Astrology Musings: Leonardo di Ser Piero da Vinci

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Finding that Leonardo da Vinci was born with Sagittarius rising is no surprise.

The mutable fire sign is ruled by Jupiter, is wide ranging, restless, multi-faceted, all of which are qualities that Leonardo used in his approach to life. He travelled extensively and was gifted several creative and scientific fields.

His ruler, Jupiter, was found in conjunction with the Moon in Pisces in his 4th house. He was sensitive, imaginative, quite private really, though quite generous I would imagine, as indeed stories about him testify.

Nevertheless, his Sun was in Taurus in the 6th house, along with Venus in good aspect to revolutionary Uranus and challenging aspect to prolific Jupiter.

Practical and inspirational

This means he was also totally practical, workmanlike, as well as creatively inspirational. Here was no idle dreamer, in other words, he wanted practical solutions.

This is clearly evident from his art, which produced such enduring masterpieces like the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, to his endless quixotic quests into the functioning of the human body and his ability to invent things which were centuries ahead of their time, like the helicopter and other military solutions for those rulers who gave him patronage. Such patrons included the Medici, Ludovico Sforza, Cesare Borgia and King Francis I of France.

Chiron’s position in the 7th house is an indication that relationships were difficult for him, yet he also developed an ability to help others in theirs.

North node in the 2nd house underlines his task to be practically resourceful in his life – a task which he achieved, considering the voluminous amount and variety of work he got through.

copyright Francis Barker 2019

source: Astro-Databank

*Contact me at leoftanner@gmail.com if you would a personal astrological report.

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Dynamic Robert Devereux Earl of Essex, Elizabeth I’s Controversial Favourite – Astrology Musings

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.

Abortive campaign

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.

Hugely resourceful

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.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

 

The Traditionalism of Hilaire Belloc – Astrology Musings

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Hilaire Belloc was a notable Anglo-French writer who died in 1953.

A Sagittarian ascendant befits his stradling of two distinct European cultures and a man of wide interests.

His ruler Jupiter in Gemini in house 7, shows his multi-faceted approach, eclectic relationships (he married an American) and variable writing topics; he wrote books for children, about travel, plays, essays and books on mainly history and traditional issues.

Saturn in his first house (in a loose opposition to Jupiter in house 7) could symbolise his generally conservative outlook. Saturn trine Neptune in house 5 hints at the idealism which he attached to his conservatism, expressing it creatively.

Wide interests

His Sun is conjunct Mercury (house 10 ruler) in Leo in house 9. Here is a powerful and creative individual with a strong interest in philosophy, extensive travel and foreign culture. This was always likely to be part of the basis of his life direction and career.

Belloc’s traditional stance is also very much emboldened by his full house 8.

The Moon conjunct Uranus in Cancer in this house reveals an emotional and somewhat unique attachment to deeper issues of life and culture. He was an ardent Catholic and traditionalist who hated to see old lifestyles disappear.

More than this, his Venus (MC ruler) conjunct Mars in Cancer in this house too, shows an ardent love of home, family and traditional values, the energy he put into getting back to their roots, and in trying to preserve and regenerate them. This too, became part and parcel of what he stood for.

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

Today’s Astrology Musings: The sign of Cancer

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I feel the water signs get a pretty bad deal in general, that there is, somehow, something uncool about them.

Even Cancer, the cardinal or dominant water sign, is often described as overly emotional or ‘touchy’. All of this is unfair. Maybe it is to do with the fact that they are all classed, traditionally, as ‘negative’.

So what is the sign of Cancer, the first of the water signs? I see it in its clear relation to the fourth house, which sits visually at the bottom of the birth chart.

Foundations

Cancer is associated with home and family and the protection of them. How is this ‘negative’? It is fundamental, the foundations of our whole existence; very little can be achieved or sustained without it.

We all need a base to our lives and Cancer and the fourth house gives indications as to the quality of that in our birth charts.

Cancer, because of its associations with the family, is also about our roots and the past, another very important base of our lives. Look at the huge interest in genealogy and DNA analyses these days. Yes, of course, they’ve been marketed, but for a good reason: we all want to know where we come from. It’s important to us.

Spirituality

And this has spiritual connotations too, all to do with the Cancer/Capricorn axis and its association with birth and rebirth, reincarnation. Cancer can be see as the gateway into life, in human form, Capricorn the way out.

Of course we can also see this mapped out on the earth, if you will, in the two tropics of Cancer in the north, and Capricorn in the south, the two extremes of the path of apparent path of the Sun around the earth.

The summer solstice, which traditionally marks the beginning of summer in the north, also marks the start of the sign of Cancer, the beginning of the Sun’s fall southward, symbolically showing the soul’s descent into matter.

Glyphs and symbols

But why the crab symbol? I think it’s all to do with protection, the hard outer shell. In earlier medieval astrology, Cancer was often represented by a crayfish, which would have been much more evident in the streams and rivers of Europe back then.

Maybe the Cancer glyph, the 69, represents the crab’s pincers. And the Moon’s rulership of Cancer is beyond doubt, its phases and associations with water being key here.

Walking on the Moon

It’s also interesting to note that the first Moon Landing hit our screens in the year 1969, co-incidentally incorporating a suggestion of the Cancer glyph – and on July 20-21, as the Sun was leaving Cancer for Leo.

My own musings lead me to speculate that the 69 glyph may represent the Sun’s turnaround at the summer solstice (which means sun standstill); in other words, the 6 flips over to become 9, symbolising the beginning of the return south for the Sun. Just a thought and I’m probably not the first to say this.

Associations

If Cancer is ruled by the Moon, Jupiter is said to be exalted in the sign, bringing out the best of the Jupiterian positivity in nurturing ways.

However, Saturn the ruler of Capricorn, is said to ‘fall’ in Cancer, and Mars is in his detriment because Mars is exalted in Capricorn.

So, here in a few words we can see that Cancer (and the water signs) are far more interesting we realise. And Cancer due to its prominent placing on the ecliptic (the zodiac), is in fact most fundamental – literally.

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

Astrology Musings: Mercury conjunct Mars in the Crab – Take It Easy!

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Today marks the meeting of Mercury and Mars in Cancer: Communication and energy combine in an emotive, sensitive way.

Mercury in Cancer in itself may tend to favour, or promote, more emotional thought, less emphasis on rationality. The poets among us might be just that bit more inspired right now, perhaps by family, nostalgic or patriotic concerns.

Combining with the Martian energy, this may be a time when issues to do with the home, family, our countries, become that bit more inflamed and vocalised, such as the long running Brexit situation, for instance. So we might expect to see more emotive output in the media right now.

The conjunction also occurs almost exactly opposite Pluto in Capricorn, so this probably only increases the tendency for political stirrings, speculations and perhaps secrets to be exposed in quite sensational ways. The Moon’s presence in Capricorn right now also brings emphasis on political and business issues.

Short distance travelling, or commuting, and our neighbourhoods too, are likely to become more active than normal, even aggravating, which may make us more prone to loss of temper due to the emotive influence of the Crab.

And as Cancer is a water sign, maybe travel by that mode, either by river or ocean, could be that bit more of an issue.

It might be a good idea for all us to exercise a little bit of caution in such circumstances.