Modern or Traditional Astrology ?

There is an interesting ongoing debate around the subject of which is the better approach to Astrology, the Modern or Traditional one.

It is however an artificial distinction. It’s a bit like asking the question ” Is Astrology an Art or a Science ? ” and standing back whilst people fall over themselves to give their views about a division that should never have existed in the first place.

Back in the days when every intelligent person had a sound understanding of Astrology, this division of Arts and Sciences was not so clear as it is today. The truly great minds were both artists and scientists. Astrology is quite obviously both, why bother to divide truth into opposing camps and then decide which one you’re in.

In many ways the same applies to the Modern or Traditional debate. Why should there be two opposing methods ?

In 40 years of following astrological writings it seems to this writer that there are as many different approaches to the subject as there are astrologers approaching it.

Everyone has a slightly different take on the subject which is as it should be because everyone has a different chart and therefore a different way of perceiving the world.

Every astrologer will take some things from what could be said to be traditional methods and some from so called modern.

Perhaps we should all declare our own charts before we comment on such questions so that the reader can see where we are coming from.

This article is penned by someone whose astrological credentials could be best summed up by a T Square between an Ascendant / Chiron conjunction in opposition to a Uranus / Jupiter conjunction focusing by T Square onto an apex Neptune in the 9th house. All of these planets and points are contained within an orb of two degrees.

The personal planets are Sun, Moon, Ascendant, Mercury in Capricorn, Venus in Scorpio, Mars in Pisces. The Sun, Moon and Mercury are in the 12th house.

It is quite likely that many readers could quickly gain an impression of my favoured approach to astrology by an assessment of that lot. But just in case, I would suggest that I hold an extremely pragmatic view.

I have also spent the best part of 40 years researching many thousands of charts.

My main guiding interest is in proving astrology to others and I will only use methods that I believe will further this end. My own methods are ones that have stood the test of time and research. It is a simple, pared back approach based on the transits of the slower moving planets with particular emphasis on Pluto. I refuse to use midpoints, fixed stars, minor aspects ( even trines and sextiles are only used very sparingly ) progressions, astrocartography and all manner of other weird and wonderful methods.

Its not that I don’t believe in the efficacy of these methods, it is purely and simply that the more options we give ourselves the more possibilities we have to explain anything at all and subsequently the less of a chance we have of actually proving anything.

So called modern astrology has focused much more on psychology with a corresponding emphasis on the signs of the Zodiac in the natal chart. This was not the core focus of traditional astrology, largely because most people in times gone by did not have their birth details anyway but were less interested in their personal psychology than in their fate.

The 20th century and the development of psychology has obviously changed all this and it is appropriate that astrology take stock of these changes and respond to them.

However, it is my belief that much of what is called modern astrology has been heavily influenced by the paradigm of the Sun sign horoscope columns.

It is fair comment of modernists to criticise the traditional approach for being too deterministic and not allowing enough freedom of the individual to respond to and change their own fate. The strengths of modern astrology are in counselling and helping people to come to terms with and respond positively to the hand that they have been dealt.

I believe the weaknesses are that too much of astrological writing is essentially subjective and vague. Descriptions of personality maybe very interesting and enlightening but will not persuade a non believer. Predictions of actual events are for more likely to have such an impact.

My major focus is on aspects and transits to describe events. This may well place me in the traditionalist camp. I don’t put so much emphasis on signs and personality but my critics might say that’s because as a triple Capricorn, I don’t actually have one.

Fortunately the Universe is large enough to contain all the different approaches that there are to our wonderful subject and whilst I have my own preferences, I am truly happy that everyone else explore theirs, in whatever direction this takes them.

Perhaps in future contributors to discussions about astrological philosophy should just send copies of their own charts in and allow the readers to guess what their views are.

 

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