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Traditional Astrology References and Information

This page contains a short essay on traditional astrology followed by some useful references, links, and tables.

  Traditional Astrology in a Nutshell

Traditional Astrology rests on the NeoPlatonic Hermetic Worldview or philosophy. This view envisions the world something like an onion. The outermost sphere is where the prime mover is to be found. The next layer contains the fixed stars, this is followed by the spheres of the planets from Saturn inward to Mars, then the sphere of the Sun (Earth's position in the observed order of the planets) Then the spheres of the inner planets followed by the sphere of the Moon, also known as the sublunary sphere or space between the Earth and Moon, with the Earth at the center (Sun position by astronomical reckoning). Each sphere has it's characteristics with the strongest spiritual influence nearest the surface, that is out in the spheres of the prime mover and the stars. The most material though is near the center with the Earth and Moon where change, generation and corruption occur. The tropical zodiac which is defined by the apparent motion of the Sun among the stars is determined by the relationship of the Earth and Sun and defines the strengths and weaknesses of the planets as well as the seasons of the year. Traditional astrologers call these strengths and weaknesses dignity and debility. Modern astrologers would do well to pay more attention to them.

Each layer of this onion is suffused with and made up of the five elements. That is Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Air and Spirit. Usually Spirit is considered more as the guiding principle which organizes and directs the combination and action of the other four. But sometimes it is seen as arising from their interactions. Astrology then is seen as the spiritual science of interpreting the influences of the various spheres as shown by the positions of the planets, in terms of what manifests at the heart of the onion, that is, on earth. The Spiritus Mundi or soul of the world is both the agency of change and the precious one to be nurtured and protected. This by it's virtue of transmitting all of the outer influences to us and by its being a synthesis of what we are doing collectively at any given time. Traditional astrologers do use the fixed stars but usually treat the outer planets : Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto as fixed stars or sensitive points usually to be disregarded unless they very strongly participate in the influences studied in a particular chart. The outer planets are considered malefic, which even most modern astrologers admit, but they do sometimes serve positive functions. These planets are also particularly a part of 20th century mass experience. In most personal matters, their impact is minimal except in rare cases or mass events.

So traditional astrologers use only the seven visible planets but put great emphasis on their dignity or position in the zodiac and have some sensitivity to the spiritual dimension. Traditional astrology is usually very accurate, of course this depends greatly on the practitioner as in all types of astrology. Tradition puts great emphasis on the rulers of houses and the aspects among them and other significant factors. Relationships among the planets by dignity and aspect are the means by which the traditional astrologer clarifies and predicts the events of a life or the outcome of a question.

Traditional astrology rests on a firm and time tested theory of reality which is still very effective eventhough it appears to differ from our modern astronomical and materialistic picture. In contrast modern astrology often lacks sound theory preferring empiricism and fusion astrology prefers to incorporate modern findings, including the modern astronomical picture, while using traditional principles.

Traditional Reference Tables Dignities

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