From Allegory to Anagoge: the question of symbolic perception in a literal world by Angela Voss
In Astrology and the Academy, eds N. Campion & M. Yorke, Bristol: Cinnabar Books, 1-9.
This paper will discuss the relevance of the ‘four levels of interpretation’ of medieval theology – literal, allegorical, moral, anagogical – to the teaching of astrology at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. In an educational system increasingly bound to positivist assumptions a way is required to lead students to a deeper perception, and experience, of the symbolic. This system unlocks the door to a hermeneutic of divination and magic relevant and accessible to beginners in this field, yet grounded in philosophical and theological tradition.
We must surely all agree that the general movement of Western intellectual life since Descartes has been towards increasing detachment of observation, compartmentalised thinking and rational explanation. We no longer live in a world of mystery. Yet at the heart of astrological practice and teaching lies a process that defies the strivings of the mind and is itself profoundly mysterious: bow to ‘see’ symbolically.