Liz Taylor and Richard Burton can probably be blamed for kicking off the modern celebrity culture when their torrid romance on the set of Cleopatra in 1962 sparked off a media frenzy. Their turbulent, on-off scorching hot and frequently aggravated liaison is well-trodden turf so I’m not sure why we need yet another rerun. But a new book claims to have had unprecedented access to diaries and letters.
They lived a decadent, drink-sodden life together with copious amounts of seriously expensive jewellery being handed over as apologies when a alcohol led to arguments. It was a symbiotic love-hate match. She said “We were like magnets alternately pulling toward each other and, inexorably, pushing away.”
He drank himself to oblivion and she started her days with a bloody Mary, rolling on to wine and whisky or vodka. Her health was constantly throwing up problems which she wasn’t above using as a lever to catch his attention, and latterly to induce him into a second marriage after a 14 month separation and divorce.
I’m not altogether convinced about her 2.30am birth time 27 February 1932 London. It explains certain things with a powerfully influential 8th house Pluto in a disruptive square to Venus Uranus in Aries in her 4th pointing to a constantly changing domestic life. But it says little about the health problems which plagued her life. She was a Sun Mars Mercury in Pisces opposition Neptune so well suited to the film business. And her Jupiter in flashy Leo clearly appreciated the high-life.
Burton, 10 November 1925 3pm Neath, Wales, had a deeply buried, depressive and obsessive Sun Saturn in Scorpio in his 8th square a filmic and addiction-prone Neptune in his 6th and in a creative and unrealistic Water Grand Trine to Uranus trine Pluto in Cancer in his 4th. His Grand Trine became a Kite with Pluto in a confident opposition to Jupiter – he had luck and talent to spare but was blighted by that downbeat Saturnine streak.
On the synastry, her Scorpio Moon was conjunct his Sun Saturn in his 8th – intense but conflicted, both passionate and defensive on his part. Her Neptune was conjunct his Virgo Moon for an evasive connection. Her Venus Uranus in Aries squared his central Jupiter opposition Pluto for fireworks as her adventurous streak was attracted to his grand gestures.
But it is not as strong a connection as I would have expected. Their relationship chart has a possessive and controlling composite Sun Mercury opposition Pluto which would bind them together for a while and feel meant and Pluto tends to lead to messy breakups. There was a destructive composite Mars Saturn conjunction; a delusional Venus opposition Neptune. And a Yod of Neptune sextile Jupiter inconjunct Uranus – head in the clouds and unstable.
The one thing which catches my eye is that both their Black Moon Lilith are conjunct their North Node – I have no idea what that means though to suggests a karmic journey towards the darker emotions. A relationship at some level they needed but was ultimately damaging to both. Both went on to marry twice more after their final split.