Astro*Carto*Graphy® Map for Jim Lewis May 20th 1966

The Plains Indians of the North American continent have a prayer, “Mitakuye Oyasin”, which includes the entire material world as “all my relations”). When the material world merges in spirit with human intention a talismanic synergy is born. A warrior’s sword, the scribe’s pen are easily recognized for their talismanic empowerment. There is wonder in our respective relations; this includes all of our accessories, clothing gadgets, tools, and weapons.

Each of us, born naked; quest for these pens or swords to assist us along our respective journeying towards ‘self-realization’. That ‘Self’ is the unique promise found in each of our birth moments – moments cast with original – one-of-a-kind templates. Relations, important to our destiny paths, seem to gather to us on our respective stages, working to frame us; as artist, farmer, jeweler, scholar, or warrior. In every age the costume adjusts to the zeitgeist and is revered and individuals find their ways (accessories, clothing, tools, and weapons) to navigate the world. The material possessions are relations, but without the human ingredient of intelligence, respect, and self-awareness, animating and directing their behavior towards plant and stone, which make up the greater part of the Earth, any synergy benefits are invisible. If “all my relations” are not held in the heart, then there is no meaning in the word talisman. Here is a talismanic story, about which, the transforming benefits of a talisman were harvested through a man whose hands were directed along a destiny path writ by his birth moment planet signatures, and in some mysterious way; with him largely blind to the full significance of his actions and choices at the time. Our stories are important to pass on because they put words on feelings and ideas and help others. The following words helped me crystallize and put word clothing upon my own vision. Here are the pillars of an important man’s back-story. :

The man, Jim Lewis Slayden, was born to stammer, which he apparently did throughout his youth in New York State. In Jim Lewis Slayden’s birth moment, June 5, 1941, 9:30 a.m., seen from Yonkers, New York, the Sun was in the sign Gemini, thus tradition held that Jim would be ruled by the planet/symbol Mercury (a symbol embodied in the myth of Castor and Pollux), the traditional ruler of his birth sign. Mercury was a God in ancient Mesopotamia – the God Nabu/Nebo. From A. E. Thierens 1935 treatise titled “Astrology in Mesopotamian Culture” , published – Leiden, E.J. Brill, on page 42, we find the following “The relation between heaven and earth is laid by Marduk together with his twin-principle Nabu or Nebo. How this ‘twin-nature has to be understood, may become more or less clear from the documents in which Nabu is also called ‘bearer of the decrees of fate – documents of the gods’ – the ‘generator of the gods’, the ‘rejuvenator of the gods’, the ‘allwise’…The mythological name of Mercury is Nabu, which means proclaimer, i.e. of the dawn of a new era. What a birthright! What high potential to aspire to, but Jim’s expression of Mercury was not initially godlike; remember, he stammered.

Events in his life lead him to travel abroad, from Europe to North Africa, where he journeyed the Sahara desert as a tarot reader. Eventually, in 1966, he stopped in the capital city of Upper Volta (now modern Burkina Faso), an unfamiliar place, where he chanced upon a goldsmith, who offered him residence in his home. Circumstances compelled Jim to cash in his plane ticket home for enough money to buy Ghanaian gold, with which to fashion a ring. Under the direction of his goldsmith host, he, Jim Lewis, fashioned a crude gold ring, sized to fit the pinky finger of his right hand. Upon this ring he engraved the Ankh, symbol of life.

Here we should pause and acquire a fuller appreciation of Jim’s struggle with stammering. Imagine what it was like to have Mercury’s signature for genius strong in your life, yet be maladroit in speech, the prize characteristic of Mercury. The horoscope of his birth moment contained (in an astrologer’s eyes) the mystery of his life journey. Astrologically the hand, in particular the fingers and specifically the ‘pinkie’ finger, are all correlates of the planet Mercury. Equally revealing are the insights revealed in the map form of his horoscope wheel. In that map, Jim’s Mercury line on the Midheaven Angle (directly overhead in the sky - one of four angular relationships that Mercury formed to the Earth in Jim’s birth moment) swept the area near Ouagadougou, the city where he created his talisman in Burkina Faso.

Soon afterwards, an Annular Eclipse (June 20, 1966), synchronized Jim’s donning of the finished ring, which he placed upon his right pinky finger. This Annular New Moon Eclipse 28˚ TAURUS 55’, was close to Jim’s birth Uranus position (long held to be the signature planet for astrologers) at 28˚ TAURUS 17’.

Jim Lewis Astro*Carto*Graphy® Map Close Up

He had just experienced his 25th birthday two weeks prior. That birthday marked one of the rare astrological moments of his life; one where his birth Sun position, originally at 14˚ Gemini, had ‘progressed’ to 8˚ Cancer – the position his Mercury held in his birth moment. It can be argued that destiny delivered Jim to the right place – ‘where’ (under his Mercury Midheaven line), at the right time – ‘when’ (with Progressed Sun on his natal Mercury position), to deal with the right issues related to his hand – ‘what’ (development of some innovative creation of his mind).

Jim notes, around this time, that these were the moments during which he had his epiphany and began his journey in life as an astrologer. It was a life-changing event accompanied by a material expression also born of the environment under the eclipse path – a talismanic ring of gold marked with an Ankh – the symbol known as, “the key of life, the handled cross, the key to the Nile or the crux ansata” represented in ancient Egyptian sculptures as sun rays that terminate into hands, symbolizing the truth that:

“A fruitful union is a gift from the deity.”

Once placed, the ring remained on the finger for decades (1966-1990s), never once removed, until close to the end of his life in 1995. After returning from his diarized travel experiences in West Africa, Jim moved to implement a grand vision of human inter-relations to the Earth. His ‘tools’ of choice were astrological techniques, specifically ancient ideas about relocating the birth moment - and he began to innovate his own ideas about them. It was the dawning of the computer age, and these tools slowly became a part of his palette. This slow birth and development of an original idea was the making of Jim Lewis; it set his feet firmly upon his destiny path. After 1966, and newly affirmed as an astrologer, Jim Lewis, came to realize a vision, newly enhanced abilities to ‘see’ his life on Earth more holistically, in a geographic and seasonal way. He was learning to see the more subtle patterns that were foundation to his life; where he was going, when travel or relating was in harmony with his aspirations in a given place He ‘saw’ how he could chose to move forward or retreat from place to place; to chose when, where, and whether to proceed. As his ability to articulate his vision grew, Jim learned to control his stammer as he traveled, lecturing upon his ideas. He becomes a Griot/storyteller, traveling and sharing stories of his relocations around the Earth. Meanwhile, he also worked to pains-stakingly, hand draw maps, based upon a person’s birth moment horoscope. He inspired others to travel and find their places in the world. This identity and vision that Jim ‘realized’ in the West African desert became recognized in the North American Astrological community. In 1977, after a decade of work, Jim was awarded one of his astrological communities’ highest award for achievement – the Mark Edmund Jones Astrological Prize for Marketing his relocation innovations as Astro*Carto*Graphy® A*C*G.

For another seven years, Jim went on catalyzing other people’s lives with his amazing maps. His magic touched my life in 1984 in San Francisco, where we both lived, within walking distance; me on Hayes Street, him on Frederick Street. If you meditate upon the words, all my relations, you come to realize that you can not touch without being touched back. The changes brought about in me, a geologist by education, by Jim’s Astro (sky)*Carto (map)*Graphy (drawing)® Map of my birth moment lead me to my own innovations of geology/mineralogy, which then came back to touch and transform Jim’s life.

My innovations using astrological relocation and the Earth/human relationship came almost immediately, transforming how I perceived everyday structures – in the very stone used in constructing the buildings I encountered daily. I first met Jim when I was crossing over the edge of my transformation (individuation process), questing for a technique or tool to channel my own expression. My immediate affinity for Jim Lewis’ work was apparent from the first contact. Jim gave me an opportunity to share this with him during our first meeting in late May, 1984, just days before my birthday; what I revealed to him at the time did not take immediately. On that day in May of 1984, I told Jim that he was wearing a talisman on his pinky finger; a presumptuous and invasive assumption, given I did not know his back-story. It would take five more years (not until 1989), with me crystallizing my own ideas, for them to be in a form suitable for Jim to understand. During that interim of time, time I began to piece together fragments of his back-story just told.

What a wonder Jim’s innovation has been. He came to more fully realize just how wonderful his individuation journey to ‘Self’ was in October 1989, after he experienced another significant life moment, this time a major earthquake in San Francisco, CA. I was present, in the city experiencing the earthquake as he did. In its aftermath we met at a café on Haight Street and I became the agent of another self- realization for him during our meeting. It was during this meeting, October 28, 1989, that Jim told me his Africa story - about the creation of his Mercury ring. This is an astrological story, so it should be pointed out that the day was marked by a significant astrological event (which I didn’t appreciate at the time), the retrograde Station of Jupiter at 10˚ Cancer 53’; significantly close to Jim’s Mercury position 8˚ Cancer 12’. Besides this major signature to his Mercury position, the planets Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, were huddled together between 2˚ and 9˚ Capricorn, forcing some balance upon Jim’s Mercury. The New Moon that following day brought the breakthrough – Jim acknowledged that the ring he had worn for 23 years, without removing it once, was a talisman. That evening Jim wrote his letter acknowledging this ‘realization’.

A year after writing his letter, on November 26, 10:45 p.m., 1990, Jim removed his talisman gold ring, the ankh long worn away, from the right pinky where it had resided (never removed) since those heady halcyon days of 1966. Five years later, mercurial Jim Lewis died of brain tumors on February 21, 1995. He spent the last months of his life struggling to write and publish his first book on Astro*Carto*Graphy®. His book was published posthumously by friends. I counted myself as one of Jim’s friends in life, and published these words of tribute to him in December 1994, while he still lived.

The whispers reach the worthy ear like thunder in a canyon,
and images flash in the eyes
like stars up in the heavens,
delivering piercing messages to the chosen
Messages unwritten, delivered without a phone.
The whispers ring loud and louder, within the chosen heart,
Seize the time! Find your PLACE!
Seize the TIME and live your life as art.

© WAYNE MOODY 4/28/11