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Traditional Astrology Versus Modern Astrology: Is This Debate Relevant?

When it comes to astrology, there are so many branches and schools of thought that certain ideological conflicts and/or debates are bound to appear at one point or another. One such debated is that of traditional astrology as opposed to modern astrology.

We could define traditional astrology as that set of astrological doctrines which formed a system around the 1st century BCE in Alexandria, Egypt. This set was concerned with the study of fate, and was practiced and enriches until the 17th century. Greek astrology was a synthesis of the cultural, scientific, and spiritual trends of several other systems of knowledge (Egyptian, Mesopotamian, and Roman).

Various reasons contributed to the fall of astrology – so to speak -- in the late 17th century, only to be revived again at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. At this point in the history of astrology, several measures were taken in order to simplify the technical side of astrology, so that it may be easier to learn. However, these measures led to a decline of the system compares to how it had been practiced in the past. The fact that Greek and Latin were no longer taught in primary schools contributed to the general movement away from the traditional system (because ancient texts couldn’t be read anymore).

Given that people were no longer familiar to the traditional practice, more and more changes were made to the system, leading to the appearance of a new one, which was only loosely based on the ancient one. This was the birth of the modern system. In the early 90s, there was a revival of traditional forms of astrology. Astrologers started working on recovering and translating the primary source texts from older times (ranging from ancient texts to Medieval ones). This is how astrologers discovered many useful pieces of information which complemented and enhanced the techniques which were already in use in modern times.

The revival of traditional astrology doesn’t mean that astrologers went back in time – in terms of how they practiced astrology – but that they took ancient knowledge and combined it with modern one to obtain a harmonious apparatus of techniques and concepts. Therefore, astrology as we know it today isn’t purely modern (it is imbued with ancient wisdom), but it isn’t the same as it used to be hundreds of years ago either (new discoveries keep complementing what was already known).

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