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Renaissance Texts and Authors: Continuation of a Tradition

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Estel Ehvass

Welcome, dear reader! The Renaissance marked a pivotal time for many disciplines, and astrology was no exception. As society rekindled its passion for the arts and sciences, so too did it revisit the stars. This era, renowned for its rebirth of knowledge, saw astrology intertwine with emerging scientific studies and the broader awakening of human curiosity. The cosmos, during this period, served not just as a guide for destinies, but also as a testament to humanity's relentless pursuit of understanding. Dive with me into this intriguing era, where stars and society found renewed harmony.

Reviving and Revising Ancient Works


Renaissance astrology - Renaissance Texts and Authors

The Renaissance, often described as a ‘rebirth’ of art and culture, also marked a significant era for astrology. Central to this revival was the return to ancient astrological texts, translating and interpreting them for the contemporary audience. This exploration led not just to a deeper appreciation of ancient wisdom but also to modifications that reflected the dynamic ethos of the Renaissance.

The Context: Rediscovery and Renaissance

Reclaiming Lost Knowledge

With the fall of Constantinople in 1453, many Greek scholars fled to Italy, bringing with them invaluable manuscripts. This migration catalyzed the Renaissance revival, offering Western Europe previously inaccessible works, including astrological treatises.

Resurgence of Greek and Roman Ideas

The Renaissance was, at its core, a movement inspired by classical antiquity. Scholars feverishly sought after Greek and Roman texts, driven by a belief that they held a purer, more profound knowledge than the medieval manuscripts.

Astrology in Antiquity: A Quick Overview

Role of Astrology in Ancient Cultures

Both the Greeks and Romans viewed astrology as a bridge between humanity and the divine. It played a role in everything from agriculture and medicine to politics and personal life. While the Greeks provided a theoretical foundation, the Romans popularized and incorporated it into daily life.

Key Ancient Texts

Several treatises stood out in their influence:
– **Tetrabiblos**: Often referred to as the ‘Bible of Astrology,’ this work by Claudius Ptolemy was a cornerstone text, detailing the principles of horoscopic astrology.
– **Astronomica**: Written by the Roman poet Manilius, this was a blend of astrology and poetry, reflecting on the philosophical implications of the stars.

Revival and Reinterpretation

Translations and Commentaries

The immediate task was to translate these ancient works from Greek and Latin into the vernacular. However, it wasn’t just a direct translation; scholars often added their commentaries, elucidating, elaborating, or even critiquing the original content.

Integration with Renaissance Humanism

Humanism, the heartbeat of the Renaissance, emphasized individual experience and reason. As astrological texts were revisited, there was an attempt to reconcile these ancient beliefs with the humanist approach, leading to a more personalized interpretation of astrological charts.

Revising and Adapting: The Renaissance Spin

Critical Engagement with the Past

While there was immense respect for antiquity, Renaissance scholars didn’t shy away from critique. They recognized that certain aspects of ancient astrology needed revisiting, either because of advancements in astronomy or due to shifts in theological and philosophical paradigms.

The Emergence of Elective Astrology

Ancient astrology was heavily deterministic. However, influenced by humanist beliefs, Renaissance astrologers expanded on elective astrology — the art of choosing the most astrologically auspicious time for an action. This allowed individuals to harness celestial forces, reflecting the Renaissance emphasis on individual agency.


Reviving and revising ancient astrological texts was not just an academic exercise for Renaissance scholars. It was a profound journey, bridging the past and the present, the celestial and the individual. In their pursuit of ancient wisdom, these scholars ensured that astrology remained a living, evolving discipline, adapting to the spirit and needs of the times.

Prolific Astrological Authors of the Period and Their Contributions


The Renaissance, a period of rebirth and rediscovery, produced not only renowned artists and thinkers but also a series of influential astrologers. These astrologers, through their prolific works, not only revisited ancient traditions but also innovated, adding depth and dimension to the field. Let’s journey through the lives and contributions of these remarkable figures.

The Landscape of Renaissance Astrology

The Confluence of Cultures

Astrology in the Renaissance was enriched by the meeting of different traditions. The Greek and Roman texts, Islamic influences from the Arabic world, and emerging European insights combined to create a vibrant tapestry of astrological thought.

The Demand for Astrological Knowledge

Renaissance society, from the elite to commoners, thirsted for astrological guidance. This demand paved the way for astrologers to produce a wide range of works, from detailed treatises to almanacs for the general populace.

Key Astrologers and Their Pioneering Works

Johannes Kepler (1571–1630)

Kepler, primarily known for his astronomical contributions, was also a practicing astrologer. His work sought to refine and reform astrology, bringing it in line with his heliocentric views. His significant work, **”Harmonices Mundi”**, discussed the ‘harmony of the world’, drawing parallels between planetary motions and musical harmony.

Girolamo Cardano (1501–1576)

A polymath, Cardano’s interests spanned from mathematics to medicine. However, his contributions to astrology remain invaluable. His work **”Libelli Quinque”** delved deep into horary astrology, a method of making predictions based on the time a question is asked, showcasing its relevance in decision-making.

Lucas Gauricus (1476–1558)

Serving as a papal astrologer, Gauricus was one of the most influential figures of his time. His series of prognostications and natal charts for European nobility, including **”Tractatus Astrologicus”**, established him as a leading figure in the realm of Renaissance astrology.

Nostradamus (1503–1566)

Perhaps the most famous astrologer of the Renaissance, Nostradamus is best known for his work, **”Les Prophéties”**, a collection of quatrains predicting future events. While often cryptic, his writings have been subject to numerous interpretations and remain a topic of fascination.

The Influence of These Astrologers

Reviving and Refining Techniques

The Renaissance astrologers were not just content with preserving ancient knowledge. They actively sought to refine techniques, ensuring that astrology was both a reflection of the past and an adaptable tool for the present.

Fusing Science and Spirituality

Astrologers like Kepler exemplified the Renaissance spirit, merging scientific observations with spiritual interpretations. This fusion allowed astrology to maintain its relevance, even as astronomical discoveries challenged traditional views.

Personalizing Predictions

With a shift towards individualism, these astrologers began to craft more personalized predictions, moving away from generic forecasts. This tailored approach increased the appeal and applicability of astrological insights.


The astrologers of the Renaissance were not mere passive recipients of ancient knowledge. They were active participants in the ongoing dialogue between the past and present, between tradition and innovation. Through their writings, they not only enriched the field of astrology but also left an indelible mark on the intellectual landscape of the era.

Printed Astrological Texts: The Impact of the Printing Press


In the landscape of technological advancements, the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in the mid-15th century stands as a monumental shift. The world of astrology, like many other disciplines, found its voice amplified and its reach extended. This chapter delves into the transformative influence of the printing press on astrological texts and how it changed the dissemination and consumption of astrological knowledge.

The Birth of Mass Production

The Gutenberg Revolution

Before Gutenberg’s invention, books, including astrological manuscripts, were hand-copied by scribes, a process that was time-consuming and expensive. The Gutenberg press, with its movable type, changed the very fabric of book production. It made the mass production of books feasible, lowering costs, and democratizing information access.

Shift from Manuscript to Print

The move from manuscript to print meant that astrological knowledge was no longer the exclusive preserve of the elite or the monastic communities. Texts previously rare and inaccessible began to flood the European markets, making astrology more popular and widespread.

Impact on Astrological Texts

Standardization of Knowledge

Printed texts provided a level of standardization previously unseen. This had significant implications for astrology, as standardized texts meant standardized practices, techniques, and interpretations. Errors in hand-copied manuscripts got corrected, and a consistent body of knowledge emerged.

Increased Accessibility

Astrological books, once the privilege of the affluent, became accessible to a broader audience, including the burgeoning middle class. This democratization meant that more people could learn and practice astrology, leading to its increased popularity.

Visual Representations

The printing press allowed for better illustrations and diagrams. Astrological charts, which were intricate and often challenging to reproduce by hand, could now be printed with precision. This visual enhancement added depth to astrological texts, making them more engaging and easier to understand.

A New Wave of Astrological Publications

Astrological Almanacs and Pamphlets

The demand for astrological knowledge led to the rise of almanacs – annual publications containing forecasts, calendars, and other pertinent information. Often sold at fairs and in town squares, these became essential reading for many. Similarly, pamphlets discussing specific astrological events or predictions became popular, given their affordability and topical nature.

Translations and Commentaries

The printing press facilitated the translation of ancient astrological texts from Greek, Latin, and Arabic into vernacular languages. This opened up a treasure trove of knowledge. Furthermore, scholars began to write commentaries on these texts, bridging ancient wisdom with contemporary thought.

Collaborative Works

The ease of publication meant that collaborative works, where multiple astrologers contributed, became feasible. These compilations provided a holistic view, merging different astrological traditions and interpretations.

The Societal Implications

Astrology in Education

With printed textbooks, astrology found its way into formal education. Universities across Europe began offering courses on the subject, leading to its academic legitimization.

Critics and Skeptics

While the printing press amplified the voice of astrologers, it also gave a platform to skeptics and critics. Debates around astrology’s validity, previously limited to academic circles, became public discourse.

The Synthesis of Astrology and Renaissance Humanism

Printed astrological texts often mirrored the broader Renaissance ethos, intertwining humanist thought with astrological insights. This synthesis reflected in texts that combined poetry, philosophy, and astrology, showcasing the interdisciplinary spirit of the era.


The marriage between the printing press and astrology during the Renaissance was a pivotal one. It transformed astrology from an esoteric art to a widely consumed science, shaping its trajectory for centuries to come. As printed pages carried astrological wisdom across Europe, they echoed the Renaissance spirit of inquiry, discovery, and democratization of knowledge.

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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