Happy 473rd Birthday, Edward VI! Yes, on this day in 1537 Edward VI was born to Jane Seymour and Henry VIII. You can read more about his life at “Happy Birthday Edward VI, but read on for a special guest post by Robert Parry, author of “Virgin and the Crab”:-
Venus and Saturn in Conjunction
Good Wishes and a little bit of astrology on this day to mark the birthday of Edward VI.
On this day in 1537 Jane Seymour gave birth to the future King of England, Prince Edward. Later to be known as ‘the boy king’ this was Henry VIII’s only legitimate son and he became ruler at the tender age of just nine years. Upon Henry’s death, therefore, much of the administration of the kingdom was undertaken by, firstly, the boy’s uncle Edward Seymour, Duke of Somerset and, later, John Dudley. There is plenty of biographical information available on Edward, of course, but here I thought it might be interesting to take a look at his astrological make up – just as many people would certainly have done at the time, of course. What would the wise men of Henry’s court have been thinking as they examined the map of the sky at the time of little Edwards birth? Well firstly here is the chart itself – set for noon on 12th October 1537 according to the Old Style Gregorian calendar in use at the time. I haven’t been able to locate a precise time for the birth, but the locality was Hampton Court.
On a superficial level we could say that Edward was one of those gentle, refined Libra types, fond of debate and justice – all by virtue of the sun being in that sign. But the chart also informs us that he had a conjunction of two very important planets – namely Saturn and Venus. You can see them together at the top right in the chart, located in the sign of Virgo. What does this mean? Well, Venus should need little introduction – it is everything that is fine and beautiful and harmonious in life: love and romance, music and proportion. It is also the ruling planet of Libra, so in a sense, is especially important in this chart. Saturn, on the other hand, is the ‘wise old man’ archetype of the planetary family, the bringer of old age and wisdom, but also responsibility, sometimes oppression and all manner of rules and regulations. This conjunction of such opposing forces is a very strong indicator, therefore, of the burden that was heaped upon the poor boy at such an early age, and also of Edward’s known and well-documented seriousness even as a child. He was, by all accounts, very polarised in his religious beliefs, and rather cruel and intolerant of anybody else’s – his sister Mary’s Catholicism, for example. The ferocity by which the reforming zeal of Henry and his ministers was later adopted and magnified by Edward’s Council is also well documented. There was probably every bit as much damage done to the religious institutions of England under his brief tenure than under all of Henry’s long reign. The fledgling Church of England became, with him, puritan in all but name.
In astrology, the body that most signifies religion and the Church is Jupiter. And, appropriately enough, Jupiter here is connected by what is termed a ‘trine aspect’ (an angular relationship of around 120 degrees, or a third of the circle) to the Venus/Saturn conjunction. You can find Jupiter at around the 5 o’clock position in this chart. Put all this together and we can easily draw up a picture of a reforming zealot, someone really not much given to humour or frivolity. A serious little chap, as well as a most unfortunate one. The difficult conjunction of Venus (young women) and Saturn (regulations) would also indicate his relationship with his two older sisters, Elizabeth and Mary, which were always controversial figures in so far as no one ever quite knew whether they should be regarded as legitimate or not – or even if either one of them should be rightful ruler in his place.
Could an astrologer have predicted poor Edward’s early demise? The famous astronomer and physician of the time, Jerome Cardan, was reputed to have foreseen a normal span of life and a marriage, too, for Edward – sadly, neither of which came to pass. Edward died in 1553 from what we would probably today diagnose as tuberculosis. Astrology, at its best, does not deal in cast-iron certainties. It is a wonderful tool for our imaginations, that’s all. And from that sometimes unexpected and valuable insights can occur.
Happy Birthday, Your Grace!
A competition to win a signed copy of Robert’s next novel (can you guess the title from the clues provided?) can be found at his website http://endymion-at-night.blogspot.com
P.S. If you haven’t read Robert’s “Virgin and the Crab” then you are missing out. My father described it as “Better than Wolf Hall by a long way” and you can read my review at http://reviews.theanneboleynfiles.com/the-virgin-and-the-crab-by-robert-parry/184
7 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Edward VI – Venus and Saturn in Conjunction”
Edward did have a lighter side! Is this also in the stars? He was not that serious all the time and loved pretty things and sports! While very intelligent, he seems to have been quite a normal boy; one must never forget that he was teenager. That really explains a lot. We simply cannot know if or how he would have changed in later life.
Witness his preoccupation with Mary’s mass: he lost interest in that, until in the last year or so of his reign she was no longer molested at all about this (Starkey, Loades, Ives, e.g.). It is newly fashionable to think of Edward as at least as bigoted as his sister Mary. But he remarkably seems to have understood the difference between obeying one’s conscience and obeying the law. He did not insist that Mary change her religion (which is what she did with Elizabeth). Edward explained her that she was flaunting the law when she invited hundreds of people to visit mass and forbade her households to use the Prayer Book; and that she was making a laughing stock out of him and his government if she continued with this, being his greatest subject. A real king!
I’ve always felt very sorry for Edward in losing his mother shortly after his birth. His father would have been distant, ruling and marrying, and Edward would have been raised by those who did not necessarily love him. I guess I think of my own grandson who lose his mother at 5 months and how I worry about him now that he has moved away from me. I wonder how Edward might have been different if Jane Seymour had lived. Who knows?
Thank you for your comments. Yes, there are always bright spots in any character – and so also in any astrological chart. There was really only space here to focus on what seemed essential in an historical context. Glad you enjoyed the article.
Yes, we all need a Mum, don’t we. In Edward’s case, the opposition from the Moon (senior females) to Mars (war and injury) would be a pretty strong indicator of Edward’s misfortune in this respect. It is a chart full of difficulties. Poor little fellow!
I am right in thinking that if you have most signs in a very few houses, as does Edward, the subject will lead a very turbulent life and may die young?
I meant Am I right!
Something as significant as a person’s early demise or their death generally can never be seen in astrology. It’s a vehicle for speculation and for exercising the imagination, that’s all, not for hard-and-fast predictions.
Houses have their cusps located in signs. One sign for each house cusp. So it is not possible to have ‘most signs in very few houses.’ Maybe you mean most planets in very few houses. This can indicate a certain focus of direction, but would not as far as I am aware, indicate necessarily a ‘turbulent life.’
Thank you, Robert. I did mean many houses in few planets. I’m a Scorpio, with VIrgo in nearly all my houses!