Maria Callas – soaring highs and soul-destroying lows

The tragic life of opera singer Maria Callas, an unremitting tale of torment and suffering, is spotlighted in a new biopic with an eerily alike Angelina Jolie in the title role. The screenplay by Steven Knight, best known for Peaky Blinders, focuses on Callas’s final days, her heart broken by Aristotle Onassis, her voice gone and addicted to drugs which ultimately killed her at 53.

  Maria Callas was born 2 December 1923 6am New York, a replacement child but unwanted as a girl after the death of a previous son. Her ferociously ambitious and destructive mother saw her as solely there to maintain her. She pimped out her older sister and attempted to sell Maria’s virginity during the war to soldiers after they returned to Greece.

 Maria’s rise to fame in 1949 led to a decade of triumphs but strained her voice until audiences turned against her in the 1960s. Early on in her success she lost seven stone, had plastic surgery and capped her teeth to reinvent herself as a fashion icon. An early marriage fizzled out and she discovered too late he had squandered her money. Her career was turbulent with cancellations, rivalries, a public firing as her reputation as a prima donna obscured her talent.

  She met Onassis in 1959, when she was in a career dip and stayed as his partner on and off for nine years as he bedded Princess Lee Radziwill, the younger sister of Jacqueline Kennedy as well as being a client of Madame Claude’s Champs-Élysées brothel, before marrying Jackie.

  Deeply unhappy, Callas tried to end her life, the first of many suicide attempts. Returning to Onassis at one point, she suffered through his violent beatings, in part fuelled by the drugs he took including testosterone. “It was a co-dependency that neither could break.”

   After Onassis’s death in 1975, she retreated from public life and became addicted to the sedative Mandrax which she knew could be fatal, if mixed with alcohol. She died on September 16, 1977, aged 53.

  What leaps out of her chart is a Mars Saturn conjunction in Libra suggesting a life blighted by early cruelty to which she clearly became addicted – both destructive and self-destructive – like a moth to a flame. And Pluto in her 8th suggesting a dramatic and potentially tragic life which gave her influence out in society and resourcefulness but one riddled by bitter entanglements.

  Her saving grace was her Sun, Jupiter and Mercury in Sagittarius which would give her a streak of optimism otherwise she’d never have survived the constant put downs throughout her life. A 4th house Uranus would make it difficult to find a settled home life after the disruptions of her childhood.

  Her 10th house Virgo Moon suited a public career.

 Aristotle Onassis, 20 January 1906 10 am Smyma, Turkey, had a Sun Venus in Capricorn with a Sagittarius Moon. His Moon was conjunct her Jupiter and Sun giving her a semblance of reassurance; but his Sun squared her masochistic Saturn Mars. And even more significantly his Neptune was conjunct her 8th house Pluto and his Pluto was on the cusp of her 8th  so he mesmerised, trapped and controlled her.

 Their relationship chart was ruinous with a composite Pluto opposition Mercury, Saturn, Sun, Mars – egregiously damaging and harmful. Only slightly ameliorated by a composite Moon trine Jupiter.

  Frankly it is a miracle she survived into her fifties. What a tempestuous, unhappy life.

  Angelina Jolie will resonate to her angst given her own troubled childhood, with her Moon Mars square Saturn and opposition Pluto.

  Just as a brief add on to be expanded when I find time to focus on the 8th house.  Jackie Onassis, 28 July 1929 2.30pm Southampton, NY, horrified a public, shaken by JFK’s death and enamoured of her elegant image by marrying Ari Onassis. Oddly there are similarities with JFK – both he and Ari had Jupiter falling in her 7th house of marriage. Ari has Pluto conjunct her 8th house Venus and his Neptune also in her 8th. JFK had his Venus on the cusp of her 8th and his Pluto also in her 8th.  She was attracted to unfaithful men. Perhaps like her father John Bouvier, 19 May 1891, whose Mars was conjunct her 8th house Venus and his Neptune Pluto in Gemini were in her 7th on the cusp of her 8th. The old tangled patterns repeat especially when the 8th house is involved.

11 thoughts on “Maria Callas – soaring highs and soul-destroying lows

  1. Maria Callas was an extraordinary singer. Perhaps not the sweetest or most beautiful voices but combined with a great acting ability she created some marvelous roles. Tosca is the key performance where she plays an opera singer tortured in love who makes mistakes and eventually commits suicide. No doubt she put her all into her role that as we can hear from the recordings. One hopes the drama of her life will not overshadow her achievements.

    Her Chart looks difficult and exciting with the sun, jupiter mercury squaring uranus which is, in its turn, trine pluto. Saturn mars, which are important as Marjorie says, look out of kilter with the rest of the chart but may be gave her an edge.

  2. Thank you Marjorie! I have watched a couple of Marie Callas documentaries and am fascinated by her. She did have a haunting voice. Her relationship with Onassis was especially heartbreaking and seemed to destroyed her. Marie also lost a son by Onassis I think. I once survived a destructive relationship. I am not an astrologer so please forgive me if I say this wrong but I believe my south node of Scorpio was connected to his Scorpio moon. I believe the relationship was a way of releasing my south node. I barely survived but I have made peace with it because I think he was a spiritual teacher. Part of life’s lessons and I have chosen to learn from it. I honestly never felt so overpowered and helpless in my life. I believe God brought me to my knees. Anyway, I fully understand how human beings can be brought to their knees by powerful attractions.
    Marjorie, I believe I read in your blog that Jackie was working through her south node with Onassis. That helped me a lot because Jackie also has a Nodes Taurus/Scorpio like myself. I was born 08/06/1966. Thanks again!

  3. What a tragic life. Her appalling mother clearly set the seed of destruction in poor Maria’s life, she didn’t stand a
    chance under such wretched circumstances.

    I noticed she died on the same day as Marc Bolan.

  4. To me, Callas was probably the greatest operatic soprano who’s ever lived. I hope this film gives her due reverence in that regard, as she tends to be viewed nowadays as a tragically flawed singer whose dramatic gifts made up for her vocal shortcomings, but in her early days she was well-known as a ruthless perfectionist (Moon in Virgo?) and her early recordings are masterclasses of technique and taste – the unforgettable phrasing, the perfectly delineated runs and the fantastic diction. What years of hard graft and practice it took. She lost much of her vocal power and security after a punishing life of endless travel and performance, but never her power of communication. I wish she had had kinder and more supportive people in her life.

  5. One of Onassis’s wives was Athina Onassis Niarchos, who afterwards married a British duke, and not a duke of just any dukedom, and then her sister’s widower. She was also the grandmother of Athina Onassis, who, obviously, bears her name.

    The story of the Niarchoses and Livanoses, and especially Eugenia and Athina, and the two Stavroses, Livanos and Niarchos, is worthy of its own astrological post.

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