Hughes, Ted

From Astro-Databank
Jump to: navigation, search
Hughes, Ted Gender: M
Edward James Hughes
born on 17 August 1930 at 01:12 (= 01:12 AM )
Place Mytholmroyd, England, 53n44, 1w59
Timezone GDT h1e (is daylight saving time)
Data source
Rodden Rating B
Collector: Rodden
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_leocol.18.gif 23°22' s_mo.18.gif s_taucol.18.gif 17°42 Asc.s_cancol.18.gif 01°44'

Ted Hughes
photo: Original uploaded by Breakingthings (Transfered by Maurilber, license cc-by-sa-2.5


British writer, England’s poet laureate from 1984, perhaps the most famous contemporary poet in the world until his death of cancer in late October 1998. His fame is due not only to his extraordinary talents but to his marriage to renowned poet Sylvia Plath. A man of many interests, his work reflects his affinity for mythology, astrology, animals and nature, and classic literature. His prolific writing career yielded children’s literature, poetry, short stories, essays and literary criticism, plays, translations of ancient and modern work, and even an opera libretto. Hughes was awarded an OBE in 1977.

Growing up amidst the Yorkshire landscape, Hughes was the youngest of three children whose dad was a carpenter. A bright and poetic child, he began writing early and won prizes for his work. In 1951, he was awarded a scholarship to Cambridge University where he studied English and anthropology. There he met his future wife, the equally gifted poet Sylvia Plath. From their first meeting on February 25, 1956, passion reigned. The handsome, intelligent and driven couple married on June 16, 1956. After a stint in the United States, when Hughes taught English and Creative Writing at a Massachusetts college and published his first volume of poetry (1957), they returned to England. Two years later, in 1961, their daughter Frieda arrived, and in the following year, 1962, her brother Nicholas was born.

As time went on, the brilliant and tortured Plath, who had previously attempted suicide, became more erratic in her behavior. Their marriage witnessed emotional storms, accusations, and his extramarital affair. Plath committed suicide on February 11, 1963 after Hughes left her for another woman, Assia Wevill with whom he later had a daughter. Tragically, Wevill killed herself and their four-year old child in 1969 in the same way as Plath, by putting her head into a gas oven.

Feminists passionately blamed Hughes for Plath's and Wevill’s deaths, claiming that his behavior, coldness and inattention led to their suicides. For 35 years he would not discuss in public his relationship with either woman. Finally in January 1998 he published "Birthday Letters," a cycle of 88 poems based on his stormy relationship with Plath. The book was hailed by critics and sold over 100,000 copies. With the publication of his book and the changing times, Hughes received more sympathetic treatment from the public than he had had since Plath’s suicide. That same year, on October 28, 1998 in London, Hughes died after an 18-month fight with cancer, survived by his children with Plath and his wife, Carole Orchard, a former nurse whom he had married in 1970.

Link to Wikipedia biography



  • Relationship : Meet a significant person 25 February 1956 (Met Plath)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death of Mate 1969 (Wevill a suicide)

Source Notes

In late 2005, Paula Gassmann cited a biography, “Her Husband—Hughes and Plath, a Marriage" by Diane Middlebrook (NY Penguin, 2003) for the time shown.

Gassmann writes: “Middlebrook's book lists 1:11:58 AM, giving him 1CANCER 44 rising. Here is what she says on page 51: ‘He was delivered by a midwife at precisely "solar midnight", according to Hughes. This is a term in astrology, referring to the position of the Sun in an astrological chart. In the Calder Valley [where he was born in W. Yorkshire] that night, the sun reached its lowest point in the zodiac-- "solar midnight" at 12:12 AM, GMT. England was on "summer time" (daylight savings time) in August 1930, so in the village of Mytholmroyd the midwife's timepiece would have read 1:12 AM. We know the exact hour of Hughes's birth--or at least we know what he said about it--because of a business letter dated 1974, on deposit in the Berg Collection at the New York Public Library.’ And on pg. 54: ‘Though Hughes's private papers are full of rough little sketches of astrological charts, for example, he did not divulge his birth hour to the journalists and scholars who interviewed him after he became famous. Nor did he mention it in his autobiographical essays or in his radio broadcasts about becoming a writer, where it would have provided an attractive bit of esoteric lore. Yet he leaked the most valuable detail into a business letter that ended up in a public archive.’ Gassmann continues: “Middlebrook credits Janet Booth and Joanne Wickenburg for explaining the meaning of ‘solar midnight.’ Without seeing the actual letter in the public archive, I wonder about the difference between 1:11:58 AM in the chart included and 1:12 AM, the position of "solar midnight", but he might have rectified himself, as it seems he had a good working knowledge of astrology and used it for decision-making.” Previously, this record carried a time of 23:55 rated C, with the source notes reading: LMR speculative chart, deduced from his poem which refers to his date of meeting Sylvia Plath.

"Our magazine was merely an overture

To the night and the party. I had predicted

Disastrous expense: a planetary

Certainty, according to Prospero's book.

Jupiter and the full moon conjunct

Opposed Venus, Disastrous expense

According to that book. Especially for me.

The conjunction combust my natal Sun,

Venus pinned exact on my mid-heaven."


"That conjunction, conjunct my Sun, conjunct

With your ruling Mars. And Chaucer

Would have pointed to that day's Sun in the Fish

Conjunct your Ascendant exactly

Opposite my Neptune and fixed

In my tenth House of good and evil fame.

......That day the solar system married us

Whether we knew it or not."

Using wide orbs, on the date they met, Jupiter at 25 Leo conjunct the full Moon at 4 Virgo were conjunct his Sun at 24 Leo and Neptune at 3 Virgo; conjunct her Mars at 21 Leo. "That day's Sun in the Fish .... in my Tenth House," puts his Neptune in the 4th house.

The only planet that does not fit is "Venus pinned exactly on my mid-heaven" as transit Venus was at 17 Aries. The Astrological Journal 5/1988, "time estimated as 3:30 AM" gives an MC of 17 Aries.

Sy Scholfield quotes Hughes in a letter to his sister Olwyn Hughes (dated 23 February 1957) in "Letters of Ted Hughes" edited by Christopher Reid (Faber & Faber, 2007/2011), p. 94: "This is the 23rd, so just see what my horoscope is, because its [sic] the best personal stroke of good fortune that I suppose I've had ever. Jupiter on the cusp of the fifth if I was born at one exact. Mars near my moon. Moon opposite my ascendant. It's much better for Sylvia - the sun on her ascendant degree - jupiter near her moon - perhaps not." Scholfield thus speculates that 1am was the time given to him by family (giving 28 Gemini rising) and 1:12am was a later rectification. The Moon moved from 21 Sagittarius to 3 Capricorn on 23/2/1957. Jupiter at 29 Virgo was close to his Placidus 5th cusp of 20 Virgo. In a letter to Olwyn (dated Late Summer 1962), Hughes writes, "by progression I now have Leo in the Ascendant instead of Cancer, which just about expressed the change I feel" (p. 205). Now at about age 32, if he was progressing his chart using a simple degree-for-a-year system then his ascendant would have moved 32 degrees from about 28 Gemini to 00 Leo. This also suggests a birth time of 1am with 28 Gemini rising in the natal chart.

On 31 May 2015 S.C. writes: "Brother Gerald Hughes' "Ted and I: A Brother's Memoir" on page 15 reports 1:00 a.m."


  • Traits : Body : Size (6' 6")
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Marriages (Three)
  • Family : Relationship : Stress - Traumatic event (Both wives suicide same way)
  • Family : Parenting : Kids 1-3 (Two)
  • Vocation : Writers : Poet