#95 Annie Besant


“An imperious necessity forces me to speak the truth, as I see it, whether the speech please or displease, whether it bring praise or blame. That one loyalty to Truth I must keep stainless, whatever friendships fail me or human ties be broken.”

– Annie Besant, An Autobiography Chapter XIV.

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Marc Jones’ time for Mrs. Besant

Annie Besant ate  no meat and drank no liquor.  She is considered the forerunner  start of the British Anti-vivisection group (animal testing) and Lizzy Lind af Hageby, one of her many proteges,  gave her such credit.  Marc Jones wrote about her to such length in his Essentials of Astrology that abbreviating it would be hard to do; so we won’t. There are two times out there for Mrs. Besant.  8:29 per Astro.com and 8:20 per Marc Jones.  We are going with Jones’s rectification, but YMMV.

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Astro.com time for Annie Besant

                                         The young Annie

       The young Annie

Annie Wood was 20 years, a devout Christian, when she married an English clergyman, Rev. Frank Besant and had two children, Arthur and Mabel, but five years later she reputed Christianity finding no logic therein and became a freethinker.  In 1879 she matriculated from London University with a degree in science and started publishing and writing pamphlets on free-thought but it was meeting Helena Blavatsky that changed her from a Free-Thinker to a Theosophical one and she became Blavatsky’s dedicated pupil and eventual heir. In 1888, Annie Besant became attracted to the philosophy of Marxism. In addition to being a member of the Fabian Society, British socialist organisation whose purpose is to advance the principles a democratic socialist party that advocated a gradual social reformation rather than via a bloody revolution.

She was also a member of the Social Democratic Federation (SDF) that was the first British  socialist political party by Henry M. Hyndman. It was a popular among the British socialists and  included the artist William Morris, George Lansbury, and Eleanor Marx, Karl Marx’s daughter advocating women’s voting, birth control and abolishment of the House of Lords.  However, Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx’s long-term collaborator, refused to support Hyndman’s venture because it was not “Marxian” enough.

In 1885, Annie Besant stood for election to the London School Board. Campaigning on a policy of ‘No more hungry children’  she won with over 15,000 votes despite that women could not vote.   During her period on the Board of Education, she played an important role in helping the London Dockers form a union and gain better wages in an industry which had been dominated by one-day employment contracts.

Annie became a Freemason in 1902 attracted by their belief that men and women should join together to work for a better world. And from 1907 to 1993 she was the second President of The Theosophical Society.  Her protégé was Jiddu Krishnamurti, an Indian native raised in England,  whom she believed to be the messianic teacher whose arrived was announced by his great pupil, Jesus Christ.

However, Krishnamurti renounced her and Theosophy in 1929 in favour of self-reliance and unflinching self-knowledge.  He said that to do this, meant vegetarianism and renunciation of  all organized religions and ideologies.

Mrs. Besant died shortly thereafter in 1933 at her home in Tamil Nadu India.


Marc Jones discusses Annie Besant alot in his both his astrological and metaphysical writings as he considers her a paragon of modern intellect, so it is no surprise that she is example in “How to Learn Astrology” for the T-Square with a Cardinal-Sign Emphasis. This “cardinal cross” is the basic type of the three t-crosses.

  1. Aries is opposite Libra
  2. Taurus is opposite Scorpio
  3. Gemini is opposite Sagittarius
  4. Cancer is opposite Capricorn
  5. Leo is opposite Aquarius
  6. Virgo is opposite Pisces

Jones feels that learning the the pairs of opposites are the first step towards a better method for recognizing the planetary relationships.  Once they are remembered, he bunches them into the traditional groups of four.

  • The Angles are the Cardinal points of the compass:  Aries on the East, Libra on the West, Cancer in the South and Capricorn pointing North.
  • In a similar correspondence follow the succedent houses, or the eighth, eleventh, second and fifth houses in that order, that are deemed the “fixed signs,” Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius.
  • The last four are cadent cusps or the ninth, twelfth, third and sixth, that he refers to as the “common signs,” Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces.

The cosmic cross of the “t” pattern occurs when a square is found in the midst of an opposition.   It creates an overbalanced emphasis of life according to the quadrature in which it is found. Quadratures are the basis of astrology handed down by Ptolemy himself, and Marc Jones, while he dismays at day and night lords, terms and faces, does not throw the baby out with the bath water; quaratures and modality are the basis upon which his teaching lie.

With that fresh in our minds, we turn to the T-Cross or what Marc Jones refers to as the Cosmic Cross an area of the chart where ” excess activity is directed toward the point of the “short leg, ” or the point focus, revealing the necessary “construction” for the opposing planets to get beyond their petty squabbles,  and focus on so that they may get to work and get something accomplished.


In Mrs. Besant’s case this square is Jupiter, that is less than 2° to her Mercury, or the mind, and also to Uranus, independence. Jones interprets this as her (Jupiter) enthusiasm is the foundation of her achievements.
While her moon, sun, Venus and Pluto are also in this cross configuration, that means that her Jupiterian enthusiasm bequeaths tremendous power in applying herself, and she uses Venus and Pluto for a laser-like focus

Theosophy was the focus the gave her the all-inclusive  attitude towards her life.  It ordered her perspective  and gave her a cynosure that was intune with her own beliefs. Jupiter was the organizing principle and through its prism she expounded Theosophy as the great encompassing belief that modern man could aspire.

Besant though went a step further and had a cardinal Grand Cross indicating a life fundamentally concerned with the critical or vital issues of human experience.
If the person is important enough, or makes his life important enough through will and fixity of purpose, this Cross links his career irrevocably  with the broad crises of a nation, a movement or even an age.

Annie Besant was such a person, who came to a position of leadership in Theosophy when it was torn by dissension and needed the capable hand of a great unifying force. == Marc Jones notes from How to Learn Astrology, adapted and revised.

adapted from Marc Jones’s How to Learn Astrology.

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