Dr. John Dee: The Magician’s Magician ( July 13th 1527- 1608 )
Kris Mrksa’s ReQuiem (2018 ) is one of the most effective thrillers on TV. It is genuinely creepy as it takes its supernatural themes dead serious provoking chills each episode with eerie locations in Wales, sharp performances and a weirdly hypnotic signature theme. It does not give away its storyline easily but a repeated motif is John Dee’s contact with angels who seem hell bent onstealing children. This points to one thing- the resurfacing of Dr John Dee in the popular consciousness. Dee left instructions for how to contact angels using an Angelic language. That fact seems now to be taken for granted that he contacted angels. Back in March 2019, when I was watching this series, Neptune was at the same 16 of Pisces that is in Dee’s natal chart. So Dee would have been having a Neptune return almost 600 years after his birth. It was not in film but on TV, the smaller scale medium. But his Neptune also happened to be conjunct Chiron giving it a powerful, emotional, mystical and imaginative depth and teaching capacity and for Mathilda, the main character, her driving force is to find and heal her childhood wound.
A powerful symbol that emerged in that series – a signature carving in the grounds of the sinister mansion house – was the strange alchemical sigil that Dee called the Monad. He created it to represent the entire universe into one recognizable symbol. It is from his book Monas Hieroglyphica (1564). But sometimes angels are masters of disguise and in the aethyr you don’t know what kind of macrobes you are letting in through the portal as Dee and his associate Edward Kelly discovered. Dee pushed the medium Kelley for 10 hours at a stretch to perceive visions in the black ‘shew’ stone, allegedly the one at the British Museum. Those sessions delivered a language called Enochian, which has an actual functioning grammar, and it is highly valued by contemporary occultists.
Dr. John Dee was officially Queen Elisabeth I’s astrologer. He was also a Cancer sun sign, and thus a moonchild, born July 13th. He was asked to decide the most auspicious date for her coronation which he did, some would say successfully, making him a talented astrologer, but he was much more than that. He was also a mathematician, astronomer, philosopher, navigator, renaissance scholar, a magus, cryptographer, book collector. All of this was in addition to the lesser known espionage he pursued, leading to suspicions that he was the original model of James Bond 007 as that was his signature number. It was Dee who coined the term ‘the British Empire’ spreading both the dark and light side of sea-faring power across the globe. He was also the model for the characters of Faust and for Prospero in Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ (1610-11 ) who conjured both Ariel ( Air) and Caliban (Earth) and the tempest (Water) to his command. Prospero’s words still resonate:
“We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.”
His chart shows the sun at 29 degrees of Cancer, on a full moon, just two minutes from ingressing into Leo. So he accumulated moon wisdom and it culminated in him as he tended towards the spiritual, and advocated learning and love of wisdom as a means of development. But in those politically sensitive times, that was perceived as a threat to the Pope and to all the hangers on as basically Dee was saying he had direct contact to the divine. So he was a radical perhaps without realizing it. That same Moon trines his MC. Jupiter which is exalted in Cancer exactly because it is strongly cardinal and water, and is in the 8th house of fixed water, and finds its expansion better in a Cardinal sign than anywhere else, allowing it to flow effectively, magnifying all Jupiterian traits for Dee.
Mercury is also there in Cancer in the 8th, triggering the psycho-pomp aspect of Mercury as medium to the psychic realms. As if piling on the synchronicity of a Dee revival is that on his solar return, July 13th, 2019, Pluto is also at the same degree as it was in his natal chart – 21 of Capricorn. So a Pluto return for him and all of us collectively. That’s some cosmic riff there. Some adjustment is made for the Julian calendar, but it does seem that Dee is once again coming into focus- as Elisabethan times in the 16th century draw parallels with events in 2019 boat rocking of polarized planets.
Cancer sun-signs are collectors of memorabilia, and sources report that Dee went to great lengths to collect books and scientific instruments for his library at Mortlake on the Thames. It attained the status of being the finest collection in the land, containing 4,000 items. Plus it could have had a great influence on one William Shakespeare, from Stratford, who it turns out had many more connections to Dee than previously suspected. Alan William Green, ex-producer of the Monkeys, has unveiled new research that Dee actually encoded Enochian language into Shakespeare’s tomb in Stratford and the key to this was in the sonnets. This would reveal the mystery of who Shakespeare actually was, but that Enochian has revealed hitherto unknown mathematical constants that can unravel secrets of how the pyramid was constructed.
Dee has Sagittarius rising which means the chart ruler is Jupiter, but I think his Saturn in Taurus in the 5th is the strong too as it is at the apex of the Sun and Moon, so harmonized under the disciplinarian master magus who had mastered his creative power. Jupiter is trine Neptune and square Uranus so all the creative input is there in abundance. There is a very strong Mars in Scorpio, its own house, and edging towards the Ascendant. Dee was certainly forceful and a great survivor, challenging and yet also escaping the clutches of dwarf collector, Rudolph II, in Czechoslovakia. Dee’s Venus is in 9th house at 0 degrees of Virgo which means he embarked on a lifelong love of detailed knowledge. This Venus trines Saturn in Taurus in 5th which adds solid discipline to those creative pursuits, giving him at least mastery in the magic arts which he plunged into deeper than anyone.
All this increases Dee’s stature as the magician’s magician, as more and more usage of Enochian reveals more mysteries, making his scrying with Kelly incredibly fruitful. He said the light of the moon always reflect the sun but in this case, a Cancer sun-sign reflects the power of moon magic, beyond his own life. According to Jason Louv, Dee was as a low-paid government advisor or ‘intelligencer’ who was largely ignored. Louv also makes the point that everyone was a magician then, but Dee’s output created an ebb and flow that was outstanding or we would not be talking about him 500 years on. Derek Jarman (an Aquarian) picked up on this in his film ‘Jubilee’(1978) where John Dee shows Queen Elisabeth a chaotic vision of the things to come in ’the shadow of this time’ and it revealed the apparently meaningless lives of punk rockers who were labelled demons by the media; a preview of the Aquarian age indeed.
That Kelly and Dee had chemistry together goes without saying and their synastry fascinates me. They worked solidly together for 8 years- one Venus cycle. That it was not easy is also true. They worked in partnership summoning up any entity from heaven or hell that was willing to come. Both of them have Mercury and the Sun in the 8th, of all that is hidden. More telling is that they shared the exact position of the Moon at the first degree of Aquarius, so they have a Moon-Moon conjunction, giving the ability to delve coolly into the sublunary world and dissect it into categories. Dee kept detailed diaries of every session, even when the angels ordered them to swap wives, it was duly noted in the diary and became the bone of contention that eventually pulled them apart. They both have Sagittarius rising, so Jupiter is their jolly ruler. Kelly’s Venus is conjunct Dee’s Mercury/Jupiter in Cancer. Kelley’s sun in Leo I think shines a light on Dee’s darker sun in Cancer in the 8th allowing this particular partnership to see beyond the veil, and to be utilized as a powerful medium. That Dee treated Kelly more like he was – an itinerant fortune teller who perhaps underestimated his own talent, is shown by Kelly’s Neptune beaming into Dee’s 6th house of workers in the home. Kelly was without doubt, the more turbulent and dramatic character being a Leo with Mars conjunct Uranus, and Dee the more nurturing Cancerian with 8 children to look after. Kelly became more famous than Dee in Europe, claiming to be able to turn lead to gold. Kelly’s adventures become almost like a picaresque novel; he became the target of Kings greedy for gold to be produced out of thin air, yet he was able to produce it without giving away any secrets. When he could no longer sustain that spinning out of his fortunes, he was promptly imprisoned. In his later years, Kelly though he encountered buffoon-like accidents – breaking and losing his leg while diving through a toilet hole, yet he retains his reputation as an alchemist in Europe.
But as noted, Dee’s star is on the rise again in the UK with several new books published about him since Glyn Parry’s ‘The Arch Conjurer of England’ (2013) and the obvious fascination with him and his Welsh origins in the TV series ‘ReQuiem’. The title ‘Arch’ apes the status of ‘archbishop’ and that represents the importance of Dee, and the paradox that if he could be a threat to the Catholic church yet still believe in the rituals of Christianity. Finally, one of Dee’s great remarks that I like is ‘Truth is truth until the end of all reckoning.” This certainly leaves an impression that though he may have been disillusioned and felt like a failure, time tells the opposite story, that his sincere love of knowledge was what defined him and we are still benefiting from his work.
©Proteus Astrology, July 2019
London-based and trained astrologer at Proteus Astrology on Facebook:
Natal Chart Readings via Skype and in person
Learn about your…
psychological make up,
astrocartography and relocations
synastry and relationships
personal asteroids and more.
This is a great opportunity for those who are curious about what a chart reading can do for them and need advice on where to go from here.
Email me on the Proteus Astrology FB page directly, or
Astrology can help with understanding of
- life patterns, purpose and life path
- relationships, business and romantic
- money, and what it means to you
- career issues
- personal and spiritual development
- vision, hopes and wishes
- choices and decisions
- planning for the future
- health and well being, aligning your energies
- stimulating creativity
- the best places to travel and live ( requires extra preparation)
Sessions can also be in person and will include a full recording of the sessions, with colour print outs of your chart, astromaps, and bi-wheels, and notes.
Kieron has certification in Astrology from the London School of Astrology
He writes for Celestial Vibes Magazine edited by Aswin Balaj.