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Two New Articles by Joseph Crane

“Untying the Twelve Letter Alphabet” takes on a pervasive depiction of the astrological signs, planets, and houses as “archetypically” linked.  This doctrine is full of contradictions and distortions of basic astrological symbolism. Read more....





“Julius Firmicus Maternus: His Astrology and His World” begins a series of installments using the recent edition and translation by James Holden.  First installment: “Who Is This Guy and Why We Should Study Him.”  Read more....





Human Excellence and Astrology
By Joseph Crane
September 27, 2014
10:30 AM – 4:30 PM
Wayland, Mass.

Over the past forty years astrologers have worked with many different psychological approaches, based on Jungian psychodynamics, psychosynthesis, or different versions of transpersonal psychology.  And now it’s time to look at something very different.
Over the past few decades there has been a movement in psychology away from an implicit medical model of pathology toward the examination of human possibility; this is called “positive psychology”.  At the same time, in the realm of the ethical philosophy, there has been movement from looking at ethics from the viewpoint of ethical dilemmas toward understanding qualities that allow us to solve ethical problems and to live well; this is called “virtue ethics”.  Ideas from positive psychology and virtue ethics are not just relevant to today’s astrologers but they are at the basis of the astrology that has come down to us from the past.
We will begin our workshop in a general way by asking these questions:  What is human excellence, what are its qualities and how can these qualities be developed?  Do they differ for different people?  Character Strengths can include Integrity, Kindness, Curiosity, Leadership, Humor, and many others. We will explore techniques for developing them, identifying what our personal strengths are, and how to work with the best of ourselves. We will examine different depictions of "virtues" or "character strengths" from traditional and modern psychology and see how they apply to enriching our lives. 
Then we will apply this pragmatically by applying these ideas to natal astrology, using charts of “notable nativities” as well as willing participants.
For more information or to register, contact Joseph at (401) 527-2035 or joseph.crane2@gmail.com

Autumn 2014; Winter and Spring 2015

Character, Karma, and Calling: Astrologies of Soul
A three-part program from Kepler College, conducted by Joseph Crane, Enid Newberg
For more information or to register,

“Psyche and Character”, begins Thursday October 9
The cultivation of soul is the key to human flourishing and happiness, in this life and in future lifetimes – how often have we heard this?  It is a basic truth held by wisdom traditions of all kinds – Eastern and Western, ancient and contemporary – yet they mean different things.  These meanings, however, have everything to do with why we do astrology.  And much about soul has been part of astrology all along.

This program introduces you to a range of perspectives on soul and their application to living the Good Life.  This may be helpful to your astrological counseling and perhaps also to you.

“Character, Calling, and Karma” is divided into three courses of five classes, each one exploring a different feature of soul and its relationship to astrology.  We begin with a wisdom tradition from the past and then we move into the modern era and its astrology.  We separate the three courses by three basic ways of thinking about soul.

The First Course, “Psyche and Character”, takes us first into the ancient world where we find soul as breath, vital energy, and our energetic presence in the world, our Character.  From there we also see how the twentieth century worked with this concept of soul. 

The Second Course, “Soul and World” begins in the Renaissance and how soul is not just individual but universal and thus we are somebody in the universe’s grand plan – this is soul as Calling.  What is the intersection of individual and universal soul?  We can call that magic.

The Third Course, “The Recurring and Evolving Soul” begins in ancient India and takes soul through many lifetimes, based on Karma.  The idea of karma and multiple lifetimes has had an enormous impact on astrology from the theosophical movement to evolutionary astrology today.  We will say what these movements tell us about soul and its movements from lifetime to lifetime.

E520A Psyche and Character
Our investigation begins in the ancient world that saw soul as body and mind, as breath and life force, as our basic nature that outlives the body, and as the self that reveals itself to others.  Here are the beginning investigations of character and “the Good Life” that manifested in a complete psychological astrology.  We will also explore the modern concepts of “unconscious” and “ego” and the contributions of modern astrology.  Here are the weekly topics:

  1. What is “Soul”; The Soul’s Harmonies
  2. Soul’s Relationship to Body and Astrology’s Planets
  3. Soul as Character in Traditional and Modern Astrology
  4. The Soul as Self in Modern Astrology and Psychology

The Reflective Life
Online Presentation by Joseph Crane   

The Reflective Life with Joseph CraneHaving lost so many of the natural rhythms of life to the modern lifestyle, we are too left with an alternation between frenzied activity and mental and physical fatigue and collapse.  In this talk, psychotherapist and philosopher Joseph Crane uses the image of reflection to illustrate proper balance between activity and rest, outer involvement and inner development. We will use historical, biographical, and modern psychology to move beyond the false contrasts of extravert and introvert, between activity and contemplation, to help us strengthen our native outer and inner resources in order to live more fulfilled lives.

(Originally presented in June 2014; contact me for information about receiving the audio/video recording.)

Over the past 20 years, the Astrology Institute has provided astrological instruction, consultations, and research to the worldwide astrological community.  Our focus is a study of astrology within its historical and cultural contexts. Additionally, we strive toward the integration of astrology and psychology and of modern and traditional psychological and spiritual perspectives. 


Even if you’ve seen a professional astrologer in the past or you are one yourself, you may benefit from a different perspective. It is also helpful to have your chart updated periodically. If you are interested in looking at or discussing your astrological chart, see our Astrology Sessions page for more information about how to set up an appointment.


We have developed tutorial options to meet the particular needs and inclinations of our students while maintaining a cohesive astrological program. Visit our Learn Astrology page for more information about these programs. Students can start at the beginning by learning and applying basic skills. More advanced students can further develop their style of chart synthesis and interpretation, deepen their knowledge of astrology and its culture, and receive ongoing help in working with clients.

In addition, we produce a monthly newsletter with astrological profiles of well-known people as well as general information about upcoming events and programs.


Over the years, we have published astrological books & treatises on astrology’s techniques within the context of history and culture. Visit our Articles page to see a sample of our published work.

2012 features two new contributions to astrology by Joseph Crane and Dorian Greenbaum Visit our Publications page for our newest books.

Between Fortune and Providence: Astrology and the Universe in Dante’s Divine Comedy    By Joseph Crane
Published by Wessex Astrologer  read more.......

Kepler’s Astrology-  Edited by Dorian Greenbaum
Culture and Cosmos, Volume 14   read more.....

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Astrology Institute in Massachusetts and Rhode Island 
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