“Do me a favor, get that Ian Stewart book* from my bag. Thanks.”
Opens the book and indicates a page. “Now read it aloud from here.”
She reads it aloud, “Like many mathematicians of the period, Girolamo** practiced astrology, and he notes the astrological circumstances surrounding his birth:
‘Although various abortive medicines – as I have heard – were tried in vain, I was normally born on the 24th day of September in the year 1500, when the first hour of the night was more than half run but less than two-thirds… Mars was casting an evil influence on each luminary because of the incompatibility of their positions, and its aspect was square to the moon.
…I could easily have been a monster, except for the fact that the place of the preceding conjunction had been 29 degrees in Virgo, over which Mercury is the ruler and neither this planet nor the position of the moon or the ascendant is the same nor does it apply to the second decanate of Virgo; consequently I ought to have been a monster, and indeed was so near it that I came forth literally torn from my mother’s womb.
So I was born, or rather taken by violent means from my mother; I was almost dead. My hair was black and curly. I was received in a bath of warm wine which might have been fatal to any other child. My mother had been in labor for three entire days, and yet I survived.’”
“What does he mean?”
“Let’s look at his chart in Solar Fire. You know his place of birth?”
“Solar Fire says 1500 OS and Astro.com says 1500 gerg. Old Style and Gregorian? There is a difference of 10 days. Solar Fire has Sun at 10 Libra and Astro.com has Sun at 0 Libra.”
“The French moved from the Julian to the Gregorian in 1582 (OS).”
“I think the OS shows the correct chart. Sun at 0 Libra conjunct Mars at 1 Libra. That’s fits with what he says about the preceding conjunction being at 29 Virgo. But I don’t see the Moon squaring Mars in either chart.”
“There were all astrologers these mathematicians, Copernicus, Kepler. Even Bhaskara. And Newton was an alchemist.
What does he mean by, ‘Mars was casting an evil influence on each luminary…?’”
“That he was bad-tempered, picked fights with people or that others picket fights with him.”
“He used to wear a disguise and go out into the night looking for duels.”
“According to the Net he was born in 1501.”
“But Stewart quotes him. Surely, he would know his own year of birth.”
“Well, there is the that Sun-Mars conjunction at 0 Libra, right after the 29th degree of Virgo.”
“I’m quoting what you said about him knowing his own year of birth.”
“But it maybe a mistake in Stewart’s book, right? I’ll check what the Britannica says.”
“But, no! We have his chart, right? And neither the OS nor the Gregorian chart works if you use 1501.”
*Why Beauty Is Truth, Ian Stewart, 2007, Basic Books, USA