HOROSCOPES - WILLIAM BLAKE The horoscope of the English mystic, artist and poet
HOROSCOPES - WILLIAM BLAKE
The horoscope of the English mystic, artist and poet, William Blake, who was born in London, at 7.45 pm on 28 November 1757 (figure 00). This data is derived from the records of the English watercolorist and astrologer, John Varley, who was a friend of William Blake, and who seems to have attempted to teach Blake the rudiments of astrology.
The portrait at the centre of the chart is a hand-coloured engraving by Schiavanetti of the formal portrait painting by Phillips.
The chart (which is perhaps somewhat heavy for the delicate engraving) is that cast by John Varley, and published in the magazine, Urania; or, the Astrologers Chronicle, and Mystical Magazine, 1825, during Blakes lifetime, when he was working on the marvellous Illustrations to the Book of Job. Varleys chart is reasonably accurate: in fact, at that time, the Moon was in 12.03 Cancer, and the Ascendant was 29.36 Cancer, and the MC 04.29 Aries. The planet Uranus (which Varley had studied in great depth, and at considerable personal loss) was actually in 19.17 Pisces. However, the deviations between this chart, cast from early 19th century tables, and one cast by modern computer methods, are remarkably slight. For notes on Varley as an astrologer, and on his curious relationship with Blake, see F.Gettings, The Hidden Art. A study of occult symbolism in art, 1978, pp.114-120.
The horoscope of Varley himself might prove to be of interest (figure 00). This was published as Illustration No. LXV, in the Straggling Astrologer of the Nineteenth Century 1848. We observe that his Sun, in 24.42 Leo, is in the Astrologers Arc (25=29 Leo). Ironically, for an astrologer who did so much to study the effect of Uranus, we note that the position of this planet, given in his chart, is off by as much as 6 degrees. Modern computing shows that Uranus was in 19.02 Gemini, on 17 August, 1778
© Charles Walker / Topfoto
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