Logos & Light Lecture Series:

Traditional philosophy for astrologers and occultists

Expand your knowledge of astrology and esoteric thought with the Logos & Light audio series: downloadable, college-level lectures and courses at a fraction of the university cost! I have drawn on my extensive experience as a college instructor and ceremonial practitioner, distilling these fascinating philosophies of life into digestible portions without sacrificing important details.

The Logos & Light series introduces modern students of astrology and occult/esoteric thought to traditional philosophy, which is embedded in all aspects of the Western Tradition. It is ideal for people with some knowledge of traditional thought but who want to enrich their understanding.

The series has three goals: to instruct, to provide constructive materials for a philosophy of life of your own, and to offer critical perspectives on assumptions we make about ourselves and our world. You will not only study the "big questions," but practice adopting important attitudes towards emotional balance, techniques of sacred geometry, and much more.

Individual lectures are 45 - 60 minutes, and may be purchased via PayPal.

Downloads: after purchasing, you will receive an e-mail with a link to a download page. Clicking the download button will allow you to either save the lecture or open it directly. Save the file before opening it, as you only have a few times to click the button before the download expires.

Free Orientation Lecture

Lecture 1: Orientation

This free lecture introduces the series and outlines the three types of goals: teaching, constructive, and critical. Several examples of applying traditional philosophy to astrology and esoteric thought are explored, as are some criticisms of modern thought.

Free Guide

Lecture Download

(right-click to download)

Free Select Bibliography

This PDF bibliography and recommended reading list is continuously updated. It reflects most, but not all, sources used in the Logos & Light series.


New: Aristotle Lectures

Lecture 34: Introduction to Aristotle and his Ethics (Dec 29, 2013)

This lecture introduces the life and main themes of Aristotle, and begins to introduce his ethics.

(30 MB)

Lecture 35: Aristotle's Ethics 2 (Dec 29, 2013)

Aristotle's theory of soul, happiness, pleasure, and the introduction to virtue.

(23 MB)

MP3 Collections

LL1-Introductions: 6.5 hours of MP3 downloads

The Orientation and Introduction lectures (1-8) are now available as MP3 downloads, with expanded guide notes in PDF form.

See individual lectures here

(338 MB)

LL2-The Presocratics: 11 hours of MP3 downloads

The Presocratic lectures (9-21) are now available as MP3 downloads, with expanded guide notes in PDF form.

See individual lectures here

(606 MB)

LL3-Plato: 13 hours of MP3 downloads

The Plato lectures (22-33) are now available as MP3 downloads, with expanded guide notes in PDF form.

See individual lectures here

(383 MB)

Traditional Astrology, The Golden Dawn, Traditional Philosophy

Lecture 1: Orientation

This free lecture introduces the series and outlines the three types of goals: teaching, constructive, and critical. Several examples of applying traditional philosophy to astrology and esoteric thought are explored, as are some criticisms of modern thought.

Lecture 2: Introduction to Traditional Astrology Part 1

This lecture contains a historical overview of the figures, themes, and changes in traditional astrology, from the Babylonian period to the 20th Century.

Lecture 3: Introduction to Traditional Astrology Part 2

Eight major differences in technique, attitude, and approach distinguish traditional astrology from modern types. After describing them in some detail, Dr. Dykes applies some traditional principles of delineation to two charts.

Lecture 4: Introduction to The Golden Dawn

Explore the background, history, and grade structure of this most important and still-active ceremonial Order, The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, from John Dee's Enochian magic to the Anna Sprengel myth to relationships within the Qabalistic Tree of Life.

Lecture 5: Introduction to Traditional Philosophy Part 1

A lengthy preview and summary of the figures and themes explored throughout the Logos & Light series: historical figures, branches of traditional philosophy, typical attitudes and approaches of the traditional philosophers.

Lecture 6: Introduction to Traditional Philosophy Part 2

Conclusion to the preview and summary of the series. Dr. Dykes concludes the discussion of the branches of traditional philosophy, and concludes with a "typical" traditional-style philosophy developed for this lecture.

Lecture 7: Models of the Human Condition: Wisdom, Utopia & Fall Part 1

Overview of several traditional models of the human condition, and the mess we're in now. Visit the Garden of Eden in the Bible, the Fall according to the Golden Dawn, the Tower of Babel, John Dee and Genesis on Adamic language, Plato and Iamblichus on the Golden Age and the importance of the "barbarous" Divine names, and the Gnostics on that troublemaker, Ialdabaoth.

Lecture 8: Models of the Human Condition: Wisdom, Utopia & Fall Part 2

The overview of traditional models continues: the original, natural and healthy condition of humans according to Plato and Rousseau; the standard human developmental models of Aristotle and the Stoics; and a composite version of the modern model of progress, evolution, and utopia. Criticisms of the modern model and reminders about the traditional ones, plus questions and exercises.

Pre-Socratic Greek Teachings

Lecture 9: The Milesians: Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes

What does everything come from? Learn three strange and intriguing answers: water, the Indefinite, air; a link to Qabalism and theology. Existence itself as a condition of injustice and making reparations. The Babylonian and Egyptian links to the original philosophers; astrology and astronomy as marks of a philosopher; the destruction and renewal of the world by fire and water in Firmicus Maternus.

Lecture 10: Heraclitus - Fire and Strife

Heraclitus claims there is a Cosmic Logos, and that the universe is Fire and Strife. Are you awake and recognize the Logos, or are you asleep? Learn about the unity of opposites, unity in diversity, how there could be stability in change. The astrological quadruplicities as expressing metaphysical principles; astrology as reading the signs given by the Logos, and a Golden Dawn prayer about Nature as a text written by God.

Lecture 11: Empedocles, Anaxagoras, the Atomists

For Empedocles the world is full of immutable particles combined by Love and Strife; the world is in a state of Strife, but we will achieve total love when we are destroyed. The early Greek notion of health as elemental balance. Anaxagoras says the world is ruled by Mind (Nous), but can he explain how? The beginning of the cosmos as a whirling motion. The atomists think that oddly-shapen atoms swarm around until they get stuck together, but where does motion come from? Democritus's early view of moderation of desires.

Lecture 12: Parmenides & the Eleatics Part 1

The goddess Justice shows Parmenides and his followers that only Being is, and that Non-being does not exist--and neither does change or motion. Most of us do not understand this because we follow the path of mere mortal opinion. The world is really a perfect uniform sphere, and nothing can come to be or pass away. Can even a flower come to be or pass away? And how are thought and being the same?

Lecture 13: Parmenides & the Eleatics Part 2

We look at the prologue to Parmenides's poem: is he being taken into the 9th house by a team of solar horses? Is there a relation to the Thema Mundi in his poem, and what does that mean for the early days of Greek astrology? A gnostic message in Parmenides. His follower Melissus. Zeno tries to prove that motion is impossible, and Aristotle solves the puzzle by actualizing space with his mind.

Lecture 14: Intro to Pythagoras Part 1

The discoveries and philosophy of Pythagoras are still with us today. Learn about the life of his community: healing through music, vegetarianism, reincarnation--sounds like most of my friends! This lecture reviews his primary doctrines about number, music, and some of his cosmology; the Golden Dawn Zelator Ritual and the Book of Revelation, and more.

Lecture 15: Intro to Pythagoras Part 2

Conclusion of the introduction to Pythagoras: assigning elemental qualities to the seasons, the four causes below the sphere of the Moon (God, Fate, Choice, Fortune), and their relation to other philosophers; the air is full of souls and daimons; ethical teachings hidden in cryptic "symbols"; musical therapy, reincarnation; how knowledge is like the number 3, the composite chart and trines; educational system and the quadrivium; treating animals justly, rejecting greed and materialism, the spiritual value of eating properly, the danger of pleasure; courage and friendship; how you rate on a scale of human types; your mind as a dirty rag.

Lecture 16: Pythagorean Number Part 1

An in-depth look at Pythagoras's theory of metaphysical principles and number: number as qualitative; the table of opposites based on the Limit and Unlimited; triangular, square, oblong and other figural numbers; gnomonic, perfect, and friendly numbers; side-diagonal numbers, the square root of 2 and other irrational numbers; the particular numbers 1 (the Monad) and 2 (the Dyad) and some relations to other philosophers and esoteric thought.

Lecture 17: Pythagorean Number Part 2

A continuation of particular numbers in Pythagoreanism, according to Iamblichus and other authors: 4, 6, and 10. A possible connection between the Pythagorean 6 and some basic definitions in Hellenistic astrology (and the Goddess Hecate).

Lecture 18: Pythagorean Music and the Tetraktys

An in-depth look at Pythagoras's musical theory and how the central Pythagorean image, the Tetraktys, encodes principles of harmony and geometry. The music of the spheres and Plato's Lambda. Links to the Qabalistic Tree of Life.

Lecture 19: Sacred Geometry Part 1

The Tetraktys, Qabalism, and divisions of the zodiacal signs. What is Sacred Geometry? The Zero and One. How to understand and construct sacred geometrical diagrams of important irrational numbers in nature: the square roots of 2, 3, and 5. The Vesica Piscis and Christ symbolism, the Golden Dawn Altar, and the reciprocal paths on the Tree of Life. (Ruler and compass recommended)

Lecture 20: Sacred Geometry Part 2

The irrational number Phi and the Golden Section or Golden Rectangle, and the Pentagon. Complete thought as a kind of proportion, from Aristotle's logic. Phi as an expression of the Christian Trinity. Fibonacci numbers and other roles of Phi in nature. Why the pentagram is a symbol for the human being and the Microcosm. Side-Diagonal numbers and Aristotle's ethical notion of "the mean." (Ruler and compass recommended)

Lecture 21: Geometry and the Aspects

How to construct the astrological aspects using Pythagorean principles; other links between Pythagoreanism, astrology, and music. The meaning of the kentra or "angles" in the chart.


Lecture 22: Introduction to Plato (Nov 1, 2009)

Summary of Pre-Socratic themes so far. Life of Socrates and Plato and Plato's Academy; Plato's style and the chronology of the dialogues; some famous myths in Plato, such as Atlantis and the soul as a chariot (see Chariot card in Tarot); preview of Plato's views on Ethics, the Forms, the Soul, Reincarnation and Knowledge.

Lecture 23: Platonic Forms I (Dec 20, 2010)

A broad overview of Plato's metaphysics: the Forms. Learn what the Forms are supposed to do, some misconceptions about them, and a list of Forms based on Plato's writings.

Lecture 24: Platonic Forms II (Dec 20, 2010)

Learn more details about the central network of Forms, and the "highest kinds" of Forms. The Connectors: Forms that act like vowels, some astrological comments, and the Connectors' relationship to the tradition of Divine Names in magic, especially the names IAO, YHVH, and Jove.

Lecture 25: Platonic Forms III (May 8, 2011)

Arguments for and against Forms begin: Aristotle versus Plato. Explore the main motivation for Forms, metaphysical issues in deciding about Forms, and the first of the arguments for Forms from Aristotle's On Ideas.

Lecture 26: Platonic Forms IV (June 19, 2011)

Final arguments by Aristotle against Forms. Plato comes out rather unscathed, if we make some metaphysical assumptions. Some questions to answer before we can accept or reject Forms. Some brief remarks on the Forms in Qabalism, the Golden Dawn, Gnosticism, and Plato's "unwritten" doctrines.

Lecture 27: Platonic Politics and Society (June 20, 2011)

Plato's authoritarian vision of politics and society from Republic is discussed, while trying to bring out some of its good points. Art, censorship, government control, fulfilling your potential, controlling reproduction, the dangers of pleasure. A short discussion of the sacred geometry used in two of Plato's cities, and comments on the famous Allegory of the Cave and initiation.

Lecture 28: Knowledge, Immortality, Recollection, and Technai Part 1 (July 4, 2012)

We discuss Plato's theory of what counts as genuine knowledge, and its objects; how true learning and teaching draws on experiences prior to incarnation, the immortality of the soul, and what counts as a Platonic art or science. Can astrology and magic be Platonic sciences?

Lecture 29: Knowledge, Immortality, Recollection, and Technai Part 2 (July 4, 2012)

The discussion of immortality, recollection, and Platonic arts or sciences concludes.

Lecture 30: Emotions, Psychology and Happiness (July 4, 2012)

In this lecture we look at Plato's ideas about true and false emotions, the levels of the soul, and several degenerate types of cities and people whose souls become progressively more imbalanced.

Lecture 31: Love, Incarnation, and the Ruler of the Chart (July 4, 2012)

We look at a famous image of the Platonic soul as shown in the Chariot card of the Tarot, and described in the Phaedrus and Symposium: as a chariot drawn by two horses. Platonic love is salvational, and falling in love reveals some of the deepest needs of our soul, reviving our memories of higher realities prior to our incarnation and successive reincarnations. Platonic love ultimately leads to a vision of the Form of Beauty and is part of our pursuit of the Good and immortality. Finally, how Porphyry and Iamblichus discussed the possibility of finding the ruler of the natal chart, and what it does.

Lecture 32: The Timaeus and Platonic Physics (July 4, 2012)

We review many of Plato's final cosmological statements about God, the Forms, the World Soul, the planetary lords over our incarnation, the role of astronomy and astrology, Platonic solids, and more. This dialogue really is the culmination of the whole series.

Lecture 33: Platonic Astronomy and Astrology; Final Thoughts (July 4, 2012)

We discuss Plato's views on astronomical science, and how his successors (especially Ptolemy) fulfilled his program. A review of the metaphysical, ethical, epistemological, social, and salvational aspects of Platonic astrology. The Myth of Er. A review of Plato's major contributions, and some of the problems he left for his successors.

Future Topics

Following are future Logos & Light topics:

  • Stoicism (multiple)
  • Values in traditional astrology
  • What are the elements?
  • Freedom, fate, the will, responsibility
  • Neoplatonism (multiple)
  • Christian theology
  • Christianity, astrotheology, Egyptian thought
  • The Chaldean Oracles
  • Hermetism and Hermeticism
  • Gnosticism (multiple)
  • Pseudo-Dionysius
  • Intelligences, angels, and planets
  • Magical and astrological worldviews: the Picatrix, al-Kindi, Abu Ma'shar
  • The medieval philosophy and cosmos (multiple)
  • Medieval philosophies of light
  • Jewish Qabalism (multiple)
  • Magical and Christian Qabalism
  • Cosmologies of the grimoires
  • The Renaissance and early modern periods
  • Rosicrucianism
  • Alchemy
  • Modern astrology, evolution, and psychology (multiple)
  • Modern myths: atheism, progress, evolution, utopia

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