The first volume starts with a meticulous explanation of terminology used in astronomy and astrology. This can be considered as a splendid example of how to explain strictly scientific notions to readers who are not necessarily skilled in the exact sciences. From an astronomical point of view, the most interesting part of the work is the presentation of the old Egyptian world system, which the author concludes was the same as the system of Tycho Brahe (1546-1601). He considers this astronomical system not just as a transitory historical conception, but as something which possesses permanent value.
The author's deep historical studies made it possible for him also to solve the problem of the interchange of Mercury and Venus, something indicated many years ago by Rudolf Steiner. This is an important achievement in the history of astronomy. The main astrological finding of this book is that the zodiac of the stars (sidereal zodiac) - as employed by the Babylonians, Egyptians, and ancient Greeks- is the authentic zodiac.
Moreover, the author promotes a new type of astrological chart (hermetic chart) for the conception, birth, and death of personalities under consideration, in addition to the customary geocentric horoscope and in place of the heliocentric horoscope promoted by Willi Sucher (1902-1985). With the hermetic chart the author places a new tool in the hands of astrologers and opens up new possibilities for astrology as a science. On this basis he develops his two "laws" of reincarnation, illustrating them by striking examples. These "laws" express themselves by way of certain planetary configurations coinciding at the moments of birth and death in successive incarnations. He believes that with these "laws" the significance of the tropical zodiac is disproved.
This work of Robert Powell, presenting a new astrological system, is a valuable step in the development of a new wisdom of the stars in line with the ideas of Willi Sucher. Willi Sucher's books and articles are full of charm- deep in a spiritual sense- representing a star wisdom in an embryonic state. With this book by Robert Powell, the ideas of Willi Sucher are born as an earthly reality and something new is brought into the world.
In the first chapters of the second volume we simultaneously follow two threads. While considering the lives of Richard Wagner, Friedrich Nietzsche, and King Ludwig II of Bavaria in their nineteenth-century incarnations and in earlier incarnations, we examine the planetary configurations accompanying not only their conception, birth, and death, but also various significant events in their lives. In this way we experience how these two perspectives-the biographical and the astrological-weave together and are intimately interconnected. As illuminating as this is, the author also indicates however that astrological calculation alone can never suffice for the truly deep biographical research into karma and reincarnation demonstrated in this work. The author shows that although it is clear that an individual's destiny is connected with the positions of the celestial bodies-that certain regular occurrences are evident-nonetheless no strict regularities exist. He maintains moreover that a certain level of clairvoyance is requisite for any serious astrological study of destiny; even more-that real astrology requires initiation. Such astrological research, when successfully carried out as it is here, relating salient celestial configurations to the life-drama of well-known historical personalities, reads like fine literature.
On a practical level this work illustrates several important new tools for the astrologer: how to calculate hermetic charts, how to cast horoscopes not only of birth and death but also of conception (including the astrological significance of the embryonic period between conception and birth), and then also how to apply these various horoscopes in describing the spiral of life that unfolds in seven-year periods during the course of a person's earthly existence. All this reveals profound and fascinating regularities-among them the discovery that stellar configurations during the embryonic period are reflected again and again in the subsequent periods of life.
Quite new for most readers will be the author's treatment of Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, indicating that the names given these planets are deeply meaningful in the light of spiritual science. To make his case he extends Rudolf Steiner's description of cosmic evolution by drawing upon Greek mythology, particularly Orphic cosmology. This book by Robert Powell is of the greatest possible interest.
-Professor Konrad Rudnicki, Astronomical Observatory Jagiellonian University Cracow, Poland
Robert A. Powell (1947-Present), studied mathematics at the University of Sussex, graduating with a Master's degree. At the same time, he developed an interest in astronomy and this, in turn, led him to explore the roots of astrology, the ancient science of the connections between the stars and human beings.
In the early 1970s, while researching at the British Museum Library in London, Powell discovered the Rudolf Steiner Bookshop and Library on Museum Street. From that moment on, Steiner's anthroposophy or spiritual science became the esoteric or spiritual context in which he was to work: a path and a guide. Steiner's many works provided the epistemological, cosmological and Christological foundations he sought to continue his work. Through Steiner, he was led to the work of both the astrosophist Willi Sucher (1902-1985) and the Russian sophiologist Valentin Tomberg (1900-1973).
Powell's enduring passion for the stars was awarded a PhD for his contribution to the History of the Zodiac. He is an internationally renowned lecturer. Through the content of his talks given during conferences and workshops, his living knowledge of the stars is woven into his presentations. As well as being a scholar of the history of astronomy, Robert is also a movement therapist trained in the art of eurythmy (from the Greek, meaning beautiful, harmonious movement).
Powell is also co-founder with Karen Rivers of the Sophia Foundation of North America, through which Robert and Karen lead pilgrimages to sacred sites around the world.