The Astro-Masonic City Charter of Chicago

A nice example of a nexus between Masonic astrology and government/municipal astrology is seen with the history of Chicago. As we know, Chicago grew to be the nation’s second-largest city, and is a major economic driver of the economy. Chicago boasted the tallest of a new kind of building called a “skyscraper” when it constructed the Masonic Temple Building in the 1890’s.

Back in 1833, however, it was just an outpost in a swampy area on the shore of Lake Michigan with a population of maybe 450 people when it formed a government on August 12. By 1837, it had submitted a charter for approval from state government (which was then in Vandalia), and that was approved on March 4.

The history of Illinois as a state began hundreds of miles away, along the Mississippi River on an island called “Kaskaskia.” Once statehood was established in 1818, the capitol was moved to a new townsite called Vandalia to the east, on what is called the Kaskaskia River. This town got its first Masonic lodge on October 8, 1822, after which a Grand Lodge for the Illinois lodges was chartered on December 9, 1822, and then opened on December 1, 1823.

In between that time and the organization of Chicago, the Masonic world was rocked by a scandal in 1826 that resulted in an Anti-Masonic era that saw the vast number of Masonic lodges across the USA close their doors. It was not until the 1840’s that Masonry started making a comeback in the interior.

Therefore, it is hard to find many Masons around in either Vandalia or Chicago in 1837, or at least Masons open about their affiliations. Back on the east coast, however, the main Masonic institutions continued on. It is important to know that there are more than one kind of Masonic fraternity that operates interstitially. The AASR, or “Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite,” is a different body than the AFAM, or “Ancient Free and Accepted Masons,” or even the “Royal Arch” Masons. None of these bodies are of the “Modern” Freemasons of which guys like Ben Franklin joined.

The Scottish Rite is a body that was still operative during the Morgan Excitement years, albeit somewhat diminished. It was founded and began in earnest on May 31, 1801, in Charleston, South Carolina.

This is the body that now has a Supreme Council building in Washington DC, north of the White House at 1733 16th Street. Don’t laugh, this Masonic Temple has a Masonic flag that was taken to the Moon by Buzz Aldrin. They’re very serious about the whole thing.

1837 was their 36th year of existence, or about three Jupiter cycles. 12 years into their endeavor, the leadership decided to create a Northern Jurisdiction, and did so in New York on August 5. As can be seen from the next graphic, the frontier state of Illinois was the most western of the then-14 within that realm.

As we learned in the 9/11 series, the Scottish Rite began on the very day that Jupiter co-rose with the star Sirius at the latitude of Charleston:

Looking east (90° azimuth), Jupiter and Sirius rise simultaneously on the morning the Scottish Rite commenced.

12 years prior to that, nearly, the Federal government began in 1789 on March 4. The table below shows that the Chicago City Charter is aligned with that simple Jupiter pattern, and also is on the anniversary of the first day of our Federal Government:

Event:Federal GovernmentAASR – Charleston SCAASRNJ – New YorkChicago City Charter
Date:March 4 1789May 31 1801August 5 1813March 4 1837
Years:– –122448
Jupiter:19°57′ Cancer 1°21′ Leo15°21′ Leo9°30′ Leo
View looking east from downtown Chicago on the afternoon of the Charter’s approval in Vandalia.

(Note that Jupiter is ~8° advanced along the ecliptic, on the other side of Cancer, to account for the +8° change in latitude between Charleston and Chicago.) Can there be any doubt as to the importance of Sirius in the ritual astrology of this group? The bi-wheel for the two events is as follows (Venus on the MC for the Charter is a guess by me):

The question may arise of why was the fledgling and unimpressive town of Chicago so important to these east coast Masonic elites? The answer is that the big players of the day saw the importance of constructing a water route from the Great Lakes to Mississippi River, and Chicago was a natural location for this, both being at the southwestern-most edge of the Great Lakes, it also was very flat and marshy, making the planned Illinois and Michigan Canal that would generate a good amount of economic activity:
A map of Chicago from 1836 detailing both the expansion of the city and the proposed canal route going south (left on this map).

It’s important to remember that this was the era before the railroads supplanted much of the transportation scene in the USA, while also on the heels of the Erie Canal that connected New York to the Great Lakes above Niagara Falls. It was known by the French as early as 1673 that a “portage” from Lake Michigan to the Des Plains river, of less than ten miles, could enable traffic from Lake Michigan to get to the Mississippi River and down to New Orleans. This is still a critical infrastructure system for agriculture, though a newer and much more robust canal system was built in the early 1900’s, adjacent to the original.

So important was this canal to the future of Illinois and the West that the initial federal land grant was issued in the same year that the first “Grand Lodge” of Illinois was formed in Vandalia – 1822. Things were moving rapidly in those days, spurned on by the Louisiana Purchase (1803) and the first Masonic lodge in the territory, called the Western Star Lodge #107, which was chartered by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.

Work finally began in 1836. In 1937, a banker’s panic hit and a sever economic recession followed that basically shut down construction. The waterway was finally opened on April 10, 1848, but by then the first passenger railroad began operations in Chicago, and soon after Chicago was destined to become the main railroad hub of the nation. The I & M Canal lasted for about 60 years before it became obsolete. Two more modern and deep canals were put into operation and are still heavily used to this day. (I grew up along one of those – the Calumet-Sag Channel – watching the barges go by. The water was not fit to be in, but the areas adjacent to the canal were undeveloped and great for dirt-biking.)

It should be mentioned here that the ceremonial canal opening in 1848 features yet another Shekinah, which I have previously blogged about. This particular one was visible in the morning, and here is a speculative chart for the day with recently-discovered Neptune on the MC:

Back to the Chicago City Charter, it does make a full moon with the AASRNJ:

Compared to the chart for the commencement of the Constitution, we have:

In closing, there are some interesting connections here worth studying. Transportation is networking, and we normally ascribe networking to Mercury, however, long-distance travel is definitely Jupiter’s realm, and a somewhat vague Jupiter thing is going on,

The Sirius-Jupiter connections mentioned earlier are evidence of a ritualistic astrological effort, but the I & M Canal becomes astrological, I suppose, when Jupiter (12°24′ Cancer) is conjunct Sirius (11°59′ Cancer) at the official opening in 1848. In terms of “straight” astrology, the whole enterprise is Jupiter and Merc in combination, or JU/ME. Given that Venus is conjunct Mercury in the 1848 chart, it’s a good thing for networking.

Even though this canal was only destined to last 60 years, it was the first, and it helped the frontier grow exponentially, and ultimately the USA. (Did I ever mention that the USA’s Declaration of Independence and the Moderns’ Grand Lodge are also connected by a Jupiter cycle?)

– Ed

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