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Venus and the Concubines: Part Fourdubarryimage

If the 16th century was the age of the queen (see my article, Three Queens and the Sign of the Bull, parts one, two and three,) the 17th and 18th centuries were the age of the concubine. It was a time when the king’s official wife was frequently secondary both in terms of glamour and influence to his mistress. Last time we looked at the horoscope of Madam Pompadour. Now let examine the chart of the woman who succeeded Pompadour as King Louis XV’s official mistress, Madame du Barry.

As with the horoscope of Lady Pompadour, this chart has been rated “C” by Astrodatabank. The time was reported by a noted collector of data as being in the official records but other researchers have been unable to confirm this. So, again, we will concentrate our examination on sign placements and aspects. (Click here to see this dubious horoscope for Madame du Barry.)

The birth time we have for Madame du Barry puts her Venus in the 1st House, a dominant placement for this planet. But even without this placement, there’s a lot to say about Venus in this horoscope. First of all it is in Libra, the sign it rules, which gives the planet extra strength regardless of the house it occupies. Secondly, it is in a close square to Neptune.

I’ve written about the relationship between Venus to Neptune aspects and the glamour of female pop culture icons in a previous series of articles. (Click here to see the first of those articles.) Pop culture hadn’t really developed during du Barry’s time. (This didn’t happen until the 1800s, after the discovery of Neptune.) Still, glamour was a huge part of du Barry’s appeal.

Madam du Barry was born Jeanne Bècu, the illegitimate daughter of a poor seamstress. But, with both the Sun and Moon in Leo, she was meant for better things.  A rich friend of her mother’s helped Jeanne acquire an education and travel to Paris. There, the pretty country girl caught the eye of a pimp who specialized in servicing the high born noblemen.

Her royal Leo Sun and Moon made it easy for Jeanne to convince her high class clientele that she was just and well born as they were. Soon, she counted among her customers many of the king’s ministers and other powerful men. But to snare the love of a king required a bit of Neptunian subterfuge. So Jeanne’s sponsor married her to an uncomplaining royal (his own brother) and made some amendments to her birth certificate before she was presented to King Louis.

Having been advised of Jeanne’s talents by many of her former lovers; and convinced by her marriage and forged birth certificate that she was both of noble birth and young, Louis XV did not hesitate to make the newly named du Barry his official mistress. And this intrepid double Leo took to her new role with confidence and unparalleled panache.

Louis XV was 59 when du Barry became his mistress. The fantastic sex drive he had exhibited during his youth was beginning to wane. Du Barry’s experience as a prostitute no doubt served her well as she attended to the sexual needs of the aging king. Du Barry’s horoscope had also prepared her for this role. Born with Venus and Mars in Libra, physical sex meant less to her than the fairy tale aura of being the royal mistress.

Appearances are important to Sun sign Leos, as they are to people with planets in Libra. As the official mistress, du Barry considered it her duty to outshine every woman at court with the magnificence of her gowns and jewels. Here we see the glamorous influence of Neptune square her Venus. Of course, Leos tend to take these matters to extremes and dressing du Barry soon became a major burden on the royal purse.

There is some evidence that King Louis sought to mode his new mistress into another Lady Pompadour. He invited du Barry to sit with his advisers and give input on political matters. But, either because she knew her limitations (a rare thing for a Leo) or preferred conferring with her dress designers, du Barry stayed clear of political matters.

Only five years after du Barry became his mistress, King Louis XV died. Since du Barry had already made an enemy of the equally vain new Queen, Marie Antoinette, she was banished from Versailles. Of course, people with both Venus and Mars in Libra can’t live alone for long. She quickly found new boyfriends. She also doled out some of the wealth she had accumulated to charities.

When a Sun sign Leo decides he or she is going to remain oblivious to a subject, their lack of awareness can be amazingly complete. Never interested in politics, Du Barry chose to ignore the French Revolution. In fact, while thousands of French royals were bartering their family heirlooms for passage out of the country, du Barry blithely returned to France after a visit to England. It wasn’t until agents of the revolutionary government dragged her off to jail that du Barry recognized the danger. She begged for mercy all the way to the guillotine but found that the glamour had carried her so far in her youth could not save her.

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