Updating "Solar and Lunar Returns" examples

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Jim Eshelman
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Updating "Solar and Lunar Returns" examples

Post by Jim Eshelman » Wed Jul 05, 2017 3:06 pm

After nearly 70 years, Solar and Lunar Returns by Donald A. Bradley (1948, Los Angeles) remains both a foundation work of Sidereal astrology and a common reference of great value.

One thing that has changed in seven decades, though, is our access to accurate birth data. Some of the examples he used were for data now known to be wrong. I will use this thread as an excuse to reread the example sections, and will add discussions of any charts I find had wrong birth data.
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Warren G. Harding

Post by Jim Eshelman » Wed Jul 05, 2017 3:29 pm

President Warren G. Harding was born November 2, 1865, in Blooming Grove, OH. There is disagreement over the time. Astro.com accepts the 2:30 PM time and lists it as A-quality data, credited to memory, presumably thinking the father's statement outweighs an unsubstantiated biography. There is also a report of a personal letter from Harding for 2:00 PM, but this, of course, is likely hearsay instead of memory :)

But why 2:30 of 2:00, if that was the father's statement?

Bradley did not provide the birth time he used, but he shows a lunar return with Moon at 2°21' Aries in the Hypsomatic Zodiac, meaning we should expect a Moon of 2°27' according to the SVP. This gives a birth time of 1:51 AM - nearly 2 AM, or 12 hours different.

Using the 2:00 PM birth time, how does the Sidereal Lunar Return look? Harding died August 2, 1923, 2:35 PM, in San Francisco, CA.

The SLR per Bradley (for the roughly 2 AM birth time) had two background luminaries, "typical of death from natural causes... bespeaking the inability to throw off the poisons pervading his system," as Bradley wrote. He notes Mars and Neptune in angular houses, and Mars is indeed close enough to Descendant to count (though today we would consider Neptune middleground). Angular Mars squares the background Moon, considered a classic mark of inflammatory illness. In a more house-driven time, Bradley cited that the background Sun was actually in the 6th house, conjunct Pluto and square an 8th house Saturn.

Sounds good enough... but I think the one for the correct birth time is better!

For 2:00 PM, we get a Sun-Pluto conjunction straddling Midheaven, square a rising Saturn.

17°09' Gem Pluto (2°46' after MC)
18°03' Vir Asc
19°34' Gem MC

20°03' Vir Saturn (1°17' before Asc)
20°59' Gem Sun (1°28' before MC)

Notice the partile Sun-Saturn square, both ecliptically and mundanely. That his natal Venus is 20°02' Virgo doesn't seem to say much - by its angularity or its aspects - though one is inclined to credit his setting natal Neptune (squared by Pluto). - He died of complications of pneumonia and heart disease, so I don't see how this relates to his Venus (though it does match symbolism of the afflicted Sun culminating in Gemini).
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Henri Desire Landru

Post by Jim Eshelman » Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:12 pm

Henri Desire Landru was born April 12,1869 in Paris. Bradley used 6:12 AM, and a birth record has subsequently appeared saying 6:00 AM. The charts will be quite similar.

The resulting lunar return for his capital conviction (predictably) has MC 3° earlier. Most strikingly, Pluto is 2°below Descendant. Transiting Jupiter is within 2° of square Ascendant, the Jupiter-Pluto square being only 0°10'.

IMO, one might have expected a better result from him than this conviction.

Bradley's chart for the slightly different birth time is not functionally different. Pluto is a little further from setting, but well in range. The same planets are in range and in aspect. Natal Uranus is slightly closer to the angle for the later (Bradley) time. The 10° Virgo partile Mars-Saturn conjunction doesn't hit angles in either.

Bradley, of course, translated the chart quite differently, according to the norm of his day. Of note, though, is that Bradley made quite a few calculation mistakes on non-lunar planets (probably because he didn't have a reliable 1869 ephemeris), so don't assume many of his fine degree reports are a bit wrong.
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Jack Dempsey

Post by Jim Eshelman » Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:18 pm

More of a note than a review...

Jack Dempsey's birth time is uncertain. The most popular time is 5:30 AM MST. Bradley used 5:24 AM LMT. These are nearly identical (MCs within about a degree). 5:30 AM MST, in fact, is 5:26:15 AM LMT.

That, of course, presumes either is correct. Church of Light's files say 11:00 PM from a New York Times article about his astrologer. The chart for about 5:30 seems to be the one from Sabian Symbols, without a stated source.
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William Heirens

Post by Jim Eshelman » Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:33 pm

Again, the time difference is small. William Heirens was born November 15, 1928, in Evanston, IL (Bradley used Chicago: the difference is small). Bradley used a birth time or 8:40 PM LMT (the chart says 8:51, but the text says 8:40). We now have a birth certificate that says 8:30 PM, in what would be CST (8:39:10 PM LMT).

I'm not going to calculate new charts for less than a one minute difference, but I give this for those who want to check and examine.

By the way, the natal chart is quite interesting. I determined 50 years ago that multiple personality disorder was linked primarily to Pluto. Heirens, a famous "Jekyll and Hyde" character, as Bradley put it, was born with Pluto rising in Gemini.
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William Hickman

Post by Jim Eshelman » Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:53 pm

Bradley gave this birth as January 31, 1909, 3:57 AM LMT, 35N, 94W30. However, there is great uncertainty and consequent controversy about the time, with even a question of the date.

The most circulated time is February 1, 1908 (one day later, one year earlier) at a similar time, 4:45 AM, in Hartford, AR 935N01, 94W23, which matches the location). This most circulated time traces back to Rob Hand, but with no indication where he got it. (The time matches the one in Sabian Symbols, so that was probably Rob's source.)

But a statement from his attorney suggests a birth time a year later, the same year Bradley used - but has an inherent problem, since it refers to a December 1927 date and says he was "just over 18." Since his birthday is either the last day of January or the first day of February, this couldn't be true. In contrast, two Los Angeles papers (from what source?) at he was 20 years old on February 1, 1928 - suggesting he was born February 1, 1908.

It's kind of a mess. If I had to pick, I'd go with the date in the second paragraph above, but I'm not sure we should pick. This is unfortunate, because it makes us entirely discard Bradley's most important example in Chapter 7.
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Winnie Ruth Judd

Post by Jim Eshelman » Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:14 pm

Bradley quotes the father as writing that she was born "at midnight" January 29-30, 1905 in Oxford, IN. We have a subsequent corroborating, and perhaps refining, letter from the delivery doctor who gives 10 minutes earlier, at 11:50 PM on January 29. As the issue in Bradley's example is contact to locality angles, these 10 minutes matter.

She committed "America's most shocking double-murder" on the morning of October 17, 1931, in Phoenix, AZ. Without a better time, I'll use 8 AM. Bradley particularly cited the transit assaults on her Mercury as marking her insanity. For the 11:50 PM time, she still has Uranus and Saturn exactly transiting her Mercury; but, with the 10 minute shift, her Mercury is no longer exactly angular in Phoenix, so the punch line of the story is different. (Of course, maybe she wasn't born at 11:50. Maybe she was born exactly at 12:00.)
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Re: Winnie Ruth Judd

Post by Arena » Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:45 am

Jim Eshelman wrote:
Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:14 pm
Bradley quotes the father as writing that she was born "at midnight" January 29-30, 1905 in Oxford, IN. We have a subsequent corroborating, and perhaps refining, letter from the delivery doctor who gives 10 minutes earlier, at 11:50 PM on January 29. As the issue in Bradley's example is contact to locality angles, these 10 minutes matter.

She committed "America's most shocking double-murder" on the morning of October 17, 1931, in Phoenix, AZ. Without a better time, I'll use 8 AM. Bradley particularly cited the transit assaults on her Mercury as marking her insanity. For the 11:50 PM time, she still has Uranus and Saturn exactly transiting her Mercury; but, with the 10 minute shift, her Mercury is no longer exactly angular in Phoenix, so the punch line of the story is different. (Of course, maybe she wasn't born at 11:50. Maybe she was born exactly at 12:00.)
I remember when I read Fagan's POSA that he wrote specifically about how the Novien (or navamsha chart) could sometimes explain to us an inner character that is not necessarily as visible to the public and he made an example of a killer (p.113-120).

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