Ironically, although the humanistic astrology movement has made a large
(though often superficial) impact upon the astrological community, in many ways the situation has come almost full circle to where it was 30 years ago. Experienced and novice astrologers have become increasingly fascinated with the dream of "proving" astrology via statistical methodology. New developments on the astrological scene promise suites of "powerful predictive techniques" enabling astrologers to accurately pinpoint and describe every life-event, including the "moment of death." The proprietors of ancient revivalism in astrology have gone so far as to make a motto of the phrase "never confuse free will with bad technique," which is a whittled down version of "what we think of as being due to freedom in Western astrology is due to bad technique."
In view of the above, although the humanistic astrology movement's greatest concerns have changed little over the past 28 years, our concern has greatly intensified. A new concern is found in fact that astrology has attracted a crop of newcomers, many of whom are as yet unaware of the true features of a humanistic approach to astrology. Added to such concerns, ever-growing support for the humanistic astrology movement has made it clear that the time has come to once again widely and uncompromisingly publicize the aims, nature, principles and concerns of humanistic astrology.
Unhappily, conditions in the astrological community have degenerated so greatly over the past few years that it appears the most valuable work the humanistic astrology movement can perform at the present juncture is to uncompromisingly voice its concerns to the widest possible audience. Indeed, the current "state of astrology" has reached its lowest level since its Victorian revival, and the humanistic astrology movement is uniquely qualified to articulate the inner crises challenging astrology as it enters the new millennium.
In view of the above, it seems necessary to devote a good deal of space to an examination of the chief concerns of the humanistic astrology movement. Our chief concerns include:
1. The reintroduction of prediction, fatalism and determinism into modern astrology.
A declared aim of the humanistic movement in astrology is to create a public awareness that a predictive, event-oriented interpretation of astrological data is not the only approach to astrology. It is also compelled to call attention to the physical, psychological and spiritual harm the prediction of specific events can precipitate.
The humanistic astrology movement is not the first attempt originating within
the astrological community to issue warnings concerning the psychological and spiritual dangers of a predictive astrology. Indeed, there probably have always been two fundamental approaches to astrology—the sacred and the profane
. During archaic ages, a profane astrology focused on collective and environmental issues, such as agriculture, warfare, weather and affairs of state. Especially around the Mediterranean world after 600 BCE, when human evolution entered a phase emphasizing a shift from biological and collective values to individuality and individual values, profane types of astrology developed which catered to individuals and their fears, ambitions and insecurities. As Rudhyar writes in The Astrology of Personality
, it was then that astrology's "long cycle of outer degeneration began. It became increasing, on the surface, mere fortune-telling . . . Astrology fell soon into the hands of commercially-minded people." (p. 22).
Such commercially-minded people and their successors brought disgrace to astrology and spoiled the reputation of future generations of astrologers. They accomplished astrology's disgrace by pandering to and often subtlety exploiting the hopes and fears, ambitions and insecurities, expectations and desires of all classes of society—from mighty monarchs to their most humble subjects—as well as through arrogant and pompous claims that they held the power to predict specific life-events, including the moment and circumstances of death.
Objections to the claims and practices of profane astrologers were raised from time to time by members of the intelligentsia trained in the theory and practice of astrology. Plotinus, the 4th century neo-Platonist, scorned the irrational basis of astral determinism and was especially critical of astrological predictions. Marsilio Ficino, a 15th century astrologer and the leading figure in the Italian Renaissance, wrote of his disgust for the "petty, vulgar ogres of astral determinism." The renown 16th century philosopher-physician, Paracelsus, held views akin to those of modern humanistic astrology.
Recently, Ficino has been the subject of a good deal of attention. Like his 20th century humanistic counterparts, Ficino saw astrology as a symbolic language. He developed a psychological astrology meant to aid the magical process of self-unfoldment and cosmic attunement. Ficino objected strongly to the irrational nature of profane astrology. Intensely critical of the practitioners of predictive astrology, Ficino referred to them as "the petty and vulgar ogres of astrology" in his Disputation Against the Judgment of Astrologers
and indicted them for the "crime of astral determinism." Ficino worked to purge astrology of its "vulgar" practitioners and to restore to astrology its sacred component.
An entire volume could be written on the subject of freedom and determinism in astrology. For our present purpose, however, we will merely outline some of the main difficulties the humanistic astrology movement sees in the current resurgence of fatalism, determinism and prediction in astrology.
The fallacy of astral determinism.
A truly predictive astrology necessarily assumes the action of determinism. The word "astrology" is italicized to distinguish predictive claims made more or less strictly on an astrological basis from predictions in which some sort of psychic ability or psychological savvy plays a decisive role. Here we are discussing the prediction of specific events, not general trends, conditions or stages of development common to all members of humanity or to a particular group. To say a newborn baby girl will experience biological and emotional changes around age 12 or 13, for example, does not speak to specific, individual events. Such a statement is quite different from a prediction stating she will be molested in her 13th year.
Predictive astrology and astral determinism is an insult to the integrity of modern men and women, it draws ridicule to the entire astrological community and assumes individual human beings are granted less freedom than atomic particles-a view contrary to virtually every ancient and modern philosophy. As James Jeans writes in The New Background in Science
, "the only determinism of which modern physics is at all sure is of a merely statistical kind." As we'll discuss later, statistics deal exclusively with large groups, not with individuals. The key point here is that the path of individual
atomic particles cannot be predicted, yet the doctrine of astral determinism holds that the features and circumstances of all important events in the life of human individuals can be accurately predicted with the aid of astrological techniques.
Members of the humanistic astrology movement are deeply concerned by the fact that the exponents of neo-determinism have repeatedly stated that "what we think of as being due to freedom in Western astrology is due to bad technique." Any responsible modern astrologer has to question the value of such remarks and their effects upon both astrologers and the general public. Yet such authoritatively voiced opinions are finding their way more and more into the serious astrological press, and the casual observer may well conclude that astral determinists make up the largest and most eminent group within the astrological community. In fact, the supporters of astral determinism figure as a small but highly vocal group enjoying disproportionally high visibility.
While elements within the astrological community have taken the initiative to repair astrology's poor public image by showing a non-predictive, symbolic approach to astrology is not necessarily in conflict with the holistic worldview of today's new science, supporters of neo-determinism have gone so far as to repudiate the new paradigm in science because they mistakenly believe it necessarily denies astrology a place.
The holistic foundation of authentic humanistic astrology, however, lies within the scope of today's new science because the revolutionary discoveries of 20th century physics affirms Wholeness. As a symbolic language soundly and consistently founded in holistic principles, humanistic astrology has not alienated itself from the scientific avant garde and today's leading minds, nor does it court favor from or acceptance into the scientific, academic and professional communities.
Hypotheses of astrological prediction violate the principle of indeterminacy.
The famous Heisenberg principle of indeterminacy (also known as the uncertainty principle) states that both the position and velocity of an object cannot be simultaneously observed with accuracy. The more we know of one, the less we know of the other.
In Person-Centered Astrology
, Rudhyar formulates what I call the Rudhyar principle of astral indeterminacy. It states,
even if we take for granted that there are definitely known and relatively certain types of events occurring on the Earth and affecting the lives of individual persons when definite celestial events take place, this does not take in consideration the most basic problem, that is, the problem of what this knowledge will do to the human beings to which it is revealed. Moreover, if we look at this matter of prediction with intellectual honesty, we have to realize that when the astrologer predicts future events he is rarely able to pinpoint ahead of time (1) exactly what the events will be, (2) under precisely what circumstances they will take place, and (3) how they will affect the consciousness and the psycho-physiological health of the person. (pp. 74-75).
Once uttered, a prediction becomes an integral part of the whole situation it forecasts. Astrologers cannot separate themselves from the situations they predict, and they cannot predict the effect of their predictions.
Self-fulfilling prophecy and the astrologer's responsibility.
The prediction of future events does not evoke positive images of what could be if we participate
in our process of self-unfoldment. Instead, predictions may disturb or trouble the person for whom the prediction is made if its nature is negative; or if positive, it may create false optimism and laziness. A prediction of trouble ahead may create conditions of anxiety and stress, as well as creating a powerful pull toward the predicted event in the client's psyche. And any prediction carries the possibility of developing into a self-fulfilling prophecy rather than figuring as a constructive preparation for the predicted event.(3
An authentic humanistic astrologer realizes that he or she is part of a whole situation and accepts responsibility for his or her role in it. Events in themselves are not viewed as the principal carriers of significance. Rather, what counts is our attitude and response to events and our ability to meet important events as constructive steps or turning-points in the long and purposeful process of self-actualization and eventual self-transformation.
Unpleasant events are usually seen as disruptive to the status quo
, as something to avoid, as troubles or obstacles ahead to be detoured around. From the perspective of the humanistic approach, however, any significant step ahead is realized through
some kind of crisis. How does one know that a crisis avoided by heeding the prediction of an unfortunate event ahead would not have provided the person with precisely the kind of experience he needed in order to take the next step in the lifelong process of self-unfoldment? How does one know that deliberately detouring around foreseen trouble may not ultimately produce a meaningless, unfulfilled life and a neurotic, insecure and fearful personality dependent on astrologers and their predictions. And the glamour of pronouncing predictions can be addictive. Some astrologers may claim they can see it all, including the effects of their predictions, in astrological charts, but such a view represents the ultimate expression of astral determinism and personal authority. Such an astrologer, knowingly or unknowingly, perceives her clients as passive objects registering the impact of astral forces and reacting to them in an irresistible, predetermined manner. And substituting "karma" for the words "astral forces" and "determinism" doesn't change the picture if one's attitude and approach remains unchanged.
What good are predictions?
This is a question rarely posed by astrologers and their clients. Why do astrologers make predictions? Why does the public demand them? Are predictions of any real value at all? or are astrologers and clients compulsively attracted to prediction like gamblers to gambling?
We have already discussed some of the problems engendered by the prediction of future events for individuals, but what of the prediction of happenings in the world at large. It is one thing to draw attention to important social turning-points, and to discuss in general and constructive terms the sort of challenges and opportunities they may hold, and the general sort of problems which might raise if crucial challenges are ignored or avoided; it is another thing to predict earthquakes or plane crashes during a certain month. What possible good does it do to predict a series of aviation disasters during a particular season or a major earthquake somewhere during a certain week? What use are we to make of such information? Should we shutdown airlines? avoid air travel? worry that our city, or the city of loved ones, may be devastated by a powerful natural disaster? Who benefits from the broadcast of such information? The astrologer making the prediction to demonstrate her might and the publication feeding the public's hunger for prediction.
Returning to predictions regarding the life-events of individuals, we have already mentioned predictive astrology often preys upon the fears, expectations, desires and insecurities of those seeking predictions. Such people want to know what is going to happen, and if it's bad, how to avoid it. Clichés like "forewarned is forearmed" figure largely in the astrologer's justification of prediction, but such claims are specious. Some astrologers claim astrological techniques provide foreknowledge, so "when we see an obstacle ahead we can detour around it." Yet if it really were so, one cannot legitimately call such a faculty "foreknowledge" if the foreseen event did not occur because it was avoided. If the forecasted event is not what must come to pass but merely what may be, then the astrologer's warning becomes an active and influential factor
in the unfolding situation and could play a decisive role in its outcome.
Predictive astrologers influenced by the "forewarned" attitude often cite incidents in which fatal accidents were supposedly avoided because of the forewarnings of astrologers. But no one can be certain what would have occurred if the victim were not subjected to the warning, unless one wants to attribute absolute knowledge to the astrologer. In The Fundamentals of Number Significance
, Marc Jones writes that just such a conceit "has long plagued astrology . . . It becomes an uncompromising fatalism that has largely prevented the emergence of horoscopic interpretation as a genuinely disciplined science in Greco-Roman times and again today." (p. 15).
The "forewarned" syndrome figures largely in Vedic astrology. Supposedly, dreadful events, even death, predicted can be avoided or diminished through the practice of "remedies." Assuming the form of prayers, mantras, penance, austerities and the like, remedies are said to lessen the more unpleasant actions of karma precipitating the predicted event. The whole business has the character of bribing the gods to lessen the severity of one's fate.
As we have seen, predictive and fatalistic astrology is full of ironies, inanities and inconsistencies. For instance, in a desperate attempt to show that even a prediction of imminent death carries constructive value, one of the most vocal cheerleaders of predictive astrology recently insinuated that the perpetrators of a famous death prediction—which, in its historical context, seems more like a death threat—were actually trying to give the victim the friendly advice that he should pay more attention to his health.
That many people seeking astrological intervention expect and demand predictions cannot be denied, and it holds true for readers of the astrological press as well as for the clientele of professional astrologers. Many astrologers today would prefer to stand clear of the prediction business, but some eventually bow to editorial demands and to their clients expectations and desires. It is an understandable reaction, but it opens the door to a powerful addiction—an addiction to the pleasure and esteem of issuing predictions. And here the serpent of profane astrology swallows its tail, the vicious and ultimately corrupt circle of astrological prediction is complete; both astrologer and her public are captured within its self-perpetuating circuit.
A look at the condition of the astrological world today, with its fever pitch lust for evermore powerful predictive techniques and the power-hungry and ambitious character of professional astrology, causes one to wonder what sort of world we would find ourselves in if the hoped for goods were actually delivered. Very few of us ever stop to think over the implications and ramifications of our ambitions realized. As depicted in the next section, such a world would rival Orwell's 1984
in terms of wholesale manipulation and hopelessness.
Some members of the astrological community may believe we are ready to handle greatly magnified social power and the increased responsibility it brings. Such opinions, if sincere, reveal an extremely unrealistic view of the character and integrity of profane astrologers, as well as a childish naiveté regarding the real social, economic and political forces active in the world today and their agendas. To put it bluntly, profane astrologers are fooling themselves if they believe they will actually be allowed to determine and control how their allusive powerful predictive techniques will be used, once (if ever) such techniques are discovered and proven to be effective and reliable. Whether or not astrologers can handle the responsibility of wielding such power is a non-issue because if powerful predictive techniques are ever proven, they will certainly be usurped by unscrupulous economic and political powers.
Only a self-absorbed, self-impressed astrological community hypnotized by a lust for acceptance, prestige, respect, influence, power and importance could fail to recognize the hideous shadow of its own ambition-a shadow that threatens to devour us all if the precious, yet thankfully allusive, dreams of profane astrologers are realized.
2. The quest for the astrological holy grail: establishing proof of astrology's reliability in predicting events, behavior and character.
In their desire to make astrology respectable and its practice a prestigious and influential profession, astrologers and astrological organizations have involved themselves in statistical research projects enjoying varying degrees of success. Many astrologers believe astrology can be proven to be a reliable and effective tool for predicting human events, behavior and personality, and in recent years the desire to translate such an implicit belief into an explicit and demonstrable fact has become something of a grail quest within the astrological community. Yet questions regarding whether or not astrology is actually susceptible to scientific methodology are seldom voiced, nor are concerns often expressed regarding the social and ethical ramifications of a cultural and scientific acceptance of astrology.
While some areas of astrology may be susceptible to statistical analysis, it is undeniable that statistical methods are valid only in terms of large groups and cannot speak to unique, individual cases. For instance, even if statistical research shows that 66% of women born during a particular astrological configuration exhibit a certain type of behavior during meno-pause, the astrologer performing a reading for a woman born during such a configuration could not know on the basis of the statistic alone if the client figured among the majority or among the minority. Statistical knowledge of this sort, and the science of astro-demographics an officially accepted astrology would inevitably produce, may be valuable to those wishing to manipulate large groups or populations, of being able to fool some of the people all of the time, but it has very limited value in an astrology concerned with individual persons. Nevertheless, we are not against statistical research in principle and do not mean to imply there is something inherently wrong in such endeavors. Our concern lies in how the results of such studies may be used and abused.
An authentic humanistic astrology is intensely concerned with and alarmed by the magnitude of depersonalization visible today in the astrological world and in our society in general. In the foreword to Person-Centered Astrology
, Rudhyar expressed such concerns when he concluded that his
only aim, in this "humanistic" approach has been to stand against the present de-personalizing trends which augur so badly for our Western civilization, and to place the individual person at the place where it belongs in astrology, i.e., at the center of its concern. I am concerned with persons, not with systems or a profession—persons who live and struggle toward the actualization of their fullest potential of being, NOW.
We need to ask ourselves difficult questions. To what use would astrological knowledge be placed if it is scientifically proven in the near future? This is a question of great importance because if astrological techniques are ever shown to be reliable and effective to the satisfaction of science, they would have to be put to use. In other words, if astrology ever gains official acceptance it necessarily follows that it would be used in all areas of business, politics and education. At this, many astrologers will probably exclaim, "Of course! That is what we've been working toward. It will be wonderful!"
Members of the astrological community hopeful of official recognition and acceptance seem to see no further than their personal desire for high-paying positions of prestige, power and influence. Indeed, one wonders if anyone in the astrological community has taken the time to think the situation through, to contemplate what an official acceptance of astrology would mean beyond a glorification of astrology and astrologers. For almost 30 years I have warned of the hideous shadow of such an acceptance under prevailing social, economic and political conditions. Now, lets take a peek at that shadow and honestly ask ourselves if we want to play a role in releasing it upon the landscape of what already promises to be a very troubled 21st century.
Who among us would really want to live in a society in which one's life course is determined at birth by the judgment of an astrologer? Who among us looks forward to living in an astro-caste society in which there is no escaping the lot into which one is born? Does everyone out there feel completely comfortable about the prospect of being required to submit accurately timed birth data with a job application or resume, knowing an astrologer—or even a computer—may disqualify you from consideration on the basis of your horoscope? Do we want to release upon society yet another form of discrimination? Who among us would want an astrologer to determined our university major (or if we are even good enough to pursue higher education), our profession, and whether or not we deserve a promotion? Do we all look forward to astrology being used as a tool for mass propaganda and manipulation? and do we relish the prospect of being assigned to work for such ends? Are we willing to find ourselves interned for the duration of an especially "violent" transit to our horoscope to assure we cause no harm to ourselves and to others? And are we looking forward to the possibility of seeing our children punished or "rehabilitated" for crimes they have not yet committed?
All this and more awaits us in our astrological brave new world. It awaits us because if astrology is proven to "work," we can be certain it will be put to use
with the worst possible results. One may think the above is a paranoid vision of a grim, totalitarian society, that it is not representative of an enlightened astrological society of the future. But who unconditionally trusts our politicians, governments and multi-national corporations? Who would like to see even the mildest situation described realized? And who can guarantee that even the United States might not fall into an era of fascism?
Whether or not astrologers can handle the responsibility of wielding such power is a non-issue because if powerful predictive techniques are ever proven, they will certainly be usurped by unscrupulous social, economic and political powers. Anyone questioning such a situation should take a late-20th century reality check. Would you trust tobacco industry CEOs and executives with "powerful astrological techniques capable of pinpointing every significant life-event, including the moment and circumstances of death"? I hope not.
But we will probably never have to face such situations because it is highly improbable that astrologers will ever find their legendary Holy Grail, which once attained may well turn out to be a cup of poison encoiled by the serpent of profane astrology.
Are there not far nobler quests waiting today's astrologer than the pursuit of power, influence and respectability in a society racing toward self-destruction? A struggle not for acceptance, authority and prestige but a quest concerned with the core principles at the foundation of astrology and with the sacred, lifelong journey of realizing our unique and purposeful place in the harmony of the cosmos.
3. The revival and importation of ancient astrologies.
translation of old astrological works and their publication, enabling the reader to judge for herself the work's merit and validity in terms of present needs, is a fine and worthy pursuit for those with the requisite initiative and qualifications. Such a pursuit is an enterprise
and intellectually honest
examination of old records and their translations in an attempt to understand their content and to determine their appropriate place in the historical stream is an honorable pursuit for those with the time and special background required. Such an activity is known as scholarship
An insightful explanation
of the historical record figures as a valuable addition to human knowledge to the degree it provides valid, fresh and meaningful insights. Such a work is a commentary
An attempt to piece together fragments
of a lost philosophical or metaphysical system is termed a reconstruction
. It can sometimes be useful to know about archaic views and systems, but we can never be certain a particular reconstruction is valid and complete. Additionally, a reconstruction does not tell us enough about how a reality paradigm came into ascendancy, and it doesn't reveal the paradigm's inherent biases, limitations and assumptions. Most importantly, we do not think and feel as did the ancients, nor is it valid for us to project our assumptions upon them. What was appropriate and significant for an archaic humanity need not be valid and meaningful for today's men and women. Similarly, beliefs, attitudes and behavior acceptable in a 5 year-old are not necessarily appropriate for a 21 year-old and vise versa.
a reconstruction of an ancient belief system as intrinsically superior to and of greater validity than any modern system is known as revivalism
. Intentionally misrepresenting and unfairly disparaging the prem-ises, features, values and goals of contemporary approaches to knowledge is called intellectual dishonesty
Our concern here is two-fold: 1) the validity of importing an astrology, developed in the past to meet the specific needs of a particular culture, into a population of modern men and women living on the threshold of a global age, and 2) special difficulties involving ancient revivalism.
Are ancient astrologies valid for modern individuals?
An ancient or alien astrology is valid to the degree the individual embodies the characteristics and requirements of a specimen of the culture for which the particular astrology was developed. For instance, Vedic astrology is probably more appropriate for the very special requirements of an orthodox Hindu living in a village in India than would be a Western astrology. Vedic astrology is an integral part of Hindu society, it was "designed" to help members of its culture fit into the restrictive and hierarchical Hindu social system and to find contentment in their designated place within such a society. Similarly, an ancient astrology cannot adequately meet the unprecedented needs of modern citizens of the world wishing to participate creatively in the fullest actualization of their potential.
This does not
mean the humanistic astrology movement is "against" Vedic astrology, which is no doubt valid and significant in its place and for those who want it. Although members of the humanistic astrology movement hold much different views regarding karma, fate, determinism and prediction in astrology than those held by the chief representatives of Vedic astrology in the West, we respect and appreciate their sincerity, honesty and scholarship.
The humanistic astrology movement, however, stands firm in its position that every great culture develops its own image of man and the universe, its own social and cosmological model and its own approach to astrology, all of which answer the particular needs of a particular people at a particular time and place. Today a holistic, all-inclusive image of cosmos and anthropos, the philosophy of Wholeness and a humanistic approach to astrology answers the immediate and unprecedented needs of our emergent global
The trouble with ancient revivalism.
There is nothing wrong with translating and publishing the works of ancient astrologers. But problems naturally raise when the overseers of such activities use their celebrity on one hand to misrepresent humanistic astrology in order to make it appear in harmony with the stellar determinism of ancient astrologies, and on the other to disparage and ridicule humanistic astrology in an attempt to make it seem unworthy of serious consideration.
The proprietors of ancient revivalism ignore (or reduce to a superficial cosmetic makeover) the truly revolutionary discoveries of the new physics and the accompanying paradigm shift such discoveries have made possible within the scientific community and in modern thought. They even seem hellbent on alienating themselves entirely from the modern thought-stream. It is perhaps a telling fact that the exponents of ancient revivalism practice a high degree of obscurantism. Seldom is a thesis clearly and consistently stated, rarely is a fundamental principle illuminated. Indeed, the inane, incoherent and unreasonable polemics of the evangelists of ancient revivalism rely largely on personal authority and the force of personality, inadequately supported by vague references to unspecified "ancient Greek philosophers" and equally hazy and unqualified references to a highly heterogeneous "western mystery tradition."
We agree with the proprietors of ancient revivalism that contemporary astrology differs greatly from the astrology of the ancients. But we view it in a positive light, as did Marc Jones, who wrote in his autobiographical account The Fundamentals of Number Significance
, that the
20th century explosion of interest [in astrology] was due to its transformation into a highly intuitive art, far different from the blindly fatalistic prognostications that saw man as a helpless pawn in a heartless scheme of things. . . . What is understood as astrology today is little like what it was in premodern times when, aside from its fortunetelling role among the illiterate masses of all ages, it was fundamentally the common representation of the fatalistic concept of the human state and as that was discussed throughout the learned literature. (pp. 84 & 116).
Marc Jones was well-acquainted with the astrology of the ancients, and in Astrology: How and Why it Works
he touches on the problem of an irrational dependence upon the authority of the ancients and on the inseparability of a particular approach to astrology from the culture which engendered it. Astrology is "always a creature of the special world in which it functions," Jones writes. "Horoscopy does not exist in a vacuum, insulated from a universe characterized by change and growth. The real question is not what has happened to the stellar art as a belief . . . but rather what has forged this or that aspect of astrological procedure, and in what way has man been able to know himself better . . ." (p. 405).
Jones goes on to examine the developmental handicaps and modus operandi
of astrology's tradition worshippers. His remarkably accurate insights anticipates today's ancient revivalism in astrology. Jones points out that the custodians
responsible for the survival of astrology . . . were for the major part déclassé enthusiasts. Because they were deprived of all co-operative fellowship with the men engaged most outstandingly in astronomical, medical and psychological research, they suffered from a cultural lag for which they should not be condemned. In the same way that isolated ethnic groups have tended to preserve archaic languages and customs all over the globe, the highly insulated astrologers clung curiously but characteristically to an earlier and outmoded scientific view. . . . The marks of this astrological crystallization are to be noted in (1) an unreasoning veneration of old books, (2) a deference to the fathers of the art as beyond error, and (3) the idea that the real nature and powers of the horoscope were determined for once and all in a dim antiquity, if indeed these did not come direct from the gods . . . (p. 410).
© Copyright 1996 by Michael R. Meyer
All rights reserved