Toward the end of the 20th century, starting around the 1980s, something
rather excellent and "new" began stirring and bubbling
up within the community of astrologers. This rather excellent thing
is now (greatly oversimplifying matters) generally credited to three
guys who, oddly enough, all happened to share the first name of
Roberts" (Hand, Schmidt, and Zoller - listed in alphabetical
order) all too briefly came together with a common purpose. They
came together based on a mutual interest in and love for Ancient
Hellenistic and Medieval astrological texts. Out of this tenuous
coming together, the original "Project Hindquarters" was born...
whoops… I mean the original "Project Hindsight" or the "Golden
Hind Press" was born.
was (originally) that of providing new (and more importantly) accurate
English translations of Ancient Hellenistic and Medieval astrological
manuscripts that either had not been previously translated or that
had been previously translated, but badly.
I tip my
hat to these three "back to the future" pioneers. Their
initial efforts in "stirring up the pot" had the effect
of sparking off new and exciting interests within the astrology
community. This initial spark then, ever so gradually, went on to
evolve into what can now be considered a full-fledged ground swell
movement within astrology, taking on a life of its own.
I said… this movement back to the roots and traditions of astrology
has overall been a quite excellent thing for the astrology community.
It's great fun and of great benefit to finally have access to some
of the ancient masters, manuscripts, and differing techniques and
methods used in past traditions.
However, what's not been so excellent is the oft times accompanying
dogmatic, egotistical attitude that is being religiously hawked
and evangelized by "fundamentalist, true believers" of
the "old ways." The dogma goes something like this: "my
preferred traditional techniques are vastly superior to any of the
more 'modern' techniques of looking at and interpreting charts."
dogmatic attitude then continues on (sometimes merely implied and
sometimes spoken) with: "Hey bud! If you're not practicing my preferred
version of traditional astrology, then you're not practicing real,
authentic, and rich astrology." (And need I add in here that these
"true believers" fight amongst each other as to whether
Hellenistic, Medieval, or Renaissance methods are "the truest
and the best.")
"modern astrologers," having, for the most part, tolerated
this rancorous attitude since the 1980s have now seemingly developed
a little rancor of their own. The thing is that you can only only
kick a friendly old dog just so long, before it finally turns on
you. Now, with each and every passing day, the "community"
(using the term loosely) of astrologers is becoming more and more
however, if it weren't this particular issue of "modern versus
traditional" techniques that astrologers were bickering about
like little children, then we'd find another issue to inject our
venomous poison in. It's a "proud" historical tradition
of astrologers to bicker amongst ourselves...
an old adage that 2 astrologers equals 3 different opinions.
Problem is... in order to become a card carrying "true believer"
in "the ancient ways" pretty much requires that you swallow
whole (without chewing) the underlying premise that "they"
(the "ancients") knew what they were doing, and we don't.
They were somehow divinely inspired, we aren't.
how can I say this nicely? That's a load of crap!
face of it, this fundamentalist premise sounds downright romantically
spiritual, doesn't it? However, veneration for "all things
ancient" has its own special way of blinding folks to the fact
that "they" (the "ancients") were just people,
know it may be a wee bit difficult to believe... they (the "ancients")
put their sandals on in much the same way that we do, one foot at
a time. And good grief, they (the "ancients") didn't all
agree with one another any more than we do today.
same time, I'll throw out a small, but tasty, bone of reconciliation
by saying that the reverse attitude of "it's old, so throw
it out" is just as ugly, unprofitable, and short-sighted.
I'm going to resist the all too great temptation of pontificating
on about why and/or how these "true believers" in the
ancient ways are a wee bit too egocentric and full of themselves.
You know it, and I know it... and no matter what I say here wouldn't
convince them of a darned thing.
simply finish by saying... that I, myself, ignore them as much as
is humanly possible and continue to most heartily take advantage
of and enjoy in the delightfully, delicious smorgasbord of new English
translations for Ancient and Medieval astrological texts that are
even now becoming available.
definitely a tasty treat and more than worth your while and consideration.
care, however, that the accompanying dogmatic, egotistical attitude
("I'm right, so that must mean you're wrong") doesn't end
up leaving you with a nasty case of heartburn and indigestion. It
seems that the ever-evolving curse of our Western World shadow is
that we are all head and no heart.
mind your mother's sage advice, "Always thoroughly chew your
food before swallowing." (And, while we're at it: "Young
man! Don't run with that sucker in your mouth!")
Fundamentalism By Glenn Perry, Ph.D. So you think I've
been a wee bit rough on our Back To The Future Fundamentalist Friends?
Trust me... you ain't seen nothing yet!