Hilary Swank seemed to have everything an actor could want: two Oscars, critical acclaim for her craft and a stable marriage to Chad Lowe. But life is not always as we perceive it from the outside, and underneath the smiles was a life in crisis. In a new interview with Vanity Fair Magazine, Hilary Swank reveals that her marriage had not been working for quite some time but that she fell back into a caretaking role that lasted for several years.
It ultimately took the revelation of her husband’s substance abuse problem to motivate her to make changes in her life. In the Vanity Fair interview Hilary says, “I took care of my mom; I took care of my dad; I took care of Chad. And I don’t want to carry that any more….In the end, I sacrificed part of myself.”
Hilary’s astrological chart tells the story of an individual with a strong desire for self expression that is overpowered by an overwhelming sense of duty. Her Sun is in Leo, the sign of confidence and celebration of the Self. Leos tend to be dramatic; bigger than life – generous and big-hearted but with a critical need to be noticed and appreciated. Her Moon (emotional nature) is most likely in Capricorn, the sign of responsibility and self-determination. Those with a Capricorn moon tend to have a steely resolve to stay the course no matter what their feelings are; duty outweighs selfish emotional needs. Venus in her chart, showing how she relates to others, is in the family-oriented sign of Cancer and she is nurturing and caring to those she loves. Venus, however, is conjunct the discipline and restriction of the planet Saturn which adds another level of responsibility (Saturn) to those she loves (Venus). Mercury (her thought process) is also in Cancer, revealing that she thinks (Mercury) of the needs of others (Cancer) before those of her self. And finally, with Mars in Virgo her drive and desires (Mars) are to be of service to others (Virgo). Mars in Virgo tends to be cautious and dislike the center stage, a dynamic which does not work well with the need of Leo for public recognition.
Hilary has balanced these opposing forces with a fierce work ethic (Saturn/Capricorn) that has driven her to achieve great success but has retained the humility of the Virgo Mars and Capricorn Moon. Transits of Saturn to planets in the birthchart can be difficult for some (particularly the famous “Saturn Return” at age 28-30 when Saturn returns to its place in the individual’s chart), but for extremely responsible individuals like Hilary they can be times of hard work followed by great success. Hilary earned her second Oscar for Million Dollar Baby during her Saturn return, but because Saturn conjuncts Venus in her birthchart her Saturn return also illuminated the problems in her marriage (Venus). According to the Vanity Fair article, Chad Lowe sobered up three years ago which would have coincided with this period. Hilary famous forgot to thank her husband during her Academy Award acceptance speech, and spent three years making up for it in public appearances.
The Saturn return cycle began in 2003 but continued through June of 2004 as Hilary underwent grueling training for her role in the boxing film. Saturn then went on to pass over her Sun back in September of 2005, with a second phase of the cycle occurring January through March of this year during which time the separation from Chad was announced. This Saturn/Sun cycle just concluded in June with the very splashy Vanity Fair article showing Hilary in all of her Leonine glory. She reports being happier than she ever has been because for the first time she is true to herself.
Hilary’s story demonstrates that while responsibility to our family and loved ones is a critical part of our development, we gain nothing if we lose ourselves in the process. Now that Hilary has regained her connection to herself there is no limit to what she can do.