You won’t find this in your history books, but in 1776 Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson conspired to change the date members of the Continental Congress signed America’s Declaration of Independence from Great Britain and changed the course of history.
Franklin and Jefferson were members of the Continental Congress and also the committee that drafted the document. The reason the pair wanted to change the July 2 signing date favored by John Adams to July 4 was to take advantage of the friendlier astrological alignments on the later date.
That’s right. Franklin and Jefferson were into astrology and strongly believed the country needed to pick the best possible time for declaring its intentions.
Astrologer Linda Accurso described the problem with the earlier date. On July 2, the Moon would be transiting through the astrological sign of Capricorn, one of its weakest signs. And it would be forming stressful opposition aspects to the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter halfway around the zodiac in the sign of Cancer.
However, on July 4 – the date the Declaration was actually signed – the fast-moving Moon was safely into the next zodiacal sign, Aquarius, and was no longer stressfully challenging the Sun and the other Cancer planets. The difficulties promised by the July 2 chart were avoided.
It’s impossible to say how the infant nation might have fared had the July 2 date suggested by John Adams been the way forward. What we do know is that Franklin and Jefferson aggressively lobbied against this option. Also, with hindsight, we can clearly see that the July 4 date proved to be fortuitous as the new nation prospered and eventually emerged as the wealthiest nation on the planet – and leader of the Free World.
For getting this right we probably owe Franklin, Jefferson – and everyone at the Continental Congress who bought into the July 4 option – more than we might imagine. The question is, why did a distinguished and influential group of civic leaders in the American colonies push so hard against the flow of history and scientism?
In Europe and elsewhere astrology had fallen on hard times and was in decline. The scientific community was especially critical of astrology but found no support among influential Freemasons in the American colonies.
Astrologer Wendy Cicchetti has studied the period and reports that Masonic lodges were very different from the social clubs they’ve become today. Intellectually, Freemasons in colonial America were activists and patriots with strong spiritual and metaphysical inclinations. They shared common values and purposes and deep bonds of loyalty.
About thirty-five of the generals serving under General Washington were Freemasons. And at least 50 of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia were Freemasons, including the pivotal leaders widely acknowledged as the nation’s Founding Fathers: Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, James Monroe and the intrepid ring-leader Benjamin Franklin.
During the Revolutionary War, the traditional secrecy preserved in Masonic Lodges allowed members to communicate and organize the war effort with little fear of exposure. For example, The Boston Tea Party was the work of Masons of St. Andrews Lodge in Massachusetts.
Cicchetti points out that the structure of the U.S. Constitution is identical to the federalism of the Grand Lodge system of Masonic Government created in 1723. Through the lodges of Freemasons the ideas of such Age of Enlightenment thinkers as John Locke, David Hume, Francois Marie Arouet (Voltaire) and Jean Jacques Rousseau became widely disseminated in the American colonies. But Freemasons reached beyond such luminaries for guidance.
It has been argued that the genius of Benjamin Franklin was so overwhelming, and manifested in so many directions, that no short paper can even list his achievements. The American Philosophical Society requires 20 large book pages merely to catalog his inventions, discoveries and the events in which he was intimately concerned. School children know about the crazy man who flew a kite in a thunderstorm with a key tied to its tail in order to test his idea that lightening was a powerful electrical charge. In a sanitized biography published on the Wikipedia website Franklin is described as a leading author, political theorist, inventor, civic activist, environmentalist and diplomat. But the list makes this important omission: Masonic Lodge leader Benjamin Franklin was a master astrologer and made no effort to hide this.
For 25 years Franklin wrote and published Poor Richard’s Almanac. The series made him rich and famous throughout the colonies and still is quoted today. Sales of Poor Richard’s Almanac were second only to the Bible, and the French edition went through 56 printings. He routinely commented on astrological themes, and sometimes let everyone know exactly what he had in mind (shown here with his own punctuation and grammar intact):
“Courteous Reader: Astrology is one of the most ancient Sciences, had in high Esteem of old, by the Wise and Great. Formerly, no Prince would make War or Peace, nor any General fight a Battle, in short, no important Affair was taken without first consulting an Astrologer, who examined the Aspects and Configurations of the heavenly bodies, and mark’d the lucky hour. Now the noble Art (more Shame to the Age we live in!) is dwindled into contempt; the Great neglect us, Empires make Leagues, and Parliaments Laws, without advising with us; and scarce any other Use is made of our learned Labors, than to find the best time cutting Corns, or gelding Pigs, – this Mischief we owe in a great Measure to ourselves: The ignorant Herd of Mankind: had they not been encourag’d to it by some of us, would never have dared to deprecate our sacred Dictates; but Urania has been betray’d by her own Sons: those whom she had favored with the greatest skill in her divine art, the most eminent astronomers among the Moderns, the Newtons, Helleys, and Whistons have wantonly condem’d and abus’d her, contrary to the Light of their own Conscience.”