New Review: Sue Ward’s Traditional Horary Course

“Sue Ward’s new horary astrology course book, which takes up the tradition as laid out by the celebrated 17th Century astrologer William Lilly, could not have been published at a more appropriate point in time.[…]

To read the full review of this remarkable book, which, in my opinion, sets a new benchmark, click the link below:

Cazimi Mars and Mercury

Are you currently devoid of energy, or irritated by malfunctioning computers? The good news is that next week, Mars and Mercury will be in the heart of the Sun, also known as cazimi.

In his Christian Astrology, William Lilly defines cazimi as follows:

“A Planet is in the heart of the Sun, or in Cazimi, when he is not removed from him 17 minutes, or is within 17 minutes forward or backward …” (CA, p113).

Currently, Mars and Mercury are essentially debilitated. Mars is weakened by being in detriment in Libra (A planet is said to be in detriment when located in the sign opposite its sign of rulership) and Mercury is currently in its retrograde phase, which is thought to cause all kinds of problems with communication, commerce and computers. All of this should temporarily change when Mars and Mercury will be cazimi.

Mars will be cazimi between 07 October 07:22UT and 09 October 00:40UT

Mercury will be cazimi on 09 October between 13:10UT and 19:27UTAzmi

During their cazimi phase, Mars and Mercury will, for a short period of time, be “wondrous strong” as William Lilly wrote (CA, p300).

Or as the famous Persian astrologer Abu Ma’shar wrote in his Great Introduction (trans. Dykes): “And for all planets, if they were with the Sun “in the heart” … then in many matters it indicates good fortune …” (Great Introduction, p438).

As both cazimi phases are not very long, it seems advisable to make the most of them! And by the way, the next time Mercury will be cazimi will be 29 November 2021.

William Lilly on Theft and Beinecke MS 558

During research for my upcoming book on the Lunar Mansions, I came across Beinecke MS 558. The manuscript is held in the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the rare book library and literary archive of the Yale University Library in New Haven, Connecticut. It comprises 89 pages consisting of multiple texts on parchment and paper and is written by five hands. It contains several diagrams, and an astrolabe with volvelles, pictured below:

The principle collector of MS 558 was Thomas Butler from Harlow in Essex. Natal charts of Thomas Stalon, born 1500; Jhon Butler, born 1524; Thomas Buttler, born 1528; and Ales Buttler, born 1532 are displayed.

Contemporary astrologers quoted include Johann Stöffler (1452 – 1531) and Leonard Digges (c. 1515 – c. 1559). Earlier sources quoted are Almansor, Messahala, Haly Abenragel and Zael.

Included in the manuscript is a chapter on theft, with the title “To knowe the thefe that hath stolen”

In the left margin on p2v, is a handwritten note by a later hand (17th C?) reading “Lilly pag 331”

This refers to page 331 in William Lilly’s Christian Astrology. The picture below shows the relevant page.

William Lilly, Christian Astrology, Regulus 1985, p331

Christian Astrology was published in 1647, approximately 100 years after Beinecke MS 558 was compiled. It shows that treasured manuscripts were passed on for generations. They were still used and annotated long after the publication of printed material had become commonplace.

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

NEW Publication: A German Stargazer’s Book of Astrology

A German Stargazer’s Book of Astrology is the first English translation of Astronomia Teutsch Astronomei, published in 1545 in Frankfurt am Main. The original work was one of the earliest astrological textbooks in the vernacular, predating William Lilly’s famous English primer Christian Astrology by over a century. With this translation, I offer the English reader an exciting insight into the working methods of a 16th century astrologer living on the cusp of the Late Medieval and Early Modern periods. The book contains a detailed introduction by the translator, providing valuable background information and historical context, and is comprehensively annotated throughout.

Stargazer Frontcover

The book is divided into six parts:

  • Signs and Images
  • Planets
  • Mundane Astrology
  • Weather
  • Perpetual Calendar
  • Astronomy

Clicking on the thumbnails below will provide a detailed view of the book’s contents list:

Stargazer Contents 1Stargazer Contents 2

Stargazer Contents 3






A German Stargazer’s Book of Astrology is available via Amazon, or may be ordered directly from Mandrake of Oxford. To visit their website, click the thumbnail below:

Stargazer Frontcover

There is also a dedicated Facebook page, which can be viewed and “liked”, following this link:

A German Stargazer’s Book of Astrology – Facebook Page

Readers who “like” this page will be notified of any new links to reviews, sample chapters, and more.

The Astrologer, his Enemy, his Friend & the Autobiography

Amongst practitioners of astrology William Lilly is well known for his Christian Astrology, which is still one of the best astrological textbooks available. A thorough study of this work may inform the reader about astrology, but does not reveal much about the author himself. To rectify this, one has to search for other publications available. One of those is Lilly’s autobiography which he wrote at the age of 66, mainly to satisfy his great friend, Elias Ashmole.

A facsimile or transcript of the original manuscript has never been published up to this date. Now, thanks to the painstaking work of Sue Ward, the transcript of the autograph, containing the margin- and footnotes, written by Lilly, Ashmole and an unknown proof-reader, is available for the first time. With additional annotations, commentaries and biographical notes, including Elias Ashmole’s addenda and nativities of some notable persons appended, this work clearly supersedes all previously printed, incomplete and mutilated versions in existence.

Readers wanting to delve deeper into the relationship between Lilly and Ashmole may want to download Sue’s study Beyond the Great Fire.

William Lilly did not only have great friends, he had enemies, too. After an initial discussion about the reason for the well known enmity between Lilly and Gadbury, Sue Ward and I decided to fully investigate this matter. The answer to this question, which may astound some readers, is to be found in our paper Monster of Ingratitude.

Both Sue and I hope that astrologers will benefit from the publication of these papers but we hope that readers, downloading these files, will also make use of the ‘Donation’ facility. All your donations will help save animals lives, so please think of it as:


All the works mentioned may be downloaded from Sue Ward’s website:

Christine Hartley and the Western Mystery Tradition

Christine Hartley was born as Christine Campbell Thomson in London on May 31st 1897, at 11:30 am. Although there is not much known about her youth, her nativity shows clearly that she was fortunate to be born into an important family who provided her with all the support she needed.


Her Part of Fortune is conjunct her Virgo Ascendant, casting a square aspect to her 10th house Sun and Moon in Gemini, both conjunct her MC. It does therefore not come as a surprise that, after a short employment as a secretary in a literary agency, she founded her own agency. This is where she met John William Brodie-Innes, who, shortly after the end of the First World War, intended to publish a book with her. Brodie-Innes was a high-ranking member of the Order of the Golden Dawn and it is believed, that he was Dion Fortune’s teacher. He was as well a first-rate magician and immediately recognised Christine’s dormant magical abilities. There may have been some ancestral recognition also, as Brodie-Innes considered himself to be the reincarnation of John Dee, whilst Christine Hartley was in fact a descendant of Dee through common Welsh ancestors. Christine did not take Brodie-Innes up on his offer to teach her magic; it should still be quite a while indeed, before she would enter the world of occultism.

In 1927 Christine Hartley was approached by Dion Fortune; the latter intended to publish one of her books, “The Problem of Purity”. Like Brodie-Innes, Dion Fortune would as well have immediately recognised the innate magical potential in Christine, but it would take until 1932 for the two women to meet again. At this time Dion Fortune returned to Christine’s office and invited her to attend a lecture on Ceremonial Magic at the Society of the Inner Light.

This is, how the remarkable career of CCT, as Christine Hartley became to be known amongst her fellow members of the Society of the Inner Light, began. In 1937, when her training period was over, she was to meet the man who would become her priest or magical partner, Charles Seymour. In this year her primary directed Ascendant was sextile Sun, of which Lilly says:

Great Health of the Body, tranquillity of Mind,[…] new and eminent friends of great account[…] (CA p661)

 and sextile Moon, of which Lilly has to say:

[…] apt to undertake any matter [and] does follow his Profession with much alacrity[…] (CA p664).

Colonel Charles Seymour’s occult background was in Freemasonry, although it is likely that he knew Brodie-Innes. Alan Richardson says about Seymour in his recommended book Dancers to the Gods:

There is a curious reference in his diaries, which reads: ‘Working with Volens in the Museum Chambers’.[…] the whole statement calls to mind the old tradition that a Temple of the Golden Dawn once worked magic in the British Museum with the sanction and co-operation of E.A. Wallis Budge, the eminent Egyptologist.

For the next two years Christine and Seymour were working together, bringing a stream of Moon magic, which was rooted in the Celtic Otherworld, into the Western Mystery Tradition. In Christine’s nativity primary directed Sun and Moon are conjunct the fixed star Castor in 1938 and in 1939. According to Robson’s Fixed Stars and Constellations this is an indicator of ‘prominence in occult matters’ (Sun) and ‘occult interest and psychic ability’ (Moon).

Colonel Seymour left the Inner Light at the beginning of World War II. He died in 1943, but Christine Hartley continued her magical work. In 1945 she married Henry Alexander Hartley; they had been brought together by a book called The Science of Astrology, which he had written. The fact that it was a profected first house year shows the new beginning in her life. If one looks at the beautiful Venus in her nativity, one can get a good idea of the feminine aspect of her personality. Her Venus certainly is Lady of the Geniture, being domicile ruler, triplicity ruler and in trine aspect with Jupiter. Venus is placed in the 9th house and trines the Ascendant as well as the Part of Fortune, a clear indicator of her role as a successful priestess in the Western Mystery Tradition.

In 1968 Christine published her masterpiece, The Western Mystery Tradition, wherein she weaves Celtic mythology into the greater occult picture. She does this with great knowledge showing her personal involvement and the magical experience of a lifetime.

Christine Hartley died on September 29th 1985, at the age of 88.

Void of Course

After a lengthy discussion about definition and validity of the void of course Moon on another astrological web log, [see the whole of the original discussion here], I thought it to be a good idea to have another look at William Lilly’s views on the subject and share my findings with the readers of my web log.

To show that Lilly was drawing on a long-standing tradition, I first want to quote from Dr. Dykes’ excellent new translation “Persian Nativities” vol 1, wherein he translates Masha’allah (p25): “But the Moon is said [to be] solitary whenever she applies to neither fortunate ones nor the malevolents with her own body, nor does she regard any [star] from the trigon, tetragon, hexagon, or opposition” The footnote states that he [Masha’allah] must have drawn this from Rhetorius Ch.39, because in Ch.112 and in other Hellenistic authors is added: “within the next 30 degrees”. Dr Dykes adds that “this fuller definition makes a void in course Moon extraordinarily rare”.

But let’s now have a look at Lilly’s definition of “void of course”:

“A Planet is void of course, when he is separated from a Planet, nor does forthwith, during his being in that Sign, apply to any other: This is most usually in the Moon;…” (CA, p112)

To fully understand this concept and its use, we have to look further and find Lilly’s definition of separation:

“Separation, is in the first place, when the two Planets are departed but six minutes distance from each other[…]”(CA, p110)

And here is his definition of application which is as well necessary for the understanding of the concept of “void of course”:

It [application] is when two Planets are drawing near together, either by conjunction or aspect[…] (CA, p108)

This definition can only be understood properly, if one considers the use of platic aspects, orbs and moiety in horary charts. Lilly did this as the next quote about application shows:

“[…] for every Planet that applies is allowed half his own orbs and half the orbs of that Planet from whom he separates.” (CA, p110)

Lilly explains further:

“A Platic Aspect is that which admits the Orbs or Rays of two Planets that signify any matter. […] As if Venus be in the 10th degree of Taurus, and Saturn in eighteen degrees of Virgo, here Venus has a Platic trine, or is in a Platic trine to Saturn, because she is in the moiety of both their Orbs.” (CA, p107)  

Moiety is of course half the value of an orb; a table of the orbs Lilly used may be found in CA, p107.

On the basis of these definitions it should be easy to determine if and when a Planet is void of course.

If an aspect can only be perfected when the Moon has crossed over into another sign and the aspect is in moiety of the orbs of both Planets concerned, it is likely that the matter propounded will have a positive outcome, although there may be difficulties in the process. Further  indicators for a positive outcome in these cases are mutual reception, or the position of the Moon in Taurus, Cancer, Sagittarius or Pisces.

Should the Moon be in late degrees, particularly in Gemini, Scorpio or Capricorn, this is an indication for a negative outcome.

For a thorough investigation into the matter of “void of course” and a detailed and illustrated explanation of the operation of application, please see Sue Ward’s excellent article “An Introduction to the Astrology of William Lilly”, which can be found on her website, or accessed here:

Mirra Alfassa, The Mother

One of the most remarkable women of the 20th century is Mirra Alfassa, also known as ‘The Mother’. She was the first Westerner to become an Indian guru and was worshipped as an incarnation of the Divine Mother.

Mirra was born on February 21st 1878 as the second child of an Egyptian mother and a Turkish father. She was a gifted child and soon became an accomplished painter and musician. She claims that at the age of five she realised that she did not belong to this world and very often she would fall into trance or experience a state of bliss. From the age of twelve she was practicing occultism, had out of the body experiences and gained mystical insights into the existence of God. In her twenties she studied occultism with Max Theon and began working with different spiritual groups. In 1914 she met Sri Aurobindo, who she recognised as her mentor. She had to leave India after the outbreak of the First World War, but she returned to Pondycherry in April 1920, never to leave again. Sri Aurobindo recognised in her an embodiment of the dynamic expressive aspect of evolutionary, creative force, which is recognised in India as the ‘Supreme Mother’.

Although Mirra Alfassa’s time of birth is recorded to be 10:15 am, I have slightly rectified her chart. The following chart and delineation is based on this rectified time of 10:12 am.    



 Mirra Alfassa’s chart shows a Gemini Ascendant with Mercury in Aquarius, in the 1oth House. This placement describes a born communicator with leadership capabilities and a progressive outlook on life. The mind is very quick and there is much room for intuitive responses as well. And indeed she organized the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and, in 1952, 2 years after Aurobindo’s death, she created the Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education. Later on, in 1968, she founded Auroville which was meant to be ” an universal town where men and women of all countries are able to live in peace and progressive harmony, above all creeds, all politics and all nationalities”.

Her Venus is placed in Pisces in the 11th house, the house of ambition, but as well as hopes and wishes and is cazimi. I would  suggest that Venus is the Lady of the Geniture in her nativity, as the whole life of the Mother seemed to revolve around this fundamental principle. This famous quote of hers may be useful for the better understanding of her burning, undivided love:

I belong to no nation, no civilization, no society, no race, but to the Divine. I obey no master, no rules, no law, no social convention, but the Divine. To Him I have surrendered all, will, life and self; for Him I am ready to give all my blood, drop by drop, if such is His will, with complete joy, and nothing in his service can be sacrifice, for all is perfect delight. 

 The outlet for this Venusian energy can be found in the placement of Jupiter in the 9th House, which is conjunct her Part of Fortune. It shows her deep interest in philosophy and religion, indicates her yearning for wisdom and enlightenment and explains, why she had to travel to find the location of her destiny. Saturn in Pisces emphasises the sacrificial theme in her life, which is indicated in the quote above. Mirra’s Libra Moon shows her gentle nature and her desire for harmony and combines beautifully with her communication skills.

A look at her primary directions, which were used to rectify her nativity, shows that in 1914, when she met Sri Aurobindo for the first time, her Midheaven was  sextile Sun, of which William Lilly says that it “promises honours, bestowed upon by some eminent person, whereby he shall lay the foundation of arising to great preferment” (Christian Astrology, part III). In 1920, when she decided to stay with Aurobindo in India, her Midheaven was sextile Moon, of which Lilly says: “It gives increase of fortune, estimation and honour from the people more than usual; it argues some journey beyond Sea, and public commands, and usually affords the Native such esteem and reputation, as he by birth or place is capable of“. (CA III)

The Mother and Sri Aurobindo worked all their lives for the manifestation of a mode of consciousness beyond mind, which Sri Aurobindo named “Supermind” or “The Supramental”. The full expression of this consciousness on earth would result not only in a new species, as far beyond Man as humanity is beyond the animals, but also in a modification of the whole terrestrial creation.

In 1960 the Mother’s dream was to create Auroville, or the City of Dawn; it was her dream to create a place where humanity could seek the Divine without having to be worried about everyday needs like food and shelter, a place where people, coming from all over the world, could live in peace. A look at her primary directions for that year shows that the Moon was sextile Saturn, of which Lilly says: “The native will be prone to building and re-edifying“. (CA III) In 1968, when her directed Moon was conjunct Jupiter, she inaugurated the new city and today about 2000 people are living in Auroville.

In 1971, on the 93rd birthday of the Mother, the foundation stone for Matrimandir, or sanskr. The Temple of the Mother, was laid. This is the ‘soul’ of Auroville, situated on a large open space, called Peace. This laying of the foundation stone coincided with her primary direction of the Ascendant conjunct Mercury, a perfect indicator. 


The Matrimandir is in the form of a huge sphere surrounded by twelve pedestals. The central dome is covered by golden discs and reflects sunlight, which gives the structure its characteristic radiance. Inside this central dome is a meditation hall known as the inner chamber – this contains the largest optically-perfect glass globe in the world. The Matrimandir, and its surrounding gardens in the central Peace Area, is fully open to the public by appointment.

The four main pillars that support the structure of Matrimandir, and carry the Inner Chamber, have been set at the four main directions of the compass. Sri Aurobindo said:

Four great Aspects of the Mother, four of her leading Powers and Personalities have stood in front in her guidance of this Universe and in her dealings with the terrestrial play.

 Maheswari (south pillar): One is her personality of calm wideness and comprehending wisdom and tranquil benignity and inexhaustible compassion and sovereign and surpassing majesty and all-ruling greatness.

Mahakali (north pillar): Another embodies her power of splendid strength and irresistible passion, her warrior mood, her overwhelming will, her impetuous swiftness and world-shaking force.

Mahalakshmi (east pillar): A third is vivid and sweet and wonderful with her deep secret of beauty and harmony and fine rhythm, her intricate and subtle opulence, her compelling attraction and captivating grace.

Mahasaraswati (west pillar): The fourth is equipped with her close and profound capacity of intimate knowledge and careful flawless work and quiet and exact perfection in all things…

All these qualities, as recognised by Sri Aurobindo, can be seen in the nativity of Mirra Alfassa. 


The Mother left the physical plane on November 17th, 1973, at the age of 95.

Satprem, a disciple of the Mother recorded the “Mother’s Agenda”, a 6000 page logbook of her exploration  in the cellular consciousness of the human body and her discovery of the cellular mind. More information and an online version of “Mother’s Agenda may be found here: