September 26th through the 28th I was at a first-of-a-kind astrology conference in Phoenix, Arizona. Hosted by the American Federation of Astrologers, it was completely dedicated to traditional astrology.
Traditional astrology is defined as that form of astrology that was first synthesized in the Hellenistic Empre in approximately the first century BCE, and passed down through the Persian and Arab empires, and into Medieval Europe, through approximately 1700 CE when it fell into decline. It is a powerful, coherent system with a rich repertoire of interpretive and predictive techniques, many of which have been lost to modern astrology.
The three presenters were Chris Brennan, a Hellenistic astrologer, Ben Dykes, a Medieval astrologer and translator, and Demetra George.
When AFA first planned the conference they were expecting maybe 35 to 50 people. There were over 100 in attendance, literally from all over the world, including Czechoslovakia, Australia and Japan.
For me it was a life-changing experience. For the first time I was in a group of astrologers where I felt completely at home, where I could really identify with and share their philosophy, their worldview, their way of practicing astrology.
Prior to the conference I was a mostly-modern astrologer who was using more and more traditional astrology techniques. I now consider myself a traditional astrologer. It is a major shift in perspective, and in worldview and underlying philosophy.
What is the difference? There are a couple of big ones.
– Rather than being primarly subjective and psychological, traditional astrology is more specific, concrete and event oriented.
– Some modern astrology presents everything in a chart as positive. Traditional astrology is more realistic, and recognizes that life is a mix of good and bad, pleasant and unpleasant, fortunate and unfortunate.
– Some people call traditional astrology fatalistic. I prefer to think of it as more realistic. Do we have complete control over our lives? No. Is everything that happens to us positive? No.
So, is it worth having a form of astrology that realistically mirrors what happens to us in a world where we are not in complete control? Yes. Having accurate feedback can be helpful in working most constructively with what happens.
There will be many more posts about traditional astrology coming up in the future. Stay tuned.