Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Mystical Mountaineer, Maurice Wilson ~ Another English Eccentric.

In Friday's post the subject was an English eccentric - here's another one!

On 21 April in 1898 was born Maurice Wilson, to the owner of a Yorkshire woollen mill and his wife in Bradford, England. I doubt that his family, early on, appreciated what an extraordinary individual this child of theirs would become!

In the beginning his life followed a fairly normal pattern. In the Great War (1914-1918), he served and rose through the ranks to become a Captain. He fought at Passchendaele, won the Military Cross, sustained a permanent arm injury from machine gun fire. When the war ended he travelled to New Zealand, worked on a sheep farm and later ran a ladies’ clothing store. On the boat back to England he met a group of yogis, became interested in their disciplines. Back home, when he contracted tuberculosis he cured himself by fasting and prayer.

Nothing too eccentric so far? But wait.....

Maurice read newspaper articles about British expeditions aiming to climb Mount Everest, and was inspired. He resolved to climb the then unconquered mountain himself! He decided that he was divinely inspired and had "a job to do".

Maurice had no climbing experience whatsoever, but he dreamed up a plan. He'd buy a small plane, fly to Tibet, then crash the plane as high on the mountain's side as he could, then... walk to the summit. Easy peasy! He bought a Gypsy Moth, named it "Ever Wrest", took some flying lessons, obtained his pilot's licence after two attempts, then crashed his plane near home and had a flying ban slapped on him by the Air Ministry. As for climbing skills, his training comprised of hiking in the Welsh Hills -among baby mountains of Snowdonia - never mind all that stuff about about crampons and the essential skills required for highest mountain climbing!

Amazingly enough, Maurice managed to fly to India. He flew via Cairo, Bahrain and Persia, with only a simple map of coastlines to guide him. On arrival, "Ever Wrest", and presumably Maurice, were promptly impounded by the British Government of India.

In May 1933 newspaper headlines back home declared: "Everest Airman Missing". They were unaware of his arrest and temporary detainment. It seems that he spent many months in Darjeeling with Indian mystics who taught him more about Yogism and "subordinating the body to the will of the spirit until he could live for days without food, and endure cold and hardship sufficient to kill an ordinary man.”

Maurice Wilson eventually began his attempt to climb Everest accompanied by three guides for the 300 mile trek to the foot of the mountain, after which he was to climb solo.

Reports were that the last sighting of Wilson had been as he set out alone up a glacier, equipped with a tent, three loaves, two tins of oatmeal, a camera, and a Union Jack. His body and diary were found by a British expedition 21,000 feet up on the East Rongbuk Glacier on 9 July 1934. His last diary entry of 31 May 1934 was: "Off again, gorgeous day." His body was buried in a crevasse, a cairn marks the spot.

Rumour had it, perhaps based on his New Zealand sojourn running a ladies' clothing store, that when his body was found, he was wearing female underwear, and had women's clothes in his pack. A Chinese expedition in 1960 found a woman’s dress shoe around the same location. That gossip might have simply been some hack's headline-seeking attempt - but who knows when considering a guy like Maurice Wilson?



Maurice Wilson born on April 21, 1898, in Bradford, United Kingdom.
Chart is set for 12 noon, no time of birth is known. Moon position and ascendant not accurate as shown.

As in the case of Edward James, Friday's English eccentric, I'm concentrating mainly on astrological source of Wilson's eccentricity. Epicentre? I see it as the Yod formed by Uranus (eccentricity) at 2 Sagittarius (excess); and Jupiter (excess) at 2 Libra; and Sun (core self) at 1 Taurus. A Yod is made up of 2 sextiled planets forming the base of a long slim triangle, via two quincunx aspects; planet at apex of the formation being the "business end" to channel reflections of the two sextiled planets. That seems to speak for itself, doesn't it?

His determination to fly a plane long distance, with next to no experience and only basic skills; similarly his determination to climb the planet's highest peak with no experience or skills both reflect excessive daring, verging on the lunatic, driven by an ultra stubborn pigheaded nature. The cluster of planets in Fixed Taurus underlines this! His apparent draw to matters mystical can be traced to Jupiter's inclusion in the Yod described above.


mike said...

At least he died happy...LOL...doing what he wanted and dressed for the occasion. I'm like you, Twilight, upon upgrading my computer, I lost my previous astrology software, so I've lost the convenience of constructing charts on a whim. His last diary entry on May 31, 1934, would put transiting Sun (his life force) near conjunction with natal Pluto and opposing natal Saturn...not an omen of positive outcomes. Using free transit software (http://planetwatcher.com/), he also had transiting Uranus nearing conjunction with natal Sun...transiting Pluto nearing conjunction with his South Node. He may have had a death wish or realized the end was nigh one way or other.

BTW - TONIGHT AT 8 PM CDT...PBS' American Masters is presenting "Premiere of A Fierce Green Fire in Honor of Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22"

"Inspired by the book of the same name by environmental journalist and film interviewee Philip Shabecoff, and informed by advisors like conservation biologist E.O. Wilson, A Fierce Green Fire unfolds in five acts, each with a central story and character, featuring vivid archival footage and new interviews that shed light on the battle for a living planet. The first four acts include success stories of people fighting for causes against enormous odds, and the fifth concludes with climate change."


Twilight said...

mike ~ Thanks for the additional astro pointers on his death...He maybe didn't have an actual death wish; having travelled so far, across oceans etc. without major catastrophe he'd probably decided he must be indestructible. ;-/

Re software, I was surprised and lucky to find that though my main astro software isn't compatible with Win7, when I tried a "stripped down" version, which, if I recall correctly, came as a complimentary part of the package I bought in 2006, that one actually works on Win7! I was amazed. It's a bit clunky, but does everything I need, so I don't have to shell out for a new one. :-)

Tonight's PBS programme sounds interesting - I'll try to remember to watch it - thanks!

anyjazz said...

What a character!

Twilight said...

anyjazz~ Wasn't he though!
Oh look, here's an apt quote from your favourite author:

“Often, moreover, it is...that aspect of our being that society finds eccentric, ridiculous, or disagreeable, that holds our sweet waters, our secret well of happiness, the key to our equanimity in malevolent climes.”
― Tom Robbins, "Still Life With Woodpecker".