Mystical Queen

Many may recall reading that U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s wife Nancy had a very strong interest in astrology. In fact, it has been reported that she consulted with astrologers numerous times while her husband was President.  What many people may NOT know is that other important people in history also consulted with astrologers.  In fact, Queen Elizabeth I of the United Kingdom is one of the most notable to have done so.Elizabeth, as most people know, was the daughter of King Henry VIII and his doomed wife, Anne Boleyn.  Elizabeth was born on September 7, 1533 and endured many hardships in the years leading up to her coronation in 1558 at the age of 25.  She reigned for many decades, and is to this day, is one of the most revered monarchs in the history of the British Empire.  What is also interesting is that “Good Queen Bess” was not only brilliantly intelligent and charming, she was also very interested in science, mathematics and astrology, and consulted one of the most renowned scientists and mystics of the time, John Dee.No one really knows exactly when Elizabeth met John Dee, but he had been a fixture at Court for a number of years.   Dee was a math tutor for young Prince Edward (Elizabeth’s half brother), and speculation is that Dee likely became the Princess Elizabeth’s tutor at some point in time, since she exhibited strong abilities in geography, mathematics from a young age.  Later on, after Elizabeth became Queen, Dee visited her frequently at Court (both their archived diaries confirm this) to discuss astronomy, astrology and other topics.  Elizabeth was extremely interested in the metaphysical and is said to have called upon Dee to evaluate “black magic” that may have been directed towards her, as well as to discuss new stars, comets and other events in astronomy and astrology. Elizabeth was a highly intelligent woman who clearly had a wider world view– and she liked surrounding herself with like-minded people.  Dee was one of these individuals- and with his vast knowledge of geography the Queen also consulted with him about missions to the new world.  (In fact, Dee was the person who created the term “The British Empire” during this time.)Elizabeth was also schooled extensively by Dee when he published a book about Hieroglyphics, a topic that fascinated her.  In the 1580s, Dee tried (in vain) to convince the Queen to adopt the new Gregorian Calendar, albeit with a few changes. Perhaps predictably, England chose to reject these changes because of their origins in Rome, (and the Pope) but Dee tried to make logical arguments about why it should be adopted.  (It eventually was, but not for about 200 more years!)  John Dee was no doubt a fascinating character who has been surrounded by controversy in the centuries after his death.   Numerous books have been written about him which alternately portray him as charlatan, genius, magician, detective and mystic, many of these labels open to debate.  What we do know is that Elizabeth came to rely on Dee’s advice and expertise, and was able to parlay that knowledge into what became known as the Golden Age of the Renaissance.

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