Hi. I moved this article to my new website. Please read its updated and improved version there. Thank you.
Written in March 2013
“It is better for men, as far as possible, to put stiff-necked pride from their minds and to avoid boldness, to strip themselves bare and to surrender themselves to reason. For no one is free; we all are slaves of fate and if we follow her voluntarily, we will live undisturbed and without grief as a whole, having trained our minds to be confident. If someone adopts a false cast of mind and attributes the possibility of acting to himself, he will be refuted by the impossibility of his acting and will be a laughing-stock.”
Vettius Valens Book VI p.122 tr. by Mark Riley
I am opening the Hellenistic section of my blog with this article. I have explained in my other blog why I have chosen to adopt the Hellenistic terminology, so will not repeat that here. I will be translating some of my articles on Hellenistic Astrology in English probably some time soon.
First, I want to express my gratitude above all to Robert Schmidt for making it possible for modern people to study Hellenistic Astrology in English.
I also want to thank James Holden for also translating some texts and making them available to the public.
I say a big “Thank you” to Curtis Manwaring, the developer of Delphic Oracle software, the best program for Hellenistic and Medieval Astrology in the world. As you will see, only Curtis’s program allows one to do the calculations necessary for this article, and many more.
Also I would like to thank the scholar Mark Riley very much for translating (for free!) the 9 books of the Anthology of Vettius Valens.
I do not want to step on anybody’s toes with this article. My reason for writing it is completely astrological. I am not interested in researching what was the specific cause of Tycho Brahe’s death using Hellenistic and Medieval natal Astrology.
I seek nothing, least of all attention or popularity. But I must say that I am deriving probably somewhat a greater satisfaction for writing for a colleague, (for Tycho Brahe was an Astrology practitioner no matter how modern “science” tries to belittle this) whose life and death have been touched so strongly by the Fates.
Biographical information for Tycho Brahe
I have taken all the info from http://www.astro.com/astro-databank/Brahe,_Tycho
Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) was a Danish astronomer and scientist who originated the technique of systematic observations, and disproved the concept that no change could occur in the heavens. Some of his work allowed his assistant and successor, Johannes Kepler, to formulate the laws of planetary motion. His work also provided important links between the theories of Copernicus and those of Sir Isaac Newton.
To acknowledge his contributions to the world of science, in 1576 Frederick II, the King of Denmark, granted Brahe a pension and an island between Sweden and Denmark on which Brahe built a lavish home and observatory.
He died in Prague of an infection caused by a burst bladder. He had neglected to relieve himself before a banquet given on 10/13/1601 by the Baron of Rosenberg, and good manners prevented him from leaving the table. Eleven days later, on 10/24/1601, he died. His artificial nose was missing when the body was exhumed in 1901, probably stolen by vandals, but a bright green stain caused by copper salts could be seen on the front of the skull. His body lies in the Teyn Church, Prague.
Tycho Brahe’s natal figure
As I am interested in studying his death and what followed after it, I will be very brief about his life.
The first thing to note is of course the presence of the benefics in the Horoskopos (known as the Helm, or the Asc). One of them, Zeus, rules the 11th of the king’s money, where the MC is, and is in reception with the lord of the Asc – Kronos, who is in the 11th of Good Spirit. So we have mutual reception not only by domicile, even though without testimony, but by place, which makes it all the more stronger (compare how weaker for example Kronos in the Fishes and Zeus in the Goat Horned One would be). So both planets are in sect, above the horizon, in a masculine quadrant and zoidia.
Kronos is combust and invisible though and being in his trigon (and face medievally) won’t help him.
I want to note the period when the king granted Tycho Brahe a pension and an island. I don’t have the months, I have not researched, but it definitely took time to build the home and observatory. Here is what Zodiacal Releasing from Spirit (I am examining the native’ career, actions and life path) shows:
Yep, the 10th from Fortune on the second level, the highest peak one can achieve in their professional life, all things being equal. Or, if it is earlier than August 1576, which I highly doubt, the overall ruler of the period is the Moon and it is the 11th from Fortune, the place of Acquisition.
Tycho Brahe’s length of life and manner of death
What you are about to read is extremely powerful, downright frightening. There is no other reliable method on this planet to determine one’s length of life and manner of death, be it through non-physical means or divination (what passes for “science” in this time period in this society is so shallow and pathetically boring that it beggars belief). Only Ancient Astrology can do that because it contains both Spirit and body, but it is truly difficult and mistakes are often made.
This is not for hobbyists or people who can’t handle reality and live with their childish or modern beliefs.
Valens knew that very well and even though he was extremely generous compared to his earlier predecessors, he deliberately wrote cryptically on the most important topics, not that much to conceal, but to make the student work and arrive at the solutions themselves, thus deserving that Knowledge.
While anyone can read this article, certainly not everyone will be able to understand it. Even though there are courses or lectures on Hellenistic Astrology, no one has presented these techniques for determining the length of life in the 15+ years Valens got translated. This should tell you something!
Accordingly, I too have written in a somewhat Valens fashion, which I have come to respect, for only those who have truly laboured and spent a lot of time on this can appreciate what is offered in this article, albeit only part of the full arsenal; only those who understand how long it would take for a skilled practitioner to work out the length of life after the method used in the last 1200+years has failed, can truly treasure this!
This chart is extremely tricky when it comes to determining the Giver of Life/Hilaj/Apheta and the Giver of Years/Kadukhadha/Oikodespotes. This is further complicated by the fact that there is very little information about Tycho Brahe when it comes to diseases and injuries. I have not searched for biographies or books about him though.
So what can one do when the Persian and Arabic techniques for determining the length of life get stuck so to say? One goes back further in history of course!
Even with the Hellenistic techniques though, it turns out that this chart does not like to behave as I like to say.
So to make sure that I am not making mistakes I need confirmation from other parts of the figure.
So I took the distance from the SAN upwards to the Horoskopos and I departed with it from the Horoskopos in the order of the zoidia.
On the way down I came across the lower Midheaven and in one of the techniques in Valens stops there. So if I go all the way with the full distance, the final length of life is 62.7 years, BUT if I stop at the IC then it is 54.55 years.
As you will see later, Zodiacal Releasing (Aphesis) from Fortune works beautifully. However, I did not know this when looking at Tycho Brahe’s natal chart. This is because the lord of Fortuna falls amiss, even though it is in its domicile, and Fortuna is in the 9th by division, but in the 10th zoidion.
So I was hesitant whether to use this technique. But when I later found out that it definitely works, then I could use it. (If it had not, then I would have gone with Spirit and its lord as they are both in angular zoidia.)
So Fortuna in the 10th in the Scorpion, in aversion to both malefics, grants its ascensional times in years – 45.38. As I said its lord is in aversion and is in its domicile, which is a kind of a dead end.
Then I found that Aphrodite who has trigon and confine rulership in the Lot is tetragonal to it and conjunct the Horoskopos. So I granted her middle years as months – 45.
I also added the ascensional times in months of the zoidion she is in, as it is angular and a good place – the Water Pourer – 14.43. Then I noted that Zeus is also in the ascending zoidion, co-present, in sect, and strikes Fortuna with a tetragonal ray. So I added his minor years as months – 12. Then I saw Kronos, the ruler of Aphrodite and in testimony with it, combust, but in the Good Spirit, so I added the ascensional times of the zoidion he is in in months – 39.25.
Combining these together I have: 45.38 years +45 months+14.43 months, + 12 months, + 39.25 months = 45.38 yrs + 110.68 months = 54,38 yrs + 2.68 months = final length of life = 54 years 7 months and about 6 days
As I said this chart is tricky, so I had to do some techniques for determining the length of life with Hellenistic Astrology kind of before their turn. By that I mean that as some key points or their rulers fall amiss it is very difficult to know whether one can get accurate results with a given technique then. Here is one more:
Tycho Brahe was born at a full Moon phase, that is a preventional birth, as Delphic Oracle shows.
So I took the distance from Selene to the next SAN and then subtracted it from the Horoskopos. It came out in the Balance, in the confines of Ares. (This is the Hellenistic version of the Lot of Hyleg.)
So the Lot falls amiss supposedly, but is in the God, and so does its lord Ares, who is in the Goddess. But it is very important that the lord is not in aversion to the Lot. Therefore I consider it viable for the time being.
So I departed from the Lot. Both malefics are in aversion to the Scorpion, but Ares is hurling rays to the Archer and although triangular, he is the contrary to sect malefic. However, before the Lot reaches those rays, it encounters the body of the Ascending Node, which generally is a killer. So the native should die here or be in great danger of death.
Therefore the length of life came out to be 56 years, 6 months and about 7 days.
So I have 3 techniques which show pretty much the same length of life, (54-56 years and he lived 54 years and 10 months) which is excellent and also irrefutable.
Looking at the nativity of Tycho Brahe around his death, I see that Ares distributes the Asc, and depending on his birth time, (which I know is close as he was practitioner after all, but I have not checked it) either Aphrodite or Ares is partnering.
He died in a 7th place profection. There are not handings over in the nativity and the Sun would be Lord of the Year (LoY), but the Moon is in the profected zoidion of the Asc, so she assumes the lordship, and she is in the natal place of death, and she opposes the natal Asc within 1 portion!
Looking at the last solar revolution of Tycho Brahe before his death, the natal 4th place rises, which has indications of death, the SR ruler Aphrodite is triangular within 1 portion with the ruler of the place of death in the revolution – Zeus, and they are mutual negative reception.
Also, Kronos, the killing planet, is partile conjunct the natal Fortuna – a very strong indication of death.
I can’t help but notice the 4 planet stellium in the 12th of hidden enemies, witchcraft and secrets.
When I said that this chart is tricky, I meant it for the length of life. This caught my attention right away when I decided to write an article about the death of Tycho Brahe using Hellenistic and even some Medieval Astrology.
Well, guess what? It is probably even trickier for determining the cause of death. This is because Hermes, the ruler of both the place of death and the Deadly Place is combust and invisible and in the 12th place. I calculated the killing planet for Tycho Brahe using Medieval Astrology. I won’t publish the chart but will say that it is Kronos. Do you see what is happening? Kronos is also combust and invisible and instead of being in a dark place, it rules the 12th! Furthermore, Kronos is the lord of the Lot of Death, at about 1 Cap.
Kronos is the only planet in a double bodied zoidion, therefore it is the only one in the angles of both places of death, tetragonal to the natal one and diametrical to the Fortune one. Kronos is also in the animal part of the Archer.
This combined is an indication of a violent death. But there has to be more to say this. And indeed there is. Hermes, the ruler of the preventional SAN, is in aversion to it; Hermes is being witnessed by a malefic. This makes 3 indications.
However, the benefics are in human zoidia and help alleviate this, for Aphrodite testifies to Ares and Zeus is in mutual reception with Kronos, and the Moon, also in a human zoidia, overcomes Kronos from the place of death. They also overcome the lower Midheaven and are triangular to the Deadly Place. Were it not for this amelioration, it would have been almost as bad as it gets.
To illustrate, I will selectively quote from Book IV, ch. 9 from Ptolemy’s Tetrabiblos, tr. by Robert Schmidt p.40-41:
“When the malefics are present together and in this fashion are diametrical to one of the said places responsible [for death], they cooperate still more toward the affliction of the death…..Such persons are even left without burial; and they are devoured by wild beasts or birds when the malefics chance to be near zoidia of the same form, with none of the benefics testifying to the subterraneous place or to the destructive places.
The deaths happen in a foreign country….. and especially whenever the Moon also chances to be present with the said places, or square or diametrical to them.”
I don’t think this requires any elucidation. The Moon is of course in the place of death and tetragonal to the Deadly Place, and Tycho Brahe died abroad.
As I said, I am not interested in investigating the exact cause of death. Still, suffice it to mention that the Moon ruling the 6th and in the 8th has to be noted alongside Kronos of course who is the killing planet and the ruler of the Horoskopos and is being overcome by the Moon, and naturally Hermes who rules both places. The chart shows ample testimony for a violent/non natural death and this is enough for me.
Events which happened 300-400 years after the death of Tycho Brahe and how Hellenistic Astrology helps see the Hands of the Fates
Here comes the truly amazing and even maybe frightening to some part. I confess that when I decided to write this article, I had no idea what this investigation of mine would show. I was certain that there had to be some correlation with Tycho Brahe’s natal chart, otherwise Astrology would not work, which is absurd, but I had not anticipated such a strong activation.
Before delving deeper, I have to thank the sky script forum, particularly “Mark” and “Paul Paral” for it is from them that I learned about this story about Tycho Brahe and got interested myself to research this. Here is the link:
Long story short, Tycho Brahe’ grave was opened in 1901 (no date as far as I saw), then in November 2010. Parts of the remains of his body were tested and I selectively quote from what was concluded:
“The analyses of Brahe’ hair showed that in the last 2 months of his life, he was not exposed to lethal (or fatal) doses or Hg, as was previously speculated…. Our data therefore suggest that Tycho Brache could possibly have been exposed to small and relatively harmless does of Hg during the last weeks prior to his health, possibly due to his own medication….This does not exclude that possibility that he could have been murdered by means of some other poisonous substance, but a murder scenario has not become a much more remote possibility than previously thought”.
Archaeometry 2012: Was He Murdered or Was He Not? – Part I: Analyses of Mercury in the Remains of Tycho Brahe” p.7-8.
Note the irony as Hg is short for the element mercury and Hermes/Mercury rules both places of death, but is not the killing planet. Of course it can be and is much more complicated than this, as Hermes rules many herbs and many things in this sublunary world, but I am just noting the coincidence of the names.
So what do I expect to see in Tycho Brahe’s natal chart 300 and 409 years after his death? Well, at best a very pertinent Ruler of the Times intensified with a strong primary direction/directing through the confines and a revolution. Something average would be a less intense mixture of the above, along with profections.
Here comes the invaluable Delphic Oracle software. I have calculated all charts with it (and modified some with the “Paint” windows program). It contains not only almost all of the techniques in Hellenistic and Medieval Astrology (plus the modern ones of course, but that is not the point now) and as such is truly without competition, but it also offers to calculate cycles of a given technique. (that is, our human lives are so short compared to mundane cycles, something ignored by writers of astrological programs, unfortunately to the detriment of the researcher, which only serve to reinforce the naive and childish belief that human life or humanistic astrology is supreme to all other forms, but I digress.)
What I am saying is if it were not for Curtis Manwaring’s Delphic Oracle I would have had to calculate by hand the primary directions and the Aphesis from the Lots. I would have done the latter as it is not that difficult and time consuming, but not the former which is much more so, and therefore this research of mine would have been severely hampered.
So by increasing the cycles of a given technique, Delphic Oracle software allows one to calculate astrological techniques for hundreds of years, even up to more than a few thousand years! I plan to take full advantage of this feature in the future as with the astrological election chart for the city of Contantinople for example.
So here is what the general time lords show for 1901. I am investigating matters pertaining to the body, therefore I am using Zodiacal Releasing from the Lot of Fortune:
Oo my! Loosening of the bond from Capricorn to Cancer, from darkness to light, the grave was dug up, the ruler of course is the Moon in the place of death, and on second level (I am of course presuming that the people who dug it up did not do so in the harsh winter, that is before January 27 1901) we have Virgo, the place of death and ruled by Hermes which also rules the Deadly Place. What a beauty!
I have not researched this enough and do not know of anyone who has. I am talking about the loosening of the bond in the major levels, that is, every 208 years. Since this is done on the minor levels, it follows that it should be done on the major ones. I think it should be done but do not have proof and Valens does not speak about the mundane level, and since this is real Science, not a mockery of that word (which incidentally means Knowledge), I will post the same Zodical Releasing from Fortune without the loosening of the bond.
This time we have the Moon as the major lord and Kronos as the secondary. It does tie up well, but not as impressive as the one with loosening of the bond.
Let’s see the directions. I have calculated direct D and converse C and am using Ptolemy’s method and key. Zoom a lot to see:
Oo my, the Asc, the body of Tycho Brahe, moved into the confines of Hermes on the 19th of March 1898. I can even afford to ignore the left hexagon of Hermes by converse motion to the Asc on the 26th of September 1900.
For the profections and solar revolution we have the following. In 1900 Tycho Brahe turned 354 years old. I know that 360 is 30 12 year cycles so by subtracting 6 I move from the Horoskopos (I am examining the body) to the setting zoidion (the Dsc). Or I can do it in another way by knocking out 12s. So he was 300 in 1846, then 348 in 1894 and then moving by 6 zoidia I arrive at the setting zoidion.
Of course the 7th is a major place for death in Hellenistic Astrology. What is interesting is that the ruler of the 7th is the Sun and it is conjunct Hermes, the ruler of both deadly places, and the Lot of Death, and the Sun burns Kronos, the lord of the Asc.
There is great activity in the revolution:
Kronos ingresses onto the Sun, the LoY and is conjunct the SR Asc.
Ares ingresses into the 8th of death where the Moon.
The Moon ingresses into the ascending zoidion.
I notice something else, which is extremely significant, but at least for the moment I am not certain how to interpret:
The Nodes of the Moon have made their return.
The SAN in the SR is conjunct natal Kronos, lord of the Asc and killing planet, within 3 portions.
Now I will deliberately make a bigger space for the next date, the next time Tycho Brahe’s grave got opened up, and would like to ask you before seeing what got activated the second time to think about it.
Oo my again! Now, the length of life topic is among my favourite ones in Ancient Astrology and I have done many charts, but even I got goosebumps after seeing so clearly the Hands of the Fates at work!!
The same exact major two levels and again on the loosening of the bond from darkness to light, from Capricorn to Cancer with Virgo the 2nd + the 3rd and 4th are clearly connected as are both ruled by Kronos and the 3rd one contains Hermes, ruler of both places of death and the 4th one has the Horoskopos.
I don’t need that much confirmation, I am perfectly happy with the major period and the year or the part of the year, but to get down to day, that is astounding.
Now, unless one is an animal spirit in a human body or a mechanical creature, one can’t help but be awed by the Fates!!
Again the Aphesis from Fortune without the loosening of the bond:
Here it is exactly the same as the one with the loosening of the bond
Let’s see the directions:
Oo my again! The Asc moved in the confines of Kronos on the 20th of May 2006, but it obviously waited for something (a profection or a revolution or a different one). Well it took some years before the funding got secured, there were organizations involved etc etc, but take a look at the direct left tetragon of Kronos to the MC on the 8th of October 2010. What a beauty!
Of course the profection and the solar revolution reinforced as well:
Since in 1900 Tycho Brahe was in a 7th place year, moving ahead 9 12s we get to 2008 as a 7th place again, so 2009-2010 was a 8th place year for him – simply fantastic! The Moon hands over to Ares.
In the revolution the Moon is partile opposed to its natal portion and curiously is again in the 8th of death.
The natal 7th rises with Ares walking back there.
Zeus, the lord of SR 8th is opposed to the SR Asc.
I know Tycho Brahe died more than 400 years ago, but you see the activation here and it has to be read with this in mind and under the jurisdiction of the general Rulers of the Times (Selene who loosed the bond from Kronos who distributes the Asc).
I again notice some striking testimonies which I am not certain how to interpret:
SR SAN is conjunct natal Kronos within 3 portions and is opposing natal SAN within less than 1 portion
SR Fortuna is partile conjunct natal Tail of the Dragon
As I have not researched his life, I did not consider the Decennials or the Firdaria, but I will say that I noticed striking activations of the Sun in the Decennials (it was active at the time when he died and in both cases when his grave got dug up, twice as a major lord and once as a secondary lord).
As Tycho Brahe was/is a national figure, there must be some connections on the mundane level, that is, in mundane charts or even eclipses, when his grave got dug up twice. I am extremely satisfied with these results. If others would like to try and scrutinize the Hands of the Fates further, they are welcome to do so and I will be glad if I have helped in that direction.
P.S. I should hardly have to write this given that while such materials are being written the first thing that SHOULD come to the mind of readers is Philosophy and Metaphysics, but just in case: I devoted attention to the body of Tycho Brahe, not to his Spirit, which is eternal and left his shell back in 1601. The Essence of “Tycho Brahe” could not care less what was done to the shell once it left it and moved on, which should help those who struggle with the concept of the FateS and what their role is.
Published on the 10th of March 2013, day of the Sun, hour of Ares