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:


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.


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:

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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