Culture and Cosmos is a peer-reviewed academic journal in the history of astrology and cultural astronomy published in association with the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture, School of Archaeology, History and Anthropology, University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Vol 18 no 2 (Autumn/Winter 2014 will be published in July/August 2016. Vol. 19 (2015) will be a double issue featuring the proceedings of the 2013 Sophia Centre conference on Celestial Magic and is scheduled for publication in September/October 2016. Vol. 20 (2016) will be a double issue featuring the proceedings of the 2014 Sophia Centre conference on the Marriage of Heaven and Earth.

Volume 18 - 2

Trystes Cosmologiques: When Lévi-Strauss Met the Astrologers

Graham Douglas


In October 1969 the famous anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss gave an interview to the well-known French astrologers André Barbault and Dr Jean-Paul Nicola for the astrology magazine L'Astrologue. To the author's knowledge this interview has never been discussed in academic journals, and is here published for the first time in English translation. It is considered in the context of its time, and of the issues discussed: the Surrealist movement, which had an important influence on Lévi-Strauss's early work; the structure of the unconscious mind; and the question of causation in astrology.

At the end of the interview Lévi-Strauss suggested a joint project with his interviewers to study the interpretations of serious astrologers as a way of understanding how their minds work. According to Dr Nicola, the suggestion was never developed because in his opinion there was no chance of getting astrologers to agree on how to go about it. In the last 20 years however, several theses have been devoted to similar projects.

Graham Douglas, 'Trystes Cosmologiques: When Lévi-Strauss met the astrologers', Culture and Cosmos, Vol. 18, no. 2, Spring/Summer 2014, pp. 143-166.

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