Poet Francis Thompson and a Foreshadowing Lunar Eclipse
In my recent article concerning poet Francis Thompson as a possible Jack the Ripper suspect, I included a speculative, symbolic natal horoscope for him, born December 16, 1859 in Preston, England. With no known birth hour for setting up a natal chart I used the exact moment that the Moon (often used as a timer in astrological work) opposed Neptune in its own sign of Pisces, a signature of paranoia, dreaminess, drugs, otherworldliness, the Collective, and deep creativity. The Moon represents, among other things: mother, family, women, emotions, childhood, the Unconscious, and the native’s ‘reigning need’ (Tyl.)
Francis Thompson’s reigning need is described by the sign of Mercury-ruled Virgo, the Virgin, with its purification, cleanliness, orderliness, and discernment issues.
Since posting the previous article, I am now reading Richard Patterson’s book Francis Thompson and the Ripper Paradox which is chocked full of information on the poet and on the Ripper cases thanks to Patterson’s 20 years of research. The book also cites and quotes several other sources and has informed me that Thompson’s occult interests (as mentioned in my previous article) also included the ancient art of Astrology.
I have also learned that Thompson’s mother, Mary Morton Thompson, died on the poet’s 21st birthday, a tragically lousy birthday gift for anyone to bear–having your mother ‘eclipsed’ from earthly life by an eclipse on that particular day. The image you see below is the Lunar Eclipse which manifested on Thompson’s 21st birthday.
>>Dec 5, 2015 Update: in my subsequent readings on Francis Thompson and the crimes of 1888 since posting this chart and article, I find that some sources give December 18, 1859 as the poet’s birth date. There may also be some conflict as to which date his mother actually died on–possibly the day after his birthday. None of the dates (within 2 or 3 days of one another) affect the influence of the Lunar Eclipse you see here–still a picture of a ‘mother’ ‘eclipsed’ by death. Thompson could still have been aware of the eclipse, its tragic meaning, and its degree at the time or later on.
Speaking as one whose mother also died under the auspices of a Lunar Eclipse which conjoined my natal Moon (which conjoined my mother’s natal Moon in Pisces!), I belatedly sympathize with the poet’s bereavement on that day and suspect that he was at some point completely aware of the Lunar (mother) Eclipse after, if not before, it occurred on December 16, 1880 @25Gemini08 which placed the Sun conjunct his natal Sun in Sagittarius since it was his birthday. Also note that the eclipse degree of 25Gemini squared Thompson’s natal Neptune @24Pisces (loss) and perhaps squared his natal Moon in Virgo if the two are within orb of opposition (180 degrees, a Full Moon of awareness, relationship, and culmination or ending) and which relates specifically to the poetic and mystical talents he inherited from his mother Mary via Moon-Neptune:
That the eclipse manifested in Gemini, sign of The Twins, seems significant as well since Francis had a twin who died at birth. Death doubled! You see the Moon rising in Preston with Luna’s own South Node, a Saturnian point of separation. His father Dr. Charles Thompson and he quarreled over what I’m learning was dad’s plan to remarry (Sun conjunct North Node, a Jupiterian point of encounters, new associations, and future direction.) Afterwards, Francis left the family home for London and a life of opiate use and homelessness on the city streets, suffering which abated in Autumn 1888 when some of his poems and essays were published in the magazine ‘Merry England’ — but then his prostitute ‘girlfriend’ broke off their relationship and used his expectant fame as a poet as justification, if memory serves correctly.
Now as I go further into Richard Patterson’s book (it’s quite long!) there will be discussion of the five Whitechapel murders of Autumn 1888 and their correlation with certain dates on the Catholic calendar; plus, the ancient concept of ‘Holy Ground’ seems to have applied as far as the killer was concerned. As a Protestant I shall have to depend on such sources in this but one thing I do know and plan to further investigate are correlations between planets and the dates of the murders (August 31 — November 9, 1888) beginning with the Lunar Eclipse you see here. Why? Because the Ripper’s first victim, Mary Ann Nichols (‘Polly’) was found at 3:40 am on August 31, 1888–with the Moon @25Gem14! Mother Mary and Mary murder victim–did astrology user Francis Thompson realize this precise correlation from the heavens to earth? I would say probably so for As Above, So Below is a first principle of the ancient art.
Additionally, Mary Ann Nichols was born on August 26, 1845 when the Moon was in Gemini and her Sun in early Virgo which echos her murder’s Sun Virgo-Moon Gemini blend of energies which describe the atmosphere of August 31, 1888. This Sun-Moon blend may tell us something about the crime and the killer. You may even agree that the following traits describe Francis Thompson, the eternal youth and puppet master who was never self-sufficient in his life!
Sun Virgo-Moon Gemini: a perennial student with mental ingenuity, a thinker; youthful; moody; analyser of minutiae; detached observer; nervous; a worrier; quick-witted; emotionally superficial and fickle; a romantic but not emotionally available; writer, linguist, teacher, journalist; shrewd and clever; critical; an organizer; a pessimist.
And my favorite for Sun Virgo-Moon Gemini: a jack of all trades!
Astrology source: Sun Sign-Moon Sign, Charles and Suzi Harvey; Thompson source: Francis Thompson and the Ripper Paradox by Richard Patterson.
Updated Nov 30, 2015 9:15 pm est