Richard Burton wrote to Elizabeth Taylor:
“If you leave me I shall have to kill myself. There is no life without you.”
He also wrote:
But the fundamental and most vicious, swinish, murderous and unchangeable fact is that we totally misunderstand each other … we operate on alien wave lengths ..
Many of Burton’s letters to Taylor are in an upcoming book “Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century”.
Burton’s and Taylor’s romance and marriage was said to be turbulent and the stuff of romantic legend. Meeting on the set of the movie Cleopatra, Burton’s passion for her was immediate.
On their first meeting on the set, Burton said “Has anyone ever told you that you’re a very pretty girl?” Taylor later recalled, “I said to myself, Oy gevalt, here’s the great lover, the great wit, the great intellectual of Wales, and he comes out with a line like that”. In their first scenes together, he was shaky and missing his lines, and she soothed and coached him. Soon the affair began in earnest and Sybil [Burton’s wife], seeing this as more than a passing fling with a leading lady, was unable to bear it. She fled the set; first for Switzerland, then London.
The two would not be free to marry until 1965 when their respective divorces were complete.
In the conservative early sixties, their affair was quite a scandal bringing both censure from the Vatican and Hollywood. But both stars were earners and Hollywood could not deny them long. For next four years Burton would remain among the top 10 box-office earners.
Burton however was a notorious womanizer and drinker, two elements that would take a toll on any marriage. They divorced once, but the separation didn’t work out. They tried marriage again in 1973 but divorced again a year and half later this time for good.
Reportedly one of Taylor’s most prized possessions is a last letter Burton wrote before he died years after their divorce where he holds out hope that they could be together again.
What in the charts of these individuals would manifest passion so deep and abiding?
A Sun Sign Scorpio with an easy energetic connection (trine) to Pluto this was a man who was used to being in control and in charge. With Uranus in Pisces sitting on the Ascendant (the horizon at the time you are born) he was magnetic with glamour thrown all around him. According to Wikepedia, Lauren Bacall recalled, “Bogie loved him. We all did. You had no alternative.”
With an eighth house Sun, he was driven to explore the mysteries of life through sexual conquest, though with Saturn sitting along side his Sun there was an element of proving his masculinity as well.
Taylor’s potent Moon in Scorpio (trine her own Pluto) was conjunct his Sun. Here were two people that were driven by Plutonian forces, a union that neither heaven or hell dared to deny. At least that is how they felt.
Where they misunderstood either is evident in the focus of each other’s charts. Burton felt quite naturally that all he had to do was reach for a thing and he could take it, while Taylor with many planets in Pisces opposite Neptune, expected life and its riches to flow to her. When Burton wandered off the path of flowing to her it ripped her worldview. With Chiron opposite her Moon, his behavior wounded her and fueled Scorpionic/Plutonic jealousies.
This can be seen in art imitating life, when Burton and Taylor made the 1966 movie “Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf?”
The play involves the two couples playing “games,” which are savage verbal attacks against one or two of the others at the party. These games are referred to with sarcastically alliterative names: “Humiliate the Host”, “Get the Guests”, “Hump the Hostess”, and “Bringing Up Baby” . . . Many darker veins running through the play’s dialogue suggest that the border between fiction and reality is continually challenged..”
. . . So immersed had the Burtons become in the roles of George and Martha over the months of shooting, after the wrap Richard Burton said, “I feel rather lost”. Later the couple would state that the film took its toll on their relationship, and that Taylor was “tired of playing Martha” in real life.
In the composite chart of Taylor and Burton Mercury, the planet of communication, is in Capricorn opposite Pluto in Cancer. Capricorn in Mercury can be biting and sarcastic. In tension aspect to Pluto, it can be brutal. Despite intense passion it can be seen where both could rip each other apart.
Another aspect of the composite chart is Pluto opposite the Sun. In the composite chart the Sun literally represent the man. Here is where this master of all he surveyed felt that “there is no life without you.”
But one does not challenge Piscean fairy tales long. When the illusion of perfect love shatters, Pisces will swim away and so did Taylor. With all the influence of Pluto in both their charts and the composite it is easy to imagine though that the memories of that time haunted him to the end of his days and one imagines haunts Taylor still. That’s the nature of a Pluto connection.
According to Wikimedia Commons the above photo is in public domain.
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