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Cumberbatch ImageAstrology Searches for Sherlock Holmes

What does it take to make a good Sherlock Holmes? Well, first you need a good dose of either Gemini or Mercury. Sherlock is all about brain power, problem-solving and that’s the business of Gemini and its ruler Mercury. Then you probably want a little Saturn. Saturn brings focus and concentration as well as a hard-edged, dispassionate attitude toward other people. Sherlock has only one friend (Dr. Watson) and he’s not very nice to him. Finally, you’ve got to have some Uranus or Aquarius because Mr. Holmes is nothing if not eccentric and he does things in his own, unique way or not at all.

We see all of these elements in the horoscope of the creator of Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle. (Click here to see his chart.) Doyle was born with the Sun in Gemini conjunct Uranus and trine his Moon in Aquarius. His Mercury forms a close square with Saturn. There’s a lot of other stuff going on in Doyle’s chart (he lived a complex and troubled life) but these are the aspects I would connect with his Sherlock Holmes stories.

We also see these elements in the horoscope of the actor who first defined Sherlock Holmes in motion pictures during the 1940s, Basil Rathbone. (Click here to see Rathbone’s chart.) Like Doyle, Rathbone was a Gemini by Sun sign and he had Mercury in Gemini trine his Mars in Aquarius. Saturn trines his Moon which is in Capricorn, the sign ruled by Saturn.

Rathbone’s version of Sherlock is very much a Gemini. He is unflappable, curious and always the smartest guy in the room. He has such confidence in the superiority of his intellect that he doesn’t even bother to carry a weapon.

Robert Downey Jr., who has recently played Holmes in a couple of highly successful movies, has these elements in his chart, but they are not as prominent. (Click here to see Downey’s horoscope.) He has Mars conjunct Uranus in Virgo (the other sign associated with Mercury) and opposed to Saturn.

Downey’s Sherlock is more physical, more an action hero. This probably has to do with the involvement with Mars but we can also see the influence of Downey’s Aries Sun.

That brings us to Benedict Cumberbatch, who is playing Sherlock Holmes in a popular BBC television series. We do not have a complete horoscope for Cumberbatch, (click here to see a horoscope charted for noon) but we can still see these three basic elements. In the noon chart we see Mercury conjunct Saturn and square Uranus. Depending on his time of birth, he could also have his Moon involved in this action, forming a T-square with Mercury, Saturn and Uranus.

Cumberbatch’s Sherlock is more about Uranus. He plays the detective as brilliant but abrasive and maddeningly unpredictable. His Holmes possesses all the arrogance and impatience with “lesser” minds that is typical of Uranus on a very bad day. He is the extraordinary loner, the misfit who apologizes to no one.

So, who is your favorite Sherlock Holmes? Is it one of the actors listed above or someone else? Do you prefer the Gemini Holmes of the Aquarian Holmes? Let us know.


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