Dame Judi Dench is one of the foremost actresses of her generation. Today in the news there were reports that she is suffering from age-related macular degeneration or AMD, a condition that eventually could lead to blindness. Apparently she is struggling to read scripts and even to recognise faces, but she plans to soldier on acting despite the difficulties of her illness. The actress known for winning an academy award for her role in Shakespeare in Love in 1998 as well as starring as “M” in the James Bond films, is due to continuing to shoot the latest one in the series “Skyfall”.
Dame Judi is a Sun sign Sagittarius born on 9th December 1934 in York, England (no birth time known) and has most probably a Capricorn Moon. The Moon did change signs very late on the day of her birth into Aquarius, but more than likely her Moon is in the sign of the goat. A Capricorn Moon brings her a real work ethic, and her determination to keep on acting despite the obvious problems of sight loss does suggest that it lies in this sign. Even into her 77th year, she has ambition (Capricorn) to keep on going. The Moon brings a self sufficiency & need to run things and be in charge. I bet nobody pushes her around on set! The Sagittarian Sun gives her an openness to learning, and this combination often confers a really wicked sense of humour, as the mind can apply the expansive Sagittarian energy very cleverly and effectively. Dame Judi will be adaptable with 5 planets in mutable signs, being able to direct her energies to all types of circumstances; she will be and has proved to be a great all round actor from comedic to serious roles.
Her chart has quite a Sagittarian bias with Sun Venus and Mercury all in the sign and all in wide conjunction. Here is a real expansive tone to her character. She has a gambler’s attitude to life, someone who enjoys everything to the full, including socialising, speaking in public, learning, travelling and taking the odd risk along the way. There is real idealism here, made stronger by Venus & the Sun’s square to Neptune in perfectionist Virgo. Here of course is motivation to act, to create and perform with Neptune ruling acting, TV, film, music and bestowing huge imagination to her. Venus in Sagittarius shows someone who loves companionship and having fun, and Judi was happily married to actor Michael Williams for 30 years until his death in 2001.
Mars square to Venus shows a very romantic side to the partner and she would have invested a lot of time and energy into making sure that her marriage with Michael would be successful. Mars in Virgo shows a real perfectionist streak, with a need to get all the details of what one is doing absolutely correct. Judi will be very self critical, but it is this very drive that has motivated her to get to the top of her profession. Mars also receives a sextile from Pluto that gives her a inner supply of energy that seems inexhaustible; she is now working as hard as she ever did. Judi does have a dark side too, and anything unusual or hidden will thoroughly fascinate her.
Her admirable loyalty to Michael was shown through her Saturn sextile to Venus, which solidifies commitment and fidelity in love. Judi’s style will be simple but classic, flamboyance is not really her thing. Those with Saturn connections to Venus often appreciate substance of character way above style and someone’s appearance. Saturn also is at the point of a mini grand trine formation connected to a Venus Uranus trine. These three planets show a freedom of expression and a need for a bit of independence and space within any relationship. Of course with both her and Michael being actors, they often would have been away doing their own work projects, and so the marriage between them could endure. Saturn’s sextile to Uranus showed Judi has a resourcefulness when problems would arise, with a patience to ride out any storms that might occur.
The Sun and Moon on the chart also represent her parents; her father was a doctor who was responsible for the York Theatre and her mother was the wardrobe mistress there. The Sun Neptune square show the link with her father to the theatre (Neptune) as well as his medical background (Neptune in medical Virgo). I suspect that Judi was born in the morning of 9th December, simply as after 08.00am there is no trine between the Moon and Neptune, indicating her Mother’s link also to the theatre; the Moon by that time would have moved out of range. I have set the chart above at 06.00am to reflect the trine that occurred early in the day.
Jupiter in Scorpio sextile to Neptune shows a lady who will got to extremes and shuns superficiality. Those extremes extend to her creative abilities and are yet enhanced by a quindecile to Uranus in Aries which gives an extra buzz of innovation to her work as well as luck when she needs it. This Uranus sits at the point of a t-square connecting through to a Moon Pluto opposition (this opposition was in operation whatever time Judi was born). This is a really intense and dramatic formation. The Moon Pluto opposition brings a wealth of deep emotions that Judi can call upon, and gave a real emotional obsession of one’s partner. With the Moon in rather unemotional Capricorn, which gives the impression of a rather stern & cool demeanour, you can imagine the boiling emotions raging beneath the surface. That’s Judi all over, isn’t it? The film and theatre critics seem to love someone who can keep their control but bring all these emotions out on cue, and that is exactly what she does with expertise. Uranus squaring the Moon and Pluto bring a highly impulsive side and extreme dynamism to her character. I can imagine she is formidable when she does lose her temper, Pluto square Uranus can be explosive and destructive in it’s nature.
Now out of all the planets on this chart, Uranus is the one planet under most stress on this chart, receiving a square from the Moon, quindecile from Jupiter a square from Pluto and an inconjunct from Mars which rules Aries, the sign that Uranus sits in. Mars is in Virgo, as I mentioned before the sign of health and well-being. In medical astrology, Aries is the sign that rules the head as well as the eyes. Often if you find the most stressed planet on your chart, it is here where if anywhere you may suffer illness as you grow older. The risk is increased if that planet is impacted by a stressful aspect from a planet in Virgo or Pisces, or from a planet in the 6th or 12th houses. We have that connection with the Mars inconjunct to Uranus. I am no expert in seeing illness on an astrological chart, but it does not require much imagination to see that the eyes here could be vulnerable to continued stress transits.
it is interesting that Judi’s eye problem comes as Mars has returned to Virgo and is now retrograde and approaching a conjunction to Judi’s Neptune activating the square to her Sun. It also happens as transiting Neptune is quindecile natal Neptune in Virgo, weakening that part of the chart and so her resistance to the degradation of her physical body and energies (Sun). Transiting Saturn is opposing that natally stressed Uranus and will be staying in opposition throughout two thirds of 2012. In my estimation under the pressure of Saturn, this condition will, without corrective medical help, get progressively worse as the year goes on.
It will be such a shame if Dame Judi Dench has to scale down her wonderful career because of the degenerative condition she has, however time waits for no-one and nor do the planets. Let’s hope the doctors can help in keeping her sight good enough so that she can grace our screens in new productions for years to come.