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What Evangeline Adams Knew

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Joined: 11 Oct 2003
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Location: New Jersey, USA

Posted: Thu Jul 29, 2004 8:33 pm    Post subject: What Evangeline Adams Knew Reply with quote

This is Karen Christino’s second book on Evangeline Adams, this time it is written for astrologers. Adams (1868 – 1932) is best known for popularizing astrology in the US in the early 20th century. She saw many prominent clients, financier J.P. Morgan among them, and had a popular twice weekly 15-minute radio show. Her books, Bowl of Heaven, Astrology Your Place in the Sun, Astrology: your place in the Stars, sold very well and were all reprinted up until the 1970s. She is credited with predicating the 1929 stock market crash and the US involvement in WWII. This last a rather spectacular prediction since Adams died almost ten years prior to the American entry into that war.

Christino’s biography Evangeline Adams, Foreseeing the Future, covers all this and more and is a must read for anyone truly interested in this important part of astrological history. This latest book however, tries to answer the question posited by all those predictions, most of which became famous after the fact: “Could she do it?” Christino takes us for a tour of Adams’ astrological background and teachers, and determines the techniques and charts she most likely used to make these predictions and for the most part the answer is “Yes, she could.” Evangeline Adams emerges as a first rate astrologer, this time backed up by analysis of an astrologer who knows her way around a chart. Anyone wishing to go beyond the bare bones could easily spend many pleasant hours working on these charts and benefiting from the exercise. For those traditionalists amongst us, it is refreshing to learn that Adams owned an original copy of Christian Astrology.

Her astrology is not the humanistic driven type of Mark Edmund Jones (1888 – 1980) and Dane Rhudyar (1895 – 1985), two rough contemporaries of Adams. One can make the argument that if Adams had not popularized astrology in the US, neither of these gentlemen would have become famous in astrological circles. There may not have been any astrological circles.

Noel Tyl, gave some assistance to Karen Christino with this volume, and Noel raised an interesting question on his forum. Did Adams use solar arc directions, as they are currently used, and if so where did she learn them? The question has historical significance, because the best evidence to date is that the first person to use solar arcs was German astrologer Thomas Ring (1892 – 1983). Christino offers evidence that Adams’ first teacher, Dr. Herber Smith, used solar arcs. In Bowl of Heaven, Adams tells her readers that Dr. Smith looked at then young Evangeline’s chart and asked her if she broke her leg at about 9 years of age. Evangeline said that was true. Christino makes the interesting argument that the only way one could see such an event so quickly, or as quickly as Adams described it, is by using solar arcs, a technique previously thought unknown in the mid to late 19th century. Smith was a practitioner, not a theorist. So where did Smith learn them, if in fact he did? The chain runs this way: Smith was most likely influenced by Dr. Luke Broughton. Broughton taught Catherine Thompson who taught, for a while, Evangeline Adams. With both Smith and Thompson using solar arcs it is not too much of a stretch to think Evangeline used them, too, particularly given what we know of the way she practiced and saw clients.

OK but where did Broughton learn them? This gets trickier. Broughton never uses the term “solar arc directions.” He never claims to have invented any such thing. He advocated the use of primary directions as taught by John Worsdale, as demonstrated in his book Celestial Philosophy. But Broughton also studied Lilly, who also used primary directions. So we’re left with a bit of a gap in our understanding.

One possible explanation, which is given credence by a remark made by Broughton in his book The Elements of Astrology (and he did not apologize to Al Biruni for plagiarizing the name of his book). This remark indicates that Broughton did not understand primary directions all that well. He may have misunderstood Worsdale and passed that misunderstanding on to Thompson. The problem with this theory is not only does it rest on flimsy evidence, but also that Broughton’s book was written in 1898, long after he taught Thompson and long after Smith first read Adams’ chart and inquired about her broken leg.

This theory will require some straightening out of the dates and facts, which I hope to do in the near future. For now, buy, read, and enjoy learning what it was that Evangeline Adams knew. She knew quite a bit.

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