Traditional astrology views the planets in a very different way than modern astrology does. This is related to the concept of planetary dignity, which doesn’t mean a lot in modern astrology.
In traditional astrology, each of the seven classical planets rules one or more signs. This is not a matter of simple affinity. It means that the planet is responsible for the affairs of the house(s) it rules.
There are a lot of ways that traditional astrology measures the effectiveness of a planet, how well it is able to do its job. The different dignities are different ways of judging how the planets can function, and different ways they interact. Think of the dignities as like the different ways that the planets fit within the citizenship of the overall world of the chart.
Many people think of astrology as just referring to your sun sign, which is the sort that shows up in newspapers and on ‘pop’ sites. (“Love your blood red nails… you must be a Scorpio…”)
Other people are aware of natal astrology, which means reading a chart of the planetary configuration for the day and time you were born. A lot of astrology begins there… but does not end there. Continue reading
Changing to the practice of traditional astrology, is part of an overall shift in worldview that has been going on in my life for some years now. In order to really explain, I need to share some personal background.
I became increasingly serious about my study of astrology during the period that my wife of 24 years was dying of cancer. Continue reading
I had a rather unpleasant interchange at an astrology discussion group this week. We were talking about different ways of understanding doing astrology, and I was talking about Stoicism.
Stoicism, which was a very prevelant philosophy when astrology was first developed in the West, views the universe as structured and largely if not completely deterministic or fated. Reading an astrology chart is an attempt to divine that order – to find out the will of the Gods for you – so that you can work with that order.
When I finished my sentence someone turned to me and said,
How is traditional astrology different from modern?
Here are some notes I made, some more technical than others, to explain the basic differences.
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.
William Lilly’s Christian Astrology is the most famous and influential work on astrology in the English language.
Like most famous books, it is mentioned and revered much more often than it is read and studied.
There is a table in that book, which is labeled as, A Ready Table Wherefore to examine the Fortitudes and Debilities of the Planets.
This scoring system has become well known and is often copied, and computer programs that ‘score’ the planet’s dignities often use this table of values. So, the modern astrologer can enter a chart, print out a page, and there are all the scores already tallied.
Which is completely missing the point. Continue reading
“It is vital to remember that you do not know; it is the astrology that knows.” – John Frawley, in The Horary Textbook
“It’s not that I am that good; it’s that astrology is that good.” – Heather Roan-Robbins
No kidding. Continue reading
Older astrology is sometimes criticized as being overly negative, or fatalistic, or judgemental.
It seems to me that some modern astrology has gone too far in the other direction – in the name of being ‘positive’ it can become unrealistic and unbalanced.
It might be true to say that there are no ‘good’ or ‘evil’ planets, or transits, or aspects.
Maybe. Continue reading