Dr. John Montanee
A New Orleans Voodoo Grimoire
Dr. John Montanee:
An Astrological Riddle
© 2014 Rev. Bill Duvendack
Dr. John Montanee’s Astrological Death Chart
Male Chart, Aug. 23, 1885, NS Sun, 1:00 pm CST +6:00
New Orleans, Louisiana, 29° N57 ' 16 ''090° W041 ' 30 ''
Geocentric, Tropical, Placidus, Mean Node, Rating: AA
While the above chart looks at where things were at the time of Dr. John’s transition into spirit, I would like to take a few moments to explain why this chart was used, instead of a birth chart, which is more traditional. Dr. John was born in Senegal, and arrived in North America afterwards, as a free man. As is commonly the case throughout history, there are no records of his birth that I am aware of, and this is a logical situation that I have seen more times than not, not only due to the era during which this occurred, but also due to the place where he was born. I state this here as an observation only, but it does leave us in a bind when it comes to figuring out what his birth chart might look like. The fact that there is conflicting information regarding his death complicates matters quite a bit, so in these following words I will share my logic and rationale, as well as insights into what his astrological chart may look like.
In astrology, there is a technique known as chart rectification that is basically a system to deduce the birth time of an individual when a time is not known, or suspected to be incorrect. However, to my knowledge, this process doesn’t extend very easily to figuring out a birth date. For an astrological chart, the prerequisite information is the individual’s birth month, day, year, place, and time. In the case of Dr. John, all we have is a birth place; no time, no day, and no year. This lack of information is further complicated by the fact that his death certificate for 1885 has him listed as “Aged 70 years,” yet his obituary states that he was close to 100 years old. (The Last of the Voudoos, Lafcadio Hearn, page 94. This article is widely acknowledged as Dr. John’s functional obituary.) As can be seen, the idea of being close to 100 years old can be widely interpreted. Does this mean that the obituary writer knows something that the person filling out the death certificate didn’t know, or does this mean that the individual that wrote the obituary treats being 70 years old as “close to 100 years old?” With the average life span of an individual being shorter during that time, it would be easy to see how 70 years of age could be considered close to 100 years old. Hence, immediately, we have conflict between the obituary and the death chart. This further complicates matters regarding the year he was born, and makes things very difficult indeed.
The second concept that complicates things is the fact that the death certificate simply states that he was 70 years of age. The tricky part of this is that we don’t know if he had turned 70 years old earlier in the year or he still had a birthday later in the year. This means that if you use the death certificate as the beginning point, he could either be born in late 1814 or sometime in 1815, before August 23rd, which is the date of his death. However, even though this complication is present, it can still provide a lot of insight that we can work with, so let’s begin our analysis. I’ll do my best to break everything down into easy to understand language because sometimes astrology can be a foreign language, and it is not my intent to confuse the reader with such unique terms that are in astrology. If anyone is interested in the more technical side of astrology regarding him, please contact me, for this is a fascinating case study for me.
The data that we have at our disposal to work with is the following: 1) Death Certificate, 2) Marriage Certificate, 3) the knowledge that he had Bright’s disease, 4) the knowledge that he was born in Senegal, Africa, 5) the knowledge that he had many lovers and children. From an astrological perspective, this really isn’t much material to work with, but I have been able to deduce some usable information. We’ve already discussed the issues with the death certificate when put into context with the obituary, so I won’t go into it further here, so let’s move on to point #2: his marriage certificate. In astrology, significant events like marriages can be forecasted and/or worked with to discover more information about an individual. Usually, marriages occur when there is a particular transit that is occurring in the chart of the native. The second factor to take into account is progressions. A transit is when a body in the sky (planet, Sun, etc.) is moving through a certain area of an astrological chart, known as a house. A house in an astrological chart is simply a life area, so in this case, the life area of Dr. John has to do with intimate relationships and marriages. Without going into too much detail, a progression is where a chart body has moved to, from its natal placement. Yes, the chart grows and changes as we grow and change, yet the original birth chart remains the same, so the situation becomes layered. Hence when looking at events like marriages, we look to see what planet (this includes the Sun and the Moon) was moving through his house of marriage and intimate relationships (the 7th house of an astrological chart), and we progress his chart to that day for more information. I’ll make this clearer soon, but simply for now it is enough to note because I want to impress upon you how this information is valuable and applicable to the situation. His condition of Bright’s disease was of immense value when researching his birth time. Here again, without going into too many astrological technicalities, let me just say that there are correspondences in medical astrology that tell us what to look for as indicators of such a disease. In other words, this disease gives a further clue as to what astrological factors were present in his birth chart. The fact that he was born in Senegal, Africa is self explanatory when put into context of what has been discussed, but even though we know it was Senegal, we don’t know the specific area or town, so it is only of partial use. Quite frankly I chose Simenti out of convenience, but the actual area he was from matters quite a bit, and can affect things like the astrological houses significantly.
What this information reveals are key factors to look for to deduce his birthday. When I began playing around with different dates that meet the astrological criteria, I did arrive at some possibilities for birth dates. I will be the first to say that these are “ball park” estimates, but given the information I have available, and my astrological skill, I feel confident that they are as accurate as they can be, without further information available. The dates that we deduce are the following: October 29th & 30th, 1814, or April 11, 1815. Both of these are strong possibilities, and if they’re off by a few days, then so be it.
If his death certificate is to be trusted as being accurate when it says that he was aged 70 years, then the above dates can be strongly considered. In astrology, the planets Sun through Saturn are known as the personal planets because they correspond to us on a day to day basis, so to speak, and our life cycles. While this is an excellent tool to work with in our day to day lives, this doesn’t do us much good in this case because they move too fast to be of much use. However, the trans-Saturnian planets do reveal much insight as to who he was from an astrological perspective. Let’s take a closer look at his astrological character traits, then, and see what they reveal!
To begin with, he would have had a lot of emphasis on long distance travel and all concepts related to being influenced by foreign lands, foreign cultures, foreign belief systems, and foreign people. This is corroborated by the fact that he was taken from Senegal to New Orleans, and his spirituality was a blend of those two influences. In astrologese, this is evidenced by his Uranus and Neptune being in Sagittarius. Sagittarius is also the sign of spirituality, which played a major role in his life. Also of note is the influence of Pisces in his chart, reflected by Pluto and Chiron. Pisces is a water sign, which means that he would have been a strongly emotional person, which is further corroborated by his many loves, grandiose entrances, and children. However, Pisces is also the sign of the psychic, and the visionary, which were also key marks of his life. Jupiter, the planet of great beneficence, was in the sign of Libra, which is the sign of harmonious relationships and enjoying all of the beautiful things in life. Living large and appearing larger than life are two key phrases that come to mind here; both of which he is said to have exhibited during his lifetime. This is where the common traits between the two possible birthdays stop, but there is one other curious note to be aware of, and that is that of the interplay between the Sun and the Moon. If he was born on October 29, 1814, he would have been born around the time of a full moon, but if he was born on April 11, 1815, he would have been born during the time of the new moon. Both of these fit his character, as people born around the time of the full moon tend to be more sensitive to the natural energies in the air, and usually have a tendency to be more psychic than most people. People born around the time of a new moon tend to be just as affected by the ambient energies in the air, too, but their paths tend to be a bit darker than most, which also fits him. I draw attention to these two situations because it is uncommon to find both of those as possibilities in an astrological chart and both indicate that his soul picked an auspicious time to come into form. While the romantic in me would love to say that he was born around Halloween 1814, this timeframe doesn’t hold up as well under scrutiny as the April 11, 1815 date, but it is very curious to note.
I hope this hasn’t been too technical on the astrological side of things, but I do feel that at least some of this was necessary to walk you through the methodology that I used to arrive at these conclusions. On a final note, thank you to Michelle Young who helped produce some of the astrological transits that I used while processing this information. I invite anyone interested in this case to see what they come up with, for I will be the first to admit that chart rectification is not a strength of mine, but having said that, some astrological common sense can be applied to deduce the astrological riddle that is the birth date of Dr. John Montanee.
Dr. John Montanee’s Astrological Natal Chart
Male Chart, April 11, 1815, NS Tues, 8:15 pm LMT +0:53:20
Simenti, Senegal, 13° N01l 013° W201 '
Geocentric, Tropical, Placidus, Mean Node, Rating: C
Dr. John Montanee’s Marriage Progression Chart
Sec. Prog. SA in Long, Oct 20, 1868, NS Tues, 1:00 pm LMT +6:00:18
New Orleans, Louisiana, 29° N57 ' 16 '' 090° W04 ' 30 ''
Geocentric, Tropical, Placidus, Mean Node, Rating: C
Rev. Bill Duvendack
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