When first faced with classical or traditional astrology some astrologers steeped in the multifaceted mythical images of psychological and archetypal astrology are put off by what appears to be a dull, colourless and outmoded form of astrology. However, classical astrology is far from colourless or outmoded. It may take some effort to crack its archaic veneer, but once this is done the exquisite rationale, beauty and inherent wisdom upon which astrology is built is revealed.
Many astrologers especially those who have been doing astrology for a long time come to a point when they begin to feel the pull towards our inherited roots. Reading the old texts can be challenging and disheartening; the language appears stilted and the concepts are based on incomplete astronomical understanding may seem irrelevant to our modern worldview. It is necessary to approach these ancient texts from the perspective of the times in which they were composed. This requires at least a cursory knowledge of philosophical, scientific and cultural history.
Classical astrology demands a more rigorous approach to its study: techniques must be mastered, rules learnt and practice needs to be constant. It is all of these factors that often put the student off learning classical astrology. But the rewards for doing so are many.
It is impossible for a student to avoid the inevitable change that their astrological delineation will undergo once the door to the classical perception has been opened. This can engender a sort of “identity crisis”. In the same way that our growth from child to adolescent; or from single adult to committed parent can feel uncomfortable and even threatening, as we leave the familiar behind and enter territory we have not yet charted.
We are a product of our times, and we live in a time corrupted by the hubris of our technological prowess. It is often assumed that the current scientific, political, social and philosophical understandings we now hold, have evolved out the old beliefs of the past. Therefore, it is suggested, we now possess a better, more accurate and thorough knowledge. This is like the arrogant naivety of the young who think they are the first to notice the shortcomings of the status quo and discover the joy of rebellion.
To deny the relevance of classical astrology is to deny astrology itself. Coming to understand classical astrology makes us better astrologers, just as understanding history helps us to navigate the troubled times we seem to always be facing.
For those who want to take the plunge, go to www.sta.co
 By “Classical astrology” I mean Western astrology as it was practiced from circa 400 BCE to the mid-17th century CE.