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A Natural Meridian for the Geodetic Zodiacal Map

by Maria Wheatley & Laurence Upton

The Geodetic Map of the world is a kind of Earth horoscope in which the map associates locations on the earth’s surface with the zodiac. Its use was pioneered by Sepharial in the late 19th century, though it had been used earlier by astrologers such as Ptolemy, dating from biblical times. Today a geodetic chart is used to combine standard information from a natal chart with the extra dimension derived from the geodetic calculations from the Earth. A 20th Century astrologer uses the Geodetic chart because it brings in the extra dimension of geographic location to a horoscope reading. Geodetics are largely concerned with the harmonious interaction between earth and man.

In a Geodetic Map the Earth is split vertically into twelve equal segments, each of 30 degrees, beginning with 0 Aries (see Fig. 1), which shows, broadly, how the native might fit culturally into his environment. For example, anyone born in most of Europe or Central Africa will come under the influence of Aries, which is found on their geodetic midheaven. Traditionally, the Map has also been used in mundane astrology with particular regard to natural disasters such as earthquakes. Anything found on the angles or the nodes of the chart is regarded as being particularly significant.

There are a number of techniques used to calculate and interpret a modern geodetic map chart using modern computer programmes. One associated technique using geodetics which does not need a computer is the Geodetic Equivalent Chart, where the longitude of a location (measured from Greenwich) is taken to be the absolute zodiacal latitude of the MC. For example, in a chart set for Giza (30 N 0, 31 E 10), the Geodetic Equivalent MC would be 1 10’ Taurus (31 10’), and for New York (40N45, 74W0), the Geodetic Equivalent would be 360-74 = 286 = 16 Sagittarius. From this, one can easily determine the Earth Resonance influencing that latitude.

The Map is also split horizontally into twelve segments, and here the Equator of the Earth is used as the sixth cusp, since it is at the centre of the Earth and from it is derived Celestial Latitude (Declination). However, since the Earth is rotating once per day about its axis, there is no fixed point from which the twelve cusps can be calculated.

The Modern Prime Meridian Line

Currently the Prime Meridian line, defined in Geodetic Astrology as 0 Aries, is the Greenwich Meridian line, which was established in 1885, when an international Prime Meridian, passing through London’s Greenwich Observatory was officially adopted by 25 countries as a part of an agreement which established Standard Time. The Prime Meridian created a longitudinal navigational reference system. At the time that this was adopted, Sepharial (Dr Walter Gorn-Old) was in his twenties, and would naturally have been caught up in this international debate, and it was during this momentous time that he was devising his version of the Geodetic World Map.

What could be more natural, therefore, than that he should adopt the Greenwich Meridian, so much in the public consciousness at the time, as his Prime Meridian line?

The Greenwich Meridian was chosen for purposes of navigation and time standardisation, however, for which purposes it is admirably suited. It is of doubtless importance and has been accepted all over the world owing to its special status on all world maps. However, it is a man-made and arbitrary line, that exists purely because the Greenwich Observatory happened to be there.

The Old Straight Track

In 1925 Alfred Watkins published his acclaimed book, The Old Straight Track, in which he introduced "ley-lines", a natural phenomenon he had rediscovered from ancient times. These straight tracks were used by the ancient peoples for spiritual purposes, and there is evidence that they also used ley-lines practically for purposes such as trading and commerce. Along the ley-lines were aligned stone circles, longbarrows, tumuli and man-made hills. These were used by the ancient Neolithics to define sacred space.

It was in the mid nineteen-sixties that the author John Michell rediscovered the long distance ley-line that in England courses 300 miles from Land’s End to Hopton in Norfolk, passing through Glastonbury Tor and the Avebury complex. This thoroughly-researched ley-line contains alignments which accurately targeted the Beltane sunrise during the era of megalithic constructions, and was perceived to be the most important ley-line in the United Kingdom, with some special attributes thought to be unique. However, due to the precession of the equinoxes the Beltane alignment is now less defined than once it was. It is often referred to as the Beltane Ley, or St Michael Ley.

However, this is not the only long distance ley-line in the United Kingdom, as there is another which, although known for millennia, has been so far largely ignored in modern times. This second long distance line, which we have called the Silbury Meridian Line, is of great significance to astrologers and geomancers alike.

The Silbury Meridian Line runs from the South Coast near Bournemouth and, like the Beltane Ley, passes through most of the primary sacred sites of the ancient peoples. These include Stonehenge, first laid out as an earth circle around 3,200 BC, Silbury Hill and Avebury Henge, where it crosses the Beltane Ley. To ancient Chinese Feng Shui masters, the crossing point of two dragon lines was considered highly auspicious, depicting sacred space.

Our Silbury dragon line then continues up through Arbor Low (known as the Stonehenge of the North) and Holy Island priory, finally passing through Peterhead in Scotland as it stretches powerfully Northwards. It is no coincidence that these man-made structures were created along the Silbury Line since they were constructed in accordance with sacred geomantic principles by the Neolithic astronomer priests, linking Earth to Sky: "As above, so below".

What is of crucial significance is that this natural line runs due North-South (see Fig. 2).

Prime Meridians

Although the Greenwich Meridian is by far the most commonly used prime meridian, there are other precedents, historical meridians such as those that passed through Isle de Fer and Tenerife for example. The first known prime meridian was introduced by Hipparchus in the 2nd Century BC, and passed through Rhodes. 400 years later Ptolemy used a meridian that ran through the western boundary of the known world, the Canary Islands. Various islands in the Atlantic Ocean were used as zero longitude until April 1634, when an assembly called by Cardinal Richelieu chose the Isle de Fer, the most westerly of the Canary Islands. However, there was still no general agreement about this amongst the nations and many prime meridians were still in use. A French chart from as late as 1753 shows at least four prime meridians in common usage - it denotes Paris, Greenwich, Isle de Fer and Tenerife, and there were many others.

In Astrolocality Astrology, Martin Davis points out that some astrologers have questioned the Greenwich Meridian line as the starting point for the World Geodetic Map. For example, a Pyramid chart is used by some astrologers, shifting the starting point from Greenwich to the Great Pyramid at Giza. This displaces everything by just over 30, or one Zodiac sign. Davis himself supports Greenwich, saying he finds that the Greenwich co-ordinates work best of those that he has used.

Astrologers using the Greenwich Meridian as their Prime line may not realise that they are adopting an arbitrary modern man-made line. The Greenwich Observatory, through which it passes, was established by King Charles II in 1675 purely as a means to determine longitude for naval and commercial navigational purposes.

Since Geodetic Astrology is concerned with natural Earth signatures, and how they influence the native, this anomaly seems to contradict the whole basic principle of Geodetics, a branch of astrology which deals with the spirituality of Earth harmonics and man’s relation to it.

Tuning In To Nature’s Meridian

Until now, the Greenwich Meridian has been the most practical and widely accepted Prime Meridian, since there was no viable alternative. The rediscovery of the science of Geomancy has allowed us to perceive the land with holistic and spiritual understanding. We now know that the ley-lines and earth energies create surface patterns that are influenced by the Sun and the Moon. Stone temples and earth works stand as silent testimony to this ancient fact, as we have seen.

The Neolithic builders of these monuments had an innate understanding of these natural energy lines, that can be likened to arteries of the Earth, invisible energy sources flowing from within the Earth itself, influencing the land.

We have already stated that the Silbury Ley runs due North-South. It is a natural and ancient energy line, whose prime significance was recognised and revered by the ancient astronomer priests and sacred sites of world importance were constructed on it.

If the Silbury Ley was to be adopted as a natural Prime Meridian, would it affect the standard World Map and Geodetic Chart?

The Greenwich Meridian occurs, by definition, at 0 E/W. However, to then say that 0 degrees E/W should equate to 0 Aries was never the intention of its proponents, and is too seductively convenient. When things seem too simple or easy we should be a little wary.

The Greenwich Meridian was chosen by an elite body of just 41 delegates from 25 nations, at a conference which was convened "for the purpose of discussing, and if possible, fixing upon a meridian proper to be employed on a common zero of longitude and standard of time reckoning throughout the whole world". There had been seven conferences before it, between 1871 and 1873. Eventually, "the meridian passing through the centre of the transit instrument at the Observatory of Greenwich" became adopted, largely because Britain had the biggest navy, against opposition from San Domingo, Brazil and, notably, the French.

The Paris Meridian Line, 2 degrees 20 minutes 14.025 seconds East of Greenwich, had been in use since the 17th Century. Giovanni Cassini had used it to create the first map of France, and from it was derived the controversial universal unit of measurement, the metre. When France reluctantly adopted GMT in 1911 they renamed it "Paris Meridian Time Retarded By 9 Minutes 21 Seconds"!

On Bastille Day in the year 2000 the Incredible Picnic took place, when 3 million people living on the line were invited, as part of Mission 2000, to celebrate a concerted attempt to reassert the Paris Meridian Line as supreme. Over a century after the International Meridian Conference of Washington DC took place in October 1884, controversy over the site of our Prime Meridian continues.

Like Greenwich, the Paris line is arbitrary, and the arguments for its adoption political. The meridian could have ended up at Washington, Paris or Peckham.

Only by choosing a line of geophysical origin can these mundane arguments be avoided. The Silbury ley, a line of powerful earth energy, lies at 1 51’ 24" W, less than 2 in difference from Greenwich. Therefore, by happy chance, those using the Greenwich Meridian will have achieved results very similar to the more finely-tuned results using the Silbury Prime Meridian we propose. On the existing Geodetic World Map, Greenwich is shown as 0 Aries, and the Silbury Line would be, therefore, at 29 8’ 36" Pisces. Adopting the Silbury Meridian Line now puts Avebury Henge, Europe’s largest stone circle, at 0 Aries, and Greenwich therefore at 1 51’ 24" Aries.

One celestial argument in favour of the Greenwich Prime Meridian is its unique relationship to the star Eltanin, also known as Ettanin or Etamin (gamma Draco), because this fixed star, often termed the Zenith star, is almost at the zenith of Greenwich. Avebury Henge, often referred to as the Temple of the Dragon, currently forms a more significant alignment to Eltanin.

Around the time that Silbury and Avebury were being constructed, about 4,000 years ago, Eltanin was the closest star to the Pole. Our forebears considered the Pole Star of primary importance, and Dane Rudhyar points out that celestial bodies at the zenith of our birth time are meaningful as the star interacts with the etheric crown chakra. It is interesting to note that the celestial dragon, Draco, and Avebury, the Temple of the Dragon, mirror each other in a sky/earth alignment. Eltanin continues to influence the sacred landscape of Avebury because this star forms a vertical alignment with Silbury Hill, where the Silbury line courses, at the Summer Solstice 2000 CE.

At the same time, in Tropical Zodiac terms, Eltanin, at 27 Sagittarius, forms a close conjunction with the Galactic Centre (26 51’ Sagittarius). We feel that this is a significant "double" conjunction for our Era.

Astro*Carto*Graphy and Ley Lines

In recent years Astro*Carto*Graphy (ACG) has become increasingly popular. In our research we have looked into the natural phenomena of ley-lines and their interaction with the planetary lines of ACG maps. Whenever a planetary line crosses a ley-line, we believe the location is a significant power point. Obviously the planetary line influences the nature of the ley-line, depending on the quality of the planet involved. For example, Mars on the descendant line would prove challenging when compared to a Sun line at the same location. This has been proven to our own satisfaction through our personal experiences. For example, Maria has her Neptune MC line coursing up from the South coast northwards to the Orkney Islands. This forms a crossing point with the St Michael Ley close to Glastonbury, a place which has always felt like a spiritual home, and where spiritual insight and intuition seemed enhanced through a strong connection with the land (see Fig. 3).

We therefore recommend that Geodetic Astrologers experiment for themselves, both with our new Prime Meridian co-ordinates, and by applying geomantic lore to ACG maps, and test their validity on known charts to form their own conclusions. We predict that by using a ley-line, a natural phenomenon, thereby re-uniting the ancient principles of Geomancy and Astrology, the results should prove revelatory.