were both heavily involved with campaigning for socialist values in society.

Alan Rickman is quoted as having said:

“And it’s a human need to be told stories. The more we’re governed by idiots and have no control over our destinies, the more we need to tell stories to each other about who we are, why we are, where we come from, and what might be possible.”

Katherine Viner said of him: “Like his partner, Rima Horton, a former labour councillor, Alan was deeply committed to politics – a compassionate labour man to his core”

Modern day troubadour Billy Bragg observed:

“It’s not only the timing of his death and the fact that he too was 69 that links him to David Bowie. Both were working class kids from council estates who went to art school where they gained enough confidence in their own creativity that they were able to go on to find fame and fortune. Is it still possible for working class kids to realise their potential in such a way? The art schools are almost gone, those that survive now charge a fortune. The social mobility that Rickman and Bowie experienced is increasingly stifled.”

Alan would have liked that.


Astrologically, an innate weakness of a T-square composed of Sun/Mars opposite Saturn/Pluto and square Chiron may have played a part in health problems.  At his passing, Saturn exactly opposed his natal Uranus, and Neptune was exactly conjunct his natal Venus.

Unlike Bowie, apparently Alan Rickman only found out very recently that he did not have long to live.  There is much more of an unfinished sense to his ending, which is very poignant.

Pisces is the sign of the drifter.  Unlike Bowie, he was unable to plan for his death:

“I’ve never been able to plan my life. I just lurch from indecision to indecision”.

 ~ Alan Rickman

 Pisces is also the sign of Surrender (his South Node was exactly at the Galactic Centre).  You always knew he was really a Pussycat, even when he was playing a Villain.