J.P. Morgan and Astrology

The statement that, “Millionaires don’t use astrology, billionaires do,” is attributed to J. Pierpont Morgan.  It’s repeated all the time, but I’ve never been able to find the source, or where this quote originally appeared.  The oldest mention of it on GoogleBooks appears to be from Sydney Omarr in 1989 – over 75 years after Morgan was dead!  Omarr was a Leo known for his dramatic flair, and I suspect that the “quote” originated with him.  His source material may have been Evangeline Adams’ 1926 autobiography, The Bowl of Heaven, where she tells us that:

I do know about the late J.P. Morgan’s belief in astrology, because – well, because I taught it to him.  I read his horoscope many times, and furnished him during the last years of his life a regular service, explaining the changing position of the planets and their probable effect on politics, business, and the stock market.  No further proof of his interest in the science is required beyond the fact that he renewed this service from year to year.

The first time he came to my studio, his attitude was frankly one of curiosity tinged with suspicion.  I had a heavy Chinese screen in one corner of my studio, and I remember how Mr. Morgan pulled his huge frame out of his chair and looked curiously behind the screen before beginning the interview.  But that attitude melted away at the first meeting.  And, in his last years, he asked me from Egypt to join him and his party in the Orient, where he had gone on his famous yacht, the Corsair.  His idea was to spend several months in a scientific investigation of the occult in those parts of the world where its practice reaches back into prehistoric time.  I declined the invitation, not because I didn’t appreciate the opportunity, but because I preferred to pursue my own investigations.  (p. 107-108).

So Morgan had been a client and was later a regular subscriber to her planetary reports.  She had already mentioned the research invitation from Morgan in a 1915 interview with the New York Press.

Morgan was interested in ancient history and funded an Assyriology professorship at Yale University in 1910.  His collection at the Morgan Library in New York includes cuneiform tablets.  These certainly suggest an interest in a culture with a strong astrological tradition.  Morgan sponsored an archaeological dig in Khargeh, Egypt, in 1912 — probably the one Evangeline was invited to accompany.

But even if he used astrology, J.P. Morgan didn’t owe his success to it.  He was born into a rich family and became a partner in a successful banking firm by the time he was 35.  He went on to make additional fortunes in railroads and steel before the turn of the century.  He could have met Evangeline in New York after 1899, when he was already over 60, but by that time he had already been a tremendous financial success for decades.  (With his Sun, Mercury, Venus and Pluto all in the second house, he had terrific money-making potential.)

Morgan had Uranus rising in Pisces, and would have naturally been intrigued by astrology and metaphysics.  But archivists at the Morgan Library in NYC have no documents or information to support Morgan’s interest in astrology.  It seems obvious to me that while he was interested in astrology, he never spoke about it publicly.