Hi. I moved this article to my new website. Please read its updated and improved version there. Thank you.
Written in August 2015
“It is better to have a temporary setback/failure
than to have temporary success”
quote translated from
a book of quotes in Bulgarian
and different English words
may be used, but the meaning remains
As more and more ancient texts have been translated (enormous thank you to Robert Schmidt, Robert Hand, Robert Zoller, James Holden, Ben Dykes, Rumen Kolev and others) over the last 22 years, some parts of the astrological community have been exposed to the authentic Astrology practised for at least 1500 years as the highest and most noble science. Unfortunately no course on Ancient Astrology has been offered to the public for all these years.
Robert Zoller’s Diploma Course, along with Bezza’s in Italy, and Dimitar Kojuharov’s in Bulgaria are the only ones (I ignore others who have copied from these 3) Unfortunately they are incomplete and thus cannot be considered courses on Ancient Astrology. Zoller did not have access to the sources we now have in 2015 and besides his Course is overwhelmingly medieval and based on Bonatti, and he did not use Valens or Babylonian knowledge. Bezza and the Italian School of Traditional Astrology rely too heavily on Ptolemy and Valens does not play a prominent role. Kojuharov’s does not contain predictive techniques, even though it has advantages over the other 2, but also does not use Valens.
The question inevitably arises why there is no course on Ancient Astrology today? I will answer this but first I want you think of something. I have read and heard practitioners of Indian Astrology/Jyotish claim that it is the best form of Astrology, talk disparagingly about Ancient Astrology, even though they are very ignorant of it. Well, I have studied Jyotish (the most widely spread branch – Parashara) and can compare it with Ancient Astrology or even Hellenistic Astrology for that matter. My conclusion is that Jyotish is very basic, incomplete and no match for Ancient Astrology and I can tell exactly why and how. You are free to disagree of course, but for your arguments to have merit you must have studied both in sufficient depth. For the sake of fun, let’s say I am wrong, but answer this then: why are there dozens of courses on Jyotish/Indian Astrology and hundreds if not more free videos on youtube or other websites and not a single course on Ancient Astrology and just a handful of videos on it and on Hellenistic Astrology at youtube?
The situation is somewhat similar with Chinese Astrology. I have read and heard how some Chinese (they are not as closed-minded and fanatical as the Jyotish type though) claim that Chinese Astrology is superior to any type of Astrology. I have studied both branches of Chinese Astrology (BaZi aka Four Pillars of Destiny and Zi Wei Dou Shu aka Emperor Astrology, wrongly called Purple Star Astrology), but I am sufficiently qualified to comment on BaZi only as I am yet to find explanations for Zi Wei Dou Shu’s interpretive principles and how they are derived. BaZi does have some advantages over Ancient Astrology, and I intend to demonstrate that with future articles, but Ancient Astrology has many more, is way more complex and specific, and that is quite understandable. Besides it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to calculate the length of life with Four Pillars of Destiny. For those that do not know, one’s BaZi – Four Pillars chart has 8 symbols – that is it – all of one’s life is derived from them!! (Yes, they also have symbolic Stars, something between the Lots and fixed stars if you will). Again, there are many courses on BaZi and a few on Zi Wei Dou Shu/Emperor Astrology, there are some videos on BaZi in youtube and others, but why is not there a course on Ancient Astrology?
To answer that question to the depth that it deserves I need to briefly explain the degradation of the human intellect over the last 500 years at least, if not 2000 years. (and yes, this does mean that all those New Age beLIEfs held by modern astrology about human evolution, raising of consciousness and other fallacies go down the drain). Ancient people, not just the Greeks, but also the Chinese and others, thought holistically. They knew how to put the small in the large, how to prioritize, how to organize the information, how to deliver it. In short, they used both their hemispheres of the brain. Modern people, for many reasons, have allowed to be cut off from their right brain, which unifies and has the Big Picture perception. Paradoxically, at least in the astrological community, due to these beLIEfs about the superiority of modern people over the ancients, practitioners have allowed their left brain to be cut off or its role severely reduced. Again, you are free to disagree, but let me tell you a story, which happened last week and partly inspired the writing of this article. I was talking with Dimitar Kojuharov and he was asking me about my earlier studies in Astrology. He basically wanted to know if there is an author in the 20th century who, even though teaches modern astrology, at least they teach it by having a system, which at least partly resembles the ancient ones. I started thinking about all the dozens of modern astrology books I have and how even though I supposedly had the best and was memorizing all kinds of information, I was forced to concede, and my wallet was getting thinner, that modern astrology either simply does not work or it was my fault and I was failing. In any case, even after again going over most of the dozens of books I was still not getting anywhere, and the problem was that I did not know why! Long story short, I went back to 19th century non-psychological Astrology and understood what the problem was, even though I faced other problems, which were solved by Medieval Astrology, but I faced other problems, which were solved by Hellenistic Astrology, and I faced other problems, only some of which were solved by Babylonian Astrology and also by Chinese Astrology, and problems with Chinese Astrology were solved by Ancient Astrology, and problems of Ancient and Chinese Astrology were solved by….Chinese Face and Palm Reading, but I digress.
The bottom line is that I could not find or remember even ONE 20th century author which has a system of teaching Astrology that is ordered, logical and understandable. Quick example: there is not one single author that I was able to find, and I repeat I have pretty much the best books available, which teaches how to interpret topics, NOT a chapter on the houses, but topics, let alone how to integrate and prioritize them. I wondered whether this was done deliberately, that is, they concealed their system and gave the usual bland: planets, houses, aspects, planets in houses etc. But the astrological community, like most people doing some type of service, let alone spiritual work, are compassionate and caring people for the most part. So the only logical answer is that they themselves did not know how to do that (remember, I am talking about 100 different books). Therefore something happened between the 19th and the 20th century. For instance Vivian Robson’s books are quite good, in fact from all the books I have and have heard of, nothing comes remotely close to them in terms of modern, non-psychological Astrology. So this “something” that happened and that was most likely responsible for removing the existing teaching system of Astrology was Alan Leo. I hardly need to say more on the topic!
I have to make a clarification in that I mean Western authors, particularly English writing ones, but they are the vast majority of course, at least in Europe, the US, Canada, Australia etc. Also, Robson’s books were, of course, published in the 20th century, but the point is that his thinking, his sources, etc were 19th century and earlier based.
So long story short, there is no course yet on Ancient Astrology because it is the most complex and thus powerful type of Astrology, it is cryptic and has a rich philosophy behind it which MUST be comprehended and included. Moreover to be taught properly all this knowledge has to be systematized – note that word,
-the multiple techniques prioritized and differentiated and then synthesized.
As I said, Hellenistic Astrology comes closest to what I mean by Ancient Astrology, yet there are not any courses on Hellenistic Astrology as of 2015. Robert Schmidt is the only one who has been working on a course called “The System of Hermes” for a few years and it is not yet known when it will be finished, and this could take a few more years or more. As it is not yet fully finished I cannot comment on it, but it is a course and not separate lectures put together over the years with no prioritizing, and without the mandatory philosophy and sufficient differentiation between Hellenistic Astrology and what passes for the modern psychological one (which should more correctly be called astrological psychology/psychiatry)
I finally come to maybe the biggest reason why there is no course on Ancient Astrology today, which is two fold:
1) No one has sufficiently (yet!) cracked the most cryptic astrological author which has survived – Vettius Valens. Quite simply, I can confidently say that without Valens there can be no Ancient Astrology! Long story short, if you cannot crack Valens, the way I see it, you should say so to your students upfront, you should admit that he is beyond you, at least for the moment, and accept that you have reached the sea, and not the ocean so to say (let the others stay in the puddle and in the lake, as is their choice). Of course I mean, among other things, the topic of the length of life. People who call themselves “professional traditional astrologers” or “Hellenistic astrologers” and not only do not teach the topic of death and how to calculate the longevity, but do not mention it, are pseudo-traditional and Hellenistic “astrologers”. Even worse are those who say one should not calculate the length of life.
One need only open a classical astrological textbook for the contents. Calculating the longevity/predicting death is the first thing mentioned, or in fact some do not mention it or just briefly, because it is so taken for granted that it is unnecessary, yet read carefully how they analyze a chart.
2) There are some who have sufficiently cracked Valens but they have put so much effort that they are not willing to share that understanding, which I actually respect, for the thought that such Knowledge can be bought, just because somebody has money, let alone abused, really turns me off! Or they simply do it for themselves and are not teachers.
I want to mention to you, so that you have an idea about the amount of perseverance, work and commitment it takes, how incredibly difficult and maddeningly cryptic Valens in on certain topics. I started over the last few years to try and crack one on 2 separate times, and gave up each time in frustration. I eventually was able to overwhelmingly crack it (but not 100%) but this happened on the third time, on the third year and after studying over 100 nativities and 500 derivative charts.
And note that this is just one topic, albeit crucial. I have been working on another crucial one as well.
Finally, to save the question, because I have been repeatedly asked to teach Ancient Astrology (or even parts of Valens alone) to people – I do not intend to do that. If I do that it will most likely not be in the near future and there will be certain requirements and prerequisites.
Published on the 26th of August 2015, day of Hermes, hour of the Sun