“Napoleon” – the film by Ridley Scott

also featuring my own Napoleonic journey

Last night, we went to see the new film by Ridley Scott.  The subject, Napoleon, has strangely erupted in my life from time to time, as you will see.  I needed to revisit my connection with this historical era, and was glad I did.  The film was not wholeheartedly embraced by the French, partly because of inaccuracies, but was certainly a spectacle.  Some of the destruction of buildings and battlefield explosions were horrifically reminiscent of the scenes in Ukraine and Gaza which we have seen on our small screens these last two years.

My own story begins at school.  We all have an iconic teacher in our youth, and mine was Mr Burkimsher, my history teacher.  In the sixth form, he allocated a subject for each of us to produce a project over a period of three months.  For me, he chose Napoleon.  I read every book going on the subject from my local library in St. Albans, and literally wrote a book in that time!  It’s still somewhere in our loft.  As I am, and was, a pacifist, the chapter on battles and warfare was disproportionately short.  Needless to say, these themes dominate Ridley Scott’s film.  Mr Burkimsher gave me top marks, and was so taken with my offering that he showed it to a friend for a second opinion.  For the purpose of balance, I hasten to add that was the height of my academic success, which steadily declined after that point.  But it did give me the confidence to apply to study history at University…

Birth Chart

It is common knowledge that Napoleon embodies the Hero Archetype in his Sun Sign of Leo.  In his element balance, he had half his planets (5) in Earth signs, which groundedness may explain his expertise on battlefield layouts and monumental organization of the roads in Paris.  He had 0 planets in Air, which suggests a high proportion of reliance on instinct.  His Sun was square Jupiter, and he was an undoubted risk-taker, with a marked tendency to exaggerate.  We do have a birth time for him, and his Sun (and Sun ruler) was exactly conjunct his Midheaven (Careerpoint) and closely trine his North Node, both of which suggest his strong sense of destiny.  His Moon in Capricorn expresses his level of ambition, and it is opposed by Saturn, which points to a sense of melancholy in relation to the women in his life.  Mercury was square to his Uranus – he was not afraid of controversy, indeed he courted it.  But perhaps even more importantly, his Mercury was exactly trine his Chiron – a gift for problem-solving.  The poignancy of his love life is further illustrated by Venus closely squaring his Chiron.  Mars sextile his Jupiter gave him the zeal with which he approached each battle, while Mars exactly trine Uranus gave him an electrical energy and the ability to motivate his troops.  Mars closely trine Pluto bestowed a powerhouse of physical and psychological energy, and the stamina he needed in some of his protracted battles.  This Grand Earth Trine of Mars-Uranus-Pluto may be seen as part of his genius for warriorship and strategy.  Jupiter was exactly on his Ascendant, providing an unfailing optimism and much luck – even when exiled to Elba he summoned up the wherewithal to undertake a last battle, Waterloo.

…So I travelled up to Nottingham University for my interview to study Medieval and Modern History, for which there were just the two Professors.  I was interviewed by the Modern History Professor, whose specialist subject coincidentally was the French Revolution.  I was therefore able to draw upon my project in my interview!  In my third year I was under the tutelage of the Medieval Professor, Mr Bullough, whose expertise was Charlemagne.  Hubby still laughs at the fact that my whole third year was spent in our freezing flat with Donald Bullough’s book “The Age of Charlemagne” on my lap…

The Coronation of Napoleon

Napoleon considered himself a reincarnation of Charlemagne, and that was one of the reasons  why he had himself crowned Emperor at Notre Dame on 2nd December 1804 in emulation of Charlemagne, presided over by Pope Pius VII, just one of the spectacular scenes which featured in Ridley Scott’s film.  The sight of his own crowning of Josephine reminded me of King Charles’ crowning of Camilla this year!

Could there be any credence to Napoleon’s link with Charlemagne?  There are two notable similarities from their birth charts: they both had the conjunction of Mars and Neptune, and a trine between Uranus and Pluto.

The Film

Not to give away too much, the film begins with the execution by guillotine of Marie Antoinette.  The Observer reports that one inaccuracy of the film according to Dan Snow was that “Napoleon…did not watch as Marie Antoinette was guillotined.” Many of Napoleon’s prominent battles were featured throughout the film, amazing huge spectacles.  The Observer further observes: “Biddiss and Scott have both earned plaudits for the military tactics displayed in the film. Snow, in particular, praised the defensive square formations of the French troops.”  The relationship between Napoleon and Josephine was also featured prominently, and sometimes graphically.  His letters will have given a lot of detail to draw upon.  A glaring omission from the film was his own domestic policies and achievements.  But a highlight of casting, in my view, was that of the Duke of Wellington.

Ridley Scott and Joaquin Phoenix

Ridley Scott is a Sagittarian, and a strong tendency in Film Directors is to have the Sun in Leo (for total overall control).  This astrological feature is supplied by the Sun (Leo’s ruler) conjunct Ridley Scott’s North Node (karmic mission), showing up the grandiose vision of his blockbuster movies.

There is a filmic link between Ridley Scott and Napoleon.  Neptune is the planet which rules film, and Napoleon’s Nodal Axis bears an exact square on Ridley’s Neptune, and Napoleon’s Neptune exactly squares Ridley Scott’s Sun.

The acting was exemplary, and Scorpio Joaquin Phoenix gave a strong performance as Napoleon.  However, for me, he looked old from the very beginning, even when Napoleon was starting out, and his appearance never varied.  How easy is it to make a 49 year old actor look young, I wondered.  In reality, Josephine was a Creole and was six years older than Napoleon, and the actress Vanessa Kirby who played Josephine had a very modern western face and pale skin colouring. [Ooh, I promised myself I wouldn’t criticize the film!].  Joaquin’s chart connection with Napoleon includes a square between their Suns, and a square between Joaquin’s Pluto and Napoleon’s Venus.   The film promises success for him (Jupiter sextile his Jupiter) but also some stress (Pluto square his Mercury and Uranus).  However, the connections between Vanessa and Josephine’s charts are numerous, and while they often clash, I suspect that Vanessa captured the spirit of Josephine herself.

…The years rolled by, and I got into past life therapy.  I knew I loved Paris and Napoleonic history, but it took a while before I remembered a specific memory of living under the reign of Napoleon, centred around L’Opera.  Again, coincidentally, hubby and I stayed twice in Paris on holiday in the environs of L’Opera.  These days I still have a shelf full of books on Napoleon in my home.


As we came out of the cinema, I asked hubby how many stars he would give to the film, out of five.  He awarded four – he enjoyed the acting performances, and thought the battle scenes were well done.

Although I had gripes, I did award three stars, but am at the same time so grateful for all the hard work Ridley Scott put into the detail of vividly reconstructing the decors, costumes, buildings and battlefields.  It’s an amazing work for a man of eighty-five.  Most of all, I feel he has been able to give me back some of my history, both from this life and past lives.  If you feel you have a link with that time period, why not head over to your local cinema, and give the film a whirl!


First, a retrospective on the aspects for the last couple of days, when Israeli hostages were exchanged for Palestinian prisoners.  Friday went smoothly for the first day of the four day enterprise, with Mars entering Sagittarius.  But as predicted there were hitches and delays yesterday, with Mars squaring Saturn, and the hostages were not released until the early hours of this morning.  Unusually, when we arrived at the cinema yesterday to see the film Napoleon, they informed us we could not yet enter, as there was a technical hitch, and the film was delayed.

So this week’s aspects begin tomorrow (Monday 27th), with three astrological features, the first of which is Mercury trine the North Node.  This can help ensure that information and communications are accurate and karmically relevant.  You should be able to experience that on a mental or spiritual level.  It will contribute to progress generally, especially when preparing your week’s work, studies and communicative ventures.

Just after breakfast time, we have a Full Moon at 4 degrees Gemini.  The tussle of Moon in Gemini and Sun in Sagittarius is a tussle over communication, and that is the principle which can also bring them to a whole.  You may feel or see acutely the two sides of a story, e.g. some of the polarities occurring in the news and worldwide.  With the Moon being in Gemini, however, you may feel you cannot handle a depth emotional approach at this moment of time.

Around lunchtime we experience a square between Mercury and Neptune.  Some undefinable snag may be nagging at you.  If so, allow your subconscious to bring it up in its own time, but don’t shut up shop until you have identified the rum note.  Then you can deal with it, move on and let it go.  There could be some scandals in the news.

When we get to Wednesday (29th) we encounter a conjunction between Venus and the South Node.  There is a focus on love and relationship in a karmic context.  For example, you may find answers to current relationship issues in looking back at relationships in your past, which includes your past lives.  If you feel you have a link with the French Revolution and the Napoleonic era, why not head over to your local cinema, and give Ridley Scott’s film a whirl!

Moving on to later in the week, Friday (1st December) sees the entry of Mercury into Capricorn.  The mental mode of Capricorn is practicality, and systematic and methodical thinking. Mercury in Capricorn favours planning (so helps with planning events for next year. Official documentation may need to be worked on, forms to fill, authorities to interview, etc.  Mercury will turn retrograde next week, when it has barely made its mark in Capricorn, so make the most in these areas before 13th.

On the last day of the week, Saturday (2nd), we have a sextile between Mercury and Saturn.  Thoughts and feelings can be channelled and harnessed into constructive plans and ideas.  Mental foundations can be laid.  The aspect favours documentation and again knuckling down to form-filling etc.  Geminis and Virgos have the chance to regain their balance, if they need to.

The week in bullet points:

  • Tomorrow – helpful karmic information; emotional high tide; then misleading information
  • Wednesday – karmic focus on relationships
  • Friday – practical thinking
  • Saturday – constructive plans