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eliziimageThree Queens and the Sign of the Bull: Part One

During the late 16th Century England, Scotland and France were all ruled by women: Elizabeth I, Catherine de Medici, Mary, Queen of Scots. These three women were connected by either blood or marriage and they shared the challenge of ruling in a time when only men were supposed to hold positions of authority. They also shared some astrological connections; in particular, all three were born with Taurus prominent in their horoscopes.

We will begin with Elizabeth I of England, born Sept. 17, 1533 (New Style) with the Moon in Taurus. (Click here to see the horoscope of Elizabeth I.)

That Elizabeth Tudor survived to become Queen of England is something of a miracle. After the execution of her mother, Ann Boleyn, Elizabeth’s status within the royal family became, at best, questionable. To many, the marriage of her father, Henry VIII, to Ann was illegal, making Elizabeth’s birth illegitimate.

And then there was the heated question of religion. Under the short reign of her half-brother, Edward VI, Elizabeth was a professed Protestant.  When her half-sister, Mary I took over, Elizabeth was imprisoned in the Tower of London until she convinced the new Queen that she was actually a loyal Catholic.

Elizabeth was a Virgo by Sun sign. Virgos are flexible and they typically favor practicality over belief. The fact that Elizabeth took a saner view of religion than her siblings is a testament the excellent survival instincts of this Mutable Earth sign. When Elizabeth became queen she favored religious tolerance.


Throughout the reign of Elizabeth I one question was paramount: who would she marry. Astrologers of the time must have bemoaned the fact that Saturn was in her 7th House of Marriage, indicating either a late marriage or no marriage at all. Had they known that cold, rebellious Uranus was also in that house, they might have thrown up their hands entirely.

Of course, Saturn in the 7th House doesn’t preclude marriage. It just means that, for Elizabeth, marriage was a very serious matter loaded with important political and religious ramifications. She could not afford to have her head turned by passing infatuations or the vagaries of love.

So, despite the dire state of her 7th House, the match making continued. Royal suitors from all over Europe were brought forth. With Venus in Libra and Mars in Gemini, Elizabeth took exceptional pleasure in these complex games of courtship. She flirted with her prospective husbands, she gave them sly encouragement, but she never came close to marrying any of them. She remained the Virgin Queen until her death.

The 9th House is emphasized in Elizabeth’s horoscope so it is not surprising that during her reign there was great outpouring of literary genius. It was the age of Shakespeare and many more great English poets and writers. A highly educated woman herself, Elizabeth encouraged education in her realm, even for women.

Like many Virgos, Elizabeth preferred reacting to the initiatives of others to making decisions on her own. Her foreign policy was often hobbled by this indecisiveness but her avoidance of firm commitments also kept England from becoming embroiled in the religious wars that were breaking out on the European continent.

An outstanding example of her indecisiveness was her imprisonment of Mary, Queen of Scots. For twenty years Elizabeth kept her cousin Mary locked up while she pondered what to do with the fugitive queen. Her advisers pressed her to execute Mary, who had become the center of Catholic plots to dethrone Elizabeth. Even after Elizabeth signed Mary’s death warrant, she remained unsure and, when she heard the sentence had been carried out, she punished the man who had delivered her order to the executioner.

This inability to stay a course of action is symptomatic of a Mutable Virgo Sun but it also has much to do with her Libra Mercury which is trine to Mars and square to Saturn. Elizabeth had an aggressive, forceful (some might say masculine) intelligence but, with Saturn afflicting her Mercury, she was also prone to question her decisions and spend too much time weighing and considering.

Despite her indecisiveness, Elizabeth never lost her essential sense of purpose. She never panicked or surrendered to impatience or self-doubt. With the Moon in Taurus, strongly placed on the I.C., Elizabeth was able to project an aura of calm resolution even while she was dithering over policy. Taurus is a strong sign, particularly for women, and Elizabeth’s Taurus Moon is a huge reason why she was about to survive the vicissitudes of her troubled times and become one the most beloved rulers in the history of the British monarchy.

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