Frida Kahlo: Is There a Price to Pay for Genius? Astrology Musings

Photo by Olga Kalinina on Pexels.com

Frida Kahlo is one of the most iconic and celebrated symbolic-realist artists of the 20th century, but her short life was painful and ultimately tragic, yet nevertheless full. Is there such a thing as a trade off between genius and pain?

Such was her fame that even during her lifetime, in 1942, one of her paintings sold for over $3 million at Sotheby’s.

When I first looked at her chart I noted that the three so-called outer planets (which are invisible to the naked eye and therefore not luminaries) are in key sensitive points.

I have long thought that Uranus, Neptune and Pluto and their supposed influences are something to be avoided, or overcome, even though they might put the individual in touch which certain deeper, darker and ultimately dangerous forces of our universe. Uranus may bring originality but can disrupt suddenly; Neptune may inspire but confuses and befuddles; and Pluto might provide intensity but undermines darkly.

At the age of 6 Frida contracted polio which left her with one leg shorter than the other. Later, through sports, she built up her body strength with characteristic resolve and went to one of Mexico‘s best schools.

A Life Changing Accident

Then fate intervened again when she was severely injured in a horrific road traffic accident in Mexico City in 1925. It was a life changing experience which she never truly overcame, but such was her intense lust for life and experience, she got through it, despite numerous operations, including a leg amputation later on.

During this early period following the accident, she began to paint and this was the beginning of her career which saw her later exhibiting as far a field as New York and Paris.

Due to the intense pain and the resulting depression she also developed a drinking habit but always lived life to its fullest.

‘The Heroine of Pain’ What Does the Astrology Say?

There is little wonder that in her native Mexico she is referred to as ‘the heroine of pain‘ – ‘la heroina del dolor’. She certainly seems to have had that air of greatness about her which only few achieve during their lifetime – but at what price?

She has Leo rising with Mercury in the 1st house. Here is the lust for life and creativity and to express it.

However, her ruler the Sun is immersed in the ocean of a 12th house Cancer conjunct Neptune, forming the most difficult and trying figure in the chart.

This subconsciously embedded conjunction is opposed by a practical Mars conjunct Uranus in the 6th house of health and efficiency. This activation of the 6th/12th house axis might well have been behind the motivation to seek a career in medicine in her early teens.

A Potential Career in Medicine

She would appear to have been as much interested in mental as well as physical health, especially so as an exalted Jupiter is also in the 12th house quite close to her north node; she might well have become a doctor of psychology or psychiatry if things had been different, yet other medical paths could have suited. But it wasn’t to be. Any aptitude toward practical medicine was firmly rebuked by fate, steering her toward creative art with a symbolic edge.

Whilst Neptune close to the Cancerian Sun might at best be inspirational, its major influence is to subconsciously confound and upset, affecting her psychologically. This may suggest the subconscious symbolism of her art. Sun Cancerians are family orientated but happiness in this area of her life was to prove elusive.

Opposing the Sun/Neptune conjunction, Mars/Uranus only antagonise and disrupt, the martian strength being exalted in Capricorn, yet is physically embattled and irritated by revolutionary Uranus. The exact opposition between the Sun and Mars illustrates the intense attraction to men she had but also the difficulty in maintaining steady relationships, even though she only married one man – twice.

This opposition of conjunctions effectively energises the whole chart, mimicking the explosive drama of her life.

A Ribbon Around a Bomb?

Psychologically Frida was deep, intensely emotional but had an exacting attitude too. Her Venus, ruler of the MC and 10th house of career, is closely conjuct the undermining influence of Pluto in the 11th house, challenged by Saturn from the 8th. This also reflects her intense relationships and friendships, her difficulty with them, as well as her interest in feminine identity. Venus Pluto and a Taurean MC suggest the intense realism and symbolism of her art.

Her Moon exalted in Taurus in the 10th house is also void of course in the last degree of the Bull. Whilst this might add a certain steadiness to her emotional responses, she might also have felt as if she was always fighting against time. Void of course Moons are difficult to assess in natal charts, but this is my take.

She was once described as being a ribbon around a bomb. Whether that is accurate or not, she was certainly one of the most naturally gifted, intensively creative female artists of any period. Iconic indeed.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Pexels.com
What the cards reveal: Centre card, consciously; left card: subconsciously; right card: manifesting.


Copyright Francis 2022

‘Not a Day Without a Line’ Emile Zola. Astrology Bites

Born with a stellium of luminaries in an Aries 5th house, Émile Édouard Charles Antoine Zola was a powerful, outspoken, creative and prolific individual.

His Mercury closely conjunct Mars, Pluto and Moon in Aries gave him the energy and compulsion to write, to communicate and express himself. He had an ultra sharp, critical mentality, with imagination (Neptune 3rd house sextile Sun 5th) which made him a fine journalist as well as novelist and playwright. This conjunction’s close trine to the 1st house Saturn provides an important resolve and determination to keep going, forged through earlier disappointments.

His powerful and incise Mercury is ruler of the 7th and 10th houses of relationships and career, energising both areas. His relationship with the painter Cezanne was important to him, but they fell out over Zola’s portrayal of the bohemian tendencies of artists.

Controversy

He also courted controversy later in his reaction to the Dreyfus affair. Venus, always a significator of relationships, is conjunct disruptive Uranus in the 4th house; relationships in general seem to have been unusual and something of a challenge, a difficulty, although he remained close to his mother and cared for her (Jupiter trine Venus/Uranus 4th house).

His Saturn is not really at home in his Sagittarian first house; he could be quite reticent with people, at first. His chart ruler, Jupiter is equally awkwardly placed in the Scorpio 12th house; despite his many natural creative talents, loneliness and disappointment were often visitors, though periods of deep introspection could be beneficial. A writer must essentially work alone, so such experiences would have been formative in the long run.


Copyright Francis 2022

Tarot Cards Review: ‘Ancien Tarot de Marseille’, Grimaud Cartomancie

I have been fascinated by, if not the greatest practitioner of tarot since I was a teenager.

My love of astrology has generally kept me from continually using tarot over the last thirty years or so. This is no excuse, as both methods of divination are generally complementary.

For a time, somewhere in the 1980s, I did use a deck called ‘astro tarot’, which I think you can still buy, but I ‘lost’ these years ago.

In more recent times, particularly over the last few years, I have been drawn more fully into the mysterious and magical world of tarot, its practise and its disputed history.

Most particularly I have learned to respect and invariably use Tarot de Marseille (TDM), rather than the more well known Rider-Waite style tarot decks.

I much prefer the ‘unillustrated’ pip cards of TDM; I don’t like my intuition being influenced too much by the more illustrative and suggestive Rider-Waite, particularly in the swords suit, where, for example, if one draws the Nine of Swords, this can leave people quite worried!

No, I much prefer to stick to basics: swords is the mind, our thoughts and 9 is attainment. It is up to the tarot reader to interpret this. But more of this in another piece some other time.

One particular deck I’ve enjoyed for some time is the Grimaud Cartomancie TDM, ‘Ancien Tarot de Marseille’. It comes in a beautifully presented, sturdy box, with the usual mini-book with basic interpretive ideas – in French.

The illustrations are very clear and basic, with strong colours and bold black linework. The word is emphatic, which I like. The card stock is likewise quite sturdy with a grey-blue patterning on the reverse.

The history of TDM, like all tarot, is complex. There are many variations of TDM but this overall style developed, as the name suggests, in the south of France, but also has strong links to northern Italy, Switzerland and even southern Germany over the years.

In other words, this card style does not owe everything to the city of Marseilles, which could be regarded as a name of convenience – and it sounds good too, doesn’t it? After developing from the seventeenth century onwards, it was in 1930 when Paul Marteau of the Grimaud family truly established and perpetuated this particular artistic style of TDM.

I am very glad that he did, as these cards are a particular favourite of mine and I would very much recommend them.

Copyright Francis 2021

‘Lost In A Lost World’ — Read the lyrics

This is the opening track on The Moody Blues 1972 album, Seventh Sojourn.

The song title, ‘Lost in a Lost World’ speaks for itself. If anything, the lyrics are more appropriate now than they were 49 years ago — they are quite profound and prophetic, a very sad testimony to where we are now, what we have become.

But there is always hope. Even if it feels that we have been deserted, goodness can and will return. That process begins by understanding the truth…through prayer…and through love.

Copyright Francis 2021

Renaissance Science – IV — The Renaissance Mathematicus (Reblog)

We have now reached the period of history that the majority of people automatically think of when the hear or read the name, The Renaissance. The majority probably also think, when the hear the term, of a period in European art history, often called the Italian Renaissance, doing which the great artists Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael […]

Renaissance Science – IV — The Renaissance Mathematicus

anmar news • week #1 — Marina Kanavaki (Reblog)

It’s been 9 days since the launch of my design site, anmar* As this is an evolving project, small changes take place constantly in order to make it easier to navigate and as informative as possible. One of those changes was adding a “latest posts” list on the main page. So here’s a review in […]

anmar news • week #1 — Marina Kanavaki