Presented by Donna Woodwell
February 28, 2015

Ancient astrologers practiced what they preached, and preached what they practiced. For the Greeks and Romans, philosophy wasn't just a set of intellectual observations, but a way of life that included spiritual practices intended to bring greater enlightenment and self-mastery. Many of these practices are timeless; indeed, modern psychology is rediscovering their importance. In this workshop, we'll review some of their techniques and learn how we can incorporate them into our own spiritual work.

(1) We'll review some basic tenets of the Greek and Roman philosophical worldviews (Stoicism, Epicureanism, etc.) inhabited by ancient astrologers of the day.
(2) We'll examine some of the "spiritual exercises" practiced by these philosophers, such as Porphyry and Marcus Aurelius, including:

  • Attention (prosoche), a 24/7 self-conscious awareness
  • Meditation (meletai), to reflect on one's actions
  • Research (zetesis), investigation (skepsis) and reading (anagnosis), to collect information for exploration
  • Listening (akroasis), to be open to experiences

(3) You'll learn techniques to practice these exercises yourself to increase your spiritual awareness, or to share them with your astrological clients to help them work with their own chart energies.

Donna WoodwellBIO

As an astrologer, hypnotist, and member of a Hermetic order, workshop instructor Donna Woodwell has more than 20 years' personal experience practicing modern descendants of these ancient techniques. Her real-life anecdotes will illustrate the perks and challenges of living philosophically in a modern world. In addition to her private consultations, Donna hosts a weekly call-in radio show Donna Philosophica, writes for, and leads workshops and discussion groups online. She teaches astrology and esoteric studies at Kepler College and at UT Informal Classes. She's currently working on a book about the modern-day applications of astral theurgy. Find out more at