Astrological Musings

Saturn/Neptune, William Lilly and the Great Fire of London

340 years ago today, the Great Fire of London burned down two-thirds of that great city. (Details and anecdotes of the fire itself can be found at .) The renowned Renaissance astrologer William Lilly had predicted this fire fourteen years before in a series of drawings that were part of a book called Monarchy or No Monarchy. He was later suspected of having set the fire himself in order to prove his predictions correct and in order to depose the monarchy. (For more information on Lilly’s predictions see Maurice McCann’s definitive article on the subject.)

Lilly was not the only one to predict that London would be destroyed by fire: many believed that in 1666 tragedy would befall the city as the result of the year being the number of the beast in Revelations. The city was just recovering from the Great Plague and for many it seemed as though the end of the world had come.

The square within a square on the left side of the drawing represents the format for the blank horoscope used in medieval and renaissance times. This was a secret clue for Lilly’s fellow astrologers, or “sons of arte,” that the drawing was a horoscope in disguise.

The two babies suspended above the fire represent Gemini, traditionally associated with London. McCann writes, “by suspending the two babies upside down Lilly showed that the drawing, or rightly the horoscope, should be inverted, which would time it for the early hours of the morning. By inverting the horoscope the 14th degree of Gemini appears at the all important Midheaven. We may therefore infer that Lilly predicted that the time of the blaze would be about 5.26 am on the 2nd September 1666.”

Without […]

By | 2006-09-02T12:36:00+00:00 September 2nd, 2006|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Saturn/Neptune, William Lilly and the Great Fire of London

Skywatch posted & new links added

Skywatch for September is now posted here, including information on the upcoming eclipses. More details on the eclipses will be posted here of course as they unfold.

I’ve also had a chance to visit the sites of my frequent visitors and commenters and have linked their VERY cool sites in the links section here. Visit them and be amazed!

I also want to give a shout out to Jeffrey Kishner for tirelessly promoting and linking all of the astrology bloggers. I’ve just discovered that Jeffrey (whose excellent blog offers just the right combination of gossip and psychology) has a second blog called Lunar Tunes. Thanks to Jeffrey I’ve found some other great astrology blogs and I’ve added a few to the list here as well.

By | 2006-09-01T11:15:00+00:00 September 1st, 2006|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Skywatch posted & new links added

Pluto, the Bomb, Terrorism and Ceres

Birth of the Earth” by Colleen-Joy Page

With my Mercury (thoughts and communication) in Scorpio (ruled by Pluto), Pluto’s naturally been on my mind (Mercury) a lot in a moderately obsessive (Pluto/Scorpio) way. To me the interesting thing isn’t Pluto’s so-called “demotion” (because how can the Lord of Death be demoted?). It’s the addition of Ceres to the mix.

I’ll be writing more about the whole Virgo/Cancer debate later, but there are some interesting facts about Ceres/Demeter and her relationship to the underworld that may be significant. Of course Ceres/Demeter is best known for the tale in which her daughter Persephone/Kore was abducted by Hades/Pluto into the underworld, but Ceres/Demeter herself was instrumental in the concept of resurrection. (The Romans adopted the Greek gods and the names were changed but the myths remained virtually identical.)

Barbara Walker’s amazing book The Secrets of the Tarot reveals that Demeter’s principal temple, Eleusis, was the site of resurrection rituals that may have been the precursor to the Christian myths. Demeter was the Mistress of Earth and Sea, promising to multiply loaves and fishes; her savior-son of various names was called the “Liberator”. During the rituals of the Eleusinian mysteries the seed of Dionysus was killed (reaped), buried (planted) and resurrected (sprouted), with his flesh eaten as bread and his blood drunk as wine. (Sound familiar?) During the ritual, the priestess and hierophant perform the “Great Rite,” re-enacting the coupling between Demeter and Zeus which conceived the child Dionysus. This Great Rite was thought to bring about the regeneration of the earth and the forgiveness of sins.

During Christian times Demeter was informally canonized as St. Demetra who according to legend also had a daughter, kidnapped this time by a wicked Turkish wizard. […]

By | 2006-08-31T10:28:00+00:00 August 31st, 2006|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Pluto, the Bomb, Terrorism and Ceres

Pluto: A case study

Last week I saw a client (let’s call her Sylvia) whose birthchart demonstrates the power of Pluto. Sylvia’s Sun is in the hard-working sign of Capricorn: Capricorns typically have a difficult life when they’re young but because they’re such hard workers (ruled by the Celestial Taskmaster himself, Saturn) they can be quite powerful as they age and incorporate life’s lessons. She also has a Grand Trine including Mars, Jupiter and her Moon, bestowing a sense of inner trust (Jupiter/Moon) that life has meaning as well as a dynamic will (Mars/Jupiter) for self-preservation (Mars/Moon). These are the tools that have helped her to navigate a difficult life that has been Pluto’s gift to her. Note to astrologers: to protect her privacy I will not be posting her chart.

Pluto in the astrological chart shows where we come face to face with the underworld of our emotions: fear, compulsion, obsession. Pluto often shows where we face the cold reality of death in order to come to a greater understanding of life. Astrologer Liz Greene says that Pluto represents the essential life force in nature that often must destroy in order to survive. The power of Pluto is that basic, and that intense. When we’re in the middle of a Plutonic disaster (our spouse leaves us, we lose our job, our house burns down, our cat dies) we are lost in the underworld of our fear and the pain of loss that is Pluto’s realm. But once the storm has passed we find ourselves rebuilding the wreckage of our lives with a new sense of empowerment that comes from having faced our fears and survived.

Pluto is conjunct Sylvia’s ascendant (persona and identity) within one degree, exactly […]

By | 2006-08-29T10:13:00+00:00 August 29th, 2006|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Pluto: A case study
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