Mula (the root) is one of the Nakshatras (lunar mansions) of Vedic astrology. The
goddess of destruction, Niritti, presides, and the planet Ketu rules over this Nakshatra
found from Sagittarius 0° to 13°20’. This is said to be a good time to create something
anew, like a garden; an individual may be a better politician and have better fortune
during this period, but also may be more unstable or self-destructive.
A mundane aspect is an aspect (an astrological angle) between two points in space—
for example, between two planets—that is measured along the celestial equator. This
distinguishes mundane aspects from the aspects relied upon by most astrologers, who
usually consider only angles that are measured along the ecliptic (the circle of the
zodiac). Mundane aspects are rarely used by contemporary astrologers.
Mundane astrology is the branch of astrology dealing with history, society, and politics.
Traditionally, it had two main functions: First, to understand the past, and, second,
to predict the future. Both functions, though, are subsumed within a greater purpose—
to manage the present. Indeed, within the context of apocalyptic fears of political
disintegration or global catastrophe, mundane astrology’s key task has always been
to preserve peace, order, and stability. This, at least, was the goal of its cosmology. This
is not to deny the existence of more immediate selfish motives, such as the need to
gain political advantage over one’s rivals. Thus, there may be astrologers who operate
according to one agenda, while their political patrons work to another.
As defined by Charles Carter, the most prominent British astrologer of the
mid-twentieth century, in his book An Introduction to Political Astrology, “The aim
then of Political Astrology is the study of all that pertains to the life of politically
incorporated body, or nation. It must comprehend the cultural and intellectual life
the religious life, the economic, and so forth.” However, bearing in mind the blurring
between the personal and professional, it may not always be possible to decide when
astrology is mundane and when it is not. For example, if relationships are political
(i.e., if, they involve power relationships between men and women, or adults and children),
is a composite chart mundane? Also, the birth charts of politicians may be
interpreted within the rules of natal astrology, but are clearly of direct importance in
mundane work, while horary charts concerning political matters may be also considered
mundane. Meanwhile, financial astrology, which is clearly mundane, has tended
to evolve into a distinct discipline.
In the Middle Ages, mundane astrology had a narrower remit and was usually
known as the study of “revolutions,” (i.e., the revolutions of Jupiter and Saturn around
the earth), which together were seen as the main timers of history. The term “revolution,”
used to describe political upheavals, is derived from the word’s astrological
application. The Sun’s ingress into Aries was also known as a “revolution.” The three
principle technical bases of the study of long periods in relation to Jupiter-Saturn are
conjunctions, the casting of horoscopes for the Sun’s ingress into Aries, and the use of
less frequent events, including predictable ones such as eclipses, and unpredictable
ones such as comets or mock suns. New and full moons and planetary transits provided
further information between these major events.
The term mundane is derived from the Latin word mundus, meaning “world.”
In the first century the Roman writer Pliny wrote in De Natura Rerum that “the Greeks
have designated the world by a word that means ‘ornament,’ and we have given it the
name of mundus, because of its perfect finish and grace.” Mundus itself is a translation
of the Greek word kosmos, meaning “world-order” and was probably first used by either
the philosopher Parmenides or Pythagoras in the sixth-century B.C.E. The word can
also be translated as “adornment,” the root of the modern word “cosmetic.” The Latin
term mundi was used to describe the application of astrology to the world from the
eleventh century onwards. (The first medieval Latin astrological text was the Liber
Planetis at Mundi Climatibus, published between 1010 and 1027, and probably written
by Gerbert d’Auvergne, who became Pope Sylvester II.) By the seventeenth century,
the study of revolutions was also known as “Astrologia Munda.” The term “mundane
astrology” itself first came into regular use in the nineteenth century and is the title of
two “cookbooks” on the subject, one by Raphael and and the other by H. S. Green
respectively, both written around the turn of the twentieth century.
While the term itself is modern, it is clear that the earliest known astrology
was mundane in nature, being concerned exclusively with affairs of state. Indeed, in
ancient Mesopotamia where, according to current records, the technical basis was laid
for both western and Indian astrology, the entire cosmos was seen as one political unit
in which humanity served the celestial deities, whose deputy on earth was the king.
This notion of the “cosmic state is common to most religious societies and persists in
the west, shorn of its astrological component, in fundamentalist Christianity. In
Mesopotamia, though, the stars and planets were messengers, conveying divine wishes
to humanity via the astrologers, whose job it was to scan the skies for signs or omens
(i.e., warnings) of divine pleasure or anger.