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Re: VMs: Jung and Modern/Traditional Astrology?

Hi, Nick!

We were discussing the vitality of astrology as a
profession, which is one of the criteria I use to plot
the decline of astrology, apart from philosophical

Here are a few inscriptions from almanacs printed in
England in the seventeenth century.  Almanacs were
calculated by "philomaths"--people who liked to crunch
numbers--and sold to astrologers, who used them to
make predictions following the techniques of
traditional astrology.  Almanacs fall into the
category of historical evidence of the vitality of
astrology, as their manufacture would not pay for the
cost of printing unless they had an audience.  I guess
somebody forgot to tell the common folk that astrology
had lost favor with the intellectual elite, because
the existence of almanacs showing the movements of the
planets tell us that the common man was still keeping
astrologers, almanac makers, and doctors and surgeons
who used astrology in business right up until late in
the seventeenth century. 


A Prognossicacion and an Almanack fastened together,
declaring the Dispocission of the People and also of
the Wether, with certain Electyons and Tymes chosen
both for Phisike and Surgerye, and for the husbandman.
And also for Hawekyng, Huntynq, Fishynq, and Foulynge,
according to the Science of Astronomy, made for the
Yeare of our Lord God M.D.L., Calculed for the
Merydyan of Yorke, and practiced by Anthony Askham. At
the end, ?Imprynted at London, in Flete Strete, at the
Signe of the George, next to Saint Dunstan's Church,
by Wyllyam Powell, cum privilegio ad imprimendum dim.'
Then follows the Prognostication, the title-page to
which. is as follows:

A Prognossicacion for the Yere of our Lord MCCCCC.L.,
Calculed upon the Merydyan of the Towne of Anwarpe and
the Country thereabout, by Master Peter of Moorbeeke,
Doctour in Physicke of the same Towne, whereunto is
added the Judgment of M. Cornelius Schute, Doetour in
Physicke of the Towne of Bruges in Flanders, upon and
concerning the Disposicion, Estate, and Condicion of
certaine Prynces, Centreys, and Regions, for the
present Yere, gathered oute of his Prognossicacion for
the same Yere. Translated oute of Duch into Englyshe
by William Harrys. At the end, 'Imprynted at London by
John Daye, dwellyne over Aldersgate, and Wyllyam
Seres, dwellyne in Peter Colledge. These Bokes are to
be sold at the Newe Shop by the Lytle Conduyte in


?An Almanacke and Prognosticatyon for the Yeare of our
Lorde MDLI., practysed by Simon Henringius and
Lodowyke Boyard, Doctors in Physike and Astronomye,
&c. At Worcester in the Hygb. Strete.'


'A Newe Almanacke and Prognostication, Collected for
the Yere of our Lord MDLVIII., wherein is expressed
the Change and Full of the Moone, with their Quarters.
The Varietie of the lyre, and also of the Windes
throughout the whole Yere, with Infortunate Times to
Bie and Sell, take Medicine, Sowe, Plant, and Journey,
&c. Made for the Meridian of Norwich and Pole Arctic/
e LII. Degrees, and serving for all England. By
William Kenningham, Physician. Imprynted at London by
John Daye, dwelling over Alders-gate.'

England's most celebrated physician/astrologer,
Richard Saunders, did not publish his noted work, _The
Astrological Judgement and Practice of Physick_, until
1677.  His work is thought to be the most inclusive
and accurate description of the use of astrology for
medical purposes ever written; in his own practice,
his reputation as a diagnostician was the highest.

The problem with assuming that de la Mirandola's
philosophical broadside effectively stopped
traditional astrology in its tracks was that in 1500,
for its many practical uses and purposes, there was
little in place to supplant traditional astrology.  

It would be more than two centuries before that



--- Pamela Richards <spirlhelix@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Hi, Nick!
> You wrote: 
> ?your claim that some modern authors appropriated
> Ficonio?s work as a kind of retrospective apoligia
> for
> Jung is an interesting one?is there one particular
> writer who seems to be responsible for this??
> I can tell you my own idea of how this might have
> happened.  It?s from the perspective of someone who
> mostly reads the sources, not the interpreters of
> the
> sources.  Since I have not really read the modern
> interpreters of history on this point, I don?t
> really
> know who said what, when.  I know that it is
> possible
> for such leaps of imagination to be made by those
> who
> confine themselves to ?philosophical? limits to
> their
> approach to the history of astrology.
> I feel it may be the latter-day overly literal
> interpretation of Jung?s own words which is largely
> responsible for this misunderstanding.  Jung
> referred
> to Ficino as his ?patron?, in other words,
> acknowledged his debt to Ficino.  As so often
> happens
> with ardent followers of a great man, I believe this
> was probably taken with a Fundamentalist literalism
> by
> followers of Jung who began to revere Ficino as some
> sort of ?founder of modern astrology? without
> knowing
> the intention, emphasis, techniques, or traditions
> of
> modern versus traditional astrology.  If these
> literal-minded interpreters looked more broadly at
> Jung?s entire work and the practice of modern
> astrology, they would see that Jung equally admitted
> a
> debt to Plato, and that the ?archetypes? Jung
> derived
> from Platonian philosophy are probably more
> fundamental to the practice ?modern psychological
> astrology? than are any of Ficino?s non-platonian
> contributions, whatever those are thought to be. 
> The
> fact that Plato precedes Ficino by seven hundred-odd
> years, that Jung acknowledged a vast indebtedness to
> Plato, and that the thrust of Ficino?s work was to
> present Plato to a new audience does nothing to
> substantiate the claim that Ficino ?invented modern
> astrology?.
> Which is not to say that I think Plato actually
> ?invented modern astrology?, either.  Clearly, Jung
> did, in great part by severing the philosophy of
> Ficino and Plato from the previous expression they
> had
> taken in the form of the traditions, techniques, and
> intentions of traditional astrology.
> Jung may not have deliberately severed modern
> astrology from its historical roots, but by the time
> he published, traditional astrology was cold in the
> grave, and his philosophically-oriented efforts
> would
> do nothing to revive it.  In addition, since the
> intention in exploring astrology as a psychological
> tool is necessarily not predictive, but therapeutic,
> there was no point in reviving a lost art to gain
> skills that were not in demand for Jung?s purpose.
> Hope this is useful!
> Warmly,
> Pam 
> --- Nick Pelling <nickpelling@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> wrote:
> > Hi Pamela,
> > 
> > FWIW, the argument running through the literature
> > I've been relying on is 
> > that by 1490, the leading group of Florentine
> > intellectuals lost faith with 
> > astrology - that was the year that Giovanni Pico
> > della Mirandola's 
> > announced that he intended to fire a theoretical
> > broadside against 
> > astrology in defence of Christianity (extracts of
> > this finally appeared in 
> > 1495, the year after his death), and that salvo is
> > thought by some to have 
> > been the central impetus for Ficino (della
> > Mirandolla's former teacher!) to 
> > change his approach. Wikipedia has a nice (though
> > short) article on him:-
> > 
> >
> > 
> > Also, here's a link to an online article
> summarising
> > this general tradition 
> > that I've posted to the list before, which also
> > quote Francis Bacon's views 
> > on astrology (essentially, that it doesn't work
> for
> > individuals, but its 
> > effects on populations or nations ~might~ be worth
> > studying) - Paula 
> > Wagner's (2000) "The Decline of Astrology" [with
> > Nick Campion as advisor]:-
> > 
> >
> > 
> > Reading it back again, it does seem that the
> > filaments claimed to connect 
> > Ficinian thought forward to present-day astrology
> > are indeed somewhat 
> > lacking in substance: this aspect does support
> your
> > assertion that there 
> > was no break in the (already declining) tradition
> at
> > that time. Your claim 
> > that some modern authors appropriated Ficino's
> work
> > as a kind of 
> > retrospective apologia for Jung is a very
> > interesting one - is there one 
> > particular writer who seems to be mainly
> responsible
> > for this?
> > 
> > And yet... medieval astrology had always enjoyed
> > protection because of its 
> > status as a subject taught within universities
> > (because of its centrality 
> > to medicine) even though universities were
> typically
> > administered by the 
> > Church, but [so the argument runs] its
> intellectual
> > aegis was withdrawn 
> > circa 1500, and so astrology ended up with few
> > active proponents. While its 
> > decline had clearly already begun, was 1480-1520
> the
> > "tipping point" where 
> > its boat sank? I used to think that argument was
> an
> > open-and-shut case, but 
> > now I'm not so sure...
> > 
> > BTW, here's a nice page on medieval universities,
> > science, and astrology 
> > (it discusses Cecco d'Ascoli's career clearly, for
> > example):-
> > 	http://www.bede.org.uk/university.htm
> > 
> > Cheers, .....Nick Pelling.....
> > 
> > 
> >
> > To unsubscribe, send mail to majordomo@xxxxxxxxxxx
> > with a body saying:
> > unsubscribe vms-list
> > 
> =====
> "I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing, than to
> teach ten thousand stars how not to dance."
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