This is an astrological portrait of Ben Stiller
The complete chart interpretation covers four main sections: Personality, Relationship Needs, Relationship Wants and the Marriage Blueprint, and Career. This is a "classic" example of an astrological portrait, first published in February 2014.
Each section of the interpretation begins with the completed “Blueprint Sentence” used as the basis for that portion of the interpretation. These fill-in-the-blank blueprint template sentences are one of the exclusive tools available as part of the curriculum of the Online Natal Astrology Class. The value of these templates is that they ensure the correct relationship between the different parts of speech in the language of astrology. Simply by dropping in the appropriate keywords for signs, elements, modalities and houses, you create an astrologically-sound blueprint that you can use to build a more detailed interpretation of that specific astrological signature.
Birth Data: November 30, 1965, 5:35 p.m., New York, NY • Rodden Rating: A (Rodden, from memory)
Part 1: Personality
Elements and Modalities
Ben Stiller has an even balance of planets in the elements: two in Fire (Sun and Mercury), two in Earth (Venus and Mars), two in Water (Moon and Saturn), and one in air (Jupiter). Ordinarily, having only one planet in an element might suggest overcompensation, but because there is such an even distribution among the elements, it’s unlikely that Stiller would perceive a noticeable “lack” of Air.
The balance of modalities in Stiller’s chart, however, is definitely skewed. Stiller has no planets in Fixed, two in Cardinal (Venus and Mars), and a total of five planets in Mutable signs (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Jupiter and Saturn). The mutable qualities of adaptability, flexibility, and changeability are likely to dominate Stiller’s personality. Stiller is likely to be the most comfortable when he is multi-tasking, and he’s probably quite skilled at handling a number of different projects and tasks at once. He must learn his limits, however; the trap of Mutable energy is to take on too many projects, and then everything falls apart in sequence. Stiller may find it uncomfortable to focus on a single thing at one time, and when he is put under pressure, he will tend to scatter and diffuse his energy.
The lack of planets in fixed signs is a common signature in the charts of film actors. Cardinal planets initiate, and mutable planets complete things. Stiller will be the most comfortable with short projects; the lack of planets in Fixed signs means that he does not have a natural affinity for routine. Film and television actors are constantly taking on new projects and new challenges; stage actors, however, require the stamina to perform the same role day after day for months or years at a time.
Sun in Sagittarius in the 6th House
Sun Rules the 3rd, Almuten of the 11th House
Stiller seeks to express his authentic “Big S” Self (Sun) by being adventurous, independent, reckless, and truthful (Sagittarius) WITH his writing and communication (Rules 3rd) and his hopes and aspirations (Almuten 11th). He encounters these needs particularly IN his job and work environment (Sun in 6th House). [Blueprint Sentence]
Honest, direct, truthful, and occasionally blunt (Sagittarius) communication (Sun rules 3rd) is one of the primary ways that Ben Stiller expresses and embodies his authentic “Big S” Self (Sun). With the Sun ruling the 3rd and occupying the 6th house, it’s not surprising that Stiller might make writing (3rd house) a part of his job (6th house), or at least a part of his daily routine. That the Sun is the almuten of the 11th house suggests ambition; the 11th house relates to our hopes, dreams, and aspirations (as well as to shared and group creativity), and the influence of the 11th house supports the idea that writing and communication is more than just a means of expression for Stiller; he may channel his hopes and dreams, and his identity through freely exploring big ideas and pursuing his personal, Sagittarius perspective of the Truth.
Board of Directors for Sun
Jupiter in Gemini in the 1st House (8 Votes)
Jupiter Rules 7th and 10th Houses
In order to express his authentic “Big S” Self (Sun’s Board of Directors), he needs to grow, expand, and experience faith (Jupiter) in a manner that is intellectual, versatile, contradictory, and curious (Gemini), WITH his marriage, partnerships, and one-to-one relationships (Rules 7th house), and his career and life path (Ruler 10th House). He encounters these needs particularly IN his personality and self-image (Jupiter in 1st House). [Blueprint Sentence]
Jupiter’s powerful influence over Stiller’s Sun further supports the idea of his ambitions and dreams, and also, because Jupiter rules the 10th house, the idea that he may seek to embody and express his individual identity (Sun) in a public manner, through his career and life path (Jupiter rules 10th house). Jupiter also rules the 7th house of partnerships; and as we noted before, the Sun is the almuten of the 11th house, which is also associated with friendships and group, shared creativity. This suggests that while Stiller needs to be able to expand his individual identity and grow through his ideas and communication, that he also needs to do this through relationships with other people — a 7th house partner and/or 11th house friends and peers. Other people seem to play an important role in how Stiller embodies and expresses his authentic, “Big S” Self.
That Jupiter is in Gemini brings an interesting paradox to how (and what) Stiller seeks to communicate and express. Jupiter seeks to grow and expand, and to make things bigger; planets in Gemini, however, focus on details, and explore duality and opposition. It can be an unexpected and often uncomfortable combination, one that is often embodied in humor and comedy.
Venus in Capricorn in the 8th House (2 Votes)
Venus Rules 5th, 12th, Almuten 10th House
In order to express his authentic “Big S” Self (Sun’s Board of Directors), he needs to express love and appreciation and align with his Core Values (Venus) in a manner that is conservative, practical, materialistic, and industrious (Capricorn), WITH his personal creativity and love affairs (Rules 5th), his unconscious and shadow self (Rules 12th), and his career and life path (Almuten 10th). He encounters these needs particularly IN his dealings with shared resources and other people’s values and opinions (Venus in 8th House). [Blueprint Sentence]
Although Venus in Capricorn has only two votes on the Sun’s Board of Directors, Venus reinforces the themes of creativity, both personal (Venus rules 5th house) and professional (Venus almuten 10th House), and suggests that as scattered as Stiller’s energies may be from all of the mutable energy in his personality, that he still values (Venus) focus, dedication, and hard work (Capricorn).
Mercury in Sagittarius in the 6th House (1 Vote)
Mercury Rules 1st, 4th, Almuten 9th House
In order to express his authentic “Big S” Self (Sun’s Board of Directors), he needs to communicate and understand (Mercury) in a manner that is extroverted, independent, boisterous, and passionate (Sagittarius), WITH his personality and self-image (Rules 1st), his home, family, and personal life (Rules 4th), and his beliefs, philosophies, and higher education (Almuten 9th House). He encounters these needs particularly IN his job and workplace (Mercury in 6th House). [Blueprint Sentence]
At first glance, with only one vote on the Sun’s Board of Directors, we might dismiss Mercury in Sagittarius: but this would be a serious mistake. Mercury in Sagittarius may only have one vote on its own, but Jupiter in Gemini, with its 8 votes, is in mutual reception with Mercury in Sagittarius (Mercury rules Jupiter and Jupiter rules Mercury). Because the reception is mutual, Mercury doesn’t quite run the show; however, Mercury and Jupiter will always seek to find some common ground, and they will always vote together.
While Jupiter in Gemini makes a big deal out of the small things, Mercury in Sagittarius prefers to focus on the big picture, often missing important details. Both Mercury in Sagittarius and Jupiter in Gemini are in Detriment, which means they operate on the mental and emotional plane. This often expresses as worry. Certainly, we see this intense mental focus in Stiller’s personality — as well as in his writing, directing, and acting. He always gives the impression that his mind is racing, and that he’s evaluating each idea from multiple perspectives, at great speed, without ever quite finding a definitive answer.
Venus in the 8th House (Rules 5th, 12th, Almuten 10th) Semi-square
Sun in 6th House (Rules 3rd, Almuten 11th) [1a12]
Venus has 2 Votes (Term) on Sun’s Board of Directors
There is a minor internal tension or friction (Semi-square) BETWEEN his Core Values and his need to be loved and appreciated (Venus), specifically involving his personal creativity and love affairs (Venus rules 5th), his unconscious and shadow self (Venus rules 12th), and his career and life path (Venus almuten 10th), COMING FROM his involvement with shared resources and other people’s values (Venus in 8th) AND his need to express his authentic “Big S” Self (Sun) WITH his writing and communication (Sun rules 3rd) and his hopes and aspirations (Sun almuten 11th) IN his job and work environment (Sun in 6th house).
Stiller is an entertainer (actor, comic, director, writer) and the houses involved in this aspect include his personal creativity (5th), his career (10th), his job (6th), his shared creativity and ambition (11th), his writing and communication (3rd), and his involvement with other people’s values and opinions (8th). This suggests that Stiller has a certain amount of tension as he attempts to balance an authentic expression of his “Big S” Self and creating entertainment that will generate approval and validation from other people. It’s perhaps significant that Venus rules Stiller’s 12th house of self-sabotage and hidden enemies. This suggests that if he does put his need to be loved and appreciated ahead of his need for authentic creativity and self-expression, that he will not be satisfied with the results on any level. It’s far more important that Stiller maintain an authentic connection to his creativity, and not worry if audiences will approve of it.
Ascendant in Gemini
When he interacts with the world and other individuals, he appears to be amusing, quick-witted, superficial, and energetic (Gemini). Stiller’s Jupiter in Gemini is conjunct his Ascendant, so he has a great deal of presence and charisma. He will appear to embody all of the Jupiter qualities of optimism, expansion, generosity (with his ideas and humor — Jupiter is in Gemini, after all), and fun.
Ascendant’s Board of Directors
Mercury in Sagittarius in the 6th House (8 Votes)
Mercury Rules 1st, 4th, Almuten 9th House
Other people perceive (Ascendant) his need to communicate and understand (Mercury) in a manner that is extroverted, independent, boisterous, and passionate (Sagittarius), WITH his personality and self-image (Rules 1st), his home, family, and personal life (Rules 4th), and his beliefs, philosophies, and higher education (Almuten 9th House). [Blueprint Sentence]
With a total of 8 votes, Mercury in Sagittarius has absolute influence over Stiller’s Ascendant; his intellect, his ideas, and how he experiences and describes his “little r” reality are what other people see in him. And once again, the mutual reception between Mercury in Sagittarius and Jupiter in Gemini takes center stage in Stiller’s personality. Even though Jupiter is not on the Board of Directors for the Ascendant, it’s connection with Mercury and the fact that Jupiter is rising and on the Ascendant gives it prominence in Stiller’s personality.
Mars in Capricorn in the 7th House (2 Votes)
Mars Rules 6th, 11th, Almuten 8th
Other people perceive (Ascendant) his need to take action and expend energy (Mars) in a manner that is sensible, relentless, physical, and determined (Capricorn), WITH his job (Mars rules 6th), his hopes and aspirations (Mars rules 11th), and shared resources (Mars almuten 8th). [Blueprint Sentence]
William Lilly considered the planet with Term for the Ascendant to be the planet that described an individual’s physical appearance. In Stiller’s case, it’s his Mars in Capricorn. This certainly seems to fit Stiller far better than a “Gemini” or “Mercury in Sagittarius” appearance would. Stiller exudes a practical intensity in his appearance. You can sense his mind working behind the scenes, but he looks like someone who is ready to implement his ideas rather than to discuss them.
Sun in Sagittarius in the 6th House (1 Vote)
Sun Rules 3rd, Almuten 11th
Other people perceive (Ascendant) his need to express and embody his authentic “Big S” Self (Sun) in a manner that is adventurous, independent, reckless, and truthful (Sagittarius) WITH his writing and communication (Rules 3rd) and his hopes and aspirations (Almuten 11th). [Blueprint Sentence]
Stiller’s Sun has only one vote on his Ascendant’s Board of Directors, and the Sun makes no aspect to the Ascendant. His authentic “Big S” Self does not show up (at least not directly) in how other people perceive him.
Part of Fortune in Pisces in the 10th House
He will experience the greatest amount of prosperity and success (Part of Fortune) by being intuitive, generous, sensitive, and idealistic (Pisces), particularly IN his career and life path (Part of Fortune in 10th House). [Blueprint Sentence].
That the Part of Fortune is in the 10th house suggests that Stiller will find success in his 10th house career and life path — his public expression of his individuality. His Part of Fortune is ruled by Jupiter in Gemini, and also square Jupiter. This might suggest some challenges or friction (Square) between his public persona (10th house) and how open, generous, and expansive (Jupiter) he appears to others (Jupiter conjunct Ascendant).
Summary of Stiller’s Personality
The most prominent theme in Stiller’s Personality is the mutual reception between Mercury in Sagittarius and Jupiter in Gemini. Jupiter rules Stiller’s Sun and Part of Fortune; Mercury rules Stiller’s Ascendant. Jupiter and Mercury do not aspect each other, so while they’re heavily involved in each others’ business, there are no additional challenges.
The houses ruled by Jupiter (7th and 10th) and the houses ruled by Mercury (1st and 4th, and Mercury’s also the almuten of the 9th) will play a big part in Stiller’s Personality, as will the 6th house, occupied by both the Sun and Mercury. From these houses, we can see a need to balance his personal and private life with his public life and relationships, and that his work (job and career) are very important to him.
The only other factor worth noting is that Stiller’s Mercury is combust: it’s retrograde and applying to a conjunction with the Sun, with an orb of 5°15. When a planet is close to the Sun, it’s hidden by the light of the Sun. In the context of predictive astrology, this is a significant accidental debility. But in the context of the natal chart, it suggests that Stiller truly reveals and expresses his authentic “Big S” Self through his Mercury communications. This is not always a good thing, especially if you’re a writer or an actor. With Mercury playing such an influential role in Stiller’s personality, it could mean that people assume that the characters he plays and writes (Mercury) are, in fact, expressions of his true Self (Sun). This is probably not the case, and it could cause some challenges when he meets new people, since they will be responding to how he appears, and not to his authentic Self.