Astrology in the 19th Century

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Johannes Ehvass

Welcome, dear reader! The Enlightenment, often hailed as the Age of Reason, ushered in an era where logic and empirical evidence reigned supreme. As society championed scientific discovery and rational thought, astrology faced a unique challenge. Positioned at the intersection of ancient beliefs and emerging skepticism, the celestial practice found itself both critiqued and revisited. Yet, even amidst this intellectual revolution, the allure of the stars persisted, reflecting the enduring human desire to find meaning beyond the tangible. Join me as we explore this dynamic period, where astrology navigated the delicate balance between tradition and transformation.

Romanticism and its Influence on Astrological Revival

Introduction: A Century of Change

The 19th Century Landscape

Enlightenment astrology

The 19th century was a period of profound transformation, characterized by industrialization, political revolutions, and significant cultural shifts. Amidst these changes, there was a growing desire to return to nature, spirituality, and individual expression, setting the stage for the Romantic movement.

Reconnecting with the Mystical

As the rationality of the Enlightenment began to wane, a yearning for the mystical, the unknown, and the emotional took its place. This reconnection with the transcendental provided fertile ground for astrology’s resurgence.

Romanticism: The Heart Over the Head

The Essence of Romantic Thought

Romanticism emphasized emotion, intuition, and nature over reason and industrial progress. It championed individual experience and personal intuition as sources of truth, often delving into the realms of the supernatural and the unexplained.

Reviving the Ancient Arts

This inclination towards the mystical spurred an interest in ancient practices and beliefs, including astrology. People sought to find meaning in the stars, just as they did in art, poetry, and nature.

Astrology: A Tool for Self-Expression

Individualism and the Birth Chart

The birth chart, a personalized map of the heavens at the time of one’s birth, resonated with the Romantics. It was seen as a reflection of the individual soul, a tool to delve into one’s deepest desires, fears, and life path.

Romantic Arts and Celestial Imagery

Astrological symbols and celestial themes became prevalent in Romantic arts. Paintings, literature, and music of the era often showcased zodiac signs, planetary bodies, and other astrological motifs, echoing the era’s fascination with the cosmos.

Astrology as a Counter-Movement

Challenging the Status Quo

While the 19th century saw rapid advancements in science and technology, there was a segment of society that felt alienated by this relentless march of progress. For them, astrology served as an antidote to the cold rationality of the industrial age.

Reforming Society Through Celestial Wisdom

Astrology was not just a passive tool for introspection. Many adherents believed that its principles could be applied to reform society, especially in areas of education, governance, and interpersonal relations.

The Legacy of Romantic Astrology

Setting the Stage for Modern Astrology

The astrological revival during the Romantic era laid the groundwork for its 20th-century counterpart. The emphasis on individual birth charts, psychological insight, and personal transformation would be echoed in the subsequent astrological movements.

A Continuous Dance

The ebb and flow of astrology’s popularity over the centuries underscore a continuous dance between rationality and mysticism, science and spirituality. The 19th century’s Romantic revival of astrology is a testament to this enduring interplay.

Conclusion: Stars, Emotions, and the Romantic Soul

The 19th century’s embrace of astrology under the banner of Romanticism reveals a collective yearning for meaning and connection amidst societal upheaval. Astrology’s resurgence was not just a nostalgic return to ancient wisdom but a forward-looking endeavor, aiming to blend celestial knowledge with contemporary insights. The Romantics saw in the stars a reflection of their own souls, and in doing so, paved the way for modern astrological thought.

The Theosophical Movement and Astrology

Introduction: A Spiritual Renaissance

The 19th Century and the Occult

In the shadows of the Industrial Revolution’s machinery and the structured logic of the Victorian era, a contrasting spiritual fervor was brewing. This century witnessed an upsurge in interest surrounding the occult, mysticism, and Eastern philosophies.

The Rise of Theosophy

Emerging as one of the most influential spiritual movements of the late 19th century, Theosophy sought to merge Western esoteric traditions with Eastern spiritual philosophies, creating a synthesis of beliefs and practices.

The Founding of the Theosophical Society

Helena Blavatsky: A Spiritual Visionary

Madame Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, a Russian emigrant, played a central role in the birth of the Theosophical movement. Her writings, especially “The Secret Doctrine,” provided the foundation for Theosophical teachings, emphasizing universal brotherhood and the study of comparative religion, science, and philosophy.

Goals and Tenets of Theosophy

The Theosophical Society, co-founded by Blavatsky, Colonel Henry Steel Olcott, and William Quan Judge in 1875, set forth objectives that included forming a universal brotherhood, studying ancient and modern religions, and investigating unexplained laws of nature.

Astrology within Theosophical Teachings

Planetary Evolution and Cosmic Cycles

Blavatsky’s works often touched upon the concept of cosmic cycles, planetary chains, and rounds, suggesting a deep connection between humanity’s evolution and celestial movements. These ideas indirectly resonated with astrological teachings about the influence of cosmic cycles on human destiny.

The Synthesis of Eastern and Western Astrology

Just as Theosophy aimed to blend Eastern and Western spiritual traditions, it also fostered a synthesis between Eastern (Vedic) and Western astrology. This bridging helped introduce many Westerners to Vedic astrological concepts, enriching their understanding of celestial influences.

Astrological Personalities in Theosophical Circles

Annie Besant and Astrological Advocacy

After Blavatsky’s passing, Annie Besant emerged as a leading figure in the Theosophical movement. She was also a proponent of astrology and believed in its importance in understanding human nature and spiritual evolution.

Alan Leo: From Theosophist to Astrologer

Alan Leo, initially influenced by Theosophy, became one of the most significant astrologers of his time. He integrated Theosophical concepts into his astrological writings, emphasizing the spiritual and evolutionary aspects of the horoscope.

The Legacy of Theosophical Astrology

Esoteric Astrology: A New Branch

The Theosophical movement’s influence led to the birth of Esoteric Astrology, which views the horoscope as a map of the soul’s evolution over many lifetimes. This approach added depth to astrological interpretations, focusing on spiritual growth rather than mundane predictions.

Shaping Modern Astrological Thought

Theosophy’s emphasis on universal interconnectedness, karma, and reincarnation left a lasting impression on astrological thought. These principles became integral to many modern astrological practices, enriching the art with profound spiritual insights.

Conclusion: A Celestial Symphony of Spirituality

The Theosophical movement and astrology shared a mutual journey during the 19th century, with each enriching the other’s philosophy and practice. The synthesis they achieved bridged ancient wisdom with contemporary insights, offering seekers a holistic perspective on the interplay between the stars, the soul, and the cosmos.

Astrological Societies and Their Growing Influence

Introduction: A Revived Interest in the Stars

The 19th Century Astrological Resurgence

As the 19th century unfolded, the industrialized world, with its rapid advancements and scientific breakthroughs, also witnessed a contrasting yet complementary revival in the study of the mystical, including astrology.

The Role of Societies in Astrological Renaissance

Astrological societies played a pivotal role in this revival, providing platforms for discussion, dissemination of knowledge, and legitimizing the practice in an increasingly skeptical world.

Early Astrological Organizations

The Theosophical Society’s Impact

As previously discussed in the context of Theosophy, this society, though not exclusively astrological, was instrumental in reviving interest in astrological studies by marrying Eastern and Western esoteric traditions.

Birth of Specialized Astrological Societies

By the latter part of the 19th century, the need for specialized organizations solely focused on astrology became apparent. These societies aimed to promote and standardize astrological studies, offering formal education, conducting research, and publishing findings.

Founding of the Astrological Lodge of London

Alan Leo’s Vision

Alan Leo, a Theosophist turned astrologer, played a crucial role in modern astrology’s development. His vision was instrumental in founding the Astrological Lodge of London in 1915, which initially operated as a part of the Theosophical Society but later became an independent entity.

Goals and Activities of the Lodge

The Lodge aimed to provide a platform for serious astrological discussions, research, and teachings. Regular meetings, lectures, and publications became the cornerstone of its activities, drawing both seasoned astrologers and enthusiasts.

The National Astrological Society in the USA

Founding and Mission

The USA wasn’t far behind in the astrological renaissance. The National Astrological Society, founded in the early 20th century, sought to provide a national platform for astrologers in the United States. Its mission was to promote and elevate the standards of astrological practice.

Publications and Journals

One of the society’s significant contributions was the publication of astrological journals and periodicals. These publications disseminated knowledge, new research findings, and fostered a sense of community among practitioners across the country.

Astrological Education and Standardization

Formal Courses and Certifications

Recognizing the need for structured learning, many societies began offering courses in astrology. Certifications and diplomas provided legitimacy to the practice, ensuring practitioners adhered to specific standards and ethics.

The Quest for Recognition

The 19th and early 20th centuries saw astrologers striving for a more prominent place in academia and society. Societies often petitioned universities and educational institutions to recognize astrology as a legitimate field of study.

Conclusion: The Institutional Pillars of Modern Astrology

Astrological societies of the 19th century laid the foundation for the practice’s contemporary structure and recognition. Their relentless efforts in education, research, and community building have ensured that astrology remains vibrant and relevant in the modern era.

By providing platforms for shared knowledge, these societies played an indispensable role in shaping the current landscape of astrological thought and practice. Their legacy is evident in the continued growth and evolution of astrology as a respected discipline that bridges the ancient and the modern, the mystical and the empirical.

Johannes & Estel: Renowned authorities in Numerology, Astrology, and the esoteric arts. As the founders of Scandinavia's premier Numerology school, we're delighted to share our insights through this curated series on astrology. Dive in and discover the stars.


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Introduction to Astrology

The history of Astrology
Moving beyond deterministic astrology
Foundation of Astrology: Planets, Signs and Houses

Astrology and the Holographic Universe

The Holographic Universe
The Human Psyche as a Mirror to The Solar System
The Human Body as a Mirror to The Star Signs

Astrology Background

Egyptian Astrology
Mayan Astrology
Chinese Astrology
Indian Astrology - Jyotish
Celtic Astrology
Tibetan Astrology

Mesopotamian Astrology

Early Mesopotamian Astrology: The Dawn of Celestial Divination
Enuma Anu Enlil: The Epicenter of Babylonian Celestial Omen Interpretation

Babylonian and Chaldean Astrology

Babylonian and Chaldean Astrology
Chaldean influence and evolution
Chaldean Wisdom: Safeguarding and Transmitting Astrological Knowledge

Hellenistic Astrology

Hellenistic Astrology background
Claudius Ptolemy and Tetrabiblos
Vettius Valens
Dorotheus of Sidon

Persian Astrology

Persian Astrology background
Sassanian Astrology

Late Antiquity and The Transition Period

Late Antiquity and The Transition Period
Hellenistic to Islamic Transition: The Torchbearers of Astrological Wisdom

Islamic Golden Age

Arabian Astrology Background
Arabian Astrology Contributions

Medieval Astrology

Introduction: The Medieval Cosmos
Monastic Preservers: Astrological Knowledge in the Dark Ages
Astrology in Medieval Medicine
Kings, Queens, and Constellations: Astrology in the Medieval Court
The Church and the Stars: A Contentious Relationship
Universities and Scholastic Pursuits: Academic Astrology
Astronomy & Astrology: Tools of the Trade
Medieval Astrological Houses and the Synthesis of Traditions
Transition to the Renaissance: Humanism and the Celestial Arts
Reflections: Medieval Astrology's Echoes in Modern Practice
Astrological Art of the Middle Ages
Famous Medieval Astrologers
Medieval Astrological Texts

Renaissance Astrology

Renaissance Humanism and Astrology
Scientific Advancements and Astrology
The Social Fabric: Astrology in Everyday Renaissance Life
Court Astrologers of the Renaissance
Controversies and Conflicts: Astrology Under Scrutiny
Renaissance Texts and Authors: Continuation of a Tradition
Astrology and Art: Celestial Imagery in the Renaissance
Renaissance Astrological Practices: Evolutions and Innovations
End of the Renaissance: The Gradual Decline of Astrological Influence
Renaissance Astrology's Echo in the Modern World

Enlightenment Astrology

Introduction: The Enlightenment and Astrology
Challenging the Stars: Astrology's Critics during the Enlightenment
Astrology and the New World
Astrology in the 19th Century
The Dawn of Psychological Astrology
Astrology in the 20th Century: A Modern Renaissance
Astrological Associations and Schools
Modern Controversies and Astrology
Astrology and Popular Culture
Astrology and Technology
Current Trends and Future Directions in Astrology
Conclusion: Reflecting on Astrology's Evolution

The Planet Significances

The Sun in Astrology
The Moon in Astrology
Mercury in Astrology
Venus in Astrology
Mars in Astrology
Jupiter in Astrology
Saturn in Astrology
Uranus in Astrology
Neptune in Astrology
Pluto in Astrology
Chiron in Astrology
Black Moon Lilith in Astrology
Pars Fortuna in Astrology
Ceres in Astrology

Houses in Astrology

Introduction to Astrological Houses
The Angular Houses
The Succedent Houses
The Cadent Houses
The 1st House
The 2nd House
The 3rd House
The 4th House
The 5th House
The 6th House
The 7th House
The 8th House
The 9th House
The 10th House
The 11th House
The 12th House
Interaction Between Houses
Derived Houses, House Rulers, and Interceptions
Conclusion: Synthesizing House Knowledge

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