©2013 J. Lee Lehman, PhD
(Note: The material in this essay is covered in much greater detail in Chapter One of my book, Astrology of Sustainability,1)
Patrick Curry has provided a fascinating blueprint for us of the forces that shaped the development of early modern astrology, specifically through the trials (literally) and tribulations (figuratively) of Alan Leo (1860-1917).2 Briefly, Leo was the inventor of the “shilling horoscope.” Utilizing the mails through advertising in magazines, Leo created a very profitable enterprise for himself by allowing the public to send away for a horoscope, which was computed by one employee, and then fleshed out with a page on the Sun sign, a page on the Moon sign, and so forth. This style of working had both the advantage of allowing many people to explore astrology at a much reduced price, and it allowed Leo to become very wealthy through the low time commitment to each chart . Unfortunately, he ran afoul of the English fortune-telling laws. After he was indicted, and acquitted on a technicality, Leo asked his lawyer how he could prevent this in the future. His lawyer essentially said: don't tell fortunes! In an attempt to comply with at least the letter of the law, Leo removed the more predictive language of his shilling horoscopes, and changed the descriptions to character analysis: a more psycho-spiritual perspective. In the process, he also declared that this is what astrology does: its describes, not predicts. Ironically, he was then arraigned again for fortune-telling, and this time, he was convicted.
Leo's change in wording truly was a watershed moment in astrological interpretation. Leo's own private delineations showed a complete continuity with prior trends of astrological prediction. The 19th century had witnessed some simplification of astrological technique, compared to the more detailed classical methods in place through the end of the 17th century. There were the specific challenges of integrating Uranus and then Neptune into astrological usage. There were the continual questions raised by the differences between Western and Vedic astrology, a topic highlighted by the increasing interest in Indian religion by Westerners in general through the 19th century, and specifically in the Theosophical Society.
But Leo was not acting in a vacuum. The impact of these ideas hit other parts of astrology as well, not just natal interpretation. One of the easier ways to observe the change is in Leo's own astrological magazines. The ones before 1900 reflect the “old” ways, and in them, we see the earlier mix of different styles of astrology, but with a distinct predictive slant. These magazines, for example, have horary charts interpreted in a fairly conventional way. Leo's own horary examples were even collected together into a work on horary!3
But surely one of the major questions of the time would remain mundane astrology. The historical method of mundane astrology which had developed over centuries enunciated a hierarchy of charts and conjunctions to be observed: from the Great Mutation cycle of Jupiter and Saturn which lasted centuries, to the change of element (mutation) in that series of conjunctions, the individual Jupiter-Saturn conjunction, the Mars-Saturn and Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions, the Aries Ingress, and the other cardinal ingresses, lunations, and eclipses for a particular year. This series allowed the astrologer to talk about both long and short-term trends. The ancient authors had also noted the extreme difficulty in attempting to create a chart for the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions, realizing that it was next to impossible to calculate the exact instant of the conjunction. The first time it was accepted as possible was the 17thcentury, with Kepler's and Heydon's direct observations of the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction. Even with direct observation in hand, contemporaries warned about the errors in such calculations, a worry that our modern equations confirm.4 As a result, the tendency was to delineate the Aries Ingress or lunation prior to the known conjunction, rather than the conjunctional chart itself. Astrologers living in the decades after Kepler and Heydon reverted to the ancient methods precisely because of these perceived methodological problems, which were discussed in the works of the day.
The astrologers of the 17th century were still integrating the “new” calculational advances of Kepler and the heliocentric theories, and there was serious astronomical knowledge and interest displayed by some of their numbers, such as Vincent Wing. What is hard for us to appreciate now is that their astronomical practices and equations lacked the precision that we have become accustomed to – and for good reason. Astronomical precision in observation was still a huge topic in the 17th century, following great advances by practitioners such as Tycho Brahe, and the instrument makers of Louvain. But they could still not approach the observational accuracy of mechanized instruments of both ground-based and satellite-based machines of the 20th century. But quite apart from this, different astronomical measurements have different accuracies associated with them: and any ephemeris is only as accurate as the equations used to generate it.5 One offshoot of this astronomical consideration – known, interestingly, to our 17th century forebears – is that we can obtain much more accurate results for the positions of a birth chart, than for the time of a planetary conjunction or station. In other words, the routine stuff of astrology – birth charts and horary charts – are reasonably accurate. But station times are not. It is unfortunate, but the knowledge of this simple fact is one of the things that was lost when astrology lost its university moorings at the end of the 17th century, and went largely underground for a century.
In the 19th century, astrology was dusted off, and challenged with the discovery of the outer planets. However, in mundane astrology, we can see that the job of rediscovery had worked rather well. During the U.S. Civil War, Luke Broughton (1828-1899) published the “Monthly Planetary Reader,” in which he did traditional mundane predictions of the course of the war. Broughton's method was traditionally classical, and his method seemed to work quite well, with Broughton even predicting Lincoln's assassination, and later, McKinley's.
But the 19th century also saw many astrologers experimenting with new methods. In mundane, this was partly justified by the greater globalization of the astrological enterprise. Unlike in the 17th century, the telegraph and faster ships brought news of foreign politics and wars more quickly to a public that became used to hearing of events on distant shores.
One of the astrologers who helped to pioneer this transition was Sepharial (1864-1929). In his columns on monthly events, he transformed mundane astrology in a number of ways. We can summarize his methodology as follows:
- The sign placements of the planets have replaced any celestial conjunction as the top headline. This allowed him to predict that these planets would affect countries ruled that sign.
- He reduced the Mars-Saturn conjunction to a mere transit, instead of an event worth analyzing in its own right.
- He did discuss lunations, but his discussion was mainly of planetary conjunctions or aspects occurring in the chart, but these conjunctions are largely inferior conjunctions to superior planet configurations already in play.
Sepharial wrote specifically on the interpretation of the Jupiter-Saturn Conjunction in Transits and Planetary Periods. In fact, this work should be seen as the genesis of the methods of working with the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction still being used in the 1920s and 1930s. In this work, he developed a system for working with the conjunctional chart, and then following it through time with secondary progressions or directions. Sadly, this work showed no knowledge of the problems in calculation associated with attempting to arrive at a chart of this nature.6
One obvious change that had to be addressed in the modern period was the discovery of yet more superior planets, thereby adding more transits to the mix..
And I have to wonder whether the shift in Sepharial's interpretations to the use of signs as being part of an attempt to re-envision how to get the “where” right. This seems transitional to astrocartography, but unfortunately, the emphasis on sign seems to have stuck as much for its convenience in generating copy for monthly deadlines than for producing real predictive power.
The methods that Sepharial was beginning to experiment with for approaching mundane as a truly global art only needed reinforcing as time went on. World War I (the Great War, as it was styled before World War II imposed a numbering system) was fought globally. The emergence of new world powers continued to challenge capabilities of astrology to keep up with globalization.
Between the wars, we can use the Astrological Quarterly to understand these developments. The Editor, Charles Carter, wrote extensively on mundane, and there were contributions by others as well.
A good example was L. Protheroe Smith, entitled “The Year 1927,” which featured the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction of 1921.7 He begins his article by saying:
“I make no apology for once more drawing your attention to the forgoing figure, for the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the year 1921. I have discussed it here before, and I shall do so again whenever I am asked to speak on National Astrology during the period over which it rules. Because, although perhaps less is known concerning this branch of our work than almost any other, yet there is reason to believe that national destiny runs in cycles; and we get, I think, a glimpse of this cyclical process in the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions which recur at intervals of approximately 20 years.” (page 4)
So far, this could have been written by Masha' Allah – except for the phrase “national destiny.” We have moved into the period of democracies and other governmental forms, where the Head of State may only last in that role for a few years – rarely for life.
However, a close examination of the article reveals major differences. First of all, his year is a calendar year: not a year as defined by the Aries Ingress. In fact, there are no cardinal ingresses to be seen at all! What is present is a chart purporting to be for the exact moment of the conjunction – something we have already seen has some serious astronomical challenges associated with it.
His chart comes out to approximately 45 minutes off our modern calculation! How can this be? There are two components to the problem:
- In the era before the computer, the accuracy of planetary positions in an ephemeris was not as high as now. This is the major source of the error in Protheroe-Smith's case.
- Trying to come up with the exact moment of a slow conjunction such as this from an old ephemeris, which gives static positions for each day, is truly impossible. Positions were given to the nearest minute. You can't just interpolate the exact moment, because a minute isn't sufficiently accurate for a body that only moves a few minutes per day! Is that position of 1 degree 56 minutes really 56 minutes, or 55.51, or 56.49 minutes? You don't know! You can even see whether your current computer program has conquered this problem by comparing a timed transit list to using the ephemeris generator to see if you get the same time!
But the chart published has the deceptive appearance of correctness, because both Jupiter and Saturn are in the same minute of arc. Jupiter was moving by 13' per day, and Saturn by 7' – this is a good illustration of the degree of uncertainty of these conjunction charts – and exactly why Vincent Wing warned about this problem over two centuries earlier. Uncertainty by twelve hours wrecks havoc with the houses! So we must begin by being suspicious of anything he says about the Jupiter-Saturn that is house-based.
Since he is not using ingresses, or eclipses, or lunations, what is he doing to predict 1927? Why, he's progressing this already suspect Jupiter-Saturn conjunctional chart, using the method pioneered by Sepharial!
Secondary progressions did not exist until the 17th c. when Placidus invented them in an attempt to reproduce Ptolemy's method of directing. I don't object to their use here because they are new. The genesis of the idea for doing something like this exists in the classical material, which mentions directing revolutionary charts – although this would have been by primary direction. But if the method is going to shift, it's important to test it out. How can one test it out on a chart which is already suspicious?
Protheroe Smith used the progression to focus on the progressed Moon, by sign and house placement. He also does transits from the year to the progressed placements, and aspects of the progressed Moon to the dubious conjunctional chart.
I should mention that Protheroe Smith's articles continued to grace the Quarterly for some years to come. And both he and his editor clearly believed that he was getting good results from such a tenuous method. How can this be? This methodological problem does not negate transits by themselves, nor does it negate the importance of the planetary placements at the time of the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction itself – a conjunction Protheroe Smith clearly had come to know intimately. Later, Carter would present the “new” Jupiter-Saturn conjunction for 1940 during the war – and again, it would be inaccurate, though not so much as the 1920 one. However, but then, Carter had severely reduced his discussion of it, suggesting that, on some level, he had realized that it was not the major predictor that it was believed to be in 1927!
In the same issue, “Taurus” reported on the total eclipse, visible in London on 29 June 1927.8 After a review of the astronomy, the eclipse was interpreted astrologically, using aspect patterns. Planets are used exclusively through their house positions: no house rulerships are noted at all.
There clearly was a lot of experimentation going on, in many respects paralleling the development of modern natal astrology, with its simplification of the ancient systems, along with a much heightened dependence upon the aspect patterns as the primary method of delineation.
From here, we can pick up the history as it is presented in Baigent, Campion, and Harvey. As Nicholas Campion pointed out in his chapter, “The National Horoscope: Mundane Astrology and Political Theory,” the current modern reliance on the national horoscope is quite new. It was impossible in Europe until only a few centuries ago, with the development of the modern state.9 He also discusses the relationship of the state to the national leader, “the birth chart of the leader becomes a working horoscope for the collective” (page 109). As Campion has pointed out elsewhere, the development of the national horoscope as a preferred method for the analysis of mundane effects came in the wake of the failure of British astrologers to predict World War II. We can see it in use in the lead-up as well, witness C.E.O. Carter's references to a chart for the Fascist Regime and to the French Republic in the March-April-May 1939 issue of the Quarterly.10 The theory has been presented that incorrect predictions by R.H. Naylor and others concerning the war led to a wholesale re-evaluation of mundane methods, leading to two primary developments:
- Greater utilization of national charts to pinpoint hot spots
- Work by Barbault and Gouchon initially, then buttressed by Baigent, Campion, and Harvey to elaborate the meanings of the new superior planet cycles involving Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.
While this is undoubtedly true, I suggest also examining a chart for the Aries Ingress 1939 shown here.
Figure 1. Aries Ingress 1939, calculated for Berlin and London.
Either way you cut it, an Aries Ingress with Mars exalted in a partile square to the Sun looks like a war. And yet, in an article in the Quarterly by Estelle Gardner entitled “National Astrology,” she reviews that chart – and does not so much as mention the word “war.” Doing the chart for London, she merely remarks that the Pluto Rising may denote the association of Pluto with National Socialism and Fascism!1 How did she miss this? It's worth remembering that England at this time was strongly neutral and anti-war. There was also a significant political faction favoring the Nazis. One sure-fire way to mess up your predictions is to hold too dearly to your own pet theory of How Things Are. If you cannot imagine war, then you cannot predict it either.
Charles Carter himself joined in the prediction of “no-war-in-1939!” in the June-July-August 1939 issue of the Quarterly, using as his evidence the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction for 1901 – a chart which is as flawed in its calculation as the 1921 chart that I discussed in relation to Protheroe Smith's article. Then, adhering to the same method, Carter used secondaries to progress the chart to 1939, divining easy aspects for the immediate future.2 And yet, in his following Editorial that he wrote on August 1st, he said:
“I am writing this on the first day of August, with the atmosphere around me somewhat milder (under the influence of Jupiter stationary) than it was a few weeks ago (under Mars stationary). Nevertheless there is a widespread belief that things will move rapidly and dangerously at least or about the end of the month. And the August lunation is a strange one; Sun and Moon rise at Berlin, square Uranus in M.C.”3
It would seem that the sudden beginning of the invasion of Poland looked exactly like that lunation. It was only strange if you couldn't envision war as the meaning. What failed the British astrologers was not the ancient techniques, but Sepharial's modification of them, combined with unwillingness to interpret what they were seeing, but wouldn't countenance.
It's difficult to impossible to predict what you cannot imagine happening. Carter's words were split: when he used Protheroe Smith's methods, the result he got suggested “no war.” But the chart for the lunation itself as well as the Aries Ingress showed what was in fact the correct answer – but the inconvenient one. It was not the old method that failed, but the new one.
Unfortunately, there has been too much of a trend in astrology to not worry much about the astronomy of what we do. Here, clearly, the British astrologers did not want to worry about the precision of Sepharial's method. Today, it is still true that finding the precise instant of a conjunction or other aspect is difficult, and so even now, attempting a chart for an outer planet aspect has its pitfalls.
It is also troubling to note that the method that failed was a new one: but that did not seem to be the take-home lesson. Yes, Sepharial's method did eventually disappear, but was this acknowledgement of the failure, or Planck's Principle, by which a theory doesn't die out until its adherents do? In the fourth issue of the Quarterly for 1939, now with the Germans already on the move, Carter predicted the end of the War in 1941, In this prediction, he was still referring to the bogus 1921 Jupiter-Saturn chart. Carter referred extensively to charts of the various countries involved, or of the heads of state in the absence of a country chart, while bemoaning the absence of a chart for Britain (he explicitly rejected the UK chart for 1801). He suggested a new system of symbolic directions based on a passage from Isiah which would have resulted in mortal peril for Hitler in less than a year. In a list of charts relevant to the study of the war, Carter included the mutation chart (not great mutation, as he stated) of the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction of 1842, when the conjunction series moved into Earth. Again, the problems with the calculation of the precise moment of the conjunction meant that the chart has the wrong Ascendant and MC by a sign, once again weakening the chart considerably as a predictor of the future. We should mention that Carter's charts did have Pluto marked in them, so he was attempting to include Pluto as well.
Carter did circumspectly predict the entry of the USA into the war after November 10, 1941, based upon the station of Mars, but herein lies another tale. He was right: 7 December 1941 marked the entry of the USA as a result of the attack at Pearl Harbor, But again, the astronomy was a problem. Carter stated that this station would occur with Mars conjunct the Ascendant in Washington, but a modern rendition gives Mars conjunct the Descendant – not a bad symbol for the attack by Japan (=7th house, enemy of the USA), but again. We see how accuracy was being hampered by astronomical factors. In the same issue (September-October-November 1941; written approximately August), Carter reiterated his prediction for the war ending in 1942, this time based upon secondary progressions of the chart of Britain, Italy, Mussolini, Hitler, and of the German Empire.
By 1942, Carter had realized how difficult the job of prediction had become:
“If publication grows more difficult [referring to paper rationing], so also does prediction. We have now six or seven Great Powers actively engaged in hostilities, for the most part on several fronts, and there are a number of lesser belligerents on each side. Thus the outlook is becoming ever more complex, with good and bad features interwoven and helpful and harmful periods in quick succession.” (Vol. 16(1): 1).
Part of the desire for better charts for countries and heads of state rested on a simple fact of geography applied astrologically: the chart for an ingress, eclipse, or lunation was not substantially different in London or Berlin because the two capitals are simply not far enough apart to make it so. And this was always the challenge with Europe: comparatively small states mean that relocation of a chart for the different countries results in similar charts, even when the countries are experiencing substantially different outcomes. What to do? This was actually why Carter was so concerned about having country charts or charts of the ruler – the geography demanded the approach. But then, confronted with grand alliances of multiple countries, the complexity of the situation became overwhelming.
I have to feel for Carter. Reading the entries through 1943 and into 1944, this had to have been wearing on him. One almost gets the sense he was ready to return to any other kind of astrology – as I'm sure all his readers were equally ready to return to their lives without war. Could this be a factor in why he missed D-Day in June 1944? Remember that Carter was prognosticating based on the New Moons only: D-Day was planned for the Full Moon. For May, Carter had said this:
“The Gemini ingress shows Pluto setting at Washington, still supported by Uranus – an indication of heavy fighting.... The lunation, on the 22nd [of May], is trine Neptune but falls in the 12th at London, with Saturn just risen. It seems an uninteresting figure, but Jupiter is on the cusp 3 (Campanus), which may do something to mitigate traveling conditions and the paper shortage.”4
We shall consider just how “uninteresting” this figure is in a moment, but let's also see Carter's predictions for June. Because of his use of New Moons, this refers to after D-Day, but of course what D-Day did was to open fighting on another front, which certainly did increase the amount of it:
“The New Moon falls, on the 20th, in 29 Gemini, between Venus and Saturn, being also square to Neptune.
“It does not seem an outstandingly important figure for us, but at Washington Venus is on the midheaven, with the Lights and Saturn near by. A brilliant position but for Saturn, yet nevertheless calculated on the whole to bring some eminent success to our Allies.”5
Let's reconsider these charts, and see whether Carter actually missed anything.
We should remind ourselves that the planning for D-Day was massive, and that the staging was happening in England, even if much of the operation was American, and it was under the command of American General Eisenhower. And foremost in that planning was secrecy and deception – certainly Neptune, if we choose to use an Outer planet! And talk about deception! General Patton was assigned as leader of the completely fictitious First US Army Group, while really secretly commanding the brand new and barely trained Third Army, which would be deployed after the initial D-Day landing. Patton's bogus Group was the decoy to make the Germans believe that the inevitable assault would occur other than where it in fact did. So the lunation partile trine Neptune is extremely descriptive of what was going on – but in a way that Carter could not possibly have realized at the time. Score One for Carter noting the Neptune – we leave the details to “stranger than truth.”
However, there are factors which we may note that were not of Carter's early modern approach to delineation. We note the position of Mars at 29 degrees of Cancer conjunct the benefic North Node, in the 2nd house. Let's pull this apart. First, the use of out-of-sign aspects explicitly goes back to the Arabs. Secondly, let's consider Mars more closely. The sports prediction work I did with Bernadette Brady demonstrated that the malefics in Fall and Detriment are much more dangerous in a contest (and hence war) than the other placements – we can consider these positions super-charged. Now, that is obviously not a piece of information that Carter had access to in his day. However, it is odd that he ignored Mars in a critical degree – the 29th. Furthermore, the 2nd house is especially important, because in conflict charts, the 2nd house is like your second in a duel: it's your allies, those fighting on your behalf.1 So here are the Americans on British soil, staging the largest mobilization of troops in history for an invasion, so how can this not be 2nd house?
D-Day was scheduled for June 5th, but was delayed one day because of weather. At the Full Moon on June 6th, the invasion began. Here at the MC for the lunation is Neptune. The entire Allied plan hinged on the Nazis believing that the invasion would occur in a different place than it did, so that the troops could get ashore without being bombed immediately into their graves. The Ruler of the Ascendant was Jupiter, in in-sect Triplicity, cadent, but in an appropriate house for foreign invasion, the 9th. Also, repeatedly, classical sources reiterate that the 3rd-9th axis is less malefic and stronger than the 6th-12th. Meanwhile, Mercury, ruling the enemy, is peregrine and in the 6th house – truly a bad position. The army of Britain's Ally was Saturn – and Saturn was in a dangerous position, the 7th house, but dignified by Triplicity. Among the key words I had established for Triplicity is precisely luck – and the Americans that night had the luck – the luck that their Neptunian ruse had worked and the weather held!
All of the strategic planning of the Allies had suggested that if the beachhead was successful, then the rest of the plan was, if not easy, at least carrying an acceptable probability of success. By the New Moon in June, this next phase was well under way. In Carter's analysis, the period of D-Day had actually fallen under his May predictions, and he had already discussed those retrospectively in the same issue in which he gave June prospectively. He did note in the retrospective discussion that Mars going through Leo should affect France, Romania, and Italy – which certainly was true.
As we examine the New Moon for June 20th, we may add some features that Carter did not discuss. The combined Allied army is given by Mars, not exactly strong by dignity, but applying to the benefic Jupiter, which was in Triplicity, and thus strong enough to aid Mars. Mars is separating from Pluto, perhaps the signature of that very fragile and dangerous moment when the troops hit the shore. Meanwhile Venus, ruling the Axis army, is peregrine, in the 8th house, and combust!
Carter himself acknowledged that he had not forecast this with his comments in the following issue:
“On the 6th (a day later than originally planned, because of the weather) the invasion of Normandy began. I can make no claim to have foreseen this momentous event, though obviously a time when there were two powerful and violent conjunctions in the heavens [Mars-Pluto and Venus-Uranus] was appropriate enough for a hazardous and audacious undertaking.”2
After D-Day, the war proceeded apace, looking ever more grim for the Axis. And it is indeed by this time of November 6, 1944, the revision date of his article, that events seemed to be coming to a close. The Soviets were progressing through Eastern Europe. The Allied armies had reached the Western boundary of Germany, with the free French fighting their way East to the Rhine. Athens was liberated; Rommel was dead. However, Carter was now hedging his bets a bit. In referring to the Aries Ingress 1945, he said:
“At Tokio Pluto is on the nadir, depicting defeat. But I look to 1946, so far as one can judge from the Mikado's geniture and epoch, for the total Japanese collapse.
“Unhappily, this ingress is evil for the United States. Neptune is just below the ascendant, in quadriture to Saturn just past the midheaven. This formation seems to point to very difficult times indeed. In a sense, this agrees with our belief that the European war will end under or even before the time of, this ingress.”3
Carter was off by quite a margin on Japan, and his V-E prediction was vague. This ingress, or before? His negativity about the US suggests before, so the “during” part (which turned out to be right) seemed more like hedging. Actually, the negativity was a good call, because that period represented the death of President Franklin Roosevelt. He correctly noted that the lunation for April in Berlin looked bad for the Germans, and commented about whether the capital would even stay there, presumably because of the extent of Allied penetration into Germany. He then noted that the April and May lunations did not look good for London, and that May looked bad for Washington. Accordingly, he missed entirely V-E (Victory in Europe) Day May 8th, barely a week after Hitler had committed suicide.
Why did he miss it? There's one chart he never referred to throughout his long years of these prognostications: the Aries Ingress for 1939, the year it all began. If we add that chart to the Aries Ingress charts for 1945 that Carter discussed, we can see something about why this particular ingress was so important.
For that fateful Aries Ingress in Berlin in 1939, Saturn in Aries culminated. As I mentioned, the malefics in the signs of their Detriments and Falls are extremely strong when it comes to combat and destruction. Saturn's Fall is Mars' ruling sign, just as Mars' Detriment in Libra is Saturn's Exaltation. So this is an extremely belligerent Saturn in Aries – poised to do damage. But it isn't quite time yet: Pluto is at 29 Cancer, just on the brink of changing signs, and Mars is happy in its Exaltation. However, the partile square of Mars and the Sun really sets up the very dangerous pattern that is already ready to leap out of this chart. This Aries Ingress is just a few hours after a New Moon, with the Moon still combust. The focus of the 9th house is on foreign affairs, and the tone is martial.
But there is a warning in this chart. Saturn rules the enemy: the 7th house. That Saturn ruling the enemy is stronger than the Sun: they are matched by points (+4 for the Sun in Exaltation; -4 for the Sun in Fall; the points represent the strength, and they are equally strong, if in opposite directions). But Saturn is a superior, and it is culminating, the angularity making it much stronger than the Sun. Thus, the chart says that if Germany initiates a war during this period, then they will lose. And Germany did, because the fixed sign rising means that this Aries Ingress was the only one needed to interpret the year.
Let's compare the Aries Ingress for 1945 to 1939. First, when we compare the positions for Berlin and for London in 1945, we see the focus of activity is Berlin. London had Jupiter conjunct the MC: the Greater Benefic, but in questionable condition, being in Detriment and retrograde. So it's good, BUT... In Berlin, The Sun-Neptune opposition is very close to the MC/IC axis, with Uranus at the Descendant. But it is when we compare to 1939 that we really see how much more significant this highly angular chart is. 1945 Saturn has come almost to the square of 1939 Moon. In 1945, Moon is in an approaching conjunction to Saturn. This conjunction is occurring very close to the 8th house cusp – death. Jupiter is almost exactly opposite its 1939 position; and 1945 Mercury is within a degree of 1939 Mercury. These kind of resonance patterns are very important in the study of returns – a topic I discussed at length in Classical Solar Returns, although Ramesey applied the same ideas with mundane returns.1 Resonances of same signs or opposite signs bring the relationships together and emphasize the importance of the year.
In Carter's retrospective analysis of VE Day, he mentioned that the chart he was using for Germany had Saturn at 4 Capricorn. We see this degree important in both the 1939 and 1945 charts, so it does seem odd that his interpretation in advance was not a bit more firm. In his next installment of predictions, he correctly spotted the danger to Churchill's position as Prime Minister right after the conclusion of the War because of the solar eclipse of July 9th, which he also noted adversely affected the Japanese emperor. This was the final installment of the “Month to Month” mundane predictions that had evolved during the war.
It goes without saying that it is much more difficult to work in real time as Carter did, than to explain the outcome after the fact. But I have already mentioned the 19th century astrologer Luke Broughton. Broughton published a monthly magazine during the American Civil War in which he made monthly wartime predictions using the cardinal ingresses, eclipses, and lunations.
Given the methodology, there is much in common between Broughton's and Carter's methods. But there is also a considerable difference: Broughton used classical methods fairly strictly, whereas Carter did not use them at all.
When I discovered Broughton's work on the Civil War some fifteen years ago, rather than publishing a detailed discussion such as this, I saved the example to be used by my mundane students. There is nothing like comparing predictions to actual results to develop an appreciation for the techniques that produce, and those that don't. Broughton did work with the charts of the generals of both sides of the War, but generally, he had only birth dates, not birth times. So mostly, he stuck to the usual mundane charts. His accuracy seemed to be somewhat better than Carter's, but we must admit that the complexity of alliances and a much larger global theater had to make Carter's job more difficult.
In an editorial in 1945, Carter said:
“Most astrologers probably possess Zadkiel's Grammar, published in 1910 by G. Bell & Sons together with Lilly's Introduction;...”2
This simple statement reminds us of something amazingly important. While modern students of Lilly reject that particular version as an unfortunate abridgment, Carter's reference to its ubiquity reminds us that through the 1940's, just about every serious student of astrology in Britain if not other English-speaking countries had a decent, if not wonderful, introduction to classical methods sitting right on their bookshelves. The obvious question is, why didn't these people pay more attention to what they had?
We have seen repeatedly how adding back some classical method through house rulerships and dignity added to the accuracy of the interpretation. So why didn't they see it? Earlier, we saw that Carter referred to Ramesey's rules of elections, which means that he had access to Ramesey's work on mundane in the very same volume. Carter showed evidence that he indeed knew this material: for example, his reference to the cardinal sign rising for the Aries Ingress 1945 in Washington DC denoting a duration for the effects of only one quarter.3 Here was even more detail about mundane methods that Carter again ignored. Why?
I can only conclude that Carter and his contemporaries were so seduced by Sepharial's re-packaging of mundane astrology that they didn't critically examine which pieces of their system were working, and which weren't. Again, thinking of the prospect of doing all these hand calculations, not to mention attempting to follow so many charts manually itself provided an almost insurmountable task.
However, if the lesson that Carter Et Al “learned” from the war was that the old method didn't work, then they learned the wrong lessons. In one sense, we could almost say that the real “old methods” hadn't been tried!
1Lehman, J. Lee. Classical Solar Returns. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Press, 2012.
3Vol. 19(1):6. The reference in Ramesey is: Ramesey, William. Astrologia Restaurata, or, Astrologie Restored Being an Introduction to the General and Chief Part of the Language of the Stars : In 4 Books ... : With a Table of the Most Material Things Therein Contained. London: Printed for Robert, 1654, p. 215.
1See, for example: Partridge, John. Mikropanastron, or, an Astrological Vade Mecum Briefly Teaching the Whole Art of Astrology, Viz. Questions, Nativities, with All Its Parts, and the Whole Doctrine of Elections, Never So Comprised, nor Compiled before, So That the Young Student May Learn as Much Here as in the Great Volumes of Guido, Haly or Origanus. microform. Printed for William Bromwich ... London, 1679, p. 42.
2Vol. 18(3): 67.
3Vol. 18(4): 89.
1Gardner, Estelle. National Astrology. Astrological Quarterly, Vol 13, No 1, 1939, pp 3-8.
2Carter, C.E.O. Editorial. Astrological Quarterly, Vol 13, No 2, pp 45-47.
3Carter, C.E.O. Editorial. Astrological Quarterly, Vol 13, No 3, p 89.
4Vol. 18(1): 8.
5Vol 18(2): 37 (written May 14, 1944).
2Curry, P. (1992). A confusion of prophets : Victorian and Edwardian astrology. London, Collins & Brown, Chapter 5.
3Leo, A. (1907). Horary Astrology. London, Fowler.
5An absolutely critical discussion of this is found in Mark Pottenger's article, “Accuracy of Astrological Calculation,” pp. 159-176 in Pottenger, Mark, Editor. Astrological Research Methods Volume I: An Isar Anthology (Vol. I). . Los Angeles: International Society for Astrological Research, 1995.
6 Sepharial. Transits and Planetary Periods; a Book of Practical Hints to Students of Astrology. New York,: S. Weiser, 1970, pp 70-81.
7Astrological Quarterly, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp 4-11.
8 Astrological Quarterly, Vol. 1, No. 3., pp 29-33..
9 Baigent, Michael, Nicholas Campion, and Charles Harvey. Mundane Astrology. An Aquarian Astrology Handbook. Wellingborough, Northamptonshire: Aquarian Press, 1984. The chapter referred to is pp 95-111.