William Frederick Allan (Alan Leo)
1860/8/7 05:49 AM LMT
Alan Leo was born a Leo Sun with Virgo Rising, in Westminster, London on August 7, 1860.
His Moon in Aries was in an exact trine to his Sun. He was brought up by his mother in difficult circumstances and had no formal education beyond grade school.
His given name was William Frederick Allan.
He pursued various employments but found nothing satisfactory until he became a traveling salesman for a vending machine company.
He stayed in that work until 1898, according to The Astrology Encyclopedia, at 326.
Leo taught himself astrology and in 1888 became acquainted with another astrologer, F.W. Lacey.
Through Lacey he met W. Gorn Old, who belonged to the inner circle of the Theosophical Society.
Leo joined the Society in 1890 and formed a partnership with Lacey to publish ASTROLOGER'S Magazine.
For years the magazine advertised a free chart reading for new subscribers.
Leo met his wife through such an advertisement.
Lacey withdrew in 1894 to pursue other interests, and left Leo as the sole proprietor.
By 1898, the prosperity of his magazine was such that Leo was able to abandon his sales job and give his full energies to astrology.
His Modern Astrology Publishing Company grew steadily and built up a big business in astrological materials.
In the early 1900s, he wrote several substantial books as well as a number of short works on astrology.
The former were so popular that they were repeatedly reprinted, and almost a century later they are still in print.
Leo founded the Astrological Lodge of the Theosophical Society in 1915.
The Lodge thrived and became a permanent part of the society.
His success in creating popular interest in astrology was such that he was prosecuted for "fortune-telling" twice. In the first case, in May 1914, he was acquitted on a technicality.
In the second case, in July 1917, he was fined 25 pounds, equivalent today to $1000.
These cases were not much different from religious persecution.
Some of Leo's friends thought that these persecutions contributed to his death in 1917.
Many of these laws have been done away with today, yet some still exist and are generally unenforced. from The Astrology Encyclopedia, ibid.
Alan Leo, depicted in his own horoscope.
From Astrology, by Louis MacNiece The Real Zodiac by Alan Leo The Explanation
The Zodiac that we use is really the Earth's aura. The word aura is hardly perhaps quite correct, and it would be more accurate to say "astral light."
In the Secret Doctrine, Vol. iii, we read "the Auric Egg is to the Man as the Astral Light to the Earth, as the Ether to the Astral Light, as the Akasha to the Ether," and this seems to leave no doubt that Astral Light is the correct expression here.
But the word aura is so much more familiar and seems so much better to express the idea of an aureole or nimbus or halo or similar enveloping sphere of subtler matter that it has been allowed to stand.
It is a sphere or ovoid, the poles of which coincide with the poles of the Ecliptic, and its middle or equatorial plane is the Ecliptic: it would appear to be identical with the "crystal sphere."
For some reason at present unexplained, this sphere is polarized in one direction; that is to say, it remains always in one position whatever the place of the Earth in its orbit, in this respect being comparable to the ordinary mariner's compass, the circular card of which always floats with its North pole pointing in one direction.
This sphere is divided into twelve parts like the sections of an orange, and it is these sections which constitute the "signs" of the Zodiac.
We are, however, chiefly concerned with its equatorial plane, for it is this which we measure in signs or degrees, and which determines the zodiacal position of a planet.
Now it is clear that since this sphere of aura remains constantly "floating" in one position while the Earth journeys around the Sun, the Sun's ray will successively pass through each one of the signs.
If you place a lamp in the middle of a table, and walk around the table, always facing one particular corner of the room, the rays of the light will have shone upon each part of the head in turn ? the nose, left cheek, back of the head, right cheek, and so on.
This is so simple that is seems unnecessary to enlarge on it.
What is the Zodiac? What then is the Zodiac? In a word, the Zodiac is ?
The Earth's orbit around the Sun.
This statement requires a little thought to make its meaning clear, for the Sun is often spoken of as moving through the Zodiac at the rate of one sign a month, or one degree a day.
The distinction implied is more apparent than real, for since the Earth makes one complete revolution about the Sun in a year, the Sun, as viewed from the standpoint of the Earth, will appear to move in a contrary direction ?
just as objects viewed from a moving train appear to move in the reverse direction ?
at the same rate, the whole circle in 365.5 days, or roughly a degree a day.
The whole meaning of the Zodiacal Signs and their various influences is based upon ? the presence of the Earth at various points of its orbit. The starting point is the first point of Aries; half way round the circle is the first point of Libra; and points of the circle intermediate between these represent in a similar way the first points of Cancer and Capricorn respectively, the other signs taking up their positions in due order between these cardinal points. That is all. It is really so simple that it seems hardly necessary to talk of an explanation. Yet many even well-informed people are quite unable, if anybody asks them, to give a clear explanation of what an astrologer means by the Zodiac. Why are the Constellations of Irregular Extent? A word or two may be added as to the irregularity of extent of the constellations. The cause of this irregularity may be conceived as due either to our ignorance of the true limits of each constellation ? points on which astronomers are by no means agreed ? or else to the circle of this Great Zodiac being to some extent oblique to the plane of the solar system, and to the latter being at the present time by no means in the center thereof, whereby the stars limiting each constellation appear "foreshortened," nearer to each other in some cases and farther away in others. However this may be, what we are really concerned with now is the fact that the Zodiac of Signs with which this study deals, in spite of its sympathetic relation to the uneven Zodiac of the Constellations, is itself quite evenly divided into twelve uniform space or "signs" of thirty degrees each, familiar to us under the same names and possessing in themselves the same nature as the Twelve Constellations. As regards the constellations, it may be said briefly that the Zodiac of the Constellations would seem to be concerned with macrocosmic evolution, or the life of the Solar System as a whole, as distinguished from microcosmic or human evolution, which is demonstrably related to the Zodiac of the Signs; and that every point in each circle corresponds with the equivalent point in the other. - Corresponds, it is to be noted, for the two Zodiacs do not coincide in position, and therefore the "Signs" on one Zodiac overlap, so to speak, the "Signs" in the other. In fact, the first degree of the Zodiac of the Constellations is located in about the nineteenth degree of the Zodiac of the Signs, the discrepancy being due to the "precession of the equinoxes." The two Zodiacs did coincide, however, in about the year A.D. 480. With these considerations, we may dismiss all thought of the Constellations, with which we have now nothing further to do, from our minds. The Real Zodiac I should have begun by saying that we have found by experiment that it is the apparent positions of the heavenly bodies with regard to the place where the figure is set, or where the events enquired about are, that should be regarded in astrology. Now all the events we are concerned with in practice take place on Earth ? on this planet ? therefore we are always concerned with the positions of the heavenly bodies with regard to the Earth. Another vital fact, also established by experience (though we do not know how it was originally discovered), is that the first point of Aries is the point for us on Earth to measure from ? it gives us our orientation. Well, now, if we admit (as I think we must) that what we mean in practice by "zodiac" is something relative to an Earth-centered point of view, clearly this hypothesis of the Zodiac as a kind of aura becomes a legitimate one, which many people may find helpful, though we should beware of thinking of an aura too materialistically ? we English all suffer from an ingrained tendency to crass materialism hereditarily implanted in our physical brains. In fact the term "aura," and also the final speculations are, as the writer himself points out, quite unessential to the main idea, which has to do with stimulating clear thinking about what our actual practice of computing the positions of the heavenly bodies really amounts to. On this subject, it offers some valuable suggestions. A Biography of Alan Leo by Margaret E. Hone, from her book The Modern Text Book of Astrology, 1951.: THE TURN OF THE CENTURY 1860-1917. William Frederick Allan (Alan Leo) This man must be acclaimed as the father of modern astrology. Working with his wife and a devoted group of friends, he travelled all over England, lecturing on astrology. He edited the magazine Modern Astrology and was an indefatigable worker as a professional astrologer. His major achievement was the writing of thirty books, in which he made a complete restatement of astrology. From now on, the emphasis lay on the study of the human being, events in his life being shown to be largely, though not entirely, consequent on his own character. In 1915, he founded the Astrological Lodge of London, which still carries on the spirit of his teaching. The high principles of Alan Leo and his understanding of the ancient wisdom through theosophical teachings, gave pure astrology an ethical status and lifted it away from fortune-telling and commercialism. Through the world-wide ramifications of the Theosophical Society, his books and teachings spread to all countries. Alan Leo's work has long been out of print, and was republished in the 1960s and 1970s in England. Two books recommended by your author, if you can find them are How to Judge a Nativity and Art of Synthesis. The second book, Art of Synthesis was originally named How to Judge a Nativity, Part II. When Leo revised these books, which were also part of a series he titled the "Astrology for All" series, he added additional material and a more esoteric rendering of most of the chapters. Students were delighted and the book sold really well, having more reflections of his popular Esoteric Astrology and Theosophic ideas. This prompted Leo to revise it yet again, and this second revision resulted in a new name, as the book no longer resembled a mere continuation of the first work. Thank you for visiting Lovestarz. We hope you enjoy your time at the site. Back to The Astrologers' Memorial ALAN LEO 1860-1917 c2000 by Gavin Kent McClung The following is by Gavin Kent McClung, from his article, "A SALUTE TO OUR HERITAGE: What Makes A True Astrologer?" Dell Horoscope, June, 2000, pp.66-77. (Portions reprinted with permission of the editor.) William Frederick Allan Leo is often rightly called "the father of modern astrology." He worked to reorganize the traditional astrology of his day into something more than a scattered hodge-podge of ideas. In his travels throughout Britain, he lectured constantly, bringing isolated students there a new sense of unity and leadership in astrology. In 1890, Leo joined the Theosophical Society, and commenced building a more spiritual and psychological basis for astrology, rendering it more effective as a tool of character analysis, in contrast to the then-prevalent tendency of astrologers to focus almost entirely upon prediction and forecasts. His wife, Bessie Leo, was also an astrologer and Theosophist. At that time, he also co-founded the magazine that became known as Modern Astrology, which helped unite astrology students and practitioners throughout Europe. By about 1915, he had authored or helped produce some thirty books, including classic titles in nativities, the progressed horoscope, and esoteric astrology. During this twenty to twenty-five years, largely due to his personal leadership skills, Alan Leo actually fostered the early rebirth of legitimate astrology in the Twentieth Century. His work gave strong impetus to scientific and other specialized strands of modern astrology (Uranian, cosmobiology, sidereal) as well as the humanistic astrology that gained ascendancy in the late twentieth century by its association with depth psychology, psychotherapeutic work, and spiritual movements. In 1915, he founded the Astrological Lodge of the Theosophical Society, which later received Charles E. O. Carter's energetic support after Leo passed away, which in turn helped power Carter's later propagation of the British the Faculty of Astrological Studies (1948) and the Astrological Association (1958). All of these institutions have continued to build on the strong foundation set down by one inspired man--Alan Leo. Birth and Death Data: AstroDatabank gives the following information, rated B, from his book Esoteric Astrology. He was born August 7, 1860, at 5:49 AM LMT in Westminster, England, 51N30; 00W09. He died on August 30, 1917, at 10:00 AM in Bude, England. Alan Leo & the revival of modern astrology Alan Leo (born William Allan), lived from 1860 to 1917. He was an outstanding astrologer, but much more than that, he was an organizer and proselytizer for the art. He took the many existing pieces (those of Raphael, Zadkiel, A.J. Pierce, W.J. Simmonite, etc.) and brought them into a coherent mass. To him, and him alone, we owe the revival of astrology in the 20th century. He founded two magazines, The Astrologer's Magazine, (1890-94), as well as the celebrated Modern Astrology. He wrote numerous books & printed those of his friends, among them Sepharial, H.S. Green, Charubel, and many others. He was a Theosophist, as were almost all the leading intellectuals of his time (we'd be delighted if more of you read Blavatsky) and founded the Astrological Lodge of the Theosophical Society. Leo was famous in his day & twice attracted the attention of the authorities. He was accused and acquitted of fortune-telling in 1914. He was again accused in 1917, losing in July of that year. He was fined some 25 Pound Sterling (about $2500 in current money). Weeks later he was dead from a stroke. Some think the strain of the second legal case brought on his death. The young Charles Carter was his successor. The impact of his court cases was to be far-reaching. Advised by counsel that predicting vague generalities would spare him further legal harassment, in the last years of his life he turned from "event oriented astrology" to character description & psychological tendencies which unfortunately led to the astro-psychology rubbish of the present day. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (These notes prepared from James Herschel Holden's A History of Horoscopic Astrology, AFA, 1996, $27.00, and, Geoffrey Cornelius's The Moment of Astrology, Penguin Arkana, 1994, now sadly out of print.) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- His books are all excellent, but at this time are entirely out of print. Since Leo is too valuable to be ignored, I am confident someone will reprint his books eventually. I am hopeful that reprints can be made directly from earlier editions via the new print on demand technology. While all of Leo's books are out of copyright, there is traditionally a gentleman's agreement among reprint houses not to poach on each others' titles. If no one else, we will look into reprinting Leo eventually, but I would much prefer someone else did it. Are there any takers? ANYARA-APHORISMS ~ Astrologer profiles ~ * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Alan Leo Astrologer Alan Leo was born on August 7, 1860 05:49 AM LMT in Westminster, England Sun in Leo Astrologers ought to be those who gain knowledge through themselves - bring it down from the plane where all knowledge exists for those who can take it. They should have no need for authorities and teachers. Moon in Aries This position favours ... independent or original ventures. The native will strike out path for himself or at least attempt to do so; and much that he does, both wrong and right, will be unexpected by his friends and contrary to their advice. Mercury in Leo (Mercury conjunct Saturn) To those who really think, there is nothing in the least unreasonable in Astrology, but they must think for themselves and not allow others to think for them if they would find out where the reason lies. Venus in Cancer Venus preserves, nourishes, rebuilds, and all who come fully under the influence of this planet are capable of living purely and appreciating beauty and goodness to the full. Mars in Capricorn The vibrations of Mars alone, free from any other influence or sub-influence, will certainly produce heroes, and also saints; but only when the Mars man has through long experience tempered the iron of strength and courage into the fine steel of endurance and self-sacrifice. Jupiter in Leo (Sun conjunct Jupiter) The success promised by Jupiter may be traced to the best side of the character, wherein hope and the power to expand and enlarge are prominent. ... Those under the most favourable influence of Jupiter can accomplish more in one day than the ordinary Saturnine man could achieve in a year. Saturn n in Leo (Saturn conjunct the Ascendant) In nine cases out of ten a man who knows anything definite about himself will readily identify himself with the characteristics of the sign occupied by Saturn at birth. Chiron in Aquarius In some cases ... the turning of the inner nature steadfastly and irrevocably towards harmony and truth, throws all the discord and disharmony of the nature outwards and downwards ... as a last resort, on to the physical plane in the form of bodily disease. And thus that particular sickness of the soul is got rid of for ever. Uranus in Gemini Uranus ... has been found to exercise the greatest influence for good over advanced thinkers - those who act independently, and from within more than from without. Neptune in Pisces Neptune's power for good is due to its receptivity, openness to new ideas and methods, versatility of genius, willingness to abandon that which is old and useless.... Pluto in Taurus (Pluto conjunct MC) A wise astrologer does not recognize evil as a permanent factor in any nativity, but fully understands how the attitude of the mind and feeling may produce the abuse of any special planetary vibration. North Node in Aquarius The most characteristic feature of Aquarius is its love of human nature; and there is always some attempt to blend art and science in this sign. MC in Taurus Taurus ... is the sign of concentrated physical energy and its highest expression is found in song and praise, as the result of concentrated emotion. Ascendant in Leo Leo rising denotes a fearless, frank, generous , and ambitious disposition. ... Downfalls are the result of hasty and passionate impulses, but the native recovers his balance through firmness, endurance, and self-control. 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