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Brief Summary
Major Contribution
Short Biography
Most Significant Publication
Interesting Fact
Recommended Further Reading
Notes and Refs
About Astro Mundi

An Introduction to Charles Carter - compiled by Mari Garcia and Joy Usher
Brief Summary :
Charles Ernest Owen Carter (1887-1968) was an English astrologer and author, who is generally believed to be one of the most important and influential astrologers of the 20th Century. His lifetime commitment raised the profile of astrology through his 30 year presidency of the Astrological Lodge of London, as well as the creation of its Quarterly journal, for which he was editor for over three decades. In 1948 Carter was the co-founder and first Principal of the London Faculty of Astrological Studies (FAS), an astrological teaching facility that continues to thrive.

Major Contribution :
Charles E.O. Carter served as the second President of the Astrological Lodge of the London Theosophical Society from 1922 to 1952. Carter carried on a legacy begun by Alan Leo, but unlike the flamboyant showman who preceded him, Carter's strengths lay in his keen intelligence, his gentle wit, and his stabilising influence as both President of the Astrological Lodge, and creator and editor of the Lodge's magazine, The Astrologers' Quarterly.

Carter's books are renowned for being well-written and meticulous in their research and delivery. They are in many ways the fore-runners of today's 'cookbook' texts on astrology. A large selection of his popular titles are now back in print - a testament to the longevity of his work, as renewed interest in his opinions and techniques emerges in the 21st Century.[1]

Short Biography :
Charles E.O. Carter was born at Parkstone, Poole, England on 31st January 1887, at 10:55pm,[2] giving him a Libran ascendant (in astrological circles Carter was affectionately nicknamed 'Libra' due to his easygoing and pleasant nature). Carter was from a wealthy and well-respected family, with his grandfather, Jesse Carter, having foundered a thriving brick and tile business in Poole. Carter studied law at the University of London and worked as a barrister until WWI when he enlisted in the army. He returned safely from the Western Front, but his war experiences brought on claustrophobia, so that he was no longer able to work within the confines of a courtroom. Instead, he worked with his father, helping post-war families to resettle through the Homeland's Trust initiative.

He became interested in astrology in 1910, at the age of 23, when he sent away for one of Leo's "one-shilling" reports. He began attending meetings at the newly formed Astrological Lodge of the Theosophical Society, where Leo had installed his wife Bessie as its inaugural president. Carter continued his membership after Leo's death in 1917. In 1922, at the age of 35, Carter became the Lodge's second President and held this position until 1952. Carter continued to publish and edit the Astrological Quarterly magazine, lecture and conduct the business of the Lodge, and later the FAS, up until the late 1950s when he was over 70 years of age. Carter was also constantly accumulating data, writing and then revising his books, until his death in 1968 at the age of 81.

Carter's nativity, using Placidus houses and featuring a photograph from his later years

Quote :
As regards the higher part of man's nature, his rational, moral, and aesthetic faculties, it is my firm belief that, if we chose to unfold them, no stellar influence can prevent us, though it may place obstacles and hindrances in our path. There are parts of our lives which the stars do seem to a large extent to dominate, and there is a yet greater part which they undoubtedly can affect, both favourably and adversely. It is for us to place our treasure where they cannot penetrate; no easy task, it is true, but probably the one most worth performing.[3]

Most Significant Contributions :
Interesting Fact :
In his discussion on different astrological house systems in his book Essays on the Foundations of Astrology, Carter proposed a new house system of his own which he named The Poli Equatorial House System.[4]

Recommended Further Reading :
Charles Carter
The Charles Carter Homepage - Researched and presented by the Wessex Astrology Group, this comprehensive site is dedicated to the life, work and memory of Charles E.O. Carter
AstroDatabank biography of Carter
AstroAmerica's offering of intermediate and advanced astrology books by Charles E.O. Carter.
Wikipedia entry on Charles E.O. Carter
A Brief Biography of Alan Leo by Kim Farnell: explores the early history of the Astrological Lodge of London for which Carter acted as president
AstroAmerica's free to download PDF scan of Carter's rarest text: The Seven Great Problems of Astrology (courtesy Dave Roell).

Notes and References :
  1 ] A list of Carter's titles can be found on Google Books. Many are available for purchase through the Astroamerica website. (Back to text)
  2 ] Birth data recorded in the Seventh Edition (revised, 1967) of Carter's book The Astrological Aspects. AstroDataBank records the time as 23:01 (11:01 pm) GMT. Details on this time discrepancy can be found on the Wessex Astrology Group's website on Carter: 'Note on this chart'. (Back to text)
  3 ] Quote from Carter's Introduction to the Revised Seventh Edition of his The Astrological Aspects (First Print 1930). The Introduction for this edition was written in January, 1967: eighteen months before his death in October 1968. (Back to text)
  4 ] A copy of Carter's Tables for his House system are available through the Wessex Astrology Group website. (Back to text)

© Mari Garcia, Joy Usher, February 2013.