The Conjuror’s Magazine

Vol 1 No 2 (September 1791) pp 46-48.








THE principal lord of this eclipse is Mercury, he being lord of the place of the eclipse, or dispositor of the luminaries. This is his charter of constitution, and the Sun has also dominion from being lord of the next angle, viz. the ascendant; and Mars claims a share, as posited on the cusp of that angle; and his influence is rendered determinate by his being the sole planet in partile aspect with the indifferent Mercury. But Mercury has not only the accidental situation of regent, but he has, exclusively of his title to government, abundance of dignities. He is in his own house in conjunction with Cingula Orionis, and exalted by north latitude above every planet in the figure. And last, though not least, is his harmonious configurations with the two subordinate lords of the eclipse and the moon, besides the parallel declination, or antiscion of Jupiter.

Having now ascertained according to rule, the governors of this eclipse, we will read the effects, not from any ex post facto law, but from aphorisms, the latest of which I shall quote from a book printed in 1665.

RULE. An eclipse or comet in the 11th House causes death and destruction of grandees.

OBS. The numerous deaths of peers in Great Britain, during the operation of this eclipse, has been remarked by persons without any reference to Astrology; and in France, where it fell in the same House, the effects on Aristocracy have been still more notorious.

RULE. Eclipses in Airy signs signify violent winds, shipwrecks, seditions.

OBS. The number of colliers lost in one gale in the winter of 1788, will fully verify one part of this aphorism, without any other instance; but the whole winter was one of the most windy ever known. On Seditions, I may without apology be silent.

RULE. Eclipse in Gemini signify great destruction, and scarcity of birds and game.

OBS. This was verified in the seasons of 1788 and 1789. There was scarcely a young partridge to be shot in 1789 in many counties, and scarcely any grouse on the Welch mountains.

I shall now quote faithfully a passage from Lilly’s Almanack for 1666.

“The 13th Gemini is London’s horoscope, and the sun was in 25º of the same. This is CERTAINLY TRUE, that, when any notable eclipse of sun and moon, or other mal-configuration of the two malevolents, Saturn and Mars, doth happen in or near the 11, 12, 13 or 14, 24, 25, 26 Gemini, the city of London doth much suffer, viz. the commonalty, in one kind or other, the quality of their sufferings according to the nature of the planet most fortified: If any mal-aspect” (or position as appears by the example he gives) “be in the 17,18,19, 20, 24, 25 Leo, then it is to be feared great fires may cause much detriment to them in several parts of the city. If the like aspect be in the forementioned degrees of Aquarius, then follows great obstruction in their commerce at home, and in parts beyond the seas; many of their prime magistrates or officers die; great chopping and changing in their offices; many subject unto or pay great fines for not serving of offices imposed in them; divisions about choosing their magistrates. If the like mal-aspect be in the before mentioned degrees of Taurus, they are heavily burthened with taxes [1] but if in the beforesaid degree of Scorpio, then their servants or inferior people are unruly, sickly, and endure much poverty.”

So far the GREAT Lilly. The riots at the Westminster elections, and still more the principle on which they were conducted, afflicted the ‘Commonalty’ and that according to the planets most fortified, viz. Mercury, Mars, and Sun. Not only many fires have happened since the time of this eclipse, but there seems to have been a dangerous and determined gang of incendiaries formed. Mars, observe in 19º Leo. His opposition to Aquarius comes next. The list of bankrupts in 1788 nearly doubled that of any preceding year; and though it diminished in 1789, far exceeded then any former year. In that year, too, vast numbers were fined for not serving as sheriff, &c. The square of Mars falls in Taurus and Scorpio. The ship-tax lay heavy on them; perhaps private taxes too, for I have little knowledge of the internal of London; and as I was also out of town, from soon after the eclipse till its effects had ceased [E1], I cannot speak to the last article. However, I will rest the truth of Astrology on the influence of this eclipse, and the coincidental positions of the stars.

I shall only add, that as Mercury happily tinctured with Mars principally designs the events of this Eclipse, they are debates carried on with warmth and zeal, and well directed; and as Sun rules the ascendant, regard government and kingdoms. Jupiter in Cancer, as appears from Guido Bonatus, and copied in Sir George Wharton’s volume [E2], always signifies revolutions for good [2].

As Sun, Moon, Mercury have passed the Square Saturn, there is no stop; though their not having cleared their orbs from his Square shews rubbish to be swept away; but Jupiter’s application to his Trine with disposition of him, in which Venus (herself conjoined with [E3]or new star) participates, much facilitates this operation. Saturn’s Square to the luminaries and Mercury shews, that no heavy, cold plots against government will succeed, and his position shews sullenness and fears. Hence, however, he sends unequivocal aid to Jupiter.—Note, Saturn is in the ascendant of France.

If it be objected, how come nobles to suffer so much when their significator is in his own dignities, actually ruler of the Eclipse, joined too with the regal Sun and so little afflicted? I answer, Nobles have suffered very little. They have been advanced, Grandees have suffered. Is this intelligible?

I will just add two other Aphorisms on Eclipses, in order to leave my ground clear.

Effects are proportioned by their causes: therefore total eclipses and small ones differ in their scale of effects.

The effects (i.e. the immediate effects) of a Solar Eclipse, continue as many years as the eclipse does hours; those of a lunar as many months.

NOTE. But the SEEDS SOWN may, some, not produce fruit, others may not blossom, others may not put out leaves, others may not beak ground for LONG AFTER.

This eclipse was also on the sun’s place at birth of a very distinguished Personage in England; and Mars on the place of Sun in the radix of another little less distinguished, and on the horoscope of a THIRD—scarcely distinguished at all, and that little, by POVERTY. [E4]

“When, at the time of an eclipse, the significator of life in any person's radix, shall be within the beams of anareta, or killing planet, or of an infortune not friendly disposed, such native will run great hazard for his life.”

I could also throw a little light on the scheme of the vernal ingress in 1788, but this shall suffice for the present. Partridge’s Almanack did itself incomparable credit that year, but its author treacherously, and cowardly, abandoned his predictions the two succeeding years.

The present transit of by conjunction of the horoscope of the eclipse is the principal and only decisive cause operating to produce the elucidation now handed to the public.

Venus [i.e. Fri-]day Jupiter hour 6 PM.

Sept. 2.                                                                     B.


[1] Mr. Warton, in his Birth Day Ode for 1788, complimented the King, in much the same manner as Virgil did Augustus, with introducing the GOLDEN AGE.

                                ‘Aurea condet

‘Secul’  &c.   ÆN. vi. l. 793-

It is remarkable, that the only cotemporary book with the Æneid, which treats of this subject, has assigned Augustus’ share in the event  to be—that ‘in those days there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that the whole world would be taxed—St Luke ii. v. This was certainly an effectual, but rather a selfish, way to commence the golden age.


[2] He entered Cancer in 1776, the year wherein America declared Independence—and was happily aspected by Saturn, Venus, the Sun, and Mars, at the vernal ingress; he was also in Cancer at Oliver Cromwell’s birth; but badly aspected by Saturn and Mars.




No. 3 (October 1791) p.80.




In turning over Mr. Ramsays “Astrologia Munda”, I have met with two other circumstances to confirm the verity of public Astrology—

“Venus in the Twelth—Tribulation is threatened, and enmity with women; for men shall hate them, and in no wise be assistant unto them; so that they shall be, while such configuration operates, most unfortunate!”

The Monsters are not yet forgotten.

“Dragon’s Tail in Gemini—The Commons shall be exalted and elevated, and they shall spurn at and despise, the superiors and rulers, and endeavour to get all power and authority into their own hands.”

“Dragon’s Head in Sagittarius” in two words, does his utmost to counteract this.




No. 4 (November 1791) p.106




As various applications have been made by persons, enquiring for the author of Remarks on the Solar Eclipse in June 1788, several of whom have expressed some earnestness to see the author, the Editor is now authorised by that gentleman to say, that, if any individual supposes that he or she can derive any benefit and information from a communication with him, they will receive an answer to any letter left for these purposes with the Editor, without any view to pecuniary remuneration. Under proper circumstances (which will appear by the previous correspondence) a personal interview will not be refused. Benefit must be the object, not curiosity.



Editorial Notes

[E1] As Gilbert writes later in this article that the effects of an eclipse "continue as many years as the eclipse does hours" and contemporary ephemerides give its duration as 7:24-9:00 =1:36mins= 1Yr 7mths, this means he was out of London between June 1788 and February 1790.

[E2] See profile of Sir George Wharton printed in CM, December 1791.
[E3] G writes the symbol for the planet we now call Uranus, a name not used by him. On Uranus see my note in 'Astrological Notices for February' (CM 6, Jan 1792, p.173).

[E4] Horoscope is another term for ascendant, or rising sign. I have argued in birthdate that Gilbert's own ascendant is Leo, and his reference here to a person 'scarcely distinguished at all, and that little, by POVERTY' is most readily explained as a wry reference to himself.