Monday, 23 March 2009

Better Late than Never!

(Thanks to Helena Avelar for the title.)

Aside from the jokey title, there is a poignancy to this story that I'm sure you'll understand. A young girl's remains were recovered by archaeologists just outside a church in Kent. Some 700 years earlier, she had been decapitated and her head placed beside the body. It is said that this was done in order to prevent the spirit of the deceased from wandering and was often the result of some offence, and that she had been buried in unhallowed ground for the same reason. Two suggestions are that she might have been found guilty of a crime or had committed suicide. The cause of death is unknown.

It is probably wise to investigate the 1st house and the 4th for information about this strange case; the 1st for the unknown girl and the 4th for the grave, discovery,
and re-burial. Saturn is on the cusp of the 4th house, a natural significator of death, burial and matters connected with the underground. It is retrograde suggesting a repeated action and in Virgo, a double-bodied sign, supporting that and so we have a description of two burials or funerals. The Moon rules the 1st house and is fallen in the 5th which is strongly suggestive of illegitimate pregnancy. Its dispositor is Mars in the 9th of religion and about to change signs, although not afflicting the 1st or the Moon, Mars corresponds to beheading through its natural association with cutting and Aries' association with the head. Mars being in late degrees is suggestive of her being buried just outside of the boundaries of the church, it is on the 9th cusp, a boundary.

There are a number of points that suggest a conclusion:
  • the Moon applies to Mercury and Mercury is in a mutual application with Saturn;
  • Mercury rules the 12th house anciently associated with evil doings and what was termed 'witchcraft';
  • Mercury is in Pisces, often associated with Christianity and it is in the 9th of religion and the Church;
  • Jupiter, natural ruler of religion, is in the 8th of death.
This might indicate that the girl was suspected of being possessed by demons and was put to death on the authority of the Church, thus deprived of a Christian burial and the attainment of place in Heaven. I think it wasn't unknown for women to blame demonic possession for their adultery or illegitimate pregnancies, perhaps this was the case here and the results were not as expected. The same line of argument might produce the conclusion that the girl did indeed take her own life and that it was blamed on demonic possession.

The Sun, also in Pisces, is at the Midheaven and it separates from the opposition of Saturn, the grave. The religious funeral on sacred ground leads to a rather romantic interpretation that the girl's spirit was finally released into the light of the Sun, or Sun God.


  1. Dear Sue,

    Thank you for this interesting chart. With the strong emphasis on Moon and Mercury, one is reminded of the phenomenon of shape shifting. It is said that, even to this date, in Rumania some people’s heads are still removed from their bodies before they are buried to prevent any further activity. But it is not only Vampires and Werewolves we have to think of. In this country there was a widespread believe that witches would be able to shape shift into all kinds of animals.
    To give an example: In 1662 Isobel Gowdie of Auldarne confessed that she transformed herself at will by saying three times:
    I shall go into a hare,
    With sorrow and sych and meikle care;
    And I shall go in the Devil's name
    Ay while I come home again.

    When they wanted to return to the human form they said,
    Hare, hare, God send thee care.
    I am in a hare's likeness just now,
    But I shall be in a woman's likeness even now.


  2. Thank you, Peter, this is just the kind of information I was hoping for.


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