Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Magna Carta and All That

Independence Day is approaching, I shall wish the USA a happy birthday tomorrow by ceremoniously hoisting the Stars and Stripes up our flagpole, but today I'm dipping into English history, to highlight something not totally irrelevant to USA's history.

Pupils in English schools have 1066 (Battle of Hastings and Norman Conquest of England) engraved on their hearts - or did when I was in school long ago. 1066 marked a pivotal event in English history, the native ruling class was replaced by a foreign, French-speaking monarchy, aristocracy, and clerical hierarchy. It's one of few dates to be so well remembered, so much so that a couple of 20th century humourists, W.C. Sellar and R.J. Yeatman wrote a series under the title 1066 and All That for the famous Punch magazine. The series, later developed into a play and a book, is a parody of English history. I'll not go into much detail of the book's content; it truly is an acquired taste, to the uninitiated unused to this type of humour, it'd come over as just silliness. You really had to be there (in England over many years) to "get it". There is a little something which might go down well here though; there's an astrological link too.

Skipping through the years from 1066 to what's known as the Tudor Age, or Middle Ages, we come to King John's reign. He is noted in the book as "An Awful King". During his reign, in 1215, came the Magna Carta, which, in many ways, could be likened to the US Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Magna Carta (Great Charter), the straight version, in a nutshell:
King John was compelled to sign the document by the Barons (members of the nobility/aristocracy, mainly of French descent). It required King John to proclaim certain rights (pertaining to freemen), respect certain legal procedures, and accept that his will could be bound by the law. It explicitly protected certain rights of the King's subjects, whether free or fettered — and implicitly supported what became the writ of habeas corpus, allowing appeal against unlawful imprisonment.

Magna Carta was arguably the most significant early influence on the extensive historical process that led to the rule of constitutional law today in the English speaking world. Magna Carta influenced the development of the common law and many constitutional documents, including the United States Constitution. Many clauses were renewed throughout the Middle Ages, and continued to be renewed as late as the 18th century. By the second half of the 19th century, however, most clauses in their original form had been repealed from English law.

Magna Carta was the first document forced onto an English King by a group of his subjects (the barons) in an attempt to limit his powers by law and protect their privileges.
(From HERE)

1066 and All That parodied the intent of Magna Carta in ways that remain relevant even today:
1. That no one was to be put to death, save for some reason - (except the Common People).

2. That everyone should be free - (except the Common People).

3. That everything should be of the same weight and measure throughout the Realm - (except the Common People).

4. That the courts should be stationary, instead of following a very tiresome medieval official known as the King's Person all over the country.

5. That no person should be fined to his utter ruin - (Except the King's Person).

6. That the Barons should not be tried except by a special jury of other Barons who would understand.

Magna Carta was therefore the chief cause of Democracy in England, and thus A Good Thing for everyone (except the Common People).

The Common People in most countries, even nowadays, are still in the category "except for"! And Number 6 sounds eerily familiar too. Things do change, but remain much the the French are wont to say, but more prettily.

On an astrological note, is there anything in astrology that ties into Magna Carta? This article on Jupiter/Uranus and Saturn/Uranus cycles is interesting. From Astrology for the 21st Century
Human Rights: The planetary cycles of human rights

In astrology the development of human rights is often associated with Uranus and Aquarius, and the periods of history that coincide with the rise in awareness of human rights and human wrongs are usually linked with the Jupiter-Uranus and Saturn-Uranus cycles. But does this stand up to scrutiny?

This article examines landmark events in human rights in the UK, the USA and France, as well as major political thinkers/philosophers whose work influenced the way human rights were thought about and practised, and looks for correlations between these and the Jupiter-Uranus and Saturn-Uranus cycles.

Landmark events
These are said to be some of the major landmarks in the development of the current Western thinking on and practice of human rights :

Magna Carta
15th to 19th June 1215
Saturn conjunct Uranus (approaching)

USA - State of Virginia's Declaration of Rights
12th June 1776
Saturn trine Uranus

USA Constitution
4th March 1789
Jupiter conjunct Uranus (the aspect is wide but approaching and growing in strength)

USA Bill of Rights
15th December 1791
Jupiter just past sextile Uranus
Mars on the midpoint of Jupiter/Uranus

(Many other examples are listed.)


mike said...

Well, Twilight, we are revisiting posts of yours from last year regarding cycles:

If a person believes in astrology, it can only be logical that all of history up to now is built upon cycles of cycles of cycles...and probably cycles we aren't even aware of at this time.

Here is a thesis on the Jupiter-Saturn cycles, plus a few other cycles...60 pages, but don't ignore the last 10 to 15 pages...interesting stuff.

Here's a quicker read:

Twilight said...

mike ~ We are too! As you say, cycles within cycles - and waves within waves.

It's too complex for my brain to get a really firm handle on it all.

Thanks for the links - which I shall save. The 60-page pdf is a bit too much to read online in one sitting. I find reading lengthy stuff on the computer to be a strain, whereas I could read a physical book all day.
Probably something to do with neck muscles or joints.

This really is a complex topic, which calls for lots of information from history, sociology and goodness knows what else - as well as astrology, when the cycles are observed from far far away through the mists of thousands and thousands of years.

I have a book here by astrologer Philip Brown, whose blog I used to follow in my own early blogging days - lost track of him, he's probably on Facebook now with the rest of 'em. ;-)
The book was published 2006: Cosmic Trends - Astrology Connects the dots.
It's a lay-person's easy-read guide to identifying some of the astro- cycles. He writes of Jupiter/Saturn in Chapter 15
Glimpses of 2020

I'll copy a few lines:

The 2000 Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in Taurus on the exact degree of the US 6th house cusp (Sibly chart). This indicates that health care and public health will be important national issues in the years ahead. The labor market will also be transformed. We can already see changes happening in these areas. Taurus represents security and up until the next Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in 2020, we will see great changes in our security, which will intensify when Pluto goes into Capricorn (see chapter4), although Capricorn represents the type of security where one has to watch out for external threats. Capricorn is the lock on the safe-deposit box and the closed-circuit TV camera. Taurus is what's inside the box. Our Taurus security is being transformed. those things that people felt they could count on as a result of hard work are being altered. .....................

Hmmmm - "those thing that people felt they could count on" - like privacy? ;-)

♥ Sonny ♥ said...

I've come to the conclusion that the rights one real has or has ever had are only the ones , one is savvy enough to get by with by manipulating whatever the laws of the land are at any given moment.

Twilight said...

Sonny ~ Given certain circumstances as a starting point - I tend to agree: in other words beat 'em at their own game in any kind of unjust game, wherever possible. It's not always a possibility though, especially for those weakest among us....sadly.