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Ingénue to Femme fatale and Laughing stock to Living legend

A brief astrobiographical sketch of Elizabeth Taylor

------ © Dr. Satya Prakash Choudhary

I was never much interested in movies except for the technical side. I had always considered film as a very powerful medium for creative work, but was not much interested beyond the technical aspects of film. But astrology brought me closer to many other things that I would never ever have thought of doing. I remember vividly that beautiful evening when I lay on my back on the sand watching the blue sky. The roar of the ocean seemed to echo the eternal vibration 'Aum' in my heart. I was in one of those meditative moods of mine, listening to the thunderously pounding waves. Breaking the silence the old man sitting near me started a conversation. Needless to say I was not in a mood to talk. He was one of those people who talk passionately about things they like or dislike, regardless of whether one wants to listen or not. I had no choice.

In a few minutes I realized that he was a movie buff. He talked non-stop about movies, actors and actresses. Soon he started talking about his favorite actress. "Though I have to admit that her stormy personal life has overshadowed her career, she was the ultimate movie star, violet-eyed, luminously beautiful, and most magnetic. She commanded the spotlight with unmatched power. Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful women to ever grace the screen." he went on passionately. The old man obviously adored the actress.

The evening had faded into darkness and the stars lit the dark sky. I realized that he had been talking for nearly two hours. On one hand I was a bit irritated that I let this stranger break my meditative mood, while on the other I was curious to know more about this 'violet- eyed, luminously beautiful actress'. He had succeeded in stirring up in a corner of my mind an interest that when once awakened does not let an astrologer sleep. I had to see her chart. But before that I had to know more about her. Of course the best way was to browse the net. Sure enough, late into the night, I was sitting in front of the computer, searching the web as I typed in the name that millions adore - Elizabeth Taylor.

In a few hours, I had printed more than 30 pages about her life, her films and her photographs. I was intrigued by what I read. "Few figures have been the recipient of such adoration, the target of such ridicule, or the subject of such gossip and innuendo, and where so many before and after her withered and died in the intense glare of their fame, Elizabeth thrived- celebrity was her life blood," the words that I had read on the internet seemed to ring in my ears. I didn't care much for the countless scandals since I knew that when it comes to celebrities no triumph or setback is too personal for media consumption. Everything is fodder for the press. But what amazed me were the multiple medical problems and 8 unsuccessful marriages! And of course her highly interesting career graph. The astrologer in me was wide awake. Soon enough I had her sidereal chart cast with Lahiri ayanamsa in front of me. A cursory glance reveals a few notable points.

Birth Details: 2:15 am, 27 th Feb 1932, London ; (Source: Astrodatabank)

 

The data reliability is "A" on Rodden rating system ('A' is accurate data as quoted by a relative ). Astrodatabank gives the time of birth as 2:15 am. David Heymann in his biography of Elizabeth Taylor titled "Liz", gives it as 2:00 am. Between the two there is a difference of 15 minutes. It should be pointed out that generally biographers are not very astrology conscious in recording the birth time. They sometimes round it off to the nearest figure, which in this case is 2:00 am. I actually did a painstaking verification of most details of her life. The divisional charts hold the key in all such cases. From the events that I currently know of her life, I prefer to use 2:15 as the birth time. The divisional charts seem to be correct as I used them (I have studied the D-1, D-3, D-7, D-9, D-10 and D-12 only).

 

Balarishta and Arishtabhanga

 

  • To start with, a waning Moon is in an enemy's sign (Libra) in the 12 th and is aspected by a malefic Saturn. A probable case for Balarishta (illness during childhood).

 

  • The lagna lord Mars who is also the 6 th L is combust in the 4 th . So is the 8 th and 11 th Lord Mercury! Mercury is on the same degree as the Sun.

 

  • Natural malefics Sun and Mars as well as Mercury who is a conditional malefic, are all in the 4 th house, a quadrant. The other quadrants are unoccupied. The Kendras (quadrants) are pivotal and called the 'vishnu sthanas'. Malefics in kendras weaken or spoil a chart as they are the pillars of the chart.

 

The chart is undoubtedly a highly illness prone chart. In some cases it even leads to death in childhood. But if there is a cancellation of the arishtas, it would lead to illness, or a close brush with death at the most, but not death. Is there any such Arishtabhanga (cancellation of arishta) in this chart? There is such a cancellation indeed.

 

  • An exalted benefic Jupiter is located in the most benefic 9 th house, a trine.
  • Saturn in 3 rd in Capricorn

 

Though there are some other lesser benefic factors, the above two are the strongest protective influences that are more than sufficient to cancel the arishta. One thing that needs to be remembered here is that an arishta existed in the first place. It then got cancelled. In other words, the native though illness prone will be able to overcome the illnesses. Arishtabhangas, neechabhangas and vipareeta raja yogas are normally seen in the charts of 'survivors' . Elizabeth is truly a survivor.

 

What about the balarishta (illness/death in childhood) arising from the Moon in the 12 th ? Though the benefic and protective influence will help the native to overcome death, there would be some concern. Sure enough, Liz (as Elizabeth Taylor is popularly known) did have glandular problems at birth! When she was 3 year old, probably during Jup-Ketu, infected abscesses in both of her ear canals had to be repeatedly lanced, a procedure that proved so painful that she had to sleep while sitting up for fear of placing too much weight on one side of the head or the other. Ketu signifies infective diseases while the 11 th rules left ear. Jupiter from the 9 th aspects the 3 rd (right ear). She was born in Jup-Sat, both the planets which had cancelled the arishtas in her chart!

 

Relocation and foreign residence

 

Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor was born in London . Her parents were American. Her parents had gone to London as art dealers. Her mother had given up her acting career on stage, when she got married. Her father had set up an art gallery. It looked like they were settled in London . But a heavily afflicted 4 th house coupled with an exalted 2 nd lord in the 9 th as well as the 9 th lord in the 12 th had different plans for the beautiful little Elizabeth . When the dark clouds of war began brewing in 1939, the family relocated to Los Angeles , California where Mrs. Taylor's own family had moved. Mr. Taylor followed not long afterward, after wrapping up loose ends of the art business. Liz was running Jup- Sun. The Dasha lord Jupiter whose dasha balance she was born with, is 2 nd and 5 th lord, exalted in the 9 th while Sun is the 10 th lord in the afflicted 4 th . No wonder she had to achieve distinction abroad first. More on the role of the 10 th lord Sun in the afflicted 4 th later.

Let us examine the planetary influences that indicate relocation to another country, in other words foreign residence.

 

  • A weak 9 th Lord in the 12 th indicates that a person will go abroad and attain distinction there , while she may not achieve the same in the country of birth. But a strong or exalted 9 th lord in the 12 th , indicates that one attains distinction in own country first and then goes abroad. In Liz's chart, it is a weak 9 th Lord Moon in the 12 th . She couldn't have attained success first in her birthplace. But the extraordinary dasha sequence had to give her success. The only way was to relocate her. The war was an excuse to do that.

 

  • According to Parasara, Venus in 6,8,12 from Moon means travel abroad. In Liz's chart Venus is in the 6 th from Moon. Moreover her Venus is with Rahu, the planet for foreign influences.

 

  • Moon in the 12 th (according to Chamatkar Chintamani) gives foreign travel.

 

  • The fourth house indicates residence. Affliction to this house, especially by Mars or Rahu can take a person abroad, if other factors exist. Otherwise it just means lack of domestic harmony or a bad home environment / residence. Relocation brings its own problems or challenges as a person learns to acclimatize. The role of an afflicted 4H is very important in this regard. In Liz's chart the 4H is heavily afflicted. The combust ascendant lord Mars is sitting there accompanied by a combust Mars and the 10L Sun. Sun in the 4 th (Chamatkar Chintamani) can give a distinguished profession and life in a foreign land.

 

  • An exalted 2 nd Lord in the 9 th is a wealth giving (Dhana) yoga. Moreover, being the 9 th it can mean riches abroad. Even otherwise Jupiter in the 9 th with or aspected by Saturn makes one lecture, preach or do some public or humanitarian work abroad with missionary zeal. That she is an indefatigable crusader in the battle against AIDS is well known. 9 th lord (of dharma) in the 12 th house (of philanthropy) has made her take up charitable work.

Upon the death of her friend, Rock Hudson in 1985, she began her crusade on behalf of AIDS sufferers. It was Ketu-Jupiter. The role of her bhukti lord Jupiter in the 9 th aspected by Saturn from the 3 rd has already been discussed.

 

Afflicted fourth house and its influence on the tenth house and career

 

I should now expand more on the role of the afflicted 4 th house in Elizabeth 's chart. But first I will quote from my editorial titled 'The role of the Dasamsa in the Rise and fall in one's Career and Status' from the January 2003 issue of the OZCVA' s quarterly 'The Vedic Light' .

 

" While the 9 th house signifies dharma, the tenth signifies svadharma. While dharma is universal to a certain extent, svadharma is very much individual and varies from individual to individual. Now what is svadharma? Simply put svadharma is " what an individual needs to do with his/her life in order to evolve" . But spiritual evolution, rather the ascent back to the original state, the cosmic roots, is also linked to liquidation of karma. Thus the tenth house affords us a chance to liquidate karma through one's career or whatever one most naturally is suited to do. The 4/10 axis is very enigmatic and probably one of the least understood in a way. A word about the Meridian axis or the 4/10 axis.

 

The fourth house is a house of inward and personal life as opposed to outward and social concerns (seen in the opposite tenth house). Matters that support one's existence both on physical and emotional levels come under this house. The fourth house symbolizes at a broader level all that is supportive of your physical existence, thus signifying the home, mother (or anybody who fulfils the mother like nurturing and supportive role) , one's forbears, native land, past and tradition. Among all the above, the home is the most personal and intimate life. It is the support under one's feet. Your home is the piece of earth where you settle down and put out roots. It is the place of intimate personal life to which you retire after a day of confronting the outer social world. The idea of belonging is the main point of this house. Real estate, land and agriculture also belong to this house. Hence a loaded 4 th house could symbolize a sense of insecurity that can perhaps drive you to get more land, property and houses to compensate the inner conflict, or to fill the inner void. The fourth house governs the feelings of belonging, being at home, and being connected. It symbolizes psychological structures that are genetically inbuilt or formed in earliest life. More number of planets in the fourth house, indicate a strong personal, subjective manner of dealing with the world, making you an introvert. You need to feel secure, making the need for a sense of belonging very important. At a root level, this house speaks of your basic securities (or insecurities). One's desire to achieve stability and to put down roots is seen here. Consequently, 4 th house events are related to one's search for situations and people who can offer material and moral security. A negative manifestation could indicate lack of the much-needed support or conflict at home . But this is exactly what drives one to the opposite house as a compensation .

The tenth house symbolizes your role in the outside world, a state that you aspire to, your svadharma- your very own purpose in life. Tenth house matters not only draw you away from the concerns of your family and home, but can also be very fulfilling. Anything and anybody capable of influencing your social status also comes under this house. The tenth house includes among others, career, profession, honor from people of authority, work of or in the government, service, commerce, self-respect, fame, influence and status. More planets here signify a need to achieve and be recognized as a person of importance. While the 1/7 axis tells us about how one (1 st ) interacts with others, how one reaches out to the others (7 th ), the 4/10 axis tells about one's sense of identity, about the way one expresses oneself, the objective towards which one is working, and the experiences from which one is coming. While the 4 th house indicates your sense of identity, who you are, the tenth indicates what you aspire for, what you need to do in order to grow. Thus in a way the 10 th holds the key to the enigma of the 4 th . The 4 th represents the unconscious workings of your mind, and how you externalize them in the Tenth. As the karmasthana, the tenth house can represent the ultimate blossoming of karma. Career affords one a chance to liquidate karma by living out one's personal dharma (svadharma). That is why the highest manifestation of Ketu in the 10 th is self-realisation (remember Ketu in the 10 th in ideal conditions can give self-realisation as in the case of Sri Ramakrishna). "

 

In Elizabeth 's chart, as already stated the 4H is heavily afflicted. The combust ascendant lord Mars is accompanied by a combust Mars and the 10L Sun, all in the 4th. Firstly a loaded and afflicted 4 th can indicate some conflict, some discontentment, and a consequent unconscious drive, a search for people, situations and places that might offer material and moral security, thus trying to compensate for the much needed support system. It is not uncommon for the significations of one house being projected onto the opposite house whenever such compensation mechanisms occur. Part of the rationale behind every planet aspecting and thereby influencing the opposite house/sign, in Hindu astrology, is this principle of polarity, where houses may be seen as pairs influencing each other. So the discontentment indicated by the afflicted fourth can not only relocate the person to other places and countries (if other factors confirm) but also be projected on to the tenth house which can draw the focus away from the inner discontentment, the concerns of the home and heart. In Elizabeth 's case this is further confirmed by the 10 th lord Sun in the 4 th .

 

According to Chamatkar Chintamani, Sun in the 4th can give a distinguished or honorable profession and life in a foreign land. Though sattvic, for most practical and mundane purposes the Sun is kroora (cruel). But it is good for career, especially in the 4 th where it aspects the 10 th fully. Yet it does create some conflict, some discontentment, leading to relocation and subsequent distinction in a foreign land. This is the logic behind Chamatkar Chintamani's dictum. When such a Sun is also the 10 th lord and is supported by other planets like Mars, it only strengthens the case. The vipareeta raja yoga created by the conjunction of the 6 th and 8 th lords Mars and Mercury also happens in the same house. To some extent, the principle that 'a man must rise by that which he falls', finds expression in vipareeta raja yogas . Initial bitter circumstances almost always precede the raja yoga. Initial difficulties followed by a resounding success can be seen in such cases. That these planets are conducive to her career becomes clear from the dasamsa chart. Whenever planets connected to the 10 th house (or the 4 th ) in the rasi chart are well placed in the dasamsa, they invariably prove good as far as career matters are concerned. In the dasamsa while Mars is placed in own sign Aries in the 5 th (trikona), Sun and Mercury are in the 7 th in Gemini aspecting her dasamsa lagna Sagittarius. Mercury is also the tenth lord in dasamsa. Furthermore the dasamsa lagna lord Jupiter is aspecting all these planets.

 

After moving to LA, a family friend noticed the beautiful little Elizabeth and suggested that she be taken for a screen test. Needless to say, she passed and was signed to a contract with Universal Studios on September 18, 1941. On this day transiting Moon was in the 10 th house in natal chart. Mercury who is aspecting the 10 th house from the 4 th in the rasi chart, is also the 10 th lord in both the navamsa and dasamsa. He was transiting virgo which is the 10 th house in both the dasamsa as well as navamsa. The only work that Universal offered her consisted of a few days' labour in a movie titled There's One born Every Minute. But Universal dropped her short of her tenth birthday seeing not much worth in her.

 

But soon Liz was to enter Jup-Rahu's vimshottari dasa which had better plans for her. By canceling Elizabeth 's contract, Universal had done itself an even greater disservice. As time would tell, it had committed one of the costliest misjudgments in cinematic history. Rahu in the 5 th (a trine) with 7 th lord Venus (Kendra lord) forms a raja yoga (Parasara). Furthermore it is an exalted Venus. An exalted 2 nd lord (riches) Jupiter in the 9 th forms a wealth giving combination (dhana yoga). In addition to being the 5 th Lord (where the Raja yoga of Rahu and Venus occurs) he is aspecting them! The house lord (dispositor) is aspecting the house that already carries the promise of a dhana yoga involving two exalted planets! Both Jupiter and Rahu are connected to the D-10 lagna. While Jupiter is the lagna lord in the 11 th , Rahu is in the lagna in dasamsa. Planets connected to the lagna of a divisional chart are very conducive to the matters signified by that particular divisional chart, more so if the rashi chart already holds the promise. Could she ask for more? But what in the first place brought her to movies?

 

Cinema/Film career

People with a Venus conjunct or aspected by Saturn generally have artistic inclinations. In her case Venus (films, drama) is in the 5th house of creativity and is aspected by 3 rd lord Saturn from the 3 rd House (of movies and acting). In D9 (navamsa) Venus is in the 3rd house with another 3 planets. Her 3rd house in the D9 is heavily focused. When such a Venus participates in dhana yogas and Raja yogas, an extraordinary career in acting is what it is capable of giving. Being conjunct with Venus, the shadowy planet Rahu gets all these qualities in a magnified manner. No wonder Liz actually became a child star in his sub-period.

 

Planetary influences pointing to a career in acting/films:

•  3 rd lord Saturn very strong in shadbala in the 3 rd house.

•  Venus is also very strong in shadbala and is exalted in the 5 th house of creativity

•  3 rd house has high strength (bhava bala)

•  Venus in Pisces in the 5 th gives good artistic talents but needs a push to bring them out.

•  The 10 th lord of the Rasi chart is with Venus in D-9

•  Saturn aspecting Venus gives artistic inclinations

•  In D-9, she has 5 th lord Mars in the ascendant, Moon in the 5 th house and a heavily loaded 3 rd house with Venus, Sun, Mercury and Ketu.

•  In her rasi (natal chart) judging from her Moon as ascendant (Chandra Lagna) her 3 rd and 5 th lords are in mutual aspect. What's more her 3 rd lord Jupiter is exalted in the 10 th and is aspected mutually by Saturn the 5 th lord.

•  An exalted Venus as Atmakaraka in the 5 th from Janma lagna and second (dhana prapthi) from the Arudha lagna. The presence of another exalted benefic -Jupiter- in a trine from the Atmakaraka strengthens the probability of yoga through Venusian matters. And all this in the 5 th house of creativity.

 

Another striking feature of her horoscope is the very powerful Gajakesari Yoga in her chart. This yoga is formed when Jupiter occupies a Kendra (1,4,7,10) position in relation to the Moon. This yoga is supposed to make a person 'illustrious, overpowering, virtuous, wealthy and intelligent, of royal bearing and enjoy lasting fame'. This yoga is not that uncommon and is also seen in the charts of ordinary people. It is only when additional benefic factors are present that this yoga is functional. It should be remembered that only a strong Jupiter or Moon can confer such a royal yoga.

 

In Elizabeth 's case Jupiter is exalted making it more powerful. But what makes it more special? The Gajakesari Yoga gets repeated in six of her divisional charts including the D-9, D-3, D-4 and D-7. It is this that makes her yoga unique giving that rare quality. Jupiter and Moon are on the same degree, in a quadrant from each other ensuring that the yoga repeats in some very important divisional charts. I have seen such a close yoga in the chart of another legendary actor of South India , who later became the Chief Minister of the state of Andhra Pradesh - the late N.T. Rama Rao , who was adored by the masses.

Elizabeth was very lucky that she was born with the dasha balance of such an extremely powerful Jupiter. She was destined to make history from a young age! Since Jupiter is in the 10 th from the Moon, it is good for her career. Sometimes people with such a combination even give up or neglect their marriage and children, pursuing the call of their karma (10 th house). In the charts of spiritual persons, it leads to ascetism (as per Manasagari), while in the charts of more materialistic persons, it leads to a career that could overshadow their domestic and married lives. Moreover Jupiter being the significator for wealth, ensures the inflow of wealth through one's own effort. In Elizabeth's case, that it would affect her married life while giving her success in her career becomes clear from the debilitated Jupiter in the D-9 (navamsa is very important in judging married life) where he is the lagna lord.

 

Resuming her story, thanks to her mother's untiring efforts and some friends' help, MGM picked up Liz and made 3 films by 1944. Then came the film that made Elizabeth a star, MGM's 'National Velvet' in 1944. It was a smash hit grossing over $ 4 million. Now she had a long term contract with MGM and was their top child star. When a favourable Raja and Dhana yoga forming Rahu decides to take a person to dizzy heights, what can stop him? But by Dec 1994, Saturn's dasha was to come.

 

The first year of Sat -Saturn (1945) gave her no films. His placement in the 12 th in the dasamsa brings some disappointment or at least changes or ups and downs in career. Normally planets in the trika houses (6 th , 8 th and 12 th ) in the dasamsa indicate ups and downs, obstacles, changes (not necessarily always bad though rise and fall are dramatic at times. Of these the 6 th is probably better as far as work is concerned since it is an 'Upachaya' house (house of improvement/growth). While the first one-third of Saturn-Saturn gave her no films, the remaining of Saturn's antardasa was good. Though Elizabeth returned to films in 1946 again, it was only in 1947 that she starred in Life with father costarring with such cinema heavyweights as William Powell, Irene Dunne, and Zasu Pitts. Throughout the balance of the 40's into the early 50's, she appeared in film after film with mostly good results. But it was Sat-Venus (Sept 51 to Nov 54) that established her as an adult actress and by the time the sub-period of Venus was over, 22 yr old Liz was a beautiful young woman. It was during Sat-Venus that Liz was taken seriously by the critic stand and it was also during this period that even Liz herself has said that it was the first time that she ever thought of herself as an actress. And when the sub-period of Sun followed, it made her very busy in her films. Here again the role of the 10 th lord Sun in the 4 th in the rasi chart has to be emphasized. His placement in the dasamsa strengthens the case as he is aspecting the dasamsa lagna from the 7 th and rules the 9 th , a trikona. Her busiest year to date was also during the same sub-period of Sat-Sun. During this time she had some very good roles to her credit.

 

She was giving some very good performances soon and was nominated for an Academy award in 57. She didn't win. She was nominated in 58 again. Again she lost. She was nominated in 59 again and again she didn't get the honor. Would she get it at all?

 

If there was any planet most disposed to giving her such a unique recognition of her creative talents it was Rahu, the Raja yoga planet who had bestowed upon her, her first foray onto the silver screen, and the planet that made her a top child star. He is well placed to give her the distinction that she deserved by virtue of both his rasi placement as well as dasamsa, where he is in the lagna. Rahu had to finally end the Oscar drought in 1960 allowing Elizabeth to covet the honor at last. She was then running Sat - Rahu. They are in 3/11 to each other and in the 3 rd and 5 th houses respectively. Rahu's role as a raja yoga karaka has already been discussed elsewhere. There were to be no films for Elizabeth for 3 years. She had left MGM after her contract ran out. But her wealth giving 2 nd lord Jupiter exalted in the 9 th (remember he is participating in a very powerful Gajakesari Yoga) and RajaYoga karaka Rahu who is being aspected by Jupiter, had to do something. Before he left, he brought her the legendary role in Cleopatra , for which she was said to receive an unprecedented whopping million dollars! While Rahu paved the way for her first ever million dollars, it was Jupiter who actually stabilized her there. Cleopatra was one of the most expensive productions to date costing $37 million, making it the most costly project in film history. Despite mountains of pre-publicity it was a huge disaster at the box office. She received a million dollar fee for another movie THE VIP's (1963). The influence of the strong Dhana (wealth) yoga revolving around Jupiter is unmistakable. Henceforth Liz commanded no less than a million dollars! But her next few films were lackluster.

Elizabeth was to return to fine form with her role as the loudmouth unkempt Martha in 1966's Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf? As her biographer suggests every other role that she had portrayed to date takes a back seat to her fine performance in this movie. For this she won her well-deserved second Oscar. It was her Merc-Ketu this time. Both the planets were connected to the eleventh house, the place of fulfillment of cherished objectives and aspirations. Mercury was the 8 th (Fame) and 11 th lord in the 4 th in Rahu's nakshatra, while Ketu in the 11 th in Virgo is aspected by Venus. Moreover Mercury and Ketu are in 5/9 relation to each other. Again in the dasamsa chart both Mercury and Ketu are in the 7 th (Gemini an own sign for mercury) aspecting the dasamsa lagna indicating the distinctions that they would confer on her.

 

Nagging Health problems

But what about Mercury's malefic role as a combust 8 th and 11 th lord? It had to do the damage. It did give her nagging health and relationship problems. It should be remembered that no planet is entirely favorable or unfavorable. Every planet that does good might do bad in some other area of life and vice versa. To be able to see both the lighter and darker sides of every dasha/antardasha is the real job of an astrologer. To appreciate this subtlety, we have to turn to Elizabeth 's off screen life.

Rahu who is the best planet for recognition and status conferring powers in Elizabeth 's chart, is also most suited to sap her life energy! It is well known that malefics (especially Rahu) do not guarantee satisfaction or peace though they may make a person rich or famous . The influence of all the planets in the heavily afflicted 4 th house is transferred to Rahu. Why? The combust Ascendant & 6 th lord Mars, Sun and the combust 8 th and 11 th lord Mercury, are all in Rahu's nakshatra Satabisha in the 4 th house! Moreover Venus the 7 th (maraka) and 12 th (trika) is conjunct Rahu while Jupiter the 2 nd lord (maraka) is aspecting Rahu. Furthermore Venus is the 22 nd drekkana lord and is in the 85th Dwadashamsha (22 nd drekkana is the 8 th house in D-3 while 85 th Dwadashamsa is the 8 th house in D-12; it should be remembered that D-3, D-12 and D-30 are the crucial charts apart from the rasi chart in matters of illness and death ). Thus Rahu and Venus, the very planets which gave her success, are also capable of sapping her life energy, threatening her life.

 

On one hand Rahu gave her the first Oscar. But during the same time (Sat-Rahu 1958-61), he gave her persistent health problems. During this period she first came down with what doctors diagnosed as double pneumonia. In November 60, she was treated for meningitis. A few minutes after midnight on March 4, 1961 she became dangerously ill, and had to undergo a life saving emergency tracheotomy. Both the dasha and bhukti lords are related to the 3 rd house (trachea). Saturn is the 3 rd lord in 3 rd while Rahu is in 3 rd lord Saturn's nakshatra. The sub-sub-period lord was Moon (pneumonia?) in the 12 th house of hospitalization. Transiting moon was conjunct natal Moon in the 12 th house of hospitalization. That night the newly hired nurse discovered that Liz was gasping for breath and asked the operator at the Dorchester front desk for a doctor. Luckily they found a lung specialist a few floors away at a stag party. The specialist shook Liz vigorously in an effort to dislodge the congestion that had suddenly blocked her lungs. When she failed to respond, he jammed two fingers down her throat to make her gag and get up. He even pounded her chest. When all this failed, he started gouging first at one eye and then the other with his thumb. The sharp pain forced her finally to take a deep breath. Elizabeth, who was semi-conscious, was now taken to the hospital where a team of surgeons performed a tracheotomy. The medical experts opined that she was suffering from staphylococcal pneumonia, with severe lung congestion. Eddie Fischer's assessment was that the respiratory collapse resulted from her overuse of sedatives and a heavy intake of alcohol. Amid all this, at one point of time, in fact she was actually pronounced dead! Her illness created a lot of sympathy for her. Amid all the turmoil, he gave her the much-coveted Academy award. In fact Liz herself accepted that her first Oscar was a sympathy award.

 

The next time Rahu came (73-75), he along with Mercury plunged her in to drug and alcohol abuse. Mercury is no less dangerous since he is a combust 8 th lord conjunct the 6 th lord Mars. He is also a malefic by being the 11 th lord. He does indicate serious illnesses as the 8 th lord with 6 th lord. Rahu in Pisces can indicate alcohol and drug abuse if other factors exist. Add to this the fact that her chart has the second decante of Scorpio rising with Mars in Aquarius. Watery signs and serpent decantes are dual fold in their significance. Though they could indicate spiritual or mystic experiences when other factors indicate , they could indicate drug and alcohol abuse also. Their role in what is called medical astrology is also well known.

It was Sat-Moon-Merc that brought on chronic back problems to Elizabeth . In November 1956, while aboard Lord Beaverbrook's yacht with her then husband Michael Todd, due to stormy weather and rough seas, Elizabeth lost her footing on the deck one morning and landed flat on her back. David Heymann, her biographer writes that it was this unfortunate fall- and not the fictitious stumble during the filming of National Velvet -which brought on chronic back problems to Elizabeth . Tests revealed that Liz had ruptured two spinal discs and impacted a third. All three had to be removed and replaced with human discs supplied by the hospital's bone bank, reinforced with connective tissue taken from Elizabeth 's hip and pelvis. The complex surgical procedure proved only partially successful. She spent weeks convalescing and in great pain. Her body had to be rotated by nurses every twenty minutes to ensure proper blood circulation. Saturn (bones) was aspecting Moon in the 12 th house of hospitalization in Libra (lumbar region). Both Saturn and Moon are in Paasha drekkanas. The sub-sub-period lord was Mercury (sudden falls) lord of 8 th (chronic or severe health problems) and 11 th , a very malefic planet for Scorpio ascendant. The sub-period lord Moon in the 12 th also indicates the yachting trip in the seas.

As already stated Venus is very life threatening for Elizabeth . As the 22 nd Drekkana lord, 7 th lord (maraka) and 12 th lord (trik) posited in a sarpa drekkana and being aspected by the 2 nd lord Jupiter, conjunct a bad Rahu, Venus is the most dangerous among the planets that could be fatal. Rahu is also quite 'bad' as far as health is concerned. The list of medical problems that Liz suffered from seems endless. According to one account she underwent 73 operations! The conjunction of the 6 th (illness) and 8 th (chronicity and fatality) lords is also a major influence in the unending serious illnesses that she suffers from time to time (the same conjunction of the 6 th and 8 th lords leads to a Vipareeta Raja Yoga like situation as well).

 

I have limited myself to a few important problems here. Now look at her D-30. Lagna lord Jupiter is debilitated and conjunct 3 rd and 8 th lord Venus in the 11 th . Rahu and Ketu are exalted which makes them (especially Rahu) dangerous (in matters of health and longevity, Rahu and Ketu are always taken as malefics) .

 

During Merc-Ven-Rahu, in 1968, she underwent partial hysterectomy. Rahu in the 5 th can indicate problems related to child birth and/or reproductive organs. This gets transferred to both Venus who is conjunct Rahu, and Mercury who is the 8 th lord in Rahu's Nakshatra. In Merc-Rahu, on Nov 27, 1973, she had to undergo exploratory surgery for what was suspected to be cancer but turned out to be an ovarian cyst. Venus-Rahu has proved very malefic for her health. She had hip replacement on Oct 18, 1995. It was Venus-Rahu-Jupiter. Jupiter the sub-sub-period lord is aspecting the dasha and bhukti lords Venus and Rahu from the 9 th house (hips). She had totally 3 hip replacements done. Elizabeth faced another of those life-threatening situations in 1997 (Venus-Rahu-Venus) when it was diagnosed that she had a benign brain tumour. This was in early February. Hindu astrology ascribes tumors to Rahu, among other things. She underwent surgery successfully on 20 th Feb97 to remove the brain tumor when a four-doctor team removed the growth in the lining of the brain behind her left ear. It is significant to note that Venus rules the left ear. After being discharged from the hospital on 26 th Feb 97, she was later rushed back in after suffering a brain seizure. But things were under control. The enigma here is that the self-same Venus and Jupiter who are not good for her health, also cause an arishtabhanga, thereby canceling the death inflicting severity. Yet as the 22 nd drekkana lord, 7 th and 12 th lord in a serpent decante, and in the 85 th dwadashamsa, Venus has to give life-threatening illness. His dasha is also the 5 th . The ensuing Rahu and Jupiter sub-periods brought her recognition from many quarters for her charity work and her crusade against aids. Elizabeth 's current Venus period which ends by 2007 can be dangerous for her, especially the Venus-Mercury period between December 2003 and October 2006.

 

Multiple marriages

Now a word about all her unsuccessful marriages in general. The 4 th house of domestic harmony is afflicted heavily. She also has Kuja (Mars) dosha (spoiling effect). Moreover the natural significator Venus who in her chart is also the exalted 7 th lord (partner) and 12 th lord (bed comforts) is afflicted by Rahu in the 5 th house of emotions. Furthermore Moon in 12 th is also an unfavorable factor for a stable sexual life. When such a 12 th house happens to be Libra, the results are even more pronounced. Furthermore her Venus is in Revati nakshatra ruled by Mercury who also rules her 8 th house of divorce or separation. Venus in Revati aspected by Jupiter is suggestive of multiple relations. 7 th lord (partner) connected to the 8 th (separation or even divorce) does not bode well for relationships. This strengthens the already strong case for separations and multiple marriages.

Now look at her D9 or Navamsa. The lagna (and hence the 7 th ) is a dual sign. The ascendant lord Jupiter is debilitated in the 2 nd house. The ascendant has Mars covering the 1 st (by placement) and 4 th , 7 th , and 8 th (by aspects). All the important houses for marriage, happiness and stability in the D9 are afflicted. A malefic Saturn in the 4 th house of domestic harmony confirms the afflicted 4 th house in the rasi chart. The heavy concentration of the 4 planets in the 3 rd house, especially the conjunction of 6 th Venus and 7 th lord Mercury with Ketu and Sun is equally bad for married life ( whether in the D1 or D9, a conjunction of the 6 th and 7 th lords generally leads to disputes, misunderstandings and unhappiness with the spouse. Ketu and Sun are well known for their separating influences ). But what is it that decisively tells about her multiple marriages? For this I will have to resort to Jaimini methodology.

 

The decisive role of Upapada and Jaimini principles in multiple marriages

From the Jaimini point of view, the single most important factor for married life is the Upapada. The Upapada is nothing but the Arudha of the 12 th also referred to as 'uparudha' or 'gaunapada' . How to arrive at the arudha of any house? Count the number of signs that the lord has progressed from his house. Count as many signs from the lord. The resulting sign is the Arudha lagna. Thus arudhas can be calculated for all twelve houses though some commentators recommend for only 8 important houses.

Now let me calculate Elizabeth Taylor's Uparudha (or Upapada or Gaunapada). As already stated, the Upapada is nothing but the arudha of the 12 th house. The 12 th sign in her natal chart is Libra. Venus is the lord of Libra and is in Pisces which is in the sixth from Libra. So count six signs from Pisces. We arrive at Leo. So Leo is her Upapada or Uparudha. The Upapada is widely used to judge all matters relating to the spouse, apart from the Darakaraka. While there is an entire chapter dealing with the Upapada in 'Brihat Parasara Hora Sastra' here I will touch upon only those verses that shed light on multiple marriages. The verse "svocchaamsesvoccha samsthevaa tungadrstivasaattava." from the 'Upapadaadhyaaya' , sheds light on this. According to this, when the Upapada or the second from Upapada is occupied or aspected by an exalted planet in the rasi or if the said planet is exalted in the navamsa, there will be many good looking spouses. This verse from BPHS has a corresponding Jaimini sutra - "Ucche bahudaara" that speaks of the second from the upapada. There is another verse in the BPHS in the same chapter that speaks of the upapada's role in predicting many spouses.

 

"Upaarudhe dvitiiyevaa mithune samsthitesati

tatrajaatanaro vipra bahudaarayuto bhavet"

 

The above verse means that "If Gemini happens to be either the Uparudha (upapada) or the second from the Uparudha, the (native) individual will have many spouses. Since the word used is " bahu" it has to be at least more than three and not just two.

 

Now let us see Elizabeth 's chart. Her Upapada is Leo. The second from Leo is Virgo which houses Ketu and is aspected by an exalted Venus from Pisces. Thus the second from the Upapada is aspected by an exalted Venus from Pisces. Of course Venus is also the sthira darakaraka (fixed significator for spouse).

 

Now a word on applying the above verses to charts. The presence of one such factor should not be taken blindly as a sure indicator. Additional checks should be done from other angles too before concluding. It is quite common in Jaimini methodology to seek confirmation by counterchecks from the Janma lagna, Arudha pada as well as Upapada in all such matters. In Elizabeth 's case since her Janma lagna (natal ascendant), Arudha lagna (Arudha of the first house) and Upapada (Arudha of the 12 th house), are all in quadrants to each other, the above yoga repeats when reckoned from all the three important lagnas. The exalted Venus is aspecting the second from Janma lagna, Arudha lagna as well as the Upapada. The unstable nature of her relationships/marriages is also indicated by both the Darakaraka and Darapada being in the 12 th from the Arudha lagna.

 

Every angle tells the same story. No wonder 'stability' in married life evaded Elizabeth . A detailed discussion of each of her 8 marriages, other broken engagements and multiple relationships is out of the scope of the present article. Neither does it interest me. In passing let me refer to another interesting chart that satisfies the above discussed Upapada criteria for multiple marriages- that of the Nizam of Hyderabad . His Upapada falls in Gemini. If the Upapada is calculated for the Navamsa also, there too it falls in Gemini. A detailed discussion of the Nizam's chart is beyond the scope of the present article.

 

Children

Elizabeth Taylor has 4 children, 3 own and one adopted. She has 9 grandchildren. All her children were born during Saturn Dasha. The first child Michael Wilding was born on Jan 6 th , 1953. The dashalord Saturn is the 5 th lord in D-7 (Saptamsa is to be seen for matters relating to children). In the rasi chart he is in the 3 rd aspecting the 9 th house. Both the 5 th and 9 th houses are important for children since the 5 th is the house of Beeja (seed or sperm), while the 9 th denotes the Kshetra (field). The sub-period lord Venus is the 9 th lord in D-7 while he is in the 5 th in D-1 or rasi. In D-7 in a female chart, the 9 th house (kshetra) is important for the first child. The transits on the day fulfill Sri K.N. Rao's principle of transits for childbirth. Jupiter was aspecting the natal 9 th lord. Saturn was on the natal 9 th lord and also aspecting the natal 5 th lord and 9 th house of Liz's chart.

 

The second child Christopher Wilding was born on the same day as Elizabeth , Feb 27, 1955, during Sat-Sun. The role of dasa lord Saturn has already been discussed. Sub-period lord Sun is in the 9 th in D-7. In D-1 he is in the nakshatra of Rahu in the 5 th . Moreover in D-7 Rahu is aspecting Sun in the 9 th from the 1 st house. The transits on the day are as follows. Saturn is on the 9 th lord and aspecting 5 th lord and 9 th house. Jupiter is aspecting the 9 th lord. Venus and Mercury are aspecting both the 5 th lord and the 9 th house. Mars is aspecting 9 th lord, 5 th lord, 9 th house and ascendant while Moon is aspecting the 9 th lord.

 

The 3 rd child Liza Todd was born on Aug 6 th , 1957 during Sat- Mars. Mars is the 5 th lord in D-9 while he is in the nakshatra of Rahu in the 5 th in D-1. In transit Jupiter was aspecting the 5 th house. Mars was aspecting the lagna and 5 th house. Moon was on Liz's lagna while Rahu was on the 9 th lord. In cases where the sub-period lord gets connected to the 5 th or 9 th houses through the nakshatra, even the nakshatra lord generally fulfils the transit principle. Saturn was transiting Elizabeth 's lagna. Being retrograde, he can be taken as aspecting the 9 th lord, 9 th house and 5 th lord.

Dwadasamsa and Parents

Now look at the Dwadasamsa. The texts say that Taurus ascendant on D-12 makes a person wealthy, sickly and gives the pleasure of the opposite sex. It fits well with what we know of Liz. Both D-3 and D-12 (especially D-3) are used in traditional astrology along with the Rasi (natal) and Navamsa (D-9) charts for understanding the individual's overall life patterns . Of course the divisional charts have other specific uses also. D-12 indicates past karma and karmic debts manifesting through parents , their influence through hereditary traits and childhood conditioning. It also speaks about the person herself though predominantly through the above said angles. It is also important along with D-3 (drekkana) and D-30 (trimsamsa) in what is nowadays called medical astrology.

 

The Taurus ascendant reflects quite well the artistic backgrounds of her parents. Her father was an art dealer while her mother aspired to be an actress. Her mother tried to live her unfulfilled dreams of being an actress through her daughter. It was in fact Elizabeth 's mother who was responsible for her early film career. Of course it is Liz's own karma that made her an actress. But it is in the D-12 that past karmic influences that manifest as parental influences through the genes and childhood conditioning can be seen. The strong focus in the 3 rd house with the 3 planets is also quite convincing. The roles of Venus as 1 st and 6 th lord in the 8 th , Mars as the 7 th and 12 th lord in the 1 st and Rahu/Ketu axis on 6/12 of illness and hospitalization can all be seen clearly.

 

Elizabeth 's father died on 22 nd November1968 during Merc-Venus-Jupiter. Jupiter is in the 9 th (father) in the rasi chart. In D-12, Venus is the 1 st lord in the 8 th while Mercury is 2 nd lord (a maraka or killer) aspecting the 9 th (father) from the 3 rd . Jupiter is with Saturn and aspecting dasa lord Mercury and the 7 th . He is also the owner of the 8 th house. Moreover Mercury and Venus are in 6/8 to each other. In transit Saturn (father for night births) was on the natal D-12 position, while Venus the ascendant and current sub-period lord reached its natal D-12 position to the 8 th house or 85 th Dwadashamsa!

 

Her mother died in September 94 during Venus-Mars-Venus at the age of ninety-nine. Mars is in the 4 th house (mother) in D-1. In D-12, the role of Venus as ascendant lord in the 8 th has already been referred to. Mars is lord of the 7 th (maraka) in the D-12 lagna, aspecting the 4 th (mother). Furthermore Both Venus and Mars are in 6/8 to each other in D-12. Transiting Saturn was in her natal 4 th house (mother). Jupiter and Rahu were in Libra on her natal Moon aspecting both Mars and Venus in her natal 4 th house.

 

Elizabeth 's mother Sara maintained to the end that her daughter was perfect and that her whole life had been beautiful- a Hollywood movie. It has truly been a Hollywood movie --- a tempest of love affairs, unsuccessful marriages, multiple medical problems, riches and glamour. She knew no moderation-it was all or nothing. Whether it was the countless scandals and eight failed marriages, or the multiple medical problems, or the drug battles, or the first-ever million dollar paycheck, or the crusade against AIDS, it had to be all or nothing. In fact as her biographer remarks, her "drug and alcohol problems were deeply rooted in a kaleidoscopic past filled with broken dreams and disillusionments, men and marriages and a film career that had long before lost its luster". She had been through everything, from ingénue to femme fatale and laughing stock to living legend. But that is the tempestuous story that her chart reveals.

 

Note: A few things should be pointed out to the researcher. While recording the life events of an actress, an astrologer will come up with a few inconsistencies. The date of release of a film is quite often different from the date when the actress gets the signing amount or even the subsequent times when she receives her pay. Some movies like Cleopatra were in the making for a few years. So the planetary sub-periods when she would have enjoyed a dhana (wealth giving) yoga don't necessarily tally with the release of the film. While most websites write that Elizabeth got an Oscar in 60 and 66, what they mean is that she got an Academy award for a film released in that year. But she got the awards in 61 and 67. The awards were announced only in early 61 and 67. These are among a few points that a researcher cum astro-biographer should keep in mind.

 

Article © Dr. Satya Prakash Chowdhary. Please acknowledge if you wish to use it somewhere or quote from the article