Astrological Alignments of Note in 1446
Spica and the Equinox
According to Masonic tradition, temples are to be laid out on an east-west axis, with the entrance on the west and the altar in the east. Rosslyn is no exception, and it platted exactly east-west. Theoretically, the equinoxes provide a sunrise that is exactly east, what we know as 90° Azimuth. (The best date for this would have been September 14, when the first shadows cast by the Sun would be directly west. The reason that the 21st was not the best day in 1446 was due to the fault in the Julian calendar that allowed a slight drift in the equinoxes from their original dates of March 25 and September 24.) Observations would also have been required on the previous solstical dates of Christmas and St. John's Day, December 25 and June 24, respectively.
The obvious place to start is with a star chart for Spica transiting the meridian on Sep. 21 of 1446. Here we can see that there is a new moon in Virgo, and that the Moon culminates only 115 seconds sooner than does Spica:
Luna transits Rosslyn meridian Se-21-46: 12:31:01 PM GMT
Mars and Virgo
Is Mars central to the Rosslyn chart? The answer to this requires some background on the imprortance of quarter-date festivals and how they relate to human gestation (in this case reflecting the immaculate conception), which averages about nine months. If someone is born on the 21st of September, the conception would have happened on or about December 21, the winter solstice. Jesus' (Sol's) birthday comes 9 months after the Spring solstice, thus symbolizing the return of life on the Earth. Thus, what is conceived on the fall equinox births on the summer solstice -- (calendrically symbolized as) St. John the Baptist's Day -- the most revered day in Freemasonry.
Starting from the previous September 21 of 1445, we see that there is a Mars/Jupiter conjunction in early constellational Leo. From this point, we can trace Mars' track for the next year, up to September 21, 1446. We find that Mars went through a retrograde cycle as it passed through constellational Virgo, stationing in the figure both retrograde and direct, making three conjuncitons with Spica, and also crossing its own south node as well, as shown in this next graphic:
In all, Mars spends nearly nine months (early November 1445 through July 1446) transiting the stars of Virgo, suggesting again the concept of incubation.
Furthermore, we can identify the dates and positions of Mars and plot them on this track:
On Christmas of 1445, two Mars-like events are evident. First is Luna co-culminating with the fixed star Antares, the alpha of Scorpio, which literally translates as "rival of Mars":
We can also see Mars in Virgo on the point where it returns to later when retrograde:
Mars, Luminaries, and St. John's Day
On June 24, St. John's Day, three planets are aligned with stars revered in Masonry:
This while a new moon occurs occurs in Gemini, as seen in the next graphic:
This particular lunation, already "special" by forming on St. John's Day, is tightly conjunct by azimuth over the sacred spot of Giza:
This lunation is exact to an amazing 13 seconds of time, as is depicted in the closeup sky chart, centered on the local Zenith:
Sun culminates @ 11:58:15
Mars' South Node
Further evidence of a Mars connection is Mars' south node. As stated above, Mars crosses its own south node before making its third conjunction with Spica on May 31 @ the tropical longitude of 6°38' Libra. This degree is indeed being transited on the 21st of September for the foundation stone ceremony, as is shown in the next two graphics:
The next and final part will discuss some current developments at Rosslyn that shares symbolism with the above.
Copyright © 2003 Ed Kohout. All Rights Reserved.