America’s Astrologer-General
by Lina Accurso excerpted
Dell Horoscope, July 1998, pg 35-37

The following are little known public facts about one of the major drafters of the Declaration of Independence and appropriate for this month of July.

No person, no matter how long he or she has been dead, is safe from the rooting out of his life and ups and downs, accomplishments and failures. ...few historians have written about one aspect of the life of one of America’s Founding Fathers--especially since he often wrote of that aspect himself.

Benjamin Franklin was a member of the Continental Congress that declared independence from Great Briton and a member of the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence. He was a man of importance in many areas of our early history among them: He established the first public library in the colonies. He laid the foundations for modern police and fire departments, for street lighting and highway paving. He set up the postal system and helped lay out the Boston Post ?Road, the legendary Route 1. Also scientific discoveries such as lightning is a form of electricity; his inventions, bifocal eyeglasses, lightning rod and the Franklin stove....all accomplished with little formal education.

Benjamin Franklin was also an astrologer. Only in books on astrology and its history are you apt to discover Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson (another all-around philosophical and scientific genius) conspired to have the Deceleration of Independence adopted on July 4, 1776, rather than on July 2, the date urged by in a hurry John Adams. July 2, the Moon was in one of its weakest signs, Capricorn, where it would oppose the Cancer Sun, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter. By July 4, the full Moon was safely into Aquarius and well out of opposition to the Sun. Coincidence, historians would scoff. Smart logical planning.....

One of the few ‘civilian’ books to mention Franklin and astrology on the same page is an old one, Franklin, The Apostle of Modern Times, by Bernard Fay (Little Brown, 1929) To quote him at some length: "Astrology was very much in vogue...It occupied an important place in business, agriculture and private life. Astrology was employed in determining the future of newly born children. The date to choose for a hunt, the propitious period for sowing seed and gathering grapes, the opportune moment for the departure of boats...Wise, serious, and pious people also believed in astrology, for as late as 1728 candidates for Harvard discussed such topics as these: "Do medical herbs operate by planetary power?" or "That the heavenly bodies produce changes in the bodies of animals." And on the eve of the Revolution in 1717, the faculty proposed such subjects as these: "Is a comet which only appears after many years a foreshadowing of divine wrath rather than a planet that appears daily?" Everybody turned to the astrologers, and the publishers of almanacs had an immense public. These little books were the faithful mirrors of the preoccupations of the times."

For twenty-five years Franklin wrote and published Poor Richard’s Almanac. This series made him rich and famous throughout the colonies and is still widely quoted today. .....In his own day its sales were second only to the Bible and the French edition went through fifty-six printings. In the following paragraph Ms Accurso has modernized the archaic and sometimes erratic spelling, punctuation and capitalization, but leave Franklins’s basic sentence structures intact.

The first edition (1733) was printed when the editor/writer/publisher was just twenty-seven years old. His astrological bent was on display early because he used it in a joking reference.......Then followed "The Names and Characters of the Seven Planets" (Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto had not yet been discovered.) The Sun was called Sol, the Moon was referred to as Lana, and the North and South Nodes were named Dragon’s Head and Dragon’s Tail, respectively.

The year 1736....., Franklin noted with symbols that "Mercury is never distant from the Sun a whole sign, nor Venus above two; you’ll never find Sun sextile Mercury nor Sun square Venus." In the same year after a long section on eclipses, Franklin wrote, "Suffer me to observe that whoever studies the eclipses of former Ages and compares them with the great events in the history of the times and years in which they happened shall find that the fall of the Assyrian, Persian, Grecian and Roman monarchies each of the was remarkably preceded by great and total eclipses of the heavenly bodies. Observations of this kind, joined with the ancient and long-tryed rules of our art....make me tremble for the Empire now in being."

Franklin wrote and published the last Poor Richard for the year 1758.

Also excerpted from Dell Horoscope, July issue

The Astrological Edge by Jan Spiller, page 16

Mercury also turns retrograde this month--on the 30th. Retrograde Mercury always gives us the opportunity to take a time out to reevaluate what we’re doing, the plans we’re making, and how wer’re viewing our current circumstances. It gives us the chance to integrate prior actions and to see thing in a new way that will empower us to make changes. Because Mercury retrogrades in Leo, it will be vaulable to avoid expressing our ideas in an overly dramatic way when we feel misunderstood. Actually, when Mercury is retrograde, the best way of communication is to pull back, calm down, get in touch with our feelings, and sensitively reach out to the other person, rather than to escalate our enthusiasm.

leaf2.gif (92 bytes)Back to White Dove's Messageleaf2.gif (92 bytes)