Campion, Nicholas(religion, spiritualism, and occult)
Nicholas Campion was born on March 4, 1953, in Bristol England. He was educated at Queens’ College, Cambridge (B.A. history, 1974; M.A. 1976) and took post-graduate courses at London University, studying Southeast Asian history at the School of Oriental and African Studies and international relations at the London School of Economics. After graduating he taught history and English and also worked in computing, housing administration, and theatre management.
Campion first became interested in astrology through newspaper sun sign columns around 1961 and had his first professional horoscope cast in 1965 at age 12. He began studying it in 1971 and his interest deepened while an undergraduate at Cambridge when he discovered that astrology was a central part of the medieval university curriculum, yet all the standard history books ignored this fact. He intended to study the history of astrology but realized that in order to do this he should study the subject in depth as well. As a result he worked as an astrological consultant (1977–84) and developed a considerable career as a teacher of astrology (1980–84 at the Camden Institute in London) and writer (he is the author of a number of popular works), alongside his scholarship in the history of astrology. His background in history and politics also enabled him to develop a second critical speciality in the astrology of history—mundane astrology. His collaboration with Michael Baigent and Charles Harvey resulted in Mundane Astrology, the authoritative work on the subject, published in 1984.
In 1997 Campion launched Culture and Cosmos, the first ever peer-reviewed journal on the history of astrology and in 2000 he began to devise and teach the first year of the new B.A. degree in astrological studies at Kepler College, near Seattle, on the history of astrology (with Demetra George, Lee Lehman and Rob Hand). Separately, in 1998, Campion began doctoral research in the Study of Religions department at Bath Spa University College in England on “the extent and nature of contemporary belief in astrology.” A year later he initiated negotiations between the College and the Sophia Trust, leading to the creation of the Centre for the Study of Cultural Astronomy and Astrology, teaching (with Michael York and Patrick Curry) the first ever M.A. in the subject (from October 2002).
In 1992 Campion was awarded the Marc Edmund Jones Award for scholarly and innovative work. This was followed in 1994 by the Prix Georges Antares, in 1999 by the Spica Award for professional achievement, and in 2002 by the Marion D. March Regulus Award for Professional Image and the Charles Harvey Award for Exceptional Service to Astrology. He was president of the Astrological Lodge twice, from 1985–88 and in 1992 (and was editor of the Lodge’s quarterly magazine, 1992–94), and of the Astrological Association 1994–99.
Campion’s attitude to astrology remains pragmatic and he is concerned more with whether it produces results in any given situation or not, rather than whether it has a physical mechanism or a metaphysical reality, or can be demonstrated to have a universal validity. His fascination for it is based mainly on the fact that it is a contemporary cultural phenomenon, a way of looking at the world that predates modern science, Greek philosophy and Judea-Christian religion.