American Federation of Astrologers


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American Federation of Astrologers

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The American Federation of Scientific Astrologers was officially incorporated in Washington, D.C., on May 4, 1938, at 11:38 a.m., Eastern Standard Time. There were 61 charter members, of whom 29 were members of an earlier organization, the American Association of Scientific Astrologers (AASA), including Elizabeth Aldrich, Elbert and Elizabeth Benjamine, Ernest and Catharine Grant, George J. McCormack, Lewis Weston, Adrian M. Ziegler, Robert DeLuce, Llewellyn George, Keye Lloyd, and Prem H. Joshi (of India). In addition, there were 32 members of other astrological associations, including five members from other countries: Gustave Brahy of Belgium; Cyril Fagan of Ireland; and Dr. Greville Gascoigne, Charles E. O. Carter, and Rupert Gleadow of England.

Adrian M. Ziegler, president of the AASA, served as interim president of the new organization, but three days later the convention elected Ernest A. Grant as president, Ellen McCaffery as vice president, and Martha E. Knotts as secretary-treasurer. Ernest Grant served as president until 1941, when he was elected executive secretary, a post he held until 1959. He was succeeded as president by Paul R. Grell, who held that office from 1959 to 1970, after which Robert W. Cooper assumed the post. In 1979, Doris Chase Doane was elected president.

The founders intended to establish an organization to assist astrologers and astrological groups, promote the study and practice of astrology, establish a code of ethics, institute standards of astrological practice, encourage astrological research, and establish an astrological library. One of the founding cardinal ethical principles was that an astrologer should not use any method of analysis—other than astrology—without expressly stating that his or her conclusions were based in part on some other art. This principle was the signification of the word “scientific” in the original name of the organization. However, since it was later found that this was not understood by the general public, that word was dropped from the name in the early 1940s, and thereafter the organization has been known as the American Federation of Astrologers (AFA). It remained in Washington until 1975, when it moved into a new headquarters building in Tempe, Arizona.

The AFA’s membership has grown from its original 61 to more than 3,000, including members in more than 30 other countries. It has held biennial conventions in most even-numbered years since 1938. These typically last five days and offer lectures and workshops on all aspects of astrology.

In 1960, the AFA began offering certification examinations for advanced and professional members and teachers.

The library has grown from a few dozen books to its present collection of thousands of books and magazines, including original copies of William Lilly’s Christian Astrology (1647) and Ebenezer Sibly’s The Complete Illustration of the Celestial Science of Astrology (1784). It also houses complete runs of several leading domestic and foreign astrological magazines.

The AFA has published hundreds of books and pamphlets since its founding. It issues a monthly publication, Today’s Astrologer, and, since the organization of a research section in 1981, the Journal of Research, which is published annually. The AFA also offers a comprehensive correspondence course in astrology by James H. Holden, FAFA, based on Edna Carr Edmondson’s A Fifty-Year History of the American Federation of Astrologers, Inc.

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