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Reflections on the Nativity of William Blake, by David Plant


From Urania, or the Astrologer's Chronicle, and Mystical Magazine; Edited by Merlinus Anglicus, Jun. (London 1825); Nativity of Mr. Blake - The Mystical Artist

Nativity of Mr. Blake

The above horoscope is calculated for the estimate time of birth, and Mr. Blake, the subject thereof, is well known amongst scientific characters, as having a most peculiar and extraordinary turn of genius and vivid imagination. His illustrations of the Book of Job have met with much and deserved praise; indeed, in the line which this artist has adopted, he is perhaps equalled by none in the present day. Mr. Blake is no less peculiar and outré in his ideas, as he stems to have some conscious intercourse with the invisible world; and according to his own account (in which he is certainly, to all appearances, perfectly sincere), he is continually surrounded by the spirits of the deceased of all ages, nations, and countries. He has, as he affirms, held actual conversations with Michael Angelo, Raphael, Milton, Dryden, and the worthies of antiquity. He has now by him a long poem nearly finished, which he affirms was recited to him by the spirit of Milton; and the mystical drawings of this gentleman are no less curious and worthy of notice by all those whose minds soar above the cloggings of this terrestrial element, to which we are most of us too fastly chained to comprehend the nature and operations of the world of spirits.

Mr. Blake's pictures of the last Judgement, his profiles of Wallace, Edward VI, Harold, Cleopatra and numerous others which we have seen, are really wonderful for the spirit in which they are delineated. We have been in company with this gentleman several times, and have frequently been not only delighted with his conversation, but also filled with feelings of wonder at his extraordinary faculties, which, whatever some may say to the contrary, are by no means tinctured with superstition, as he certainly believes what he promulgates. Our limits will not permit us to enlarge upon this geniture, which we merely give as an example worthy to be noticed by the astrological student in his list of remarkable nativities. But it is probable that the extraordinary faculties and eccentricities of idea which this gentleman possesses, are the effects of the Moon in Cancer in the 12th house (both sign and house being mystical), in trine to Herschel from the mystical sign Pisces, from house of science, and from the mundane trine to Saturn in the scientific sign Aquarius, which latter planet is in square to Mercury in Scorpio and in quintile to the Sun and Jupiter in the mystical sign Sagittarius. The square of Mars and Mercury, from fixed signs, also, has a remarkable tendency to sharpen the intellects, and lay the foundation of extraordinary ideas. There are also many other reasons for the strange peculiarities above noticed, but these the student will no doubt readily discover.

© Text and chart reproduced by David Plant to accompany his article: Albion Rising: Reflections on the Nativity of William Blake.

This article was first published in The Traditional Astrologer Magazine (Ascella Publications), issue 17, September 1998, p.35. Reproduced online 19 November 2004

William Blake