Book review: The Book of World Horoscopes
Nicholas Campion, born 4 march 1953 in Bristol, England, is a historian and astrologer who acquired great popularity especially by his studies on mundane astrology. His most appreciated work is “The Book of World Horoscopes” for which he won the 1992 Marc Edmund Jones Award. He also wrote another excellent book Mundane Astrology with Charles Harvey and Michael Baigent. The Book of World Horoscopes was first published in 1988, then, revised and reprinted many times. The current edition is from 2004.
Introduction. The national horoscope: astronomy, politics and ritual
In this part the author presents his vision about mundane astrology from which I would like to mark 5 interesting quotes:
- A short history of the evolution of mundane astrology, pointing out the moment when national charts became the most important instrument:
“Prior to 1939 most mundane prediction proceeded via the simple use of ingress and lunation charts cast for the capital cities of the countries under consideration. […] Mundane astrology met its crisis in 1939 when its leading exponents failed to predict the outbreak of the second world war. Charles Carter was insistent that there would be no war, and in 1936 was quoted to this effect in the London Times. […] Any opinion expressed by him achieved widespread currency and it is likely that he profoundly influenced other astrologers in their erroneous and deeply embarrassing reading of Hitler’s nativity. […] Carter’s own response to his failure was to argue that the national map, or horoscope, should henceforth be dominant in all mundane work. Lunation and ingress map, he decreed, were almost useless unless they showed prominent angular planets.”
- The relation between mundane astrology and the collective mind as is seen from Plato to Jung:
“The concept of a group soul or psyche is well accepted within Platonic tradition, but was given its most recent form by Jung. Essentially Jung argued that any group of people, from married couple through family to nation and the entire human race, has a collective mind which is deeper, and potentially more powerful than, the individual mind. […] Jung’s theory of the collective unconscious, with its archetypes, is essentially a restatement of the Platonic belief that the superior, intangible, Ideal world of Being containing the Ideal Forms (or archetypes), manifests through the material world of Becoming (which we inhabit). The world of Becoming may be seen as a shadow of the world of Being, in which physical reality is shaped by ideas. […] These beliefs are known as Idealist because they elevate consciousness -the realm of ideas- to a position of greater importance than matter.”
- The problem of choosing the right horoscope, the significant moment and the difference between natural and judicial (divinatory) astrology:
“What do horoscopes signify? The question we pose of various national horoscopes should therefore be not “is this the correct horoscope?” but “what is the significance of this horoscope?”. What does it signify? The notion of the true and false horoscope is as rigid a straightjacket as the idea that countries have birth charts. If divinatory astrology is a language, dealing with signs, it follows that significance should be the primary means of judging whether a particular horoscope is relevant or not. Firstly, the historical event for which the horoscope is cast should be significant. Secondly the planetary picture within the horoscope should itself be significant. And both historical and astrological significance can only be judged by the mundane astrologers. That is, there is no horoscopic mundane astrology independent of the astrologer’s ability to select, discriminate and judge.”
- How to choose the right time in mundane astrology:
“Around the time that Mundane Astrology was in preparation, I agreed with Michael Baigent’s hypothesis that the “beginning of the period of taking the power” is the critical moment for which a national horoscope should be set, a principle which it seemed, could be applied with apparent simplicity to events such as coups d’etat or revolutions. However, on closer study it became clear that in different circumstances, the middle or the final culmination of the coup could be as critical. The hypothesis shifted in favour of the critical moment being that at which the balance of power passes irrevocably from the old order to the new.”
- The importance of clear, precise sources:
“This book is more that a collection of horoscopes. It is part of an attempt to bring a reconciliation between astrological and historical studies based on equal respect for the practices and assumptions and world view of both. It is part of an investigation into an arcane and neglected item in the historian’s armoury.”
Here, on 365 pages, are presented 403 national horoscopes, everyone having a brief historical report. Many countries have two or more national horoscopes, corresponding to the important moments of their history. As the author said, there is no such “birth chart” for a country, but a succession of important/transforming moments.
There is also an important section at the final part of the book, filled with 12 appendixes, where are presented charts for political parties, towns and cities, stock markets, European Union, Euro, conflicts, wars, Medieval Europe, Yalta Conference, Berlin Wall, Hiroshima bombardment, first powered flight, religions eras, discovery of Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Chiron etc.
MY EVALUATION: 8,5
Conclusion. It is, obviously, the most comprehensive and trustworthy work to date about national horoscopes. The author presents the horoscopes for several important moments in every country history and even 2-3 horoscopes for the same event, when the precise moment is not sure. He emphasize the aspect of data accuracy and gives detailed references for the horoscopes presented. The book is very well documented, but as he recognised there must be done further research for the countries from Eastern Europe and Latin America. My evaluation is 8,5.