Queen ‘Bloody Mary’, A Short but Infamous Reign – Astrology Musings

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Queen Mary the First of England, popularly known as ‘Bloody Mary’, because of the great numbers of Protestants she had executed by burning at the stake, is one the country’s most notorious monarchs.

She became Queen after the attempt to install the unfortunate Protestant Lady Jane Grey on the throne failed.

Mary proceeded to turn England back to the Catholic faith, a religion which was, however, still very much ingrained in most of English society, particularly in the shires and in the north.

What does her birth chart reveal?

Autocratic, reactionary personality

We must remember, especially in the days of absolute monarchism, that the ruler’s influence was all pervasive and so their personality (birth chart) would have imposed itself upon the character of the country.

When she was born Capricorn was rising with Mars and Pluto close by on either side of the ascending degree.

In many ways, this symbolises her reputation as ‘Bloody Mary’, Mars (representing fire) rising in Capricorn suggests a powerfully autocratic and rather conservative personality and with Pluto working in tandem, she wasn’t afraid of implementing drastic changes, even if they were ‘reactionary’ in nature, namely the burning of over 300 Protestant martyrs.

Ingrained sense of spirituality

What we must remember is that even though her father Henry VIII broke with the church of Rome, he remained essentially a Catholic.

Her brother’s rule over the ensuing six years did see a full blown attempt to make England a Protestant country – but it was only six years. As said earlier, most of the country would have probably welcomed a reversion to the old faith, at least at the beginning of her reign.

Mary’s ruling planet was Saturn and was found in Sagittarius (sign of religion) in house 12 (inner life), in good aspect to a Mercury (mind) Neptune (spirituality) conjunction in Aquarius.

Impressionable and sensitive

Mary had this sense of spiritual sensitivity ingrained within her mentality and obviously had a very intimate connection to the numinous, quite clearly inherited from her mother, Catherine of Aragon, the former queen.

To strongly underline this, she was a Sun Piscean too, with Venus also in that sign in house 3 (also mind). She was highly sensitive and impressionable with an instinctive love of deeper, spiritual, ritualistic things which she liked to talk about and to simply be around.

Dichotomy in the character

However, most importantly, she was born at the exact time of the full Moon, which was found in Virgo in house 9. Here is an essential dichotomy in her nature.

Her deeply spiritual essence was at odds with her naturally fastidious manner, a strong tendency to be critical and to analyse.

This must have made her a very difficult person to deal with at times and this must have contributed to her increasing unpopularity among her underlings and the people at large at the reign went on.

Controversy everywhere

One of the most controversial things she did was to marry King Philip II of Spain, another staunchly Catholic monarch ten years her junior, which brought England very strongly under the influence of this great emerging world power.

Many thought that this would undermine England’s independence, but Mary would have seen this a natural consequence of the marriage, which, had she lived another fifteen years, might well have guaranteed England’s future under what she would see as the wing of Catholicism.

False opportunities – castles made of sand

Looking at Mary’s house 7 of marriage, she has an exalted Jupiter (but retrograde) in Cancer in good aspect to the tension created by her Sun and Moon opposition. This hints at good opportunities through marriage and alliance.

Here we can perhaps see symbolised a way out of her predicament of being one of the first female monarchs, with Jupiter representing an opportunity through marriage not only to secure her throne because of her apparent inability to deal with the situation she was in, but to also produce a Catholic heir and secure the faith within the country.

Sadly for her, none of this came to fruition. With Jupiter retrograde, she was only ever likely to ‘succeed’ inwardly in some more roundabout or spiritually satisfying way, not in the grand manner of marrying the most powerful man in the world at that time.

Her reign lasted just five years and with the accession of her canny sister, Elizabeth, England began the long, slow road to becoming a truly protestant nation.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

 

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King Henry VIII – Tyrant? Astrology Musings

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Anyone brought up in Great Britain, or in fact anywhere in the world, is probably familiar with the character and the life of King Henry VIII, probably England’s most famous and notorious sovereign – he of the six spouses. Does his birth chart reflect this personality and what else might it reveal?

Henry had the Sun in Cancer, Moon in Aries, with a Virgo ascendant. His Cancer Sun gave him an essentially caring, protective, yet sensitive nature, often inflamed, however, by his ardent, fiery, direct and often impatient Aries Moon loosely square to the Sun.

Discriminatory approach

Even filtered through his Virgo ascendant, which would provide him with a highly discriminatory approach to life, this could not prevent this basic dichotomy of his character from manifesting from time to time. We can see this at various times in his life, his impatience and anger.

Furthermore, his ruling planet Mercury is in Leo in the 12th house, exactly opposing Saturn.

Here is a psychologically ingrained mental pride and implacability, which except under the rarest of circumstances, finds it difficult to envisage that it can ever be wrong.

Implacable

In any everyday personality, who would have little influence beyond his family, such a mentality would not constitute a wider threat. However, when you are talking about a monarch of a powerful country, such an attitude can become epoch making, even downright lethal for many people.

It is worth remembering that Henry was no radical, but a true conservative, despite his ‘reputation’ for encouraging the Reformation in England.

Conservative

Quite early in his reign the Pope conferred on him the title ‘Defender of the Faith’, something which Henry was extremely proud of, and a quite fitting title for a monarch with such a stubborn and conservative mentality as symbolised by the quality of his Mercury. The young Henry put up a strong, reactionary resistance to reformers like Martin Luther.

However, whilst this configuration gave him the mental capacity to defend an argument to the hilt and often with great success, as he grew older this same tendency developed into an extreme implacability, far beyond mere stubbornness. This is one of the characteristics that gave him the reputation for being a tyrant.

Jupiter Neptune spiritual cycle personalised

Henry’s chart also has a fairly tight T-square involving Mars at the apex in Virgo in the 1st house, square to both Jupiter and Neptune on the Gemini/Sagittarius 10th/4th axes.

I think this is most revealing. A first house Mars in Virgo in itself represents a diverse, yet practical energy, which would probably sometimes manifest as great irritability when things were not going his way.

Add to this the tension in the Jupiter Neptune opposition, however, which in historic and transpersonal terms is related to the human religious and spiritual cycle (something which would be in all charts for those born around 1491 but made personal here through the contact with a first house Mars) and you can see what might tend to be irritable to him.

Love of scripture

Henry was the second son of Henry VII. Had his brother Arthur lived to become king, Henry might well have a pursued a religious path in some way. Henry clearly had a very strong interest in religion and spirituality, he was very knowledgeable, yet in many ways it proved to be his undoing because it conflicted with his desires as a monarch.

The fact that Mars rules the 3rd house of the mind and the 10th house Venus in Gemini is the ruler of the 9th house, only underlines this. He had a natural love of literature, particularly religious literature, plus a great ability at languages.

King versus Pope

But of course, Henry is most famous for having the six wives. Jupiter is the 7th house ruler, the house of relationships and as we have seen, his 10th house of career Jupiter is involved in a tight T-square, which appears to symbolise the constitutional crises arising from his wife’s ‘inability’ to produces a living male heir. Here we see the needs of the king vying with the fundamentals of religion.

One way around this, was to find an appropriate quotation from the Bible, in Leviticus, in regard to a man marrying his late brother’s wife and the impurity which would result from it; Henry had indeed married his late brother Arthur’s wife, Catherine of Aragon.

Head of the church

It was this argument which was used, stubbornly and vehemently by Henry, though equally opposed by the Papacy and his wife, Catherine. Henry eventually got around the impasse by declaring himself the head of the Church of England, surely equally symbolised by this tight Jupiter Neptune opposition in houses 10 and 4.

But it was something which must have weighed down his conscience for the rest of his life. For despite the break with Rome, Henry remained staunchly conservative in his religious beliefs, as befits that strong Mercury opposite Saturn in the Leo/Aquarius and 12/6 axes.

Vicissitudes in love

So moving on to his love life, we have already noted that his Venus is in Gemini, making him something of a natural flirt (not that all Venus Geminians are like this!), but when we also look at his 5th house of love, we have Uranus present and Saturn is the 5th house ruler.

Uranus would tend to bring sudden, unexpected changes in his love life and Saturn, being ruler of this house, as we have already seen, is in close opposition to Mercury, bringing to bear all his stubborn, arrogant mentality in this area of his life too.

The continual vicissitudes after his first divorce, the sudden demise of Anne Boleyn, the death of his third wife, Jane Seymour, after giving birth to a son, the farce of the ‘courtship’ and marriage to Anne of Cleves etc… are all shown by this 5th house Uranus and the tense quality of the 5th house ruler Saturn.

Sympathy for Henry?

At the end of the day, I have some sympathy for Henry. He never quite came to grips with the circumstances that he was presented with.

His deep sense of faith, his natural conservatism, were tested to the utmost by the needs of his dynasty, the difficulty he and his wives had in producing a living male heir.

This was the classic conflict between church and state, something which he thought he had solved by ‘marrying’ the two together by becoming head of the church in England. I am quite sure, at the end of his life, he never dreamed his life would turn out the way it did.

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

Lost Worlds: Crowland’s Triangular Bridge

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In the centre of the small historic town of Crowland in south Lincolnshire, England, is a most curious piece of architecture, commonly named the triangular bridge.

It dates back to medieval times, when the River Welland split into two at this point, reputedly, necessitating the building of this structure. The river now flows elsewhere beyond the town.

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There is a figure of Christ or possibly King Ethelbald of Mercia, which may have come from the dissolved abbey nearby.

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copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

Haiku: History or His Story

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Sometimes we see it,
history in the making.
Did you look – closely?

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

*If you would like a personal astrology report, please contact me at: leoftanner@gmail.com for further details.

The Irby Tomb, Whaplode St. Mary’s Church, Lincolnshire

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The Irby Tomb – one of the most impressive features of this south Lincolnshire church at Whaplode, Lincolnshire, England.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

Astrology Musings: The Virgin Queen?

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By Formerly attributed to William Scrots – wartburg.edu, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=686176

The reign of Elizabeth I is, I suspect, as much about propaganda as it is truth.

After all, the time of her coronation was decided upon by none other than Dr John Dee, magus, diviner, astrologer, the inventor of what came to be known as the British Secret Service. He was also the instigator of the notion of ‘The British Empire’. More of that in another piece.

But what of ‘The Virgin Queen’s’ nativity, her birth chart. Being a royal princess, her birth time was duly noted, even though Henry VIII was reputedly less than happy that Queen Anne Boleyn had dared to give birth to a daughter.

Fecundity and Popularity

Quite fittingly, the Virgin Queen, as she became known later, was indeed born under the sign of Virgo, the Virgin. It was right up high in the ninth house, so she was always likely, thanks to her birth, to be well known abroad (ninth house foreign affairs), often notoriously amongst her enemies.

The Moon in Taurus in the fourth house, close to the nadir of the chart, also comes into play here, I feel. Taurus is fertile and the Moon is well placed here. Is this the origin of the myth of her fecundity? I think it certainly stands for her popularity with her own people.

Queen of Heaven

She was also portrayed as Astraea, queen of the heavens from ancient pagan myth – not Christian at all, but this was very much in vogue at the time with the likes of John Dee and other Renaissance men plucking the strings, through their magical science and the giants of creative literature, such as Marlowe and Shakespeare.

Her ascendant is Capricorn, and therefore her ruling planet is Saturn, the great taskmaster. Capricorn rising brings responsibility, often hardship, privation, a willingness to see things through for some greater prize; in this case, we are told, it was England itself, its preservation from outside rule.

An Unhappy Place

Saturn in Cancer in the seventh house reveals the equally serious and responsible attitude she had in her dealings, diplomatically, but also in her relationships. Saturn in Cancer is in its ‘detriment’, its not a happy place.

It symbolises a potential lack of family, caring, loving, nurturing – but it also creates a dogged hardness of spirit, purely through harsh experience, a resigned sense of making do emotionally.

Here we see also the coldness that was dealt her when she was a princess. Her mother was executed when she was little more than a toddler. She was imprisoned and came pretty close to being executed herself, it would seem, during the reign of her half sister, Mary.

So in many ways it’s surprising she ever made it to the throne.

Intelligent

It transpires too that Elizabeth was one of the most intelligent rulers England has ever had. She could debate with the best of men, speak and write several languages fluently.

For this we should look at Mercury and Venus high up in Libra in the tenth house of career. Mercury is trine Mars in Gemini and this creates a ready wit, mental versatility, a charming, diplomatic manner and intellectual potential, all of which could be put to good use in her reign, as it was. She was the epitome of pragmatism, which became her method of survival in a man’s world.

And in Love with Love

Venus in Libra is all about love, diplomacy and indecision. She was in love with love, if you like, and so high up in the chart, there was also a danger that it might get out to the public. At times the love and diplomacy melded into one, sometimes in the most bizarre ways. In the end she could not decide.

Nevertheless, the harsh screening of that Capricorn ascendant, Saturn in Cancer in the seventh house too, would always manage, somehow, to keep some kind of reign on her romantic flirtations and dalliances. In her heart, we are told, she devoted herself to her people and to England: that’s Venus in Libra.

And Saturn in the seventh house could mean of course, a lacking in the marriage, or even the denial of it.

 

*If you would like a personal astrology report, please contact me at: leoftanner@gmail.com for details.