Interview with Karine: Re the Kepler Project
Karine is an active and prominent astrologer in Russia.
Frances: Karine you are working on the Kepler Project along with University of Wales Trinity Saint David. So would you like to tell our readers something about that?
Karine: Yes, it was because of Nick Campion, who asked me some years ago, to obtain some scans of Kepler's manuscripts with the horoscopes from the Russian archive in St Petersburg. So it started like this, because Nick was preparing a volume on Kepler's astrology that was later published and Dorian Greenbaum was the editor of this volume. I went to St Petersburg, I established a link with the archive and I started looking through the manuscripts - and I was charmed, I was charmed by them.
So Nick and Dorian they were asking maybe about 8 or 10 pages , because they need something definite for the volume. But I realised that actually there is like 100 pages and all these pages were covered with Kepler's handwriting, covered with horoscopes. In addition there is delineation and some letters in which he explains his techniques and so on. He erected around 1000 charts, and all these charts were there, so I suggested to Nick that he might publish a volume with all these charts, with Kepler's handwriting. And Dorian supported this idea because Germans who had previously published all Kepler's heritage that they obtained from the Russian archive, did it in German, and the horoscopes were transmitted into modern style.
Frances: Can I ask which Germans, who in particular?
Karine: It's the Bavarian Institute, but Dorian said there are a lot of mistakes there, because when you start decoding, and you're not an astrologer, you can mix some signs, some symbols, and some things, so it's not really accurate, and it needs corrections first. And the other thing is that it is in German.
However it was difficult to obtain the scans of the pages, because it is very expensive, each page costs about $100 per page to scan, and we have 100 pages. It is too much. However I managed to make a personal agreement with the archive, and they reduced price for the whole project. Then Urania Trust, supported me financially and they gave me an award for this project. And now the last stage that will be done to realise this project is printing, and Sophia Centre Press is financially supporting the printing. In addition to the financial support, I would like to say the moral support is very very important for this project, because without Nick it would never happen and he was a supporter on every level of the realisation of the project.
Frances: And will the book just contain the charts or will there be commentary on the charts?
Karine: No, only charts with maybe 2 articles that I will prepare for the volume, telling how these manuscripts appeared in Russia, because actually there are 18 volumes and there are different works and writings by Kepler. How they appeared in Russia, it's very strange, you know, yes and it's a very interesting and dramatic story.
Frances: Ah lovely.
Karine: Yes! And also Dorian will contribute to the volume with an article, she will do her comment. And it will be only horoscopes, but the horoscopes are very interesting because they are members of the European royal families, and there are horoscopes of scholars, contemporaries of Kepler, and his relatives and many many other interesting people. For instance, there is the horoscope of Rudolf II. Rudolf of Hapsburg [Holy Roman Emperor 1576-1612, King of Hungary and Croatia, King of Bohemia and Archduke of Austria, member of the house of Hapsburg], established his throne in Prague, and Czech astrologers didn't know his rising sign. And Rudolf II's horoscope is there in the collection, because Kepler served as mathematician to Rudolph II, and there is his chart, and I pointed it out to Czech astrologers so they use it now.
So I think that this volume will contribute to the history of astrology and to the history of science as well. It will be of interest to those who are interested in historical charts, in the chronology of European history, who are interested in religious and historical astrology as well, because there are some horoscopes that are connected with Mohamed and his birth and the establishing of Islam - so this is also there in the volume.
Frances: So in addition to a contribution to astrology and astrologers, it sounds like we can learn a lot about Kepler himself from this work.
Karine: Yes, absolutely, because actually scholars present Kepler as the pure astronomer who just played somehow with astrology or maybe he just earned money from astrology, and that's all. They try not to stress his astrological work. And I would like to think that this will change their minds, and maybe they will look at astrology in a different way, not like something strange and marginal, but a part of European and world culture and science and thinking and the understanding of the world. And the other important thing about Kepler is that he was a developer and protector of the Copernican world system, and his thinking about the Copernican world system and its connection to the astrological system led to a reform in astrology. And now we are more Copernican astrologers than we can even imagine.
Frances: Ok, can you expand on what you mean by that?
Karine: So, first of all is that the Copernican system is a solar-oriented system. And astrologers of the 20th century, modern astrologers who are based mainly on Alan Leo, they are solar oriented astrologers.
Frances: Oh I get you, yes.
Karine: So, Copernicus, without going too far into the topic, he moved the first mover that gives movement and light and life to the universe from the outer God to the centre of the system. And now the sun enlightens the horoscope and the universe. Besides this, there was a large discussion that was started by Pico Della Mirandola in the 15th century in Italy, and Pico rejected the zodiacal signs and many many many things, and this discussion was taken very seriously by astrologers. And going again to Kepler, actually he didn't pay too many attention to the signs, he was talking about aspects. And bringing the sun into the centre of the system allows us to add additional planetary bodies to the system. Because the Ptolemaic system didn't allow us to bring in other bodies, so we had to work with the 7 planets. Now we can work with 10 or whatever number of planets.
Frances: When will the book be published, can you give us a date?
Karine: I'm thinking about the end of this year or beginning of the next year, so if I am lucky it will be prepared by the new year.
Frances: So we may actually have it published sometime next year. That would be absolutely fantastic.
Frances: Thank you Karine.