The Battle of Hastings in 1066 was an important turning point in British history, and thus also in American history. It was discussed in this blog a long time ago pointing out that the split between the”Red States” and “Blue States” extends back to the Norman Invasion and the Battle of Hastings.
With the Norman Invasion, French royalty who believed that they were the proper inheritors of the British crown invaded England and the Norman prince William battled with the current ruler of England, Harold Godwinsson. So we had a Anglo-Saxon army of traditional English peoples battling the invading army of the French-Normans. These two groups had two different mindsets that influenced English, and thus American, thought down through the ages, now almost 1000 years.
The Normans were philosophically descended from the Romans and their idea of a Republic, that is to say representative democracy, and also of course the Catholic Church. The defenders, though Christian (and thus Catholic) at the time, were descended from the paganism of the early English and Scandinavians, who had invaded England over the last few centuries. These people were believers of Democracy, which is to say direct democracy. See the article at the link for more details. The democracy of the Anglo-Saxons is today more visible in the town democracy of New England, which was originally settled by the descendants of the traditional English (for more details see Albion’s Seed by David Hackett Fischer) whereas the national government of America runs on a republican form of government which was represented by the French Normans. Most of the early government was designed by politicians from Virginia, who were descended from the Royalists who settled in the states and were from the Cavilers in England, descendants of the French Normans.
Though the battle of Hastings lasted all day, we do have a time for when it started: 9 am. Here is that chart. The most prominent feature is Saturn at the Midheaven — a little over one degree away. While Saturn is often associated with bad outcomes, and this was certainly true for the defenders under Harold, Saturn more particularly refers to the long lasting implications of this battle — it influenced British history for the next millennium. Neptune, which of course was unknown at the time, is placed on the Descendant: Things coming from outside the immediate environment — that is from France on the other side of the English Channel — were not seen clearly. Mars is square Saturn and the Midheaven, certainly appropriate to a battle whose result would influence England and the world for a long time to come. Also note the formation involving Moon, Midheaven, Saturn, Sun, Venus, Mercury, and Mars, five of the seven planets known at the time. If we look at the fourth harmonic chart of this event, it is more clear. Saturn, Mars, Midheaven are opposite Sun, Moon (it was a last quarter Moon) with Venus loosely conjoined. This was a major event involving battle and, with the connection to the two lights — the Sun and Moon — this event was quite important.
William founded a dynasty of kings. His granddaughter, Matilda, married Geoffrey, Count of Anjou, who liked to wear as his personal symbol a bit of flowering broom, whose Latin name was Planta genista. Their son became king Henry II, the first of a long line of Plantagenet kings. That dynasty lasted until it ended at a battle at Bosworth Field, and the victor became Henry VII, the first Tudor king, in 1485, who defeated the notorious Richard III. In the years before that the English rulers were engaged in a civil war between two families of the Plantagenets in what was called the War of the Roses, a popular theme in the plays of Shakespeare.
Another important event of early British history is called “Murder in the Cathedral” — the killing of Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury, by forces loyal to King Henry II. There was a movie made about this event called (big surprise) Becket, staring Richard Burton in the title role, released in 1964, and a poem/drama by T. S. Ellot called “Murder in the Cathedral” written in 1935. We have an approximate time for this murder: Thomas had just gone to vespers, which is approximately at 6:30 in the evening, when he was killed. Four knights thought the King wanted Thomas killed, though perhaps they misunderstood what the King said. As a result all four were excommunicated.
Several things stand out: Mars conjunct Jupiter — plenty of violence. Moon opposite Uranus: Unexpected events at this time. The Moon moves one degree in two hours so the exact opposition would take place two hours later. Of course the time of this event is only approximate, since all we know is that the Archbishop was at vespers when the murder occurred. Mercury conjunct Neptune: confused thoughts. And Venus on the Descendant: Venus (justice) was setting and it would be below the horizon in about 10 minutes.
Henry had two sons who became kings. One, Richard I who was known as Lionheart, spent most of his time away from home fighting in Crusades to drive the Muslims from the Holy Land. His brother was John, the king after Richard died. John upset his aristocratic barons and they forced him to sign the Magna Carta (Great Charter) giving them more rights. This was famously signed in the fields of Runnymede – a meadow near the Thames — near Leicestershire, on June 15, 1215. I haven’t been able to find an exact time, but noon is a reasonable guess. The Magna Carta is considered the first written constitution, and has served as the inspiration to many in the time since it was written, even though like most good ideas there were many, many times when its promises were not observed. Still, it is an important landmark.
In this chart we see Sun conjunct Venus — justice on this day — conjunct the Midheaven, not surprising since it is a noon chart. This conjunction is square Uranus, the planet of change and of revolution, and this document was that. There is a quincunx, 150 degrees which indicates a difference between the Sun — King John — and the people, in this case the barons, which needs adjustment. This quincunx is close, 2 minutes from exact. Note that the Sun is at 0 Cancer, the first day of Summer. Since this was the Julian calendar and not the Gregorian calendar that is used today, thee was a bit of slippage between the seasons and the calendar.
Finally, here is a chart for the battle that ended the Plantagenet reign, and ushered in the Tudor dynasty. The bones of Richard III were recently found in a car park (ie, parking lot) in England to much notice. The Battle of Bosworth Field is historically very important in England. This is the most unimpressive chart I have seen of an event, especially one of so much import. The only thing of note is a recent Jupiter-Saturn conjunction, which indicates the beginning of a twenty-year period of a new ruler. This is all true but not very impressive.
But at a large scale, this year – 1485 — is important. In November of that year, the planets were bunched as closely as they had been in 500 years (as discussed previously). This indicated the end of the previous 500 year cycle, and the beginning of the next one, the one I call the 500 Year Party, which ended in 1982. And indeed, the reign of Henry VII is considered the beginning of the English Renaissance.