Elbert Benjamine and the astrology revolution

In many respects Piscean Age astrology was simply mystical fortune-telling. And during the Age of Blind Belief and simple fundamentalism there was little progress in understanding the birthchart, its role in life and the scientific classification of astrological data. But Aquarius demanded a new understanding of astrology, the birthchart, and their role in life. It demanded a radical overhaul: A new evidence-based understanding of the birthchart that clearly explained what the chart represented and what the astrological symbols displayed in it stood for. The cause of everything was human behavior and the birthchart needed to be explained in terms of psychological events – thoughts, feelings, desires, urges, impulses, attitudes and motivations – and their functional integrity. Aquarius proclaimed that astrology was the royal road to self-discovery and the birthchart was the means to self-understanding and self-development. It just needed someone to evaluate all the old data – match the astrological markers in the chart with their psychological equivalents – and develop a new astrology for the Aquarian Age.

In 1922 the Age of Aquarius was 41years old. Life on Earth was experiencing rapid scientific change, but most of the astrological community was still marching to the mystical beliefs and fanciful notions of Pisces. There was little precision in astrological work and vague, incoherent explanations only resulted in confusion and uncertainty. The Sun and its sign had taken center-stage and this simplicity seemed to satisfy most people. Then in May 1922 CC Zain – Elbert Benjamine – published Natal Astrology – Hermetic System. For the first time ever he not only explained the chart as a psychological dynamic – the planets as dynamic psychological urges and the zodiac signs as attitudes and motivations – he presented a systematic procedure for interpreting the astrology code, pictured in the chart, into self-information that provided a basis for self-understanding and self-development.

He explained that your unconscious mind or soul was an organized system of thoughts, feelings and character traits and that your birthchart was a map of your unconscious mind’s thought-structure. He explained that each planet in the chart represents a dynamic psychological urge within your psychological landscape; that the zodiac signs represent attitudes and motivations that give these psychological urges distinct modes of expression; that the angular relationships formed by the planets identify unconscious thought-complexes that have constructive or destructive functionality; and the houses represent your local environment – the life-matters, activities and people that influence what happens and what you do.

He identified each sign’s attitude and best and worst qualities. He identified the psychological urges corresponding to each planet. He classified people as astrological types and explained how to judge stature, temperament, mental ability, health, finances, vocational prospects, marriage prospects and the relations with siblings, children, work mates, partners, bosses, superiors, friends and enemies. There were no generic interpretations. Here for the first time was precision that made self-discovery and self-understanding possible. It was a revolution in the evolution of astrological knowledge.

Related articles in: Chapters in Astrology’s History