Audrey Hepburn remains one of only a dozen people who’ve won all four of the entertainment industry’s most prestigious honors – the Academy, Emmy, Grammy and Tony Awards. Yet for someone with such a successful career, she has a relatively unremarkable chart. Nonetheless, on closer inspection we realize it illustrates one of the key concepts of Vedic astrology – nothing truly momentous happens in a person’s life until they run the major planetary period of their first or tenth house lord.
Audrey Hepburn was born the daughter of an English-Irish banker father and a Dutch baroness mother, whose parents divorced when she was nine. She had an idyllic early childhood in Brussels prior to Nazi occupation, but during WW2 she had her share of harrowing experiences, which included carrying messages for the Resistance hidden in her ballet shoes.
After the war, she and her mother moved to London, where she landed a part as a chorus girl in a stage production. Three years later, playing a movie bit, she was spotted by the novelist Colette who instantly realized she’d found the girl to play “Gigi” on Broadway. The role won her a Theatre World Award in 1952. The following year she played a princess in “Roman Holiday,” and captured the world’s affection.
Her career went on from success to success, including such famous movies as “Sabrina” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” Thanks to her friendship with Givenchy, who designed all of the outfits for her entire movie career, she became a fashion icon whose signature style was copied world-wide.
Hepburn has three strong planets in her chart. [Note: all positions are in the sidereal zodiac.] The Sun is exalted in Aries in the 3rd, a house associated with the performing arts. Venus is exalted in the 2nd, indicative of a well-to-do family, the world of fashion, and her own subsequent financial success. Her ascendant lord Saturn, the only visible planet above the horizon, is retrograde and therefore brighter than normal.
Meanwhile, two planets are weak. The Moon in her 1st house is dark and waning, just five days prior to the new moon. Mars is debilitated in Cancer in the 6th house. These two, one the lord of the 6th and the other its occupant, reflected her rail-thin physique and, ultimately, her death from cancer of the appendix.
She was married three times. Her 7th lord Sun, although exalted, was associated with the malefic Rahu, which also acts as a proxy for its dispositor Mars. Since Mars is debilitated in the 6th house, it plays the role of undoing marriage, since it is 12th from the 7th. She had two children but suffered multiple miscarriages. Her 5th lord Mercury was in the 4th and, thus being 12 houses removed from its own house, reflected the loss of children. Jupiter, the karaka or generic significator of children, is associated with two malefics, the Sun and Rahu.
In the dasha scheme of major planetary periods, Hepburn ran her Saturn dasha from the last days of 1953 to the end of 1972, a 19-year period that saw her catapult to world-wide fame through her many movies. Note that Saturn is her ascendant lord, and thus activates the principle stated in the opening paragraph above. During this planetary period, her performances garnered both popular and critical acclaim, and she won every major industry award.
When her Saturn dasha was over, she quietly withdrew from show business for eight years, returning only intermittently for a few movies. Her Mercury dasha was notable mostly for her absence from the world stage. In 1988, she became a special Ambassador to UNICEF, working actively in Ethiopia to combat world hunger. She made grueling trips to the Sudan, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bangladesh and Vietnam. “I do my best,” she said simply,” I wish I could do more.”
Note that her ascendant lord Saturn, aside from ruling the 1st house of name and fame, also ruled her 12th house, which is associated with charity and foreign travel. And in the latter part of her life, it was her work with UNICEF that transformed her reputation in life, from that of a renowned actress to a tireless advocate in the selfless cause to end world hunger.
Alan Annand is a graduate of the American College of Vedic Astrology and a former tutor for the British Faculty of Astrological Studies. His New Age Noir crime novels (Scorpio Rising, Felonious Monk, Soma County) feature astrologer and palmist Axel Crowe, whom one reviewer has dubbed “Sherlock Holmes with a horoscope.”
He’s also the author of several non-fiction books. Stellar Astrology, Volumes 1 & 2, offer a wealth of time-tested techniques in the form of biographical profiles, analyses of world events, and technical essays. Parivartana Yoga is a reference text for one of the most common yet powerful planetary combinations in jyotish. Mutual Reception is an expanded companion volume for western practitioners, covering the same subject of planetary exchange through the lens of traditional astrology.
Websites: www.navamsa.com, www.sextile.com