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Ethics in Astrology

Astrological organizations often promulgate explicit codes of ethics, partly because no government agencies regulate the behavior of astrologers and partly because of the tendency of astrology's critics to portray astrologers as unethical charlatans.

These codes of ethics go back at least as far as Firmicus Maternus (330 B.C.), who in Mathesis sets high standards for astrologers:

Shape yourself in the image and likeness of divinity, so that you may always be a model of excellence.

He who daily speaks about the gods must shape his mind to approach the likeness of divinity. Be modest, upright, sober, and content with few goods, so that the shameful love of money may not defile the glory of this divine science.

Outdo the training and principles of worthy priests. For the acolyte of the Sun and Moon and the other gods, through whom all earthly things are governed, must educate his mind to be proved worthy in the sight of all mankind.

See that you give your responses publicly in a clear voice, so that nothing illegal may be asked of you.
In Lilly's case, this is clear from certain passages in his celebrated Christian Astrology, one of which says, as thou daily converses! with the heavens, so instruct and form thy mind according to the image of divinity; learn all the ornaments of virtue, be sufficiently instructed therein; be human, courteous, familiar to all… covet not an estate, give freely to the poor… let no worldly wealth procure an erroneous judgment from thee, or such as may dishonor the Art, or this divine Science.... Be sparing in delivering Judgment against the Commonwealth thou livest in. Give not judgment of the death of the Prince.... Marry a wife of thy own; rejoice in the number of thy friends.

In the English-speaking world, almost all explicit ethical codes for astrologers can be traced back to Lilly.

Other points usually mentioned in professional codes of ethics are confidentiality, both of personal information shared by the client and of the natal chart itself; disclaiming the ability to predict events in precise detail; de-emphasis on potentiality for future illnesses, accidents, or disasters; and avoiding approaches that would in any way encourage clients to become dependent upon the astrologer or to in any way abdicate responsibility for their life.

Astrologers are further admonished to educate the general public on the true nature of the science of the stars; establish profession-al standards that exclude charlatans; propagate serious astrology through teaching, writing, and so forth; and support any serious, open-minded research on astrology.

In The Practice of Astrology and in other writings, Dane Rudhyar the father of Karmic Astrology was especially concerned with the moral responsibility of the astrologer.

He warned astrologers to avoid giving clients information they were unable to assimilate, and especially to avoid inducing a state of fear.

Rudhyar wrote that an astrologer failed her or his clients when, "instead of helping the client to overcome his semi-conscious fears, he accentuates and gives a mysterious power to these fears by giving them a justification against which there can be no recourse".

He also believed that prediction has value only as it contributes to the person's development and essential welfare.

The goal of the astrologer should be to open clients to their highest potential, rather than to impress them with her or his knowledge.

Brau, Jean-Louis, Helen Weaver, and Allan Edmands. Larousse Encyclopedia of Astrology. New York: New American Library, 1980.

Kitson, Annabella, ed. History and Astrology: Clio and Urania Confer. London: Mandala, 1989.

William Lilly and Dane Rudhyar promoted ehics and astrology
Do not give a response about the condition of the Republic or the life of the Emperor - that is illegal.

Have a wife, a home, and friends; be constantly available to the public; keep out of quarrels; do not undertake any harmful business; do not be tempted by the offer of money; keep away from all passion of cruelty; never take pleasure in others' quarrels or capital sentences or fatal enmities... Be generous, honest and truthful... Be reticent about people's vices...

Do not give away the secrets of this religion to wicked men, for the astrologer must be pure, based their ethical admonitions on Firmicus Matemus's.

Later astrologers, like the seventeenth-century British astrologer William Lilly was born in the Leicestershire village of Diseworth on 1st May 1602, Lilly is now regarded as the principal authority in horary astrology.

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