Hermetic Astrology I



Astrology and Reincarnation
(1987; second edition 2007)

Volume I on Hermetic Astrology is described below.
To order this volume click here and here.

Astrological Biography
(1989; second edition 2007)

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

Volume I: Astrology and Reincarnation
Sophia Foundation Press
San Rafael, California


O Egypt, Egypt, of thy religion nothing will remain but an empty tale, which thine own children in time to conic' 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.




Part III



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


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.



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 upon 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 sincere to be 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 fulfil 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.


Astrology and Reincarnation
(1987; second edition 2007)

Astrological Biography
(1989; second edition 2007)

To order either of these volumes click here and here.

For information on Volume II of Hermetic Astrology:

Astrological Biography
(1989; second edition 2007)
click 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

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