More Masonic Astrology and the Independence Boyz:
The Continental Congresses
Editor's note: There are times in life when one has to own up to making a huge mistake. This page is one of those times. I had to redo about half of hte page due to getting a date wrong, and thus a new edition of this page is up as of March 7, 2003.
For an astrologer to give bad chart data is inexcusable, and regarding an important topic such as below, a minor disaster.
My apologies go out to our readers. - Ed Kohout (Ahh, who am I kidding...I'm the editor, writer, and publisher of the CAVE, and thus why such sloppiness was possible.)
One of the keys to delineating Sibly's symbolic chart for the Declaration of Independence involves recognition of a fixed-star "grand cross" (four squares and two oppositions of four points) that lies along the ecliptic, consisting of these four stars:
- The Pleiades (Eta Taurus)
- Regulus (Alpha Leo)
- Graffias (Beta Scorpio)
- Iota Aquarii
Our efforts at edkohout.com have shown that these four stars are prevalent in prominent astrological charts of American history, their usage being derived from elements of "elective" astrological techniques popular in post-Medieval England, and more intimately with the society known as "Freemasons."
The one thing historians agree upon about the road to Independence was that it was a long one, with rumblings of such notions going back to the early 17th Century. These revolutionary ideas mostly coalesced in higher political realms after February 24, 1761, when James Otis, a Mason affiliated with St. Andrews Lodge of Boston, Massachusetts, since 1754,1 as well as a member of st. John's Lodge of Boston,2 offered the catalyst of opposing the Crown (of which he was hired to defend!) on the intrusive "Writ of Assistance" by George III. He then resigned his position as General Advocate of Massachusetts to the Crown Advocate for the Colonies, and was elected to the legislature of Massachusetts three months later.
Like all Masonic lodges, the Boston Lodge of St. John's was populated with the upper class of the day, with more than 6 out of 10 members being wealthy merchants, and 15% being professionals such as attorneys or doctors. Not anyone could become a Mason, but the Moderns of Boston were more liberal than most other lodges with the admission of so-called "artisans" such as printers and butchers. As Bullock writes in Revolutionary Brotherhood:
Merchants made up the majority of lodge members, but their prestige was nearly matched by the smaller and more diverse group of men here classified as professionals... lawyers and physicians were prominent. Boston lawyers... especially, were leaders in their professions. Boston's attorneys included the most important memebers of the legal community. Grand master Jeremiah Gridley was a key figure in the professionalization of the Boston bar. When he argued the government's position in the writs of assistance case, his opponenet was another brother, James Otis, Jr. The judge of the vice admiralty court and the solicitor to the Board of Customs Commissioners belonged to the Boston fraternity, as did Andrew Oliver, provincial secretary and lieutenant governor.3
Otis' cries for liberty and justice rang loudly in the ears of pissed-off merchants who were being violated by the King. They ring today just as loudly in astrological symbolism, for Otis began speaking as the Moon set conjunct the fixed star Zubenelgenubi, which is the fulcrum of the scales in Libra -- the scales of Justice:
Figure 1 Inset shows the close conjunction of the Moon to Zubenelgenubi, the fulcrum of the scales of justice. Saturn occupies this spot when the Continental Congress ratifies two treaties with France in 1778 -- treaties that will eventually mean victory in the Revolutionary War.
Figure 2 John Hancock. Copy of pianting by John Singleton Copley, ca 1770-72.
Credit: National Archives and Records Administration
Yet, it would take more backlash against the Monarchy for the colonists to finally go it alone by waging war in 1775, when perhaps still only a minority of colonists wanted to break completely from the Crown. The governing body that eventually adopted the D of I, the 2nd Continental Congress, was presided over by the fugitive/hero and Freemason John Hancock. The secretary was Charles Thomson, who was also secretary to the 1st Continental Congress and its president Peyton Randolph, also a Mason.4 Thomson was not a Mason, but was believed to be sympathetic to the craft, and showed his loyalty to his fellow patriots by destroying all of his sensitive documents just before his death. (A little known fact about Thomson was that he "co-designed" the Great Seal of the United States, and was given authority to finalize the design. Congress approved his design on the very day he submitted it -- June 20, 1782.) This 2nd Congress commenced on its scheduled date of May 10, 1775. We can see that two of the four stars in the above "Masonic Square" -- Regulus and iota Aquarii -- are in mundane aspect to the sun at high noon on this date, with Jupiter conjunct the Pleiades as well:
Figures 3 & 4 The first map shows the mundane square between Sol and Regulus; the inset shows how close Regulus is to the horizon. The second map highlights the conjunction of Jupiter to the Pleiades.
This seems like a lucky coincidence, perhaps, until we look at the chart for the commencement of the 1st Continental Congress, on September 5, 1774, which features the Sun in mundane square with the other two oppositional stars, eta Taurus (Pleiades) and Graffias:
Figures 5 & 6 The first map shows the close mundane square between Sol and Graffias; the inset shows how close Graffias is to the horizon. The next map shows the Pleiades setting.
These alignments occur most tightly only on these days. This author feels that one of the more practical utilities of this fixed-star grand cross had to do with the fact that in the northern hemisphere, the opposition pairs rise and set simultaneously, giving the astronomer or calendar keeper a moment to adjust his reconing of local time via such an observation. In other words, with one of the four "corners" of the sky observable at any time of the year, one could always keep accurate time. Masonry, after becoming a purely speculative institution, took this kind of time-keeping to the extreme, and perhaps saw planetary alignments (particularly those including the luminaries) to these stars as good omens for new beginnings. Though the Masonic symbol of the "square" originated with construction trade where it symbolized "stability" and evenness (and thus our sayings about getting a "square deal"), it evolved to be iconic of geodescy and astral measurement. We can see in the following tables that the altitudinal/azimuthal values are closest to being exact at high noon on both dates, thus making for rather perfect "squares":
First Continental Congress
Second Continental Congress
MC = Sun = 180°00' Azimuth
ASC = Graffias = 0°09' Altitude
DSC = Pleiades = 0°41' Altitude
MC = Sun = 180°00' Azimuth
ASC = Regulus = 0°07' Altitude
DSC = Iota Aquarii = -1°13' Altitude
We can compare these charts in astrology wheels with the original 7 planets against an outer wheel with the four stars of the Masonic Square:
Figures 7 & 8
As is evident, there is more to these charts than simple alignments to the fixed stars. All include striking planetary alignments and aspects. As outlined in the series on Washington D.C., the use of septile (72°) aspects was important to Masonic elective astrology, and those are evident here in both charts with aspects to the ascendant.
The first Continental Congress lasted only 51 days, adjourning on the 26th of October, but passing a Resolution on the 14th October and a "Continental Association" on the 20th October. The Congress also agreed to meet in 1775 if their grievances were not answered. The Sun/North Node conjunction on the MC of this chart shows an element of fraternity within the ranks, and also a willingess to make alliances with the Crown. Jupiter in trine to the many planets in Virgo, and Mars in good stead to both Jupiter and Saturn, shows that this Congress was more interested in finding diplomatic solutions to their political goals. When we add the outer planets, a dynamic kite formation on the axis of Mars and Pluto is revealed:
The story is a bit different, however, with the second Congress. This second Congress has Mars conjunct the North Node in the first house, looking for a fight; as ruler of the 4th and 9th, Mars is promising a fight over ideologies. Sun and Jupiter in the 10th are confident and righteous in attitude. Saturn and Luna in the 2nd are also resolute, and suggest that upcoming financial issues will need to be solved. This chart is not good for the long term, and a new beginning will eventually become reality with the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
When we add the outer planets to this chart, we see that all are activating important combinations:
A grand trine of the three outer planets was in force for about five years prior, and in the chart for the first Continental Congress each plays a role. All aspect other planets with trines, and form some important combinations that will prove successful: UR=MO/ME=JU/NE; NE=SO//UR/NO/MC; PL=SO//UR/NO/MC.
In the second Continental Congress, a major grand trine is evident:
It would be hard to overstate the far-reaching ramifications of this planetary picture. The outer three planets all represent long-term trends and global political cycles, and here we see them all converge on this little Congress in the outposts of civilization! This rare grand trine of the outer three planets had the effect, as we can see all these years later, of allowing the governmental institutions of Europe to become somewhat complacent and lethargic in reacting to what was shaping up as one of the most important rebellions and ultimate shifts of geo-political power in the history of mankind. From the time of the Boston Tea Party back in March of that year, until the end of hostilities in 1783, the British response was constantly underestimating the will of the Colonists. The support for the war by the citezenry in England was lethargic at best, and unsupportive at other times. French interlopers in the conflict (Masons were among them) found it easy to help the rebels, and were among the most ardent instigators of convincing the Americans that a Declaration of Independence was needed in order for official recognition by other States.
Whatever resolve was present with the original 55 members of the Continental Congress to oppose the Monarchy only gained momentum for the next 2 years until there was no turning back from the military option after the Battle of Bunker Hill, and the death of another famous Statesman and Freemason, Joseph Warren.5 However, it fell upon the 2nd Continental Congress to formally declare "Independence" from England once and for all in terms of Statehood. Viewing this chart with the outer planets added, we see a more warlike chart, as unknown to them, Pluto was at the apex of a "quintiling yod" with the passionate quintile of Venus and Mars (which, as was show earlier, is rising and conjunct the new-frontier North Node):
Pluto is nearly partile in aspect to the Jupiter/Ascendant square, forcing a most violent path ahead for the delegates. Jupiter and Pluto are in aspect to the Moon forming a grand trine, giving an optimistic and hopeful sense that the power-grab will ultimately produce good for the participants. This Moon, at 23 Virgo, is conjunct the important fixed star Zavijava in constellational Virgo, a star that held a prominent anchor in the building of Washington D.C.
In Conclusion, we can say with a certain amount of confidence that an astrological pattern emerges in the formation of government from the earliest pan-colonial Congress of 1774 up to and including the building of the Federal City and beyond to the current era.
1 Roth, Philip A., Masonry in the Formation of Our Government, Kessinger Publications (reprint), Kila, Montana, 1927, pp 17 - 18.
2 Allen E. Roberts, Freemasonry in American History, Macoy Publishing, Richmond, Virginia, 1985, p. 133. Allen claims that Otis was a member of St. John's Lodge of Boston as well, where he was initiated in 1752.
3 Bullock, Steven C., Revolutionary Brotherhood, University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 1996, pp. 60 - 62.
4 Roth, p. 31. "He was a member of Williamsburg Lodge No. 6, Virginia, and Grand Master two terms, November 6, 1773, to October 22, 1775. -- (taken from Washington and His Masonic Compeers, pages 268 - 269).
5 Roberts, p. 134. Joseph Warren was appointed Provincial Grand Master by the Grand Lodge of Scotland on May 30, 1769.
Lists of delegates to the Continental Congresses of 1770 and 1775
Copyright © 2002 Edward Kohout. All Rights Reserved.