Regents, Admirals - and the Royal Astrologers

Copyright © 2004   -
Published in the AMH Journal, September 2005 (8th ed., No. 4)

All through history, in fact all the way up till the 19th century, astrology might be as much involved in politics as for instance financial regards - and it was also a very widespread and natural factor in philosophy of life and in the normal day, e.g. like religion is. Astrology is hardly known in history books - this equals to for instance avoiding mentioning of large parts of the Catholic Church era in Cultural History.


The Philosophers’ School in Athens, painted by Raphael. Here, the
 learned debated both star knowledge and mathematical astronomy.

Aristotle about “the Planets in the Sky, Which We Call Gods”

Once kings had in their service special persons as advisers who ”knew a thing or two”. Persian and Babylonian kings hired astrologers as wise men. They were same kind of learned priests as the magoi (magicians who were stargazers) mentioned in the Bible for having observed and interpreted the meaning of the so-called “Star of Bethlehem”.

 As king and general, Alexander the Great had among his advisers an Indian Yogi and a Syrian female fortune-teller, during his great expedition and at the same time he was corresponding with his former teacher, Aristotle, the Philosopher, about for instance “… the planets in the sky, which we call gods …”, as one of the letters from Aristotle is saying.
Plutarch, Greek writer (46-127), mentions the birth of Alexander the Great and refers to the Leo constellation. Alexander the Great was born on a certain day (i.e. 20th July 354 BC), when the Basilisk, i.e. Basiliscus (Regulus), the main star of Leo, was passed in a close conjunction by the Sun. In the star mythological tradition of that time this was considered possible under the right circumstances to be attached to a very famous carrier.
Through times many historical decisions and consequences have been based on conclusions made by astrologers or on astrological considerations. For instance when the Greek fleet in the 500th century BC did not attack the upheaval in Southern Italy - until then dominated by Greece - in fear of a lunar eclipse and in this way causing that these Greek colonies were lost forever allowing for the rise of the Roman Empire. (By the way, the only small spots where ancient Greek is still being spoken are in these areas).

Or when Emperor Charles V’s astrologer made a prophecy about a personal disaster for the emperor due to a huge comet in 1555, which now made Charles V fearfully pass on (to his son) the throne, the title, and the entire empire, i.e. the majority of Western Europe, and then went into hiding in a monastery, where he passed away five years later.


Greek horoscope cast by Rethorius in 497 AD in the Byzantine era,
 and its close relations to ancient knowledge, and where even the East
Roman Christians leader, the Emperor, had his horoscope cast.

Magallan Had Astrologers on the First Circumnavigation

When a king had astrologers as advisers, then his generals, governors, admirals, etc, did ofte hire also such a perhaps indispensable “calculator” of the mysterious ways of providence. In September 1519, when Magallan (Magalhães, Magallanes), the leader of the first circumnavigation departed on his expedition lasting several years with his men and his ships, one his preparations of highest importance was bringing his astrologer with him.

 This appointment, ranging far above that of the ship’s doctor, was even considered so important that he ranged above the navigator. Andreas de San Martin, the Astrologer of the Magellan staff, had a position corresponding to that of a senior grade captain on a modern flagship.

When the Magellan expedition was half way through the difficult and dangerous strait, which since then had his name, at the southern point of South America, he had to wait for six days for the “San Antonio”, one of his ships, which did not appear. When there was no trace of the ship, the voyage was resumed, as Magellan was very sure that it would not appear. Because he was eager to know the fate of the ship he had ordered his astrologer to work with the horoscope of the ship in order to know its fate.

Apparently, San Martin, the Astrologer, was good at his job, because when he had computed the necessary calculations, he reported that the crew of the missing ship had raised a mutiny, captured the captain and headed back now the course bound for Europe. When the Magellan expedition finally arrived in Europe in September 1522, they learned that this was exactly what had happened.


Navigating in relation to the stars, but the solar altitude must be measured at daytime.

Columbus and the Solar Eclipse

When some years prior to the Magellan expedition Columbus started an expedition, and “discovered America” in October 1492, he did not bring an astrologer - because he could handle this himself. For a shipmaster of that time - experienced in navigation, and accustomed to position computing based on computing and observations of the mutual positions of the stars and the celestial bodies - it was a short step to also cast horoscopes. Lunar tables, computed and drawn up by him, are still preserved.

 His knowledge was here a great advantage to him in connection with the appearance of the full moon a few days before he observed land - America - one of the islands. This happened at a time when the crew did not believe in a result anymore, and they dared not continue, so the situation was close to mutiny. So it was almost a reality that Columbus was not to discover America.

Later - on another island - he survived by startling and impressing the natives by being able to predict a solar eclipse occurring exactly according to his computing and information. Later this Columbus idea has been well used - for instance by H. Rider Haggard in his book, “The Mines of King Solomon” (1885), and by Mark Twain, and even by Hergé, the Illustrator of “Tintin”.


Astrology Prohibited in New French Science, But Not With the King

When the Royal French Science Academy was founded in 1666 astrology was expressively excluded - a decree masterminded by Colbert, the Royal Eminence. As adviser he did not want any competition. Consequently Morin de Ville France was the last official French Astrologer.

 However, this matter did not prevent French kings from using astrology for still some time. King Louis XIV used astrological symbols everywhere, when he performed as the “Sun King”. And his son, Louis XV, had his lifetime duration predicted by the astrologer - in diplomatic terms, “His Majesty may still expect to participate in such and such a great number of Earth rotations”, as 8-10,000 rotations (days) would then after all sound of having more time than for instance some twenty years.

 On several later occasions the royal doctor for instance was surprised when he entered the royal apartments to see the Majesty turn round and round like a ballet dancer.  The king explained that with each “turn ‘backwards’ he expected to annul an Earth rotation in order to live so much longer”.


Rulers and leaders considered it important to have their horoscope cast. Wallenstein, one of
the great generals of the thirty year war, had his horoscope (above) cast by Johannes Kepler.

Napoleon about the ’Influence of His Destiny Star’

Napoleon is one of history’s best documented figures. Simply everything was recorded by his staff officers, who were around him all the time - everything he said, wrote, ate, met, place, time, etc, etc. Despite Napoleon’s immense self-conceit about his own abilities, he often spoke about dependence or influence from his “destiny star” or “lucky star”. Like many other historical leaders he might also have consulted astrologers? This, however, is as undocumented as claiming his visit to the Great Pyramid. His officer secretaries may - just in case - have found it too embarrassing to the great general; it is not recorded, probably not even indirectly, in the big volumes that were the result of the recordings.

 Nevertheless it appears from these recordings that Napoleon - although he was a great strategist, a cool analyst, a brilliant mathematician, etc, - eliminated all this and other logical considerations, when he was appointing new generals, whereas he always examined and asked as the only important thing, “Is he in luck?”

 When Napoleon started from Elba it was obvious to everybody that this last desperate attempt to return - the famous “100 days” - was simultaneous with the appearance of a new comet in the sky. The culmination of the comet took place at the same time as the successful reappearance of Napoleon. And the comet turns and is gradually disappearing, while he was defeated at Waterloo in 1815. The last time it could be seen in the sky was exactly on the day when he was detained as a life prisoner at the island of St. Helena.

 Which star was Napoleon’s “destiny star”? Was it that he was born on 15th August, 1769? This means that Napoleon was born on a certain day, when Basiliscus/Regulus, the main star of Leo, was passed by the sun only 3 degrees away (an open conjunction). And again, by the star mythological tradition of the past such would - under the right circumstances - be considered as attached to a very famous carrier.


Napoleon talked frequently about the influence of his “destiny star”.


Also Modern History - Presidents Use Astrology

During the first years of the war, via his staff members, Hitler used Karl E. Krafft, the Swiss Astrologer and Nostrademus Interpreter. Highranking person among the Nazi staff used Krafft, when they read his sensationally favourable prophecies to Hitler, a prospect strongly inspired by interpretation of Nostrademus.
When Rudolf Hess, the follower in the staff, escaped, Krafft became unpopular and died in a concentration camp. In due time Krafft had published, ”Über ältere u. älteste Ausgaben d. Propheties” and ”Einführung z.d. Propheties d. M. M. Nostradamus” (both Fkf.a.M., 1940). During World War II, British Intelligence hired Louis de Wohl, a former Hungarian-German Astrologer escaped from Berlin, in order to find out what Krafft and others might have advised contacts within the Hitler staff to do.


Karl Krafft (1900-1945), Hitler’s “court astrologist”.

Today, royal weddings, accessions to the throne, etc, in modern Asia’s monarchies for instance in Thailand, Nepal, Sikkhim and other countries are still taking place according to the advice of astrologers. Bangla Desh was officially proclaimed a new state at an astrological time. In Tibet certain persons with special abilities were employed directly as professional state oracles in the same way as this happened several thousand years ago in Ancient Egypt.

 In 1959, when Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Head, at last wanted to escape because of the gradual Chinese invasion and capture of the country, he was at first persuaded to withdraw for some time in a monastery at the Indian border, because the state oracle (who used different methods, even also a kind of astrology) advised him not to leave the country.

 Through all world history astrologers and other prophets have been for sale in the political game - often threatened to produce fine prospects for propagandistic purposes. This was also the case here, because later the state oracle was proved to have been bribed by the Chinese. This is confirmed from a reliable source, as I have been personally acquainted for 6 years - until 1976 - with Prince Peter of Greece and Denmark; he was educated as an Ethnographer and was a friend and confidential of Dalai Lama, and was, at that time, one of only two Danes who spoke Tibetan (the other was MSc Erik Haar).

 In a book Nehru, India’s first President, has published his correspondence with Indira Gandhi, his daughter, who later became India’s President. In a letter his advice to her is to confer with her horoscope or have it cast, in case she has not done that already.

 Many American presidents - from John F. Kennedy (1961-1963) and onwards have made use of Jeanne Dixon, the astrologically orientated medium, who not only published prophecies as press information but was a frequent visitor in The White House, the presidential residence in Washington DC. Later the president (1981-1989) Ronald Reagan and especially his wife, Nancy, were often criticized in the media for consulting too much with an (this) astrologer.


Arab astronomers and astrologers.


Royal Astrologer behind Arab Oil Agreement

During the last years of World War II - in the days following the famous conference on 4th-12th February, 1945, between Roosevelt, Stalin, and Churchill in the south Russian town of Jalta on the Crimean coast - the American president headed home. He made a detour, however, and had a conference on board the “USS Murphy”, the American destroyer, off the Arab coast, with King Abdul Azis, called Ibn Saud, of Saudi Arabia.

 In this way a strong western connection to this - so far mainly British - sphere of interest was established as a counterbalance against the increasing Russian influence in oil country Persia, an insecurity not granted any solution in the Yalta agreements, as they primarily established the political spread of interests going to rule Europe after the war.

 In this way the Russians created a number of western buffer states - the Slavonic countries - but they continued to look hungrily over the southern borders. So the Americans had to act quickly and establish some strategic placed Islamic countries as their allies, e.g. by, shortly after, making Turkey (on 23rd February) and Egypt (on 24th February) turn against Germany. On 3rd March Saudi Arabia declared war against Germany and Japan - of course only a practically formality. However, it was now with this underlying American initiative causing that the USA got a “legitimate” excuse for bringing advisers into action - thus anticipating the Russians.

It was thus a very important mission by this detour via Saudi Arabia on the return. By this occasion it was possible to experience the adventurous contract between the huge destroyer of the technological West and the incarnated medieval times: in the harbour of Yedda the royal barge was sailing out with the three most important persons on board. It was followed by a boat carrying 48 persons of the at that time largest royalty (56 sons) carrying whole lambs to barbecue in a fire on the foredeck of the US destroyer now equipped with a tent, genuine oriental carpets, and a throne. The Saudi Arabian king wearing all his vestments then embarked the destroyer followed by his Treasurer and his “Privy Councellor”, i.e. his royal astrologist, who was considered an equal important and indispensable expert. They were welcomed by President Roosevelt.

 At a distance and at a later time following many more, threatening oil crises and slumps of the dollar exchange rates - reflections gave way to knowing better for the first time what once was created between the USA and Saudi Arabia and the evident strings connecting these in so many ways yet so different countries.
 Because it is a fact that these oil agreements - world historically crucial - between the USA and Saudi Arabia, which were later to become very important main keys to world economy, were created with valid participation of the royal Saudi Arabian astrologer. Only later the British heard about the meeting. Some days later an annoyed British delegation met with the Saudis. British influence was decreasing from that moment. Yet the king had a Rolls Royce (with a left-hand steering wheel he did not like) as a gift, but the Americans had already outdone them by giving him a small airplane.

 The version of these oil agreements in Saudi Arabia in the days following 12th February, 1945, were fundamental, but have, from this basis, later been revised many times. The first so-called “oil crisis” took place on 2nd October, 1973, when the crucial word from Saudi Arabia, Persia(Iran, and five other Middle East oil countries started an embargo, i.e. for a period cut off the oil export to the USA and Europe.


The tall person in the middle of the picture: King Ibn Saud Abdul Aziz, in Damman in 1939.

A Cyclic Turn Around - Known From All Tradition

What have been the thoughts of the Saudi Arabian astrologer about the oil crisis? Middle East astrology is based especially on ancient traditions. According to handed over ancient systems and  general rules from Antiquity, such an astrologer would have tried to explain the circumstances by the fact that on the mentioned crucial day of “crisis” in 1973, the planet Saturn had, according to the ancient tradition is connected to “fate” and “blocking effect”, just completed its characteristic cycle.

By this, consequently Saturn had reached what is called its “critical 28-29 year turnaround”, where importance would have been paid to the fact that Saturn had now entered into exactly the same position as it had when the contract had been signed. In the junction (“knot”) between the ecliptic and the descending lunar orbit could be exposed another factor which according to tradition could be “problematic”.

When the embargo was cancelled again on 14th March, 1990, thus ending the oil crisis, there is on this date an amazing accordance of conjunctions and contacts between the planet positions, lunar ”knots” etc with those on 28th May, 1901, when the British (the later BP oil company) achieved and started their first concession in Iran (Persia). From here they quickly were taking this kind of control all over the majority of the Middle East and Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, etc, -  and on the Arabian Peninsula: Oman, Aden, and Yemen became protectorates. However, after the peaceful American “invasion” of Saudi Arabia in 1945, the British role, as mentioned, had been concluded forever and taken over by the superpower.

Based on traditional works of for instance ancient astrologers, like Ptolemy and Manillus, and   presented with these methods, an ancient astronomer confronting the present case would have noted a “chain reaction” taking shape, from the day when access was given to the oil in 1901. There were specific, planetary common characteristics when corresponding new access was given in 1990. Independent of and without the ancient astrology, American universities are at present to a large extent seriously researching in cyclic relations and pattern-parallelisms.

 Once again world historical politics and international development appear with many irrational or ’exotic’ features of less easily explainable actions escaping the insight of analysts and political experts. This concerns several conditions - in this case astrology - quite far from what once might superficially have looked as the fight between two great problematic economical systems of the 20th century both reaching out for the Middle East.

World History Again Touched by the ‘Basilisk’

Colonel Eddy was attached to President Roosevelt as his AidedeCamp and Secretary, and had published his diary about the meetings at Yalta and on board the American destroyer. Later, other papers have been released by Washington publishing them as part of the “Diplomatic Papers”-series. Both King Ibn Saud with his rheumatism and Roosevelt with his paralyses were bound to use wheelchairs sometimes, and on board the king received as a present a folding wheelchair - typical of American efficiency and ideal for traveling. Also in this way the two leaders got on familiar terms. An important issue in their discussions was the question about the future of the Jews after the world war soon to end.

 The Bible’s book of “Exodus” (37:9-37) says that Joseph (son of Jacob) interprets a dream in which the sun, the moon, and 11 stars (constellations) for a moment perform like being his subjects. His brothers’ reaction is to throw him into an empty well and then sell him to a caravan heading for Egypt. The brothers tell their father that “a wild monster” has swallowed Joseph and as a proof they present his famous “multi-coloured” coat, of which they were envious, and which he had had as a present from the father.

From Antiquity there are a number of narratives about astronomers, who, from the bottom of a well, could observe the stars also in the daytime light. According to old traditions there is in the star wisdom of the initiated the idea about a well in the sky. As its bottom it has the Leo constellation, the main star of which is Regulus/Basiliscus, the royal star. The constellation opposite in the sky - the top of the well in the sky, so to speak - is the Well Pitcher (Aquarius).

 Therefore, the episode with Joseph is also a parable. Ancient Rabbinical Writings say that the only thing, Jacob, the father of Joseph, carried when he escaped from Isaac, was a special stick - which was later taken over by Joseph. In fact this was an astronomical instrument, the ancient model of the historical Jacob’s staff. The Rabbinical Writings also say that Joseph’s multi-coloured coat was an expression of the firmament as a cloak above the Earth. Joseph is taken to “the dark land”, i.e. Egypt, and after his liberation he advances to the highest degrees as the country’s little-king, i.e. vizier, pharaoh’s substitute.

 It also is like a projection with ingredients of an alchemy developing process: Joseph at the bottom of the well is being swallowed by the monster (the Basilisk), but ends up as the “little king”. The starry world is all the time a part of the development process - right from the interpretation of the dream (with the starry-learned interpretation), the multi-coloured coat (the cloak of the firmament) given to him by Jacob, his father, - till the bottom of the well (for looking at stars). In addition cf. the legend on Joseph with Jacob’s astronomical instrument - as well as the Poem of Moses (in the Bible’s “Numbers”, 24:17), saying that “there shall come a star out of Jacob” - was seen as a reference to Joseph, the “starry son” of Jacob.

 Joseph was expatriated to Egypt via his brothers, and this started a migration - his family’s emigration. Thus, in the moment when they placed Jacob at the bottom of the well approx. 4,000 years ago the perspective indirectly became a beginning of some of the later major conflicts in the Middle East.

Ove von Spaeth
Writer, Researcher: copyright © 2004 (& © 1984, updat., expand.)
Parts of the text are from “The Secret Religion” and “Prophet and Unknown Genius” from the author's
book-series "Assassinating Moses"; C.A.Reitzel, Bookseller and Publisher, Ltd.: ( ).

Further information:

Astronomical aiming and computing instrument,
an “astrolabium” from the 14th century.



Copyright © 2007 (& © 1978) by: Ove von Spaeth   -   -   All rights reserved.