The Intoxicating Story of George Duke of Clarence

History is such a fascinating subject. Probably the main reason for this is that the characters we actually hear about and study are the exotic ones, particularly compared to the boring leaders that we have today.

These days most people are relatively pale imitations of their birth charts. We try and be like everyone else. Political correctness has created an atmosphere where people are afraid to even speak let alone do anything out of turn.

Of course we have the same planets as anyone living in the past, the symbols are just as potent, but these days if someone has an aggressive chart they will probably express that energy by playing Modern Warfare on their PS4. The nastiest of transits can simply result in being rude to someone on Twitter.

In the middle ages, if someone was born with a set of symbols they really went for it. I guess they just didn’t have all those distractions to dissipate the planetary energies. Even someone with very few challenging aspects could lead a dramatic life and have an even more bizarre end.

George Plantagenet, 1st Duke of Clarence, was the brother of English Kings Edward IV and Richard III. He played an important role in the dynastic struggle between rival factions of the Plantagenets during the Wars of the Roses.

George Duke of Clarence


Often when people look at charts they forget about the astronomical possibilities of the period of birth. A chart like George’s has everything contained within half of the Zodiac. Between 1443 and 1448 all of the slower moving planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were contained within a space of 4 or 5 signs.

Mercury and Venus are always close to the Sun, so throughout the summer and autumn of each of these years, 8 planets would be squeezed into this narrow span of signs. The Moon would also be there for at least 10 days of each month and Mars would stay there much of the time as well.

In a chart like George’s we are not going to have any opposition aspects. In fact apart from conjunctions we are not going to have many aspects at all. In this case it throws a great deal more emphasis onto the aspects that are there.

What George does have is two very clear and strong square aspects. He has the Sun in Scorpio in square to Pluto in Leo. This is indeed about as challenging as they come. It also is an extremely powerful aspect of dramatic transformation and rebellion.

It is important to have a bit of a sense of the time. This particular period of English history was one of the most unstable, with kings chopping and changing every five minutes and deals constantly being made with all their relatives who seemed to have just as good a claim to be on the throne as the incumbent. Any monarch that lasted more than a few months did so because of a precarious coalition of interests that could dissolve at any moment.

Unlike today with our own Queen who has a suitably fixed combination of Taurus Sun, Leo Moon, Capricorn rising and T Square apex Saturn at the Midheaven who is naturally coasting towards Victoria’s record powered mostly it seems by a determination to stop her son Charles getting a look in.

A better example of what it was like in England in those days could be found in 20th century Italian politics before Berlusconi turned up.

So how would the Sun in Scorpio square to Pluto in Leo manifest given this backdrop of political uncertainty. Its simple, George would change sides in his support for the battle for the throne ( Pluto in Leo ) – three times.

During the Wars of the Roses, George’s elder brother, Edward IV took the throne from Henry VI. Much of Edward’s success was due to the support he received from Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick who was known at the time as ” the King maker “.

George married Isabel Neville, Warwick’s daughter.

George had actively supported his brother’s claim to the throne, but when Warwick deserted Edward to ally with Margaret of Anjou, consort of Henry VI, George joined him in France.  Henry rewarded George by making him next in line to the throne after his own son, Edward of Westminster.

After a short time, Clarence realized that his loyalty to his father-in-law was misplaced. Warwick had his younger daughter, Anne, marry Edward of Westminster, making it unlikely that Warwick would replace Edward IV with George. So George changed his allegiances back to his brother.

Even this did not last however, after his wife died George changed sides again and became involved in yet another rebellion against his brother Edward.  This time, however he was arrested, imprisoned in the Tower of London and found guilty of treason.

Such is the life of a Sun Scorpio square Pluto in the second half of the 15th century. But even by the standards of the day, the manner of his death was unusual to say the least. And it had a lot to do with the other major aspect in George’s chart.

George’s Moon was square to Neptune. Neptune was also conjunct Venus, Mars and Saturn which meant the Moon was square to all three, but it was the aspect to Neptune that was the exact one.

There had already been some flavour of this when George’s wife, Isabel ( Moon ) died. George was convinced she had been poisoned ( Neptune ) by one of her ladies-in-waiting and he had her executed for the crime. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that George was deceived ( Neptune ) and that Isabel had died from consumption.

Anyone with a square between the Moon and Neptune would naturally have a taste for wine. This was certainly the case with George and the common consensus was that following his conviction, he was “privately executed” at the Tower on 18 February 1478, and that he was drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine.

Neptune rules the sea and water in general, if it was to symbolise a method of dying, it would have to be drowning. Or could it be intoxication or poisoning due to its rulership over alcohol and drugs ? Or in George’s case both at the same time.

These days we all live way past our allotted three score and ten, so many of us are making it to three figures that our poor Queen has got a permanently sprained wrist from writing out all those birthday cards.

In terms of astrological time many people are even reaching the point where Pluto opposes its natal place.

Five hundred years ago life for most people was nasty, brutish and short. Never mind oppositions, in the middle ages you were lucky to make it as far as a square, in fact a Pluto sextile was enough to kill off many.

So any regular readers of these articles on seeing a chart with a Scorpio Sun square Pluto would be instantly wondering what happened to them when Pluto made the conjunction by transit. Well nothing happened to George Duke of Clarence, but the main reason for that was he was long dead by then. Pluto only managed about 54 degrees in his lifetime.

So how would we define a watershed moment in his life given this relatively limited scope for Pluto’s transits.

It is in fact very simple. As George only had two serious aspects and as Pluto was natally part of one of them, we would look for its transit to the other.

Pluto was conjunct George’s Neptune and square his Moon in February 1478, when he met his suitably intoxicating end.

Not convinced ? Then have a look at the transits of Uranus and Neptune. In the 35 years that George was alive, Neptune could only travel as far as 60 degrees, Uranus could manage about 130.

In February 1478, both Uranus and Neptune were exactly sextile George’s natal Neptune.

Most people assumed that Edward IV was responsible for George’s bizarre death, a quite reasonable assumption given that he had accused him of treason, arranged the trial and forced a guilty verdict.

Edward 1V


The problem is that there isn’t any particular synastry between Edward and George and no transits at the time that linked Edward with this deed, certainly nothing that connected with the George’s Moon / Neptune. So perhaps it wasn’t the elder brother what done it.

According to William Shakespeare it was another brother, the younger Richard who would later become Richard 111 who had George killed.

Shakespeare has previous here. In his play of the same name, Richard 111 was accused of murdering the Princes in the Tower, an allegation that has stuck throughout history even though Capricorn Research has used astrological evidence to refute it – for more on this see ” The Princes in the Tower – Whodunnit ” 

In the play, Richard orders two murderers to kill George and then uses the news of George’s unexpected death to send Edward IV, already ill, to his deathbed, all the while insinuating that the Queen is behind the execution of George. Edward soon dies, leaving Richard as Protector and all that is left to complete the job is to bump off the young princes and take the throne himself.

Shakespeare was writing in Tudor times during the reign of Elizabeth I and so would want to do anything he could to put the blame for the death of the young princes onto Richard and avoid any connection with Capricorn Research’s favourite for the deed, Elizabeth’s grandad, Henry Tudor.

Although it helps the drama to portray Richard as an all round villain, there would seem to be no pressing reason to incriminate him for the death of George, duke of Clarence. Edward IV would have done just as well.

Perhaps the play get’s this one right, maybe George’s Neptunian fate was at Richard’s hand after all.

Richard 111

Richard has the chart of a villain. The Sun conjunct Saturn in Libra opposed to Mars in Aries suggests as much straight away. But he also has an interesting opposition between the Moon in early Gemini and Venus in late Scorpio. Gemini’s connection with siblings and Scorpio’s with death does suggest that this aspect might give Richard a taste for getting rid of his brothers.

Interestingly the result of this opposition would be seen in the T square apex planet Jupiter. The net affect of bumping off his brothers would be obtaining the crown ( apex Jupiter ) for himself.

But perhaps the most convincing argument for Richard’s involvement in George’s death would be the transits of the time.

In February 1478, the transiting Uranus and Neptune were both conjunct Richard’s Scorpio Venus, opposite his Moon and square his Jupiter.

Pluto was sextile his Venus, trine his Moon and inconjunct his Jupiter.

Richard 111 may have had an astrological reprieve for the Princes in the Tower, but we’ve surely got him bang to rights here.

Families eh, what are they like ?

This thoroughly entertaining version of horrible astro histories has made Capricorn Research ask the question why astrology was commonly accepted by everyone in those days whilst its is largely dismissed by most people in these supposedly enlightened times.

There are probably many answers to that question but it may be that in times gone by people really lived out their astrological charts rather than suppressing them. Also there were not so many other people around so they could get away with it.



The Turning Point in Your Life ?

Astrology and Celebrity – all in the timing



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