Magna Carta: 800 years of liberty

(15 June 2015)  Eight hundred years ago today, on 15 June 1215, the Magna Carta was given the royal seal by King John of England in response to a revolt by the nobility.  The Magna Carta (Great Charter) is considered the foundation of the Western system of laws and democracy and began the codification of individual legal rights.   Following years of legal abuses and arbitrary taxation by the widely hated King John, the nobles drew up the document that asserted that no man, including the King, should be above the law of the land.  All subsequent revolutions in the English speaking world which sought to expand individual rights and liberties would cite the Magna Carta as its guiding inspiration.

Incredibly, the planets at the time of the royal assent to the Magna Carta show a stunningly clear picture of its historic intent and significance.   We don't know what time King John affixed the document with his beeswax seal, but the noon chart is good enough for our purposes.  We can see that the Sun and Venus are tightly squared both Uranus and the Lunar Nodes, Rahu and Ketu.  Since both Uranus and Rahu/Ketu symbolize freedom from authority and a desire for independence, this is a telling cosmic coincidence and a near-perfect representation of the collective import of what was happening that day in Runnymede a few miles west of London.  

In Western astrology, Uranus is considered a planet of revolution and rebellion par excellence as it is often prominent in some way during times of tumult and social change.  The second Russian Revolution (November 1917) when the Bolsheviks took power occurred when Uranus was square to the Sun and Mercury while Mao's Communist Revolution in China (1949) took power when the Sun was also square Uranus.  The square aspect in particular is considered especially volatile and is seen as more intensely resisting order and structure.  The Sun, of course, represents the King and all authority so this exact 90 degree angle between the Sun and Uranus is a telling embodiment of the spirit of resistance to absolute power in the person of the King.  In this event, Venus should be seen as symbolizing human relationships and happiness and its square aspect with Uranus is therefore an indication of the desire to establish new relationships in a way that makes a clean break with the old.





As fortune would have it, Vedic astrology mirrors many of these same themes since Rahu (and Ketu) are said to disrupt the status quo and seek change.  To some extent, they can be seen as Vedic equivalents to Uranus in  their symbolism.  Rahu (North Node) is a restless energy that always values innovation and invention over tradition and discipline.  Rahu and Ketu closely aspected the Sun at the time of both the French Revolution (July 1789) and the first Russian Revolution (March 1917) that deposed the Tsar.   Its close square alignment here with the Sun and Venus is a further celestial reflection of the sense of frustration with absolute royal power and the necessity of change.

As a possible indication of the Magna Carta's ultimate wisdom, Mercury receives a close aspect from Jupiter in this chart, albeit with a three-degree orb.  Jupiter is the planet of "right thoughts" that are both insightful and measured, while Mercury is the planet of rational discernment and communication.  Jupiter's close influence on Mercury was perhaps one reason why the nobles' protest against the King was not merely a petulant state of frustration against an arbitrary authority.  It may well have been born of that frustration and this was reflected in the desire for Uranian and Rahuvian freedom.  However, the Jupiter aspect suggests it was presented in an appropriate format that was both effective in securing its aim and provided an enduring testimony to the independence of the human spirit.