TeXing Donald Knuth thanks

Donald Ervin Knuth was born on January 10, 1938 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His father father ran a small printing press that also produced programs for the local Lutheran church. From this we can see that his father (Sun at 19 Capricorn 28) was a major influence in his professional life not only encouraging Professor Knuth in his s TeX and Metafont, digital typesetting programs, but his great Christian faith and love of the the organ.

Prof. Knuth is a Splash temperament type with at least 2 oppositions. The first is from his Sun 19 Capricorn 26 to Pluto 29 Cancer 12 (intensity of focus)’ the second from Saturn 29 Pisces 43 to Neptune 21 Scorpio 04 (ambition) and while Jones did not use opposition to points, we do, so the Prof. gets a third from his Ascendant 09 Scorpio 48 to Uranus 09 Taurus 44 Rx (ingenuity). A rather unusual aspect in the Professor’s chart is he has only one Ptolemaic conjunction. Typically we have seen this only in secular humanists, but Knuth’s devout Lutheranism excludes him from that category.

While his two programs, still maintained, had niche appeal, it was his authorship of the Art of Computer Programming that is considered by most his standout accomplishment. That is because it literally lays out a graduate study program of computer science explaining the theories and algorithms that underpin back-office computing..

Hermann Zapf fonts.

Laymen, non-technical readers, can enjoy Knuth in his 3:16 Bible Texts Illuminated where he examines the Bible by analyzing every book’s chapter 3, verse 16 (chosen because of the Gospel of St. John’s For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. (King James Bible Version) . Each verse is accompanied by calligraphic art, created under the guide of master typographer Hermann Zapf (his work was picked up by Adobe for a song and incorporated into their InDesign desktop publishing software).


Prof. Knuth’s hobby is the pipe organ. He originally learnt the piano as his father was also the Church organist, but graduated in high school to the organ. He is member of the American Guild of Organists since 1965. He gives many talks on books from the Bible at his church, the First Lutheran church of Palo Alto.

His schedule is on his Stanford University homepage.

Dribbling with Naismith

James Naismith, born November 6, 1861, Almonte, Ontario, Canada we gave him a rising of Virgo 02, [HS] Children gathering fruit, rather apropos for a man who first used peach baskets for hoops. His proposed chart with Uranus in the 10th 15 Gemini 31 Rx shows how the individual came up with something that would develop the skills of the group. With a grand trine in earth dominating his chart, Dr. Naismith is a splash temperament type, using all his personal experience and knowledge for the public good (all the socially relevant planets are in the south).

As a Presbyterian minister, Naismith was recruited by International Young Men’s Christian Association Training School, in 1891. Once on board, Luther Halsey Gulick, Jr., head of the Physical Education Department told him to invent winter non-contact sport that would replace the boring calisthenics used at the school during the winter, As a former athlete, Naismith relished the challenge though during the long incubation period questioned whether it was possible.

Eventually Naismith selected felt that field hockey, and cricket, sports without body contact were the foundation, but without a scoring mechanism he saw that the idea was doomed. His original team was 9 men for each side and it was via someone throwing something into a wastebasket that gave him the mechanism of shooting into baskets. Indeed, the first games employed half-bushel peach baskets as targets, after hatboxes did not prove sturdy enough, and they needed a stepladder to retrieve the ball after the infrequent goals.

His original prohibitions of walking or running with the ball in one’s arms like football are still the basis of a game that spread throughout the world. A few years later, his wife asked him to modify the setup for women.

As the Y could not fully remunerate him for his work, or even promote it, in 1898 Naismith went to the Gross Medical College, Denver, Colorado, now the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Here he worked on refining the sport, toying with knee pads and getting a medical degree to understand human physiology. For the next 40 years he was chairman of the physical education department at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, where he also coached basketball until 1908. Besides basketball, they credit him with inventing the protective helmet for football players.

He died November 28th 1939, in Lawrence Kansas.


  1. Rains, Rob, Naismith: the Man who Invented Basketball, Philadelphia, PA, Temple University, c. 2009

the reverend dr. james naismith.pdf

#802 American Folk Hero Will Rogers

America’s Cowboy


William Penn Adair Rogers was born November 4th, 1879 on a ranch between Claremore and Oologah, Oklahoma. We have rectified his chart to 16 Sagittarius, [SS] Sea gulls watching a ship, a symbol demonstrating the spirit’s demand for its full share in the privileges and rewards of all of human society. This gives him the birth time 9:25 AM.

Betty and Will Rogers

Both his parents had a small amount of Cherokee Indian blood and he quipped about his forefathers being there “to meet Columbus.”. Rogers has a Grand Trine in Water and no air in chart, highlighting how his comments were born more of personal experience than great thought. This is probably why he is a considered a modern “folk hero.” The small stellium in the 5th house is interesting as Pluto was discovered just about when he died; Neptune is the other part of the sandwich with Mars — his sharp tongue — in between. This stellium highlights the problems he had of keeping his wild eyed naivete of the American West all the while it was disappearing.

And Neptune, the alchemical dissolver, highlights as his strongest opposition to his very personal Sun, via the push pull call of the plains (Taurus) vs his personal need to recreate a mythos for public consumption. This dichotomy literally collapsed, when Pluto was discovered and the horrors of the 1930’s Dust Bowl ravaged Oklahoma and the attendant Midwest as thousands of families took flight, chronicled by John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, to the sunny fields of Bakersfield, California.

Early Years

Kemper Military Academy c. 2010

Rogers attended Kemper Military Academy in Boonville, Missouri (the school closed after the 2002 graduation)  for two years (“One in the guardhouse and one in the 4th grade,” he said later.) He left school in 1889, and became a cowboy in the Texas Panhandle. Then he drifted off to Argentina and turned up in South Africa a few years later as a member of Texas Jack’s Wild West Circus.

Texas Jack Mile Marker

Will Rogers made his first stage appearance in New York City in 1905 where he met many vaudevillians like George M. Cohan, Eddie Cantor and Fanny Brice. He first reached real fame in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1916. In 1918, he started his motion picture career; in ’34 he made it to the Broadway stage.

NYTimes , August 17 1935

Rogers married Betty Blake, an Arkansas schoolteacher, in 1908. They had four children. He was killed in a plane crash near Point Barrow, Alaska, while on a flight to the Orient with the famed speed aviator #772 & fellow Oklahoman Wiley Post aboard the Winnie Mae of Oklahoma . The nation doubly mourned; Congress halted and led everyone in prayers.

Margo the singing home engineer

Margo wanted to be part of the party. With a voice like a canary, shown by the grand trine in water, the stellium in the 10th makes her wants her never to be backstage or second best — to ensure that she has foregone her vast talents and been a singing home engineer. This is also where we find also the opposition — 29 Sagittarius 12 to 25 Gemini 16 between Jupiter and the Sun, showing she tends to bite off more than she can chew, is a bit of the prima donna in her personal life and while saying she does not want to be in the spotlight, on the other hand…she craves attention and personal significance.

Bending with an Oppo

This may lead her to bend the truth, or argue too strenuously and alienate those around her, all in her attempt to gain importance, but it never works out as she plans, but instead often ricochets back at her with that square to the North Node/ Ascendant that makes her even more alienated and upset. Perhaps instead, she needs to avoid these unhealthy habits & clean up her act, working more on her honesty and communication skills and less on her fear of exhibiting weakness.

Neptune in the 2nd house often comes up with rich kids; in the worst case like Loire’s chart, it is part of her Dynamic Aptitude and makes it careless with that inheritance. For Margo, it makes her disregard and shun it–Neptune 06 Scorpio 37. Interesting both are Virgo Ascendants, though Loire is at the end near Libra and Margo smack in the middle. Another rich friend, has an ascendant right at the beginning of Virgo, perhaps it is why Eugene Johnson argued for Trump being Virgo 01? Whatever…

The sign Virgo is a crystallization of all that comes before it and why so many have diabetes (crystallization of sugar) & kidney (stone) problems, for Margo with her North Node partile her ascendant there, there is a possibility that her constant demands, careless handling of truth, can tip right over into deceit and infidelity.

Unconsciously, this perfidy may become just another game — filled with trite excuses or another Virgoan foible she may indulge in the gossip that she so disdains — either ways she can bring the moral and physical suffering of the Gotterdammerung upon herself as she fears being found out (Moon 28 Pisces 22 conjunct SN). Marc Jones who felt that the ascendant was overrated, would give the Moon sway here, and say that the fear of being found out was a strong enough deterrent that it does not happen; let’s keep a good a thought and agree.

#585 Jockeying for Tommy Loates

Mr Tommy Loates is listed in the Jones 1000 as being born in Boston, Massachusetts on October 6, 1867, time unknown. Well, in all fairness, the date is correct but the town is not: Loates was born in Derby (pronounced Darby) England. We have rectified his time to 10:32 AM giving him a 26 Scorpio Rising, (HS) “the fate of the old King”. McClung writes that this symbolized a bright in human affairs that accepts unconsciously the culture he finds himself part.

Tommy has a Grand Square or Cardinal Grand Cross (see the blue lines). He also has a third minor opposition that didn’t exert much emphasis on his life, as Pluto was not discovered in his lifetime but does help delineate his Splash Temperament Type.

For Loates, that culture was horse-racing, and he was jockey par excellence. By the time he reposed, he rode‭ ‬1,425‭ ‬winners from‭ ‬7,140‭ ‬mounts,‭ ‬spanning ‬16‭ ‬seasons– ‬the highest total (19.997 %) since Fred Archer (who rode 2,748 races from 8,004 mounts, and had a staggering 34.33% win ratio.) He is not listed in the National Horse Racing Hall of Fame, located in Saratoga Springs, New York, because he never competed here but can be found in the Jockeypedia and the British National Horse Racing Hall of Fame located in Suffolk, England.

Loates married after this jockey career, and had no children.

Tommy Loates progressed to demise on September 26, 1910 in Brighton, England. He has a preponderance in Taurus that is throughout his 10th house making a house stellium as well. This suggests that he never transitioned over from sport, to managing a personal life. This is not uncommon, but always unfortunate. Two of my personal favorites, Gary Stevens, winner of 3 Kentucky Derbys, and Julie Krone, only quit when the doctors warned them that further aggravation to their spine would lead to paraplegia. There charts are below.
Gary is a see-saw temperament type.
Julie is a Northwestern Locomotive.

#19 Elizabeth Aldrich astrologer

If not for Ed Dearborn’s obit, previously highlighted here, we would know next to nothing about Ms. Aldrich other than she was born on May 17, 1875 in Des Moines Iowa. The Memorial site does not list her. Our next stop is Saturday, and gives 11:34 am for her birth time that is “from memory.” Marc Jones in his Sabian Symbols (the back of which is an index of his 1000 nativities) says 11:55 am.

Both charts are humanist Splash Temperament Type and striking because her Lilith is at Regulus and conjunct her ascendant but her ascendant is Regulus at 11:34 am (green) and 02 Virgo at 11:55 (pink). We are dubious of “memories” and going with 02 Virgo; both charts are below.

Nora no strings attached

Nora, a friend of ours with some of her details are obscured at her request, is a humanist splash temperament type.  She was born in Buffalo New York the same day as Elvis Presley, around 10 o’clock in the evening. Her the ascendant of 14 Virgo or a “family tree,” but opposed by her Moon and instead suggests the problems.

In Splashes, oppositions are important but Nora gets one immediately, with her Piscean Moon opposite her Neptune and Ascendant. Neptune is its its detriment in Virgo, making her critical of family ties and traditions. Instead, she prefers an utopian world where people are united by their own philosophical commonality and not blood and kinship. While her fifth house has a stellium by Capricorn and Aquarius planets break it up, thus blunting its force and desires.

Her Moon is fast, so Nora sees trends but her Mercury lags its Sun and so she will often misinterpret their relevance to her life or look for the most bohemian, and not the most lucrative, she can find. Venus, for her daughters in the 5th, is in Aquarius and so instead of warm bonds based on maternal concern, they get cool indifference — they have little in common and so it strains their relationship. With nothing in her 7th house but the shadows of Mars coming from Libra, divorce was inevitable. That does not matter devotion and loyalty is not possible, it is, but it is earned, not freely given.

Her North Node is right next to her Venus so if she applies herself, she will get her ambition because she has good organisational skills, but with the South Node in Leo next to Pluto, her strong ego has to be tamed if she wants to get along with others, or succeed in her chosen field, but the South Node – Pluto battle of the wills is rough on her; she realizes she needs others for companionship, for business, her children (in opposition) but resents whatever they give her and belittles them in return ( Moon opposite Pluto).

The best advice we can give Nora it if strings are attached, and typically in everything there are some, it is best that use Admiral Farragut’s advice and “Damn the torpedoes” and go it alone. If that means using her own resources, Mars in the 2nd house in Libra suggests she hates to part with them, she should and not be beholden to anyone. She and they will be happier that way.

We have updated this essay to reflect Nora’s revised Ascendant of 16 Virgo; previously it was Virgo 03.

Calvin Maduro flies with the Orioles

Calvin Maduro was born Septmber 5, 1974 in the Dutch Antilles, the island of Aruba, is not by anything we could find, related to the dictator of Venezuela, Nicolas Madura — admittedly, it was a long shot but we felt an interesting one.

Calvin is six feet tall, bats right, throws right and was a pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles. His legal residence is in Glen Burnie, Maryland, though since retirement how much time he is there is questionable, as he is now a scout for the team. As a pitcher his stats are unimpressive — 10 wins and 19 loses: his ERA (earned run average) was an abysmal 5.78.

The ERA is an important statistic for pitchers all the runs accountable to the pitcher. Any runner(s) who tags his base and reaches home plate is scored against the pitcher as an earned run(s). An error OTOH made by the pitcher is counted the same as an error by any other player. (Please see the Official Rules of Major League Baseball here for a full accounting — at 188 pages it is detailed enough to answer any questions on baseball scoring.)

Mapping Maduro

We have rectified him to Cancer 10 and think that his chart would have made him a better catcher than pitcher but his Grand Trine in Fire (Moon to Venus to the North Node) was what propelled him onto the mound. The problem is the North Node in the sixth (Neptune is just oo far away), that shows his fire and youthful vigour, but misses the Moon in the 11th house that he was basically rather shy and had problems with the star attention (his Moon is also conjunct the Asteroid Oriola at 07 Taurus).

It shows nonetheless, how the famed Orioles farm system made a mistake based more on attendance than aptitude, but then the Orioles have not been living up to their former Earl Weaver glory in a long time, see this FoxSports graphic where their chances of getting into the Fall Classic is rated at a paltry 22:1 shot because of their poor record.

Maduro with a 10 Cancer ascendant (HS Ripe cherries on a tree) like so many players eager to make the Big Show, would not have registered too many complaints also as his symbol says, this was the “fruition” of all his dreams.

In the end, it worked out well for him. His Splash Temperament type makes him good with people,his own bad experience gives him a good understanding of how the business of baseball works, and his new career unleashes his voice (Neptune in the sixth) in his scouting reports. We wish him all the best.

We constantly review and vet our essays for accuracy and typographical, grammatical errors (which we are sad to say are numerous). This one was re-examined on October 12, 2019.

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Phil the Welder

This chart of Phillip John is cast for his hometown of Philadelphia. He was born on May 21 1958 and not a Gemini but in the last legs of Taurus at 30. right on the twelfth house cusp. Jupiter in the fourth house though suggests that he will be moving around and away from there by the time he is 22. He got married then and left for New London and Electric Boat and never went back. Sextile to Jupiter is Pluto opposite Mars, a rather martial aspect that gets a point focus at Neptune in Scorpio, that fits his career as a career naval welder well, suggested by his Neptune conjunct the previous partial eclipse Moon at 12.34.
Venus in the tenth house is obviously his meeting of his first wife and his attraction to her at first sight. They met at Delaware River Gap on Memorial Day and it was kismet — they were married just 6 months later. His Mercury in Taurus opposite Neptune suggests outside of work he is taciturn. The two sour notes in his chart is his uneven work history because of his reliance on government spending and the other of his Moon in Cancer on the first house angle, showing his battle with alcoholism. It has a trine to Jupiter so it obvious that his unsteady work history and necessary relocation did not help that.
Phil is a Splash Temperament Type.

#476 Miriam Hopkins, actress

Wikipedia who speaks with authority, says she was born in Savannah and raised in Bainbridge. Jones has her born in Bainbridge. I doubt the distance matters. She has no real preponderance in her chart and it is rather scattered about, perfect for a Splash. Mercury and the Sun in the twelfth in Libra give her refined tastes and a tendency to work in large organizations, behind the scenes.

st john episcopal.jpg
St John’s Episcopal in Bainbridge

Ellen Miriam Hopkins was born October 18, 1902 and died October 9, 1972. Where ever she born, her parents were Homer and Ellen Hopkins nee Cutler. She was raised in Bainbridge, near the Alabama border. She had an older sister, Ruby (1900-1990). Her maternal great-grandfather was the fourth mayor of Bainbridge, and helped establish St. John’s Episcopal Church there.

When her parents separated, Hopkins moved  with her mother to Syracuse, New York, to be near her uncle, Thomas Cramer Hopkins, head of the Geology Department at Syracuse University.  She originally attended Goddard Seminary in Barre, Vermont (later Goddard College,Plainfield,Vermont) and then transferred to Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York.


Sometime after that, she signed with Paramount Pictures in 1930, working with director Ernst Lubitsch and fellow actor Joel McCrea.   Not much more is know about her, but this biographer found enough to fill a book.  It is listed that  was married four times all lasting under 2 years and adopted her son, Michael,  in 1932 as a single mother.  He learned that  when he decided to join the Air Force.

“He needed a birth certificate,” said Ellenberger. “Then she was forced to tell him. He said he was shocked about it, but wasn’t really angry. Michael said, ‘What could I do? I was treated well. I had everything I ever wanted.’

After Hopkins died , it came out that because of her strong Southern politics, the FBI investigated her for collusion with the Communist party. Her son Michael helped provide information for that book. 


The time used is what Marc Jones stated in his book  and was adopted by Lois Rodden.  It gives her an 18 Scorpio rising her the Hyperion symbol of “Bees at a sunflower” with the idea of rewards of life are a more than ample counter-weight to the vicissitudes of its being.  It it opposite her Moon and get a point focus of Mars at the midheaven highlighting her all too fierce temper that undermined her career, so we agree, it seems to work.