AFA 2011 Traditional Astrology Conference
13 Hours of MP3 Recordings

Download as MP3 and PDF (375 MB): $75

A Historic Conference in Traditional Astrology

In September 2011, the oldest American astrological association, the American Federation of Astrologers, hosted a three-day traditional astrology conference. Held in honor of James Holden's research into and historic translations of traditional texts, Benjamin Dykes, Demetra George, and Chris Brennan gave extensive presentations on numerous traditional concepts and techniques. Running at 13 hours of audio, this CD-ROM contains MP3 recordings of the proceedings, plus many PDF slides and study aids.

Demetra George: Beginner's Tutorial: Basic Concepts, Definitions, and Terminology

Demetra George introduces traditional astrology and gives simple definitions for many of the terms and concepts that are used in the remainder of the conference. If you are a beginner to traditional astrology, you'll want to be sure to listen to this first, in order to be familiar with special vocabulary such as sect, diurnal and nocturnal planets, whole sign houses, and more. (1hr 45m)

Panel: History, Authors, & Transmission

What is traditional astrology, when was it practiced and who are the main authors? In this opening panel the speakers give a broad overview of the history of the astrological tradition, spanning from its origins in Mesopotamia through the Hellenistic, Medieval and Renaissance periods. This sets the stage for the broader conference topic of why the current rediscovery of our tradition so important for contemporary astrologers. (1hr 18m)

Demetra George: Planets and the Joy of Sect

Demetra George explains how the first consideration of traditional astrology was the sect status of planets, and how planets operate differently in diurnal and nocturnal charts. What factors cause a planet to rejoice and thus lead to more favorable outcomes? How does sect relate to the solar phase cycle where a planet's visibility, speed, and direction (under the Sun's beams, combustion, in the heart of the sun, retrogrades, and helical rising/setting) all have interpretative meaning? (50m)

Ben Dykes: Reading signs and understanding dignities

Ben Dykes discusses how signs are used in traditional astrology, and the all-important question of dignities. Natal charts are used to understand the meaning and use of domicile rulerships, exaltations, detriment, fall, being "foreign" or peregrine, bounds, triplicity lords, and (time permitting), related concepts such as reception. (38m)

Ben Dykes: "Dwelling in the house of the lord"

Ben Dykes discusses the important distinction between (and controversy over) whole-sign houses and quadrant-based houses (like Placidus or Regiomontanus), other categories like "good" and "bad" houses, and basics of house interpretation: planets in houses, house lords and their locations, and the importance of a planet aspecting its own house. (37m)

Chris Brennan: The Development of the Traditional Aspect Doctrine

The aspect doctrine has gone through a number of major changes from its inception in the Hellenistic period until now. Chris Brennan presents the basic principles of the aspect doctrine from the Hellenistic period which form the foundation of the modern concept, focusing in particular on techniques that did not survive into contemporary astrological practice. Chris shows how distinctions such as right vs. left aspects, overcoming, hurling rays, enclosure, and maltreatment allow for greater precision and nuance in delineations. (50m)

Panel: Passed Through Many Hands - The Transmission and Translation of Ancient Texts

The foundation texts of our astrological discipline have traveled through many cultures where they have been successively translated into different languages. Speakers will discuss the reading, understanding, and appreciation of our predecessors, as well as the special problems of manuscript traditions and textual translation. (55m)

Panel: Astrology and Philosophies of Life

Traditional astrology has a rich and overlapping variety of approaches to life, values, and ethics. Speakers describe and discuss the role of astrology in the following streams of thought: the "causal" Ptolemaic-Aristotelian, the Stoic, the Hermetic-magical-Neoplatonic, and the Christian-Jewish. We also address how these approaches suggest different ways of thinking about charts and how to counsel clients. (1h 33m)

Demetra George: A Traditional Approach to the Topic of Relationships

Demetra George discusses how a traditional astrologer judges a chart's potential for successful, happy, and stable partnerships. This will lead to an explanation of how the ancient timing technique of planetary periods and ascensional times of the signs can target a set of dates at which the marital activity, as indicated by the natal potential, is most likely to occur. This model can be also used for analyzing other topics such as health, wealth, and profession. (50m)

Chris Brennan: The Theory and Practice of Horary Astrology

Chris Brennan provides an overview of the development and practice of horary astrology, from its origins in consultation charts in the Hellenistic tradition, to the more complex methods that were developed during the Medieval period. This lecture will cover the basic principles of delineating horary charts, demonstrating how to use traditional guidelines in order to answer a single specific question such as, "Will I get the job?" (52m)

Ben Dykes: Profections and Solar Revolutions

Ben Dykes explains two related and common predictive techniques: annual profections (with its special ruling planet, the "lord of the year"), and medieval solar returns. Traditional astrologers combined these annual techniques using transits, derived houses, and the sign of the year, and we look at actual charts to see how to determine the basic themes of the year as well as how to identify which transits matter most. (42m)

Chris Brennan: Zodiacal Releasing

Chris Brennan provides an overview of one of the most powerful timing techniques that has been recovered from the early Hellenistic tradition to date. He demonstrates how the Lots of Spirit and Fortune are used to divide a native's life into periods of greater or lesser activity and importance with respect to career and life direction. Used properly, the technique allows an astrologer to make specific statements about the course of the native's life as a whole. (50m)

Audience Commentary: Traditional Astrology and the Conference

In this short excerpt, audience members reflect on what they'd like to see as traditional astrology moves forward. (17m)

Chris Brennan and Ben Dykes: The Future of Traditional Astrology

In this re-recorded session, Chris and Ben reflect on traditional astrology, where the movement is going, and what students should do to advance in it. (1h 03m)

Conference Reviews:

It was a delight witnessing these three...illustrate the beauty, simplicity, and effectiveness of the traditional methods.

- Eve Dembowski, FAA Journal 41/4, Australia

A wonderful conference! Thanks for all your shared wisdom and thoughtful planning.

- Priscilla, Florida

This has exceeded my expectations and stimulated much thought and excitement for my future involvement with astrology.

- Rebecca, North Carolina

Much, much more than I expected!

- Hideyo, Japan

Awesome first traditional astrology conference ever! So glad that I could make it!

- Rhyan, Arkansas

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