In this article I explain why there is still no Ancient Astrology course. This is despite the fact that there are lectures and courses on Babylonian, Medieval, Classical, Traditional, Indian and Chinese Astrology.
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. I mean the 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.
There are only 3 courses on natal Classical/Medieval Astrology
- Robert Zoller’s Diploma Course
- Giuseppe Bezza’s course in Italy
- Dimitar Kojuharov’s course in Bulgaria (does not contain predictive Astrology)
I ignore the others who have copied from these.
Unfortunately these 3 natal Astrology courses are incomplete and thus cannot be considered to be such on Ancient Astrology.
Zoller did not have access to the sources we now have in 2015. Besides Robert Zoller’s 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. Also, their natal Astrology course is in Italian.
Kojuharov’s course does not contain predictive techniques, even though it has advantages over the other 2, but also does not use Valens. Also, it is only in Bulgarian.
There is no Ancient Astrology course, while there are many on Indian Astrology
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. I have heard them 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, when there is not a single course on Ancient Astrology, and there are just a handful of videos on it and on Hellenistic Astrology on youtube?
There is no Ancient Astrology course, while there are such on Chinese Astrology
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). However, 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. Nevertheless, Ancient Astrology has many more advantages over BaZi. It 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 also some videos on BaZi in youtube and others. But why is not there no course on Ancient Astrology?
No modern astrological book teaches how to read topics, which are the backbone of full chart delineation
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, modern astrologers 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 back then 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
- These problems were solved by Medieval Astrology, but I faced other difficulties
- They were solved by Hellenistic Astrology
- I then faced other problems, only some of which were solved by Babylonian Astrology and also by Chinese Astrology.
- Difficulties with Chinese Astrology were solved by Ancient Astrology.
- And problems with 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 who has a system of teaching Astrology that is ordered, logical and understandable. Quick example: there is not a single astrological author that I was able to find (and I repeat I have pretty much the best books available) who 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. In other words whether modern astrological authors 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 the modern astrological authors 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. Still, they are the vast majority, at least in Europe, the US, Canada, Australia etc. Also, Robson’s books were, of course, published in the 20th century. The point is, that his thinking, his sources, etc were 19th century and earlier based.
Why there is no Ancient Astrology course yet
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, for an astrologer to teach Ancient Astrology properly, they have to systematize all this knowledge. Note that word, the teacher will have to prioritize, differentiate, and synthesize the multiplte techniqes of Ancient Astrology.
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. It this could take a few more years. As Schmidt’s course on Hellenistic Astrology is not yet fully finished I cannot comment on it.
A full course on natal Astrology must include all the topics of the chart + specialized topics, like eminence, profession, residing abroad and emigration.
A course is not separate lectures put together over the years with no prioritizing, and without the mandatory philosophy and sufficient differentiation between Hellenistic Astrology and modern psychological Astrology.
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, you should say so to your students upfront. You should admit that Valens is beyond your astrological understanding, at least for the moment. As such 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 with Astrology.
One need only open a classical astrological textbook for the contents. Calculating the longevity/predicting death is the first thing mentioned. In fact some authors do not mention it or just do sobriefly. The reasons it calculation of the length of life in Ancient Astrology is so taken for granted that it is unnecessary. Yet read carefully how they analyze a chart.
2) There are some astrologers who have sufficiently cracked Valens but they have put so much effort that they are not willing to share that understanding. That 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 such astrological practitioners they simply this advanced ancient astrological knowledge for themselves and are not teachers.
How research and gaining practical insights from Vettius Valens takes years
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 a topic on 2 separate times. I gave up each time in frustration. I eventually was able to overwhelmingly crack the topic, but not 100%. However, 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, I have been repeatedly asked to teach Ancient Astrology or even parts of Vettius Valens alone to people. To save the question, I do not intend to do that. If I do start teaching Valens and Ancient Astrology, it will most likely not be in the near future and there will be certain requirements and prerequisites.
Written in August 2015