Cillian Murphy of Peaky Blinders renown is portraying another morally ambiguous character in Oppenheimer, Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster out this month about the ‘father of the atomic bomb.’
The real question for Murphy plumbing the soul of theoretical physicist Robert Oppenheimer was what combination – ambition, madness, delusion and/or deep hatred of the Nazis allowed him to agree to an experiment which could obliterate humankind. “He was dancing between the raindrops morally. He was complex, contradictory – but ultimately unknowable.”
Early reports indicate it is a powerfully affecting film.
Oppenheimer, 22 October 1904 8.15am? New York, did have worrisome aspects to his character with an incident in his student days at Cambridge when he left a poisoned apple on the desk of a tutor he was jealous of who had made him feel inadequate. His parents pulled him out of a charge of attempted murder by placing him under psychiatric care where he was diagnosed as perhaps schizophrenic.
His affair with Communist sympathizer American psychiatrist Jean Tatlock is highlighted in the film, though they had split before he took over the Manhattan Project in 1942. She suicided from depression in 1944.
Apologies for not noticing the time was marked DD (dirty data) by ADB. There are a variety of suggested times and the one which makes most sense is around 8pm, which was Ebertin’s pick (see above). This puts Opp’s Taurus Sun and Mars in his 6th square Saturn in scientific Aquarius in his 3rd – undoubtedly intelligent, hard-working and chillingly unsentimental. His Pluto and Neptune on this time would be in his 8th – as was the case with Churchill and Hitler. Hidden powers of great magnitude for good or ill. Opp’s Pluto was also in an experimental, innovative, pushing-back-the-boundaries opposition to Uranus squaring onto a Virgo North Node. His 9th house Moon opposed Chiron exactly. His Uranus and Sun were both trine a last degree Leo Midheaven.
His comments at the time of the first test in mid July 1945 from the Hindu sacred text the Bhagavad-Gita – “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds”. “If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendour of the mighty one” – give a hint of his spiritual struggle to reconcile his hubris with the devastation it brought.
Cillian Murphy, 25 May 1976 Cork, Ireland, has Jupiter, South Node, Mercury, Venus in Taurus so he would have some resonances with Oppenheimer; but Murphy’s critical Saturn Mars and Uranus clashing with Oppenheimer’s Moon points to equally strong reservations about him. Murphy’s South Node conjunct Opp’s Mars is intriguing – suggesting it pulls the actor back into his primitive urges, good for the role but not so much for his peace of mind.
Christopher Nolan, who co-wrote and produced the movie, has his Pluto conjunct Opp’s North Node.
Oppenheimer’s doomed liaison with Jean Tatlock, 21 February 1914, was a tortured affair, On the upside her Sun Venus in Pisces fell on his IC on the cusp of his 4th which would give an illusion of comfort. But her Mars was conjunct his 8th house Neptune and her Pluto sat in his 8th as well opposition his Uranus.
His wife Kitty Oppenheimer, 8 August 1910, a Sun Leo square Saturn in Taurus with a highly strung Uranus opposition Neptune had her Saturn conjunct his Sun and Mars which was not auspicious – an aggravated chemistry. Her Mars on his midheaven would add a competitive element to their connection. After the war she became alcoholic and after his death in 1967 took up with a partner whose wife had just suicided and she died five years later.
Looking for a ‘nuclear’ signature: – at the Hiroshima bomb in 1945 Pluto was sitting exactly on the Uranus/Neptune midpoint. Neptune Pluto is the key aspect I’d expect to see around nuclear incidents or Neptunian variations thereof. Chernobyl had Uranus conjunct the Saturn/Neptune midpoint exactly with a disastrous-accident Saturn conjunct the Mars/Pluto and square the Sun/Mars midpoints; and Sun opposition Pluto trine Neptune.
At the moment for those worrying about Putin’s itchy finger on the button – we have moved through and survived without incident tr Pluto hitting the Uranus/Neptune midpoint in 2021/22. Though there is still tr Neptune conjunct Uranus/Pluto running this year till early 2024; and tr Uranus square the Neptune/Pluto midpoint in 2025. But all of these aspects have occurred once in a while in the past without a nuclear incident.