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Robert Downey Jr.
by Kirsten Cross
With the Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes franchises going strong, Robert Downey Jr shows no signs of slowing down. It’s well-known that his commitment to sobriety has helped him vanquish old villains and soar to new heights of success—but could he have done all this without a few secret astrological weapons at his disposal?

Robert Downey Jr was born on the 4th April 1965, making him an Aries in the Chinese Year of the Snake. With a screen debut at the age of five, followed by a string of roles in popular ‘80s films such as Less Than Zero, Downey’s presence in the industry was strong from the beginning. The single-minded drive towards achievement is natural to both of his main astrological signs. When combined, they create an even more powerful dynamic. In fact, it could be said that both Aries and Snake signs are obsessed with achievement. The Ram is famous for butting its way to the top, while the Snake prefers to let its target drift into reach and then strike. Both signs are able to focus all of their energetic resources towards a single goal, to the exclusion of all else, until victory is won.

Although it propelled him to early success, this potent psychic combination has a dark side—one that played perfectly into Robert’s addictive persona. As a fire sign, Aries can be reckless and highly combustible, eager to walk where angels fear to tread. The Snake, in turn, has seductive tendencies towards indulgence and escape. When life’s tension builds, this side of Robert’s nature drove him to seek release in drugs in alcohol. By the age of 15 he was familiar with the entire spectrum of Hollywood vice. On one hand, the actor’s astrology helped him break down barriers between himself and his characters, and gave him the psychic sensitivity to inhabit characters with abandon—but on the other, it blinded him to the bigger picture.

As Robert’s career continued to climb through a dazzling array of critically acclaimed films, his methods of escape intensified accordingly. Between 1996 and 2001 he was arrested on several occasions for drug-related crimes. When rehabilitation centers failed him, Robert was sent into the corrective system. By the time he was released from State Prison, it looked as though he had seen through the destructive aspects of his Chinese sign; but it didn’t take long for the Snake to uncoil, and the young actor quickly picked up his old lifestyle. Aries was badly needed during this period in his life, but Robert seems to have lost touch with its virtues. Still, despite the ongoing struggles, his raw talent continued to get him roles and keep the career momentum going, even when all else seemed lost.

After another spell in rehab, Robert finally decided to sober up. “You know what?” he was quoted as saying. “I don’t think I can continue doing this.” It is here that Ram and Snake began to align their positive attributes. As we have seen, this combination can work together to achieve any goal—in this case, a stable and sober personal life. Both Aries and the Snake are very spiritual creatures which can, if given the chance, intuit other planes of existence. Robert soon embraced aspects of Buddhism, and now describes himself as being of Jewish-Buddhist faith. Discovering new dimensions of spiritual life gave his astrological natures the stability to coexist and channel their energies towards career success.

Robert’s love life also improved. With the roving eye of the Snake and devil-may-care side of Aries, there were moments when it seemed he would never be able to give himself to just one woman. However, in 2005, two years after completely embracing sobriety, Robert was married to his girlfriend, Susan Levin.

It’s no wonder that movie-going fans around around the world have embraced the Iron Man franchise with such fervour. Tony Stark seems to have it all, yet he is always driven to achieve more—and beneath the titanium suit lies a sensitive and vulnerable man. Robert Downey Jr can embody these struggles with perfect pitch because he himself has lived them. As for what the future holds, this talented actor’s newfound inner harmony is not so much a happy ending as an ongoing saga.

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