Anonymous English Artist, John Dee, c. 1594. Wellcome Library; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

According to the source given at Astrotheme, John Dee was born in London [Tower Ward] England 13 Jul 1527 4:02:00 PM. He died December 1608, Mortlake, Surrey [now in Richmond upon Thames.   Several years ago I published a brief article on the Nativity of John Dee. At that time, I questioned the accuracy of the chart using house systems other than Whole Sign in particular. I had not yet developed my current interest in sidereal astrology, but even then I sensed problems with the most widely circulated chart. More recently, I had cause to reconsider the nativity in light of my current interest in Persian astrology and the Sassanian Ayanamsa. There were particularly strong cues that motivated my investigation As is the case on the vast majority of popular astrological sites on the web, the chart is presented employing the tropical zodiac and Placidus houses. Here I’m using Whole Signs for both the tropical and sidereal chart.

John Dee 13 Jul 1527 AD JC 4:02:00 PM London, England 0w10’00 51n30 00 LMT +00:00:40

I note that Jupiter and  Mercury are posited in the house of open enemies, the MC is disposited by Venus in her Fall and there is no support from the Eleventh House. We have a man who had eight children, but his Fifth House is in an infertile house and home to Saturn, disposited by a barren Venus in her Fall. The Sun in the Eighth may be interpreted as supporting that he was a spy with powerful occult interests, but much of the chart doesn’t describe what we know to be the case regarding Dee. Mars conjunct the Fixed Star Antares loses something essential in the Tropical chart by being projected onto the constellation Sagittarius, when in fact the star is the Heart of the Scorpion, We would expect a strong Mercurial element not shown in the tropical chart. Mars in Scorpio rather than the tropical Sagittarius is also a better fit in my view. Given these rather obvious differences, it surprises me that this chart has not been explored more than it has. particularly with respect to the powerful Mercurial energy and all that this implies. In short, the tropical chart appears to miss the mark. The writer at Seven Stars Astrology rightly states: “The zodiac choice is particularly complex in the context of Hellenistic astrology. The zodiac was borrowed from the Babylonians but new Hellenistic doctrines, including sign associations, arose at a time when sidereal and tropical zodiacs nearly coincided. Sign qualities in the Hellenistic period pertained to the seasonal calendar as well as the images of the constellations. Furthermore, some Hellenistic astrologers, ignorant of precession, including Thrasyllus and Vettius Valens, used the Babylonian zodiac, sometimes even into the 4th century CE. Meanwhile, Claudius Ptolemy of the  [3rd century] CE, cognizant of precession, set the stage for the widespread adoption of the tropical zodiac.” In the sidereal chart, I’m struck by the refined nature of Mars and the position of Mercury as Doryphory with Sirius in the stealthy and occult-oriented eighth house. To the best of my knowledge, this Nativity has not been read using a sidereal zodiac. The Sun remains in Cancer but is now in the ninth house, as would be expected of someone who travelled widely in the pursuit of philosophical knowledge.  Notably, Dee was perhaps the foremost expert on marine navigation of his time. and is justly credited with being influential in England’s developing naval prominence, most famously regarding his alleged role in the defeat of the Spanish Armada, but in a larger sense the firm idea of an Empire based on naval dominance. Mars is not only the Lord of the Geniture but also the chart Almuten. Given these rather obvious differences, it surprises me that this chart has not been explored more than it has. particularly with respect to the powerful Mercurial energy and all that this implies. Mars is not only the Lord of the Geniture but also the chart Almuten. The Hour belongs to Mars, the Day to Saturn.  This is a Diurnal, Full Moon chart, with the Luni-Solar elements on the 3/9 axis. The Moon is in the House of the Goddess and the Sun in the House of the Sun God. Luna is in the Decan of Mars and the Bounds of Venus. The Sun is in the Decan and Bounds of Mercury. Mars has the greatest Essential Dignity in the chart and Venus has the highest Accidental dignity.

John Dee Performing an Experiment before Elizabeth I – Henry Gillard Glindoni (1852-1913), -Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Some elements of the chart are almost absurdly literal. In the 9th House, the Sun is informing and influencing the Queen – Venus in Leo in the 10th. Dee’s Mars in Scorpio conjunct Antares is applying to the Sun. Mercurial Virgo is on the MC. Mercury has by far the greatest count of dignities. If we add Essential and Accidental dignities, we have a total of 17 points. Mercury is Free of the Beams and Occidental. Moreover, this theme repeats with Jupiter and Mercury now in Gemini in the 8th House of the occult, speaking of deep research and a fascination with magic. Dee’s now well-known writings on Angel Magic were appropriately concealed. In his introduction to John Dee’s Five Books of Mystery, Joseph S, Person writes: “The secret writings of John Dee, one of the leading scientists and occultists in Elizabethan England, record in minute detail his researches into the occult. They were discovered in a hidden compartment of an old chest along with various magical implements. Although the angels made him swear never to reveal these doctrines to anyone not sanctioned by them, he complained, “If no man, by no means, shall perceive anything hereof by me, I would think that I should not do well.” Nevertheless, these pages were carefully concealed and nearly lost forever.” Their recovery was in no small part due to Elias Ashmole’s interest in the occult in general and John Dee in particular.

Portrait of Elias Ashmole by John Riley, c. 1683

“Records indicate that Elias Ashmole had taken an interest in John Dee by the late 1640s. During this time, Ashmole contacted Dee’s son, Arthur, and asked if he could provide Ashmole with more information about his father. Arthur Dee responded by providing him with biographical information about his father and by giving Ashmole John Dee’s diaries. Although Ashmole collected the manuscripts of numerous scholars, he maintained a particular interest in Dr. John Dee. In addition to Dee’s works on alchemy and astrology, Ashmole collected his manuscripts on the study of mathematics and his records of English weather during the Tudor era. During the late 17th century, Ashmole was given more of John Dee’s manuscripts by Thomas Wale, who discovered them while his domestic servant was using the documents to line pie dishes.” See article in the Ashmolean collection. Some will baulk at this exercise; however, a sidereal reading of Dee’s nativity yields a wealth of information that accords with what we know about John Dee not available in the tropical chart. I would only ask that you exercise a “willing suspension of disbelief” long enough to assess what has been uncovered.

Autumnal Equinox 2020

George Mason – The Harvest Moon Exhibited 1872. Tate Gallery

The Autumnal Equinox is one of the four Ingress charts at the core of Mundane astrological consideration. Using the Tropical zodiac, they line up to the four Cardinal points that mark the beginning of each season. The Autumn begins in the element of Air.

At this time, the night and day are of equal length in the Northern hemisphere, with the nights beginning to grow longer until they reach the Winter Solstice, the longest night of the year.

Traditionally in the Celtic world, this is the beginning of the ascendancy of the Holly King and the temporary displacement of the Oak King. Today, the association with the Autumnal Equinox has been largely forgotten, but not the association of the Holly King as he revels at the Winter Solstice. The division of the year in this manner is ancient, finding precedence in the Sumerian record.

Wheel of the Year

The theme of balance, reflected in the equal night and day force presage the better-known Feast of Samhain – the Pagan New Year and the time when the veil between the worlds is said to be at its thinnest. The Autumnal Equinox is also known as Mabon: the celebration of the second of three harvests, preceded by Lammas/Lughnasadh and followed by Samhain. The cycles of this quarter are devoted to harvest and remind us that what we reap is what has been sown. This is the beginning of the time for turning inwards and evaluating on balance what matters most when all is said and done. It is also about fairness in the distribution of the harvest – literally and figuratively.

Autumnal Equinox GMT

This chart as all others leading up to the Great Conjunction is of particular interest insofar as it is part of the greater cycle. Mars is extraordinarily active in this chart, in his own domicile, but retrograde. He is the Lord of the Hour, Day and in the Decan of Venus and the Term of Saturn. Jupiter is the Almuten, Falling in Capricorn. Yet Mercury in Libra is the Lord of the Ingress. Think of him as a Venusian emissary!

There is a strong reception between Venus in Leo and the Sun in Libra placing Mercury in an admirable position to act on behalf of Venusian interests. At the same time, Libra is the Fall of the Sun and the Exaltation of Saturn. Mercury is a friend os Saturn and in a fine position as mediator. Although the chart is strongly choleric, the element of Air is also strong and this places it in an agreeable relationship to the upcoming Great Conjunction in Aquarius. If cooler heads prevail, the outcome could be a positive, innovative and creative one.

However, the potential for more antagonism and chaos will need to be tempered and ultimately overcome. I believe we should all be mindful of how we react to the often overwhelming conditions as we enter the last quarter of 2020. Better to light a candle than curse the darkness.

Moon in 20th Lunar Mansion

The Moon is in the 20th Lunar Mansion is with Antares, the Heart of the Scorpion and Watcher of the West. This reminds us that the stellar constellation is in fact Scorpio. She is in the Term of Jupiter and the Decan of Luna. This powerful presence on the Ascendant sets the tone for the chart as calculated for Greenwich.  The fallen Jupiter is the Lord if the Ascendant in the Decan of Mars but the Term of Venus. It is a demanding chart and one that brings the call for justice and balance in an otherwise very hostile field. This Mansion is intense, but not without promise.

This Mansion starts from 04 SG 17′ 09″ and ends at 17 SG 08′ 34″ The Arabic name is Al Na’am and considering Antares, the Angel is Uriel. According to Ibn ‘Arabi (1200 AD) the meaning: is The Ostriches. Attribution: Water and the Divine Attribute is The Life-Giver.

I leave you with this gorgeous image of “October” from Très Riches Heures du Berry’, illustrating the season of the second harvest and the simultaneous preparing of the soil for a harvest to come.

October – From Très Riches Heures du Berry’ 1416. Tilling of land and sowing seed in front of the Joli Louvre –originally a fortress it became a royal residence under Charles V.


Antares – Watcher of the West

he Temptation of Adam and Eve. 1430s. Harley 2278 f. 1v

Until I started to write this article, I had no idea that there was so much confusion regarding the Watchers and their associations. I read some pieces that were truly bizarre. The situation therefore indicates the need for an introduction regarding the historical origins and essential meaning of the four Royal Star of Persia. Such an introduction is long overdue in any case and will assist in reference to other articles.

These stars are clearly of particular significance and importance Thier significance is cross-cultural, but the most complete explanation is found n Persian sources and it’s entirely possible that the narratives in The Tanakh also owe their Persian origins as demonstrated in The Book of Enoch, Daniel, Isaiah, Ezekiel and other books; 

This means that the Book of the Watchers was almost certainly heavily informed by the Persians. The Jews drew heavily on Persian tradition and their knowledge of the heavens. A copy of the complete Book of Enoch can be found here.  

Horoscope from ‘The book of birth of Iskandar (Persia 1411) Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome

Some background history will assist in showing the context and transmission of these Persian, Zoroastrian idea to 3rd century B.C. Jewry. Cyrus the Great – reigned from 550 to 530 B.C.conquered Babylon on October 11, 539 B.C. and set Darius the Mede as “vassal” over Babylon. It was Cyrus the Great that formed the Achaemenid Empire (Persian Empire) as the successor to the Babylonians.

Cyrus is mentioned 23 times in the Bible and is called “the Lord’s anointed” (Isaiah 45:1) and the “My shepherd” (Isaiah 44:27-28). 150 years prior to Cyrus’ birth, Isaiah foretold his birth, his name, and the tasks that God determined Cyrus to accomplish. Only a very few biblical commentators believe that Cyrus was Esther’s husband. The Cyrus Cylinder was discovered in 1879 and describes the conquest of Babylon and Cyrus’ desire to repatriate to their homelands those who had been exiled. This included the Jewish people held captive in Babylon. The Persian Empire is often called the Achaemenid Empire in honour of a man named Achaemenes, who is considered the patriarch of the Persians, and whose very name means “having a friend’s mind.” See The Persians and the Achaemenid Empire 

Archangel Uriel, Orthodox Icon

Antares The West is associated with the Autumnal Equinox (Watcher of the West) and is also imbued with the symbolism of the setting Sun and the realms beyond the Western horizon. The Western Isles have great symbolic currency in many traditions, including the Druidic-Celtic culture and in fact most Aryan mythology. Scorpius is a very bright constellation and Antares (Satevis) glows orange and bright in the heart of the Scorpion. If you have reasonably clear skies and don’t live in a major city, it’s easy to spot.

Students of The Bible will recall that the Garden of Eden is guarded by an angel to prevent Adam and Eve returning to Paradise: “So he drove out the man; and he placed at the East of the Garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life”. (Gen.3:24).  The Angel guarding the entrance to paradise is understood to be Uriel. Innocence cannot be regained, so another way must be found. This is very close to what William Blake means by “Innocence and Experience.” The sword is a virtually universal symbol of truth – one has to cut through illusions. In this respect, Uriel has much in common with Manjushri, who also wields a flaming sword.

Uriel comes from the Hebrew name אוּרִיאֵל (‘Uri’el) which meant “God is my light”. He is mentioned only in the Apocrypha, for example in the Book of Enoch where he warns Noah of the coming flood. For an extensive list of Uriel’s associations, see here.

The Four Directions are associated with the Fixed Astrological Signs: and stars -Aquarius (Fomalhaut), Taurus (Aldebaran), Leo (Regulus) and Scorpio (Antares). I have found a number of articles on the web that place Raphael with Antares.as the healer, The rationale seems rather weakly connected to Orphiacus. However, the imagery of the Heart of a Scorpion speaks less of healing in the

Manjushri (Jampel Yang)

Manjushri is the embodiment of the wisdom that cuts through illusion to realize enlightenment

ordinary sense and more to do with ‘only by the fire may you be purified.” Uriel is not only the Angel with the flaming sword. He is always shown with a flame that denotes both light and heat. The courage to travel to the Western Isles ultimately becomes an inevitability. Conquering the fear of death is a lesson for the warrior. These are quintessentially Scorpio themes