FAQ on Traditional Astrology

What is a Craftsman Astrologer?


The title identifies me as a graduate of John Frawley's Natal Apprenticeship, which I completed in 2012.


What is traditional astrology and how does it differ from modern?


"Traditional" is a broad term used to identify methods of astrology that pre-date the modern era.  Astrologers began to veer from tradition in the late 1800s.  


Traditional methods focus on the inner seven planets of our solar system: Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury, and the Moon (listed in the Chaldean order). In traditional work, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto do not rule signs or houses but can still be important depending upon where they are found in the chart. The meanings of these three planets are derived from mythology, often differing from modern interpretations.


Other key differences:

  • Planetary dignity and reception are the cornerstones of analysis in traditional work.
  • Horary astrology is learned first and is preferred for most inquiries.
  • The aspects utilized are conjunction (0 degrees), opposition (180 degrees), trine (120 degrees), square (90 degrees), and sextile (60 degrees).
  • Aspect orbs are limited to a few degrees; wider aspects are not considered significant.
  • Progressions and solar/lunar returns are examined for specific criteria and mainly against the source chart (the "radix").

In summary, traditional methods of astrology reduce the subjectivity of interpretation and allow astrologers to analyze and predict events with great accuracy and insight.


What is horary astrology and how does it work?


In horary astrology, a querent ("one who seeks") asks a question on a topic of personal importance.  The astrologer casts a chart for the time she hears or reads the question and, using specific methods, finds the answers within the chart.  Horary requires no birth data so it is accessible to everyone. 


I do not recommend asking questions about the big dreams you hold closely in your heart.  For more on that, please read here.  I believe that horary is best suited for the more routine, specific questions that arise in the course of daily life.  For many examples of worked horary charts, please visit my blog, The Sun's Joy, here.


How can astrology help me?


A well trained astrologer can assist you in understanding yourself and the reality of things so that you can make the best choices for yourself going forward. 


Is there any validity to the horoscopes I read online?


The short answer is no. Most online forecasts are based solely upon Sun signs and follow a presumed natural order of signs and houses, placing Aries in the first house.  These general interpretations resonate with readers because they touch on universal themes, but that's as far as it goes.  For more on this, please read here and also here.


Can you tell me about your logo?


The dolphin is an ancient symbol of wisdom and joy.  It is also a symbol of the Christ.  Artist Mandana Marefat created the logo in 2010 using as inspiration the title of my blog, The Sun's Joy.  My daughter, Min Silvestre, has reworked the original design in her own style. Many thanks to both for their beautiful work!