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

Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales – What Might Have Been. Astrology Musings

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Prince Arthur was Henry VII’s eldest son and heir to the throne of England. Sadly, he was to die aged only 15 in the year 1502, just months after marrying Catherine of Aragon and taking up residence at Ludlow Castle as Prince of Wales.

If his birth data is accurate, and I have no reason to doubt it, I think England might well have missed out on a new golden age, something which his father the king had truly hoped for, which is why he had his eldest son christened after the legendary British ruler, Arthur.

Lots of Potential

Why do I say this? The personality of rulers, especially monarchs who wielded virtual absolute power, would obviously affect the destiny of the nations over which they ruled. So what does Prince Arthur’s birth chart reveal? He was apparently born a month premature but there are not many indications that he was at all sickly at birth, or during his short life.

He was born with Royal Leo rising with his ruler, the Sun, in Libra in house 3 in good aspect to Saturn in Sagittarius in house 5, in challenging aspect to Jupiter in Capricorn in house 6. Venus is also in Leo in house 1 of personality, in good aspect to Mercury and Mars.

Attractive Personality

Dying so young, Arthur’s character would not have been fully developed, but this suggests an attractive, strong, generous, confident, courteous, diplomatic and responsible person with plenty of charm and probable wit. In what records we do have of him, he was described as very tall, handsome, amiable and gentle.

What is more, his Moon in Gemini in house 11 loosely conjunct Mars, would only strengthen his sociable and witty tendencies. He would have been great company, I feel. However, the Moon is opposite Uranus in Sagittarius, indicating that he could have a sudden, fragile, perhaps nervous temperament, too, which could have seriously affected his friendships.

A Glittering Royal Court in Waiting?

Looking at his mental potential, is seems to have been excellent, boding well for his future royal court, which might have become legendary, in a similar manner in which we talk of Richard II’s or even Louis XIV’s of France in a future age.

Libra is on house 3 cusp and Aries on house 9. These house rulers, Venus and Mars, are in good aspect to each other in ‘positive’ signs and houses, both in good aspect to Mercury in Libra in house 3. Add his Libran Sun in house 3 and it doesn’t get much better than this, the only things missing being Jupiter (higher mind), who is not exactly in this mix, in Capricorn in house 6.

Kingly Ambitions

I am quite certain that he would have been as adept in languages as his brother Henry VII and Elizabeth I, and probably would have exceeded them. He would have been a patron of the arts and literature too, one of the prime considerations when we are talking about cultural significance.

His ambitions as king look equally well starred because Venus and Mars rule the 10th house and MC respectively. I think he would have been a great success in foreign diplomatic matters – he’d already had the good fortune to marry Catherine of Aragon, an important diplomatic move for the English crown and would have surely been the bedrock of his career as King of England.

What might have been

However, his tendency to overreach himself, as shown by the Sun’s square aspect to Jupiter, perhaps through overconfidence at times, might have presented some problems, especially in military matters.

However, with Saturn in good aspect to the Sun and in mutual reception to Jupiter in Capricorn, this might have somewhat stemmed his potential for over confidence.

Had he lived, I am certain that we are looking here at a great historic personality who would have been much loved by his people, the kind of person who could have introduced a new golden age to England, set the country on a very different course from the one his brother, the future Henry VIII, began.

*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

King Edward VI, The Tragic Boy King with a Mind of His Own – Astrology Musings

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King Edward VI had the misfortune to succeed his famous father on the throne of England, aged just 9.

Unlike his father, Edward was an avowed reformer and protestant, having been tutored by leading religious reformers of the day.

Staunch Protestant

What is more, Edward appears to have very much embraced the new religion, as well as being a keen student of it.

Astrologically, Edward was born with Virgo rising, with Venus and Saturn close to the ascendant. This reveals a very analytical, even highly exacting approach to life, a love of study and detail. Although not too much is known of him, he does appear to have had a somewhat ‘humourless personality’, yet it is difficult to be critical of someone so young.

A Serious Student with Strong Opinions

His ruling planet Mercury is in Scorpio in house 3, which deepens the mind considerably. Here is a penetrating mind, and probably a very good student who would get absorbed in his subjects. Like his father and sisters, he was very good at languages.

However, this Mercury is also square Mars in Leo in house 12, indicating that although he had a lot of mental energy for areas like intellectual debate, there was also tendency for it to show itself through excessive stubbornness or perhaps fits of anger, a tendency he may have inherited from his father.

Courteous

However, we must also bear in mind that he was a Sun Libran in house 2, so at heart he did have strong sense of companionship and courtesy.

It is known that despite the differences between himself and his eldest sister, Mary, especially in regard to her staunch Catholicism as opposed to his avowed Protestantism, he did show concern for her and wished they could at least get along, even though ultimately this proved to be extremely difficult.

Reticent, but Calculating

His Moon was in Capricorn square his Sun, which gave him a cool, even calculating disposition, which may have come across initially as reticence or shyness. This would underline the rather analytical and fastidious personality.

Once people got to know him, the essential charm would have become more obvious. This tendency might not have helped his reputation for being rather exacting and humourless, however, as mentioned above, and if he had lived to adulthood, he would almost certainly have had a ruthless, autocratic streak, capable of making difficult, unpopular decisions.

Practical Application of Philosophy 

Jupiter in Taurus in house 9 loosely trine his house 1 Saturn, implies an expansive, if rather conservative and very practical interest in philosophy.

After all, we have to remember that Protestantism, though in one sense revolutionary, was in essence a stripping away, an ultra conservative, radical approach to Christianity which resorted to scripture rather than saints.

He was keen to make sure that England’s Protestant transformation became permanent and took a keen interest on the detail, so much so that he agreed to the idea that Lady Jane Grey should succeed him and not his virulently Catholic sister Mary.

Social Upheaval Personally Felt

Around the time Edward was born, the Uranus Pluto cycle was in opposition, both in positive aspect to Neptune (spirituality).

This cycle is all about social change and around 1537, the fallout from the Dissolution of the Monasteries was beginning, with large numbers of monks and nuns being released into the communities and the former monasteries falling into the hands of the king.

Edward’s ruling planet Mercury and Mars are loosely connected to the Uranus Pluto opposition, forming a tense T-square, another strong indication that he was personally connected to (and took a strong interest in) the changing times he was born into the continuing change after that which enveloped the whole country.

What Might Have Been

Edward died aged only 15, probably from tuberculosis, although there were rumours of poisoning.

Had he reached maturity and lived a reasonably long life, say to around 56 like his father, it seems clear that England would have become a fully Protestant country much earlier, even though large parts of the country would remain strongly Catholic for a few generations more. This would almost certainly have led to religious turmoil.

What is more, judging from his birth chart, Edward would have taken a strong leading role in to seeing to the imposition of this new religion and would have been as vehemently Protestant as his sister was Catholic.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

Henry VI, King of England and France, Castles Made of Sand – Astrology Musings

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His father was one of England’s most legendary monarchs, the victor of Agincourt in northern France in October 1415. Henry V went on to re-conquer Normandy, to officially become heir to the French throne and win the hand in marriage of the French king’s daughter, Catherine.

But alas for England, Henry V was dead by 1422, aged just 35, too famous to live long, as Shakespeare was to put it nearly two centuries later.

A fated inheritance?

However, he left behind a son aged just one, also called Henry, sixth of that name, who on his father’s death inherited two kingdoms, England and France.

Young Henry remains the only monarch to be crowned king of England and France, yet it was to be an illusive and tragic inheritance.

By 1453, a generation later, the English were effectively all but thrown out of France, only little Calais remaining.

Lancaster versus York

Back in England, the kingdom began to implode through the strong rivalry between the houses of Lancaster and York. Henry VI, unlike his famous father, was no military leader, becoming a powerless pawn during the shifting circumstances of war and intrigue. He was dethroned and eventually died in captivity, probably murdered.

It was an ignominious end to a reign which, at its start, promised the uniting of two kingdoms and a golden age.

Pluto transforms

So, according to the birth data, Henry was born with Pluto rising in Gemini, within a degree of the ascending point. Of course, Pluto was unknown back in the 15th century and therefore no astrologer could have pointed this out to his parents or guardians.

However, with the benefit of our hindsight, Pluto on sensitive points of a birth chart, and they don’t come much more sensitive than the ascending degree, can cast a very strong influence on the individual. Pluto is said to be transformative, a bringer of drastic change, almost like a finger of fate over which we have no control.

It’s worth remembering, too, that when Henry was king, the monarch was all powerful when he was of ruling age, say from his late teens.

The English kicked out of France

But because he became king aged 1, both England and France were ruled by others, essentially his uncles and their cohorts.

And because the figure head’s birth chart is, by its very nature, said to be symbolic of the ‘destiny’ of the whole nation beneath it, this Pluto conjunct the ascendant, exactly describes what happened over the next generation: a complete transformation, the English ending up being kicked out of France (except Calais), France setting its long course to become the dominant power in western Europe. England, on the other hand, went into meltdown.

Draining the swamp?

This is very much Plutonian, the draining of the swamp, a drastic, though perhaps necessary change which completely disrespects the individual.

Poor Henry probably never had a chance, not helped by the fact that he was no warrior, and in fact appeared to prefer religious study to the involvement in power politics. Some said that he had inherited his grandfather’s (Charles VI of France) supposed madness.

A life led through others

Returning to Henry’s chart, his chart ruler, Mercury and his Sun are both in Sagittarius in his 7th house of partnerships. This means that, although he was mentally expansive, his life was usually led through others, that he was always likely to be under the influence of more powerful people than he, even though he was king of two kingdoms. This was probably a result of inheriting so young.

His Mercury in Sagittarius in beneficial aspect to Jupiter in the 3rd house, strongly hints of a keen interest in the higher mind, the areas of philosophy and religion, and I suspect that this tendency became almost like an escape for him as the full magnitude of his personal situation revealed itself to him as he grew up.

An escape in philosophy and religion

His Sagittarian Sun is also ruler of that 3rd house, underlining the idea that thinking is a good way to travel philosophically, if not physically for him, though Sagittarius in itself suggests foreign involvement – he was king and the inheritor of two countries and cultures.

Saturn is ruler of the 9th house, the planet being found in Libra in the 5th house. I think he had a keen sense of justice too and was probably very knowledgeable of the law.

Also interesting, for those who think Uranus is ruler or co-ruler of Aquarius, Uranus is found in the 10th house in Pisces. Uranus in this house more than hints of sudden changes in the ‘career’ and if Uranus is indeed the MC (midheaven point) ruler too, then we have another tie up in regard to his experience of the vicissitudes of kingship.

Spiritual solace

His Moon in Taurus in the 12th house, might have added a touch of stability to his life. The Moon is said to be exalted in Taurus, so if he ever had time to engage in activities such as gardening, he might have found some quiet solace, especially as the Moon is in good aspect to Neptune, which would tend to add a spiritual, or unworldly edge to his character.

Mars is also involved in this configuration, nicely trining Neptune from the 6th house in Scorpio, adding energy and, I should imagine, some religious zeal to his already mentioned philosophical interests.

However, the Moon Mars opposition, would have also been a source of much psychological irritation, too, which would always tend to find release through this Neptune – this may have been one of the key indications of his love of religion and spiritual issues.

A victim of circumstance

Finally, his Chiron is in the 8th house of inheritance, almost exactly in aspect (quincunx) to Pluto on his ascendant and loosely opposite Neptune. Here is a very strong indication of his early circumstances, inheriting so young the newly founded empire of his father, plus his difficulty in coming to terms with it later on as circumstances began to change beyond his control. In his more lucid moments, he might have been able to give others some succinct advice about death and inheritance.

Looking at this chart, I do genuinely feel sorry for Henry, for there are few better examples of a king being a victim of circumstance.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019

Grieving


Anne Boleyn? Hans Holbein the Younger [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

(a response to Holbein’s sketch,
purportedly of Anne Boleyn)

So, is this really you? Those full lips
well kissed, I have no doubt,
your pretty duckys hidden, fit for ravagers
we call kings. Holbein’s profile, it
simply shines your intelligence, courts
with language, love and ideas,
perhaps a little too much for kings
and enemies to take, at a time
when your sex are meant to be
little more than slaves and vessels
for petulant princes.

But no one can stop me grieving:
I imagine you blink, turn
and smile at me. Oh,
you are strong and keen, yet tender
and kind like all mothers
and lovers should be. No wonder
other men may have dreamed
on those lips, carried away
by your verve, which only victors
ever get to call treason. Now I wish
I could touch your fine chin
and whisper: “Elizabeth—
remember Elizabeth!” My words
vanish into air like justice, while you
stare blankly through Traitor’s Gate;
but this little girl takes the better part
of you, better than any king before
or since, of this abject state

poem © copyright David F. Barker

Poem ‘Wordspiller’

The Old English epic poem Beowulf is written i...

The Old English epic poem Beowulf is written in alliterative verse and paragraphs, not in lines or stanzas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wordspiller (for Christopher Marlowe)

So you are the spiller of words, almost
as far from me as
Beowulf is to you.

Wordspiller, your crosspose outstands me,
but I backthink
the falling choirs where you sadwalked

your summerwaiting mind, to
when your glories were mere
airthought,

like the Greathallow who once
shorestepped there
to see for himself

your forliving Angles (he oncebethought
angels) and their saxon King
Ethelbert redeemed to newspells that

you mindweighed as truthless.
Now I meet your clearstead gaze; for
the muse which stretchfed you

has not alleaten you yet

poem © copyright david f. barker 2012