Currently I’m taking an online course about astro-mapping, given by Spanish astrologer Gloria Roca Riera, DFAstrolS. Today we discussed geodetic charts (fixed locality astrology based on geodetic equivalence of ecliptic longitude), which I’ve never made much use of and have always felt somewhat skeptical about, largely because it seems so arbitrary, Anglo-centric and colonialistic. In his 1925 text on geodetic equivalents British astrologer Sepharial, aka Walter Gorn Old (March 20, 1864 – December 23, 1929), writes on page 11: “All counts are made from the meridian of Greenwich, which by universal consent is the standard for the notation of time values and longitudes.”
The choice of the Greenwich meridian is rather modern and somewhat arbitrary. Authors Wheatley and Upton note: “Currently the Prime Meridian line, defined in Geodetic Astrology as 0° Aries, is the Greenwich Meridian line, which was established in 1885, when an international Prime Meridian, passing through London’s Greenwich Observatory was officially adopted by 25 countries as a part of an agreement which established Standard Time. The Prime Meridian created a longitudinal navigational reference system. At the time that this was adopted, Sepharial (Dr Walter Gorn-Old) was in his twenties, and would naturally have been caught up in this international debate, and it was during this momentous time that he was devising his version of the Geodetic World Map.”
The wikipedia entry on locational astrology states (emphasis mine):
“An important systematic approach to astrogeography was developed by various astrologers such as Sepharial (Walter Gorn Old) in England, and A.M. Grimm in Germany. Both these systems assume that the Greenwich Meridian in metropolitan London has a 0° Aries fixed local MC, leaving the various regions of the globe to correspond with the 12 signs of the zodiac. … The Canadian astrologer L. Edward Johndro also worked with this method at various points throughout the 1930s and later years, and vacillated between the starting reference point at Greenwich and one near the greater pyramids of Egypt…”
As in Jeffrey Wolf Green’s remarks about the usefulness of geodetic equivalence in the prediction of earthquakes, Sepharial in his 1925 text also reports that, using this technique, he found that “there was never any great earthquake or physical disturbance of the Earth which was not the direct effect of the interaction of the planets in regard to the Earth as a centre” (p. 38). Sepharial gives the following explanation of the method:
Sepharial offers several case examples to demonstrate the geodetic equivalence technique. For example, on page 36 of his 1925 text he describes his trip in 1892 to a Theosophical Society meeting in Madras, India, at longitude 81 East, which is the geodetic equivalent of the position of his natal Uranus, which opposes his natal Ascendant. Sepharial tells us that in that location, with his natal Uranus conjunct the geodetic MC, “the activities of the Theosophical Society, which has its headquarters at Madras, assumed a crisis in which I was very closely involved and from which I emerged by a serious nervous breakdown.” He also notes that at the same time his directed natal Moon was squaring natal Uranus. (The only “directed” Moon square Uranus, which I could find during that period, was a tertiary progressed Moon square natal Uranus on 21 January 1891.)
Here is Sepharial’s natal chart (bottom left) and his geodetic equivalent chart for Madras, India (upper right). Note how Uranus conjoins the MC in the geodetic chart.
To see whether a current example would work, I decided to cast a chart related to the current Palestinian-Israeli conflict. My hypothesis was that problematic planets would be angular in the geodetic equivalence chart for the transits at the time this conflict heated up.
Looking at the timeline for the current conflict, I settled on 10 May 2021 as a pivotal day. Wikipedia describes the events of that day as follows:
“A mosque spokesman stated that major clashes broke out after Israeli police attempted to evacuate the compound, where many Palestinians sleep over in Ramadan, adding that the evacuation was intended to allow access to Israelis. More than 300 Palestinians were wounded as Israeli police stormed the mosque compound. Palestinians threw rocks, firecrackers, and heavy objects, while Israeli police fired stun grenades, tear gas, and rubber bullets at worshippers. The storming came ahead of a Jerusalem Day flag march by Jewish nationalists through the Old City. At least 215 Palestinians were injured, 153 of whom were hospitalised. Militants in Gaza fired rockets into Israel the following night.”
Here is the chart for the transits of 10 May 2021 at mid-day in Jerusalem (lower left) and the geodetic equivalent chart for the same transits (upper right).
It is impressive that transiting Saturn will station Rx on 23 May 2021 at 13 Aquarius 31′, the exact position of the fixed geodetic Descendant. Transiting Saturn (a symbol of the structure of society and conservative forces of control and repression) on the geodetic 7th cusp (open enemies, conflicts) squares transiting Uranus (upheaval, revolt, desire for independence), which is prominently placed near the MC of the geodetic chart.
Astrologer Steve Cozzi in his book Planets in Locality (1988) explains: “When a natal or transiting planet is conjunct or in opposition to the MC, IC or any of the ascending/descending points [Asc/Dsc], then at that locality on Earth an event corresponding to the nature of the particular planet(s) will take place” (p.180). We should watch the news from Israel on 23 May 2021 to see how Saturn turning stationary Rx exactly opposite the degree of the geodetic Ascendant of Jerusalem plays out in the unfolding of the current conflict. In the transit chart for Jerusalem at the moment of Saturn’s station on 23 May 2021, transiting Jupiter is almost exactly conjunct the Descendant of the transit chart. At the same moment, in the geodetic chart for Jerusalem, Saturn is exactly on the Descendant.
Addendum (22 May 2021):
Both sides agreed to a ceasefire on Thursday, 20 May 2021, and it went into effect on Friday 21 May 2021. Here is the ephemeris showing the position of transiting Saturn on those dates:
Below is the chart for the moment Saturn turns Rx in Jerusalem on 23 May 2021. Note the position of transiting Jupiter on the 7th cusp.