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11

An Ancient
Horoscope
By
Diana K Rosenberg, USA
Originally appeared in Vol VII, October 1996
edition of Urania, the Journal of the Uranian
Society
This article was written as an experiment in 1996, to
see whether an ancient, crude horoscope could be
analyzed, as well as an attempt to use Uranian
Astrology together with Fixed Stars to enhance a
traditional reading.

ne of my favorite pastimes on the


Upper West Side of New York is
checking out the sidewalk usedbook vendors; these characters
(straight out of Dickens-scared-byStephen-King, with just a touch of Klingon
grace and refinement) offer tables (or milk
cartons, or blankets) covered with very
used, seriously grimy, utterly irresistible
old books. Spotting me for a sucker, they
murmur insidiously tempting come-ons -Paperbacks only one dollar! This pile 3 for
2 dollars! Thats out of print! Youll never
find it in a store!!
Last fall my eye fell upon a battered
orphan entitled simply Archaeology
with the imprimatur of New York
Universitys Library of Science, containing
a series of chapters, each by a different
NYU scholar. Flipping through the pages,
I spotted the word Stars, and
immediately dropped the groceries and got
serious. This turned out to be a chapter by
one Jotham Johnson who was, in 1963, (the
date of the books publication), head of the
Department of Classics, New York
University; Chairman of the Department
of Classics, Washington Square College,

Rob Hand has called Diana "the leading


authority on Fixed Stars;" a faculty member of
NCGR and ISAR and a lecturer at every UAC, she
has devoted herself to the research and recovery
of the most ancient roots of sky knowledge, so that
they may be restored to astrologers, their rightful
heirs. Vice President of NCGR's Uranian Society
(Uranian/Cosmobiology SIG) and Copy Editor of
the NCGR Journal, she has written articles for the
NCGR Journal, Geocosmic Journal, The Mountain
Astrologer, Ingress, Heliogram, Astrology
Quarterly,
The
Traditional
Astrologer,
Memberletter, Urania, Dell Horoscope &
American Astrology magazines and is the author
of a Fixed Star Workbook and Encyclopedia of
Fixed Stars and Constellations; Llewellyn's The
Astrology of the Macrocosm includes her chapter
on earthquake prediction, Groundswell Presss
Hindu Astrology Lessons contains her chapter
Fixed Stars and Lunar Mansions, and NCGRs
Essentials of Intermediate Astrology includes her
essay on Fixed Stars. Her book "Secrets of the
Ancient Skies: Fixed Stars and Constellations in
Natal and Mundane Astrology" is in preparation.

and President of the Archaeological


Institute of America. The chapter
(originally published in the Summer 1951 issue of Archaeology) was titled Tell Time by the
Stars, and included a drawing of a crude, partially obliterated 2nd century CE horoscope. I
wheedled the price down a bit and scurried home with my prize. Needing a justification for
the expenditure, I told myself itll make a neat little article!
Jotham Johnson (JJ) was a 23-year-old student when he joined a research team fielded in
Winter 1928/9 by Yale University to excavate the ancient Mesopotamian (later Greco-ArabRoman) city of Dura on the Euphrates, in present-day Syria. Scholars had considered Dura
an unimportant backwater town until the accidental 1921 discovery of wall paintings; then
excavators hurried to the site and discovered rich, remarkably preserved Pompeii-like
remains of what had been an amazing fusion of Greek, Semitic and (later) Roman culture,
including temples of Zeus Theos, Zooroaster, Adonis and Atargatis, along with a
Synagogue, and even a Christian church! The wall paintings in the last two buildings
contain extensive wall paintings...of the highest importance for the study of Jewish and
early Christian art and architecture.

One day, on a stroll through an area that had been cleared but not yet officially recorded,
Johnsons eye was caught by a figure on a courtyard wall of a small house near the center of
the city - a crude circle he thought looked like a clock face divided into quarters, with 12 sets
of Greek letters around the outside. He could read the letters, but they seemed to make no
sense. Intrigued, he copied the figure and made a private project out of deciphering the
drawing. His first clue was the number 12: he thought of the 12 labors of Hercules, the 12
gods of the Olympic pantheon, the 12 signs of the Zodiac - aha! But what were the Greek

names of the signs? He tried to remember their English names, and suddenly knew he was
on track, for he realized that the lambda-epsilon-omega-nu at 4 oclock spelled Leon, for Leo the
Lion! Pi-alpha-rho-theta at 3 oclock were the first 4 letters of Parthenos, Virgin. At 7 oclock
were tau-alpha-upsilon: Taurus! With his Greek dictionary in hand he figured that iota-chitheta at 9 oclock stood for Ichth-ies, Fishes. Tau-omicron-xi at the top was tox-otes, the Archer,
2 oclocks zyg turned out to be zygos (yoke), i.e. Libra. Kark at 5 oclock stood for kark-inos,
Cancer, and did at 6 meant did-ymoi, twins, or Gemini. The 8 oclock position was kri: kri-os,
the Ram, at 11 was aig, obviously aig-okeros, Capricornus. Two positions were obliterated - 1
oclock must have been Scorpius, and 10 oclock would have been Hydrochous - Waterpourer - the tail of its rho was still visible!
Now JJ was well and truly hooked. Realizing that the remaining words must be planets, he
tried to get the words to conform to Hermes, Aphrodite, Ares, Zeus, and Kronos, but had no
luck at all, so he took the phi, alpha, iota, nu at the bottom and ran his finger down the phainwords in a Greek dictionary, where he found Phain-on, Shiner, the early literary word for
Saturn! At 5 oclock, next to the kark- of karkinos, were phi, alpha, and part of either epsilon or
omicron; the dictionary supplied Phaeton, Radiant One - Jupiter! At 4 oclock, with Leon, were
3 planets: phosph- for Phosphoros, Light-Bringer: Venus. Stil- was Stilbon, the Gleamer:
Mercury; and over the initial phi of phosph- were the letters py- for Pyroeis, Fiery One - Mars!
But that was all; the Sun & Moon were missing. After learning that Sun had to be within
one sign of Mercury, and seeing that it was not in Leo or Virgo, he knew it had to be in
Cancer, under the gouged-out segment on the lower right. The missing Moon would have
had to be under one of the 3 gouges, in Aquarius, Scorpio, or Cancer. Realizing he could go
no further without reference books, he packed his notes to await his return home.
Back in New Haven, young JJ screwed up his courage and asked the eminent Prof Ernest W
Brown of Yales Dept of Astronomy to help discover the date of the figure, giving him the
time parameters of the occupation of the city, that is, from 300 BCE to 275 CE. Brown
handed the task over to Dirk Brouwer, a research assistant (Brouwer later became Prof of
Astronomy, Chairman of the Dept of Astronomy, and Director of Yales Observatory).
Brouwer concluded that the date of the horoscope was July, 176 AD, and given the
possibilities of the missing Moon, it had to be either July 3-5 (if in Scorpio), or July 10-12 if in
Aquarius (the other positions would not work with the Moon in Cancer). Johnson was
delighted, not only to have a date within a 10-day span, but to have an archaeological fix on a
date for the house it was found in!
At this point Johnson took a close look at a photograph he had taken of the wall, which
showed faint letters above and to the left of the diagram; with great difficulty and a
magnifying glass he made out what seemed to be Zeta Pi Upsilon Pi Alpha Nu Theta:
ZPYPANTH? - certainly not a word, even to a Greek, and definitely a puzzlement. After a
long period of mystification, it occurred to the decipherers (by this time the others were
hooked too!) that it might be a date - the Greeks had used letters for numerals! The first
three might be the year, the second three the month name (abbreviated), and the last the
numeral for the day. Using the Greek letter-for-number system, it became zeta: 7, pi: 80,
upsilon: 400, adding up to 487, that is, the 487th year (of whichever one of the calendrical eras
of the many despots of western Asia had been employed). They knew that before the

33
Romans had annexed Seleucid/Parthian Dura, the calendar in use had been the old
Babylonian Seleucid Era, whose Year One ran from September, 312 to September, 311, BCE.
If it was the Seleucid Calendar, the year 487 would have run from September 175 to
September 176, CE! They were getting very warm.
Still to be deciphered were Pi-Alpha-Nu: Pan. They hunted up other texts found at Dura
(nearly all the documents found at Dura were in Greek, which surprised scholars, for they
had thought it an obscure eddy in the mainstream of Hellenism) and discovered that the
Macedonian months had been in use; of these, only one began with Pan-; this was Panemos,
July! This was a wonderful confirmation of Brouwers work, but there was still a problem.
The day did not fit. Theta stood for 9, and Panemos 9 would not fit either alternative for the
Moon, July 3-5 or July 10-12. They presumed that even in the Seleucid Era, the Julian (solar)
Calendar would have controlled the months, and they were stumped and discouraged. Then
it occurred to them that one possibility remained - perhaps the Romans had not, at least not
at Dura, yet outlawed the former Macedonian lunar calendar. In a lunar calendar, each
month begins with the new moon; Panemos 9 would have been the 9th day from the first
appearance of the lunar crescent.
As Johnson tells it, he was literally shaking with excitement when he consulted Ginzels
Handbuch der mathematischen und technischen Chronologie, a 3-volume reference that contained
dates of new moons, as seen from Babylon. The previous new moon had been June 24, at 9:56
AM, but this didnt work - if June 24th was Panemos 1, then Panemos 9 would be July 2, a
day too early. But Ginzels tables gave the astronomical new moon, and JJ realized that a
human observer would not have been able to see the extremely thin new crescent on the
evening of June 24; Panemos, therefore, would not have started until the evening of the 25th,
and Panemos 1 would have run from sunset June 25 to sunset June 26, and eight days later
Panemos 9 would have run from sunset July 3 to sunset July 4. Bingo! Later, they realized
they could fix the time a little more closely still: they had learned that the horoskopos, i.e.
ascendant, indicates the eastern horizon, and the Sun, in Cancer, was well below the western
horizon, between sunset and midnight; therefore they decided that the baby was born about
10 PM, July 3, 176 CE, OS. As an unexpected bonus, the scholars were able to use this single
example to show the exact correspondence between the Seleucid & Julian calendars
(Panemos 9, 487 S.E. = July 3, 176 CE), and to demonstrate that one of the Hellenistic lunar
calendars, the famous Babylonian cycle, had still, surprisingly, been in belated operation as
late as 176 CE!
But what about the horoscope itself? Who was this babe? Was it a boy or a girl? Destined
for an ordinary existence, or prominence? Which of the wild medley of competing religions
(note the square of Apollon & Poseidon) did the family follow? Dura (Doura-Europos on
some maps) was a Babylonian-Seleucid Greek-Parthian caravan city on the trade route from
the Persian Gulf through Palmyra to the Mediterranean, taken over in 165 CE (11 years
before the horoscope was drawn) by the Romans and turned into a frontier fortress. This
Greco-Arab society of Hellenistic/Roman Mesopotamia was a seething stew of co-existingwhile-competing races, nationalities and philosophies, including such oriental religions as
Persian Mithraism, Parthian Zoroastrianism, the cult of Adonis/Atargatis, the Egyptian
worship of Isis, as well as Orphism, Platonism, Stoicism, Sabianism, Judaism, and even

early Christianity (still considered merely a minor sect of Judaism, and often harshly
suppressed by the Romans).

Curious to see what I could glean from the chart, I fed the data into CCRS, using 10 PM
LAT (Local Apparent Time), and deriving the latitude & longitude from an historical atlas.
On studying the chart in depth, I was forced to think about the possibility that the child was
stillborn, or died right after birth, for Aries/Sun=Admetos is the formula for corpse, and
Uranus+Poseidon-Saturn, another death formula, came out at 20Aries53, square chart-ruler
Jupiter, and the Asc is square Saturn. Yet I suspect, if there is a death here, it may have been
the mother. The Moon, ruler of the 5th, the 8th-of-death of the 10th-of-the-mother, is in
Scorpio in the 8th opposed by Uranus and Hades. Other indications of the possible
subsequent loss of the mother: Moon/Admetos=MC, and both Mars/Saturn and
Moon+Mars-Aries=Venus, which is entering 0 of the fixed signs, sometimes called the
Death Axis. If we take the MC as the place of the mother, the close conjuction of
Neptune, combined with an nth-degree Venus, tends to confirm her loss, if not at the birth,
shortly thereafter, though there are many other possibilities for these pictures. It did not
seem likely to me that a family would deeply and permanently carve a figure on a wall
commemorating a stillbirth, or a birth that resulted in the death of the mother, esp since the
picture for family celebration, Aries/Asc-Cupido, equalled the Meridian! I decided to
proceed as if this was a live birth, and analyze it from that point of view.
The newborns Sun is also on the axis of Aries/Jupiter (ruler of the primary angles), as well
as Aries/Saturn, Mercury/Neptune, Moon/Venus, Venus/Uranus, and Mars/NNode. To
strengthen the babe we have Sun/Jupiter=Asc, a hopeful picture. Was it born to the one of
the Roman garrison families occupying the outpost, or to Greek or Rabbinical scholars
perhaps? Arab tradesmen? Parthian militia? Actors? Artists? Soothsayers?

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Since we know almost nothing about the circumstances here, I started with the one
incontrovertable fact: a courtyard wall near the center of an ancient city was wet-plastered
so that a horoscope could be cut into it, and it was left there, and not plastered over, for the
duration of that familys occupation of the dwelling. From this we can conclude that
astrology was important to them, possibly even an integral part of their philosophy and way
of life.
There are several planetary pictures for astrology, but since Neptune culminates, the
formula Nep+Kronos-Admetos was the one I started with (this formula also can mean
heavenly bodies and so can refer to astronomy, as well). It came out on the MC!
Aries+Uranus-Apollon hit MC, Neptune, and the Apollon-Poseidon cnj as well;
Jupiter/Apollon-Uranus (success in astrology) came out on Mercury, and Uranus/ApollonVulcanus equalled Jupiter & Zeus. No doubt about it. But was the child to become a
professional astrologer? First we have to seek out more information.
Since Mars/Zeus=Sun, Zeus/Vertex=MC, and Zeus was exactly on the Aries axis, this
meant that every midpoint and planetary picture that hit Aries, (including MC/Asc,
MC/Vulcanus, Node/Zeus, Node/Admetus, Moon/Cupido, Asc/Venus, Venus/Pluto,
Neptune/Pluto & Jupiter/Equatorial Asc) also hit Zeus! According to the Encyclopedia
Britannica, after surviving through Babylonian, then Seleucid, then Parthian rule, the trade
caravan city of Dura was annexed to the Roman Empire in 165 CE (just 11 years before this
horoscope was drawn) and used by them for nearly a century as a cantonment and frontier
fortress. With all that Mars and Zeus, this may very well have been the horoscope of a
Roman army brat! But how to check the Roman connection further?
Were they strangers in a strange land? The formulas for aliens are based on Saturn/Hades
combinations, and here Saturn/Hades=MC, and Saturn + Hades - Moon = Mars. Saturn +
Hades - Kronos, occupying power, equalled the dynamic (and violent) Uranus-HadesMoon combo, as well as Cupido and Aries/Zeus. Special assignments in a war - Kronos +
Admetos - Zeus, equalled Mars, Vulcanus, and Pluto. The military patterns I tried all came
up strong: Cupido/Zeus (military organization) = Asc, Pluto, MC, & Neptune (Cupido +
Zeus - Neptune: parts of army forced into inactivities). Military camps are Aries + Asc Zeus; here it = Asc, Sun/Jupiter, Sun/Admetos, Sun/Saturn, Sun/Kronos, and Mercury,
ruler of the 4th. Saturn/Vulcanus: vigilance, to be on guard, = Mars. (This last picture
occurred at the 1982 Libra Equinox, when US troops policed Beirut). Kronos + Admetos Saturn is to be in a difficult position because of separation or seclusion; it equals Jupiter,
ruler of Asc & MC - certainly suitable if this is a military family sent to protect an outlying
fortress at the edge of the endangered empire! These all could well represent the newborns
connection with the Roman occupation.
Marcus Aurelius ruled Rome in 176 CE, and the charts Zeus was on his natal Uranus, which
is interesting because we know that the Emperor was, at the time, constantly occupied with
rebellions and brush wars, trying desperately to hold the Empire together (Uranus/Zeus =
sudden outbreak of war and the will). Perhaps significant is that the babes NNode was
the Emperors Zeus, and his Sun was the degree of the Emperors NNode! This not only
connects the little ones horoscope with Rome, but implies that there may be a military role

for him (by now I have assumed it is a him) in the military affairs of the Empire; besides,
the formula for soldier, Aries + Moon - Mars, = his Sun/Zeus & Asc! Later I checked the
Rome Foundation chart of 753 BCE, and found that Juniors Kronos was Romes Admetos,
his Admetos Romes NNode, his Jupiter is trine Romes Mars, and his Mars is Romes Zeus!
Not only an army brat, but possibly a potentially important one - also suggested by Cupido
+ Vulcanus - Kronos = Sun: privileged social standing.
What did he look like? (Jupiter, his ruler, exalted, on Vulcanus axis - probably large, and
strong); Neptune, his other ruler, is in Jupiters sign. Big fella, probably tending to
overweight. Born on the Day of Mars, Hour of the Sun, what would this little Roman grow
up to be? Military prominence is certainly a possibility, especially since Sun/Zeus (born
leader) = Asc, and Sun + Zeus - Aries (military persons of rank, belonging to the general
staff) = Sun!
Yet there are other possibilities - the Sun in the 5th house suggests a pleasure-and-fun loving
nature, possibly drawn to performing, being the center of attention. The MC-Neptune
combination led me to try pictures for acting and music: Venus/Apollon, a midpoint for
music, art, friendship and peace = Mars, and the Meridian (with Neptune) is on the
Aries/Cupido axis, an artistic influence. A formula for actor-- MC + Neptune - Sun, =Aries,
t
Node, Zeus, & Moon/Cupido. For successful actor, Sun + Apollon - Venus, should = Mars;
here it does not, but does = Ma/Ze, and Jupiter + Apollon - Vulcanus! Yet Saturn & Pluto
are conjunct on the chart, and Saturn/Pluto = Mars & Vulcanus, indicating that the child
was probably trained into strong discipline, endurance and survival; if he was to be an artist,
actor, or musician, that sort of upbringing would seem a little less likely. So we are back to
the military probability, with the arts a possible side interest. But theres a problem:
Sun/Neptune equals both Mars: weak, sensitive, weak muscles (FDR, crippled by adultonset polio, had this) and Saturn: inhibitions through illness or physical disability,
emotional of mental illness, emotional affliction. Yet another possibility presents itself
here: Ebertin mentions that mediums have this planetary picture, and under Sun-Neptune
lists Abundant experience in the spiritual and psychic realms or spheres, mystical
experiences...sympathetic understanding of other people. These are not a patterns you would
expect to find on the chart of one who was simply a professional soldier. Yet at the same
time, we have Saturn/Pluto = Mars: brutality, violence, necessity to fight for existence;
maltreatment &/or strict discipline; magicians, adepts (italics mine).
Trying out the spiritual, mystical hints, I wondered what religion might be followed by this
fellow. A bit of research came up with the fact that Mithraism, a major mystery religion of
the era, was popular with many Roman soldiers, bureaucrats and merchants, and though
only a little is known about Mithraic doctrines (adherents were sworn to secrecy), it was
definitely a religion based on the sky! Every known Mithraic monument - from England,
through Europe and into the Middle East, features constellation figures and zodiacal signs
surrounding the central feature: the tauroctony - Mithra in the act of slaughtering a
sacrificial bull. The Roman legions carried this (males-only) religion into every area they
occupied, setting up elaborately carved altars, usually undergound, in grottoes or caves. This
would fit both the Roman military theme, and the fact of the casting of the horoscope itself!

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Traditionally, caves & caverns are ruled by Saturn: here the 12th (as 4th from 9th, i.e. place
where religion is practiced) is ruled by Saturn, in the house & sign of neighborhood; its
conjunction with Pluto stresses the underground nature of the site, and Admetos indicates it
is enclosed. HadesUranus is in the 2nd, which is the 6th house of ritual from the 9th of
religion; Mars, ruler 2, is in the 6th of ritual, trine the MC. Scorpio on the 9th cusp affirms a
secretive religion and suggests that the rites could include death. Pisces, the sign of sacrifice,
rises, and Neptune, planet of sacrifice, culminates. This childs Venus/Poseidon (faith,
religion) = Mars (religious activities, religious zeal) & also = Vulcanus: power, might, force
of a religion. MC + Venus - Poseidon is the formula for strong religious conviction: here
MC/Venus equals Poseidon. (The only other way to read this is that the babe itself was
sacrificed, and I definitely dont want to get into that!!)
Now the chart began to come into focus: with his need to be the center of attention, his
military Roman upbringing, and his mystical inclinations, might not this child be destined
to become a priest of Mithra? I tried to think of other patterns I could try to test this out,
but for some inexplicable reason, there are no planetary pictures listed for the sacrifice of a
bull (darn!); so I tried the tame to take part in a funeral service -- Asc + Mars - Saturn: it
came out at 7 Tau 33, sq Merc, on the Mars/Hades axis, at the mouth of the Celestial Bull!
(The precession correction, from July 176 to January 1996 (1819.5 years) is 2523; this brings it
(A+Ma-Sa) to 2 Gem 56 -- 495 Tauri, a double star at the Bulls mouth). The relief
sculptures of the tauroctony showed Mithra gripping the bull by the mouth and pulling his
head back. But to slaughter a bull is a bloody, drastic business - what could I use to check
this? Taking the UranusHades (sudden mean acts, murder) conjunction as a focus, I
subtracted Mars (sudden damage or death by weapons): it came out exactly = MC! This
could relate directly to the horrors of battle, of course, but when I added the precession
correction to the UranusHades, I discovered that the conjunction came to 29 Taurus - the
Pleiades cluster of stars in the shoulder of the Bull. This is the place the Mithraic bull was
stabbed, to bring forth its life-sustaining blood! (In India this cluster marked the 1st
Nakshatra Krittika, The Cutter(s), representing the nurses of the infant God of War).Theres
a potential for plenty of violence here: Mars + Hades - Vulcanus, murderous deeds = the
debilitated Moon (at fanatic, destructive, and sacrificial Alpha Centauri). Moreover, the
Moon was at the stars of the Scorpions head which, in the Hindu lunar mansions, formed
Anuradha, the only Nakshatra whose Regent is Mitra!
A man born under) Mitras mansion [Anuradha], he will be wise and a wanderer, have steadfast
friends, will live in foreign countries, be unhappy through hunger, enjoy all kinds of jewels, pleasures
and riches, be preeminent by birth, fame and energy, have both dharma and worldly gain, and be one
who makes enemies into friends.
Lunar Mansions in the Charts of Men,
Vrddhayavanajataka of Minaraja,
ca 4th century CE: Sanskrit, trans Valerie J Roebuck
(oldest extant account of the significance of the
Vedic lunar mansions in natal astrology)
There dont seem to be any worshippers of Mithra around any more to check out, but Franz
Cumont, a famous scholar of Mithraism, had Uranus in the degree of babes Sun, (Mithra

was Sol Invictus, identified with Helios, the Sun God: recall that this baby was born in the
Hour of the Sun), and David Ulansey, author of The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries, has his
natal Uranus less than 2 earlier (interesting that Ulansey, who has challenged Cumonts
hypothesis that Orion represented Mithra and is championing Perseus in his place, was born
on Cumonts Uranus return!)
FIXED STARS:
I am a star which goes with thee and shines out of the depths
Mithraic saying
I had decided not to check each placement of the chart against my own Fixed Star
Encyclopedia until I had done most of the traditional & Uranian interpretations, because I
wanted to see if I could read the chart without it, and then see if the conclusions I had come
to were sustained by the stars. Besides the bulls mouth and the Pleiades, there were 2
surprises: first, stars associated with astrology & astronomy came up more strongly than I
had anticipated - he (I still think its a he) may have indeed practiced astrology, whether as a
priest of Mithra or not. (After all, he may have grown up seeing his own horoscope on the
wall, year after year). Second, there were many fixed star placements associated with
injuries; this led me to believe he may have started as a soldier (possibly an officer), and
after injuries kept him out of battle he may have turned to the study of the sky. This could
explain the weak muscles & physical disabilities patterns, as well as the many death and
funeral pictures prominent, indicating either the loss of many comrades, and/or himself, as a
priest, presiding over such rites). His progressed Sun would have come to natal Mars when
he was about 32, when Saturn, by double arc, came to his Part of Fortune, and UranusHades
to his Saturn, and by double arc, to his Pluto. Mercury, by half-arc, came to his
Mars/Saturn, and by double arc, to Admetos, while Mars + Saturn - MC double-arced to his
Asc. In this year (208 CE) he may have nearly died, or, at the very least, thoughts of death
preoccupied him, perhaps turning him to a religious path. 208 CE was the year Emperor
Septimus Severus triumphed over Parthian invaders in Mesopotamia (was Junior with
him?) and returned in triumph to Rome.
If he lived long enough, i.e. to 42, a fairly advanced age at that time, he would have seen the
Halleys Comet apparition of 217-218, which was quite bright, reaching 0 Magnitude in the
spring of 218 (Dion Cassius called it a very fearful star). Comets are important yearindicators: at his Solar Return it would have been 27Leo35, in the 4th house of the return, cnj
the returns chart-ruler Venus, and the late 6th of his natal chart; solar return Mars squared
his natal Asc, with Saturn/Uranus bracketing his Moon, opposite natal Uranus/Hades. At
its perihelion Halleys was 22Aries57, square his natal nodes. The comet was generally
perceived to have been the agent of death for Emperor Macrinus in that year; it may have
done for our friend as well.
The precession correction for the difference in the fixed star placements between 176 CE and
1996 (1,820 years) is 25 23 which is added to each position in the horoscope, to match it with
current star positions. Besides the UranusHades at the Pleiades, already noted, his natal
Pluto was at Omicron Aurigae & 132 Tauri (now 27-28 Gemini). Our figure of Auriga, the

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Charioteer, was in ancient China The Five Chariots - a military encampment! The Greeks
held that the charioteer was Erichthonius, adopted son of Athena, who invented the chariot
because he could not walk. Three years ago I tried putting these two themes together (military
and disabled) with the idea that crippling & war disabilities might turn up at Aurigas stars,
and so it proved. (War vet Ron Kovic, for instance, of Born on the 4th of July, has Sun,
Uranus, & the NNode aligned with stars of Auriga!). Saturn was at the star 60 Orionis
(now 29 Gemini), below the upraised right arm of the huge hunter/warrior figure the
Chinese called The Supreme Commander with, in the same degree, Menkalinan, Beta
Aurigae (also in the Chinese military garrison), and 36 Aurigae, which the Chinese called
The Headquarters Standard, ruling class distinctions, rank, and the proper observation of
rites. Admetos was at star 1 Geminorum (now at 0 Cancer) in Castors left foot (the
Gemini twins were military heroes), with 30 & 40 Aurigae (also in The HQ Standard,
concerned w/rank, etc), and Chi2 Orionis at the tip of the Orions sword, an asterism which
the Chinese called The Officer in Charge of Omens! Complementing this is Cupido at
Kashud, Theta Ophiuchi, called The Magician in the most ancient cuneiform texts. An
entire (possible) story has emerged. Military service, disability, and a new (or continuing)
profession as a priest/occultist/astrologer/seer.

Note: After all this work, I told Gary Christen about the horoscope, and he shot me down!
According to Gary, the British Museum has many of these horoscopes, all electionals for
Roman Army operations! I was truly crushed until I studied the figure from that point of
view. If this was an elected time for any military campaign, troop movement or re-supply,
the astrologer was a candidate for a malpractice suit! Would you choose to start out with the
Moon, mistress of the flow of events, in detriment in the sign of death, in the 8th house of
death, applying to a square of Mercury and Mars? The Asc is about to square Saturn in the
3rd of travel, and the chart is for 10PM, not a usual time for army movements, unless there
was an emergency. The following sunrise would have been much better, when the Moon
would be at 8 Scorpio, and having escaped the deadly squares, would be flowing instead
towards trines to Sun, Jupiter and NNode. Gary, I rest my case. ((Another possibility has
just occurred to me: could this an electional chart for a Mithraic ritual bull sacrifice?))
After I had completed this article, I searched through books on ancient civilizations hoping
to discover one or two possible illustrations for it. I hoped simply to find pictures of the
general area - my digression into Mithraic possibilities had started as a shot in the dark. No
map of the known Mithraic sites had shown any worship that far east, but to my
astonishment, a picture of a Mithraeum discovered at Dura turned up! Of course, this proves
nothing, but I was excited nonetheless!
This article is certainly an exercise in Aries hubris! To attempt an interpretion of a
horoscope with almost no knowledge of its background or purpose is presumptuous, to say
the least. As for the use of multi-national sources, I have found that the sky is a cross- and
inter- cultural space. Western constellations & their mythic associations work everywhere
in the world, as do the Chinese, Hindu, Arabian and Mayan/Aztec; apparently, the message
is the message is the message, find it where you will! But really, to me, the ability we now
have to interpret a chart with almost no initial information demonstrates the amazing power

and potential for analysis offered by the Uranian System, butressed and affirmed by the
Fixed Stars.
Oh, by the way. the charts Saturn/Admetos: of long duration, equals both chart-ruler
Jupiter and Uranus/Apollon, the combination for astrology: a perfect expression of the
resilience and endurance of our discipline, and of the horoscope itself, discovered after a
duration of more than 1,800 years!
Bibliography:
Booher, Wayne. I am indebted to Wayne for his ideas on planetary pictures for sacrifice,
caves, grottoes, etc, and for David Ulanseys article in Scientific American.
Campion, Nicholas. The Book of World Horoscopes: Wellingborough: The Aquarian Press,
1988.
Christen, Gary. personal conversation, June, 1996.
Cirlot, J. E. A Dictionary of Symbols. New York: Philosophical Library, Inc, 1962.
Cumont, Franz. The Mysteries of Mithra: New York: Dover Publications, Inc, 1956.
Cumont, Franz. Astrology & Religion among the Greeks and Romans: New York, Dover
Publications, Inc, 1960.
Ebertin, Reinhold. The Combination of Stellar Influences. Wurttemberg 1972: Ebertin-Verlag.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol 7, p 612, & Vol 15, p 604. Chicago, London, etc: Encyclopaedia
Britannica, Inc, 1965.
Goodenough, Erwin R. Jewish Symbols in the Greco-Roman Period. Princeton: Bollingen Series,
Princeton University Press, 1988 (illustration of Dura Mithraeum).
Houck, Richard. Mr Houck was kind enough to send me Valerie Roebucks translation of
the Vrddhayavanajataka of Minaraja.
Johnson, Jotham. Tell Time by the Stars, Archaeology, New York: New York University
Press, 1963.
Lehman, J. Lee. The Book of Rulerships. West Chester: Whitford Press, 1992.
Niggemann, Hans. The Key to Uranian Astrology: New York: Hans Niggemann, 1977.
Roebuck, Valerie J. The Circle of Stars, An Introduction to Indian Astrology. Rockport: Element
Inc, 1992
Roebuck, Valerie J., letter to Richard Houck dated July 21, 1995, with translation of the
Vrddhayavanajataka of Minaraja, Lunar Mansions in Natal Astrology, books 60 & 63.
Rosenberg, Diana K. Encyclopaedia//Correspondence Course of Fixed Stars & Constellations.
New York, 1996.
Staal, Julius D. W. Stars of Jade. Decatur, GA: Writ Press, 1984.
Ulansey, David. The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries: Oxford University Press, NY, 1989.
Ulansey, David. The Mithraic Mysteries, Scientific American, December, 1989, pp. 130-135.
Walters, Derek. Chinese Astrology. Wellingborough, England: The Aquarian Press, 1987.
Witte-Lefeldt, Rules for Planetary Pictures, Hamburg, 1977: Ludwig Rudolph (Witte-Verlag).

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