Child burned in fire

Q&A and discussion on Sidereal Lunar Returns.
Post Reply
User avatar
Jim Eshelman
Are You Sirius?
Posts: 18538
Joined: Sun May 07, 2017 12:40 pm
Gender:

Child burned in fire

Post by Jim Eshelman » Sat Feb 10, 2024 7:39 am

One of the examples in Bradley's Solar and Lunar Returns is of a young child who died when her parents'' home burned. Unfortunately, this is mostly an example of turmoil we astrologers went through in the days before computers when we calculated charts by hand. We made mistakes!

Bradley made a simple copying or math error - he wrote her Moon down 1° off - so the calculated lunar return is about two hours wrong. This is frustrating in reading his classic, paradigm-changing book today: A majority of his specific examples either have math errors or we have since learned that the birth times are wrong (e.g., Freud and Pres. Harding; and several others later in the book). The solunars technique is itself sound, but it's awkward that the impressive examples were often not only interpreted on principles we today consider wrong but often were invalid, wrong charts.

We've learned much about the structures of astrology and their best modes of application, due substantially to Bradley's work (see his anticipation of this on page 10), and solar and lunar returns have proven themselves thousands or times regardless of his math mistakes. Nonetheless, it's worth catching and cleaning up these errors in data or calculation for many reasons: to refine the record, show the value of the system independent of hand-picked good examples, and to learn something new from the correct sample charts.
Jim Eshelman
www.jeshelman.com

User avatar
Jim Eshelman
Are You Sirius?
Posts: 18538
Joined: Sun May 07, 2017 12:40 pm
Gender:

Re: Child burned in fire

Post by Jim Eshelman » Sat Feb 10, 2024 7:39 am

The child's birth data are given as July 14, 1922, 11:06 PM LMT, Oakland, CA. However, Oakland was not on LMT in 1922. This form is likely a result of the custom among astrologers in the 1940s to work in LMT (because of the processes of calculating charts at the time). Because the usual listed center of Oakland is 8:09:05 west of Greenwich, this (to the nearest minute) would have been 11:15 PM PST. I'll work from this as the "given" birth time.

Moon's longitude is 7°27' Pisces. In the pre-SVP Spica zodiac then in use, this would have been 7°21' Pisces. Bradley gives it, instead, as 6°22' Pisces. It was probably an addition error. The other planets look OK, though (the Midheaven matches what we'd expect within a minute of arc, Sun is exactly right, etc.).

The family moved from Oakland to Sacramento. That's where the fatal fire took place.

We don't have an exact date for the fire. We know only that it occurred under the November 30, 1930 SLR. I'll use December 1, 1930, Sacramento, knowing that we can only look at the two charts presented, the SSR and SLR.


TMSA gives the SSR as July 15, 1930, 12:21:30 AM PST, Sacramento, CA. As Sacamento is 8:06 west of Greenwich, this agrees within about one minute with the 12:17 AM LMT Bradley gave in the book. (He only gives angles to the degree, quite reasonable for the limits of hand calculation at the time.)

Using the theories of the time, where "foreground" meant the entire angular house (plus a wide orb of conjunction with the angle), Bradley interpreted Mars in the 1st house (square Venus-Neptune in the 5th) as the main feature, saying, "rising Mars dominates the whole chart." Today we would not consider Mars in the middle of H1 as being very important. However, he next cites that SSR Moon is square natal Mars - which it is, within 0°19'. In fact, SSR Moon also conjoins natal Uranus, setting off his natal Mars-Uranus square. He also observed that (though background) SSR Saturn conjoined natal M (another 19' aspect), and we'd give this full weight today. Meanwhile, SSR Uranus was within a degree of natal Ascendant. These are quite potent (all partile and involving a personal point) factors. Finally, there is the triple conjunction of Sun-Mercury-Pluto near IC (the home).

Today, we would interpret this chart more or less the same, excluding thinking Mars in the middle of the 1st house (and its aspects) important. The only foreground planets are Mercury conjunct natal Sun on IC (0°05'). The outstanding features are SSR Moon atop natal Mars-Uranus and - not caught in the 1940s - in mundane square to natal Pluto. And transiting Saturn and Uranus were exactly on natal angles.
Jim Eshelman
www.jeshelman.com

User avatar
Jim Eshelman
Are You Sirius?
Posts: 18538
Joined: Sun May 07, 2017 12:40 pm
Gender:

Re: Child burned in fire

Post by Jim Eshelman » Sat Feb 10, 2024 8:13 am

But the SLR was off. That's where the calculation error occurred.

TMSA gives the SLR as November 30, 1930, 2:33:11 AM PST, Sacramento, CA. Compare this to the displayed chart for 12:33 AM PST (12:25 AM LMT), exactly two hours earlier.

Frankly, the correct chart is a better example than the wrong chart! (That, of course, is the way it should be :).)

For the miscalculated SLR, Bradley's main point was that transiting Mars, though in the remote background, was 0°06' from conjunct natal Neptune and transiting Saturn opposed natal Pluto 0°06'. (This was his example to explicitly show how transits at the time of solunars are important.) The other details he mentions are minor.

But let's look at the correct SLR! The same aspects are there except that Saturn - and, thus, Saturn's opposition to natal Pluto - was near IC, square Uranus on Descendant. It's not a perfect chart, though it fits no worse than the wrong chart. Transiting Mars remains 0°05' from conjunct natal Neptune (middleground instead of background) and transiting Saturn remains 0°07' from opposite natal Pluto (foreground instead of background or middleground). Here is the full breakdown as we would look at it today. (Notice that the natal Jupiter-Pluto is duplicated.) Read through the aspects and draw your own conclusion on the accuracy.

r Sun on MC -8°15'
t Pluto on MC -6°41'
t Jupiter on MC -5°45'

---------------------------
t Uranus on Dsc +0°58'
r Jupiter on Asc +1°29'
t Saturn on IC +4°13'
r Pluto on MC +4°40'


t Saturn op r Pluto 0°07'
t Uranus op r Jupiter 0°22'
t Jupiter-Pluto co 0°54'

t Saturn sq r Jupiter 1°08'
r Jupiter-Pluto sq 1°15'
t Saturn-Uranus sq 1°30'
t Pluto co r Sun 1°31'
t Uranus sq r Pluto 1°37'
t Jupiter co r Su 2°25'

Other partile aspects
t Mars co r Neptune 0°06'
t Sun-Neptune sq 0°27'
t Moon-Saturn op 0°29' M
Jim Eshelman
www.jeshelman.com

User avatar
Jim Eshelman
Are You Sirius?
Posts: 18538
Joined: Sun May 07, 2017 12:40 pm
Gender:

Re: Child burned in fire

Post by Jim Eshelman » Sat Feb 10, 2024 8:39 am

I wish we had the actual date of the fire. I suspect, though, that it was in the first half of the month.
Jim Eshelman
www.jeshelman.com

SteveS
Nabu
Posts: 6591
Joined: Mon May 08, 2017 5:11 am
Gender:

Re: Child burned in fire

Post by SteveS » Sat Feb 10, 2024 10:44 am

Excellent analysis/example.

User avatar
Jim Eshelman
Are You Sirius?
Posts: 18538
Joined: Sun May 07, 2017 12:40 pm
Gender:

Re: Child burned in fire

Post by Jim Eshelman » Sat Feb 10, 2024 8:05 pm

A researcher colleague has tracked down this child - we have the date of the fire. According to the California birth and death indices, and an article in the Oakland Tribune for December 22, 1930, this child was Miriam Wilcox who died in Pleasant Valley in Solano County (the county containing Sacramento on December 21, 1930. (Pleasant Valley is east of Sacramento.) Here is the news report: https://cdnc.ucr.edu/?a=d&d=OT19301222.1.3 - The mother had remarried to a Dr. Smith.

As the article says, her mother died trying to save her from the fire. The entire house was lost.

The fire woke the parents at 4:00 AM.

I'll work this up a bit more.
Jim Eshelman
www.jeshelman.com

User avatar
Jim Eshelman
Are You Sirius?
Posts: 18538
Joined: Sun May 07, 2017 12:40 pm
Gender:

Re: Child burned in fire

Post by Jim Eshelman » Sat Feb 10, 2024 8:13 pm

The fire began as Mars crossed Zenith. Transits to the child's chart at 4:00 AM were:

t Uranus op r Jupiter 11'
t Mars oc r Mercury 8'
t Sun oc r Neptune 0°01'

These aren't bad, especially the 01' Sun transit to Neptune - but the set of transits overall look like they're in ABOUT the right place and not quite. This is usual indication that we can expect the exact transits in the relevant return chart, e.g., the Mars to Neptune and Saturn to Pluto transits already mentioned.

Progressed Moon was 25°41' Gemini, meaning that t Pluto (26°26' Gem) conjoined it and t Mercury (26°04' Sag) opposed it.

I originally thought the event must have happened in the first part of the month because the Demi-SLR looked less precise for the fire and (surely terrifying) death - it looked to me more like a funeral or memorial period. Nonetheless, the Demi-SLR set up December 13. Here it is for the correct city (Pleasant Valley).

t Saturn on EP -1°55'
r Mercury on Dsc -8°45'

r Jupiter on Asc -2°40'
t Uranus on IC -2°39'
r Pluto on EP -0°42'
t Sun on Asc -0°58'
t Mercury on EP -0°02'

-----------------------
r Mars on Asc +5°21'
r Saturn on MC +7°15'
t Moon on MC +8°49'


t Uranus op r Jupiter 0°01'
t Saturn-Uranus sq 0°06'

t Saturn sq r Jupiter 0°19'
t Mercury op r Pluto 0°20'
r Mercury-Saturn sq 0°30'
t Mercury-Saturn co 0°33' M
r Moon-Mercury sq 0°37'

r Moon-Saturn op 1°08'
r Jupiter-Pluto sq 1°15'

t Uranus sq r Pluto 1°27'
t Saturn op r Pluto 1°34'
t Mercury sq r Jupiter 1°35'
t Sun-Uranus sq 1°41' M
t Sun sq r Jupiter 1°42' M
t Mercury-Uranus sq 1°48'
r Mars-Saturn sq 1°54' M
Jim Eshelman
www.jeshelman.com

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest