Johndro, L. Edward (1882–1951)
Astrologer L. Edward Johndro was born in Quebec, Canada,
on January 30, 1882. Around the beginning of the century he
moved to Lockport, New York, where he was introduced to astrology
by Edward Wykes, the manager of a children’s home in
Lockport who had an interest in the subject. Johndro was also
intrigued by the new field of electronics and worked as an electrical
engineer during World War I (1914–18) and after the war
attended the National Radio Institute. His understanding of
electricity and electromagnetism greatly affected his approach
to astrology as he felt that changes in the electromagnetic energies
might account for astrological phenomena.
Johndro’s first astrological writings were two books on the
fixed stars that were published in 1929. Fixed stars, those
brightest stars that form the major points of light in the night
sky, have had a role in traditional astrology, with each being assigned
characteristics much like the planets. The conjunction
of planets with fixed stars of related characteristics should manifest
in the individual’s life. In this instance, Johndro’s work has
been largely forgotten, in that contemporary astrologers have
largely dropped consideration of fixed charts from their work.
In his attempt to build an electrodynamic theory for astrology,
Johndro discovered a point on the chart that he called the
electrical ascendant, now generally called the vertex. He considered
this point the most fated, i.e., least susceptible to
choice, in a person’s chart, hence of vital importance in any interpretation.
Another astrologer, Charles Jayne, discovered the
same point on the chart and also incorporated it in his horoscopes.
However, the process of locating the vertex is a somewhat
sophisticated mathematical operation and few astrologers
adopted it as part of their interpretive scheme. They had more
appreciation for his attempt to build a scientific rationale for
astrology in his 1929 book, The Stars, How and Where They Influence.
He also proposed an alternative theory for the manner in
which planetary rulerships operate.
In 1936, Johndro began a professional relationship with a
colleague, W. Kenneth Brown. They consulted with prominent
businessmen whom they advised on financial investments. In
this business, Johndro and Brown utilized not only the birth
charts but conception charts, charts of the planetary positions
at the time their clients were actually conceived. Johndro believed
that the conception charts show how creative people
think or ‘‘conceive’’ of things, and hence had a vital role in predicting
their financial life. Johndro continued in this work for
the rest of his life.
He died on November 11, 1951. His wife died a short time
later as she was phoning to make his funeral arrangements.
While Johndro’s approach has largely fallen out of favor with
the ascendancy of psychological perspectives on astrology, he
was highly regarded during his life for the technical nature and
mathematical precision of his work. In 1978, the Association
for Research in Cosmecology created an annual award named
for Johndro acknowledging achievement in technical astrology.
Brau, Jean Louis, Helen Weaver, and Allen Edwards. Laurouse
Encyclopedia of Astrology. New York New American Library,
Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology • 5th Ed. Johndro, L. Edward
Johndro, L. Edward. The Earth in the Heavens. 1929. Reprint,
New York Samuel Weiser, 1970.
———. A New Conception of Sign Rulership. Washington,
D.C. American Federation of Astrologers, n.d.
———. The Stars How and Where They Influence. 1929. Reprint,
New York Samuel Weiser, 1970.