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Between Fortune and Providence Paperback – February 10, 2012
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Not surprisingly, the author, Joseph Crane, has a background in Philosophy as well as being a psychotherapist, astrologer and Buddhist practitioner.
Weaving his way through this powerful poem, Joseph skillfully and easily highlights the wealth of astrological depiction and symbolism throughout. But as the title points out, the core theme throughout the book is ‘a study of the relationship between fortune and providence’ inviting us to ask crucial questions such as ‘what has brought humanity into its current confusion and corruption?’ Joseph highlights how Dante, who was a product of a medieval Italian Christian ethic, viewed the universe in an astrological way despite disliking astrologers.
In Part One and Two the author reviews the narrative and characters of the poem and its astronomical and astrological backdrop. Starting with ‘the awakening tour of Hell and the release of sin on the mountain of Purgatory, the pilgrim Dante begins an ascent to Heaven. He is guided through the planetary spheres and beyond by the love of his life, Beatrice, who had died and is now in Paradise. Part Three of the book discusses the centrality of the role of astrology in the poem evolving into a discussion on divination and magic as well as ‘the related concepts of prophecy and miracle’.Read more ›
The good news is I think it might be worth the purchase even if you have not read Dante, or read it over ten years ago, just to have access to the questions (What is the relationship between archetype as a psychological matrix and a planet that may correspond to it?), outline and thesis in the final part 3 (read into the number) of the book entiled Astrology, Art and Nature, for which you will only need to have read Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Aquinas and a dozen or so other authors. Though Crane provides enough explanation to not have to have majored in Philosophy, you may find yourself dog-earing that idea for the future.
As someone new to astrology, and still learning the techniques, this book provides a wonderful, vast platform from which to consider why on earth and in heaven I am compelled to learn this art, the importance of considering the possibilities of what might be the relationship between the planets and stars and the individual at the moment of birth, what may be happening as I practice interpretation, how does it resonate with my spiritual and material past, present and future, and the potential benefits of a shift of perspective from focusing singularly on good fortune, whether obtaining it or maneuvering toward it, to the higher role we are invited to take on in the workings of providence.