Birth Name: Mary Louise Streep
Date of Birth: June 22nd 1949
Time of Birth: 8:05 a.m.
Birth Location: Summit, New Jersey, USA
Sun Sign: Cancer 0º43’
Moon Sign: Taurus 14º24’
Rising Sign: Leo 2º44’
Considered by many movie reviewers to be the greatest living film actress, Meryl Streep has been nominated for the Academy Award an astonishing 15 times, and has won it twice. Born Mary Louise Streep in 1949 in Summit, New Jersey, Meryl’s early performing ambitions leaned toward the opera. She became interested in acting while a student at Vassar and upon graduation she enrolled in the Yale School of Drama. She gave an outstanding performance in her first film role, Julia (1977), and the next year she was nominated for her first Oscar for her role in The Deer Hunter (1978). She went on to win the Academy Award for her performances in Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and Sophie’s Choice (1982), in which she gave a heart-wrenching portrayal of an inmate mother in a Nazi death camp.
A perfectionist in her craft and meticulous and painstaking in her preparation for her roles, Meryl turned out a string of highly acclaimed performances over the next 10 years in great films like Silkwood (1983); Out of Africa (1985); Ironweed (1987); and Evil Angels (1988). Her career declined slightly in the early 1990s as a result of her inability to find suitable parts, but she shot back to the top in 1995 with her performance as Clint Eastwood’s married lover in The Bridges of Madison County (1995) and as the prodigal daughter in Marvin’s Room (1996). In 1998 she made her first venture into the area of producing, and was the executive producer for the moving …First Do No Harm (1997) (TV). A realist when she talks about her future years in film, she remarked that “…no matter what happens, my work will stand…”
Personality Card: The Lovers
Soul Card: The Lovers
The personality card indicates our life purpose, aspirations, and lessons to be learned. The soul card on the other hand indicates our soul’s purpose and qualities that will assist us. In Meryl’s case, her personality and soul cards are the same, and thus indicate that in her present lifetime she is specifically working on her soul purpose – thus making her more focused and directed.
It’s no wonder Meryl is such a versatile actress. The Lovers is represented by the sign of Gemini, which among other things rules, communication and expression, mimicry, versatility, intellect, and wit. Meryl’s claim to fame is that not only can she seamlessly fit into any role that she plays, but her ability to master accents is known to be flawless. Committed to her craft, Meryl is known to always research her roles out, and often gets into the ‘soul’ of her characters. Unlike most actors who merely enact the characters they portray on screen, Meryl embodies them on a body, mind, and soul level. So much so, that she loses herself completely into the character, leaving the audience believing that Meryl isn’t acting, but actually IS the person she is portraying.
To quote Cameron from the sitcom Modern Family… “… Meryl Streep can play batman and be the right choice. She’s perfection, whether she’s divorcing Kramer, whether she’s wearing Prada; don’t even get me started with Sophie’s Choice…”
What’s her secret? She uses music, most often Classical, to get into character. Yes, Meryl has always said how important the art of ‘listening’ is towards improving her craft as an actress.
“Listening is everything. Listening is the whole deal. That’s what I think. And I mean that in terms of before you work, after you work, in between work, with your children, with your husband, with your friends, with your mother, with your father. It’s everything. And it’s where you learn everything.”
And like her range as an actress, Meryl possesses numerous creative talents (another indication of a Lover’s Soul). Along with being a formidable actress, she is also a singer – took opera singing lessons since the age of 12; a natural chef that makes food from scratch without the help of recipes – rumor has it she created an apple pie for her husband from scratch right from the top of her head as a means of seducing him (she can’t replicate how she did it). With a mind so open and willing to learn, Meryl mastered how to play a violin for her role in Music of the Heart by practicing 6 hours a day for 8 weeks.
However, like the Lovers, there are two completely different sides to Meryl. Her public persona, which is celebrated by the world, is the one all of us get to see of her, and her private persona, which nobody but her closest friends and family ever get to see and experience being with. Meryl is one of the few Hollywood stars that have always managed to keep their private life – private. In a world of paparazzi stalkers and fame-whoring celebutants, Meryl has always maintained an air of dignity and grace, refusing to let the press and the outside world invade her private space.
How many of us know that she has been married to American sculptor, Don Grummer, for over 30 years (a rare feat in Hollywood marriages), and has 4 children? One of them (Mamie Grummer) is a stage/film actress and has even stared in a couple of movies with Meryl herself. So much so, that she does her own grocery shopping and ironing, and signs her supermarket checks with her birth name.
“There’s no road map on how to raise a family: it’s always an enormous negotiation. But I have a holistic need to work and to have huge ties of love in my life. I can’t imagine eschewing one for the other.”
An important aspect of Meryl being a ‘Lovers Soul’ is her love and devotion to her husband and her family. The ‘Lovers Soul’ knows the value of relations within their lives, as well as, the need to turn to the person we love for help in resolving problems and making ‘choices’ within our lives. Meryl has always managed to maintain a fine balance between her career and her role as a mother. Always known to attend virtually every PTA meeting and landmark event in her children’s life, Meryl has always remained an active member within her family.
“I think I was wired for family. You know how they say people are wired for religion, or wired for this or that? I always knew I would like to, if I could find the right person, have a family. I can’t imagine living single.”
Hidden Factor Card: The Devil
The Hidden Factor Card indicates the qualities we fear, reject, or don’t see that can become our greatest strengths. Also known as the Shadow Card, it refers to unknown or little-recognized parts of the personality. These are aspects of ourselves that we deny, and thus cannot see directly.
The Devil as a hidden factor card tends to limit our vision, and at times, blocks reality from our view. It makes us unable to enjoy life for what it is, and makes it all the more hard for us to find the path of happiness.
In the case of Meryl, The Devil has played quite a major role in her work life (as Capricorn – the sign of career and status – is where her 6th House – the house of service and work – falls within her astrological chart). This is why, despite being one of the finest actresses of our time, Meryl has had to face numerous struggles in her path (even till today).
“When I was 20 I busked to afford accommodation. One night I hadn’t earned enough, I actually slept in the open in Green Park [in London]”
With Saturn (the ruler of Capricorn) in Meryl’s first house, indicates that on numerous occasions, Meryl has had to face her ‘shadow’ and learn how to embrace her biggest fears and short comings in order to learn to cope with it through her incredible self-discipline, and maintaining both feet firmly on the ground through immense humility.
“I try to lead as ordinary a life as I can. You can’t get spoiled if you do your own ironing.”
Unlike most actresses, who become famous merely because they are beautiful, or have a perfect 10 body, Meryl always relied on her talent. A true actress to the core, Meryl believed that at the end of the day, it’s her performance and her ability to win the audience over that counts, not how pretty she looks in a certain angle. This has lead Meryl to experiment with roles that not only required a strong female voice, but also allowed her to tap into her inner-chameleon and morph into characters that are far from conventional beauty (Julia Child, The Rabbi in Angels in America, Karen Silkwood, etc).
“I’m looking forward to bigger parts in the future, but I’m not doing soft-core scripts where the character emerges in half-light, half-dressed.”
However, with Saturn in the first house (the house of appearances) shows that it wasn’t always easy for Meryl to be comfortable with her physical beauty. This is one of the major aspects of her ‘shadow’ that she’s had to embrace growing up in order to get over her insecurities and pave ahead in her life. Despite having a very prominent deviated septum, Meryl refused to have it fixed, insisting that it was a major part of who she is, and the directors and cinematographers could do whatever they wanted to ‘mask’ it. Such confidence though commendable, has only come after years of insecurity being healed through embracing the shadow.
“My daughters had helped me to stop worrying about my appearance over the years. I wasted so many years thinking I wasn’t pretty enough and why didn’t I have Jessica Lange’s body or someone else’s legs? What a waste of time.”
Saturn in the first house, with Capricorn/Devil as the shadow also plays a vital role in humbling a person. Despite her numerous achievements, Meryl has never really allowed it to get to her head.
“I get nervous calling myself an artist. I feel I’m more like an interpreter or a violinist, you know.”
Even though she had her first movie role in her late twenties (when most actresses do so in their late teens and early twenties), Meryl’s sheer talent and brilliance as an actress was instantly recognized, making her one of the few thespians to win not just one, but two Oscars within the first 5 years of their career. Saturn and the Devil to make one wait, but they always reward patience and dedication.
However, despite being one of the most formidable actresses, critics weren’t satisfied, claiming that all Meryl could do is drama and tear-jerking movies. Some even went on to accuse her of just being a drama queen that got off on depressing people. Those critics were then silenced when Meryl starred in the cult comedic classic, She Devil, as well as, the critically acclaimed, Postcards from the Edge.
“I love doing comedy, but people just don’t give me enough of a chance.”
During the nineties, Meryl then experienced a major career slump. Despite already have proven herself to be a versatile actress, nobody was willing to hire her. It was almost like audiences had had enough of Meryl Streep, thus leaving her to settle for mediocre roles in mediocre movies that did nothing for her.
“Someone once said that sometimes studio heads don’t want to cast films with the image of their first wife in the role. It’s just rather unpleasant for them. So they like the idea of the new one.”
During her slump in the nineties, she won critical acclaim for The Bridges of Madison County and Marvin’s Room, but it wasn’t enough to pull her out of it. She commanded a meager $3 million per movie, which in Hollywood terms is peanuts, considering actors of lesser caliber demand 10 times more than that, just because they draw in big money at the box office. This is another prime example of how The Devil manifested as her shadow within the 6th House of ‘employment’.
However, her steely determination and iron-will kept her at it, and by the end of the millennium, she starred in the critically acclaimed Music of the Heart, which was the beginning of a new career path for her. Famed movie critic, Roger Ebert wrote, “Meryl Streep is known for her mastery of accents; she may be the most versatile speaker in the movies. Here you might think she has no accent, unless you’ve heard her real speaking voice; then you realize that Guaspari’s speaking style is no less a particular achievement than Streep’s other accents. This is not Streep’s voice, but someone else’s – with a certain flat quality, as if later education and refinement came after a somewhat unsophisticated childhood.”
As the millennium turned, Meryl’s career was at full swing. Being nominated for roles in critically and commercially successful movies like The Hours and Adaptation, Meryl took on one of her most challenging projects, “Angels in America”. Here, she had to play four very different, very unique characters, including the ghost of a communist spy, and a aged male Rabbi. Her incredible performance led her to win Best Actress in a Miniseries/TV Move Emmy, Golden Globe, and Screen Actor’s Guild Award.
“You know, there are–there are some days when I myself think I’m overrated, but not today.” (When accepting Emmy for “Angels in America).
Even though the American Film Institute awarded her a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004, Meryl has continued working till this very day. In fact, some of her greatest movies, namely Julie & Julia, Mamma Mia, Doubt, and the iconic, The Devil Wears Prada, came out much after winning a Lifetime Achievement Award. And it is only after The Devil Wears Prada, did Meryl increase her fee to $5 Million per movie (which personally is too less for someone as brilliant as her, but I guess that’s another manifestation of the Devil as her shadow).
“I don’t want to spit in the eye of good fortune, but it was weird. I felt like I’d butted in line in front of Lucille Ball, Audrey Hepburn, Katharine Hepburn. Hello? How did this happen? I was only the sixth woman to receive it, but they found 26 men to give it to. I thought that was embarrassing.” [on her Lifetime Achievement Award from the AFI]
Blessings and Lessons from the Universe
As we know, Meryl is a Lovers Soul, thus we turn to the 6’s of the Minor Arcana of the Tarot to discover her Blessings and Lessons from the Universe.
6 of Wands:
Well, Meryl definitely has her share of ‘laurels’! 2 Oscars, 6 Golden Globes, 2 Emmy’s, 9 People’s Choice Awards, 2 SAG Awards, and a whole host of other critical appreciation awards including a BAFTA, an American Movie Award, and a Theater World Award. Along with an AFI Lifetime Achievement Award, An honorary César Award, named an Officer of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and a ‘star’ on the Hollywood Walk of Fame! Her dedication truly pays off, and more than this incredible list of awards and accolades, her true recognition comes from her millions of loyal fans who lovingly call themselves ‘Streepers’. However, true to her humble self, Meryl never ever allows any of it to get to her head. She always remains grounded and is forever grateful and graciously accepts every honor and tribute.
“I hate the [Oscar] campaigning thing. It’s unseemly. You should be honored for something. It shouldn’t be for whose campaign was better.”
6 of Cups:
Being a Cancer woman, her children are one of the biggest sources of strength and support. Meryl often credited her family being her prime inspiration and where she gets her will to perform. One of her biggest lessons within this lifetime is to balance her career with her family, being able to be committed to her craft, as well as, be an active mother, and playing a constant and active role within her family. Very few people are able to achieve this balance, but Meryl seems to have done so seamlessly. Only she would know how hard it must have been to do so, but she would never let anyone know.
“Every single decision I make about what material I do, what I’m putting out in the world, is because of my children.”
6 of Swords:
A trooper to the core, Meryl has always sailed through her life without ever looking back. From her struggles as a young actress, to making critics eat their words by delivering power-performance after power-performance, as well as, resurrecting her career from an almost decade-long career slump, Meryl seems to have navigated through her life. Perhaps this is attributed to her learning how to channel her emotions by detaching from the things that don’t matter, towards the things that truly do (her family and her love for the craft of acting). It’s obviously a hard lesson for Meryl, considering she is a Cancer, the sign of heightened emotions among other things, but she learned it delligently as she sailed through the tough times. Her brilliant mind and her love for learning and experimenting, and her penchant for pushing the envelope and expanding her horizons as an actress played an important role in her overall evolution as one of the greatest actresses of all time – Past, Present, and Future.
“It’s a lesson I learned in drama school: the teacher asks, how do you be the queen? And everybody says, ‘Oh it’s about posture and authority.’ And they said, no, it’s about how the air in the room shifts when you walk in. And that’s everyone else’s work.”
6 of Pentacles:
This perhaps is one of the most vital blessings and lessons. Primarily because this card is Moon in Taurus, and Meryl’s Moon Sign is Taurus in her astrological birth chart. And her Taurus Moon can be found within her 10th House of Status, Achievement, and Glory. Called the card of ‘Success’ this has truly brought it’s share of blessings into Meryl’s life. However, this is also the card of ‘Charity’, and Meryl is one of the most philanthropic thespians in the world. Among the many causes Meryl actively supports are – Stand Up for Cancer; Healthy Child Healthy World; Elton John AIDS Foundation; AIDS Project Los Angeles; The Academy of American Poets; Americans for the Arts; Big Sisters LA; Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School; the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation; Equality Now; Mothers & Others; National Endowments for the Arts; The Pediatric AIDS Foundation; Stolen Childhoods. As we can see, her strong Lunar, and Cancer aspects of her chart in a way influence the nature of the charities. Nevertheless, her devotion to them is admirable and truly self-less.
“In 1938, an entertainer named Eddie Cantor got on the radio and asked every citizen to send 10 cents to a new charity devoted to curing Polio. So began the March of Dimes. Nobody knows whose dime put the effort over the top and made the vaccines that stopped Polio possible, but somebody did. We often tell ourselves that the problems we face with Cancer are too great, that one person alone can’t make a difference. But we can. We don’t know who will donate the crucial dollar that finally makes it possible to END CANCER. Maybe it’s you.”
Based on the position of her Sun, Moon, and Rising signs within her astrological birth chart, we can discover her Destiny Cards, i.e. those cards which showcase three primary aspects of her destiny, as designed by the universe upon her birth.
Sun Sign: Cancer 0º43’: 2 of Cups
With the Two of Cups as her destiny card based on her Sun Sign, Meryl was destined to meet her twin-soul in the form of Don Gummer within her current incarnation. This is also strengthened by the face that within her birth chart, her Venus sign is Cancer (2 of Cups is astrologically linked to Venus in Cancer). However, the journey towards finding her twin-soul was a difficult and heartbreaking one. Before she met Don, Meryl was in love with her co-star from The Deer Hunter – John Cazale. Meryl and John had a wild passionate romance, and they were even engaged to be married. Unfortunately before they could get married, John was diagnosed with bone cancer. Meryl spent many months in the hospital by John’s side, taking care of him, making sure she could do everything she possibly could to make his remaining days peaceful and beautiful.
You see, Meryl’s Venus though in Cancer, is also in the 12th astrological house of sorrows. And those with Venus in the 12th often have to learn painful lessons of sacrifice and selflessness in order to be blessed with happiness. Meryl’s selfless devotion to John Cazale during his final days, in a way earned her a karmic blessing, and thus within 6 months of John’s passing – 6 painful months where Meryl tried her best to heal – she met Don Grummer, and it was then they instantly recognized they were meant to be together.
Another aspect of Meryl’s 12th House Venus is that she would always insist her personal life be far from public scrutiny. And as discussed above, she has done a tremendous job of not only keeping the media out of her personal life, but she has also had one of the steadiest, stable, and loving marriages in Hollywood. Meryl and Don have been together for over thirty years, and they are more in love with each other than ever.
“I don’t know what I’d do without my husband. I’d be dead, emotionally at least, if I hadn’t met him. He’s the greatest.”
Beyond the romantic/spiritual love Meryl shares for her husband, Meryl has a deep love for her craft. Acting is something Meryl simply loves. Even though she effortlessly throws people off with her self depreciative sense of humor, her love and passion for her craft is legendary. In fact, it’s so powerful, that it exudes from her, and permeates throughout the entire cast and crew. After all, the 12th house is also the house of imagination, fantasy, and dreams – some of the key ingredients required from any good actor and artist.
“Directing Meryl Streep is much like falling in love; it has the characteristics of a time that you remember as magical and creative, but which is shrouded in mystery.” –Mike Nichols
Moon Sign: Taurus 14º24’: 6 of Pentacles
As mentioned earlier, Meryl’s natal Moon sign is Taurus. So in a way, she embodies the destiny as depicted by the 6 of Pentacles. We have seen her charitable side above, but an important aspect of this card is the concept of ‘give-and-take’. And this aspect is clearly evident within her career – as her moon is found within her 10th House of Vocation. This placement indicates that Meryl’s feelings, instinctive nature will find expression through a strong emotional commitment to public and professional life. Thus, Meryl was born to act! Acting is what keeps her grounded and what enables her to channel her abilities and talents freely. And Meryl is a generous actress. One, who always relies on her co-stars and directors to bring out her performance, and through herself, inspires her co-stars and directors to bring out their best work.
“Weeks before we begin shooting, the company starts to get together. And whoever is playing her lover is in love with her. Whoever is playing the villain is a little scared of her. Whoever is playing her best friend is her best friend. She shifts her soul slightly and changes the chemistry of all the relationships”. -Mike Nichols
The Moon in Taurus in the Tenth also adds onto her ability to shape-shift and seamlessly embody every character she plays. As well as, allowing her to be stubborn about upholding her very high standards to the quality of her work.
“I really, really depend on the other actors for the confirmation of who I think I am. And so it’s important to me to work with good people that are not worried about how they look. You know. Real actors. They’re your blood.”
Rising Sign: Leo 2º44’: 5 of Wands
One of the hardest and most prominent aspects of Meryl’s destiny is learning to deal with competition, as well as, dealing with the numerous injustices that are levied upon her throughout her career. Be it critics that have always done their best to bring her down ever since she began working in films, as they didn’t like the idea of a powerful, intense, actress that relied more on her talent than her physical appearance. Be it the difficulty she faces in finding roles that are challenging enough to inspire her to give her best (especially during her career slump during the nineties). Be it even the fact that despite being one of the most famous and talented actress of her generation (past and future as well), Meryl has never really been given her due credit, as she still charges one of the lowest salaries as compared to her peers. After all, in a world where Cameron Diaz earns $20 million per movie for being her usual perky blonde self, Meryl has to settle for just $5 million. Odd right? Well, that’s Hollywood for ya.
“It’s hard to negotiate the present landscape with a brain and a female body.”
And to add further, even though Meryl has won every major award in movie history, there have been numerous times she has been snubbed over and over, in favor of another actress. With over 15 Oscar nominations, she has only won two. Perhaps the academy deems it unfair to award her too many as they believe in giving other actresses a shot at winning, but in many cases, where Meryl deserved to win the Oscar, she lost it to someone else. Perhaps the constant losses, help keep Meryl grounded and focused to keep on ‘striving’ for excellence. After all, she did have a major career slump after 2 Oscars. But still, in my personal and most humble opinion – Meryl deserves every Oscar she has been nominated for!
To summarize, I would like to quote excerpt from the Telluride Film Festival’s 25th Anniversary Celebration Tribute to Meryl, at which she was awarded their prestigious Silver Medallion…
“Meryl has become known as a chameleon, a shape-shifter. . .
an appropriate icon for a postmodern, fractured, increasingly global age.
Her gift for characterization, perhaps unrivaled in the American cinema,
has been linked to her uncanny knack for accents,
but Streep’s talent for inhabiting characters resides in a more primal place.
Joseph Papp once called Streep one of the few true actors he had met;
her capacity to grasp and communicate complex psychological truths is remarkable.”
I hope you all have enjoyed my Celebrity Tarot Profile on Meryl Streep.
Love and Blessings