Dennis Elwell (astrologer)

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Dennis Elwell
Dennis Elwell.jpg
Born(1930-02-16)16 February 1930
Died13 November 2014(2014-11-13) (aged 84)
Stourbridge, England, United Kingdom

Dennis Elwell (16 February 1930 – 13 November 2014) was a British astrologer, journalist, author and lecturer. He is the author of the book Cosmic Loom, and has contributed articles to the publications The Future of Astrology, the Astrological Association Journal, American Astrology, Prediction and Mountain Astrologer.


He was born in Stourbridge, Worcestershire in 1930.[1] As a teenager, Elwell taught himself the basics of astrology. At the age of 19, he had an article on reincarnation published in the magazine Prediction. In 1953, he began writing regularly for American Astrology, a popular magazine that acted as a platform for contemporary astrologers. His association with the magazine continued for twenty years.[2]

Elwell was a professional journalist for most of his life.[3] At the same time, he explored astrological theory, following diversified interests in science and the works of occultists such as Rudolf Steiner and George Gurdjieff.[4] He began lecturing to astrologers in 1963[5] and gained a reputation for being an original thinker and stimulating speaker.[6]

Elwell's articles and lectures led to wider recognition.[2] He was a guest lecturer at the 1981, 1984 and 1987 astrology World Congresses in Switzerland, the 1983 and 1984 international congresses in Berkeley, California, and the 1986 Berlin International Congress. His lectures have been translated into German and Dutch.[7]

He gave the Charles Carter Memorial Lecture for the Astrological Association of Great Britain in 1974 and 1992,[8] and in 2007 was awarded the Charles Harvey Award for Exceptional Service to Astrology by the Astrological Association of Great Britain.[9]

He died in Stourbridge on 13 November 2014.[10]

Cosmic Loom[edit]

Elwell's prime work is Cosmic Loom, a recommended text amongst astrologers.[6]

The text has passed through four editions:

  1. hardback (Unwin Hyman, 1987)
  2. paperback reprint (HarperCollins/Thorsons, 1988)
  3. revised and enlarged paperback (Urania Trust, 2000)
  4. paperback (Wessex Astrologer, 2008)

In 1987, Elwell's predictions on a heightened risk to shipping formed part of a publicity campaign for the book. He said that his publisher requested the forecasts to draw attention to astrology.[11]

Press attention followed for the rest of the year:

One journalist wanted to know what else the sage could see, so I said that in the autumn I was worried about disasters on underground transport,...The morning after the terrible King's Cross fire the regional evening paper, the Express and Star, rang to ask if I recalled the interview I had given them, in which I had cautioned about such a tragedy, and they carried a report to that effect alongside their front-page story.[12]


Elwell said, in his own account, that in 1987 he forewarned two shipping companies of trouble, one of these being the British ferry company P&O Ferries.[11][13] Less than two weeks after P&O replied to Elwell, to reassure him that their procedures were designed "to deal with the unexpected from whatever quarter", their ship, the Herald of Free Enterprise, capsized at the Belgian port of Bruges-Zeebrugge with the loss of 188 lives.[14]

The editorial lead to Elwell's account read:

In 1987 Dennis Elwell attracted considerable attention in the UK press. Within days of forewarning two British shipping companies of potential trouble at sea, one of them met serious misfortune with the loss of the Herald of Free Enterprise. Elwell's attention to the prospect of shipping disaster was prompted by the March 1987 solar eclipse in Pisces.[15]

Elwell said that the correspondence was examined by journalists, after which a number of newspapers carried the story of the "warning ignored".[16] This was followed by an appearance on the BBC's Kilroy TV show, and further press attention later the same year.[17] Elwell's correspondence with P&O was also reported in the Channel 4 documentary series Witness in June 2000, in a programme examining the rise in the influence of astrology.[18]


Amongst the astrological community some reporters of the Herald of Free Enterprise event have been critical, arguing that such predictions lack specific information, and are unable to be replicated in a situation that would be of value to anyone.[19]

Leading sceptics, such as James Randi and Geoffrey Dean, have been critical of Elwell,[20][21] engaging in public exchanges concerning the legitimacy and value of astrology in science.[22] Suitbert Ertel was also frequently locked in such arguments with Elwell, and was to write critically of him:

Dennis Elwell, despite being well informed, ignores all this research. He refers to a no-authority in statistical matters, Dawkins, who has published nothing in this field. Further, he ignores most favourable judgments on Gauquelin research by H.J. Eysenck, whose score of published statistical studies in mainstream psychology has hardly been excelled by anyone. For me, therefore, the way Elwell uses his intellectual capacity to downgrade scientific research on Gauquelin effects is utterly irresponsible.[23][24]



  • Elwell, Dennis, (1987) Cosmic Loom, Unwin Hyman. ISBN 1-871989-09-4


The Future of Astrology[edit]

  • Elwell, Dennis "Here's the Answer, Now What's the Question", edited by A. T. Mann (1987), Unwin Hyman ISBN 0-04-133023-4

Astrological Association (London)[edit]

  • "Elwell Eloquence – Is Astrology on the Wrong Track?" An Astrological Anthology edited by Zach Matthews (1995), Vol.1 1959 – 1970, pp. 194–207
  • "Elwell Eloquence – Viewpoints Cosmic and Human" An Astrological Anthology edited by Zach Matthews (1995), Vol.1 1959 – 1970, pp. 208–220
  • "Elwell Eloquence – The Referend of Uranus" An Astrological Anthology edited by Zach Matthews (1995), Vol.1 1959 – 1970, pp. 221–224
  • "Elwell Eloquence – Virgo-Pisces in Man and Nature" An Astrological Anthology edited by Zach Matthews (1995), Vol.1 1959 – 1970, pp. 225–230
  • "Elwell Eloquence – Symbols of the Zodiac" An Astrological Anthology edited by Zach Matthews (1995), Vol.1 1959 – 1970, pp. 231–240
  • "Elwell Eloquence – Letters and Editorials" An Astrological Anthology edited by Zach Matthews (1995), Vol.1 1959 – 1970, pp. 240 – 252

Astrological Lodge of London[edit]

  • "Astrology and the Awakened Man" Lodge Quarterly (1974)
  • "From Symbols to Concepts: the Future of Astrology", Lodge Quarterly (1992)

Astrological Association of Great Britain[edit]

  • "How Far Can the Future Be Predicted?" – Astrological Association Journal Vol XXIX No.6, (1987) pp. 262–272[25]
  • "Living with the Stars – Parts 1 & 2" – Astrological Association Journal Vol XX Nos.3 & 4 (1978), pp. 101–107 & pp. 166–171
  • "Multi-Dimensional Transits" – Astrological Association Journal, Vol XX No.1 (1977), pp. 29–40
  • "Fate, and How to Avoid It" – Astrological Association Journal, Vol 46 No. 5 (2004), pp. 5–11[26]
  • "Self Defence for Astrologers", (co-authored with Garry Phillipson) – Astrological Association Journal, Vol.43 No.5, (2001)

Mountain Astrologer[edit]

  • Jordan, Wynne, "A Conversation with Dennis Elwell – Taking Astrology into the Future", (Aug–Sept 96) pp. 30–38.

Traditional Astrologer[edit]

  • "An Astrological Warning of Trouble at Sea", issue 1 (1993) pp. 21–22[27]
  • "The King's Cross Eclipse", issue 2 (1993) pp. 22–23[28]
  • "When Charts Expand Horizons", issue 17 (1998) pp. 16–19[29]
  • "Horary:'What is the Question?", issue 19 (2000) pp. 22–25[30]

Skyscript web site[edit]

  • "The Alma Revisited... was it an Accident?", November 2003[31]
  • "Astrology is a Foreign Language", March 2006[32]


  1. ^ "Astrodatabank entry for Elwell". Retrieved 6 June 2011. Elwell talks about his time of birth in the interview published in Garry Phillipson’s Astrology in the year 2000 (London: Flare, 2000), saying "My own time of birth has been rectified by myself from my parents' recollection that I was born late at night. As I came into the world the clock downstairs kept striking, and the irritated doctor asked for it to be stopped. Synchronistically, it announced the arrival of a noisy nuisance! I have settled for 11:44 pm (16 February 1930, Stourbridge, UK)".
  2. ^ a b Mann, A. T., The Future of Astrology, Unwin Hyman (1988), p.98.
  3. ^ Mann, A. T., The Future of Astrology, Unwin Hyman (1988), p.97. The cover of the Urania Trust edition of his book Cosmic Loom states "For most of his life he worked as a newspaper man in his own town of Stourbridge, England".
  4. ^ Phillipson, Garry, Astrology in the year 2000 (London: Flare, 2000); and online at "". 2006.
  5. ^ Mann, A. T., The Future of Astrology, Unwin Hyman (1988); p.98.
  6. ^ a b Heath, Robin, 'Cosmic Loom The New Science of Astrology: Book Review', Correlation Journal of Research in Astrology. Volume 19 Number 1; 2000, pp.52–53. Online at: Retrieved 27 June 2011.
  7. ^ Mann, A. T., The Future of Astrology, Unwin Hyman (1988); p.99.
  8. ^ Astrological Association of Great Britain, Charles Carter Memorial Lecture. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  9. ^ The Charles Harvey Award for Exceptional Service to Astrology. Retrieved 11 June 2011.
  10. ^ "Tributes paid to Stourbridge 'visionary'".
  11. ^ a b Phillipson, Garry, Astrology in the year 2000 (London: Flare, 2000); "Phillipson interview". Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  12. ^ The story was featured alongside the main news of the fire on the front page of the Birmingham Express and Star, 19 November 1987. The report began "Stourbridge astrologer Dennis Elwell, who forecast the Zeebrugge disaster, also saw last night's Underground tragedy in the stars – months before it happened". It concluded: "Mr Elwell said he did not approach the transport authorities because shipping bosses took no notice of his prediction of the ferry disaster. He believes the first of the impending accidents will be on the underground transport system".
  13. ^ Plimmer, Martin; King, Brian Beyond Coincidence Cambridge: Icon Books, 2005; p.20. ISBN 1-84046-618-9.
  14. ^ Elwell, Dennis. "An Astrological Warning of Trouble at Sea" The Traditional Astrologer Jun. 1993: pp.21–25; and online at "". Retrieved 7 June 2011.
  15. ^ Seymour, Percy (2003). The Third Level of Reality A Unified Theory of the Paranormal. Cosimo Inc. p. 163. ISBN 1-931044-47-3.
  16. ^ Phillipson, Garry, Astrology in the year 2000 (London: Flare, 2000). "Phillipson interview". Retrieved 6 June 2011.
  17. ^ Phillipson, Garry, Astrology in the year 2000 (London: Flare, 2000); p.106.
  18. ^ Witness, 'Astrology'; RDF Television for Channel Four. Producer/Director: Tim Lambert; 50-minute documentary about the rise in the influence of astrology, is it a new religion? Screened on Channel 4, 18 June 2000. Extracts from transcripts are available at Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  19. ^ Parker, Derek and Julia, Astrology, Dorling Kindersley Ltd, 2007, p.13 ISBN 978-1-4053-4033-5: "one British astrologer predicted serious danger to shipping on 6 March 1987 – the day on which the car ferry Herald of Free Enterprise sank off Zeebrugge with the loss of 187 lives. But such a prediction could not have been of use to save those lives unless it were possible to particularise – the longitude and latitude of the disaster, for example, or the time of sailing, or... But there are too many intangibles."
  20. ^ James Randi & Dennis Elwell Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  21. ^ Researchers Respond Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  22. ^ These exchanges have been published on Garry Phillipson's Astrology in the Year Zero website, under articles such as 'The Researchers Researched: A Reply to the Critics' by Dennis Elwell. Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  23. ^ Response to Dennis Elwell’s Comment on Gauquelin by Suitbert Erte Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  24. ^ "Astrologer attacks researchers (Abstract+Article)". Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  25. ^ Quoted and discussed by Percy Seymour, The Paranormal: Beyond Sensory Science (London: Arkana, 1992), p.163. Seymour also refers to the views of Elwell on pp. 154 – 5.
  26. ^ "Fate, and How to Avoid It" Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  27. ^ "An Astrological Warning of Trouble at Sea" Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  28. ^ "The King's Cross Eclipse" Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  29. ^ "When Charts Expand Horizons" Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  30. ^ "Horary:'What is the Question?" Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  31. ^ "The Alma Revisited... was it an Accident?" Retrieved 29 June 2011.
  32. ^ "Astrology is a Foreign Language" Retrieved 29 June 2011.

Further reading[edit]