Orson Welles’ horoscope

Writer, actor, producer and director Orson Welles was the driving force behind one of the most revered movies of all time, Citizen Kane. What does Orson Welles’ horoscope say about this legend of stage and screen?


Orson Wells.
Photo by Le Salon de la Mappemonde
Creative Commons CC BY-ND 2.0

Welles was born on October 10th, 1915 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, at 7:00am according to Astrodatabank.com.

This birth data is rated ‘AA’. This means it’s taken from his birth certificate. So we get a very accurate horoscope diagram (or ‘chart’) for Welles. His chart is below.

Orson Welles' horoscope

In this post, I’ll cover a few of the notable features of his chart.

First up, his Taurus Sun is in square aspect (about 90°) to Uranus in Aquarius. This is shown by the red arrows, above. A square aspect between two planets indicates a forceful combination of the two planetary energies. FYI, former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has Sun square Uranus.

In general, Sun-Uranus denotes a restlessness, someone who is changeable, unusual and ‘full of surprises’ (Uranus) in terms of their self-expression, their ego (Sun).

If you browse Welles’ biography on Wikipedia, you’ll indeed see someone who is forever re-inventing himself. Uranus is also about ‘newness’, and trying new and unique things. Which Welles did on many occasions.

Welles’ Sun can also tell us something about his father. This is because the Sun is ruler of his Leo 4th house, of the father. His father made a fortune from inventing a bicycle light which he patented. Inventors are Uranian, reflecting the Sun-Uranus aspect mentioned earlier.

Welles’ father became an alcoholic, and eventually died when Welles’ was 15, drinking himself to death. This might correlate with the Sun being in the 12th house of Welles’ horoscope. The 12th, among other things, is the house of ‘self-undoing.’ In other words, self-destruction, or consequences as a result of our own actions.

A second key point in Welles’ chart is his Saturn-Pluto conjunction in his 1st house (blue oval, above). Pluto is the planet associated with power, force, drive. Here it turbo-charges Welles’ Saturn, since they are in this close aspect. It boosts Welles’ perceived authority (Saturn), and gives him a ‘larger than life’ presence.

The 1st house is about how we ‘come across’ to others, our personality. By itself, Saturn in the 1st is often the signature of someone who is ‘old before their time’. For instance, someone who has to parent their parent/s from an early age. Or take on responsibility as a child. This certainly applies for Orson Welles (read his Wikipedia biography).

His Ascendant (‘rising sign’) is Gemini. Gemini is ruled by Mercury, the planet of communication. By itself, Mercury is not in great shape here. It is in the 12th (not much scope to express) and ‘combust’ the Sun (within 8.5° of the Sun). Combustion weakens a planet’s ability to express. It’s an accidental debility.

However, Mercury is in a sextile (about 60°) aspect to Jupiter. And Jupiter is very strong in essential dignity (in a sign it rules, Pisces). Jupiter is also strong in accidental dignity, because it’s in the 10th house. The 10th is an angular house. Planets in angular houses (1st, 4th, 7th, 10th) are the ‘loudest’. They are prominent and can express themselves.

The 10th house can also tell us something about a person’s career. Welles’ has Aquarius on the 10th cusp. Aquarius is ruled by Saturn (not Uranus in my view, as some would have it). And Saturn, as we have seen, is in the 1st (angular) house, loud and conjunct powerful Pluto. So we could say Welles’ career involves being a powerful presence (Saturn-Pluto in the 1st) in the field of communication (Gemini Ascendant).

We can learning something about a person’s mother by examining the 10th house. In Welles’ case, there is not much information about his mother, Beatrice, on Wikipedia. It says she was a pianist, and died of hepatitis on May 10th, 1924, just after Orson’s 9th birthday.

Orson Welles’ horoscope would say that she was a powerful influence on his life, given that Saturn (ruler of the 10th) is conjunct Pluto. And it must have been heartbreaking for the young Welles’ to lose his mother. The planetary positions for May 10th, 1924 indicate a time of powerful gain or loss in Welles’ life.

Orson Welles' horoscope diagram.

Orson Welles’ horoscope (inner). The middle wheel are Solar Arc Directions, and the outer wheel transits for May 10th, 1924. This was the day his mother died.

Solar Arc Directed (SAD) Jupiter forms a square aspect to Welles’ natal (i.e. ‘birth’) chart. The above chart is called a 90 degree dial. It’s an odd, but convenient, way of showing strong aspects to a chart for life events.

Jupiter energy (exaggeration, great success, great loss) here connects with Welles’ Saturn (mother). This SAD Jupiter to Saturn-Pluto would not have predicted his mother’s death. But it would certainly indicate a time of either great reward or loss in someone’s life.

A final signature in Orson Welles’ horoscope is his Venus-Mars conjunction in Aries, in the 11th house (green oval, in his horoscope at the top of this page). Mars is fairly strong here, in the sign it rules. And it is also connected to Uranus, by a sextile (about 60°) aspect. Sextile and trines (about 120°) are called ‘soft’ aspects. They are more gentle than squares, conjunctions and oppositions.

But the energies still connect with a sextile. Here it adds to Welles’ abruptness, but Venus gives additional charm and charisma to his actions (Mars).

Life event: War of the Worlds

An event which made Orson Welles’ a household name was a radio play he produced. It was an adaption of H.G. Wells’ book, War of the Worlds. As only a Uranian could do, Welles’ presented the play as a mock newscast. People (how many, is debatable) who heard it, thought it was real. Thought Martians were invading Earth. Panic ensued. The play was broadcast on October 30th, 1938.

The planetary positions for that day looked like this…

Orson Welles' Horoscope

Orson Welles’ horoscope, inner. Solar Arc Directions (middle wheel) and transits (outer) for October 30th, 1938, the day Welles’ War of the Worlds was broadcast.

Here we see SAD Neptune aspecting Mercury (red oval). Neptune is a planet associated with deception, imagination and otherworldliness. To Welles’ Mercury (ruler of his Ascendant) this was an opportunity to delude (Neptune) through communication (Mercury).

And there’s also the the SAD M.C. (the 10th house cusp) aspecting Welles’ Jupiter (blue oval). This is a time to expect a big boost (Jupiter) around career and reputation (M.C.).

Orson Welles’ horoscope: summary

He was a larger-than-life figure in every way. Hugely talented, yet eccentric and unpredictable (Uranus). A commanding presence (Saturn-Pluto in the 1st house), Welles’ is remembered as a wunderkind, a stage and screen genius of his era.


  1. thank you. I am an astrologer. I also have sun sq uranus – (aq-taurus). asc is also aq

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