Episode 128 contains an interview with astrologer John Townley about composite diagrams and his work in developing and promoting the technology from the early 1970s.
John was the first to publish a book on the subject in 1973 and it is widely recognized that he popularized the technique.
As the interview progresses, we discuss his background in astrology, how the concept of composite diagrams was first developed, and what implications the technique has.
For more information on John’s work, please visit his website:
Below are the show notes which outline some of the points we raised in the discussion, followed by links to download or stream the recording of this episode of the podcast at the bottom of the page.
- Introduce John and talk about his early life and career.
- Born August 17, 1945 at 1:51 am EWT, Washington, DC
- Background and training in astrology.
- The composite diagram (1973)
- Released during his return to Saturn.
- Composite diagrams: the astrology of relationships (2000, Llewellyn)
- Before the 1970s, synastry was the only relationship analysis game in town.
- Synastry goes back at least to the 1st and 2nd centuries, Dorotheus and Ptolemy.
- Origins of midpoint theory / technique in astrology in the early 20th century.
- Came from Hamburg School in Germany in the 1920s.
- For some reason, Ebertin attributes it to Bonatti, but it’s not clear why.
- It is important to understand how and why midpoints work.
- Synastry compares the positions in two natal charts.
- The composite diagram creates a third diagram for the relationship as an entity.
- What can two people do when they get together?
- The composite chart uses intra-chart center points for the same planet; Venus-Venus
- Assembled as not a real diagram that exists, but as an artifact.
- Technically, no horoscope or chart in the strict sense of the word.
- Does not reflect an actual graph with time and place.
- An extrapolation from two graphs.
- John calls it a “mathematical construct of mutual centers”.
- Davison Diagram as the temporal center point compared to the composite center point in space.
- Davidson creates a diagram for a location and a date halfway between the Natals.
- Ronald Davison (1914-1985)
- Introduced first Davison Diagram in Synastry Book in 1977.
- Very late in his career, so probably not central to his work.
- Perhaps “off the shelf response to the sudden surge in interest in composite charts”
- John calls this part of the “why not” approach that many participated in at the time, including himself in his first volume on composites.
- Advocates a physical basis for astrology.
- Work on Paul Kammerer and the concept of seriality.
Check out this episode
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