July 13 - Astronomy for Astrologers

As astrologers we each have our style, preferences, and orientation for our practice. Every month, we choose a question about our professional astrology practice, and collect your responses here.
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Maurice
 
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July 13 - Astronomy for Astrologers

Postby Maurice » Wed Jul 17, 2013 3:04 am

How do you explain astrology students the importance of learning astronomy? How does studying astronomy, benefits us, professional astrologers? After all, we dedicate our studies mainly to the interpretive dimension of the planters, not so much to the astronomy of the planets.
How important is the study of astronomy for us?

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Re: July 13 - Astronomy for Astrologers

Postby Maurice » Thu Aug 01, 2013 8:38 pm

I think astrologers should further enrich their understanding of astronomy. Many astrologers lack an astronomy background, and t is essential to proper understanding of cycles.
HOwever, I believe astrologers should also avoid getting overly attached to the scientific bias of astronomy that can override many astrological foundations. The most obvious one being the use of the Tropical zodiac which correlates signs with seasons, or the fact that constellations are not equally divided by 30 degrees in the sky, but are so on our charts. In some ways, Astrology goes beyond Astronomy, just as Astronomy expands beyond the Earth spectrum that is essentially the reference for astrologers.

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Re: July 13 - Astronomy for Astrologers

Postby Maurice » Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:21 pm

Replies:


Bob Mulligan
Answer: This is a very important question.

First: Knowledge of anything can potentially make us better astrologers.

Second: When the United States government wanted to land a module on the moon, they found that only astrologers were conversant with the math necessary for the calculations, so the Jet Propulsion Laboratory hired astrologers to do the work. I bring this up because the type of astronomy that astrologers are interested in is different than the astronomy that most astronomers are studying. We study movement in the solar system whereas most astronomers are more interested in things like the chemistry of stars.

Third: Astrology teachers have an obligation to instruct future astrologers in horoscope construction, and at this time, to explain how movements in the heavens relate to the paper chart we end up using as the tool for our work. This is a process of understanding the earth’s motion as well as the movement of the Sun, Moon, and planets. This involves the study of a Table of Houses and Ephemeris in order to understand how these numbers relate to time, space, and motion. Without this, a person may be a good psychic, a good “tea leaf reader”, a good therapist of some sort that uses astrological language, or a professional “symbol slinger”, but they certainly aren’t an astrologer.

Fourth: It is wise for an astrology teacher to teach how to observe the sky so that students learn immediately to identify the phases of the Moon, the apparent movement of the Sun (due to the earth’s rotation). Any astrologer should know from the date, latitude, and the time of day, what the rising sign is at any moment. Observing the retrogradation of all the planets is a necessary step in understanding how the solar system works. We understand much by watching the spectacle of Venus and Mercury at Sunrise and Sunset throughout the year. Also, much knowledge is gathered by observing the difference in a conjunction and an occultation.

Fifth: By observing the constellations of the night sky, a student of astrology comes to understand the meaning of the ecliptic, the tropical zodiac, the sidereal zodiac, and the usefulness of fixed stars in delineation. Correctly taught, the student of astrology should have a deep grasp of the mystical potency of what we, as astrologers, are doing. Frequent visits to a good planetarium can be a great adjunct to this process.

Bob Mulligan


Chris McRae

That must have been a very wonderful experience and one that every one of us should do if and when the opportunity presents itself. I believe it is not quite enough for us to only have a symbolic and interpretive view of the universe that we work with. We are enthralled with its meaning but linking it to the living sky is a must. If we cannot do that, at least we should step outside on a clear night, drive from the city, observe the sky above us and understand its mechanism from a visual perspective. As a teacher, we are challenged to bring some astronomy into the scope of the universe we are working with.

Long before I became an astrologer, when I was a little girl, looking up at the night sky on a crisp winter night or a clear summer evening, in a small town far from city lights, I was so enthralled with the patterns that were formed. I looked them up in the old Books of Knowledge and read their mythology. I watched Cassiopia change positions throughout the season. I looked for the Constellations that I saw in those books and saw how they could slip below my horizon or view. The shape of the Moon changed over the month. All of this must have been grooved in my memory so powerfully that it eventually took me into further study of the effect the universe has on life on this planet.

Chris McRae


Georgia Stathis

Dvora, I think it is very important to make the 'connection' between the constellations, the sky and astrology. There are deep meanings embedded in the constellations. Even though the Tropical system is not the same as the Sidereal, the stories are still there. I taught Constellations at Kepler College for a few quarters and one of the best books written relating this information is by Dr. E. C. Krupp, Beyond the Blue Horizon. Krupp was (is) an astronomer and was (is) Director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, CA. Though he really didn't embrace astrology, I remember attending an all day seminar at UC Berkeley where he showed the most magnificent slides and related the myths and stories with the planets, stars, constellations from all cultures. I was hooked. It changed my perspective. So, bottom line, I think it is important. Thanks for asking. Georgia Stathis at http://www.starcycles.com


Grace K. Morris, M.A.

In the early 1980s, NCGR sponsored Master Classes in many subjects including a Master Class in Astronomy. These Master classes were one week long and the first thing in the morning, we sat in our classroom (on Cape Cod) and with our arms in the air pointed to where the planets were in the Solar system at that moment. Which planets were rising, at the median, etc. This was so important to us as astrologers, not just to use the ephemeris but to actually know where the planets were above and below us. At night we took telescopes out to the beach and look into the night sky. How wonderful any experience! Wouldn’t it be great to someday offer the same opportunity to today’s students.

Grace


Judy Reis Tsafrir MD

When Dvorah sent the pictures of the Lowell Observatory. I was utterly intrigued by the possibility of actually clearly viewing the planets in the sky. It sounds silly, but they often exist more in my mind as ideas and energies, rather than real three dimensional objects existing in space and time.
On the rare occasions when I have been with someone knowledgable about the night sky, and somewhere that the stars are visible in a way that they are not in Boston, it has been a moving and powerful experience.
I believe that astronomy is important to astrologers, but with less emphasis on the science, and more on the actual experiential witnessing of the heavens.

Judy

Alice Kashuba

I think astronomy opens us up to the wonder of the universe. The study of astronomy connects us with a constant flow of energy. The sky is a vast wilderness that reflects back to us the challenge of the unknown. I like to think of those early astrologer/astronomers in Babylonia and Egypt not only gathering data but embracing the greatness that paraded before them. Sometimes we get caught up in the details of aspects, transits, and cycles and forget that these are not little squiggles on a circular two dimensional image. There is more to our scientific and psychological knowledge. Part of my attraction to astrology is knowing that these movement are based on a huge, dynamic, everchanging movement of bodies across a dark space. We are part of this ongoing flow that has been in motion for ever and will do so until..... How wonderful to be a part of this mystery!

Alice


Patrick Lewis

It is important to know the function of the Universe, and how our world relates to the rest of the Universe. The Universe is balance, and by learning Astronomy we see how the Universe operates. What operates in the Universe also affects and in the same way operates through individuals. When people are out of balance, nature creates scenarios that brings them back into balance, like, when we get sick, go through divorce, bankruptcy, all the trials that people go through in life. In nature we have exploding stars, unbelievable heat, and cold, every extreme possible. A better understanding of Astronomy, gives us a better understanding of how Life operates around us and through us as balance.
Patrick


Jim Schultz

I believe learning the basic astronomy of the planets helps a student better understand the movement of the planets and how that relates to astrology. It also helps the student to understand what they are seeing when they look at a chart. Charts show only 2 dimension or directions while we and the planets live in a universe of 3 dimensions or directions. By knowing basic astronomy a student can also go out at night and will know where to look for the visible planets and will be better able to understand the phases and movement of the Moon. I believe a basic knowledge of astronomy is just as important as knowledge of the mythology of the planets and signs.

Jim

Dmitriy Paramonov

Greetings to all members E-News!

Dvora, thank you for a good question. Knowledge of astronomy professional astrologer allows a more holistic look at the world. Knowledge of astronomy helps to understand the difference between the systems houses in astrology, the role of the ecliptic, the effect of precession. The professional astrologer who owns knowledge of astronomy is not experiencing difficulties in reading astrological literature. The professional astrologer should be multiple personalities.

Yours sincerely, Dmitriy Paramonov
Astrological Consultant

e-mail: paramonov@astralife.net
skype: mebiusx
site: http://opa.astralife.net


Victoria (Peltz) Smoot

The astrologer does not have to be an astronomer, but everyone is something; teacher, psychologist, counsellor, linguist, metaphysician, historian, etc. or a combination with their astrology To enter the pool of this question from the shallow end, the study of the planets and their names sets the basis for the study of astrology. Learning includes the math. Going deeper the interpretations are verbal, cultural, archetypal, historical and philosophical in their sweep of disciplines. What has been done to divide "astronomy" into astronomy and astrology may have eviscerated the corpus callosum of the "split" astro brain. Whether one works with interpretation as a synthesis of words and key phrases or an agility with the diagrams of astrological charts, I still feel that there can be no getting deeper than walking on the bottom of the pool, or have the dynamics pictured in the mind without the physics and engineering that is shown in the astronomy of our environment. Either this is our environment, or this spec called Earth is our only environment. As astrologers, we can have it all, and need to orient ourselves both in the place we truly live as well as in the experience we live at the same time. This is what astrology does. Always has. Always will. This equals Astrology.

Victoria

John Marchesella
Oh, now, you've hit a pet peeve! Absolutely!! I insist my students learn the astronomy of astrology. I constantly remind them the horoscope is not a two dimensional piece of paper in front of them, but rather it is the world around them and the sky above them. Sometimes, I even take them into the street outside my apartment to see planets or configurations. I also teach them how to measure aspects in the sky with the use of the arm and shoulder. A few years ago, there was a beautiful conjunction of Venus and Jupiter in Taurus. Some nights, the Moon got into the act. And I pointed out the conjunction and its beauty!

Similarly, I think learning the math of the horoscope is imperative, so they can calculate what is really going on in the sky, especially the movement of the planets.

So, yes, as above, so below. If you don't look above, as an astrologer, you won't see within...at least not as fully as you can.

Thanks, John


Dvora Mivtzari Weil
The craft/art/science of astrology started when the ancients followed the movements of planets. They noticed correlation between earthly events to the presence of planets in the sky. Those events were documented and they serve as the foundation for the astrology as we know it today. This by itself is a 'good enough' argument to support the study of astronomy while studying astrology.
Also, for the same reason, it's essential for astrology students to know how to calculate a chart by hand, like we all did before the age of computers. Knowing the mechanics of erecting a charts adds an important dimension to the ability to analyze the information offered in the chart. All that can be performed only when learning about the actual movement of the planets - ie: ASTRONOMY.
So, understanding and following the actual movement of the planets is a fundamental need for any student of astrology.
Dvora

Tim Rubald

I've always loved the Moon, the planets, and the night sky. I was awed by the Milky Way as I lay on the grass and watched on hot summer nights. I kind of miss the ignorance of my six year old self.

By the late 1960s I'd finally decided to brave chart calculation. I listened to late night radio broadcasts of talks by Dane Rudhyar, and would fall asleep visioning the solar system, and how it translated onto paper. It was almost sleep learning. It worked for me. I had to know just what I was putting on paper (it is really quite different than the sky it represents). I envisioned 3D representations and dreamed of having my own orrery and astrolabe.

There's the sky and there's astrology. The latter cannot exist without the former. I don't think that astrology can even begin to reveal itself without an understanding of her daughter, astronomy.

That's enough. If the importance and relationship of astrology and her baby are not clear here, let me know, but I think this covers it.

Tim Rubald


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