Reading the Ancients
The further I get into traditional study, the more I’m realizing I need to stop being intimidated by the old authors and read them already. My main problem right now is trying to figure out where to start. Part of me just wants to start at the very beginning (Valens, probably) and go from there, but part of me wants to jump into medieval texts, since I’m learning horary at the moment, which is bringing me in contact with Bonatti.
Where did you all start? What do you recommend? I would love to hear some experiences!
Start where your passion draws you in, and get that astrologer’s work in your bones, and go on to the next one that calls to you. If you waited to read Bonatti until you’d covered the ancients, you’d never get to Bonatti. Once you’ve gotten Bonatti down, his work will provide a benchmark for anyone you read who is earlier or later than him.
Also, astrology isn’t teleological, as much as the modern mind would like to imagine starting from point A and ending in point B. Treat each author as having a relationship to a lineage, but not a hierarchical place in ONE lineage. Branches happen. And they sometimes happen to not converge. We are always dealing with astrologIES, not astrologY… People tend to forget that and want to smush (both modern and ancient) astrologers into “not doing it right” because it doesn’t fit whatever totalizing narrative they are trying to construct. There is no totalizing narrative.
So begin where you feel drawn in and absorbed, and let the path unfold as your need for new techniques grows!