Norman Jewison (1926- 2024)

“I want people to recognise themselves in the movies I make. I don’t enjoy no-brainer action movies.”

~ Norman Jewison

Film Director Norman Jewison made some wonderful films.  He passed over a week ago, at the time of the Sun/Pluto conjunction, and just before Pluto entered Aquarius, marking the end of an era.

Birth Chart

I very much enjoyed looking at Norman Jewison’s birth chart, assisted by a birth time.  He had 0 planets in the Air signs, which often means that a person works very much on instinct.  As a Sunsign Cancerian too, he would have paid attention to his instincts and emotions.  His natal Sun squared Mars, and that was one indication of the Warrior Archetype in his chart.  The Sun was closely trine Uranus, so he also had the Activist Archetype, always on the side of the underdog.  He liked to make films which contained socio-political content, making them accessible.  His career as a Film Director is easily seen in his chart; many Film Directors are born under Leo, because of their total control of the whole project of a film, and because of their creative talent and interest in drama (all Leonine provinces).  Norman had a conjunction of Mercury and Neptune (film) in Leo in his 10th House of Career.  In addition, his Sun (the ruling planet of Leo was in his 10th House, closely conjunct his Midheaven (Careerpoint).  With Venus sextile Neptune he had a sensitive artistry and ear for music, and was highly commended for the choice of music in his films.  An example was for The Thomas Crown Affair, which featured the theme song “The Windmills of Your Mind”.  And of course the hit songs from the musical “Fiddler on The Roof”.  Mars closely sextile Jupiter provided enthusiasm allied with energy.  Jupiter closely opposite Neptune can sometimes show up when someone is confused about religion, but in his case it may have shown curiosity and openmindedness: he made Fiddler on the Roof, which featured the Jewish experience, closely followed by Jesus Christ Superstar.  What did confuse, however, was that having made one of the most iconic films about Jewishness of all time, people assumed because of his name that he was Jewish.  He was not, and his family were Protestant Methodists.  Perhaps the Jupiter-Neptune opposition was a symbol of that confusion.  With Jupiter exactly trine his Ascendant on the Creative 5th House cusp, he had a lucky streak, and with Jupiter and the Part of Fortune in his 5th House he was prolific in his creativity.  He also had the Strategist Archetype of Saturn trine Pluto.  Uranus exactly trine Midheaven denotes a successful career.  Pluto exactly conjunct North Node in Cancer in 9th House found him tackling difficult subjects in his karmic mission.

Life and Career

Norman Jewison was born in Toronto, and showed an early interest in theatre and performing.  During the war he joined the Navy (Sun in Cancer), then travelled in the Amercian South, where he observed racism, an experience which informed some of his films.  He worked in television in the 1950s, including on the Andy Williams Show. Later on he moved to the United states, and made his first film in 1962.  He married his first wife Margaret Dixon in 1953, and they had three children.   While working in television, he met Tony Curtis, who persuaded him to go into film-making and collaborated with him on various projects.  Their synastry shows that Tony Curtis had an influence on Norman:s life:

Tony Curtis’ Mars was exactly conjunct Norman’s North Node/Pluto, kickstarting the latter’s karmic mission

Tony Curtis’ Ascendant was exactly conjunct Norman’s Midheaven (we have birthtimes for both), indicating one (Tony) who is influential in the other’s career (Norman’s)

Among Norman’s successful films, he made The Cincinnati Kid in 1965 (one of his own personal favourites) and The Thomas Crown Affair in 1968, then moved to England briefly with his family.  In 1973 he made Jesus Christ Superstar. I will look at some other of his films later.  He returned to Canada in 1978.  His first wife died in 2004, and he married his second wife Lynn St. David in 2010.


Jewison was nominated in three consecutive decades of his life for the Academy Award for Best Director, for the following three films:

In the Heat of The Night (1967)

This is one of my favourite films, though I am not a film buff.  Sidney Poitier memorably plays a black police detective Virgil Tibbs from Philadelphia who is visiting the town, and stays to help solve a murder in a small town in Mississipi.  Police Chief Bill Gillespie, memorably played by Rod Steiger, arrests him initially [and targeting black people for arrest is still an issue in 2024!], then reluctantly allows him to helps solve the murder.  The film has suspense, tension and atmosphere, and the relationship created between these two amazing actors is superbly played.  The Guardian obituary by Sheila Whitaker observes:

“The detective mystery plot, perhaps mainly the vehicle for an enactment of racial prejudices and hostilities culminating in a grudging respect on both sides, worked well.  The final scene, in which the two men indulge in something approaching a personal conversation, was moving and revealing.”

The title song was performed by Ray Charles.  I wrote an obituary for Sidney Poitier in January 2022, in which I wrote that the year 1967 was a turning point for the actor.

Fiddler on the Roof (1971)

While his family were living in England, Jewison made the musical film Fiddler on The Roof, partly filmed in Pinewood Studios and partly in Yugoslavia.

Again resourcing one of my obituaries (!), I wrote about the actor Chaim Topol last year, who played the lead character:

“The film told the story of the dairyman Tevya bringing up three daughters in the village of Anatevka in the Ukraine in 1905.  It tears at the heartstrings in many ways: the harshness of the way of life, the pogrom visited upon the village by the Russian soldiers, the matchmaking of his three daughters (each match producing an ever increasing cause for concern and heartsearching in its dilemmas for Tevya), and in Tevye’s relationship with God.  Chaim portrayed the lead role with immense warmth.”

The Guardian Obituary threw light on a detail of the film’s production:

“Fiddler on the Roof, with a silk stocking placed by Jewison across the camera lens to provide an earth-toned quality, won Oscars for cinematography, music and sound, and a nomination for Chaim Topol in his signature role of Tevye”

The film won three Oscars, and was nominated for a further five.

Moonstruck (1987)

This delightful rom-com (my favourite genre; again, I am not a film buff) starred the singer Cher.  The title’s theme is interesting in view of the fact that Jewison’s natal Moon is unaspected in his birth chart.  This can mean an independent emotional nature, but it can also describe a yearning for something missing.  Yearning for the Moon is certainly a theme of the story.  The film may have been an effort to connect and define his own Moon principle.  The Moon has a sentimental role for the elderly patriarch of the family, Cosmo.

The chemistry between Cher (playing widow Loretta) and Nicolas Cage (playing her fiance’s estranged younger brother) is one of the keys to the film’s success.  The film proved most popular, and gathered three Academy Awards: Cher won Best Actress and Jewison received another of his Best Director nominations.

Thank you, Norman Jewison, you made us feel, you made us smile, you made us laugh and you made us cry.


Seriously, I can’t force you to read my blog today, but if you wait until Tuesday, you will have missed most of the action!  Take note that there are a total of four astrological features today:

In the early hours of this morning the Nodal Axis squared Mercury.  This is an opportunity to tackle, or honour, your karma!  We can give more thought and exercise more mindfulness in our processes and actions.  Whether it is personal relationship karma or environmental karma, we can put our minds to what needs to change for the future.  Put into practice what we can do now.

At breakfast-time, Venus was sextile with Saturn.  Relationships need consideration, and will repay the time and loyalty you give them.  It is a helpful aspect for laying the foundations of artistic or musical work.  During the course of the day, the first two aspects may make themselves known, so you may have mixed results and for different activities, but some of the day will be smooth sailing.

Later in the day, the Nodal Axis squares Mars so it is a day for preparing your lines of action.  Karma may dictate that you cannot sit and lounge around this Sunday, you’ll be prompted to action, whether willingly or unwillingly!

In the evening Mercury trines Uranus, and mental brilliance, technological upgrades, lightbulb moments, and futuristic inspiration can be yours. You may lie awake in the evening with amazing ideas.  The mind will be uplifted, and computers and I.T. devices given or received, will be on good form and working satisfyingly well.

On to tomorrow, Monday 29th, a day which bestowed two trines upon us.  The early hours brings a trine between Venus and Jupiter.  Something may provide you with a richness of heart.  Venus with Jupiter is so very social, and can be romantic too.  It’s an aspect to savour and enjoy.  Proposals and engagements often occur under this combination.

Tomorrow evening provides the second trine, that between Mars and Uranus.  You are likely to see, or initiate, bold and controversial moves.  It favours mechanical and engineering enterprises, but also social engineering, and sporting interests.  There could be surprises in connection with men, cars and dogs!

There are no aspects in the middle of the week, and no Fixed Star alignment either (Apols!).

But Friday (2nd February) does provide us with a sextile we can use: that between Mercury and Neptune.  This ushers in an influx of intense imagination.  This aspect will assist you in refining your mindset, because our minds will be open to receiving higher guidance more easily.  Delicate conversations and channelling will also be made easier.  Artistic efforts may also be rewarded.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – karmic information, relationship consideration, battlegrounds, and brilliant thought (in that order)
  • Tomorrow – richness of heart, bold moves
  • Friday – higher guidance