Message: 6
   Date: Thu, 04 May 2000 09:35:14 -0600
Subject: Gulliver's Travels

Jonathan Swift was born in Dublin, Nov. 30 1667, and died there on Oct. 19, 1745. According to the Britannica, "Gulliver's Travels" appeared in London October 28, 1726, when he was 60, and was an immediate success (birth and publication dates are in the Julian calendar). There is a time of "11 a.m." quoted often (e.g. Peter Niehenke in ""), but without a source. I will use this time as reference.

At birth, he had the following:

Sun     = 18,32 Sagittarius
Pylenor = 18,57 Gemini

I was wondering what this could mean, so I read his bio sketch in the Britannica. But a word about the accuracy of Pylenor's position first: this centaur was last seen October 19, 1998, and has an uncertainty index of "2" at the Minor Planet Center, the same as Hylonome and Chariklo. According to Bowell's Astorb database error estimates, its position is even a little bit better than that of Asbolus, and it has been observed for the same amount of days as Asbolus. The rate per century of the uncertainty is only 35", half the uncertainty of Asbolus, so we may assume that its position will not change too much (a few arcminutes only) when new observations become available.

Swift's father died before he was born, so he grew up fatherless, depending on the generosity of his uncles, and he never had a settled home during childhood (the Sun/Pylenor opposition falls in the 10th/4th houses axis). This is socially speaking a difficult situation even today, so we can imagine how it was 250 years ago in English society. In a fragment of auto-biography he wrote in his mature years, he talks of the ill-treatment of his nearest relatives, and how discouraged and sunk in spirit he felt in his early years that he neglected his studies, and was given his B.A. degree in Feb. 1686 "speciali gratia" (by special favour).

I feel this is one of the manifestations of Pylenor opposing his Sun. It is similar to the situation of Anton Bruckner (Pylenor conjunct Ascendant) in Vienese society, and it is also related to the almost-destitute life of composer Eric Satie (Pylenor conjunct Sun). But Swift shared something very special with E. Satie: his irony and wit.

The Britannica calls Jonathan Swift <<the foremost prose satirist in the English language>>, and mentions how he mocked and ridiculed many of the social and political customs of his day. His style was one of exhortation, humor, and bitter irony. One can expect the Sun to be strengthened when it has an exact opposition like this, and the solar aspect of the personality will constantly make Pylenor "shine" through oppositions and contrasts. He wrote, for example, that economic conditions could be alleviated if the children of poor parents were used as food for the rich>> (Britannica).

"Gulliver's Travels" is a commentary on the human condition. You will find some interesting material and essays on this work at the following addresses. My comments below are based on them:

I do not pretend to say that the whole of Swift's production can be reduced to the Sun/Pylenor aspect. There are other contacts that you can find in the dates I mentioned, but my only interest at this point id trying to illuminate the possible meaning of 1994TA/Pylenor in his case. We know that it makes both planets very strong, trying to build a bridge among themselves, alternating one and the other like a see-saw, illuminating each other. How strong this was in Swift's case, and how much it can help illuminate the meaning of Pylenor, can be seen in the following commentary:

<<Indeed, whereas the work begins with more specific satire, attacking perhaps one political machine or aimed at one particular custom in each instance, it finishes with "the most savage onslaught on humanity ever written," satirizing the whole of the human condition". (Murry 3).>> [this apparently is quoted from Firth, C.H. "The Political Significance of Gulliver's Travels." London: Oxford University Press, 1919.]

The following opinion, given by one "Lord Orrery" in 1752, illuminates the centaurean nature of the work:

<<In this last part of his imaginary travels, Swift has indulged in a misanthropy that is intolerable. The representation which he has given us of human nature, must terrify, and even debase the mind of the reader who views it.>>

This "misanthropy" is an expression of Sun/Pylenor. The "terrifying" and "debasing" picture of humanity shown in his fourth and last journey to the land of the "Houyhnhnms" --creatures that look like horses but have the ability to reason-- and the horrible Yahoos ("My horror and astonishment are not to be described, when I observed in this abdominal animal a perfect human figure"), is centaurean.

natal Mars       = 8,04 Libra (possibly conjunct Moon)
natal Mercury    = 7,44 Capricorn (Noon assumed)
Gulliver Chiron  = 8,58 Aries (Chironic!)
Gulliver Asbolus = 8,08 Cancer
death Saturn     = 7,44 Libra
(precession-corrected to the time of birth)

Swift was an ordained Anglican priest and a vicar. At the wall of St. Patrick's Cathedral where he was buried one can read the epitaph he had written for himself:

<<The body of Jonathan Swift... is buried here, where fierce indignation can no more lacerate his heart. Go traveler, and imitate, if you can, one who strove with all his strength to champion liberty.>>



Return to index page