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Astrology and Magic

Does Astrology Make Use of Magic?
 

This is one of the most widespread prejudices concerning astrology. To answer this question, we must first ask another question.

What is the essence of astrology and what is the essence of magic?

Up until about the middle of the 20th century, Astrology had no relation to psychology. Until that time, the supporters of astrology believed that every human action depended upon the influence of stars and planets. Essentially, the idea was that the world outside us and not one’s character creates one’s destiny. We have to admit that this perspective comes across as being totally fatalistic.

On the other hand, there is magic, which affirms that one can influence and control the exterior world, events in one’s life as well as other people’s lives. In the context of this perspective, everything depends on humans and their unlimited will.

There are, in fact, several valid reasons for believing that astrology is related to magic. About the year 1656, astrology was recognized as a profession. But with the death of the last professional astrologer, Morin de Villefranche (1583-1656), astrology disappeared as an official profession and astrologers began to work in a semi-clandestine manner. Until 1656, a great number of popes and other men of the cloth practiced astrology themselves or had recourse to professional astrologers. Besides astrology, they usually practiced magic as well. And so it is that, up until our own days, the Church has been spreading the conviction that anyone practicing astrology is, in fact, a dangerous magician. This conviction is stamped in the unconscious of the majority of people through the collective unconscious.

However, as always, truth is to be found half-way between extremes. Psychology has played a great role in this discovery. According to it, people truly influence their life, their behavior and even other people’s life while simultaneously being subjected to influence coming from the outside world. One of psychology’s greatest merits is that it has taught us that the world does not change because of our will to control others and to program their lives to suit our desires (the approach of magic) but as a result of our changing ourselves and correcting our false view of the world. Then, according to the principle that states that what is inside manifests itself in what is outside (Hermes Trismegistus), the world around us will also change.
Such is the teaching of contemporary astrology. Therefore, if we affirm that astrology has a relationship with magic, we automatically affirm that psychology, marketing, politics, economics and other sciences that teach us how to influence other people’s decisions for the sake of our personal benefit are based on the knowledge of magic. You yourself will have to admit that this assertion is not to be taken seriously.

Men of the cloth who practiced astrology:

  1. Dionysius the Areopagite, bishop, disciple of St. Paul in Athens.
     
  2. Pope Sylvester II (950-1003), the most learned man of his time, learned Astrology from the Saracens in Spain, then Otto III named him Archbishop of Ravenna.
     
  3. Albert the Great, also known as Albrecht von Bollstädt, known as “Doctor Universalis.” Member of the Dominican Order and adviser to Frederick Barbarossa, his universal mind brought together religion, Astrology, the teachings of Aristotle and Arab philosophy. However, he practiced magic as well as spiritualism. He created an artificial man on the basis of the metals that govern each planet, which he called “the instrument of androids.” According to him, the stars influence one’s body and not one’s character.
     
  4. Pope Honorius III (1216-1227) drew up tables showing the movement of the planets. The explanations of Astrology concerning people and the world became clearer than the beliefs of Christian mystics.
     
  5. St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274). Disciple of Albert the Great and an Aristotelian, he studied Avicenna and Abu Masar for a long time and is known as the greatest systematician of Church teachings. However, in contrast to his master Albert the Great, St. Thomas Aquinas capitulated in the face of astrological teachings and affirmed that “the stars have an influence on the body and the character of man, while God helps through His mercy.” Starting from this time on, astrology became popular in high society. Astrologers went from one royal court to another and were held in high regard by theologians.
     
  6. Albert Kažotic of Trogir, whose nom de plume was Cassoti, was the most important bishop in Zagreb. Moreover, he was the disciple of St. Thomas Aquinas and adviser to Charles Ist of Anjou.
     
  7. Arnaldo de Villanuova (1238-1310) was a doctor and mathematician. Moreover, he studied theology and alchemy. His life was rich and eventful. He was the personal adviser to popes Boniface VIII, Benedict XI and Clement XV. Summoned to the court by Peter III of Aragon, he accurately predicted that the monarch would die in 1285 (I consider this to be a case influenced by suggestion because the time of one’s death cannot be foreseen by astrology.) Later, he was appointed doctor of the court by James II. The discipline of astrology is indebted to him because he taught that one should not perform surgery on an organ while the Moon finds itself in the sign that rules it.
     
  8. Pope Urban V instituted the first astrological studies program, which also included the subjects of alchemy and hermeticism.
     
  9. Georg Trapezunt (1396-1484), taught astrology in Greek language while in Venice and translated Ptolemy’s Almagest. He was also secretary to popes Eugene IV and Nicholas II. Later, in Rome, he became the master of Regiomontanus, the pseudonym concealing the identity of Johan Müller von Königsberg. He established the system of unequal houses, reformed the calendar and published ephemerides. Later on, he became a cardinal and was poisoned in Rome.
     
  10. Pope Julius II (1443-1513), when still a cardinal, asked for the horoscope of his coronation day at the same time that the painter Raphael was decorating his room “Disputa” with images of a theological-astrological nature.
     
  11. In the East, the Patriarch Fotij, teacher of Cyrillus, was also known as an astrologer.
     
  12. Pope Leo X created an astrology teaching chair at the University of Rome.
     
  13. The priest Gaffarel, advisor to Richelieu, knew all the oriental languages, the kabala and astrology. His works were studied and discussed at the Sorbonne for a long time.
     
  14. Max Heindel, founder of the Rosicrucians. It is also in California that “The Church of Light,” linking Christianity to astrology, is to be found.
     

 

 
 
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