Ennio Morricone (1928 – 2020)

The melodically-named composer Ennio Morricone died on Monday, at the age of 91.  His work encompassed many different genres, though he is still most widely known for writing the scores of Hollywood Western films.

Birth Chart

We are lucky enough to have a birth time, and Ascendant, and so can more easily put his character into the context of his life pattern.  Morricone had the Sun in Scorpio, a very enduring sign, and his work spanned the whole course of his life: he began composing at the age of six, and was working until the end of his life.  He also had Moon in Scorpio, though he was born a day or so earlier than an actual New Moon (when the Sun and Moon are conjunct).  His Ascendant is in the creative sign of Leo: he certainly was prolific, being credited with over 500 scores.  The only aspect to the Sun in his chart is an exact trine with Pluto (his Sun ruler), so this was a great focus of his creativity, and his work had a depth to it.  The Sun was situated in his 4th House of home and family, which were very important to him.  He always lived in his native Italy, and was not enticed to live in Hollywood, nor did he ever decide to learn English.  His Moon was conjunct Mercury, across the cusp of Libra and Scorpio in 3rd House: this gave him the ability to connect the imagination and the rational brain, and hints at musical rhythm.  He also had Mars in Cancer (rhythm) and his Sun ruler Pluto in Cancer (more rhythm).  Moon sextile exactly Neptune provided great emotional sensitivity, and the position of his Moon conjunct his I.C. meant that musical rhythm was one of the foundations of his life.  Mercury opposite Jupiter gave him a wide-ranging mind, and Mercury’s close sextile to Neptune meant that he was capable of receiving mental inspiration.  Venus conjunct Saturn in Sagittarius in his 5th House showed loyalty in relationship, but also depicts how seriously he took his music and creativity.  Venus in Sagittarius in 5th House trine Midheaven in Aries in 9th House points to an international career in music.  Jupiter trine Neptune indicates a level of religious/spiritual sensibility: politically he identified as a “Christian leftist”.  Jupiter in the 9th House side meant that he had strong foreign connections and interests, balanced out with his Sun in the 4th House attachment to home.  His Jupiter conjunct Chiron indicated a healing quality to his life and work.  There was a great deal of originality on his karmic path, with Uranus sextile his North Node, and this aspect expresses the experimental quality of his work.  Neptune was trine his Midheaven, giving him an association with film music, though with Neptune exactly square the Nodal Axis his nerves may have been frayed at times through excessive sensitivity.

Life and Work

Born in Rome, he studied at the National Academy of Saint Cecilia (the patron saint of musicians).  As a youth he sometimes earned a living playing the trumpet (the instrument his father played) in jazz bands, and wrote music for theatre and radio, but in the 1960s he began writing scores for film (having noted he could do better than what was currently available).

Of this period, he wrote:

“My first films were light comedies or costume movies that required simple musical scores that were easily created, a genre that I never completely abandoned even when I went on to much more important films with major directors”.

Sergio Leone

He first met Sergio Leone at primary school at the age of 8.  As a film director, Sergio Leone collaborated on several film scores with Ennio Morricone, although Ennio had already started writing scores for westerns.  The pivotal year for their collaborative success was 1964, with the film “A Fistful of Dollars”.  Saturn, the planet of reward for hard work, seems to have been influential in his life in that year.  At the time “A Fistful of Dollars” was released, Saturn was trine his natal Mercury in Libra in 3rd House, opposite his natal Neptune in Virgo in 1st House, and square his Nodal Axis.  In the same year, his third child Andrea (who has followed in his footsteps) was born, with Saturn trine Ennio’s Mercury.  The so-called Spaghetti Western genre continued with among others the success of “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (1966).  The composition included some of his experimental innovation, such as the coyote howl.  The iconic actor Clint Eastwood appeared in and gave character to some of these westerns.  As a measure of his success, the score for The Good, the Bad and the Ugly sold over three million copies worldwide and earned him over 200 million dollars.  When in 1968 his original score was certified with a golden record for its sales in the U.S., Saturn was again honouring Ennio, with a transit to his Midheaven.  Saturn, lucky for some!  It was not until 2007, however, that Ennio’s work was honoured in Hollywood.  But in 2016 he won an Oscar for the best original score in “The Hateful Eight” by Quentin Tarantino.

The partnership with Sergio Leone has been considered outstanding in terms of a collaboration between a director and a composer.  The Synastry between the two schoolmates underlines and enhances Ennio’s own natal aspects:

Leone’s Mars sextiles Ennio’s Midheaven: though Ennio was self-motivating, Sergio here urges him in a particular direaction.  Leone’s Jupiter trines Ennio Neptune – they were spiritually in tune (Leone died in 1989).  Leone’s Neptune sextiles Ennio’s Moon – they were spiritually and emotionally in tune, combined imaginations.  Leone’s Neptune was square Ennio’s Nodal Axis, giving them a shared destiny in film.  In addition, Leone’s Pluto was trine Ennio’s Sun, adding intensity to their collaborative output.  The outer planets were to a large extent conjunct, as you would expect to find in schoolmates.

Wide-ranging Music

Writing over several decades, he wrote for a variety of artists: Early on he wrote for Paul Anka, Mireille Matthieu, and Francoise HardyHe later wrote for  Demis Roussos, K.D. Lang, Andrea Boccelli, and Sting;  he collaboration with the Pet Shop Boys; and he influenced Dire Straits and Metallica.

He notably collaborated with Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore, including writing the film score for the drama film Cinema Paradiso.  The soprano Katherine Jenkins has just released a recording of the haunting song of the same name, just released, on her new album of the same name (3rd July).


Ennio’s marriage and family life was an integral part of who he was as a person.  He married lyricist Maria Travia on 13th Octobeer 1956, and they had three sons and one daughter.  Saturn was even influential on his marriage date, transiting his natal South Node (cementing his destiny).

He said:

“Meeting my wife Maria, and marrying her, are the most romantic moments of my life.  She was a friend of one of my sisters.  We have been married for 60 years.  When I was 40, I told her I would stop composing film music and dedicate my time to what I call my ‘absolute music’.  I said it again at 50, 60, 70 and 80.  Maybe when I get to 90, I will stop.”


The age of ninety-one is a good innings, but Ennio recently suffered a fall, and died as a result of injuries he sustained during the fall.  He died at approximately 5 a.m. in Rome, when   Mars on his Uranus symbolized injuries; Saturn square his Mercury symbolized a fall.

“Everyone has to die.  I’m not particularly scared about it.  What really frightens me is that if I go before my wife, I will leave her alone, and vice versa.  The ideal would be to die together.”

~ Ennio Morricone

He is survived by his wife and children.


Chiron has just gone retrograde (ephemerides vary as to the timing), so a healing issue may crop up today; perhaps you have gone as far as you can with a particular line of healing, and may need to revise or go over old ground for a while.  There may be more understanding to be achieved, for instance, about the emotional component of the healing issue.

But today Mercury is Stationary prior to going Direct, which may be a relief for those who have struggled to maintain good communications over the last three weeks.  Such glitches can be smoothed out today or in the next few days to come.  So if you have projects waiting to happen of a literary or technical nature, this may be a green light for you.

Tea-time today brings a sparkling trine between the Sun and Neptune, especially good for receiving creative inspiration (and writing film scores – or writing about them?).  Expand your consciousness, and allow your imagination to embellish your work, or project in hand.

The Sun opposes Jupiter on Tuesday (14th) when the general feeling could be optimistic, humorous and buoyant, but there is a balance to be observed, beyond which you could overreach yourself or overstretch your energy or someone else’s patience (for example, overdoing a joke).  Freedom beckons, but again, know your boundaries.

One of the pitfalls in expressing the exuberance of Sun opposite Jupiter is that slapstick may actually have its consequences, and another aspect occurring the same day may trigger that.  Mars conjoins Chiron, which can trigger physical or emotional wounds, and these may have a past-life pattern (either in this life or a past life).  You may walk away from an encounter feeling relief (Sun opposite Jupiter) or touched (Mars conjunct Chiron), while someone else may be nursing an unseen wound.  So the day’s aspects are a tricky combination, and you may not be able to do anything about how anybody else reacts to an event, but just make sure you are in integrity with yourself.

It’s important to get the energies and balance right on Tuesday, because on Wednesday there is the challenge of Pluto opposing the Sun, which may bring up a lot of emotion and drama for people to balance and process.  It could be a day for sober reflection and unearthing the deep psychological significance behind events.  Being an opposition, there is a requirement again (after Sun opposite Jupiter) to balance two opposing forces, and possibly blend them or transcend the polarity.  A good question to ask on this day is: what needs to be transformed, or transcended?

If you need a Fixed Star boost for the end of the week, our Sun is aligned with the star Procyon on Friday (17th).  It’s the Alpha star in the constellation of Canis Minor.  Traditional interpretations point to short-lived gains (as detailed in “The Fixed Stars” by Bernadette Brady).  Another interpretation is provided in “Starlight Elixirs” by Michael Smulkis and Fred Rubenfeld:

“Procyon provides a greater acuity of mental functioning that can enhance concentration.  This may result in an ability to strengthen the physical body.  There is some stimulation of the intuitive understanding of reflex points in the physical body.  Individuals involved in reflexology would do well to utilize the starlight elixir.  Procyon can also enhance the ability to absorb energy directly from plants, the Earth, and the Sun.  In a healing process, the person receiving the healing energy will find the reception of such energy enhanced.”

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – healing reflections; communication improvements; sparkling creativity
  • Tuesday – enjoy; know where to draw the line; more healing reflections
  • Wednesday – balancing the light and darkness
  • Friday – mental acuity