Key Concept: Mundane Astrology

Saturday 13 May, 2017
4.00 - 6.00 pm British Summer Time

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Where: Online via Webex

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An Online Event!

Sophia Centre Online Seminar

An Online Key Concept Seminar from the Sophia Centre
University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Key Concepts in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology

Mundane Astrology 1: Fate, Freewill and Planetary Cycles

Dr Nicholas Campion

This lecture explores one of the most important functions of Classical, Medieval and Renaissance astrology - to analyse history and manage politics

What did Astrology claim about Politics and History?

Did it Allow a Role for Political Action?

What was the Role of the Soul?

Mundane astrology is the branch of astrology which comments on history and politics.

This seminar will examine key concepts in the theory and technique of mundane astrology drawing on the three central thinkers: the Greek philosopher Plato, who established the idea that the state and society are linked to planetary cycles, embedded in the flow of time, and linked to the stars via the soul; Claudius Ptolemy, who claimed that both individual personality and political affairs are an essential part of a natural environment which includes the sky; and Johannes Kepler, who developed Plato's model, arguing that politics could be managed for the benefit of all if planetary cycles could be properly understood. The questions that arise focus on fate and freewill: can the future be predicted and, if so, what is the role of political action?

The seminar will consider both theory and technique and will examine practical examples, particularly from Kepler's own work, examining how he worked with planetary cycles to predict the future.

Nick's lecture will last about 75 minutes followed by time for questions and discussion.

Nicholas Campion

Lecturer: Nicholas Campion is Programme Director of the MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology, Director of the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture and Principal Lecturer in the Faculty of Humanities and the Performing at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. His recent books include the two-volume History of Western Astrology (London: Continuum 2008/9) and The New Age in the Modern West: Counter-Culture, Utopia and Prophecy from the late Eighteenth Century to the Present Day (London: Bloomsbury 2015). Recent papers include 'The Moral Philosophy of Space Travel: A Historical Review', in Jai Galliot (ed.), Commercial Space Exploration: Ethics, Policy, Governance (Abingdon: Ashgate, 2015), pp. 9-22; 'Archaeoastronomy and Calendar Cities' in Daniel Brown (ed.), Modern Archaeoastronomy: From Material Culture to Cosmology, Journal of Physics: Conference Series, Vol. 865, 2016, pp. 1-7; and 'The Imaginal Sky in the Medieval World' in Eric Lacey (ed.), Starcræft. Watching the Heavens in the Middle Ages, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press (forthcoming).

Photo courtesy of Dr Darrelyn Gunzburg


The Key Concept lectures are part of the Sophia Centre's public outreach programme and draw on material in the University of Wales Trinity Saint David's programme in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology. The programme is distance-learning and online and offers flexible options for study: take one or two modules as an Occasional Student, three modules for a Certificate, Six for modules a Diploma and write a 15,000 word dissertation to gain the full MA. For further information e mail the Programme Director, Dr Nicholas Campion.

Welcome to the public outreach page of the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, with information about studying with the University, as well as links to related conferences, classes, publications and events. To go straight to the Sophia Centre's University page please go here.

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30 Jul, Alumni lecture
Michelle Holgate

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