The media’s been putting the squeeze on Johnny Depp lately. In the last month, I can recall a few articles like the one I linked. Of course, Johnny’s not helped matters by handing out awards drunk last year and giving incoherent speeches. Despite finally “settling down” with fine ass Amber Heard after being settled down with Vanessa Paradis for 14 years with children, everyone’s telling Johnny Depp to grow up. (I mean, ain’t 14 years a reasonable amount of time to be with a partner and children before you see it ain’t workin’? Ain’t that grown?) Since he’s one of may favorite actors (though I’m no fan of “Jack Sparrow”), I had to see what was going on with his astrological chart.
I started by looking at his Saturn since he’s possibly the most “mature” of planets. Sure enough, transiting Saturn completed a stress-inducing square to his natal Saturn in Aquarius and opposed his mellifluous and witty Mercury-Venus combo in Taurus for most of last year. The Saturn-Venus opposition is ample testimony for him getting “serious” in love with his engagement to Amber Heard.
A lot of astrologers and aficionados tend to focus on the lack of affection and love with Saturn-Venus contacts. This can happen, but there’s also formalization, like engagements or marriages, that comes with those planetary contacts, either by synastry or transit in someone’s chart. It also can bring another kind of cold front and formalization as well. For Depp, it looks like it’s come with his once fawning critics.
As I post this, transiting Pluto also squeezes Depp’s natal moon in Capricorn by conjunction at 13 degrees! Pluto deepens and probes whatever planet it touches by transiting aspect. As it trespasses through the intimacy of Depp’s moon, we find a public looking harder and more critically at Depp. Perhaps Depp’s doing soul-searching on his own as well. However, I can’t help but think it’s unfair to say to him now that he has to grow up, especially with the roles he plays.
Is there a shelf life to how long you can play weird, quirky characters? (Quick! Someone tell Christopher Walken!) Is there some unwritten code that actors have to venture out at a certain ages into another genre or way of acting? Of course, many actors at a certain age seem to phone in their performances, choosing to act more like who they are in real life than what could be vigorously handed to a character by an ambitious, less well-known actor. (*cough* Al Pacino? *clearing throat* Denzel Washington?) However, they don’t get the same exhortation to grow up. (But perhaps someone should knock them off the phone every now and again.)
Perhaps Johnny gets the swift kick because he still looks young and is marrying someone nearly half his age. I guess, but last I checked she’s grown. That’s a lot more than I can say for some other players in Hollywood. I won’t say more on that.
Although he has a quirky and “old” Capricorn moon, Depp’s Gemini Sun keeps him young. I don’t know if Depp’s had any “work” done, but he doesn’t look his age. However, what does it look like for him to act his age? If his transits are any indication, this line of questioning isn’t going away. Saturn has gone into Sagittarius and will set up camp by opposition to his Sun in a few years. As serious Saturn makes a direct contact with his Sun, he may, in fact, have to figure out a way to deal with his own limits. Then, of course, he’ll be approaching his second Saturn return around 59-60.
The second Saturn return is perhaps the least appreciated Saturn transit. Of course, the first one at 29-30 years old is important, because so many young people ask themselves, “What the hell is up with my life, and what can I do about it?” However, the second Saturn return provides another call toward maturity along one’s own life path. It’s the moment when a person can begin to re-invest all the dividends of experience from the first Saturn return into the community and world that’s made him or her. This is when a person can look at a body of work or their body of experience and see, “Ah, this is what I’ve been trying to do.”
However, this doesn’t happen by fielding someone else’s notion of what maturity or real growth looks like. It sure doesn’t work at the first Saturn return, and it most certainly won’t and shouldn’t work at the second.
Depp has had a fascinating, off-beat career. I can’t say that I’ve agreed with all of his role choices, but I’ve never questioned that he’s an artist walking a fine line between honoring his hunger to express his uniqueness (Leo rising, y’all!) and keeping his family fed. Well, he’s doing better than that: he bought an island in 2004 with his now ex. Yet, I don’t know what kind of maturing he has to do. Despite all the gossipy homilies for him to grow up, no one has said his children or former partner have been chasing him down for child support or to get the baby a new pair of shoes. Other than showing up drunk to a newish, C-list of award shows and proposing to a significantly younger woman, he’s not done anything that’s irresponsible, only gossip worthy. He’s doing something I wish more people had the good sense and heart to do for themselves: living his life.
However, with this squeeze on his moon from Pluto and the applying tensions he’ll likely feel from Saturn over the next few years, it’s not going to get easier for him before it gets harder. Yet I do hope he stays focused on what’s best for him, not what others think would be best for him.
As a powerful figure of authority, Saturn teaches us not only how to experience it from others, but also within ourselves. You are the author of your life, the prime authority of your experience. (God or life itself supplies the plot, but how it’s told is up to you.) As a fan, I hope Depp steps into his authority and power, not anybody else’s idea of maturity. That’s not for me to decide. It’s still up to his genius.