A visit to the Wellcome Library, August 2018
I had been told the Wellcome Library (near Euston station in London) was a good place to research early astrological publications, and so I set out on a mission to see what I could find.
I joined as a member, and sat down at one of the computers to see what was in the collection. There are many almanacs already scanned and available to view online, using EEBO (early english books online) as a portal, but there were also many original copies available for research.
My attention was soon drawn to Raphael’s Manual of Astrology, published in 1828, which was available to view in the Rare Materials room. I requested it and waited a couple of hours for it to be retrieved.
The Librarian, when she opened the box to look at the book, said “Hmm, this looks intriguing.” and I replied “Oh yes, it is!”
The frontspiece was a stunning piece of pre-Victorian graphic design:
Raphael’s beautiful turns of phrase:
I spent a minute absorbing the beautiful turns of phrase.
“A Manual of Astrology or the Book of the Stars”
“Being the Art of Foretelling Future Events by the Influence of the Heavenly Bodies”
“In a manner unattempted by any former author and divested of the Superstitions of the Dark Ages.”
“The Author of ‘The Astrologer of the Nineteenth Century’ ‘The Prophetic Messenger’ &C. &C.”
“The Book of Past Times shall be unsealed”
This poetic style of writing enticed me and drew me in… I started reading and soon enough found this:
The ‘first pile drove’ London Bridge Chart of 1824:
As I turned the pages I entered the world of Raphael in the early 19th century, very enchanting, and with plenty of profound astrological insight.
But it was my personal discovery of the London Bridge chart of 1824 that really got me excited.
I know this chart is already extremely well known by astrologers (it features in Nick Campion’s ‘World Horoscopes’ book) but it was the moment of seeing it within its original publication, and with a fascinating article about the London Metropolis, that made it a special moment.
Of course, I know that there have been several versions of the bridge crossing the River Thames at London but it is this 1824 ‘first pile drove’ which Raphael so keenly notes is the same Ascendant as William Lilly’s Ascendant for London (17 Gemini 54′) as quoted in his 1666 Almanac.
(Lilly’s 17 Gemini 54′ Ascendant is the one he used to predict the Great Fire of London so accurately).
See this from his Almanac of 1666:
William Lilly also quotes London as having a 25 degree Gemini Sun.
So London is a Gemini city with Sun in the first house, and Mercury its ruling planet.
Here is a modern version of the first pile drove London bridge chart, using Placidus houses, which seem to be the closest applying house cusps to the array of Fixed stars picked up by this chart:
So it appears that its possible to deduce some ‘hot’degrees for London in order to correlate the evolution and the development of the Metropolis.
Here is Raphael’s article on the 1825 London Bridge
In this article he states the importance of the Gemini rising for significant London events.
This makes Mercury the ruler of London.
I found this very interesting, and have done a bit of my own research around London Bridge, and dug up a few more charts and events to do with London Bridge.
So although the first pile drove was on 15 March 1824, it was on the 15 June 1825 that the Foundation stone was laid:
An article in The Times newspaper details the ceremony beginning at 10am from the Guildhall:
Take note how Mercury is the ruler of the this chart (Virgo Ascendant) and most of the planets are rising before the Sun!
Especially Mercury and Venus as Morning stars in their respective domiciles; rising out of the Suns beams.
On that morning looking down the River Thames towards the East both those inferior planets would have been sparkling in the pre-dawn sky.
Mars and Saturn are combust, with Mars conjuncting London’s Gemini Ascendant.
The moon was in its Balsamic phase, so wouldn’t have been seen.
By 1962, it was discovered quite literally that ‘London Bridge was falling down’ (like the Nursery Rhyme) because of the increase in modern traffic getting too heavy for the original bridge, and so a new one was commissioned that was considerably wider, and reinforced with a internal steel structure.
The new London bridge was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 17 March 1973:
The Times Newspaper reported on the opening ceremony:
The chart has a late Gemini Ascendant(!), but particularly noticeable is the 14 Gemini Saturn conjunction to the original Lilly ascendant, and the 1825 ascendant.
As Saturn is old father time, then this indicates a very ‘consolidated’ river crossing point.
Take a look at the position of the Nodes!
The 1973 bridge chart has Nodes 14 Capricorn/Cancer, so very close to the nodes of the 1825 bridge chart (16 Capricorn/Cancer).
However the 1973 bridge position of Mercury is not particularly good. It is in its detriment in Pisces, under Sun’s beams and retrograde, squaring Saturn…
The one other ‘event’ that I found to be rather interesting was on the 13 June 1984 when the HMS Jupiter, a Royal Navy frigate, crashed into London Bridge whilst attempting to do a U-turn in the Pool of London.
The Times newspaper reported it happening at 2:30pm:
It was at the Full Moon, right across 22 degrees Gemini/Sagittarius axis, and therefore conjunct the Lilly sun & Lilly London ascendant, and the 1825 ascendant.
Interestingly enough, There is a Sun/Venus/Mercury conjunction in Gemini squaring the Sun/Venus/Mercury 1973 bridge chart.
The 13 degree Cancer/Capricorn MC/IC of the Frigate collision is conjunct the Nodes of both the 1825 Bridge and the 1973 bridge.
The bridge collision Libra Ascendant is conjunct the 1825 Bridge Mars in Libra.
The Bridge collision Jupiter at 10 Capricorn is squaring the 1825 Bridge Mars in Libra (and the frigate was called HMS Jupiter!)
The Royal Navy is of course, very Mars.
“Long may London thrive and survive.”
Have a look at the opening of the Olympic Games chart on the 27 July 2012, at 9pm:
Venus was widely conjunct Jupiter in Gemini on Lilly’s ascendant, and the Olympics ensured London was being valued differently.
Also Venus and Jupiter were both rising before the Sun, clearly making the event an important part of how London was to be seen in the world.