Who May Criticise and Discuss Astrology

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Written in July 2011


“Besides, if astrology or astronomy were not art or science, that renowned concept that is proclaimed universally by all, that there are seven liberal arts would now be destroyed. There would be either six or none at all, because if astronomy were not an art or science, the others would not be either and this would be unsuitable and extremely dreadful. Likewise because astronomy or astrology may be said to be the fourth part of the Quadrivium; and if there is no astronomy, there is no Quadrivium, because with an integral part having been destroyed, the whole is destroyed which would be unsuitable to the highest degree. Likewise if there is not Quadrivium, then there is neither mathematics nor theory since mathematics is (by philosophic witness) the third part of theory. If there is not theory, there is no philosophy, which is impudent, troublesome and absurd. Therefore astronomy is, by necessity, a science in as much as whoever destroys astronomy, destroys knowledge, just as he who destroys the first principle destroys wisdom, as Aristotle witnesses in his second book of the Metaphysics. Against such men who wish to destroy the sciences one must not dispute because they are worse than the beasts[1]”.

Guido Bonatti, prominent 13th century Astrology practitioner

In the modern informational and materialistic age in which we live and where everything is priced but not rated, i.e. it is measured in quantity and not quality, it is not at all surprising that anyone, as long as they want, can have a grand stand, to write a book or have their own website, to have an opinion on everything and the louder and in front of a larger audience they express it, the more authoritative it sounds. It is almost implicitly accepted that those who do not have an opinion and do not express their position are stupid or limited.

Such attitude is most commonly seen when it comes to branches of knowledge whose base is the etheric and non-physical and which are incredibly powerful. And while one can quickly and visibly, for example, be relieved from an allergy (homeopathy) or made sick or healed from a distance (radionics) or have his blood pressure normalised (precious stones therapy) and so on, the instruments and “effects” of Astrology are invisible. This is due to the fact that Astrology, as the mother of all sciences, originates from a level of existence much higher than the human concepts of what laws this miniature planet, and even Solar system, ought to be governed under. Hence, in order for one to have an adequate position it is imperative that the person be familiar with the sources/ideas from which Astrology originated. Such necessity arises from the simple fact that this Art encompasses everything that exists and goes much beyond human models of behaviour and everyday life. Or to quote Einstein: “You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. You must learn to see the world anew”. One cannot hope to comprehend Astrology if they do not think in an astrological manner, and to do so one must know the fundament on which this Art is based and this fundament has nothing in common with the modern model which has lasted over the last 300 years. What Astrology has in common is the history of Creation, how it functions and the reason for its being. These are metaphysical questions pertaining to the Absolute, i.e. Eternal Truths. When it comes to matters of such level and magnitude, all kinds of personal opinions, interpretations and guessing are invariably subjective, wrong and distorted as we are not here to define the Absolute and to change and fit Creation according to our own preconceived or programmed notions (which is impossible anyway because we are limited and not yet finished beings).

How many of those who criticise Astrology know what they are talking about? How many of them have the ability to calculate an astrological chart by hand? I have read all kinds of bullshit and guesses that clearly show that those who are against it have no idea whatsoever what it is about.

It is an interesting fact that when the most fierce opponents of Astrology in the past centuries criticised it, it was not because it does not work, but because they did not agree that Astrology, according to them, interferes with the plans of the Creator and cannot, again according to them, explain how twins have a different fate – Saint Augustine and Cicero. Thomas Aquinas reconciled Astrology and the other occult predictive sciences with the idea of the Creator and so did Albertus Magnus; the last two lived in the 13th century and have great credit for bringing in the philosophy of Aristotle to Europe, on which Medieval Astrology is partly based and which modern science abruptly cut off and distorted. Two of the major criticizers in history were the Roman orator Cicero from 1st century BCE and the 15th century Italian philosopher, scientist and linguist Pico della Mirandola…and it is a historic fact that both got angry and turned against this Art when it was predicted when they will die. No matter how much they criticized afterwards, when they time came both died when was predicted and Mirandola left this world at age 31.

It is curious that the majority of those who criticize have a problem with the Tropical Zodiac and that when the Sun is at, say, 20 degrees Leo, astronomically in the sky it is in the last degrees of the previous sign Cancer. At the same time, be it out of ignorance or purposefully, they, suitably for them, neglect to mention that the Sidereal Zodiac, used mostly in India, reflects what is happening in the sky, as least as far as the planets are concerned, i.e. Vedic Astrology should be working, using this antithesis.

In January this year, a lawsuit reached the Supreme Court in India which judged that: “Astrology is a trusted science and has been practiced for over 4000 years.”

This article does not aim to educate people; there are enough textbooks and dozens of free internet articles on the subject. Despite all it is worth saying that:

1)     There are different types of Astrology (Western, Vedic, Mayan, Chinese etc)

2)     There are different types of Zodiacs (Tropical, Sidereal, Constellational)

Even though these types fall under the same branch of knowledge and there is a lot of it that is the same, there are many different rules and using a different Zodiac completely changes the point of reference.

And so just because we practise and Art of this scope we:

1)     Do not have to take into consideration the physical reality and its governing principles at 100%. The planets in a given astrological chart do not reflect at 100% what is happening in the sky. Actually the majority of practitioners cannot recognise even the brightest of stars in the sky and yet they can make accurate and provable predictions (using medieval methods) just by looking at the chart in their computer;

2)     The most powerful predictive techniques are symbolic and do not have a physical counterpart in the sky;

3)     The 48 constellations in the sky do not form the images of animals. And still Astrology (medieval one) works with astonishing accuracy.

What does this all say about the physical world and the people’s notion of it?

So, is it possible for Astrology to be comprehended and for one to see for themselves its power, without having to study it? Yes it is possible and that would happen if one used her sister sciences of Alchemy and Magic, from which it got separated and which confirm the validity of the system of correspondences on which Astrology is based, while other people have to accept it on trust.

The magicians and alchemists know. The magician knows that when they make a talisman or a spell with the purpose of creating love and peace between two people, they will make it on a Friday or in an hour ruled by Venus, they will make two figures and pick a fortunate aspect between the ruler of the 1st and the 7th. Those who base their astrological magic on the Picatrix will strengthen the rulers of the 1st and 10th Houses, will remove the malefics from these places, will choose a harmonious aspect between the ruler of the Asc and MC, making the two figures at a time which corresponds to the Asc of the horary question[2].

There exists another option and that is to go through the secret societies if one gets invited to join. Then that person will see how at the higher levels the Seven Liberal Arts are studied and how Astrology is the last of them.

Oh yes, I can also think of the many works of art, especially in Italy, which depict the Seven Liberal Arts, for example Astrologia painted by Raffaello in Vaticano’s Stanza della Segnatura ( The Rooms of Raphaelo in the Vatican Palace)

What is left for the others then? What remains is the ancient wisdom: “If you cannot say anything wiser than silence, then you‘d better keep silent”.

Therefore if someone can say something wiser than Aristotle or Plato, whose works have been taught for 2300 years, then me my guest. Or someone could try and beat the eloquence of Dante Alighieri in his Convivio[3]:

Astrology may be compared to the sphere of Saturn in two ways: one is in the slowness of its movement through the twelve zodiacal signs, for according to the writings of the astrologers it requires more than twenty-nine years for its revolution; the other is that it is far distant from the other lights. And Astrology shows these two characteristics: for to complete its circle, that is to master the science, a very large span of time must pass, both because of its handmaids which are more numerous than those of the above-mentioned sciences, and because of the experience required before making correct use of its knowledge. Furthermore it is far above the other sciences, since as Aristotle says at the beginning of On the Soul, a science is noble due to the nobility of its subject and its exactness; and this one, more than those mentioned above, is high and noble because of its high and noble subject, the movement of the heavens, and because of its exactness, which is flawless, as deriving from perfect and regular principles. If any believe it is flawed, it is not due to the science, but, as Ptolemy says, it arises through our negligence, and must be attributed to that”.

[1] The Liberal Arts- from “liber“= free, but even from “liber“=book- are the arts proper to a free man, which derive from  his intellectual activity and where mind and spirit are required  because their goal is wisdom while on the contrary  Mechanical Arts have as their goal an income. The 3 are: Grammar, Rhetoric and Logic. The next 4 are: Arithmetic, Music, Geometry and Astronomy.


Note the interchangeable use of Astronomy and Astrology Bonatti makes.

[2] Picatrix, selected translations, edited and commented on by Christopher Warnock, illustrated by Nigel Jackson, page 36.

[3]  Dante Alighieri Convivio (The Banquet) A. S. Kline 2008, page 65.

Published on July 7 2011 in 11.49 pm

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