My intent in this short piece is to read Machiavel’s radix chart using Whole Signs only. To that extent it is part experimental. I also want to know what we can about a man regarded as a monster – his very name synonymous with evil – a title I do not think he deserves.
Llittle [is] recorded of the youth of Machiavelli, the Florence of those days is so well known that the early environment of this representative citizen may be easily imagined. Florence has been described as a city with two opposite currents of life, one directed by the fervent and austere Savonarola, the other by the splendour loving Lorenzo. Savonarola’s influence upon the young Machiavelli must have been slight, for although at one time he wielded immense power over the fortunes of Florence, he only furnished Machiavelli with a subject of a gibe in “The Prince,” where he is cited as an example of an unarmed prophet who came to a bad end. Whereas the magnificence of the Medicean rule during the life of Lorenzo appeared to have impressed Machiavelli strongly, for he frequently recurs to it in his writings, and it is to Lorenzo’s grandson that he dedicates “The Prince.” (Bickers & Sala -Gutenburg)
At the age of twenty five until forty three, he served The Republic of Florence in a variety of ways, but most importantly as an advisor. This was during the Borgia Papacy and depravity, by almost anyone’s standards, was a way of Life The Papacy itself had been gained through deception, murder and manipulation.
Anyone slightly suspect or otherwise inconvenient to the holders of power was in real danger of being murdered by the Papal family itself, usually by poison and often by Lucretia who developed new, more effective means of delivering poison to her victims.
The notorious but beautiful Lucretia was painted as various saints as well as being the model for the Annunciation and several portraits from the life of Jesus, such as the flight into to Egypt.
The painting on the right shows but one example. Her brother, Cesare Borgia had himself painted as Christ. apparently without any sense of irony, in spite of his incest, fratricide, multiple murders and a myriad of other acts that can still manage to shock to this day. He was a Cardinal of the Church and used his position for the advancement of the family.. Machiavelli didn’t have to make much up.
Machiavelli was about twenty-five years of age when he became part of all this intrigue. He was to deal with this as a pragmatist, at least publicly.There are however reasons to suppose he still had some conscience. I wouldn’t call him a sociopath but he was enormously helpful to those who were.
Appropriately, the radix is for the Day of Mars and the Hour of Venus.
The first thing that strikes me in looking at this chart is the applying Trine of Moon in Aquarius to Mercury in Gemini in the Sixth House of Servants. The combination of the Moon and Mercury make for a very fine mind and keen intellect.
The Part of Mercury is also in Gemini. Mercury has plenty of dignity and is free to act. He is conjunct Rigel, an important Fixed Star that adds to his brilliance.
Receptions are minor except Mercury and Node by both Exaltation- Triplicity and Exaltation Term.
Mercury takes his place as Lord of the Geniture, but Mars is the Almuten of the Chart.
I have not read his biography, but Mars in a weak sign n the Third House would show conflict with siblings. But closer to our own interests is that Mars and Mercury are in an applying square.
In Whole Sign Venus is Angular and in her detriment, in an applying Square to Jupiter in his Exaltation and she is rising parallel with Betelgeuse, a very powerful star being of the nature of Mars and Mercury. The Mars Mercury theme is all over the chart.
With Jupiter in Exaltation as ruler of the Ninth House, the mind is elevated to higher thoughts and the Part of Fortune is there to bless it.
There was a Total Lunar Eclipse prior to his Nativity at 17 °10 Leo. This falls in partile conjunction with the Part of Venus in the Eighth House.
Saturn in Taurus in the Fifth House is not a strong Saturn. However, he disposits the Ascendant. Machiavelli’s Humour is strongly Melancholic with a bit or Sanguine and Choleric in the mix.
To put this in but a few words, I see a man of great intelligence, of singular gravity and utterly pragmatic to the point of abandoning all humane considerations if need be. The Prince still shocks people to this day, and yet when it pointed out that their own government does no less they cannot deny it. The Prince is a guide for a Prince to take and hold power in any way possible, regardless of considerations of ethics or compassion. Power is power.
His immediate patrons would have seen no more than a mirror held up to them if they were honest. But Italy itself was in enormous and seemingly eternal crisis, broken into often warring states.Power of any kind might bring some harmony. However, he was a cautious critic even of the Borgias. Even in these cases though, the grounds for his criticism tended to be practical. They were actions that didn’t serve the stability of the State or the Power of the Prince.