About Classical Astrology
The term "classical" or "traditional" astrology refers to astrology as it has been practiced over the last 4,000 years in the West. The actual origins of astrology are mysterious, yet it was practiced extensively throughout Chaldean, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Persian and Medieval European cultures. Traditional astrology uses techniques of essential dignities, house position, exact definitions, and rigorous chart delineation. In the 20th century, we have seen the rise of what is known as "psychological" astrology, which relies more upon general definitions and aspects between planets to gain insight into a human being’s life experiences or psychology. Traditional astrology tends to de-emphasize the outer planets and asteroids in a chart reading, because their effects were not observed by sages or empirical study for over the previous four thousand years. Likewise Ptolomeic aspects (the conjunction, sextile, square, trine and opposition) are considered but the non ptolomeic aspects are not used. The result is that in traditional astrology one speaks of precise events and timing, where as in psychological astrology, more often than not vague spiritual and psychological generalities are spoken of.
This is not to say that traditional astrology is all one system, or cannot include psychological and spiritual advice and guidance (although in such great astrologers as Robert Zoller do indeed suggest such.) The tremendously influential Rob Hand has even suggested we consider a postmodern form of astrology which includes the best of modern astrology and its discoveries to be include with the classical western astrological techniques. Certainly gifted astrologers can indeed employ both the betterment of an individual’s study of the self and life through the planets, luminaries and stars.
What does this mean for someone seeking astrological guidance. It means that an astrologer who has studied traditional techniques can give a fuller and more comprehensive reading. One that is more detailed and illuminating to the souls journey through this life.