I’ve been watching The Tudors on DVD, and, well, I realized that my knowledge of that period in English history is rather vague, so I did a little googling….
Lo and behold, astro.com actually has a chart for Henry VIII! It has a AA rating, so it’s likely to be fairly accurate. Here’s the western chart (date presented in the Julian calendar) as given by the astro.com astrodatabank.
Although not particularly tight, the Moon is applying to a Square with the Sun; it’s certainly within orb being less than 4 degrees from exact. This at the outset marks Henry as an impatient and restless person, prone to abrupt changes of feeling and direction, and likely to experience tension in personal relationships.
Focusing on the closest orbed aspects the Mercury/Saturn Opposition stands out, as does the T-Square formed by Mars Squaring the Jupiter/Neptune Opposition. Whatever sober practical thinking the Mercury/Saturn Opposition may show seems liable to being derailed by the unrealistic megalomania that this particular T-Square can induce.
Mercury Opposing Saturn (the orb is extremely tight!) seems to me to represent a shrewd and cunning streak, perhaps perfectly suited to the plotting and intrigue that, for example, goes into having inconvenient people accused on trumped up charges of treason, and then executed…
Jupiter and Neptune in hard aspect often manifests as great wealth and worldly benefits that fall into one’s lap without effort. It can also indicate a careless squandering of resources, and Henry VIII is known to have been less than prudent and modest. Mars Square Jupiter and Mars Square Neptune certainly amplify this susceptibility to bursts of intemperate zeal. There’s a real danger of overestimating your abilities and importance with such a Mars/Jupiter/Neptune combination.
A person with a tight Mars/Jupiter Square who is provided the means, or finds themselves in an environment that supports the notion that they’re entitled to have their way in every matter, will very likely become extremely self-important and self-righteous. Mars in hard aspect to Jupiter can translate as ‘might makes right’, which certainly seems to have manifested in Henry’s case through his intolerant disposing of anyone who frustrated him (Saturn Square Pluto, albeit not in tight orb, certainly supports calculated cruelty and ruthlessness).
Mars Square Jupiter furthermore hints at the potential for ‘religious controversy’; simply put there may be a conflict between Martian self-will and the morality and ethics represented by Jupiter. This manifested as Henry’s defiance of and separation from the catholic church simply because it was inconvenient to submit to it’s authority with regard to his desire to divorce his first wife Catherine of Aragon. It seems this ultimately fed his megalomania since it resulted in him declaring himself the head of the Church of England in order to get the divorce which he so eagerly desired. This essentially artificial religious authority, based on no real spiritual merit or piety, is another perfect expression of the Mars/Jupiter/Neptune T-Square.
There are some interesting differences between the western and Vedic charts. For one thing the Vedic chart shifts the Ascendant from modest (Tropical) Virgo to the more proud and forceful (Sidereal) sign Leo. The Ascending Nakshatra (Lunar Mansion) is Purva Phalguni, assuming the given birth time is reasonably accurate and not more than about 24 minutes off. Purva Phalguni is associated with romantic passions and marriage, and it’s intriguing that this theme, so central to his life story, should be highlighted in this way by the Ascending Lunar Mansion, second only to the the Moon’s Nakshatra position in every chart.
The Sun (Ascendant Ruler) is located in Gemini and in the 11th House; fairly strong but not extraordinarily so. Venus, however, is conspicuous in this chart being in her own sign Taurus and in the 10th House. This powerfully boosts both the sensuous planet Venus (which forms the Mahapurusha Yoga known as Malavya Yoga) and the 10th House (which represents ‘career’, and worldly power).
Having such a strong Venus without a doubt increases amorousness, and in an undisciplined person this could lead to sexual overindulgence. It’s normally a beneficial thing, though, to have such a strong Venus, and it typically makes one attractive and charming; qualities Henry is said to have possessed in fuller measure in his earlier years.
Interestingly he was in the Venus Mahadasha between the age of 14 and 34 (and I presume that it was in this period that he indulged most lavishly in ‘pleasures of the senses’) . He Ascended to the throne fairly early in this major period of Venus (lord of the 10th in the 10th), just a short while before the start of the Sun sub-period (lord of the 1st and natural significator of worldly authority).
This Malavya Yoga (super-strong Venus) should bring one ‘wife and child’ and normally supports happiness in marriage; however, there are numerous factors militating against marital bliss in Henry’s chart. The Square between the Sun and Moon has already been mentioned in this respect, and Moon in the 8th House in itself, at the very least, makes one emotionally complicated enough for it to strain normal familial bonds. In Light on Relationships, by Hart de Fouw and Robert Svoboda, the authors mention that while it’s natural for opposite signs to attract and form partnerships, the Leo/Aquarius polarity has to contend with the fact that, according to Vedic astrology’s scheme of friendship and enmity between the planets, the Sun and Saturn are mutual enemies, and this makes marriage more challenging for the Leo and Aquarius Lagnas (Ascendants) since the 1st Lord and 7th lord are naturally incompatible and unsympathetic towards each other. Furthermore, for the Leo Ascendant in particular the 7th lord is always also the 6th lord (Saturn rules Capricorn in the 6th and Aquarius in the 7th House), and in Henry’s case Saturn (a natural malefic) is lord of the 7th and located in the 6th (and in Vedic astrology the 6th House is in some ways more harsh in it’s associations than in western astrology). Interestingly the lord of the 7th is here still in it’s own sign, pointing to a ‘noble’ spouse, but lord of the 7th in the 6th can indicate loss of relationships, or conflict in marriage. Ketu, the Moon’s South Node, is tightly Conjunct Venus, which, by Vedic criteria, would be a clear affliction to Venus, indicating deception and a volatile and chaotic energy affecting love life. Ketu is literally, mythologically, a beheaded demon; Ketu with Venus is a beheaded wife!! To top it off there’s a tight Quincunx between Venus and Pluto, and few if any other mitigating factors regarding love and romance. Not even Malavya Yoga in Rohini Nakshatra can withstand such an array of clear indications of marital problems!
Now, is it not fascinating that Henry has Anne Boleyn, executed (in 1536) while in his Moon Mahadasha, with that Moon being in the murderous 8th House of the natal chart?! It’s clearly in this period that his reason and humanity become eclipsed…