Editorials & Opinions
Chart Interpretation Challenge - Mary Shelley

Chart Interpretation Challenge - Mary Shelley

Kepler College invited astrologers to share their chart interpretation for Mary Shelley (author of Frankenstein), born August 30, 1797 in London, England at 11:20 p.m. The purpose of this challenge was to showcase the different approaches to chart interpretation.


The chart below is of Mary Shelley.  The box at top right in the diagram is Gemini, her ascendant, and the signs of the zodiac and 12 houses run clockwise from there.   In 1797 when Mary Shelley was born the difference in planetary positions between Western and Vedic Astrology was 21 degrees, so the usual 2 degree Cancer ascendant minus 21 degrees converts to 11 degrees Gemini.  This gives the visible astronomical positions for the ascendant and planets at the time of birth and allows many insights not available in Western Astrology.

I will focus only on the first house, the zodiac sign that is located inside the first house; the Ascendant; the ruling planet of Ascendant and the planet that is inside the first house. Click here for a large version of Mary Shelley's chart in a new window.

The Ascendant is at the 2nd degree of Cardinal sign, Cancer. A child expects to receive the emotional protection and also the nutrition and education from a mother, instead there is “a cold and dry Saturn”. Saturn can also be the authority in the chart. And indeed this Saturn ‘plays-out'. Mary loses her mother at the age of eleven days and her father is the parent who gives her basic education and ‘bringing-up’. (Her biography notes that Mary Godwin's mother died when she was eleven days old; afterwards, she and her older half-sister, Fanny Imlay, were raised by her father).

The author of FRANKENSTEIN, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, depicted her monster with a male gender rather than a female gender. Was her gender choice for the monster motivated by the subliminal and dark side of her feminism?

Examining Mary Shelley's natal chart may reveal some clues in answering this question. Click here for a large version of her chart in a new window.

Mary Shelley was born on August 30, 1797 in London, England (0° W 10', 51° N 30') at 11:20 p.m.[1] Mary Shelley's mother was a social reformer and feminist. Mary had several children that died shortly after birth. Mary's mother died at her birth.[1]