Astrology, Conference, History
Celestial Symbolism, Culture, Society, Astronomy

Sky and Symbol

Proceedings of the Ninth Annual Sophia Centre Conference, 2011

Edited by Nicholas Campion & Liz Greene
ISBN: 978-1-907767-03-6
17 Oct 2013
Paperback, ebook; 362 pages

Human beings in all cultures have long used the sky to tell stories and weave myths that impart meaning to life on earth. The key to all such systems is symbolism, in which one thing is used to signify, imply, represent, or embody another. The papers included in this volume are all concerned, in one way or another, with various perceptions of the world of celestial phenomena as symbols. These explorations range from art history and analytical psychology to critiques and accounts of astrology, and roam from western to non-western cultures, as well as from the ancient world to the modern. The papers, most of which were given at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David Sophia Centre Conference in Bath, UK, in 2011, provide a valuable addition to the scholarly literature on our understanding of the origins, function, and nature of symbols, especially their use in relation to cultural applications of astronomy, astrology, and the sky.


Table of Contents

  • Contents
  • Images
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction: Sky and Symbol
    ~ Nicholas Campion & Liz Greene
  • Part One The Nature of Symbols
  • Is Astrology a Symbolic Language?
    ~ Nicholas Campion
  • Art, Astronomy and Symbolism in the Age of Science
    ~ Gary Wells
  • Part Two Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern Expressions
  • The Burning Sun and the Killing Resheph: Proto-Astrological Symbolism and Ugaritic Epic
    ~ Ola Wikander
  • From Babylon to Jerusalem: The Roots of Jewish Astrological Symbolism
    ~ Andrea D. Lobel
  • The Perugia Fountain: An Encyclopaedia of Sky, Culture and Society
    ~ Darrelyn Gunzberg
  • Theosis, Vision, and the Astral Body in Medieval German Pietism and the Spanish Kabbalah
    ~ Elliot Wolfson
  • ‘Chemistry, That Starry Science’: Early Modern Conjunctions of Astrology and Alchemy
    ~ Peter Forshaw
  • Part Three Celestial Symbolism in the Contemporary World
  • Katherine Maltwood, H.P. Blavatsky, and the Origins of the Glastonbury Landscape Zodiac
    ~ Anthony Thorley
  • Reading the Future in the Landscape: Astrology in Zanadroandrena land, Central East Madagascar
    ~ Christel Mattheeuws
  • The Celestial Imaginary in Weimar Cinema
    ~ Jennifer Zahrt
  • Receiving the ‘Messengers’: The Astrology of Jung’s Liber Novus
    ~ Liz Greene
  • Contributors
  • The Sophia Centre
  • Bibliography
  • Index


Dr Nicholas Campion is Principal Lecturer, Institute of Education and Humanities, and Associate Professor in Cosmology and Culture. He is the director of the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture, the only academic Centre in the world to deal with cultural relationships with the sky and the cosmos. He is responsible for taking forward the Centre’s research and teaching activities, through supervising PhD students, sponsoring research projects, organising conferences and other events, and publishing research via the peer-reviewed journal Culture and Cosmos. He also serves as Programme Director of the MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology.


Liz Greene is held in high esteem by astrologers all over the world, professional and non-professional alike. She is a prolific author of books and various publications and has been instrumental in shaping modern psychological astrology. She holds doctorate degrees in psychology and (as of 2010) in history and is a qualified Jungian analyst. She also holds a diploma in counselling from the Centre for Transpersonal Psychology in London, and a diploma from the Faculty of Astrological Studies, of which she is a lifetime Patron.

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