Oliver Cromwell, a keynote figure in the English civil war, whose rise to prominence led to the execution of Charles 1 and his own subsequent and short-lived semi-kingship, is the subject of a new biography about the years of his rise to power. Two things are astrologically intriguing about him. One is his conversion to radical Puritanism in his late 30s which pulled him out of obscurity and the other is his extraordinarily emphasised Jupiter.
He was a divisive figure described variously as a regicidal dictator, a class revolutionary by Leon Trotsky and a hero of liberty by Thomas Carlyle. Atrocities in his name meted out to Catholics in Ireland have been characterised as genocidal.
Biographer Ronald Hutton describes him as sly, vindictive, glory-guzzling and ruthless. He manipulated the press, lied to the House of Commons and destroyed allies with relish. Luck was also with him at the right times.
He was born 25 April 1599 JC 3am (maybe) Huntingdon, England (ADB) and has a Taurus Sun Mercury as befits a Calvinist zealot trine a Virgo Moon, sextile Jupiter in Cancer (on this birth time) in the putting-on-a-confident-performance 5th. Jupiter is also spotlighted being on the focal point also of a military/cruel Mars in Aries opposition Saturn. And last but not least he had a revolutionary Uranus Pluto in Aries trine a religious Neptune.
During his thirties he suffered a loss of status and perhaps a breakdown, which was when he turned to the intense form of Protestantism that assured him that he was God’s instrument in this life and would be saved in the next. His religiosity was extreme even by the standards of his age and Hutton describes him as “a Puritan jihadi”.
That was when tr Uranus was opposing his Pluto and then Uranus, turning his life upside down, fuelling his ambitions and his revolutionary fervour. His Solar Arc Jupiter (pulling with it the full force of his Sun, Mercury Moon mini-Grand Trine and Mars Saturn T Square) was conjunct his natal Neptune giving his religious beliefs a turbo-charge blast of energy and determination.
When war came as he entered his forties he rose rapidly up the military ladder, glorified his own achievements at the expense of brother officers and told “blatant untruths” to discredit parliament’s aristocratic military commanders. His godliness co-existed with slippery less saintly traits, ruthless self-promotion being one of them – Jupiter’s grandiosity coming into its own. Jupiter’s Olympian confidence would also fuel his belief in himself as an agent of divine judgment put on earth to depose the monarch and after some soul-searching almost but not quite step into his shoes.
When he finally took over as Lord Protector in 1653 his Solar Arc Neptune was square his overblown Jupiter inflating his ambitions to greater heights. Though as ever with Neptune Jupiter disappointment follows and the ego balloon deflates. Tr Saturn was also conjunct his Neptune inducing untypical uncertainty and perhaps a prescience of what was to come. He lasted five years as ruler before his death, was followed by his weak son and the monarchy was restored with Charles 11 on the throne by 1660.
Intriguing that both Cromwell’s Neptune and his Jupiter were lived out in all their duality – self-appointed saint and sinner all rolled into one.