Mundane Astrology
The Knepf's Snake-eye

The Surrender of Cornwallis:
Timed with Ritual Astrology?

Astrologer Ray White has recently posted a fine essay concerning the surrender of Cornwallis in 1781: From George Washington's Diary: A New Chart of the United States by Ray White. It is generally accepted that George Washington chose the times for Cornwallis to formally endorse the surrender document as well as the time for his army to march out of Yorktown.

A document in GW's own pen suggests as much, but after looking more closely at this timing, and specifically how it fits into the ritual Masonic parameters that have been outlined on, one can make the case that the timing was anything but random or chosen haphazardly.

There are three charts that White has shown to be of most importance to the matter, those being:

  • October 17, 1781, ~10:00 AM @ Yorktown -- approximate time of Surrender of Cornwallis, and when negotiations of surrender terms began;

  • October 19, 1781, 11:00 AM @ Yorktown -- time designated by Washington for Cornwallis to sign the surrender agreement;

  • October 19, 1781, 2:00 PM @ Yorktown. -- time designated by Washington for Cornwallis to begin leading the march of his army out of Yorktown.

What led up to this important moment in history is also important, as is the USA's relationship with the French.

The October 17 surrender falls on the anniversary of another surrender in the Revolutionary War, the surrender of British General Burgoyne in 1777, which was the most significant victory for the Americans during the entire war. Defeated in battle ten days earlier by American Generals Horatio Gates, Daniel Morgan and Ebenezar Learned, and Brigadier General Benedict Arnold, in the second battle of Saratoga, Burgoyne accepted the terms of the "Convention of Saratoga," and agreed to depart, with his troops, the continent. (The first battle of Saratoga, on 19 September, was also an American victory.)

The surrender of Cornwallis, on the other hand, was possible only with the help of the French naval forces (forces that departed the Colonial coastal waters soon after the surrender, which eventually resulted in the British still in control of the seas, posing problems for the Americans for decades afterwards -- problems that were only settled by the War of 1812.) The French were a vital part of the Colonial victory, and for legitimizing the new nation, economically as well as politically.

The underlying agreements with France are vested in two treaties dated February 6, 1778: The Treaty of Amity and Commerce, and the Treaty of Alliance. The cosmological reality of this date is interesting, and complies with the astro-cartographology common to ritual Masonic astrology. A chart for Luna rising over Philadelphia:

 Figure 1  

...relocated to France finds Regulus rising and Saturn on the lower meridian, or the Imum Coeli:

 Figure 2  

Another consideration is the cartographology of the Sun between the two power centers on February 6. When the Sun is on the meridian over Paris, it is rising at Philidelphia. Consider this table:

Date Paris noon (GMT) Phili sunrise* (GMT)
December 21, 1777 11:49:30 12:21:20
February 6, 1778 12:05:15 12:05:45
March 21, 1778 11:57:57 11:03:45
May 6, 1778 11:46:59 9:55:55
June 21, 1778 11:51:53 9:33:05
August 6, 1778 11:56:06 10:04:45
September 21, 1778 11:43:34 10:48:34
November 6, 1778 11:34:33 11:37:25
*visible rising of the center of the Sun; Sky Map Pro lists the moment that the top of the disc of the Sun rises, and this value is usually more than one minute earlier.

The treaties were ratified by the Continental Congress on May 4, shortly after 3 PM. On this date, Luna co-rose with Regulus exactly:

 Figure 3  

The alignment over Paris at ~3:20 PM Philadelphia time features three prominent stars on the horizon simultaneously: Graffias is rising, and Sirius and Orion's belt are setting:

 Figure 4  

Luna and Regulus are at the 210° Azimuth position, or the "2 O'Clock" position, and the equivalent of Scorpio in the Azimthal sphere. Relocated back to Phili, Luna/Regulus is at the ritually significant altitude of +33° and rising.

Having then demonstrated the use of both Regulus and Graffias with these treaties, we can look back to the observed fact that the Continental Congress convened both of its sessions on days that either Regulus or Graffias formed mundane squares with the high-noon Sun. This can be reviewed on in the essay on the Continental Congress and Masonic Astrology. (Also worth mentioning is Saturn conjunct Zubenelgenubi at the fulcrum of the scales of Libra, the ancient exaltation of Saturn, and a most favorable position for that planet, and for matters of legal unions such as this.)

Moving forward to Cornwallis' demise at Yorktown, a case can be made for elective astrology governing the time of formal surrender. Washington's request for the agreement to be signed at 11:00 AM is agreed to. At this moment, a rather obvious and dovish Jupiter/Moon conjunction is forming over Yorktown, aligned with the stars in the head of the Scorpion:

 Figure 5  

Jupiter and Graffias, one of the four fixed stars that comprise the Masonic Square, are at the ritually significant Altitude of +19.5° -- a number that we have shown is integral to Washington's later design of the Federal City that bears his name.

Relocating this chart to Cornwallis' capital, London, uncovers another "33," and one astro-cartographologically significant to the Royal Observatory at Greenwhich: the zenithing of Eltanin, the gamma of the constellation Draco, which Flamsteed numbered "33 Draconis." 33 Draconis zeniths directly overhead of the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, to within three minutes of arc. (The only stars of similar brightness that come this close are Alkaid of the Big Dipper and the gamma of Perseus.) Eltanin, the "zenith-star" of Greenwich, in 1781, had a declination of 51° 31' 22", close to the earthly latitude of Flamsteed's castle, 51° 28' 38".

 Figures 6 & 7  

Yet, this star's special mystical importance dates back thousands of years before the recent intimate connection to the Royal Observatory. Draco, the dragon, was a "...divine emblem of the Egyptian pharaohs, a symbol of the Egyptian Therapeutate in Karnak and Qumrân, while also being the Bistea Neptunis sea-serpent of the descendant Merovingian Fisher Kings in Gaul." It was an integral part of the alignment of the Great Pyramid at Giza, as it was circumpolar:

"The age-old constellation of Draco was the Celestial Serpent. Its many stars were the 42 heavenly judges, namely Osiris and his assistants, among them ibis-headed Thoth, and jackal-headed Anubis. Draco's head was the Hall of Justice or Judgment Hall. Its four corner stars Rastaban, Eltanin, Grumium and Kuma were the four incorruptible sons of Horus: Imsety, Hapi, Duamutef and Kebehsenuf, who live by Maat, lean on their staffs and watch over Upper Egypt - In July, when the Nile rose, the head of Draco stood high in the sky at midnight, watching over Upper Egypt."

Dragons and serpents are most plentiful in the mythological heavens, and different serpents served different purposes. According to Allen, we should not confuse the astrological nodes and their codification in India with Draco:

Eltanin, also written Ettanin, Etannin, Etanim, Etamin, etc., is from Ulug Beg's Al Ras al Timmin, the Dragon's Head, applied to this, as it also is to alpha Draconis (Thuban); Riccioli wrote it Ras Eltanim. The word Tinnin is nearly synonymous with Thu'ban, and Bayer mentioned Rastaben as one of its titles, the Alfonsine Rasaben, and now Rastaban in the Century Cyclopedia; but in early Arabic astronomy it was one of hte Herd of Camels alluded to at beta Draconis [Mother Camels - a symbolic allusion to the grouping of stars seen in Figure 8].
 Figure 8  

Firuzabadi referred to Ras al Tinnin and Dhanab al Tinnin in the heavens, the Dragon's Head, and Tail; but these have no connection with our Draco, reference being there made solely to the ascending and descending nodes in the orbits of the moon and planets known to Arabian astronomers under these titles. Primarily, however, these were from India, and known as Rahu and Kitu [Ketu]. This idea seems to have originated from the fact that the moon's undulating course was symbolized by that of the stellar Hydra; and had the latter word been used instead of "Dragon," the expression would now be better understood. But it was familiar to seamen as late as the 16th Century, for "the head and tayle of the Dragon" appears in Eden's Dedication, of 1574, to Sir Wyllyam Wynter; and even now the symbols, for the ascending node and for the descending, are used in text books and almanacs.

Allen also stresses the historical importance of this star to the Egyptians and Arabs, Eltanin was of vital interest to ancient astronomers, mainly due to its nearness to the celesial pole (the axis of the sidereal where Polaris now inhabits):

Millenniums before this, however, it was of importance on the Nile, as it ceased to be cirmumpolar about 5000 BC, and a few centuries thereafter became the natural successor of Dubhe (alpha Ursa Major), which up to that date had been the prominent object of Egyptian temple worship in the north. Eltanin was known there as Isis, or Taurt Isis, -- the former name applied at one time to Sirius [emphasis mine], -- and it marked the head of the Hippopotamus that was part of our Draco. Its rising was visible about 3500 BC through the central passages of the temples of Hathor and Denderah and of Mut and Thebes; Canopus being seen through other openings toward the south at the same date. And Lokyer says that thirteen centuries later it became the orientation point of the great Karnak temples of Rameses and Khons at Thebes, the passage in the former, through which the star was observed, being 1500 feet in length; and that at least seven different temples were oriented toward it. When precession had put an end to this use of these temples, others are thought to have been built with the same purpose in view; so that there are now found three different sets of structures close together, and so oriented that the dates of all, hitherto not certainly known, may be determinable by this knowledge of the purpose for which they were designed. Such being the case, Lockyer concluded that Hipparchos was not the discoverer of the precession of the equinoxes, as is generally supposed, but merely the publisher of that discovery made by the Egyptians, or perhaps adopted by them from Chaldaea.
He also states that Apet, Bast, Mut, Sekhet, and Tuart were all titles of one goddess in the Nile worship, symbolized by gamma Draconis.
It is interesting to know that the Boeotian Thebes, the City of the Dragon, from the story of its founder, Cadmus, shared with its Egyptian namesake the worhip of this star in a temple dedicated, so far as its orientation shows, about 1130 BC: a cult doubtless drawn from the parent city in Egypt, and adopted elsewhere in Greece, as also in Italy in the little temple to Isis in Pompeii. Here, however, the city authorities interfered with this star-worship in one of their numerous raids on the astrologers, and bricked up the opening whence the star was observed.
It was nearer the pole than any other bright star about 4000 years ago."

Allen also makes note of the 1726 (1729?) discovery of atmospheric refraction by Bradley:

Eltanin has been a notable object in all ages. It was observed with a telescope by Doctor Robert Hooke in the daytime in 1669 while endeavoring to determine its parallax, but his result afterwards was found to be due to the effect of aberration. Subsequently this star was used by Bradley for the same purpose, although unsuccessfully; but, on the other hand, it gave him his great discovery of the aberration of light, of which Hooke of course was ignorant.

To quote from Olcott:

In Egypt the Dragon was called "Typhon." Plutarch tells us that the hippopotamus, or its variant the crocodile, was certainly one of the forms of Typhon. On the planisphere of Denderah, and the walls of the Ramesseum at Thebes, these animals appear in the circumpolar region, and show clearly that they owe thier position to the old myth that the rising sun destroys the circumpolar stars [emphasis mine]; and Horus, the great god, the light of the heavens, is represented as destroying the hippopotamus or crocodile or Draco. The same idea has come down to us in the well known myth of St. George and the Dragon.

Now, while I wouldn't go as far as to say that the Revolutionaries are the Sun and the defeated British Army is the Dragon in this whole scheme, it is an interesting parallel, and part of how Masonry adopted the Solar deity in its own rituals.

What is proveable is that the ensuing Treaty of Paris, signed on September 3, 1783, is a lunar return of the formal Cornwallis Surrender -- to the head of the Scorpion. The treaty was believed to be signed at "11:00 AM" at Paris, and we can see that Luna is occulting the star "pi Scorpii," the southernmost of the three major stars in the Scorpion's head:

 Figure 9  

A closeup shot of this alignment is as follows:

 Figure 10  

The story does not end here, however. Upon closer examination, we find that this occultation by Luna passes the local lower meridian of Philadelphia at about 4:55 AM local time. This is about 10:00 AM local time at Paris. The sky map for this nadiring is as follows:

 Figure 11  

And, when we relocate this moment to the Giza pyramids, we find that it is high noon, and that the Moon is rising in mundo exactly! This can be seen in the next graphic:

 Figure 12  

The data is as follows:

Treaty of Paris: local transits
Luna on lower meridian of Phili: 9:55:22 AM GMT
Luna on horizon of Giza: 9:54:35 AM GMT
Sol on meridian of Giza: 9:54:38 AM GMT

The Sun-MC and Luna-ASC mundane square occurs often in important USA governmental charts, is inspired by (or the direct product of) ritual Masonic astrological technique, and is a favorite of that era.

Yet another important date in this saga hosts a planetary alignment tothe head of the Scorpio, that date being November 30, 1782, when the preliminary signatories of the Crown and the Revolutionaries agreed on the wording of the document at Paris. Here we see that Venus is exactly conjunct Graffias, and thus the Jupiter/Luna of the Surrender, and the Luna of the Treaty of Paris:

 Figure 13  

Also, we find that at London on that day, another Sol/Luna mundane square occurs, but this time with Luna on the MC and Sol on the horizon:

 Figure 14  

I find it hard to fathom that such a series of alignments as presented above can be anything less than deliberate electional astrology; coincidence on such a scale would be statistically unlikely, with odds of millions to one.


Allen, Richard Hinckley, Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning, Dover reprint, 1963.

Olcott, William Tyler, Star Lore of All Ages, Kessinger reprint of the 1910 classic.

Mundane Astrology

Copyright © 2003 Edward Kohout. All Rights Reserved.