Astrology as Art


An anthology of works stemming from the 2015 Sophia Centre conference.

Editors: Nicholas Campion & Jennifer Zahrt
Series: Studies in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology, Vol. 10
Publisher: Sophia Centre Press, 2018
Format: Paperback, 186 pp.
ISBN 978-1-907767-10-4

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SKU SCP0010 Category


Is astrology an art? How does art represent astrology and its practice? Is the visual language used by astrologers artistic? From Mesopotamia and Mediterranean culture to Mesoamerica and into the European Renaissance and the modern era, the nine chapters in this anthology explore the meanings of art and astrology, the iconography of astrology and the nature of its practice, the use of zodiac signs, and the portrayal stars and planets in literature and the visual arts. With contributions by Spike Bucklow, Ruth Clydesdale, Richard Dunn, Martin Gansten, Liesbeth Grotenhuis, John Meeks, Suzanne Nolan, Micah Ross, and Claudia Rousseau.

Nicholas Campion and Jennifer Zahrt have brought together a fascinating array of scholars probing a range of astrological concepts and questions. In this volume the interactions of art and astrology take the stage. Martin Gansten leads off, examining the many variations on the term ‘art’ as it has been used in relation to astrology in western and non-western cultures. The volume concludes with a study of the symbolist painter Fernand Khnopff. In between these book ends, readers will find investigations from the classical iconographic to the social uses of art and astrology. These analyses will resonate with their own research and understandings of the many correlations of astrology with art.

Mary Quinlan-McGrath
Northern Illinois University

Table of Contents

Nicholas Campion and Jennifer Zahrt

Introduction: Ars, Technē, śāstra,ʿIlm: What’s in a Name?
Martin Gansten

The Iconography of Libra and Pisces in Mesopotamia, Egypt and Greece
Micah Ross

Dwarfs as an Ancient Mayan Metaphor for the Stars
Suzanne Nolan

Astrological Imagery in the Rulership Propaganda of Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici
Claudia Rousseau

Astrological Symbolism in Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parzivâl
John Meeks

Seeing the World Soul: Marsilio Ficino and Talismanic Art
Ruth Clydesdale

Lower Astrology and Silent Poetry
Spike Bucklow

Picturing the Practitioner: Notes Towards an Iconography of Astrological Practice
Richard Dunn

Twinkling Voices from the Gods: Fernand Khnopff’s Use of Stars as Mystical Guides in ‘Avec Verhaeren, un ange’
Liesbeth Grotenhuis

The Sophia Centre
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