Is Astrology Divination and Does it Matter – Geoffrey Cornelius
Ed. N.: This article is based on the United Astrology Congress Lecture (May 22, 1998). It was first published in The Mountain Astrologer (Issue 81 : Oct-Nov 1998). Thanks to Geoffrey for his permission to publish it again here.
My subject today is the subtle question of whether astrology is divination. I assume most of you saw Thomas Moore give the keynote address yesterday. Moore surprised many in the audience when he expressed praise for the divinatory aspect of astrology. He said that astrologers should realize that we divine, and should not proceed in the direction of using astrology as a type of reading or inference from cosmic influences. Perhaps only someone with some distance from astrology, someone who loves its symbols but isn’t a horoscopic artist, is able to see our practice clearly. Many of us, however, do not like the suggestion of divination because that would undermine the objectivity of our practice. In my view, it’s that very objectification of the experience of astrology that binds us – and blinds us.
Divination is a word that is often loosely used to mean a type of intuition. The highest processes of what we do in any art or science involve this wonderful intuitive capacity. Put that way, we could all agree, “Fine, astrology is divination, but so what?” My purpose here today is to raise the “so what?” You might not like some of the things I have to say. This is still useful because it’s important that you think this through and are able to say why you don’t like it; then we’ll get more clarity on the nature of our astrology.