, born William Frederick Allan
Westminster is an area of central London, within the City of Westminster, England. It lies on the north bank of the River Thames, southwest of the City of London and southwest of Charing Cross...
, 7 August 1860 - Bude
Bude is a small seaside resort town in North Cornwall, England, at the mouth of the River Neet . It lies just south of Flexbury, north of Widemouth Bay and west of Stratton and is located along the A3073 road off the A39. Bude is twinned with Ergué-Gabéric in Brittany, France...
, 30 August 1917), was a prominent British
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...
An astrologer practices one or more forms of astrology. Typically an astrologer draws a horoscope for the time of an event, such as a person's birth, and interprets celestial points and their placements at the time of the event to better understand someone, determine the auspiciousness of an...
, author, publisher and theosophist, and is considered by many to be the father of modern astrology
Astrology consists of a number of belief systems which hold that there is a relationship between astronomical phenomena and events in the human world...
Leo, who took the name of his sun-sign as a pseudonym, founded the Astrological Lodge of the Theosophical Society
The Theosophical Society is an organization formed in 1875 to advance the spiritual principles and search for Truth known as Theosophy. The original organization, after splits and realignments has several successors...
He is credited as being one of the most important astrologers in the 20th century because it appears that his work had the effect of stimulating a revival of astrology in the west after its general downfall in the 17th century. Leo was a devout Theosophist and he worked many of religious concepts such as karma and reincarnation into his astrology. He used the Theosophical Society’s vast international connections to publish, translate and disseminate his work across Europe and America and it was in these countries that astrology began to be revived.
He died from a cerebral hemorrhage on 30 August 1917.
Astrological technique and influence
Leo was somewhat discouraged very early on in his studies at the complexity of much of astrology and how inaccessible it was to the average student. As a result of this he set out to simplify astrology drastically in order to make it easier to disseminate, learn, and practice. One example of this simplification was his teaching that the meanings of certain signs, houses and planets are all essentially very similar and interchangeable, almost to the point of being the same thing or having the same meaning.
He also started the movement towards a more psychological astrology because he was the first astrologer to really direct the focus more towards character interpretation instead of the prediction of events.
Towards the end of his life, in 1909, he travelled with his wife to India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...
where he studied Indian astrology for a brief period of time. Two years later in 1911 he returned to India for a second time. As a result of his studies in India, he later attempted to incorporate portions of Indian astrology into the western astrological model that he had created, and although this synthesis of the two traditions never fully caught on in the west, there were a few specific techniques that were picked up by later astrologers such as the decanate and the dwadashamsha.
- Nicholas Campion, Astrology History and Apocalypse, Centre For Psychological Astrology Press, London, England, 2000, ISBN 1-900869-15-2
- James Holden, A History of Horoscopic Astrology, American Federation of Astrologers, Tempe, AZ, 1996. ISBN 0-86690-463-8
- Alan Leo, Esoteric Astrology, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, 1989. ISBN 0-89281-181-1