Born on This Day – Mary Queen of Scots

Today marks the anniversary of the birth of Mary, Queen of Scots, born in Linlithgow, Scotland in 1542.

She became Queen of Scotland only six days after her birth, following the death of her father, James V.

Mary went on to marry the French king Francis II when she was just sixteen, effectively uniting the thrones of Scotland and France. However, Francis died the following year and Mary had to return to Scotland in 1651.

However, the young monarch soon experienced problems back in her homeland; she was, after all, a catholic in an essentially protestant country.

It was Mary’s subsequent marriages, her apparent lack of judgement and bad counsel she received at critical times, which led to great unpopularity and her eventual arrest and abdication in 1567. Although she managed to escape to England the next year, she was soon apprehended and spent the rest of her life in various places of custody.

She was finally executed on February 18 1587, following much intrigue and attempts to install her on the English throne, although right until the end, it was clear that Elizabeth was very reluctant to sign the order of execution on a fellow female monarch.

copyright Francis Barker 2019

Brexit Precedents: No 1

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Whatever did Britons (and others) do for news stories before Brexit?

When this long running political and parliamentary shenanigans is finally sorted (if) – will we actually, in some strange way – miss it?

Now that ‘the can has been kicked down the road’ once more, as they say, there is still no end in sight, not even with a ‘flextension’, where the United Kingdom could leave at any time before January 31 2020. But don’t hold your breath, expect the unexpected might be a good statement to keep in mind.

The whole issue of Brexit reminded me of the people of Great Britain’s long running in/out relationship with the continent of Europe, not merely historically, politically and economically, but geographically.

When the ice sheets melted at the end of the last ice age, roughly 10 to 11000 years ago, what is now the island of Great Britain was, for a time, connected to the continent by an ever diminishing land bridge, which eventually disappeared.

It would appear this separation was wholly and permanently defining for the people of Great Britain, wherever they came from, and remains so right up until the present day. Britain is part of Europe, yet it is clearly a very distinct part of it, symbolised by its island status and the fractured relationship it has had, and still has, with Europe’s varying political institutions.

In the next piece I will look at other examples of ‘Brexit’ from the past.

copyright Francis Barker 2019

Astrology Musings: The ‘Divine’, Extraordinary Sarah Bernhardt

woman raising her hands
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It would seem famous French stage actress Sarah Bernhardt had little going for her when she was born. Her mother, a courtesan, wasn’t married and it’s said she never knew the identity of her father; Sarah was educated in a convent, where she learned the etiquette which would equip her for life.

She was clearly determined to become an actress – and how. Despite being small and skinny, she more than made up for her obvious disadvantages through sheer will power and ambition.

With Cancer rising her ruling ‘planet’ is the Moon, which is involved in the most important feature of the chart.

She has the Moon exactly conjunct Uranus in Aries in the 10th house of career, exactly opposite Mars. Here symbolised is her emotionally intense, dramatic, fiery, at times explosive nature, plus her sheer determination to succeed, whatever the odds – an implacable ambition, plus a great deal of outspokenness, I should imagine.

Saturn, the planet of patience and work, is well aspected to this configuration, hinting that the vast amount of energy from the opposition was offset into painstaking hard work.

Another interesting feature is her Venus conjunct Chiron in Virgo in the 3rd house of the mind, education and communication. This to me indicates her early life in particular, the strict convent schooling which would have been both difficult and character defining.

Venus can stand for femininity and in Virgo it is very particular, functional, precise. Chiron’s presence here shows how difficult this training was for her, but also reveals her life as an example to others, to make the best of a difficult start to life.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

Source: Astro-Databank

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