"Can Astrology be used to understand the dynamics of states as well as individuals? And if so, what difference in approach needs to be adopted?
In the late 1960s I took a degree in psychology. I found it irritating that most of the teaching staff seemed to have a defensive attitude with regard to the relationship of psychology and science: they desperately wanted psychology to be accepted as a science and for that reason the course was oriented strongly towards analysis, rat-training and statistics. One particular aspect which took up much of our time was a study of all the theories concerning how many components that human personality could be divided into. This was presented to us as part of an attempt to explore and understand human variation but it soon became very obvious that the true desire was based on power: how could one predict and control human behaviour?
I passed my degree but remained profoundly dissatisfied about what I had learned. Some years later while I was working as an advertising photographer, by way of a break from the stress of my life, I began spending a couple of hours a week taking lessons in astrology. I quickly discovered that astrology had for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years used a perfectly valid and informative means of dealing with the components of human personality – couched in the symbolic terms of planets, signs and houses.
I found more valid insights about human beings in astrology than I ever did in psychology.
And I soon found that there was a very easy accord between astrology and the psychology of Carl Jung. I had long been interested in Jung but when I had asked my professor at university why we were not taught his psychology I was haughtily informed that “Jung was a schizophrenic.”
After studying Astrology for around six or seven years I became intrigued as to whether the distinctions between individual and mass psychology were reflected in astrology. I asked whether the freedom of individual action seen restricted and rendered predictable in the mass could find a parallel in astrological charts for individuals and those for countries.
Jung had written some very interesting papers on the debilitating effect of the mass on the freedom of the individual in his Collected Works. I also was impressed by the arguments of Elias Canetti in his Crowds and Power. Jung once wrote that unfortunately a million zeroes do not add up to one!
The possibilities were intriguing but to explore this territory – which is termed Mundane astrology, from the Latin mundus, the earth – first I needed good data for the “birth” of countries. I lived near to a friend, Nicholas Campion and we began meeting regularly to research exact times for the birth of countries and trying at the same time to look at the history of astrology to see where the various attributes originated.
Nicholas went on to complete a Doctorate and is now a senior lecturer at a British university and he has authored a number of books on the history of astrology and the definitive work on the birth-data of countries. I went on to write my From the Omens of Babylon.
Both of us, together with another well respected astrologer, Charles Harvey (who sadly died), joined together to write what we planned as a basic text book for this approach to astrology: this was published 1984 as Mundane Astrology. A second edition appeared in 1992. An edition was also published in French."
The authors start with an invitation to use mundane astrology, named Forward, where mundane astrology is presented as a valuable instrument, with which they successfully predicted major events like the death of Brezhnev from November 1982, the death of Yury Andropov from February 1984, the dissolution of the Soviet Union from 1989, the progress of Spain from the late 80’s, the Pakistan military coup from 6 August 1990 etc. It is quite impressive and succeeds in making the readers interested about the book and anxious to find out how the authors made so many accurate predictions.
Part 1 – The Background
Chapter 1 – The Development of Mundane Astrology from the Babylonians to the Arabs is a very well documented essay about the early history of astrology starting from Mesopotamia through Greece, Egypt, Persia, Italy, until the Arabic world. The specific context of each period and area in which astrology developed is described in detail using plenty of historical, social, political and philosophical arguments.
Chapter 2 – The History of Mundane Astrology in Europe presents the evolution of astrology, mainly in the medieval era, marked by different periods of ups and downs like the regression from the 5-8 centuries AD caused by the rise of Christianity, the flourishing period from the 16-19 centuries which started in the 8th century in France, in the reign of Charlemagne, or the restrictive period from the 16-19 centuries AD started with the Church Reformation initiated by Luther which created a more and more difficult climate for astrology. The overall conclusion is that astrology played an important role being used by the most important people in almost every period.
In Chapter 3 – Mundane Astrology and the Collective, Michael Baigent uses the Jungian terms collective unconscious and archetype (pattern of emotional and mental behaviour) to explain the psychology of masses and to give some advices about how a mundane chart can work. His conclusions, after this impressive chapter, are:
"1. The mass can act as an individual. 2. The mass is more fated than an individual. 3. Natal and mundane astrology bear the same relationship to each other as do the individual and the mass – they are at the opposite ends of the same spectrum. 4. A state is a expression of the mass, usually centered about a leadership. 5. The birth time of a state is that point when the new leadership takes power."
In Chapter 4 – The National Horoscope: Mundane Astrology and Political Theory, Nicholas Campion presents different theories used to determine the appropriate time when a state is created and the natal chart can be erected.
Part 2 – The Material
In Chapter 5 – The Great Year the author shows how different cultures computed the Great Year which is the Year of the Universe. The first was the Assyrian Great Year of 12.960.000 years, then the Platonic Great Year of 36.000 years, the Arabic Great Year of 360.000 years, the Indian, European and Precessional year. Different cultures, different techniques. The only thing which is sure is that we won’t find the answer in this life. Let’s pass to the next chapter.
Chapter 6 – Cycles in Practice
In the first part of the chapter The Concept of Cycles the author explains why cycles hold such an important place in philosophy and astrology. Starting with Plato and finishing with John Addey, the parent of harmonics in astrology, cycles were fundamental to understanding life and time, or, better expressed, the space-time relation. In astrology a conjunction is the beginning of a cycle, a trine is a phase of harmony in the cycle, an opposition represents the fruit which was promised at the beginning. In life a breath is a cycle, night and day are cycles, a year is a cycle, everything is formed by cycles.
"Cycles are described as the means by which the enfolded, infinite and eternal potentiality of all ideas is unfolded in the dimension of Time. […] Indeed, if time were not in some way related to eternity, and both to the idea of cycles, the very act of attempting to make astrological forecasts would be illusory. […] Correctly read, the chart for the beginning of any cycle contains within it all that will subsequently unfold in time."
In the second part of the chapter The Planetary Cycles and their Interpretation one can find the interpretations for the major astrological cycles). In conclusion, I can say that is a very well written chapter with plenty of valuable information that will satisfy even the most critical reader.
In Chapter 7 – The Planets and Chapter 8 – The Houses and Signs the authors presents shortly the signification of planets, houses and signs in mundane astrology.
Part 3 – The Techniques
In Chapter 9 – Ingresses, Lunations, Eclipses, Charles Harvey states very clear that ingresses and lunations give weak results in mundane astrology. He quotes Charles Carter and Andre Barbault, two of the most important mundane astrologers, which have the same opinion. On the other side, eclipses and the natal charts are instruments much more reliable for predictions and seem to give better results. I believe this is an interesting classification which should be remembered by astrologers.
Chapter 10 – Where on Earth: Astrocartography
In this chapter Charles Harvey presents some techniques used in mundane astrology to find the place where the events will happen. The first one, Astrocartography (ACG), shows the places where a planet is on angles (ASC, MC, DESC, IC) and is pretty easy to use with a computer software. Like with ingresses and lunations, the author warns us not to expect very good results, because it is not so simple as it seems. Sometimes the prediction pass, sometimes not. We should use more techniques to find a reliable prediction.
The second method (Chapter 11) proposed by the author is to find the earth areas which correspond to every zodiacal sign. The principle "as above, as below" implies that every zodiacal degree should have a precise geographically pair on earth, so a planet at 10 degrees in Libra, for example, will be felt in the corresponding place. The main systems of this kind, produced by astrologers in time, are: the Ptolomaic Allocations, de Boulainviller’s World Zodiac, Sepharial’s Geodetic Equivalents, the Hamburg School Friedrich/Grimm method, Johndro’s locality angles, the Great Pyramid Base Line of Williams, Hans Andersen, Ritter’s Cosmogeography, the Time System of Wise, Hitschler’s method.
The third method (Chapter 12) is to use the charts of towns, but there is one big problem: for the most of cities we don’t know the time of creation, the natal chart. The solution, a compromise used by astrologers, is to study many important events from the town’s history and to identify some important degrees in the zodiac which give results. The conclusion of this chapter is that it’s difficult. It is difficult to find the place where a specific event will happen. But, this is normal. Only a innocent child would believe that it’s easy.
Chapter 13 – Other Techniques
"Charles Carter considered that the chart of national leaders, together with the chart of the nation itself, where the times of these are accurately known, constitute by far the most reliable basis for mundane forecasting. They certainly represent the whole "inner" aspect of forecasting and must therefore constitute one half of the process of preparing a forecast."
This is the idea accepted by the author who presents some examples for the charts of national leaders and their countries: Hitler and Germany, Kennedy and U.S.A., Margaret Thatcher and U.K. Then, are presented other techniques, not so often used, like: declination cycles, degree areas, degree symbols, fixed stars, the galactic centre, the supper galactic center, the solar apex, heliocentric astrology, asteroids, new year charts, horoscopes of centuries etc.
Chapter 14 – The Astrology of War and Peace: a Study of the Second World War
In Part 1 – Collective Pressure, Michael Baigent presents the transits of the outer planets Uranus and Pluto as significators of the events which occurred in Poland and Germany, mostly between 1920-1932.
In Part 2 – The Cyclical Background, Charles Harvey analyzes the connections between the charts of Hitler, the Third Reich and the German Empire to show how the aspirations of the German Empire found a way to manifest through Hitler. Then follows a complex analysis of World War II where the author uses midpoints, planetary cycles, the Aries ingresses of 1939 – 1945 and the multiple conjunctions between Jupiter, Saturn and Uranus.
In Part 3 – Astrological Timing, Nicholas Campion presents the relation between different charts of the World War II, this time emphasizing the position of angles.
Chapter 15 – The Astrology of Nations
In this chapter the authors make short analyzes for the national charts of The European Community.
MY EVALUATION: 9,5
Conclusion. "Mundane Astrology" by Michael Baigent, Nicholas Campion and Charles Harvey is generally accepted as the best and most comprehensive book of mundane astrology that we have nowadays. The authors present many techniques, but in a realistic manner, trying to focus the reader on those concepts which give results. This is a very good approach! The theoretical part is very well balanced by many examples, especially from the World War II, which are so clear presented that surely will make the reader say "this thing really works!". I can’t say anything else than to invite everyone who studies mundane astrology to read this masterpiece which will prove to be the best study material on the subject. In the final, a big "Thank you!" for the authors.
"Lets get one thing straight, this is not a book for a complete novice to Astrology, it assumes a basic understanding of astrological concepts and principles - which can easily be found in countless guides and manuals.
The book starts with a remarkably thorough insight into the origins of Astrology and its subsequent development to the present day, charting the major breakthoughs that helped the discipline to establish itself as the premier intellectual pursuit of ancient and more recent times.
Although practitioners do not need any justification of Astrology, the authors do go into considerable detail on psychology which helps the reader to understand the concepts and techniques of interpreting mundane charts in a much more objective manner than would otherwise be the case.
If this were all that the book explains that would be enough for it to be valuable, however, the authors then proceed not only to demonstrate chart-reading techniques, but also to explain other extremely valuable charting techniques not requiring horoscopes! All the while cross-referencing with examples and published works.
Where this book excels is that the authors present astrology in a practical, no nonsense logical way and are honest enough to admit that they do get things wrong from time to time.
For sheer volume of extremely valuable information this book has it all - An Essential text for any serious Astrologer."
The authoritative, standard reference work which examines the astrology of nations and groups.
This book provides a practical approach to the often neglected area of international astrology and explains how the future of the world and the fortune of whole countries is predicted. This book demonstrates, with many examples, how each nation has its own charts which reveal the country's future. It looks back to 1984 and recounts such events as the changes in international relations concerning Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union and the Middle East.