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Analysis: Inception chart of the Greenwich Observatory

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Edward White

Joined: 27 Jan 2019
Posts: 37
Location: UK

Posted: Wed Jul 24, 2019 3:20 am    Post subject: Analysis: Inception chart of the Greenwich Observatory Reply with quote

Just before quarter past three in the afternoon, on 10 August 1675, the foundation of Greenwich observatory was laid. We know this because John Flamsteed cast a chart for that very moment. Here is an image of the original chart

and Here is the chart, as reprinted in William Hone's The every day book


When the data is entered into, we get a close match


Some preliminary research has already been done on this chart Unfortunately, the article is in German, and we only have a summary in English. It contains the rather general statement that the time in question was auspicious. Below is my attempt at a deeper analysis, as Flamsteed drew it.

*** *** ***

The good:
On the face of things, this is a pretty auspicious inception. The Benefic Jupiter is [almost] conjunct the ascendant, which is also his own house. The Part of fortune is also in the ascendant. Jupiter is trine to Venus, another benefic.
Meanwhile, Mars, lord of the 4th (and hence significator of buildings etc.) , is in the 9th house, the house of learning and sciences.

Although not noted by Flamsteed, Spica was exactly conjunct the midheaven at the time of the chart, and the sun conjunct Regulus. Lilly tells us Spica and Leo are two of the “Stars of Kingly signification”. The observatory gained kingly status indeed, and long-lasting status at that.

The bad
Flamsteed wrote under the chart “Risum tenatis amici” = “Can you help laughing, friends?” . This is usually taken to indicate Flamsteed’s skepticism in astrology. However, looking at some of the placements, one wonders if this was a nervous laugh.

For starters, the moon and sun are in the 8th Regiomontanus house.The moon is also Combust—but she rules the 8th house. Does this mitigate her malefic effects in this context?

Mercury is retrograde, in the 8th house. This does not bode well, as Mercury is the ruler of the 9th house (sciences) as well as the natural Significator of learned arts. However, considering mercury is in his exaltation and his term, it is not as bad as it should be.

The Lady of the 10th is Venus. She too is in the 8th. Perhaps this is an indication of the fate of the observatory. It stopped being a working observatory in 1957 and is now a museum—albeit an extremely famous one—a fate perhaps assisted by her trine with Jupiter.

[On the other hand, the observatory’s good fortune might be explained using whole sign houses; Under this system, the Sun, Moon and Mercury ( in Leo)would be in the 9th house, the house of learning etc. ]

Have you noticed anything else about this chart?
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