Mary Queen of Scots

The new film released in the U.K. this week on Friday 18th January about Mary Queen of Scots looks intriguing, and stars two modern stars of the screen.  The film is based on a biography of Mary Queen of Scots by John Guy, “Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart”.  Mark Kermode describes the film in the Observer this morning as “a full-blooded tale of personal and pollitical rivalries told with wit, flair and passion”.  As often happens, I am writing about the film before seeing it, but it is always enjoyable to look at my blogs in hindsight when I do see the film and comment later.

Saoirse Ronan

The leading ladies in this film are Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie, both of whom I wrote about last March in a blog about the Oscars. Saoirse was signed up to play Mary Queen of Scots for this film six years ago, which gave this Irish actress plenty of time to practise her Scottish accent.  I wrote last March:

“Saoirse Ronan, the daughter of Irish American parents, is a fresh faced Aries Sun, with 0 planets in Air signs making her very instinctual.  In this film she expertly portrays a youth in Sacramento, and Aries represents a time of youth.  She has in her chart a square between the Sun and Uranus/Neptune, and so she would be a non-conformist, capable of creating an illusion, and would not shy away from a challenge.  She has Mercury conjunct Mars – quick mental reactions (which displayed in a recent chat show as a party piece in a speedy recital of mnemonic poem to describe how to pronounce her name). Mars also trine exactly Pluto gives her a powerhouse of energy, and Mars also trines her North Node so warriorship is part of her karmic mission. Uranus also sextiles exactly her North Node so the Rebel Archetype is also a strong element in her karmic mission.”

At this time, Saturn is trine Saoirse’s Venus, which suggests it is a serious role for her, and important to her personally.  The film portrays the strength of the woman.  When asked if she is inclined to play fiercely independent women she has said: “I don’t necessarily make it my mission to do that though, but I guess it’s what I’m attracted to, you know.”

In the synastry between her and the historical Mary, her Venus squares Mary’s Mars and her Neptune squares Mary’s Jupiter, so there is not a great deal of personal connection, though Saoirse has the fighting qualities in her chart to portray the Queen trying to keep her throne.

Mary Queen of Scots

The historical Mary was born in 1542, and was cousin to Queen Elizabeth I.  The action of the film begins around 1561.  She had three husbands during the course of her life, and gave birth to a son James who was the natural heir to the Scottish throne and later became James I of England.  Elizabeth I felt threatened by the existence of her cousin’s son as a possible heir, as she was not able to produce an heir of her own.  The film itself has been criticized for some historical inaccuracies.

The transits to Mary’s chart of the U.K. opening of the film are amazing: Jupiter is exactly on her Sun; Jupiter sextile her Pluto exactly; Neptune trine her Saturn, and Pluto sextile her Venus. That should be a favourable portrayal, in her posthumous book.

Mary spent the last months of her life imprisoned in Fotheringay Castle, where she was beheaded on 8th February 1687.

Margot Robbie

Margot Robbie, who plays Queen Elizabeth I, was also in line for best actress last year, for her portrayal of the ice skater Tonya Harding.

I wrote at the time:

“Originally from Australia, Margot is the third Cancerian actress in the category, and deserves triple praise for acting in the film, producing the film, and actually skating in the film which concerns the drama of ice skater Tonya Harding’s real life.  Margot has an enterprising 7 out of her 10 planets in Cardinal signs.  She has the Moon (depicting important women in her life) in Scorpio, of which Tonya is one (certainly one she has decided to champion on her creative path).  Margot also has a useful Mars-Jupiter square, providing huge energy and enthusiasm (though also tempered by a square between Mars and Saturn).  Jupiter powerfully trines Pluto in her chart, too.”

Queen Elizabeth I of course has had many films made about her, and many prominent actresses have played her.  In the current film, Margot looks stunningly austere with a chalk white face and bright auburn topknot.  The transits for Margot at this time are Saturn on her Neptune, and Neptune trine her Pluto, portraying a time of sensitivity and complexity for her.  Margot’s connection with the real Elizabeth I is much stronger than Saoirse’s with Mary:

Interaspects include the Queen’s Sun exactly sextile Margot’s Pluto, a posthumous representation!  The Queen’s Venus trines Margot’s Saturn.  Their Saturns are exactly opposite.  Karmically, the Queen has her Mars trine Margot’s North Node, so the role may have a karmic significance for Margot (e.g. she may have known Elizabeth, for example in a minor court role).

Queen Elizabeth I

Queen Elizabeth ruled England from 1558 to 1603, one of the greatest monarchs of British history.  Her relationship with her cousin Mary was complex, and by all accounts she hesitated to sign Mary’s death warrant, as she did not want the stain of blood on her hands.  In the end, however, Mary’s son James did inherit Elizabeth’s throne, and that may have been a direct piece of karma.

The posthumous transits this week for Elizabeth are Neptune opposing her Sun and squaring her Ascendant (a further complication of her image), Chiron opposite her Mercury (portrayal of a headache she could not solve), and Pluto trine her Venus (a deeply affecting relationship).


In the film, towards the end, there is a clandestine meeting between Mary and Elizabeth.  According to Saoirse, the two actresses chose for that one meeting to be postponed to the end as that would give them a greater drama and tension for them as actresses.

In real life, Mary and Elizabeth had their Suns in square relationship to each other (so plenty of tension there).  But they also had their Venuses in sextile relationship, so underlying it was a personal love and kinship, too.

A Song for Mary

Songstress Sandy Denny was so moved by the life of Mary Queen of Scots that she wrote the song “Fotheringay” about her incarceration in the Castle, and it is one of her best and most heartfelt songs:

“How often she has gazed from castle windows o’er,
And watched the daylight passing within her captive wall,
With no-one to heed her call.

The evening hour is fading within the dwindling sun,
And in a lonely moment those embers will be gone
And the last of all the young birds flown.

Her days of precious freedom, forfeited long before,
To live such fruitless years behind a guarded door,
But those days will last no more.”

~ Sandy Denny


It’s an action-packed week if you like to work with your aspects!  The Sun entered Aquarius this morning, and we move to a more collective and socially-minded expression.  We take more notice of the underdog, and the things that need changing in society, rather than accepting the status quo as represented by Sun in Capricorn.  We are more open to embracing change,  as we emerge from the stiffness of winter, like snowdrops from the ground.  We still have a way to go before Spring, but are ready to look at different ways of being.

Tomorrow (Monday 21st), our relationships come under some scrutiny with Venus squaring Neptune.  We need to look below the surface illusion and determine what is really going on there.  Perhaps we are too timid to do anything about any problems, but it is time to be honest at least with ourselves, and look more objectively, and beyond the levels of need and addiction.  In the news, scandal and deception may be highlighted, such as political dishonesty and hypocrisy.

A Full Moon also occurs tomorrow, a Lunar Eclipse, also billed as a Supermoon, a Blood Moon and a Wolf Moon – these days, Moons seem to come with a lot more labels (than in my day…).  Its position is 0 degrees Leo, which is quite a powerful position in itself, even without all the other attributes given to it by the names.  Moon in Leo can be dramatic, and bring about power struggles.  And the effects of an eclipse can be world-turning and long-lasting.  But Leo is creative, and can write its own screenplay, and if working in a balanced way within a group (the Moon opposes the Sun in Aquarius), can lead to award-winning performances.  It is to a great extent, up to you what you create.

There is extra tension tomorrow also created by a square between Mars and Saturn, so the Moon in Leo may lead to a play for dominance, and a battle of wills.  You will need to bring out your Inner Peacemaker, and also ensure that one person is not made a scapegoat in a group.  In Question Time this week, Diane Abbot was set upon by the other panellists, and unsupported by chairperson Fiona Bruce (despite her designated role of impartiality) who even joined in the “bullying” and humiliation. Some intelligent forethought may bear dividends in avoiding that type of scenario.

With a sigh of relief we can enjoy a conjunction between Venus and Jupiter on Tuesday (22nd), one of the best aspects of the year.  It is a romantic and celebratory conjunction of the two traditional “benefics”.  It is a good day to get out and socialize, if you have been closeting yourself lately.  Joy and laughter is the order of the day.

Wednesday (23rd) brings us mental challenges (very possibly of the technological kind) with a square between Mercury and Uranus.  Be prepared for disrupted trains and computers needing attention.  Use your intuition to be one step ahead.

Mercury entering Aquarius the next day (Thursday 24th) may assist a more tech savvy vibe, e.g. you might find the right people to help you with your computer glitches, if you can’t solve them yourself.  Or you might be in a better frame of mind to tackle such matters.

The week ends on a high note, with Mars trine Jupiter on Friday (25th).  This is a go ahead, spirited aspect which makes us feel we can achieve anything.  If you felt held back earlier in the week, then Friday is the antidote.  It might help to schedule your active projects for Friday.  Enthusiasm and energy abound.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – a collective mindset
  • Tomorrow – seeing through the fog in relationships; high emotion; and obstacles
  • Tuesday – shiny happy people
  • Wednesday – disrupted communications
  • Thursday – mentally clearer
  • Friday – energy allied with enthusiasm