This year is the anniversary of the first edition of Sidereus Nuncius (( Galileo Galilei, . Sidereus nuncius, magna… spectacula pandens… quae a Galileo Galileo,… sunt observata in lunae facie… apprime vero in quatuor planetis circa Jovis stellam disparibus intervallis… quos… novissime author depraehendit primus atque medicea sidera nuncupandos decrevit. Venetiis: apud T. Baglionum, 1610. )), which was published for the first time on the 12th March 1610.
Galileo was an astrologer too, and left several horoscopes in his papers, included his birth chart. Anyway in his Astrologica Nonnulla – In Italian “nonnulla” means things without any importance in every case- he gives basically two versions of his birth chart, one (with some slight differences in time) for the 16th February 1564 lengthy discussed by Deborah Houlding ((see the article Notes on Galileo chart )) and Nick Kollerstrom (( see the article Galileo’s Astrology)); the other version for the 15th February – always taken from Astrologica Nonnulla -was more recently discussed by Patrice Guinard (( see the article La naissance de Galilée : le 15 février 1564 à 15 heures 40 à Pise ))
Anyway your gentle author, found mentioned en passant in an article by Claudio Cannistra’ about the subject (( Dati e date, il tema natale di Galileo Galilei in Sestile 173-174, journal of the Italian Astrologers Register kept by CIDA, the Italian Astrological Association )) a reference to an article by Germana Ernst, an Italian Professor of History of Philosophy- she is an expert of Renaissance, especially about Tommaso Campanella and his entourage, and decided to inquire more, starting from Ernst article .
Starting from the end, I would say that I agree with Patrice Guinard, for the 15th February 1564, on the basis of a different chart, (which is not taken from Galileo’s nonnulla) which I’m going to show.
Ernst explains in easy word the hour system: in Italy time was calculated from the setting of the Sun but ephemeris – ie the planetary positions were given for midday, so we should convert watch time (the Italian hours) in p.m. time. Galileo writes “15 febr. h:22 horol. a m(eridiem) vero 3.25”.
The day is the 15th February, the 22nd hour from the sunset dividing the 14th and the 15th February. As the Sun in February sets around 5:30 p.m. (our modern time) the 22nd hour from this corresponds to around 3.30 p.m., in the afternoon of the 15th . (( Germana Ernst, Religione, ragione e natura : ricerche su Tommaso Campanella e il tardo Rinascimento (Milano Italy: F. Angeli, 1991). ))
Ernst believes that Galileo converted it in the right way the date – he firstly writes 15th and then rectified by mistake
in fact as we saw from calculation 15th Feb 22:30 horologii corresponds to 15th Feb 3:30 pm, not 16th February.
In the same way in this chart – the example is mentioned in Ernst too, 19th June h:11 hor (for us 7 in the morning) corresponds to 18th June h:18 p.m. because differently from Galileo nativity this second birth chart precedes Midday, so the new day is not yet started.
It is evident from this second example that for an afternoon birth time like his own Galileo would write 19th June, and not 20th….
Galileo in the same collection of nativities shows a new chart for the 15th February under a fictional name in f. 37r, which is discussed by Patrice Guinard in the article in bibliography.
Anyway this is not the only evidence for this date.
Galileo came several times in Rome after Sidereus Nuncius, he was a member of Accademia dei Lincei, and had good relations with the unlucky abbot of Santa Prassede, Orazio Morandi.
In the beginning of 1600 Rome was the centre of some astrological ferment, which saw princes of the Church and noblemen, scholars, monks, involved with astrological studies. Rumours are very easy to spread and God knows why, very soon all were engaged in predictions about the Pope. In December 1629, answering to “Oremus pro Pontifice nostro” (Let’s pray for our Pope), the Chapel cantors replied “Requiem aeternam dona ei Domine“- Give him Your peace.
It was too much for Urbano VIII- he decided to stop all the gossips with the strong ways, and the poor abbot Morandi, charged to organize in Santa Prassede all the astrological plot, was arrested. He suddenly died in prison, and the affair was closed with Inscrutabilis in 1631. Galileo wrote several letters while the Abbot was imprisoned to ask about his friend health and was very disappointed when he was informed about Morandi death.
Another of the monks of Santa Prassede, after Morandi arrest copied the collection of nativities of the Abbot , which is now at Archivio di Stato and between the rest we find the chart of Galileo. (( Carteggio galileano inedito con note ed appendici per cura di Giuseppe Campori, Memorie della Reale Accademia di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti di Modena, XX, 1881 ))
This means the same Galileo gave to his friend the date of 15th February 1564.
Let’s give a quick look to the chart. It’s a chart with moisture and warmth so I would say a sanguine temperament. Venus is the almuten and the chart and the angular Jupiter (even if retrograde) the Lord of Geniture.
Moon and Mercury are not in aspect, but they are at an equal distance from the Equinox, so they are configured. Interesting his Mercury in Jupiter sign, in its detriment and fall, which at a first glance does not fit with someone like Galileo.
Anyway Mercury with the Sun inclines to studies, and Mercury is disposed by Jupiter, angular in Cancer, in its exaltation, even if retrograde. On the Moon Mars has some rights, but Moon is going to Jupiter’s square, so the latter has some rights on the Moon too.
If Jupiter alone has the domination of the soul, in honourable positions he makes his subjects magnanimous, generous, god-fearing, honourable, pleasure-loving, kind, magnificent, liberal, just, high-minded, dignified, minding their own business, compassionate, fond of discussion, beneficent, affectionate, with qualities of leadership.
If we enlarge the rulership to Mars, which rules the Moon and beholds Jupiter:
Jupiter allied with Mars in honourable positions makes his subjects rough, pugnacious, military, managerial, restless, unruly, ardent, reckless, practical, outspoken, critical, effective, contentious, commanding, given to plotting, respectable, virile, fond of victory, but magnanimous, ambitious, passionate, judicious, successful.
And I believe this fits too for Galileo.
Serena Foglia e Grazia Mirti, Gli astrologica nonnulla di Galileo in Linguaggio Astrale n.88, 1992