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History of Astrology

6 Class Meetings
Prerequisites: None

Course Description:

This course will cover the history of astrology from the Babylonian period to the present day. The purpose of the course is to acquaint the students not only with the prominent discoveries and astrologers of each period, but to show how astrology meshed with other knowledge and practices of each period. Thus, we cover how astrology was enmeshed in religion, science, medicine, and philosophy – and how those connections enriched both sides. As we extend into the modern period, we examine how the study of lineages can illuminate different astrological beliefs and practices.

Class will be conducted through a series of video and live sessions. Each week, students will have roughly 60-90 minutes worth of video lectures, plus an additional live lecture, and resources for further reading.


Class Meeting 1: Babylonian, Indian, and Ancient Chinese Astrology

Cross-cultural astrolatry. We cover the development of astrological thinking, and how the worship of the planetary deities impacted the expectations of what messages the sky and the stars could provide.

Class Meeting 2: Hellenistic Astrology

Massive increases in astrological techniques occurred during this period, as astrological issues relating to fate and free will consolidated into philosophical discussions, and astrology became integrated into medicine.

Class Meeting 3: Sassanian and Arabic Astrology

The translation of Hellenistic astrological material into another language and culture prompts a massive development of astrological method. We cover the continuing developments in philosophy as they relate to the integration of astrology into a monotheistic culture, and the development of the great works of Arabic medicine.

Class Meeting 4: Medieval Latin Astrology

Astrology jumps back into the Latin West and a Christian culture, now adapting to Scholastic reasoning and the university environment. We reach the high point of classical astrology in the 17th century, just before its fall from grace.

Class Meeting 5: 18th and 19th Centuries

Astrology roars back into the era of the newly discovered planets, and a non-Christian reaction to the secularization of society. Astrology, theosophy, and the discovery of Asian religions by the West.

Class Meeting 6: 20th Century

Fissioning of astrology into multiple lineages, based on a mix of eclectic learning from books, development of the Sun sign column, integration of psychology into astrology, the Vedic and classical revivals in the West.

Required/Suggested Materials:

Required materials:


Suggested/supplemental materials:


Class Offerings and Registration:
This course has no class offerings currently taking registrations.

Please note: In addition to the tuition fee, each class registration is subject to a non-refundable $75.00 administrative fee ($27.00 administrative fee for Pocket Courses). Please also read our tuition refund policy.

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