Note: My friend Dimityr Kojuharov knows more about Fiodor Gruzinev than just about anyone. He even met Gruzinev’s surviving daughter and learned some details about her father. Basically, most of the information about Gruzinev on the internet is from Kojuharov, so my usual thanks and admiration for the depth of his diverse knowledge.
Dimityr is planning to write an article on Gruzinev’s life and works in a foreign astrological magazine, so my examination of Fiodor’s life will be cursory as I am more interested in letting the astrological community know what ancient authors he drew on and how far ahead of everyone else he was.
Second note: Minutes after publishing the article, I just learned from Kojuharov, after knowing about Fiodor for at least 6 years, that his actual surname is Gruzinev. Dimityr said that the “o” to Gruzinov is a Bulgarian change. You will note below that Fiodor is written in Bulgarian as Gruzinov. I made the corresponding change in the article.
Fiodor Gruzinev (1897-1978) was a Russian from an aristocratic family. He was very well-educated and was also fluent in German, French and English. Though he had prior interest in Astrology, it grew even more when he found a big chest of drawers full of old astrological treatises in one of the basements of the family castle.
When the Bolsheviks took power, he was forced to leave his home country Russia. He travelled extensively in his life, went around almost all of Europe.
He settled in Bulgaria in 1922 and basically lived most of his life in this country. His children kept living in Bulgaria as well. I am glad to say this because Bulgaria is my home country and in this way it deserves some credit as well for the revival of Ancient and Indian Astrology.
Keep in mind that Bulgaria was taken over the Communists in September 1944, and Astrology, among other disciplines, had to go under the radar, just like in the Soviet Union. Various astrological practitioners were sent to concentration camps merely for practising what they love and are good at.
So Gruzinev deserves even more admiration due to this fact.
There is some evidence that Fiodor Gruzinev was a member of a secret society, namely a martinist.
While Gruzinev did not make his living from Astrology, he was really passionate about it. After he retired n 1960, he started writing mostly astrological books, but some also covered palmistry, Astro palmistry, etc.
Gruzinev is the first one in the world to mention the Babylonian/Persian predictive method Firdaria. In fact, he also mentions its original form and quotes a source from the 2nd century BCE. As far as I know, he remains the only author to this day to mention the older form of Firdaria.
Fiodor Gruzinev is the perhaps first astrological practitioner in the world to share some of the secrets of the Jaimini branch of Indian Astrology. Again, I am talking about the 1960s when Jaimini was unknown in Europe and the USA, and in fact it was not that well known in India itself.
Gruzinev wrote about 30 books. He used both his name and a few pen names. Unfortunately most of these cannot be found even in Bulgaria as they were done on a typewriter. I have 3 of them and will probably buy a fourth one. The thing with the books is that there is no contents and one does not know whether Fiodor covers Jyotish or Western Astrology in the given book.
I took the time to go page by page through the 3 books I have from Fiodor Gruzinev and extract the various ancient authors he quotes. In fact Gruzinev draws on some ancient Indian authors, but I did not take the time to write them as the information was more about Jaimini and not the Parashara branch that I am interested in. As far as the Western branch is concerned, Fiodor also quotes authors from the 19th and 20th century, but I am not interested in their innovations so I did not write down their names.
Note: I myself have a substantial library of astrological (and other) books, and even though I am writing this 50+ years after Gruzinev published the books in question, given how much we know now, thanks to Guizeppe Bezza, James Holden, Robert Zoller, Robert Hand, Robert Schmidt, Ben Dykes, etc, + the era of the internet, I am not familiar with more than a few names in the list that follows. I need to consult my copy of James Holden’s Biographical Dictionary of Western Astrologers to get some information on these ancient practitioners. As I am currently busy, I have not done this yet. Besides, I am not sure how many of these he will have in the book. My point is, please excuse any writing errors: I am merely transcribing the unknown names from Cyrillic to Latin. I have given them in the order I came across their names in the books, so it is not chronological or by name.
Save for a handful of authors that follow, Gruzinev actually quotes from all of these:
Andrusar Ibn Zabi Al Farukh aka Doronius
Abu Ali Al Khayyat
Leopold of Austria
Umar al Tabari
Habbas al Hasibal Mervazi
Ibn al Alama
Ahmad Abd al Jalila Sadjisi
Paul of Alexandria
Inb al A’Lam
Abu Jaafar Abdullah ibn Muhammad Almanzor/Al-Mansur
Jean Baptiste Morin
Placido de Titti/Placidus
Poseidonus of Aramea
Antigonus of Nicea
Al ibn Hibinta
Abul Haan Ali Abedraman
What an impressive list! Again, this man was 63 when he retired in 1960 and started writing the astrological books in question. My point is, he most likely knew about a lot of these authors many years earlier.
In addition, Fiodor Gruzinev covers the Lots (he calls them “parts”), how to read the chart topic by topic, the Thema Mundi, primary directions, etc, etc.
What a pioneering spirit this man had! Note that there was no internet back then, or computers/astrological programs.
Gruzinev gives various nativities of notable people in this books. He also quotes a fascinating story about Al Biruni’s predictive abilities, and a different one about Omar Khayyam.
Fiodor Gruzinev also gives his own natal chart and explains his natal promise of not making a living through Astrology and why.
This is his nativity as shown in one of the books in question:
And here it is with my programs, including Gruzinov’s Four Pillars of Destiny chart.
Bibliography (the books are in Bulgarian but I have translated their titles in English for those that are interested):
Специалният начин за тълкуване на хороскопа – превод, подбор и коментари Валдемар Безиссар. Издадена през 1993г от издателство Аратрон – The Special Way of Interpreting the Horoscope. Published in 1993 by Aratron
Астрологията на древните – Фьодор Грузинов 1960. Издадена през 2006г от ИК Българска астрологична асоциация – The Astrology of the Ancients 1960. Published in 2006 by the Bulgarian astrological association
Астрологията звездната наука на арабите – 1965. Издадена през 2008г от издателство Лира Принт – Astrology the Starry Science of the Arabs 1965. Published in 2008 by Lira Print