“Rhythmic Astrology”: A Book Review

the horoscope of Albrecht von Waldstein (Wallenstein) calculated by Joh. Kepler
(source: wikipedia.de, click on the image for the link)

There are astrology books and astrology books. Some are well researched, others give the impression of having been made up as they were written. This book belongs to the first category. Sadly it is only available in German. It deserves translation, particularly for that part of the English speaking astrological community that is interested in primary directions and their use. This is not a recent book, it was first published in 1998 but if you read German, this book is a must, it is still available. Significant is the in depth analysis of Johnannes Kepler’s prognostic method, based on his judgement of the horoscope of Albrecht von Waldstein (better known as Wallenstein) and its directions. Joh. Kepler’s chart for Wallenstein is shown above. The full title of the book is: “Rhythmische Astrologie: Johannes Keplers Prognose-Methode aus neuer Sicht” by Ulrike Voltmer

The author speaks of the various prognostic methods and describes how in sifting through the various methods that have been proposed for primary directions she found Joh. Kepler’s method very helpful. A major part of the book is devoted to just that, how Joh. Kepler judged the chart of Wallenstein. Included is a detailed year for year biography of Wallenstein with a separate year-by-year astrological analysis. There is also a modern list of directions (which yes, also includes the trans-Saturnian planets).

I would later like to look independently at this chart, but will quote here Ulrike Voltmer’s very carefully compiled list of Joh. Kepler’s criteria for judgement of the nativity:

  • Aquarius Ascendant
  • Placidius houses
  • Grand Conjunction in the 1st house in Pisces
  • South Node of the Moon in Gemini in the 4th house
  • Mercury in Virgo in opposition to Jupiter/Saturn
  • Sun in Libra in 7th house, wide opposition to Jupiter/Saturn, Mercury is also in the 7th
  • Mars in apogee, near the Sun in the 8th house
  • Venus in Scorpio, trine Saturn/Jupiter in 9th house
  • MC Sagittarius
  • North Node in 10th house
  • Moon on the cusp of the 12th house, in detriment in Capricorn (which Kepler didn’t want to judge) square the Sun, wide sextile to Venus
  • Sun on the autumn ingress point
  • Mercury, Saturn and Jupiter are connected by aspect
  • MC at 8 Sagittarius is also the Grand Conjunction position of 1603 and 1623

5 thoughts on ““Rhythmic Astrology”: A Book Review

  1. I read Kepler’s reading for Wallenstein in the Italian translation from German book DIE ASTROLOGIE DES JOHANNES KEPLER ( Strauss and Strauss Kloebe).
    I found it very interesting, especially for the Great Conjunction at the ASC.
    Will you talk a little more about this chart?
    Anyyway it would be interesting see how Obama will do with his Great conjunction.

  2. I wanted to keep the review short, but I think it important that the author, in writing this book, has adopted an attitude of questioning. I may not, at the moment, necessarily agree with all of her conclusions but her approach is I think the correct one.
    One of the questions that she asks is whether it is within the scope of the astrologer to make a prognostication. Is it possible and what are the boundaries. Where is free will involved and where is there determination. She describes that she originally rejected prognostication, but in examining Kepler’s approach, where he for example looked at rhythmic tendancies in solar revolutions over years, that there was cause to take these techniques more seriously. Also she noticed how Keplers ideas grew and changed in the course of 17 years. That is between the two horoscopes that he drew for Wallenstein. I am in agreement with her that it is not enough to pick and choose notable configurations for years when there are events, but one also has to ask what the ‘invisible’ (my formulation) events are. That is, years when there are notable configurations but nothing of note seems to have happened, or at least was not biographically recorded. Kepler was very much interested in how astrology/astronomy was embedded in a philosophical approach to understanding the cosmos (the title of his work, “De Harmonicis Mundi” reflects this) and it is this that seems to be excluded, or at very best become a secondary consideration, in modern practice. The astrologer must ask him/herself on what astrology has its base. Where its roots are. For without a deep and founded grasp of the cosmology and philosophical background the astrologer cannot avoid being placed in the category of the fortune-teller, which in our enlighted times is contemptible.

  3. For those interested in an English translation of some of Kepler’s astrology, look here:


    The translator, Ken Negus, is a retired professor of Medieval German Literature (Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA), a long time practicing astrologer, and President of the Astrological Society of Princeton, NJ. Ken once managed to get Rutgers to offer an astrology course for credit many years ago. He is in love with the German language and translates Goethe’s poetry for a hobby. I cannot think of an individual better qualified for this sort of work.



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