At This Point in Time: Columbus’ First Voyage

“Bob Dylan’s 115th Dream” has a reference to Christopher Columbus which is still significant:
‘But the funniest thing was/When I was leavin’ the bay/I saw three ships a-sailin’/They were all heading my way/I asked the captain what his name was/And how come he didn’t drive a truck/He said his name was Columbus/I just said, “Good luck”’

The History

Columbus was not trying to ‘prove the world was round,’ as so often has been said. He didn’t have to. Thinking people knew the world was round.Columbus was simply trying to find a short sea route to the Indies.

Columbus had a hard time selling his simple plan because the learned men to whom it was referred had a more nearly correct idea of the size of the world than he. In 1485 Columbus went to Spain to offer his services to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. The Queen, a handsome and intelligent young woman, was sympathetic and put Columbus on the royal payroll. Not until they had conquered Granada, the last Moorish stronghold in Spain (January 2, 1492), were Ferdinand and Isabella ready to do business. The experts told them to dismiss Columbus, but the royal treasurer persuaded the Queen that she was missing a great opportunity. She sent for Columbus at once, and even offered to pawn the crown jewels to raise money. But the treasurer supplied most of the funds to fit out the fleet.

Columbus had three vessels on his first voyage. They were the Santa Maria and two smaller vessels, the Piňta and the Niňa. Columbus had great moral and physical courage. Again and again he faced mutinous sailors, armed rebels, frightful storms, and fighting Indians without flinching. A man of one idea, and that a radical one, he was regarded as tiresome by most people, and hated by many. He had an unfortunate habit of saying “I told you so” about the success of his first voyage, which made some people eager to trip him up.

The Chart


Sun 19 Leo 39′
Moon 11 Sagittarius 9′
North Node 8 Scorpio 27′
Mercury 4 Leo 11′
Venus 5 Libra 21′
Mars 15 Cancer 39′
Jupiter 27 Cancer 58′
Saturn 16 Aquarius 40′
Uranus 24 Capricorn 53′
Neptune 27 Sagittarius 3′
Pluto 2 Scorpio 9′
Ascendant 22 Leo 42′
Midheaven 16 Taurus 38′
2nd House 15 Virgo 52′
3rd House 13 Libra 52′

The Human Spirit

I am very grateful for modern computers. To hand-calculate the relative position of the planets at the time of Columbus’ first voyage would have been a headache. My fellow Astrologer, Kate Courtney, had the Electric Ephemeris programme on her Amstrad computer in 1992, so she agreed to use it to help me produce this chart. When I reproduced it on my Kepler 7.0 programme, I had to let the computer recalculate the results to the modern calendar settings of August 12, 1492, in order to match her original chart. The actual date was, of course, August 3rd.

The First Voyage chart contains two Yods. A Yod is a Finger of God, so-called because the planets involved describe a karmic situation which may be resolved within the life of the individual, or, in this case, by the actions involved in the event. Mars is Inconjunct to both Saturn and the Moon (Yod #1), while the Moon is Inconjunct to Mars and the Midheaven (Yod #2). One way to interpret these Yods would be to see them as being linked, which, in fact, they are with the Moon-Mars Inconjunct common to both. Then the interpretation would be: To fulfill her duty (Midheaven) as Queen (Moon), Isabella commissioned Columbus’ voyage (Mars) with the King’s support (Saturn).

I would tell the First Voyager: You may be a show-off, which others may find annoying. Once you have made up your mind about a particular course of action, you are very persistent. You select a goal and follow it through to the bitter end. (Sun in Leo)

While you can be very charming and winning, your attitudes can make people very angry. You may have difficulty getting along with authority figures. Not satisfied just to impress people with empty show, you will want to have real significance in the world. (Sun Conjunct Ascendant)

You have the feeling that you can approach any difficulty in life with complete strength and unity of purpose. (Sun Trine Moon)

You have a great deal of self-assertive energy, and you will want to get ahead in life, to be well known and highly regarded by others. (Sun Square Midheaven)

The problem is, however, that you are your harshest critic. This is often found in the charts of people who accomplish a great deal. (Sun Opposition Saturn)

You may get interested in many far-reaching subjects. This same curiosity makes you want to travel and see foreign places. (Moon in Sagittarius)

You will be courageous, and your strength will inspire others to follow where you lead. (Moon Inconjunct Mars)

In situations that would upset most people, you can keep control and remain calm. (Moon Sextile Saturn)

Sometimes there is someone in your life who discourages you and makes you feel that your efforts are futile. (Mars Inconjunct Saturn)

You are concerned with humanitarian ideals and the good of everyone. You will rise above your own viewpoint and think in terms of the whole world. You will probably become well known to most everyone in your area. (Mercury in 11th)

You have a very sharp mind, which you enjoy using to stir people up. (Mercury Opposition Uranus)

You are a nonconformist and a rebel, and you will spend much of your life finding your own path. (Jupiter Opposition Uranus)

You may be obsessed with some rather fanatical ideas. (Jupiter Square Pluto)

You are an idealist with very vivid dreams about how you want your life to be, and at certain times in your life you will follow those dreams with all your energy. (Jupiter Inconjunct Neptune)


In the final analysis, this chart seems to closely represent Columbus himself. Perhaps, the legend of Christopher Columbus, the explorer, was born with his first voyage to the New World.


Picture credit: Christopher Columbus courtesy of

About cdsmiller17

I am an Astrologer who also writes about world events. My first eBook "At This Point in Time" is available through most on-line book stores. I have now serialized my second book "The Star of Bethlehem" here. And I am experimenting with birth and death charts.
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