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 2017.


(Amaterasu, Goddess of the Sun; painting by Gareth Hainds)

 Amaterasu is a major deity of the Shinto religion. She is seen as the goddess of the sun, but also of the universe. The name Amaterasu derived from Amateru meaning “shining in heaven.”

In the beginning Amaterasu the Goddess of the Sun, ruled the heavens and the Earth together with her brother Tsukuyomi the God of the Moon. One day Uke Mochi the Goddess of food offered Tsukuyomi some food that so disgusted him that he killed her. Amatarasu was so outraged by his actions, she retired to a cave plunging the World into darkness. All the trees bearing fruit died, nothing would grow anymore, everyone was living in a state of darkness and despair. So the people devised a plan to bring Amaterasu back. They unearthed a tree and placed a mirror on it, then went to her cave and pretended to have a big festival with music and singing so loud that the Sun Goddess was intrigued, how could this happen with no light in the World? She moved the big stone blocking the entrance of the cave and went out. She sees another Sun, not knowing it is her own reflection. Quickly the people move behind her creating a magic line in the soil that she cannot cross and preventing her from going back fully into the cave. So each night she retreats into the cave as far as the line permits and each morning she emerges bringing light and joy and refreshment to the World.




christmas card

William Lilly and the Great Fire of London

350 years ago, the Great Fire of London consumed 13,200 houses, 87 churches and St Paul’s Cathedral, as earlier predicted by William Lilly. The astrologer predicted the Great Fire in his pamphlet Monarchy or no monarchy in England, in 1651, published 15 years before the catastrophe took place. 

On 25 October, Lilly was called before the Commons Committee, as they suspected his involvement in a plot. Lilly admitted to having made the predictions but claimed that he had not known the dates. He was released without charge.

Lilly confessed to being extremely nervous about the interrogations by the Committe. In his autobiography, he told the reader that

“I was timerous of Committees being ever by some of them calumniated, upbraided, scorned and derided”

William Lilly’s predictions in Monarchy or no Monarchy in England were based on a number of woodcuts. The most famous one, concerned with the Great Fire, is shown below:


He only provided a cryptic explanation as to how he had arrived at his conclusions:

“Had the curtesie of the present times deserved it at my hands, thou hadst seene an Explanation of the sixteen Pages following, which in Aenigmaticall Types, Forms, Figures, Shapes, doth perfectly represent the future condition of the ENGLISH Nation and Commonwealth for many hundreds of years yet to come. I have borrowed so much time from my morning sleepe, as hath brought forth these Conceptions. You that read these Lines must know I doe no new thing, I doe herein but imitate the ANTIENTS, who so often as they resolved to concele their intentions from prophane hands, used HEIROGLIPHICKS, IMAGES, &C. The AEGYPTIAN PRIESTS were herein excellant, and their judgement commendable; our Savour also himself commandeth; NE DETUR SACRUM CANIBUS. If Providence shall hereafter assigne me a quiet life, and prolong my years, I may then perhaps leave unto the Sons of Art the several Changes of every Kingdome and Commonwealth in EUROPE, in such CARACTERS as these which now follow”.

For some years, I have repeatedly been asked questions in connection with Lilly and the Great Fire. Many astrologers were, and still are, wondering, how Lilly was able to make his prediction. There have also been quite a few rumours and unfounded anecdotes in circulation, which justifies to take a look at the extant source material.

One of the most frequent queries is concerned with the natural significator of London. Although he never published a foundation chart of London, Lilly is quite clear about this. In his England’s Propheticall Merline, published in 1644, Lilly writes

“Gemini being Ascendant of London, Aries of England” and, later in the text, also that “London and much of England is to Gemini”.

One year later, he reiterates this in his Starry Messenger, stating

“that Gemini is the ascendant of the City of London all authors agree”.

Maurice McCann has written an article wherein he provides the reader with his interpretation of the woodcut depicted above. McCann claims that Lilly hid the details of the chart for the Great Fire in the woodcut’s symbolism. (The interested reader can have a look at the chart suggested by McCann, following the link to the article here: ). McCann finds that,

“according to Lilly, London was ruled by the 14th degree of Gemini”.

Let us now look at Lilly’s own account. He writes in his Merlini Anglici for 1667:




This brings me to another important question regarding the prediction. Some authors claim that Lilly used a fixed star for his timing of the Great Fire. But as we will see, this theory is purely based on the claim that the Ascendant of London’s foundation chart would be 17*54 rather than the 13th or 25th degree. The most recent re-telling of this story I could find is in Benson Bobrick’s book The Fated Sky (New York, 2005). Below is the quote:


Here we note that suddenly the Ascendant of London’s foundation chart has shifted from the 13th or 25th degree to 17*54 Gemini. My suspicion is that this was backwards engineered to fit the conjunction to the Bull’s North Horn, also known as El Nath. Bobrick doesn’t provide a source for his claim, but I am quite certain to have found out where it all derived from.

Already back in 1915, John Hazelrigg wrote about the Great Fire, Lilly and the Bull’s North Horn in his Astrosophia.


It is noticeable how similar these two accounts are, but this also indicates to me that there must be an older, common source. Another thorough search produced what I believe to be the source of this theory; it is Zadkiel’s infamous Introduction to Astrology, (London 1852), the butchered edition of Christian Astrology. In his introduction, Zadkiel writes

“These celebrated predictions were made by means of the motions of the fixed stars, as is evident by the words of Lilly; who says, “the asterisms and signs and constellations give greatest light thereunto.” The Bull’s North Horn, a star which, Ptolemy says, is “like Mars,” was, in the year 1666, when the fire occurred, in Gemini 17° 54′, which is the exact ascendant of London. It was, no doubt, by this means Lilly judged the city would suffer by fire; for in his Almanac for 1666 he states, that the 19th degree of Gemini is London’s horoscope. Our Author was not very nice in his calculations; and it may be observed, that though it may be called the 19th degree, being within 6 minutes of it, yet, in reality, Gemini 17° 54′ is the true ascendant of London. It was that which ascended at the moment of driving the first pile of the new London Bridge.”

A thorough search through Lilly’s Anglicus Merlini 1666 did not produce any results. Where Zadkiel found the “19th degree Gemini” quote remains a mystery to me. Still, based on this non-existing quote, Zadkiel continues with his theory:

“The longitude of the Bull’s North Horn, 1st January, 1834: Gemini 20° 15′

Longitude of London’s ascendant: Gemini 17 54

Difference: 2 21

This difference of 2° 21′ is equal to 8460 seconds of longitude, which, divided by 50⅓” (the rate at which the fixed stars proceed yearly), gives 168.

From the year 1834 take away 168 = 1666″

It is, of course, up to the individual to form their own conclusions, but it seems to me that Zadkiel was the inventor of the fixed star theory.







Lunar Eclipse 16 September 2016

On 16 September 2016, at  19:05UT, there will be a penumbral lunar eclipse. The penumbral lunar eclipse will be visible from Europe, parts of Asia, Australia, and eastern Africa. It is number 9 in the Saros Series 147, and the duration of this eclipse will be 3 hours and 59 minutes. The map below shows the visibility of the eclipse:


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

Lunar Eclipse Sept 16

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 Pisces, the sign wherein the eclipse Moon resides during the event. We also have to take into consideration that the eclipse’s visibility will greatly enhance its effect. Looking through traditional source material, we find that Egypt (particularly Alexandria), Italy, with Calabria, Compostella, and Sicily; Spain (particularly Seville), France (Normandy and Rheims), Portugal and Germany (particularly Ratisbone and Worms) are the locations traditionally thought to fall under the rulership of Pisces. The Moon is placed in the last decanate of Pisces, which is ruled by Mars. Therefore we have to look at Jupiter and Mars as eclipse rulers. William Lilly writes in his Annus Tenebrous, that a lunar eclipse in the last decant of Pisces signifies:

“robberies equally committed both at Sea, and on dry Land.”

Lilly says about Jupiter being eclipse ruler, that he would “produce the increase of all things”. Unfortunately at this lunar eclipse, the Sun/Moon axis is tightly squared by Mars in Sagittarius, who is also eclipse-ruler. Lilly writes in no uncertain terms that “hee [Mars] generally is the cause of corruption in regard of his too much dryness, and this especially when he is in a fiery Sign”. Mars is not only in a fiery sign, he is also conjunct Ras Alhague, a fixed star on the head of Ophiuchus, the Snake Charmer. Robson writes about this conjunction that it suggests Trouble through writings, public censure in connection with religion, science or philosophy”*, and Elsbeth Ebertin writes that “there is danger of insect bites, snake bites or assault from infuriated animals or rabies smitten dogs”**.


Lunar Eclipse Sept 16 angularity

The map above shows the paths of angularity for Sun (black) and Moon (white)


On a personal level, an eclipse usually affects only a small number of people. To establish the possibility of any effect to take place, the birth chart should be scrutinized for any of the following:

Moon is in or around 24 Pisces
Moon is in or around 24 Virgo (opposition)
Sun or Moon are in or around 24 Gemini or 24 Sagittarius (square)
24 Pisces is culminating in the birth chart (conjunct Midheaven)
24 Pisces 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.

*Vivian Robson, Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology.

**Elsbeth Ebertin, Die Bedeutung der Fixsterne.

Solar Eclipse 1 September 2016

On 1 September 2016, at 09:07UT, there will be an annular solar eclipse. The eclipse will be visible from Madagascar and locations in Central Africa. The Moon’s shadow will also cross parts of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
For most viewers in Africa, the eclipse will be a partial solar eclipse.

This eclipse is one of Saros Series 135. It has a duration of 3 minutes and 5 seconds. The map below shows the visibility of the eclipse (time observed is UT):

SE September 2016

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

SE Sept 16 Brasilia

Before we will discuss any possible effects on the individual, we should have a look at the mundane astrological implications of this eclipse. To be able to do this, we have to establish where the eclipse is likely to have its greatest effect. For this purpose we need to find out which countries or cities fall under the rulership of Virgo, the sign wherein the conjunction between Sun and Moon takes place. We also have to take into consideration that the eclipse’s visibility will greatly enhance its effect.

Looking through traditional source material, we find that Greece with emphasis on Athens, Switzerland with emphasis on Basil, Bratislava, Brindisi, Germany with Worms, Erfurt and places along the Rhine, France, especially Paris, Jerusalem, and Italy with emphasis on Milan are the locations that could be affected by this solar eclipse.

William Lilly also mentions Africa, which is of particular interest here, as the eclipse will be visible from locations in Central Africa.

With Sun and Moon in the first decanate of Virgo, we note that eclipse rulers are Mercury and the Sun. Lilly writes about this in his Annus Tenebrous of 1652, that:

“it argues the lamentable death, or pitiful end of some certain Prince or Nobleman, and a general ruine or slaughter of man, scarcity of corn and all manner of sustenance fit for man.”

Lilly also advises us to look at what he calls the “Asterisme” or constellation in which the eclipse is located. In this case it is the constellation of Leo, the Lion.

SE Sept 16 Leo

A closer inspection reveals that the eclipse point is conjunct fixed star Zosma, located on the back of the Lion. Robson writes about the Lion that:

” It is said that the stars in the neck, back and wing all bring trouble, disgrace and sickness affecting the part of the body ruled by the sign, especially if they happen to be in conjunction with the Moon.” (Robson: Fixed Stars and Constellations, 1923, p48)

About Zosma, he knew that:

“it causes benefit by disgrace, selfishness, egotism, immorality, meanness, melancholy, unhappiness of mind and fear of poison, and gives an unreasonable, shameless and egotistical nature.” (ibid, p219)

We have already seen that Lilly predicted a ‘lamentable death’ to occur during this solar eclipse. Diana Rosenberg reminds us that a high number of assassinations took place during the transit of Zosma and other stars in the Lion. Here we find the assassinations of Trotsky, Cicero, Vitellius, Aquino, Nicholas II, Alexis and Indira Gandhi. She also lists Julius Caesar, Archduke Ferdinand and  the assassination of John F Kennedy. Rosenberg also points out that these stars square Aldebaran and Antares, which may add to the general volatility.


On a personal level, this eclipse could indicate that the native may encounter trouble, sickness or disgrace. Conjunct the malefics Saturn and Mars, danger by poison and disease of the intestinal tract are indicated, as Elsbeth Ebertin writes in Die Bedeutung der Fixsterne. There is also the possibility that natural disaster or catastrophe, possibly a hurricane or devastating storms and their consequences may take place.

An eclipse usually affects only a small number of people. To establish the possibility of any effect to take place, the birth chart should be scrutinized for any of the following:

Sun or Moon are in or around 9 Virgo
Sun or Moon are in or around 9 Pisces (opposition)
Sun or Moon are in or around 9 Sagittarius or Gemini (square)
9 Virgo is culminating in the birth chart (conjunct Midheaven)
9 Virgo 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.

Istanbul Airport Attack

With the shocking news of yesterday’s terror attack at Istanbul Airport dominating the headlines, our thoughts an prayers are with the victims and their relatives. This is the continuation of a recent string of sad news, and we can now see a more coherent picture emerging.

Displayed below is a bi-wheel of the moment the attacks took place and of Turkey’s foundation chart from 1923.

Turkey Foundation and Terror attack

(Inner wheel: Turkey Foundation/outer wheel: airport attack)

Here we see that the lunar nodal axis of both charts are conjunct and also conjunct the MC of the foundation chart. We also notice that Mars in the attack chart is angular and conjunct Venus and Jupiter of the foundation chart.

If we compare this picture to the chart of the Paris terror attack of 13 November 2015, we will notice some striking similarities.

Paris Attack

Mars and the south node are also of utmost importance in this chart. A detailed analysis of the chart above can be found in my web log entry about the Paris attacks, here.

At the time of writing this blog entry, Mars is stationary and about to turn direct again. This means that, over time, he will continue move through Scorpio, re-visit many sensitive points and finally moving towards a conjunction with Saturn and the fixed star Antares. As I wrote in another recent blog post (here):

“… Diana Rosenberg, one of the most knowledgeable fixed star astrologers, knew that Antares had strong connections with the great issues of humankind, especially intolerance, racism and human rights. In their nativities, Julius Caesar, Heinrich Himmler, Winston Churchill and Ayatollah Khomeini had strong Antares placements. History also shows that a prominent, angular Antares in mundane charts indicates extremism, radicalism, acts of terrorism, but also the possibility of natural catastrophes, like earthquakes, storms, or epidemics.”

The conjunction between Mars, Saturn and Antares will take place on 23 August 2016.


UPDATE: My astrological colleague Gabriella Mittelman (see her website) sent me two graphics, which I am reproducing with her kind permission. She writes that she ran Timing solution, asking when planets (except Moon) were making major aspects to Antares. The higher the line or stronger, more planets angle Antares. :


The second graph is a view of 2016. She posted a link to Wiki- terror attacks in 2016- and counted 96 in January alone!