Introduction by Manly Hall

INTRODUCTION

Astrology was one of the seven sacred sciences cultivated by the initiates of the ancient world. It was studied and practiced by all the great nations of antiquity. The origins of astrological speculation are entirely obscured by the night of time which preceded the dawn of history. There are traditions to the effect that the astrological science was perfected by magician- philosophers of the Atlantean Period. One thing is evident, Astrology descends to this late day adorned with the discoveries and embellishments of a thousand cultures. The history of Astrology is indeed a history of human thought and aspiration. The readings for the planets as given in the cuneiform tablets of Sargon are still used by the astrologers of this generation. Only such modifications and changes have been made as the shifting foundations of cultural standards necessitated.

Two distinctive schools of Astrology have been recognized from the beginning of the historical period. With the decline of the late Atlantean and early Aryan priesthoods and the profaning of their mysteries, what are now called the sciences were separated from the parent body of religious tradition. Astrology and medicine were the first to establish independent institutions. The priests of the state religions no longer exercised a monopoly over the prophetic and medicinal arts. Beginning with Hippocrates new orders of soothsayers and healers arose who were entirely ignorant of the fundamental unity, yes, identity of the spiritual and physical sciences.

The division of essential learning into competitive, or at least non- cooperative, fragments destroyed the synthesis of knowledge. Frustrated by division and discord, the whole structure of education broke into innumerable discordant parts. The science of medicine divided from its spiritual source deteriorated into the quackery and leechcraft of the Dark Ages, a condition of affairs so sorry that the Hermetic physician Paracelsus was moved to say, “Fortunate is the man whose physician does not kill him.” Astrology was likewise corrupted into horoscope mongering. Divorced from its divine purpose it drifted along, performing a halfhearted and pointless work which consisted for the most part of the bleating forth of dire predictions and the compounding of planetary salves against the itch.

A small group of enlightened and educated men preserved the esoteric secrets of medicine and astrology through those superstition ridden centuries we now call the Middle Ages. Of such mental stature were the Rosicrucians who honored Paracelsus as one of the chief of their “mind.” Through Paracelsus and the Rosie Cross the spiritual secrets of nature were restored to the chief place among the ends of learning. Knowledge was interpreted mystically and the profane sciences were reflected as merely the outward forms of inward mysteries. The secrets of mystical interpretation were concealed from the vulgar and given only to those who yearned after things which are of the spirit. THE MYSTICAL DIVINITY of Dionysius the Arepagite became the textbook of an ever increasing number of devout and God-loving men and women who saw in all outer forms and institutions the shadows and semblances of inner truth.

The modern world which sacrificed so much for the right to think has grown wise in its own conceit. Educators have ignored those spiritual values which constitute the priceless ingredients in the chemical compound we call civilization. Material science has become a proud institution–an assemblage of pedagogues and demagogues. There is no place for mysticism in the canons of the over-schooled. Hypnotized by the strange fascination which matter exercised over the materialist, modern savants ignored the soul, that invisible reality upon which the illusions of the whole world hang.

It was Lord Bacon who said, “A little knowledge inclineth men’s minds towards atheism, but greatness of knowledge bringeth men’s minds back again to God.” This wonderful quotation expresses the tempo of the modern age. A disillusioned world saddened over the failure of material things is crying out again for those mystical truths which alone explain and satisfy. The return of mysticism brings with it a new interest in astrology and healing.

Mysticism brings with it a new standard of interpretation. To live up to the exacting demands of a mystical interpretation all branches of learning must be purified and restated. To the mystic, astrology is not merely prediction or even giving of advice, it is a key to spiritual truths to be approached philosophically, to be studied for its own sake.

Although science has classified, tabulated, and named all the parts and functions of the body, it cannot describe or explain what man is, where he came from, why he is here, or where he is going. In the presence of ignorance concerning these vital subjects, it is difficult to appreciate an elaborate learning in secondary matters.

The initiates of antiquity were concerned primarily with man in his universal or cosmic aspect. Before a person can live well he must orient himself, he must know in part at least the plan of living. With this knowledge he can then cooperate with “the plan,” and the philosophic life recommended by Pythagoras is merely to know the truth and to live it.

Scientists looking for the cause of those energies which motivate and sustain the world have decided by a process of elimination that these causes must lie in a subjective structure of the universe, the invisible sphere of vibrations. So the modern fancy is to ascribe to vibration all that cannot be explained in any other way. The moment we acknowledge the universe to be sustained by an invisible energy which manifests through the law of vibration, physics becomes super-physics, physiology becomes psychology, and astronomy becomes astrology. Astrology is nothing more nor less than the study of the heavenly bodies in the terms of the energies which radiate from them rather than merely an examination of their appearance and construction.

The original Rosicrucians held to a theory generally discarded by men of science and now known as the microcosmic theory. Paracelsus was the most prominent exponent of this concept of universal order and relationship. He said, “As there are stars in the heavens, so there are stars within man, for there is nothing in the universe which has not its equivalent in the microcosm.” (the human body). In another place Paracelsus says, “Man derives his spirit from the constellations (fixed stars), his soul from the planets, and his body from the elements.”