That Mercury is off the chart!

There are two things about Sibly’s Mercury that are of note.  The first is that the glyph is not actually in the chart, but dangling off, as if being held in by the degree/minute numbers to the right:

Closeup of the dangling Mercury and the wrong degree and minute of arc
Closeup of the dangling Mercury and the wrong degree and minute of arc

Clearly the entire glyph is floating in space.  This may be because Sibly ran out of room in the fifth house because he had to list four planets.  If so, then we’ll leave it to sloppy artisanship.

But, another peciliar thing emerges: the degree and minute are incorrect!  All other planets are listed to within a few arcminutes of accuracy, but Merc here is off by 3 whole degrees!  Merc’s actual position on that date at noon was 24 degrees and 18 minutes of arc in Cancer, but Sibly has it listed as 21 degrees and 21 minutes.  Could it be that Sibly’s ephemeris was that bad?  Doubtful.  Taken together, the dangling Merc and the wrong position suggest that this is NOT an accident or slop, but instead a hint to those who may be studying closely.

The graphic, regardless of Merc, has already shown itslef to be a puzzle, and so we should consider Merc to be another goading to look deeper at the event called “America Independence.”  Was there another day in the Independence drama that was of importance?  Does this Merc belong to another entity altogether?  The answer is, perhaps both!

Before we could go futher, though,  we needed to settle on which degree of Cancer was actually being stated on the engraving.  Is it 21 or 22 degrees?  It’s hard to tell when we look closely, and maybe that too is deliberate.  After much comtemplation, we have settled on 21 degrees, for numerous reasons.

In astrology, Mercury “rules” over communication, and a signature falls in that category.  Signatures are the empowering act that commences law in our culture.  It is a little-known fact that an official signing ceremony was held on August 2 of 1776, and this date is when the majority of signatures were affixed on the finished document from the printer.  What was signed on the 4th of July (and is now missing!) was the draft that was handed to the Declaration’s printer – John Dunlap.  From that, Dunlap made a broadside, but it remained unsigned!

True, the measure was passed on July 2, with only the New York delegate not present, and some small revisions were made afterwards until it was handed off to the printer, and to the newspapers no the night of the fourth.  The declaration was read aloud in Philadelphia on July 8th.  It was decided that Franklin would go to France with the document in hand to ask for assistance.  And then finally the signing ceremony, on a day when Mercury is at 21°21′ Cancer, having turned direct in motion.

It should be noted here that August 2 is a special calendar date in some realms, for it is the contemporary observance of the beginning of “fall” that was observed in pagan Europe in pre-Christian times — Lughnasa.  It was one of four “cross-quarter” seasonal observances, the others being Imbolc (February 2), Beltane (May 1), and Samhain (November 1).  These dates approximated the observance of the mid-point between equinoxes and solstices.  Western culture still observes these dates in some form, with Halloween and Groundhog Day being the most obvious in the USA, and Europe fully embracing May 1 as Labor Day, and England having a bank holiday in the first week of May.  Of all the cross-quarter dates, August 2 is the most unobvious, and perhaps that’s why the deliberate symbolic scheduling of this date was overlooked by historians.

To be sure, other highly important national events happened on these special dates:  The Supreme Court first sat on February 2 of 1790.   The Federal Government began governing on May 1, 1789, the day after George Washington was given the oath of office.  “Mission Accomplished” was declared by Bush in 2003 on May 1.  The first H-Bomb was detonated on November 1, 1953.

To be sure, these ancient pagan festival dates preceeded the Roman calendar that was promulgated by the Empire in pagan realms, and as such were not timed strictly to the solar cycle, but rather the soli-lunar cycle.  The assimilation of the pagan holidays into the Roman calendar required a fixed date, and thus the beginnings of Roman months were used to honor the lunar aspect of the pagan observance.

The second day of August is also numerically significant, as the 33rd day of the second half of the year, opposite the 33rd day of the new year, February 2nd.  (May 1 is the 121st day of the year, the square root of 11; it is the opposite date of 11/1.)

But enough of this calendar numerology for now, what other important days in the history of humanity might have seen Mercury at 21°21′ Cancer?

– Ed

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