Tales of ghosts and ghostly apparitions form a rich vein in the folklore of Brittany although, in the Breton tradition, there was once no significant separation between the living and the dead, both were seen as dwelling in two discrete worlds that were in perpetual relation with one another.Ghosts and Revenants of Brittany — Bonjour From Brittany
French 19th century writer, Jules Verne, has been rightly lauded for his literary creations. To many he is simply the father of modern science fiction.
Jules was the son of a magistrate and went on to study law in the footsteps of his father. However, he soon developed a keen interest in the theatre and began writing plays and opera librettos. Fantasy was a subject which consumed him, as did travel and adventure. Gradually his creative processes overtook any interest in pursuing a career in the law, much to the chagrin of his father.
Later, books like ‘From the Earth to the Moon’, ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’, ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’ and ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’ became legendary and are still popular today.
The Forward Thinking Aquarian
So astrologically speaking, can we glean what made this farsighted man tick?
Although I have a little doubt as to the accuracy of the birth time, given as 12 pm (midday) precisely, I suspect he was born very close to this.
I was not at all surprised to discover his Sun and Mercury conjunct a 9th house midheaven. Aquarians are noted for their farsightedness and detachment. However, I believe too much has been accredited to Uranus as being the new ruler of Aquarius.
The traditional ruler is Saturn and this will always be the case. There are two sides to Saturn: the ambitious, materialistic, highly organised side as seen in the sign of Capricorn; and the detached, scientific and farsighted side which is Aquarius. The forward thinking element of Aquarius is down to Saturn’s careful, seriously communicative and associative side. I think this latter notion forms an accurate backcloth to Jules Verne’s career as a writer and literary prophet.
Science and Adventure
In a nutshell, his sun and Mercury in Aquarius close to the MC in the 9th house, says so much about Jules, his life and career. The MC or midheaven indicates the nature of our aspiration, probably our career.
Sagittarius and the 9th house also relate to the law, so if he had followed his father’s career this would also have been quite fitting, though probably not as rewarding.
Aquarians are scientific in approach and the 9th house relates to long distance travel (adventure), the higher mind and philosophy. Jules was to push the boundaries of writing in terms of science fiction far more than anyone else known up to that time.
With Gemini rising, Jules had a youthful, insatiable, witty curiosity too, which simply had to communicate knowledge to others. Mercury is his ruling planet, therefore, being the ruler of Gemini and assumes much importance in this chart; Mercury in Aquarius is both tenacious and experimental, especially in the 9th house.
Ideals and Fantasy
Interestingly, Venus well placed in Pisces in the 10th house (career again), is probably symbolic of his love of ideals and fantasy, plus their unifying ability. Neptune is in good aspect to his Venus, and whilst I see the outer planets as wholly negative influences these days, nevertheless this aspect will only increase the strength of his imagination and inspiration. Here may have been his initial interest in the theatre, performance and music.
What is more, Venus is part of what is called a Grand Trine in the water signs and practical ‘earth’ houses, the 2nd, 6th and 10th. Venus trines both Saturn in the 2nd house and the Moon and Jupiter in the 6th house.
Jules was clearly, despite being a detached Aquarian on one level, a highly emotional person too, usually kindly and generous but also likely very secretive too. He was able to utilise his great depth of feeling in practical ways and we the public of the world have benefited from this.
Saturn in Cancer is difficult, however, indicating a lack of feeling at one level; the Moon in Scorpio too is not so easy, highly emotional and secretive. Yet Jupiter so close to the Moon and in good aspect to both Venus and Saturn, brings out the positivity of this Grand Trine. And Jupiter is of course the planet of the higher mind and travel, subjects which were close to his heart.
Venus being in romantic Pisces indicates a love of being in love, an almost spiritual attitude towards relationships. This would have brought much pain from time to time.
This Venus as part of the Grand Trine, links it to Jupiter, ruler of the 7th house of relationships. I’m sure in many ways he was hopelessly romantic. It is interesting to note that Jules married a widow with two children — Venus aspects to Saturn often indicate loss in relationships, subjects who marry older, more experienced spouses.
Mars in Sagittarius in his 7th house of relationships indicates eventful and possibly difficult partnerships; even powerful enemies. Uranus is in positive aspect to his Mars, yet the influence of Uranus is always to disrupt, break apart. Relations with his father, son and business partner were often strained.
When Jules Verne departed this life in 1905, he left a literary contribution that is unparalleled. One wonders what he would have made of our own world — and what would a modern Jules Verne write about?
Copyright Francis Barker 2020
I’d like to paint the way you write; says Cezanne to Zola. I think there fits also the other way round; I’d like to write the way you paint. It’d be a short post (because my lovely granddaughter Mila will come soon?)I have watched this movie yesterday, though I have recorded some weeks ago and […]Cézanne and I — lampmagician
*Cezanne is probably my favourite artist. A book about him.
Brittany has been a great source of inspiration for artists from across the world drawn to the beauty of its natural landscapes and unique quality of light. The women artists who came to draw inspiration from the rich colours and distinctive landscapes of the region have sometimes been overlooked and I highlight some of these pioneering painters here.Women Artists in Brittany — Bonjour From Brittany
If you missed Part 1 of my Bordeaux re-cap, have a look here 🙂 I absolutely love the featured photo for this entry. It was just a quick, random snap on my walk around town. But when I was looking through my travel photos this one stood out to me somehow, and I felt that […]Euro-roadtrip Day 3: Bordeaux (Part 2!) — Life in Copenhagen
*Let’s hope we will soon be able to travel more freely once more…
French Neoclassical painter Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres was born, August 29, 1780 in Montauban, in southern France ❦ A man profoundly respectful of the past, he assumed the role of a guardian of academic orthodoxy against the ascendant Romantic style represented by his nemesis Eugene Delacroix. His exemplars, he once explained, were “the great masters […]Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres [1780-1867] — Marina Kanavaki
*** Great post. To view details of our work, click here.
Someone sent me this intriguing theory that the well-renowned,French astrologer , physician and seer Nostradamus had predicted the coming of the Coronavirus aka COVID-19. I had heard that Nostradamus had allegedly accurately predicted the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks, the Kennedy assassinations and even the assassination attempt on the late Pope John Paul II. There was […]
French artist Hilaire-Germain-Edgar De Gas was born, July 19, 1834 in Paris, France ❦ Famous for his pastel drawings and oil paintings of dancers, …Edgar Degas
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
Edward the Fourth was England’s first Yorkist king and ruled, with one short intermission of six months roughly half way through, for over twenty years.
His motto was ‘method and order’, and he pretty much lived up to that. He was a daring and quite capable military commander, honing his skills as a young man in the early years of what we now know as ‘The Wars of the Roses’, an often bitter dynastic struggle between the two competing factions of the same Plantagenet family, the houses of York and Lancaster.
Able, handsome and popular
Edward was not only a handsome and popular king, he was also a fine administrator, a shrewd businessman and merchant. His royal court developed into one of the most splendid England has seen, thanks in part to the general stability which his strong reign brought in that turbulent era.
However, one weakness he had was an occasional tendency for poor judgement and a lack of foresight. At times it could have devastating consequences.
So what does his birth chart reveal about him?
Firstly he had Aquarius rising with his ruling planet Saturn conjunct Mercury and Uranus in Gemini in house 5.
A fine administrator – but with one fatal flaw
This indicates quite a distinguished, if unconventional personality with a gift for purposeful communication and also thinking ‘out of the box’. This house 5 probably links to the fine nature of the royal court which developed during his reign. Here too his fine administrative and business abilities are indicated.
However, Saturn and Mercury are also in challenging aspect to Neptune in house 8. Negative Neptune contacts can confuse and befuddle, which may relate to the poor judgement he displayed from time to time, a potentially fatal flaw in a monarch of course. He should have taken more counsel from his associates.
One example of his lack of foresight was his rather impetuous marriage to Elizabeth Woodville, which offended many of his supporters.
Despite this, he showered the Woodville family with honours. This type of behaviour might be seen in his Taurus Venus conjunct Jupiter in house 4, symbolising a tendency for over generosity, especially towards family members. His Sagittarian Moon also indicates a naturally generous nature. (Ultimately, this would have tragic consequences for his young son, the future Edward V, who would be deposed his uncle Richard after only a few days due to doubts regarding his legitimacy to be king).
The Wars of the Roses soon began again and his enemies, the Lancastrians, won several battles. Edward found himself politically outmaneuvered and in a weak military position – he had to quickly flee his kingdom and seek refuge in Flanders.
However, despite his poor judgement, six months later, thanks to his alliance with Charles the Bold Duke of Burgundy, he was back in England with an army and won his throne back at the Battle of Tewkesbury in 1471 in typical swashbuckling fashion. This was his strength.
Strong but with powerful enemies
But where is this strength in his chart? Firstly, his Sun in Taurus is loosely square Mars in Leo. Here is a physically strong, stubborn and probably quite prickly character when push came to shove, which is probably also a prerequisite for any good warrior. However, his Mars in house 7 is also an indication of forceful, stubborn enemies too, such as the Lancastrians and Louis XI of France.
But he also had his Moon in Sagittarius in house 11 but close to his MC of career, in good aspect to Mars, but quincunx (or inconjunct 150 degree aspect) to his Sun. Here is a man of quick response, a sense of daring, of a never say die attitude, of going beyond the call of duty and, most importantly, being able to take the majority of the people with him. He was a leader by example, despite some serious flaws.
However, the challenging aspect between his Sun and Moon, hints at a compartmentalisation in his character. Maybe this daring aspect revealed in his career seemed somewhat divorced from his private life (Sun Taurus house 4).
A man of ‘luck’ and daring who invaded France
An example of his daring attitude (Moon in Sagittarius conjunct MC), plus his more positive planning and ‘out of the box’ mental capacities as shown in his Mercury Saturn Uranus conjunction, can be seen by his often overlooked invasion of France in 1475.
Although this incursion did not lead to any decisive battles, mainly thanks to the lack of support from Edward’s allies Charles the Bold of Burgundy and Francis II of Brittany, he did manage to secure the very lucrative Treaty of Picquigny, where the French king Louis XI generously paid him off.
This may be another example of the influence of his Venus Jupiter conjunction, a certain luck factor in his favour, as these two planets are often termed the lesser and greater benefic. This conjunction too indicates his ability to remain quite popular – the people liked him, so we have to assume that he had something about him. Also, his Moon in Sagittarius close to the midheaven point, would not do his popularity any harm.
However, another by product of this conjunction could be his apparent tendency to seriously overindulge in food and drink; he did become rather corpulent in towards the end of his life and this may well have led to his early death in 1483. Venus in Taurus loves the good things of the earth and Jupiter close by (but in Aries) would certainly tend to potentially exaggerate.
It is perhaps sad that Edward did not live another ten years, for England might have been spared the return of the Wars of the Roses which led to the downfall of the house of York. Edward VI might by then have become one of England’s greatest monarchs.
*If you are interested in getting your own astrological report, or would like one created for a loved one or a friend, please contact me at email@example.com.
copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019
His father was one of England’s most legendary monarchs, the victor of Agincourt in northern France in October 1415. Henry V went on to re-conquer Normandy, to officially become heir to the French throne and win the hand in marriage of the French king’s daughter, Catherine.
But alas for England, Henry V was dead by 1422, aged just 35, too famous to live long, as Shakespeare was to put it nearly two centuries later.
A fated inheritance?
However, he left behind a son aged just one, also called Henry, sixth of that name, who on his father’s death inherited two kingdoms, England and France.
Young Henry remains the only monarch to be crowned king of England and France, yet it was to be an illusive and tragic inheritance.
By 1453, a generation later, the English were effectively all but thrown out of France, only little Calais remaining.
Lancaster versus York
Back in England, the kingdom began to implode through the strong rivalry between the houses of Lancaster and York. Henry VI, unlike his famous father, was no military leader, becoming a powerless pawn during the shifting circumstances of war and intrigue. He was dethroned and eventually died in captivity, probably murdered.
It was an ignominious end to a reign which, at its start, promised the uniting of two kingdoms and a golden age.
So, according to the birth data, Henry was born with Pluto rising in Gemini, within a degree of the ascending point. Of course, Pluto was unknown back in the 15th century and therefore no astrologer could have pointed this out to his parents or guardians.
However, with the benefit of our hindsight, Pluto on sensitive points of a birth chart, and they don’t come much more sensitive than the ascending degree, can cast a very strong influence on the individual. Pluto is said to be transformative, a bringer of drastic change, almost like a finger of fate over which we have no control.
It’s worth remembering, too, that when Henry was king, the monarch was all powerful when he was of ruling age, say from his late teens.
The English kicked out of France
But because he became king aged 1, both England and France were ruled by others, essentially his uncles and their cohorts.
And because the figure head’s birth chart is, by its very nature, said to be symbolic of the ‘destiny’ of the whole nation beneath it, this Pluto conjunct the ascendant, exactly describes what happened over the next generation: a complete transformation, the English ending up being kicked out of France (except Calais), France setting its long course to become the dominant power in western Europe. England, on the other hand, went into meltdown.
Draining the swamp?
This is very much Plutonian, the draining of the swamp, a drastic, though perhaps necessary change which completely disrespects the individual.
Poor Henry probably never had a chance, not helped by the fact that he was no warrior, and in fact appeared to prefer religious study to the involvement in power politics. Some said that he had inherited his grandfather’s (Charles VI of France) supposed madness.
A life led through others
Returning to Henry’s chart, his chart ruler, Mercury and his Sun are both in Sagittarius in his 7th house of partnerships. This means that, although he was mentally expansive, his life was usually led through others, that he was always likely to be under the influence of more powerful people than he, even though he was king of two kingdoms. This was probably a result of inheriting so young.
His Mercury in Sagittarius in beneficial aspect to Jupiter in the 3rd house, strongly hints of a keen interest in the higher mind, the areas of philosophy and religion, and I suspect that this tendency became almost like an escape for him as the full magnitude of his personal situation revealed itself to him as he grew up.
An escape in philosophy and religion
His Sagittarian Sun is also ruler of that 3rd house, underlining the idea that thinking is a good way to travel philosophically, if not physically for him, though Sagittarius in itself suggests foreign involvement – he was king and the inheritor of two countries and cultures.
Saturn is ruler of the 9th house, the planet being found in Libra in the 5th house. I think he had a keen sense of justice too and was probably very knowledgeable of the law.
Also interesting, for those who think Uranus is ruler or co-ruler of Aquarius, Uranus is found in the 10th house in Pisces. Uranus in this house more than hints of sudden changes in the ‘career’ and if Uranus is indeed the MC (midheaven point) ruler too, then we have another tie up in regard to his experience of the vicissitudes of kingship.
His Moon in Taurus in the 12th house, might have added a touch of stability to his life. The Moon is said to be exalted in Taurus, so if he ever had time to engage in activities such as gardening, he might have found some quiet solace, especially as the Moon is in good aspect to Neptune, which would tend to add a spiritual, or unworldly edge to his character.
Mars is also involved in this configuration, nicely trining Neptune from the 6th house in Scorpio, adding energy and, I should imagine, some religious zeal to his already mentioned philosophical interests.
However, the Moon Mars opposition, would have also been a source of much psychological irritation, too, which would always tend to find release through this Neptune – this may have been one of the key indications of his love of religion and spiritual issues.
A victim of circumstance
Finally, his Chiron is in the 8th house of inheritance, almost exactly in aspect (quincunx) to Pluto on his ascendant and loosely opposite Neptune. Here is a very strong indication of his early circumstances, inheriting so young the newly founded empire of his father, plus his difficulty in coming to terms with it later on as circumstances began to change beyond his control. In his more lucid moments, he might have been able to give others some succinct advice about death and inheritance.
Looking at this chart, I do genuinely feel sorry for Henry, for there are few better examples of a king being a victim of circumstance.
copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019