A Look Back at Medieval Times - Pictures and natal charts of astrologers and religious people  ·  July 20, 2024, 9:16 GMT
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A Look Back at Medieval Times

Pictures and natal charts of astrologers and religious people

John Dee

John Dee

"The most eminent of the names intimately connected with astrology, in modern [1840s] times at least, is that of John Dee, a man of remarkable ability and learning, who at the age of twenty made a tour on the Continent for the purpose—unusual with persons of his age—of holding scientific converse with the most eminent European scholars. In 1543 he was made a fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, just then founded by Henry VIII.; but, five years later, we find him entering into a kind of voluntary exile, by a second Continent expedition, caused by suspicions he had excited at home of his dealings in the Black Art, in which term, however, all kinds of legitimate studies that the vulgar could not understand were included. Dee, for instance, was an able astronomer and a skilful mechanician; and these attainments alone, had he not been an astrologer also, would have sufficed to have made him one in the eyes of the world of England in the sixteenth century."
(from Charles Knight, "Old England: A Pictorial Museum", p. 218, published 1845)

Francis Moore

Francis Moore

Francis Moore (1657–1715) was a British physician and astrologer who wrote and published Old Moore's Almanack.

He was born into poverty in Bridgnorth. Moore was self-educated, learning to read by himself, and became a physician and astrologer. He served at the court of Charles II of England.

The almanac that bears his name was first published in 1699, originally giving weather and astrological predications, and is still published annually .


"Lilly’s popularity with the million chiefly originated in his almanac, which he began to publish in 1644, under the title of ‘Merlinus Anglicus, Junior.’ This obtained an amazing circulation, and was followed by a host of similar productions, of whose authors, John Gadbury was one of the most notorious in his own day, whilst Francis Moore even yet remains famous in ours."
(from Charles Knight, "Old England: A Pictorial Museum", p. 219, published 1845)

Erasmus of Rotterdam

Erasmus of Rotterdam

Below is the modern version of Erasmus' natal chart - the modern version of the birth date is October 27, 1467, 04:30 am, Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Erasmus of Rotterdam

"In this nativity we find Mercury and Venus posited in the ascendant; a proof of volubility and freedom of speech; and being also in an airy sign, beheld by a benefic trine of Jupiter from the ninth house, declares the native to be a person of strong natural parts, and rich mental endowments.
The learned Cardan has shewn, that the reason why this native abandoned his own country, and undertook so many complex journeys, was because the luminaries were in the dignities of Mars, with the lord of the ninth in the ascendant, in the conjunction of the lady thereof, in a moveable sign. The same ingenious author further observes, that, while the mid-heaven was under the direction of the sextile rays of Venus, the native enjoyed times of happiness and rest. This was most completely felt about the thirty-fourth year of his age, but its continuance was short. His fifty-sixth year proved a most dangerous and unsuccessful one to him, for he then laboured under the baneful opposition of the Moon to Jupiter, stimulated by the quartile irradiation of Mars. He died in the seventieth year of his age."
(from Ebenezer Sibly, "Astrology", published in 1806, p.889)

Martin Luther

Martin Luther

"The nativity of this celebrated divine is remarkable for having so many planets located in the ninth house. Saturn and Mercury are in conjunction in the sign Scorpio, which afford a striking presage of the zeal and perseverance of his mind; whilst the five planets in the ninth house declare his success in religious controvery. There is no need of pointing out the several directions; they are already considered by the ingenious Mr. Gadbury; and it will be no improper exercise for such of my readers who have an inclination to become further acquainted with this science, to collect the several configurations and directions from the horoscope in the annexed plate, and to equate and bring them up, according to the rules heretofore laid down."
(from Ebenezer Sibly, "Astrology", published in 1806, p.889)

Archbishop James Usher

Archbishop James Usher

This is an astrological chart, with various astrological symbols arranged around a portrait of James Usher, more usually today written as Archbishop James Ussher, 1580/1581 – 1655/1656. He was Archbishop of Ireland, a Calvinist (protestant), and worked on chronolgy: his most famous work was to determine that the “date of creation” was the nightfall preceding the 23rd of October, 4004BC.

Note: the picture here gives January 1580 rather than 1581, that is because the year was considered to start in March or April, not on 1st January as today.

Picture from Ebenezer Sibly, "Astrology", published in 1806.

Philip Melancthon

Philip Melancthon

Melancthon taught philosophy at Wittenberg University in the 16th century; he was a contemporary of Martin Luther, and in fact taught him the Greek language. He was one of the leaders of the early Protestant movement.

Picture from Ebenezer Sibly, "Astrology", published in 1806.

Bishop Hall

Bishop Hall

Bishop Hall (1574 – 1656) was bishop at Exeter and then later Norwich; he was known for publishing satires.

Picture from Ebenezer Sibly, "Astrology", published in 1806.

John Gadbury

John Gadbury

John Gadbury (1627-1704) was an English astrologer, and a prolific writer of almanacs and on other related topics. Initially a follower or disciple, and a defender in the 1650s, of William Lilly, he eventually turned against Lilly and denounced him in 1675 as fraudulent.

His 1652 'Philastrogus Knavery Epitomized was a reply to Lillies Ape Whipt by the pseudonymous Philastrogus[1], defending Lilly, Nicholas Culpeper and others.

He became a High Tory and Catholic convert. He had a number of brushes with the authorities: imprisonment (wrongful) at the time of the Popish Plot and suspicion later of plotting against William III of England; also trouble for omitted Guy Fawkes Day from his almanacs.



A group of bearded older men (druids) in a forest wearing robes sit in disputation or discussion.

Source of images: www.fromoldbooks.org

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