Astrology is a sacred science rooted in a “traditional” cosmology, that is, a cosmology that has a clear idea of the relationship between man and God. A traditional cosmology, indeed any traditional science, is like a bell. A bell is cast complete, in one form. One can play on it as often as is needed or wished and in any number of variations but any attempt to graft on any sort of attachment at a later date will only dull the clarity of the tone, or more likely, cause the bell to become mute. It is not possible to say, “We don’t like the bell, we’ll make our own.” The original material out of which the bell is made exists only in the bell and if the old bell were melted down and mixed with other (inferior) substances the new bell would likely crack in the casting.
The many “astrologies” of our time cover the bell to a greater or lesser extent with any number of accretions. It is the task of the discerning astrologer to remove these accumulations so that the bell that is astrology can sound clearly. But what are the criteria needed to accomplish this? Here we have to ask the question, “What characterises a traditional science?” This means asking what the bell is for and who made it. The tradition can answer this easily. The bell is for the glory of God and it was made by those who understood His Mystery (one need only consider the story of the Three Magi from the east, following the Star to Bethlehem). Anything that does not accord with this is likely to be an addition and so questionable.
Once, many years ago I had a conversation with a group of students out of an Arabian country. Their command of English, the language we used to communicate in, was limited. In order to clear up a few points, I looked up the meanings of a few words in a dictionary and wrote them down in Arabic. They were very surprised by this. It also posed a riddle. How was it possible that I, an who couldn’t speak a word, could write better Arabian than they, and not even understand a word? They said that what I had written was beautiful, a work of art and that they, who had been writing Arabian most of their lives could not come even close. I think the answer to the riddle is that I wrote the words not out of an understanding of the individual letters but as a whole image. A traditional cosmology is much the same. It is a homogenous whole, a unity and not composed out of individual pieces of knowledge, empirically gathered, that can be added or subtracted at whim.
There is indeed only one astrology. It is only a question of recognising it. That is a task of a lifetime. Once truly and completely understood, astrology becomes redundant, for by then we have gained an understanding that comes from the Holy Spirit itself. (like the Wise Men the star has led us to the Child in the cradle) Our astrology is a chapter in the book of cosmology. The book is in turn a mere glimmering of the Reality it reflects.
Like “The Eye of the Needle” some may find the content of this article provocative, both in the positive and negative senses. All articles found at altairastrology are an attempt to peel away some of the grime and to encourage you to think about what has come to be called traditional astrology or even astrology in general. From time to time the content will have to be looked at again and revised. It is by no means suggested that I or any guest writer of this site has reached that exalted state of complete understanding. The picture of the pilgrim is appropriate here. The imagery used above is Christian but I think that those truly grounded in the vedic, judaic or islamic traditions would find a similar formulation, in the language of their tradition, to what has been said above.