Apart from the separation of the Roman Catholic Church from the Orthodox Faith, and Luther's Reformation, probably the greatest Christian schism occurred here in England in the 16th Century when the King, Henry VIII, defied the Pope and divorced his Queen in order to marry Anne Boleyn. From this rebellion developed the events which led to Henry - already honoured by Rome with his new title "Defender of the Faith" - declaring himself head of the Church in England and independent of Rome. Thus out of this royal selfishness the Church of England was born.
Just look at Henry's chart (BC051). As again we are dealing with historic events, the sidereal is very important - and in that circle the King's nativity is dominated by a culminating Venus-S.Node in the 14th degree of Taurus! ... falling appropriately in his tropical 9th house, and vividly descriptive of his karma around women, kingship and Church. He chose to love himself rather than Jesus; even the tropical position of this pattern conjoins the Moon in Jesus' Nativity, and I rather doubt that he held any more regard for Mary, mother of Jesus. His draconic Scorpio Sun is at the sidereal IC, in the tropical North Node, stressing the importance of commitment to his Christian country at the expense of personal pleasure. With sidereal Mars on the tropical Ascendant, tropical Mars on the draconic MC, and sidereal Uranus on the draconic Ascendant he is extremely combative and inevitably a source of disruption if he cannot get his own way.
Going deeper into the heart of Henry, we find in the heliocentric pattern (BC052) a terribly harsh alignment of sidereal Saturn, tropical Earth/Uranus, and heliomundane (Earth as 0º Aries) Mars/Pluto in mid-Capricorn all square the sidereal Mars/Pluto, HM Saturn and tropical Mercury across Libra-Aries - the axis of Jesus' Saturn. This was the man who wrecked monasteries and had wives killed by royal decree, to protect his own miserable interests. What a cruel power, compared to the sublime patterns at the Nativity of Jesus. And with Jupiter ‘angular' twice, he will ensure that he alone is the final arbiter of disputes whether secular or religious. Like Luther, he was born just too early for us to look into the asteroid patterns at birth; but we certainly can for his Solar Returns and his marriage to Anne Boleyn.
Henry married Anne on January 25th, 1533 (BC053). There is so much information in the Solar Returns of 1532 and the marriage chart, I scarcely know where to begin. Perhaps, for simplicity's sake, we should keep mainly to the tropical Return on this occasion, since here the most dramatic patterns appear; fittingly for the year of his marriage to Anne, the Moon culminates in 1º Taurus on the late Aries Meridian - we are opposite Jesus' Mars degrees again, and conjunct on the IC are sidereal Jupiter with draconic asteroids Christa and Hybris, signalling the threat to the Church in England. Then with his returning Sun and disruptive Uranus is the lady herself, asteroid Anna, for the moment queen of his heart - while still "one flesh" conjunct Henry's ASC is Queen Katharina. She is however in the 12th conjunct the rising Mars, draconic Pluto/Roma, and the gloomy coupling of sidereal Atropos and Anubis, death and the psychopomp of the dead, about to be severed from him in an underhanded divorce that will over-rule Rome and lead to misery and bloodshed. Opposite is Lucifer (draconic) ... not a happy pattern. (Sorry I can't display all this drama!) When this axis goes back into the sidereal, its Descendant, the marriage cusp, comes to meet draconic Uranus, Anna, Sun. The sidereal Moon/draconic Drakonia/ Henry/ Neptune and tropical Christa/ Hybris line up unhappily on Jesus' Saturn axis, the Eclipse horizon of the Crucifixion. Henry's ruthlessness and deceit in snatching power over his marital affairs and the Church sets him in confrontation with Christ. He had himself declared by the bishops in his pocket as Supreme Head of the Church, and the formal Act of Supremacy followed in November 1534.
The domination of this epochal year by his karmic relationship with Jesus, the forcible takeover from Rome and the taking of Anne as his Queen (all aided and abetted by Thomas Cranmer, his new Archbishop of Canterbury) is all confirmed in the historic Sidereal Return (BC054) where the Meridian, Regina and tropical Moon-Jupiter collect on Jesus' Sun, Stars, horizon and Neptune. Sidereal Thomas rides the tropical Midheaven, tropical Sun/ Anna meets the sidereal 7th cusp (opposite draconic Saturn), and all that activity in mid-Leo collects around a draconic Ascendant at Leo 14º.
When the New Moon (BC055) conjunct Thomas (Cranmer - his Mr. Fix-it) and Fides hit that mid-Aquarius/Leo energy, directly confronting Yeshuhua (Jesus) and close to Henry's sidereal Descendant, the marriage took place. Mars, Venus and King were conjoined opposite Saturn, Karma in the N.Node approached his Ascendant as Roma in the S.Node with Bishop met his DESC. Anna had come to inflame Henry's Mars (asteroid table BC056). On Henry's progressed MC was the transiting Uranus; square to them on his progressed Ascendant and Moon, the transiting asteroid of poor Katharina, still in the picture. Perhaps her divorce eventually took place when she completed the square in 9º Libra. Although with her asteroid rising in the Noon chart of the marriage the union produced Elizabeth, destined to be one of England's greatest monarchs, that cruel Mars/Venus/Saturn/ Uranus ensured that the sexual rapture was very short-lived - but the enormous consequences for the Christian Church rolled on.
Six months after the marriage, Henry's 1533 Solar return (BC057) heralded the next stage of this takeover with a formidable stellium, tropical and sidereal, in the 9th house - including a quadruple conjunction of Mercury with culminating Saturn, Sun, Uranus all square the ASC/DESC. Sun, MC and Saturn are fittingly conjunct Hybris and Regina and opposite Autonoma, spelling out with painful clarity how his take-over of the Church has come about. This is once again the Saturn axis of the Nativity, and close to his own tropical Moon/ sidereal Pluto opposition. Asteroid Church itself is conjunct the chart ruler Venus in the crowded 9th. Setting is his fixer Thomas, again, with Fides. Prefiguring the birth in September of Henry's daughter Elizabeth, sidereal Elisabetha conjoins the culminating Cancer stellium in his Sun-degree. And most poignantly, asteroid Greensleeves - the romantic song he famously wrote - is opposite the Moon. The Moon's N.Node is in Leo 26 , so we know that the eclipses that year were falling on or close to Jesus' sidereal MC. The transiting Pluto-Node midpoint was on the 14º Taurus/Scorpio axis, bringing to Jesus dramatic changes amongst his following. As already mentioned, the official declaration of the Monarch as head of the Church came in late 1534, but it is clear from this chart and the lack of drama in the next Return that the real action happened here, the year before.
Elizabeth was born on September 7th 1533, at or about 3pm according to contemporary chroniclers (BC058); she has Henry's Nodes on her Meridian, Jesus' Sun at her IC, and his sidereal MC at her Dragon's Head opposite draconic Saturn and Uranus at the Tail. On the Scorpio MC is a fascinating collection of asteroids: Mentor, James, Merlin, Cupido, Anubis, Makeover and Urania among many others within 5º either side, and sidereal Hispania (Spain) and Aesculapia right on that Midheaven. At the IC with sidereal Germania is tropical Paracelsus, and rising with Juno is Panacea opposite the setting Chaldaea, Midas, Christa, Maria and draconic Hispania. Alemannia (also Germany) is with her Moon. The "Virgin Queen's" Virgo Sun is conjunct asteroid Vassar, named for the American women's College founded in the 1860s ... but we have already seen from other asteroid studies that "past" and "future" are intimately connected, and this one adds to the picture of a highly educated Queen whose passions are typically Virgoan, health and healing paramount, together with her Faith, riches, and involvement with astrologers and occultists. Tropical Elisabetha is satisfyingly conjoined with the sidereal Sun. Germany and Spain have a high profile in this nativity, and small wonder; for this was the reign when German Protestantism was finally established in a hitherto mainly Catholic land, and Philip of Spain joined forces with the Pope to try re-conquering England for the Roman Faith. He sent his Armada. It sank.
On April 29th 1559, with the second Act of Supremacy (BC059), the Church of England officially came into being, under Elizabeth's rule. The pattern is most striking. The Sun is on Jesus' Descendant, and Mercury on his Sun, establishing this as his Church - but although sidereal Venus is also nearby in 12º Taurus, bringing stability, love, music and sweetness, draconic Saturn and Neptune conjoin on the Sun adding a note of sombre spirituality. I have made the chart for Midnight (0h00) as this is the Civil Time when most Acts of English legislation come into force, and this puts not only the Taurus planets at the IC, but Uranus and sidereal Christa in the Midheaven, making Christ Jesus the true Head of the Church. (That this is the budding Anglican Church is emphasised by the presence of Ceres on the Ascendant - Ceres, to be discovered on the same day that the United Kingdom was ‘born’ in 1801, is strongly representative of her future astrological twin.) This is reiterated in the repeatedly strong positions of Christ's asteroid: its tropical dwad is with Eucharis, Juno and Urania on the Capricorn Ascendant, square the Crucifixion Eclipse, bringing him into the solemn Eucharist and the religious/ astrological life of this disciplined Queen. Tropical Christa falls on the dwad Descendant (BC060) opposite Chaldaea and Venus - on Jesus' Moon - aligning with a splendid sidereal cluster of dwad Mars, Elisabetha and Imperatrix. The strong Empress is to be his regent on Earth, in the embryonic Anglican Communion. Still in the sidereal, dwad Christa is with Mercury, Sun and IC on the Mars of the Nativity, while the dwad IC and DESC (BC061) embrace Elisabetha, Fides (faith) and Painleva (the uplifted Bread.) It is most interesting that in this inceptional chart for what has until recently been a massive and cohesive international Church, and which describes so clearly the conditions of its beginning with the hard-bitten but faithful Elizabeth, astrology is as strong as it is in the Queen's chart, and yet has been rejected out of hand as evil, dangerous or sheer nonsense. Urania is in the 12th house, Chaldaea in the 4th, and sidereally at the tropical IC; it seems that this ancient wisdom has been buried, walled up in the deep, mysterious places so feared by worldly minds.
This is the trouble. Jesus the man was immensely practical, objective and worldly-wise, as well as perfectly attuned to his heavenly life; he was "in the world, but not of it" - and this Church follows his example remarkably closely with its Taurus Sun in orbs of good aspect with all the outer planets and Jupiter, its communicative Moon, and the N.Node not far from the Equinox. This could be the Church of Christ reborn. But Jesus has Scorpio rising; he values and lives the Mysteries. This Church - set for this seemingly valid time - has Capricorn rising, close to the Ascendant of not only this first Queen Elizabeth but the second, unreceptive to and unexpressive of anything it cannot logically understand. With its Capricorn Urania, it would first require incontrovertible proof of astrology and evidence of practical and pecuniary usefulness, before it prised open the heavy attic and cellar doors to dust off the despised antique.
There is also a battle of the sexes in the chart: Moon squares Sun/Uranus, etc from Aquarius, and Venus on Jesus' Moon is opposed by sidereal Mars. The legacy of this is very much with us today in the row over women's ordination - still going on even as more and more women are admitted to the Diaconate and then the Priesthood - which was at its height as tropical and sidereal outer planets moved painfully over the series of Ascendants in this midnight chart and Pluto straddled the Taurus-Scorpio axis. As I edit this for The Holy Twelve in June 2010, tropical Pluto (and currently a series of very difficult solar and lunar eclipses) is working directly in Capricorn on the draconic Asc/Ceres and will move on to their tropical position with the karmic dwad S. Node in a few years’ time. At the eye of the current storm is the issue of women bishops, already consecrated in the USA but still contentious in the United Kingdom. The Archbishop of Canterbury recently hit the headlines for refusing to allow a visiting American woman bishop to wear her mitre in Canterbury Cathedral! As Ceres also exemplifies women in positions of power, we can see where all this is going: the Church of England now must change or die.
This is a certainly a Church that identifies very closely with Jesus, but is full of waywardness, competition, materialism, and tension. It can be overly conservative - "the Conservative Party at Prayer"! In many ways it will be inadequate and disappointing, failing often to develop the courage and compassion epitomised in Jesus, too ready to compromise, often complacent, and unable to see the wood for the trees. The heliocentric shows wisdom flawed by contentiousness and control in the T-square, despite a gift of legitimate spiritual power through the Earth-Uranus-Pluto trine and much understanding in the Jupiter-Mercury sextile.
Nevertheless, when a composite chart is erected for Jesus and this new Church (BC062), a composite Moon/N.Node/ Meridian conjunction is formed, suggesting that it is indeed the women of the Church who are intended to be the way forward, and the Church’s Jupiter on Jesus' Saturn must make his burden lighter, unless certain of its gains are to him only grief and loss. The sidereal composite Jupiter joins the Moon pattern (BC063), even while Saturn opposes his Mars and Mars his Mercury, with sidereal Pluto-Venus touching his sidereal Moon from the horizon. Like the inceptional chart for the Protestant Church of Luther, here again we find a moment in human history which means to Jesus the active and vital inclusion of womankind in the sacramental and developmental life of his Church. Well, it is taking quite a while! ... with that male-biased, reactionary pattern. In the end, the still, small Voice will be heard.