Displaying items by tag: Mary Shelley http://www.kepler.edu Mon, 01 Sep 2014 00:42:34 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley: Unveiling the Modern Shadow http://www.kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/working-with-the-chart/item/481-unveiling-the-modern-shadow http://www.kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/working-with-the-chart/item/481-unveiling-the-modern-shadow Mary Wollstonecraft (mother of Mary Shelley)

Born Mary Godwin, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was the daughter of the revolutionary feminist writer Mary Wollstonecraft (see portrait above), whose powerful treatise, Vindication of the Rights of Woman [pdf version], opened up new avenues of possibility for the education of women at the commencement of the 19th century. Her daughter was one such beneficiary of Wollstonecraft’s desire to reform women’s education, going on to publish the wildly popular novel Frankenstein at the young age of 20. A look at the planetary aspects of Mary Shelley’s natal chart, using the perspective of archetypal astrology, can help illustrate how the archetypal energies correlated with the planets of our solar system were expressed in her personal life and in her writing, with a particular focus on her masterwork, Frankenstein. An analysis of the world transits, and the personal transits they form to Shelley’s natal chart, at the time of the publication of Frankenstein provide further insight into Shelley’s writing.

Mary Shelley's ChartPortrait of Shelley by Alfred Clint (1819)Mary Godwin, who became Mary Shelley upon her marriage to the Romantic poet Percy Shelley (see portrait at left), was born August 30, 1797 at 11:20 pm in London, England (click on chart at right to open a new window with a large version). Most prominent in her chart is a triple conjunction of the Sun, Mars, and Uranus in the sign of Virgo, in a tight 180° opposition to Pluto, with Mars closest to Pluto in the opposition. The Sun is archetypally correlated with the principle of the self, of one’s central identity and focus, and the areas in which one shines or expresses oneself most prominently. Uranus, the first of the outer planets to be discovered in the modern era, is correlated with the revolutionary impulse, with breakthrough, rebellion, genius, brilliance, technology, electricity, the young, and the new. Sun-Uranus aspects are often found in the natal charts of brilliant individuals whose work has provided some kind of breakthrough or revolutionary shift in consciousness or worldview, from Copernicus, Galileo, and Kepler, to Newton, Kant, and Freud. The planet Uranus is archetypally correlated with the Greek myth of Prometheus, the Titan who stole fire (a symbol for consciousness) from the Gods and gave it to humanity. Mary Shelley’s husband, Percy Shelley, was also a Sun-Uranus figure. His expression of the archetypal complex can clearly be seen in his poem Prometheus Unbound.

Mary Shelley’s personal expression of the Sun-Uranus combination comes through in the brilliance of her individual expression in her breakthrough first novel, which even has the apt subtitle The Modern Prometheus. The character of Victor Frankenstein is that of a rebel seeking to create life by means of technological innovation, all of which are Uranian themes. He desires to create new life alone, not as father and mother, but to elevate himself to the role of God the Father, the individual solar hero on his quest of technological prowess. Frankenstein takes on the role of both father and mother, rebelling against the order of nature, doing so in an act of technological breakthrough and brilliance. While working, Frankenstein speaks of those he would create, saying “No Father could claim the gratitude of his child so completely as I should deserve theirs.” Yet, he must also suffer the consequences of achievement. Like Prometheus, whose gift to humanity leads to his eternal punishment—chained to a rock while an eagle consumes his liver each day only to have it grow back again each night—Frankenstein is haunted by the life he gave, the monster he created out of his own hubris and ambition.

Mary Shelley’s Sun-Mars-Uranus triple conjunction is, as mentioned above, in opposition to Pluto. The Uranus-Pluto opposition Shelley is born under is the primary transit that defined the tumultuous era of the French Revolutionary Period. The Uranus-Pluto impulse is toward revolutionary change on a mass scale, the liberation of the repressed and the oppressed, and the unleashing of the taboo. It is the same transit that defined the 1960s countercultural era and our current moment of world revolutions and protests, from the Arab Spring to the Occupy Movement, to the overturning of the Defense of Marriage Act in the United States this current summer.

Frankenstein Published TransitsAn interesting connection between Mary Shelley and her mother, Mary Wollstonecraft, is that Wollstonecraft was born with Uranus square Pluto in 1759 and published her masterwork, Vindication of the Rights of Woman, under the Uranus-opposite-Pluto in 1792. Her daughter was born just five years later in 1797 under the same Uranus-Pluto transit, and she went on to publish her own masterpiece, Frankenstein, under the subsequent Uranus square Pluto that was just beginning to come into the orb of influence in 1818 [click on the chart at right to open a large version in a new window]. Both mother and daughter’s writing has a revolutionary quality: they were both breaking through the gender barrier in their era that oppressed female writers, and female expression as a whole.

The quality of Shelley’s Frankenstein also expresses Uranus-Pluto archetypal themes in the eruption of the shadow in her story which tells of the creation, through the Uranian technological spark of life, of a Plutonic monster. Shelley reveals and shines light upon (Sun-Uranus) the potential monstrosity (Pluto) of technology (Uranus), as well as the hubris of the modern age and the notion of progress, demonstrating how the sudden break (Uranus) with from the course of nature (Pluto) can unleash (Uranus) tremendous horrors (Pluto). In Frankenstein’s words he describes,

One secret which I alone possessed was the hope to which I dedicated myself; and the moon gazed on my midnight labors, while, with unrelaxed and breathless eagerness, I pursued nature to her hiding places.[3]

The relentless pursuit of nature, the reference to ‘her hiding places,’ and even the idea of a ‘secret. . . possessed’ evoke the underworld nature of the Plutonic, while the sense of the technological secret of life held by a single individual reflects the Sun-Uranus complex. Interestingly, this pursuit of nature is echoed by Dr. Frankenstein’s vengeful pursuit of the monster across the northern wilderness in the latter portion of the book. 

The manner in which the horror of Shelley’s narrative unfolds clearly reflects not only her Sun-Uranus conjunction opposite Pluto, but also the Mars-Pluto opposition that is part of this larger complex in her natal chart. Mars correlates with the archetype of the warrior, with a potential range of manifestations from energy, action, and athleticism, to anger and even violence. The archetype of Pluto deepens any archetype with which it is in aspect, so the Mars-Pluto combination can potentially come through as a deep rage or potentially murderous violence, which is clearly expressed in the revenge of the monster of Shelley’s narrative. That Shelley has the Sun in aspect with her Mars-Pluto opposition can be seen in the individual embodiment of the violent shadow, both literally in the monster but also in the individual acts of Frankenstein that brought about the monster’s creation. 

Briefly, I would like to touch on a few other aspects in Shelley’s chart that come through in the nature and style of her writing. Shelley has a tight Sun-Neptune sextile which is beautifully captured in a sentence she used to describe herself as a child: “As a child I scribbled. . . Still I had a dearer pleasure than this, which was the formation of castles in the air.”[4] The archetype of Neptune correlates, in one form of its expression, with the imagination and transcendence, which come through in this whimsical, imaginal quote illustrating Shelley’s innate ability to create imaginative narrative. She is also born with a Mercury-Venus conjunction, which can be seen in the beautiful, lyrical quality of her writing. The archetype of Mercury correlates with all forms of communication and expression—from writing, to thinking, speaking, and sensing—while the archetype of Venus correlates to beauty and artistry. Shelley’s Mercury-Venus can also be seen in the romantic fairy-story qualities of some of her other works, such as The Dream or The Heir of Mandolfo. Furthermore, Mercury is in a tight sextile to the Moon in Shelley’s chart, an example of which is the narrative form in which Frankenstein is written: a series of letters. Letter-writing is often intimate and familiar, and in this case also familial, all of which are Lunar qualities, in this instance expressed in Mercurial written form. 

While much more could be elaborated in Mary Shelley’s natal chart, I would like to turn to the world transits that were in the sky at the time Frankenstein was published, on January 1, 1818. On that day, and for a short time before and after the publication date, there was a stellium in Sagittarius of Venus, Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune, with the smaller orbit of Venus bringing it briefly into the longer conjunction of Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune, and the even longer conjunction of Uranus-Neptune that defined much of the Romantic era. While there are many complex ways in which this quadruple conjunction manifested in world events, the particular expression in relation to the publication of Frankenstein can be seen in the successful release of a beautiful piece of literary art produced by the creative imagination. The archetype of Jupiter grants success to whatever it touches, while Venus relates to the artistic expression, and Neptune to the imagination behind the project. Jupiter-Uranus alignments in world history regularly correlate to successful breakthroughs and the inauguration of new initiatives, and have been found to correlate with the first successful publications of numerous authors, including of course Mary Shelley.[5] 

In her personal transits, the Venus-Jupiter-Uranus-Neptune stellium was conjoining Shelley’s natal Moon. While the archetype of the Moon is present in all individuals and certainly cannot be simply correlated with all women or “the feminine,” at the time Shelley lived women were often relegated or confined solely to the Lunar realms of home, family, and domestic matrimony by the then dominant patriarchal structures (which had largely appropriated the Solar archetypal role of the individual shining hero as a symbol of “the masculine”). The significance of the Venus-Jupiter-Uranus-Neptune stellium conjoining Shelley’s Moon can be seen in that she would have, in her time, been viewed, because she was a woman, as a Lunar figure who was successfully breaking out of the constrictive mold that did not encourage creative artistic or literary expression by women. The significance of the Moon in this particular case is not because she is a woman, but because of the primarily Lunar role women were usually required to take on. The archetypal energy of the successful Lunar figure is doubled by a transit that would have lasted for only a few hours on the particular day of publication: the Moon in the sky was transiting in opposition to Shelley’s natal Jupiter, which may have provided an increased sense of emotional joy and success for her.

Another significant world transit that was just beginning to come into orb at the time of publication, but which would have become more exact as the book was disseminated and read by the public, was the Saturn-Pluto conjunction of 1818. The energy of this transit would have been intensified for Shelley because, at the time of publication, Saturn was conjoining her natal Pluto as well. The archetype of Saturn is the reality principle that correlates to mortality, death, and gravity, but also to maturity and wisdom; Saturn is archetypally both hard consequences and the learning acquired from consequences. Saturn-Pluto correlates to the shadow side of the encapsulated egoic will to power that is so clearly expressed in Frankenstein. In his book on archetypal astrology, Cosmos and Psyche, Richard Tarnas describes Frankenstein as Shelley’s “prophetic Gothic masterpiece that depicted the monstrous shadow of the technological will to power.”[6] Shelley’s tale is one of death (Saturn) and destruction (Pluto), of moral (Saturn) depravity (Pluto), and of the Saturnian consequences of the soaring heights of Dr. Frankenstein’s, and modernity’s, Sun-Uranus visions of progress.

Interestingly, the day Frankenstein was published the Sun in the sky was transiting opposite Shelley’s natal Saturn, shining a light on the principle of death, as well as the profound consequences of individual actions. Frankenstein is also a shining (Sun) example of a piece of narrative art that has withstood the test of time (Saturn) and come down to us today as a revered piece of literature: another expression of the Sun-Saturn archetypal complex that brought this book into the world from the pen of Mary Shelley.


End Notes

[1] Richard Tarnas, Prometheus the Awakener
[2] Mary Shelley, The Original Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus
[3] Shelly, Frankenstein
[4] Shelley, qtd. in Janet Bukovinsky Teacher, Women of Words: A Personal Introduction to Thirty-Five Important Writers (Philadelphia, PA: Courage Books, 1994), 17.
[5] Richard Tarnas, Cosmos and Psyche
[6] Richard Tarnas, Cosmos and Psyche, 268.

Works Cited

Shelley, Mary. The Original Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus. Edited by Charles E Robinson. New York, NY: Vintage Classics, 2008.

Tarnas, Richard. Cosmos and Psyche: Intimations of a New World View. New York, NY: Viking Penguin, 2006.

Tarnas, Richard. Prometheus the Awakener: An Essay on the Archetypal Meaning of the Planet Uranus. Woodstock, CT: Spring Publications, 1995.

Teacher, Janet Bukovinsky. Women of Words: A Personal Introduction to Thirty-Five Important Writers. Philadelphia, PA: Courage Books, 1994.

becca tarnasAuthor Biography

Becca Tarnas is an artist, writer, and doctoral student at the California Institute of Integral Studies in the Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion program in San Francisco. She uses art and storytelling as a means to reconnect with our planet Earth in this critical time of ecological crisis. Becca was educated at the San Francisco Waldorf School for thirteen years before pursuing Environmental Studies and Theater Arts at Mount Holyoke, and she also holds a master’s degree from CIIS in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness. She is also a practitioner of archetypal cosmology, a form of astrology particularly focused on the archetypal relationships of the planets.


  • Mary Shelley
  • chart interpretation
  • mary wollstonecraft
  • Frankenstein
  • transits
    Chart Interpretation Challenge - Mary Shelley Wed, 21 Aug 2013 00:49:07 +0000
    Mary Shelley: A Pluto-Dominated Literary Life http://www.kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/working-with-the-chart/item/466-mary-shelley-pluto-dominated http://www.kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/working-with-the-chart/item/466-mary-shelley-pluto-dominated Mary Shelley: A Pluto-Dominated Literary Life

    My article revolves around the position of Pluto in Mary Shelley's chart and its powerful impact on the events in her life and her works - Chrisine Ferraro

    Born of philosopher and political writer William Godwin and famed feminist Mary Wollstonecraft (author of The Vindication of the Rights of Woman in 1792), Mary Shelley's early environment provided fertile ground for the growth of her intellectual and literary tendencies. The loss of her mother when she was only 11 days old was the first of many indicators that crisis, transformation, and revolution were going to be a major theme in her life.

    Pluto's placement at the apex of her chart, in electric Aquarius, indicates a hard-wiring of sorts, as if she were a lightning rod giving off and attracting powerful forces in her life. And its opposition to Mars in Virgo (conjunct her Sun and Uranus in the 4th house, anchoring the theme of reform to the foundation of her life) describes one with an indomitable will, doing battle with forces beyond her control. Her father described her at fifteen as "singularly bold, somewhat imperious, and active of mind. Her desire of knowledge is great, and her perseverance in everything she undertakes almost invincible."

    The preponderance of mutable (and thus mentally-oriented) placements in her chart, including the Nodes, speaks to her "literary life," based on intellectual exploration, a passion for ideas and their impact on society, and an intense drive to creatively express those ideas through the written word. The Moon in Sagittarius, as the out-of-bounds (and thus intensified) Ascendant ruler, is highlighted and especially significant, as it describes her thirst for knowledge, her priority need to explore the world of ideas, as well as a restless, adventurous drive to experience life. Its tense square to Mercury in its own sign of Virgo seems to have applied the thumbscrews to her intellect, driving her to not only seek out intellectual stimulation, but also to articulate in literary form that which arose from her emotional experiences and her subconscious.

    She was attracted to novel, progressive, and revolutionary streams of thought and immersed herself in the company of those of like mind. There is a theme of lawlessness, rebellion, and unconventionality repeated throughout her life, for which there is ample support in the chart. Pluto at the Aquarius MC overseeing all, receives aspects from the Moon in Sagittarius (sextile), Mercury in Virgo (quincunx), Mars and Sun in Virgo (opposition), and Jupiter in Aries (septile). 

    She flaunted the conventionalities of traditional married life (Mars, Sun, Uranus conjunction in Virgo in the 4th, sextile Saturn on the one side in the 1st and Neptune in Scorpio on the other in the 5th) by entering into an unorthodox and illicit affair with Percy Bysshe Shelley, one of her father's political followers. She believed in the non-exclusivity of marriage and "free love." For many years, the couple lived a nomad-like bohemian existence (oftentimes pursued by creditors), shared with many of their intellectual circle.

    The litany of losses and crises in Mary's life seems to be a testimony to a life chosen for lessons in the limits of personal power, endurance, release, rebirth, and relinquishment, as well as for rising to the status of immortality through her work. 

    Out of the five pregnancies and births that Mary experienced, only one child, a boy, survived to adulthood. Her losses of her children (at one point she nearly died from blood loss due to a miscarriage) induced acute periods of debilitating depression from which she escaped through her writing. During these times, however, she often became emotionally and physically inaccessible to her husband. The Mercury-Pluto quincunx in her chart (which, by the way, she inherited from her mother) is emblematic of the solace she sought in her writing and could, perhaps, be descriptive of her need to isolate herself in order to work through her grief.

    Suicide, another extreme Plutonian ideation, was no stranger to her either. Both Percy's wife and Mary's stepsister committed suicide in 1816, and although Mary may not have known it, her mother had made at least two attempts herself.

    Ultimately, one of her greatest and most traumatic losses was the accidental drowning death of her husband in July of 1822 when, after encountering bad weather, his sailing boat never reached its destination.

    Pluto's association with fame attracted those whose names would be long remembered for their works: Lord Byron, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Aaron Burr, and of course, Percy Shelley, whose fame is due in no small part to Mary's determination to share his genius with the world after his death. Mary's absorption with the ideas of power, transformation, political change, as well as an intense drive to reform, attest once again to Pluto's influence in her life and her work.

    Many of her novels were driven by Plutonian themes: Mathilda was narrated from a deathbed, dealt with issues of incest and suicide, and was written during a grief-stricken period in which she lost two of her children.

    In Valperga, the heroine is named Euthanasia and chooses political liberty and dies because of that choice. Last Man is an apocalyptic science fiction novel, where everyone dies but one man who is left in tragic isolation, and Ladore deals with ideological issues, especially education and the social roles of women and the pressure for them to be dependent on men.

    Many of her quotes reveal her intense, Plutonian turn of mind:

    Every political good carried to the extreme must be productive of evil.

    Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world.

    The agony of my feelings allowed me no respite; no incident occurred from which my rage and misery could not extract its food.

    I do not wish women to have power over men, but over themselves.

    And last but certainly not least, the novel for which she will most likely never be forgotten, her legacy: Frankenstein, or a Modern Prometheus.

    The seed idea for the novel, published when she was only 20 years of age, was planted when, in May 1816, she, Percy Shelley, and their son travelled to Geneva. Among other subjects discussed in the company of Lord Byron and others, the conversation turned to the experiments of the 18th-century natural philosopher and poet Erasmus Darwin, who was said to have animated dead matter, and to the feasibility of returning a corpse or assembled body parts to life. Sitting around a log fire at Byron's villa, the company also amused themselves by reading German ghost stories, prompting Byron to suggest they each write their own supernatural tale. Shortly afterwards, in a waking dream, Mary Godwin conceived the idea for Frankenstein.

    Pluto, with its dominion over death and regeneration, in Aquarius, the sign associated with science, seems to provide the quintessential signature for Shelley's legacy. The association in the title with Prometheus further brings home the themes of betrayal, power, and regeneration, as well as the ideals of intellectual and scientific advancement for which Prometheus gave up so much.

    On another, deeper level, one could say that we are called to look at our shadow side when we encounter Frankenstein's monster, where an obsession can go beyond reason into the world of madness and terror. Mary Shelley fearlessly brought the darkness to life and light and dared us to venture in.

    Brief bio:
    Christine Ferraro (www.skypathastrology.com) began her astrological studies in the 1970s, a time when she also began the journey of exploring the deeper, more spiritual side of life. Her focus in her work with her clients is on the development of understanding and self-awareness, thus empowering them to make more insightful and informed decisions and to move toward living a more conscious life. Christine writes, is on the faculty at the International Academy of Astrology, and also on the Board of the Organization for Professional Astrology. She lives in Churchville, PA, with her husband, Jules, and their two cats.

    • Mary Shelley
    • chart interpretation
    • lunar nodes
    • pluto
    • literature
      Chart Interpretation Challenge - Mary Shelley Mon, 15 Jul 2013 18:51:32 +0000
      Mary Shelley - A Vedic View http://www.kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/working-with-the-chart/item/455-mary-shelley-a-vedic-view http://www.kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/working-with-the-chart/item/455-mary-shelley-a-vedic-view Mary Shelley - A Vedic View

      The chart below is of Mary Shelley.  The box at top right in the diagram is Gemini, her ascendant, and the signs of the zodiac and 12 houses run clockwise from there.   In 1797 when Mary Shelley was born the difference in planetary positions between Western and Vedic Astrology was 21 degrees, so the usual 2 degree Cancer ascendant minus 21 degrees converts to 11 degrees Gemini.  This gives the visible astronomical positions for the ascendant and planets at the time of birth and allows many insights not available in Western Astrology.

      May Shelley's Chart

      Click the chart at left for a larger image.

      Birth with 8th lord Saturn in the ascendant aspecting the 2nd lord Moon in the 7th house shows both a difficult birth and possibility of the death of the mother. This is confirmed by the powerful Mercury in 4th. He is a benefic of course, but strong in the 4th house he is particularly dangerous. 4th house is the house of mother of course. Saturn is not all bad and birth with 9th lord Saturn in the ascendant emphasises the burden of fatherly responsibility. Sun representing father is also well placed in Leo, its own sign and aspects the 9th house. In Vedic Astrology 9th house represents father as parent and guardian. 10th house is only as husband of mother.

      Her father described her at fifteen as "singularly bold, somewhat imperious, and active of mind. Her desire of knowledge is great, and her perseverance in everything she undertakes almost invincible”. This fits the chart perfectly and so would be one of the ways to confirm that the birth time is fairly accurate. It may seem that you can not get much bolder than to have Mars and Sun in Leo in the 3rd house of courage, and imperious as this is Leo, but in fact her Moon at 6 degrees 49 minutes of Sagittarius in the 7th house is also an example in Vedic Astrology of a precocious strong willed girl. Also Mercury and Venus in 4th house give a very strong, active mind. The Moon’s precise position in Sagittarius also gives a predisposition to writing and study, as that part of Sagittarius is related to Gemini. Mercury and Venus together in Virgo show the benefit of a very good education. She had a governess, a daily tutor, and read many of her father's children's books on Roman and Greek history in manuscript. She was also full of energy. Born on a Wednesday with exalted Mercury gives exceptional physical and mental energy.

      The 9th house is related to travel and the 12th to foreign lands. Rahu is strong in Taurus and in Vedic Astrology he is considered as lord of 9th house Aquarius jointly with Saturn – just as Uranus would be in Western Astrology. This is a powerful incentive to go abroad and also to live there, which Mary Shelley did for some years, until the death of her husband. Venus, the ruler of Taurus, is debilitated in Virgo, but when it is with Mercury it recovers from this in some way. Leaving home – 4th house Virgo – to go abroad is shown in the chart, especially as Rahu aspects Virgo. Prominent 4th house matters happen very early in a person’s life.

      Venus is called Kavi in Sanskrit, which means poet, but in Virgo Venus has to be more practical and so coupled with the brilliant Mercury this supports her gifted writing ability, shown by Mercury. She could write poetry, but would be inspired to express her thoughts in prose. The retrograde nature of Jupiter focuses it more on Virgo, which it aspects, and being 7th and 10th lord it determines her career.

      She struggled financially for many years. Virgo is called her Arudha Lagna and if you have no planets in the 11th and 2 planets in the 12th from the Arudha Lagna your financial situation is precarious: expenses are high and income is patchy. Fortunately with 11th lord Mars and Sun in 3rd – both houses relating to friends - she had great faith in herself and her friends, so that carried her through many difficult times.

      There are predictive time lines in Vedic Astrology called Dashas. The main system focuses on 120 years as the life period, as chapter 6 of the Book of Genesis in the Bible also states. Frankenstein was published in 1818. The concept for the novel is said to have come to Mary Shelley in a dream. Dreams are to do with 9th house and 12th house represents sleep. Rahu, also representing a monster, is 9th lord in 12th. The novel was written and published in Venus Mercury Dasha. Jupiter, the planet which governs dreams and sleep, aspects both Venus and Mercury, powerfully as it is retrograde.

      Percy Shelley was lost at sea on or shortly after 8th July 1922. In this Dasha system his death took place in Sun Rahu Saturn Dasha of Mary Shelley’s chart. The more precise the time the more levels of Dasha can be used. The husband’s death is prefigured in the wife’s chart. Sun gives the possibility of the event, Rahu the experience of it and Saturn describes what happened. Sun in 3rd in Leo shows boldness, courage and absence of fear. Shelley and his companions went to sea despite foreknowledge of a storm and a likely difficult journey. Rahu is in the 10th house from the Sun, so Rahu is empowered – he is very strong in 10th house at any time. Rahu is also in the 12th house of the birth chart. 12th house represents loss and also 12th house, similarly to Pisces, represents the ocean. Both Rahu and Ketu can represent a storm in different ways. Saturn is in the second house from Rahu. Second house is called Maraka, which means indicating death. Saturn in the first house of the birth chart is also in a death like position for Saturn as a planet, as he hates being in the 1st house, and he is aspected by Jupiter, who is lord of Pisces, the ocean. Saturn also rules the 8th house and within the 8th, Capricorn is the principal indicator of marriage partner in this chart. Rahu involved as the nature of the experience shows shock. In addition to this you would also be able to see Ketu in Scorpio, the most dangerous sign for Capricorn, which relates to Mary Shelley’s husband, describing a boat on the water, aspected by Mars, showing physical danger. Mars does not protect from physical danger as he represents fire, which destroys everything. Ketu in Scorpio is in trine to Pisces and Pisces represents the ocean and in this chart is the precise sign describing the place of death of Mary Shelley’s husband. Trines show closely related matters. Moon, ruling Cancer, the other trine, is in Sagittarius and that would show that Percy Shelley fell from the boat into the sea.

      This is how the whole life of a person can gradually be unfolded in Vedic Astrology.
      All of the rules applied here are thousands of years old.

      Gordon Brennan

      May 2013

      Gordon Brennan has studied Vedic Astrology for 20 years and is also qualified in Sanskrit, the language in which it was originally written down. He has a post graduate qualification in astrology from India called Jaimini Scholar and also is the committee member of the British Association for Vedic Astrology responsible for education. www.bava.org/education

      • Mary Shelley
      • Vedic astrology
      • Jyotish
      • chart interpretation
        Chart Interpretation Challenge - Mary Shelley Sat, 18 May 2013 15:43:35 +0000
        Mary Shelley and the First House http://www.kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/working-with-the-chart/item/454-mary-shelley-and-the-first-house http://www.kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/working-with-the-chart/item/454-mary-shelley-and-the-first-house Mary Shelley and the First House

        I will focus only on the first house, the zodiac sign that is located inside the first house; the Ascendant; the ruling planet of Ascendant and the planet that is inside the first house. Click here for a large version of Mary Shelley's chart in a new window.

        The Ascendant is at the 2nd degree of Cardinal sign, Cancer. A child expects to receive the emotional protection and also the nutrition and education from a mother, instead there is “a cold and dry Saturn”. Saturn can also be the authority in the chart. And indeed this Saturn ‘plays-out'. Mary loses her mother at the age of eleven days and her father is the parent who gives her basic education and ‘bringing-up’. (Her biography notes that Mary Godwin's mother died when she was eleven days old; afterwards, she and her older half-sister, Fanny Imlay, were raised by her father).

        Mary's Mother (moon) was keen-on philosophy and femininist issues and she can be traced in the Moon's placement in Sagittarius (biography: her mother was a philosopher and feminist).

        Back to the Saturn inside the first house and quoting Christopher Warnock's example of a ‘malefic’ inside a house’:

        The 3rd house is ruled by Saturn, the Greater Malefic, who is also in Pisces. He has some dignity, but this is a somewhat uncomfortable placement for him as it goes against his basic nature. My sense is that as Saturn naturally rules melancholy and sadness, that his placement in Pisces is another indication of the presence of depression in pain in your life. His dignity, however, shows that this is not all to the bad, however and we can see from the other positive areas of your chart that this pain can bring wisdom and compassion for yourself and for others. Saturn in cancer has only term (between 27th until 30th degree).

        So in Marry Shelley’s case Saturn is not in term, since it is in the 9th degree of cancer. However there is an absence mother and a difficult childhood.

        Regarding her mother’s death, I would diagnose that one indicator is that there is a square between Venus and the Ascendant. Ptolemy gives us the following nice quotation in the Tetrabiblos:

        If, however, Mars be succedent to the Moon and Venus, or in quartile or opposition to them, or, if Saturn be similarly aspected to the Moon only, and both of them be void of course or retrograde, or cadent, adverse accidents and disease will attend the mother; should they, on the other hand, be swift in motion and placed in angles, they portend that her life will be short, or grievously afflicted. Their position in the oriental angles, or succedent houses, particularly denotes the shortness of her life; and, in those which are occidental, her affliction. In the same manner, should Mars be thus aspected to the Moon (and should that luminary at the same time be oriental), the mother's sudden death, or some injury in her face or eyes, will be produced: and, if the Moon be then occidental, death will be occasioned by miscarriage in parturition, by inflammation, or by wounds. Such are the effects which ensue from these aspects made by Mars to the Moon; but, should he make them to Venus, death will then take place from fever, some latent disease, or sudden sickness. Saturn's aspect 1, to the Moon, when she is oriental, inflicts on the mother disease and death from extreme colds, or fevers; but, should the Moon be occidental, the danger arises from affections of the womb, or from consumption.

        If we apply both planets signifying mother (Venus or Moon), they are shaping two obvious squares, the first with the ascendant and the second with mercury.

        On the other hand, the Sun is forming a nice sextile with Saturn, and the Sun is in the fourth house, representing also her house and early years. The fact that she is choosing her future partners from her father’s circle of associates is not shocking, since her relationships are ruled by Capricorn, the sign that Saturn is ruling. (Mary Godwin began a romantic relationship with one of her father’s political followers). Finally even her partner is involved with society and politics and the Capricorn influence in regards of power and politics is ‘playing-out’.

        The fact that she is trying to ‘resurrect’ death into life in her writings may be the effect of Saturn inside the Ascendant and sextile the Sun (life-bearer) inside the fourth house.

        Short Bio

        I am Georgios A. Panayides, from Nicosia, Cyprus. I am 31 and I am studying Esotericism since the age of 17.
        I don’t usually boast for my Knowledge. I would rather learn more than say: “I learned everything”. I particularly enjoy classical astrology. I study especially the Renaissance period and I follow scholars on the matter such as Christopher Warnock; William Ramesey and William Lilly.
        I practice Law and sometimes I use charts to discover potential challenge on my cases.

        • Mary Shelley
        • chart interpretation
        • houses
          Chart Interpretation Challenge - Mary Shelley Sat, 18 May 2013 15:43:35 +0000
          Mary Shelley: The Inventive Writer with a Lasting Legacy http://www.kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/working-with-the-chart/item/451-shelley-ashman http://www.kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/working-with-the-chart/item/451-shelley-ashman Cover for Tales and Stories by Mary Shelley

          By Bernie Ashman 

          This short article is focused on the unique ability of Mary Shelley to tell a story with great imagination by thinking out of the box. She was born with her Virgo Sun sign in conjunction to the planet that triggers innovation, Uranus. It gave her a strong mind that did not fear what others might think of her even after publishing a book such as Frankenstein during the 19th century. Uranus is the ruler of her 9th house with the sign Aquarius placed upon its cusp. The 9th house has connections to publishing, education and writing. Both Uranus and Aquarius have an emphasis on independence. Ms Shelley was self-educated early in life and loved making use of her father’s vast library. She said that this is where she found peace of mind.

          (Click here for a large version of Mary Shelley's chart in a new window.)

          The Moon has special prominence in our childhood years. Ms Shelley’s Sagittarius Moon gave her an early fondness for books. She published a poem through her father’s newsletter at age ten! The Sagittarius influence filled her lunar instincts with a love of the world. It was while in Scotland she met her future husband, the famous poet Percy Shelley. The couple made friends with Lord Byron while traveling in Switzerland who introduced Mary to the idea of writing a novel that centered around a horror story. Sagittarius has rulership over foreign people, cultures and even concepts introduced from a variety of sources. It is no wonder that a woman born in England might get her writing inspired in Scotland.

          One last point about this Sagittarius Moon. It forms a wide trine (120 degree aspect) to Jupiter, the natural ruler of Sagittarius. This is a key repeating theme in her chart that indicates a bit of luck in the writing field. It gave her the optimism to put her thoughts on paper and share them with the public. Also, just like with the 9th house, both Sagittarius and Jupiter play heavily into publishing.

          Mercury is the planet that has strong links to communication and very much writing. Her Mercury was in the same sign of Virgo as was her Sun, Mars and Uranus. Her attention to detail through Virgo was magnificent. She was a pragmatic writer. But where was the imagination connection in her chart? Mercury rules both Gemini and Virgo in Astrology. Gemini is a powerhouse influence for any writer. This sign is intercepted in her 12th house. The 12th house represents her imagination in a large way. This is the house that gives an individual access to the collective unconscious and to tell a story with a penetrating intuitive awareness of how to reach many readers. It was as though writing was her Meditation and gave her a dynamic Spiritual experience! The 12th house is where we seek unity and to have faith in our highest values. This particular house is where a person can stay hidden as well. When Frankenstein was published people did not know who wrote the book as it was released anonymously! It was believed that Mary’s husband, Percy Shelley must have written it. It was later that the word got out about the true author being Mary Shelley.

          Ms Shelley’s final novel, Mathilde, was not released until the 1950's, one hundred years after her death in 1853! Frankenstein remains a story and book still praised today as a masterpiece. What in her chart refers to this legacy left long after her death? Pluto is the planet in astrology related to legacies. It sits at the top of her chart in the 10th house. The 10th house is connected to career and what we are trying to show the public. In this instance it reveals an author that likely will remain in our memory for centuries to come!


          About the Author:

          Bernie Ashman (www.bernieashman.com) began studying astrology in 1973 after encountering a book, The Astrology of Personality by a Frenchman, Dane Rudyhar. He came upon this book in a bookstore in Atlanta (he says it found him!). He practices Western Astrology because he believes it best fits his style of working with clients.He offers a wide variety of services including Birthchart Interpretation, Relationship Analysis, Past Life Patterns, Local Space Astology and interpeting Current Cylces through progressions and transits. His focus is on empowering people through helping them make insightful decisions.

          Bernie has published numerous articles, written interpretations for astrological software and written several books, including RoadMap to your Future: A Quick Guide to Transits and Progressions, SignMates: Understanding the Games People Play, Sun Signs and Past Lives and Astrology & Intuition. He really appreciates his many clients. He says writing, teaching and lecturing have been very rewarding. Bernie is known for tuning into the reality a person is presently living and being a catalyst for their growth and inspiration. Bernie enjoys residing in Durham, NC, with his wife, Beth, and their Siamese cat, Mocha.

          • Mary Shelley
          • chart interpretation
            kepler@kepler.edu (Kepler) Chart Interpretation Challenge - Mary Shelley Wed, 01 May 2013 22:46:39 +0000
            Mary Shelley's Monstrosity http://www.kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/working-with-the-chart/item/445-mary-shelleys-monstrosity http://www.kepler.edu/home/index.php/news-mainmenu-139/articles-mainmenu-157/working-with-the-chart/item/445-mary-shelleys-monstrosity From the frontispiece of the 1831 edition of Frankenstein

            The author of FRANKENSTEIN, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, depicted her monster with a male gender rather than a female gender. Was her gender choice for the monster motivated by the subliminal and dark side of her feminism?

            Examining Mary Shelley's natal chart may reveal some clues in answering this question. Click here for a large version of her chart in a new window.

            Mary Shelley was born on August 30, 1797 in London, England (0° W 10', 51° N 30') at 11:20 p.m.[1] Mary Shelley's mother was a social reformer and feminist. Mary had several children that died shortly after birth. Mary's mother died at her birth.[1]

            Mary's natal chart shows Cancer rising which makes the Moon her overall chart ruler. The Moon is the natural ruler of the fourth house of home, parenting, Mother and babyhood.

            Immediately we notice her Moon forms a hard aspect (opposition) with the Ascendant. Her Moon is in Sagittarius in the sixth house of physical health.

            Ominously Saturn is in the Detriment (loss, pain, adversity) in the first decanate of Cancer within the first house of her physical self.

            Saturn in Detriment forms an afflicted aspect (Square) with Venus (carnal love) in Libra (discontentedness) in the fifth house of sexual pleasure and one's children.

            Although Venus is in its domicile in Libra, its aspect with Saturn is further afflicted by several factors: first, Venus is in the malefic Via Combusta zone (Libra-Scorpio); second, Saturn in Detriment is a co-ruler of Libra; third, most aggravating for Venus is its conjunction with the asteroid Chiron (representing. deep emotional wounds).

            Notice that a hard aspect (Square) is formed between the sinister asteroid Lilith, in Aquarius (Rebelliousness) in the ninth house (Religion) with Neptune (Self-Delusion) in Scorpio (cruelty and vindictiveness) in the fifth house of sexual pleasure.

            Again, notice that the afflicted aspect between Lilith and Neptune is in the malefic Via Combusta zone. Scorpio is also the Fall of the Moon.

            The Moon is also afflicted by aspects with Saturn as well as Venus while simultaneously conjunct the Galactic Center (Unusual knowing) which also forms a hard aspect (Square) with Mercury in the fourth house of home and one' s children in the sign of Virgo (Intellectuality).

            There is a hard aspect (opposition) formed between retrograde Pluto (horrible, degeneration) in its Fall in Aquarius (rebellion, originality) in the tenth house of career) and Mars (pioneer, physical energy) in Virgo (analytic) in the fourth house of home.

            Mars (assertiveness, rage) is part of an afflicted Stellium comprised of the Sun (ego-centricity), Uranus (non-conformist, disruptive, electricity) in the fourth house of home.

            The asteroid, Lilith, is "well-placed" in the sign of Aquarius in the ninth house of religion! "Lilith is always sinister and malevolent in her intent and ultimate effect … She is denying, frustrating, catastrophic…."[2]

            Mary Shelley's abortive attempts to generate real life seems to parallel Dr. Frankenstein's abortive attempt to generate real life.

            Mary Shelley's natal chart has an array of afflicted aspects punctuated by her Moon conjunct the Galactic Center in Sagittarius, in the sixth house of physical health.

            The sinister nature of Pluto is conjunct the MC (a higher authority), and her Moon is conjunct the GC suggesting a higher wisdom mocking attempts to create life.

            Mary Shelley's reactionary feminism (unconsciously yet subliminally intentional) created a monster of the MALE gender!

            The North-Node in Gemini shows where she has to achieve spiritual polarity, that is, Wholeness -- as contrasted with the "baggage" she brought into this world identified by the South-Node in the sign and house of a heavily afflicted Moon.

            The placements of Lilith and Chiron in her natal chart are testaments to a feminism gone bad.[3]

            Walter Cambra

            The author, Walter Cambra, has an MA in Philosophy from San Francisco State University (1993). He is the Frater of the Ancient and Mystical Order Rose+Cross (AMORC), Frater: Order Summum Bonum. He has had several scholarly papers delivered and read at the Bram Stoker International Summer School in Clontarf, Ireland. He is an AFA certified astrologer and has had numerous publications in Today's Astrologer and elsewhere. His astrology is primarily influenced by the esoteric practices within theosophy, but he also explores more modern techniques, including the use of the asteroid Chiron.


            [1] Astro-Databank Chart of Mary Shelley, http://www.astro.com/astrodatabank/Shelley_Mary

            [2] http://www.valkyrieastrology.com/makeover/asteroid/lilith.html

            [3] Ivy M. Goldstein-Jacobson. The Dark Moon Lilith in Astrology (Alhambra, CA: Frank Severy Publishing, 1961

            For more information on Lilith, see http://www.astro.com/astrology/in_lilith_e.htm

            • Mary Shelley
            • esoteric astrology
            • Frankenstein
            • Chiron
            • Dark Moon
            • Lilith
              Chart Interpretation Challenge - Mary Shelley Thu, 14 Mar 2013 16:56:23 +0000