A few months ago I published a chart for ISIS which I’d picked up at the British Astrological Association Conference on the understanding that it had been drawn up by Professor Geoffrey Cornelius. A flurry of emails followed with some discussion whether it was the right chart. Things went a bit blurry after that.
The simplest thing, I thought, was to ask the chart’s creator for the right data. So I did and he wrote back this charming email with his reasoning and the data, which is indeed different not only from my chart, but from the other charts published on the internet citing Cornelius. You’ll be relieved to hear that in essence it is most similar to the first chart I published (in fact it strengthens it), so all your comments still hold — but we like to get things right here at the OA.
After your first email I went back to my sources and made a few extra notes. I’m minded to put these online after doing some pure astrol research on the material, but in order to not to delay a response to your question, here are a few points.
The chart I showed at the AA Conference (‘Caliphate’) is for Sunday June 29 2014 7:39:50pm BAT (-3h) Ar_Raqqah, Syria 35N56 39E01. Asc 7 Cap 52 Moon 3 Leo 57 (astronomical sunset).
I am not sure how you may have arrived at June 28th. The news broke onto world media on the 29th to the best of my knowledge – if you find an earlier source please do let me know.
I note that astrodatabank has a different date (June 28) and cites Geoffrey also. I think I wrote down this date at the conference.
Here are some good clues:
Flip down to second video clip and you’ll see Isis fighters celebrating the announcement. Look at the light on buildings and cars; this looks close to sunset.
The second strand of the evidence is that Isis wish to commence their Caliphate for the start of the holy month of Ramadan. This is a powerful message to all Muslims, since the observance of Ramadan is the fourth of the five pillars of Islam. This is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and in this month Muslims across the world fast during the hours of daylight.
In the Islamic lunar calendar, the month (day 1) is marked by the appearance of the crescent moon at sunset. For 2014 start of Ramadan was precalculated as falling at sunset June 29th (many sources on web).
Just after sunset is performed the evening prayer called ‘maghrib’ (literally ‘sunset prayer’). Published tables for the timing of prayers show that this was established for Ar-Raqqah for 7:51pm BAT (11m after the astronomical sunset I used). This could be taken as the symbolically intended time for the Caliphate, and it would be interesting to test it. The fighters will be praying at 7:51pm (the first prayers of Ramadan), not firing their Kalashnikovs.
Why Ar Raqqah?
This is Isis’ most secure base in Syria – at the time the only one of Syria’s provincial capitals in their hands (captured March 2013). There is a further fortuitous reason (see Wiki etc, from which I am quoting): the city was briefly the capital of the Sunni Abbasid Caliphate between 796 and 809 under the reign of Caliph Harun al-Rashid. After the return of the court to Baghdad in 809, Ar Raqqah remained the capital of the western part of the empire including Egypt.
Isis wish to emulate the earlier Sunni caliphate – Baghdad would be their ideal prize, but short of that Ar_Raqqah has a deep connection with their understanding of history.
I hope this establishes credentials for my original sunset choice. It appears to yield a most powerful and radical horsocope.
Please feel free to cite any of this material if you want.
Geoffrey Cornelius is one of the most respected astrologers in Europe with decades of research and teaching experience. He’s the author of The Moment of Astrology — a powerful, philosophical exploration of astrology as divination. He also ran the MA in the Cultural Study of Cosmology and Divination at the University of Kent and is currently teaching on the MA in Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred at Canterbury Christchurch University.
On the subject of ISIS, I asked another source about the acronym DAESH, which is the word used for ISIS in the Middle East. It stands for Dawla al Islamiyya fi Iraq wa Sham (the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant).
“As for Daesh, it doesn’t actually mean anything; it’s a nonsense word. But Arabic is wonderful at alliteration and consonance. Sort of like Cockney rhyming slang, da’esh echoes other words like da’ak (to rub, scrub or squish); da’as (to step on, stomp or run over as in with a car); dahas (also to crush or tread on) and dahash (to astonish or dismay).”