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Robert Hand on Reconciling Modern and Traditional Astrology

Robert HandIn this episode of the podcast I interview world-renowned astrologer Robert Hand, and we talk about the issue of rebuilding the links between modern and traditional astrology.

Rob is known for books such as Planets in Transit, Planets in Composite, and Horoscope Symbols, although he is also known for his work in recovering and reviving older forms of astrology.

He is getting ready to present a two day online webinar on Whole Sign Houses later this week on December 14 & 15, 2013, and you can find out more information about it on his website at ARHATmedia.com.

Topics Covered

Here are some of topics that we talk about during the course of the show:

  • Some of Rob’s background in modern and ancient astrology.
  • Some ways in which different ancient philosophies could be compatible with or complimentary to modern astrology.
  • Different conceptualizations of fate.
  • Can modern astrology be reconciled with traditional astrology?
    • Philosophically?
    • Technically?
  • The relationship between one’s level of self understanding and the way that you experience fate.
  • Issues related to whole sign houses and using it in modern astrology.
  • The relationship between astrology and science.
  • Where astrology is headed in the future.


A full transcript of this episode is available: Episode 12 transcript

Download or Stream the Podcast

You can either download this episode as an MP3 or play it directly from the website by using the buttons below:

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    • Which services specifically? We do have a listing on iTunes, although I’m open to other suggestions as well. You should be able to download the MP3 to your phone through the download link above, although I know that sometimes it can be a bit glitchy on certain phones.

  • Wow. That was amazing. The amount of historical and analytical knowledge is somewhat overwhelming.
    Question: Can Astro.com give the type of chart of whole sign houses you both are discussing? I know whole sings are an option but I wasn’t sure it shows what concepts you were representing so I wanted to double check.

  • great interview chris.. i like where i sense you are going with this – a merge of modern and traditional in an informed way, that is how it looks like from this outsider. i really enjoyed everything robert hand had to say – very insightful and informative. thanks for doing these interviews!

  • The change with Abu Ma’shar was presumably his use of what became the Arabic number system. That’s the missing piece of the puzzle. That’s what takes you beyond Porphyry – or equal – into Campanus, Regiomontanus, Placidus, etc. It’s also what moves astrology out of the southern Med. to northern Europe, and for that matter, why the Chinese, specifically the Han of Beijing never actually developed an actual astrology. They lacked a number system.

  • Having fun with you. Hand’s interest in philosophy is, first, due to 1st house Jupiter in Cancer, Jupiter being the natural ruler of the 9th as well as exalted in Cancer, though retrograde. Angular Jupiter makes Jovian things prominent., Cancer makes them personal to Hand himself.

    Sun, Mercury, Venus in Sag, the natural sign of the 9th, in the 6th of work and toil. Note that Jupiter rules it from the first. So the work (6th house) will be philosophically oriented (Sag). Which is how I integrate houses with signs. Hand will be prominent for his work because the ruler of the 6th is in the first.. Jupiter ruling the 10th does not hurt, though an empty 10th means prominence is not sought. Always interesting to see how given planetary energies work out in a chart. And, no, I cannot forecast at all.

    I personally think Enlightenment science is on its last legs. It has already been repudiated by the public. The question is what comes next. It might actually be astrology, as it is the superior system. Thanks to Hand and a few others, it is making a raring comeback. I am David R. Roell, of AstroAmerica.com. Enjoyed the podcast, which has just finished.

  • Thank you both for your massive contribution to the art/science/understanding/teaching of Astrology. Your efforts to synthesize Traditional and Modern is so helpful in answering many questions about how these systems can work together. Even tho you currently think the Modern system is bs, my wish is that you will find a way to help reconcile the outer planet rulership issue..
    Again, thank you.

    • There is a great youtube video (Oct 2015) of a conversation between Rob Hand and Steven Forrest which addresses the dual rulership issue used by both astrologers. Hand has some reservations that Forrest does not. There is a part I and a part II and I believe they address this in part II. Forrest, an evolutionary astrologer, has an interesting method that makes a distinction between the two rulerships in a reading, the traditional being much more concrete. Interesting comments too on Saturn merging into the transpersonal Uranus and how Saturnian Uranus can be.

  • Hand is always the best. For my money there is no living astrologer with more erudition and authority.

    Many nugget of divine wisdom here. Excellent questions from Chris. Superb job pulling threads from Hand’s genius.

  • Hi there Chris, I love listening to the older episodes of the show!

    Always great to hear Rob Hand do his thang. You should have him on again, it’s been far too long!

    My question comes from the advice for those looking to get a feel for the techniques of traditional astrology, specifically houses. Hand suggests that you use a European-style chart drawing to really get a feel for the geometry of the chart. It sounded like he was saying have a placidus house system with the 30° zodiac drawn next to it. Can you clarify this?


  • I would also like to know if astro.Com could help with the specific European style Hand was referring to in which he said it was, I believe, a whole sign house division with a separate outer layer with the sign positions so one could play around, exploring between the two layers. I find that the whole sign option on astro.com does not offer this. Thank for any direction you can give!