Recently I was corresponding with Spanish astrologer Pedro Hernández about the chart of King Henri II of France because Pedro was preparing a blog post about the legendary death of the king in a jousting match, which was supposedly predicted by his wife’s astrologer as well as by Nostradamus. I had briefly discussed the king’s chart in a previous post because the original chart used by Gaurico of Italy differs substantially from the later rectified chart discussed by Gadbury and others. It appears that the rectified chart was based on the single incident of the king’s death, a method which violates the basic principles of rectification which should take into account many substantial events in the native’s life and not simply his death.
According to Catherine de’ Medici’s sources, King Henri II was born on 31 March 1519 in St Germain en Laye, France, at 5:02:34 AM LMT. Her astrologer Luca Guarico used the coordinates 48n18, 002e05 for the birthplace. (Modern sources give the coordinates of St Germain en Laye as 48n54, 002e06, which is only slightly different from those used by Gaurio.) Gaurico used Regiomontanus houses which were in vogue at the time. Here is a modern reconstruction of King Henri II’s birth chart based on the data used by Gaurico:
Here are Gauricio’s original charts for the king and his wife Catherine:
I won’t post the rectified chart which is based on the king’s dramatic death due to an accident in a jousting competition. There is a good discussion of the rectified chart by Deborah Houlding on her site.
Wikipedia gives the following account of the king’s jousting injury on 30 June 1559 and subsequent death on 10 July 1559:
“On 30 June 1559, a tournament was held near Place des Vosges to celebrate the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis with his longtime enemies, the Habsburgs of Austria, and to celebrate the marriage of his daughter Elisabeth of Valois to King Philip II of Spain.
During a jousting match, King Henry, wearing the colors of his mistress Diane de Poitiers, was wounded in the eye by a fragment of the splintered lance of Gabriel Montgomery, captain of the King’s Scottish Guard.
Despite the efforts of royal surgeon Ambroise Paré, the king’s eye and brain damage, untreated, led to his death by sepsis on 10 July 1559.“
Gaurico obviously did not use the ‘modern’ planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Eyeballing the chart, would Gaurico have seen the natal promise of a violent death? Probably so.
Mars (violent penetrating injuries) rules the 1st (the body and life force) and the 8th (death) Regiomontanus houses. Mars, as ruler of the 8th is posited in the 4th (conditions at the end of life). In addition, there is a prominent T-square formation with an angular 8th-ruler Mars opposite 12th-ruler Saturn, and both malefics square the stellium in the 1st, which includes both Luminaries (signifiers of the eyes — he was pierced in the eye by splinters from the lance) and Venus. Mars in Cancer is in the sign of his fall. Since this is a nocturnal birth, Saturn is the ‘out-of-sect’ malefic and it forms a dominant square to the stellium in the 1st house. The Sun, which is the recipient of Saturn’s dominant square, rules the Regiomontanus 6th house of bodily afflictions.
Would the ancient method of annual profections have indicated a period when this ominous T-square formation might manifiest in the life of the king? In a recent discussion in the Traditional Astrologers forum on Facebook, the question was raised about the whole sign method of profection versus the continuous profections as used in the Renaissance by astrologers such as William Lilly.
The king died at age 40, so his annual profected Ascendant sign would have been Leo. (He has Aries rising, and Leo is the 5th sign starting the count from Aries.) In the year of Henri’s death, the Sun was therefore Lord of the Year, and as such the Sun activated the natal T-square formation through its square to both malefics which were in opposition at birth. The Sun’s square to Mars, ruler of the 8th of death and occupant of the 4th of the end of life, is a clear warning of the danger of death at age 40, probably involving some type of violence action (Mars). With Leo as the profected Ascendant of the year at age 40, the Regiomontanus 6th house (bodily affliction) and the 5th whole-sign topos (sporting events) are both activated; thus is it not unreasonable to consider a sports-related injury during this period.
If we use the continuous annual profection method, as promulgated by William Lilly in Book 3 of Christian Astrology, the profected chart for the date of his injury (30 June 1559) superimposed onto his natal chart would look like this:
By continuous annual profection, at the time of the king’s jousting injury the profected Ascendant was activating his natal 6th house cusp. If we were to swap the charts, placing the natal chart around the profected chart of 30 June 1559, the natal Ascendant would fall in the 8th house of death of the profected chart and conjunct the 8th cusp within 3 degrees of orb. In addition, natal Uranus (which Gaurico did not use) would conjoin the profected MC at 10 Taurus 10′ within 1 degree of orb.
Here is the same chart cast with Placidus houses. In this case profected Mars, ruler of the natal Ascendant and of the natal 8th of death, conjoins the natal 8th cusp by continuous profection on the date of his life-threatening injury.