Sibly: Will the young sailor enjoy his father’s estate?

Recently I participated in a thoughtful and interesting presentation on ancient horary techniques by Nina Gryphon, sponsored by Kepler College. One of the horaries which Nina discussed was a classic chart interpreted by Ebinezor Sibly in his 1817 text A New and Complete Illustration of the Celestial Science of Astrology (Vol. 1: pp.337-339).

Sibly writes:

A young gentleman in the navy, who had been rather wild, and was in consequence under the displeasure of his parents, having been threatened to be disinherited, came the instant he heard this unfavourable news, and enquired of me whether he should, or should not, enjoy his father’s estate. To resolve his doubts, I projected the figure following” (for the question, “Shall the Querent enjoy his father’s estate?”):


The behavior of the wild young gentleman so displeased his parents that they threatened to disown him, so he immediately consulted with Sibly to find out from the stars whether his parents would make good on their threat.

Aquarius rises, making Saturn the significator of the querent (the  wild young gentleman in the navy). Saturn is traditionally associated with maritime professions. By Lilly’s reckoning, Saturn in Sagittarius is peregrine, that is, without any essential dignity, which befits a young man would exhibits wild or reckless behavior. A peregrine planet acts like a disinhibited college student on spring break. If we take into account Saturn as the participating ruler of the fire signs, then Saturn has moderate dignity as a mixed triplicity ruler of Sagittarius.

Sibly continues:

The ascendant and his lord represent the querent; and, as Aquarius occupies the cusp thereof, Saturn is his significator. The father is represented by the fourth house, and Mercury, the lord thereof, is his significator. The second house and his lord signifies the querent’s substance; and the fifth house and its lord signifies the substance of his father. Here we find Mercury in conjunction with Jupiter in the eighth house, which is the father’s fourth*, and implies a substantial fortune, particularly as the Sun is posited in the same house, with mutual reception between the two significators of substance; whereby it is evident that the son will inherit the father’s estate and fortune.”

In summary, according to Sibly:

  • Saturn, ruling the Ascendant, signifies the Querent, the young gentleman.
  • Mars, ruling the 2nd, signifies the querent’s money.
  • Mercury, ruling the Gemini 4th, signifies the father.
  • Mercury, ruling the Gemini 5th (2nd of the 4th), signifies the father’s money.
  • *Sibly incorrectly states that the 8th is the father’s 4th, whereas it is actually the 5th from the 4th (the father’s children).  Lilly says that the 8th is the general house of “the estate of men deceased.”  Because the 8th is the 5th of offspring from the 4th (the father), perhaps Sibly was thinking that Mercury (father’s money, 2nd of 4th) residing in the 8th shows that the father’s money is passed on to his children.
  • Sibly believes that Mercury (father’s money) conjunct Jupiter (abundance) in the 8th (estate of men deceased) means that there is a substantial fortune.  He takes the majestic Sun in the 8th to support this interpretation.
  • Finally, Sibly notes the mutual reception between the son’s money (Mars in Virgo) and the father’s money (Mercury in Scorpio) as indicating an exchange of wealth between the two.

Sibly goes on to say:

The conjunction of Jupiter with Mercury, the father’s significator, is also a strong argument of paternal regard on the side of the father; and therefore I informed him that there appeared to me to be no doubt but he would succeed to the estate of his ancestors, provided he acted at all consistently with the duty and obedience of a son, and would use proper endeavours to regain his father’s good-will and forgiveness, and aim to be more prudent and careful in spending his income; for the position of Jupiter declares him to be regardless of money among his companions and acquaintances, and extravagantly generous and good-natured. The conjunction of Mars with Venus likewise shows his desire after women, and denotes that they will be a continual source of misfortune and expense to him, and will help off pretty fast with his money; but the position of the fortunate node of the Moon in his second house sufficiently indicates that he will have a competent provision during life.”

To summarize Sibly’s argument:

  • Mercury (the father, ruler of the 4th) conjunct Jupiter (generosity, benevolence) suggests strong paternal regard toward his son. Although Sibly does not mention it, Jupiter rules the 11th house of the querents hopes and wishes to receive an inheritance and the father’s significator Mercury in rapidly applying to conjoin Jupiter. No doubt the son became a spendthrift after years of being spoiled by his parents, especially by his mother whom Jupiter also signifies in this chart.
  • The position of Jupiter in Scorpio in the 8th (peregrine and under the sunbeams) shows the son to be a spendthrift with little regard for how he uses money.
  • Mars co-present with Venus in her fall in Virgo in the 7th house is an indication of the son’s wild behavior with “fallen” women who tend to squander his money and serve as a source of difficulty for him.
  • The Moon’s North Node in the 2nd shows that he will have enough financial resources during his lifetime.

Sibly does not mention that the Moon’s last perfected aspect was a sextile to Veuns (ruler of the 8th of “the estate of men deceased”) and that the Moon’s next aspect to perfect will be a sextile to Mars (ruler of the 2nd of the son’s finances). This transfer of light from the 8th ruler Venus to the 2nd ruler Mars is an argument in favor of the son receiving the inheritance. In addition, Mars at 25 Virgo 46 is the participating triplicity ruler of earth signs and is in his own terms. Thus, Mars (ruler of the 2nd of money) is essentially well dignified as a triplicity ruler and term ruler in this region of Virgo, a fact which bodes well for the querent’s finances. Although the Moon is in the cadent 6th house, she is strong in Cancer which she rules.

Nor does Sibly mention that the Sun in Libra lies in the exaltation and triplicity of Saturn, and that Saturn in fiery Sagittarius lies in the triplicity of the Sun. In the chart, the Sun rules the 7th house, which is the 4th (landed property) of the 4th (father), or the father’s title to the family real estate (“the estate of his ancestors“), and so there is a favorable connection between the son (signified by Saturn) and the father’s lands (Leo 7th house).

An interesting aside is that the querent’s rule Saturn (the wild son in the navy) closely conjoins the martial fixed star Antares, the Heart of the Scorpion. Robson says of this conjunction: “Materialistic, dishonest through circumstances created by environment, religious hypocrisy, many disappointments, loss through quarrels and legal affairs, trouble through enemies, many failures, hampered by relatives, unfavorable for domestic matters, much sickness to and sorrow from children.”

The Ascendant of this chart exactly conjoins the fixed star Mirzam in the left paw of the Dog. Mirzam announces the coming of Sirius, and symbolically signifies an interest in announcing, relaying information or “barking” to warn others to what is about to happen. Perhaps the prominence of Mirzam in this chart refers to the fact that the profligate son ran immediately to the astrologer to announce that his father was considering cutting him out of the will. Sibly responding by telling the young man that if he wanted to hang on to the inheritance, it was time to get serious (no pun intended).

Presumably the profligate son did get his father’s inheritance, or else Sibly would not have included this example from 1780 in his text, published in 1817.

About Anthony Louis

Author of books about astrology and tarot, including TAROT PLAIN AND SIMPLE, HORARY ASTROLOGY, and THE ART OF FORECASTING WITH SOLAR RETURNS.
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2 Responses to Sibly: Will the young sailor enjoy his father’s estate?

  1. Cat Walker says:

    Thank you. Also note Mercury ruler of the 5th house of the father’s money applies to conjoin Jupiter, co-ruler of the 1st, where Pisces is intercepted.
    As a side not, Saturn is conjunct the cusp of the 10th, which suggests the Astrologer’s judgement of this chart (his “arguments”?) will harm his reputation.

  2. Hi Cat,
    Thanks for your comments.
    Lilly did sometimes take the ruler of an intercepted house as a co-ruler of that house, so your argument holds some water.
    Regarding Saturn peregrine in the 10th, Lilly says that it can mean that the artist does not get credit or that the querent is not grateful. I don’t recall Lilly saying that it means the astrologer’s judgment will be impaired.
    Saturn in the 7th, or the 7th house or its ruler afflicted, can sometimes mean that the astrologer’s judgment is off, given that the 7th symbolizes the astrologer.
    In this chart I think the peregrine Saturn at the cusp of the 10th symbolizes his opposition from his father (4th cusp) and his running to his mother (10th cusp) to intercede.

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