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John Dee, A Renaissance Mage
Lord of the Ascendant : Jupiter in Cancer in the 7th.

Almutem Figuris : Saturn in Taurus in the 5th

Final Dispositor : Mercury in Cancer (7th) cycling with Venus in Virgo (9th). Mars in Scorpio (12th) as an independent singleton.

Sun in Cancer, Moon in Aquarius, Sagittarius rising.

THe ascendant is hyleg, no other candidates qualify. The giver of years is the Moon in Aquarius being the planet in closest aspect.

Notes : His three marriages and wealthy patrons are shown by the planets in the 7th, Jupiter in Cancer particularly shows some gain by marriage and high powered friends. His occult interests are shown by Sun in the 8th trine Mars in the 12th. His travels by Neptune in the 3rd and Venus in the 9th though he never strayed more than a few hundred miles from London. That Venus in the 9th also shows his rather tolerant and Hermetic views on religion and his practical bent in philosophy. Mars in the 12th : of course he had enemies and detractors. With Saturn as his AF in the 5th, solitude and study were his chief joys and few of his children survived him though they appear rather late in his life.

Links: Compressed bio Writings The John Dee Society

Biographic references:

John Dee: The World of an Elizabethan Mage by Peter French

The Queen's Conjuror by Benjamin Wooley

Comment : Note Virgo and Pisces as included signs in the 3rd and 9th indicating constraints in connection with education and travel, though these constraints did not prevent either.

The comet of 1533 falls near his Sun in trine with his Mars. The comet of 1582 falls on his descendant which is about when Edward Kelley appeared in his life, and the comet of 1607, the year before his death, falls on his ascendant.

As might be expected for such a multifaceted and colorful individual, there are some strong fixed stars. For 1527 his horizon line is the Antares/Aldebaran axis both very bright and powerful stars. Jupiter is on Canopus and Mercury on Propus. His share of misfortune is hinted at by Prasaepae with the Sun and Yed Prior with Mars. Positions adjusted for precession.

John Dee 1527 - 1608 Biographic Notes

A brief summary follows. See the biography links for more details.

Dees's life is so rich and well documented that I decided to confine myself to thee areas : his family life - marriages, children, residences; his travels, and his work with what he called angel magic and is now known as Enochian magic. I know this doesn't cover all the areas of interest. He was also an author, inventor, consultant in navigation, and of course astrologer and magician to Queen Elizabeth I. There are also indications that he was an intriguer and worked closely with Elizabeth's spymaster Walsingham.

By limiting the discussion, I avoid writing a full astrological annotation to his rather lengthy biography and deal with these few areas in some depth. I have also noticed that few references discuss his domestic life in much detail. The following three sections attempt to show the astrological connections with the events in these areas of his life.

Family and Domestic Life

Dee married three times during his life. The first marriage was in the mid 1560's when he was in his late 30's or around 40. This marriage probably took place in 1567 when Dee was 40. At that time his profected ascendant was the cusp of his 5th house ruled by Mars and Uranus is directed to his Sun in the 8th. Since there were no children and Dee later demonstrates his fertility, we have to assume that Catherine, his first wife, was sterile. It is likely that Dee knew this and entered this marriage mainly for sex and appearances. Catherine died in 1575 ending 8 years of domesticity. In the same year that Catherine died, Dee married a second time. His profected ascendant at 49 was the cusp of his 2nd ruled by Saturn, so we assume there was some financial motivation. Jupiter, by direction, was squaring his 7th cusp at 49. Not much is mentioned about this second wife except that she died the next year in 1576, also suggesting the Saturn influence.. There are about 3 degrees between Jupiter and Mercury and we find, about 3 years later, that Dee married his 3rd wife in 1579 while his profected ascendant was still that of his 4th house ruled by Jupiter showing it to be fruitful and suggesting a domestic settling in. The 3rd wife, one Jean Fromond, bore him 8 children in the course of their 27 years of marriage dying of plague 3 years before Dee along with several of the children. At the time of this last marriage Mercury squared the 7th cusp by direction and Dee was 51. So, for his marriages we have some fairly strong astrological testimony as to timing, nature, and motivation, as well as a first confirmation of the time of the chart.

Now with the ruler of the 5th that Mars in Scorpio in the 12th and Saturn sitting in the 5th in Taurus we might not expect children at all or at least not any that lived to reach adulthood. If one counts the occupants of the 7th considering Saturn as being 30 Gemini thus disposed by Mercury we find the eight children, few of whom survived, in the 7th, 12th, and 5th occupants and with indications from the factors in double bodied Gemini we find the possibility of 11 or more but then, there may have been miscarriages or twins that died at birth. We know only of one daughter that survived him. An investigation of his chart at the times of the births of his children should be very enlightening but data is sparse. All the children were from the last marriage after Dee had already turned 50 with dates given for 5 of them in 1579, 1581, 1588, 1590, and 1592. One of these, Theodore, died in 1601 and most of the rest died of the plague with their mother in 1605. So we find that Saturn in the 5th, while it did not deny children, made most of them short lived and a source of sorrow for Dee. I have seen cases where the mother's 5th house holds malefics in which the births are very difficult and there are frequently other problems with the children.

It would certainly have been Jean Fromond who accompanied him on his travels from 1583 to 1589 across Northern Europe. From 1566 to 1583 Dee lived at Mortlake which was relinquished to him by his mother in 1579. His mother died the next year in 1580. At the time of his mother's death Dee was 53 with profected ascendant at the cusp of his 6th house at 12:55 Taurus ruled by Venus.

Uranus in the 7th indicates separation from the spouse by death or divorce. Here we see a classic example. I'd bet that Henry VIII's 7th or the house of it's ruler was quite busy.

Travel Periods

During the periods from 1547-1550, 1562-1564, and 1583-1589 Dee traveled the continent either for academic or business interests and during the later periods was also an eye of teh Queen for Walsingham, her spymaster.

Enochian Magic

Although his interest in angel magic began with the discovery of an old text in Antwerp in 1564, he did not begin practice until 1581 at the age of 54. Most of the work was done overseas. The comet of 1582 with perihelion at 1:18 Gemini trine his natal Moon likely indicates the appearance of Edward Kelley who was a critical element in the work and the beginning of his development of what is now known as the Enochian system.

The Signature of the Magician

Mars well dignified in the 12th in trine to the Sun in the 8th along with an also dignified Jupiter ruling teh Ascendant from the 7th gives a strong picture of the signature described in the opening esay. It doesn't hurt that Jupiter is in the 12th from the 8th. Mars in the 12th but in his domicile shows the cloak and dagger activities and, from its late degrees, shows the later development of the Enochian System. A side influence is teh Mercury trine Neptune in water signs which would make for a strong but not always reliable intuition or psychic streak reinforcing the significators for his magical career in Water signs.

The perfect Vennus/Saturn trine makes him the perfect agent or envoy, a capacity in which he served. But, given the nature of Saturn, not always successfully or easily. Given his reputation as a scholar and magician (Saturn is in the 10th from the 8th), not everyone was comfortable dealing with him. A mob did burn his house at Mortlake. This same aspect, especially given that Saturn rules the 2nd shows a man nearly always short on resources and often losing money in the course of his poorly rewarded adventures.

So, he was a sorcerer but, he was not very successful mundanely during his lifetime. The success of his works in posterity is shown by the Venus/SAturn trine.

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