From “Elizabeth” by Alexander Walker:

“I realize that my whole life is being in motion pictures.  For me to quit would be like cutting away the roots of a tree…I’ve made up my mind for myself and I’ll take all the hardship and everything else that comes along.”

(from a note to her mother in her early teens)

This is the first of an astrobiographical series about the life of Elizabeth Taylor, in which I hope to cover various aspects of her life, such as health, relationships and her work.  I am starting with the birthchart.

Film stardom is a province of Sun in Pisces, through its ruling planet Neptune, and Elizabeth Taylor was the film star par excellence.  She also had chronic health conditions, which can sometimes beset Sun in Pisces in difficult aspect.  Thirdly, she was outstanding in her charity work (also Pisces/Neptune) in her chosen field of AIDS.

J. Randy Taraborrelli describes in his entertaining biography “Elizabeth” some quintessential Piscean traits: “Though she could be tremendously self-absorbed, she could also be a good and loyal friend, especially to the downtrodden and confused people in her life – as she would demonstrate countless times”.

Moon in Scorpio gave her the ability to feel and portray in-depth  emotions, and a penchant for drama.

Mercury in Pisces in her chart is exactly opposite natal Neptune (channelling but also obfuscation) portrays the fact that she would dip in to the collective unconscious with her mind and her heart.  Pisces is one of two main signs of acting talent. Leo is the other, home of showmanship and drama. Pisces represents the sensitivity and fluidity which allows the self, chameleonlike, to almost become the character one is portraying.

Venus is in Aries conjunct Uranus in the house of lovers.  One would expect a woman of legendary beauty to have something special going on with her Venus. Elizabeth’s Venus in Aries is selfishly demanding in love, and is conjoined with Uranus giving her tremendous personal social magnetism.   A trine with Jupiter proliferated and magnified all these qualities, social skills and abundant jewels.

Her Ascendant was in Sagittarius exactly sextile Midheaven in Libra, so she was able to combine her lifestyle, character,  and career more naturally than most.  It was the film with the horse (Sagittarius), “National Velvet”, which made her famous.  She had a lucky Sagittarian streak of being in the right place at the right time, reinforced by the Part of Fortune conjunct Jupiter, though would not be considered lucky in health matters or marriages (these are other stories, for later in the series).  The exact sextile of her Ascendant with the Libran Midheaven (persona in the world) shows that she was born to make a career or reputation out of her beauty and artistry, a career which was forged very early on in her life.

She had Saturn in the 2nd House of Finance, which is often found in charts of millionaires who attend to their pennies.  That should give hope to those who have that placing natally!  But money was more complex for Elizabeth, as she did like to spend freely, and more telling was Pluto in the 8th House of Money and Jewels from Others, which meant that emotionally she invested heavily in those resources, with great rewards.  Alexander Walker writes, in his definitive biography “Elizabeth”: “Money was for impulsive spending; that’s what money was for – though on scenting a bargain, Elizabeth’s face would set hard,  her eyes narrow suspiciously and ‘then she became a pirate, proud of her high art as a chiseller.’ “

In the 3rd house of Siblings and Communication she had Mars, and the Sun with Mercury, stressing the importance of the male principle in her sibling relationship.  Her brother Howard was a loyal stabilizing factor in her life.  With these planetary placings too, she was forthright in her verbal expression, and to some extent was self-educated.

In the 6th House of Health and Working Conditions she had Chiron (the Wounded Healer) opposing the Moon in the 12th House of Chronic Health, and squaring her Part of Fortune.  Her delicate health affected her on a daily basis, as well as working schedules and the lives of fellow employees.  She had an extraordinary capacity for battling through these conditions, with Pluto closely sextile her Chiron assisting her recuperative powers.

The 7th House of Marriages is ruled by Gemini, which indicates the multiplicity in this area of life!  The stories of her relationships are fascinating, and I hope to devote one Part of this series alone to her relationship with Richard Burton, a legendary union.

She virtually created the mould for that all-encompassing fame and film stardom, which has become an obsession in our society.   Elizabeth’s life story is extraordinary in that she seemed to live several lives in one.  Pisces is the zodiac sign which aims to perfect a round of lives, or even step off the wheel of rebirth.

In Part 2, I aim to record her early life and relationship with her parents, and look at this theme in more detail in relation to her birth chart.