C333 Richard Rorty is redefining the pragmatic

Richard Rorty, was an American pragmatist in favour of “bourgeois liberalism.”

It is a phrase that shows up everywhere from the Chinese Communists using this phrase derogoratily to expunge too successful shopkeepers to Newark Mayor Ras Barkara claiming getting rid of the police is a bougeous liberal ideal. Rorty was the son of nonacademic leftist intellectuals who broke with the American Communist Party in the early 1930s, sometime after Rorty was born in 1931 (noticed Pluto at the Ascendant). He attended the University of Chicago and Yale University, where he obtained a Ph.D. in philosophy.

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C139 He’s here, He’s there, Putin is just about everywhere.

Exactly where was Putin born? In Saint Petersburg per TASS or in Sochi? As a Colonel who is a son of a KGB Colonel, I do not believe TASS, so that’s the first problem. Now that I’ve said that, where was he born? And then of course, when?

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C263 Edward the Sixth of England

The essay on Sir Francis Bacon caught my eye about his father-in-law, Sir Anthony Cooke, being the tutor to the ill-fated Edward the Sixth; he died at sixteen presumably of tuberculosis. Then I read at fifteen or so he proposed to Mary Queen of Scots, his sister Elizabeth’s foe.

Young Henry the Eighth, Edward’s Father

Most feel he was insulting and arrogant in his proposal but he was fifteen and king, while she was all of ten, and frankly I think most are letting Lady Antonia Fraser’s overly romantic biograph cloud their logic. This is supported by history btw. King Henry VII, Edward’s grandfather has proposed to the King of Scotland, James, a descendant of Robert the Bruce, his eldest daughter Catherine in 1495 when she was ten years and six months old to avoid Scotland tying themselves further to France. Sir Anthony would have known this, even if Edward had not.

Henry, Catherine and James

Henry’s reasons for promoting the marriage, probably no different than Edward’s, was to stop the further incursion of France into England’s northern border. The problem was at this point England was not a very strong or well regarded power, and France was the European leader, so from the Scot’s point of view getting Catherine did not seem like much of a bargain — they could do better in France.

Also as the Scottish and English royalty were fourth cousins, at that time both being Roman Catholic countries, needed Papal dispensation for the marriage. But Henry did not relent and eventually got his way, and his daughter marriage was celebrated the 16th of June, 1503, in Edinburgh. Henry VII’s gambit paid off and peace reigned between the two the rest of his days, and it was this marriage that gave little Mary her standing as a competitor to Edward’s sister Elizabeth through her father James, of course, the son of that union.

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C111 Ursula LeGuin sci fi author extraordaire

Ursula LeGuin wrote many popular sci-fiction works like her City of Illusions and the ever popular Left Hand of Darkness. With her very angular chart there was no doubt that Ms. LeGuin would be very active in her career and live a long time — she managed to do both before reposing on January 22, 2018, at eighty-eight years old.

Born Ursula Kroeber in Berkeley California both are parents were anthropologists. Her father Alfred Louis Kroeber (who was previously married to Henrietta Rothschild 1 Though whether she was related to the European Rothschilds is unknown. ) was the leading anthropologist in America at the time. He has been his wife’s, Theodora Covel Kracaw, and Ursula’s mother graduate teaching director at the University of California at Berkeley.

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    Though whether she was related to the European Rothschilds is unknown.

Celestial musician, Father Marsilo Ficino

“We have an entire sky within us, our fiery strength and heavenly origin: Luna which symbolizes the continuous motion of soul and body, Mars speed and Saturn  slowness, the Sun God, Jupiter law, Mercury reason, and Venus humanity.”  

 – Marsilio Ficino, letter to Lorenzo the Magnificent

Who was Marsilio Ficino?                                                                                                     

Father Ficino was a major figure in the Italian Renaissance, living during years 1433 and 1499.   He was a man of many talents and interests; a Dominican monk like Saint Thomas Aquinas, an Italian philosopher, theologian, and linguist whose translations and commentaries on the writings of Plato and other classical Greek authors generated the Florentine Platonist Renaissance that influenced European thought for two centuries. He is a most remarkable man.

Ficino was the son of a physician and trained in Latin language and literature, but also Aristotelian philosophy and medicine, probably at Florence and most likely in Latin translations, though he later learnt Classical Greek to read other philosophers. It was through reading Saint Augustine of Hippo (5th century) and the leading medieval scholastic Saint Thomas Aquinas that he studied the Classics, then a lost and forgotten education in the West; the Eastern Byzantine Empire, where those writers were still revered.

Portrait of Marsilo Ficino (in Latin) by unknown painter

Cosimo de’ Medici and his successors supported Ficino so he could devote the rest of his life to the translation and interpretation of Plato and the succeeding Neoplatonist, Plotinus and Porphyry, school, whose thought he attempted to integrate with Christian theology.

Natural Magic

He is most astounding theory, later taken up by many esoteric orders like the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, BOTA and the Church of Light, for the relationship between music and the celestial spheres that was discussed in his three volume work entitled Libri de Vita Tres – Three Books about Life. The last volume is especially interesting to astrologers for it in there he expounds his theories about natural magic 1 Natural Magic is a Renaissance term for magic that harnesses the forces of nature for good. It is not related to ceremonial magic like goetia and theurgy, that deals with the conjuring of spirits and demons. Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa popularized the term in his 1526 De Vanitate and William Lilly refers to Ars Goetia in his book on Horary Astrology.   An easily accessible book on Ficino,  is Thomas Moore’s, The Planets Within: the Astrological Psychology of Marsilio Ficino, published by Bucknell University Press, Lewiston, Pennsylvania, 1982.

One of his last works he translated the Corpus Hermeticum from Arabic into Latin, important because it represents a non-Christian lineage of Hellenistic Gnosticism and is seminal to Renaissance thought. Through Ficino’s translations, the Arabic polymath Averroes’s work in medicine and science became popular.

“The new inspiration of civilized life ( in Sumer) was based first on the discovery, through long and meticulous, carefully checked and rechecked observations, that there were, besides the sun and moon, five other visible or barely visible heavenly spheres ( Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn) which moved in established courses, according to established laws …and that those laws governing the seven heavenly spheres should in some mystical way be the same as those governing the life and thought of men on earth.”

Marsilio Ficino on the hermetic idea of So Above, As Below

The Ficino Chart

Marsilio Ficino was born October 19, 1433, Figline, the  republic of Florence and died October 1, 1499, Careggi, near Florence.  

Ficino is a Fanhandle temperament type, with Saturn and Mars dominating his mode of expression. His exterior may have been calm, but within the monk’s flashes of insight, and desire to learn all than mankind had penned kept him from sleep as he searched for the telltale signs of his King in His mighty fortress. His Sun straddles the ninth and tenth houses, highlighting his great desire to unite Christianity with pre-Christian writers by the Sumerian idea of how the stars interrelated with life. He has 19 Capricorn 31 as an ascendant with Mars nearby, perhaps curving his spine while giving him great mental acuity. It has the symbol of “there is no service in the Church but the voices of the choir are loud and strong.”

Neptune and Jupiter are conjunct in the intercepted seventh house of Leo, where the d’Medici’s his patrons reside, opposite Aquarius for their great mind and reason, which mimicked his own. Inconjunct to Saturn is Pluto, perhaps hinting at his own Aristotelian Lyceum that he held outside in Florence in Cariggio, for he filled it with musicians and artists, philosophers and poets duplicating the Academy of yore.

Ficino’s Mercury in Scorpio is in the eleventh house, fittingly as Ficino believed that the Greek god Mercury was the first theologian and here uniting Aquarius with its modern muse Hermes and removing it, almost instinctively from Saturn.

The fourth house opposite is empty, showing that he gave up his personal life, willingly, for his work and with Uranus in Taurus, his unique insight to the mechanics of time and space. His preponderance of squares, he has six, shows he enjoyed the philosophical quest and struggle to harmonise the strifes of life with a greater and more noble plan. His focal determinator is Saturn.

One of Ficino’s greatest belief’s was that the “soul” is more than a quality of human character and that an individual encounters things, he imbues them with his soul.  Hence Ficino would be comfortable with the idea of the “car” as a girlfriend, our pet dog as a “child” or “best friend” for he sees that as part of the nobility of the human spirit.


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    Natural Magic is a Renaissance term for magic that harnesses the forces of nature for good. It is not related to ceremonial magic like goetia and theurgy, that deals with the conjuring of spirits and demons. Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa popularized the term in his 1526 De Vanitate and William Lilly refers to Ars Goetia in his book on Horary Astrology.

Montgomery Clift unforeseen honors unfulfilled

Monty Clift and James Dean were the young turks of the 1950s Hollywood Scene. but only Monty made it out of the decade, though only just. James was the more petulant and angry of the two; Monty was the sensitive “artistic” type that women wanted to mother. Only when Monty got out of the 1950s was he able to play something against type, in Trial in Nuremberg,

Clift has several bios to his credit. One by Patricia Bosworth, and another by Robert LaGuardia , both who seem to to specialize in Hollywood bios. I read part of the LaGuardia the earlier of the two, by about 3 years and if one likes Monty and enjoys these type of books, his is rather good, though it has no pictures.

While nether Clift nor Dean won Oscars but neither did Marlon Brando, a third of this set, for Streetcar named Desire, but then again neither did Henry Fond for Grapes of Wrath, Clark Gable in Gone with the Wind, but if Monty had, it would have been for his performance in From Here to Eternity as Prew the bugler. His romantic lead, Donna Reed, is a rather Phyllis Thaxter look a like that his family expected him to marry 1 Robert LaGuardia’s Monty: a biography of Montgomery Clift; Avon Books, a division of The Heart Corporation, NY, 1977 and perhaps why the two work together so well on screen — they do have a certain romantic dynamic that is striking.

Elbert Benjamine has October 17, 1920, C.S.T., 41N15 95W57 for Monty Clift’s birth in Omaha. but the coordinates for Omaha are wrong. Jones does not list the 4 time Oscar nominee.

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    Robert LaGuardia’s Monty: a biography of Montgomery Clift; Avon Books, a division of The Heart Corporation, NY, 1977

C155 Titanic Kate Winslet

Table of contents

Kate Winslet was born Kate Elizabeth Winslet to an acting family on October 5, 1975 at 7:15 am giving her the ascendant of 12 Libra, Miners emerging from a mine. This rising symbol shows her curiosity and indomitable self-confidence that is the real strength of her personality. Opposite her Jupiter in Aries making it rather difficult for her to keep weight off while her Mars in Gemini makes her high-strung, a true Hollywood prima-donna that is very demanding to get on with (she’s on her third marriage). 

Despite those drawbacks, her friendship with Leonardo DiCaprio is more the exception than the rule.  With  her Venus in Virgo, a steadfast earth sign, she is a loyal friend, particularly towards those she has met in her line of work and whom she has high regard — this setup also makes her rather choosy about whom to befriend. 

winslet kate

Riding the seas of inspiration

Her Neptune in the Second house shows that through her acting career, she will be successful — but what’s really insightful here is Neptune rules the seas, and Ms. Winslet started her career in James Cameron’s Titanic (see our write  up on the real ocean liner here).  It was truly a great career move.  Teamed with her Saturn in Leo, she works hard at learning and mastering her craft.


Her North Node in Scorpio is on the path of knowing and shows how much Ms. Winslet needs to explore the depths of relationship.  Perhaps that explains her several marriages, for once she really gets to know someone they hold no allure for her.

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Point 1 Mars the energy center

What is the 15 point method?

Marc Edmund Jones put together for the student of the Sabian Assembly, The Fifteen Most Important Points in a Horoscope. He felt it was a dependable method that could help anyone go through a chart and create a general portrait of the person. He later expanded this to 16 points.

He was insistent that his method required an exact birth hour. If the astrologer rectifies the chart, then this new chart , must give its own clear testimony of the person, as one aspect depends upon another, and so on creating a unified portrait. There can be one striking thing like the singleton in a hemisphere or unaspected planet, but the chart should have few of these things, otherwise it does not stand as a whole.

Ostrich skeletal system

Ostrich atomy

Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric, Baron Georges Cuvier1, once remarked: “Show me a bone and I will identify the animal.” Jones said he thought the comment humorous until he took a class in comparative anatomy. The professor greeted me with a grudging cordiality; “Why are you, a philosophy major, doing over here on the science side?”

“Well,” I said, “philosophers have to talk about science sometimes and I want to know what I am talking about.”

He turned to address the group of us, all but me, on the way to become doctors. “You must work hard if you want to get A’s here,” the professor remarked. He told me how I could get into the laboratory at night, Sundays and work the hours. Finally, we sat down before the bone box, with the idea I could recognize anything he handed me. He began with the longest bone I ever saw.

“If it wasn’t so big,” I said, “I’d identify it as the femur of a bird . . .. but I suppose it’s a crazy hybrid.” He laughed: “Why don’t you stick to your guns? Did you ever hear of an ostrich?”

Marc Jones

Astrology duplicates this preposition every day. If you have skill enough, you can take any fragment of a chart and read the life from it. For practice we would take a torn quarter of a chart and find how much we could gather from just that. This is how I boiled down the technique.

Beginners always take the houses, and go around the chart completely, bringing out everything about personality first, then money, and so on. A more effective method is to just use the planets because then you are reading more dynamically because with the houses you are locked down and pinned into a reading ; i.e. it is becoming static. Better to just look at quadrants, like Ptolemy suggests, and see the geometric layout of the chart but read from the planets as they are the dynamic bodies that distribute the forces of actual living and experience, setting up the strains and stresses of life and create a basic complex. They articulate the forces of the universe and represent your distribution of this energy.

Demonstrating Teddy Roosevelt

To show this method, we will use the chart of President Theodore Roosevelt whom George MacCormack, a founder of the Guild, got the data rather directly from the Roosevelt family, and has done a lot of work upon it, so we can be rather sure of its accuracy.


Mars – the energy center

I begin with Mars because it has the most to do with activity. It represents how you throw off energy, fly off the handle, and move the hardest to get things done. It is also the planet closest to the earth. Mars is in the first house in Teddy Roosevelt’s chart, therefore it calls for unusual energy, which describes the native. Now let’s get a technique down for this proposition of reading from the planets. First look at each planet by what sign they are in, then by house and finally symbolic degree.

The justification for a use of these symbolical degrees is that they work. Here is something that baffles people. I remember the story in the Bible of the boy who was cured of blindness. The learned people came to him and said it was impossible. It just didn’t happen. The “medical books” said it couldn’t be done that way. This is my version of the story! The young man in the Bible narrative, who was a simple fellow, remarked: “What you say is very interesting. You are learned, gentlemen. I am convinced you are clever and know much more than I do. However, all I know is that once I was blind, and now I see.”3

And so, like that boy, we won’t go into a discussion of the symbolical degrees, but content ourselves with the fact they are something that works.

Critical Discrimination

Mars is at 17 Capricorn 49, or energy in the sign of critical discrimination. Since I have Mercury in Scorpio, I will give you many a nickname tonight, and I would suggest that you make your own when mine do not click. I have made them for myself to save time and effort, and I find them a great help. To me, Capricorn is the sign of “critical discrimination,” well illustrated by Teddy’s campaign against the “nature fakers.”

The Sabian degree for Capricorn 18 reads:

“From the proud new warship of Britannia, a token of her maritime power, flies the Union Jack in calm dignity. “

T.R. made the United States a first-class power, and he did it with the Navy. The symbol puts the case forward exactly. But what is a warship? It is any ship used as a weapon for combat; never for defense. It has dignity and represents the country that builds and floats it, and so too this man, with his personality and critical discrimination — the ability to distinguish two or more things from each other — was a man who, in everything he did, said: “We have to make this stand out, & make this dignified.”


It was no different for himself.  He went out West and became a cowboy, and a good one. Not the kind they have on dude ranches–pretty boys that prance around and do nothing, but a real working cowboy who roped and broke horses.  He used these skills in the Rough Riders, the First Volunteer Calvary unit in the Spanish-American War.

When he was a sickly, scrawny youngster with squinty eyes, he was determined to be well, and he made himself over in the image of male virility and health by becoming a real “rough rider.” It shows all this by his first house and the sign and the degree of Mars.

 Thus, you have the first salient point in a horoscope: Mars.


  1. Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric, Baron Georges Cuvier , was a French naturalist, zoologist and paleontologist during First Empire. Cuvier was born August 23, 1769, eight days after Napoleon Bonaparte’s birth, in Montbéliard, the Duchy of Wurttemberg.
  2. I took these notes from a Marc Jones’s talk for the Guild in 1942.  You can read all 15 points here.
  3. This parable is from the Gospel of John chapter 9 verse 25, Revised Standard Version:
    1. He answered, “Whether he is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 
  4. You can download TR’s horoscope in the Placidus format that Jones uses, here.

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