Rudolph Valentino (May 6th 1895) was born under the combination of Taurus, Venus and number 6. Fitting of this combination, he was known for love and romance and was a sex symbol. He was known as “The great lover” and the “Latin Lover” in the 1920s and starred in several romantic films including The Sheik (1921), Blood and Sand (1922) and The Eagle (1925). He did all this without saying a word and was one the most popular silent film stars of the time. Venus in his astrological chart is prominent for a number of reasons: His ascendant is Libra which is Venus ruled, Libra also vibrates to the number 6. Libra and number give the influence of beauty, charm and sophistication. The ruler is Venus in Gemini, and its dispositor is Mercury. Recall that the ascendant is your first impressions to people, your physical appearance and the lens through which you view the world. Rudolph’s personality number is 5 and the personality number also represents how other people view you, which may or may not be reflective of who you really are. Five vibrates to Mercury so his ascendant and personality number correspond. Mercury is an androgynous planet, accounting for people perceiving him that way on first impression, he was criticized for being effeminate at times. Mercury was also giving him intelligence and the quick wit needed to make the most out of his circumstances. He knew that his good looks, dancing ability and charm were one of his major attributes so he became a nightclub taxi dancer in New York where wealthy women would pay for his company. He toured the country dancing as part of a musical production. In California he built up a clientele of women who would pay him for dance instruction. It was his dancing talent in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921) in the first scene dancing a tango that gave him his lucky break and then his star was quickly on the rise.
Jupiter is exalted in Cancer conjunct the MC in the 10th house providing its fortune in his career. His soul urge number is 3 which gives him a deeper need to express himself creatively and artistically. Number 3 vibrates to Jupiter so we can infer that his career dreams came true when he became a movie star. His moon is in Libra giving him an emotional need for romantic love in partnership and a disinclination towards fighting and controversy. He wanted to have his outer circumstances be harmonious and peaceful. Venus is conjunct the MC from the 9th house showing that his career would include Venusian themes such as physical attractiveness, romance, and seduction. It also indicates a career involving females or female services/ products. In his case, his fan base was primarily women and his films catered to them. Venus gains a lot of power because it is in mutual reception with Mercury. Venus is in Gemini (Mercury’s own sign) and Mercury is in Taurus (Venus’ own sign). This allows each planet to behave as if it was in its own sign so that its expression is positively powerful. Notice that the planets in his chart have their final dispositor in the Mercury-Venus mutual reception giving them even more strength and emphasis. Venus is out of bounds meaning that it will behave on the extremes of its expression, in his case it amplified his good looks, charm, romantic appeal and ability to seduce women. At public appearances, fans would tear at his hair and clothes. He was credited for creating a new type of romantic hero, paving the way for others who came after him.
Saturn is in his second house, partly explaining that he was struggling financially when younger. At one point he was even begging on the street in Paris and took menial jobs when he moved to New York. He was living on the street and in Central park before he got work as a nightclub dancer. It was only in 1917 at the age of 22 he decided to be an actor in Hollywood. His expression number is 8 which is Saturn’s number and usually this number gains more material riches in their later life as they prosper more with the passing of time. Number 8 may also face a lot of obstacles when younger but are naturally resilient. Saturn makes a 2 degree trine to the MC showing his persistence in his career, even though he was having a very hard time making a success financially and in his career he persisted until he became a star. Uranus is in his second house which resonates with his rags to riches story.
One of the major criticisms of Valentino was his effeminate or androgynous style. In 1915 when involved in a trial between his friend and her husband, he testified that her husband had been having multiple affairs. However, his appearance caused some reporters to write articles expressing doubts about his masculinity. Towards the end of his life, he was criticized in an editorial called "Pink Powder Puffs" where he was criticized for a face powder dispenser in a public men’s washroom.
"A powder vending machine! In a men’s washroom! Homo Americanus! Why didn’t someone quietly drown Rudolph Guglielmo , alias Valentino, years ago?… Do women like the type of “man” who pats pink powder on his face in a public washroom and arranges his coiffure in a public elevator?… Hollywood is the national school of masculinity. Rudy, the beautiful gardener’s boy, is the prototype of the American male.”
Valentino subsequently defended himself. In that article, the anonymous author blamed him for America’s “degeneration into effeminacy”. Mars representing masculinity and ruggedness is in its fall in Cancer. He was also denied roles due to prejudice against immigrants and for being “too foreign”. On the dark side Mars can represent violence and aggression and his initial roles were as the dark villain. Some of his roles including that in 1924's Monsieur Beaucaire where he wore heavy makeup and ruffled costumes reinforced the effeminate image. However since Mars is tightly conjunct and exalted Jupiter, it strengthens it. Mars is also out of bounds at declination 24 degrees 37 minutes showing the possibility to go to its extremes- on one hand he was seen as effeminate but on the other hand he was seen as a sex symbol (Mars represents physicality, passion and sexual drive). A silent film expert writes about Valentino "Here was an openly sexual icon designed to feed the most hidden fantasies of the cinema's largely female audience. Traditional values of home and family seemed wildly inappropriate when Valentino held the screen. Instead, his films offered hints of violent sexuality and miscegenation meant to tantalize viewers". Many of his roles in films were openly sexual. Mars also represents war, fighting, aggression and people involved in these things, thus it is fitting that Mars in the 10th also speaks to his role playing a Russian soldier seeking to avenge the wrongs committed against his family by the Czarina in The Eagle (1925). Since the 4th-10th axis is the parental axis, it also makes sense that his father was in a Mars influenced profession, he was a cavalry officer in the Royal Italian Army.
Another aspect of Mars being in fall concerns his romantic relationships because Mars rules his 7th house. Mars is also challenged by making a square to the Moon representing women and emotions. First he married Jean Acker who was an in the closet lesbian who left him for a woman after they married. She locked him out of the house and did not respond to his letters. He married Natacha Rambova while still married to Jean which resulted in bigamy charges and him being put in jail. He had to avoid conviction by admitting that he had never consummated the marriage. Mars as the 7th house ruler is placed in the 10th house showing that the spouse could play a role in the career. In his case, Natacha took dominion over his career and selected for him roles that tended to reinforce effeminate stereotypes about him such as Monsieur Beaucaire (1924), The Sainted Devil (1925), and Cobra (1925).
He has a Venus-Neptune conjunction in the 9th house and this gives him the glamour, sophistication, idealism and dreaminess, not only in how he views love but also how women view him. He once said “Women are not in love with me but with the picture of me on the screen. I am merely the canvas on which women paint their dreams”. He understands that women don’t really know him but only the dream they have created about him in their mind, which does not necessarily correspond with who he truly is. Because Venus-Neptune can incline one to put their partner on a pedestal and ignore their flaws, it can cause the viewing through rose-coloured glasses and subsequent disappointment in love. He did not want to acknowledge the possibility that Jean may not be attracted to men or that Natacha was not making the best decisions for his career. His movies did not do well when she was selecting roles for him so studio executives took him on providing that she would be barred from the set. Natacha got angry and left the country. Valentino wanted a reconciliation but she divorced him, suggesting that perhaps she didn’t really love him but just was using him to further her own career. She did not have his best interests in mind and due to the fogginess Venus-Neptune can bring, he didn’t recognize it. It was only after he split from her that he took masculine roles and his income got a huge increase. Charlie Chaplin comments "Valentino had an air of sadness. He wore his success gracefully, appearing almost subdued by it. He was intelligent, quiet and without vanity, and had great allure for women, but had little success with them, and those whom he married treated him rather shabbily. . . No man had greater attraction for women than Valentino; no man was more deceived by them".
The dreaminess and artistic/ poetic talent of the Venus-Neptune conjunction is evident in his writing. The third house represents writing and communication and its ruler Pluto is conjunct the Venus-Neptune conjunction in the 9th house of publishing. In 1923 Valentino published his book of poetry, “Day Dreams”. After his death, his personal thoughts and feelings written about in his diary were published twice, first in My Private Diary (1929) and two years later in The Intimate Journal of Rudolph Valentino (1931). His fondness for writing is shown by his life path 7, which is Neptune’s number and gives the tendency towards fantasy and daydreams and enjoys being in solitude and writing. Sevens have a particular tendency to keep a diary. Writing helps them clear their thoughts and find an outlet to express their deeper emotions.
The 8th house represents death and legacies. His death is symbolically shown as the 8th house ruler is Mars in Cancer. Cancer represents the stomach, digestive organs and abdominal organs. He died of a ruptured ulcer which is where the untreated ulcer burns through the wall of the stomach allowing digested foods and juices to leech through the abdominal cavity. He underwent surgery (represented by Mars) but it was not successful. Valentino died very young at the age of 31. When his female fans found out that he was dying, it was reported that the hospital got about 2000 calls per hour. Some women committed suicide when they found out he was dead. Thousands of his fans came to view his body over 3 days at his public funeral. As shown by the 8th house ruler Mars being in the 10th house and conjunct Jupiter, Valentino left a public, long lasting legacy. There was a memorial service 65 years after his death. In 1951 and 1977 film biographies were made of his life, titled Valentino. In 1975, a television movie made of his life, Legend of Valentino was released.