When Katherine Of Aragon wrote a heartfelt plea to her father, she held the title of Princess of Wales through her marriage to Prince Arthur of England. The couple had not been married long before the prince’s untimely death in 1502 at Ludlow Castle. Faced now with widowhood and all alone in a foreign country, […]
There were few more dynamic and controversial figures during the reign of Elizabeth I than the daring, swashbuckling, and, some might say, reckless Robert Devereux, the second Earl of Essex.
Having arrived at court in the 1580s, he soon became a favourite of the Queen due to his charm, wit and dashing, distinctive good looks, eventually replacing the Earl of Leicester as Master of the Horse in 1587. He went on to capture Cadiz 1596, an achievement which sealed his reputation as a military commander.
He was made Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1599, but led an abortive campaign against the Irish Rebellion. Two years later he was executed for treason for leading an attempted coup d’etat, despite Elizabeth’s painful indecision over her former favourite.
So what made this larger than life man tick astrologically?
To begin with, he had Sagittarius on the ascendant, with Uranus close to the ascending degree. His ruling planet, Jupiter, is in Libra just beyond the MC or midheaven and loosely conjunct Venus.
Larger than life personality
Here is an expansive, confident, magnanimous and very ambitious personality and with Uranus involved, he would display a certain amount of eccentricity, probably manifesting like a loose canon at times, stemming perhaps from a certain confident belief in his own infallibility.
However, also involved with his angular Uranus are Pluto, Neptune and Saturn, making a loose grand cross. The involvement of all three ‘transpersonal’ planets here suggests that here is a man who believed, despite continual challenges, that he had a destiny, and much of his subsequent behaviour only confirmed this.
This grand cross in mutable (changeable) signs, though fluid by nature, would have brought him serious problems in key areas of his life, challenges and crises within himself, his relationships, his home life and in his career. Yet his indomitable belief in himself remained, even though at times he must have felt as if his ultimate destiny was being thwarted.
Moving on, he had a lot of activity in Scorpio, with the Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury and Venus (plus the north node) in house 12.
So beneath the bravado and charisma of his personality, he had the intense power, determination and resourcefulness of Scorpio to back it up, mentally, physically and emotionally.
The Sun conjunct Mars in Scorpio is a very powerful vibration, revealing the deep, forceful intensity of his being. Here is a brave man, willing to put himself in danger, almost relishing it at times. The Sun and Mars rule houses 5, 9 and 12, showing that he was a great speculator, a purposeful and brave traveller in mind as well as body.
Great depth of feeling
His Scorpio Moon is also exactly conjunct the Moon in Scorpio in house 12. He had a deeply emotional mentality and though he was probably quite secretive, once he expressed himself verbally, few could match him for feeling. Like many, he was also a competent poet and writer.
I come out of this actually admiring his character. There is something endearing about someone with an implacable spirit, who is loyal to his followers, who had this incredible sense of adventure about him.
Even so, his life perhaps epitomises the ultimate tragedy of the pursuit of power, particularly in that most iconic Elizabethan age, which still manages to capture our imagination.
One of my favourite places, Lincoln Cathedral, was consecrated this month way back in 1092.
To put that into perspective, King William (Rufus) the Second of that name, son of the mighty Conqueror, had been on the throne since 1087. It was only a quarter of a century after the Normans’ hostile (in fact rather brutal) take over of the board of the richest kingdom in western Europe, but already their introduction of Romanesque architecture was changing the landscape of the country for ever.
However Lincoln Cathedral’s early history was blighted by disasters. A fire destroyed the roof in 1124, an earthquake destroyed most of it in 1185.
Nevertheless despite this the structure was rebuilt in magnificent fashion to become effectively the tallest building in the world, thanks to its huge central spire. The triple spire configuration as it was during the late medieval and early modern period must have been an incredible sight. Then, tragically, in February 1549 the central spire collapsed during a storm. The two smaller spires remained for some time until they were taken down for safety reasons.
Even so, Lincoln Cathedral still remains high on its hill, and is at least to my mind, the best cathedral in England and therefore one of the best anywhere. If you are in the region it’s well worth a visit.
There is much more I could say about the cathedral and the city but I will leave that for future posts.
The moment I saw the new Royal Baby’s birth chart, the first phrase that leapt in to my mind was something like ‘The more things change, the more they stay the same’.
What led me in this direction? It was the basic details of the chart that all those interested in astrology look for. The Sun is in Taurus, close to the Taurus’ ascendant. I felt solidity, physical strength, sensuality, steadfastness, dependability, tradition, and also stubbornness and determination.
However, a further glance showed that the ‘outer planet’ Uranus is in the first house. I use the whole house system and generally treat the so called outer planets like some might treat the fixed stars; if they are strongly placed then they come into play at a more personal level. Well, Uranus, over the the period of time since its discovery in the late 18th century, has come to symbolise sudden change, the breaking down of existing structures, often violently, and the imposition of more radical authority. The baby’s Uranus in the whole house system falls in the first house, in Taurus.
The transition of Uranus (sudden change) through Taurus (structure, finance, banking, security) over the next few years, strongly suggests that we will indeed see many, often drastic changes in the world of money, what we think of it, how we use it etc. With this Royal baby, here we have symbolised an embodiment of the forces which wish to stay exactly as they are, versus the irresistible force for change.
Maybe we can also see here symbolised the controversy of wanting to have a ‘modern’ home birth, which is actually a reversion to the past, versus the existing Royal protocol. And all of this exemplified in the persona of a new arrival in to the world. Either way, Uranus in the first house indicates someone who is very individual, unique, and all of the planets (except Jupiter in its own sign interestingly) on the so called ‘I’ side, or ‘eastern hemisphere’ of the chart emboldens the tendency for the person to strongly believe in himself.
So what else can we see? My head nodded tellingly when I saw Saturn in Capricorn close to the Midheaven (MC). Once again we have here an indicator of earthy solidity, this time revealing itself in the career path of the individual. There will be huge demands of responsibility placed upon him – well, he will be a Royal after all. Classically this is not a ‘good’ position for Saturn and the burden, or the weight of the task of his role, whatever it might be, will be highly demanding.
However, once again, we have an outer planet messing around close to Saturn and the MC, namely Pluto. Now a few years ago poor Pluto was demoted to a ‘minor planet’, something which I understand, but as I said above, I look at the outer planets a bit like fixed stars. Nevertheless, Pluto is still deeply powerful, I believe. He is a bit like Uranus in that he denotes change, but Pluto has come to symbolise deeper transformations and darker forces behind the scenes. So here again we have conservative forces in Saturn/Capricorn, being deeply undermined by transformative Pluto. He will have a highly interesting role in public life.
Next we have the Moon’s north and south nodes coming strongly into play, the south node being conjunct Saturn and the Midheaven. He brings with him an inheritance of deep public responsibility, but the way forward in his life is showing a need to become more involved in family, his roots and also his siblings. This will be a true challenge.
As you can see, the new Royal baby very much personifies the present political situation, not only in the United Kingdom but throughout the world. It will be fascinating to see how this dichotomy within his personality plays out over time.
So on a lighter note, what else can we see? When he was born the Moon had just skipped over into airy and mutable Gemini, showing that he will have a lighter, quick witted and vivacious side to his personality too. In the whole house system, this Moon is in the second house of finance and security and may indicate many changes and fluctuations in this area of life.
What is more, there is an exact opposition between Mars and Jupiter in the 2nd/8th house axis. Gemini and Sagittarius are not stable, and this tug of war between fiery Mars and generous Jupiter in his own sign, could well indicate a tendency for financial affairs to get out of hand, either through circumstances constantly changing. There certainly might be a tendency to be cavalier here, though the caution of Taurus and Capricorn will tend to put the breaks on.
His Mercury in Aries means he will probably be a very vocal personality, with much wit and charm. This tendency will probably be increased by his Venus in Aries in the 12th house, indicating ardent emotions and impatience too, but this may usually be hidden from public gaze.
So, in essence, I think he will be an imposing, unique presence, with the Sun and ascendant in Taurus and Uranus in the first house. This combined with his fiery, versatile side, indicated by the Mars Jupiter opposition, may well make him a very fine sportsman with great strength and skill. He embodies both the deep traditions of Royalty and also the irresistible force for change within it. It will be interesting to see how this plays out not only his own life, but in all of ours too.
I came across this recently, a post box which is at least 115 years old. VR stands for Victoria Regina (Queen Victoria), her reign being from 1837 to 1901. In theory, therefore, it could be 179 years old. I wonder how many times the lock has been changed?
What a different world we inhabit now. In 1901 the car had only just been invented and plane flight was still a dream. And in 1901 Victoria was Queen-Empress of an empire on which the sun never set, head of state of roughly one quarter of the world’s population.
Now it’s not even certain the United Kingdom itself can be kept united for much longer. I don’t think she would be amused, but all empires turn to sand in the end. Some sooner than others.