During the ten-year hiatus since the third conclave we made many important discoveries which we are only now beginning to publish. The 2006 PHASE Conclave gave us the opportunity to once again share the results of our work with the astrological community in the unique environment of a PHASE Conclave.
The PHASE acronym stands for Philosophy, History, Astrology, Science, and Epistemology/Esotericism/etc. While an understanding of the philosophical and scientific thought of a given historical period is essential for approaching its astrological tradition on its own terms, our purpose is not antiquarian. The primary intent of the Hindsight principals and associates is to translate ancient astrological traditions into a vibrant and viable modern astrological practice.
The theme was The Astrological Tradition in Hindsight. The idea was to experience the full sweep of the Western astrological tradition in a single intense week, beginning from its pre-Hellenistic Babylonian and Egyptian antecedents, and ending with the modern astrological tradition. The centerpiece of the conference was the first mature presentation of Project Hindsight findings in Hellenistic astrology.
As was the case with our former conferences, this new PHASE Conclave was a unique blend of astrological theory and practice, and we believe that these two ingredients were better integrated than ever before. The program included a number of tutorial sessions for those who wanted to get hands on experience with some of the more important techniques reported in the tradition.
We assembled a cast of skilled and experienced speakers, each of whom is an expert in the material to be presented. Western siderealist Ken Bowser led off with his reflections on Babylonian astrology, followed by a short presentation on the contributions from Egyptian decanic astrology by Bill Johnston. Demetra George and Robert Schmidt did a joint presentation of the theory and practice of Hellenistic astrology. Ben Dykes, professor of philosophy and serious student of Medieval astrology, and Ken Johnson, a specialist in the history and practice of Vedic astrology, presented an ongoing comparison of the Hellenistic astrological concepts with their counterparts in the Medieval and Vedic traditions. Robert Corre was scheduled to present his reflections on the great 17th century astrologer Morin, but had to leave midway through the Conclave.
Evening sessions included presentations on hermetic medical astrology, the transmission of Hellenistic astrological doctrine to India and its subsequent development, the origins of the horary tradition, planetary symbolism in Livy's history of the early Roman kings, and philosophical investigations ranging from the Stoic conception of happiness to the question of fate and free will.
Tutorial and question & answer sessions were conducted by Alan White and Bill Johnston.
Sunday, the last day of the Conclave, was devoted to the issue of how and to what extent traditional and modern astrology can be brought together and re-integrated. Bill Johnston set the stage for this discussion by comparing some of the conceptions advocated by Dane Rudhyar with their ultimate sources in the earlier tradition; the rest of the day was devoted to a panel discussion involving all of the Conclave speakers with a special guest appearance by the legendary modern astrologer Michael Erlewine.
The Conclave was held August 14th - 20th, 2006 in scenic Cumberland, in the mountains of Western Maryland. The small-town atmosphere of Cumberland, where numerous inexpensive restaurants of all types and other facilities are all within walking distance from the Conclave hall, provided a congenial setting for the event.
A complete audio recording of the procedings is available on Mp3 format CDs, with a fifth disk containing handouts and supplementary materials in PDF format.