Marie Antoinette, Queen of France -- Life and Death

FraterAC

Well-known member
To continue the writer’s own astrological Chamber of Horrors, I’ll return to the nativity and transition of the last queen of pre-Revolution France, born Archduchess Maria Antonia of Austria, better known to history as Marie Antoinette.

The nativity is for November 2, 1755 at 7:30 pm Local Time, Vienna, Austria (corresponding to 18:24:40 GMT). The native passed through transition at approximately 12:15 pm Local Time on October 16, 1793 at the Place de la Revolucion, Paris (14:04:40 GMT), having been executed by order of France’s Revolutionary Tribunal. This analysis will initially focus on the astrological influences operative at the time of the native’s transition.

Starting from the axiom that nothing can be forecast for the native that is not present in the natal chart, an examination of the ascendant, 8th house, and aspects to Saturn and Pluto in the birth chart should be made.

The Moon, ruler of the Cancer Ascendant, is in Libra in the 5th house, and forms a T-square with Mars in the 1st house and Saturn in the 8th. This planetary figure could be seen as a possible indication of a violent death. Capricorn is on the 8th house cusp, with its ruler Saturn in that house. Saturn is semisquare Uranus in the 10th house, the most highly elevated planet in the chart. Uranus suggests a sudden or unusual transition, and in the 10th house, possibly a public one. Pluto, natural ruler of the 8th house, in the 6th house, is also square Uranus, and conjunct Eris, the planet of discord, chaos and dissolution. While no indications in any nativity can be seen to determine specific experiences, the aspects in the horoscope allow at least the possibility of a violent, public, and even controversial transition. Pluto and Eris are also inconjunct Mars.

Other notable configurations in Marie’s chart are the Sun and Venus in close conjunction, both square Neptune, and the grand trine of the Sun, Venus, Uranus, and Mars.
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FraterAC

Well-known member
As this thread is intended to explore the astrological influences at work in the life and death of Marie Antoinette, please do NOT post political commentary on the French Revolution, the French Republic, monarchy or Royals in general, or other not strictly astrological topics -- or links to YouTube videos.
 

waybread

Staff member
Hi FraterAC, Just a couple of thoughts. Have you looked at progressions of various sorts for the final year or so of Marie Antoinette's life? It's possible that an OK-looking nativity becomes increasingly difficult as the person's life progresses.

Marie Antoinette died at a relatively young age, so solar arcs may be more helpful than slow-moving secondary progressions. You can speak to other prognosticative methods better than I can.

I note that solar arc Pluto closely conjuncted MA's natal Saturn in the 8th house on her execution date.

Sometimes asteroids seem like so much space junk, but sometimes the correspondences are uncanny. It would be interesting to see if any asteroid names match those of the men responsible for MA's execution. (Generally I use only conjunctions to planets or sensitive points. and a very narrow orb.)

For example, one of the architects of the French Revolution was Maximilien Robespierre. Apparently there's no asteroid Robespierre, but there is an asteroid Maximiliana. People who work with asteroids would find that name close enough. It's not up to much in MA's natal chart, but on the day of her execution it conjuncts her DC within the degree. (The 7th being the house of open enemies.)

Putting on a more traditional hat, I note that MA's Venus rules her 12th house of imprisonment. Venus is in detriment in Scorpio, combust the sun, and lacking in essential dignity. By ruling the 12th house, Venus becomes an accidental malefic.

This chart has such a 5th house emphasis: sun, moon, Jupiter and Venus. Apparently there is some debate about whether MA loved playing a shepherdess in courtiers' amusements, but she seems to have enjoyed a life of leisure. She had four children. Her luxurious lifestyle had a lot to do with her unpopularity. MA's 5th house is also ruled by her troubled Venus.

It's also worth thinking about the events leading up to her execution. What if...what if...what if, she hadn't married Louis XVI? That fact seems pivotal. On her wedding date of May 16, 1770, her solar arc sun conjuncted natal Maximilana within the degree. It's like a seed gets planted.

If we take your "axiom that nothing can be forecast for the native that is not present in the natal chart," tracking the evolving chart through the life course should prove revealing.
 

FraterAC

Well-known member
My intention is to look at several forecasting measures, for several incidents in Marie's life, including all kinds of progressions and solar arcs. Royals have always been fodder for astrological analysis, since so much of their lives is documented to the day.
In the meantime, I wonder if lunar returns are worthwhile investigating? Are lunar returns even important?
 
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FraterAC

Well-known member
One way to find out. And I wouldn't think that one size fits all.
Some may however be a better fit than others.
One might take a look at the analysis of Marie's last lunar return, including progressing it by the MC-transiting Moon phase angle, referenced again, here
One perplexing and unresolved question has to do with the issue of tropical versus sidereal returns, either solar or lunar. After demonstrating that there is indeed a difference how one defines the return (one poster maintained incorrectly that the difference was an illusion), and months of wrangling about what precession actually was, no one offered any relevant experience in the thread I started two years ago on the topic. See here
I mention this only in passing. Let's direct any discussion on that knotty topic to the thread referenced immediately above.
I want to keep the present thread exclusively about Marie and the celestial influences in her life and death.
 

FraterAC

Well-known member
As a starting point, we will begin with the primary motion of the heavens, that is, the rotation of the Earth on its axis. One question is, how to define, or calculate and quantify, that motion.

This writer believes that any direction must be by arcs consistent with the progressed horoscope, as L. Edward Johndro, Charles A. Jayne, Robert DeLuce and others have written. In Charles A. Jayne’s Progressions and Directions (Pg. 36) he wrote “Aspects to and by the Midheaven are based on the true solar arc in right ascension.” By true solar arc he meant the actual daily motion of the Sun for the progressed days in question, not the archaic Ptolemaic “degree for a year,” which is purely symbolic, or the 59:08 Naibod Arc, which represents the mean daily motion of the Sun.

Jayne wrote, “The best investigators and technicians have reached the conclusion that we should use the true motion of the Sun instead of Naibod’s mean motion or Ptolemy or Simmonite’s keys. Sepharial proposed the true motion (in right ascension varying from 54’ to 66’…a day) and it was used by Johndro, DeLuce, Schwickert, Wagner and others. On the basis of their experience and my own, I assume only the true motion is valid, which is clear enough when small orbs are used.”

The Solar Arc, measured in Right Ascension, and calculated using the Bija correction, for the native’s directions to October 16, 1793 is

39 : 40 (degrees : minutes)

Applying this arc to the equatorial positions of the planets brings Saturn, in mundo culmination to the Midheaven with an arc of 47’. The direction of natal Saturn, ruler of the 8th house of transition, in the natal 8th house, to the Midheaven is a powerful indicator of the influence of the planet, and the affairs of the house and signs it rules, at that time in the life of the native. In other words, this could be a powerful timer of transition.

The equatorial arc of 39 : 40 also brings Eris, planet of discord, to an exact 45:00 aspect to the Midheaven, as measured on the Equator in Right Ascension. The spectacle of the beheading of a royal personage in a public venue in front of hundreds of wound up spectators is entirely in accord with the mythological depiction of Eris as feeding off the terror, carnage and bloodshed of the battlefield.

Other aspects between the natal and directed planets can be identified in the chart below.

Note that the chart presents the natal planetary and directed positions of the planets in Right Ascension, in Zodiacal format, that is, in signs, degrees and minutes, to make it easier to recognize aspects.
The natal Midheaven is presented in this format as Pisces 04:11; its RA would usually be presented as 334:11 (degrees : minutes) or 22:16:42 (Hours : Minutes : Seconds) expressed as Sidereal Time.
Similarly, the Right Ascension of Solar Arc/RA directed Eris is shown as Capricorn 19:11. That RA would typically be presented as 289:11 or 19:16:44.

To repeat, the positions in the chart presented below, despite their presentation in Zodiacal format, are in Right Ascension, i.e. their positions projected onto the Equator, and not in Longitude, i.e. their positions projected onto the Ecliptic.

Next we'll examine the various types of Progression in effect October 16, 1793

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FraterAC

Well-known member
Note that in the above Equatorial chart, the directed Saturn, ruler of the house of transition (death) is within 08’ of a sesquiquadrate of the radical Moon, ruler of the Ascendant, which signifies the projection of the personality into manifestation (including the physical body); that 135 degree aspect measured along the Equator.
 
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FraterAC

Well-known member
The directed Midheaven also makes a trine to radical Neptune (28'), again, measured along the Equator.
C.E.O. Carter and Charles Jayne wrote in connection with transition/the death of the body that aspects between Jupiter and/or Neptune, to the Lights, angles, or each other, were always present. Waybread and I have had a number of discussions about death being a transition to another dimension of consciousness, with indications of an expansion of consciousness.
So we see one indication possibly corroborating that here.
 

waybread

Staff member
FraterAC, you've done an amazing amount of homework on predictive methods that I haven't done. So I cannot comment, other than to suggest that if a simple "year for a day" calculus gives a good result, it's probably worth keeping in the repertoire. My old-fashioned solar arc Pluto did hit MA's 8th house Saturn within the degree, for example; while it's a bit off with more sophisticated methods. Of course, her 7:30 ToB might be an estimate.

Monk is one member who could speak your language. It might be worth sending him a PM re: participating.

Australian astrologer Alice Portman did a lot of research on house systems. She concluded that different people respond better or worse to different house systems. For example, the British royal family, whose birth data go back centuries, respond best to Regiomontanus. Which is not a commonly used one for nativities. If you haven't done so already, it might be useful to see if Placidus is the best one for Marie Antoinette.

I wonder if something comparable might happen for individuals re: predictive methods. By suggesting that "one size does not fit all," I wondered if different predictive methods might work more or less accurately for different people.

Then, can you make a case for your assumption that nothing happens in an individual's life that cannot be seen in the nativity?

For example, MA's birth chart, when anonymous, wouldn't tell us whether she was born a pauper or into the Hapsburg nobility. MA's parents' wealth, as the 2nd from the 4th (radix 5) might suggest they were fortunate (Jupiter,) but it's all relative compared to the social stratum in which one is born.

So much in MA's life hinged on her marriage. With a Saturn rulership of an otherwise empty 7th house, we might expect delays and disappointments. She married at age 14 (!) but apparently it took 7 years for the couple to fully consummate their marriage, due to Louis XVI sexual problems. When she finally had children, she was accused of infidelity. So perhaps including details on Louis XVI would be helpful. Her fortunes were very much tied to his.
 

FraterAC

Well-known member
FraterAC, you've done an amazing amount of homework on predictive methods that I haven't done. So I cannot comment, other than to suggest that if a simple "year for a day" calculus gives a good result, it's probably worth keeping in the repertoire. My old-fashioned solar arc Pluto did hit MA's 8th house Saturn within the degree, for example; while it's a bit off with more sophisticated methods. Of course, her 7:30 ToB might be an estimate.

Monk is one member who could speak your language. It might be worth sending him a PM re: participating.

Australian astrologer Alice Portman did a lot of research on house systems. She concluded that different people respond better or worse to different house systems. For example, the British royal family, whose birth data go back centuries, respond best to Regiomontanus. Which is not a commonly used one for nativities. If you haven't done so already, it might be useful to see if Placidus is the best one for Marie Antoinette.

I wonder if something comparable might happen for individuals re: predictive methods. By suggesting that "one size does not fit all," I wondered if different predictive methods might work more or less accurately for different people.

Then, can you make a case for your assumption that nothing happens in an individual's life that cannot be seen in the nativity?

For example, MA's birth chart, when anonymous, wouldn't tell us whether she was born a pauper or into the Hapsburg nobility. MA's parents' wealth, as the 2nd from the 4th (radix 5) might suggest they were fortunate (Jupiter,) but it's all relative compared to the social stratum in which one is born.

So much in MA's life hinged on her marriage. With a Saturn rulership of an otherwise empty 7th house, we might expect delays and disappointments. She married at age 14 (!) but apparently it took 7 years for the couple to fully consummate their marriage, due to Louis XVI sexual problems. When she finally had children, she was accused of infidelity. So perhaps including details on Louis XVI would be helpful. Her fortunes were very much tied to his.
WB you bring up a lot of good points. Obviously there is a lot (a lot!) to unpack here already.
I'm still using "a day for a year." I'm just using a sidereal day, and not a solar day (i.e. I'm using Bija correction). I'm not denigrating Solar Arcs either; I intend to get to them, and hopefully put a new twist on them, too.
One of the things I hope to turn up is how different systems do or do not indicate this obviously very, very significant event (and I hope, others) in this life. If they don't reflect this, they're not going to show lesser events, are they?
This should be instructive to everyone, not least, to me.
The ToB is given as AA from family records, but I agree, anything on an even division of an hour is suspect. As we go, we'll see just how good or otherwise it is. I'm already suspecting the ToB was 2 or 3 minutes earlier, but we'll see as we look at other incidents in Marie's life.
I agree the horoscope can't be interpreted independently of the conditions surrounding the individual. There were cases of "astral twins" of some English nobility analyzed by astrologers back in the day. While the king might set up a stable and raise and race horses, the astral twin commoner might just become a horseracing habitue and blow a few pennies at the track. The experience may have been the same, but the scale from a material point of view, drastically different.
I want to similarly analyze the occasion when Marie was introduced to Louis, on May 14, 1770 when they met at the edge of the forest of Compiègne. I'm thinking that had to be a very fraught moment for both of them, and astrologically significant. They were already legally married, by proxy, as of April 19, and there would be another ceremony May 16.
Some kind of synastry chart for the royal couple is no doubt in order. Not usually my thing but I think I can come up with something. Others here might pitch in also.
 

FraterAC

Well-known member
I am proceeding on the assumption that the predictive techniques that move more slowly (like Primary Directions, Secondary/Major progressions, and Solar Arcs) shape or frame astrological conditions that the faster moving techniques (like Tertiary and Minor progressions, Lunar Arcs, and Returns and progressed Returns, and Transits) qualify and time.

Of course it is not the technique that is doing anything, the technique is just how we identify astrological (or astral, if you will) influences we perceive to be at work.

So the intent is to take the various possible influences in order, from slower or more general to faster or more specific. I know I will not cover every possible technique, because there are some I haven't used or am not familiar with. Everyone is welcome to add theirs (realizing it may be awhile before I get to the faster ones, like Transits, for instance).
 
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waybread

Staff member
Hi FraterAC, unless or until others show up, I hope you don't mind a dialogue here..

I am not an astral determinist -- and for sure, I'm not saying you are, either. But one thing that bugs me a bit is that, if we assume that the explanations for Marie Antoinette's beheading are embedded in her natal chart, then (to me, anyway) the implication is that she was merely embodying planetary positions set in place a few billion years ago, or when ever our solar system planets attained their current orbit.

I mean, she gets born at a particular moment in time and place on earth, and voilà, she has a horoscope to explain her life. But her birth data are mere intersections or pings in planetary movements that had been going before her birth since about forever. Wouldn't your primary assumption imply that MA's astrological biography was set in place long before she was born?

(A point that could be made about anybody's chart.)

There are traditional formulae around for predicting the timing and manner of death. I question their utility. (Richard Houck, author of The Astrology of Death, failed to accurately predict the timing and manner of his own death.) If you're not familiar with these calculations, however, they might be worth digging up and seeing what they would predict.

I did a (very) little reading about MA and Louis XVI, and it seems that all kinds of inept moves on their parts, in the context of current events; combined with poverty among ordinary French people created a kind of perfect storm for her. One year at a time, one can see the noose tightening for her. (Bad pun, sorry.) So there's that kind of intersection with momentous events in French history, as well, that could be horoscoped and compared.

Marie Antoinette's execution was obviously very personal. But it happened in the context of other actors and events. Astrologically, these may be irrelevant. But thinking like a historian, the question, "Why was Marie Antoinette executed on October 17, 1793?" makes other people and events relevant. If anyone's death was embedded in various turns of events and enemies, hers certainly was.

Here's Louis XVI: https://www.astro.com/astro-databank/Louis XVI,_King of France

This one is for the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction just before the storming of the Bastille:
https://www.astro.com/astro-databank/Celestial:_Jupiter-Uranus_Conjunction,_1789
 

FraterAC

Well-known member
the implication is that she was merely embodying planetary positions
I don't mind dialog at all, far from it.
What you are bringing up really gets to the core question of who and what we are, IMO. Which though it may be somewhat out of scope, is probably THE most important question there is.
So FWIW
I grew up in an area with a mountain range on the horizon. On top of the most notable peak were all the transmitters used for radio, TV, and UHF broadcasting (this was obviously a while ago). At some point I realized I was awash in a sea of electromagnetic radiations from those transmitting towers, as every living thing in that valley was, every minute of the day.
That's how I feel about astrological influences. They permeate our reality, our consciousness. We can't shut them out or change the timing or quality of them, any more than we can (individually) change the weather. To a great extent however we can determine how we react to them.
What is it that is subject to those astrological influences, those vibrations, if you will?
Could the French monarchy have survived, and Louis and Marie continued to reign? I don't know.
I'm pretty sure we're looking through the wrong end of the telescope, though.
 

FraterAC

Well-known member
"Why was Marie Antoinette executed on October 17, 1793?" makes other people and events relevant. If anyone's death was embedded in various turns of events and enemies, hers certainly was.
Absolutely valid. These events did not take place in a vacuum, or outside of a larger chain of events (or influences).
Which to me makes the study of these astrological factors so fascinating.
How could all this fit together so intricately -- or does it? If not, there are an awful lot of tantalizing coincidences.
 

waybread

Staff member
These are great points, FraterAC, maybe worth a separate thread.

My take on planetary "transmitters" is that most of them have too slight a physical impact on earth for "scientific" causal explanations (like electro-magnetism or gravity) to be valid. Culture is a huge variable that cannot be explained simplistically. For example, whether someone grows up speaking French or English makes a huge difference to their lives (in Canada, where I live.) Does someone grow up in an ethnic minority or majority?

Part of Marie Antoinette's unpopularity related to her Austrian connections, which got worse later in her short life. There's a way to infer foreign status from a horoscope, but I don't think it can be teased out without looking at charts in between birth and death.

Horoscope interpretation is much more fine-grained than could be explained by some type of energy or force emanating from, say, Pluto Then a lot of predictive methods are surrogate, not even involving what's up in the sky at a given moment. Causal explanations really break down with horary astrology. If we're looking at an interactive model, there's a lot more spade work to be done with it.

Wearing an astrology hat, getting into messy historical details may be unwanted and unnecessary. Thinking like an historian, however, they are essential. Historians do look at pivotal moments and encounters. On encounters with other people, the vertex may prove interesting.
 

waybread

Staff member
One other question that occurs to me, is whether it's worthwhile trying to rectify MA's chart, given her rounded number birth time. With so many events in her life being public, it may be possible, and desirable when using Placidus houses.

(A lot of work, though!)
 

FraterAC

Well-known member
most of them have too slight a physical impact on earth for "scientific" causal explanations (like electro-magnetism or gravity) to be valid
Rant alert. Be warned, all
Nothing says the mechanism is physical, within the spectrum we consider physical. As long as we're thinking rocks spinning in space, none of this is ever going to make sense. Hence Carl Sagan.
I don't personally buy what the early 20th Century Theosophists and others posited trying to explain celestial influence, as ethers etc. I don't know what the mechanism is, and personally doubt there is any necessity to speculate about it. If it's real, it's real, and we can admit, at least temporarily, not to understand it.
All of the measures I use relate to actual, measurable astronomical phenomena. The rotation of the Earth, the proper motion of the planets (why I like progressions). Nothing is symbolic or made up. At the risk of poking a dog, that's why I'm skeptical of a lot of what the neo-Traditionalists use. There is no astronomical basis for a lot of it (cue howls of outrage).
As to time, we might consider Einstein, or hold a stopwatch on a dream (our inner subjective consciousness). At the speed of light, there is no time. Even Vedic uses fractals.

Hopefully, with enough crunching, we may have enough information to make some educated guesses regarding Marie's rectification, which I agree is desirable.
 

waybread

Staff member
FraterAC, may The Force be with you.

Of course, the longstanding "mechanism" has been divine, which is why some thoughtful astrologers today see astrology as a form of divination. In ancient pagan worlds, the planets were gods or signs from the gods. In a monotheistic world, a directing God created the universe and can pretty much modify it at will to His liking. Possibly in the future, quantum physics experiments that show how the act of observation influences the outcome, may merge with more understanding of the role of the astrologer in all of this; as well as better neuroscience on human behavior.

My own thesis is that astrologers seldom use the heavens directly, thanks to ephemerides. We look at horoscopes and interact with other human beings. A horoscope is simultaneously an over-simplified and stylized map of the heavens, as well as a depiction of the life of a human being. Consequently we are primarily involved in graphic forms of communication. We are heavily involved in symbolism through glyphs, and in interpreting what those glyphs mean in a person's life (or horary question.)

You can have the most accurate celestial observations available; but they play out in the very messy lives of human beings and mass events. Were it otherwise, we might find the post-diction of Marie Antoinette's death to be much more straightforward.

In many ways, Marie Antoinette existed as a symbol of one sort or another to the French people and revolutionaries. This might be her MC as work, as the heavens and earth's rotation were playing out identically for people who shared similar birth data, but who did not die in 1793 at the guillotine.

Anyway, I wish you all the best in your project. A theosophist I am not. As I learn more neo-traditional astrology, I am pretty pragmatic about whether it works or not.
 
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