Third Pisces Decanate: William B. Shelley

This concludes the series of Letters to the Sage correspondents by decanates. From The Last Eighteen Decanates Analyzed:

PISCES—3rd Decanate. The last decanate of Pisces is pictured among the constellations by CASSIOPEIA the Queen on her throne. It is the sex decanate of the sign of imprisonment, and mythology attributes the imprisonment of her daughter to the pride of this queen in her beauty. However, in another story she is the queen who furnished her children with the Ram that bore the golden fleece and carried them to heaven.

Therefore, we find those born under this influence to have eventful lives, and to be capable of entering upon and succeeding in a wide variety of careers. It is the last section of the zodiac, and they seem often to recapitulate in their lives the events and conditions we expect from many other decanates. They are unusually adaptable, are likable people, and require excitement and change. They reach their highest value in psychical research, and in adopting and advocating such a life as will prepare man for existence after the change called death.

Sir Richard Burton, the famous traveler, who was so expert at disguise and as a linguist that he passed as a native in many lands, was born when the Sun was here. Evelyn Nesbit Thaw, actress over whom her husband shot Stanford White, and whose life has been filled with drama and pathos was born with her Mentality in this decanate. And Empress Frederick of Germany, mother of Kaiser Wilhelm of world-war notoriety, was born with this section of the zodiac on the Ascendant. It is the decanate of VICISSITUDES.

Note—With a few exceptions, so that the students may have easy access to the charts cited and thus study the other factors contributing to character and accomplishment, I have used as examples persons whose charts may be found in The Book of Notable Nativities.

From Letters to the Sage, Volume One”

            William B. Shelley—born on March 17, 1825—was one of the eight children of Nathan and Dorcas Shelley, prosperous farmers in Gaines, Orleans County, New York. In 1850 he was single and working as a clerk in Rochester. By 1860 he was still in Rochester, married to Caroline, with whom in 1880 he shared the household of James and Josephine Cables in Rochester. He became president of the Rochester TS lodge in 1883 and a member of the Board of Control the following year. In 1886 he was found guilty of spousal abandonment but the judgment was reversed on appeal to the New York Supreme Court. He died January 29, 1892 in Grenville, Ontario, and was buried in his hometown of Gaines, New York. His letter in this volume is the official announcement Johnson received about the creation of the Board of Control.


 June 8, 1884

Dear Sir and F.T.S.

            It is with pleasure and by request of Wm Q. Judge I enclose the within letter and rule relating to the interest of Theosophy in America.

            Seven persons are named to form an American Board of Control, yourself, one of them. How and when can they be together to organise and mature plans for the responsible work. Geographically, Rochester is the center and Mrs Cables cordially invites the members to meet at her house No 40 Ambrose St. time to be fixed by correspondence with all members. An early meeting is desirable. Sickness and death in Mrs Cables house has prevented earlier attention, and also delayed the issue of our publication, the “Occult Word—“ devoted to the interest of Theosophy after reading and considering please reply with such suggestions as in your judgment will best promote the object to be attained  –

            Fraternally yours

            WB Shelley


            Rochester Branch