Saturday, February 20, 2016

Henry V at Agincourt: an Astrological Review, Part III

In the previous post, I presented two alternatives for the nativity of Henry V, and favored the second of them based on a number of factors, but most specifically due the emphasis of Mars as befitting the chart of a warrior king. I proposed the chart as being "hypothetical".

In this post, I will continue to pursue the hypothesis in comparison with the nativity of his principal rival, Charles VI of France, that nation's ruler at the time of Agincourt, and I will review and discuss some charts leading up to the battle.

Here is the (sidereal) chart of Henry V that I favored in the prior post:

Now, here is the (sidereal) chart of Charles VI. (I've used the data from

Focusing first on the angles, the chief feature of this chart is the opposition between Uranus at the medium cœli and Jupiter at the imum cœli. This is a kind of a lightning rod of benefic fate. However, these two also square Pluto in the 7th house. So it's kind of like winning the lottery one day and having some bully steal it from you the next. And being in the nativity, this must have happened on a more or less continual basis.

Next, consider the full second house with four major planets (including a luminary): quite a lot going on here, one ambiguously nice thing being that the minor benific Venus (which rules the Ascendant) conjoined his Sun in the second house. This bespeaks a charming father, or good relations with that father, and/or an easy accession to his patrimony. Yet, the Sun and Venus square the Moon in the 11th house, and both of these configurations form sesquiquatrate (135 deg) aspects with Pluto. In mundane coordinates, this Pluto is actually about a degree and a half from the western horizon, so it's actually pretty angular.
   In addition to the square to the Moon, Venus+Sun also form a square to Neptune, and thus he possessed yet another challenging T-square. I'm not going to go through all the midpoints here, but this configuration is kind of a gimme: Pluto=Sun/Moon; from Ebertin's COSI: "A soul torn by inner conflict, biased attitude or changed circumstances leads to critical phases of development in life or to separation from others." I don't know if this indicates, as such, an intense relationship with the parents. They were married when both were about 12, though this doesn't mean they set up house spending all their time with one another. Yet, with respect to their procreative activity, it must be said that Charles was the fifth child, but the first to live beyond age 5. Perhaps Jupiter enters into this as well, as ruler of the 3rd house (siblings); the opposition to Uranus and square to Pluto seems to reflect a wealth of siblings easily lost. Of the four children who followed him, none lived beyond age 10. His oldest surviving sibling died at age 35. Jupiter in Capricorn is in its fall. We might say he was a "lucky loser".

In contrast with Henry's Mars 10th house placement, Charles's Mars is in the 12th house. It is probably not close enough to the ascendant—about 11 degrees—to be considered angular. By itself, this placement could yield a native who has difficulty being aggressive without somehow undermining themselves; he could experience a life where he, eventually, learns to "go with the flow", and losing himself in physical activity could be a natural way for him to transcend, to go beyond his limitations, and this would ironically make him feel more secure. He was apparently fond of jousting.
   Virgo-Mars is in sextile aspect with Scorpio-Saturn in the 2nd house, and Mars rules the 2nd house. Mars and Mercury are in a very weak sextile, but are in mutual reception, so Mercury rules the 12th house in turn. Does this again point to a difficulty maintaining his possessions? that he preferred to manage his money in secret with his accountant? that he had secret enemies undermining his wealth?

As to the Moon/Sun+Venus/Neptune T-square mentioned above, the Moon in the 11th house is loosely opposite Neptune in the 6th house—with a 6 degree orb. I am not sure about the consanguinity of his parents, but they (represented by the luminaries) seem to have some relationship with his mental issues (as represented by Neptune). The 12th house is also the realm of secret enemies, so Mars may play a role as well.
   When first reviewing this chart, I wondered whether he had endured some concussions in his youth that contributed to his later instability. Other sources apply modern categories of mental debility, such as bipolar disorder. The solar arc directions would point to hypothetical events at age 5 (Nep opp Moon), 18 (Nep opp Mars) and 24 (Moon conj Mars, Sun sq Mars). [Looking at the Wikipedia entry, I notice an event of paranoid violence in 1392, a few months shy of 24.] He was Charles the Beloved until he was Charles the Mad.

Henry V's and Charles VI's charts have a few interesting things in common and many interactions. Let's round them up and take a look:

Both have the Cardinal sign Libra at the ascendant. However, while Charles's ascendant-ruler Venus is in his 2nd house (conjunct sun), Henry's is in his 8th house. Simply put, Charles was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, whereas Henry may have desired that tributes to be brought to him on a silver platter.

Henry's Uranus in the 12th conjoins Charles's ascendant within a couple of degrees, and thus Henry may inadvertently (12th) jolt (Uranus) Charles to attentiveness of his own self (1st). Both have Pluto in the 7th house (transformative partner or open-enemy), and Charles's Pluto conjoins Henry's descendant within a couple of degrees (and thus perhaps was perceived as a very real threat). Henry's Pluto is about a degree away from Charles's Vertex in the 8th house. Since we're talking about Pluto, these are somewhat impersonal interactions: i.e., not Charles or Henry per se, but representing their generation in a confrontation with Other, in a drama that they both play out as confrontation because they have Pluto in the 7th.

Each has Mercury conjunct Saturn, though Henry's is much tighter (1 degree arc, and near the Midheaven), while Charles's is part of a larger stellium, in the second house. I cannot imagine their eventual conversations to have been very lively.

Henry's Sun+Mars trine Charles's Sun+Venus. Charles's Mars square Henry's Venus. Henry's Moon is opposite and ennervated by Charles's Sun, and, for its part, the former's activates the latter's Moon/Sun/Neptune T-square. So there is some harmony of purpose, but also something more than irritation. "Why can't we just get along?" This isn't anything that a good couples therapist wouldn't be able to help with.

Now, take a look at the fact that they each have the North Node in Gemini in the 8th house, and they are less than a degree apart. The Moon's nodes coincide with solar and lunar eclipses, and eclipses have a way of triggering events that are in some way inconceivable until they happen: perhaps we meet someone who changes our life in some way that seems accidental or fated. It's as if certain improbabilities become probable, or as if reality itself seems to shift. The nodes appear to be the locus (or loci) in a nativity where one is more sensitive to these shiftings of reality. For Henry and Charles, we expect these shifts to be timed fairly closely.

That their nodes are less than a degree apart means they were born very close to a nodal cycle apart (18.6 years; in their case 18.4), and they are going to be sensitive to the same eclipse seasons, albeit in somewhat different ways. This is interesting, but not in itself remarkable. I don't wish to imply, for example, that all battles fought between nation-states would be led by principals with nodal synastry. Mundane Astrology tends to apply the eclipses to states and organizations, rather than to individuals. But lacking a convenient "founding chart" for both England and France, I have attempted to apply them to these individuals, who are the heads of their respective states.

But the real reason I'm mentioning their nodal (dis)positions is because in the year 1415 the Moon's Nodes are transiting in opposition to the radical nodes of both Henry and Charles. It's reasonable to ask, does the nodal alignment—less than a half-degree apart (comparing their sidereal charts)—indicate some sort of karmic tie? This would be true of any pair of people with about an 18 to 19 year difference in age. Given Henry's age there may have been hundreds of men among his troops, or on the French side, who were born the same year or roughly 18 and a half years older than him, but certainly not all of his troops were, nor were all of the opposing troops.

In 1415 they are both kings of their respective countries, these countries happen to be at war, and the North Node happens to be shuffling through Sagittarius at the time. The North Node traverses the Second-Eighth house axis in their natal charts, and comes in contact with the planets in these houses (emphasizing 8th house for Henry and 2nd house for Charles). Do the eclipses in the Summer of 1415 have any bearing on their respective shiftings of reality?

Here is the Total Solar Eclipse from late Spring of the year 1415.

A rule of thumb for identifying the "ruler" of the eclipse is to look for a conjunction of a non-luminary with the eclipse. (Lacking this, would the Moon rule?) In this case, Mars and Pluto are within 5 degrees of the syzygy, which befits war, strife and struggle.
   I cast the chart in Azincourt to see whether anything would show up angular for that location, and there is nothing, with the possible exception of Uranus in the angular 7th house. It might be stronger closer to the horizon, but from Aquarius, it makes an applying trine aspect to the eclipse in Gemini, and more widely to Mars+Pluto and the South Node. (The Uranus to Pluto trine will continue to apply as the Agincourt battle approaches. Open enemy (7th house) surprising (Uranus)--perhaps his Henry's coming visit is altogether unexpected, or at the least there is something unanticipated about it.) Mars will activate the eclipse point a little over a week after the eclipse, a couple of days after the Moon squares it in the 8th degree of Gemini. I.e., the first square the Moon makes to the eclipse point is also, coincidentally, a square to the lesser malefic.

The traditional planets are all more or less aligned on the nodal axis, allocating most of the energy to the 6th/12th house polarity. The Sun and Moon are placed at the 12th house cusp. Mars (violence) applies to conjoin Pluto (transformation) within 5 degrees of the eclipse. Venus (goods), Mercury (youth), Saturn (age), Neptune (illusion), all constellated within a 2.5 degree span, are to be sacrificed (12th house). And all of these planets hew close to the nodes, within an 11-degree moiety. Uranus trines the eclipse from the 7th house: an instigator of change is coming as signified by its presence in the house of open enemies. Of the traditional planets, Jupiter is alone, retrograde in its own sign and about 14 degrees from the North Node, loosely opposing the conjoined stellium from Venus to Neptune. (I can't help thinking of Charles VI, unable to succor those amassed to support him, but no doubt I'm reading in too much.)

One could ask, as we did earlier with respect to the Agincourt chart, that since the houses will be similar along the meridian coming down from England, through France, into Africa, etc., can we expect a similar reading for those locations? Can we easily sort the signifiers into teams A and B in a conflict? The eclipse also preceded the Conquest of Cueta (August 25, 1415), which marks the beginning of the territorial expansion Portuguese Empire. However, the eclipse chart is fairly similar for both Cueta and Lisbon, and the cluster of planets is still fairly far away from the ascendant, even though we've relocated the chart a fair bit to the east. Portugal was not attacked, though Cueta was... Was England also attacked? Perhaps the signification is necessarily unique to each locality, maybe even in accord with the nativities in question (e.g., we might want to refer to the charts for England, Portugal, France, etc.). Perhaps the other meanings of Uranus in the 7th house take hold--some startling change with respect to a committed partner (another 7th house meaning, in other words).

Here are Henry's and Charles's charts with the transiting eclipses.

Henry's Sun is directly opposite the transiting Uranus, and sextile with the eclipse. The eclipse itself is a couple of degrees away from Henry's Moon in the 8th. Mars+Pluto join the eclipse in applying sextile to the Sun+Mars of the nativity which, no doubt, adds fuel to the proverbial fire.

The conjunction/stellium Venus+Mercury+Saturn+Neptune are all heading towards his natal 8th house Venus (with Venus nearing its return). This must have been quite a time for him to say the least. The 8th house is where Eros and Thanatos join forces: he may have gotten caught up in the glamour (transiting Neptune) of his Goods (radical Venus), and may now feel compelled to build a legacy. The Moon will have swept along roughly a day later to trigger the former all the more, bringing it to consciousness, perhaps putting wild ideas in his head.

Charles is touched partly in the 8th house, partly in the 9th house. The eclipse with Mars+Pluto triggers Charles's Moon-Venus+Sun-Neptune T-square, likely leaving him not in good condition to mount a defense against invasion. The transiting South Node is closely conjunct his North Node. The conjoint Neptune+Saturn+Venus+Mercury in the 9th house may reflect conditions which promoted religiosity, possibly even pilgrimage, though this isn't particularly a factor in the eclipse itself.

Here is the Partial Lunar Eclipse which followed.

For this chart, planets, and the nodes, are fairly closely aligned with the meridian. Here is an energy which is likely to affect this particular meridional line. Comparing it to the earlier eclipse, the planets are still bunched close to the nodes, though the retrograde Mercury has moved back to conjoin the South Node, at the nodal position of the solar eclipse chart. Mars is only a degree away from this. And Venus has changed signs.

There is some strength here in the alignment with the Meridian: something's going on. The North Node and the Full Moon are conjoined with the IC, beneath the Earth, as if to say the actual power is submerged. So, at the MC, there is something more like a power vacuum. The Sun and Saturn are conjoined through Neptune: age, confusion and restraint. Mercury conjoined to the South Node indicates wasted words + shouting (Mars). Uranus's trine with the luminaries has lapsed, though it somewhat loosely separates from a trine with the MC, and it continues to apply to the trine with Pluto.

I won't trouble you with the bi-wheel charts for our two principals, except to mention that the Sun, Neptune and Saturn of the the Lunar Eclipse chart are encroaching upon Henry's radical Venus, and all are opposed by Jupiter.

The Eclipse degrees are prefigured by a prior opposition between Jupiter and Neptune on Feb 5, 1415 JD. My chart calculator is a little imprecise for these olden day dynamic aspect calculations--it should be Jup 22 deg 37 min Sagittarius, Neptune precisely opposite, but here's a reasonable representative chart:

So Jupiter is conjoined with the North Node opposing Neptune conjoined with the South Node. The Moon opposes Saturn, conjunct Henry's North Node.

In both the Lunar Eclipse chart and the Jupiter Neptune opposition chart, you really get a sense of Henry's involvement more than Charles's, which makes sense for a scenario where Henry is the aggressor. But the symbolism is also kind of striking: Henry believe's he is pursuing something to which he is entitled, and may have some very compelling illusions as to what it is and how easy it is going to be to acquire. Both the transiting Nodes, Jupiter and Neptune, and Saturn, and later Mercury, Venus and Mars, are tweaking that stretch between his radical North Node and Venus.

Jupiter opposes Neptune again on 5 July 1415 (25 deg 15 min Sag/Gem) and lastly on 27 October 1415 (27 deg 14 min Sag/Gem), two days after Agincourt. Jupiter then high-tails it into Capricorn and beyond.

It's as if Jupiter and Neptune and the Nodes provide the impetus, and the closer planets the fuel, that brings him into the battle. Understandably I'm looking at these events in a kind of isolation chamber, and there was a lot of other stuff going on, but the symbolism of the transiting planets seems reasonably congruous.

Please comment on my conclusions if you think they're reasonable or unfounded. In the next section, I'll get back to Agincourt, show the chart of the Battle of Crecy, and also talk about another interesting instance of the Mercury/Uranus signature. 

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