Morin and the Beheading of Henri d’Effiat

In Morin’s Astrologia Gallica he loves to talk about beheadings and other gruesome deaths.  In Book 21, Part II, Chapter II, Morin mentions the decapitation of the young man Henri d’Effiat (1620-1642) and makes reference to his natal chart.  Unfortunately, I have been unable to locate a date of birth for d’Effait, so I have tried to reconstruct a horoscope based on the clues in Morin’s text.

Henri was the son of Marshal Antoine Coiffier-Ruzé, marquis d’Effiat, a close friend of the scheming Cardinal Richelieu, who took the handsome lad under his protection on his father’s death in 1632.  The good Cardinal knew that King Louis XIII had a penchant for love affairs with good looking young men, so Richelieu introduced Henri to the king as part of a scheme to have more influence in the royal court.  The king took the bait.  Louis XIII quickly fell for the young and handsome Henri, and the two became lovers.

Henri Coiffier de Ruzé d'Effiat

King Louis XIII

At some point Henri d’Effiat became disillusioned with Cardinal Richelieu and badmouthed him to the king.  Henri also became involved in a plot against Richelieu, which was discovered by the Cardinal’s spies and led to Henri being condemned to death by beheading (a Mars activity).  Henri died on the scaffold on 12 September 1642 (at age 22).  The king was apparently only in the relationship with Henri for the sex (Henri must have been well endowed with a dignified phallic Mars conjunct expansive Jupiter in assertive Aries in the 8th house of the organs of reproduction.  With the regal Sun conjunct his 8th house cusp, Henri’s stellar organ was truly fit for a king.).   King Louis XIII is quoted as saying of d’Effait on the day of his execution, “Je voudrais bien voir la grimace qu’il fait à cette heure sur cet échafaud” (I’d like to see the face he is making now on that scaffold).

Morin apparently was consulted by Richelieu and had access to the charts of the important people in Richelieu’s circle.  Morin explains Henri’s beheading by the presence of the Sun, Jupiter and Mars, all in Aries in the 8th house of death in his chart.  He cites this chart as an exception to his general rule that a malefic in good celestial state in a bad house (here, Mars in Aries in the 8th) will rescue the native from the evil of the house or temper that evil.  By this rule, Henri should have escaped the beheading.  What went wrong?

Morin blames the bad outcome on Saturn in the 10th house in Gemini squaring Mercury (ruler of the ASC and MC) in Pisces.  Although Saturn is sextile the planets in Aries in the 8th (Sun, Mars, Jupiter), this sextile is of no help because Saturn is unfriendly to the 8th house planets.  (By the way, the Baldwin translation of this section is incorrect when compared with the original Latin text.  Morin omits punctuation marks and is fairly abstruse in this section, so Baldwin misunderstood what he was trying to say.  Baldwin is generally excellent, however, in his translation of Book 21.)

Based on the information provided by Jose in the comments section, I updated the chart of d’Effiat as follows:

Possible birth chart of Henri d'Effiat

I selected this birth time on the basis of the Regiomontanus primary directions at the time of his beheading (with and without latitude, using the Naibod measure of time).  These directions included:

Sun Square Saturn on 25 August 1642.  (The Sun conjoins the 8th cusp of death and also rules the 8th cusp by its exaltation in Aries.)

Sun Square MC on 12 September 1642.

In this chart, we have:

1) Sun, Mars, and Jupiter in Aries in the 8th of death.  Planets within 5 degrees of the cusp of a house are considered to act in that house.

2) Sun rules the 12th of secret enemies (Richelieu’s spies) which led to his death.

3) Jupiter rules the 7th of open enemies (Richelieu) and the 4th of conditions at the end of life.  Jupiter conjunct Mars in the 8th = beheading.

4) Mars rules the 8th cusp (death) and the 3rd cusp of communication.  I’m not sure how the 3rd house relates to his death.  Perhaps Henri’s negative comments and gossip about Richelieu to the king and his conspiring against the Cardinal fit the 3rd house symbolism.

5) Saturn in the 10th (kings) rules the 5th (love affairs).  Saturn squares a debilitated Mercury (ruler of the ASC and MC), so his love affair with the king did not bode well for his vitality (ASC) or his public standing (MC).

Even though Saturn is sextile the 8th house planets, Saturn is connected with the Air and Earth triplicities whereas Mars, the Sun, and Jupiter are connected mainly with Fire but  Mars & Jupiter also with Water, so there is no friendly connection between Saturn and the 8th house planets.  In addition, Saturn rules the malefic 6th house and is by nature quite malefic.  Thus, the sextile from Saturn does little good and can actually cause harm.

6) Mercury rules the ASC and MC and is in detriment and fall in Pisces in the 7th.  Thus, Henri fares badly in close partnerships, disputes, lawsuits, contracts, treaties, and at the hands of open enemies.  He was condemned to death by a judge in a trial for treason, with charges brought  against him by Richelieu.

7)  The 9th house rules religious figures and may represent the role of Richelieu in his life.  Early on Venus in Taurus is quite beneficial and Richelieu took Henri under his wing when Henri’s father died.  Later on Pluto in Taurus in the 9th (in detriment because Pluto rules the opposite sign Scorpio) symbolizes how Richelieu screwed the young lad in the end.

8) Morin didn’t know about the modern planets, but it is striking that Mars (ruler of the 8th of death) is closely square Uranus (sudden disruptive events — beheading would qualify in this category).  Uranus also rules the unfortunate 6th house of physical afflictions (such as a severed neck in this case).  Uranus lies in the 11th house of friends, and d’Effiat was beheaded with his good friend and co-conspirator François de Thou (see image below).

In addition, in the 27 March chart, there is a T-Square involving Moon opposite Uranus squaring Mars in the 8th of death.  Uranus occupies the 11th and the Moon rules the 11th, which signifies not only friends but also the favorites of the 10th house king.  Henri was a favorite lover of the king who suddenly (Uranus) turned on him and had him beheaded (Mars in 8th) for treason.  The Moon also conjoins the cusp of the 5th house of Henri’s love life, which played a key role in his beheading.  You could say that Henri lost his head for the king.

Most telling in the 27 March chart is the very close Mercury semi-sextile Mars/Jupiter.  As ruler of the 1st house, Mercury represents Henri, his body, and his life force.  As ruler of the 8th, Mars rules Henri’s death.  As ruler of the 4th, Jupiter rules the end of Henri’s life.  I have always found the semi-sexile to be an unfortunate aspect.  In Henri’s chart, the ASC-ruler is almost exactly semi-sextile the rulers of the 8th and 4th.  With the Sun ruling the 12th of undoing on the cusp of the 8th, these are strong indicators of his unfortunate end.  As mentioned, Morin didn’t know about Uranus.  Here Uranus rules the unfortunate 6th and squares the Mars/Jupiter conjunction in the 8th, showing a sudden unfortunate death.

The scheming Cardinal Richelieu

Henri d'Effiat, marquis de Cinq-Mars (1620–1642) and François de Thou's Execution on September 12th, 1642 |Source= Jules Edouard Alboise du Pujol, Auguste Maquet ''Les Prisons de l'Europe'', Paris,)

About Anthony Louis

Author of books about astrology and tarot, including TAROT PLAIN AND SIMPLE, HORARY ASTROLOGY, and THE ART OF FORECASTING WITH SOLAR RETURNS.
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5 Responses to Morin and the Beheading of Henri d’Effiat

  1. Jose,

    Thanks so much for that information. My chart was off by one day. I’ll have to correct it. As you comment, the site says:

    “Le petit Henri, futur Cinq-Mars et amant de Louis XIII, naquit le 27 mars 1620. Sa montée en grâce ne passa pas inaperçue aux yeux de Richelieu qui voit déjà en lui un instrument pour conquérir le roi. « Beau comme un héros grec, rieur, fougueux, primesautier, avide de mordre aux joies de l’existence »”
    “Little Henry, the future Cinq-Mars and lover of Louis XIII, was born March 27, 1620. His rise in favor did not go unnoticed in the eyes of Richelieu, who saw him as a means to ensnare the king. “As beautiful as a Greek hero, cheerful, fiery, impulsive, eager to taste the joys of life.”

    From Jose’s other source:

    Henri Coëffier d’Effiat, Marquis de Cinq-Mars * wurde 12. September 1642 in Lyon (mit seinem Freund François A. de Thou) hingerichtet.
    * 27. März 1620, in Château d’Effiat (Puy-de-Dôme /Auvergne ) [möglicherweise um 18:00 Uhr?]
    + 12. September 1642, in Lyon [etwas nach 17:00 Uhr]
    Henri d’Effiat was executed on 12 September 1642 in Lyon with his friend Francois A. de Thou) around 5 p.m.
    Born 27 March 1620 in Chateau d’Effiat (region of Puy-de-Dôme /Auvergne, France), possibly around 6 p.m.
    (Morin’s description of the chart suggests a time closer to 4:30 p.m.)

  2. Pingback: The semi-sextile as an “evil” aspect | Anthony Louis – Astrology & Tarot Blog

  3. SS says:

    Dear Anthony,

    How do I get in touch with you? Can’t find any contact info.

    Thank you.

  4. paul says:

    Anthony unlike the King of Sweden Gustaf Adolf, Dèffiat had Mars out of sect(day brth)

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