Friday, July 04, 2014

USA's Birthday and Ebenezer Sibly, Creator of Its Most Popular Natal Chart

As it's the birthday of the USA today, a look at the astrologer whose natal chart for the nation's birth has gathered most acclaim and remains in popular use: Ebenezer Sibly.

I found a brief article about Sibly in an old volume I've featured in posts before here: The Best of the Illustrated National Astrological Journal 1933-1935, compiled by Edward A. Wagner (1978). The piece is part of a series titled Astrologers of History. These short pieces are uncredited, so I assume they were written by editorial staff of the National Astrological Journal - or perhaps a credit appeared in some earlier "Best of" volume.

Below I've copy-typed what the author, whoever he/she was, had to say. Sibly's date of birth is given in New Style. A piece at Skyscript on Sibly quotes his birth date in Old Style: 30 January 1751. "L.M.T." I take as being the same as GMT : London Mean Time/Greenwich Mean Time.

One of the most noteworthy astrologers of the late 18th century was Ebenezer Sibly. He was born at Bristol, England, February 10, 1751 (N.S.), on a Wednesday at 11.33 am (L.M.T.) according to a horoscope of his own making.

With the intention of following medicine as a career, he came to London in his youth to study surgery, and afterwards, in 1792, graduated as a doctor of medicine at King's College, Aberdeen.
He settled for a time at Ipswich, but, fascinated by the study of astrology, he returned to London, where his brother Monoah, who was a well-known Swedenborgian preacher and astrologer, had a place of worship in Friars Street, Ludgate Hill.

Ebenezer Sibly was a voluminous writer on astrology and allied subjects. He wrote "Magazine of Natural History", in three volumes, "A New and Complete Exposition of the Occult Sciences", in two volumes, "The Key to Psychic and the Occult Sciences. His most important work was a large book, "The Celestial Science of Astrology", first published at London in 1785. The last edition appeared in 1817. These volumes contain many valuable observations and much curious information of great interest to students of astrology.

He was the first astrologer to publish a horoscope of the United States of America. This appeared in the 1785 edition of his large book on astrology. There is a symbolic picture representing the chart of the Declaration of Independence. This chart was cast for July 4, 1776, at 10:10 p.m. From it he predicted that "America in time should have an extensive and rising commerce and advantageous and universal traffic to every quarter of the globe and great prosperity among its people."

In the same work he makes an interesting allusion to the ill-fated poet Thomas Chatterton, whose nativity he gives and from which he prognosticated his fatal end. He gives also a very interesting delineation on the horoscope of the Rev. George Whitefield, who was a friend of Benjamin Franklin.

Ebenezer Sibly stands out as one of the great geniuses of astrology and it is to be regretted that his life was cut short at an early age. He died at London in his 48th year, on a Wednesday at 1 o'clock p.m., October 30, 1799.

There's a small image of a hand-drawn chart in the article, it doesn't indicate whether it comes from Sibly's writings or the magazine staff - but it doesn't copy well. The only difference in the chart below, by my software, and that in the article is the addition of Pluto, and a few minutes (not degrees) of difference in some planets' positions.

Here's a quadruple Aquarius-type with Gemini rising and Jupiter sextile his Aquarius stellium. Is there any wonder he became such a prolific writer, and with some rather out-of-ordinary interests? Additionally two personal planets sextile his Sun from Jupiter's home sign Sagittarius, bringing even more harmony to this chart. Natal Moon in Leo (known for leadership and love of the spotlight) opposes the Aquarius stellium - a balancing act perhaps, and indication that one day Sibly's work would become more famous than he had ever imagined?


mike said...

Happy 4th to you and anyjazz! We can always hope that the USA gets back on track, preferably sooner than later.

The Declaration of Independence has many possible birth dates, as you have indicated in previous posts. Natal charts for the same day often conflict with the time of day, as to provide differences in the rising sign. The 9-11-2001 terrorist attack supposedly validated the Sibley natal chart.

Independence was declared July 2;
Ratified on July 4;
Signed copies August 2;
Articles of Confederation November 15, 1777

I use the solar, sunrise chart for July for me.

I can add that Sibley's chart indicates he was born at full Moon, which is said to add a touch of other-worldly, not-of-this-Earth understanding to the the Sun-Moon opposition is sextile-trine the lunar nodes. Mars conjunct his north node, sextile-trine the Sun-Moon would add a strong sense of purpose and motivation toward understanding the "not self" of the seventh house (he may have made easy enemies, too). His stellium in the tenth house made it inevitable that he would be widely known, and with Uranus the fame would be for something abstract and unusual. His over-all chart proffers an individual that is smooth, soft, self-assured, directed, and very unusual.

Twilight said...

mike ~ Good wishes to you too, mike.
We don't do anything special on 4th, other than fly the US flag - we do it just this one day each year. We used to fly an Earth Flag all the time, for my first few years here, but became disheartened. Nobody around here knew of its significance.

Fireworks are banned in our town due to fire hazard/drought (not that
anyjazz and I would be setting off fireworks anyway!) but the town's communal display, which I remember watching in the sky - from our front yard - years ago, can no longer be held.

Yes, let's hope for genuinely happier days, less conflicted July 4ths, and wiser governance, for this vast and beautiful, beautiful land which truly deserves better.

Twilight said...

mike ~ Forgot to say - thanks for your additional thoughts on Sibly's astrology.

I like the Armistead chart for the USA (2 July) myself, if any at all. The idea of national astrological charts - for non-flesh and blood entities - has always seemed wrong to me, but as astrologers seem to think it's ok - I guess such charts must have been found to hold significance.