Category: Writers

Noel Jan Tyl, baritone astrologer

Noel Tyl died on his birthday, December 31st. He was a towering figure in modern astrology and many call him their mentor having taken his Masterworks DVD set and learnt the craft from a grand master. He was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, an affluent suburb of Philadelphia, and started out as a operatic baritone. He switched gears and became the foremost Jungian astrologer in the world, picking up the baton from Jones and Rudhyar. His fans are legion and to be honest, we’ve never heard a bad word against him; which alone speaks volumes. Thanks for the books — all 33 of them.

This is Tyl’s OFFICIAL chart. Probably not the real thing i.e. Moon at Regulus. Instead try 06 Sagittarius, twleve hours earlier, with its Grand trine in Earth and Mercury and Venus in the second for his lovely rich voice. Read more about him at his site,

On the road to Ithaka, C.P. Cavafy

Constantine P. Cavafy, pseudonym of Konstantínos Pétrou Kaváfis. Cavafy was born April 29, 1863 in Alexandria, Egypt and died 70 years later on his birthday, April 29, 1933 in Alexandria. His parents were both from the Greek community in Constantinople (now Istanbul) Turkey. Historically this was Anatolia.

He was a Greek poet who consciously developed his own style and became important in Western poetry. T.s Eliot and Ezra Pound were fans as was the novelist Lawrence Durrell. He lived most of his life in Alexandria, Egypt, read English and French literature voraciously and wrote in English. A skeptic, he ignored the traditional values of Christianity, patriotism, and heterosexuality, yet he was uncomfortable with that.

This was Jackie Kennedy-Onassis’s favorite poem and was read at her funeral.

A list of his poems is here.

His ascendant is 20 Pisces or A table set for an evening meal. Jones writes that this symbol represents nature’s prodigality revealed in the channels within which man exists. The individual discovers at this point, that there is no part of the universe he cannot explore if he is sensitive to it. The keyword is Familiarity. Odd for a poet, Cavafy outside of his ascendant, has no water in his chart; perhaps that is enough. He is a locomotive temperament type — they tend to listen to themselves and ignore outside structures.

He also has a strong preponderance in Aries in the first house, making him a self-starter but also self-preoccupied and conceited. That would have increased his temperament type excluding all others from his conversation and thoughts; Jupiter in the eighth house may be the key to poetic abilities and why the lack of obvious water did not matter for a poetic career, particularly as it is opposite his Mercury (23 Aries 25) hovering on the second house cusp. The Jupiter would bring him money in his lifetime and fame afterwards. Should we all be so fortunate.

Best wishes my friends, always.

Paradise Lost, John Milton

Our header image is William Blake’s rendition of Paradise Lost — written for the poem.

I happened to catch this from the UK ill-starred Transits magazine and noticed today is John Milton’s birthday. I could not get the 6-7 am time to work particularly if I threw in the Fixed Stars. He was totally blind by 1654, probably from glaucoma or bilateral retinal detachment (inoperable at that time) and so dictated the bulk of his poem to his very dutiful daughter (hence why Mercury and Venus are so close and in the twelfth house of imprisonment). His ascendant, 22 Sagittarius [HS] Blue skies opening from above a time when it is possible for all to become fully observant of the human experience. The keyword is Enlightenment, appropriate for a man who is the Father of the English Enlightenment.

Modernists say he is a bucket with a Neptune handle 17 Virgo 44. Traditionalists say he is a deviated northeastern bowl. The deviation itself is interesting as taking Neptune straight down almost fills the space. I cannot get asteroids that far back, so we have to default to (fantasy, music, poesy) Neptune filling the gap between the form of Saturn and the very ill-dignified Mars in Pisces fighting it would seem to remain relevant in a darkened room.

The Sensibility of Jane Austen

Jane Austen born December 16, 1775 during the Revolutionary War in Winchester, England. She was a great writer of mystery romances — Pride and Prejudice is a good intro because it is short. Sense and Sensibility is the better effort. Emma and the great Persuasion are solid literary efforts with the latter her best. Northanger Abbey is an early work with not much there as it is copy of Italian novellas of the time. Lady Susan, is her epistolary attempt at replicating Samuel’s Richardson’s novel with Pamela, was failure and can safely be ignored; read Pamela instead. * Mansfield Park is a toss — more appropriate for Austen devotees than of literary value; I have read them all as she is great favourite.

Jane was quite well educated and home schooled by her father, a minister, who taught her along with her brothers. As a young teen she went to Oxford where a instructor’s wife taught her and sister Cassandra.

Her ascendant is 17 Sagittarius, a Diploma in the pages of a Bible or the usefulness that comes from recollection, contemplation and deep thought. Her North Node is in Leo is in the 7th house.

In this lifetime, she may not explicitly believe in inner instincts, because her logic and synthesis are well-developed. Her overall goal is to achieve things entirely by their use, however, she has been given the gift of ‘insight’ which she can use when in need … While she has been given some opportunities in this life, she has to achieve them in a methodical method.

Dr. Mohan Koparkar, The Nodes Book.

Miss Austen is a fan handle temperament type – William Hamilton’s Uranus discovered when she was an adolescent and was sent to Cambridge where she contacted typhus and nearly died. Venus in the 10th is a good proxy for her heroines with herself a semisextile away in the 9th watching over from Moon’s vantage point.


There is a wide distinction between a letter and an epistle. The letter is a substitute for a spoken conversation. It is spontaneous, private, and personal. It is non-literary and is not written for the eyes of the general public.

The epistle on the other hand, is in the way of being a public speech–an audience is in mind. It is written with a view to permanence. The relation between an epistle and a letter has been compared to that between a Platonic dialogue and a talk between two friends.

A great man’s letters, on account of their value in setting forth the views of a school or a person, may, if produced after his death, become epistles. Some of these, genuine or forgeries, under some eminent name, have come down to us from the days of the early Roman Empire. Cicero, Plato, Aristotle, Demosthenes, are the principal names to which these epistles, genuine and pseudonymous, are attached.Some of the letters of Cicero are rather epistles, as they were intended for the general reader.

The ancient world–Babylonia, Assyria, Egypt, Rome, and Greece–figures in our inheritance of letters. In Egypt have been discovered genuine letters. The papyrus discoveries contain letters of unknowns who had no thought of being read by the general public.

——-Mary Owens Crowther, The Art of Letter Writing, Doubleday Publishing Co., Garden City, Long Island, New York, c. 1922 available on Gutenberg.

#17 Neptune's Daughter, Louisa May Alcott

Allcox, Alcott and May

AMOS BRONSON ALCOTT AND ABIGAIL MAY WERE MARRIED after an unhurried engagement on Sunday, May 23, 1830, at King’s Chapel on Tremont Street, Germantown Pennsylvania, the outskirts even then of Philadelphia. Bronson noted the day in his journal writing:

[Most] Agreeable to preceding expectation, I was this day married by Rev. Mr. Greenwood, at King’s Chapel. Passed the evening at Col. May’s, and came to Mrs. Newell’s, my place of board, with my friend, Miss Abigail May, after the civilities of the evening.

The story of Louisa May Alcott and her father, John Matteson. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., c. 2007

Bronson’s father did not attend, as the year before his father, Joseph Alcox, had died at the age of fifty-seven. Bronson and Abba’s (Abigail’s nickname) first daughter born March 15, 1831, named Anna after Bronson’s mother. Their second daughter was born on November 29th, 1832. They named her for Abigail’s recently departed sister, Mrs. Samuel Greeve, Louisa May. They were to have 4 daughters in total.

Miss Alcott has a grand trine in Earth and is a bucket with a Saturn rising reflective of her dark coloring. Her ascendant Virgo 18 [HS] is Mechanics Tools, a capable use of that which is hand. The keyword is Practicality. This is supported by her chart where there is over-weighting anywhere within, but instead a rather pleasant balance but then on September 23, 1846, when she was 13 coincides with the family leaving Pennsylvania to move to Massachusetts.

Schoolgirl loves

Susan Cheever’s biography, American Bloomsbury, tells us that had an unrequited love for Henry David Thoreau, 15 years old than she. Cheever implies that Louisa May never married, if not him, then no one and he had sights on another, Ellen Sewall, who married another, the Reverend Joseph Osgood.

Thoreau’s first love poem was written to Luoy (her nickname) Alcott, but Cheever believes that these were “platonic” loves of a teacher to a student. She is probably right as his second love poem was to Edmund Sewall, Ellen’s brother. By the time Alcott realized that this relationship would not culminate, she had waited too long and was an old maid; Neptune blinds us to the reality of the situation because it too unsympathetic and cold to accept.

Dorothea Dix

Miss Dix first appeared in our pages in the article on North Carolina. Here she enters as the country’s first supervisor of nursing for the Civil War. Upon her appointment, Dorothea called out to all maiden women between the ages of 35 and 56 to become nurses and help in the Civil War effort; Louisa replied yes. While by 1860 she had a modicum of success for her short stories, but was unsatisfied and wanted something momentous and grand — she thought a full-length novel should be her next undertaking.

Louisa, though, had no grand plot for her novel and she thought the War effort may give her some further stories and experiences — an idea no different from the young boys who go off to fight in the Great Adventure. Alas, that did not work out too well. She contracted typhoid fever early on, and with no penicillin yet discovered, was forced to return home along with a newly acquired addiction to morphine.

It was several years before Louisa recovered from the fever, and when she did, it was like arising from a long-needed sleep for she felt a surge of inspiration in the spring of 1868 and began to write Little Women, a four hundred page manuscript. Her publisher, Thomas Niles of Roberts Bros., thought it dull. She complained of her sorrow to her pen pal, Emily (pen pals at 26 Sagittarius 08 in the fourth house opposite her Midheaven in Gemini) Dickinson, who told her to send it to her publisher; good tip, it worked.

The Neptune connection

Louisa has Neptune at 25 Capricorn 12 in the fifth house ([HS] A Tibetan Mandala, as one must have a singular focus and strength to open doorways into world’s purpose. This scenario doubles up on her creativity showering over into her environment via music, gardening and art (all highlighted by the sisters in Little Women but Jo who has no feminine crafts to her name but writing). Neptune here gives Louisa the desire to be noticed for herself, and her creative abilities, and hence her desire for a larger scale work.

The fifth house also deals with children, and here in a fantastic children’s world, in an almost too perfect household where no one is scolded or disciplined, but are free spirits that grow up to be lovely angels. If one reads her Little Men and Women stories carefully, there are lots of hints of both the boys and the girls are undisciplined and run wild.

Louisa herself said she was when young like “a wild horse” which Uranus rules, and Jo gets the same reprimand from Laurie’s patron that her father admonished on her to curtail her ways, but in both cases the advice goes unheeded. In Jo’s case, Laurie looks again — there are four sisters — and with his Uncle’s watchful eye chose again. Perhaps looking at her chart, her life and works, she felt that wild heedlessness of her youth turned Thoreau away. Whether it is in the Little Women book or movie, it is a hard scene to swallow.

No doubt Thoreau’s rejection and her dependence on morphine played into the Neptune-Drug connection more than what is healthy. Like a bird in a springtime mating ritual, she displayed her wares, flouted her talents only to fail. Birds have short lives and an instinctual understanding of place; human beings are not so lucky and for Louisa with her Neptune placed in the house of love and creativity it was a heavy blow. Perhaps like the lover in Phaedrus, who fell into madness, morphine softened the blow and through helped her create a beautiful world, so idyllic that no matter how far one is from 19th Century New England, one longs for it like the mythic White Christmas.


  • You can read more at the Louisa May Alcott House in Concord, Massachusetts.
  • Little Women and her other books are here. They are wonderful and better than the abbreviated movies.

Winesburg’s Sherwood Anderson

Vogue Magazine, December 1926 Photograph by Edward Steichen

THE history of Sherwood Anderson is the history of a man groping painfully for an understanding of his own ideas. They flash before him out of the void, and he contemplates them with a sort of wonder, seeking to penetrate their significance, and sometimes not succeeding. Here I do not simply speculate grandly; I say only what the man has said himself, and in plain terms. Mid-American Chants represents his effort to turn this puzzlement into ecstasy; in Many Marriages he takes refuge in metaphysics; in such acrid and revelatory short stories as Death in the Woods he contents himself with stating his problem, and letting the answer go. But the man grows.

He is still a wanderer in a wood, but he has begun to find paths and landmarks. In Dark Laughter, I believe, is a foreshadowing of the Anderson who is ahead—an Anderson still happily free from the ready formulae of the Bennetts and Wellses, and yet making contact with an ordered and plausible rationale of life. In Dark Laughter, the latest of his books, Anderson begins to be oriented. It is, I think, one of the most profound American novels of our time. It has all the cruel truthfulness of a snapshot, and it is at the same time a moving and beautiful poem.

Sherwood Anderson is one of the most original novelists ever heard of. He seems to derive from no one, and to have no relation to any contemporary. An aloof, moody, often incoherent, mainly impenetrable man, he has made his own road. There is, at the top of his achievement, an almost startling brilliance; there is in him, even at his worst, every sign of a sound artist—sometimes baffled by his materials, perhaps, but never disingenuous, never smug, never cheap. H.L. MENCKEN

Anderson was born on September 13 1876 in Camden, Lorrain County, Ohio. We have pegged his ascendant to 18 Virgo. Locomotive temperament. Saturn in Pisces in the 6th is an interesting placement, highlighting how Anderson used his work to create a distance from him and family demands. This perhaps suggests his many divorces and nervous breakdown in Cleveland in 1912 which led to him pursuing a full time literary career.

They got that wrong. He died shortly afterward of peritonitis.