The only possible way to describe Caterina Sforza is by making use of the words agitator, rebel, fighter, renegade, and unyielding. She was a woman of substantial strength, intelligence, and tenaciousness. Caterina would take charge and show unbelievable character despite her hard as nails attitude.
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.
William Cecil (1520-1598) is perhaps the epitome of the true statesman. He was chief adviser, counsellor, Secretary of State, Lord High Treasurer and Lord Privy Seal under Queen Elizabeth I of England, her number one ‘go to’ man.
He could not be called a true politician in the modern sense of the word, but proceeded always with extreme caution and wisdom. Perhaps this is how he, and Elizabeth, usually avoided danger.
So what made him tick, astrologically speaking?
Caution and Diplomacy personified
I was not at all surprised to find that this very careful and deliberate man had Capricorn rising. Not only that, his ruling planet, Saturn, is found in Capricorn (its own sign) in house 1 (approach/personality), in good aspect to a Sun in Libra in house 10 (career) and also to Venus in Virgo (love of detail, method) in house 9 (higher mind).
So here we see a courteous, though cautious, calculating, highly responsible and dutiful person but with also a high degree of ambition, with the patience and prudence to reach the top, regardless of time. He did indeed reach the top, both politically and academically, being also a principal individual at Cambridge university.
Not only that, his Moon also in Libra in house 10 indicates his natural, innate sense of courtesy and diplomacy, put to good use in his career.
He would tend to see both sides of any argument to the nth degree and come the most reasoned, conservative solution possible, in an attempt not to offend anyone.
Courteous, Diplomatic… but tiresome?
I am quite sure that at times he would have come across as a tiresome person, and if Shakespeare is to be believed, where in the play ‘Hamlet’ the character of Polonius is thought by some to be a kind of caricature of Cecil, then the ‘tedium’ of his personality might have become quite legendary or notorious at Elizabeth’s court.
Saturn’s difficult aspect to Mercury in house 10 might have only added even more weight to the mental caution (fussiness), a primary trait of Polonius, exhibited throughout the play ‘Hamlet’.
His Moon is also square Mars in Cancer in house 7, indicating that diplomatic and marital affairs were often difficult and emotional to deal with and would have caused much emotional disturbance for him.
Very difficult, trying decisions
So if his well developed house 10 implies success in his political and diplomatic ambitions, Jupiter close to his midheaven puts the seal on this, aided by supportive aspects from Venus and Mars.
However, Jupiter is also closely opposed by Uranus hovering around the nadir (bottom angle) of the chart, indicating, I am sure, some of the horrific decisions and sudden changes he had to make working with his queen, namely dealing with the ups and downs regarding Mary Queen of Scots, her eventual execution, the Spanish Armada, and all the secrecy, intrigue and espionage involved throughout her tumultuous reign. His home and family life would also have been deeply affected.
Nevertheless, the good aspects from this tight opposition to Venus in Virgo in house 9, I am sure, would have led him to find an easy release of this tension and upheaval through greater involvement in his love of detail and efficiency, something in which he excelled.
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