home articles forum events
glossary horary quiz consultations links more

Read this before using the forum
View memberlist
View/edit your user profile
Log in to check your private messages
Log in
Recent additions:
Can assassinations be prevented? by Elsbeth Ebertin
translated by Jenn Zahrt PhD
A Guide to Interpreting The Great American Eclipse
by Wade Caves
The Astrology of Depression
by Judith Hill
Understanding the mean conjunctions of the Jupiter-Saturn cycle
by Benjamin Dykes
Understanding the zodiac: and why there really ARE 12 signs of the zodiac, not 13
by Deborah Houlding

Skyscript Astrology Forum

Who is the best astrologer and the best living?
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Philosophy & Science
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message

Joined: 19 Jul 2007
Posts: 72

Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2007 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb: I'm sorry for leveling you down. However Gem seems like a
blind follower of an all knowing guru, that's why I answered in that

Gem: I'm sorry if I was insulting. The problem is that I'm very
gullible and let people impress me with nothing. So I'm trying
to develop good powers of mind and sometimes I can be cruel.
And Tyl is not my favorite astrologer, it's Andre Barbault.

I agree the question was badly framed. It's not philosophical
enough, unless supported with good arguments. Although,
knowing who's the best in any given field can be of advantage,
for having a good frame of reference.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 21 Mar 2007
Posts: 764
Location: Rawalpindi/Islamabad (Pakistan)

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I deliberately avoided the list of astrologers from the west, whom I rank as worth reading and those who have potential of being remembred as great in future.

I respect any astrologer on the basis of his/her

-Technical expertise
-Humble attitude.
-Way of communicating findings.
-Teaching abilities preferably by writing a book.

Past Western Astrologers:

-Guido Bonatti
-William Lilly

I tried to foresee which astrologer from the current era would be recognised as best in the future. I am not listing any one practising Modern astrology except Liz Green and Elwell, cause the age of future is not that of current modern astrrology but that of modified traditional astrology.

-Robert Zoller.
-Robert Hand
-Bernadette Brady.
-Liz Green
-Denis Elwell---> I dont subscribe to all of what he says but he appears to have inspired ideas Thumbs up

-Geoffrey Cornelius---->Finding the Moment

Now, i come to the tricky issue. Horary astrology, which i like.

-John Frawley--but his position could be challenged by Deborah Houlding only IF she decides to write a book on horary. The advantage she has is that her concepts are clear and astrologically speaking she is young. Her intellectual growth has not stultified. And yes, i have read works and articles of other horary astrologers and i have based my opinion on valid findings. Smile

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Joined: 19 Nov 2004
Posts: 954

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


Last edited by Gem on Sat Aug 04, 2007 9:02 am; edited 3 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 12 Apr 2007
Posts: 68
Location: Australia

Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 4:30 pm    Post subject: Good Astrologers Reply with quote

For me as a client of astrologers, what makes a good astrologer is one that does not make unnecessary comments.
Its easy as a client to look up to an astrologer like they are a guru and latch onto their every word.
Many years ago I went to see a world famous astrologer, the session was finished and as I was leaving the astrologer said " He is a nice person "
The astrologer was talking about my ex husband and for a couple of years " he is a nice person " comment haunted me everytime I thought about leaving.I'd get guilty and think the astrologer said he was nice therefore he must be !

I don't care how much study you have done to know your art, astrologers deal with human beings and a good one will stick to reading the map that you have paid $150 for and keep their personal thoughts to themselves.
Remember that everything we have somebody before us shed blood,sweat and tears so we could have a better life !
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 4130
Location: England

Posted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I donít agree with the comparison between myself and John Frawley, because we have unique approaches and different interests, besides the common ground we share. I also donít agree with either of us being singled out above a considerable collection of other excellent horary astrologers, all of whom have contributed to shared knowledge, despite differences (and some of them are contributors to this site, and they will be recognised by students who have appreciated their articles and published books). I could name a lot of names, but thatís not the point. What is more to the point is that all of the excellent horary practitioners I know have built their reputations on the back of being willing to study Lillyís work. Some go on to disagree with Lilly, but the confidence of their argument comes from the fact that they learnt through him.

Since my original post Iíve decided I was too even handed, because I am clear in my mind that Lillyís legacy is outstanding and much too underrated. It is generally assumed that he was lucky in that he lived in a time when astrology was rife and rampant, just before the industrial revolution knocked astrology off its perch. He didnít. Astrology in England was very poorly understood and practiced when he started to publish, and it fell into decline almost as soon as he stopped publishing. He didnít tap into the spirit of enthusiasm for the subject, he created it. He set out to educate other astrologers and make the subject widely available, so that he could have other astrologers who could verify that his methods were natural, and his judgements were not invented on psychic grounds. I have been researching his sources lately and I am amazed at not only the number, but also the quality of books that he studied in order to acquire enough knowledge of the subject to teach it to others. I canít imagine that any living or future astrologer will come close to his knowledge, because the huge majority of those books were enormous tomes and yet (to his mind) essential classics of astrology to be studied and understood. By far the majority remain unavailable or untranslated. He not only excelled at Latin, but applied himself to the study of his books Ďup to 18 hours a dayí for years, even before commencing his practice. His introductory volume of CA is easily overlooked because it has been copied and reproduced by so many astrologers after him. But this seems to be the part of CA that he was most proud of, because he was genuinely innovative in providing basic instruction on the elemental principles, so that his readers could learn how to draw up a chart for themselves and understand the terms of art used in other texts. He claimed that he made more scholars of astrology than anyone else in his time and I think that this probably remains true. And remember that Christian Astrology, and even his horary work, is such a small part of his work overall.

One last point though. Lilly was horrified that his first tutorís knowledge depended mainly on one classic text, and I am sure he would have had a poor opinion of any astrologer whose understanding began and ended with his own work. Because CA gives the best traditional explanation of basic principles, it is bound to hold its own place in history, as providing a comprehensive treatment of a subject within itself, but also providing a portal of entry to the exploration of other works.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 19 Jul 2007
Posts: 72

Posted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

William Lilly is a great astrologer, and the fact Deb and
other traditional astrologers respect him is good sense.
I have found with time that the classics are a fountain
of wisdom and breaking free with the past may
be a foolish move. At least New age astrology
was a dumb move, however useful for elevating
our spirits.

However I'm afraid that Deb and other english speaking
astrologers are too biased towards Lilly. The fact is that
there are very good French astrologers like Morin, that are
just mentioned in passing however not studied in depth.
It's difficult to find Morin's books, even in France. It seems
someone will have to make the effort of bringing them to
their deserved high place in astrology.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 4130
Location: England

Posted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is easy to accuse someone of bias (if they protest it then they look more biased). But I do know this, I have a healthy respect for all traditional astrologers Ė as should be clear to anyone, not just from this site but also to the broad coverage I gave to a wide variety of astrologers in the 'Traditional Astrologer' magazine. I mentioned Morin as a great astrologer. There have been many other greats that I would like to see appreciated for their ideas and contributions. I could make a case for many of them.

But Lillyís reputation and his legacy was outstanding. The fact that his work has been reproduced and quoted as often as it has, whilst Morinís remains obscure, says something about the difference of impact they had on this subject. Lilly built his reputation on blood, sweat and tears. He was not born into a wealthy family, did not get a university education, and worked as a literary servant - before he raised his astrological profile to that which had previously been reserved for court astrologers and those with noble, or privileged backgrounds. The extent of his writings are very considerable, and their influence hugely significant. But besides this, I doubt that any astrologer could compare with the volume of consultations that Lilly engaged in. So he not only had an expert knowledge of the theory of his subject, but an incalculable experience of astrology in practice. And despite assertions cast upon some of his mundane predictions, it is a historical fact that his reputation rose because his predictions and judgements were admired and generally accepted as worthy of merit. As his popularity rose, so did the popularity of astrology, spawning generation after generation of astrologers who learned from the seed he planted. Astrology declined alongside his own energy. Morin was undoubtedly brilliant, but did he create a similar tide of influence?

And please note that I have not declared anyone to be Ďthe bestí (it strikes me naivety to think that any of us can do that). I have talked about outstanding reputations, exceptional contributions, and legacies of influence.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 08 Jul 2004
Posts: 1380

Posted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The fact that his work has been reproduced and quoted as often as it has, whilst Morinís remains obscure, says something about the difference of impact they had on this subject.

One consideration to level things out a bit: The major center for the survival and reintroduction of astrology in the 19th century was in the English-speaking world. Lillyís works were in English. Morinís huge book was in Latin. The simple factor of availability gave a boost to Lilly. Only in the last couple of decades have English translations of more parts of Morinís book become widely available. There is a lot to be said for the fact that Lilly was English and Morin was French and writing in Latin.

As I said, this is only somewhat of a leveler. Lilly was remarkable.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 4130
Location: England

Posted: Fri Aug 03, 2007 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On the other hand (and purely as a leveller to the discussion of course), if Lilly had followed the convention of his age as Morin had, he too would have written in Latin, and not received the widespread attention that he did. But he chose to break convention and compose his text in English, specifically to increase its availability to fellow students who did not have the knowledge of Latin that he had, nor the advantage of being able to afford a private tutor. That was his primary aim, as expressed by several statements in his address to the reader in CA and his almanacs. And that is why he also included such basic principles as how to refer to and use an ephemeris and table of houses. Previous astrological manuscripts had written for those already versed in the introductory principles and who were educated enough to read Latin. Bonatti, for example, makes a point of stating that he does not write for the uneducated but for those who are already informed. Lilly acknowledged many influential sources upon his work, but none of them were English because the knowledge of astrology amongst his fellow countrymen was poor. His influence was effective upon all English astrologers who followed him, and in turn affected the rest of the English-speaking world. So you could argue that the influence that the English-speaking world has had upon Western astrological thought, mirrors something of Lillyís achievements.

It was a controversial decision to write in English rather than Latin. Morinus was certainly pioneering, but whilst the title of his great work Astrologiae Gallicae translates to ĎFrench Astrologyí, by being presented in Latin, it still represented a conventional attitude of reserve for the privileged, which contributed to the reason why it did not leave the mark that Lillyís did.

I did just notice a comment on Ben Dykeís website. He writes

If we had to rank the astrologers of history in terms of their known, individual contributions to technique and information, Jean-Baptiste Morin de Villefranche (1583-1656) would undoubtedly be in the top 5, joining Ptolemy, Abu Ma'shar, Bonatti, and William Lilly.

Yet so many great astrologers whose names were illustrious and celebrated to the likes of Lilly and Morin, are all but forgotten to our generation, so Iím sure this ranking reflects a fashion of bias. Any of those we put in the top 50 or even the top 100 were probably colossal in their influence, with very little to split between them in their achievements. And there are many other historical astrologers who have written huge and lengthy compositions as Morin did, which represent a life-time of study and were regarded as monumentally important to those who read them. That is why we probably need to consider more than the actual text to distinguish between them. The way they have exposed their lives, experiences and thoughts to us is Ė I think Ė important.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 15 Aug 2007
Posts: 47

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2007 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I veer towards Gary P's approach to this question.

There isn't a straightforward relationship between an individual's skills in terms of delivering a lecture, writing a book, giving a reading/consultation and so on.

Overall I imagine a criteria needs to be informed by qualities such as innovation, clarity, impact, depth, accuracy, context, longevity, etc.

Something which I think is often overlooked in these types of discussions is the specific's of an individual astrologers chart when discussing certain areas of the subject. In other words Astrolger x may be preferable to visit, read, listen to if your an airy type and astrologer x will deliver a better lecture on Mercury than astrologer y.

There apear to be quite a few comments on this forum knocking the usefulness and quality of psychological astrology. Although some comments don't resonate with my understanding of the literature. However it seems obvious that ,no doubt informed by an individuals chart this will not be something everyone interested in astrology can gravitate towards and some prefer a more direct/predictable or even mathematical/logical approach.


Last edited by robin on Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:52 am; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tumbling Sphinx

Joined: 02 Jan 2005
Posts: 247

Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another text suggestion to add to your reading list in view of the exploration is:

"An Introduction to Islamic Cosmological Doctrines" by Seyyed Hossein Nasr - on cosmology as formulated by the Ikhwan al-Safa, al Biruni and Ibn Sina during 10th & 11th centuries.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 23 Oct 2003
Posts: 213
Location: UK

Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow thanks TS, that looks extremely useful and I'm going to get it right away. Unless I'm missing something, this is more relevant to my question about Ibn Arabi than this thread isn't it?

Thanks, Garry
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail

Joined: 07 Aug 2007
Posts: 125
Location: USA-Germany

Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2007 9:40 pm    Post subject: Best astrologer-many to choose from Reply with quote

Ptolemy and Lilly are definately on the list, and whose writings I follow the most. But there are quite a few others.

Of those today Hand is great, but Deborah's skyscript is practically always spot on (for me). For those who appreciate Vedic astology Komilla Sutton is someone to heed. Jeff Jawer (I hope I spelled it right) is always interesting to read. But there are many to choose from.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tumbling Sphinx

Joined: 02 Jan 2005
Posts: 247

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2007 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Garry,

You're very welcome!!! Very Happy

I'm sorry, I hadn't seen your question about Ibn Arabi ... have only been quickly passing through ... but have now, under "Books, Notices" etc and will add a couple of additional suggestions there. Yes, I think you'll find this book of help.

this is more relevant to my question about Ibn Arabi than this thread isn't it?

It's equally relevant here.

Michael asked from the start "any ideas of how to improve or expand my list" ... earlier on had already referred him to the Skyscript list & this book I think is also one to include as he journeys forward.

Before anyone can begin qualifying anyone/anything into qualities (eg. good, better, best etc) - such as astrologers (past & present) which also involves consideration as to the branches of astrology - they need a list.

If Michael is sincere in his quest for the best then he stands to learn a great deal as he expands his list.
It involves studying and understanding the work of those listed - otherwise the opinion is groundless.

The "best" as far as I'm concerned is not about eliciting popularity votes, to my mind that only superficially grazes the surface, the "best" is that astrologer (present or past, via book, practice etc) who renders assistance in someone's moment of genuine need. The "best" relates directly to the moment.
Also requires the questioner to do their homework.

If Michael's genuinely in search of the "best" which will contribute towards deepening his knowledge then it appears he has many sages yet to encounter on this path for his list before he formulates any qualitative judgements.

That's simply how I see it ... for the moment he's expanding his list. Very Happy

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message

Joined: 26 Mar 2004
Posts: 1807
Location: Kent, England

Posted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just read Garry's interview with Dorian Greenbaum.

I find all these interviews fascinating but one of Dorian's remarks particularly intrigued me and reminded me of some of the points raised in the discussion here.

"I believe that the best astrologers feel that spiritual connection."

To understand what she means by "that spiritual connection", it's necessary to read what she says prior to this (somewhat controversial?) statement, since there are probably as many definitions of "spiritual" as there are people claiming to be so! However, leaving that aside for the moment, what would be really interesting to know is how she defines "the best astrologers".
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Philosophy & Science All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
Page 2 of 3

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
. Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group

Contact Deborah Houlding  | terms and conditions  
All rights on all text and images reserved. Reproduction by any means is not permitted without the express
agreement of Deborah Houlding or in the case of articles by guest astrologers, the copyright owner indictated