Haiku from a Picture: ‘The King is Dead’

Copy of IMG_1672

Offices remain
The incumbents come and go
Grasp impermanence

copyright Francis Barker 2020

Sunday Poem: The Blooded White Rose

black and white nature flowers close up view
Photo by Jack Hawley on Pexels.com
The car parked marked with an R,
as if your spirit had hovered 
for half a millenium to mark 
the deconsecrated spot. 
A few inches either side 
and you may have been lost forever, 
though there was little chance of that, 
so precisely did you engage with the living, 
the aggrieved who wished to dig up 
your true reputation 
with those poignant bones. 
The sight of that curved spine, 
it touched our hearts, 
wincing at the thought of you 
holding a sword and swinging it, 
yet swing it you did 
to save your country, your soul. 
The wounds so clear, 
graphically revealed the ignominy 
of your passing, the blood lust 
and hate of those thrusting 
at the legally occupied throne. 
History is just a story, after all, 
to which most of us consent, 
but I think of you often, Richard, 
the bloody white rose 
cut too soon on a dark August day.

copyright Francis Barker 2020

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King Edward IV of England, An Undervalued Monarch? Astrology Musings

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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.

Impetuous generosity

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.

Overindulgence

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 leoftanner@gmail.com.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019