Ebinezor Sibly: QUESTION III. Of an ABSENT SON, whether DEAD or ALIVE (1790)
The Horary Examples of Ebinezor Sibly (1790, 1817)
Text Copyright 2007 J. Lee Lehman
Note here that this delineation in part turns on the use of the fourth house as the end-of-the-matter, a somewhat vexed subject in horary astrology. Having said this, given the literalness of the usage, I do find the application here to follow the classical style closely. One thing that does strike me about Sibly’s delineations is that he often pushes the chain of dispositors further than one would expect Lilly to do.
Reference: Sibly, Ebinezer. 1817. A New and Complete Illustration of the Celestial Science of Astrology; or the Art of fortelling future Events and Contingencies by the Aspects, Positions and Influences of the Heavenly Bodies. The Proprietor, at #17, Ave-Maria Lane, St. Pauls: London. (12th, or Posthumous Edition).
QUESTION III. Of an ABSENT SON, whether DEAD or ALIVE.
Ebinezor Sibly, pp 331-333
A poor woman applied to me in the greatest distress of mind, on account of her son, who had turned out wild, and gone to sea without the consent of his friends. He had been absent a considerable time, without ever once so far reflecting on the disconsolate situation of his parent, as to be induced to address a line to her, to remove her anxiety, or to state his own prospects and pursuits. It was the woman’s constant practice to make inquiry after him among the sea-faring people, till at length she heard an imperfect story of some engagement abroad, in which her son was reported to be killed. Upon this unpleasant news she requested me to inform her, by the rules of Astrology, whether her son was dead or alive; or whether the account she heard was true or false. Her uneasiness of mind was too apparent for me to doubt her sincerity, or to suppose the question not fit to be adjudged; and therefore I erected this figure, and gave my opinion thereon as follows:
In this figure Virgo rises upon the ascendant, and Mercury, lord thereof, and significator of the querent, is posited in the twelfth house of affliction and sorrow. The fifth house of the figure is here considered as her son’s first or ascendant; and Saturn, lord thereof, is his significator, and is posited in the fourth angle, or imum coeli, which represents the grave and the termination of all things. Saturn is also in conjunction with the Part of Fortune in the fourth, both of which are disposed of by Jupiter, and Jupiter by Mars; which malefic planet possesses the son’s first house or ascendant in his exaltation, and in opposition to the Sun and Venus in the seventh, which is the house of open enemies and war.
From these configurations I drew the inferences following: That Mercury, the querent’s significator, by being posited in the twelfth house, plainly showed her fears were too well grounded. That Saturn, significator of the quesited, and the Part of Fortune, being both disposed of by Jupiter, and this planet disposed of by Mars, indicates all their benevolent effects to be destroyed by the malignant influence of this infortune. Mars being in the Sun’s ascendant, in his exaltation, and in opposition to Sol, is a strong argument of a violent death: the kind and manner of which are thus described. Saturn, his significator, is posited in the fiery sign Sagittarius; and Leo, which occupies the cusp of his eighth, and Aires, the cusp of his fourth, are also in the fiery triplicity; the Sun, the giver of life, and light of time, is posited in the watery sign Cancer, disposed of by the Moon in the watery sign Pisces, and the Moon by Jupiter in the watery sign Scorpio; and the whole of their influences are transferred to the fiery planet Mars, in his ascendant. From these circumstances it became obvious to me that the youth was no longer in existence; and that his death happened upon the water, by means of some fatal warlike instrument, and in some desperate engagement with an open enemy.
The querent then asked me if I could give her any satisfactory account how long ago this happened. I took down the degree and minutes of the two principal significators, viz, the Sun and Mars, and subtracted the one from the other, which gave four degrees five minutes for the remainder; and this being converted into times by the rules laid down for moveable signs, in which the above significators were posited, I informed her the accident had befallen her son somewhat more than a month before she heard the news of it. Some time afterwards a ship arrived with an account of the engagement, which happened on the coast of France, and confirmed the whole of this judgment.