The great opera singer Enrico Caruso began to suffer severe chest pains during the opening season of the Metropolitan Opera in NYC in 1920. On December 11, 1920 he bled from his mouth during a performance. On Christmas Day of 1920 Caruso was diagnosed with acute pleurisy as the cause of his agonizing chest pain. Three days later — on December 28, 1920 — his doctors removed a full gallon of fluid from his pleural cavity. Caruso’s close associates thought that he was going to die.
In her book The Bowl of Heaven Evangeline Adams describes her involvement in the singer’s health crisis: “… doctors and priests were preparing him for the end. One monring, just before five, I was awakened by the continued ringing of my house phone.” The woman on the line informed Ms. Adams that Caruso was severely ill and wanted to know if the stars indicated his death at that time. Adams continues: “I looked up the singer’s chart, saw that he would not die at that time, told the woman so, and went back to bed.”
Karen Christino, a leading expert on Evangeline Adams, speculates that the famous astrologer made use of a “decumbiture chart” to make her accurate prediction. Decumbiture charts are cast for the time and place that the person first falls ill. Christino details her argument in a fascinating article on skyscript.co.uk.
While Christino’s argument is compelling, it seems unlikely that at 5 A.M. Ms. Adams would have the time or inclination to research the onset of Caruso’s illness, cast a decumbiture chart for the event and then compare the birth chart to the decumbiture chart. To me it seems more likely that Evangeline Adams used her “new horary” method to answer the question about Caruso’s death.
Adams’ method of doing horary was simply to note the degree on the ascendant at her location at the time of the question and to cast a chart for that ascendant, placing the native’s natal planets in that chart.
According to his birth certificate, Caruso was born on 27 February 1873 at 3 A.M. in Naples, Italy. There are other versions of his birth data in the literature, but this is the chart that Adams apparently used. Caruso’s 3 A.M. birth chart for Februay 27, 1873 looks like this:
Most likely Adams received the frantic call at 5 A.M. on 28 December of 1920. She would have cast a chart for NYC at that moment and placed Caruso’s natal planets inside. The ascendant at the moment would have been 5 Sag 03, so I simply recast Caruso’s natal chart with natal ascendant adjusted to be the NYC ascendant at 5 A.M. on 28 Dec 1920 to get a very close approximation to the chart which Adams interpreted. Here is the “new horary” chart for the question, “Will the native die at this time?”
Interpreting this as a horary chart, the native is signified by Jupiter, ruling the Sagittarius Ascendant. Jupiter is favorably placed in the 9th house in the fire sign Leo where he trines the rising sign Sagittarius. Jupiter’s Rx status indicates that the native is ill.
The Part of Fortune rising, conjunct the Ascendant, is one argument that he will survive this illness.
In my readjusted chart, benefic Venus, which rules the 6th house of bodily ailments, is mutually applying to trine Jupiter within one minute of arc, again indicating recovery from illness. Jupiter disposes the 8th ruler Moon and is the exalted ruler of the 8th. (Adams would have used Caruso’s natal placements exactly as they were and not have readjusted them as I have done in this chart. She still would have noted the positive trine between Venus and Jupiter, even though it is just past perfection natally.)
The Moon rules the 8th of death in this chart and does not make any dangerous aspect to Jupiter, ruler of the Ascendant. One would expect a significant affliction of the 8th lord in a death chart.
There are minimal negative indicators and major positive indicators in this chart, so the native will not die of his illness at this time, especially with the protective Venus trine Jupiter trine the rising sign Sagittarius being so prominent at the time of the question.