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Articles on Siderealism By Donald Bradley + Gary Duncan

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Joined: 30 Sep 2005
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Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 10:04 pm    Post subject: Articles on Siderealism By Donald Bradley + Gary Duncan Reply with quote

I was sent these two articles by a sidereal member here (Bob Unique Astrology) some time ago. I confess I have been very remiss for not circulating these articles before now.

Bob wanted these articles by Donald Bradley (pseudonym Garth Allan) (1964) and Gary Duncan (1975) to be made available to the sidereal members here at Skyscript. Generally, we dont put out whole articles in the forums however, as this material does not appear to be available anywhere else online I thought it was worth sharing here.

The first piece is by Donald Bradley (1925-1974) argues for the validity of the Fagan-Bradley ayanamsa based on various research. I think the second piece by Gary Duncan (1931-1988) is very interesting. It sketches out more on the history of the western sidereal movement and his neglected role in that story.

Here is the accompanying note which Bob emailed me:

Bob wrote:
Here is an article regarding Ayanamsas by Donald Bradley copied from American Astrology magazine followed by information regarding his collaboration with Gary Duncan and some backround information about Duncan and his work with Bradley. I present these in their entirety as I do not think the material is available anywhere online. and difficult, if not impossible, to find anywhere.

Given Duncan's credentials I don't think disregarding the rainfall material is warranted as I do not believe he and Bradley would have wasted time fudging data to fit their needs and there are the other studies (more than 6,000 baseball players and almost 9,000 U.S. congressmen), done by Duncan, to support the Fagan-Bradley SVP.

Bob (unique-astrology)

Garth Allen, "How to Unvex a Vexed Question!" , American Astrology Magazine, August 1964,

It was bound to happen, sooner or later, that the validity of the Synetic Vernal Point would be challenged by those who owe their allegiance to some other "ayanamsa" for chauvinistic rather than scientific reasons.

The Hindu word 'ayanamsa' is the term applied to the arc of ecliptic longitude that separates, at any given date, the point called "zero degrees Aries" in the tropical zodiac from its counterpart, zero degrees Aries in the sidereal zodiac. Sidereally persuaded astrologers of the western hemisphere, representing the "Fagan school" of conviction, generally use the standard value of 24d02'31.36." for the astronomical beginning o the year 1950. That is to say, at the epoch 1950.0 we assume that the mean sidereal longitude of the vernal equinoctial point was at 5d57'28.64" of the constellation Pisces.

For other dates and times, this value is continuously altered to keep abreast of the precessional shift, in the amount of about 50.26 seconds of arc per year. In addition, this mean or average value is appropriately amended to account for nutational displacements of the actual point. Nutation is a minor oscillation of true figure back and forth over the mean figure.

Astrological practice of scholarly merit demands the use of the true value of the ayanamsa when dealing with zodiacal position in exacting seconds or arc, such as the Sun's longitude. The correctness of the timing of a solar return, or a solar ingress, for instance, depends critically upon a to-the-second determination of solar longitude.

One of the most astonishing statements we have ever read in the astrological press--which press has a penchant for outlandishly illogical material--has the following to say, among other remarkable things:

"One final word of warning to the unwary student. Some astrologers of the West have published tables and values of the Ayanamsa purported to be correct to the hundredth part of a second arc. This is all eyewash and clearly meant for propaganda purposes. Nobody can determine the value to that degree of exactness and even if they could, values tabulated at ten-day intervals, would, for technical reasons, be quite valueless. So the student should not think that because there is a 'show' of precision, the figures are any more precise or reliable than, say, the figures given in other publications."

This excerpt is a paragraph from an article in the symposium series titled "The Vexed question of Ayanamsa" carried in the leading journal of Hindu astrology, its September 1962 issue. Because that same author illustrated his dissertation with solar ingress charts preceding natural disasters, the unwary student has a right to question how in heaven's name those charts were calculated without the use of astronomically dictated precision. Hundredths of second are not necessary, of course, but formula-based computations offer this precision and guarantee a correctly rounded-off value when rounding off is desirable.

Every difference of ten seconds of arc in solar longitude, as of an ayanamsa itself, means a four-minute error in the correct time of a solar ingress. Every four minutes of time change the cusps of a chart by one degree of zodiacal longitude. No wonder, that the "examples" of ingresses used for calamitous events did not bother, in their delineations, with that most central precept of workable astrology--the significance of the Midheaven and Ascendant cusps as point and not broad areas. We begin to see the light upon examining the example delineations, such as the one for the "Aries ingress" preceding the June 15, 1896 earthquake and tsunami that hit Sanriku, Japan.

The key configuration cited was the Neptune-Pluto compunction which lingered within a five-degree orb for fully ten years toward the close of the nineteenth century! "Pluto, planet of quakes and destruction, is conjunct Neptune, planet of water and waves, in the first house." Sounds good, but for some odd reason a published scientific catalogue of the history of seismic waves shows a below average incidence of these events during the decade when the Neptune-Pluto conjunction was in operation. The 8th-house "lord" and a parallel of declination were also mentioned in the analysis, but these are hardly worthy of rebutting comment. We'll also withhold comment on the accompanying Navamsa maps, inasmuch as these are obviously incalculable apart from precisely-timed chart moments and, or course, computation of solar ingresses is an exacting procedure.

But enough of such piecemeal haggling. Let us get to the core of the matter, which is the question of comparative validity of the synetic versus other feasible sidereal "fiducial points."

First off, we legitimately resent the effort to drag the synetic vernal point into a controversy involving the company of these other claimants, for this resounding reason: The SVP is not at all in the same class with these other "determinations." It is of an entirely different species. It owes its existence to the outcome of painstaking and massive scientific research and not to some sorry passage from relic literature preserved on boundary stones or palm leaves or tomb walls.

Even so, it was probably inevitable, in view of the nature of the typical astrological mind, for this fact to be soon forgotten, or else not realized in the first place. Let us nip this thing in the bud right now, before it balloons into an international argument reminiscent of the perennial ferment over house-division systems. The synetic fiducial point was not contrived by whim on the basis of a few score "examples," liberally larded with cultural preconceptions of musty scriptural allusions.

You people who want to go on arguing about different ayanamsas can do so, all you please--but after the facts are faced up to, keep the synetic determination out of your quarrels!

These quarrels are remindful of the endless attempts by Fundamentalist theologians, within the countless denominations of Christendom, to affix beforehand the date of the Second Advent and "the end of the world." Every few years, century after century, some Bible scholar will come forth with another prediction, couched in quotations from ancient scrolls and usually keyed to number mysticism, often with something supplementary of seemingly tangible nature, like a Great Pyramid time scale or some such gimmick. Meanwhile, the world goes on and on, blithely unaware that it should have engulfed itself in flames at least a hundred times, "according to the Book."

Several things, judging from contemporary literature on the subject,characterize the "ayanamsa controversy." Chief among these is ignorance of the subject being dealt with, such as precession. We have not seen thus far, for instance, a correct handling of the annual precession rate, and if so simple a matter as arithmetical calculation of this value (as a rate, not an amount--a big different) for any year is beyond the ability of a thesis-writing astrologer, one can only question his authoritativeness where the subject of precession is concerned. Come to think of it, what else but ineptness could be expected of a mind which gives equal weight of consideration to the statements of sixth-century copyists and twentieth-century astronomers? There is an unbridgeable distance between a conclusion stemming from apotheosis and one arrived at through coldly objective science.

Another thing, in some ways even more surprising, considering the background of the reason why there is an ayanamsa in the first place, is the apparently automatic assumption that there are two "zodiacs" of concurrent validity, after all. At least, there seems no other way to interpret efforts to ascertain the date "when the two zodiacs coincided."

Even worse, from the scientific point of view, are the attempts to link this epoch of coincidence with some mechanistic phenomena, such as synchronizing of "both" Aries ingresses or a unique stellar situation like a star's conjunction with a tropical colure on the celestial sphere. If there had been an eventuality of universal significance marking the transition of "ages," that pivotal event would be quite obvious and of unarguable magnitude.

Recently in the April 1964 issue of SPICA, our esteemed Indian correspondent S. Rajagopala Iyer, commenced a series of commentary articles in which he elicits his reasons for continuing to use the ayanamsa on which Lahiri's Ephemeris is based. This endeavor commands our respect and attention because it represents an earnest, honest effort to ferret out the facts on the basis of observation rather than ethnic favoritism.

Lahiri's value is essentially, though not precisely, the "Spica reckoning" originally adopted by Fagan on the reasonable grounds that it was the best one available at the time. A few years later, after his monumental achievement of solving the age-old enigma of the list of planetary exaltation degrees, Fagan's own findings forced him to switch from considering Spica as the marking star for 0 degrees Libra to its more logical office as defining 29 degrees Virgo. (Would that other "veteran" astrologers had the intellectual integrity to willingly alter their views in accordance with new and better information!)

The synetic vernal point is merely a refinement of the true point for which the bright first-magnitude star Alpha Virginis was the closest practical approximation. Obviously, no single star, no matter how prominent in the sky, could possibly be the sole determinator of the zodiac as a cosmic structure. We all knew that the true point of 29d00'00" Virgo lies very close to the ecliptic longitude of the star Spica. The only known method through which the true value could be pinpointed by "astrological observation" was the concept of solar and lunar ingresses. This fiducial of "Spica plus one degree" for defining 0 degrees Libra was christened the HYPSOMATIC AYANAMSA to distinguish it from the Spica one previously used, which orientally is called the "Chitra ayanamsa," after the star's Hindu name.

Amending the hypsomatic value was simply a matter of narrowing down which minute and second of arc in the neighborhood of the presumed value gave the best results on a statistical basis. It took literally hundreds of historical events, almost all of them geographically localized disasters, to nail down the likeliest value.

At long last it became clear that ingresses calculated for an ayanamsa six minutes and five seconds of arc further along the ecliptic than the hypsomatic figure being used gave the best results in the light of actual cases considered in the aggregate. That is, the Synetic Vernal Point places Spica, at the epoch of 1950.0, in 29d06'05" rather than 29d00'00" of the constellation Virgo.

It is important to keep in mind that any ayanamsa, true of false, could be used for personalized horoscopy on a sidereal basis, without affecting the moments of, say, one's solar and lunar returns, or progressions--so long as astronomically correct precessional rates are made use of in the ayanamsa's computation. But mundane astrological charts require exactitude of the true ayanamsa's value for any date in question. To illustrate, the 0d06'05" correction adopted means a difference of about two and a half hours in the timing of a solar ingress--more than 35 degrees difference in the cusp of a mundane chart. Lunar ingresses of the cardinal constellations, on the other hand, are displaced only three degrees or so by the changeover from the Hypsomatic to the Synetic value.

Our worthy Eastern colleague, Rajagopala Iyer, is approaching the matter in terms of those few instances in the annals of Western sidereal astrology where an apparent failure of a synetic-based ingress was admittedly noted. These disappointments do occur occasionally, and we agree that the right way to respond to the situation is to search for the reasons behind the seeming miscues. After all, it is this very fact-finding attitude towards things astrological that sparked and nourished the growth of the Western sidereal movement to begin with. Our reservations about the single case by single case approach, however, are embodied in the question: How many times have you worked with erroneous birth data and found admirably apt indices for everything that happened in the native's lifetime? We've all had this jarring experience many times in our professional careers, the explanation being that we have so many techniques in modern astrology to draw upon, it is easy to find appropriate planetary "contacts" for anything and everything, by one method or another. Give me some false data, for instance, telling me that the native was born within 15 minutes of the specified time, and that he broke his leg in his 23rd year of life and, by gum, the chances are good that I'll be able to find a "convincing" configuration, progression, transit, key cycle, revolution, direction or Dasa that is appropriate to what happened--and with multiple confirmations, too, making everybody cluck about how marvelous astrology is.

Each of us, as conscientious astrologers, must be our own mental watchdogs, ever alert to the dangers of our endless, habitual toying and toiling with charts and numbers and symbols and systems. Too many times we have found that somebody was really born in 1923 and not 1924; or a rural doctor mistakenly wrote P.M. instead of A.M. on a birth certificate; or someone who arrived on these shores as a child from eastern Europe was still using the Old Style birth date written on his original passport; or a birth hour should rightly have been recorded in daylight-saving time--and so forth. But even though the information was seriously in error, the gears of the chart work seemed to click off just fine.

The point we are getting at here is that a randomly invented, wholly groundless ayanamsa will yield highly "significant" ingress charts for a majority of events. Yes, we said majority, and meant it. A phony vernal point will "work" so well, so much of the time, that at first glance any value your might fabricate on the spur of the moment has a good prospect of seeming like a major astrological "discovery."

If you are reluctant to believe this, take the first telephone number having six digits in your local directory and con yourself into considering it to be the genuine ayanamsa in degrees, minutes and seconds, for any event you want to "study."

The odds are surely better than 50-50 that by your third ingress chart for the event, using this fake ayanamsa, pretending it to be real, you'll come up with a persuasively "accurate" horoscopic picture of the event. If the event is a catastrophe, there are enough malefic in the sky, and more than enough square aspects within reach of at least one of your two, three, four or more sets of angular cusps to fill the bill and produce a "triumph" for the ersatz ayanamsa employed.

But is it science? That's the big question, and on this question hangs the whole disposition of astrology's worth-whileness.

And now for the proof of the pudding that we have been leading up to, even though it was necessary to risk shaking the faith of newcomer students in the process. There is scientific truth in astrology. And there are overwhelming, unquestionable scientific proofs that, despite the weaknesses in our present-day astrological practices, planetary, zodiacal and cuspal influences do exist--with full force too.

As for the synetic vernal point, proving its authenticity is almost too easy. And we can thank the Creator for decreeing the laws of statistical probability when He put the universe together and flipped the On switch. certainly, we admit that many ingress charts based on the SVP fail to seem "earthquake-prone" when geared to the time and place a big tremor actually took place. But that is just the point. Using the synetic value, for the 13 greatest earthquakes that occurred in the world since 1900, Saturn is within two degrees of conjunction or square the meridian of the epicenters seven times oftener than "chance" would tend to allow. Mars is found in these critical small-orbed zones five times oftener than could occur by coincidence; Uranus three times oftener and Pluto twice oftener. The Chitra or Spica ayanamsa, by dazzling contrast, yields quite normal expectancies and therefore cannot be genuine.

These high-frequency counts apply to both the solar and lunar cardinal ingresses preceding the disasters. Moreover, Saturn and Mars are found conjunct or square the meridional cusp line of the progressed solar ingress charts three times oftener than they could if the synetic vernal point were not "the real McCoy."

We could cite numerous other ratios showing the high rating of statistical significance attained by application of the SVP value--levels which cannot possibly be arrived at by fictitious ayanamsas (which otherwise perform so beautifully in single-case studies). Take any published list of a given type of disaster, say airplane crashes or a nation's most damaging tornadoes, and tabulate the angular propinquities of the malefic planets in two sets, the synetic and the Lahiri frameworks. Honest evaluation of the cross-compared sets will quickly settle the issue that may have been bugging you. The truth remains, that the "search for the true vernal point" commenced with a massive compilation of ingress charts based on the original Spica ayanamsa--and the Spica maps en masse clearly called for a wholesale "correction" to make them truly meaningful in accordance with the doctrine of angularity.

Of course, we could have selected, say 25 of the 100 worst-tornado charts, based on the list of historic twisters given in the World Almanac, and confidently "demonstrated" the efficacy of the Spica or hypsomatic fiducials. Dido, for train wrecks or coal-mine disasters. But this would not be science--it would be a defending of a mental commitment or professional posture. To save face is usually to sacrifice facts.

The illustration herewith is the upshot of it all, the only single "proof" which tells the ayanamsa story without any ifs or buts in the telling. A few years ago, a team of scientists at a major university undertook to look into "unorthodox" means of weather forecasting and including their mass-data analyses certain claims of what we call astrometeorology. These men are our personal friends and we have been 'au courant' of their work all along. We finally prevailed sufficiently on their curiosity that they experimented with the Jupiter-rainfall correlation we reported on in the pages of "Your Powwow Corner" back in 1957. We found, you will recall, a mathematically abnormal tendency for Jupiter to be on an angle at the moment of the Caplunar ingresses covering dates and places of record-breaking amounts of rain.

In view of professional and institutional considerations, we are requested to divulge only a bare minimum of information about this project. Permission to publish an adaptation of one of the diagrams, and tell its content, however, has been cordially granted, in the mutual hope that it will nip in the bud this growing threat of a "controversy" over the synetic fiducial.

The diagram simply consists of the quadrant frequency of Jupiter's distribution at the moments of the synetic lunar ingresses of Capricornus preceding the twelve dates over the past century on which maximum 24-hour downpours of precipitation were recorded at every functioning weather-observing station in the continental United States. The grand total of events amounts to--hold your breath--fully 49,576 items in all. The complete information as to date, place and amount for each of 49,576 separate record entries has been officially published by the U.S. Weather Bureau, so there can have been no "doctoring" of the raw data to yield the result that can be seen in the illustration--and marveled at.

GRAPH: On left from bottom to top, standard deviations from -25 to 0 to +25. On bottom, Quadrants superposed Measuring Eastward from Midheaven 0 to 90 (to 0) degrees. Angular Cusps using SYNETIC Ayanamsa show near +25 standard deviation. The negative peak is between -20 & -25 for 45 degrees eastward from Midheaven. And Angular Cusps using CHITRA Ayanamsa show near -5 standard deviation.

The abscissa of the graph is in units of standard deviation. Statistical significance commences at the two-unit level, at which the odds are 20 to 1 against the proposition that the deviation occurred only fortuitously. The odds are around 10,000 to one at four standard deviations. At six units the chances against mere coincidence become incalculably large, running into the billions.

As you can observe for yourself, the departure from mathematical "normalcy of occurrence" skyrockets into the trillions and zillions again the premise of pure coincidence. Scientifically, this is incontestable proof that the astrological claim concerning the influence of lunar ingresses--the one into Capricornus, at any rate--is true. Needless to mention, this finding and others like it have caused considerable excitement over the "potential possibilities" among scientists who are privy to it--but it is obvious why we cannot dwell on this particular phase of the matter for the time being.

How ironic it is, that these research findings should have their first public disclosure in form of an effort to enlighten side realists about a fundamental property of their own zodiac! We have been saving this material, for a long time now, against the day it would be needed to (a) squelch so-called scientific deriders of astrology, and/or (b) demonstrate to tropical astrologers that there is something solid to astrology after all, thus allaying their unspoken fears.

You people who are entertaining other ayanamsas must now face the issue raised by this and other equally revealing displays of evidence which underscore the reality of the SVP. That issue is, to put it bluntly, the glaring fact that either the synetic vernal point is pretty close to being 'right on the nose," or else is some 3 degrees wrong, three degrees being the minimum error which these irrefutable statistics will permit to exist.

That is, if the fundamental principle behind astrology in regard to angularity of planetary position for appropriate events is true, and if the SVP is more than a few seconds "wrong," the only possible alternative is that the true ayanamsa is far enough away from the synetic point that this same Jupiter-rainfall curve can be reasonably duplicated only by at least a three-degree displacement of the actual figure.

In summary, let us say that the Synetic Vernal Point conceivably could be wrong. But if it is, it is wrong by a hell of an amount and not by just one or two degrees! Using the median amount of daily motion of the Moon as the criterion for spacing, we have marked arrows on the graph showing the contrasting positions of the angular cusps (quadrants being successively superposed) for the synetic versus the expectations from use of the Lahiri fiducial.

Note how closely the SVP Jupiter distribution peaks out near the lines of the angular cusps themselves, with least frequency falling just 45 degrees from the angles. If my faith in astrological verities were in the least diminished proper to this knowledge, though of course it wasn't these scientific facts would have restored it to full bloom. How about you pumpers for other ayanamsas, with whom I now conclude my first and last argument on this particular subject? Here's a faith restorer. Help yourself.

Gary Duncan, "Some Historical Notes," THE CONSTELLATIONS, August 1975.

Sidereal astrology has evolved to its present state from the pioneering efforts of a small group of which this author was privileged to be a member. Although the general readership will immediately recognize the names of Cyril Fagan and Donald Bradley (Garth Allen), my name may not be as familiar. Anonymity was respected at my request since, for reasons which will be made clear below, I did not wish to have my name widely publicized. As the sole survivor of the original trio, however, it is necessary to uncover certain facts heretofore deliberately withheld from the public.

President of the Irish Astrological Society and a frequent contributor to English and Indian astrological publications, Cyril Fagan was better known to his European audience than to those of us in the continental United States. Siderealists owe a heavy debt of gratitude to a few Tropicalists for their efforts in introducing the work of Fagan to the U.S. audience. It may come as a shock to many Sidereal readers to learn that (of course) Fagan, Bradley and myself were all strong Tropicalists before we were introduced to Sidereal methods. It may come as a second jolt to learn that many of the revered "names" among Tropical astrologers were instrumental in the introduction and promotion of Sidereal techniques in this country.

We may begin with the efforts of Ernest Grant, founder and first president of the American Federation of Astrologers (AFA), and later its Executive Secretary. In the latter role, he served as the editor of their monthly publication. It was through the mimeographed pages of this communique that Ernest introduced the works of Cyril Fagan. One such major work dealt with the recommended use of the Campanus division of the sky into the familiar "houses" and with the simultaneous use of the "mundoscope." This work made use of the term "domification" which frightened away some of the small group that had managed to survive the trigonometric formulae and examples.

But it was with Fagan's other major work that the efforts of Ernest Grant are to be held in the highest esteem. Serving in his role as Editor, Ernest published the "Incidents and Accidents of Astrology" by Fagan as a monthly series introducing Sidereal astrology in 1947-8. Grant did so under the most severe criticism (and threats of "impeachment"). In the classic role of an editor he attempted to bring new and interesting material to the eyes of his public, while holding at bay a snarling and highly vocal constituency which clearly did not wish to allow any publication efforts that might "rock the boat." On more than one occasion he must have had to come to grips with strong political and economical pressures which threatened the continuance of his role with the AFA. But, Ernest survived all these pressures and the American astrological community was exposed to the intensive, evangelical writings of "that Irishman."

It was shortly before this time that Edna Scott (President of the AFA) and Llewellyn George (then the "dean" of American astrologers) had sponsored my membership into the AFA. Known to all of his friends as "L.G." the efforts of the latter constitute a legend. As owner-publisher of Llewellyn Publications, he was well known for his annual publication, the Moon Sign Book, and for his Astrological Bulletina (which changed its publication schedule several times during its lifetime). Most students have his A to Z Horoscope Maker and Delineator on their bookshelves, and a large number in the astrological community have studied his various correspondence courses. It is to L.G. that the second debt is due for the promotion of Sidereal methods.

When Llewellyn asked me to meet with Don Bradley, it represented a clear departure both from his own rules and from the expressed wishes of Bradley. L.G. had hired Don to help him with both the chores of an editor for most of the publications which were issued from the Llewellyn press, and to author a series of articles, pamphlets, and major works under both his own name and under a number of pseudonyms. Bradley was best known to his readership at that time for his periodic writing on "Happenings in the U.S. Horoscope." A sheltered recluse, he shunned public gatherings and avoided any and all visitors to his home/office. Llewellyn not only respected this desire for privacy, he strongly enforced it. Inquiries made through his publication office, or directed to him personally at social gatherings, were routinely (although always politely) declined to avoid any introduction with Bradley. However, Llewellyn first suggested that he wished Bradley and I to meet, stating that he felt it "essential" that our meeting take place at the earliest opportunity.

Looking back with fond memories, my respect for the deep insight which Llewellyn showed in dealing with intimate personal relations in all those who called him friend, I am included to believe that he arranged our first meeting with an uncanny pre-knowledge of the subsequent events which would result from it. He was father to many, friend to all. Less the commercial businessman than the patron to those who might enrich the body of astrological knowledge, Llewellyn served in all these roles in his relation to Don Bradley.

My meeting with Bradley stands as one of the events of importance in both our lives; for from that first session, major changes in the direction of our individual efforts as well as those of the astrological community derive. We were both acquainted with the efforts of Choisnard and Gauquelin (in French) and others on the European continent who were attempting to use statistical methods to establish certain astrological fundamentals. We both felt that the attempts were inconclusive and lacked certain mathematical sophistication. Although most interesting to astrologers, they were not in a form acceptable to the scientific community. Bradley wished to undertake some project which might present the astrological viewpoint in an acceptable, definitive manner, and felt that some statistical approach would best serve this end. My mathematical skills included statistical methods and a cursory knowledge of Calculus, although my physical age placed me at the Junior High School level. Bradley was knowledgeable in the formulae of plane trigonometry and was skilled in the use of the desk calculator, but was acquainted with neither statistical methods nor the higher mathematics. Together we set about formulating a plan which might serve as a model for later work in the field of astrology.

A three-year effort culminated in the publication of Profession and Birth date, which gave a statistical analysis of the birth dates of 2492 ordained eminent clergymen taken from Who's Who in America. In the Acknowledgments section of that volume, this author's contribution is credited (under another name, Neil Block) for his "valuable mathematical advice." Formulation of the mathematical model and the method of deriving the probability tables was supplied by this writer, while Bradley performed the data gathering, transcription, computation of planetary positions, and the final data reductions.

The three-year effort which was required to complete this major work taxed the patience of all parties concerned. Bradley copied each birth date onto a separate 3"x5" slip of paper, maintaining the lot in a large cardboard box. Constant fear gripped us when anyone moved into close proximity of "THE BOX," lest some accident should spoil the project. This fear persisted until the last slip was written, the dates were sorted to chronological sequence, and the aggregate was copied into a bound record book--in preparation for the next step which began the work with the ephemeris. During this lengthy interval, several tests were applied which gave peculiar results and set the two of us on our guard against making premature judgements regarding the ultimate outcome of the experiment.

It came as somewhat of a shock, however, when the initial data reduction of the solar longitudes showed no preference for the Tropical signs of Sagittarius or Pisces. And, when the Chi-square test showed that the Tropical coordinate system lacked the strength of several other choices--although it was not as bad as still other choices would be--we knew our thinking needed to be re-examined. Certainly the works of Fagan were well-known to us both at that time. But it was not until the statistical results of the clergymen study were known that Bradley and I were faced with making a revolutionary change in our fundamental methods. Up to that time, we had accepted the writings of Fagan as "just more Hindu astrology." Our Indian friends may now smile at that offhand dismissal, but should realize that the lack of sufficient mathematical rigor in Hindu methods lies at its root. Although our correspondence with Fagan had already established a close bond between the three of us, it was (up to that time) limited mostly to the historical foundations of our science and to the attempts to decode certain Egyptian hieroglyphics which resisted investigation.

If the name of Cyril Fagan were never remembered for his astrological contributions, he still deserves universal acknowledgment as one of the greatest detectives of two millennia. His discovery, on 1949 May 14, of the true meaning of the EXALTATION degrees of the planets ranks as one of the most exciting discoveries of this century. Even Claudius Ptolemy was unable to give a plausible explanation as to why the planets were said to be "exalted" in specific degrees of the zodiac. Fagan was able to show that in the year B.C. 786 THE PLANETS OCCUPIED THEIR STATED POSITIONS-- WITHIN ONE DEGREE--EITHER AT THE BEGINNING OF THE FIRST MONTH OF THAT YEAR, OR ON THE DATES WHEN THE RESPECTIVE PLANET BECAME A MORNING OR EVENING STAR. This discovery was initially based on the assignment of the star Spica (Alpha Virginis) to the value Libra 0d 00'00" in a non-rotating (fixed) coordinate system, but forced a later revision of this position to Virgo 29d 00'00". It has subsequently been revised by Bradley to a value independent of the bright star Spica, and is currently known as the SVP (Synetic Vernal Point). For Fagan's monumental detective work in the discovery of the true meaning of the Exaltations (Hypsoma in Greek), on two occasions prior to Fagan's demise this author requested that the AFA honor this man with some kind of special citation. Fagan had already received the highest award the AFA has to bestow--he was named a "fellow" of the AFA--but it seemed appropriate to this writer that he should be cited for this special contribution, without regard for its implications on behalf of the Sidereal viewpoint. On both occasions, the matter was postponed, and Cyril died without receiving the praise rightfully due him not only from the astrological world, but also from works in ancient literature and Egyptology.

In view of the mounting historical evidence piled on us by the public and private writings of Cyril Fagan, and by his most convincing articles advocating the use of the Solar and Lunar Returns as reliable predictive tools, Bradley and I had reached a point where the selection between the use of the popular rotating coordinate system (Tropical) or some non-rotating coordinate system was rapidly nearing a critical point. When the clergymen study showed that the Tropical system was not satisfactory, we were faced with a choice which could no longer be postponed, and which taxed our sincerity as scientific investigators. We had carefully analyzed a sufficient sample to clearly answer the question using acceptable statistical methods. The results were not as had been expected. As scientists, we were obliged to discard less satisfactory methods (the Tropical frame) in favor of techniques which were unfamiliar but which had demonstrated a definite superiority to their standard Tropical counterparts.

It was, therefore, with some reluctance that these findings were brought to the attention of Llewellyn George--whose financial support had paid for all of Bradley's work during the three-year effort. Let the reader mark well my next statement. Considering that Llewellyn's entire publication efforts had been based on the promotion of Tropical astrology (especially his successful annual Moon Sign Book), and that nearly a lifetime had been dedicated to the promotion of Tropical astrology, it must have come as a grave shock to realize that his own efforts had given birth to a movement which might erode the very cornerstone of his business, which might overhaul his beloved science of astrology to such an extent that it might emerge as a totally unfamiliar discipline.

Still, the warm-hearted, generous man he was would not permit such personal disaster to stand in the way of scientific progress. So, investing his personal funds, rather than those of his publishing firm, he financed three publications as the initial efforts of the Llewellyn Foundation for Astrological Research, in which Bradley was entitled as its Research Director. These publications were: #1, Professions and Birthdate (Bradley); #2 Zodiacs Old and New (Fagan); and #3 Solar and Lunar Returns (Bradley).

At this point, a word should be said concerning the second and third publications of the Llewellyn Foundation, and about that organization itself. It was at the urging of Bradley and myself that Llewellyn agreed to undertake the publication of Fagan's Zodiacs Old and New. (It was also published in London by Anscombe.) The third document, Solar and Lunar Returns by Bradley, was offered to serve as a complement for the other two. Thus, the first established a statistical groundwork, the second revealed the historical evidence, and the third served as a practical "cook-book" for the use of Sidereal techniques. The Forward by Llewellyn George in Solar and lunar Returns merits reading by all students of astrology.

[The Forward begins with the quote: "To stop short in any research that bids fair to widen the gates of knowledge, to recoil from fear of difficulty or adverse criticism, is to bring reproach upon science." -
-Sir William Crooks]

When the 1950 National Convention of the American Federation of Astrologers was held at the Hotel Biltmore in Los Angeles, Llewellyn George forcibly brought to the attention of the entire astrological world the upsetting evidence of these new discoveries with the joint publication of the above three documents. From the podium, he admonished his audience concerning his own "conversion" to Sidereal methods, directing them to do likewise, and suggesting that those interested in conversing on the subject might do so with Bradley and this author who were available in the lobby of the hotel at the Llewellyn book counter--where they might also examine the three major documents which represented the first publication efforts of the Llewellyn Foundation for Astrological Research.

That the astrological world failed to heed this sage advice from their dean is a well-known fact, although the scientific community and the younger members of the astrological fraternity seem to be increasingly aware of the superiority of Sidereal methods. Unfortunately, the presence of that lovable old man was taken from us shortly thereafter. His wife, known to only a very few, had been confined to her home as an invalid for many years. Her condition worsened and became critical. After her death, Llewellyn's health seemed to gradually diminish. He fought back with a tenacity that pervaded his entire life, but eventually passed onto his eternal reward. He died not a rich man in the sense of physical wealth, but the legacy he left through his contributions in the field of astrology will never be forgotten. Among the riches we all share are not only his own writings, but the writings of many others; without the personal encouragement and financial support of Llewellyn George much of the work now treasured by both Tropical and Sidereal astrologers alike might never have seen publication. Remember, all this was done by a man acknowledged by his peers as the unchallenged leader of Tropical astrology.

We must, of course, recognize the contributions of James Hynes who provided Fagan with numerous mathematical tables and computations to assist in the calculation of ancient horoscopes. It is not known at this writing just when Hynes first became associated with Fagan, or made his first contributions. Perhaps some of our English friends can supply us with historical information. Likewise, the efforts of Rupert Gleadow are not known in correct historical sequence. We would greatly appreciative of any knowledge received on this matter.

When scientific minds gather together, the exchanged of ideas is not always without pain. Sharp disagreements separated the views of Fagan and Gleadow concerning the origin of the earliest astrological sources. Gleadow presented powerful historical evidence to support his thesis that sources other than Egyptian were responsible for much that Fagan credited to the astrologers of the lands of the pyramids. Fagan argued that only in Egypt could the naming of the constellations coincide with the appearance of the Full Moon in synchronism with the annual rise and fall of the Nile River. To the mind of this author, Fagan's evidence is over-whelming on this point--in spite of the fact that virtually no historical records exist which serve to credit the antiquity of the naming of the constellatons to the Egyptian camp. The movement of a certain astrological library from the capitol city to the new astrological temple (university) of Nineva was another point of disagreement between these two men. Gleadow's education at Winchester and at Trinity College, Oxford, demands that his views be given a careful and considerate audience. He writes with the authority of a men well-versed in his field, and as one whose arguments are fortified with sound reason and physical evidence.

Many of these views will not be likely settled within our lifetime. But the healthy--even heated--exchange of ideas serves to enrich our science. Ideally the arguments are advanced by each side in defense or opposition to a viewpoint taken by another, and ideally the battles are not directed against the personality of an individual. Thus, within the scientific community, its members must "agree to disagree peacefully," without personal attacks. In such a spirit, the rough edges are honed from preliminary theories, and the establishment of fundamental scientific principles emerges.

During my early years in association with Bradley, numerous technical considerations came under close scrutiny. The use of the mundoscope (an integral part of the Campanus house system) was tried in a variety of applications, including rectification. My first computation of a complete Campanus tables of house (from equator to pole) was performed by hand calculation, using a table of logarithms, during 1948. Later efforts yielded over six different forms of the Campanus tables for our common use; these computations were performed on electronic computers.

My efforts were directed to the use of digital computers as the means for solving the future needs of astrologers, both for computations and research efforts. Bradley geared his efforts to the improvement of the delineative art. We jointly studied many possible coordinate schemes which might ultimately serve as an improvement to those then (and now) in use. There was the choice of a fundamental starting point along the ecliptic circle, if one choose to use this circle as the fundamental plane of reference.

But we considered other planes of reference. The so-called Invariable Plane of the Solar System, which is determined by the total angular momentum vector of all the planets, comets, and other moving bodies within our Solar System. It differs from the ecliptic by only a few degrees. Also studied was the possible use of the Galactic Plane (the plane of our own Milky Way galaxy). Extensive counts of stars and graphs of same by groupings according to their visual magnitudes were performed, with the aid of my computer programs. These investigations were undertaken in an attempt to determine a reason for the particular choice of the origin of the Sidereal zodiac which had its roots in some kind of physical phenomenon. We both agreed that the ecliptic plane represented a reasonable choice, and that some determination of the "best" fiducial point could be made--once the proper experiment was defined. We reasoned that the final determination would likely be one which was not dependent upon a particular star (then Spica was the official marking star), but which would probably represent some kind of "average" based on all the stars, or at least on those near the ecliptic or galactic planes.

There may be those who will not understand my desire to maintain a position of "silent partner" during those early days. I ask them to consider the case of Hugh Rice, the astronomer, who made material contribution to the computational art within astrology. For many years he supplied American Astrology Magazine with extensive computations giving ephemeris calculations , an aspectarian, and a Placidian table of houses. He was hounded to his death (literally) by relentless efforts of his astronomical associates who first sought to have him discharged from his employment with the planetarium and attempted his ouster with national and international scientific organizations. His ultimate death was a direct result mounted by his peer group. Attempts to change his name on the American Astrology Tables of Houses and with American Astrology to obvious variations of his given name only met with increased pressure. He had given Bradley much special attention in acquainting him with some of the techniques used in solving transcendental equations (required for the Placidian house system and in sub-tabulation techniques). These methods were especially important during this period, as all our calculations were then performed with desk calculators.

My own work carried me into the field of Computer Sciences, specializing in the branch of astronomy known as Celestial Mechanics. By developing the computer programs which permitted the positions of the Sun, Moon, and planets to be computed for any specified date, this writer became responsible for the fundamental ephemerides used by all NASA agencies. For many years, the "nautical almanacs" issued by the governments of the major powers did and will use the computer programs written by this author, or later improvements based on them. The Synodic Ephemeris used by Bradley and his co-workers on the rainfall research was supplied by me. Only a few of Bradley's associates knew of its source.

From 1949 until 1951, Sidereal classes were given by this author at various locations in Los Angels, usually in private homes. In 1948 the first use of IBM equipment was employed by this writer for astrological calculations. In 1951, the first computation of an aspectarian (for The Astrological Bulletina) was performed in San Bernardino using IBM machines. In 1953, the first Sidereal calculations were executed in Santa Monica when this writer computed the first personal aspectarians and all the moments of Solar and Lunar Returns for Bradley, Fagan and himself. Other efforts included the computation of New and Full Moon charts for the period 1962-1970 as a gift for the AFA. Numerous computer experiments were performed leading to the development of sophisticated programs which permit the computation of ephemerides or single chart calculations for any time and place, and for the statistical reduction of massive astrological studies.

The 1953 JULY issue of American Astrology carried the firs article of the series entitled "Solunars" by Cyril Fagan. This series persisted until his death on 1970 JAN 04. Again the efforts of one with heavy investments in Tropical astrology to present controversial material were met with loud cries from their supporters. Threats to cancel subscriptions greeted Joanne Clancy, the editor of American Astrology, when she elected to publish Fagan's work. The heavy investment and dedication of many years of her husband, Paul Clancy, and of her own toil were at stake. But, some kind of electricity accompanied this publication. A growing readership rallied to support her bold venture, and a spark of new life was breathed into the astrological readership. While sample delineations of Mrs. Clancy's chart served to acquaint both the readership and the editor of that leading astrological publication, the space also permitted the presentation of multitude of sample charts (largely Solar and Lunar Returns) and offered a medium for the presentation of some of the more advanced topics which had commanded the attention of leading Sidereal astrologers in their mutual correspondence. The readers were exposed to a variety of charts including converse and direct, Kinetic, Anlunar, Quarti- and Demi-lunars, and Quarti- and Demi-solars, and a wide variety of progression methods of these and other charts. The presentation of variations on Quotidians used both mean and apparent rates. We are all in Joanne's debt for her steadfast support of both Fagan's and Bradley's work.

The close alliance of Cyril Fagan and Brigadier Roy Firebrace saw the publication of a series of booklets under their names and was accompanied with the publication of the first Sidereal quarterly, SPICA. Mary Austin served this effort in more ways than may ever be fully known, and many publications under the "Moray Series" label have felt the help of her gentle hand. Perhaps some of our English friends will be kind enough to fill us in with some of the history of this particular period.

With the death of Llewellyn George, the dream that the Llewellyn Foundation for Astrological Research would evolve into a viable entity vanished. No strong financial arrangements had been made for its continuance, and Bradley, Fagan, and this writer were the only original members of the group who remained. Without adequate funding, no means were available to pursue the original goals. Bradley moved to New York and wrote for American Astrology.

The opportunity to work on a meteorology project under a grant from the National Science Foundation brought him to the campus of New York University. While his research into rainfall data was published under the name of Bradley, his writings for American Astrology were delighting readers under the name of Garth Allen. The untimely death of the professor charged with the administration of funds for the NSF grant caused the rainfall project to lose its major investigator, Donald Bradley. Lacking the "union ticket" of a formal degree of any kind, Don was unable to assume the role of administrator of funding for a continuance of the project. We may give thanks that Albert Einstein was not similarly treated for his inability to pass high school mathematics examinations!

The most productive periods in Don's life, as well as my own, have seemingly occurred when we were both under the greatest strain. It was during one such "down" period of Bradley that I urged him to begin this writing of some kind of booklet which set forth the principles of depth psychology as applied to astrology. For many years, we had discussed the writings of Freud, Jung, and others and had long felt the need that many of these basic principles be introduced into the basic astrological literature. The deep, penetrating powers which Bradley brought to this topic and his gift with the English language made him the only logical candidate to write this material. The result was published as the "Taking the Kid Gloves Off Astrology" series on the planets in American Astrology. Later attempts to interest him in completing this series to include sections of the Sun and Moon were to no avail. He began several times to formulate the general approach which he might use; but unless this material was preserved among his papers, his notes on the subject may never be published.

While Bradley worked on the east coast, this writer moved to the Pasadena area in California. An article appeared in the "Many Things" section of American Astrology, requesting persons interested in forming a Sidereal astrologers' study group to contact Richard Adler in Los Angeles. Upon doing so, the group asked me to serve as their teacher and we began to hold sessions at the YWCA in Pasadena. Members of that group included Gene Lockhart and Phyllis Kneip. We became known as the Sidereal Astrologers' Guild. After nearly a year's stay at the Pasadena location, the group moved to a new facility provided by Phyllis Kneip in Hollywood. After this the writer moved to St. Paul; Phyllis continued the efforts which is now known as the Sidereal School of Astrology. John Mazurek established a Sidereal School of Astrology in San Francisco in 1965 and has been teaching continuously since that date.

Many readers of the Moon Sign Book during 1965-66 did not realize that this Tropical publication contained many maps of the world and U.S. which were based on Sidereal methods. As editor during this period, I was able to make use of certain geodetic mappings based on the CAPsolar and CAPlunar Sidereal charts. Garth Allen first displayed the method which had been developed by the two of us during the years when he lived in Long Beach, and during our frequent telephone conversations since those days. The early efforts had suffered from the lack of a suitable predictive chart to use for mundane predictions. Discovery of the importance of the CAPsolar and CAPlunar charts closed that gap; it remained only for us to apply the geodetic mapping technique developed earlier. Readers may find it interesting to procure a copy of the 1966 Moon Sign Book to view these charts which were not only computed using an electronic computer, but were drawn entirely under computer control maps and planetary lines included.

Bradley and I did not agree on all matters. One topic which served to bedevil us still, and which looms as a nasty spectre over the most recent determination of the SVP, is concerned with the use of geocentric latitude versus geographic latitude. Bradley chose to use the former for reasons which were, to this author, totally unjustified. unfortunately, the evidence and logic support the use of geographic latitude, in my opinion. The ramification of this statement may not be immediately apparent to the reader.

Final determination of the value assigned to the SVP, or Synetic Vernal Point (for the epoch 1950.0) rests in the use of certain mundane charts, the progressions of same, and upon their erection for specific locations upon the surface of the Earth. In several critical areas, planetary positions near the horizon are used and the chart "rectified" by adjusting the value of the SVP in order to bring about exact conjunction with the desired angle. The reader will appreciate that several factors will affect this calculation. The specific value for the terrestrial latitude was used--whether or not parallax factors were used, whether height above or below sea level was considered both for parallax effects and for "dip" of the horizon, whether refraction of light due to the Earth's atmosphere was considered, and whether light-time aberrations was included. Most of these effects were ignored. If any or all are included the value assigned to the SVP will be immediately affected. It remains for future generations to re-examine the calculations leading to the determination of the SVP in light of these considerations and to formulate and additional experiments which may be necessary to make further refinements in this area....

Since the early work on the 2492 clergymen, no less than 49 other statistical studies have been performed for most of which this writer was the principle member of the team which collected the data, or guided the actions of other groups, or served to perform all computations and statistical reductions. The smaller studies have been reported in the pages of SPICA or American Astrology. Several large studies have not yet been published. This author's studies of 6281 professional baseball players and 8928 U.S. congressmen represent two such efforts, the latter being the largest statistical study yet undertaken. Readers who wish to avail themselves of the published results of these studies are advised that they will be released by the Duncan Foundation for Astrological Research. It is of fundamental importance that Sidereal astrologers acquaint themselves with such statistical material, as the collection constitutes the only basis for comparisons between the Tropical, Sidereal, and other systems. Only by such means are we able to improve our knowledge regarding the individual planetary effects....
‘’As thou conversest with the heavens, so instruct and inform thy minde according to the image of Divinity…’’ William Lilly
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Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Mark.
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Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Bob,

My apology again for taking so long to do this.

‘’As thou conversest with the heavens, so instruct and inform thy minde according to the image of Divinity…’’ William Lilly
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Therese Hamilton

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Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suspect very few forum members took the time to read these articles, both quite long for a forum. I managed to dig out the 1975 magazine that contained the article by Gary Duncan, "Some Historical Notes," so was able to read the article in hard copy. 1975 was just at the time I became interested in the sidereal zodiac. There is a very important point in Gary's article that I had forgotten about.

Gary states that he disagreed with Bradley on the use of latitude. He didn't feel that Bradley's use of geocentric latitude was correct. Geocentric latitude is the angular distance between a point on the Earth's surface and the equator, using the center of the Earth as the vertex. Gary Duncan felt that the usual use of geographic latitude was correct.

This is a very important point because it affects the value of the SVP, the ayanamsa value so treasured by Fagan's followers. Gary Duncan states: "But sufficient evidence now exists as to cause genuine concern that the SVP value will some day have to be adjusted."

This warning has seemingly been ignored by Fagan's followers, and Gary Duncan made that statement in 1975. I've tested some earthquake solar ingress charts, comparing the SVP and Krishnamurti values, and the SVP charts don't come out well in the comparison. Since Bradley apparently used geocentric latitude in his research work, the entire matter of the synetic vernal point most likely needs a careful look and extensive research.

Certainly with the very heavy periods of rainfall around the world in recent years, it would be easy to duplicate Bradley's research using geographic latitude.

Gary Duncan's article is posted on this topic of course, for anyone who wants to copy it for their files.

Note: The Lahiri ayanamsa gives very poor results in sign ingress charts for earthquakes. The 6 minute difference between Krishnamurti and Lahiri is critical. The SVP ingress charts give better results than Lahiri. Since there are 59 minutes between the SVP value and Krishnamurti, the SVP chart occurs approximately one day later. So the Moon's position in these comparison charts is an important key to reading the charts.
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Posted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Therese, you say you have compaired SVP ingress charts for earthquakes to the krishnamunti. Could you please post those charts and your results?
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Posted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you Mark for the articles. I wonder how much it will affect the mundoscopes to use geographic vs geocentric latitudes? As I live in very high latitudes this seems to matter a great deal. I must also confess that it seems the house systems do not work up here, so I mostly use wsh. But I do also think there is an unsolved mystery to finding the right angles/axis and the East point does seem to have a great value. I am curious to know as well if you have heard of Frederici's Orient point? Supposedly can be found somewhere between the EP and the Asc. Should be a point more proper in use for higher latitudes...but by Frederici's findings this is auniversal house system and can be used anywhere on Earth. I wonder if it has relevance to the geographic latitude in the mundoscope? It is called Frederici's Domification system.
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Therese Hamilton

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Posted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lifestudent wrote:
Therese, you say you have compaired SVP ingress charts for earthquakes to the krishnamunti. Could you please post those charts and your results?

Some of these charts are on my web site. But I never got around to posting the comparison notes. Give me a day or two to post the notes, and I'll post the link here. I'll have to make links between the notes and charts. These charts are also posted on the Yahoo sidereal forum. If that forum is still going, I'll try to find the link.
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Therese Hamilton

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Posted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 7:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Recently the Canaveral Research Center (Florida, USA) posted a link to these two articles by Donald Bradley (Garth Allen) and Gary Duncan. This is a very late reply to the question of the comparison of earthquake charts using the Krishnamurti ayanamsa and Fagan's preferred SVP (Synetic Vernal point) ayanamsa. Comparison charts have been posted on the Skyscript link below since 2016.
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