Hermetic Astrology

A TRILOGY
DEDICATED TO
A NEW STAR WISDOM
(ASTROSOPHY)

***

HERMETIC ASTROLOGY VOLUME I
Astrology and Reincarnation
(1987; second edition 2007)

HERMETIC ASTROLOGY VOLUME II
Astrological Biography
(1989; second edition 2007)

These two volumes on Hermetic Astrology are described below.
To order either of these volumes click here or here.

CHRISTIAN HERMETIC ASTROLOGY
The Star of the Magi and the Life of Christ
(1991; second edition 1998)

To order this volume, click here.

ROBERT POWELL
HERMETIC ASTROLOGY
TOWARDS A NEW WISDOM OF THE STARS
Volume I: Astrology and Reincarnation
Sophia Foundation Press
San Rafael, California
2007

O Egypt, Egypt, of thy religion nothing will remain but an empty tale, which thine own children in time to come will not believe; nothing will be left but graven words, and only the stones will tell of thy piety. And in that day men will be weary of life, and they will cease to think the universe worthy of reverent wonder and worship. And so religion, the greatest of all blessings . . . will be threatened with destruction.

From the holy book of Hermes Trismegistus, addressed to Asclepius. 


Author's Acknowledgements

With grateful acknowledgements to Willi Sucher (1902-1985) for the encouragement he gave to my research work, to friends who contributed their help in one way or another, and to Professor Konrad Rudnički for his preface to the second edition of this work. 


STUDY MATERIAL AND RESEARCH TOWARDS A NEW STAR WISDOM

PART I
HERMETIC COSMOLOGY

PART II
ASTROLOGICAL REINCARNATION RESEARCH

Part III
APPENDICES

 

TO THE READER
PREFACE
FOREWORD
INTRODUCTION: Astrology and Hermeticism
CHAPTER 1: The Exaltations
CHAPTER 2: The Egyptian System
CHAPTER 3: Evolution in the Light of Hermetic Astrology
CHAPTER 4: The Egyptians and the Babylonians
CHAPTER 5: The Hermetic Chart
CHAPTER 6: Reincarnation Research
CHAPTER 7: Further Aspects of Reincarnation Research
CHAPTER 8: The Signs of the Zodiac
CHAPTER 9: The Decans
CHAPTER 10: The Practice of Karma Research

 

APPENDIX I: The Hermetic Rule
APPENDIX II: The Second Coming
APPENDIX  III: The First Law of Reincarnation
APPENDIX  IV: The Sidereal Zodiac as the Authentic Astrological Zodiac
APPENDIX V: The Astrological Validity of the Hermetic Chart
APPENDIX  VI: Examples of Hermetic Charts
APPENDIX  VII: Computations
AFTERWORD

 

Preface to Second Edition

Robert Powell begins this book with clear and concise explanations of astronomical and astrological terminology, setting a high standard in presenting complex scientific conceptions to non-specialists. What is most interesting however from an astronomical point of view is his treatment of the old Egyptian world system, which he concludes was employed by Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) and considers not merely a transitory historical conception but something of abiding value. Powell's deep historical studies also enable him to solve another major astronomical riddle - the interchange of Mercury and Venus - following up indications given by Rudolf Steiner. This is an important achievement in the history of astronomy.

The primary astrological thesis of this book is that the zodiac of the stars (sidereal zodiac) - as employed by the Babylonians, Egyptians, and ancient Greeks - is the authentic zodiac. Moreover, Powell presents a new type of astrological chart - the hermetic chart, for conception, birth, and death - to be used in addition to the customary geocentric horoscope and in place of the heliocentric horoscope developed by his early mentor, the astrosopher Willi Sucher (1902-1985). The hermetic chart places an important new tool in the hands of astrologers, offering new possibilities for astrology as a science. For example, it opens up research into two "laws» of reincarnation, which are illustrated with striking examples. These laws pertain to planetary configurations that coincide at the moments of birth and death in successive incarnations. Powell believes that the discovery of these laws forces a reappraisal of the tropical zodiac that has for so many centuries dominated astrological practice.

The new astrological system introduced in this book represents a valuable step in the development of a new wisdom of the stars in line with the path-breaking ideas of Willi Sucher. Robert Powell has taken some of these ideas, many of which Sucher had no opportunity to develop beyond an embryonic state, and brought them to the full light of day alongside the results of his own further research. Astrologers and astronomers owe a great debt to these two thinkers.

Professor Konrad Rudnički
Astronomical Observatory
Jagiellonian University
Cracow, Poland

 

To the Reader

This work is addressed to those who are seeking a true astrology such as was cultivated in the mystery temples of antiquity. It has little in common with the popular astrology of today, which for the most part represents a profanation of the sacred science of the stars. Hermetic astrology is intended to serve as a stepping-stone to the mystery wisdom of the stars, in the spirit of the Mercury Star Journal, which the author edited from 1975 to 1981. Mercury = Hermes, and in a deeper sense Hermetic Astrology can be viewed as a continuation of the impulse that was represented in the Mercury Star Journal.

The Mercury Star Journal came into being in order to continue the Star Journal (1965-1974) of Willi Sucher, whose life's work was devoted towards the development of a new star wisdom (astrosophy). Owing to the esoteric nature of Willi Sucher's work, however, it has not become widely known. Similarly, owing to the intimate nature of the content of Hermetic Astrology, especially on account of the indications concerning the previous incarnations of various historical personalities, this work belongs ideally to a circle of friends who are prepared to go beyond an intellectual appraisal, to allow the content to become a concern of the heart. It is in this spirit-for those who bear the impulse towards a new star wisdom in their hearts-that this work is being published.

Thereby it is hoped that the research presented in the following pages may serve as a stimulus to encourage others to take up hermetic astrology. In order to avoid any misunderstanding, however, a word of warning must be added here-at the outset-concerning the interpretation of the results of this research. The astrological "laws" of reincarnation discovered by the author and published in this work do NOT enable previous incarnations to be calculated. For, the mystery of reincarnation is inaccessible to intellectual speculation. No amount of speculative reasoning combined with computational skill can ever penetrate this mystery. It is along other paths-whereby, instead of the brain, the heart becomes an organ of knowledge-that knowledge of reincarnation becomes attainable. In this deeper sense is this work truly a concern of the heart. And those who read it from this point of view will recognize that the contents of the following pages are only scattered fragments serving as indicators on the way towards a new wisdom of the stars. Truth to tell, this new wisdom of the stars can hardly be communicated in book form; for it is a matter of inner knowledge and experience attained during the course of spiritual growth. But for those who feel called to embark upon this path of inner development leading to a new wisdom of the stars, Hermetic Astrology may help to provide a basic orientation with regard to the essential nature of the human being's relationship to the world of stars.


Preface

On the one hand this book represents hermeticism and on the other hand, where appropriate, it embodies a more scientific spirit of enquiry. However, this interweaving of hermetic and scientific thought may meet with a lack of understanding. Thus for many scientifically-minded readers the hermetic mode of thought may seem incomprehensible. Likewise many hermeticists will undoubtedly regard the scientific element - above all the use of a computer for the astronomical computations presented in this book* - as a betrayal of the spirit of hermeticism.

In the event of lack of understanding in the one direction or the other, it may be helpful to consider the fact that modern science owes much to the hermetic tradition extending back to ancient Egypt. We need only to recall that one of the founding fathers of modern science, Sir Isaac Newton, was much occupied-alongside his purely scientific researches - with such arcane subjects as alchemy, Biblical exegetics and hermetic philosophy.

The hermetic elements in Newton's thought were not in the end antithetical to the scientific enterprise. Quite the contrary, by wedding the two traditions-the hermetic and the mechanical-to each other, he established the family line that claims as its direct descendant the very science that sneers today uncomprehendingly at the occult ideas associated with hermetic philosophy.**

Knowledge of this line of descent leading from the hermetic tradition to the birth of modern science, as exemplified by such figures as Newton, may help to allay the fears of more scientifically-minded readers that hermeticism is wholly antithetical to modern science. In fact, a deeper study of the transition from a hermetic world conception to the birth of modern science-this transition being exemplified in the seventeenth century especially by Newton-may reveal that hermeticism and science are essentially complementary and can even be mutually fructifying.

However, it would be a mistake to conclude that hermetic concepts are presented in this book in order to fructify scientific ideas and research. Rather, the opposite is intended-namely, that a bridge may be built leading over from the scientific mode of thought to a hermetic way of thinking. The impulse underlying this work is in the direction from science to hermeticism-in contrast to the direction taken by Newton in the seventeenth century, which was from hermeticism to science. But how may this impulse be understood? And what is its justification?

Since the birth of the modern scientific tradition, enormous changes have been wrought in the world and in human consciousness. Civilization has become utterly transformed through the application of science. This transformation has brought with it untold benefits. At the same time, though, the shadow side of scientific advance is revealed in the development of terrible weapons of destruction, in large-scale pollution of the environment, and in a more or less widespread amoral mode of consciousness. As we approach the end of the twentieth century it is becoming more and more apparent that radical new impulses must enter into the world-especially into the domain of science-if the human race is to survive into the future.

The author of this book, who qualifies as a scientist (in that for several years he was a lecturer in mathematics and statistics in the Department of Computing and Cybernetics at Brighton Polytechnic, England), is convinced that hermeticism-in particular Christian hermeticism-can help to act as a redeeming impulse (especially in relation to the amoral consciousness that has arisen in the modern scientific era) by way of engendering a new moral-spiritual consciousness of man in his relationship to the world. It is the author's conviction that the path from science to hermeticism is one that offers hope to mankind as we approach the end of the twentieth century, just as the transition from hermeticism to modern science-exemplified by Newton in the seventeenth century-opened up new and undreamt of possibilities of development to human beings of that era. At present a number of science historians are becoming conscious of the heritage bequeathed to modern science by the ancient hermetic tradition. At the same time, here and there an awareness is growing that just as hermeticism once gave way to science, so now science should begin to open the door to the possibility of other dimensions of consciousness, such as those implicit in hermeticism.

It is in the spirit of opening the door to new dimensions of consciousness that this book is written, whereby the underlying impulse is in the direction from science to hermeticism. Thus patience and open-mindedness are called for on the part of the more scientifically-minded readers to whom the hermetic ideas presented here may at first sight appear incomprehensible. And to those hermeticists who may be inclined to condemn this book from the outset as a betrayal of pure hermeticism, the author can only reply that his striving is guided by the light of hermeticism along the path of transformation from the scientific mode of consciousness to that of hermetic illumination. The author therefore hopes for understanding on the part of those more advanced on the hermetic path, and trusts that here and there in the following work something of the light of true hermeticism may shine through.

"Who am I? Where do I come from? What is my task in life?" These are fundamental questions-existential questions - which many people in our time are asking.

Astrology has long sought to answer these questions, and - as many have found - it goes a long way towards providing insight into the basic questions of human existence. Yet astrology-as it has developed up until now-has its limitations. This is because the key to astrology - that which explains the foundations of this ancient science - has not been taken into account up until now. The key to astrology is reincarnation, and it is this key which is taken into consideration and applied in hermetic astrology.

Reincarnation is not only the key to astrology. It also helps to answer the existential questions posed above.

"Who am I?" The answer to this question provided by traditional astrology is expressed in terms of the horoscope of birth. Hermetic astrology goes a stage further by viewing the birth horoscope in terms of the horoscope of death from the previous incarnation. (The relationship between the horoscope of birth and that of death in the previous incarnation comes to expression in terms of the "laws" of reincarnation.) It is in gaining insight into previous incarnations that the deeper answer to the question "Who am I?" lies, and it is into this mysterious realm-that of reincarnation-that hermetic astrology endeavours to penetrate. Hermetic astrology thus represents an extension of traditional astrology-extending it to take account of previous incarnations.

"Where do I come from?" To look back into previous incarnations is an initial step towards answering this question. A further step is to look into the realm in which the human being dwells between incarnations - the realm of the planetary spheres reaching up to the zodiacal sphere of fixed stars. Hermetic astrology seeks not only to take account of previous incarnations, but also of the human being's cosmic life - his cosmic existence in the realm of the planets and the zodiac between incarnations on the Earth.

"What is my task in life?" Knowledge acquired through looking back into previous incarnations should not be an end in itself. It becomes of value when it is directed towards the future. In this respect hermetic astrology is essentially future-orientated, in that it seeks to view the sequence of the human being's earthly incarnations in the context of his mission in relation to the Earth and mankind. The nature of the human being's task in his present life can be understood from his previous incarnation(s), whereby in hermetic astrology an overview is sought-an overview of the human being's mission which unfolds step by step from incarnation to incarnation.

In embarking upon a study of hermetic astrology, the reader will find that he encounters a new world - a world with its own unique cosmological system. This was already known in the cosmology of the ancient Egyptians, but has long since been forgotten. However, there is a major difference from the days of ancient Egypt: since the Crucifixion and Resurrection the moral center of this cosmological world is Jesus Christ. He it is, who is to be found at the center of hermetic-astrological cosmology, and it is through Him-ultimately-that knowledge of previous incarnations is gained. For He is the Lord of karma, who has an overview of each human being's sequence of earthly incarnations, who knows each human being's mission, and who helps each human being to fulfill his karma (destiny). Hermetic astrology is essentially Christian astrology, for it looks to Him - the Lord of Karma - as the ultimate source of all knowledge concerning reincarnation and human destiny.

 This first volume of Hermetic Astrology provides an introduction to hermetic - astrological cosmology and reincarnation research. Thus, Volume I-Astrology and Reincarnation - opens up the domain of reincarnation and karma in the light of astrology. In addition, this volume contains what is possibly the world's first scientific proof of reincarnation, presented in terms of the first and second "laws" of reincarnation.

 

Robert Powell
HERMETIC ASTROLOGY II
(San Rafael, CA: Sophia Foundation Press, 2007)

Robert Powell
HERMETIC ASTROLOGY

- Towards a new Wisdom of the Stars -
Volume II

Astrological Biography

Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time;

Footprints, that perhaps another,
Sailing o'er life's solemn main,
A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,
Seeing, shall take heart again.

(From Longfellow's poem A Psalm of Life)

Author's acknowledgements

 

With grateful acknowledgements to Will Sucher (1902-1985) for the encouragement he gave to my research work, to friends who contributed their help in one way or another, and to Professor Konrad Rudnički for his preface to this second edition.

 

STUDY MATERIAL AND RESEARCH TOWARDS A NEW STAR WISDOM

Hermetic Astrology
Volume II
Astrological Biography

 

TO THE READER PREFACE
FOREWORD
INTRODUCTION
CHAPTER 1: Karmic Relationships
CHAPTER 2: Further Aspects of Karmic Relationships
CHAPTER 3: An Example of Astrological Biography
CHAPTER 4: The Spiral of Life (up to 21)
CHAPTER 5: The Spiral of Life (21 onwards)
CHAPTER 6: The Hermetic-Astrological Science of Destiny
CHAPTER 7: The Hermetic House System
CHAPTER 8: Uranus, Neptune and Pluto
CHAPTER 9: The Second Coming and the New Age
CHAPTER 10: The Hermetic Calendar

APPENDIX I: The 7-year Periods (Septennaries)
APPENDIX II: Computations
APPENDIX  III: The Jewish Calendar

AFTERWORD

 

Preface to the second edition

Konrad Rudnički

In the first chapters of this book we read simultaneously from two directions. We read the life stories of Richard Wagner, Friedrich Nietzsche, and King Ludwig II of Bavaria in their incarnations in the nineteenth century as well as in their previous incarnations. At the same time we read about the planetary configurations accompanying the conception, birth, and death of these individuals, as well as about configurations which marked various events in their lives. We can experience that the two perspectives - biographical and astrological - not only run parallel but also are strongly interconnected. However, it becomes clear that no biographies of these personalities could be written on the basis of astrological computations alone.

The author shows that the destiny of individuals is certainly connected with the positions of the celestial bodies, that some regularities, some ties, some rules can be observed here, but that notwithstanding this, no strict regularities exist. Moreover, he indicates that without a certain degree of clairvoyance no serious astrological studies of destiny can be carried out. The idea is even expressed that real astrology requires initiation. The description of striking configurations of celestial bodies in relation to the dramatic course of life of some well-known personalities reads as a good piece of fine literature.

This work shows us how to calculate hermetic charts, horoscopes of conception and birth (relating to the embryonic period), horoscopes of death, and how to apply these various horoscopes to describing the spiral of life concerning the unfolding of life in seven-year periods, a line of development which reveals many regularities. The book demonstrates how the stellar configurations during the embryonic period are reflected again and again in the subsequent periods of life.

Completely new for most readers is the part of the book dealing with the last three known planets in the solar system: Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. The author is of the opinion that the names given to them are deeply meaningful in the light of spiritual science. He draws upon Greek mythology, particularly upon Orphic cosmology, to extend Rudolf Steiner's description of cosmic evolution. This book by Robert Powell has many important merits and is certainly a most interesting one!

 

Professor Konrad Rudnički
Astronomical Observatory
Jagiellonian University
Cracow, Poland

 

To the Reader

This work is addressed to those who are seeking a true astrology such as was cultivated in the mystery temples of antiquity. It has little in common with the popular astrology of today, which for the most part represents a profanation of the sacred science of the stars. Hermetic Astrology is intended to serve as a stepping-stone to the mystery wisdom of the stars, in the spirit of the Mercury Star Journal, which the author edited from 1975 to 1981. Mercury = Hermes, and in a deeper sense Hermetic Astrology can be viewed as a continuation of the impulse that was represented in the Mercury Star Journal.

The Mercury Star Journal came into being in order to continue the Star Journal (1965-1974) of Willi Sucher, whose life's work was devoted towards the development of a new star wisdom (astrosophy). Owing to the esoteric nature of Willi Sucher's work, however, it has not become widely known. Similarly, owing to the intimate nature of the content of Hermetic Astrology, especially on account of the indications concerning the previous incarnations of various historical personalities, this work belongs ideally to a circle of friends who are prepared to go beyond an intellectual appraisal, to allow the content to become a concern of the heart. It is in this spirit - for those who bear the impulse towards a new star wisdom in their hearts - that this work is being published.

Thereby it is hoped that the research presented in the following pages may serve as a stimulus to encourage others to take up hermetic astrology. In order to avoid any misunderstanding, however, a word of warning must be added here - at the outset - concerning the interpretation of the results of this research. The astrological "laws" of reincarnation discovered by the author and published in this work do not enable previous incarnations to be calculated. For, the mystery of reincarnation is inaccessible to intellectual speculation. No amount of speculative reasoning combined with computational skill can ever penetrate this mystery. It is along other paths - whereby, instead of the brain, the heart becomes an organ of knowledge - that knowledge of reincarnation becomes attainable. In this deeper sense is this work truly a concern of the heart. And those who read it from this point of view will recognize that the contents of the following pages are only scattered fragments serving as indicators on the way towards a new wisdom of the stars. Truth to tell, this new wisdom of the stars can hardly be communicated in book form; for it is a matter of inner knowledge and experience attained during the course of spiritual growth. But for those who feel called to embark upon this path of inner development leading to a new wisdom of the stars, Hermetic Astrology may help to provide a basic orientation with regard to the essential nature of the human being's relationship to the world of stars.

Volume II of Hermetic Astrology supplements and develops further the research findings described in Volume I. The two main findings in Volume I, arising from astrological reincarnation research, are:

(1) the sidereal zodiac is the authentic astrological zodiac; and

(2) the hermetic chart (based on the Egyptian-Tychonic system) is of

major significance in the field of astrological reincarnation research. The hermetic chart forms a foundation for hermetic astrology, which comprises a new science of destiny (karma). Whereas Volume I ("Astrology and Reincarnation") is concerned with the nature of birth and death (the mystery of reincarnation), Volume II focuses upon the course of life between birth and death (how karma comes to expression in biography).

Volume II can be read independently of Volume I, provided that the two findings referred to above are acknowledged, at least as a "working hypothesis". To begin with in Volume II ("Astrological Biography"), the question of karmic relationships, i.e. relationships between human beings from one incarnation to the next, is examined with reference to some historical examples. Then the science of astrological biography is discussed, and some viewpoints concerning the astrological houses and the outermost planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) are outlined. Lastly, the spiritual aspect of hermetic astrology - considered as a spiritual path - is looked at in relation to spiritual impulses active in the twentieth century.

 

Foreword

"Who am I? Where do I come from? What is my task in life?" These are fundamental questions - existential questions - which many people in our time are asking.

Astrology has long sought to answer these questions, and - as many have found - it goes a long way towards providing insight into the basic questions of human existence. Yet astrology - as it has developed up until now - has its limitations. This is because the key to astrology - that which explains the foundations of this ancient science - has not been taken into account up until now. The key to astrology is reincarnation, and it is this key which is taken into consideration and applied in hermetic astrology.

Reincarnation is not only the key to astrology, it also helps to answer the existential questions posed above.

"Who am I?" The answer to this question provided by traditional astrology is expressed in terms of the horoscope of birth. Hermetic astrology goes a stage further by viewing the birth horoscope in terms of the horoscope of death from the previous incarnation. (The relationship between the horoscope of birth and that of death in the previous incarnation comes to expression in terms of the "laws" of reincarnation.) It is in gaining insight into previous incarnations that the deeper answer to the question "Who am I" lies, and it is into this mysterious realm - that of reincarnation - that hermetic astrology endeavours to penetrate. Hermetic astrology thus represents an extension of traditional astrology - extending it to take account of previous incarnations.

"Where do I come from?" Looking back into previous incarnations is an initial step towards answering this question. A further step is to look into the realm in which the human being dwells between incarnations - the realm of the planetary spheres reaching up to the zodiacal sphere of fixed stars. Hermetic astrology seeks not only to take account of previous incarnations, but also of the human being's cosmic life - his cosmic existence in the realm of the planets and the zodiac between incarnations on the Earth.

"What is my task in life?" Knowledge acquired through looking back into previous incarnations should not be an end in itself. It becomes of value when it is directed towards the future. In this respect hermetic astrology is essentially future-orientated in that it seeks to view the sequence of the human being's earthly incarnations in the context of his mission in relation to the Earth and mankind. The nature of the human being's task in his present life can be understood from his previous incarnation(s), whereby in hermetic astrology an overview is sought - an overview of the human being's mission which unfolds step by step from incarnation to incarnation.

In embarking upon a study of hermetic astrology, the reader will find that he encounters a new world - a world with its own unique cosmological system. This was already known in the cosmology of the ancient Egyptians, but has long since been forgotten. However, there is a major difference from the days of ancient Egypt: since the Crucifixion and Resurrection the moral center of this cosmological world is Jesus Christ. He it is, who is to be found at the center of hermetic-astrological cosmology, and it is ultimately through Him that knowledge of previous incarnations is gained. For He is the Lord of Karma, who has an overview of each human being's sequence of earthly incarnations, who knows each human being's mission, and who helps each human being to fulfill his karma (destiny). Hermetic astrology is essentially Christian astrology, for it looks to Him - the Lord of Karma - as the ultimate source of all knowledge concerning reincarnation and human destiny.

The first volume of Hermetic Astrology provides an introduction to hermetic-astrological cosmology and reincarnation research. Thus, Volume I - Astrology and Reincarnation - opens up the domain of reincarnation and karma in the light of astrology. In addition, this volume contains what is possibly the world's first scientific proof of reincarnation presented in terms of the first and second "laws" of reincarnation.

Volume II - Astrological Biography - is concerned with karmic relationships, i.e. with human relationships which are carried over from one incarnation to the next, and how destiny unfolds in the "spiral of life". Each ring of this spiral amounts to seven years of life. In Volume II, therefore, the foundations are laid for the hermetic-astrological science of destiny which is something completely new in the history of astrology.

Hermetic astrology is a new science of the stars concerned with and based upon reincarnation, and embodying a new science of destiny. These two volumes are intended to serve as an introduction to this new science of the stars, for all those who are interested in the deeper, existential questions of life.

 

Introduction

Many people interested in astrology who have read Hermetic Astrology Vol 1: Astrology and Reincarnation, have posed the central question: How reliable are the reincarnation examples given there? This question is of fundamental importance since the whole basis of the research findings presented in Hermetic Astrology I, which form the foundation of a new astrology, depends upon the reliability of these rein-carnation examples. The principal research findings established in Her metic Astrology I may be summarized as follows: (1) the sidereal zodiac is the authentic astrological zodiac, since the reincarnation of the soul is guided by the movements of the Sun, Moon and planets through the signs of the sidereal zodiac; (2) it is not only the geocentric but also the helioc entric movements of the planets through the signs of the sidereal zodiac which are of importance for the birth configuration chosen by the reincarnating soul.

Substantial evidence for these research findings could not have been arrived at without the study of numerous reincarnation examples, carried out by the author over a long period of time. It was for this purpose - and not for the sake of publicly revealing deep mysteries - that the step was taken to publish the reincarnation examples given in Volume I. Moreover, as discussed at length in Volume I, the most import-ant principle of reincarnation research is moral development. For, it is through taking up a path of moral-spiritual development that each individual is able to arrive at the truth of reincarnation statements. This is an essential step on the way towards carrying out reincarnation research.

Focusing now upon the question of the truth of the reincarnation statements presented in this work on hermetic astrology, a distinction must be drawn between Volume I: Astrology and Reincarnation and Volume II: Astrological Biography. Volume I includes a total of eighteen reincarnation examples (twelve in Table 18 and an additional six in Table 24). Of these examples, fourteen are referred to directly by Rudolf Steiner in his lectures entitled Karmic Relationships, and another concerning himself is referred to indirectly. With respect to this latter example, in a confidential letter written by Rudolf Steiner on May 14, 1904, and published in 1984 (see Rudolf Steiner, Complete Works, Vol. 264, p.55), he wrote: "In my earlier life several centuries ago a personality played the role of withdrawing me from a certain family situation and made it possible for me to take the necessary steps leading to my calling (in that life) as a Catholic priest." This confirms the research finding indicated in Hermetic Astrology I that there was no incarnation between the death of this Catholic priest on March 7, 1274 and Rudolf Steiner's birth on February 25, 1861 - see Table 18, reincarnation example (9)

In the case of reincarnation examples (10), (II) and (12) in Table 18 of Hermetic Astrology I, although also referred to indirectly by Rudolf Steiner in Karmic Relationships, they are essentially the result of independent research. Thus these three reincarnation examples from Volume I must be distinguished from the remaining fifteen examples presented there. Whereas Rudolf Steiner is the direct source for these fifteen exam ples, he may not be held responsible for the other three. Thus, in considering the truth of the eighteen reincarnation examples listed in Hermetic As trology I, Rudolf Steiner is the "guarantor", so to say, of fifteen of these examples, the truth of which will not be disputed by anyone who is thoroughly acquainted with Steiner's life's work. But who can guarantee the truth of the other three reincarnation examples?

Here it is necessary to look more closely at the source of these three reincarnation examples. In fact, it is a matter of three different, anonymous sources: two who communicated with the author (examples 10 and 11), and one who communicated with Willi Sucher (example 12). In each of these three cases the author applied not only hermetic-astrological methods for testing their validity (including the "laws" of reincarnation discussed in Hermetic Astrology I), but also the method of "biographical comparison". It is a basic truth of the working of karma (destiny) that each incarnation is a metamorphosis of the preceding incarnation(s), and that a biographical comparison of successive incarnations of an individuality generally reveals certain underlying relationships between the biographies of the different incarnations. This is brought out in a remarkable way in the biographical studies of the reincarnation examples (from Rudolf Steiner's Karmic Relationships) presented in the five-volume series Destiny in Repeated Earthly Lives (Schicksal in wiederholten Erdenleben), ed. Wolfgang Schuchhardt, Philosophisch-Anthroposophischer Verlag, Dornach, 1982-1987). In the last analysis, however, neither the method of biographical comparison nor the astrological comparison of birth and death horoscopes between different incarnations can give absolute certainty with regard to the validity of a reincarnation statement. Ultimately it is spiritual cognition - of a very highly developed kind - that can verify the truth of a reincarnation statement with absolute certainty.

Rudolf Steiner's entire life's work demonstrates that he had developed this high level of spiritual cognition, and therefore the fifteen reincarnation examples in Hermetic Astrology I stemming directly from him are trustworthy on an altogether different level from the other three presented there. With regard to these three reincarnation examples, it is in each case a matter of inspiration stimulated by means of an intensive occupation with Rudolf Steiner's indications on the individualities concerned in these three examples. This means that there is no one "guarantor" of the truth of these three reincarnation examples, but the author nevertheless included them in Hermetic Astrology I together with the other fifteen examples, being convinced - through his own research - that they are fundamentally true.

Of these three examples, one (example 12, concerning Friedrich Nietzsche) is also included in the following pages comprising Volume II. Partly on account of this reincarnation example communicated by Willi Sucher, the author was enabled to conduct his own reincarnation re-search, some of the results of which are presented here in Volume II. Apart from this example concerning Friedrich Nietzsche, and apart from two further brief references (in Chapter 8 to President Woodrow Wilson and in Chapter 9 to Novalis - these being reincarnation examples stem ming from Rudolf Steiner), all the reincarnation examples presented in Volume II derive from the author's own reincarnation research. Thus the author is the "guarantor" of the truth of the reincarnation examples presented in the following pages. Whilst not claiming to be infallible, the author is nevertheless certain enough of the results of his own reincarnation research to be in a position to commit these findings to print. Again, as with the reincarnation examples presented in Volume I, it is not for the sake of publicly revealing deep mysteries that these findings are published here, but in order to clarify certain far-reaching issues.

In taking this step the author does not seek to claim that his capacity for reincarnation research can in any way be compared with the highly developed faculty of Rudolf Steiner. Nevertheless the author is fully conscious of the validity of his own findings through spiritual research. For him it is a matter of certainty that he stands upon the secure foundation of truth. This level of certainty, however, is the result of years of careful and painstaking research. For the author who he has been helped through studying and teaching mathematics for a number of years, the findings of his own reincarnation research are as trustworthy and certain as those of any tried and tested mathematical formula. Just as the truth of Pythagoras' theorem is self-evident to every mathematician, so the statements concerning reincarnation examples to be found in the following pages are self-evident to the author, who has rigorously avoided all elements of speculation and fantasy in the research he has conducted. In this respect the author is the "guarantor" of the reincarnation research presented in Volume II, just as Rudolf Steiner is the "guarantor" of all but three of the reincarnation examples given in Volume I.

However, it is not the intention of the author to be taken as an "authority". He asks that his research findings be taken simply as indications, and that they be treated critically, but with open-mindedness to the possibility of their being true. Thus, the findings presented in the following pages should not be accepted unconditionally, but should be tested by the reader, each through his own sense for truth. It is essentially the quest for truth which motivates the author, and he believes that his pursuit of a new astrology is above all insight that may serve as the foundation for a new science of the stars, and not superstition or belief in authority. It is in this spirit that Hermetic Astrology has been written. And it is the author's hope that these two volumes on hermetic astrology may serve as research material that may be taken up to help insight to become the common foundation linking all those concerned with the development of a new wisdom of the stars.

In this respect I feel united in a spirit of brotherhood with the many people working with the cosmological ideas of Rudolf Steiner and the related research of Willi Sucher, including the American researcher Paul Platt (1948-2006), who published (1986/87) a three-volume work entitled The Qualities of Time (Golden Stone Press, Box 233A RD2, Ghent, NY 12075, USA). Some of the questions touched upon in Hermetic Astrology are to be found also in Paul Platt's work. In fact, Paul Platt shared with me a debt of gratitude to Willi Sucher (1902-1985), whose work has been an important stimulus to both of us.

For myself, I look to Willi Sucher as a prime source, if not major source of inspiration for my astrological work. And as indicated in the following pages, it is Willi Sucher who may be regarded as the original pioneer of the science of astrological biography outlined in Hermetic Astrology II. It is as a tribute to him as the founder of a new science of the stars in the twentieth century, that I would like this work on astrological biography to be viewed.

 

HERMETIC ASTROLOGY VOLUME I
Astrology and Reincarnation
(1987; second edition 2007)

HERMETIC ASTROLOGY VOLUME II
Astrological Biography
(1989; second edition 2007)

These two volumes on Hermetic Astrology are described above.

To order either of these volumes click here or here.

 

* See the prefatory note to Appendix VII concerning the use of computers.

** Richard.S.Westfall, "Newton and the Hermetic Traditions", Science, Medicine and Society in the Renaissance, vol.ii (ed. A.G. Debus, New York 1972), p.195

Copyright © 2007 Astrogeographia. All rights reserved.