book reviews

My Book on Ancient Astrology Has Been Released!

Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune

I am pleased to announce that my long-awaited book on ancient astrology has finally been released, and it is titled Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune.

The book was actually published in February, but the past couple of months of getting it out and promoting it have been kind of hectic, and so I’m just now getting around to announcing it here on my main blog.

In the book I provide an overview of the history, philosophy, and techniques of ancient astrology. More specifically, I focus on the type of astrology that was practiced during the time of the Roman Empire, from approximately the first century BCE through the seventh century CE.

The book is of general interest to modern practitioners of astrology because most of the techniques that astrologers still use today can be traced back to this specific tradition of astrology that originated in the first century BCE. In some instances by learning about where the techniques of western astrology come from and how they were originally used we can actually learn how to apply some of those techniques more effectively today.

In other instances there are important techniques that were used by ancient astrologers that were not passed along in the transmission of astrology over the past 2,000 years, and it is only recently that we have started to recover some of these techniques through translations of ancient texts in the past decade or two.

One of these techniques that I spend a lot of time talking about in the book is the concept of sect, which is the interpretive distinction between day and night charts. According to this doctrine, each of the planets can function in either a more challenging or a more constructive fashion in a given chart depending on whether the native was born during the day or at night. This becomes a crucial factor when evaluating the condition of a planet in a natal chart, as well as when determining whether something like a Saturn transit will manifest in a more positive or negative manner in a person’s life.

Sect is an example of a technique that has been recovered from ancient astrology that simply enhances other techniques that modern astrologers already use, and it does not require that you stop using some techniques or approach that you prefer. Instead it just provides an additional piece of information that you can use in order to make more precise statements about different placements in a chart.

In the book I also talk about a collection of ancient timing techniques known as time-lord systems, which are used in order to determine when the natal potential underlying certain placements will become activated in the native’s life, for better or worse. The premise underlying the time-lord systems is that not all placements in our chart are activated at all times. Instead, many of the placements in the birth chart represent latent potentials that lie dormant in the native’s life until the placements become activated, and only then will the placement become awakened and manifest what is essentially the promise that was made in the natal placement.

In the book I cover one basic time-lord technique known as annual profections, which can be used in order to determine which planet is activated in the chart in a given year, by counting one sign from the rising sign for every year of the native’s life. This results in a simple but powerful method for determining which planets are activated in a given year, which in turn lets you know which transits will be more important or will result in a “hit” in a given year, thus sharpening the modern approach to transit analysis.

At the end of the book I deal with a more advanced time-lord system known as zodiacal releasing, which is used to divide the native’s entire life up in to chapters and paragraphs, as if the life was a book and you could determine where the different chapter breaks are. More interestingly, zodiacal releasing can be used in order to get some sense of the sequence of the native’s life, and when they will reach major high points and transitions in terms of their overall career and life direction.

As you can tell already by this short synopsis, I covered a lot of ground in the book. It is actually about 700 pages long, because I tried to make it really comprehensive, not just in terms of the techniques, but also in covering the history and development of ancient astrology, talking about all of the major astrologers whose works survive, discussing different philosophical issues in ancient astrology, and even getting into more contentious topics like the origins of the house system debate in ancient astrology.

I also used 120 example charts in the book, so that you can see how the techniques worked out in practice, and these are complimented by more than 50 diagrams and tables, which help to illustrate various technical concepts that are introduced at different points in the book.

The book took me 10 years to write, as I started it way back in September of 2006. Ultimately it was a labor of love, although I’m excited that it is finally out and I’m able to share it with the rest of the astrological community, in order to provide one of the first comprehensive treatments of this tradition in modern times, and show people why some astrologers have become so excited about the revival of traditional astrology in the past few decades.

You can find more information about the book or order a signed copy from me directly through this page on Hellenistic astrology website: Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune description page.

There you will find a PDF excerpt of the introduction and table of contents, as well as some early reviews of the book on the sidebar, and a gallery of pictures that people have sent in of the book arriving and being read in different parts of the world.

Ultimately my writing style has grown and been refined a lot over the past decade through doing things like writing this blog. So, thank you to everyone who has read the blog and given feedback over the years, because in some way you have contributed to the overall process of writing this book.

Alright, that’s it for this update! Thanks everyone for reading, and I hope that you enjoy the book! Let me know what you think of it in the comments section below.

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