Death of a King

The killing of a King has been considered such a grave crime throughout history that a special word was used for it: regicide.  It is not something that happened often, but there is a case of it English history that has been mentioned before in this blog, so I wanted to look at it since it sheds some astrological light on the times in which it happened, and also shows the difficulty in finding the exact date.  The king that was killed by his own people was Charles I of England on January 30, 1649.  But that date is not what it seems.  This was in the English Civil War.

Our modern calendar is called the Gregorian calendar, after Pope Gregory XII, and it was adopted in October 1582 for Europe.  But not everywhere.  Catholic countries adopted it right away; if the Pope said it was a good idea, that was good enough for them.  The result was a lacuna of 10 day after October 4, 1582.  The next day was October 15.  Astrological ephemerides for those times take account of this.  Dates in the Gregorian calendar are called New Style, as opposed to dates in the Julian calendar, devised by Julius Caesar, which is called Old Style.  By the time the Sixteenth Century rolled around, dates and the actions of the Sun were disconnected, and something had to be done.  The Gregorian calendar has the addition of leap year every four years (with a few exceptions) to allow for the difference between 365 days and one year.  But this new calendar did not necessarily take effect on that date in non-Catholic countries.  For example, the Eastern Orthodox Russia did not “go modern” until after the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917.  That is why the date for the Revolution is given both as November 7 (New Style) and October 25 (Old Style).  But Protestant countries did not adopt the Gregorian calendar right way either.  In particular, England did not adopt the Gregorian calendar until 1752.  That is why George Washington’s birthday is listed as two different dates — he was born before 1752 and the colonies followed the time of Britain.  It turns out that the date when Charles I was beheaded is in the Old Style, so we must use the New Style date of February 9.

The English Civil War, for which the execution of the King was a climax, started out as a conflict between the King and the Parliament, which was seldom called into session even though that was one of the things required of the English Crown after the Magna Carta  was signed some 400 years earlier.  This battle can be considered between the Cavaliers, descendants of the Normans who invaded the country in 1066 and the Roundheads, descendants of the native British who lived there before the invasion.  But many other things happened during the English Civil War that were not necessary involved directly with Charles.  It has been called The World Turned Upside Down, by English author Christopher Hill in a book of the same name.  Many sects developed, such as the Quakers, the Diggers, and the Ranters.  It was a time of questioning almost everything about English Society.




The first thing to notice about this chart is the opposition between Uranus and Pluto.  Looking at the graphical ephemeris for this period, we see that this opposition lasted at least four years.  We are all familiar with Uranus-Pluto hard aspects; they often lead to revolution, either figurative — the Sixties — or literally — the French Revolution, also an opposition, or the English Civil War.  There was also a Uranus-Neptune conjunction, as in the Nineties.  This period saw the foundation of the Scientific Revolution, and the actual founding the British Royal Society in November of 1660.  John Locke was born in 1632 and Issac newton in 1643, so they were both growing up during the English Civil War and this Uranus-Neptune conjunction, which as we can see from the graphical ephemeris lasted longer than the Uranus-Pluto opposition and overlapped it.  During this period all three of the outer planets were connected by either opposition or conjunction.  This is a powerful combination.




But in regards to the death of Charles I, notice the Saturn-Pluto conjunction.  The hard aspects of these two planets are notorious, and a most obvious example is the opposition of those two on 9/11/2001.

But another Uranus-Pluto opposition occurred in the death of another king:  This is the  famous killing of a king that happened during the French Revolution.  And fortunately for us, someone was there to record the exact time that Louis XVI had his head cut off, but with a different instrument than that used to sever the head of Charles I.  The French invented a “more humane” way of executing a person than that of chopping of the head off with an ax.  It was well know that one was supposed to tip the executioner so that he would remove your head with a single blow.  But with the newly developed guillotine there was no need to worry: gravity would ensure that the blow of the blade was clean and did its job.




For the very public execution of Louis XVI the Uranus Pluto opposition is exact, with an orb of two minutes.  Mercury is on the Midheaven, and indeed this was carried out with much notice and talk by the populace of Paris; there was even someone who recorded the exact time, which is beneficial to astrologers.  There is also an opposition between Moon and Jupiter, and since we have an exact time this is indeed a valid aspect.  These two planets are also in fixed signs as are Uranus and Pluto, but the orbs are not close enough for a grand cross.  Uranus is sesquiquadrate Mercury, and square Neptune, Mars semisquare Ascendant, Mars conjunct Pluto (more violence); there are many aspects in this chart.




Uranus and Pluto can also cause revolution without the death of the leader, as was seen during the Uranus-Pluto opposition in the first decade of the Twentieth Century.  Here is a chart for the start of the first Russian Revolution of 1905, and the event known as Bloody Sunday, when many protestors were killed.  The Uranus Pluto opposition is very wide at 12 degrees, but it was closing, and the events certainly bear the hallmark of Uranus and Pluto.  The protestors wanted reforms and a parliament, and presented a petition to Nicholas II.

The time for the chart is set when first shooting started.  Many unarmed protests gathered in front of the Winter Palace, and they were shot by Imperial soldiers representing the Tsar.  Note that the date is January 22, but since Russia was still on the Julian calendar at the time of this event, the date was January 9 in the calendar being used.

Note that Mars is on the Descendant, showing the gunfire coming from the troops; about 200 people were killed.  Mercury was on the Midheaven, and this event was very public;  people around the nation heard about it, only increasing their anger.

This bloody Sunday is considered the start of the First Russian Revolution, which was not successful.  But it showed the anger of the populace towards the Tsar.  After Russia fought, and lost many troops, in the First World War, that anger increased and the result was the Second Russian Revolution, which was successful and, among other things, resulted in the execution of Nicholas II and his family.