Astrobabble, bad and good

copyright 2013() Freeman Presson, all rights reserved

My favorite piece of egregious astrobabble, of course, is from Hair:

When the moon is in the Seventh House,
And Jupiter aligns with Mars;
Then peace will guide the planets,
And love will steer the stars.

This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius …

Because, of course, the Moon passes through the seventh house daily, and if you don’t say which aspect you mean by “aligns with,” then Mars (being the faster planet) will align with Jupiter around one day in ten (educated guess, all details not worked out, depends on orbs, etc.). The age of Aquarius is about 130 years from now (depending on just how you define it), and there are reasons to think it isn’t going to be very pretty, either; the rulership will pass from Jupiter to Saturn, after all.

I just hit another one. After all these years, I am finally reading Lammas Night by Katherine Kurtz. So far, so good: I already knew she was a top-flight story-teller, and one who usually doesn’t fumble the occult matters. However, on p. 57 of the Ballantine paperback edition (I have the 10th printing), we find Graham talking horoscopes with Prince William. First, he says that the Prince and his twin were born at “around” 3:00 am, on 1905-07-12. A bit later, he says that the subtle differences between William’s and John’s aspects based on less than an hour’s difference are interesting. OK, sometimes they are (more because houses may shift than anything else); but a little further down, we have “Both your Sun and your ascendant are in the same degree of Cancer…” At that latitude, the Sun rises early near the Solstice, but it would have been 3:52 before the Sun and the ascendant were in the same degree (which is an astro-nerdy way of saying “sunrise”).

It’s not as awful as I was thinking when I started writing this; I’m glad I checked. I still don’t get why make it almost right.

Historically, there was a Prince John born that day at the Royal Family’s estate at Sandringham, and, as mentioned, Prince John did die young (in 1919); but in reality, he had no twin. This is a neat way for Kurtz to bring in a Royal without historical contradictions or Windsor ire.

Here’s the wrecktified horoscope:
19050712-princejohn One very cool thing about this particular chart is that a mid-Cancer ascendant is close to that of the Thema Mundi.

As I read, I will see how true “William” is to this borrowed horoscope. He’s already showed tendencies consistent with having his Mars and Moon in Scorpio and the 5th house.

I don’t know if I have seen anyone do this with a fictional character before. Should be interesting. Wonder what she made of his Mercury in a different sign and house from Sol, but squared by Mars? Or the empty 4th and 10th houses, consistent with the short and private life of the real Prince? Hmmm… or that pesky Saturn in the 9th house, which I share? How many religions and philosophies have I set up and torn down now?

Prince William does meet a 9th-house Saturn issue early on, as the main matter of the book forces him to expand his spiritual views quickly.

But then, on p. 115, there’s another conversation about the chart, between Graham and Lord Selwyn, and this one contains what I think is a typo, kind of. The Midheaven in Pisces is treated like a planet: “We also both have angular Suns in water signs, and we both have Pisces in the midheaven, less than two degrees apart, with our Suns strongly aspecting it.” Well, one would normally say the midheaven was in Pisces, not the other way around, and one should take note of similar midheaven points in a synastry (which in this case, with identical ascendants at similar latitudes, implies births at the same season of the year; yet he does not say they are the same Sun sign, but the same triplicity. I don’t think that’s actually possible: I think they are both Cancers). Also, since it’s July, the midheaven is more than 90o from the ascendant, so the Sun in the given chart does trine the midheaven. I suppose I could do a bit of ephemeris-dialing to make sure there wasn’t some way for Graham to have his Sun in Scorpio, but it also looks like the horse I was flogging has expired. It’s astro-babble, but better than the usual; it almost makes sense.

There’s no planet there to serve the same purpose: Saturn is too far West of midheaven, so I think the author just started to say one thing, wrote more about something else, and never went back to make it make sense.

[I am now on page 295 out of 438, and the suspense is killing me, so excuse me while I read myself to sleep!]
I finished the book about five days ago. Just to be clear, I think it’s a crafty page-turner that every magician would want to read. It makes me more interested than ever to look into The Magical Battle of Britain for some of the real background. I did not find anything else to nit-pick on.

Of course, you have to suspend disbelief on the whole Fraser-Murray-Graves sacrificial king mythos, as well as the strong version of the Witch Cult hypothesis, in order to let this book work its magic. Well, is that so hard, really? It’s a great mythos, it doesn’t have to line up with history. If you insist on that, the Archons are going to bite your head off and make you reincarnate without it. Or perhaps it’s a vital organ they’ll take …

This book was so good, I almost picked up The Adept and started reading that series again.

But, back to “not reading fiction” for a while. Until the next exception.


About freemanpresson

Healer, Celto-Cherokee Pagan, Priest, Frater of the Church of the Hermetic Sciences, sometime writer, astrologer.
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1 Response to Astrobabble, bad and good

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