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Astrology can illustrate strange links found between people born at different periods of time. Actress Salma Hayek will be starring in a film based on the life of painter Frida Kahlo, who died in 1954. The obvious connection between them is that they are two of the most famous women born in Mexico. Kahlo was a revolutionary artist known for expressing the pain of her physical and emotional wounds on canvas. Hayek is a successful and glamorous Hollywood movie star. Interestingly, both were born with Saturn in Pisces on the exact same degree, a planetary occurence that only happens in the sky approximately every twenty-nine years.

Fear and Consequences of Life in the Real World

Saturn in a chart represents the fear and consequences of life in the real world, where we’re forced to face our circumstances and witness the passing of time. The planet astrologically determines our limitations, separates us from whatever we’re attached to, and insists we appreciate whatever we desire. Our compulsion to control ourselves and life around us is a direct response to the sort of distress Saturn embodies. Human qualities like ambition and anxiety are linked to Saturn because they are driven by our feelings of being deprived of something we feel we need. Saturn in the sign of Pisces describes attachments to the ethereal world, like those artists often have, being undermined by compromises made to the physical realm.  

Salma Hayek and the Saturn Return

Throughout her life and career, Hayek has challenged other people’s perceptions of who she really is and what she can do. Ambitious to a fault, she has always aimed beyond her present circumstances. After a few years as a successful soap star and genuine celebrity in her native country, she moved to Hollywood and started her career over from scratch. She spent the necessary time to learn English and study with noted acting teacher Stella Adler. Her determination and ceaseless personal development eventually led her to the successful career she enjoys today, though she continues to aim higher.

Despite her amazing success as an actress, Hayek has had great trouble trying to get Frida made, having shepherded the project herself as a producer for over three years. Though she has said it was a lifelong dream, she started her campaign for the film (and the role) shortly after her Saturn return, the time the planet made its first entire revolution through the twelve signs since her birth. Saturn’s return to its natal degree in a chart represents the closing of the first main cycle of life. It is considered a time when a person’s concessions to the demands of Saturn (aging, responsibility, achievement and acceptance of limitations) reach their major peak. Saturn’s demand on Hayek was to make her responsible for realizing her own ambitions while presenting her with the many obstacles involved in getting a film produced.

Over the course of a few false starts, a support cast of notable actors (Alfred Molina, Edward Norton, Ashley Judd and Antonio Banderas) signed on to Frida, and last September production was confirmed with the addition of director Julie Taymor. The special and rare Saturn relationship demonstrates Hayek’s personal sense of attachment to the story and roots of Kahlo’s life. This has allowed her to overcome competitors like Madonna and Jennifer Lopez, though there is still talk of Lopez starring in a rival Kahlo biopic.

Saturn and the Story of Frida Kahlo

Kahlo became a painter at the age of eighteen while recuperating from her injuries after a terrible traffic accident that had her literally impaled by a metal handrail. The devastating injury would plague and inspire her for the rest of her life. She married her artistic mentor, the painter Diego Rivera. Rivera was supportive of her work, but was very self-involved, insisting Kahlo find her own influences and make her own friends. Despite their lifelong mutual devotion, their marriage was stormy, with both parties having lovers on the side. Kahlo claimed she suffered most from the humiliation of Rivera’s affair with her younger sister, Cristina.

Throughout her years as an artist, Kahlo painted a series of self-portraits, each one describing the merging of her spiritual, emotional and physical lives. In astrology, the themes in her paintings would be associated with the planet Saturn. From the disappointments of childhood and marriage to the frustration of physical disability, her work tells the linear story of her life from birth to death. These sincere and agonizingly detailed portrayals of her suffering were both sympathetic and cruel. She often depicted death in some form and faced it with a blunt edge of black humor, a characteristic associated with the Mexican heritage to which she was always faithful. Saturn portrays everyone in these same ways, making us acknowledge our faults, weaknesses, lineage and physical realities.

Kahlo’s Saturn return happened just after the period of her aforementioned betrayal by Rivera and her own sister. The works she produced (Saturn) in the aftermath of these circumstances are among her finest, including “Memory,” a brutal rendering of pain in love. In the painting, she placed a gaping hole in her chest where her broken heart had once been, a sort of recollection of her previous physical wound. Saturn is often said to crystallize our understanding of matters, as Kahlo found clarity in her life by portraying it in her art. True to the retentive nature of her Cancer Sun, she eventually forgave, but could not forget her betrayal. She emerged from the period a more independent and powerful woman, not quite the obedient companion of Rivera’s she had once been.

Your Will Must Bring You to Your Own Expression

Saturn in Pisces, the sign of merging, tells us about the exchange of service between these women that would emerge from the production of this film. Together they appear to represent the image of Pisces itself, two fish swimming in opposite directions connected by a line that runs between them. Hayek took responsibility for the project in hope of portraying Kahlo. In exchange, Kahlo serves Hayek by providing her dramatic life story for the career-defining role she desires. Hayek’s triumph echoes the early advice Rivera gave to Kahlo, advice that could have come from Saturn himself: “Your will must bring you to your own expression.”

 

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Other StarIQ articles by Nick Dagan Best:

  • Seth Green Makes It Look Easy   5/14/2001
  • Ray Liotta: An Open Mind For Something Wild   4/24/2001
  • Ridley Scott Unleashes Hell   3/19/2001
  • Joaquin Phoenix: Good People Doing Bad Things   3/16/2001
  • Beck's Musical Lunaverse   2/18/2001
  • Fiona Apple: When Your Mind Is Your Might   2/16/2001
  • Julianne Moore Breaks the Silence   2/9/2001
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman: Fearless Actor   1/25/2001
  • Christina Ricci: Is Madness Too Glamorous?   12/28/2000

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