Intensive Overview – Core Principles V

Benefic and Malefic Principles

This post presents some key points of the presentation.

Benefic and Malefic Principles - Astrology Project Intensive 5

The dual principles of the benefic and the malefic are threaded throughout the canon of astrological heritage. Basically, these categories represent an attempt to objectify what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’ – so symbolic judgement can be developed. Various components of a horoscopic chart may express in either of these modes, even though certain chart factors will begin from an essential classification as one or the other.

Yet what do these complementary but opposite terms really mean?

In life there is shadow and light, building up and tearing down, joining and parting, rising and falling, less and more, beginnings and endings. It is clear that both the positive and negative coexist and astrology’s heritage has openly acknowledged this fundamental truth. This Intensive aims to dispel any misconceptions about these principles, in presenting how to effectively deal with them as chart factors. Seeking to understand the definition of ‘benefic’ and ‘malefic’, plus what actually symbolises these terms, strengthens astrological practice.

From the start, it is important to keep in mind that either of these two types of symbolism may manifest over a range of intensity, according to the overall mix of symbolism in the astrology concerned. This is because the possible expression can range from excess, though moderation, to deficiency – whether it is for ‘good’ or for ‘bad’.

It is also important to note that there are both subjective and objective realisations to be had about these categories, which has made it tricky to wrestle with applying such concepts technically. For instance one ancient author alluded to this benefic/malefic complexity when it comes to manifest experience – which also draws attention to context.

… For indeed, when a drop of what is black and dirty has spread out into the bright essence of a colour, it dims the beauty of a form; but the translucent in a small quantity is too slack to cover any staining.
Vettius Valens – The Anthology (Schmidt trans)

This intensive was first presented in Brisbane (QFA) in May 2009, on the Gold Coast (GCAS) in August 2009, and on the Gold Coast (GCAS) in revised form in July 2013.

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