Posted by: samandal | April 9, 2011

An Interpretation of the Natal Chart of Bahá’u’lláh, I

Díyáfat-i-Jalál, the Feast of Glory

Traditional astrology, or the astrology of the Tradition, is the predictive astrology of the Arabic, Greek and Latin language traditions as practiced between the years AD 754 (the succession of the Sunní ‘Abbásid caliph, Abú Ja‘far al-Mansúr) and AD 1654 (the death of the Nonconformist Christian astrologer, Nicholas Culpeper). The origins of the Tradition lay in the astrology of Hellenistic philosophers who had integrated the miscellaneous astral omen lore of the ancient Mediterranean into a rigorous synthesis that by the late fourth century would be recognized as a sacred science (scientia in the sense of structured knowledge) throughout the classical Roman world. Unfortunately, the decline of astrology throughout Christendom in the sixth century was hastened in the Latin West by the loss of the technical apparatus on which astrological calculations depend.

However, astrology thrived in the Arab world, which by AD 754 had already absorbed it as part of a programmatic assimilation of Greek knowledge to the emergent Islámic worldview. Indeed, the astrology of the Tradition is based on monotheistic principles and makes no sense except in the light of revealed faith. Medieval and Renaissance astrology is essentially Islámic astrology, and expresses itself in a unified schema of knowledge, internally consistent and coherent, in which all art, science and philosophy are contemplated and encompassed. The astrology of the Renaissance is more than a revival of its classical forerunner—central doctrines of Renaissance astrology, like that of the conjunctions of Jupiter and Saturn, do not have classical origins—but represents the highest development of astrological theory and technique.

Carl Jung once said that “astrology represents the summation of all the psychological knowledge of antiquity … whatever is born or done in this moment of time has the quality of this moment of time.” Nonetheless, astrological interpretation abounds in inconsistencies and contradictions.