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Robert Zoller, Pioneer in Reviving Medieval Astrology

Robert Zoller, Pioneer in Reviving Medieval Astrology

Episode 249 features a tribute to the astrologer Robert Zoller, who passed away in January, and was a pioneer in the revival of the study and practice of medieval astrology.

Zoller’s book The Arabic Parts in Astrology: A Lost Key to Prediction (1980) was one of the first books which helped to contribute to the revival of traditional astrology in the 1980s and 90s.

Later he was one of the principal founders of Project Hindsight in 1992, alongside Robert Schmidt and Robert Hand, and he produced several translations from Latin under the auspices of that project, including parts of Guido Bonatti, Al Kindi’s On Stellar Rays, and the Liber Hermetis.

He left Hindsight due to creative differences relatively early in the project, but continued teaching and promoting medieval astrology.

He began offering a written certification course in medieval astrology, which a number of high profile astrologers graduated from, including Benjamin Dykes and Christopher Warnock.

He later received some recognition for his predictions about the September 11th 2001 terrorist attacks, and was featured in a 2005 History Channel episode on the topic.

He struggled with Parkinson’s Disease, which developed in the 1990s and left him debilitated much of the time by the 2000s, thus slowing his creative output in later years. He passed away on January 24, 2020.

The first part of this podcast episode features a discussion with Benjamin Dykes about Zoller’s life and work. Ben studied and attained certification with Zoller, and since then has gone on to continue much of what Zoller started in terms of recovering the medieval tradition.

The second half of the episode features an hour long interview that I conducted with Zoller on my old podcast called Traditional Astrology Radio on January 9, 2011. The audio quality is not very good, but the content of the interview does a pretty good job of covering the full range of Zoller’s life and work.

This episode is available in both audio and video versions below.

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A full transcript of this episode is available: Episode 249 transcript

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  • Thank you gentlemen for this tribute to our teacher Bob. Your testimony was like a warm breeze in these cold and dry times.
    In Ancient Rome the title of pontiffs maximus was given to the powerful. The meaning is “chief bridge builder”, and I think Bob more than any other should be understood as our link in modernity to the traditional practice of astrology.
    A. few years ago, after Bob had returned from South Africa, he showed me a book he had written with Anita Noyes Smith while working at Virgin Astrology- it was a complete treatment of medieval practice, Bob’s medieval astrology course in book form. I wonder if this work will be available in the future.
    Chris and Ben, the tradition is in good hands with your leadership.

  • I entered into RZ’s class at UAC coming straight out of a sufi Halvet (retreat). I was immediately struck by the energy of transmission pouring out of him present in the room. I approached him with a prayer of the Living, ya Hayy, and he bowed with the same hand on heart as any dervish. RZ’s astrology was a tariqat, a traditional science, operational toward becoming an instrument able to perceive and glimpse the Mysterious when one enter with an inexorable sense of purpose. We talked about “adab” or the way of etiquette which touches themes of interrelationships, behaviors, dignities. We spoke of the “Asma”, the Names gathered into names of Beauty, names of Dominion, names of Power and how these names are lived and recreated in recombinant fashion, made of threefold vibratory letters in the alphabet of creation. I thought a “Wird” might be useful.. A calling out of the living lineage in assembly, gratitude, solemnity and in the down to earth way that it creates a “mise en place” of great proportion. What a delight it was to recognize a Brother living in the same metaphysical universe in the contemporary astrological circle! Thank you Chris and Ben. Gasshos for your scholarship and the work you do. Yours w/ deep appreciation and Aloha, Latifa Morrison

    • Towards the end of the talk, Zoller says he would like to move somewhat away from the mathematical astrology that we all usually do and turn more towards the mystical/magical aspects of it.
      Zoller was in a way telling us that at some point in time, every astrologer will have to ask the critical question: What does astrology mean to me?
      Somehow, we cannot afford to forget, as Ben Dykes says in his introduction to ‘The Search of the Heart’, that “. . . in astrology, we are ultimately doing something sacred.”