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Amir Bey, 2010
MAY 05
      The world?s fascination with Egypt?s culture, architecture, religion, and the wealth of the Nile has a long history. It was a prize that empires and nomadic interlopers from the ?Sea Peoples? of the Levant, the Hyksos, the Babylonians, the Macedonians, Romans, Arabs, Turks, French, and finally the English coveted for millennia. When ancient Egypt was no more, when it became a land with numerous enigmatic temples covered with mysterious symbols that bespoke of rites that no one living could remember, people began to search for answers by pouring over parched papyrus documents, carved stele, digging to the point of desecration, and wonders like the Great Pyramid were broken into, and not always for study.
     When did the discipline of ?Egyptology? begin? If one were to do a chart for Egyptology, what event, act, or realization occurred that would give a time for erecting an astrological chart? Did it begin with John Greaves PYRAMIDGRAPHIA: Or, a Description of the Pyramids of Aegypt in 1736? Napoleon?s expedition to Egypt, when he brought a large group of engineers, mathematicians, artists in 1798? Or was it earlier?
     After some knocking around, I came across a moment, an instant of realization that gives a time and place suitable for a birth chart for Egyptology. Understand: birth charts can be done for the beginnings of any entity; for corporations, cities, nations, and singing groups, provided that a reasonably accurate time and place allows for the calculation of a chart, the same as for an individual.

The birthstone of Egyptology

     First we should understand some fundamental ideas about what Egyptology is, what made it different from grave robbing (hmm?), and the prerogatives of conquerors (another hmm?). For centuries no one knew practically anything about Egypt. Very few hieroglyphics were understood, Egypt's religion was forgotten, and its former way of life, while still existing in the daily life of Nile dwellers, wasn?t recognized.
     What broke this long spell of mystery and ignorance? It was the decoding of the hieroglyphs by Jean Francois Champollion. Until that discovery we can say that Egyptology as it became to be practiced did not exist. Studies of Egypt before that could be likened to the conception of a baby before it is born; measurements, drawings, shadowy speculations by previous people arrived at relatively remote ideas, but nothing came alive and interconnected until Champollion?s revelation. But what gives his work a moment, an instant that can be called a birth? He had been studying a copy of the Rosetta Stone for some time, to such an intense degree that it was excruciating. The moment that he realized the ?secret? of the hieroglyphs, that a hieroglyph was a symbol that had phonetic, pictorial, and ideographic values, that he collapsed. His older brother, Jean Jacques Champollion-Figeac, an archaeologist and paleographer, who was in the house with him at the time found him on the floor. The date was September 14, 1822, the place was Paris, France, and the time, according to his brother, was 12 noon. This gives us a reasonable time to judge the event, which was a realization that led to the unlocking of countless temple doors, scrolls of papyrus that documented an immense history, sciences, of a people who were the foundations of much of world civilization, and ultimately, began a field of study in universities around the world. Without Champollion?s revelation, - and as he described it, came to him in a moment - there would have been no Egyptology, interpretation would have been impossible. It is without question the basis for our understanding of ancient Egypt.

The chart for Champollion's Decipherment

     This chart is done for the time Champillion's brother found him. What does the chart show? First, we have to be careful of ?12 noon? for two reasons. His brother didn?t look at his wristwatch before lifting Champollion off the floor. Second, the Ascendant for that time gives 0 degrees and 9 minutes, Sagittarius, so that it had been in that sign for 50 seconds. Sagittarius rising with the chart?s ruler Jupiter in Gemini sounds reasonable, language, synthesis, being hallmarks for that combination. However, a Scorpio Ascendant is also persuasive: a riddle solved, unearthing, reformation; without attempting to rectify the chart, I would think Scorpio with Pluto in Aries in the 4th House can also be descriptive of the birth of an archeological field of study. But then, that?s a subjective guess, and I think it?s sufficient to just raise the question. What I find interesting is the relatively tight and applying opposition between Mars in Scorpio and Saturn in Taurus, Mars in the sign of upheaval and regeneration and its co-ruler (Pluto wasn't discovered then), the planet of metal digging implements cutting into Saturn in the solid, enduring earth of Taurus. This is a great combination for an archeological dig!



Portrait by Leon Cogniet.

Champollion's birth chart.

     Champollion's birth chart is of interest because of the contacts that were made during his discovery (his birth chart should not be seen as part of the birth, but as part of the birth's process). Chief among them is the conjunction between transiting Uranus and Neptune with his natal Sun and Mercury in his natal 3rd House, the house of the mind, reading, writing. If interested, readers can check his progressed aspects at the time, with his secondary and solar directions having 5 and 4 planets respectively in his progressed 3rd Houses.
     If the chart for the decipherment of hieroglyphics is the birth chart, it would be interesting to see how it connects with importnat events in Egyptology. In terms of events, the opening of Tutankhamun?s tomb by Howard Carter is arguably the most individual significant find in Egyptology. Its treasures gave the world a more complete idea of the preparations for a pharaoh?s journey into the afterlife, and it continues to provide information. Recently, it has been determined that the cause of Tutankhamun's death is likely to have been from complications of a broken leg exacerbated by malaria, according to the most extensive study ever of his mummy, and that he had a cleft palate and club foot, possibly forcing him to walk with a cane.

     Certainly there are temples that are more important, but the opening was an unlocking, that resulted in a revelation, and because it has a time, we can do a chart for it. Occurring on February 16, 1923 at 1:45 PM, EET, The opening followed a long process, beginning with the discovery of stairs that lead away from Rameses VI's tomb on November 4, 1922, at 10:00 AM, and later to the opening of the second doorway on November 26, 1922 (These dates and times are from Carter's diary and the London Times). However, we can call the February 16, 1923 date a "birth" with the earlier activities the "gestation period?, similar to Champollion's revelation being a ?birth? after a long process. Part of the reason that the previous discoveries for Tutankhamun?s tomb could not be considered the ?birth? was the uncertainty by Howard Carter of what the purpose of the tomb was. Was it merely a cache for New Kingdom royalty? And finally, which pharaoh was buried there? The opening and entry answered those questions, thereby giving us a time for a chart.
     Progressions of the Decipherment chart for this date form important aspects as well as with Champollion's natal chart. The progressed/directed midheaven conjoins the 2nd House of the Decipherment chart within one minute, and the progressed/directed Sun and the progressed Venus is conjunct with the Sun and Neptune, as well as Champollion's natal 3rd House Capricorn Sun.
     A further emphasis on the substiantiality of the opening is the Sun, Venus, and MC conjoining the Uranus/Neptune conjunction and the 2nd House of the Decipherment; Capricorn stellium of Sun, Venus, MC, Neptune, and Uranus conjoining or in the Decipherment?s 2nd House.
     Although out of the one degree aspect, transiting Pluto of the opening is conjunct the Decipherment?s Solar Arc Pluto in the 4th House, and its Venus is opposite within and in the same degree of Decipherment?s Solar Pluto; thus the significant Asc-Pluto/Venus opposition of the opening contacts the Decipherment?s Solar Pluto, indicating the re-emergence of Tutankhamun, his re-birth.
     It would be good to have additional charts for Egyptological events to work from to see how they match up with the Decipherment chart. If anyone has any, please send them in! It may be argued that Champollion's revelation is merely a convenient time and that Egyptology doesn't have a birth time. However, many Egyptologists would agree that the decipherment was of great significance for the formation of Egyptology and astrologers would agree that a chart for that moment would have important relevance to the discipline.
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