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The Astrologer's Newsletter - January/February 2009

David Fisher's Data Corner

John Milton
December 2008 saw the 400th anniversary of the birth of the poet John Milton. His greatest poem is the 10,565-line epic Paradise Lost, but despite the work's attempt to justify the ways of God to men, its most interesting and beguiling character is Satan, for which Milton was much criticised - of the Devil's party without knowing it said fellow poet William Blake.

Milton began writing early, experimenting with various styles. While still in his twenties he produced L'Allegro, reflecting on poetic inspiration; Comus, which is a masque; and Lycidas, an elegy on the death of a young man. However, in 1639 he largely gave up poetry for political and religious pamphleteering. Hesupported Cromwell during the Civil War but overwork damaged his sight and by 1651 he was blind.

Milton became disillusioned after the Restoration of Charles II in 1660 and he returned to poetry, eventually producing his two other masterpieces, Paradise Regained and Simon Agonistes, both published in 1671. He died 8 November 1674. The most telling configuration in his birthchart is Mercury conjunct Venus in Capricorn trine Neptune in Virgo.

JOHN MILTON: 9 December 1608 O.S. (19 December 1608 N.S.); London (51N30 0W10). The precise time is not known but Dr Johnson's Life of Milton states, "between 6 and 7 in the morning. "


Further to my piece about the Mitford sisters in the last issue of Transit, I received a letter from David Hamblin who writes: ". . . According to the biography Diana Mosley by Anne de Courcy, she was born at two o'clock on 17 June 1910 in London. Unfortunately, de Courcy doesn't say whether this was am or pm."

Equally frustrating is the case of comedian Russell Brand who recently sent obscene phone calls to actor Andrew Sachs. He was born 4 June 1975 in Grays, Essex (51N29 0E20). David tells me that the comedian gave his time of birth as "midnight." Unfortunately - yes, you've guessed it - Brand did not indicate whether it was the midnight of 3/4 or 4/5 June. The second is the likelier of the two, since most people refer to midnight as the end rather than the beginning of the day.

David has also sent me the full data of Paul O'Grady: 14 June 1955; Tranmere, near Birkenhead (53N24 3W02); 7:30 am BST (06:30 GMT). Source: His autobiography At My Mother's Knee ....And Other Low Joints.