Sheffield Iron

Sheffield is a town, city, and borough in Yorkshire, England.

It derives its name from the local Sheaf River and is about 160 miles north by northwest of London.  It was known for its steel and world renowned cutlery. The local iron ore was smelted with charcoal got from the nearby abundant woodlands, and smiths and cutlers used the excellent local sandstone for grindstones. 

Our header picture is of a contemporary shot of Sheffield, featuring new and old architecture.  Sheffield itself is quite old and dates back to the day of Julius Caesar’s Roman Army conquering and then inhabiting Britain for the next 400 years.

During the 15th century, the streams that converge on Sheffield were used for power for grinding and forging operations. Mary Queen of Scots spent the greater part of her captivity in Sheffield castle there; an order of Parliament destroyed it under Cromwell, in 1648.

The smelting of iron dates from Roman times, and there is proof at least from the Norman Conquest that by the 14th century the town was a well-established smelter as is shown by allusions in Chaucer’s writings. The knife trade became quite prosperous under Elizabeth I, and the Cullers’ Company was incorporated in 1624.

While London tried to usurp Sheffield’s primacy as the main provincial cutlery town, by 1700 London had been defeated in the steel wars, and from then on, Sheffield enjoyed a virtual monopoly of the English cutlery trade. Originally all cutlery was made of blister or bar steel which was thin, with the steel produced by heating blister steel and then sheared into short lengths to high heat, while being welded by hammering or rolling or both, and then finally finished under greater heat.

All that ended in 1740 with Benjamin Huntsman of Handsworth, with the invention of double shear steel, where the shear steel, from the same process as single, was cut into shorter lengths, and then welded and re-hammered into a single bar. This made a stronger and heftier knife and the town grew exponentially from there beating out the rest of Europe. In 1800, invention struck again with the Bessemer process, which totally upturned everything, because it allowed for the mass production of steel from molten pig iron.

Enter Carter’s Sheffield Boy

The story of our Sheffield boy can be found in Charles E. O. Carter’s book, Symbolic Directions.  He says little about the boy other than his birth and odd death. 

sheffield boy.png

The chart above is striking in its bizarre affinity to popping, pricking, and picking things with metal [the Ascendant at 17 Cancer conjunct Neptune 20 in the second house is opposite Uranus in Capricorn (traditional lord) conjunct Mars (exalted in Capricorn) via a translation of light thus spanning the seventh through eighth houses]

This opposition is not a constant whirlwind, but has an outlet of a T-Square in the Fifth House of Libra with Juno conjunct the {unhealthy} Moon in a relationship best characterized as “affinity.”  Unfortunately, this is an unhealthy affinity, because the Moon and not the Sun is involved; perhaps it is bordering on a fetish.

Download the Sheffield boy’s natal chart.

He died at age 15, March 18, 1926, at 13:30.  His progressed chart does not show much difference, except Uranus has progressed into the fatal degrees of Capricorn, and is very close to the exalted ruler Mars while also opposed to Neptune conjunct the ascendant now in the second house. Juno has moved into the fourth house, suggesting a pre-occupation with his adolescent body, but it is also opposite the Moon in the eleventh house and Aries, trine its lord, Mars.

The Moon is the Boy’s lord of his Ascendant, and the eleventh House suggests something dirty because asteroid Hygeia at 14 Sagittarius 53 is right on the seventh house cusp, next to Arachne for crafting with things. This duo suggests that this little boy loved playing and bending steel but he was not particularly interested in the hygiene of his tools; he was more interested in the experimental side of metal. That’s a pity, as it was a dirty metal compass point that brought about his demise via that hideous disease, lockjaw. It devastated his mother, of course, Niobe at 13 Capricorn 09 is right in-between the eighth house cusp and Mars 12 Capricorn 03 suggests maybe he was an only.

I suspect the boy was warned of his dirty ways though, Asteroid Kassandra is exact his Sun at 27 Aquarius 46, but Asteroid Icarus, that other disobedient boy of Daedalus, is also there, thus I suspect he was warned but never listened. Perhaps with Venus in the tenth house at 17 Pisces 31, he was trying to get her attention by showing off his latest creation, Cupido at Pluto 25 Gemini 58 Rx, in the second rather supports that idea.


Tetanus Connection

A Louis Pasteur student in  Paris, in 1893 discovered the vaccine for tetanus, but not highly publicized and it is doubtful that it vaccine was commonplace except in its native France. At the turn of the century in England, doctors were still recommending chloral hydrate, a nerve system sedative, as a cure, but I could not find any statistics of “cured cases.” I think the idea was to slow down the system from “locking up,” and thus check the “disease’s” progress. The problem was they did not know it was a bacterium, but thought it was its own disease, based on its medical name “idiopathic tetanus,” and so were treating it incorrectly.

The CDC recommends immunization every ten years and while it claims 20 percent of all lockjaw cases are fatal, my Uncle Arthur, the retired head of internal medicine at Pontiac General disagrees and puts the fatality closer to 100%. 

Ever since I read David McCullough’s book “Brooklyn Bridge” where he details the building of the magnificent structure and how its chief architect and engineer John Roebling died from tetanus after getting a nail stuck in his foot. I have never missed a shot — and neither should you.

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