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Christopher Columbus' 1st voyage
Did Columbus use Electional Astrology ?
Christopher Columbus' 1st voyage: Did Columbus use Astrology ?
We are aware today that Christopher Columbus had deep astrological knowledge, as his voyage logs make references to the curent astral configurations. Also it was a custom in those days that the ships would use the services of an on-board astrologer. In this article, I will explore this issue, looking for astrological evidence for Columbus use of astrology.
Christopher Columbus' 1st voyage started on August 3, 1492 JC (old style calendar) or August 12, 1492 GC (current calendar) from the port of Palos de la Frontera (6w53, 37n14), near Huelva, in southern Spain, in command of three ships: the Niña, the Pinta and the Santa Maria.
He mentioned in his journal: "I set sail from the port, on Friday, the third of August, half an hour before sunrise". The Sun rose that day at 5:17 am LMT, therefore he must have set sail from the port at aprox. 4:47 am LMT (+00:27:32). Claudia von Schierstedt, a German astrologer affirms that the initial departure took place at 4:30 am LMT, which I cannot agree, since it contradicts Columbus' own journal.
But before entering the sea, he made a stop at a sand bank and waited for 3 hours. Why ? The only possible explanation is that Columbus, a skilled astrologer, awaited a good astrological moment on that day for his departure. He further mentioned in his journal: "Set sail from the bar of Saltes at 8 o'clock" and this is the real departure time in his overseas voyage.
Here is a map of the southern Spain, showing the position of the port of Palos de la Frontera and explaining how it was possible for Colombus to have a second departure for the voyage.
Let's have a look at the two astrological charts set for the two departure times, the intial one and the real one. The charts are represented in "electional astrology style", showing only applying aspects between planets.
The initial departure chart (August 3, 1492 JC, 4:47 am LM, Palos, Spain), is not favorable to long overseas voyages, although presents a strong first house (the ships and their crew) - Leo rising with its ruler, the Sun, strong in domicile and the first house, planetary hour of the Sun. The long voyages natural ruler Jupiter is also ruler of the 9th house but is improperly situated in the 12th house, although strong in its exaltatioj sign, Cancer. There is no relationship between the 9th and the 1st houses, as we would want to see in such voyage charts.
I'd say it is no wonder that Columbus, who studied previously the astrology, had chosen to have a second departure, the final one, at a much more auspicious moment: 8:00 am LMT. (as he records it in his journal)
This departure chart has Virgo rising, 9th house cusp in Taurus, with Venus 9th house ruler located strongly in the 1st house and its domicile, Libra. Planetary hour of the Moon (which had rulership over the seamen in ancient astrology, previous to the Neptune's discovery)
The Moon is located in Sagittarius (long voyages), in the 3rd house of travels, where she has her "joy" according to the ancient astrological rules, which is a very good position, favorably influencing the flow of events.
Moon's aspects in Sagittarius are:
First applying aspect of the Moon is the sextile to retrograde Saturn. This is not a good aspect since Saturn signifies delays and obstacles, but the sextile is good aspect, and those problems could be overcame.
Indeed, only three days later, a storm damaged the Pinta’s rudder. The crew jerry-rigged a rudder and, with difficulty, sailed to Grand Canary Island. With limited facilities in the port, it was a month before the rudder was repaired. On September 6, the fleet finally weighed anchor and sailed into the unknown.
Next applying aspect of the Moon is the trine with the Sun, a most favorable aspect, indicating the good outcome of the voyage, reaching land on October 12 (JC) at about 2:00 am.
The last aspect of the Moon tells us how the story ends: it is the conjunction with Neptune, the master of illusions and confusion - Christopher Columbus believed until his death in 1506 that he had arrived in the "Indies", the medieval name for Asia
It is intersting to note two fixed stars conjunctions: the Midheaven is conjunct Polaris (instinctual sense of direction in life) and Betelguese (wealth, fame, honours).
There are also other important observations:
The departure chart for Christopher Columbus' 1st voyage over the Atlantic has some very tight and meaningfull connection with the Sibly natal chart of the USA (12 deg. Sagittarius rising).
The voyage chart Sun conjunct with the Sibly 9th house cusp, Moon on Sibly chart Ascendant at 12 Sagittarius, Jupiter on Sibly chart Pars Fortunae - three astrological arguments which confirm the validity of the Sibly chart over the other proposed natal charts for the US. As the final argument, the progressed US Sun is tightly conjunct the Midheaven of the Sibly chart, a perfect description for the year when the American continent was revealed to the rest of the world.