What are some philosophies about astrology

- An anthology on the philosophy of astrology -


1 Astrology and Knowledge Volume 12 of the series of publications by the Astrology and Knowledge Foundation - An anthology on the philosophy of astrology -

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3 Astrology and Knowledge Volume 12 of the series of publications by the Astrology and Knowledge Foundation - An anthology on the philosophy of astrology - 3

4 ISBN The entire work is protected under copyright law. Any unauthorized use is not permitted. This also applies to the exploitation through film, radio, television, photomechanical reproduction, sound carriers of any kind, electronic media as well as for partial reprints and the translation Production and publishing: Books on Demand GmbH, Norderstedt Contact address: Volker Schendel, Langrederhof 5, D Hannover 4

5 Contents I.) Introduction ... 7 II.) On epistemology III.) Freedom of occupation IV.) Intellectuals and astrology V.) Dirty child VI.) Humanities VII.) Self-conceptions VIII.) Pros and cons IX.) Developments X.) Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court XI.) Nobel Prize Winners XII.) Prejudices XIII.) Differentiation XIV.) Limits of information XV.) The economic factor XVI.) What is science? XVII.) Legal theory Appendix 1: Thesis paper Appendix 2: Elizabeth Teissier Appendix 3: State astrology Appendix 4: Quotations Appendix 5: Poems Appendix 6: Newspaper horoscopes Appendix 7: Astrology and the Church Appendix 8: Astrology as a border area Appendix 9: Astrology and religion Appendix 10: Examination literature: Reading sample from the "Apocrypha of Astrology": Simone Eggers: Modern Astrology in Contemporary Religious Culture

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7 I.) Introduction Scientific occupation with astrology is a delicate matter. In the university environment, such activities have a certain tendency towards academic career suicide. The discussion about astrology has always, even in the past millennia, been burdened with the fact that there was no uniform definition of the term astrology 1. In ancient times, astrology was defined comprehensively, so natural science, religion and magic were included in the term astrology includes 2. The history of astrology goes back to the prehistoric times of human history. Due to the archaeological finds in Saxony-Anhalt, in Goszek, we date the earliest astrological manifestations to before our era 3. At this point, some definitions of astrology: In his introduction to astrology, Niehenke writes 4: Astrology is, in its most general form, the interpretation of spatial relationships and temporal processes in our solar system. It is based on the basic assumption that the rhythms resulting from such relationships are related to physical, biological and psychological processes in organisms on earth. In his dissertation 5 this abstract definition is further differentiated into esoteric astrology 6, symbolic astrology, astrology as experience 1 Campion aao S.XI 2 Campion aao S.XI 3 Campion aao p.20 4 Niehenke, Peter (2000): Astrologie . An introduction. 1st edition Leipzig: Reclam (Reclam library, Bd. 1705) p.25 5 Niehenke, Peter (1987): Kritische Astrologie. For the epistemological and empirical-psychological examination of their claim. Freiburg im Breisgau: Aurum Verl. P.89 6 The founder of anthroposophy was the most demanding with regard to esoteric astrology. Rudolf Steiner wrote: Real astrology is quite an in 7

8 science and astrology as a natural science. We will come back to this later 7. As a working definition of cultural anthropology, Campion 8 writes: We need a modern definition of astrology that enables us to comprehensively understand its respective cultural anthropological manifestations in different cultures. Astrology in this sense is therefore both the study of the relationships between the planets and life on earth as well as the myths and rituals that are used in it. The range of worldwide astrology methods has necessarily been very extensive in recent years. There are divine interventions in the sense of instructions for action that are derived from symbols. There is the horoscope interpretation, the calendar science, talismans and purification rituals. Astrology claims to capture the future with it. In the concrete astrological consultation, the focus can be on the internal processes or on the external world. 9 intuitive science and requires those who want to practice it to develop higher supersensible cognitive powers. see Schöffler, Heinz Herbert (1996): Rudolf Steiner and Astrology. Dornach: R. Geering Verlag. P.11; See also Volker H. Schendel: Rudolf Steiner und die Astrologie in: Astro-Forum Sternzeit, 42nd edition, 1st quarter 2010, p.18 7 Dethlefsen in: Dethlefsen, Thorwald (2006): Destiny as Chance. The primal knowledge of human perfection. 52nd edition, fully paperback edition. Munich: Goldmann (Goldmann, 11723), writes on the essence of astrology in the chapter Astrology A system of depicting reality: The original astrology is typical of an esoteric discipline in its internal structure and way of thinking. [] Astrology deals with the archetypal primal principles which, on the level of ideas, represent the primal building blocks from which reality is composed in all its manifestations. These original principles pervade all levels of manifestation vertically. This creates chains of analogy, the individual links of which belong to different levels, but all represent a common principle. The observation of any plane can be transferred to any other plane with the help of the analogy. The reference plane of astrology is heaven. [] Astrology is thus a measuring instrument of reality that shows something with any precision without generating it. [] Astrology is not the belief in the influence of the stars on humans, astrology is rather a system of depicting reality. [] The horoscope shows in symbolic form the quality of time, a specific hierarchy and relationship of the original principles under which a person entered this existence. This horoscope is his task or his curriculum that has to be fulfilled in this life. Each so-called constellation embodies a certain task, a problem. 8 Campion aao S.X 9 see also Grafton, Anthony; Knecht, Peter (1999): Cardanos Kosmos. The worlds and works of a Renaissance astrologer. Berlin: Berlin-Verl. P.15ff 8

9 The chairman of the largest astrological professional association in Germany, the German Astrological Association (DAV), Dr. Christoph Schubert-Weller, writes 10 on the practical work of astrologers: The practical work of astrologers consists, in short, of interpreting horoscopes according to certain rules. Horoscopes are representations of a momentary constellation of the sun and planets, seen from the perspective of the planet earth and related to a certain place of birth or whereabouts on earth at a certain minute. These representations are astronomically comprehensible, i.e. they are calculated correctly, even if the average astronomer may consider the special type of this representation (projection of the planetary positions on a zodiac, division of the earth's space into 12 sections and projection of these sections into the zodiac) to be meaningless. For the astrologer, this representation is a complex symbolic figure for the quality of time given at the same time for this momentary constellation, which is to be interpreted according to various rules. Already in the assertion of astrology that time is not just a quantity that is consumed, but a tangible and interpretable quality, there is a lot of explosive. And astrology also claims that time quality can be determined from planetary constellations. Elsewhere he writes 11: Astrology thinks and recognizes in parables, in pictures. This is a basic requirement of astrology. We know in our practical work that the sun means power or the 10th house means profession, publicity, honor; in our consultation we work with the fact that Venus or the 7th house has to do with partnership. But behind the- Grafton writes: Any historian who wants to examine a certain isolated segment of this long history [of astrology] inevitably runs the risk of confusing known or even ancient ideas and methods with new, original ideas. Because the observer of classical astrology is dealing with a centuries-old tradition, which has always been characterized by both a remarkable flexibility in application and persistent loyalty to a set of principles and techniques that have not changed in the essential elements. 10 Schubert-Weller, Christoph (2008): Astrology and Science. In: Schendel, Volker H. (ed.): Apokryphen der Astrologie. Tübingen: Astronova, S Schubert-Weller, Christoph (2008): Astrology and knowledge. In: Schendel, Volker H. (ed.): Apokryphen der Astrologie. Tübingen: Astronova, p

These attributions stand for certain images that are brought into an order with one another and with one another in a certain regular way. Neither the pictures nor their respective arrangement and assignment are self-evident. They are not unpredictable, and yet they seem to be true, at least they seem to point to what is applicable over and over again. On the way through the images of astrology and their respective arrangement and assignment, knowledge is possible. How this knowledge happens - and whether it is actually true - is only the subject of astrological (self) reflection in exceptional cases. We just assume that astrological cognition and interpretation is correct, because it works in our practice. I would now like to try to look behind the scenes of the functioning practice. Our current astrological and psychological culture of interpretation is committed to the concept and not to the image. We translate Mars, which is strong according to astro-technical rules, into violent energy or aggression. But we should not forget that it is an image of the active man or the warrior - or some other image that is behind these ascriptions of violent energy or aggression. We couldn't imagine energy or aggression without a picture. [] Astrology is based on 12 archetypes, which are indicated by the symbols of the zodiac. The pictorial meanings of the planets are analogous to these 12 archetypes. The dominance of symbols by the planets makes this analogy immediately apparent. In the end, it does not matter whether we work with the seven old planets (sun and moon as lights, five actual planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn), whether we work with the planets Uranus, Neptune and, newly discovered since the 18th century To add Pluto or, for example, whether we also work with the hypothetical Trans-Neptuners from the Hamburg School. The meanings of the respective planets can always be put in analogy to the 12 archetypes of the zodiac. [] Besides, cautious astrologers prefer to speak of the measuring circle rather than the zodiac. They refer to the basic metric function of the zodiac. With its help you determine positions. Its content function, which is expressed in the 12 archetypes, is closely linked to its metric function. 10

11 These understandings 12 of astrology are reflected in the very, very long history of astrology in human history, especially in European culture. In the oldest worlds of imagination about planets, suns and stars it is assumed that the stars are not independently acting beings, but are inhabited and controlled by angels and servants of the gods.13 Only in Iranian astrotheology does this become apparent through an embodiment of the planets in the sense by acting planetary spirits, placed in a more concrete context with the acting people on earth 14. A reflection on astrology and the astrological phenomena always leads to religious and moral questions that have played a role in the history of astrology from the beginning, i.e. already in the Ancient Sumer 15. Echoes of this Indian, Persian, Egyptian and Chaldean astral teaching can also be found in Plato in Timaeus and in the state 16. In this period of time, 12 Krishnamacharya writes in: Krishnamacharya, Ekkirala (1985): Spiritual Astrology. German edition, 1st edition Hamburg: WTT [et al.]. P.13: It was one of the main goals of H.P. Blavatsky to decipher those stories that contain the secrets of eternal wisdom. The present work brings this intention to a lawful conclusion. The astrological key is essential to reading the scriptures of the world and properly understanding them. And on page 15: There are two types of astrology: esoteric and exoteric. The true, spiritual wisdom of man deals with the esoteric branch of astrology we call spiritual astrology. This science describes the appearance of the human being as a threefold existence consisting of matter, mind and spirit. 13 Knappich, Wilhelm (1988): History of Astrology. 2nd, supplementary edition / with a preliminary remark on the new edition and supplement of the Bibliogr. by Bernward Thiel. Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann. P.4; Böttcher, Helmuth M. (1999): Thirty thousand years of astrology. Stars, Fate and Prophets. Special edition Frechen: Comet. P.7 14 Knappich aao p.4 15 Brand, Rafael Gil (2000): Textbook of classical astrology. Orig. Mössingen: Chiron. S Knappich aao p.4; Stuckrad in: Stuckrad, Kocku von (2003): History of Astrology. From the beginning to the present. Munich: Beck, writes on p. 17 on the context of astrology in the esoteric disciplines: There is some confusion about the term esoteric, which was first coined in the 19th century. [] In religious studies research, it was therefore suggested [], largely inspired by Antoine Faivre, who until his retirement in 2002 held the world's first chair for esoteric history at the Sorbonne in Paris. Faivre suggested describing esotericism as a form of thinking that conceives reality in a specific way. [] In a heuristic definition, first introduced in 1992, Faivre introduced four or six basic features of esoteric thinking into scientific systematics, which soon found general use: 1. Thinking in correspondences is fundamental for every esoteric discipline [] 2. The idea of living nature understands the cosmos as a complex, ensouled system

Then we find the strict opponents of astrology very early on. The Ionian natural philosophers, e.g. Anaxagoras, rejected any belief in the divinity of the stars, which brought Anaxagoras violent persecutions and he was only able to save his life through Pericles 17. Even in the oldest antiquity, however, we also find the thought that the planetary gods are actually in us, that they are structures of our soul that are relocated to the outside world. Starting with the old Hermeticists, Arab and Medieval thinkers to Cusanus and Paracelsus, this strand of astrological self-image also runs through human history 18. When the 500th birthday of Philipp Melanchthon was celebrated two years ago, one in Wittenberg Exhibition on Melanchthon's astrology also reminds of a largely forgotten aspect of the work of the Praeceptor Germaniae. As a center of Protestant learning in the 16th century, the University of Wittenberg was not only a stronghold of Reformation theology, but also of astrology. 19 This is due in particular to the fame of Melanchthon, whose students, who were also devoted to astrology, 20 often became advisors to European princes and cities, 21 who at that time kept their own astrological advisers or calendar makers. The devout elector Otto Heinrich even had the Greek planetary gods affixed to the famous Ottheinrichsbau of Heidelberg Castle in 1558 in magnificent sculptures, namely those in the highest position, who also had the strongest position in his horoscope 22. The fact that such aspects of European intellectual history have been forgotten depends is traversed with the decline of a living energy [] 3. Imagination and meditations (imagination and mediation) indicate that the knowledge of the correspondences requires high symbolic imagination or is revealed by spiritual authorities (gods, angels, masters, spirits) [] 4. Finally, the experience of transmutation establishes a parallel between external action and internal experience; In analogy to alchemy, esotericism is about purifying people on their spiritual path and enabling them to undergo an inner metamorphosis. 17 Knappich aao p.4 18 Knappich aao p.5 19 Cf. Wilhelm Knappich, Geschichte der Astrologie, 3rd edition, Frankfurt a.m. 1998, S ibid. 21 Alfons Rosenberg, signs in the sky. Das Weltbild der Astrologie, 2nd edition, Munich 1984, p. 96; For more information, see Knappich, op. Cit., S W. Knappich, op. Cit., P

13 of astrology to our time, which has played a considerable, albeit varied, role in human history. The religious roots of astrology The movements of the celestial bodies have aroused reverent astonishment and reflection since ancient times. But the question of whether these movements mean something in that they indicate the future human fate, for example, whether they even emit effects that determine it with legal necessity, has reignited the scholars' dispute over and over again to this day.The amazement at the beauty of the stars and the movements of the stars gave rise to primarily religious ideas that were reflected in fairy tales and myths through to astral religious cults. The question of the meaning of these movements then gave rise to astronomy and astrology, which were initially not separated. The three most important basic astrological assumptions and interpretation models are presented below 23 against the background of the emergence and development of astrology in recent years. Anyone who only has the deplorable state of affairs in view of what is now called astrology in magazines or in the tabloids will find it difficult to grasp the religious significance that belief in the stars originally had in human history. In their oldest evidence, we encounter astrological ideas integrated into astral-religious ones: the stars are viewed as the seat of living spiritual-divine beings, yes, the celestial bodies are themselves viewed as gods due to their apparently autonomous movement. This religious view and a cultic veneration of the planetary gods based on it, i.e. the basic features of an astral religion, was present in many peoples, in primitives as in civilized peoples, from the magic belief that the powers of the star spirits are in metals, precious stones, plants, etc. the sublime thought of Plato that divine souls live in the stars and guide them24.Babylonia is considered to be the land in which astral religious ideas found their classical expression 25: Even the sign for a god in the oldest form of cuneiform is a star . Later the Roman 23 After Knappich, op. Cit., P.10f. 24 W. Knappich, op. Cit., S O. Rühle (C.-M. Edsman), Art. Astral Religion, in: RGG³, Bd.1, Tübingen 1957, Sp.662ff. 13th

14 rulers depicted on coins with a star over their heads, and the emperor was referred to as sidus or stella. 26 Our weekday names are still a relic of the astrological assignment of the days of the week to planetary gods from ancient times, for example Sunday, Monday in German, Mer-credi the Mercury day in French or Saturday the Saturn day in English. 27 The ancient man sees heaven and earth, macrocosm and microcosm constantly related to one another. The stars as revelations or manifestations of a deity are thus at the same time the rulers of the course of the world and of nature. The sun, moon and Venus are the three most prominent celestial bodies to the naked human eye. Accordingly, the three main deities of the Babylonians manifest themselves in them: Sin, Shamasch and Ishtar (Greek: Astarte). The star of the city god Marduk of Babel, who later became the god of the empire, becomes Jupiter. The god of war and hunting god Ninurta reveals himself in Saturn, the herald Nabu in Mercury, the doombringer Nergal in Mars. 28 The symbolism of the individual planets established at that time still plays a role in the interpretation of the horoscope. Through prayers and sacrifices an attempt was made to influence the gods of the stars or to implore their protection, as for example prayers to Sirius and Orion from Egypt show: Heil dich, Sothisgestirn, a hymn to Sirius begins: Isis, you mistress of heaven, you queen of the Rising souls of the gods Shining in the sky near her brother Osiris (Orion) she walks along in his footsteps forever by warding off the serpent Apophis through the splendid sayings of her mouth You make the Nile swell in that your name the divine Sothis circling in near the Sahu star (Orion) and rising in the east of heaven, you unite with life in the west of heaven. 29 The astral religious conviction that the stars are gods, self-powerful spiritual beings who not only cause natural phenomena, but also rule human fate, already implied the step towards star observation and star interpretation, i.e. towards astronomy and astrology: through investigation and precalculation of the regularities prevailing in the starry sky, it should also be possible to draw conclusions about the divine will and thus predictions of earthly events and human fate. So it says in a Babylonian cuneiform text: If a child is born while the moon rises, then his life is brilliant, happy, 26 Thomas Schäfer, Vom Sternenkult zur Astrologie, Düsseldorf 1993, S cf. Wilhelm Gundel, Sternglaube, Sternreligion und Star oracle. From the history of astrology, 2nd edition, Heidelberg 1959, p.106f 28 O. Rühle (C.-M. Edsman), Art. Astral religion, op. Cit., Sp cit. In W. Gundel, op. Cit., P.56f 14

15 correct and long; if a child is born while Mars is rising, it will be harmed, sick, and die quickly. 30 Astronomical calculations and astrological interpretation of the star course were of course not inseparable at this early stage in the context of astral-religious ideas and basically remained so until the replacement of the geocentric worldview by the heliocentric worldview of modern times: Because astrology was originally practiced for the purpose of To explore the will of the gods from the stars is inherently priestly science. From the step towers, generation after generation of the Mesopotamian priests observed since the 3rd millennium BC. B.C. the apparitions and movements in the night sky and believes to see revelations of his gods in them, which indicate that certain changes of meteorological, internal and external political kind are imminent. To every Egyptian temple belonged also especially in the 2nd millennium BC. BC, as a special priest class the astronomer and the horoskopos, i.e. the hourly shower. 31 It would certainly go too far to describe the astral religion as the primordial religion of mankind. It is true that the view of the starry sky above me (Kant) may have produced strong religious feelings in people from the earliest times; The astral religion, however, is not an independent form of religion, but only a certain religious element, which of course plays a role in every historically recognizable religion.32 In connection with the astral religious ideas, astrological and astronomical methods and perspectives in the narrower sense are also encountered for the first time, i.e. the attempt to To explore the course of the stars with empirical, rational means of observation for certain regularities in order to arrive at empirically based predictions and fateful behaviors. The priests of the astral religious cults were also the first astronomers and astrologers. However, the increasing rationalization of observation methods in no way led to a crisis or an end to astrology: the independence of astrology and astronomy through an empirical-rational approach to interpretation (classical astrology) Already in antiquity there was an increasing abstraction of astronomical and astrological ideas, i.e. their removal from the astral religious context. This process, which is fundamental to today's astrological process, took place in the 30th quotation from Hannelore Schilling, As above so below, as below so above. Basic forms of astrology, in: Materialdienst der EZW 1976, S W. Gundel, a.a.o., S O. Rühle (C.-M. Edsman), Art. Astral Religion, a.a.o., Sp

16 Age of Hellenism, when the Greek spirit seized the oriental myths and religions, penetrated itself rationally, but was also transformed by them. 33 Even without its religious elements and cultic practices in the narrower sense, the old astral religion implied fundamental ideological principles that can be detached from them and applied in different contexts. The most important ideological principle of astrology is the principle of all esotericism formulated in the Corpus Hermeticum of the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD: As above, so below, as below, so above. In antiquity, this sentence was understood as the revelation of a star god: Ancient astrology leads most of its teachings to the personal revelation of the God of all wisdom seen in the planet Hermes-Mercury, the Hellenistic-Egyptian Hermes Trismegistos. 35 The oldest texts of the Hellenistic-Egyptian Astrology always refer to the interpretation of the stars as a science revealed by the gods. 36 The doctrine ascribed to the legendary being Hermes Trismegistus as above, below, as below, so above is the prerequisite for all astral-religious as well as astrological ascriptions.37. that the human being is integrated into the macrocosm as a microcosm and that the macrocosm has its earthly counterpart in the human being 38: Between the microcosm and the macrocosm there are correspondences, analogies, a cosmic sympathy, and there is no astrological thinking that is not based on this old magical analogy. and sympathy-based thinking. Goethe, who had studied hermetic and astrological scriptures in his youth, was still fascinated by this thinking, as he admitted in a letter to Schiller in 1798: astrological superstition rests on the dark feeling of an immense world as a whole I do not even want this and similar delusions Superstition 33 Cf. T. Schäfer, aao, p.17: The current form of astrology emerged relatively late in the Hellenistic phase of Greece, after simple interpretative concepts had previously been adopted from Babylonia - although Egypt's role in this process was not yet scientifically is quite clear. 34 See Thorwald Dethlefsen, Fate as Chance. The primal knowledge of human perfection, 31st edition, Munich 1990, p.27ff. Dethlefsen also speaks of the law of polarity (p.67) 35 W. Gundel, aao, S W. Gundel, aao, S T. Schäfer, aao, S Cf. O. Rühle (C.-M. Edsman), Art. Astral Religion , aao, Sp

17 name, it is so close to our nature, is tolerable and permissive than any belief. 39 But this mystical-theosophical foundation of astrology through the correspondence thinking of the hermetic literature was already pushed back more and more in antiquity by other tendencies in the interpretation of the world. 40 It was of far-reaching importance for the development of astrology that one began to understand the macro-microcosmic analogies, which could be mystically experienced as meaningful, as the (causal) effects of impersonal cosmic forces under the influence of the highest authority of Greek thought in the philosophy of Aristotle now the star gods became more and more. By beginning to give the correspondences between macro- and microcosm a primarily physical-rational meaning, one created the main type of empirical-rational interpretative approach of astrology, which shapes it up to the present day. Knappich describes this process in his History of Astrology as follows: The foundations for this were unintentionally provided by the great philosopher Aristotle, who rejected astrology in his metaphysics, but taught in his scientific writings (From Heaven and From Becoming and Passing) that all’s coming and going depends on the movement. The deity as the first mover gives the impetus to what is first moved (Primum mobile or the starry sky) and from there to the planets. All forces and effects therefore come from the unchangeable region of the stars; through their movement they produce the warm and cold, dry and damp, and through these four primordial qualities they bring about all growth and decay of the transitory world under the moon. 41 The stars not only work with their powers on everything earthly, but also express the divine will as a purposeful acting divine power. The structure of a scientific celestial religion based on these ideas was first completed in the epoch of Hellenism by the Syrian philosopher Posidonios of Apamea (from right). The only systematic textbook of ancient astrology, the Vierbuch (Tretabiblos) on Ptolemy's interpretation of the stars, is essentially based on the teachings of Posidonius. 42 Claudius Ptolemy can be seen as the completion of the rationalization process of Hellenistic astrology, on the way to an explanation of nature detached from myth, in which the planetary movements are predictable cycles and the ancient planet gods to 39 Quoted from Udo Becker, Lexikon der Astrologie, Freiburg 1981, p See W. Knappich, loc. Cit., S W. Knappich, loc. Cit., P.50 (cf. the diagram on p.52). 42 W. Knappich, op. Cit., P

18 mere forces of nature. 43 The fortune-telling that flourished in late antiquity or cults with a strong astral color, such as the Mithras cult, could not stop this process, any more than the attempt of the gnostic Iamblichus to renew the ancient celestial religion. 44 This process continues in the Middle Ages up to modern times: With Thomas Aquinas, astrology, as an empirical science based on Aristotelian physics, 45 can be incorporated into his universal system of thought without endangering human freedom of choice: the stars are now tools of God, which on the one hand can indicate the will of God, on the other hand can also act on the body of man, but not on the immortal soul. Man can affirm or deny the inclinations of the stars on the basis of his free will. The wise man rules the stars. 46 This empirical-rational astrology reached its heyday in the Renaissance epoch between 1450 and 1650, in which the famous Nostradamus also lived 47: The professors of astrology at universities, the court astrologers of the secular and spiritual princes, the house astrologers of powerful private individuals who From the 13th century onwards, city and state astrologers enjoyed an almost monstrous reputation. 48 The enormous share of astrology in public life at that time, in politics, art or education, is difficult to understand today, especially since hardly any area of ​​life has remained untouched by it. As an example, the role of medical astrology, also known as jatromathematics, should be pointed out 49: The opinion of Paracelsus that a good doctor should also be an astronomus was generally shared. 50 The so-called bloodletting males were widespread: Bloodletting was a basis of medicine at the time. However, this was not carried out without astrological ideas and calculations, for example according to the motto: Never touch with the knife that part of the body in whose sign the moon is currently. 51 The individual body zones were assigned to the 12 signs of the zodiac, the inner and sensory organs to the seven planets, and the bloodletting men- 43 W. Knappich, aao, S W. Knappich, aao, S W. Knappich, aao, S W. Knappich, loc. cit., p.376; cf. ibid. p.161 on Summa theologiae, 2nd main part: Whether divination from the stars is permitted. 47 W. Knappich, op. Cit., Pp.185ff. 48 W. Gundel, op. Cit., S Cf. on this W. Knappich, op. Cit., Pp. 71f. 50 W. Knappich, a.a.o., S With W. Knappich, a.a.o., p

19 as a pictorial representation of the correspondence between the human microcosm and the macrocosmic world of stars indicated at which moon position should be bled or operated 52. Therapy then took place according to the magical methods of sympathy and antipathy, ie by administering something similar to the same Planets associated remedies, according to popular wisdom: What Saturnus does evil, Iovis makes up for. 53 The reformer Philipp Melanchthon can also be regarded as a typical representative of the empirical-rational interpretation model of astrology: standing in the tradition of Ptolemy, on whose Tetrabiblos he gave lectures between 1535 and 1545, 54 he tried to understand astrology as part of physics. 55 According to his textbook on physics Initia doctrinae physicae (1549), for which he invokes Aristotle as the highest scientific authority, astronomy is the part of physics that studies the motions of the stars, while astrology is the part of physics that examines the effects of the Star examines. 56 Similar to Thomas Aquinas, however, Melanchthon did not see the effects of the stars as endangering human freedom of will. In contrast to Melanchthon, the Platonist Johannes Kepler represented ideas that left Aristotelian physics as the basis of this astrological interpretation model behind and pointed to future new approaches: The ingenious Kepler was permeated by the idea that between the cosmic trinity of the sun, star spheres and space and There is an analogy to the Christian Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, whereby the sun is not only a source of light, but also the active cause of the planetary movement, similar to how the Creator directs the course of the world. In this way he found in an intuitive way the astronomical law of celestial mechanics, which was later confirmed by Newton. The idea that the cosmos is a whole guided by a spiritual principle and ordered according to proportions that can be represented in terms of harmonic geometry, 57 was also 52 Ibid. 53 Ibid. 54 Cf. Jürgen G.H. Hoppmann (Ed.), Melanchthon's Astrology. The path of the star sciences at the time of humanism and the Reformation. Catalog for the exhibition from September 15 to December 15, 1997 in the Reformation History Museum in Wittenberg, Wittenberg 1997, S Cf. Edgar Wunder, Melanchthon's relationship to horoscopes, an assessment from today's scientific point of view, in: Jürgen G.H. Hoppmann (Hrsg.), Op.cit., S quotation from Wolf-Dieter Müller-Jahncke, Magister Philippus and Astrology a small collection of quotations, in Jürgen G.H. Hoppmann (Ed.), Op.cit., S Cf. W. Knappich, op. Cit., P

20 the background to his adherence to astrology: Johannes Kepler was of the opinion that the effect of the aspects used in astrology (= angular relationships between planets) is based on an innate sensitivity of the human soul to geometric proportions, which he called instinctus geometricus The soul reacts on the angular relationships as well as on consonances and dissonances. 58 The angular positions of the planets reflect the divine harmony of the cosmos, to which the human soul reacts like a song produced by the mechanics of an organ. However, Kepler's ideas initially had no influence on astrology. It was only in the 20th century that a symbolic, depth psychological astrology (see below) was able to build on this. 59 As the magazine Focus reported in 1997, Kepler's ideas have recently been taken up by Peter Niehenke 60 in order to explain planetary effects: because astrologers cannot specify any physically measurable force that could be responsible for the mechanism of action, they rely on a melody the planets that a certain basic principle of life awakens in us. Niehenke explains the effect using a theory by Kepler, the instinctus geometricus. The human soul is sensitive to geometric proportions. As the ear feasts on melodious tones, certain geometric angular relationships between the planets (e.g. 60 = harmonious, 90 = tense), so-called aspects, should have an effect on us. The fact that character traits are shaped at the time of birth could be due to certain star positions that provoke the release of birth-inducing hormones. The birth of people with a similar disposition would be synchronized by a cosmic stimulus. 61 Up to the 18th century, however, people continued to think along the lines of Aristotelian physics. A typical example of how one sought to combine divine and celestial influence into a kind of Christian astrology is offered by the following remarks by Father Martin Cochem about the planet Mercury in his Christian house book The Great Life of Christ from 1727: According to Father Cochem many great and noble delusions, which he does so well in the plants, as well as in the cattle and in the people. Hence everything that is lively and vigorous in the herbs, hedges and trees: what is wonderful in animals: and what is in the 58 Peter Niehenke, Astrology. An introduction, Stuttgart 1994, p.39 and W. Knappich, op. Cit., P.196; 214; In his book Astrology: p.37ff; 185ff. 61 Focus 30/1997, p

21 people, who are subtle in inventing all kinds of arts and sciences, come closest to God, from this star. Wherever he plans to find something that is suitable to receive his strength, he pours it into him, and through the influence of his shining strals he comforts the brain, and stimulates the strength of the heart. and counting the rays of this star at the same time as the rays of the sun on earth, the Mercurius does even greater impacts. 62 Aristotle's hypothesis of the first movement of the sphere of fixed stars, which thus causes events on earth, does provide a basis for astrology 63, but it also gives rise to the problems and controversies that up to the empirical-rational interpretation of classical astrology based on it accompany today: Apart from the fact that its foundations seem to be out of date as a result of the change from the Ptolemaic to the Copernican worldview, the main objections to the rational-empirical basic model of classical astrology were raised in antiquity 64, namely by the skeptic Karneades of Cyrene, who 156 BC When Athens came to Rome as envoy: Of his arguments against astrology, Knappich mentions the following: 1. It is impossible to determine the exact time of conception and birth and to make precise observations of the sky and position determinations. 2. People who were born in the same place and at the same time (especially Gemini) have the same horoscope and yet often very different fates: 3. Conversely, people with the same fate (e.g. death in battle or in a mass catastrophe) do not have the same horoscope. 4. The astrologers cannot tell from the horoscope whether it applies to a king's son or a packhorse. 5. How can one assert that certain constellations give certain body features and character traits, if these traits apply to whole peoples and races? The sign of Virgo is supposed to give white skin color, so nobody in Ethiopia could be born under the sign of Virgo Zit, in Hans Biedermann, Handlexikon der Magischen Künste Vol. 2, 3rd edition, Graz 1986, S Art. Astrologia, in: Little Pauly. Lexicon of Antiquity in five volumes, Vol. 1, Sp Cf. W. Knappich, op. Cit., P.77f; Hans Christian Free Life, Do the Stars Deceive? Becoming and being of astrology, Stuttgart 1963, S W. Knappich, a.a.o., p.77f. 21

22 Finally, it was also discovered in antiquity that as a result of the so-called precession of the spring equinox of the sun, the astrological zodiac fields do not coincide with the real constellations in the real starry sky. As a result of this incongruence, speaking of the influences or effects of the stars appears even more questionable, because radiation effects, if they could influence fate at all, emanate from completely different fields than the astrologers base their calculations on. Esoteric astrology Aristotelian physics had fertilized astrology for many centuries, but ultimately led to a crisis: At the beginning of the 19th century, astrology disappeared from academic teaching in Germany when the Erlangen university professor J. Wilhelm Andreas Pfaff stopped his lectures in 1816. 67 But soon afterwards, towards the end of the 19th and 20th centuries, astrology experienced a new, undreamt-of and sustained upswing in the non-academic area: one of the reasons for this is the emergence of modern occultism today, people prefer to speak of esotericism . Similar to Romanticism, modern esotericism and occultism see themselves as an alternative to the rationalism of modern science and therefore also place astrology on the basis of a different ideological interpretation model: Their representatives discovered the old magical correspondence thinking of hermetic literature and its vision of the world as a coherent whole also for astrology. And they understood the esoteric-astrological worldview based on it as a third way beyond the mechanistic thinking of science and the Christian religion. It was mainly representatives of the modern Anglo-Indian theosophical societies, but also other occult orders such as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, who rediscovered the hermetic correspondence thinking in the 19th century and thus the foundations for a new flourishing of astrology in the 20th century laid. The term esoteric astrology for this approach 68 is actually a pleonasm, because astrology in the sense of this basic model is esoteric, and conversely, modern esotericism does not exist without the macro-microcosm thinking of hermetics, which is used in astrology 66 Cf. Hans Biedermann, aao, S cf. Paul Bauer, Horoskop und Talisman, Stuttgart 1963, p.213; W. Knappich, op. Cit., S Cf. Bernd A. Mertz, Die Esoterik in der Astrologie, Freiburg 1988, p.7ff; Ders., Esotericism. The way to secret knowledge, Frankfurt a.m./berlin

23 finds its broadest horizon. The expression of the magic of the stars is not just a flowery phrase in view of this astrological basic model, because the ideological basic axiom of astrology the correlation or analogy of above and below is also the basic axiom of magic and esotericism. Esoteric astrology thus boils down to the essence of all modern esotericism, the re-enchantment of the world disenchanted by technology and a remythologization of the cosmos through a monistic thinking that sees the material being completely dominated and transformed by spiritual forces in the cosmos. The interaction and analogy between above and below, macro and microcosm is not seen as a causal cause-effect connection, but as a connection of a meaningful kind, specifically as an expression of a cosmic unity ruled and organized by the spiritual. According to the teaching of anthroposophy, for example, cosmic relationships are repeated in man: through his ego, through his spirituality, the human being participates in the world of the fixed stars, which in turn is permeated by spirituality. In contrast to this, the planets mark spheres which have their correspondence in the human soul. The relationship of the soul in man to the world of the planets is therefore expressed by the designation astral. 69 For Rudolf Steiner's occult vision, the heavenly bodies are not only physical phenomena - through them spiritual beings or gods also work: the Christ-being acts from the sun as the sun spirit on the earth. At the baptism of Jesus the Christ essence descends from the sun into the body of Jesus. The most recent draft by Matthew Fox and Rupert Sheldrake from 1998, which in their book on angels as cosmic intelligence, also includes reflections on the spirituality of the stars and calls for the rehabilitation of astrology: the starting point is also on the line of such remythologizations of the cosmos the paradigm of the biologist Sheldrake, according to which the whole universe forms a living organism in which there are graded forms of consciousness. 70 According to Fox and Sheldrake, beings appear as a form of higher consciousness in the cosmos, on the one hand, which are referred to as angels in Western tradition. But also galaxies or planets are living beings with consciousness, intelligence or spirit. According to Sheldrake, the consciousness of the heavenly bodies not only extends over the respective organism, but also includes the relationship to others. 69 A. Baumann, ABC der Anthroposophie, Bern / Stuttgart 1986, p.19f. 70 When the universe is a large organism (interview with Rupert Sheldrake), in: Esotera 12/1998, p

24 systems, galaxies or planets. Sheldrake would therefore like to bring astronomy and astrology back together and states: It seems to me quite possible that an influence or an inspiration passes from a star to a person who consciously opens up to it by looking at the star and dealing with the one there Intelligence connects. 71 Such remythologizations of the cosmos and astrology again approach the old Babylonian view, according to which the movement of the stars cannot be explained purely mechanically, but is to be interpreted on the basis of spiritual intentions, decisions of the will or, as was believed at the time, decisions of gods 72. It is also a certain approximation of biblical perspectives when Fox and Sheldrake establish a relationship between angelology and astrology: The Old Testament also by no means has a materialistic view of the stars as dead matter, but sees in them, like its environment, personal powers. 73 The difference to the astral religious worship of these spiritual powers results from the belief in creation: As Yahweh's creatures, they are under Yahweh's mandate and are withdrawn from cultic worship. They are not part of theology as in Babylonia, but of angelology and demonology. Overall, it can be said that esoteric astrology has been an attempt since the 19th century to renew the originally religiously rooted astrology after its decline through the emergence of a mechanistically thinking natural science. Today, this attempt is regarded as a failure, both inside and outside of astrology: That modern esotericism is closer to rationalism than it would like 74 is also evident in esoteric astrology. from which physical effects emanate, in esoteric astrology they become spiritual principles from which supposedly spiritual effects emanate. 75 For the non-esoteric, the assumption of spiritual effects of the stars is by no means more plausible than the assertion made by classical, empirical-rational astrology of physical effects on the human body, insofar as these should go beyond the astronomically calculable influences. The problem of fate- 71 Matthew Fox / Rupert Sheldrake, Engel. The cosmic intelligence, Munich 1998, p.35f. 72 Cf. Werner Thiede, Art. Astrologie, in: RGG 4, Bd.1, Tübingen 1998, Sp. Cf. Otto Böcher, Art. Astrologie III. Biblical and early Jewish attitudes to astral phenomena, in TRE, Vol. IV, Berlin / New York 1979, p.299ff. 74 Cf. the relevant criticism from authors such as P. Sloterdijk and T.W. Adorno and his much-quoted sentence about weighing the astral body. 75 W. Knappich, op. Cit., P