Harmonic Astrology In Practice
HARMONIC ASTROLOGY IN PRACTICE By David Hamblin. The Wessex Astrologer, PO Box 9307, Swanage, UK BH19 9BF. Trade Paper. 285 Pages. £22.50. $36.00 (US).
This wonderful book is not for beginners. It is written for people who know how to cast charts, interpret aspects, transits and progressions. In other words, for advanced students and practicing professionals. These kinds of people will find the book meaty, juicy and a doorway to new vistas in chart interpretation.
This is a sequel to the author’s ground breaking book THE SPIRIT OF NUMBERS. Though you can read this book on its own, its probably better to read THE SPIRIT OF NUMBERS first.
What we call Harmonic Astrology is basically numerology applied to astrology. But here it is taken much further. Even traditional astrology is built on harmonics – especially the Major Aspects that we use – the conjunction (1st harmonic), opposition (2nd harmonic) trine (3rd harmonic) square (4th harmonic) sextile (6th Harmonic).
Even the signs and houses can be subjected to this kind of analysis – each sign and house would derive its meaning from its number. He doesn’t go too deeply into this, but he implies it. An interesting notion. The meanings in a chart are not just man made “definitions” – but have their root in its number. Pythagoras would approve.
Harmonic Astrology takes the interpretation of aspects to a whole new level – even beyond the minor aspects that some use. The fundamental insight is that every planet is in aspect with every other planet. There is no such thing as an “unaspected” planet. Every planet is a certain distance from any planet and this distance – angular separation – is a harmonic of some sort. And it has a meaning. And it conditions the activity of the two planets.
In THE SPIRIT OF NUMBERS the author gave us the meaning of the different harmonics between the planets, but didn’t go into how these could be used practically in actual chart interpretation. But here he does. HARMONIC ASTROLOGY IN PRACTICE is a “how to” book for using these insights in actual chart interpretation. Not only that but he shows how it can be used for transits, progressions, solar and lunar return charts too.
It is understandable, when dealing with so many subdivisions of the circle that exact orbs would have to be used. If the orbs are too wide, one harmonic would tend to bleed into another. It would be difficult to differentiate between the two.
The only practical way to use this would be with a computer program. And I understand that these programs exist (unfortunately my software doesn’t include this – I’ll probably have to wait for an upgrade).
I noticed something interesting in his interpretations. He uses Gematria logic quite often. For example in analyzing the number 9 he reduces it to 3 times 3. Three equals ease and pleasure and thus 9 is a higher power of pleasure – pleasure multiplied by 3. The number 8 is 4 X two. So 8 is stress and effort (4) doubled. The gematria-ticians use this kind of mathematical reasoning when interpreting scripture. Sometimes this produces “head scratchers”. By this logic the semi square (4 X 2) would be stronger aspect than the actual Square? More stressful. The same would be true of the sesquiquadrate. The sextile would be stronger than the Trine. Can a minor aspect ever be stronger than a major one?
I have to say I enjoyed reading this book. It is well written and well researched. A prodigious amount of work went into it. It is clear. It’s as if he anticipates our questions and answers them in a subsequent chapter. Though I’m not a harmonic astrologer this book has the ring of truth to it. It is well worth researching and studying. One reading however won’t be enough. Highly recommendable. JP