Turning students into practitioners
School of Traditional Astrology

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We are very proud of our STA tutors: well done to Lee Lehman , who recently received the Astrological Association's Charles Harvey Award for exceptional service to astrology, and to Wade Caves, who has been asked to present the prestigious Carter Memorial Lecture at the 2024 AA conference.


About the STA

The School of Traditional Astrology places its focus on tried and tested astrological techniques that are based on profound metaphysical principles and which have proven their worth over centuries of successful practical application.

Founded by Deborah Houlding in 1996, and initially specialising only in horary astrology, the school is now the collaborative product of some of the world's finest astrologers working together to create an expanding syllabus of courses. Currently, the STA offers training in horary astrology (in English, Chinese and Greek) and medical astrology: new courses on electional astrology and astronomy for astrologers are scheduled for release in 2022.

The STA does not currently offer courses suitable for beginners.

The STA team

María Blaquier, Argentina

Fernanda Boaventura, UK

Wade Caves, USA

Eve Dembowski, Australia

Deborah Houlding, UK

Jupiter Lai, Hong Kong

Morgan Le Gall, USA

Nina Gryphon, USA

J. Lee Lehman PhD, Portugal

Vasilios Takos, Greece

Horary Astrology

Horary astrology is not an obscure, historical astrological technique that defines the interest of an astrologer – it is a fundamentally important, key component of all the integrated branches of modern-day professional astrological practice. Every consulting astrologer should have a good understanding of horary, and know when it is the best technique to employ for clients.

The STA horary program is totally unique in its structure and content. Based on decades of in-depth research by Deborah Houlding, the finer points of horary practice are explored through to their symbolic origins, to remove all areas where potentially confusing concepts could cause uncertainty in practice.

Practitioners Level
Horary Certificate

This intensive 5-month course is suitable for astrologers who already have a firm grasp of basic astrological interpretation. It offers our core program of horary instruction, which demonstrates the most efficient and meaningful way to approach horary interpretation. The course also explores the philosophical, astronomical and metaphysical roots of traditional astrological symbolism in considerable depth, in order to ensure the employment of those principles in horary is as competent and confident as possible. The course offers a practitioner level qualification in horary, and also acts as a foundational program: graduates of this course are able to progress to advanced level assessment and tuition (if desired), and are sufficiently prepared to gain expertise in other astrological branches that rely on good understanding of traditional technique.

Advanced Level
Horary Diploma

Graduates of the Practitioners Level Horary Course are eligible to apply for the Advanced Level Horary Diploma. This self-paced mentorship program offers tutorial support that bridges the gap between understanding theory and gaining confidence in professional practice. Qualification requires the submission of three seperate horary case studies. These are analysed and critically assessed, with focus applied to helping improve the flow of chart interpretation. Points of judgement and details of professional practice are explored through discussion, always within the context of the astrologer’s personal chart judgement under examination. Graduates are entitled to advertise their fulfilment of our assessment criteria by using the initials STA DipH (School of Traditional Astrology Diploma in Horary) in promoting their astrological services.

Medical Astrology

Why would anyone want to study an archaic system of medicine with astrology attached to it? The answer is simple: these systems originate appreciation of the body as the nexus of body, mind, and spirit; where healing occurs through the creative balancing of all three with the environment.

The STA Medical Program is designed to teach how this system worked, and how astrology is used within it: whether to analyze the course of disease through an event or horary chart, or to time procedures such as surgery or administration of drugs and herbs, or to study of the development of imbalances within the body as shown by the nativity and its dynamics. Written by expert medical astrologer and trained botanist J. Lee Lehman, this program teaches how a practitioner of the 17th century (and earlier) would have viewed both wellness and disease, and how the concept of imbalance underpins much of the traditional understanding, and treatment, of illness.

Practitioners Levels I & II

The STA Practitioners Level Medical-Astrology Certificate Course Stage I: Groundwork, offers a unique opportunity to begin the study of this highly specialized subject. You will learn about how the traditional system of humours was understood through the natal chart; how the system of astrological rulerships was applied to medicinal plants; how electional astrology is used to time medical procedures; and how natal and horary charts are used to examine the timing of illnesses. Lessons are structured as tutorials followed by assignments, with thought-provoking questions, and consolidation of principles through practical application of demonstrated technique.

The STA Practitioners Level Medical-Astrology Diploma Course, Stage II: Case Studies, builds on the foundational knowledge acquired in stage I. Case studies in horary, electional and natal astrology are used to embed the astrological principles already learned through examples, and to extend the knowledge of plant rulerships into electional and natal practice. Upon completion of this stage sufficient knowledge and experience is gained to combine humoral medicine and its astrological components into ongoing astrological practice.

Masters Level

The STA Masters Level Medical Astrology Course is an advanced, part-time study course, offered only through direct correspondence with J. Lee Lehman, PhD. A 'hands-on' course, it uses primary sources and extensive chart work to fortify understanding of the concepts presented in the Practitioners Level Medical Astrology Course. The course is designed for astrologers who are willing to explore traditional methods and philosophical implications of classical medical astrology in depth, and who wish to gain sufficient mastery of all its complex concepts to be confident of communicating its theory and practice to other astrologers. This includes the clear understanding that medical astrology is a timing system, not a means of medical diagnosis or treatment, which are the purview of licensed medical professionals.

The overall aim of the course is to guide the student towards acquiring and demonstrating the ability to research selected fields of inquiry; to draw appropriate references to support relevant arguments; to gain detailed knowledge of medical and traditional astrological principles; and to demonstrate clear understanding of the historical, social and philosophical influences that have been impressed upon the astro-medical art.

Magical Elections

The astrological study of celestial phenomena offers us a view into the past, present, and future – but what if we could harness planetary power to achieve personal growth and solve problems? If astrology is the art of diagnosis, magic is the remedy.

The Hermetic dictum on which astrology is built says “That which is above is like that which is below” because the stars and planets move synchronously with events on earth. Hermeticism views humans as microcosms reflecting the greater celestial macrocosm. By analyzing planetary movements and using astrological techniques to identify auspicious moments, we can transform our lives, and most importantly, ourselves, the microcosmos. Further, elected ritual and creation of talismans can be turned toward fine-tuning of the mind and spirit to achieve inner growth.

The STA Magical Elections course offers instruction on Western medieval and Renaissance-era astrological magic, with a strong emphasis on its Platonic philosophical roots. In addition to a firm grounding in philosophy and magical theory, the course is designed to introduce students to the practice of electing times for magical workings with celestial bodies, and to teach techniques for astro-magical rituals and the creation of talismans.

This is more than a ‘theory’ course – delegates will be tasked with studying the historical elements of astrological magic, and will be taught how to internalize the philosophical underpinnings of the Hermetic worldview to elect horoscopes and design rituals with correct traditional attributions to support that election. Upon completion of the course, graduates will be equipped to practice astrological magic and talisman creation at a sophisticated level.

By taking this course, students will learn from the finest primary sources on philosophy, astrology, and magic of the last two millennia, curated and explained by Nina Gryphon, an expert in traditional astrology and astrological magic. Throughout history, this information was available to a very few educated occultists and astrologers, and this course is an effort to reunite the long-separated parts of ancient astrological and magical practices.

STA Aims

To facilitate greater understanding and respect for the philosophy and practice of astrology.

To ensure the historical transmission of astrology as a line of continuation between past, present and future practitioners.

To support the development of astrology practitioners to their full potential.

To promote awareness of the need for every consulting astrologer to have a confident knowledge of horary, together with a good understanding of when it is the best technique to use, and when and how a horary chart can be used in combination with other relevant charts.

To provide “chart-led” instruction on classical astrological techniques, which not only explains the theoretical and philosophical principles, but recognises that the purpose is to generate confidence in the art of chart judgement in modern-day astrological practice.