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

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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1 Response to Evangeline Adams and the Wynn Key Cycle

  1. 8 ball says:

    Should astrology charts be drawn before conception, if so how many weeks, seconds?

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