Inscription on the tombstone of Elizabeth Barrett Browning
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Prior to this I wrote two papers comparing the astrology of two couples, O.J. and Nicole Brown Simpson, and Jonelle and David Arien. Each of their relationships ended in the death of at least one of them. In those papers we examined the incidence of compound mars/saturn sets (see definition below for compound sets) at the beginning and end of their relationships. Both couples started with several sets, and both ended with at least one additional one, easily accounting for the intense turbulence they experienced.
We also looked at the positive sets they shared. Positive compound sets bring people into relationship. They can also seduce them into staying in a relationship that is fraught with difficulty.
In this paper focus shifts from the synastry of the two malefics—mars and saturn—to that of the two benefics—venus and jupiter. The first two papers suggested that compound mars/saturn sets between charts represent one of the most difficult astrological combinations any couple can experience. Mars and saturn are the lesser and greater malefics, respectively. Their deleterious effect between charts makes sense. To read an expanded description of their effects, read those papers (i.e., Simpson and Arien), their links on the Home Page.
Now we want to find out if the opposite is true when the compound set is comprised of the lesser and greater benefics—venus and jupiter, respectively. Do couples sharing compound venus/jupiter sets have an especially pleasing, harmonious, and, therefore, usually long relationship?
If I were writing about venus and jupiter interacting—i.e., conjunct, square, or opposition each other—within charts, I would state they were “in the same set.” But here we are comparing planets between two charts (also known as synastry). I cannot just call the latter sets because “sets” by definition exist within one chart. I have chosen to label the sets which exist between charts “compound sets.”
A compound set consists of planets from the charts of two individuals that are conjunct, square, or opposition each other, with an orb of 2°. If a light—sun, moon, or node—is involved, orb increases to about 3-1/2°. Compound sets are most powerful when they also include an Angle or a light and least powerful (to the point of hardly mattering) when they include neither.
Any planet can be in a compound set. So far I have presented material involving sets containing mars and saturn, and now, venus and jupiter. They are, respectively, the most deleterious and the most beneficial sets. Using these two types of sets, it is easy to demonstrate that their difference, as reflected in the lives of couples who share them, is extreme.
In this first paper on the compound benefics, I cover the charts of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. In a second paper to follow this one, I will write about the relationship between Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. Other possibilities for the second paper are the relationships between William Randolph Hearst and Marion Davies, between Nancy and Ronald Reagan, and between Queen Victoria and Albert, Prince of England.
Ease, comfort and fondness in relationship is not nearly as dramatic as the extreme discord that immediately precedes homicide. For the latter, I could “get away” with showing only their compound mars/saturn sets as a potent index of their bad results. Compound venus/jupiter in relationship is either more rare, or less noticed than their negative counterparts. Probably the latter. That is, couples with compound venus/jupiter are far less likely to come to public attention than couples with compound mars/saturn. Therefore, to illustrate ease, comfort, love, attraction, and longevity in relationship I have included incidences of venus and/or jupiter of one individual falling on an Angle or light of the other. That is, I am including compound sets of light/venus, Angle/venus, light/jupiter, and Angle/jupiter.
The Brownings met and married in England. They eventually made their home in Florence, Italy, where their charts had different Angles, called Locality Angles. In addition to their synastry for England, we will look at their synastry for Florence.
Before we get to their astrology, I want to say something about this astrological method.
This astrological method is not the traditional Western one. It is not traditional, period. True, it uses sidereal astrology, the predominant (traditional) astrology of the East. It also uses the Egyptian harmonic. Both are quite old. This method started with me in 1983. Its working rules were not inherited. They were uncovered gradually through years of research. As they were uncovered, a system which at first seemed too complex became almost too simple. Here are those rules:
And here are links to my comments on the practical differences between sidereal versus tropical astrology as well as a paper discussing the origin of this method:
Tropical vs. Sidereal Astrology
About This Method
Venus in Individual Charts
Of all the planets, venus stands most for the qualities of harmony, grace, and beauty. Since we all like the experience of harmony, we find whatever produces it attractive, and thus venus is associated with liking and loving.
Venus as it is associated with the 2nd house and Taurus, one of the signs it rules, is correlated with having. For instance, venus in Taurus is a good placement of venus to attract money and quality possessions. It puts an emphasis on beauty and the fine things money can buy.
Venus as it is associated with the 7th house and Libra, the other sign it rules, is correlated with harmony in relationship. Librans demand equality in their relationships and are upset, for instance, with some Leos who consider themselves without equal. Or with Aries, who, more interested in action than agreement, who go to the symphony when they want harmony. Cooperation is important to venus in Libra and venus in general.
Venus is a “soft” planet. It works through allure, charisma, invitation and seduction.
Venus accomplishes things above board through consensus; “below board,” through seduction or persuasion. It is rarely “up front” and “baldly honest”—these types of encounters are painful for venus.
Venus in our charts stands for what we love and are attracted to. Venus in Gemini, for instance, evidences a love (venus) of learning, words, and communication (all Gemini/mercury); love (venus) of youthfulness (Gemini/mercury), and also love (venus) of children (Gemini/mercury). Another example, in Scorpio venus sponsors love (venus) of the occult (8th house/Scorpio) and a love (venus) of intense, transformative (8th house/Scorpio) relationships.
When another’s Angles, moons, or nodes pick up our venuses, they are eliciting our feelings of love and liking, friendliness and sharing.
Jupiter in Individual Charts
In the East they say that jupiter represents the guru. That is, jupiter, by sign and placement in the chart, indicates the area through which the individual can experience considerable learning, growth, expansion, and success.
In its connection with the 9th house and Sagittarius, jupiter is correlated with some apparently non-related subjects—aviation, law, philosophy, higher mind (enlightenment types of things), and equestrianism. The 9th house is always opposite the 3rd house, which has mercury as its natural ruler. Our mercury-learning is serial, that is, it occurs piece by piece by piece. Our jupiter-learning occurs because of a higher grasp of the facts we learned in Gemini. In that way, jupiter stands for perspective and perhaps some times for intuition. Jupiter learning involves distance—more objectivity—regarding any situation. It stands for better comprehension, the wisdom of the over-view. The adjective for jupiter is “Jovian.” A lawyer is not necessarily Jovian, but a jurist is. A politician is often less than Jovian, but a statesman properly lays claim to that title.
When another individual draws on one of our jupiters, he is addressing us in areas we are most successful, most comprehending, most at ease. Therefore, we are kind to him. We can afford to give him plenty of room. We treat his clumsiness with forbearance.
Jupiter in our charts is quite likely the index of our EQ—Emotional Quotient—touted as a better indicator of success (jupiter!!) than intelligence (mercury +).
One individual’s jupiter on another’s Angles is one of the strong indication of a long-term relationship. Love (venus) in relationship is great, but not always dependable. Without philosophical support, without some distance, love can turn to hate. A long union like marriage draws heavily on compassion. That long, philosophical rope is inspired by jupiter.
The best compound jupiter set for long-term relationship occurs when one individual’s jupiter falls on the Descendant (7th house cusp) of the other.
Venus + Jupiter in Individual Charts
Venus and jupiter in the same set (lighted and with Angular influence) within one individual’s chart create a “golden benefic.” Golden benefics are found in the charts of humanity’s most charismatic (venus) and successful (jupiter) individuals. Nearly all of our “superstars” (regardless of their field) got there through the winning combination that is comprised of venus and jupiter together. Their area of success depends on the path they describe. For instance, if one of the houses influenced by the set is the 2nd house, they are quite likely to have an abundance of money.
Since venus represents love and jupiter luck, individuals with these two planets in the same set are lucky in love. Progressions of venus to jupiter, or jupiter to venus often accompany marriage.
Of course, venus and jupiter work together for good best when conjunct, less when square, and hardly at all when opposition (because they are then fighting each other, or commanding attention in two opposing areas), whether in one chart's set, or in compound sets.
Venus + Jupiter in Compound Sets, i.e., in Synastry
Venus and jupiter in the same compound set produce one of the loveliest astrological connections that can exist between two people. Here I have used the synastry of a married couple, the Brownings, but these sets work the same among any two people—boss and employee, siblings, parent and child, friends, and co-workers. They work whether the couple involved is gay or straight.
Venus and jupiter in a compound set between two individuals, then, implies they are successful and/or charismatic as a couple. It could be said they are so harmonious as a couple that they remind us, when we observe them, what a relationship could be.
Interplay of the benefics play a large role in the synastry of attraction. Other astrology is important in synastry but I do not cover it here. I will write more about it a paper on synastry in general. Here is the link: Synastry.
The same moment in time (birth) equates to different moments in time when spread out over the “sphere” called planet Earth. For instance, 5 p.m. in New York City (EST) is the same moment in time as 10 p.m. in London (GMT) (disregarding for the sake of discussion, differences of Local Mean Time from Standard Time). That is, the exact same moment in time translates into different Standard Times all over the globe.
Locality Angles are found for places different from birth (and conception) by finding the equivalent time of birth for the new location and casting the chart for that time using the new longitude and latitude. For instance, if some one was born exactly at 5 hours west of Greenwhich (that is, EST), and moved to a place exactly 7 hours west of Greenwich (i.e., MST), there would be a two hour time difference. If their birth time was 8:00 a.m. EST, then it would have been 6:00 a.m. MST in the new location.
The location of the planets, their degrees, and their positions relative to each other do not change in locality charts. With Locality Charts, only the Angles change.
To illustrate the difference locality can make on Angles, a chart cast for 6:00 a.m. MST would have considerably different birth and conception Midheavens and Ascendants than one cast for 8:00 a.m. EST. Midheavens change one degree approximately every four minutes. A one-hour time difference equates to a 15° difference in Midheavens, while a two hour time difference amounts to 30° (a whole sign). In the locality chart all the planets are moved to different positions relative to the charts Angles. Technically, they move into different houses from the one they occurred in at birth, but I do not emphasize house changes in locality charts, only Angle changes.
Locality Angles can produce positive, negative, or indifferent results. Individuals can move to locations which are better for their lives, i.e., locations which bring out their best points. They can move to locations which bring out their worst points. Or, they can move to locations which seem to make no difference in their lives.
I write with confidence about locality Angles and their progressions because I, myself, have lived in several localities different from birth for many years. During those times I had many occasions to assess the power of birth versus locality Angles. It is through those experiences, as well as years of research, that I have come to the following conclusions regarding locality Angles: (1) birth and conception Angles and their progressions still “work.” (2) So do locality Angles and their progressions. (3) They all share in determining the quality of the individual’s experience in the new location, with one difference. I observed the locality Angles to be slightly more predominant over birth Angles in determining relationships.
For me the surprise was the degree to which progressed locality Angles work.
We want to look at the Browning’s locality Angles for Florence. Locality Angles and their progressions are not new to my papers, either. I wrote about them in, among others, the papers on John McCain, Charles Whitman, and Mike Boorda. I may never write the paper, but locality Angles were instrumental in the death of Chandra Levy.
Before looking at the Browning’s compound sets, we should review standard notation for this form of astrology.
Some Chart Definitions
In the tables below, b stands for birth, c stands for conception, and p for progressed. T stands for transiting. A number following the letters identifies the harmonic chart from which the harmonic planet was taken, e.g., b7 pluto identifies the harmonic of pluto for the 7th chart. All harmonics used are +2 greater than the number of the chart they are applied to. Therefore, the harmonic used for the 7th chart is the ninth, or novienic, harmonic.
MC stands for Midheaven while Asc stands for Ascendant. B-Loc identifies the locality chart for birth, while C-Loc identifies the locality chart for conception. Reasonably, then, pB-Loc MC identifies the progressed locality Midheaven for birth while pC-Loc Asc identifies the progressed locality Ascendant for conception.
Now we can look at some of the synastry in the compound sets which existed between the Ariens. I do not know in which city they met, but assumed it was Louisville, Kentucky, where they were both born. They might have met in San Francisco. Regardless of where they met, their Louisville Angles, because they are the Angles they were born with, would comprise half of their shared compound sets when compared with locality Angles, and at least one-quarter of their shared compound sets before progressions. In this paper most of the chart comparisons are between 7th charts because the 7th chart is strongest in showing relationship
Angles and House Cusps for the Brownings
I have not included drawings of partial charts in this paper, therefore, house cusps are not shown. They are shown below for reference in reading the rest of this paper.
House Cusps for Elizabeth Barrett Browning:
Placidus: C MC—29 Pisces 15, c11—11Tau, c12—22Gem, C Asc—21 Cancer 52, c2—8Leo, c3—29Leo B MC—6 Gemini 53, b11—15Can, b12—14Leo, B Asc—7 Virgo 11, b2—30Vir, b3—29Lib
House Cusps for Robert Browning:
Placidus: C MC—3 Taurus 28, c11—12Gem, c12—15Can, C Asc—12 Leo 02, c2—2Vir, c3—29Vir B MC—24 Virgo 48, b11—19Lib, b12—7Sco, B Asc—23 Scorpio 09, b2—2Cap, b3—19Aqu
Starting Compound Mars/Saturn Sets Between Robert and Elizabeth
Since the Simpson and Arien papers are all about the compound mars/saturn sets that are so very difficult for relationships, I thought I would start by showing those between Robert and Elizabeth. There is one:
|Set (1)||his c7 mars||8 Capricorn 03|
|her c7 saturn||8 Libra 09|
|her b7 mars||9 Cancer 28|
This is their only mars/saturn set. Note that it does not contain a light or an Angle. None of the planets in it rules an Angle. Nor do any of their locality Angles fit into this set. Therefore, its influence is very limited. It is a “background” set. It may come into play when either of them has a light which progresses into it.
The progressing light that influenced this set longest would have been Elizabeth’s progressed birth sun. It reached 8 Aries 01 (from 23 Aquarius 32) on April 1, 1851, and likely operated 4-6 months before that date up to several months after it. It lights not only their compound mars/saturn, but her own mars/saturn set. They were in Italy then. Saturn co-rules (23 of 30°) her 6th house, so it may represent a time she was ill. Or, they could have focused as much as possible on the positive aspects of their marriage and tried to ignore whatever differences came up. I do not have access to her more personal history so that I could identify how this progression expressed.
Starting Compound Venus/Jupiter Sets Between Robert and Elizabeth
The Brownings have one very strong compound venus/jupiter set and one weak one. The very strong one involves two Angles.:
|Set (2)||her B Asc||7 Virgo 11|
|her b venus||6 Pisces 20|
|his c7 jupiter||6 Pisces 48|
|her B MC||6 Gemini 53|
Set (2) is very benefic for relationship, especially Elizabeth’s venus falls on her Descendant—that is, 7th house cusp of relationships—and Robert’s jupiter conjoins it. (We can also see it from the point of view of Elizabeth’s chart, which provides a venus and Angle for Robert’s jupiter.) Both individuals will experience the blessings—comfort, ease, joy, sharing—of the venus/jupiter conjunction, particularly through relationship (7th cusp).
|Set (2-a)||his c jupiter||4 Gemini 05|
|his b venus||9 Gemini 34|
Set (2-a) would be added to Set (1) whenever a progressing light of either of them was in the vicinity—around 4-7° of the mutable signs. Progressions of suns, moon, and nodes and all of the harmonics could provide that light.
But Robert’s c jupiter also fits into a light/venus of Elizabeth to form a weak golden benefic:
|Set (3)||her c7 sun||1 Virgo 49|
|her b7 sun||1 Virgo 49|
|her c7 venus||1 Virgo 04|
|his c jupiter||4 Gemini 05|
Set (3) lacks an Angle and none of its planets rule an Angle, therefore it is weak.
As it is, Robert Browning has his own golden benefic. His birth moon at 12 Pisces 14 forms one with his b venus at 9 Gemini 34 (Set (2-a) above) and his birth jupiter at 12 Gemini 19. B venus co-rules (19 of 24°) b 10th house.
Starting Compound Venus/Light, Venus/Angle, Jupiter/Light, and Jupiter/Angle Sets Between Robert and Elizabeth
Lots of couples do not have compound venus/jupiter sets. The sets in this section are vitally important in promoting good marriages.
Every time one individual provides a light (that is, it fits into a set) for another individual, she vivifies the latter’s planets in that set. This is true even if the latter individual already had lights in his set. The more lights, the more vivified. :
|Set (4)||his c venus||25 Gemini 36|
|Set||his c7 SN||23 Virgo 32|
|his B MC||24 Virgo 48|
|her b7 mercury||23 Gemini 58|
|her c SN||25 Gemini 07|
|her c uranus||25 Gemini 09|
Set (4) shows his venus conjunct her South Node, both sharing the birth Midheaven (B MC).
|Set (5)||her c moon||25 Aries 16|
|his b sun||25 Aries 00|
|his b7 venus||26 Aries 03|
|his b7 mercury||26 Aries 19|
In Set (5) we see Elizabeth’s conception moon in the same set with Robert’s birth harmonic venus.
|Set (6)||his c7 neptune||28 Pisces 00R|
|his c7 moon||29 Pisces 43|
|her C MC||29 Pisces 15|
|her b7 venus||27 Sagittarius 01R|
His conception harmonic moon is in the same set with her birth harmonic venus with her C MC.
|Set (7)||her c venus||13 Taurus 27|
|her c sun||13 Taurus 32|
|his C Asc||12 Leo 02|
|his b NN||13 Leo 16|
Elizabeth’s conception venus is lighted (again) by his birth North Node and made Angular by his conception Ascendant.
|Set (8)||his B Asc||23 Scorpio 09|
|his c7 mercury||23 Taurus 48|
|her c7 mercury||21 Taurus 39R|
|her b7 NN||22 Scorpio 07|
|her b7 jupiter||22 Scorpio 58|
|her b sun||23 Aquarius 32|
Two of her lights (b7 NN and b sun) and her jupiter are picked up by his B Asc.
|Set (9)||her c7 SN||16 Virgo 06|
|her c saturn||17 Virgo 34|
|her b moon||19 Virgo 12|
|c7 uranus||16 Sagittarius 20R|
|her c7 moon||17 Pisces 26|
|his c7 venus||20 Virgo 27|
|her b7 saturn||19 Sagittarius 47R|
In Set (9) Elizabeth provides three lights for Robert’s conception harmonic venus.
The synastry of the Brownings birth/conception charts contained 1-1/2 compound golden benefics. Each gave a jupiter to the other’s Angle, with one of Robert’s jupiters on Elizabeth’s 7th house cusp. Each provided some lights and some Angles for the other’s venuses.
Summing, they started with eight compound benefic sets, including one compound golden benefic. (This number does not include any progressions or their locality Angles for Florence.)
David Arien killed his wife, Jonelle, and then himself. They started with four compound mars/saturn sets—before progressions, and before locality Angles. In earlier papers I referred to mars/saturn sets as dark malefics. I am not happy with the term but use it to represent, so-to-speak, the “opposite” of golden benefic.
We could consider the Browning’s Angle/venus, light/venus, Angle/jupiter, and light/jupiter (numbering 6 altogether) as “half” golden benefics (because they lack either a venus or a jupiter). Half their number would be three. Added to the complete golden benefic involving her birth Angles, then, the Brownings started with four compound “golden benefics.”
Roughly speaking, in terms of dark malefics and golden benefics, the Ariens, who had a short, violent relationship started with four compound dark malefics.
The Brownings, who loved deeply and were separated only by her natural death, started with sets approximating four compound golden benefics.
In addition to other indications of marriage, when the Browning’s tied the knot on September 12, 1846, Robert’s progressed C MC was at 7 Gemini 17 and his progressed C Asc at 7 Virgo 25 (un-rectified chart), fitting into Set (2) above, their outstanding compound golden benefic.
We want to take a look at compound sets for their locality Angles for Florence, Italy.
Locality Angles for Florence
The Brownings moved to Europe soon after their marriage, eventually settling in Florence, Italy.
|Set (10)||her B-Loc MC||19 Gemini 20|
|her B-Loc Asc||17 Virgo 19|
Set (10) fits into Set ( 9) above, giving it two Angles and thereby bringing it forefront by locality. These are the only saturns—one for each of them—made Angular by their move to Florence.
I am unsure how to interpret Sets (9) + (10). I suspect it worked out that they were able to subject their love (venus) to hard work (saturn) and duty (venus/saturn) in accomplishing their mutual goals of each maintaining his or her passionate involvement in writing poetry.
Because Set (10) also highlights Elizabeth’s node/moon/moon/saturn [in Set (9)], it might also have had some negative influence on her health (moon/saturn). But their relationship was so special that for a long time after their marriage her health improved. They had almost fifteen years together before her death.
Set (11): Robert’s B-Loc Asc was at 10 Sagittarius 04, providing an Angle for his own golden benefic consisting of b moon at 12 Pisces 14, b venus at 9 Gemini 34, and b jupiter at 12 Gemini 19. It also provided an Angle for Elizabeth’s b NN at 12 Sagittarius 27 and her b jupiter at 12 Sagittarius 33.
Two more compound sets formed with locality Angles are especially interesting:
|Set (12)||her C-Loc Asc||24 Cancer 32|
|her c moon||25 Aries 16|
|his b sun||25 Aries 00|
|his b7 venus||26 Aries 03|
|his b7 mercury||26 Aries 19|
|his b7 uranus||25 Libra 18.|
Except for her C-Loc Asc, the rest of Set (12) is the same as Set (5) above. I reproduced it here to make a different point. Light/mercury/venus influencing an Angle and 3rd house is a crucial part (about ¾) of the signature for poets. Mercury stands for language and speech, and venus for beautiful form (and often times + saturn, which also stands for form). Set (12) contains Robert’s signature for poetry. In it mercury rules B MC and uranus rules b 3rd house.
So, Set (12) shows that one of Elizabeth’s locality Angles “supported” Robert’s poetic self.
|Set (13)||her C-Loc MC||14 Taurus 19 Gemini 20|
|her c sun||13 Taurus 32|
|her c venus||13 Taurus 27|
|her b mercury||16Aquarius|
One of Elizabeth’s other locality Angles, C-Loc MC seen in Set (13), “supported” her own poetic self. In the set above, b mercury rules B Asc which is in c 3rd house. It also rules B MC. C sun rules c 3rd house.
The other part of the signature for poets is lights in Pisces. Elizabeth has her c7 moon in Pisces conjunct her c7 NN (17 Pisces 26 and 16 Pisces 06, respectively)
Robert has his c7 moon in Pisces (Set (6), above). Robert’s harmonic suns are at 15 Pisces 02.
The Browning had an unusually good synastry. It was nearly “equal” in that each drew on the benefics of the other, implying love and patience flowed both ways.
They had very little negative synastry, only one very weak compound mars/saturn. The only “insoluble” problem they seemed to have was Elizabeth’s health, and even that appears to have been handled with as much vigor and realism as possible.
Although other astrological factors play a role in determining the quality of a relationship, the synastry of mars/saturn and venus/jupiter between charts cover the range from very difficult to very harmonious. In that sense, they are good indices of failed and successful relationships. So far I have written about two highly “failed” marriages (Simpsons and Ariens) and one very successful one (the Brownings). At this point the next step is to examine more relationships to see if these indices hold up.
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