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Astrology: Ancient Symbols in Modern Times

General Programming

dateApril 18, 2023 timeTuesday, 5:30pm–7:00pm EDT location The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room, Columbia University locationVirtual Event
  • The Society of Fellows and Heyman Center for the Humanities
  • Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life
email address [email protected]
  • Free and open to the public
  • Registration required. See details.
Zodiac astronomical Clock Tower in blue against white

It seems that astrology is everywhere these days. With the aid of digital and social media, astrological symbols and divinatory techniques have never been more popular or as diverse in their applications. In particular, ancient Hellenistic, Vedic, and Medieval schools of astrology have been revived and synthesized with elements of modern astronomy, philosophy, psychology, and New Age spirituality. But what does it mean to reproduce classical meanings and metaphysics in a modern context? How do occult traditions of the past align with contemporary social ethics and values? This panel will feature three professional astrologers and an anthropologist who will discuss the popularity of astrology in light of these and other questions. The panel will examine the “timeless” nature of astrology while also asking if there are limits to the universality of ancient knowledge systems.

Diana Rose Harper, Samuel Reynolds, Leisa Schaim, and Omri Elisha (Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, Queens College-CUNY)