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).
Mary's Mother (moon) was keen-on philosophy and femininist issues and she can be traced in the Moon's placement in Sagittarius (biography: her mother was a philosopher and feminist).
Back to the Saturn inside the first house and quoting Christopher Warnock's example of a ‘malefic’ inside a house’:
The 3rd house is ruled by Saturn, the Greater Malefic, who is also in Pisces. He has some dignity, but this is a somewhat uncomfortable placement for him as it goes against his basic nature. My sense is that as Saturn naturally rules melancholy and sadness, that his placement in Pisces is another indication of the presence of depression in pain in your life. His dignity, however, shows that this is not all to the bad, however and we can see from the other positive areas of your chart that this pain can bring wisdom and compassion for yourself and for others. Saturn in cancer has only term (between 27th until 30th degree).
So in Marry Shelley’s case Saturn is not in term, since it is in the 9th degree of cancer. However there is an absence mother and a difficult childhood.
Regarding her mother’s death, I would diagnose that one indicator is that there is a square between Venus and the Ascendant. Ptolemy gives us the following nice quotation in the Tetrabiblos:
If, however, Mars be succedent to the Moon and Venus, or in quartile or opposition to them, or, if Saturn be similarly aspected to the Moon only, and both of them be void of course or retrograde, or cadent, adverse accidents and disease will attend the mother; should they, on the other hand, be swift in motion and placed in angles, they portend that her life will be short, or grievously afflicted. Their position in the oriental angles, or succedent houses, particularly denotes the shortness of her life; and, in those which are occidental, her affliction. In the same manner, should Mars be thus aspected to the Moon (and should that luminary at the same time be oriental), the mother's sudden death, or some injury in her face or eyes, will be produced: and, if the Moon be then occidental, death will be occasioned by miscarriage in parturition, by inflammation, or by wounds. Such are the effects which ensue from these aspects made by Mars to the Moon; but, should he make them to Venus, death will then take place from fever, some latent disease, or sudden sickness. Saturn's aspect 1, to the Moon, when she is oriental, inflicts on the mother disease and death from extreme colds, or fevers; but, should the Moon be occidental, the danger arises from affections of the womb, or from consumption.
If we apply both planets signifying mother (Venus or Moon), they are shaping two obvious squares, the first with the ascendant and the second with mercury.
On the other hand, the Sun is forming a nice sextile with Saturn, and the Sun is in the fourth house, representing also her house and early years. The fact that she is choosing her future partners from her father’s circle of associates is not shocking, since her relationships are ruled by Capricorn, the sign that Saturn is ruling. (Mary Godwin began a romantic relationship with one of her father’s political followers). Finally even her partner is involved with society and politics and the Capricorn influence in regards of power and politics is ‘playing-out’.
The fact that she is trying to ‘resurrect’ death into life in her writings may be the effect of Saturn inside the Ascendant and sextile the Sun (life-bearer) inside the fourth house.
I am Georgios A. Panayides, from Nicosia, Cyprus. I am 31 and I am studying Esotericism since the age of 17.
I don’t usually boast for my Knowledge. I would rather learn more than say: “I learned everything”. I particularly enjoy classical astrology. I study especially the Renaissance period and I follow scholars on the matter such as Christopher Warnock; William Ramesey and William Lilly.
I practice Law and sometimes I use charts to discover potential challenge on my cases.