What is “the Kepler Project”?
A history of the project
Kepler’s Astrology, Phase 1
In 2008, Nick Campion started preparations for the special issue of Culture and Cosmos devoted to the astrological work of Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), guest edited by Dorian Greenbaum. In the course of preparations, Nick asked me to contact the Russian archive in Saint Petersburg that owned Kepler’s manuscripts and to make several photocopies of the horoscopes, erected by Johannes Kepler for the journal. So I went to St. Petersburg to the Branch of the Archive of the Russian Academy of Sciences and agreed about a meeting. And here, on a table of a reading room of the Archive I touched for the first time yellowish pages covered with handwriting in brown ink. The most exciting was that they had been written by the Kepler’s hand. I made photocopies for the Culture and Cosmos and signed an agreement with the Archive for publishing them in the Culture and Cosmos, but since that time, I was thinking about possibility to make all Kepler’s horoscopes available for astrologers. I suggested Nick to continue the work on Kepler’s astrology and we decided to start Phase 2 of Kepler’s astrology and to publish photocopies of all charts from the manuscript collection in an authentic style.
The goal of ‘The Kepler Project’
Although Phase 1 of Kepler’s Astrology sheds light on the astrological work of Johannes Kepler, still it needs further detailed research in this field. There are a number of specific goals. First, the publication of Kepler‘s horoscopes will give an opportunity to scholars to work closely with Kepler’s material: to study ‘social portrait’ of the natives (many of the horoscopes are for members of European royal families, Kepler’s colleagues, contemporary scholars, historical figures, and Kepler’s family and relations); second, we will be able to study Kepler’s astrological techniques and methods. Third, most important, we will gain a better understanding of the place that astrology occupied in Kepler’s interests. Publication of Kepler’s horoscopes will enable us to take a significant step towards correct understanding of the role of astrology in Kepler’s times and will contribute to the understanding of the place of astrology in the history of science.
Publication is necessary because the state of the paper and ink of the handwritings do not allow researchers to work with this material directly. Although the quality of the keeping and restoration of the collection are of the high level, the documents are kept in special conditions and are not available to the public. The publication of Kepler’s horoscopes will therefore allow researchers to work directly with Kepler’s material for the first time.
Now the project is at a stage of preparation of materials. Everyone who would like to help the project, we invite to the “Participation in the Project and Help” page