Renaissance playwright, extortionist and Taurus Pietro Aretino argued, “I am, indeed, a king, because I know how to rule myself.”
Be it crowns or crowds, good deeds or bad habits, past and present; those that rule over themselves and others are a source of continued fascination.
“The Woman King,” is inspired by true events traced to the Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most revered Africa states of the 18th and 19th centuries.
In honor of this story and the leaders mighty and lesser that have led and stumbled throughout human history, ancient myth and modern entertainment, we’ve matched a regent to each zodiac sign. The king is dead, long live the king.
ARIES (March 21 – April 19)
As the first sign in the zodiac, Aries folk do not hesitate to be the first of their kind or the first in line to defy stereotypes, gender norms and otherwise. As General Nansica, leader of the Agojie Viola Davis is pure fire power and standard burning, status quo upending Aries energy personified.
While George R.R. Martin does not provide birth dates for his characters the internet seems to be in vague agreement that Danny is Aries energy personified; the good, the bad and the tyrannical. Fortified by flames, taken aloft on the backs of dragons and prone to barbecuing her enemies alive and murdering the ruling class in the name of emancipation, our girl is a big time, majorly unhinged fire sign.
TAURUS (April 20 – May 20)
As astrologer Kyle Thomas explains in The Marvel Characters as Zodiac Signs, no one is more of a Taurus than T’Challa, AKA King of Wakanda AKA Black Panther, played by the late, great Chadwick Bosemen, “Regal yet humble he welcomed the Avengers to Wakanda in their darkest hour during ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and was the leader in the war against Thanos. He is immensely passionate about his beliefs and traditions, and his loyalty to Wakanda.”
Catherine the Great
Taurus is the least apologetic and most blatantly hedonistic sign in the zodiac. True to form, and horn, Catherine the Great, born May 2, 1979 was known as much for her headstrong rulership as for her many flagrant affairs and hand full of illegitimate heirs. Brought to life by Elle Fanning in the Hulu series “The Great,” Catherine’s reign survived a dozen attempted coups and several assassination attempts, apropos for a sign that is built to endure. A loyal lover if not a faithful wife, Catherine bestowed her paramours with titles, lands, palatial homes and indentured servants.
GEMINI (May 21 – June 20)
Born May 24, 1819 Queen Victoria was a multilingual, widow’s weeds wearing, allergic to smiling, Gemini. Geminis are known for their intellect and ability to influence others and Vicky was no exception. After the death of her husband the Queen went full mourning and goth AF, wearing black for the rest of her life. This aesthetic choice distinguished the queen and continues to influence funeral attire as we know it. Gemini is ruled by Mercury, planet of communication and Victoria was a noted linguist who spoke fluent German and studied French, Italian, and Latin.
Geminis are intensely curious and balk at convention and restriction, thus it tracks that Victoria would strike up a rich May-December friendship with her very hot Indian attendant Abdul Karim who tutored her in Hindu and Urdu. The relationship between the two was a source of outrage for her repressed, racist family who all but scrubbed Karim’s existence from the historical record after her death.
CANCER (June 21 – July 22)
Gout but never guilt ridden, petulant, punishing and a sucker for love, the infamous Henry VIII expresses some of the less stellar qualities of his Cancer sun sign. Cancers have an undue reputation for softness but fools would be wise to consider that crabs are born with battle armor and are more capable of great tactical defense.
Born June 28, 1941, Cancer Henry VIII was king of England and in keeping with the vibe of his cardinal water sign, established the Royal Navy and himself as a divine ruler of the Church of England, cutting ties with the Catholic Church so he could marry his mistress and later behead her. The things we do for love and country, y’all. Problematic for sure, Henry was a complex Cancer and was by all accounts a benevolent and loving father to his many children, fitting for a sign associated with the nurturing of familial legacies.
LEO (July 23 – August 22)
King Leonidas of Sparta, whose name translates to son of a lion, is a historical ruler that bravely led a small battalion of soldiers against the greatest army known to man. He may have been defeated in battle but he lives on, as legends and Leos do, in the hallowed halls of history. Mufasa from “The Lion King” and Aslan from the “The Chronicles of Narnia,” are also brave, noble, handsome and utterly in line with the higher self hallmarks of Leo.
VIRGO (August 23 – September 22)
Queen Elizabeth I
Virgo is Latin for virgin and it is thus fitting that Queen Elizabeth I, the unwed virgin monarch was herself a Virgo. In addition to keeping that chastity belt chained tight, Liz did the very Virgo work of strategically keeping herself alive and in line for the throne amidst her half sister Mary’s accusations of treason. Perhaps because her mother Anne Boleyn lost her head, Elizabeth was determined to keep her wits about her.
Preternaturally poised as only a Virgo can be, Elizabeth was reportedly a grave and serious child who became an unwed but beloved ruler by promoting a vision of herself as incorruptible and unconquerable. Virgo is ruled by Mercury, and Elizabeth, more than any ruler before her took control and took to crafting her own narrative of competence and power.
On the polar opposite side of the Virgo spectrum is Rome’s own Caligula. Was it incest or astrology that made little boots such an abominable human? Who could say. Virgos typically keep it locked up and their vices locked down but when they go wild, they go utterly depraved, looking at you fellow Virgo, cocaine cowboy, tiger blood swigging Charlie Sheen. Caligula set the standard for earth sign iniquity.
According to History.com, “He literally wallowed in luxury, allegedly rolling around in piles of money and drinking precious pearls dissolved in vinegar. He continued his childhood games of dress-up, donning strange clothing, women’s shoes and lavish accessories and wigs.” The influence of Mercury, planet of messaging and exchange is alive in the legacy of Caligula as the rumors, failings and outrageous allegations that colored his reign continue to incite controversy and fuel conversation.
LIBRA (September 23 – October 22)
Sandra Ávila Beltrán
Legendary narcotics trafficker Sandra Ávila Beltrán was born October 16, 1960 making her an apex Libra. Dubbed the “Queen of the Pacific” the enterprising Beltrán made a name for herself as a cocaine smuggler while masquerading as a well heeled housewife. Beltrán was rarely seen out of stilettos and tight jeans and her signature Tutankhamen pendant, a gold number “studded with 83 rubies, 228 diamonds and 189 sapphires.” Libra is ruled by Venus, planet of beauty, assets and music and true to from Beltrán used a string of tanning salons to launder cash and is the inspiration behind the song “narcocorrido”by Los Tigres del Norte which includes the sung sentiment, “The more beautiful the rose, the sharper the thorns.” Preach.
According to the New York Post, when she was apprehended in 2007 at a Mexico City diner, Beltrán convinced federal agents “to allow her to touch up her makeup so that she could look good in her mugshot.” This is bar none the most Libra s**t I have ever heard. Wait, no, there’s more. “At the Santa Martha Acatitla Women’s Prison, she ordered Thai food from an upscale restaurant in Mexico City and organized Botox injections. When authorities cracked down on her take-out meals, Ávila Beltrán filed a complaint with the human rights commission.” I stand corrected, claiming that denied access to injectables and take out is a human rights violation is in fact, the most Libra s**t I have ever heard. It ain’t right folks but it is certainly regal.
SCORPIO (October 23 – November 21)
Scorpio is ruled by Pluto, planet of death and regeneration and named for the king of the underworld. Also known as Hades, this mythic ruler dwelled in the dark, judged the living from the dead and loved obsessively, sometimes manipulatively, all hallmarks of the Scorpio spirit.
As established, Scorpio is the sign synonymous with death and regeneration and scorpion Marie Antoinette, born November 2, 1755, is as famous for her execution as she is her frivolity and famed, though probably fabricated catchphrase, “let them eat cake.” Actualized Scorpios are unbelievably dignified, they make their peace with death and rarely appear weak or fearful. Indeed, in the days leading up to her beheading, Marie was courageous and unfailingly polite.
Legend has it that on her way to the guillotine she accidentally stepped on her executioners foot and promptly apologized. Shortly after she was killed, an enterprising Madame Tussaud made a death mask from Marie’s severed head, sculpting her face in wax, preserving it in death and giving the queen a kind of immortality. In a final nod to her sun sign, the end of Marie’s life coincided with the end of an era as she was to be the last ever queen of France.
SAGITTARIUS (November 22 – December 21)
Sagittarians exalt in stories; telling them, hearing them and being the subject of them and there is perhaps no more storied king than Arthur. Sagittarius is the sign of the opimistic idealist and in keeping with this theme, Arthur’s story is synonymous with the knights code of chivalry, based on the virtues of honor, honesty, valor and loyalty. Most scholars agree that this mythic monarch is largely based not on historic record but literary invention. Yet, real or imagined, he continues, like many a ruler and an archer, before and after him, to be the subject of rich stories and deep analysis.
The Queen of Rock n’ Roll herself, Anna Mae Bullock AKA Tina “rolling on a river” Turner is a modern, real life example of a Sagittarius who believed the best was yet to come and made it so. A long practicing buddhist, Turner displays the archer archetype of a knowledge seeker and spiritual student.
CAPRICORN (December 22 – January 19)
Born January 8, 1935, The Kind of Rock n’ Roll lived, and literally died by the very Capricorn creed “taking care of business.” Like many a monarch before him, Elvis borrowed and stole from his betters to forge his identity and secure his legacy. Hindered, like many an earth sign, by his vices, he remains in the hearts, minds and jukeboxes of the world as a pompadour crowned man without equal.
In the realm of fantasy, King Aragorn played by Viggo Mortensen from the “Lord of the Rings,” trilogy is big time Cap daddy vibes. Stoic but not without tenderness, he understands, like the best of his sign, that playing the long game and biding time have great benefit; mainly you get the keys to the kingdom AND get to marry the elf queen of your dreams. Kill orcs, play ball.
AQUARIUS (January 20 – February 18)
Aquarians are big idea people; cult leaders and world builders they ride the line between established foundations and radical progress. We see this expressed in Wu Zietan, the ONLY female monarch in Chinese history. This water bearing empress regent began her life as a concubine ruled the Zhou dynasty for years. Under her leadership, which began in the 7th century, and with her latent military prowess, the empire expanded its territories further than ever before.
PISCES (February 19 – March 20)
Cleopatra’s true birthdate is lost to history but I’ll bet my coins the lady was a Pisces, just like Elizabeth Taylor who brought her to bold, beautiful life in the titular film. Pisces are the great lovers of the zodiac and view sexuality as an instrument to dissolve barriers between the everyday and the divine. Their also not above turning a trick to secure a crown folks, and Cleo wielded her wiles to seduce Ceasar and Mark Anthony and to reign supreme as the most legendary lady Egypt has ever seen.
Astrology 101: Your guide to the stars
Astrologer Reda Wigle researches and irreverently reports back on planetary configurations and their effect on each zodiac sign. Her horoscopes integrate history, poetry, pop culture and personal experience. She is also an accomplished writer who has profiled a variety of artists and performers, as well as extensively chronicled her experiences while traveling. Among the many intriguing topics she has tackled are cemetery etiquette, her love for dive bars, Cuban Airbnbs, a “girls guide” to strip clubs and the “weirdest” foods available abroad.
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