Queen Elizabeth II
The Queen's horoscope is dominated by the ascendant-ruler, Saturn, placed prominently upon the midheaven, whilst acting as the focal point in a T-square involving a Mars-Jupiter conjunction in the 1st house and Neptune in the 7th. Mars rules the midheaven and its conjunction with Jupiter in the first house indicates wealth and ascension to power. However, the difficult square aspect between Mars ruling the Midheaven and Saturn placed upon it, describes a professional position that carries great strain and heavy responsibility. Saturn on the Midheaven can often indicate a fall from position, or loss of reputation, because the demands it makes upon personal freedom are heavier than most people are able to tolerate. From the start this horoscope was described as 'difficult'; Charles Carter predicting in 1951 that the opposition between Mars-Jupiter and Neptune, squared by Saturn, would be likely to result at some point in withdrawal from power and responsibility. Speculation concerning abdication continues to dog the Queen, as it has for most of her reign.
But with her Taurean Sun, and the sextile between Saturn and the Capricorn ascendant, the Queen has exceptional powers of endurance and a natural inclination to place service to her country over self-gratification. Her earthy temperament gives her resilience to weather the storms, whilst her angular Moon in regal Leo shows self-respect and expectation of royal attention. All of these demonstrate a deep interest in the preservation of traditional values, and a stoic disposition that accepts the bounds of duty. Having given her contractual obligation to the nation it is very unlikely that anything other than death or factors outside of her control would result in resignation from her throne. The 'empty leg' of a T-square is usually considered the area where tensions and difficulties find resolution; for the Queen this falls on the 4th house cusp, ruled by Venus in exaltation, showing that her love of roots, ancestry and nationalism acts as a reservoir of strength and stability.
The Queen is often berated for her old-fashioned image and reserved, undemonstrative approach. But with Capricorn rising and Saturn on the midheaven, what she shows of herself in a professional capacity must always be controlled and carefully monitored, marked by a conservative approach and an avoidance of risk taking. Attempts to update the Queen's fashion sense or make her seem more liberal in lifestyle fall flat because they are clearly out of character with someone who is defined by maturity and caution. Recent years have proved that the Queen was born with a professional cross to bear, but although T-squares bring difficulties and stresses, they can also ultimately bring great and lasting success to those who find the strength to meet their challenge.
The horoscope of larger than life Orson Welles is marked by contradictory indications of elevated success and ruinous failure. The Sun and Mercury sextile a dignified Jupiter in the 10th house, promises professional success and public recognition, yet the 12th house location of his Sun and asc-ruler demonstrate themes of oppression, subjugation and under-handed opponents. The midheaven ruler stands in an harmonious trine to the midheaven whilst rising on the ascendant, indicating the ability to completely identify with professional interests and gravitate to the top of his profession, yet the midheaven ruler is Saturn, and its heavy presence on the ascendant, warns of falls, disappointments, emotional isolation and disillusionment.
Success came early to Welles; his first film, Citizen Kane, attracted great critical acclaim and is still regarded by many as the best film ever made. Yet it was a commercial failure, losing $150,000. "I started at the top and worked down" is how he summarised his career, every subsequent production being plagued by the financial problems shown in the nativity by the Moon's rulership over the 2nd house of finances, afflicted by the presence of Uranus and the square to the 12th house Sun. Originally given the freedom to pursue his own style and techniques, his penchant for producing critical hits and commercial misses eventually led to his films being reedited and re-shot by disgruntled producers, without his permission or knowledge. Much of his career was a trail of unsuccessful or unrealised projects, with many of his realised projects being taken away from him in the final stages of editing. In later life, even as his work was receiving the highest accolades of Hollywood, the tale of his 12th house Sun emerges in his reference to his industry as a 'snake pit'.
With the Sun and ascendant ruler Mercury in Taurus sextile Jupiter, Welles was confident, expansive, and creatively fluid, but also obstinate when crossed and often unable to modify his need for freedom of expression by recognition of practical restrictions. Mercury sextile Jupiter in the 10th, and the Moon conjunct Uranus in the 9th, describe his reputation for breaking boundaries, being the first to give the camera movement and using techniques that added breadth and depth to the cinematic experience. But the Moon-Uranus conjunction also indicates emotional instability, and its square to the ill-placed Sun, ruler of the 4th house or parents, aptly describes his difficult childhood. His parents divorced and he lived with his mother who died unexpectedly when he was eight years old. His father, who had a drink problem, took him on travels around the world and died when Welles was twelve. Saturn rising, as ruler of the 8th house, indicates that loss and disappointment were never strangers to Welles, but they have also characterised his artistic style, and with Saturn acting as the significator of his career, conjunct Pluto, his personal struggles allowed him to match his breadth of vision with a penetrating perception, and leanings towards elements of the dark, emotionally obsessed and politically potent.
Leonardo Da Vinci
Leonardo Da Vinci has his Taurean Sun in the creative 5th house, in sextile to the Moon and Jupiter in the 3rd. Jupiter is strong in its own sign Pisces, showing illuminated vision, a love of freedom, and a fertile, creative mind. The Moon translates from Jupiter, taking its influence to the Sun, and through being tied into both luminaries, (as well as governing the ascendant), Jupiter characterises his temperament as good humoured, benevolent, explorative, and ever seeking to expand the boundaries of personal knowledge and experience. Historical reports confirm that he was known for his sense of humour, philosophical insight, compassionate disposition and urge for travel and freedom. If he passed markets where caged birds were sold, he would buy them purely to let the birds fly free. As we might expect with such a strong Jupiter and Sagittarius rising, he was also an accomplished horseman, featuring them in many of his great works, and renown for training them with great kindness, understanding and patience.
Through the Taurean Sun, Jupiter finds sustained energy to turn creative ideas into practical application, Leonardo being one of the most prolific genius's, excelling in engineering, (he has the beneficial aspect between Saturn and Mars that is typically found in the charts of great engineers), botany, sciences as well as the arts. Even so, he suffered from the Piscean trait of originating a profusion of projects that he abandoned before completion, leaving such a legacy of unfinished projects that historians have accused him of being pathologically incapable of completing his work. This is also a typically Jupiterian trait - the mind is everywhere, constantly seeking stimulation and resisting the limitations of applying itself to one sphere of interest. He was a great believer that everything connects to everything else, claiming that mastery in art comes through the study of its science, and mastery in science comes through the study of its art. Although mystical and visionary, his Taurean Sun, Virgo midheaven and elevated Saturn gave him the inclination to seek realism through accurate detail. He is believed to have dissected over 50 bodies in order to understand how the human body works and his own observations demonstrated spectacular insights, (such as the mechanics of bird flight), that could only be proven in the 20th century. As a signature to his Mercury-Saturn opposition, he called himself the 'disciple of experience'.
Mercury, located between the lights and ruling the midheaven and descendant, clearly operates as a key planet in this chart. As the planet that bridges and connects opposing forces, it shows its influence in the fact that Leonardo was notably ambidextrous, (sometimes writing his notes in left-handed mirror-writing), slipped easily between the worlds of science and art, and, being homosexual - an inclination which brought him public humiliation as demonstrated by Mercury ruling the 7th house in opposition to Saturn in the 10th - he became notorious for surrounding himself with androgynous protégés. The affliction of his midheaven ruler reflects the fact that although celebrated in history, Leonardo struggled against the bounds of social expectation for most of his life. He was born the illegitimate son of a wealthy, prominent father and a poor peasant girl. Whilst the 10th house and its ruler Mercury, (signifying the mother), is blighted by the presence of Saturn, the 4th house is ruled by the beneficial Jupiter, showing the father to be a source of support and wealth. His father took him in to live with him in Florence and opened whatever doors he could, but the stigma of being illegitimate prevented him from joining the guilds that could have fostered his professional status. It took many years for his talent to overcome such limitations, only for the charge of sodomy to fix a permanent cloud of dishonour over his status, causing him to live the rest of his life in fear of disapproving authorities.
Maria Eva Duarte de Peron rose from a poverty stricken childhood to become the First Lady of Argentina and one of the most powerful women of our time. Her Taurean Sun is conjunct Mars (Asc-ruler) in the first house, showing a determined and aggressively powerful will that dares to battle for what it wants and fights back against resistance. Eva was illegitimate and although she was acknowledged by her father, he died whilst she was young, leaving her mother to raise her and her four siblings in a very humble, unsupported condition. The Sun as ruler of the 4th house, conjunct Mars ruler of the 8th house, suggests that the father's death was significant in fuelling her ambitions. His legitimate family looked down upon Eva's and refused them entry to his funeral. Throughout her life she was driven to climb in social status and hated the 'upper classes'.
The psychological impetus of her early environment is clearly expressed through the Moon-Saturn conjunction in the 4th house, describing poverty, hardship, and an emotional outlook that is tied into the fear of falling. (She often stated that her worst fear was to be forgotten and it was for this reason that Juan Peron sought to preserve her body exactly as it was in life, spending two years on an intricate and detailed embalming process.) With the Moon conjunct Saturn (governing the Midheaven) and both in sextile to Venus (ruling the 7th house), Eva was naturally drawn to securing beneficial partnerships with mature and influential men as the means to further her position. Besides showing her to be at ease in expressing her sexuality, the Moon-Venus sextile - and their harmonious aspect to the ascendant -
portrays the readiness by which she slipped into the role of 'First Lady'; a position from which she built her reputation upon fighting for votes for women, organising a feminist party and creating a foundation to support homes, hospitals and the needs of the poor. The Venus-Ascendant sextile also describes her glamorous image and love of finery, which resulted in a jewellery collection comparable to that of Cleopatra, over a hundred furs, and a wardrobe full of new Christian Dior dresses.
With such a strong 4th house there is little doubt that Eva felt a deep sense of patriotism and identified herself as the mother of her country. Her image was warm and generous to the public but within political circles she was known for being ruthless, determined, and surrounded by conflict and opponents. The luminaries are both in close conjunction with malefics and form a tense square aspect to each other, so her life was clearly riddled by aggression, conflict and personal discontent. Mars's square to the MC-ruler Saturn, exemplifies how her professional ambitions were stifled by the military on several occasions.
Eva died of Uterine Cancer, aged 33, at 8:25 pm on July 26 1952 as a transiting Jupiter-Mars opposition hit her Sun-Mars conjunction and Pluto joined with the South Node in an exact union with her natal Moon-Saturn conjunction.
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has frequently put his leadership on the line rather than withdraw unpopular policies. Still he survives, demonstrating the enduring resilience of his Taurean Sun. The Moon is also in the fixed sign of Aquarius showing he holds a firm attachment to principles and is naturally resistant to pressures that would steer him from his course. The son of a barrister and initially a barrister himself, the Moon's applying trine to its exalted dispositor, Saturn in Libra, offers success through responsibilities of a civil and judicial nature. It also serves to tame the radical tendencies of his Sun sextile Uranus, allowing him to promote himself in the middle ground as a 'conservative reformist'.
Blair's Moon is the main indicator of his political success. It raises him to prominence through being elevated in the 10th house, and forms a partile conjunction with the Moon in the chart drawn for the inception of the British Labour Party (at 10.22 Aquarius).* His Venus is also conjunct the Labour Party Venus (at 16.43 Aries), demonstrating his capacity to fulfil the potential of the sextile between the planets that bring popular favour. Many elements of Blair's chart (among them Mars rising in Gemini on the trine of the Moon; Moon ruling the 3rd, the Sun sextile Uranus in the 3rd), reveal him to be a gifted orator and a powerful communicator who can gather strong support from the public. But Venus and the Sun fall in the 12th house warning of danger from controversies and suggesting that, whilst the 'public face' is open and direct, Blair's inclination is to operate behind the scenes on complex issues that could bring damage through exposure. Contentious 'enquiries', allegations of manipulating intelligence for political ends and 'bugging' in the UN are some of the darker sensitivities that his opponents have recently sought to use against him. The Sun in Taurus may suggest that in essence Blair is a moderate, but Mars rises on the ascendant bringing the willingness to fight against challenge and conflict. The fact that most of the personal planets are in dark houses; that the Moon opposes Pluto and rules the 4th house of foundations, indicates that Blair's personal tendency is to tackle difficult problems at the root rather than settle for superficial solutions. This is not always an easy position for a politician who depends upon public support in the here and now, and Blair often treads that fine line between gaining support for his resolve and dedication and drawing criticism for being too inflexible, manipulative and controlling.
Inception of British Labour Party: Noon (GMT), 27 Feb., 1900; London.
Source: An Introduction to Political Astrology, Charles Carter, 1951
© Deborah Houlding, 20/04/2004