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Short Course: Nicholas Culpeper’s Astrological Medicine

What's Happening

What is this course about?

This course is designed to give a comprehensive introduction to key themes in the astrological medicine of Nicholas Culpeper (1616-1654), the great English astrologer, radical and herbalist. Culpeper is renowned today for popularising an understanding of medicine that supported his readers to manage their own healthcare. His most famous work, a version of which is still in print, is his herbal The English Physitian, published in 1652. This small book occupies a vital role in the history of astrological medicine for two reasons:

  1. First, it provided the best description of the time of native herbs, what they were used for and how they were processed into medicinal forms.
  2. Second, it taught how to gather any plant at an astrologically propitious hour for maximal effect when its ruling planet signified the cure or relief of a person in their sickbed.

This course provides an entry into an understanding the theories and techniques of medical astrology at a turning point in history, when astrology was at its most popular, and the groundwork was being laid for modern medicine.

We will look at the theory and practice of Culpeper’s astrology, illustrated with actual examples from the time, and how Culpeper himself was influenced by his great forebears: the Greek author Hippocrates (460-377 BCE), the Roman writer Galen (129-216 CE) and Paracelsus (1493-1541), one of the founders of experimental medicine.

The cost which covers all five lectures is £150.

Students and graduates of the University of Wales Trinity Saint David can enroll at the University rate of £120.

The weekly topics can be viewed by clicking the registration page link.

Where It's Happening


Dr Graeme Tobyn

Additional Information

Terms and Conditions

Fees and Refunds – Fees must be paid in full before the commencement of the course. Refunds will be made if studnts withdraw from the course before it commences. There are no refunds after students log into the Course Moodle page, which is opened up two days before the course begins.

Forum conduct – All students are expected to follow the netiquette guide and be respectful of other students and the tutor in their forum posts. The course tutor will remove any postings they consider to be inappropriate. The course tutor also reserves the right to block a student from posting on the forums if the student disregards a request by the tutor to revise their forum conduct.

Zoom conduct – Students attending the Zoom lectures live are expected to be focused on these lectures and only use the chat box for question directed at the lecture material. Students who misuse the chat box will be removed from the lecture.

Technology – It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that they have sufficient broadband and sufficient skills in operating their computer or tablet to enable them to engage with this online course.

Sophia Centre Short Courses are taught as part of our outreach programme from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. If you would like to take your studies further, you may apply for our unique, on-line, fully accredited Master’s programme in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology, the only academic programme in the world to look explore our relationship with the sky, and the history, philosophy and culture of astrology.

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