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Minderwiz  Minderwiz is offline
Student of Astrology
Join Date: 20 Apr 2002
Location: Wigan, UK
Posts: 7,888
Hellenistic Astrology

I've just signed up for Chris Brennan's Introduction to Hellenistic Astrology course and over the coming weeks (and months?) I'll be trying out some of the material and techniques that I'm learning about. This means that from time to time I might need a volunteer or two to act as a guinea pig

I've already run a thread on the Lots in Hellenistic Astrology but reading a natal chart using Hellenisitic techniques is something totally new to me. The emphasis seems to be not so much on describing the personality, but on forecasting the native's future over a period of time. The intial chart reading giving an impression of how succesful or not the native is likely to be in life.

So probably after the first few posts as I try to get to grips with the chart description, this thread will tend to be dominated by predictive techniques.

Hellenistic Astrology came into existence around the first or second century BCE (it's not easy to date precisely and there's some discussion of precisely when it arrived). It is really the Grand Daddy of Horoscopic Astrology, that is where an Astrologer casts a chart for the moment of birth (or other event) and uses, houses, planets and aspects to draw conclusions. It gave meanings to the various twelve houses, meanings which are largely still used or at least based on those original meanings and it gave us the system of aspects (well the major aspects) which we still used today and it seems, introduced the idea of relating signs to the four elements. It also heavily influenced Jyotish, that is the horoscopic Astrology used in India, indeed it's almost certain that Jyotish would not contain horoscopic charts at all but for the importing of Hellenistic principles.

Although all of the surviving texts were originally written in Greek, the writers were dispersed across the former empire of Alexander the Great. The main centre though was undoubtedly Alexandria in Egypt. From the Mesopotamian tradition it took and developed the idea of the Zodiac (settling on twelve signs) and from the Egyptian tradition it took the idea of dirunal motion - the revolution of the Earth on it's axis - giving not only the Ascendant but also the twelve houses that are still used.

It seems very likely that Hellenisitic Astrology was 'invented' quite quickly, using the ideas of those traditions, so it is a very systematised approach from the beginning, rather than developing over a longish period.

Because it's a 2,000 year old version of Astrology, there's the obvious question of how relevant it is today. So in my next post I'm going to show that it's the Astrology that most of you are familiar with, or at least came into contact with first - The 'Your Stars' Newspaper column.
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