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Author Topic: THE RENAISSANCE  (Read 4733 times)
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« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2008, 10:26:49 am »

                                    The Height and Subsequent Decline of Astrology

Along with the revival of classical knowledge of art and literature, the Renaissance saw the rebirth of classical philosophy and science. We have already noted the effects of the revival of Ptolemaic astrology. Astrology also had an important part in play in the Renaissance rediscovery of Neo-Platonic and Hermetic philosophy. Marsilio Ficino's translation of the Corpus Hermeticum attributed to the sage Hermes Trismegistus stimulated much research and writing into esoteric subjects like astrology, magic and alchemy.
Astrology in the Renaissance was acclaimed as the Queen of the Sciences, capable of providing an explanation for the birth, growth and decline of all things in the Material World. The Zodiac and the planets, the Celestial World, provided a key link in the Great Chain of Being, acting as the essential intermediary between the Divine World of Platonic Ideas and Angels and the Material World, composed of the four elements of air, earth, fire and water.

Astrology provided a window into a Cosmos filled with beauty and harmony, where spiritual correspondences united all things in existence. The beauty of the Renaissance world view is apparent, not only in its architecture, paintings and literature, but in its astrology, as exemplified by the writings of such astrologers and philosophers as John Dee, Robert Fludd, Cornelius Agrippa and Marsilio Ficino.
Yet astrology entered an abrupt decline as the beginning of the seventeenth century ushered in the Enlightenment. Contrary to the beliefs of some modern authors, astrology was not so much disproved in the early 1700's, but rather went out of fashion. The primary cause for the decline of astrology was the increasing acceptance of a mechanical theory of causality.

By denying the existence of the realm of the spirit, the study of astrology, a spiritual science, became untenable. Where in the Renaissance science and religion did not essentially disagree, the Enlightenment begat a conflict between the scientific and spiritual that has continued to this day.
The lack of a unified schema of knowledge has produced a societal schizophrenia where biologists cannot talk to theologians, and mystics are dismissed by philosophers. Renaissance astrology represents the highest development of not only astrological theory and technique, but of an astrology that was not estranged from all of the other branches of knowledge.

The study and knowledge of Renaissance astrology increases the accuracy and scope of our modern astrologies, but its ability to unify both mechanical and spiritual causality, to heal the breach between science and religion, is perhaps its greatest legacy.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2008, 10:29:30 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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