On the sixth of July 1907, Matilde Calderón y González gave birth to a baby girl, who she and her husband Guillermo named Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón, who would grow up and become the famous artist Frida Kahlo.
For this reading I’d like to keep myself as ignorant as possible on Kahlo’s life, so that readers who know her well can decide on the accuracy.
The only things I know about her life (apart from the above) are:
- That she suffered a horrific bus accident in 1925, spent three months recovering and it crippled her.
- She married an artist called Diego Rivera
- She painted mostly portraits of herself, and there are a lot of them
- She was a proud Mexican and her fashion choices reflected her Mexican pride
So now that I have come clean, what do the her eyebrows say?
The eyebrows in Chinese Face Reading indicate the natural levels of confidence we have and how we make our decisions. They can also indicate how much drive and energy we have.
When someone has naturally thick and full eyebrows, it indicates a healthy and above average level of confidence and drive. It must be noted that drive in Chinese Medicine is a translation of “anger,” we’ll come back to this.
When someone is born with these eyebrows, it’s a frequent remark that they are a handful – there is just so much aliveness and rambunction, charging into one direction and another, that it’s hard to keep up with them. Hence this person is easily frustrated.
It is the normal advice in CFR that these eyebrows should be plucked so they have less energy, drive and frustration, but what’s interesting about Kahlo is that she doesn’t have these eyebrows as a child. This is Frida at age 11:
And this is her as an adult:
And this is her a year after the accident in 1926, aged 19:
In Chinese Medicine, there’s a theory that what is internal will externalise and what is external will internalise. To put it differently, the inner reflects the outer and the outer reflects the inner, hence why, with Chinese Face Reading, we’re able to read someone’s inner nature accurately from their outer features. Changes to the face happen overtime when our internal selves change and remain in a certain state, the exterior catches up to reflect the interior.
My work also incorporates a type of Asian astrology called Nine Star Ki. In Kahlo’s NSK it speaks of her being a “warrior,” someone who naturally has a lot of drive, someone who is a doer.
My deduction and interpretation of Kahlo’s eyebrows, is that as time went on and she became accustomed to the damage done to her body, her natural drive only increased and became more focused towards productivity – focusing on what she could do, rather than what she couldn’t and this meant her artwork. Also, the eyebrows may speak of a high internal pressure she was placing on herself to move about and do something. The Warrior archetype in Chinese Face Reading is notorious for not being able to sit still, but she had nothing else to do but sit still.
Her famous eyebrows weren’t there before the accident because there could have been no internal pressure and plenty of ways for her to divert her energy as an able bodied person. The more limited her life became, the more frustrated her energy became. It is true that even in the year after the accident they have yet to externalise, but I interpret this as possibly not having lived long enough with the damage to realise the extent and impact of it.
This internal will and life force was so strong that it gave her extra eyebrows. Without these eyebrows, and whatever positive outlook accompanied them, I doubt Kahlo would have produced as much work as she did. And if there was no desire and drive to continue with life after her accident, then these eyebrows would not have externalised.
Kahlo’s work is mostly self portraits.
Warriors in CFR are associated with individualism and the self. One of their many lifelong goals is to know who they are, develop a healthy relationship with the self, or to keep exploring and examining the various aspects that make up their identity and then express that. I often find that warriors end up as vocalists or artists because of their desire, or rather deep seated need, to express and voice who they are. Only when that individual expression is reached for expression’s sake, do they know themselves and then they end up – their true destiny – as change makers.
A warrior who has no sense of self, no healthy relationship to themselves, or is stuck in a situation where they are unable to remove themselves, or creatively change and soothe their mindset in that situation, so they can express and become individuals and therefore change makers, will suffer with depression. That natural drive turned inward.
So I see these eyebrows on Kahlo as a sign of immense hope after tragedy.
Despite all that I’ve said above, that’s not to say that Kahlo was free of her demons. The drive turned inward and the pain became too much. She did commit suicide in the end. Warriors are the most likely of any archetypal group in CFR to commit suicide.
Anyway, back to the subject of the self.
As discussed already, Warriors have a great fascination and desire to examine what makes them them. Kahlo once said:
“I paint myself because I am alone. I paint myself because I am the subject I know best.”
If Kahlo was made differently and wasn’t born as the warrior archetype, I’m sure her paintings would have covered domestic still life or the views out her window, but she painted herself mostly and friends.
If we can learn something from Kahlo from just reading her eyebrows, it would be on the power of focusing on the self, on focusing on what we can do and not on what we can’t and if there is nothing that we can do, then we must express that. And this is what she did: