Thursday, March 20, 2014

FORTEAN....the original

As we wait for further news on the lost plane MH370, I'm staying with mysterious happenings and strange phenomena in general, and have pulled up a 2010 blog of mine on Charles Fort - here's an edited version:

"[Wise men] have tried to understand our state of being, by grasping at its stars, or its arts, or its economics. But, if there is an underlying oneness of all things, it does not matter where we begin, whether with stars, or laws of supply and demand, or frogs, or Napoleon Bonaparte. One measures a circle, beginning anywhere."
— Charles Fort (LO!)

Charles Fort wasn't the first ever researcher into the mysterious and unexplained, but his name has remained in plain sight as an adjective: fortean: of or pertaining to anomalous phenomena.

Inquiring into, recording and attempting to explain life's unexplained mysteries, was Fort's life's work and obsession. His best known books are The Book of the Damned, New Lands, Lo! and Wild Talents , published between 1919 and 1932.
All concern the bizarre phenomena unexplained by traditional science. The author spent the better part of three decades documenting flying saucers, telekinesis, sudden showers of fish from the sky, stigmata, poltergeists, and spontaneous combustion and much else.

Charles Fort was born in Albany, New York on 6 August 1874. His parents, Dutch immigrants, ran a successful wholesale grocery business. His father is reported to have been a domineering and physically brutal man.

The following extract came from an article by Bob Rickard at the Charles Fort Institute website, which now (2014) seems to have either disappeared from the net, or moved. I haven't located it yet, but will add a link if and when I do so.
Beatings by his tyrannical father helped set him against authority and dogma, as he declares in the remaining fragments of his autobiography Many Parts. Escaping home at the age of 18, he worked as a reporter in New York City before hitch-hiking through Europe "to put some capital into the bank of experience." In 1896, aged 22, he contracted malaria in South Africa and returned to New York where he married Anna Filan (or Filing), an English servant girl in his father's house. Fort and Anna settled down to a life of dire poverty ...... He took odd jobs between infrequent sales of his stories (most of which are now lost) to newspapers and magazines. At times things were so bad the Forts had to use their furniture for firewood..... He virtually lived as a hermit, chasing references at the library until it closed and writing up his notes at home, pottering over them into the night...... His concentration was quickly soured by doubt, which was rare but drastic when it occurred, plunging him into a depression. Twice, he burned his collection of tens of thousands of notes because "They were not what I wanted." Undaunted, he would begin his exhaustive reading and note-taking all over again, but in a new direction.

In 1921, the Forts set sail for London, where he and Anna lived close to the British Museum (at 39A, Marchmont Street). For eight years, he undertook his 'grand tour' of the Museum's holdings several more times, at each pass widening his horizons to new subjects and new correlations. He began to think that space travel was inevitable, sending letters to the New York Times on the subject and even speaking on it at Hyde Park Corner.

We have very few descriptions of Fort. He was a complex and private man, dedicated to his work. His autobiographical fragments, Many Parts,reveal a turbulent childhood through which he stumbled and brawled, resisting parental authority and any other imposition he thought unjust or foolish. Yet the key elements of his later brilliance are all in place: his powers of observation, his creative imagination, his facility with words and descriptions, and even his compassion for people who did not have his own inner strength.

Fort's biographer, Damon Knight, says Fort was "an utterly peaceable and sedentary man [who] lived quietly with his wife." By all accounts, Fort and Anna were an odd couple, but they were devoted to each other.

No time of birth is known, chart set for noon.

Charles Fort's difficulties with his brutal father are astrologically represented by Saturn opposing his Leo cluster of Sun/Uranus/Mars from Aquarius. Saturn is said to represent the father figure in astrology. I'm not convinced this is always the case, but in Fort's chart, even if Saturn does not represent the father, it does represent the status quo and all that is "set in stone", which Charles Fort continually challenged. Saturn was in Aquarius, sign of its traditional rulership - so this opposition seems to balance in some way (or echo?) Sun conjunct Uranus, Uranus being modern ruler of Aquarius.

Sun (self) and Uranus (planet of the unexpected, and all things situated "out where the buses don't run"!)were conjoined: Sun 13 Leo Uranus 11 Leo. This is the key to his major interests! Moon would have been in mentally acute Gemini, unless Fort were born during the first hour of 6 August.

From the quote above... "his powers of observation, his creative imagination, his facility with words and descriptions, and even his compassion for people who did not have his own inner strength." Venus conjunct Jupiter in Virgo along with Moon probably in Gemini account for the first part of that, with Mercury in late Cancer in sextile to Venus/Jupiter adding compassion to the mix.


mike said...

Yes, Saturn opposed his Sun-Mars-Uranus would be oppressive...and Mars rules the male-force, too. His Moon's position could range from 0 to 12 degrees Gemini...which would include part or all of the Sun-Mars-Uranus by sextile and Saturn possibly by trine, to help blot-out part of the emotional trauma.

I'm always impressed by individuals that follow their chosen path with utter conviction...most are recognized for their achievements posthumously and suffer during life for their perceived impositions. I suspect he didn't give a wit whether others thought he was strange...maybe he learned strength of his individuality through the obduration from his father.

Twilight said...

mike ~ Thanks. Yes, agreed.
His "Fixity" from Leo/Aquarius (and nodal axis Scorpio/Taurus) would have factored in to his steadfast determination to "do it his way" too. :-)

mike (again) said...

Off topic - Fred Phelps is dead...what an abhorrent, vile bible thumper. He has progeny to carry forth his hate, unfortunately.|main5|dl3|sec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D456070

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ The world's well rid of that one!

mike (again) said...

Oriental and occidental planetary position is important to some astrologers. There are many differing definitions and explanations on the internet. Fortean has an oriental span of planets between Sun and Moon...or Uranus if considering the planet rising directly above the Sun. Do you give any special import to these orientations, Twilight? I usually consider the most elevated planet in a chart, but not the orientations to the Sun (or between Sun and Moon).

"Occidental or Oriental
These terms have various meanings, when differently applied, as: (1) The Moon is oriental of the Sun when it is increasing in light, from the lunation to the full; occidental of the Sun, when decreasing in light. (2) A planet is said to be oriental of the Sun when it rises and sets before the Sun; occidental of the Sun, when it rises and sets after the Sun. Planets are said to be stronger when oriental of the Sun and occidental of the Moon. (3)..."

Twilight said...

mike ~ That's something I remember reading about a few years ago, along with stuff about "leading planets".
I experimented with it a bit but decided it wasn't something I was inspired by. There are so many bits and pieces available to use, most I've discarded, a few I'll look at occasionally (like decans/duads, nodes, Gauquelin's angle areas), then too much just tends to clutter the mind and muddy the waters. But, whatever floats one's astro-boat has to be right for each of us.