The Tale of the Scorpio Moon Man Continues: The Astrology of Charlie Chaplin's Life
I have been wanting to look at Charlie Chaplin’s natal chart for years, ever since studying his work in college, and have been curious ever since. Charlie is an intriguing character with a feminine, magnetic sort of essence about him. Apart from being known for his work he is also famous for his unconventional life, filled with taboo affairs and four controversial marriages. One of his relationships inspired the infamous book Lolita. When Charlie was in his fifties he married a teenage girl of the name “Lita Grey”.
However what interests me the most about Charlie is his natal chart pictured below:
His Moon is tightly conjoined to his ascendant (in Scorpio). (8-9 degrees) with a 1 degree orb. My initial impression: (Ouch) “I wonder what the story was with him and his mother?” The Moon-ascendant conjunction helped him as an actor morph into all of the roles he played. One thing the ascendant represents is the mask projected to others and our initial essence . The moon is also representational of our physical appearance and energetic essence. In Chaplin’s case the moon and ascendant are conjoined, hence his unusual energy and ability to morph in film visually and characteristically. This was a skill that was probably very natural for him. If you look at his photos he is a film chameleon. The natal Moon on the ascendant probably contributed to this, being that moon is a feminine, planet of constant, flux, change, through each astrological sign roughly every 2.5 days.
Apart from appearance, the Natal Moon covers many areas of a person and their life. It “can” be a big clue, about their relationship with their mother and how they relate to women and their emotional nature. If one digs deeper and looks at how the moon is interacting with other planets; (the aspects between them) you can see further and figure out what areas of their life this influence manifested upon. The moon shows us how one relates to women or their female partners. A person’s first female relationship in life is with his mother. Depending on the dynamics of what occurred, this can heavily influence the outcome of their adult life relationships. Many of these circumstances and life history carry through people’s adult lives, manifesting into patterns, choices and repeated outcomes. Many are never able to undo their conditioning. After researching into Chaplin’s earlier life history and reading his chart, I found his transits to the moon and Venus truly reflected his life circumstances regarding his mother and relationships to women.
Chaplin’s Natal moon is afflicted with challenging aspects. The moon is opposing Venus and Mars. The natal moon is located in the 1st house of self; Venus and Mars are conjunct in the 7th house of partnerships/marriages relationships with others. There is quite an energy pattern here between 1-7 (oppositions.) ( self versus the other). Chaplin was married four times, and struggled in his relationships with women. His last marriage was to a woman thirty years younger than him (Oona O’Neil) whose father disowned and disinherited her after she and Charlie secretly eloped. Charlie was 53 and Oona was 17 when she met him. Charlie's son Charlie Junior II stated the following about his father's infamous interest in young girls:
“[my father’s] troubles sprang from incurable romanticism…[he was] utterly blind to the fact that he was dealing with flesh and blood…[and] would form a deep attachment for his created image much as Pygmalion fell in love with his statue. When the idyll he had created for himself would explode into stark reality he would be shocked, angry and hurt as at some betrayal.”- Charles Chaplin Junior.
To get an idea of Chaplin’s childhood and background read the following passage from Wikipedia below:
“Charles Spencer Chaplin was born on 16 April 1889, His parents were both entertainers in the music hall tradition; his father, Charles Spencer Chaplin Sr, was a vocalist and an actor and his mother, Hannah Chaplin, a singer and an actress who went by the stage name Lilly Harley.They separated before Charlie was three. He learned singing from his parents. As a small child, Chaplin also lived with his mother in various addresses moving around very frequently. Chaplin’s father, Charles Chaplin Sr., was an alcoholic and had little contact with his son, though Chaplin and his half-brother briefly lived with their father and his mistress, Louise. The half-brothers lived there while their mentally ill mother lived at Cane Hill Asylum at Coulsdon. Chaplin’s father’s mistress wiped her hands clean of the two boys and sent them to Archbishop Temples Boys School. His father died of cirrhosis of the liver when Charlie was 12-13 in 1901. When Chaplin reached adolescence he joined a troupe of young male dancers, The Eight Lancashire Lads, managed by a William Jackson. A Larynx condition ended Hannah’s singing career. Chaplin’s mother was again admitted to the Cane Hill Asylum, her son was left to fend for himself in a workhouse in south London, moving again to the Central London District School for Paupers.”
Charlie and Sydney who remained close for the rest of their lives.
Chaplin and his brother Sydney supported themselves financially through performing as Vaudeville Dancers. They received little academic schooling, their primary focus was survival; it is the classic story of “rags to riches.” (Jupiter is in Chaplin’s second house of material possessions/money/values) Chaplin carried on to become a very wealthy man. Some of the things Jupiter represent are, expansion, optimism, luck and fortune). Natal Jupiter opposes Chiron the Asteroid located in a 2-8 house opposition i.e.: Money and personal values, versus, rebirth, change, transformation, inheritance, “other people’s money” etc.) The misfortunes he experienced very likely contributed to his grit and street smarts to succeed in the film industry and provide the inspiration to create the films he made. Having Saturn resting near his Mid-heaven is quite fitting.
Charlie with his brother Sydney Chaplin
This opposition between Chiron (wounds) and Jupiter (luck and fortune) is a metaphor for the dichotomy between Chaplin’s early life as a struggling orphan and successful adult life. The dichotomy lies between this man’s fortune and his circumstances that brought him there. On one hand he was blessed with immense talent for producing, acting, dancing, painting and acting, and on the other he had a tragic life, suffering the loss of his biological father, enduring an abusive alcoholic stepfather and a mentally ill, mother etc. These experiences probably gave him the edge to succeed in the competitive, cutthroat film industry. In some of his roles it is clear he draws much of his motivation from his life experiences i.e.: “the tramp”. Elements of the tramp’s character and the film’s plot mirror the circumstances experienced in Charlie’s early life: poverty, loneliness, alienation and being an orphan. Many argue this was his best performance as an actor and the role he personally related to the most in his career. It was a movie he created after suffering one of the worst tragedies of his life, the loss of a child.
What did he have to endure and at what price? The Moon also relates to the public, and along the way most of the bad publicity Chaplin endured was in relation to scandalous relationships he had with women. Chaplin has a natal RX Venus in Taurus. Saturn rests near the mid-heaven in a fixed T-square with retrograde Venus in Taurus, Mars (Leo) and the Moon (Scorpio). A T-square is like a three legged chair, that is missing a leg, it is a very powerful transit. The T-square is correlating between the 1st, 7th, and 9th houses, of Self, Relationships/ the other, higher education, spirituality, vision and travel. (Fact: Charlie was banned from entering the United States, and settled in Switzerland for the rest of his life, he did not return to the U.S for many years.)
Let us also take a look at Natal Saturn. Saturn is resting near the Midheaven and this is quite fitting for him, as nothing was handed to him but only accomplished through very hard work. Saturn is all about learning lessons through hard work, and some of those lessons can be brutal, cold and severe in nature, as Charlie’s early life was. Saturn can also be looked at as a father figure in the chart. Chaplin’s natal Saturn is squaring the moon (located in first house of self) (his parents did not stay together) and (mars and Venus) located in the 7th house of relationships and marriages. Chaplin’s Saturn is in Leo at 13 degrees. 13 was the age Chaplin’s father died from liver failure, Mars is also at 13 degrees as well. I take note of 13 being a repeated number in this chart. Chiron is also at 5 degrees, at age five Charlie's mother was put in a mental institution for a while, and would continue to to go in and out of institutions for the remainder of her life.
Chaplin’s 5th house cusp is in Pisces. The fifth house represents children, but can also represent the first child. Chaplin had many children with Oona O’neil, however he did have a child with an underage girl, he hastily married (Deceptive conception/Neptune on 5th house cusp) There were different angles in the story involving Chaplin, 16 year old Lita and her closely involved stage mother. The death of his first biological child inspired him to produce and write the script for “The Kid”. (It is not a coincidence the film is called “The Kid” and about a kid. His Neptunian 5th house cusp, serves as an imprint of the legacy of his first child's mysterious circumstances, and odd death.
Lita Grey cast as "the angel." The facial expression is priceless considering the circumstances.
Lita Grey and her mother, pictured with Charlie Chaplin. Lita was impregnated by Charlie as a teenager.
Paulette Goddard and Chaplin strolling a film set, Paulette was Charlie's third wife.
Oona & Charlie later on in their marriage. Oona was his fourth and final wife.