Astrology and Culture

Until the 17th century, astrology was an integral part of Western culture. In India, it still is. You will find references to astrological symbolism in literature, art, music and other cultural expressions. In several of his plays, Shakespeare used astrological descriptions as a short-hand description of the personality and attitudes of his characters. The artists of the Renaissance used astrological symbolism in their paintings, sculptures and in the stained glass windows of churches. We still refer to people as firey, airy, and earthy. It is interesting that wetness has not retained a similar adjectival role. And even though astrology is decried in public on a regular basis, nearly all newspapers and magazines still have the horoscope column and polls continue to show that 25% - 30% of people believe astrology can work.

If you believe psychology is a merely a modern invention of a narcissistic age, you haven’t been paying attention.

While the “scientific” study of psychology in a laboratory may be a relatively modern notion, (re)invented by researchers in the 19th and early 20th centuries, the study of the mind has ancient roots in all human cultures.  The Hellenistic world that gave rise to astrology (in the form we know and love) is no exception. In fact, many of the concepts we think of as part of the modern study of psychology have deep roots in the Hellenistic world.

Over the past few decades, “chaos theory” and “complexity theory” have emerged as new scientific models for understanding chaotic and/or complex systems. Chaos theory has grown out of physics and mathematics. Complexity theory has developed mainly from studying biological and human systems. These theories share a natural alignment with the spirit and practice of astrology, more so than other attempts to use astrology with the concepts of modern science. The current configuration of Uranus and Pluto makes this an auspicious time to discuss chaos and complexity theory with astrologers.

The seeds of future events are carried
within ourselves. They are implicit in us
and unfold according to the laws of
their own nature.

-- Lawrence Durrell, The Alexandria Quartet: Cleo

-- Increasing numbers of people now are using astrology to better understand themselves and their relationships, their place in the world, their deep inner self and their ancestral legacy through family dynamics. Typically, a client does want to maximize their potential and realize their goals, but most importantly, they want to know what is going to happen to them and when.

A fabulous moment in history -- Earthlings have gone to Pluto!

For the first time ever, after a journey of more than 3 billion miles and 9 years, a human-made spacecraft buzzed by Pluto within just 7,800 miles of the surface on July 14, 2015.

And we all know astrologers LOVE Pluto! (Or are just too intimidated to say otherwise.) In any case, we at least love to talk about him. So, to celebrate this historic event, Kepler College hosted its own Pluto Flyby Party on July 14.

If you missed the live event, view the recording!

The Last Super by Leonardo Da Vinici

Attempts to translate astrological symbolism into forms acceptable to Christians began in the early centuries of the Christian era.[1]  Leonardo Da Vinci painted his work “The Last Supper” in a time when correspondences between apostles and zodiac signs had been in circulation for well over a thousand years. [2]  (See Walter C. Cambra’s article “The Zodiacal Template” showing Dante’s subtle yet methodical incorporation of the zodiacal wheel into his work The Divine Comedy)

A careful viewing of “The Last Supper” shows six apostles flanking each of Jesus’ right and left sides.  These twelve apostles are distinctly presented in groups of three.  The four groups of three represent not only the four quadrants of the zodiacal wheel, but also each quadrant’s three signs.

By outward appearances, Neo lived an unremarkable life. He slept, ate, went to work. Yet a nagging feeling something was not as it appeared persisted. His search led him to take the red pill, and wake up to a more-real reality he never before imagined.

Nice plot for the sci-fi hit movie The Matrix. But screenwriting siblings the Wachowskis consciously tipped their hats to the philosophy of the ancient Greeks. The admonition to "Wake Up!" has a long history in Western culture.

Science Fiction explores possibilities of the past, present and future. So does astrology! Astrologers are often ardent science fiction fans and what better piece of science fiction to consider than Star Trek?

Of course, trying to work with the astrology of science fiction characters poses some interesting challenges to astrology, for example:

• First you have to deal with a larger question: What happens to astrology if humans colonize space?
• And, of course, does astrology even make sense for fictional characters and stories?
• Another consideration is whether or not our science fiction tales reflect an astrological zeitgeist?

King Lear and the Fool in the Storm

Sometimes it is easy to forget that the great books of literature are riddled with astrological references. Contrasting views about astrological fate are important in understanding the interactions of characters in Shakespeare's play, King Lear. The older characters place great stock in the influence of the stars on human affairs, while the younger characters mock these superstitious beliefs. The viewpoints in the play mirror the attitudes and arguments about astrology that were taking place in the 1600's.  This article was written by Carol Tebbs (Kepler faculty), Rhonda Busby (graduate), Kathy Kipp (when she was a senior)

Over 4000 years ago, nomads sprung from the soil of northeastern Europe and entered the Indus Valley of ancient India. They called themselves Aryans, or noble ones, and the religion they brought with them comprised the first practice of Hinduism. The centerpiece of Aryan religion was a fire sacrifice to the gods performed by priests specially trained to chant sacred hymns. The hymns themselves were known as Vedas or sacred knowledge. The Vedas are the scriptural bedrock of the Hindu tradition.

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