I’ve begun reading a book entitled, “Dr. Simon Forman: The Notorious Physician…and Astrologist” by Judith Cook. In the introduction, she mentions that the edited edition of “The Casebooks of Simon Forman” that were published by A.L Rowse with his commentary. He was not just seeking information on the physician, but of a woman by the name of Emelia Bassano Lanier! Why—I cannot help but wonder what his interest in her was besides that she was a candidate for the Dark Lady Sonnets by William Shakespeare. Simon Forman was not only a physician of this time period, but also a skilled astrologer with whom Emilia had visited many times. I sometimes feel about the same way he did—over 400 years is quite a long time ago, the past with little re-liable information can leave a lot to the imagination, to say the least. I suppose Simon Forman was better at keeping diaries (casebooks) than William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Edmund Spenser and Emilia Bassano Lanier and the like. Perhaps they were just too busy writing Sonnets and Plays for the Queens Court: Queen Elizabeth I. I have to admit that my purpose in reading this book had not much to do with the fact that Simon Forman was a physician of that time period, but that he was also an astrologer of the above mentioned people.
Although I have never wanted to get involved with debate about ‘the true authorship of Shakespeare’s work’, I felt that I needed the support; the clear, undeniable clues that only a creative writer with a little imagination could plainly identify with. With the wealth of websites dedicated to the honour of these 16th century poet’s, it was also something that couldn’t be avoided. There have been many great researcher’s and scholar’s alike that have done some wonderful work on the subject of “Shakespeare’s true authorship”; however, I would quickly become discouraged after reading thier works for various reasons and always ask myself: How can the author of Shakespeare’s work be Francis Bacon when he was visibly too busy with his own perspective career developing and nurturing the Bacon theory in science, not literature. As well, his efforts are recorded in the literature world as masterful essayist. Also, Christopher Marlowe would have only had time in his very short life span to write the first four of Shakespeare’s plays before his untimely death in 1593.
In Judith Cook’s book, Dr. Simon Forman: The Notorious Physician and Astrologer”, dedicates an entire chapter to a clandestine group of scientists, mathematicians, astrologers, astronomers, and writers called “The School of Night” with the support of Sir Walter Raleigh and Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland. The support of these two noblemen was obviously not strong enough to prevent Christopher Marlowe’s arrest on the 20th of May or his death ten days later. My imagination can’t help but wonder what this fellow tavern patron meant when he said “who should pay the reckoning” before killing Christopher Marlowe—Was it just a tavern brawl over the payment of the bill as Judith Cook believed or was it something much more sinister? Christopher Marlowe was known to be a little eccentric and out spoken. I am imagining that Judith Cook may have dedicated an entire chapter to ‘The School of Night’ because Christopher Marlowe was a good friend of Simon Forman.
After visiting a couple of websites on the life of Christopher Marlowe and learning about a few good book titles, I discovered that my theory about the tavern brawl ‘being something much more sinister’ wasn’t that far off, especially the title of one of the biographies that I found: “The Reckoning: The Murder of Christopher Marlowe” by Charles Nicholl. The online synopsis of the few books that I have found claimed that Deptford wasn’t a tavern, but a lodging place or temporary housing facility—I have even read that Christopher Marlowe may have been planning to retreat to Scotland, not Italy, as some websites that I found claim. In Judith Cook’s book, the Deptford Tavern was owned by Eleanor Bull—she was half right, the Deptford House was owned by Eleanor Bull and it may have been “The School of Night’s” meeting place. I was originally looking for information on a different poet of the Renaissance period of writing, but with all the rich history to be found in the 16th century Elizabeth society, I suppose a person can’t help to become side tracked.
After the almost year of reading and research, I decided that it was time to formalize my astrological education—to learn the various ways of determining a birth time when no other option than the particular planet’s position above was available. So far, it has been quite beneficial in helping with that discerning process. One of the assignments was to assign ruler-ship of every living thing on planet Earth to one of the particular planet above: the shrub myrtle is governed by the planet Mercury. After discovering this fact, I l quickly looked to where Christopher Marlowe’s planet Mercury was positioned in his natal chart, then matched the degree of this planet to its corresponding Sabian Symbol. Mercury, to be found only a few degrees from the chart that I had already drawn up, to me, related well with the Sabian Symbol that represents the 25th degree of Aquarius. I feel that I have properly developed Christopher Marlowe’s natal chart and may have found an adequate time of birth.
From a poem @ http://www.luminarium.org/renlit/passionateshepherd.htm “The Passionate Shepherd to his Love” two separate lines have found a place in my imagination and have continued to peek my curiosity level ever since. The first line: “Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle;” clearly establishes the above paragraph and what I am about to perceive about Christopher Marlowe’s time of birth @ 03:22:47. The second line: “A belt of straw and ivy-buds”—the planet Saturn, not only governs the sign of Capricorn, but the ivy vine or climber plant as well. On Christopher Marlowe’s natal chart, the fixed star Facies is in paran with the planet Mercury @ 01~ 10” Capricorn. This fixed star has always denoted eye problems of any kind—usually just weak eyesight today; however, its symbolism was a little more direct in latter days. It is thought to be one of the most intense and concentrated stars above; concentrated in a passionate sense, which could have constructive energy; as well as, destructive energy. I found it a little ironic to discover that Christopher Marlowe was stabbed in the eye and, therefore, died instantly.
Sabian symbols are degrees that have intrinsic meaning for the entire 360 degrees of the zodiac wheel; each degree encompasses a zodiac sign, planet or the angle within a particular natal chart. The 25th degree of Aquarius, where the planet Mercury is located in the birth chart of Christopher Marlowe, is entitled “A Butterfly with the Right Wing more perfectly formed.” The right wing of the butterfly represents spiritual wholeness—a sort of look beneath (or opposite) the aspects of the physical nature, represented by the ‘left wing of the butterfly’; the key phrase for this degree of the zodiac wheel represents a ‘transference of emotional energies’. Would not the above mentioned poem “The Passionate Shepherd to his Love” represent the ‘transference of emotional energies?
I find the Sabian Symbol for the first degree of Capricorn is quite interesting! The explanation given, at the time of Christopher Marlowe’s supposed ‘accidental death’, leads me to wonder whether his relationship with Sir Walter Raleigh intimidated another within ‘The School of Night’ group. The Sabian Symbol for this degree of Capricorn represents ‘The power and responsibility applied in any claim for leadership’. Whether the role of leadership is nothing more than a turning point in a your life that stresses a circumstance where you may need to adjust certain standards within your own domain or from what I learned, thus far, about the incident of Christopher Marlowe’s death, he just may have, inadvertently, stepped on the toes of some other member of ‘The School of Night’.
I have recently ordered the above mentioned book— “The Reckoning: The Murder of Christopher Marlowe” by Charles Nicholl”. When it comes in, hopefully, it will help support my own developing theory. In the meantime, I left a few the links below that I found quite interesting!
There are many various theories on the death of Christopher Marlowe. This website that I have found @ http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/notorious_murders/famous/christopher_marlowe/index.html highlights just a few of them.
http://www.marlowe-society.org/marlowe/life/deptford5.html A website dedicated to Christopher
http://www.luminarium.org/renlit/marlowebio.htm The work’s of Christopher Marlowe—the biography on this website clearly states that his birth date was February 6, 1564; while, the date he was ‘christened’ was February 26, 1564—perhaps this 20 day gap lends to his and obviously his families atheist beliefs, for the London law (Roman Catholic tradition) of that period ordered any baby to be baptized within five days of his/her birth. Upon further reading, I was to discover that Christopher Marlowe was born in Canterbury, England —perhaps the London law didn’t extend as far as their neighboring village. http://www.luminarium.org/renlit/marlobib.htm