The Birth Chart of Abraham Lincoln

U.S. President Abraham Lincoln is one of the most notable figures in American history. Unfortunately for astrologers, we do not know his exact birth time, although from historical sources we may be able to narrow it to within a couple of hours before sunrise on Sunday 12 February 1809. Let’s look at the evidence.

The site astro.com gives Lincoln’s birth data at 12 February 1809 near Hodgenville, Kentucky (37n34, 85w44) around 6:54 AM LMT (Rodden Rating B, from biographical sources). This estimated time of birth is based on the fact that sunrise occurred around 6:58 AM LMT on that day, and biographical sources mention that Lincoln was born before sunup. A careful reading of the biographical material, however, suggests that the 6:54 AM LMT birth time may be significantly off from the actual time of birth.

The two most important sources are:

1) Carl Sandburg’s biography, “Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years and the War Years,” which on page 22 cites the “granny woman” midwife Peggy Walters as saying, “The baby was born just about sunup, on Sunday morning” (italics mine). Unfortunately, Sandburg does not footnote his source so that we do not know whether he is simply paraphrasing or directly quoting his source.

2) Citing an interview with Peggy Walters, the Abraham Lincoln Research Website states: “Lincoln was born about dawn on Sunday, February 12, 1809, in Hardin County (now LaRue County) near Hodgenville, Kentucky” (italics mine), but later on the same page the website has Peggy using the word “sunup.”.

Here we have two versions of the same quote, attributed to midwife Peggy Walters, in which she says that Lincoln was born either “just about sunup” (Sandberg’s version and perhaps paraphrase of the quote) or “about dawn” (from the summary on the Abraham Lincoln Research Site, which also attributes “about sunup” to Peggy Walters) on 12 February 1809. We can safely assume that Peggy Walters was not speaking with astronomical precision, and we are left wondering what she meant by “about sunup” (Sandberg’s version) or “about dawn” — and whether she had in mind actual astronomical sunrise or instead the first appearance of morning light (dawn). From the quote at the Lincoln Research Website, it does appear that Peggy used the word “sunup,” but even that site understood her to mean “dawn” rather than astronomical sunrise.

Sandberg reported Peggy Walters as saying “sunup,” which is generally taken to mean sunrise, although when, used loosely, “sunup” can also refer to dawn or daybreak, that is, the time in the morning when daylight first appears. The sky becomes quite bright before the sun actually rises.

The Abraham Lincoln Research Site understands Peggy Walters to mean “dawn,” which refers to the first appearance of light in the sky before sunrise. If we take this interpretation to be the correct one, then it was dark when Lincoln’s mother went into labor, and shortly after the birth, the darkness of night was replaced with the first light of day (dawn). Thus, to estimate Lincoln’s time of birth, we would need to determine at what moment dawn occurred on 12 February 1809 in or near Hodgenville, Kentucky.

Using the calculator at the site https://www.sunrisesunset.com/, I generated the following times for sunrise and the various forms of twilight on 12 February at Lincoln’s birthplace.

Times are Eastern Standard (EST).
Sunrise occurred at 7:37 AM EST.
Astronomical Dawn at 6:09 AM EST.
Nautical Dawn at 6:39 AM EST.
Civil Dawn at 7:10 AM EST.

Of the three types of dawn (astronomical, nautical, civil) the first appearance of light, which Peggy Walters was likely referring to in her quote, belongs to nautical dawn when there is enough sunlight present (prior to sunrise) to enable sailors to clearly distinguish the sky from land and water. If Lincoln was born just before the first light of day was brightening the night sky, then he would have been born about an hour before sunrise.

In other words, sunrise occurred at 7:37 AM EST, and nautical dawn (the first light of day in which sky and land or water could clearly be distinguished from one another) began at 6:39 AM EST — some 58 minutes earlier.

Using Solar Fire, I calculated sunrise in Hodgenville, Kentucky on 12 February 1809 to have occurred at about 6:58 AM LMT, which means that nautical dawn occurred at about 6:00 AM LMT (58 minutes earlier). If Peggy looked out the window and saw the first light of day just after Lincoln was born, then his birthtime would have been about 6:00 AM LMT. The chart cast for this time has 4 Aquarius on the Ascendant and 24 Scorpio on the MC.

Nautical Dawn near Lincoln’s birthplace 12 Feb 1809.
This chart is a much better fit for Abraham Lincoln’s birth than the one at astro.com.

This chart for nautical dawn near Lincoln’s birthplace may be a better fit for the description Peggy Walters gave in her interview about his birth. Astrologically, it also fits quite well with Lincoln’s life history. Mars rules the MC and conjoins the 9th Placidus cusp — he was a brilliant lawyer and orator. Mars rules his 3rd house and trines his natal Sun. Saturn is the exalted ruler of the 9th house, occupies the 10th of career, and closely sextiles the Ascendant.

Quickly checking his primary directions, Saturn in the 10th is about 9 degrees from the MC. Lincoln’s mother died on 5 October 1818 when he was 9 years old. Measuring more precisely, the Right Ascension of the MC is 232:06 and that of the ecliptic position of Saturn is 241:30, a difference of 9 degrees 24 minutes of Right Ascension, which by primary direction would indicate the death of his mother at about age 9 1/2.

My impression, based on the midwife’s own words (“born about dawn”) and astrological symbolism, is that a chart cast for nautical dawn on Lincoln’s birth date is significantly closer to his actual time of birth than one cast for a moment or two before astronomical sunrise.

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Rising Signs and Body Type

Recently I was reading an old book from 1911 by Alfred John Pearce, his Textbook of Astrology. In Book I of the anthology, Pearce gives descriptions of individuals based on which sign is rising in their birth chart. I have reproduced them here because they are often amusing and also interesting to test in the charts of people you know. He cautions that the rising sign alone is not definitive. One must also take into account any planets that conjoin or closely aspect the Ascendant degree.

Here is the quote from Pearce:

“Modern authors have described the special influences exerted by the respective signs of the zodiac. The following may be accepted as a fair description of them:

ARIES produces a spare and strong body, of stature rather above the average; face long; eyebrows bushy; neck long; shoulders thick and powerful; complexion sallow or swarthy; hair black or sandy; disposition irritable. The first half of the sign gives a stronger constitution, and a greater muscular development, than the latter half.

TAURUS gives a middle stature; a thick, well-set body; a broad forehead; full face and prominent eyes; neck and lips thick; nose and mouth wide; complexion swarthy; dark or black hair, often curly; dis-position melancholy; slow to anger, but, when provoked, furious.

GEMINI usually produces a tall and straight body; complexion dark sanguine; hair blackish; eyes hazel, sight quick; a smart, active appearance; disposition fickle, understanding good.

CANCER — Moderate stature, upper part of body somewhat large; small round face, with pale, delicate complexion; brown hair; small gray eyes; effeminate in constitution and disposition, subject to chest affections.

LEO — A large, fair stature, broad shoulders; prominent and large eyes; hair generally light, and often yellowish; oval, ruddy countenance; of a high, resolute, haughty, and ambitious temper.

VIRGO — Middle stature, rather slender, but very neat and compact; dark sanguine complexion; dark hair; small, shrill voice (but if Mercury ascend in this sign, the native will be a great orator), witty, ingenious and studious, but of a fickle disposition.

LIBRA — Tall and elegantly formed, rather slender; hair brown, smooth, and glossy, yet sometimes jet-black; face having generally great beauty; fine clear sanguine complexion; blue sparkling eyes; good tempered, amiable, and high principled.

SCORPIO — Strong, corpulent, robust body; of middle stature; dark complexion; dark brown curling and bushy hair; neck thick; mind and disposition active, yet reserved and thoughtful.

SAGITTARIUS — A well-formed person; inclined to tallness; sanguine complexion, oval face and handsome; high forehead; chest-nut or bright-brown hair, growing off the temples, bald early in life; long Grecian nose; fine, clear eyes; jovial, active, and intrepid disposition, very fond of horses and hunting.

CAPRICORN — Slender make, in some cases ill-formed or crooked; a long, thin face, generally plain; thin beard; chin long and protruding; black, lanky hair; narrow chest; disposition subtle, collected, calm, witty, and yet melancholy.

AQUARIUS— Middle stature, stout, well-set, robust, and strong; long and fleshy face; good, clear, delicate, and sanguine complexion; sandy or darkish flaxen hair; hazel eyes; of prepossessing appearance, and good disposition.

PISCES — Stature short, body fleshy, crooked, or stooping, round shouldered; brown hair, large, round, pale face, (but if the Sun he rising, a good complexion); in disposition indolent and dull, prone to drinking, more or less.

The foregoing descriptions rarely answer exactly. For the ascending sign (although it has chief influence over the form of the body), will, if a planet be within 5° of the Eastern horizon, or in close aspect with it, have its influence considerably modified thereby.

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Will the real Dr. J. Heber Smith please stand up?

Years ago I purchased a booklet titled “The Transits of the Planets” from the American Federation of Astrologers. It was advertised as being written by Dr. J. Heber Smith, the mentor of Evangeline Adams whose books first introduced me to astrology. This booklet is currently listed on the AFA website as:

S4530 …. 978-0-86690-232-8..Transits of the Planets…. Heber J. Smith
Interpretive delineation of transits of the planets by a homeopathic physician who was a teacher of Evangeline Adams.

Booklet about transits, allegedly written by Dr. J. Heber Smith in the late 1800s and published by the AFA in 1968,

The Barnes and Nobles site gives the following description of the contents:

“This book represents the work of Heber J. Smith, a homeopathic physician in Boston who was born in 1842. He was a professor of materia medica at Boston University and a practicing astrologer who was a teacher of Evangeline Adams. Legend says that Julie Pontin, a rival of Evangeline, paid Heber $150 for a typewritten copy of this material-a large sum in the early 20th century. In addition to the value of the astrological experience and knowledge presented in this book, it is also representative of the thinking of the astrologers of the time, which was decidedly deterministic. Some of the words and phrases are quaintly archaic when viewed from the 21st century, and the writing style is also representative of an earlier time. Nevertheless, much astrology can be learned from the author’s insights into the transiting planets. He also includes examples from his own life regarding the effects of transits and directions. Included are chapters on the transits of Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune in both favorable and unfavorable aspect to other planets.”

We know from historical records that Dr. J. Heber Smith was born in 1842 and died in 1898. I have been unable to determine how the AFA established that this text was, in fact, written by Dr. Smith. Apparently, the astrological library of the good doctor was bequeathed to Evangeline Adams, and she would have come into possession of this document when he died in 1898.

A puzzling feature of this booklet about transits is that many of the examples given refer to events that occurred after the year 1900, so that these sections could not have been written by Dr. Smith. except by a medium who was channeling his spirit from the afterlife. One such example is the discussion of the day Teddy Roosevelt was shot before giving a campaign speech in October of 1912, fourteen years after Dr. Smith’s demise.

Another curious example refers to a foot injury which the author sustained, in connection with the sign Pisces: “Under the aspect of Uranus square Mars in Pisces, I had a nasty accident to my foot” (Italics mine). Dr. Smith has his natal Mars in Libra, and Evangeline Adams has her natal Mars in Aquarius, so neither of them could have authored this statement. If the author meant that Uranus was in Pisces and squaring Mars, then Mars would have been in Gemini or Sagittarius. Interestingly, astrologer Catherine Thompson of Boston, who met Evangeline Adams in 1898 and became her teacher for a while, has Mars in Sagittarius. Could Catherine Thomson have appended this comment to Dr. Smith’s original notes during one of her lessons with Evangeline?

A possible explanation is that Evangeline Adams inherited the notes of Dr. Smith about transits and continued to revise and amend them, based on her own work with charts and lessons with other teachers. In her autobiography The Bowl of Heaven Adams uses many of the phrases and keywords from the booklet on transits in her comments to her clients, so it clearly had an impact on how she interpreted charts.

The Transits booklet contains some fascinating comments and techniques which few astrologers use today. Dr. Smith routinely studied both geocentric and heliocentric charts of transits and secondary progressions of the geocentric and heliocentric birth chart. I believe that by using this technique, Adams was able to rapidly and accurately foresee that King Edward VII of England might die in May of 1910 — a prediction for which she received much notoriety.

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Dr. J. Heber Smith gets robbed

Dr. J. Heber Smith, professor of medicine at Boston University, is the person who introduced Evangeline Adams to astrology in the late 1800s. We know from Dr. Smith’s obituary that he was born on 5 December 1842 in Bucksport, Maine. He died in Boston on 28 October 1898. Even though J. Heber Smith played a key role in American astrology in the 19th century, his birth chart does not appear in AstroDataBank.

Obituary of Evangeline Adam’s mentor Dr. J. Heber Smith

Because his birth time is unknown, the chart presented here is cast for Noon (mean positions of the planets) in an Aries-rising wheel.

Birth chart of Dr. J. Heber Smith, time unknown

As far as I know, Dr. Smith published very little about astrology, but a brief booklet allegedly written by the doctor on how to interpret transits has been available through the American Federation of Astrologers. Evangeline Adams’ delineation of transits was strongly influenced by the teachings of her mentor, Dr. Smith.

In the section of his booklet about Jupiter transiting in conjunction or evil aspect to Mars, Dr. Smith mentions that he was robbed because of carelessness on his part and the failure to safeguard his things. His comment is rather garbled, and I suspect that whoever typed his notes did not understand Dr. Smith’s use of astrological glyphs and notation. Here is the direct quote in written English, rather than astrological notation:

I was robbed under the following configuration; Jupiter entering Scorpio opposite Neptune and Mars radical and square Mercury, helio, with Saturn entering Taurus in opposition.”

It is a bit hard to make sense of this quote, but looking in the ephemeris for the period covering Dr. Smith’s lifetime, we find that Jupiter was entering Scorpio at the same time that Saturn was entering Taurus only during the span from about 11 October to 4 November of 1851, when Dr. Smith was almost 9 years old. Maybe someone stole his bicycle, which he carelessly left unsecured. A likely date for the robbery was 29 October 1851 when (based on the geocentric positions):

Transiting Jupiter was at 4 Scorpio opposite transiting Saturn. (The noon heliocentric position of natal Mercury was 1 Scorpio 37′, so the geocentric position of transiting Jupiter would have been conjunct rather than square to the heliocentric position of natal Mercury.)

Transiting Saturn was at 0 Taurus 25′ Rx opposite transiting Mercury, Jupiter and Sun.

Transiting Jupiter was at 4 Scorpio 00′.

Transiting Neptune was at 6 Pisces 34′ Rx in square to natal Mercury and Sun.

Transiting Mars was at 2 Leo 43′ in square to transiting Mercury and Sun.

Natal Mars was square to natal Jupiter and Saturn.

Dr. Smith had a profound influence on Evangeline Adams’ life, as is suggested by the synastry between their birth charts. Here is Evangeline’s natal chart (inside) with J. Heber Smith’s noon positions superimposed around her nativity.

Synastry between Evangeline Adams (inner chart) and Dr. J. Heber Smith, her mentor (outer wheel).
His Uranus conjoins her Ascendant, Mercury and Venus.
His Pluto sextile Neptune closely aspects her Sun.
His Sun occupies her 9th house, and his Mercury conjoins her 9th cusp and her Saturn in the 9th.
His Jupiter/Moon conjunction in her 11th, where Jupiter rejoices, sextiles her Pisces Ascendant degree.

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Astrologer Wilhelm Wulff’s Rectification of Hitler’s Birth Chart

Theodor Heinrich Wilhelm Wulff was born in Hamburg, Germany, on 27 March 1893 at 8:15 AM (Rodden rating AA). In 1912 Wulff came across the horoscopes which Kepler had cast for Wallenstein, initially in 1608 and then a corrected version, based on more accurate birth data, in 1625. Wulff was so impressed with Kepler’s work that he studied the celestial science and became one of the leading astrologers in Nazi Germany. Below is Wulff’s birth chart as it appears in Astro.com:

In his book Tierkreis und Hakenkreuz. Als Astrologe an Himmlers Hof, first published in 1968 and translated into English in 1973 under the title Zodiac and Swastika: How Astrology Guided Hitler’s Germany, Wulff includes his rectification of Hitler’s birth chart which he and other astrologers have used to successfully predict events in Hitler’s life.

According to Baptismal records from the Brannau rectory, Hitler was born on 20 April 1889 at 6 1/2 in the evening, at Salzburger Vorstadt 219, Branau. A chart cast for the recorded time of 6:30 PM LMT in Brannau has an Ascendant of about 26 Libra 41′ and an MC of 4 Leo 10′. Wulff, however, used a birth time for Hitler of about a half hour earlier, with an Ascendant of 20 Libra 24′. In his book, Wulff attributes this earlier birth time to an ex-army officer named Herbert Volck, describing a visit in the summer of 1923 in which:

He [Volck] had also brought the birth data of Hitler, Goring, and Röhm with him from Munich and asked me whether the putsch they will planning was likely to succeed. At Volck’s request I first cast Hitler’s horoscope in August, 1923. In it I found particularly unfavorable planetary combinations, and for the autumn of 1923 Hitler’s s ascendant revealed a malefic conjunction of Saturn and Mars. For about twenty-four hours on or about November 8-9, Mars and Saturn were particularly threatening. There were indications of violence with a disastrous outcome.”

It is not clear from Wulff’s account whether he simply used the birth data, as is, provided by Volck or whether he rectified that data on the basis of known events in Hitler’s life. Nonetheless, the chart which, according to his own report, Wulff used for Hitler’s nativity is the following (time here in LMT):

Wulff’s version of Hitler’s natal chart, based on data supplied by Herbert Volck

Wulff comments that his prediction of danger in the fall of 1923 was based on the proximity of the two malefics, Saturn and Mars, to Hitler’s natal Ascendant: “I found particularly unfavorable planetary combinations, and for the autumn of 1923 Hitler’s s ascendant revealed a malefic conjunction of Saturn and Mars. For about twenty-four hours on or about November 8-9, Mars and Saturn were particularly threatening.” If we look at the positions of transiting Saturn and Mars on November 8 – 9 of 1923, we may be able to deduce what methods Wulff used to make his prediction.

DateTimeSaturnMarsMars/Saturn
Midpoint
8 Nov 19230 AM25 Libra 38′13 Libra 15′19 Libra 27′
9 Nov 192312 Midnight25 Libra 52′14 Libra 32′20 Libra 12′
Transiting Saturn and Mars during Nov 8 – 9, 1923

Wulff felt that the autumn of 1923 would be difficult for Hitler because both Saturn and Mars were transiting near his natal Ascendant. He may have focused on November 8 – 9, 1923, as particularly dangerous for several reasons. Transiting Saturn during those days in November was opposite his natal Mercury, ruler of the 12th of hidden enemies and imprisonment, and at the same time was square to the natal MC.

Being from Hamburg, Wulff was almost certainly familiar with the work of Alfred Witte on midpoints and would have noticed that around November 8th the transiting Mars/Saturn midpoint was passing over the positions of the natal Ascendant and natal Uranus and was also sesqui-quadrate to natal Pluto in Hitler’s 8th house of death. The combined influence of Mars, Saturn, Uranus and Pluto all affecting the Ascendant degree certainly sounds ominous to the ears of an astrologer.

If we use Wulff’s “rectified” chart to calculate the Wynn Key Return chart for November 8, 1939, the date of the bombing which killed several Nazi officers but spared Hitler, we find that the total solar eclipse of 13 October 1939 reached maximum intensity at 18 Libra 37′, exactly on the Wynn Key Return Midheaven and transiting Venus, Hitler’s natal Asc ruler, lies on the Key Return 12th cusp.

Wynn Key Return of 8 Nov 1939 based on Wulff’s version of Hitler’s birth chart. A solar eclipse occurred on 13 Oct 1939 in the position of the MC of this chart.

The Wynn Key Return chart simply progresses the cusps of the annual solar return at a rate which carries the MC from the position of one return to the next. The planetary positions in the Wynn Key Return chart are the transits of the moment for the date being studied. We can see in the Wynn Key Return for 8 Nov 1939 that Saturn lies at 26 Aries 25′ almost exactly opposite the Asc of the 6:30 PM Hitler birth chart, and Mars lies at 23 Aquarius 16′ in close square to the Placidus 8th house of Hitler’s natal chart.

I don’t know which chart Kart Ernst Kraft used to warn of an attempt against Hitler’s life during the period November 7 – 10 of 1939. If he used the 6:30 PM birth time, then the presence of transiting Saturn opposing the natal MC simultaneously with transiting Mars squaring the 8th house cusp is consistent with such a warning.

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Miss L and the Wynn Key Cycle

In the last post we looked at Wynn’s delineation of the chart of Mr. J’s Key Cycle. In the 1930s and 40s Wynn continued to publish articles in his astrological magazine with other case examples of the use of the Key Cycle, including the chart of Miss L which I will summarize here.

At the time she consulted Wynn, Miss L (born 27 March 1908) was a woman in her 20s who was interested in a career as a writer or journalist. Wynn does not give details of her place or time of birth. When she met with Wynn, Miss L was a student of journalism at the university. He studied her birth chart and her Key Cycle Returns and predicted that she would obtain a job as a writer in 1927 around the time that transiting Jupiter and Uranus would conjoin her natal Saturn, and she would also need to change her residence to accept the job. Wynn’s predictions turned out to be accurate.

Prior to 1927, Miss L had done research for an elderly gentleman, who was impressed with her skills and who had connections to the news industry. Unbeknownst to Miss L, this older man has given her contact information to a colleague in a news syndicate which was seeking a writer for a new feature about child welfare. The news syndicate contacted Miss L in 1927 and hired her for the new position, which involved her relocating to a different city.

How did Wynn arrive at this prediction?

Natal and Wynn Key Return chart of 1927 for Miss L, as provided by Wynn in his journal article

Given Wynn’s description of Miss L’s chart and Key Cycle Return, I was able to approximate the charts by modern computer. Wynn began by studying the significations of the planets in the natal chart. Because Miss L was interested in career matters, Wynn paid close attention to the MC, its ruler and any planets in the 10th.

Jupiter is the most angular and most elevated planet in the natal chart. Jupiter occupies the 10th of career and is exalted in Cancer, the sign on the 10th cusp. Jupiter in Leo is in a favorable trine to both Saturn and the Sun in Aries in the 6th (service). Jupiter rules the natal 3rd (news, writing, journalism) and 5th (children, fun, games, romance). Mercury, which rules writing, occupies the 5th of children and trines the Moon’s North Node and Neptune in the 9th (publishing, distant travel).

Jupiter’s closest aspect in a trine to Saturn in the 6th. Saturn rules the natal 4th (home, domestic life, early childhood environment) and disposes Uranus in Capricorn in the 3rd (innovative writing) and the 10th-ruler (career) Moon in Aquarius in the 4th.

Approximation by modern computer of Miss L’s natal chart.

During the consultation Wynn noticed an upcoming conjunction of transiting Jupiter and Uranus to natal Saturn, which would occur in the First House of the Key Cycle Return in June of 1927. A key principle of Wynn’s technique is that the natal or transiting planets which are rising toward the Ascendant of the Key Cycle Return chart show the astrological factors that are coming into the life of the native at that time. Alexandre Volguine used a similar principle in his delineation of solar return charts.

Thus, in June of 1927 Miss L can expect the combined significations of Jupiter, Uranus and Saturn to manifest in her life. With natal Jupiter in the 10th at birth and ruling the 10th in the Key Return, career matters become prominent. Transiting Uranus suggests an unexpected change or opportunity. Natal Saturn ruling the 4th at birth and conjunct transiting Uranus in the Key Return indicates an expected change of residence. In the Key Return of June 1927, Saturn rules the 11th (older friends or benefactors) and 12th (activity done in secret or behind the scenes) houses. Transiting Saturn at the cusp of the 9th (publishing, long-distance travel) trines natal Saturn as well as the transiting Jupiter/Uranus conjunction.

Approximation of Miss L’s Key Cycle Chart of 14 June 1927, the date of transiting Jupiter conjunct her natal Saturn.

Wynn did not include all the planets in his article. In the chart below one can see other combinations of planets which support his delineation. For example, the transiting Moon at the time of the transiting Jupiter/natal Saturn conjunction is conjunct the natal Part of Fortune in the 9th house. Transiting Pluto is conjunct transiting Mercury, ruler of the Key Cycle 4th in the Key Cycle 4th house. Transiting Sun, which rules Leo in the natal 10th and the cusp of the Key Cycle 5th (work environment) is conjunct natal Pluto (transformation, major change). Transiting Mars, which rules the natal 2nd of income, is conjunct natal 10th-ruler Jupiter.

Inside is the Key Return chart for 14 June 1927, the date of the transiting Jupiter to natal Saturn conjunciton. Outside is Miss L’s natal chart.
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Mr. J and the Wynn Key Cycle

Recently I’ve been re-reading some old books and articles by Sidney K. Bennett, aka Wynn. In the January 1937 edition of Wynn’s Astrology Magazine, I came across an interesting case in which Wynn advices a client, Mr. J, about an affair he is having with his secretary behind his wife’s back. Wynn’s advice to Mr. J is derived from his interpretation of the client’s Key Cycle Chart at the time of the consultation.

The Case of Mr J and his Affair with his Secretary

Mr. J, a businessman, consulted Wynn on 16 September 1927. He was involved romantically with his secretary and wanted to rent an apartment and live with her. According to the client, his wife would understand perfectly because they had been married in name only for the past 10 years. His question to Wynn was whether the secretary really loved him or was just after his money. He did not want to divorce his wife because his son and daughter might be upset, and it might also damage his reputation in the community. His business often involved him with religious organizations.

Wynn analyzed the Key Cycle Return of the date of the consultation and warned Mr. J that his wife would pursue legal action against him if he moved in with his secretary, and this would cause a scandal that could damage his business and reputation. How did Wynn arrive at these conclusions?

Wynn begins with the Ascendant of Mr. J’s Key Cycle Return because it symbolizes what in going in his life at that time and place. In the 16 Sep 1927 Key Cycle chart, Pisces rises. Because Wynn believed that Neptune rules Pisces, he viewed transiting Neptune in Leo in the 6th house (secretaries, subordinates, employees) as representing his foggy-headed and unrealistic view of the affair with his secretary. In addition, Mr. J had natal Neptune in the  5th house (children, love affairs) of his birth chart, consistent with his starry-eyed attitude toward romance and his willingness to deceive his children.

In general, Wynn regarded Pisces rising in the Key Cycle chart as indicating a restless period during which the native will make decisions based on emotion than a rational and realistic assessment of a situation. There will be an interest in younger persons and many outpourings of affection. During this Pisces-rising period, there will also be opportunities to advance one’s career interests and to enhance one’s reputation. Because Wynn believed that Neptune ruled Pisces, he looked to the house position and aspects of transiting Neptune to further delineate how the Key Cycle Pisces Ascendant might manifest.

Traditional astrologers would look to Jupiter as ruler of Pisces on the 1st cusp of the Key Cycle chart. Transiting Jupiter conjoins Uranus (disruption, breakups) across the Pisces/Aries sign boundary and is opposed by the transiting Mercury/Mars conjunction in the 7th house (open enemies, lawsuits), which is ruled by Mercury. Mars, in turn, rules the 8th (joint finances, crises) and 9th (legal concerns, religious organizations) cusps.

My reconstruction by modern computer of Mr. J’s Key Cycle chart for this consultation with Wynn on 16 September 1927. The cusps of this chart are based on Wynn’s method of progressing the current Solar Return Angles. The planets are the transits at the time of the consultation.

The transiting Sun, ruler of the Key Cycle 6th (secretaries) occupies the 7th (spouse, sexual partner, lawsuits) and opposes Asc-ruler Jupiter (the native and what’s going on in his life at the time). The ruler of the 6th in the 7th also indicates that the secretary would be willing to marry him or at least engage in a sexual relationship with him.

The MC rules his occupation and reputation in the community. In the September Key Cycle chart, the South Lunar Node conjoins the MC. The 6th ruler Sun almost exactly squares the Key Cycle MC from the 7th house of marriage, partnerships and lawsuits. Additionally, the Moon rules the 5th house of love affairs, which has Pluto on its cusp. The 5th ruler Moon is closely applying to oppose Saturn in the 9th (legal affairs), and Saturn rules the 12th of scandal and personal undoing. These are warnings that Mr. J’s contemplated action of renting an apartment and moving in with his secretary will likely cause damage to his business and standing in the community.

Furthermore, because one degree passes over the Key Cycle MC roughly every 4 days, in about 8o x 4 days, or 32 days (roughly a month later), Saturn will become the ruler of his Key chart’s MC, which signifies his career and reputation. Eyeballing the chart, we can see that when Capricorn rises to govern the Key Cycle’s MC, early Aries will likely be on the Ascendant, Saturn will be in the unfortunate 8th house, Jupiter will be in the 12th of scandal and undoing, Uranus will be angular near the eastern horizon, and Mars will be angular near the Descendant. This combination of astrological factors is especially challenging.

Mr. J completely ignored Wynn’s advice. In fact, he became angry and stormed out of the meeting. Thirty-six days later, on 22 October 1927, Wynn read in the newspaper that Mr. J’s wife, accompanied by the local police, raided the apartment where her husband was living with his secretary. The scandal cost him dearly. He ended up selling the business to a junior partner. His wife sued for divorce and received a large settlement and, because of the publicity, the secretary left him.

In the Key Cycle chart for 22 October 1927, we find Aries rising, making Mars the Ascendant ruler at the time. Interestingly, Mr. J’s natal Mars lies at 28o Cancer 32’ in partile square to transiting Mars at 28o Libra 16’ in the 7th house of marriage and lawsuits. His natal Mars also happens to occupy his 7th house in the birth chart.

Wynn also notes that transiting Mars is four houses away from natal Mars in a partile square. Thus, the current partile square between natal and transiting Mars particularly affects his family and domestic life.

In both Key Cycle charts, his natal Mars occupies the 5th house of love affairs. With Cancer on the 5th cusp of the Key chart, the transiting Moon rules the affair with his secretary. The Moon in the October Key Cycle chart lies on the Descendant, opposes transiting Uranus on the Ascendant, and square the MC (career, reputation, authority figures).

Finally, in the 22 October 1927 Key Cycle chart for Mr. J, Mercury rules Virgo (intercepted in the 6th of employees) and occupies the 8th together with Saturn, ruler of the 12th of scandals and undoing. Transiting Mercury applies to square transiting Neptune (fantasy, illusion, unrealistic assessment) in the 6th of his secretary. Mercury also rules the Key chart’s 3rd of news reports. Based on angularity, the transiting Moon opposite Uranus aspect, from the 7th to the 1st cusps, dominates this chart. In the 22 October Key Cycle chart the Moon rules both the 4th (his domestic life) and the 5th (his children and love affairs).

My reconstruction by modern computer of the Key Cycle Chart of Mr. J for 22 October 1927, when his affair with his secretary became a matter of public scandal in the local news, as Wynn had warned might happen.

Wynn’s original Key Cycle figures for Mr. J from his 1937 article:

Wynn’s original Key Cycle charts for Mr. J from the Jan 1937 article. Mars in bold print is the natal planet. The other planets are the transits of the moment.

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Evangeline Adams and the Wynn Key Cycle

In 1926 Sidney K. Bennett (aka Wynn) had a serious accident which prompted him to develop his “Wynn Key Cycle” which he popularized in the 1930s. He does not credit Evangeline Adams with one of the fundamental ideas that makes up his Key Cycle, but there is a striking resemblance to the method of horary astrology which Evangeline Adams was practicing in the 1920s in New York City, long before Wynn’s accident. Adams was the most famous astrologer in the USA at the time, and Wynn was a studious astrologer, so it is highly likely that he was aware of Adams’ methodology.

Here is a passage from Astrology Your Place in the Sun (1927) by Evangeline Adams:

“... take the exact time the question is asked and work out for this time the Ascendant, or first house, as well as the cusps of the other eleven houses; just as you would if drawing a natal chart.  Instead, however, of placing in this chart the planets as they appear in the heavens at the moment the question is asked, the querent’s radical planets should be placed in this chart.  The Astrologer should now proceed to read the chart in the same manner as if it were the radix, for the chart as it now stands might be considered the horoscope for the birth of the idea,  just as the natal chart is the horoscope for the birth of the individual.”  (page 261)

The crux of Adams’ horary method is the astrological house cusps calculated for the time and place of the question. The crux of Wynn’s Key Chart is also the astrological house cusps, which in this case are calculated by progressing the Angles of the Solar Return for the time and place of the date in question. Having read widely in both Adams’ and Wynn’s publications, it seems obvious to me that Adams’ methods prompted Wynn, perhaps subliminally, to focus of the houses particular to a date and time of an incident (as in a horary question) as the crux of the technique.

Just how did Wynn progress the Angles of the Solar Return chart? His idea was simplicity itself. He began with the current Solar Return at the birthplace and also calculated the upcoming solar return of a year later. These two Returns are on average 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds apart (the mean duration of a tropical year being about 365.24219 days). He realized that he could progress the MC of the Solar return at a mean rate of 5 hours 48 minute and 46 seconds PER tropical year, that is, 348.7666 minutes per year, or roughly 29 minutes per month. Such a rate would advance the MC of the current Return so that it arrived at the exact position of the MC in the next return exactly a year later.

Wynn also realized that the real duration of a tropical year can vary by several minutes from year to year, so he individualized the rate of progression according the the year in question. Then having progressed the Angles and cusps of the Solar Return by this rate for the birthplace, he could easily re-located the progressed Solar Return to any location the native happened to occupy on a given date during the year.

In one of his articles about the Wynn Key Cycle he gives the following example of how he progressed the Solar Return MC, from which he then calculated the remaining cusps of the chart:

Suppose someone is born in Chicago on 24 August 1936 at 2:54:40 PM CDT with the Sun at 01 Virgo 26′. This birth time corresponds to a Sidereal Time of 18:06:17. Wynn preferred to work with sidereal time in doing these calculations.

A year later the Sun will return to its natal position on 24 August 1937 at 8:42:51 PM CDT, which corresponds to a Sidereal Time of 23:54:28.

Subtracting the sidereal time of the next solar return from the current one (and disregarding the whole 365 days between the date), we arrive at 23:54:28 minus 18:06:17, which equals 05:48:11, that is 5 hours, 48 minutes and 11 seconds. Then the rate at which the MC will progress is 05:48:11 divided by the 365.242 days in a tropical year:

05:48:11 = 5 hours x 60 min/hour + 48 minutes + 11 seconds / 60 seconds per minute = 348.183 minutes.

348.183 minutes / 365.242 days = 0.953294893 minutes per day by which the birth time must be advanced to progress the MC.

Each “month” or one-twelfth of the year, the MC can be progressed by advancing the birth time at a rate of 348.183 minutes divided by 12 = 29.01525 minutes per “month”. Note that these rates are specific to the first year of life of this native and will need to be calculated for other years which may vary somewhat in length because Wynn uses the actual length of the year from one solar return to the next rather than the mean length of the year.

Left-hand chart: Native born in 1936.
Right-hand chart: Solar Return cusps progressed to 25 Dec 1936 with transiting planets for that date at the birthplace.

Wynn found in his research that the progressed Solar Return cusps combined with the transiting planets on a given date, and then compared with the natal chart, offered an extremely useful predictive tool.

If the native were not at the birthplace on 25 December 1936 in this example, Wynn would simply re-locate the progressed Wynn Key chart to the native’s actual location. For example, if the baby born in Chicago on 24 August 1936 at 2:54:40 PM CDT spent Christmas in NYC, Wynn would relocated the progressed Solar Return to NYC with the transits of 25 December 1936 and add the natal chart around the outside so that he could study how the transits affected the natal planets in the context of the progressed Solar Return cusps on that date. Here is what the chart would look like:

Wynn Key chart with transits of 25 December 1936 relocated to NYC, with natal chart superimposed. This was Wynn’s preferred layout for using his Key Cycle technique.

Wynn would then interpret the transiting and natal planets and points as they related to the progressed cusps of the current solar return. For example, the natal Asc/Jupiter conjunction falls just inside the progressed 11th cusp of the Key chart, so perhaps this baby’s family is visiting friends in New York City. Natally, Mars rules the 4th of the family and in the progressed chart it rules the 3rd and occupies the 9th, just inside the cusp, which is consistent with the family taking a long-distance trip to NYC. Transiting Mercury conjunct the progressed Asc within a 3-degree orb is also suggestive of Mercury-related issues, such as travel, being prominent at this time.

Wynn’s Use of the Graphic Ephemeris of the Key Cycle

To enable himself to see predictive trends, Wynn also plotted in a graphic ephemeris the progressed Solar Return Midheavens and the transiting planets from Mars out over the course of several years. Here is an example which he prepared for the chart of Mussolini for the years 1919 to 1926:

Graphic Emphemeris for Mussolini showing transits and progressed Solar Return MCs from 1919 to 1926.

Using significant cusps to create a hybrid chart for predictive purposes

The method used by Evangeline Adams and by Wynn of inserting the planets from one chart into the significant cusps generated by a different chart appears to have been popular in American astrology a century or so ago. This practice of creating hybrid charts for predictive purposes dates back at least as far as Vettius Valens in the 2nd century CE. Valens combined the transits of the moment of the Solar Return with the cusps of the moment the Moon entered its own birth degree during that solar month, to study annual revolutions.

For example, the Sun’s Ingress into Cancer in Philadelphia in 1776 occurred at 2:14:29 AM LMT with an Ascendant degree of 7 Gemini 39′. Astrologers inserted the transits of July 4th into the cusps of the Cancer Ingress of 1776 to generate the so-called USA Gemini Rising Chart, which is really a symbolic chart of the birth of the nation based on the significant cusps of the period and the transits of the day of its occurrence.

If we did a Wynn Key Return for 11 September 2001 in NYC based on this symbolic Gemini Rising chart, we get an interesting combination of progressed 1776 Cancer ingress solar return cusps, transits of September 11th in NYC, and USA natal planets of July 4, 1776:

Wynn Key Return for 9-11 based on the USA Gemini Rising Chart. In the Gemini-rising chart, Jupiter rules the 7th of the nation’s enemies, and transiting Jupiter lies in particle square to the progressed solar return horizon in the Wynn Key chart. Natal Uranus/Asc conjoin the Wynn Key 9th cusp (air travel) where they joins transiting Saturn in Gemini (twin structures) opposite transiting Pluto (powerful force). Natal Saturn is in partile conjunction with transting Mercury, the natal Asc-ruler which conjoins the Wynn Key Ascendant.

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All original material in this post is copyright Anthony Louis 2022

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The Wynn Key Cycle — a Sample Chart

Recently I’ve been re-reading some old texts by Sidney K. Bennett, aka Wynn, and I came across a short article he published about the death of Douglas Fairbanks Sr. in the March 1940 edition of Wynn’s Astrology Magazine.

According to Wynn, in 1925 Douglas Fairbanks Senior had requested a natal chart report for Douglas Jr., and he gave Wynn the following birth data for his son: 9 December 1909 at 3:38 AM EST in New York City. Here is the birth chart which Wynn used for the younger Fairbanks. (I reconstructed the birth chart from the Key Chart in the March 1940 article and the comments which Wynn made about the birth chart in his article. Apparently a copy of the birth chart was published on page 20 of his book Your Future, which as a birth time of 3:36 AM EST, but to reproduce the Wynn Key Return which he published in March of 1940, I had to adjust the birth time to 3:38 AM EST, two minutes later.

Natal chart of Douglas Fairbanks Jr based on data provided by his father to Wynn in 1925.

Douglas Fairbanks Sr. died on 12 December 1939 in Santa Monica, California, and a few months later (March 1940) Wynn published an article about the impact of the death on his son from the perspective of the Wynn Key Cycle. Here is the son’s Wynn Key chart for the date of his father’s demise. The chart contains the transits of 12 December 1939, and the “progressed” Angles and houses cusps in Santa Monica, California, based on Wynn’s method of progressing the MC of the son’s current solar return at a rate which places the “progressed” MC of the current return at the future MC of the subsequent solar return (advancing the solar return chart by about 29 minutes for each month of the year).

Wynn Key Cycle chart for the date and place of the death of the father of Douglas Fairbanks Jr.
Wynn’s published chart of his Key Return for Douglas Fairbanks Jr. on the day of his father’s demise in Santa Monica, CA.

Wynn notes that natal Mercury rules the natal 8th house of death, and in the Key chart natal Mercury conjoins the Key Chart’s Ascendant, showing “the presence of death in his environment.” Natal Mercury is also closely conjunct the transiting Sun (a father symbol) of the Key Chart. In the birth chart, the Sun rules the 10th house, which Wynn regards as representing the same sex parent of the native. The natal Leo MC occupies the Key Chart’s 8th house in which the sign Leo is intercepted. Natal Jupiter, which is dispositor of the Sun in both the natal and transit Key charts, conjoins the MC of the Key Chart.

He also remarks that natal Jupiter conjoining the Key Chart’s MC indicates some type of expansion. In the birth chart, Jupiter rules the first decan of Gemini, which contains the cusp of the natal 8th Placidus house, signifying legacies and goods of the dead. In addition, Jupiter rules the natal 2nd of the son’s income and finances. In the Key chart, Jupiter rules the 12th of grief and sorrow.

In the Key Chart, transiting Moon and Venus conjoin the Part of Fortune, bringing together 8th and 10th house significations in the personal 1st house of the native.

In addition, transiting and natal Saturn and the transiting South Lunar Node occupy the Key 4th house of parents and final endings, and both the natal and transiting Sun (a father symbol and ruler of the natal 10th) occupy the Key chart’s 12th of terminations.

Traditionally, the 4th house would represent the father so that in the birth chart Saturn (ruler of Aquarius) would rule the father, and Mercury would rule the radical 11th, which is the derived 8th of death from the 4th of the father. Transiting Mercury on the Asc of the Key chart makes the father’s demise the central focus of the period around 12 December 1939. Natal Mercury is part of a Mutable Grand Cross involving transiting Neptune opposite Jupiter, and natal Pluto opposite the natal Sun/Mercury conjunction and the transiting Sun.

Natal Mars is within 5 degrees of the Key’s 4th cusp (the Angle of the parents) and opposes natal Jupiter at the Key’s MC.

Another interesting feature of the combined charts is that natal Neptune conjunction transiting Chiron, and this Neptune/Chiron conjunction is in partile sextile with transiting Uranus and in close quincunx with the Key’s 12th house planets: transiting Mercury and Sun, and natal Sun — forming a Yod (Finger of God, Finger of Fate) pattern.

Here is the Wynn Key Cycle chart with the transits and progressed Solar Return house cusps for the date and place of the father’s demise, and the son’s natal planets in the outer wheel.

Inner: Wynn Key Chart with transits and progressed Solar Return cusps for date and place of father’s demise.
Outer: natal planets.

Here is a transcript of the above article by Wynn on page 13 of the March 1940 edition of Wynn’s Astrology Magazine:

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We read of the 8th as the house of death, legacy and regeneration. Death and regeneration are obviously extremely personal, something each of us must do for himself or for herself. But legacy involves someone else, thus proving that the horoscope (if it shows all these factors in one’s 8th house) is both personal and a reflection of what is going on about us—our environment, the influences we feel and experience through other people.

On December 12, 1939, the great Douglas Fairbanks passed on, leaving to his son, Doug, Jr., a large legacy.

Back in 1925, in Hollywood, Fairbanks, Sr., had Wynn do the horoscope of his son, giving December 9, 1909, as the date of the young man’s birth. This was the data used in the horoscope of Doug, Jr., published a few years later in Your Future on page 20.

The Key Cycle for the son on December 12, 1939, shows the presence of death in his environment, affecting his occupation (10th) and relations with his father (also the 10th, for the 10th is one’s relations with the parent of the same sex). In his natal horoscope, Mercury was the ruler of the 8th, and in this Key Cycle we see the natal Mercury at the personal KC ascendant.

This natal Mercury, ruling natal 8th, was conjunction by transit by the sun, ruling the KC 8th at the time [because Leo is intercepted in the KC 8th]. We should bear in mind that the conjunction itself is always a personal influence, wherever it falls, and is thus doubly effective by being at the KC ascendant.

In addition to the foregoing strong vibrations, we see also the natal sun conjunction transiting sun, conjunction natal Mercury, and conjunction KC ascendant. The sun is his natal ruler of the 10th, showing relations with father.

In the Key Cycle of this same date we see the natal Jupiter culminating at the 10th (midheaven), indicating some type of expansion. Looking to the natal chart for further explication, we find Jupiter ruling the decan on his natal 8th cusp, the first decan of Gemini. Jupiter is also the ruler of his natal 2nd, the house of finances, and also dispositor of (ruler of sign occupied by) his natal sun, ruler of 10th (father).

In the transits for the day, moon conjoined Venus, his KC rulers of the 8th and 10th respectively, in the personal 1st house.

All this 1st house vibration couldn’t help but bring considerable deeply moving experience to the young man, especially when involved so strongly with the 8th.

Paternal legacy was foreshadowed in Doug, Jr.’s horoscope, for his sun, ruling 10th, was conjunction Mercury, ruling 8th, in his financial 2nd, both in the sign Sagittarius, ruled by his Jupiter, the planet at the midheaven in this Key Cycle. The student will also note 4th and 12th house (termination) vibrations here.

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An interesting natal report by Wynn at the Guggenheim

As an aside, this is a link to an interesting natal chart report prepared by Wynn for one of his clients: https://www.guggenheim.org/blogs/findings/hilla-rebays-astrological-chart?gallery=HillaHoroscope_cover_web

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A Chart from the FBI Most Wanted List

Recently I came across a reference to an old case from the FBI Most Wanted List and was curious to look at the natal chart. I recall reading about this case when I was a teenager because it had to do with a clever bank robber named Frank Sprenz who was technologically quite savvy and also a master of disguise. His modus operandi was to rob a bank and then flee to a nearby airport where he would steal an airplane to escape capture.

Sprenz’s criminal history began early and continued throughout his life. According to the Akron Beacon Journal, Sprenz died in in August 2016 at Grafton Correctional Institution at the age of 86. Here is a summary of Sprenz’s early criminal activity by Pauli Poisua from the site Modern Rogue:

Sometimes, he landed planes in front of bars like it was nothing, went in for a drink, then left when someone pointed out that this was awesome and they should call a newspaper. Because it was at that, and only that point when it briefly occurred to him that a highly wanted criminal probably shouldn’t be pulling off Hollywood stunts like that. This incident marked Sprenz’s two months on the FBI’s Most Wanted list.”

Sprenz made his name in 1958, when he performed a daring prison escape with four other inmates: They made a cell key from a piece of metal, threw hot coffee on a guard, and legged it. The others were caught (and in one case, killed) within a week, while Sprenz was able to evade capture for over a year. During this time, he used a bunch of aliases and disguises, stole 29 cars and even 3 airplanes. He’d be seen in Pennsylvania, then nab a plane, fly it to Vermont, and freaking deliberately crash it to elude authorities. He used one of those planes to perform a bank heist in Ohio, just casually landing it in front of the bank, robbing the place for $26,000, and then flying the hell away.”

His dramatic prison escape occurred on 16 April 1958 and was followed by a highly publicized crime spree. In response, the FBI placed him on their Ten Most Wanted List on 10 September 1958. He was finally captured on 15 April 1959, almost a year to the day from his notorious jail break.

Surprisingly, given the notoriety of this criminal, there is nothing posted about him on astro.com (AstroDataBank). The FBI identifies his birth date at 13 February 1930 in Akron, Ohio, most likely taken from court documents and public records. I did a google search for Sprenz’s birth data and found one reference in the astrological literature to a 1977 article by Karen Ober Savalan in The Astrological Journal XIX.4.176. In 1978 this same author published a book on midpoints which featured the chart of Frank Sprenz as its primary example. Unfortunately, in that book his birthdate is given as 14 February 1930 rather than 13 February 1930 (the official FBI record). Because Karen Savalan does not document the source of Sprenz’s birth data, we do not know which is the correct birth date. In addition, she gives a birth time of 7 in the morning, but she does not indicate the source of the data or whether she rectified the chart on the basis of Sprenz’s life events and the theories of the cosmobiologists.

After reviewing the data which I could find online, my best guess is that Frank Lawrence Spence was born on 13 February 1930 in Akron, Ohio, as in the official FBI reports, and that the 7 a.m. time is either from a birth record to which Savalan had access or is her rectification to make the chart work according to the teachings of Witte and Ebertin. Assuming that the 7 a.m. time is reasonably accurate (but it may not be), and that the FBI version of the birth date is more accurate than the date in Savalan’s book on midpoints, I tweaked the birth time using midpoinds, solar and lunar returns, progressions, directions and transits, and came up with a possible birth time of 7:02:15 AM EST in Akron, Ohio, on 13 February 1930. Here is the resulting possible birth chart for the Flying Bank Robber.

Possible birth chart for Frank Sprenz, based on FBI data.

A Cow was his Undoing:

An interesting feature of this chart is that Mars (ruler of the 9th of air travel and occupant of the 12th of imprisonment, undoing and large animals like cows) is “at the bendings,” being in partile square to the Moon’s Nodes (the intervention of fate) which conjoin the 3rd/9th cusps of local and long-distance travel, including travel by air. Sprenz was finally caught when a cow in Mexico interfered with his take-off as he was planning to fly to Cuba. Taurus on the cusp of the 3rd is the sign of cows and bulls.

Here is an account of the incident from the FBI News site:

When the news media further increased Sprenz’s notoriety by dubbing him the ‘Flying Bank Robber,’ he decided to flee the country. Using a small plane he purchased with stolen money, he eventually flew to Raymondville, Texas, near the border of Mexico. Fearing he had been recognized, he quickly flew on to Mexico.

Sprenz was right—he had been spotted. Authorities contacted the FBI. The Bureau’s international office, or legal attaché, in Mexico City was put on alert.

Sprenz had refueled and was taking off for Cuba when fate intervened: A cow stepped in front of his plane, causing him to swerve and hit a tree. His plane was damaged beyond repair. An FBI legal attaché agent assisted Mexican authorities in tracking down Sprenz, and he was arrested and later returned to the U.S. He was found guilty of various crimes and sentenced to 25 years in jail. He was paroled in 1970 but later returned to his life of crime, and, ultimately, died in prison.

If anyone reading this has accurate and verifiable information about the actual birth data, please leave a comment. This is an interesting chart, which belongs in the astrological literature.

Addendum 12 June 2022:

I am extremely grateful to Karen Christino who did further research into the birth data and left the following comment:

“930 Census has him 2 months old in April of 1930 — if this is the right family. Name is spelled “Sprence” (lines 27-30), but phonetic misspellings are common in Census records. He also seems to be in the Ohio Birth Index on 2/14/30, Certificate #193005796 if you want to check it out (no additional info).

He appears to have also played fast and loose with his birth info. For 1953 marriage he’s born 2/13/32, 1972 marriage born 2/14/35, Social Security application gives 2/13/30 and Social Security Death Index 2/14/30 (odd that the last two should disagree).”

If we take the Ohio Birth Index as the most accurate, then his birthdate is 14 February 1930. The source of the 7 AM time is still uncertain, and it may be a rectification. In any case, here is his 7 AM natal chart for Valentine’s Day of 1930.

14 Feb 1930 Birth Chart based on Ohio Birth Registry. Time unverified. 7 AM is the time used by Karen Ober Savalan in her book on midpoints.
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