Everything goes better with music – or: a musical german “first aid kit” for Richard Armitage

I really hope “Berlin Station” writer Olen Steinhauer will include bits of German into the script.
Richard’s Russian in Spooks sounded pretty good to me, but I was a little less convinced from his French in “The Impressionists” and in the Heyer audiobooks. So if he is to say some lines in German, maybe he should follow Mad’s example “… after a couple of beers I speak it pretty good” 😉

In any event I hope everyone has learned from probably the worst German movie line fail ever: Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber in “Die Hard” when he commands “Schiess’ dem Fenster!”

To get this straight: you could say “Schiess dem Fenster in’s Glas” (Shoot into the window’s glass – which nobody would say ever), so the only correct alternatives are “Schiess auf das Fenster” or “Zerschiess’ das Fenster” or “Schiess das Fenster kaputt”. While in English noun articles are a/an or the, in German this is more complicated because the correct article depends on if the noun is male, female or neutral. So in German “a man / the man” would be “ein Mann / der Mann”, but “a woman / the woman” is “eine Frau / die Frau” and to finally return to Gruber’s shitty line “a window / the window” would be “ein Fenster / das Fenster”. To make it still more complicated, you’ll also have to decline the articles in German …
So a sentence in which you could use “dem” (dative) – and which makes sense – would go like this “Schiess’ dem Mann ins Bein” (“Shoot the guy’s leg”) and to completely mess with your brains out there, in case it’s a woman’s leg it would be “Schiess der Frau ins Bein”. 😉

An old German saying is: Mit Musik geht alles besser – Everything goes better with music. People who are stuttering when speaking are “cured” when singing and I found that it is easier to pronounce foreign words when trying to “parrot” singers. I’ve just started to re-new my piano skills from 30 years ago – and it was kind of creepy, that I instantly remembered tunes I’ve last played as a kid of 10 years.

So – for anyone who wants to get into a “German mood” here are samples from various German Bands who all sound very different and although actually nobody speaks like Till Lindemann from Rammstein, Jan Delay or Max Raabe in real life I’ve added them for “flavour” 😉
2Raumwohnung (meaning: 2roomflat) “36 Grad”
A wonderful “summer in the city” song à la “Buena Vista Social Club” – 36 degrees celsius are 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

Peter Fox “Fieber”
In Peter’s music there are lots of oriental sounds, which are really typical for Berlin Kreuzberg. “Meine Stadt hat Fieber” means “My city has a fever” so this is his take on summer in Berlin 😉

Lisa Bassenge “Nur fort”
Lisa is singing about leaving town together with her love head over heels and drinking tea with crocodiles. Saw her and her great Jazz Combo live 2 years ago – they’re really good.

Annett Louisan “Das Spiel”
This song is from a woman who likes to “put it about” – “ich will doch nur spielen” means “I only want to play” – so in the song she tries to apologize to her latest fling, because she realized too late, that for him their affair was dead serious, while she “only wanted to play”.

Die Ärzte (meaning: The Doctors) “Junge”
Die Ärzte were popular in the 80s and still have a huge following in Germany. This song is from concerned parents giving tips to their boy (“Junge”) how he should lead his live to please them. They are complaining about his friends and the music (referred to as “Lärm” which just means “noise”) he’s listening to and thus reducing him to a “walking dead” in the video 😉

Ideal “Blaue Augen”
A song about someone’s blue eyes “Doch deine blauen Augen machen mich so sentimental, so blaue Augen wenn du mich so anschaust wird mir alles andere egal, total egal.”
“Your blue eyes are making me sentimental, such blue eyes, when you’re looking at me I don’t care for anything else any more.”

Rammstein “Engel”
Rammstein are explaining here that it’s no fun to be an angel “They have to cling to stars to not fall from the skies … god knows I don’t want to be an angel”. Their live shows are famous for excellent pyrotechnics, this one is a really nice example.

Sportfreunde Stiller “Ein Kompliment”
This song is just a wonderful declaration of love: Ich wollte Dir nur mal eben sagen, dass Du das Grösste für mich bist. “I just wanted to tell you that you are the greatest for me.”

Die fantastischen Vier “MfG”
“Fanta 4” are a very successful german “fun” hip hop act. This is a song about the many abbreviations used in Germany “MfG” is used at the end of a letter meaning something like “Best regards”.

Jan Delay “Sie kann nicht tanzen”
Hilarious vid full of famous dance scenes. Jan is praising his new love’s looks but then there’s one problem: she can’t dance 😉

Rosenstolz (meaning Roses’pride) “Lass’ es Liebe sein”
“Leave everything behind, start from the beginning, because love is everything” … trivia: the couples making love in the video to this wonderful song are real, therefore it is banned in some countries, so you might have to agree that you are aware of “probably offensive content” before watching.

Max Raabe “Für Frauen ist das kein Problem”
In which Max admires women’s multitasking abilities 😉

• play it again Sam • RAw musings BLAME IT ON THE MUSE SIGHT SOUND & TASTE

Dinner For One … or: If I had Richard Armitage for Dinner

Three days ago I happened upon a tweet – you know the sort – what if I could invite “4 famous people for dinner”?

There were already some answers: “Jesus of Nazareth, Martin Freeman, Moses and Richard Armitage” and “Henry VIII, Chrissie Evert, Nelson Mandela and Richard Armitage” … normally I just skip such nonsense, but the mentioning of “the Muse” got me thinking … and so I wrote: “I would invite: the Canterville ghost, the Invisible Man, my friend Harvey and Richard Armitage 😉 and Richard could just simply do ALL their voices – this might be interesting.” … yeah well and then I thought:

“Hey, why not simply throw a virtual dinner party?”


Virtual or not – I swear this is what happened when I called Richard to confirm the date 😉 :

Phone ringing.
RA: Hm?
me: Hi, this is the annoying stargazer from Germany. What about dinner at my place, Saturday eve?
RA: What? Who gave you that number?
me: Your publicist.
RA: W O T ??!!
me: Relax, there’ll be three other, er, actors, attending.
RA: What in the world was she thinking? I don’t do “dinner-parties”! I’m an anti-socialite!
me: Yeah, that’s why she thought this might be the perfect setting …
RA: … ?
me: because the other guests will be the Invisible Man, the Canterville Ghost and my friend Harvey.
RA: … but they don’t even exist!
me: I see that you’re beginning to get my point …
RA: The only thing I see, is that you are even madder than I thought!
me: In fact this is a top-secret test-recording for a new talk-show project.
RA: But I hate talk-shows!
me: Yeah I know, so this is one, where you’ll have all the questions & and all the answers.
RA: Pardon?
me: Because you will impersonate the other guests. You know, like in that old Freddie Frinton sketch “Dinner for One”.
RA: But I can’t do voices! This is one thing that haunts m…
me: *SNORTS* Yeah right, she and I had a good laugh about that one …
RA: *unintelligible*
me: Didn’t you just mentioned recently, that you’d like to play the Invisible Man?
RA: yeah, but …
me: 5 courses …
RA: … no, listen …
me: Italian …
RA: … really I …
me: 100% homemade, good wine, Grappa …
RA: *sigh* … ok this sounds like an offer one can’t refuse, but …
me: Well, that’s settled, Mr Moody. See you around 8 then – it’s an informal kitchen-dinner, so just come as you are! *click*
RA: *stares at his phone in disbelief*

As the 72nd mostra d’arte cinematografica in Venice just started, when I read the initial tweet – here’s my “dinner all’italiano” – starting with my most beloved venetian dish:
All prepared by yours truly – recipes on request 😉

• eating out & getting drunk • RAw musings BLAME IT ON THE MUSE SIGHT SOUND & TASTE

post-moonstruck … *spoilers* now that the Dragon spread his wings one last time … what is Richard Armitage becoming?

I just finished watching the Hannibal season 3 finale. And it’s funny, but I don’t wish for a season 4 anymore, I’m ok. Honestly. Not because it was bad, but because they’ve finished it beautifully. I don’t need to know more. Sometimes the best stories should continue in your head – this is one of them.

It’s a bit like in Goldman’s “Princess Bride” where they are riding into the sunset, while he is about to die for sure. It doesn’t matter. Siouxsie’s song, Will & Hannibal’s final understanding, the Dragon ‘flown away’ on bloody wings, Bedelia waiting – that’s as good as it gets.

(my screengrabs)

The more pressing question for me is now, what Richard Armitage’s ‘becoming’ will be like. Of course they’ve wrapped Hannibal almost half a year ago, but the real impact of this piece of work will hit now, when viewers are condemning or celebrating the final result.

In december 2014, before I knew that he would take on that particular role, I wrote in a letter to him:


When the announcement of his participation as Dolarhyde in Hannibal was made, I was genuinely happy about it. This finally looked like a coming-to-terms with a darker side than he’d experienced before. But because a large part of the fandom showed quite some lack of understanding for his take on this gory and disturbing role, I felt compelled to write something of an astrological explanation. It was published by Servetus (thanks again) on her ‘me + richard armitage‘ blog on february 9 in 2015 and contained this part:


(The overdue review, containing his corrected birthtime is to be found here -> Why Richard Armitage IS Francis Dolarhyde … and you should love him anyway.)

So, as he obviously felt compelled to have his teeth fixed after “North & South” and also another prominent part of his physique about 2 years ago – I’ll quote a well-wisher on this “to look a bit more conventionally handsome” – I wonder if he feels compelled to continue “improving” his looks after playing a disfigured serial killer, whom an army of fans still kept swooning about? I hope not.

Despite promoting “Moonstruck” yesterday, I ended up by rewatching “The Artist”. Jean Dujardin won an Oscar, a Golden Globe, the actor’s prize at Cannes and whatnot for his role. He is certainly charming but in no way “conventionally handsome” – his teeth are crooked far worse than Armitage’s ever were and the nose is also on the larger side. And – as it’s a silent movie – the only two words he gets to say in “The Artist” at the very end, are uttered with the most off-putting french accent “Wiz pleasure.”


So, Richard, here’s some serious advice from this crazy stargazing-girl: you are currently experiencing very prominent/life-altering transit aspects. Pluto, “the transformer”, is squaring your natal Chiron (a lot about his role in your career/life is to be found here and here) while Uranus, “the enlightener”, is also moving closer to Chiron again (you felt his full impact during the whole run of the Crucible last year).

At the same time, transiting Saturn is moving through your fourth house (of family / private life) challenging your “big dreams” in this part and equally challenging your Sun in your first house (of beginnings / our personality / our “heart”) – all of this together is asking you to face your fears. Fears of being not handsome or successfull enough and the like. And also to overcome them and accept yourself as “perfect as you are now”. As Hannibal put it “The particular body you currently occupy is trivial.” – what you can achieve with your mind, is important.

I want to see you in more such intense roles, I want to see films or plays directed by you, I want to see Thorin’s secret diary published – whatever – surprise me, your fans and yourself by your becoming!


Moonstruck … part 2: a full moon, PMS & crazy theories about Richard Armitage

In about 5 hours the moon will be full. Since I woke up this morning I’ve been trying hard not to follow her example:

So only coffee but no breakfast before walking the dogs!
The breakfast after walking the dogs however included two big slices of toast, soaked in maple sirup, with custard and blueberries.
OK. I need a distraction. Pronto, because the fridge is full.
And. I. Still. Feel. Hungry.

So I played the viola until the fingertips of my right hand felt liked I’ve touched an electric fence and my bow arm threatened to fall off.

A vivid image of cheese pops up in my head…
Shut up brain, this is not going to happen.

So I sat down and played the piano for about half an hour – found out that in the first of my old sheet music books, which my dad gave back to me last weekend, there’s a note from my grandma: I’ve successfully finished that first part in January 1980 … awwww … sweet 🙂 … surely it’s time to have some bread and cheese now?

OK. There is only a small rest of a franconian “Obatzder” left … if you define small as in “an inch high on your toast” …

I need a distraction that involves more exercise. It’s too hot to take the dogs for another walk, but … hot … yeah ok I have some watering to do out in the garden, so shlepping the big watering pot around might qualify. A bit of digging in the dirt won’t hurt either.

One hour later … walking over to the fridge. Opening it. Taking a good look around. Closing it. Standing in front of it, looking hard at the closed door.

That won’t do. Grabbing the fags and heading to the terrace … normally I don’t smoke before sundown, but at least this will add no weight. An image of a stupid old anti-smoking-ad drifts through my head: Smoking makes you thin! (Illustrated by a skeleton.)
Yeah. Right. Whatever.

Sitting in the sun and dragging on the second Gauloise, I start wondering about the Armitage obviously channeling his inner hermit [sic!] since his birthday. What if …? What if I really am right about him playing John the Baptist in Yael’s Salomé in Washington from mid-october to mid-november (heading straight to south africa afterwards)? So he might be preparing for rehearsals right now. But because they haven’t published anything about the cast yet, he obviously can’t tweet about it? Losing his head would be a nice twist in his ongoing role-deaths.

After Yael tweeted on february 5, about her new production – I googled if she had cast someone already. On Backstage.com I found casting calls. I never saw “Salomé” on stage, but that strange Ken Russell movie, somewhere back in the 80s. As I was familiar with the story it struck me immediately, that they were searching for every leading role but “John the Baptist”. So I assumed, that she had found her baptist already 😉

This was her latest tweet: an article about two new adaptions of an ancient [sic!] legend and here is a link to the play itself.

Well, we’ll know soon enough.
And I can’t believe that this post took me only an hour and I’m hungry again.

This is going to be a looong day.


Richard’s chemistry with … my source material & a little glossary

For those wondering, what exactly it is that I’m looking at, while trying to create a “mind-map” and a short description of someone’s chemistry with Richard.

The first 12 pics are so called bi-wheels or synastry charts: each is a combination of Richard’s planets (on the outer circle) with one of the nine bloggers (inner circle) that participated so far in part 1 and part 2 plus me & the other two “Witches of Erebor“.


The second 12 pics are midpoint or composite charts: this looks like a normal natal chart, but is a combination of two charts where the points between the two Suns and all other planets are calculated and thus form a new completely new chart.


All charts in random order – for the really curious one’s: I’m bottom right in each 😉

Key to aspect colors:
Orange is the color for a conjunction, i.e. planets are about 0°-7° apart
Red aspects can be energizing or stressful (opposition 180° / square 90°)
Blue aspects are harmonious (sextile 60° / trine 120°)
Cyan aspects are inspiring (quintile 72°)
Green aspects are “searching” contacts (half-sextile 30° / quincunx 150°)
Yellow aspects can be a little obsessive (quindecile 165°)


So – everyone who participated should now be able – with the help of my description and the glossary – to find at least his bi-wheel picture. 😉


Richard’s chemistry with … Bloggers & how they support his life’s goal … part 2

After a special birthday gift for the man himself about “Richard’s chemistry with … Richard III” now the second part of the “Richard’s chemistry with … Bloggers” series. My “act of kindness” towards people who honor Richard’s work in their own special ways 🙂

Appearance again in alphabetical order, with a “special guest” as the first participant:

Richard Armitage & Ali from richardarmitagenet.com
Ali has a communicative, airy Gemini Sun opposite her energetic and curious Sagittarius Moon, while her Ascendant is in earthy, structured Virgo.
As Virgo and Gemini are ruled by Mercury, the planet of communcation, we can see a really strong emphasis on this theme. The house where our Sun is, is the area where we want to “shine” and Ali’s is in her 10th house of vocation, public status, career – together with three other important planets: Mercury (let’s talk about something), Venus (let’s make it beautiful) and Saturn (let’s make it perfekt). So, it’s no wonder that she is maintaining a really informative, successful and up-to-date fanwebsite for Richard (for 7 years now, plus @RAnetdotcom on twitter for 6,5 years). I think it’s quite significant that she first “encountered” Richard through a newspaper article herself! Richard’s Mercury [sic!] is exactly on her Virgo Ascendant. So the words in which he described himself in that article hit her in the one spot in her chart, that signifies, how we start new things. Though the most important aspect might be that her natal Sun and Moon opposition aligns with Richard’s Vertex axis – this is a thunderbolt that strucks body & soul – and could easily result in endless inspiration 🙂

Richard Armitage & Amazing Grace from RAndom thoughts
Grace has a fiery Leo Sun and a psychic, intuitive Pisces Moon. As her birthtime is not known, the sign of her Ascendant can not be determined. In her chart I can also see a strong, yet a little different emphasis on the communication-theme: her Mercury in cautious water-sign Cancer is forming a learning-aspect-pattern with her Venus (harmony) and Mars (action) – both of which are – again – to be found in signs ruled by Mercury: Virgo & Gemini. Her Mars is aspected from Richard’s Sun & Venus by a Quintile – an inspiring creative aspect, that – together with his Mars in a harmonious aspect to hers – really sets her into action. An interesting double-whammy aspect between their respective Moon & Saturn points to a quite serious, longterm, committed relationship. His Saturn is also in a 15° aspect to her South Node, so in a way, he seems to appear like a teacher from the past to her. Two strong square aspects create an additional magnetic pull: her Pluto square his Sun, and her Mars square his Moon. But as her Venus is conjunct his Moon (inspiring the communicative aspect of the relationship) and her Sun is conjunct his Ascendant there is a strong will to “light up his life” in a positive way. 🙂

Richard Armitage & Obscura from Ancient Armitage
Obscura has a Virgo Sun that is forming a rarely found aspect to her Mercury in Libra (in her house of work) and her Neptune in Scorpio (the house of relationships to others), a very small green and blue triangle, which is called the “eye”. With this eye-Aspect comes an ability to “see” things more clearly. As all planets involved are further emphasized by her Moon in Cancer, Pluto (next to her Sun) and asteroid Pallas (next to Mercury) – which points to an investigative mind and an enhanced ability to recognize “patterns” – I can really see, what attracts her to classical archaeology and art history. Richard’s Uranus conjuncts her South Node – this indicates a past life contact with a revolutionary person, that has influenced her back then and now makes a re-appearance to finish this karmic task. Her natal Sun & Pluto conjunction (which could be described as the human equivalent to a nuclear power plant 😉 ) is conjunct Richard’s Pluto. The Sun-person gets drawn to the Pluto-person like a moth to the flame. And as her Sun features strongly in her natal “eye” aspect, this gets a massive boost through this Pluto aspect. So on her blog she combines her love for all things “ancient” with her fascination for Richard. 🙂

Richard Armitage & Tree from richardtreehouse
Like Obscura, Tree has a Virgo Sun (also conjunct Pluto) and possibly an airy Aquarius Moon (as her time of birth is not known and in mid-afternoon on her birthday the Moon changes into Pisces). Although they are born in very different years, there is an “eye” aspect involving Mercury in Tree’s chart, too. But as it is not Mercury, but Venus & Uranus on the apex of this triangle forming also a square aspect to Neptune & Saturn, the whole thing is flavored a little differently. By comparing both of their charts I can see that Richard’s optimistic Jupiter makes a harmonious aspect to Tree’s Venus – so this is a very nice enhancement of her “eye”. (The latest blogposts contained quite detailed studies of his forearms 😉 ). This seems also to be a karmic connection: Tree’s natal Mercury & Mars are on Richard’s South Node. So it might be that, in this life, she is trying to pay back in word (Mercury) & the act (Mars), kindnesses received from him in the past. But the most striking aspect is (still depending a bit on the position of her Moon) a likely Sun-Moon double-whammy. As described in Richard’s chemistry with Martin Freeman, this is a really lovely “caring for each other” aspect. 🙂


Why Richard Armitage IS Francis Dolarhyde … and you should love him anyway – a review

These musings were first published on february 9, 2015 as a guest-post on Servetus blog “me + richard armitage” here because I never expected to start a blog myself back then 😉

As Richard’s real time of birth found its way to me about four months later and the Dolarhyde story is about to end next week, I thought a review & a résumé of my original musings might be in order. The altered bits will appear in red and/or crossed out.

An astrological journey into the dark – and back again

I’d like to thank Servetus for inviting me to do this guest-post (and editing me, as English is not my mother tongue). I like her blog because it deals with its favorite topic in a frank way. I discovered “me + richard armitage” in the first place when a certain British actor “entered” my life in a most unusual way. Ever since, I’ve experienced a side of myself I never thought I had. So now it’s time for the “fruit” of all that obsession to be born.

Over the past months, I have spent quite some time putting together and analyzing Mr. Armitage’s horoscope. As his latest choice of role (Francis Dolarhyde) generated a lack of understanding within large parts of his “Army,” I wanted to share my astrological discoveries with you. This essay’s title may be a bit sensational — of course Mr. A is NOT Francis Dolarhyde — but in part two, I’ll try to help readers find some similarities and thereby a better understanding of Mr. A’s potential motivation for choosing this particular role. And — for those who are open to it — in part three, I offer some insights about involvement in the whole fandom per se.

But in this first part, I would like to start with a few words on astrology. A long time ago, it was considered the “queen of sciences” and for a lot of people it still is. Astrology is as much a “science” as psychology and philosophy – it ideally takes a humanistic approach and should be used to help people along their path of life. It should not, however, be used to predict the future, as this is an illusion! But of course that’s what it was (and still is) often used for, and because such attempts are prone to failure, this misuse may be a reason for its current poor reputation. Of course every stargazer tries to peek into the future a bit, by musing about current transits and how they affect the aspects in our birth chart … I did so myself by “predicting” that Mark Strong might win the Olivier award.

My mother has been a professional astrologer for over thirty years now. She works in the style of the Swiss Huber School, founded in the 60s and based on Roberto Assagioli’s work of psychosynthesis (the foundation of modern psychology) combined with ancient astrological knowledge. Huber School astrology is not about predicting the future, but rather — I quote from their English site — “providing a powerful tool for self-understanding and psychological and spiritual growth.” The summary of their “Code of Ethics” is “The only acceptable goal of the astrological-psychological counsellor and teacher must be to increase the freedom of the person who is being counselled!” If you like, take a look.

From helping my mum with her work by drawing charts manually in my teens to discussing events and life stages with her, I’ve gained a lot of insight. She has far more experience than I, but she has always admired my “gut feelings,” so astrology was the place for me to go for answers, when I was hit — out of the blue — by an unexpected obsession manifesting in the form of a bearded (I really really don’t like beards) dwarf (I was always into big guys). Despite always being a dreamer and creative, I’m also a methodical, organized person (I studied architecture for 5 years). But as my life quickly turned toward chaos, I was desperate to get a grip on why this man was bothering me so badly. Me, working in the cinema/distribution business for over 12 years without ever asking someone “famous” for an autograph (well, except for the real one-and-only Darth Vader – that surely doesn’t count, right)? Me, in a happy, stable marriage for over 26 years? Me, thought to be always in total control of her emotions?

So, I went to draw up the man’s horoscope by using the technique of Age Progression in the rectification of his birth time. The Huber School sees the horoscope as a clock / calendar and by taking important times in Mr. A’s life combined with his behavior/interview statements, I tried to use it “backwards.” It’s really a bit like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. I was struggling with the final pieces for quite some time, but I think I’ve gotten it right now. I finally came up with 20:24 (or 08:24 pm) as time of birth, which (of course only if I’m right!) would also mean that the sign of his ascendant is Aries (Ram). Well, I failed. As I know now, it is Leo. So, as Leo is a fire sign – still double fire (his Leo Sun & Aries are both fire signs) and a Moon in calm, organized, methodical and humble earth sign Virgo.


This is how it looks (the small numbers on the outside mark the years since his birth (75, 81, 87, and so on); the time of birth is on the AC; and from there we’ll begin his life’s journey counterclockwise around the chart. On the sides, I’ve added the charts as they would look like if he had been born at midnight (left) and at noon (right). Most of the planetary interaspects will be the same, apart from the most important, the Moon, which is moving very fast. But the way the planets are connected to the houses AC/2/3/IC/5/6/DC/8/9/MC/11/12, which represent our different stages / areas of life, are different in each picture. So to understand fully where someone’s strengths and weaker points may manifest in life (and help him make this knowledge useful for himself) it is crucial to have the exact time of birth.

Of course, I found something else. Suddenly it was very clear to me why there are so many really “obsessive” websites out there dedicated to him. This obvious, palpable obsession for the author’s “topic” reaches far beyond that of screaming teens over the “Backstreet Boys.” And it was exactly the feeling (in review, in my case there’s still a bit more to it -> explained in “The Witches of Erebor“) with which I’m trying to deal for nearly a year now. So, welcome to an astrological walk “on the dark side” that I hope will eventually bring a bit of enlightenment and peace of mind to some readers.

For readers who would like to be accompanied by a bit of music along the way, I chose this lute / e-guitar piece by minimalist composer and lute-player, Jozef van Wissem, and indie-director, Jim Jarmusch, called “The Mystery of Heaven.” I had it on repeat for quite some time during my research. It is dark and also joyful, sometimes just painfully dissonant, has endings and new beginnings — just like life — so it fits the subject of all of this perfectly.

Pain is just the first step. First, we have to acknowledge and reflect on the intensity of our behavior when it comes to Mr. A. Looking to see whether he’s posted something new on twitter once a day might be the behavior of a casual fan — but some of us do so every waking hour (and check in on every other important fansite). Same goes for sending really personal letters or gifts to a person one hasn’t ever met in person, or having frequent conversations with this someone in one’s head (in my case, in a foreign language) or trying to find out his address. Mental health professionals might find such behavior suspect, and we’d be worried about ourselves if we acted like this toward an ex or a coworker.

So what is the force behind all this intense activity? If it comes to obsessive behavior, any “stargazer” would first take a close look at Pluto. In mythology Pluto (a/k/a Hades) is the god of the underworld. Not an evil guy, particularly, but obviously one on the darker side of life, er, well, more like afterlife. As I have a strong Pluto influence in my natal chart, he also happens to be my favorite Disney villain ever. And the priceless thing about it is, that this scene I just stumbled upon, taken from Hercules, in review just looks like Hades / Dolarhyde on his way to Mount Erebor: “We dance, we kiss, we schmooze, we carry on, we go home happy. What do you say? Come on.”


For those interested in digging deeper into his ancient history there’s an interesting article about Pluto and Hades on Wikipedia. As reactive as he can be, Pluto is patient. Like: Really, really patient. He’s the sleeping volcano. He waits, watches and observes. He wants to understand fully the motivations and workings of his “targets,” and when he finally gets the full picture he strikes and doesn’t miss a beat. He can be quite frightening or destructive as well. Ring a bell? Mr A sounds rather Plutonian in many interviews: Patient like “I’m very patient. I’d rather not have it, than have it too soon” and reactive as in “the kind of temper you can’t apologize for. Yep, the chair getting thrown out of the window.” And so are many members of his “Army.” Watching over his every step. Trying to find a meaning in everything he says. United in their possessive and protective feelings towards him. And reactive too! Make no mistake — these are very real feelings and not to be messed with! From reading some old interviews I take it there had been an incident in the past, when he’d said something about his “Army” and had somehow felt the need to apologize for doing so, very quickly afterwards [August 3, 2009].

Richard Armitage, the Hades Moon, and fans

We’ve just taken a quick look on “the dark side.” Now, my fellow guests of this Mad Tea Party, let’s see if the ferryman’ll take us back. Because Pluto is not just dark and evil. The positive side of a strong plutonian influence can be an immense creative energy. We’ve seen evidence of this, or created some ourselves: websites, videoclips, poems, paintings, photomontages and the like. Here’s my own attempt to cope with the beard-effect:


But still: why would an actor who “managed to stay under the radar for years” (maybe by wearing Pluto’s helmet of invisibility) or whose choice of super-hero role would fall on “The Invisible Man” evoke such strong feelings in so many people from very different backgrounds?

According to his horoscope, Richard Armitage’s Leo Sun is conjunct with his Venus. This combination would result in a tender-hearted, kind person with lots of charm, one who would have difficulties with open confrontation. The perfect mediator, always searching for a way to compromise so nobody gets hurt. His Virgo Moon is conjunct with his Pluto – now this is different. I could quote the whole blog post of Leah Whitehorse (Lua Astrology) on this, but you may just read it for yourself.

I also have no idea how old readers of this post might be, but I assume the majority of persons reading this now (and especially those who are experiencing the sort of “real-crazy-RA-crush”) were born between 1963 and 1970 1960 and 1965. If I had exact birthdates (including time and place), I’m sure I would find an aspect between Moon and Pluto in their natal horoscopes. There is one in mine, and — as mentioned — in Mr. A’s. Instead of trusting me with such personal information you can simply log in to www.astro.com (free of charge!), enter your data and see for yourself if there is an aspect (line) between Moon and Pluto, or if they are even next to each other as are Mr. A’s — which is — as Goethe would have put it — “the crux of the matter.”

Pluto is an extremely slow moving planet, so that many people born between 1963 and 1970 1960 and 1965 would have their Pluto (which represents the most radical, passionate and sometimes dark part of our psyche) broadly or closely (for those born about 1966-1967) conjunct both Mr. A’s Moon (which stands for the emotional core) and his Pluto. People his own age or just slightly younger wouldn’t feel it as much, because his Moon is some degrees apart and — as Pluto is so slow, we all share conjunctions between Pluto with people our own age — so there’s no big deal in this alone. (There are minor Pluto-Moon aspects for people born between 1978-1982 and 1989-1993 which — if they were exact — would be probably felt just as much).

If one experiences the aforementioned connection (aspect) in one’s natal horoscope between Moon and Pluto this effect would by some astrologers be called a “Hades-Moon.” Moon-Pluto aspects are said to be karmic, powerful, potentially dark, but with an enormous creative potential and they have almost always something to do with “mother” issues — either in a good or bad way. Judy Hall has written a really fascinating book, The Hades Moon (1998), which I’ll be quoting later on, as this is — of course — all heading towards Mr. A’s portrayal of Francis Dolarhyde.

Back to Pluto in general: the element Plutonium wasn’t named after planet Pluto by accident. When Pluto hits you, it’s like an atomic bomb, and there will be a fallout that often lasts more than a lifetime. Pluto creates karmic connections between all kinds of people: parent / child, teacher / pupil, lovers, star / fan, killer / victim, and so on. Those who choose to run from tasks Pluto has set will have to deal with them again and again. Even in your next life(s), until you’ve learned your lesson, shed your old skin and are truly reborn. It’s a bit like “Hotel California” — you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave. You’ll always meet him in the end (whether you pay the ferryman or not) and have to try again — there’s just nowhere to hide.

The funny (?) thing about the “Hades-Moon” is that people who have this aspect are usually able to “recognize” and move toward each other, because a normal relationship just won’t do. It has to be life-altering, consuming and intense. Whether they’ll be at each other’s throats or share an intimate and passionate relationship for the rest of their lives depends a great deal on the individual’s capacity for self-aware reflection and sense of responsibility. So, whether it lasts or not, it will usually be a life changing experience for both partners. Hopefully one that develops them, or else they will be likely to meet again in another time and place. I think there is nothing remarkable in the fact that Liz Taylor and Richard Burton both had a “Hades-Moon.”

So — as my theory goes — the members of the “Armitage Army” might share a connection at least from their respective Plutos to Mr. A’s Moon and Pluto. This aspect creates a psychic link and a strong magnetic pull. Pluto will be completely “moonstruck.” The Pluto-partner’s (in this case, the “Army”) usually strong expression of deepness of his feelings can encourage the Moon-partner (Mr. A) to find a way out of (possible) emotional isolation. Often the unconscious needs of both parties will be discovered in the process. This process can result in a strong, creative, and dynamic bond. In the best way, it can manifest as a nurturing and almost maternal connection.

I would like to remind all of us that the all-knowing, headstrong and determined Pluto-partner can (even unintentionally) hurt the emotionally far more fragile Moon badly through its actions! Pluto likes to play mind games and to exercise control and is both fascinated and turned on by the soft and yielding nature of the Moon (a/k/a “shy” Mr. A, who “likes to paint and play the cello”). The Moon can at times feel overwhelmed by Pluto’s subtle but controlling force. Yet the Moon might feel a disturbing emptiness when Pluto unexpectedly pulls away, and if the Moon pulls away first, then Pluto may experience rage or a serious depression (watch what happens if he’s not tweeting for some days). The sensible Moon is going to notice right away when the relationship gets “weird” and is likely to pull away, while Pluto can’t even see that there is an obsession at all, he only feels drawn to the task of watching over the Moon.

As one of the main themes of a Hades-Moon in Virgo is a deep inner conviction that one is actually not good enough, it is no surprise to me, that Mr. A was more than a little astonished when his Army formed shortly after North & South aired in 2004. But this openly celebrated support and collective awe was – in my understanding – a thing he worked for (and craved) for a long, long time. The Moon / Pluto placement of his horoscope was one of my points-in-time for rectifying his birthtime — this break-through success came when his journey around his “horoscope clock” would be in this exact spot. his wandering “age point” made a harmonious aspect to his natal Pluto and transiting Jupiter hit his natal Uranus/Chiron/MC opposition – sudden (Uranus) good luck (Jupiter) in his career (MC) with a “healing” effect (Chiron). His Moon was equally aspected during this time by transiting Neptune (Inspiration) on his North Node (our life’s goal).

So it is up to us to reflect upon ourselves from time to time and keep our “hounds of hell” on a short leash — although someone with a natal Moon-Pluto conjunction like Mr. A would be used to the feeling that he simply wouldn’t matter unless he gave his very best, and then still: would he really be truly appreciated? In combination with denying one’s emotionality this pattern often leads to extreme workaholism and a life organized to the minute … as in “I would squeeze the cello in the half hour before I go to bed.”

If you’ve ever read Patrick Süskind’s Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, you’ve met the Moon-Pluto-extreme: someone desperate for love and recognition. So desperate that he’d kill for it and won’t even mind losing his own life when he finally succeeds, because the townsfolk eating him alive, to him, would be the ultimate proof that they really love him.

Why Richard Armitage IS Francis Dolarhyde

Now we’re ready to understand why Richard Armitage took on the role of Francis Dolarhyde. Though, first things first: I simply couldn’t resist photoshopping two of my dogs into hannibalistic understudies.

As Richard Armitage stated of late in an interview, “I’m not really into fairytales and happy endings. I think it’s why I die a lot on screen and only got married once.” I would like to expand on that: as I’m a natural-born dreamer (Venus square Neptune) I recognize a fellow when I see one (Mr. A shares the same aspect). It is just that he simply doesn’t believe that he is worth a happy fairytale ending (at least as of yet). His dreams, however, are big (Neptune conjunct Jupiter) — maybe too big to share them with anyone.

On entering the eighth house of his horoscope on his forty-second birthday (2013), he arrived at a period of six years in his life in which he will have to deal with themes of life and death and sex and power issues. As Pluto is the ruler of Scorpio and the 8th house the cusp of this house falls into the sign of Scorpio, Armitage is likely to meet and work with a lot of scorpionic and plutonic people. In fact, as he entered Scorpio on his journey around his horoscope-clock, roughly around his fortieth birthday (as I hypothesize) the “Scorpios” would start to come forth from that point on. The first was Peter Jackson (a Scorpio) followed by Crucible director Yael Farber, who has a “Hades-Moon” in Scorpio (if her date of birth, which I’ve found after some digging on the web, is correct), and now he’s about to work together on Hannibal with Mads Mikkelsen, the personification of the Scorpio-theme: a Scorpio with a Hades-Moon in Scorpio as well. As a side note: Jodie Foster, who played FBI agent Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs (1991), has a Hades-Moon in Virgo just like Mr. A. And just like him, she has almost always played “dark” roles. Yet as a Scorpio, Jodie Foster’s choices were still darker than his.

Back to Dolarhyde: If we read Red Dragon the events leading Dolarhyde’s evil side first to develop and then to take over his psyche are explained well enough and — of course — the ultimate core theme of the Hades-Moon can be found there (doubled through mother and grandmother in this case).

The “mother issues” of the Hades-Moon can fall on the bad side or, there can simply be an unusually and intensely strong bond between mother and child. Armitage’s mother is known to have been very supportive of his vocational aspirations from the very beginning. Almost always some kind of life-endangering encounter occurs in the early years of the individual, be it from a difficult birth, or other near-death experiences. Mr. A’s often expressed fear of water/drowning because of an early childhood accident comes to mind. In my case, I almost died at the age of two, because my mother chose a bad time for my measles vaccination (which was done with live virus then) and I almost drowned at age 10 (while my gran was helplessly watching from afar) because of a sudden exhaustion / cramp while swimming in deep water. While there is absolutely no indication that Mr. A was abused as a child, a certain undertone of emotional struggle is there — everyone who has read / heard some of his interviews must have noticed comments like “of course we wouldn’t talk about such things (as a profession in the arts) at home.”

In Mr. A’s horoscope there is not only the Hades-Moon which points to mother issues, but also a Sun square Neptune (our dreams) and Sun quindecile Mars (our actions). And this is the point where the father enters the picture. The Sun represents our father’s influence on us, and these two aspects are not smooth and friendly, but challenging ones. The actions of the child may not have been approved by the father through the Mars aspect and through the Neptune aspect there might have been quite some difficulties in understanding and/or accepting the child’s dreams and “soft side.” So this arrow strikes home, I think. When asked on the press tour of Into the Storm who he’d save if he ever encountered a situation like the one in the movie, he answered without hesitation “My mum,” and added, “Or if I had a dog, I’d probably save him.” Now at this point, let us assume he’s just sure, that his dad would be perfectly capable of rescuing himself.

No one chooses to become an actor by accident. Roleplaying “family constellations” are a big part in today’s psychological therapy. So there may have been a deep urge to explore methods of expressing oneself and understanding psychological mechanisms in the safe environment of a stage or a film set — instead of lurking in the dark and killing people in their sleep in reality.

In playing (and dying) as Thorin and Proctor, Armitage seems to have reconnected with an emotional side he’d buried deep inside (poetically spoken: “a well of unshed tears”) – or he wouldn’t have set up a memorial for his dead character on the scene and clearly confess to lots of tears / emotional turmoil after his last take. On playing Proctor, he stated “I shed so many tears during those 12 weeks, I sometimes felt like I had nothing left.”

“Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.” (Mark Twain)

Those with a Pluto-Moon conjunction in their horoscope can normally keep intruders out of their personal lives. They can wear Pluto’s helmet of invisibility or he’ll assist to “mask” them in another way. In a way, it’s perfect for an actor. So it’s easy to fool others with it. But at the end of the day, you’ll always have to face your naked self in the mirror.

The “lunar-food and healing” for the Hades-Moon in Virgo, according to Judy Hall’s book would be:

This Hades-Moon needs recognition and reward […] an appreciation for all that Virgo Moon so quietly performs for others is solicited, but Virgo is too modest and self-deprecating (or too falsely humble) to ask for this directly. […] Healing lies in developing the ability to accept oneself as perfect as one is now. To allow into consciousness the totality of feelings and emotions and embrace them all as acceptable and right. The Virgoan capacity for analysis may be turned inward to help in this process, but only if this is accompanied by loving acceptance, not criticism.

So for everyone out there who fears that Mr. A might lose his “light” in the process of becoming Francis Dolarhyde: to me it looks like he might be able to solve some (maybe unconscious) issues from the past with this role for himself. If he does so, he will rise like a phoenix out of it, ready for new and completely different roles as he is about to set foot in the energetic and curious sign of Sagittarius. Well, maybe there’s a real big martial arts movie already lined up. as he will stay in the dreamy, inspirational sign of Pisces for the next 5 years.

So — if my theory is true — and if I’m really unlucky, now there’s a whole bunch of people out there, their Pluto square to my Moon and enraged because I dared to dissect a “wholly holy” topic (pun intended). Of course I am really curious to hear from anyone who checked her horoscope and might confirm my thoughts on the “moonstruck”-fandom of Mr. A.

For those ones who are about to check this on www.astro.com: his Moon (I hypothesize) is on 20° 12° in Virgo, so if your Pluto would be between 10° – 14° degrees in Virgo, the conjunction would be felt strongest. Lesser but still recognizable in a wider orb, lets say from 8° – 16° degrees. Pluto moves back and forth a lot during this time, so you’re no automatically “nearer” if your birthdate falls right in the middle of the years mentioned! And of course, this is just one aspect in an ocean of possible other strong interaspects.

Try to be kind. If astrology is still just not your cup of tea, I hear you. But everyone has to deal with overwhelming feelings in his own way – mine always will be the light of the stars and the scalpel of the word. So to lighten up the collective mood a bit, if necessary, I’d like to end this with the last song of the amazing movie Harold & Maude (1971):

Well, if you want to sing out, sing out
And if you want to be free, be free
‘Cause there’s a million things to be
You know that there are …
(Yusuf aka Cat Stevens)

As I know now, Mr. A has to “deal” not only with this “Hades-Moon” of his, but also with Chiron (the wounded healer) on his Midheaven – both connected to his North Node (our life’s goal). Forming an aspect that is called a “Yod” or “The Finger of God”. I’ve made further explanations on this in my “Richard’s chemistry with …” musings “… The Witches of Erebor” and “… Bloggers & how they support his life’s goal
For those also interested in Richard III – here are my latest musings about the astrological connection between Richard & Richard

Edit from august 31, 2015:
the newest issue of “Fangoria” is out – with a very interesting interview with Richard about how he sees the character of Francis. Interestingly, I’ve found quite some points of my own article about their “connection” reflected in there:


“Arctic Lioness” put the whole interview on her tumblr -> here

And my final musings about Richard as Francis are here:
Now that the Dragon spread his wings one last time … what is Richard Armitage becoming?