Images from the postgraduate conference in 2017


Nick Campion

Key Concept: Mundane Astrology: What would Jung say?

Donald Trump's victory in the US Presidential elections, combined with Brexit and other tensions in Europe, clearly indicate that we are at a turning point in the international order comparable to the close of the Cold War in 1989-91, or the end of the Second World War in 1945. This lecture will ask what C.G. Jung would have said about the current times, using his archetypal version of astrology. We will place Jung's thought in its classical context and ask whether we can we use his approach to astrology to gain insight into current affairs

Ilaria Cristofario

A Journey to the Late Bronze Age Minoan Underworld: The Reflection of Sunlight on the Sea as an Axis Mundi

Around the times of sunrise and sunset, the sun's reflection on a large body of water, such as a sea, appears as an elongated gold band, also called a 'glitter path'. For the first time, this research explores this intangible manifestation of light from an archaeological perspective, focusing on the Late Bronze Age culture present on the Greek island of Crete. The observations gathered during the phenomenological fieldwork revealed that the elongated sunlight reflection has the qualities of an axis mundi, echoing the liminal convergence of opposing realities. By comparing Late Minoan III funerary iconography with the fieldwork results, this study developed an interpretation of Minoan eschatological beliefs establishing analogies between the cultural and the natural world. It concluded that the vision of the glitter path across the chthonic sea might have been regarded, in the Late Bronze Age, as the luminous roadway toward afterlife regeneration.

Fenella Dean

An Exploration of Personal Cosmologies through the Investigation of Individual World Views

Cosmology has always been about humanity's efforts to comprehend the Universe and their connection to it; as scientific cosmology has progressed so has humanity's part diminished. The classical cosmology possessing the notion of sympathy, where all 'things' are connected has been gradually replaced by a large scale astronomy cosmology, leaving humanity bereft of meaning and leading to feelings of disconnectedness. Thus humanity has attempted to reconnect with the Universe by various methods one of which may be superstition. This presentation examines these issues through an investigation into the practice of superstition within a diverse group of people in relation to their individual world views, and the possible evidence of other forms of cosmology.

Margot Diederen

A review of the experiences of Dutch astrologers with an academic education: why have they chosen to pursue an astrological career?

It is my experience that within my social environment an intellectual outlook is taken for granted, implying that astrology is written off as being inherently contradictory to critical rational thinking. In a small study I compared my experiences as an astrologer with a degree in History with 12 astrologers with a similar background. Personal difficulties, isolation and feelings of 'otherness' were reported, but also, in line with their academic training, a critical reflection on the presuppositions underlying intellectual opinion was expressed. Within the context of a relevant theoretical debate this approach touches on some broader cultural and academic issues as well.

Sue Farebrother

A Comparison of the Exoteric and Esoteric in Astrology and the Tarot

The fields of astrology and tarot will be explored in terms of their use past and present as mantic arts, both exoterically as fortune-telling, and as esoteric disciplines. It is suggested that their exoteric role in popular predictive forecasting is all that most members of the public know about either tarot or astrology. The focus of this talk will be on the esoteric. There are two versions of the tarot's history: a scholarly version which holds that it did not become an occult doctrine until the late eighteenth century, having been invented for amusement in the Italian Renaissance; and an occult version which maintains a much longer history, but cannot provide proof. Suggestions will be made in which astrology and tarot may possibly be combined in the future as a cross-disciplinary esoteric system.

Andre Henriques

Seidr Cosmologies - Oracular practices and personal cosmologies of contemporary Norse-inspired Pagans

Seidr is a set of shamanistic practices from pre-Christian Northern Europe, recorded in Icelandic medieval texts, and practiced today by some contemporary Pagans that are part of a Northern European Pagan movement (usually called Heathenry or Asatru). Old Norse sources show seidr included prophecy and some kinds of interaction between different worlds of the Old Norse cosmology, including communication with ancestors and other spirits. This research aims to expand the understanding of contemporary seidr in Britain, Scandinavia, and the Netherlands, comparing practices and experiences of different oracular seidr practitioners, and if they contributed to different personal worldviews or cosmologies.

Hanne Skagen

The 'sacred' within 'secular' conditions

This study explored the 'holy' in contemporary Norway, the word 'holy' or 'sacred' are traditionally used within the context of the Norwegian protestant church, which was the state church until 2012. From then on these two institutions separated and the Norwegian church are now on equal footing with other religions and spiritualities. In light of these social changes eighteen informants were asked to describe associations and experiences with the 'sacred' for investigating what it reflects within the considered 'secular' condition.

Sanaa Taha

The Perception and Treatment of Place in the Life and Practice of Contemporary Astrologers

Astrology is the study of both time and place. This research, however, gives priority to place through a qualitative in-depth investigation of the phenomenology of astrological place, as encountered in the testimony of six contemporary location astrologers. The specialized field of Location Astrology explores the power of place in order to discover where in the world an individual may encounter distinct aspects of her/his identity or find favourable conditions for personal or professional development. The intimate relationship between identity and place in astrology is investigated through an interpretative stance towards the lived experience of the astrologers and an interdisciplinary quest for corresponding patterns of meaning in other academic fields. The findings of this investigation confirm that location astrology is related to a search for personal identity and vindicate the Aristotelian understanding of place as a potent, fertile, and purposeful phenomenon. The central discovery of this work is seen to be the search for the "mysterious self" as the re-emplaced "numinous other" - of which the pilgrim's quest proves to be a fitting analogy, and narrative the essential vehicle.

Lampeter Campus

University of Wales Trinity Saint David
Lampeter Campus
Ceredigion SA48 7ED
Tel: 01570 422351

London Campus

University of Wales Trinity Saint David
London Campus, Winchester House
11 Cranmer Road
London, SW9 6EJ
Tel: 0207 566 7600

Follow the MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology on Facebook
Follow the Sophia Centre on
Facebook - Twitter - YouTube
The Sophia Centre Press
Follow the Sophia Centre Press on Facebook
The Sophia Centre Press
Follow the conference on Facebook
Contact Us
© 2019 The Sophia Centre