Mundane Astrology – An Introduction to Astrology of Nations and Groups, published for the first time in 1984, is a comprehensive book of 523 pages, written by Michael Baigent, Nicholas Campion and Charles Harvey. Nicholas Campion is also the author of The Book of World Horoscopes and The Practical Astrologer, while Charles Harvey, a former president of the Astrological Association, is the co-author of Working with Astrology.
The authors start with an invitation to use mundane astrology, named Forward, where mundane astrology is presented as a valuable instrument, with which they successfully predicted major events like the death of Brezhnev from November 1982, the death of Yury Andropov from February 1984, the dissolution of the Soviet Union from 1989, the progress of Spain from the late 80’s, the Pakistan military coup from 6 August 1990 etc. It is quite impressive and succeeds in making the readers interested about the book and anxious to find out how the authors made so many accurate predictions.
Part 1 – The Background
Chapter 1 – The Development of Mundane Astrology from the Babylonians to the Arabs is a very well documented essay about the early history of astrology starting from Mesopotamia through Greece, Egypt, Persia, Italy, until the Arabic world. The specific context of each period and area in which astrology developed is described in detail using plenty of historical, social, political and philosophical arguments.
Chapter 2 – The History of Mundane Astrology in Europe presents the evolution of astrology, mainly in the medieval era, marked by different periods of ups and downs like the regression from the 5-8 centuries AD caused by the rise of Christianity, the flourishing period from the 16-19 centuries which started in the 8th century in France, in the reign of Charlemagne, or the restrictive period from the 16-19 centuries AD started with the Church Reformation initiated by Luther which created a more and more difficult climate for astrology. The overall conclusion is that astrology played an important role being used by the most important people in almost every period.
In Chapter 3 – Mundane Astrology and the Collective, Michael Baigent uses the Jungian terms collective unconscious and archetype (pattern of emotional and mental behaviour) to explain the psychology of masses and to give some advices about how a mundane chart can work. His conclusions, after this impressive chapter, are:
"1. The mass can act as an individual. 2. The mass is more fated than an individual. 3. Natal and mundane astrology bear the same relationship to each other as do the individual and the mass – they are at the opposite ends of the same spectrum. 4. A state is a expression of the mass, usually centered about a leadership. 5. The birth time of a state is that point when the new leadership takes power."
In Chapter 4 – The National Horoscope: Mundane Astrology and Political Theory, Nicholas Campion presents different theories used to determine the appropriate time when a state is created and the natal chart can be erected.
Part 2 – The Material
In Chapter 5 – The Great Year the author shows how different cultures computed the Great Year which is the Year of the Universe. The first was the Assyrian Great Year of 12.960.000 years, then the Platonic Great Year of 36.000 years, the Arabic Great Year of 360.000 years, the Indian, European and Precessional year. Different cultures, different techniques. The only thing which is sure is that we won’t find the answer in this life. Let’s pass to the next chapter.
Chapter 6 – Cycles in Practice
In the first part of the chapter The Concept of Cycles the author explains why cycles hold such an important place in philosophy and astrology. Starting with Plato and finishing with John Addey, the parent of harmonics in astrology, cycles were fundamental to understanding life and time, or, better expressed, the space-time relation. In astrology a conjunction is the beginning of a cycle, a trine is a phase of harmony in the cycle, an opposition represents the fruit which was promised at the beginning. In life a breath is a cycle, night and day are cycles, a year is a cycle, everything is formed by cycles.