Sunday, August 5, 2012

Why You Should Learn Traditional Astrology



If you would like to learn astrology, I think that traditional astrology is the best place for you to start. This is because traditional astrology is a system built from basic concepts. It is therefore easier to learn because the ideas build upon each other.

The typical modern astrology book has lists of planet/sign and planet/house combinations. Few of these books give any indication of how the author derived the meanings of those combinations. Traditional astrology, on the other hand, gives you the tools to derive the meanings yourself.

Some of you may know that the Zodiac signs are based on the seasons, but how many of you knew that the sign rulerships are also based on the seasons? The two brightest objects in the sky, the Sun and the Moon, are given rulership of Leo and Cancer respectively, the parts of summer with the most daylight. Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun, is assigned the two surrounding signs, Gemini and Virgo. Venus, the next closest planet, is assigned the next two signs, Taurus and Libra, and so on, until Saturn, the furthest of the visible planets from the Sun, gets the two signs of winter, Capricorn and Aquarius, with the least daylight.

Traditional astrology does not use the outer planets: Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. Because of this you may think that something is missing. How can traditional astrology function without the dynamic force of Uranus, the dissolving mist of Neptune, or the death-like transformation of Pluto? Traditional astrology has its own drama, orchestrated by the fixed stars and antiscia.

The fixed stars are just stars; they are called fixed to distinguish them from planets, which were also called wandering stars. These stars have been given names that don't really mean anything by modern astronomers, but their old names are quite colorful. Regulus, for example, was formerly known as the Heart of the Lion. Antares was formerly called the Heart of the Scorpion. There's even a medusa's head (Algol)! Some of these stars can have a  dramatic impact on a chart when prominently placed. For example, Regulus being close to the Midheaven in a chart can indicate fame and fortune for the native, but the fame may be of the fifteen-minutes variety and the fortune similarly short-lived.

Now let's talk about antiscia. An antiscion (antiscia plural) is a shadow point of a planet. If an antiscion of a planet falls within a degree of another planet, it can indicate a secret connection between the two. For example, if the antiscion of the First House ruler (which represents the person) is close to the Seventh House ruler (which represents the person's partners), that could indicate a tendency to have secret affairs.

But what if someone doesn't know what time they were born? You can still answer questions for them by using horary astrology. Horary astrology answers questions based on a chart of the time and place of the question. What kinds of questions can it answer? Well, England's
most famous astrologer, William Lilly, had a famous question about his stolen fish. He ordered a shipment of fish from a local warehouse and found out later that it had been stolen. Based only on an astrology chart, he was able to work out a description and location of the
thief, and caught the thief with some of the stolen goods.

Traditional astrology can tell us about more than individuals and their stuff. Mundane astrology tells us about cities, states and countries, using the same princples as natal and horary, but there are more charts to work with. Conjunctions between Jupiter and Saturn
happen roughly every 20 years, and set the tone for the following 20 years. You can also cast a chart for the moment the Sun enters Aries each year, and charts for full moons, new moons and eclipses. Lilly used techniques like these to predict the Great Fire of London years before it happened.

If you'd like to learn more about traditional astrology, I'm working on a book about the subject. The book will be on leanpub.com, and I'll post a link later.


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