Greg Wise – an Algol that breeds empathy

Actor Greg Wise has been revisiting the subject of death as he continues campaigning with Marie Curie Hospices for open discussions about end of life especially for men.  “This idea that men don’t grieve is rubbish. The problem is that guys are still brought up with the cultural tropes of, ‘Man up, don’t cry, stay strong.’ But without witnessing and accepting our own pain, we can’t have empathy – proper empathy. I don’t think we can see someone else’s suffering until we can see our own.”

He has more experience than most with his close friend Simon drowning when he was in his 20s, and he spent time with both of his parents in their final months. But the key experience for him was his sister Clare, who died in 2016 aged 51 from breast and bone cancer. For the final few months of her life when she refused to see anybody else, he became her sole carer, and moved into the flat so he could bathe her, reposition her and dose her up with strong opiates for the extreme pain she was suffering. Throughout her illness she kept a blog which he continued when she became too ill and that became the book Not That Kind Of Love. 

  What seems relevant is that his Sun conjunct North Node and Mars in Taurus is also conjunct Algol. Despite Algol’s malevolent reputation for destruction it has another purpose which is to force us to face suffering and horror and not brush it aside. Not surprisingly Dignitas, the Swiss clinic for assisted dying also has a Sun, Mars, Algol in Taurus and Ludwig Minelli who started Dignitas has his Chiron conjunct Algol.  Not that Greg Wise is pro-assisted dying but he is now fearless in tackling the subject of dying head on. (See Dignitas post 10 May 2023.}

  Although Marie Curie’s name is associated with hospices nowadays her career was as a physicist researching radioactivity. She was born 7 November 1867 10.36am Warsaw, Poland and she did have her Venus Saturn in Scorpio opposition Algol, so worked with destructive forces which could do good. Although too much exposure eventually killed her.

 The two most associated with death and dying are Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of the Hospice movement, 22 June 1916. And Elizabeth Kubler Ross, a psychiatrist, a pioneer in near-death studies, author of best-selling On Death and Dying, about the five stages of grief – 8 July 1926 10.45 pm Zurich, Switzerland.

  Neither had Algol highlighted in their charts but they both had Sun conjunct Pluto in Cancer square Mars, giving them first hand experiences of the dark, destructive side of life which would provoke fundamental questions. Such a strong Pluto would give both a sense of the ultimate powerlessness which a realistic acceptance of mortality brings.

  Greg Wise has been married to actress/writer Emma Thompson, which seemed an unlikely match at the time but it works. Born 15 April 1959, London, she is a Sun Aries with a Cancer Moon and a talented Half Grand Sextile from a hard-edged Saturn opposition Mars sextile Pluto sextile Neptune. He more or less stays at home while she works constantly and often elsewhere. Their relationship chart does have an affectionate composite Sun Venus conjunction opposition Neptune and trine both Pluto and Jupiter as well as squaring Saturn.  A complicated mix but they fit together as a complementary pair.

7 thoughts on “Greg Wise – an Algol that breeds empathy

  1. I’d like to hear more about Algol, as it’s often associated with death, decapitation and general misery, and it is here associated positively with confronting dangers and difficulties.

    I have Algol conjunct my Ascendant, and I’ve tried to note what that might mean. I’ve lost my head over girls, of course, but I’ve never broken a bone, worked a dangerous profession or been called up in a draft, yet I’m sure it must have some sort of serious meaning.

    • It has a bad reputation doesn’t it. Go check out that Kelly Surtees article or ask Marjorie to do an in depth analysis. Pierce Brosnan lost his first wife to Cancer. My dad was in the military and Hydrogen Bombs as well as the Military Mission and WW2 have always been a part of my life, so I have read on it extensively and continue to read. Including what happened to Ukraine in the Holomodor and the tortured history with Russia – that is the part where you don’t look away. It is connected to the Myth of Medusa – and poor Medusa – she was raped in the temple of Athena by Jupiter and Athena was so offended she went after Medusa (blaming her) and transformed her into the gorgon. Versace uses the Medusa as their symbol – so deep deep myths. Her story is connected to Pegasus.

      I got so fed up with the whole beheading thing on the internet that I started researching it – as I have an exact conjunction to my Sun. I don’t think it means you are going to be beheaded or anything bad will happen – I do think you need to look into it. I think you also need to look at your chart ruler if it is conjunct your ascendant.

      A quick search on Medusa yielded a great article from Vanderbilt University (the Harvard of the American South) which is worth a read,representing%20the%20birth%20of%20beauty.

  2. I like him Greg Wise. Algol does make you confront the difficulty in life. I have Sun conjunct Algol as does Pierce Brosnan, Deborah Winger, Janet Jackson, Craig Ferguson. Pat easy answers does not do it. Kelly Surtees says this is a highly creative combination, she did a great write up on it.

  3. Marie Curie also developed mobile x-ray units to be deployed at battlefields in WW1. They were called “petite Curies” and she devised them with an inbuilt dynamo as there was often a shortage of electricity. She persuaded wealthy Parisian women to sponsor the vehiclles. Together with her daughter Irene she trained 150 women to use the mobile units with these women then being deployed to the battlefields.

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