Graham Pemberton
24 min readOct 8, 2023

Astrology and the Reunification of Science and Religion

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This is part of my unpublished book on Astrology, the second chapter of part 3. While taking a break from writing new material (see this article), I am using the opportunity to try to complete this project. (For what has preceded please see this list.) Following on from the previous chapter, where I established the relationship between Astrology and the Perennial Philosophy and the implications of this, here I explore the possibility of using Astrology as a means to reunify science and religion.


“The most exalting fascination that has ever, up to now, inspired human thought and life, however, was that which seized the priestly watchers of the night skies of Mesopotamia about 3500 BC: the perception of a cosmic order, mathematically definable, with which the structure of society should be brought to accord… Not economics, in other words, but celestial mathematics were what inspired the religious forms, the arts, literatures, sciences, moral and social orders which in that period elevated mankind to the tasks of civilised life.

Today such thoughts and forms are of a crumbling past and the civilizations dependent on them in disarray and dissolution. Not only are societies no longer attuned to the courses of the planets; sociology and physics, politics and astronomy are no longer understood to be departments of a single science”. (Joseph Campbell, Myths to Live By¹).

That was how it used to be in the old days, when astrologers held positions of influence in court and government circles. It seems extremely unlikely that modern society will ever reinstate astrologers as advisers to kings, queens, and prime ministers, although one can live in hope. There was an occasion during Ronald Reagan’s presidency when a rumour* emerged that he was consulting astrologers before making decisions. Needless to say this was greeted with concern by the serious British media, and derision by the tabloids. I remember thinking that it was the only ray of hope in the make-up of an otherwise intellectually challenged president, that he might be seeking to understand the Divine Will; thank God he wasn’t making the decisions himself. (*See Gangof4’s response, where it is claimed that the rumour wasn’t true.)

Astrology would first have to be rehabilitated in the hearts and minds of the nations. The direction towards which I think we are heading ideologically as a planet, as suggested by the quantum physics revolution, is a unification of science and religion. There are different ways of looking at the role of Astrology in such a scenario. As one contributing factor, there might be a specific reunification between astronomy and Astrology. Others might see the reunification as being between Astrology and science itself. Some of the astrologers I have studied have expressed an interest in these directions, for example the Parkers: “The long awaited marriage between astrology and science may be about to take place”², and River/Gillespie: “Here we have chosen to tell astrology’s story without a rigid definition of the subject, to reconnect astronomy with astrology, science with magic, and the practical and political with the spiritual”³. The same sentiment has been expressed by the philosopher August Schlegel: “Astronomy will have to become astrology again”⁴.

That would be at a practical level, the understanding that the interpretation of the symbolism of celestial mechanics has implications for the lives of individuals and societies. However, at a deeper, metaphysical level Astrology can be seen as that higher place where science and religion meet. It was always meant to be “part of an ancient doctrine that at one time fused art, religion, philosophy and science into one internally consistent whole”⁵. I would therefore describe it as a philosophical/scientific enquiry into the ultimate nature of the cosmos. In that sense it has always been a higher form of science, because it has always known what much modern science refuses to acknowledge, that the universe is multi-layered. Thus Stephen Arroyo says: “To me, astrology is a cosmic science; using it is an art, but ultimately astrology is a science (his italics). But this cosmic science is so high in its essence, so vast, that very few people can reach that high level of consciousness where they can understand it thoroughly”⁶.

The purpose of these reunifications would therefore be to recreate an open-minded desire for knowledge in all areas and at all levels, a return by philosophy to its roots, in that in modern hands it has often become “merely a sterile word game used to perpetuate intellectual arrogance”⁷. To replace this wasteland Stephen Arroyo identifies Ancient Greek society as a model to which we can aspire: “When studying the history of Western civilization, we always find that the Greeks’ emphasis on science and reason is considered the crucial turning point in Western man’s intellectual and cultural development… However, the contribution of the Greeks was not limited to the discovery of certain natural laws active in the material world; it also extended into the realm of the individual’s inner life and growth. ‘Know thyself’ was the key idea underlying the development of Greek philosophy; and the word ‘philosophy’ (philosophia) literally means ‘love of wisdom’. Science for the Greeks was not merely the collection of data in the hope that certain correlations could be discovered. It was rather a systematic search for the essential truths underlying life and nature, and an attempt to discover not only natural laws but also the universal metaphysical laws of life itself. And, for the Greeks, ‘reason’ did not refer merely to the computer-like calculations of the logical mind, but rather to an inspired (or ‘inspirited’) combination of analysis and intuition founded upon ideals of elegance and symmetry”⁸.

Looking further afield, science in India, under the influence of the metaphysical standpoint of the Vedanta, understands that it is limited in what it can achieve, and there is no conflict between science and religion. Thus Robert Hand says: “It is possible with little or no compromise in one’s religious beliefs to be a modern scientist and a Hindu”⁹. The two go together because the task of both is seen as being to understand the multi-layered universe. In the West, however, science has set itself the task of understanding the physical universe, at best saying that the other dimensions are the concern of religions, more often denying their existence.

Other relevant examples would be:

  1. the Kabbalah, which is the basis for (Zev ben Simon) Halevi’s astrology, described by him as a teaching system, a compendium of science, theology, philosophy, and psychology, thus all knowledge.
  2. the medieval Arabian approach to physical science, described by Gauquelin as “a kind of vast astrology”¹⁰.

It is therefore clearly not impossible for science and religion to be united; we already have several useful models. Astrology is par excellence the discipline which can achieve it, and it is not surprising that many astrologers refer to its potential in this respect. Dennis Elwell, for example, speaks for many: “Astrology is the best and maybe the last hope of religion, because it offers a meeting-ground for the scientific and religious views of reality, reconciling many of their differences”¹¹.

John Addey, however, seems to have taken this to the level of a campaign. Discussing the scientists’ usual protest that the type of ideas which interest him are ‘religious’, and that it is therefore not their function to deal with them, he replies: “This is not true. It is the office of science to preserve, cultivate and expound truth, and every aspect of truth has its appropriate science, interior and spiritual aspects of truth no less than exterior and natural ones”. He then discusses the cultural problems which stem from the scientific attitude, and concludes: “What is needed is some kind of knowledge which will at least open men’s minds to the kind of solution which is required and the direction in which it is to be sought — and which can speak to both sides of the present impasse in terms which each can understand and acknowledge to be valid: to Science in terms of the quantitative analysis of scientific data; to Religion in the language of spiritual philosophy — the language of those timeless truths which the mystical philosopher has expounded from age to age. It is the writer’s conviction that astrology occupies, in this context, a unique position and is the science par excellence which is adapted to fulfil this reconciling role”¹².

What would the reunification actually consist of?

Quantum physics by itself is limited in what it can achieve. It does not have a theology, but does seem to lead scientists in a spiritual/mystical direction, (for example Capra, Bohm, Wolf, Pauli). In its search for the ultimate reality, it forces us to knock on the door of religion, even if it cannot provide the key. Thus Stephen Arroyo, noting that “researchers in psychology, with a few notable exceptions, continue to operate as if they were bio-chemists or reflex physicists”, says that quantum physics can rescue us from a psychology based on outdated physics¹³. (Insert. Since first writing this, I’ve also come across this quote from Werner Heisenberg: “The first gulp from the glass of natural sciences will turn you into an atheist, but at the bottom of the glass God is waiting for you”.)

The reciprocal benefit is explained by astrologer Dane Rudhyar as follows: “We claim… that science will have to use more and more psychological methods as it finds that atoms and universes behave more and more like personalities”¹⁴.

You may think that such comparisons between physics and psychology are mere analogies or metaphors. Luis Alvarado, however, makes a quite literal connection: “According to Edward Whitmont, the collective unconscious is the image-producing stratum of the psyche that contains the drives and emotions as psychic energy, or libido. Libido moves by way of fields: ‘A field is an energy pattern or configuration that becomes perceptible to the experienced observer only through the patternings of directly observable elements susceptible to its influence’. For instance, iron filings will form a pattern when exposed to a magnetic field. Archetypes can be conceived of as fields that give form to the drives and the emotions contained within the psyche. Archetypes, utilizing psychic energy or libido, order our life experiences in the same way a magnetic field orders iron filings”¹⁵.

Now it is time to suggest that Astrology can take both these disciplines forward. Thus Dennis Elwell says: “By showing what is really at work in human nature, astrology seems the most likely route whereby psychology will enter the age of the new physics. To date psychologists, secure in their own specialities, have been slow to understand the implications of what it means for humans to be living in a universe of unbroken wholeness. Physically it is recognised that our bodies are made of the same stuff of the universe, and that the laws of that physical universe apply. But when it comes to our minds, it is assumed that here the total universe withdraws, allowing other factors to enter into the little pockets it has vacated. Just as our bodies live in intimate association with the totality, so must our minds, our consciousness. Any other possibility would contravene the first law of being, that of interconnectedness”¹⁶.

Can Astrology also help scientists? By confining themselves strictly to the rules of their discipline, they consistently run into brick walls. I refer once more to the words of Toben/Wolf: “Mathematicians can describe the limits of space-time, but they can’t describe what is beyond, they only know there is a beyond”¹⁷. The reunification of science and religion offered by Astrology provides the opportunity to move towards an understanding of the higher levels. Scientists like Stephen Hawking seek a ‘grand unified theory’ of physics but want to achieve this on their own terms. Addressing the same issues I have just been discussing he says:

“Up to now, most scientists have been too occupied with the development of new theories that describe what the universe is to ask the question why. On the other hand, the people whose business it is to ask why (both his italics), the philosophers, have not been able to keep up with the advance of scientific theories. In the eighteenth century, philosophers considered the whole of human knowledge, including science, to be their field and discussed questions such as: Did the universe have a beginning? However, in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, science became too technical and mathematical for the philosophers, or anyone else except a few specialists. Philosophers reduced the scope of their inquiries so much that Wittgenstein, the most famous philosopher of this century, said, ‘The sole remaining task for philosophy is the analysis of language’. What a comedown from the great tradition of philosophy from Aristotle to Kant!

“However, if we do discover a complete theory, it should in time be understandable in broad principle by everyone, not just a few scientists. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of the question why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason — for then we would know the mind of God”¹⁸.

Note that there is no mention here of anything that represents any kind of ‘religious’ attitude. Hawking hopes that through the use of human reason scientists will penetrate the mind of God (which we assume is a metaphor not to be taken literally in his case), and will then generously share these insights with the public.

In chapter 11 I discussed the fact that, despite there being strong evidence for the existence of organising principles, teleology etc., many scientists tend to ignore this and cling to their existing models. I noted there that Paul Davies, while sincerely wanting to know the answers, remains committed to seeking solutions through scientific avenues. It is not clear to me, however, what formulations science will achieve in relation to the archetypes, given their profoundly irrational nature. I suggest therefore that science, in order to make progress in its search, will have to turn to, that is to say unite with, Astrology and Analytical Psychology, which do know something about the archetypes. Here is Aniela Jaffé on the subject that the scientists I discussed in chapter 11 could not come to terms with: “Both psyche and matter are structured or arranged, in accordance with corresponding laws, by invisible formal factors”, the primordial images, also known as archetypes. She goes on to discuss the work of biologist Adolf Portmann, who concluded that there is “a ‘non-spatial abyss of mystery’ which opens out behind the living organism… He also hints that the ‘primal ground of unknown data’ lying behind biological events on the one hand, and the psychic hinterland, the unconscious, on the other, may be one and the same irrepresentable mystery”¹⁹. Will scientists ever be able to formulate to their satisfaction laws about an “abyss of mystery”?

When they talk about a grand unified theory, scientists are primarily referring to a formulation which would incorporate four forces of nature: gravity, electromagnetism, and the weak and strong nuclear forces (although there is another consideration of combining general relativity [a classical theory] with the uncertainty principle [a quantum theory] ). It is not clear at which point in the evolution of the universe these forces came into being, but one possibility is that this occurred at the Big Bang.

In that the Big Bang ‘moment’ is usually referred to as a singularity, about which nothing can be said since at this point all laws of physics break down, one is tempted to feel that it is there that one is confronted directly by the nature of God, or in Qabalistic terminology Ayin or Ain Soph. These descriptions of the Big Bang singularity remind me of this statement by Luis Alvarado: “The Ain Soph, meaning ‘without end’, Limitless, is the well-spring of the universe, yet cannot be understood in terms of this universe… The Ain Soph is in effect, unknowable”. He also quotes Charles Poncé: “En-Sof, I would further suggest, is the meaning in creation, the limitless meaning which our scientists seek to discover in their attempts to unveil the origin of the universe. En-Sof is what they seek”²⁰.

Access to the understanding that Hawking is talking about is usually considered to be attained through mystical experience, not by thinking about it. We are therefore confronted by one of the perennial dilemmas of philosophy: which type of knowledge is better, theoretical concepts or direct experience? Hawking is attempting to discover the Grand Unified Theory, is searching for an understanding of God, and thinks that he can achieve this through the human analytical mind. (Although aspiring to the same scientific aim, Paul Davies is, perhaps wisely, more restrained about the meaning of such an achievement: “It is sometimes remarked that attaining this dazzling prize would represent the culmination of fundamental physics, for such a theory would be capable of explaining the behaviour and structure of all matter…” At this point I can almost hear the champagne corks popping! The celebrations may have to be somewhat muted, however, for he feels compelled to add “…in a reductionist way, of course”²¹.)

On the face of it he should be more cautious, since, according to Wolf/Toben, his own favourite language (mathematics) tells him that he cannot know what is beyond spacetime. I am even tempted to wonder whether the professor might benefit from some psychology classes, given by Anthony Stevens perhaps: “In other words, the archetypes which order our perceptions and ideas are themselves the product of an objective order which transcends both the human mind and the external world. At this supreme point physical science, psychology, and theology all coalesce”²².

What is the role of Astrology in this context? It is certainly not an experience of the transcendental, rather an activity of the mind, albeit one informed by a deeper understanding of irrational, transcendent factors. In chapter 9 I argued that astrological effects operate at the ‘boundary’ of the spacetime universe, entering it from outside. If that is true, then Astrology represents the limit of what the human mind is capable. It is a language of the archetypes; we can attempt to decipher the messages, but we can never see what sent them. Thus Astrology is arguably the best tool available to science for understanding what is beyond spacetime. (Compare Dane Rudhyar: “In its search for the ‘first Cause’ religion will use a method and a basis of thought not unlike those on which a revaluated astrology will be founded”²³, and John Addey: “The re-assimilation by science of the truths implicit in such results as those described earlier can have one end, and one end only: the reunification of the entire field of science so that all possible objects of knowledge, from the heights to the depths, from the innermost recesses of deity to the last and most transient of phenomena, are seen to coalesce in one perfect scheme of truth entire and seamless from first to last: all sciences rooted in the First Science; all causes in the First Cause; all lives in the First Life; all substances in the First Substance”²⁴.)

How will this reunification be achieved?

When there has been a big argument, and a reconciliation is desired, the two sides usually meet half way, and find a compromise position. It would certainly be desirable for science to make such a move. Its major task would be to force itself to give up its absolute dependence on the method that it has formulated. There would have to be:

1) much greater reliance on some current anathema: subjective impression, anecdotal evidence, intuition.

2) a willingness to incorporate irrational factors into their thinking.

Some astrologers show a strong interest in turning Astrology into something more like a materialistic science, in effect seeking a compromise. The most forceful expression I have found is this one by Jim Lewis: “It should proceed to look less like a religion and means to self-fulfilment and more like an objective science, adapting wave theory, gravitation, statistics, or some probably yet unnamed branch of psychology to justify itself to an increasing rigid and intolerant academic establishment”²⁵. Of the astrologers I discussed in chapter 2, the Parkers also spend considerable time trying to present Astrology in a form more acceptable to science.

Yet most of the others have no interest in appealing to materialistic science as it is:

Dane Rudhyar: “Attempts at making astrology an exact empirical science by basing it on measurements of actual influences and rays are, if not doomed to failure, at least bound to explain or prove only a fragment of the entire body of ideas which constitutes and has always constituted astrology. Whatever science may discover concerning cosmic radiations, we do not believe that the philosophy of astrology can or should ever be the same as that of an empirical science”²⁶.

Stephen Arroyo: “Instead of putting oneself at the mercy of incredibly limited assumptions and paradigms by forcing one’s mode of observation and expression to fit the ‘scientists’ mold, we should realize that their molds are not ‘objective’ as they pretend. Instead of forcing our way of thinking and expression into their molds, which is what a lot of astrologers are now trying to do, we should find our own way and not play into the hands of those with a very limited concept of life”²⁷.

Dennis Elwell: “Rather than attempt to bring the (phenomena astrology presents) within the fold of common sense, it is better to admit that astrology is a radically different way of looking at the world… Astrology..can claim to be an alternative reality, complete in itself, and credible within its own terms”²⁸.

Geoffrey Cornelius: “In our usual description of our subject, its foundation in a magical-religious inspiration has been obscured. The materialism and positivism of our opponents is the complement to a misleading materialism and positivism within astrology itself. If astrology in truth operates according to principles that do not belong in present-day science, then astrologers should not present the subject as if it is really a variant of science”²⁹.

They clearly believe that Astrology does not need to compromise with science in order to effect a reconciliation, and who can argue with them? If it is already the ‘truth’ it should not be afraid to hold its ground, and wait for science to catch up. To pursue the ‘argument’ analogy further, Astrology is the wronged party and it is therefore materialistic science that should apologise. It has very little to learn from science, but science needs to spend much time learning from Astrology. As Dennis Elwell says: “Mainstream science will eventually be obliged to embrace the astrological if it is to unify its picture of the universe”³⁰. The value of this highly desirable outcome will be diminished, if en route Astrology has to adapt itself in order to become more appealing to the other side. Here is Elwell again: “It is a popular delusion that as science advances, the beliefs of astrologers will become more and more discredited. The very reverse is happening… A growing number of discoveries leads us to think that the old astrologers must have been wiser than they knew” (p48).

On the same theme I especially like John Addey’s way with words: “How could scientists, as we have been accustomed to think of them, convert us to their way of thinking when they are no longer able to sustain their old beliefs themselves? We are not even in the position, as we have sometimes liked to think of ourselves, of a David pitting its strength against the Goliath of Modern Science. Science today — and I am speaking of the heart and core of the scientific world-view which has prevailed for the past 300-odd years — is not so much like a Goliath as like a great simpleton who is even now in the process of falling over his own bootlaces into the dust from which he will not rise again.

“I hope indeed that we shall become more scientific in our methods, but we certainly need not fear their philosophy (if one can call it that) when they themselves are already deserting that philosophy in order to rejoin the road which we have never left”³¹.

What specifically can science learn from Astrology?

In chapter 11 I argued on the basis of Paul Davies’s work that science might be unable to make further progress unless it accepts previously unacceptable ideas, for example teleology and organizing principles. Since these two factors are staring reluctant scientists in the face, and both of them are at the heart of Astrology and have been for thousands of years, it is clear not only that science has much to learn from Astrology, but also that materialistic science is a pretty slow learner. Here is Dennis Elwell on teleology: “Science, out of its concealed metaphysics, long ago set its face against any notion of intention, purpose, design, in the universe. Astrology may be destined to be the means whereby such teleological concepts are reintroduced into the mainstream of science’(p149). And John Addey on the archetypes: “Science is about to undergo a transformation in its thinking about first principles… Why (does) modern scientific thought (have) difficulty with the conception of a hierarchy of principles?… (The principles) are not abstractions; they are certainly not products of the human mind. Man can think of these principles because they are there (and because they are within man “as well as external to him); they are not there because man thinks of them” (p201).

Perhaps the following quotation says it best of all. I have referred several times to Wolf and Toben’s view that, while we can know that there is something outside spacetime, we cannot know what it is. It can hardly appear otherwise to science. However, Elwell here gives some hope that Astrology, even without being excessively mystical, might be the key which, in a manner comparable to science, can help science begin to unlock the mysteries of the spiritual realm: “What astrology does is allow us to take hold of that reality not so much at the experiential or intuitive level, but at the intellectual level, with concepts which are clear enough to be expressed and argued about. It supplies both the language and the methodology. Herein lies its relevance for science: it gives the bright light of reason access to areas hitherto only dimly apprehended” (p5). Perhaps there is hope for Stephen Hawking’s approach after all.

Science united with religion, Astrology united with astronomy, that was how it began in the ancient civilisations, for example Mesopotamia and Babylon, where the earliest star-studiers monitored the movements of the heavenly bodies, which eventually enabled them to construct accurate calendars and to predict eclipses. For some reason that we no longer understand it seemed self-evident to them that their findings could also be used to determine the ‘will of the gods’, in other words the evolution and destiny of their societies.

In the following period, even if astronomy and Astrology were not always considered a single discipline, they existed perfectly happily and peacefully alongside each other. This situation persisted for thousands of years, and included civilisations and cultural movements as diverse as the Vedantist tradition of India, the ancient Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, the Chinese and Japanese, the Arabs, the Maya and Incas, and the medieval Italian Renaissance. At this time, as Geoffrey Cornelius says: “The astrological world-view ‘intrudes everywhere’, entering into almost every area of inquiry and belief… The fundamental conception of a continuous pouring down of stellar influence was virtually unquestioned by critic and practitioner alike” (p1). And that seems to have included the great astronomers and mathematicians of the late Middle Ages! The standard account goes something like this: “The decline of astrology is generally attributed to the rediscovery of the heliocentric system by Copernicus, to Kepler’s laws, Newton’s mechanics… This account of the decline of astrology has become so general that it is no longer even questioned”³². To these three I would like to add the name of Galileo, who was responsible for the final triumph of the Copernican theory, and who is now remembered as much as the other three, if only for his famous trial.

West and Toonder, not having to scratch too deeply beneath the surface, offer a different picture. Let us see just how ‘scientific’ these figures were.

“Copernicus was led to his rediscovery of the heliocentric system by his study of Pythagorean ideas, with which he became acquainted in Italy, at the school begun by the theologian and mystic, Nicholas de Cusa”³³.

“Copernicus himself did not draw up horoscopes, but he had no difficulty in accepting the aid of a notorious astrologer, Rheticus, in completing and bringing out the first edition of his famous book DE REVOLUTIONIBUS ORBIUM CELESTIUM, which explained that the earth turned round the sun. Tycho Brahe combined a solicitude for precision and perfect objectivity in astronomy with classical astrological beliefs. As for Kepler, astrology was at least as dear to him as the laws of the stars’ motions which have made him immortal”³⁴.

“Galileo was a practising astrologer… and he nowhere intimates that he practised only to make a bit of money on the side, or that he privately repudiated the subject”³⁵.

Johann Kepler, discoverer of the elliptical orbits of the planets, and of the ratios between their distances, of the four names was the one whose allegiance to Astrology is the best documented. “He was... an intensely religious man, a Neo-Platonist… (Because he) was in permanent financial straits… he wrote astrological almanacs predicting events in the coming year, and cast personal horoscopes; both of which he regarded as a waste of time”. So, like most serious astrologers, he repudiated the trivial, fortune-telling side of Astrology. Yet this did not detract from his belief in the serious Astrology. It is interesting that he was converted to it after initial scepticism: “A most unfailing experience (as far as it can be expected in nature) of the excitement of sublunary natures by the conjunctions and aspects of the planets has instructed and compelled my unwilling belief”. Kepler repeatedly writes to friends of his intention to separate the ‘gems from the slag’. He issues ‘a warning to certain theologians, physicians and philosophers who rightly reject the superstitions of the astrologers, not to throw the baby out with the bathwater’. And declares: ‘nothing exists and nothing happens in the visible heavens that is not echoed in some hidden manner by the faculties of Earth and Nature: the faculties of the spirit of this world are affected in the same measure as heaven itself’ ”.

The authors conclude that “Kepler’s astronomical discoveries were part of his life’s work to find the literal, physical proof of the Pythagorean notion of the harmony of the spheres… Using rather complicated mathematics, Kepler tried to calculate the exact literal sounds emitted by the planets and contended that this music could only be ‘heard’ by the sun, which stood as the embodiment of the Divine Principle. And when he thought that he had found the key to it all, he exulted, believing he had re-discovered the secret of the Egyptians… These being his interests, it is quite understandable that he should chafe at having to cast horoscopes to finance his work… The astronomy Kepler praises was astronomy carried out in the name of Pythagoras… Kepler’s astronomy was not what a modern astronomer would call astronomy: it was astrology”³⁶.

If asked who was responsible for the greatest intellectual achievement by one person in the history of the planet, many people might reply Einstein, who single-handedly revolutionized the prevailing scientific worldview with his theories of Special and General Relativity. (Although no source is given for the reference, he is quoted by A.T. Mann as saying: “Astrology is a science in itself and contains an illuminating body of knowledge. It taught me many things and I am greatly indebted to it”³⁷.)

The person normally credited by scientists with this achievement, however, is Newton, for his groundbreaking work the Principia Mathematica. It has been claimed by others that this book demolished Astrology once and for all. Why they should have said this when the man responsible for this intellectual achievement did not claim his discoveries invalidated it, and himself was interested in Astrology is not clear. A favourite anecdote amongst astrologers is that Newton, when criticised by the astronomer Sir Edmund Halley for his sympathy for Astrology, is alleged to have retorted: “I have studied it, you sir have not”. Critics often claim that the story is apocryphal, saying that there is no independent confirmation. His interest in Astrology is confirmed, however, by Sir Harold Hartley who, reviewing The Mathematical Papers of Isaac Newton (in New Scientist, 11/5/67) said: “Newton’s last undergraduate year was the seminal period of his mathematics when his interest in astronomy and, on his own admission, astrology, needed a fair knowledge of contemporary mathematics for their proper understanding”³⁸. There is also a large section devoted to alchemy(!) in his unpublished papers. West/Toonder conclude that “over a long life more of his time was spent studying what would now be called ‘occultism’ than what would now be called ‘science’ ” (also p95).

Which modern scientist would dare call Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, and Newton superstitious and gullible? Yet these are the men who are claimed to be the advance guard of the Age of Reason, the most anti-astrology period in the history of the planet. The reality is that those responsible for some of the most significant astronomical advances of the last 2,000 years, all took an interest in Astrology or closely related ideas seeing no conflict between the two. Then there was an extraordinary turnaround. As Geoffrey Cornelius puts it: “By the end of the eighteenth century astrology in any shape or form had been all but wiped out as a credible intellectual endeavour, its serious study confined to a small minority perceived as eccentrics” (p1). We are entitled to ask the question, if Astrology lived comfortably side by side with astronomy and science for thousands of years, that is if they were not in fact identical, and that this situation was accepted by some of the greatest minds, was the arrival of the Age of Reason a genuine advance, or is it just a passing trend, a fashion imposed upon us by over-rational scientists?


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  1. Souvenir Press, 1972, p243
  2. Derek and Julia Parker: The New Compleat Astrologer, Mitchell Beazley, 1984, p48
  3. Lindsay River and Sally Gillespie, The Knot of Time, Women’s Press Ltd., 1987, p15
  4. quoted by Charles and Suzi Harvey, Principles of Astrology, Thorsons, 1999, p11
  5. J. A. West and J. G. Toonder, The Case for Astrology, Macdonald & Co., 1970, p52
  6. Stephen Arroyo and Liz Greene, New Insights in Modern Astrology, CRCS, 1991, p82
  7. Astrology, Psychology, and the Four Elements, CRCS, 1975 p27
  8. ibid. p15, his italics
  9. in The Future of Astrology, A. T. Mann (editor), Unwin Hyman, 1987, p26
  10. Michel Gauquelin, Astrology and Science, Stein and Day, 1970, p113
  11. The Cosmic Loom, Urania Trust, 1999, p3
  12. A New Study of Astrology, Urania Trust, 1996, p174
  13. as footnote 7, pp5–6
  14. The Astrology of Personality, Servire/Wassenaar, 1963, p165
  15. Psychology, Astrology and Western Magic, Llewellyn, 1991, Pxii
  16. as footnote 11, p173
  17. Bob Toben and Fred Alan Wolf, Space-Time and Beyond, Bantam, 1982, p55
  18. A Brief History of Time, Bantam, 1988, p175
  19. The Myth of Meaning, Penguin, 1975, pp29–31
  20. as footnote 15, p11. From Kabbalah: An Introduction and Illumination for the World Today
  21. God and the New Physics, Penguin, 1984, p15822. Jung, OUP, 1994, p41
  22. Jung, OUP, 1994, p41
  23. as footnote 14, p165
  24. as footnote 12, p176
  25. as footnote 9, p122
  26. as footnote 14, p45
  27. as footnote 6, p84
  28. as footnote 11, p124
  29. The Moment of Astrology, Arkana, 1994, p36
  30. as footnote 11, p3
  31. as footnote 12, p207
  32. as footnote 5, p82
  33. ibid., p83
  34. as footnote 10. See also footnote 5, p84
  35. as footnote 5, p84
  36. as footnote 5, pp86–91
  37. as footnote 9, Pvii
  38. as footnote 5, quoted on p95

Cosmic Program

Quadrivium Magicae

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