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Back To The Future
or The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

The Good
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 Robert.

These "three 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.

The focus 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.

Yep! As 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.

The Bad
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."

This 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.")

So-called "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 polarized.

I suppose, 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...

There's an old adage that 2 astrologers equals 3 different opinions.

The Ugly
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.

Umm... how can I say this nicely? That's a load of crap!

On the 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, too.

While I 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.

At the 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.

Mom Knows Best
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.

So... I'll 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.

They're definitely a tasty treat and more than worth your while and consideration.

Take 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.

Keep in 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!")

Related Link:
Astro 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!

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