The Alchemical Canvas of Frida Kahlo: Exploring her Astrological Artistry
Seventy years after her death, Frida Kahlo, the Mexican artist, is celebrated as an iconic figure in the art world and popular culture. Her striking self-portraits, vibrant use of colour, and exploration of themes such as identity, pain, and femaleness have enchanted the world for decades.
The Astrology, Alchemy & Art of Frida
Frida Kahlo was born on July 6th, 1907 during the first Saturn in Pisces transit of the 20th Century, in the Mexican town of Coyoacan.
- Sun at 13° 23’ Cancer
- Moon at 29° 42’ Taurus, in 10th House, conjunct her MC at 23° 31’ Taurus
- Ascendant at 23° 31’ Leo
- Saturn at 27° 27’ Pisces, the first Saturn in Pisces transit of the 20th Century
Frida’s astrological chart is governed by the Sun, which serves as the ruler of her Ascendant. Positioned in the 11th House, it influences her social connections and aspirations. Additionally, her Moon in Taurus resides in the Dark Moon phase, further enhancing her capacity to see the unseen and process complex emotions.
Frida Kahlo’s Creative Triumph: Unveiling the Artistry Found in Obstacles
Frida Kahlo was born to a German father and a mother of mixed European and Indigenous American ancestry. Growing up in La Casa Azul, her family home in Coyoacán, Mexico, Frida was shaped by her cultural heritage and surroundings.
Despite being struck by polio during her childhood and later enduring a devastating bus accident at 18, Kahlo’s creative spirit led her to pursue a path of artistic dedication.
Frida was a force of artistic brilliance, with her flamboyant and irreverent works of art. With a unique and arresting style, she fearlessly explored profound and sometimes unsettling themes of personal identity.
Among her remarkable body of work, 55 of her 143 paintings are self-portraits, each revealing a glimpse into the vibrant essence of her being and the deeply personal struggles she endured.
Frida’s Moon in Taurus placed in the 10th House signifies her strong determination, perseverance, and need for stable and secure resources in life and love.
This placement suggests that she found emotional fulfilment and nourishment through her career and public recognition.
The conjunction of her Taurus Moon with the Midheaven (MC) emphasises the connection between her emotions and her professional life. It indicates that her art was deeply rooted in her sense of identity and played a pivotal role in her public image.
I was born a bitch. I was born a painter.
Frida’s First Health Challenge – Polio
Frida childhood was marked by poor health.
At the age of 6, she contracted polio, a disease that confined her to bed for nine months. As a result, her right leg and foot became noticeably thinner than her left.
Even after recovering from polio, she continued to walk with a limp. To conceal this physical difference, Frida opted to wear long skirts throughout her life.
Despite her health challenges, her father encouraged her to participate in various sports, such as soccer, swimming, and even wrestling, which was highly unconventional for girls during that era.
The Life-Altering Bus Accident
Frida’s life took a dramatic turn at the age of 18 when a tragic bus accident left her with severe injuries, including a broken spinal column, multiple fractures, and internal damage.
Despite enduring excruciating pain and undergoing numerous surgeries, Frida channeled healing into her art, creating masterpieces that reflected beauty and pain.
Embracing Physical Limitations
Following the bus accident, Frida lived with chronic pain and physical limitations. However, she refused to be defined by her disabilities.
Through her self-portraits, she expressed her unique world-view and inner strength, showcasing her ability to work with the obstacles in her way.
Love, Betrayal and Diego
Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera were married in 1929, divorced in 1940, and then married again that same year. The relationship shared by Frida and Diego Rivera defied normal conventions of love or marriage.
Their marriage was marked by tumultuous fights and numerous extramarital affairs. Yes, Diego slept with Frida’s younger sister, Christina. Meanwhile in 1937, Frida entered into a months-long affair with Russian Revolutionary, Leon Trotsky.
However, amidst the drama, (remember Frida’s Ascendant was in Leo), the connection endured, manifesting in the powerful art they each created. Although their second marriage was as troubled as the first, Frida remained married to Diego till her death in 1954.
“They thought I was a Surrealist but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams.
I painted my own reality.”
Frida’s Saturn in Pisces
As mentioned above, Frida was born during the first Saturn in Pisces transit of the 20th Century, in 1907.
The way through life’s obstacles, challenges and pain for Saturn in Pisces people is creativity.
In 1937, when Saturn was at 27° 27′ Pisces (the degree of Frida’s Saturn in Pisces and her first Saturn Return) she painted a self-portrait, Memory, the Heart.
In this self-portrait, Frida expressed her misery and resentment over the affair that happened two years earlier between Diego and Cristina.
Frida and the Russian Revolutionary
Also in 1937, the year of her Saturn Return, Frida painted a self-portrait as a gift for Leon Trotsky on his birthday. The paper she is holding in the painting dedicates the portrait to Leon:
“To Leon Trotsky, with all my love, I dedicate this painting on 7th November 1937. Frida Kahlo in Saint Angel, Mexico”.
In April of 1939, the Trotskys moved from Frida’s Blue House, and Trotsky, at the request of his wife, left the painting behind.
“I hope the exit is joyful – and I hope never to return.”
Frida’s Kahlo final journal entry, days before her passing.
Long Live Frida
One of Frida’s early portraits is the opening image on this page, Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress. Frida started to work on this painting in the late summer of 1926, when she was 19 years old, for her lover Alejandro.
Twenty-eight years after ‘Self-Portrait in a Velvet Dress’, Frida painted her final work, Viva la Vida in 1954.
Bursting with rich colour contrasts, elegant curves, and intriguing angles, this painting encapsulates a profound message from the artist herself.
Just days before her passing in Frida meticulously added the finishing touches to her watermelon-themed creation. At the bottom of the canvas, she inscribed the words “Vida la Viva” on the central wedge of a watermelon.
Translated as “Long live life,” this inscription holds multiple layers of meaning as the artist approached the end of her own existence. Her words could be seen as a straightforward declaration, acknowledging the nearness of death,
Yet, within the painting, Kahlo reveals that once the protective shell is pierced, a vibrant, revitalising, and luscious inner life is unveiled. Furthermore, the multitude of seeds within the watermelons, reminiscent of the pomegranate seeds in Greek mythology, symbolises both fertility and immortality.
Even after the fruit has been consumed, the seeds carry the promise of new life, perpetuating the cycle into eternity.
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