Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, Vol 13, No 1 (2019)

The Horoscopic Place: The Encounter between Astrologer and Client

Darrelyn Gunzburg
Issued Date: 8 May 2019


This article investigates whether astrology is an alternative spiritual practice associated with divination, an occurrence beyond normal human experience. Between July 2015 and July 2016 I conducted semi-structured interviews with seven astrologers who had each been practicing, writing, and teaching astrology for twenty-five years or more. The interviews concentrated on understanding the space set aside by the astrologers to focus on the horoscope. The results revealed that the astrologers considered the repetitive behaviour of preparation for the consultation a ritual, reflecting Emile Durkheim’s views that a special place set aside and reinforced by ritual became sacralised. As the astrologers discussed the storied landscape of the horoscope, a moment of recognition by the client allowed the astro­loger to see more deeply into what Henri Lefebvre called the lived space of the imagination. The ensuing conversation opened the way to a much greater depth of understanding between both astrologer and client and generated insights that did not require a connection with the supernatural.

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DOI: 10.1558/jsrnc.38058


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