Brexit Precedents No.4 – The End of the Hundred Years War between England and France

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On July 17 1453, the same year that Constantinople and the Byzantine Empire fell, England and English influence was effectively kicked out of France for good following the decisive Battle of Castillon.

It was another example of the see-saw, in-out relationship the island of Great Britain (in this case the major part of it called England) has had with the continent for a long time.

Ever since 1066, when William of Normandy conquered England and became its king, there had been strong ties to France. However, when Normandy was lost in 1204 during the reign of King John, successive English kings had hankered for its return; they were after all directly descended from the conqueror.

English invasion and victory

By the late 1330s King Edward III, who was himself largely of French ancestry, was in a position to invade France following a dispute about the long held English territory of Gascony in SW France.

In June 1340 Edward III won a decisive naval victory against the French at the Battle of Sluys, which marked the beginning of the so called Hundred Years War. By the end of the decade, following even more crushing victories at the Battles of Crecy and Poitiers, Edward was in control of large parts of France and even had the French king John II as a prisoner.

Then the so called ‘Black Death’ intervened in 1348/9. The treaty of Bretigny was eventually signed in 1360, leaving England in full charge of an expanded area in SW France. This marked the end of the first phase of the war, an often punctuated stalemate lasting fifty years, which saw France regain the upper hand diplomatically and make incursions into English territory.

The English conquest of France

Then in 1415, just two years after ascending the English throne, King Henry V re-ignited the conflict with his invasion of France. Following an unlikely victory at Agincourt that October, Henry went on, over the next couple of years, to re-conquer Normandy and push on from there to take large areas of northern France to add to those in the SW. Henry had become the undisputed master of France and heir to the French throne, once Charles VI had died. Unfortunately for Henry he was to die six weeks before Charles, leaving the throne of both England and France to his year old son, Henry VI in 1422.

Although the English held on to many of their French possessions for another generation, the loss of Burgundian support and the weakness of character of Henry VI, ensured their eventual defeat and removal from France and the continent of Europe, leaving only little Calais an English possession until 1558.

Out of Europe once again

So England and Great Britain had exited militarily and politically once again, though the monarchs of England would retain their claim on the French throne for several centuries after the defeat. England became more insular after this point, and following the disastrous Wars of the Roses which occurred immediately after the loss of France, the country became more obviously a nation with a nationalistic outlook.

The underrated King Edward IV, one of the Yorkist kings of England, attained enough stability in his kingdom to successfully invade France once more in 1475. However, he was in turn bought off by the French king Louis XI with a huge ‘bribe’ in the Treaty of Picquigny and returned home with his army.

Only the spiritual and ecclesiastical links remained across Europe and Great Britain, the power of the Roman Catholic Church. But even this, as it turned out, was not sacrosanct – but that’s another story in the list of this island’s fractious in-out relationship with Europe.

copyright Francis Barker 2019

 

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2020 Vision: A Landmark Year? Astrology Musings

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In the extraordinary and at times unbelievable worldwide political climate, astrologically symbolised by the up and coming conjunction of Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn in mid January 2020, we have got used to expecting the unexpected.

Saturn and Capricorn stand for the existing political structures. Pluto, by its very nature, is said to be transformative, at best a difficult though necessary cleansing, at worst a drastic enforcer of change which threatens to bring down, or rip up virtually everything – root and branch.

Intriguingly, this conjunction falls close to the Moon’s south node, which has strong karmic associations. What might this mean?

A pivotal year – a time to nurture more

Well, the south node represents where we have come from as a civilisation; being in Capricorn, it shows our satiated materialism, almost to the exclusion of anything else. Pluto involved here shows that we must change, transform, ‘drain the swamp’.

In karmic terms, we must begin to look towards the north node in Cancer, to begin to redress this imbalance.

Cancer stands for nurturing, our family, our origins: in other words, I believe it is telling us to go one step back to allow us to go two forward. We need to understand where we have come from and what we once had, which is now in danger of being lost forever. This period, around the beginning of 2020, may well be the ‘dark night of the soul’ time, in which many of us realise we must change – events may force us into doing so throughout the year.

Dangerous soup

Add to this ‘dangerous soup’ the on going transit of Uranus (sudden change/innovation) in Taurus (finance), another earth sign, and the political and economic instability for the next few years seems assured.

The next few years are very likely to see many serious ups and downs in financial markets, which might well bring ‘innovations’, such as digital or cryptocurrencies, more quickly into the mainstream. Whether such changes actually bring good and long lasting benefits to humanity, however, is debatable.

A spring of conflict?

2020 also sees Jupiter in Capricorn for most of the year and will be joined by Mars in the spring for a few weeks, the latter period quite possibly being the most volatile, politically, economically, even militarily, of all.

However, by the end of the year, most particularly around the exact ‘grand conjunction’, which occurs every 20 years, between Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius on December 21, we might, just might, begin to see a light at the end of the long tunnel.

Apart from one instance in 1980/81, when this conjunction occurred in Libra, this marks the beginning of a century long stay in air signs for the first time in hundreds of years, since the end of the Middle Ages in fact. What does this mean?

A new age dawning?

For most of the last hundred years or more, the grand conjunction has occurred in earth signs, symbolically encapsulating our materialistic culture, where we have seen huge advances in material science, but not an accompanying positive philosophy to go with it, to make meaning of it. The inception of this ‘new age’ of air, beginning at the end of 2020, might well mean the end of this materialistic age and the final ushering in of a more ‘spiritual’ era.

However, Pluto remains in Capricorn until 2024 before finally entering Aquarius. In 2026 Uranus moves into Gemini and Neptune moves into Aries. In other words, by around the mid 2020s, a far more positive vibe begins to resonate in the world. Perhaps, in some real sense, if the so-called Age of Aquarius has a true beginning at all, then it might just be around 2025/6.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

If you would like your own personal astrology report, or would like one for a family member or friend, please contact me at leoftanner@gmail.com

 

Tanka: Game of Cards

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So play your Trump Card
whether to praise or condemn
Take a look askance
beyond so called left and right
The joker always remains

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

Britain’s New Prime Minister! – a more positive vibe? Astrology Musings

 

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While Britain was baking in the searing heat of the afternoon of July 24, Boris Johnson met the Queen in the relative cool of Buckingham Palace to officially become the new Prime Minister.

Within a few short hours, the old Cabinet was gone, and a new team stuffed full of Brexiteers was assembled. But already many are asking if these drastic changes will make any difference at all to the outcome of Brexit and the course of the country in general.

I thought I would take look at the chart for the exact time the Prime Minister met with the Queen, when he officially took over that office of the realm.

Positive dynamism

Well, my first impressions are that this is indeed a more positive chart. Using the ‘whole signs’ house system, the ruler of the chart, Mars, is in Leo in the 10th house along with the Sun. This is a sure sign of positive, dynamic leadership.

Indeed, the 10th house, in mundane terms, is about governing; so this Mars will add great energy, drive, dynamism and determination to the government’s purpose.

A growing economy

Mars is also in good aspect to a retrograde Jupiter in Sagittarius in the 2nd house, perhaps hinting of some good fortune along the way, especially in financial terms, so we might see some interesting trade deals in the offing, too.

Or it could also mean that a so-called ‘no deal’ will not be anywhere as problematic as was once thought – good fortune through the back door, so to speak, as perhaps befits a retrograde Jupiter, a way of counting our blessings.

Either way, this Mars Jupiter link bodes well for the government in general and for the economy.

Difficult decisions

However, the Mercury (retrograde) Venus conjunction in Cancer in the 9th house, although might tend to favour reasonable negotiating possibilities in foreign policy, particularly with Brussels and the EU, is also challenged by an Aries’ Moon in the 6th house.

The retrograde Mercury fixed in this chart is a problem, rendering it difficult to make concrete decisions. Mercury turns direct again on August 2, so this should help, so long as the Johnson premiership continues full steam ahead.

It’s also especially worth remembering that Mercury also rules the midheaven sign of Virgo and the 11th house in this chart, so its being retrograde and in square aspect to the Moon will also bring difficulty to the government’s stance, particularly in regard to legislation and the nature of the House of Commons.

Expect the unexpected

There is also the presence of Uranus in Taurus in the 7th house of diplomacy. All these factors to me suggest, not surprisingly, that the roller coaster ride of Brexit will continue, with delaying tactics, more sudden twists and unexpected turns (Uranus), particularly in relation to the EU’s negotiating stance in regards to financial settlements (Taurus), again making it quite difficult for the government to keep the public on board.

It might be that any compromise deal that is hatched to prevent a no deal, for example, will simply not be enough for most of those who simply want out of the EU. For me this is symbolised by the fiery, impatient Moon in Aries in the 6th house square to the Mercury Venus conjunction.

Brexit before October 31?

The new PM has said that the UK will be leaving on October 31 2019. Can he deliver? Well, he has made a very decisive start, but I think he should remember, as any PM should, to expect the unexpected, as Uranus’ position shows.

It might be that one of the unexpected happenings is beneficial, creating a window of opportunity to leave earlier than expected. The Mars trine Jupiter aspect hints at a luck factor in the government’s favour. Jupiter itself turns direct again on August 11, joining Mercury going forward.

Very interestingly, Mercury turns retrograde again on October 31, so I think the government’s best chance of success is to deliver Brexit before that date, somewhere between August 11 and October 31, possibly around the September new moon on the 28th.

Drastic political changes

If the UK does not leave by October 31, it’s difficult to see when it actually will. The forthcoming Saturn Pluto conjunction in Capricorn early next year is already casting its long term effect on all existing political structures. Capricorn is very important to the UK, as seen 1066 chart for England, for instance, which resonates to this day.

The clear out of the old and the beginning of a new political era could make Brexit seem quite irrelevant going into next year. And as some believe, Pluto could be seen as the co-ruler of this chart, making the next few months and years even more significant.

So, bearing all this in mind, I think the best chance of Brexit ‘success’ has to be carried forward by the positive, dynamic leadership revealed in this chart and to deliver it sooner rather than later.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

Birth of the USA: Astrology Musings

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July 4 is rapidly approaching and as mundane astrology is one of my most favourite fields within the discipline, I thought it about time to take a look at the ‘birth chart’ of the most powerful country on the planet – The United States of America.

Now in any birth chart the exact time is critical and the timing of this event is disputed. Independence was formally declared on July 2 1776.

So which chart?

What did occur two days later on July 4 was that Congress finally approved the declaration’s wording, possibly around 5:10 PM in Philadelphia. This is the information often used to calculate the USA chart. However, it would appear that the actual signing took place on August 2 1776. So what do we use?

I’m going for the one that I’ve seen most commonly used and am most comfortable with, July 4 5:20 PM in Philadelphia.

On this chart, the mutable fire sign Sagittarius is rising.

Go West

I think this is quite fitting, Sagittarius likes to push boundaries, always moving on and exploring.

It also suits many of the national myths, the Louisiana purchase, the pushing westward, the continual expansion of states, plus America’s strong interest in the world – and beyond. It also suits the nation as a whole, being a ‘nation of immigrants’ so to speak, with a vast mix of cultures and peoples. Very Sagittarian.

Family Values

Nevertheless, the ruler of the chart, Jupiter, is in Cancer in a very full 8th house. Jupiter is exalted in Cancer and is also conjunct Venus, bringing images of happy, emotive and serious patriotism, and a love of home and family – and Mom’s Apple Pie.

This could explain the enduring sense of pride most American’s have in their homeland, despite more modern trends.

Investment of Sentiment

The full 8th house also includes the Sun and Mercury in Cancer. This indicates just how deep these patriotic sensibilities go, that much time has been invested in this over two and a half centuries. American identity is very much wrapped up in this.

Interestingly too, the strong 8th house emphasis in a wider sense is indicative of America’s strong involvement in international finance and multi-national corporations.

Jupiter also rules the 4th house of this chart, showing that in areas like the rural and agricultural communities, there will always likely be a strong investment in the patriotic cause and the promotion of home and family values.

With all the Cancerian influence in this chart, a look at the Moon is essential. It’s in Aquarius in the 3rd house, which shows the ‘humanitarian’ ideals brought to bear in education, in local communities and the systematic promotion of the family and home.

The Patriot against Hard Business

However, there is a challenging square aspect between the Sun and Saturn in the 11th house. The overall course of the nation, this strong sense of patriotism, often clashes with more hard headed, conservative or otherwise, trends in the elected assemblies and legislature.

Neptune in the 10th house reveals the strong idealism of national aspirations, though it is in difficult aspect to Mars in Gemini in the 7th house. In diplomatic matters there often a tendency to high verbosity, which may not smooth the course of negotiations to say the least, and this would tend to clash with the higher ideals governmental institutions effuse. The latter also symbolises the kind of conversation going on at the time of the agreement of the Declaration text.

Intriguing future

Looking to the near future, transiting Pluto will soon complete its 248 year cycle in the 2nd house in Capricorn. In other words, it will be reaching the point it was when the Declaration was being created. Maybe it could symbolise the slow, albeit painful, rebirth of the nation?

It is quite clear that the next few years will be fundamentally difficult in governmental, financial and security issues and will mark a major turning point for the nation, with many changes, much intrigue and political skullduggery. 

Even before then, sometime around January 2020, when Saturn and Pluto conjoin in Capricorn, it’s also likely to culminate in some major event or decision affecting these areas.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

Astrology Musings: Jupiter, time for re-appraisal?

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As we are rapidly approaching the Summer Solstice and the Sun’s entry into Cancer, I wanted to contemplate Jupiter and his traditional exaltation in the Cardinal Water sign.

For some time, I have thought that not enough is made of Jupiter, astrologically speaking. Here he is, the so-called Greater Benefic, but astrologers seem to spend so much time (myself included) hand wringing about Saturn, the ‘outer planets’, the minor planets, asteroids and comets, anything it seems except poor old neglected Jupiter.

Psychological angst

It’s as if anything that is potentially ‘good’ can’t be worth examining closely, nor would it make a ‘good’ subject for a book or an article.

The emergence of so-called psychological (and Sun sign) astrology is probably the reason for this, over the last 70 years or so.

Have we become so obsessed with pain and misfortune as life’s necessary harbingers of psychological growth, that we forget to enjoy ourselves? What ever happened to accentuating the positive?

Time for a Reappraisal

So what is Jupiter? The largest planet, we are told. He spends around a year in each sign, part of his 12 year cycle around the zodiac. He is, traditionally, associated with opportunity, expansion, good fortune, optimism, joviality, but also an overblown wastefulness and ‘devil-may-care’ attitude in difficult aspect.

When I think of Jupiter, I can hear the composer Gustav Holst’s wonderful take on the big planet, the happy, strident, jovial musical themes, the touch of patriotism, and the ocean of opportunity and expansion – all linking to Sagittarius, Pisces, and his exaltation in Cancer (patriotism).

The Greater Benefic

So why is Jupiter exalted in Cancer? Well, it was considered that his benefic qualities were best shown through caring, protective and nurturing ways. Not a bad thing.

However, as the Greater Benefic, surely he is potentially good in any sign? What about Jupiter in Aquarius, for example. If Aquarius stands for humanitarian ideals, with which it is often associated, then a well aspected Jupiter in Aquarius should be mighty fine, you would think. That sounds pretty exalted too and doubtless there are examples of prominent humanitarians who have had such a Jupiter position.

Of course, if Jupiter is challenged through aspect, one might expect to see some rather less positive tendencies.

Out of control

I once knew someone who had Jupiter rising in Gemini in difficult aspect to Mars. Though very generous and fun to be with, when he wasn’t talking or boasting or gambling, he was drinking. His life was indeed a mess, his birth chart had few ‘grounding’ indications, like, yes, a prominent Saturn perhaps or several planets in earth, for example.

Right now Jupiter’s in his own sign of The Archer (retrograde), so he ought to be overall benefiting long distance travel, philosophy, growth in general, depending on where he might be transiting in individual charts, though Jupiter in Sagittarius really ought to create an overall sense of optimism. Are we feeling it?

The Good News

However, with Saturn and Pluto conspiring together in Capricorn and Uranus threatening to turn a few things over in Taurus, it’s very easy to forget the good things.

I have often thought over many years that we do not make enough of Jupiter. Perhaps we should have ‘good news’ astrology, with a concentration on Jupiter and Venus? Only joking.

And there’s one word that isn’t used enough in regard to Jupiter: Opportunity.

See Blue Sky

When Jupiter does not bring good fortune to us when we might be expecting it, perhaps we are missing the boat. Jupiter can represent blue sky thinking – but you have to do more than think, you have to act and get out there into it. Go for it.

Opportunity is what it is, but you must act upon it and not wait passively.

So here’s to Jupiter, the old king of the gods, our jovial friend. Cheers and good health and good fortune to us all.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

Time and Transformation, ‘Draining the Swamp’: Saturn and Pluto Musings

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Saturn and Pluto probably have the darkest associations in astrology.

In mythology Saturn or Chronos (Ancient Greek), devoured his own children for his own protection. Yet it didn’t help him in the end.

Saturn was, until the discovery of Uranus in 1781, the outermost known planet. He sat on the limit, marking time, he was perhaps the ‘lord of karma’, taking nearly 30 years to return to the same part of our birth charts. This is the Saturn return, probably a testing time, but also one of re-evaluation, growing up, taking stock – and looking forward too.

Underworld

Pluto or Hades, has obvious associations with the underworld of myth, leading astrologers to signify such words as ‘deep working’. Further analysis has led many to associate Pluto with Scorpio, the 8th house, though there is still much debate.

In recent years Pluto has been demoted astronomically to minor planet status, along with his twirling sibling, Charon. Yet, despite this there does not seem to be any lessening in the interest and conjecture on Pluto’s astrological significance.

Generational

Like a growing number, I stick to Mars being the ruler of Scorpio. I think the outer planets, so called, are significant but not as fundamental as the Sun to Saturn. They are generational influences.

Yet if Uranus, Neptune or Pluto are prominent by aspect or placement, then these apparently deeper influences come in to play and can be hard to understand and difficult to come to terms with.

Unsettling

Take Pluto’s present transition through Capricorn. At the very least, Pluto’s ‘influence’ can be unsettling, wherever he is found. And right now Saturn is in Capricorn too, approaching conjunction in January 2020.

In mundane astrology, as Capricorn is all about culmination, the establishment, politics, so we perhaps should not be surprised with the political chaos we witness all over the world at the moment. Established parties and political structures do seem to be under threat. In the final analysis, they either change – or die.

Pluto may also be asking us fundamental questions about what politics is for. Who does it serve? Isn’t it all just a charade, a game? If so, get rid of it.

The up and coming conjunction next year might well signify that most of the political crises will reach their apogee early next year, though it will all take years to fully work out, like it has taken years to get to this particular point.

Revolutionary Times?

It is interesting to note that the last time Pluto was in Capricorn was in the lead up to the American Revolution.

But what about Pluto in personal birth charts?

I know someone who was born when Saturn and Pluto were exactly trine, that is, in a harmonious 120 degree aspect. Saturn happens to be her ruling planet too and is angular, strongly placed.

Transformation

We could say that she was born with the potential to harness practically Pluto’s deeply ‘transformative’ influence in her life. Pluto is in her 9th house, so there is a deep interest in different cultures, philosophical matters, like religion and spirituality, a yearning for the quest, so to speak.

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Nevertheless, right now, both Pluto and Saturn are transiting together in Capricorn, in her first house. I have explained to her about the forthcoming conjunction next year. Here we see symbolised the coming together of the stock taking nature of Saturn and the deep seated need for change, as represented by Pluto.

This has not been easy for her. Some astrologers use words like ‘elimination’ for Pluto; politicians may use phrases like ‘draining the swamp’. But who is to judge?

Existential Need

Yet, I have talked to her about this ‘existential need’ (as she describes it) for readjustment in her life. Saturn is cautious, especially in Capricorn, the sign it rules; Pluto, it would seem, insists on change. So what gives?

Is Pluto really about necessary change? This person is uncomfortable, every avenue that seems open to her appears daunting. So if we do ‘drain the swamp’ in our lives, it is likely to be most uncomfortable. Even bad things, like bad habits, can give us comfort. Routines are Saturnian. The tried and tested.

Have you noticed how quickly time goes with a routine? When you go on holiday for a few days, somewhere different, where you’re doing different things, notice how slow the time appears to go those first few days.

Pluto won’t leave Capricorn until around the middle of the next decade. Our world will be quite different by then. And so will the world of the person I’ve mentioned here. But it will probably be a better world for her and all of us.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019