On the occasion of upcoming Halloween celebrations, and with Oct 7, 2009 being the 160th anniversary of Poe's sad, mysterious death, here's a newspaper account of the Poe Toaster's ritual from Jan 21, 1999 which has witnesses saying the mysterious visitor arrived at the brick-walled cemetery "just before 3 am."
For astrologers, it's tiresome how times given are always "just before" or "shortly after" in most news reports, for you'd think no one ever had an accurate sun dial in their gardens or watch in their pockets, to hear some reporters (almost) tell it. Guess the journalism I studied back in the olden days with its Who-What-When-Where-How? model counts for little anymore. Or, nevermore, considering our subject here.
Anyway, the annual visit of respect from the 'Poe Toaster' occurs on the author's birthday, Jan 19, each year which gives a Sun position in the 28 to 29 degree range of Capricorn. Poe's natal Mercury @ 28Cap+ 'under the beams' of the Sun made objective thinking a bit difficult and doubly Saturnian bwo Cap. Why, the Sun burned his hairline right back from his addled and anxious pate! Yet the Sun/Mercury conjunction indicates a brilliant intellect for Mr. Poe. Emotionally, his was a different tale through suffering, despair, and loss.
Physically the poet and short-story author - the Father of the Modern Detective Novel - was known for his prominent brow or forehead, so check with Wikipedia for photos of The Raven's macabre inventor-writer Mr. E. A. Poe.
Yes, it's tempting to spend all night as I'm doing now perusing the website of the E. A. Poe Society of Baltimore where conflicting accounts of his life and death are well detailed with a chronology, portraits of his gentlemanly self with its broad "Moon-like" brow, as well as pictures of other family members, friends, and colleagues. There are 13 known portraits of the poet as far as is known, and several daguerreotypes do seem to have been spirited away from libraries through the years into mysterious realms of collectors' (undeserving) vaults.
Combing the E. A. Poe Society's site finally gave up what I wanted - Poe's time of death, but as with All Things Poe, a mystery remains due to two conflicting sources: one says '3:00 am' and the other one, '5:00 am' (Oct 7, 1849, aged 40.) Yet dying in a hospital, even in 1849, you'd think there would be an official time. As an astrologer, naturally this doubles the effort and time as two charts for Poe's passing must be set up and studied.
(If the 3:00 am Poe Toaster mentioned above was 'on time' he could have been marking Poe's time of death - or arriving near a 2:00 or 3:38 am birth time - argghh!)
The '5:00 am' death chart (displayed below) has the most angular contacts - and a 'biggie' conjunction exactly on the 8th cusp - so it is the chart I prefer.
And here is a non-Wiki biographical account of his life which mentions his chronic alcoholism as do all sources, an addiction not unusual in the 1800s. He and his two siblings were left orphaned when both their parents died in 1811; Edgar was only two years old. His brother William died young, and his sister Rosalie went mad - being destitute can do that for you.
Poe himself was adopted by a tobacco merchant and his wife and was over-indulged as he grew up which led him to expect a large inheritance which didn't pan out due to a falling out with his foster father...Poe dropped out of West Point against the older man's wishes, for one thing. His adoptive family is where the middle name of 'Allan' comes from though for much of his life he was known, and signed his name as, Edgar Poe.
Astrology of Edgar Allan Poe's Life and Death
In my old astro-databank files, I had a version of his birth chart for 1:00 am with a Rodden Rating of C; other verified times are given as possibilities and vary from 1:30 am, 2:00 am, 3:38 am, and 7:57 am. That's hours of work to check them all out for best results, but some strong factors stand out that have to do with loss, depression, and alcoholism (demon alcohol only makes depression worse, for as they say, "troubles can swim.")
If family records do state that he was born "3 hours after mother left the theater" as one source cites, then I have doubts about the 7:57 am chart; thus, the other birth times seem more feasible. Plus, the Poe Toaster's middle-of-the-night visits would synchronize more closely with any of the earlier times.
Note: if a reference is made to 'drugs,' I am always including alcohol.
Edgar Allan Poe, born on Jan 19, 1809, in Boston, Massachusetts...the '1:00 pm LMT' natal chart produces a Secondary Progressed chart for his date of death (using '5:00 am' for death) showing Saturn/Neptune = ASC 4Sag06: oppressive family circumstances; an emotionally depressing environment; emotional suffering caused by others; limitation of freedom (such as couping?); feeling confined (in hospital?); sense of being out of the group (Ebertin; Tyl.)
But which natal ASC to use?
Using his '3:38 am LMT' birth chart gives you Saturn/Neptune = ASC 4Sag17 in the natal chart which could relate to his sad orphaned situation, loss of both parents, illnesses, etc. 'Loss (Saturn) through drugs (Neptune)' springs to mind, too.
The '3:38 am' natal chart when progressed to day/time of death gives 7Cap23 rising conj Fixed Star, Facies (ruthlessness, or the victim); this Sec chart has a very interesting and possibly pertinent Sec midpoint at Mc, too...
Mars/Uranus = Mc: putting a pistol to someone's head; taking violent or drastic measures; injury, accident, or surgery. (I think again of couping. And the Part of Death in this version of Poe's Sec chart is 00Cap33, a point conjunct the IC (Endings; The Drain) in his death chart for 5:00 am.)
Click the chart to enlarge and you'll also see in 4th house the transiting Sun/Saturn midpoint which is conjunct his Sec ASC (using '3:38 am' as his natal chart) so we have...
Sun/Saturn = ASC: possible health threat; separation.
Yet there's a lot to be said for the '1:00 pm' chart which has 3Sco34 rising, and a Scorpio ASC indicates grievous loss at some point in the early life (plus, he was only 40 at death); but a Sag ASC is ruled by Jupiter indicating publishing, idealism, and over-indulgence...take your pick!
One point in favor of Sco rising, however, is his oft-remarked-upon eyes...a Scorpio ASC trait, especially if they're penetrating; Poe's were said to be remarkable, arresting, intelligent, and beautiful, so again it's somewhat inconclusive. His nose looks a bit on the beaky side, too, another point scored for Sco rising. Guess I may ultimately go with the 1:00 am chart (or 1:30 am) for its Sco ASC, yet it's obvious that conjectures on Poe's birth time are abundant.
In his natal chart, Poe has a conjunction of Uranus/North Node which can indicate political reformist groups, or transformative politics in general. In his Sec chart for date of death, Uranus had already turned Rx by progession and was conj natal NN 9Sco28/33 in 11th house of Groups, Associations, and Friends...'sudden and/or disruptive (Uranus) meetings or encounters (NN.)'
At death, transiting Mercury 8Sco20 was in the midst of the Uran/NN conj, so we have this midpoint picture:
Uran/NN = Mercury: impetuousness; excited thoughts shared; being united in thoughts with others; criticism of others; fast-traveling news; speedy comprehensions.
At the 'champagne supper' his old West Point friends invited him to (before he disappeared from public view) did literary critic Poe critique a certain Whig candidate who used 'couping' to kidnap and beat up people until they aggreed to vote for him? Was Poe 'coup'd' from the street after he left their boozy company?
Natally, Poe's Sun 28Cap+ and Pisces Moon in the midst of a Venus, Pluto, Jupiter line-up in Watery, Creative Pisces) give him a Sun Cap/Moon Pisces blend whose 'Images for Integration' are: A wine collector uncorks a rare vintage to celebrate success...Bilbo in Tolkein's Lord of the Rings...A child builds a sandcastle of reinforced concrete...Bathers in a Landscape by Cezanne (who shares this blend natally, as do I.)
And now here is Poe's death chart for 5:00 am LMT, Oct 7, 1849, Baltimore, MD. As you see, the '5 am' chart gives the usual suspects - at the time of death - on chart angles: Mars 29Gem41 at Mc, Saturn Rx 3Ari48 on Descendant, the setting position of the chart. Moon is just beyond angularity as previously mentioend, and World Points are on each angle relating to Poe's enduring fame and prominence.
8th cusp of Transformation and Death have the Uranus/Pluto pair snugged around it; the brittle, separative Saturn/Uranus and cruel Saturn/Pluto midpoints in Aries both oppose SunLib01 in 1st house of Physical Body...
Sat/Uran = Sun: separation; exposure to severe tests of strength.
Sat/Pluto = Sun: ill health; loss.
As you know Mars' sign of Gemini is related to lungs (air) and nerves or nervous diseases; Libra (ASC and Sun) relates to lungs and kidneys.
Moon 22Gem43 has just crossed MC, too and thus may be considered angular as well; Moon is apex of the Jupiter/Saturn combo which relates to liver and gall functions, chronic illnesses, and to lung diseases such as TB; generally, infections may be indicated (Ebertin.)
Yes, Poe's years of emotional shocks, undermining of his health through drugs, chronic or other illnesses, etc, only made it more difficult for him to fight whatever ailed him, whether being kidnapped and beaten or not, during his last physical crisis.
As you know, a YOD pattern ('Finger of God' - sextile aspect at base, both planets inconjunct a third; in this case, there are two YODs superimposed...Moon/Uranus and Mars/Pluto both point to Chiron 25Sco18) - is often present in death charts. Poe's Pre-Natal Eclipse from the 9 North Series is being triggered by wounded Chiron in Scorpio and by the health-related YODs.
9N = accidents, violence, or sudden physical events. This is also the PE of Abraham Lincoln (Feb 12, 1809), Tony Blair, John Edwards, and Bobby Jindall; plus, 9N is the PE of President Garfield's Inauguration March 4, 1881 and you know of his violent end.
Poe's death occurred during a 14 North Solar Eclipse Series with the Eclipse manifesting @ 25Leo07 and Poe's Sec Moon triggering it at death.
14N = an acute time of confusion in personal relationships, unrequited love and despiar (he'd just had a broken engagement), and unexpected financial events (money troubles had he), a draining of energy, and an odd turn of events; there is too much delusion to make clear judgments (paraphrasing Brady's Predictive Astrology.)
(14N next occurs on Nov 25, 2011 @ 2Sag37, just so ya know.)
At Mc (the Goal Point of any chart) is the Pluto/NN (powerful or political connections or encounters) with the 29th crisis degree Mars, so we have...
Pluto/NN = Mars: tyranny; exhibition of personal power; demonstrating violence or brutality in the presence of others; a desire to make others amenable to one's wishes; the misfortune to be placed in someone else's hand or power.
Plu/NN = Mc: associations influence one's objectives and cause setbacks in one's vocation.
(Drunken champagne suppers and brutal couping tactics must once again come to mind.)
Also you see there's a T-Square pattern formed by angular Saturn Rx...
Saturn/ASC = Mars: feeling like the victim; being placed in turbulent circumstances; self-willedness; separation; mourning or bereavement.
Saturn/ASC = Mc: oppression; depression; inhibited by others; hindered in the fulfilment of one's objectives; struggling with controls.
Well, there are many more factors to mention about Edgar Allan Poe's life, death, and the Astrology thereof, but my typing finger is falling off so I must close for now and hope that you may click some links, view the chart for more notations, and have yourself a very safe Halloween!
And in remembrance of Edgar...perhaps a group reading of The Raven would be in order?
As always 'any, all, or none' may apply with midpoint pictures, and Progressed and/or transiting planets will trigger events to manifest most reliably.