Ancient deities and new meanings: The role of myths in 20th century astrology
The influence of C. G. Jung's psychology on Western astrology since the 1920s is commonly celebrated as a turning-point and renewal by adherents of so-called "psychological astrology". But how new are these psychological concepts really? And how come that ancient gods and goddesses still linger in this form of astrology which was allegedly established only about one hundred years ago?
This paper examines this notion of divinity by analysing how German astrologers of the 20th century drew on Greek mythology to elaborate their interpretations of astrological components like the planets. The authors' justification for using stories of ancient deities is not a religious, but a psychological one: Jung's concept of archetypes. In this respect, the paper also questions the reasonableness of connecting adjectives like "traditional", "religious" or "psychological" to the word astrology, an umbrella-term for a multitude of views and practices, because distinctions between the meanings of such adjectives are often blurred or, in some cases, even "cease to make sense" (Campion, 2010).
Astrid Bernadette Leimlehner, a native Austrian, studied psychology at the University of Salzburg (1990-1998). A practising astrologer since 1992, self-studies of astrology became her life-long passion next to lace knitting and crocheting. Astrid holds a certificate in journalism (1996) and is a trained radio presenter (1998-2000; news magazines, late night talk shows at an independent local radio station in Linz). 2009-2014: Astrid studied for the MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology (University of Wales Trinity Saint David, graduation with distinction in 2015). As a bilingual scholar, she uses translated German sources in research projects in order to encourage English-speaking colleagues to engage with this material.