But Why Stoicism?

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,

“But why?”

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Asking Questions with Horary Astrology

Most people think of astrology in connection with reading the chart of the time of your birth, called a natal chart.

There is an older form of astrology that is gaining popularity, called Horary Astrology, which is designed to give answers to specific questions. The word Horary is from the Latin word for hour, and it answers a specific question by interpreting a chart for the time of the question.

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William Lilly’s Cheate Sheete

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

Good, Evil, Positive, Negative

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

Astrology and Rational Order

Part of my study of astrology has been a quest to find, and understand, the philosophy or world-order that makes sense of it.

Most modern astrology that I have seen does not clearly address this issue. Implicitly, the question is dealt with in a number of ways.

1) It’s ignored. That doesn’t work, since astrology makes no sense within the context of the current scientific – materialist mainstream worldview.

2) It tries to make astrology ‘scientific’, by weeding out all that is ‘superstitious’ about it, and working with analytic tools like statistical studies. Continue reading