Winter Solstice Wishes


With the Sun’s Capricorn ingress nearly upon us, I would like to take the opportunity to wish all my friends, followers, and gentle readers of this web log a peaceful Winter Solstice and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year 2018.



John Flamsteed’s Election For The Foundation Of The Royal Greenwich Observatory

John Flamsteed (1646 – 1719) was an English astronomer, a member of the Royal Society. and the first Astronomer Royal. On 4 March 1675 Flamsteed was appointed by Royal Warrant “The King’s Astronomical Observator”. The warrant stated Flamsteed’s task as:

“rectifieing the Tables of the motions of the Heavens, and the places of the fixed stars, so as to find out the so much desired Longitude of places for Perfecteing the Art of Navigation”.

In 1725, after a lifetime of observing the heavens, Flamsteed’s own edition of Historia Coelestis Britannica was published posthumously. The book contained his astronomical observations, including a catalogue of 2,935 stars. During his career, Flamsteed accurately calculated the solar eclipses of 1666 and 1668. He was also responsible for some of the earliest recorded sightings of the planet Uranus, which he mistook for a star.

In June 1675, a second Royal Warrant was issued. It was concerned with the founding of the Royal Greenwich Observatory, which was intended to be a:

“small observatory within our park at Greenwich, upon the highest ground, at or near the place where the castle stood”.

(Greenwich Observatory [Latinised as “Observatorium Anglicanum Hoc Grenovici prope Londinum”], as illustrated in Doppelmayr’s map of the southern celestial hemisphere, ca. 1730)

It is fairly well documented that, in his youth, Flamsteed was very interested in astrology. In his autobiography, we find that in 1665, he busied himself very much in:

“… calculating the nativities of my friends and acquaintance…”

and in 1666, he:

“… spent some part of my time in astrological studies”

We also know that Flamsteed provided the astrologers Vincent Wing and George Parker with data for their planetary tables. In 1673 he began to work on “His large Ephemeris for the yeare 1674”, stating that in this ephemeris, he:

“… showed the falsity of astrology, and the ignorance of those who pretend to it.”

In the preface, he wrote under the pseudonym of Thomas Feilden:

“Indeed, so small is the verity of astrology that even astrologers do not agree on where it lies. Thus William Ramsey (Astrologia Restaurata 1653) says it lies with elections while William Lilly (Christian Astrology 1647) says it lies with horary (he makes his living by them), but John Gadbury (Genethlialogia 1658) laughs at both, thinks that elections are a vanity and horary uncertain, and says it lies with nativities, which I can disprove with one of his own examples of a famous person where, if the name of the person were concealed, the chart would be judged as indicating an idiot rather than a famous person.” (A Preface to the Readers Concerneing the Vanity of Astrology, & the practices of Astrologers; Source:

It has to be noted though, that neither the preface nor the ephemeris were ever published! It is thought that Flamsteed never found a publisher, willing to print his work, but there is also the possibility that he changed his mind. One year after he finished the draft for his ephemeris, Flamsteed produced an election for the foundation of the Royal Greenwich Observatory, shown below:

The chart includes the Latin motto “Risum teneatis amici”, translated as “could you, my friends, refrain from laughing”. He may have found some merit in astrology after all!


(Doppelmayr’s celestial map of the southern hemisphere published in Atlas Coelestis in quo Mundus Spectabilis…, decorated with vignettes of the astronomical observatories at Greenwich, Copenhagen, Cassel, and Berlin.)

The ‘Great American’ Total Solar Eclipse, 21 August 2017, Including a Case Study

On 21 August 2017, at 18:30 UT, there will be a total solar eclipse. This eclipse, already known as the ‘Great American Eclipse‘, will be visible in its totality all across the USA from the East Coast to the West Coast. In the surrounding areas, people will see a partial solar eclipse. The partial eclipse will also be visible in Western Europe, North-East Asia, North-West Africa, much of South America, the Pacific, the Atlantic and the Arctic. This eclipse is one of Saros Series 145. Its totality has a duration of  2 minutes and 40 seconds. The map below shows the visibility of the eclipse (time observed is UT):

The astrological chart, cast for Washington, also shows the event:

Before we will discuss any possible effects on the individual, we have a look at the mundane astrological implications of this eclipse. To be able to do this, we need to establish where the eclipse is likely to have its greatest effect. For this purpose we need to look at the countries or cities falling under the rulership of Leo, the sign wherein the eclipse Sun resides during the event. We also have to take into consideration that the eclipse’s visibility will greatly enhance its effect. In this case we are expecting the USA to be greatly affected.

Looking through traditional source material, we find that the Alps, Austria (especially Linz), Belgium (especially Ghent),Italy (especially Rome, Sicily, Puglia and Ravenna), Bohemia, Czech Republic(especially Prague), Germany (especially Koblenz), England (especially Bristol), Turkey, and Syria (especially Damascus) are the locations traditionally thought to fall under the rulership of Leo.

The Sun is placed in the last decanate of Leo, which is ruled by Mars. Traditionally, the lights were not interpreted as eclipse rulers, therefore we have to look at Mars as eclipse ruler and also at Leo, the sign the eclipsed Sun is in. Generally speaking, eclipses in Leo signify:

“death or misfortune for royalty, nobility and ‘persons of quality’; the ruination and destruction of ancient buildings, palaces and churches; division amongst the clergy, the besieging of towns, and a scarcity of horses and grain”.

William Lilly writes in his Annus Tenebrous, that a solar eclipse in the last decant of Leo:

“… presages Captivity, besieging of Towns, Plunderings, Profanation of holy places, a scarcity of Horses, or a destructive Murrain amongst them.”


It is useful to know that the last time a solar eclipse occurred in 29* Leo was in 1998. It may be of merit to expect and prepare for a repeat of some of the personal experiences that occurred back in 1998. Although an eclipse usually affects only a small number of people, it may be beneficial to try to remember if any problems occurred during this year. If so, but also to generally establish the possibility of any effect that could take place, the birth chart should be scrutinised for any of the following:

Sun or Moon are in or around 29 Leo
Sun or Moon are in or around 29 Aquarius (opposition)

Sun or Moon are in or around 29 Taurus or Scorpio (square)
29 Leo is culminating in the birth chart (conjunct Midheaven)
29 Leo is ascending in the birth chart (conjunct Ascendant)
Should it be the case that one or even more of these factors apply, an in-depth reading of the birth chart may be necessary to find out if, how and to what extent the native could be affected.


For the first time on this web log, I am publishing the Solar Eclipse Case Study of a person who is likely to be affected by the upcoming solar eclipse:

(Inner Wheel: Solar Eclipse/Outer Wheel: nativity)

From the bi-wheel above, we can see that the eclipse point is very close to the natal Ascendant and to natal Mars, which indicates that the native is likely to experience the effects of this solar eclipse in a strong and immediate fashion.

(Inner Wheel: Nativity/Outer Wheel: Solar Return 2017)

We have already described the general effects of this eclipse, but to find out in detail how this could manifest on a personal level, we have to look at other indicators. Using the native’s solar return chart for 2017, we find that solar return Saturn is conjunct the native’s Moon. According to William Lilly, this indicates:

“Danger of Death, full of ill Humours, Melancholy, …” (CA, p738)*

We can also see that his solar return Mars is conjunct natal Mercury. Lilly writes that this aspect:

“Inclines to lying, to speak ill of men, and [he] shall be in danger for words” (CA, p739)

(Primary Direction: Ascendant square Venus)

During August, the native may also feel the effect of primary directed Ascendant square Venus. Lilly knows that, in some cases,:

“It signifies some infirmness in the Body, obtained by a Surfeit, or too frequent use of venery … he is slighted by the virtuous, the dishonest have no Bridle …” (CA, p662)

This point is very close to the fixed stars pi Scorpius and Dschubba (delta Scorpius) on the right claw and the forehead of the Scorpion. Robson knows that Dschubba is:

“of the nature of Mars and Saturn. … It causes sudden assaults, malevolence, immorality and shamelessness.” (Fixed Stars and Constellations, p172)**

(Inner Wheel: Nativity/Outer Wheel: Solar Eclipse)

Returning to the bi-wheel of the nativity and the solar eclipse, we can also see that eclipse Saturn is conjunct natal Moon and natal Dragon’s Tail. This is a sign of depression. People who are living through this transit often report that they aren’t able to cope with everyday life any longer.

These conjunctions are close to the MC of the Sun’s Aries Ingress chart 2017, cast for Washington. This means that eclipse Saturn and the native’s Moon/South Node are in the 10th house of the Aries Ingress 2017 for the USA. In mundane astrology, the 10th house represents the ruler, president or government of the country the chart is cast for.

Ingress Saturn and Moon are also in the 10th house, whereby Saturn indicates the possibility of public sorrow and disappointment, even state funerals. The Moon in mundane astrology represents the common people and shows where the public’s attention will fall.

From the above, it can clearly be seen that this native’s fate is intrinsically linked with the fate of the whole nation. This is not surprising, as I can reveal now that this case study is based on the birth chart of Donald Trump, the current President of the United States of America.

*Lilly, William, Christian Astrology, facsimile edition, Regulus, London, 1985

** Robson, Vivian, The Fixed Stars & Constellations in Astrology, Astrology Classics, 2005