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.

John Dee – Arch-Conjuror

John Dee

John Dee

John Dee (1527 – 1608) was a British alchemist, geographer, mathematician, navigator, astrologer and a double-agent for Queen Elizabeth I . He was a precocious child, educated in mathematics, philosophy and the occult. He also enjoyed the patronage of Sir Philip Sydney and Lord Dudley. He was an associate of Sir Francis Bacon, who may also have played the role of spy on occasion.

Elizabeth used an insignia  for private communiques between her Court and John Dee. It was the first occasion of 007 being associated with British spies. 007The 007 was the insignia number that Elizabeth was to use for private communiques between her Court and Dee.

He studied at Cambridge and on the European mainland, where he traveled widely. He brought back many astrological instruments and gained the reputation of a sorcerer. Dee studied astrology with the celebrated Jerome Cardan from 1552.  His combined skills allowed him to give sound advice to those seeking routes to the New World and the Far East.

He helped write the first English edition of Euclid. He was student of the Neo Platonic philosophy of Marsilio Ficino and drew no distinction between mathematics, geometry and  his investigations of the Hermetic Philosophy and Angel Magick..

John Dee - The Great Siglium

John Dee – The Great Siglium

He spent almost half his life attempting to commune with angels, to learn the universal language of creation, in the hope that he might bring about the pre-apocalyptic unity of humanity. He amassed one of the largest libraries in England. His occult work, mostly published, has had an enormous influence on the Western Magical Tradition.

Dee married three times and was the father of eight children. He is best know today as the astrologer and long-term advisor to Elizabeth I about almost anything to do with statecraft. Dee died in late 1608 or early 1609, Mortlake, England.

John Dee - Magical Equipment

John Dee – Magical Equipment

Here is Dee’s chart using Porphyry houses: for July 13, 1527, 4:02 PM in: Mortlake (London) – United Kingdom.johndeechart

This gives us a chart for the Day of Saturn and Hour of Mars

The first thing to notice is that it’s 1° from a Full Moon on the Cancer – Capricorn Axis, but the Moon has already left Capricorn for Aquarius. From an astrological point of view we can’t treat this as any Full Moon because the signs are not in Opposition. Technically we call this  Waxing Gibbous, perfecting in it’s last degree. This contributes to a strong will and deep sense of purpose

Using Porphyry houses,  Pisces and Virgo are Intercepted. This could be misleading because Venus deposited by Mercury is in Cancer and in her Fall in Virgo in the Ninth House. The Ninth House is disposited by the Sun.NPG 520,Francis Bacon, Viscount St Alban,by; after John Vanderbank; Unknown artist

The Almuten is a tie between Jupiter and Saturn, but I’m taking  Jupiter to hold that position in this case.. Mars is the Lord of the Geniture due to an abundance of Accidental Dignity.

Mercury in Cancer is free from the Beams and Direct. He is with an Exalted Jupiter, Lord of the Ascendant. Jupiter is unafflicted and conjunct the very powerful Fixed Star, Canopus, the Celestial Navigator. Canopus is of the Nature of Saturn and Jupiter and perfect for those involved in the Celestial Arts and Sciences.

The Ascendant at 3°57 Sagittarius is Conjunct Antares, one of the four Royal Stars of Persia. This is also a very powerful star of the Nature of Mars and Jupiter. Unfortunately, Mars is in his domicile, but in the twelfth House of hidden enemies.  In fact his enemies are stronger that he is. ws

This is where the chart starts

to fall apart. Jupiter and  Mercury are 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 know he was highly considered and taken care of very well by the Queen and Court, but this charts doesn’t show that. 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 can certainly be interpreted as a  spy with  powerful occult interests, but much of the chart doesn’t describe what we know about Dee.

Sir Philip Sydney

Sir Philip Sydney

If we look at the chart using Whole Signs, many things become a lot clearer. The Eighth House now have Sun, Jupiter and Mercury. Considering the House is Disposited by the Moon in Saturnine Aquarius and Jupiter with Canopus, this looks a lot more like te chart of an alchemist and occultist. It is also ideal for a spy.

The previous open enemies of the Seventh House are replaced with the Par Fortuna. We still have a dignified Mars in the House of hidden enemies. He is in the Arabic Lunar Mansion of The Sting, as well as the Ascendant.

John Dee’s “Angelorum Bonorum” of Enochian angel names

John Dee’s “Angelorum Bonorum” of Enochian angel names

Saturn however moved from the Fifth to the Sixth House. This tips the balance on the subject of Children. The House is still Dispoisted by Mars but with Saturn and his Dispositor out of the picture this is much more conducive. The Sun of Course is applying to a Trine with the Ascendent, but as with the Lunar – Solar Axis, the aspect is out of Sign. The Trine is actually separating from Mars, which bodes well. Mercury is applying. The Almuten is now slightly weighted towards Saturn. To me it’s a better fit for what we know about John Dee..UnknownChild1

Finally we consider the planetary Parts as set out by Al Biruni. the Part of Venus sits just inside the Cusp of the First. Mercury is another six degrees into the House. The Ascendant is very strong and well disposed. With no major contradictions to this in the chart, we would expect a long and fairly healthy life. It gives a commanding presence.

Regarding support for the Eleventh House, perhaps we can can consider it’s Dispositor, Venus in Virgo as the Virgin Queen. This is the same in both charts.

The reader can decide for themselves which system yields the most accurate results. I prefer the Whole Sign because irt explains three very important issues in the chart – the degree and extent of occult interest and talent, to some extent his status as spy and the fact that he had eight children. I don’t see the4se in the first chart. I’m always happy to hear connstructive feedback.

Coronation of Elizabeth I


We know the Election for the Coronation was calculated by Dr John Dee. Elizabeth’s personal astrologer, mathematician, navigator and magician. However, to the best of my current knowledge, the timing has been passed in good faith and no contemporary written document to this effect is extant. Most troublesome is when the information was first passed on. Although we should be quite safe in assuming it’s using the Julian calendar, there is the lurking possibility that the date was passed on after the Gregorian calendar was adopted. With these things in mind, I would like to read and compare both possible charts.

If nothing else this provides a good study of Electional astrology at work. I’m often surprised how many people view their life without contemplating alternatives if they are possible, favourable or disastrous.  This is the difference between a strong election with fair results and another that actually makes things worse. Personally, I see both charts as candidates. Although tradition would favour the Julian date, I do not claim that either is the definitive charts. Even Frawley gives no source for the time he uses for the Coronation chart.

Elizabeth was vulnerable at a particularly dangerous point in English history. Her legitimacy was questioned on all fronts and being a woman made it worse

The enmity between Scotland and England and Roman Catholic vs Protestant were events that could tear the realm apart

John Dee Demonstrating an Experiment at Court - Artist Unknown

John Dee Demonstrating an Experiment at Court – Artist Unknown

It’s a marvel that she survived at all But she was to be the greatest Queen, if not the greatest Monarch England has known.

The portrait at the top of the page is of Elizabeth in her prime. The painting is known as the Armada portrait.

I have little doubt that John Dee played a role in the annihilation of the Armada.  Beyond being the Queen’s astrologer he is said to have used a powerful magical curse against Her Majesty’s adversaries.


Coronation Chart 1

The perfect Election exists only in the mind of God. I’m frequently asked to do an Election for all manner of events. Often I’m asked to do so with precious little notice.

The task then becomes not necessarily to find an ideal chart but one with the least problems. I do not know how much notice was given to  John Dee, but I suspect it wasn’t much. Nevertheless, it’s a fine piece of work.

The chart date and time given is 15 January 1559 AD  at 12.00 Greenwich, using the Porphyry House system. That is the first chart. The second is adjusted to ten minutes later and showing Al Biruni’s planetary parts We are told it was around noon, so we have room for a little manoeuvring, but not very much.

First of all we have a chart for a few minutes after high noon, with Sun and Jupiter in The Tenth house, disposited by Saturn Rx in the Twelfth House, in his own Joy. The Hour is Jupiter The Day is the Moon. The Sun is with the fixed star Altair and in partile  Trine to the Ascendant.

Adjusted to 12.10

Adjusted to 12.10

The Tenth House is the place of high office, preferment, standing, command and honour. Primarily the Sun but also Jupiter are royal in this context.

We have Mercury and Venus in Capricorn in the Ninth House as well. The Saturn signature is pervasive. The Eleventh House informs or influences the Tenth. Venus in Capricorn is cool and with the Fixed Star Vega but also suggests a favourable relationship between Religion and Finances.

The Moon is separating from a Sextile to Jupiter and will then Trine the same when she passes into Libra. I’m not happy about the Moon in the Eighth, but having both Malefics in their Joy in the Twelfth and Sixth House is always a good idea.. Mars in the Sixth is said to be like a tiger in a cage.

It might seem detrimental having Saturn disposit Jupiter, Sun, Mercury and Venus, particularly considering his condition. First of all, the old Devil is doing the best and transferring his light to Mars. This I believe neutralizes the Saturn and Mars opposition. Elizabeth’s hidden enemies are thus significantly weakened. I don’t know what Dee had in in mind, but I strongly suspect he would have interpreted the Scorpionic Mars in the House of Servants as a strong and  loyal military.

A phoenix is a mythological bird which never dies but, after 500 years, is consumed by fire and born again, making it a symbol of the Resurrection, endurance and eternal life. Only one phoenix lives at a time, so it was also used to symbolize Elizabeth's uniqueness and longevity.

A phoenix is a mythological bird which never dies but, after 500 years, is consumed by fire and born again, making it a symbol of the Resurrection, endurance and eternal life. Only one phoenix lives at a time, so it was also used to symbolize Elizabeth’s uniqueness and longevity.

The Part of Fortune is in the Fourth House and parallel to Fixed Star Aldebaran. I’m not sure if Dee planned this or not because there is more than one way of reading Aldebaran. It is often referred to as the Eye of God It is also associated with blindness.

If he had reversed the calculation from the one above, the Pars Fortuna would then be found in the Eleventh House and that is a great blessing  The House is known as that of the Good Spirit and speaks of influential friends and alliances. It’s at the degree of the twelfth cusp but hasn’t crossed the threshold. Things like this make us realize how tricky it can be to construct an Election with a small window of time to work with.

The Almuten of the Chart is fortuitously the Sun according to rules set down by Ibn Ezra. He is in Sect. Venus in the House of God and Religion has the highest score for Essential Dignities

After all, Elizabeth is not only to be the Queen but the head of the Church of England as well.

Elizabeth I in Coronation Robes

Elizabeth I in Coronation Robes

The Lady of the Geniture is the Moon, which I find highly appropriate. She is strong with Procyon, a Fixed Star of high magnitude possessing the nature of Mercury and Mars. The Planetary Parts according to Al Biruni offer another dimension.

The Part of Jupiter is beautifully placed in the Ninth House, lending it more strength and depth. The Parts for both Malefic are in their House of Joy just as are the planets themselves. The Parts of  Mercury and Moon sit well in the Eleventh. But the Part of Venus in Royal Leo in the Fourth Angular house is exquisite.

I received a comment that the chart may be questionable because the ruler of the twelfth is applying to the ruler of the ascendant. I freely admit that isn’t perfect by any means but doesn’t undermine the entire election. Electional astrology is what Frawley refers to as the “art of the possible.”

I do not know if Dee had read Al Biruni, but it would very odd if he didn’t. He was a polyglot, an occultist and well supported by the Queen. I’m sure he could get any book he desired.


Coronation Chart 2

Let’s now look at the chart most frequently quoted, with the same time and date, but using the Julian calendar. This chart has much to commend it, not least the fact that we have Regulus both conjunct and parallel the Pars Fortuna in the fourth.  Regulus is of the Nature of Mars and Jupiter. The Pars is also with the Arabic Part of Abundance in House.  This would help meet the need of a strong foundation.

The chart gives us the Day of the Sun and the Hour of Mars. The first is a blessing, the second is a mystery.  It could be that the time is slightly off by perhaps a minute when the Hour of Jupiter would have ended, but I still see this as a compromise. It’s cutting it too fine. I have looked at the Lunar Mansions and there is nothing particularly auspicious, so I’m guessing Dee didn’t use them.

Saturn is direct in this chart, dispositing Jupiter, the Sun, Venus and Mercury. However, the Saturn – Mars opposition is much stronger. Mars is applying to the opposition and is but one degree from perfection. Nevertheless, they are still restrained by House placement, each in their Joy. This is a trade-off many would be reluctant to make.

Elizabeth's Radix Chart

Elizabeth’s Radix Chart

My remarks on the previous chart regarding a strong and loyal military are still true, although somewhat diluted. Mars is not receiving the light from Saturn.

Saturn is the uncontested Almuten of the chart in the Fixed Earth sign Taurus, dispositing the Fixed Air signs in Aquarius. While this might seem a bit gloomy, it is excellent for stability and longevity of the reign.

The Ninth House is still in very good shape, auguring a favourable and financially harmonious relationship with the Church.

That only leaves the Eleventh House, the House of the Good Spirit. When considering a Monarch, this would be best represented as the court, courtly advisors and others in a supportive role.  Moon in Aries means changeability, volatility and ill will in this position.  She is also in an applying square to Venus.

coronation parade1

Coronation Parade

The transits to Elizabeth’s natal chart at the time of the second Coronation chart are notable. They include Jupiter Sextile Jupiter and Venus Trine her Sun. This speaks strongly for the second chart.

We don’t know how much time Dee at his disposal, it might have been very little. That would have diminished his options. All in all, I tend to favour the first version.