The Hellenistic Doctrine of Aspect and Testimony 

NOT whole sign aspects, but something far more interesting... 

As a modern astrologer, have ever...?

  •  wondered whether there is a significant difference between applying and separating aspects 
  • questioned what that difference might be 
  • felt bewildered by the multitude of aspects employed in modern astrology 
  • been bothered about what orbs to use 
  • questioned what the synodic cycle of one planet in relation to another is all about 
  • or been uncertain about the principles underlying the delineation of aspects

The solution?

Take a page from a Hellenistic astrologer's book. Become acquainted with the original doctrine of planetary configuration - a doctrine that has lain hidden for close to 2,000 years.

To our best knowledge, this concept was first explained in astrological texts attributed to Antiochus. The remnants contain the surviving definitions of concepts that are taken for granted by later astrologers. Understanding this material helps correct the idea that Hellenistic astrologers primarily used sign-based aspects. 

This intensive includes: 

  • a discussion on the identity of the mysterious astrologer, Antiochus
  • an examination of the fundamental Hellenistic notion of a “figure” and what it means for planets to assume a figure
  • a preliminary exposition of:
    • testimony (not in modern astrology)
    • figural conjunction (aspectual application)
    • concourse (not in modern astrology)
    • and adherence (“bodily” conjunction)
  • an explanation on the corresponding modes of separation described as "flowing forth" and "slipping aside" 
  • a discussion on aversion (complete lack of configuration) and the conditions that serve to mitigate or intensify such aversion either a testimony relation or an aspect relation
  • a treatment of the relative positions of planets in a configuration with regard to the left & right side, above & below, before & behind as defined from the planet's perspective - not human perspective
  • an explanation of the important conceptual difference between an ideal/perfect figure and an imperfect figure
  • an inventory of the various moments of the synodic cycle and important implications of the Hellenistic understanding of: 
    • diametrical opposition is as unique as the synodic conjunction
    • configurations forming and separating between synodic conjunction and diametrical opposition are very different from the reverse
    • configurations do not separate by undoing or reversing the process of application that led to their formation
  • a discussion of enclosure (besiegement) and intervention 
  • a conversation on striking with a ray
  • a discourse on three modes of spear-bearing (missing in modern astrology) 
  • an original definition of the Moon void of course (very different from the modern one) 
  • a deep focus on the 8 Hellenistic conditions of maltreatment by malefics (“affliction”) and the corresponding conditions of bonification by benefics (i.e. figure-description of a planet; essential in the analysis of planetary condition) 
  • an exploration into the relationship of the figure-description of a planet to its sect status 
  • a discussion on principles underlying the Hellenistic delineation of planetary configurations 
  • some natal chart reading to exemplify these principles 

Along the way, Robert will draw out some of the metaphysical implications of the Hellenistic doctrine of planetary configuration:

  • how a notion of extension in three dimensions emerges from the circular motions of two planets in a plane 
  • how the Hellenistic notion of separation from a configuration (i.e. “flowing forth”) may hint at the metaphysical concept of "emanation" that later emerged from the Platonic school
  • a connection between the astrological doctrine of configurations and conjunctions by transit and the Platonic treatment of recollection
  • the deeper significance of the numerical intervals posited in configuration doctrine
  • and an interpretation of the statement "The way up and the way down are one and the same" from pre-Socratic philosopher Heraclitus.

Planetary Configurations

15 hours of audio and 9 page of downloadable handouts

    1. Glossary for Configuration Intensive

    2. Configuration Intensive Charts - color

    3. Configuration Intensive Charts - monochrome

    4. 01. Introduction

    5. 02. Definitions I

    6. 03. Definitions II

    7. 04. Friday evening

    8. 05. Definitions III

    9. 06. Maltreatment

    10. 07. Dimensionality I

    11. 08. Dimensionality II

    12. 09. Saturday evening

    13. 10. Spearbearing

    14. 11. Synodic cycle review

    15. 12. Grammatical paradigm

    16. 13. Sunday evening

    17. 14. Exemplefication 1

    18. 15. Exemplefication 2

    19. 16. Monday evening

    20. Additional Resources

About this course

  • 20 lessons