Fagan, Cyril

Fagan, Cyril

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Cyril Fagan, an eminent astrologer, was born on May 22, 1896, in Dublin, Ireland, and died on January 5, 1970, in Tucson, Arizona. Deafness kept him from following the family profession—medicine—and eventually he took up astrology.

In the 1930s, Fagan founded the Irish Astrological Society, serving as president for some years. He took up the cause of the fixed or sidereal zodiac and became the leader of sidereal astrologers in America. Zodiacs Old and New (1950) articulates most of his ideas on siderealism. Fagan had a dogmatic style that convinced some and repelled others. Ernest Grant was the initial publisher of his Fixed Zodiac Ephemeris for 1948.

Despite the support of Fagan’s views on siderealism, however, most astrologers continued to use the moving or tropical zodiac, and some who converted to siderealism later returned to the tropical fold. Fagan began a long-running feature, “Solunars,” in American Astrology Magazine (1954–1970) in which he put forward his theories and also discussed horoscopes of many historical personages based on careful research into correct birth dates and birth times. Beyond siderealism, Fagan denounced the use of house rulers in natal astrology, tried to revive the ancient use of simultaneous rising stars, and advocated the Campanus house system (although he later advocated an eightfold division of the chart).

Fagan was a strong advocate of precise data and accurate calculation, and he criticized use of speculative charts and unjustified rectification of birth times. These contributions were eclipsed, however, by his advocacy of siderealism. Following Fagan’s and his principal supporters’ death in the 1970s, the sidereal zodiac faded from the scene. The fixed zodiac has only recently returned to prominence, in the works of Hindu astrologers.

Sources:

Fagan, Cyril. Fixed Zodiac Ephemeris for 1948. Washington, DC: National Astrology Library, 1948.
Fagan, Cyril. Zodiacs Old and New. 2d ed. Los Angeles: Llewellyn Publications, 1951.
Fagan, Cyril, and R. C. Firebrace. A Primer of the Sidereal Zodiac. London: R. C. Firebrace, 1961.
Holden, James H., and Robert A. Hughes. Astrological Pioneers of America. Tempe, AZ: American Federation of Astrologers, 1988.