William Blake (Symons)/Blake's Horoscope
|←From Lady Charlotte Bury's Diary||Blake's Horoscope by
as published in William Blake (Symons) 1907
|Obituary Notices in the 'Literary Gazette' and 'Gentleman's Magazine'→|
(IV.) BLAKE'S HOROSCOPE
[Blake's horoscope was cast during his lifetime in Urania, or, the Astrologer's Chronicle, and Mystical Magazine; edited by Merlinus Anglicanus, jun., the Astrologer of the Nineteenth Century, assisted by the Metropolitan Society of Occult Philosophers (No. 1, London, 1825), the first and only number of an astrological magazine, published under the pseudonym of Merlinus Anglicanus by R. C. Smith, an astrologer of the period, and it is highly probable, as Dr. Garnett suggests, that the date (confirmed by the birth register at St. James's, Westminster) was derived from Varley, who would have had it from Blake himself. I give the map, not as it is printed in the book, but in the clearer and simpler form in which it was copied and given to me by Dr. Garnett. I am told that the most striking thing in the map, from an astrological point of view, is the position and aspect of Uranus, the occult planet, which indicate in the highest degree 'an inborn and supreme instinct for things occult,' without showing the least tendency towards madness. The 'Nativity of Mr. Blake' is the last entry, p. 70.]
NATIVITY OF MR BLAKE,
THE MYSTICAL ARTIST
The above horoscope is calculated for the estimate time of birth, and Mr. Blake, the subject thereof, is well known amongst scientific characters, as having a most peculiar and extraordinary turn of genius and vivid imagination. His illustrations of the Book of Job have met with much and deserved praise; indeed, in the line which this artist has adopted, he is perhaps equalled by none of the present day. Mr. Blake is no less peculiar and outré in his ideas, as he seems to have some curious intercourse with the invisible world; and, according to his own account (in which he is certainly, to all appearance, perfectly sincere), he is continually surrounded by the spirits of the deceased of all ages, nations, and countries. He has. so he affirms, held actual conversations with Michael Angelo, Raphael, Milton, Dryden, and the worthies of antiquity. He has now by him a long poem nearly finished, which he affirms was recited to him by the spirit of Milton; and the mystical drawings of this gentleman are no less curious and worthy of notice, by all those whose minds soar above the cloggings of this terrestrial element, to which we are most of us too fastly chained to comprehend the nature and operations of the world of spirits.
Mr. Blake's pictures of the last judgment, his profiles of Wallace, Edward the Sixth, Harold, Cleopatra, and numerous others which we have seen, are really wonderful for the spirit in which they are delineated. We have been in company with this gentleman several times, and have frequently been not only delighted with his conversation, but also filled with feelings of wonder at his extraordinary faculties; which, whatever some may say to the contrary, are by no means tinctured with superstition, as he certainly believes what he promulgates. Our limits will not permit us to enlarge upon this geniture, which we merely give as an example worthy to be noticed by the astrological student in his list of remarkable nativities. But it is probable that the extraordinary faculties and eccentricities of idea which this gentleman possesses, are the effects of the Moon in Cancer in the twelfth house (both sign and house being mystical), in trine to Herschell from the mystical sign Pisces, from the house of science, and from the mundane trine to Saturn in the scientific sign Aquarius, which latter planet is in square to Mercury in Scorpio, and in quintile to the Sun and Jupiter, in the mystical sign Sagittarius. The square of Mars and Mercury, from fixed signs, also, has a remarkable tendency to sharpen the intellects, and lay the foundation of extraordinary ideas. There are also many other reasons for the strange peculiarities above noticed, but these the student will no doubt readily discover.