Through A Glass Darkly

Philip Seymour Hoffman Movie Maker Magazine cover

“I try to live my life in such a way that I don’t have profound regrets,’’ Hoffman told The New York Times in 2008. “That’s probably why I work so much. I don’t want to feel I missed something important.”


Well that was a sad, senseless surprise, although apparently not to many in the industry. P.S.H. was born in the earliest degree of Leo, with this Leo Sun square to Mars in Scorpio (driven, compulsive, obsessive, a fierce performer) and a tricky Moon in Aquarius square to Neptune in Scorpio. Out of what could be challenging aspects, he crafted an extraordinary life and talent.

This sort of incident stirs grief and memories re all people lost to substance abuse and addictions.

This eulogy is beautiful – as this Oscar clip below.

My fave performance of his was in Talented Mr Ripley…I thought how ill & adrenal he looked in the 2nd Hunger Games was just part of his CHARACTER, you know?   And you?

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64 thoughts on “Through A Glass Darkly

  1. “This sort of incident stirs grief and memories re all people lost to substance abuse and addictions.” BINGO. I lost a love to a heroin overdose in the late 80s. I kind of can’t believe people are still doing that and ODing from it. My life has gone completely in the other direction: sober, healthy, vegetarian, etc. So sad and tragic. PSH was living sober for 23 years then relapsed about a year ago – I’m so curious about his stars at the time of his relapse and at the time of his death, Neptune, moon, etc. and have always wondered how to DIY chart read that part of my exes death. Thank you Mystic xx

    • Just goes to show that whilst recovery from addiction can be achieved there is no “cure” for being an addict. Abstinence for long periods of time does not give immunity to terrible relapses or mean that a person is able to use again safely. This is why the harm minimisation and moderation movement so popular in the addiction industry is such a complete load of crap! An addict can’t “learn” to moderate or stay “safe”. Pisses me off!!! …..

      sorry for the rant.

      I’m upset about Philip. He’s one of my favourite actors. So authentic and believable … just something really likeable about him on screen. And as someone mentioned … humble.

      I too am interested in his astro at time of relapse. :(

      • I gather there is no exact time of birth, so we don’t know where his 8th or 12th were…bet they were heavily implicated, however.

        He relapsed, I gather, when Saturn was on his Mars, and then went into rehab.

        He then died when transiting Saturn was on his Scorp Neptune (temptation to self-destruct if you can’t transform/transcend deep emotional anguish you have to face when you’ve given up the addiction you’d been self-medicating with).

        Uranus on his natal Saturn in Aries square his Merc in Cancer, opposed by the Venus-Pluto in Cap zap zone mash up by the looks of it, too.

        • Thanks If. How much significance would you give the Merc aspect? With Uranus square & Pluto opposite?

          I’m sad about it too – I also felt a strong positive interest in him, it really feels like a loss. RIP Phil.

          • Hard to say, isn’t it, given lack of info re house cusps? Still, grand cross cardinal Zap zone astro of the mo hitting his natal Saturn square Mercury wouldn’t have made handling transiting Saturn on natal Neptune and transiting Scorp NN on natal Mars any easier, I’d imagine…

      • It is so sad him dying, such a waste, such a huge loss. A word about addicts and drug od’s, my experience of heroin od’s, addicts and users is that most od’s are actually among recreational users. If the real hard core addicts od it is because there is an unusually strong batch on the street. It is the lifestyle that addicts end up living that can get them in the end. It is such a complicated complicated issue. It often, but not always exists with homelessness and mental illness, and lets not forget their dangerous mixing with the criminal milieu to obtain the stuff. And these people are often amongst the gentlest of us, a la PSH. For some abstinence works, but for others it doesn’t. For some harm minimisation is like a god-send, that keeps them alive long enough for them to find the strength to get through rehab and find they no longer need it. For others it’s like pissing in the wind. There is no ‘one size fits all’ response to this. There are nuances in this issue.

        • thank you for saying this. i’m not sure how his death turns into an indictment of the harm minimization movement. his death wasn’t caused by access to clean needles, and i haven’t read anything indicating that he was on opiate replacements (which, i agree, are often a crock of shite). if anything, it just shows how unstable abstinence is. even after 23 years it all comes roaring back, probably stronger.

        • word Jen – well said. Most od’s are recreational or occasional not least because their tolerance is low and yet they want to make sure they get enough as its ‘occasional’. Very upsetting and loss of a great talent.

  2. This is one of those tragedies that is hard to believe and makes me think what a loss it is to the world. Cinema won’t be the same without Philip Seymour Hoffman – he added such depth and validity to everything he contributed to. His presence in a production was enough to make you stop and pay attention.

    A very sad and unexpected turn of events.

  3. So brilliant, this guy. I was walking through a dept store today when I overheard this news on a television; I gasped so loudly that everyone around me jumped & looked. I am sick with this. Such a loss.

    Synecdoche, N.Y. is my all time fave movie & it would not have been so alive without PSH. Same for Love Liza. Doubt– brilliant in Doubt! Same for all the productions he was in. If PSH was in it, i watched it. God what a loss! Ugh.

  4. Sadly he was victim to a death hoax just days before this tragic event.
    Of all his serious great works, I’ll remember him dancing in a flesh suit in The Big Lebowski. RIP Philip Seymour Hofmann.

  5. Glad you did a post on him Mystic.

    Such a sad and tragic loss. One of my fave actors. If he starred in a movie I wanted to see it. He was incredible in EVERY movie but i particularly liked Capote.

    Just goes to show how dangerous and powerful heroin addiction is. One drug I’ve never tried nor have ever want to.

    Feel sad for his wife and kids.

    • Saw a book in the window of a London bookshop early 70’s, cover said:
      ‘Don’t try it once-it’s too good’.

      • I did, once and I’ve never, ever forgotten it but I knew it was a onetime or game over thing.

        • I tried it once also, I was really curious why all these sad young people were drawn to it.

          Then I took it and understood.

          It was like the most tender hug from your mamma wrapping you up in a soft, blue, angora ruggy.

          It made me cry for the all the lonely, unhugged kids!

          • Andromeda, that is exactly why he kept going back to it…he was after the most loving and tender hug from his Mum that he never got.

            I confess i wondered as to how it could ensnare such a strong he man type guy. ‘Just Me here” -it is so great your ex bro in law beat it. He will always have to stay on guard….

      • My ex-bro-in-law figured as a tough type who’d been around he could handle it. Tasted once coz he was curious and lost his business, fiancé, and health before he finally beat it.

  6. So sad. Saturday night I saw a bit of Along Came Polly on TV, he was the best part of that film. A great actor and also seemed very human, humble and nice. He was amazing in Capote. A great loss to cinema.

      • I was discussing the same thing with my cousin only last night!!!
        He mentioned a movie of his I hadn’t seen and this morning I got an email notification of a link he posted on Facebook. I assumed it would a link regarding our chat. Was not executing a news report of his death

  7. !WHAT!? he died? l just woke up and l read this and l am shocked! l love this actor! l can’t believe he died! :(
    Rest in peace Philip

  8. NY astrologer said tonight that there has been deadly heroin circulating in the city lately, so he could have died from poisoning. Police said two marked baggies found on site so they will undoubtedly test it.
    Heavy duty transits on the angles and always that NN, I’ve noticed in death charts.

  9. My favorite movie of his is Synecdoche, NY. Absolutely brilliant film written and directed by Charlie Kaufman. So sad he has passed. :( My he RIP.

  10. Dev-ode.
    There was that certain ‘something’ about him that I found so endearing and I could relate to him in a way that seemed rather personal, and strangely familiar – That tortured soul of an Artist and all I suppose.
    May he rest in peace.

  11. It seemed he had a hard time of it, you could sense his darkness through every charchter, i imagine a black hole through where his positivity was drained, like a happiness debt to the universe not of his making, as Mystic said, a tricky astro to bare!
    Peace and blessings to him and his own xx

    • Interesting that you put it that way- since I heard the news, Nietzsche has been rolling around in my head:

      “And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.”

        • it’s his 29 pisces chiron, that black hole, i bet. the universal abyss channel he was. stunning, really.

          • that’s the best analysis I’ve seen of his special capacity to reach us all, of what it was that he was channelling. It’s so hard to grasp & articulate, but you just pinned it. thanks hdq

            • yes this is resonant – thanks. He obviously worked hard to overcome his difficult aspects and yet…

            • its my moon degree – but I have already visited the black hole and returned in tact !

            • big diff between Chiron & Sun in that posi right? The Sun probably supports your ability to “see” and shine on or for us all. His Chiron tapping something more vulnerable?

            • not in the same energy as chiron, but 29 pisces being the degree of culmination for the whole zodiac, the omega point… what happens to a sun which has absorbed all other suns? supernova! (if i remember my 4th grade science right, doubtful) after that? black hole. so, sorta… 😉 the stillness between. maybe that’s like 29’59” pisces, only a second. you are of the supernova period, i’d say. :)

  12. Choking on a lump in my throat…then I saw Heath and started bawling…then PSH started talking about his mum….

  13. Stunning. really stunning. His natal Mercury in Cancer getting a Jupiter transit, opposite Pluto/Venus, in a T-square to his natal Saturn(uranus transit) and that Scorpio Neptune? Saturn Transit.

  14. Three tricky squares to contend with: Sun Leo square Mars Scorpio – impulsive, angry; Moon Aquarius (depending on birth time) square Neptune – emotional stability eludes you, cravings yet fantastic imagination; Mercury Cancer square Saturn – the worrier, perfectionist, demons of the mind. A glorious Jupiter-Saturn trine closest aspect; Jupiter in Leo, his ability to channel his angst from Mercury/Saturn square into his performances.
    The transits at his death – Saturn conjunct his natal Neptune (the addiction planet) & Jupiter-Pluto opposition across his natal Mercury triggering the two most difficult squares in his chart; transiting planets Saturn & Pluto both symbolise death, loss, darkness.
    Incredibly sad – he was a magical actor, sublime, someone who could transport you completely into a character’s world. One of the truly great actors and so sad that he couldn’t find happiness in his life.

    • People who are addicted (to whatever) aren’t necessarily unhappy in their life.

      Addiction is much more complex than “being happy” or “not being happy”.

      So is life.

  15. I was shocked. Really feel this loss, more so than most celebrity deaths. Not even sure why. What a giant talent he was. Devastating.

  16. The dark side of Brilliance.
    Heroin is such a lonely drug.
    My true love died from an overdose at age 25, a Scorp, he missed being a Sagg by a day. My being a naive 23 yo, always wondered what he was doing in the bathroom for so long, and wondered why a belt was left on the stair banister daily.
    Can you imagine living with some-one and NOT knowing?

    Phillip Seymour had lovely looking wife and 3 children, what an insidious addiction.
    Hash Heroes & Herion………..

    • Tragic, Pegs, that’s just so sad. What a shocking experience for you to have so young. What do you make of it and how it has affected your world from the point of view you have now?
      If I may be so bold.

      And yes, Philip’s children are such lovely creatures with their russet hair and big brown eyes, so very young all three.

      I also immediately felt awful for his partner, who must have been pushed to her limits by his dangerous behaviour and done what she felt was the right thing for her children and now may be questioning herself with his sudden passing.

      • Hey Pegs
        My first love and guy I cohabited with was a heroin addict too. Heroin seems to take the nicest people. By this I mean the sweetest souls with such depth and sensitivity it is almost as if they actually do feel pain more intensely than most. I was 17 too. In the end I left because he kept staying clean “for me”
        His friends used to refer to me as ” the porcelain doll” as in don’t talk about such and such in front of HER. None of his friends were really his friends tho, they were just junkies. He would always be trying to help people out and was constantly getting ripped off and robbed by these so called friends. It was really sad to watch. In the end I realised that whenever he wore a long sleeved T shirt it was to hide track marks.
        I’ve done a lot of crazy shit but never touched heroin.
        Some lines you just do not cross because there is no way back from them. To see him keep trying sincerely to fight his addiction and lose was horrible. Also it was no fun being the only thing standing between him and heroin. I left him but still keep a photo because he was such a beautiful man, not only physically but had a soul that positively ached with beauty.
        I also adored PSH in The Talented Mr Ripley.
        That movie was like going to a brilliant party- except it had A PLOT. I mean all the characters were sexy and volatile – hot.
        I never saw PSM in anything I didn’t think he was completely brilliant in, yet when my dad told me this morning I was not even slightly surprised.
        That kind of intense charisma and electric, magnetic energy…. Well I never looked at him and thought, heroin addict but it made perfect sense when I got the news. It is really sad when people with such potential go lower Neptune. Heath Ledger too.
        Just really sad. Don’t get me started on Winehouse either or I’ll cry. I think she was a fuqin genius and a totally authentic introvert who was completely underrated, seriously damaged and really misunderstood in so many ways. I find it really depressing that these incredibly artistic and sensitive souls, try so hard to beat their demons and fail.
        RIP PSH

      • Andy, profound affects & effects. Coloured my entire life from then on, didn’t love anyone else for 10 years
        after (wasn’t the a musical band :-).
        In retrospect probably the reason i didn’t marry or do babies.

        • ahhh Pegs ;(

          It ripped through my family – sister, brother-in-law – and my young adult community too, the first at 15 years old – sydney 70s and 80s – caused my mother’s attempted suicide and eventual death. Sorry – but when I see and hear junkies on the street I feel like slapping them – heroin eventually modifies the body, gait and voice so its pretty conspicuous. Now the era of hillbilly heroin has arrived – pharmacological substitutes. Hugs.

          • So sorry Pegasus :( , what a ravaging beast heroin brings out in our world, just as it seems those that take crave bliss and peace.

            And Quintile, I don’t have words.
            Hugs to you, xx.

  17. How sad you lost your true love in this fashion and quite understandable that you didn’t know. x

  18. Totally shocked when I heard this. Definitely one of my favorite actors — he was one of those actors who seemed to be in EVERYthing, and yet was so different in each role, so versatile. Really, really sad.

  19. i’m sad, especially for his family, but i get it. perhaps his darkness just became too much for him. as someone who has lived with inner darkness for much of my life, heroin was one of the only things that took it away, made it tolerable and beautiful. not friendship, nor love, nor success, nor physicality (though yoga seems to be working pretty well), nor (especially) family. there’s nothing like heroin to make it ok to live another day. so, mr hoffman, bon voyage. you will be remembered as one of the greats. thank you.

  20. Like everyone here I feel so devastated for the loss of such a talent. What a terrible waste, the work that now won’t see the light of day because he is gone.
    Any loss to drugs is of course devastating. I look at the wreckage heroin has left through my own family: two beautiful, bright cousins, great starts in life, wonderful parents, now estranged barely alive junkies. The shadows on the faces of my aunts and uncles when they speak of them (which mostly they just won’t) and the terrible mix of fear and steely inevitability in their eyes whenever the phone rings. My girl cousin had child after child including one heroin baby all of whom are now adopted out to other families. My boy cousin’s whereabouts, last time I heard, are unknown.

  21. Pegs, Blue Moon and Quintile, I am sure you guys and other had an ache as you read the words above…every time I see the word heroin my heart seems to sink. Like you Pegs I was sooo naive and thought my sweet Scorp had extra long showers and liked thinking in the loo! How duh is that? Of course I soon caught on with the Jekyll and Hyde behaviour etc. Many of were so kind to me as I went through the journey of denial and then what if…
    Our divorce finally came through and when we last met he had beautiful gifts for my daughter and myself and was just so loving and sweet….so of course I started doubting…what if…should I try harder etc. However I feel i have made the right decision as my daughter is so much happier. My ex’s children from previous relationships are still suffering as babies who grew up in a heroin addict’s home. One of them had both parents on heroin-she now has babies from various guys and is also experimenting with drugs-again so young at just 19. Again such tortured, beautiful, brilliant, creative, sad souls. I just don’t understand the waste of it all…. My ex is now 53, he was introduced to heroin by his first serious love at age 17. She was 25 and a model! She quit but he became hooked. Still at 53 he looks fab, six pack, full head of hair and looks like a surfie. When he uses for a few months though, he gets that feral look about him – furtive, manipulative…I am so glad I am out of it. I just wished I had never been touched by it. It was my growing up. I used to be so naive before I met him…I did not even know what stoned looked like. My kids unfortunately learned about it too early…but are stronger for it…. As for doctors…my ex scoffed and asked me if I really think they want addicts cured when it is a billion dollar industry? wheels within wheels.
    Sigh! Sorry for the rant guys…

    • Sorry for the typos – I meant many of you Mystic-ers were so kind to me as I went through this journey…your advice was so valued by me. I can never thank you guys and Mystic enough for your kindness.

  22. “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. … For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
    As Jupiter takes us home.
    Such a loss, I wonder how and when he will return.
    Pluto in Virgo we thank you for your gifts.

    I wish no one would die from drugs.

  23. Thinking about why this story is so upsetting..
    It’s really because he is the classic theatrical super-brain, with charm and appeal, kindness and depth. He was a success in his personal and professional life in a way that our culture apparently supports whole heartedly.

    Yet he STILL couldn’t get through this life with all those blessings!

    It’s that that makes me feel the pain and doubt for a moment.. that the human race can cope with the daily onslaughts life brings.

    But as my friend said in the hospice the other month before she passed: “I don’t think I’m coming out of this alive!”. And we all don’t, and we all do in different ways. I hope his soul finds rest now his body has.


    ~What have I become, my sweetest friend?

    I wear this crown of thorns upon my liars chair..

    You are someone else, I am right here….

    You can have it all, my empire of dirt…

    I will let you down, I will make you hurt~

    Me and the wine bottle have known this story.

    Johnny knows what he’s singin’ about. He literally had an experience where he saw the light and that saved him. Moon in Scorpio, 8th…Sun/Mercury/Mars in Pisces, 12th.

    Makes me feel like cryin’. x