Evolution of the Hamburg School of Astrology since 1970

Ruth Brummund, Dipl Psych

NOTE: It has come to the translator's attention that the textual content of some of the original articles sent or posted by Ms Brummund from/in Germany have been altered after the translator received the text translated below. The following text is a translation of the content of the article as it appeared on the date indicated at the end of this translated text, and does not include translation of any alterations that may have been made in the German original since that date.

The Kepler Circle, started on 13 March 1915 by Friedrich Sieggrün, and later joined by Alfred Witte and Ludwig Rudolph, served as the foundation for the Hamburg School, publicly announced as a formalized school of astrology at the 1923 German Astrology Congress in Leipzig.  The date of registration is recorded as 31 October 1925.  The most important working text, the Rulebook, first published by Witte-Verlag (Ludwig Rudolph) in 1928, was confiscated and burned by the Nazis.

After the disruptions of the Second World War and the death of Alfred Witte, the Hamburg School was officially re-registered as a research group on 17 August 1948.  At that time, a new edition of the Rulebook was needed, and Ludwig Rudolph asked Hermann Lefeldt for assistance in reconstructing the book.  Both men spent 2 weeks in seclusion and built the foundations for the next edition of the Rulebook.  Interpretations for Pluto and Sieggrün's four outer Transneptunians were added for the first time.  In 1959, a 5th edition of the Rulebook was printed by Witte-Verlag (Ludwig Rudolph).

Then, in 1969, Ruth Brummund joined forces with the Hamburg School.  Some recently-published versions of Hamburg School history, for some reason or other, make no mention of this or of the substantial further developments that took place.

The facts are that, in the 1970s, the Hamburg School underwent a major transformation.  Younger members of the organization took the lead in active measures to lend the traditions of the School a new dynamic. This began after Hermann Lefeldt's birthday celebration, on 30 June 1970, with the organization of an additional conference for later in the year.

Emma and Ludwig Rudolph felt too old to do this, and so the task fell to Udo Rudolph and Ruth Brummund.  This marked the beginning of a fruitful time of cooperation between these two, which lasted for decades.

These two became mainstays of the Hamburg School.  While their approaches were different, they shared the same goals in their cooperative work for the furtherance of the organization.  Udo Rudolph's contributions included the ongoing organization of bi-monthly evening seminars, where he was the principal lecturer.  The lectures took place not only in Hamburg, but also in other cities throughout Germany, and eventually in other countries.

In 1971, Udo Rudolph spoke in Bangkok, Thailand, and this was followed by lectures in the United States.  He lectured on several occasions at the Astrological World Congress in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Ruth Brummund dedicated herself more to written work.  In the same year the Transneptun-Ephemeride (Transneptune Ephemeris) 1890-1990 appeared, followed by the ephemeris for 1890-2000, both published by Witte Verlag (Ludwig Rudolph).  Udo Rudolph Verlag publisheD yet another ephemeris that extended to 2050.

At the Autumn 1971 conference, Ludwig Rudolph presented 2 award pins, one to Udo Rudolph for his work in encouraging interest in Hamburg School teachings overseas, and one to Ruth Brummund for her publication of the Transneptune Ephemeris in book format.

In 1972 Ruth Brummund's Astropsychologische Charaktermerkmale (Astropsychological Character Attributes) appeared.  This was the first endeavor to synthesize psychological interpretations into the symbolic language of the Transneptunians.

Weekly seminars were organized starting in 1976.  The first one took place in Vlotho (near Hannover), with later seminars in Rohrbach (near Linz, Austria), and then in Lüneberger Heide (south of Hamburg).  Examinations, prepared in cooperation with Carl Perch, were held at the end of the presentations.

In 1979 two more books were published: Orts-Meridiane und Orts-Aszendent für wichtige Weltstädte, listing the fixed Local Meridians and Ascendants for a number of major world cities, and the Regelwerk-Neufassung (The Brummund Rulebook), for the first time listing the variations of planetary triads altogether in one location.  

In the 1980s the organization drew on the new technology of the times.  A generous donation to the Hamburg School made possible the acquisition of computer equipment.  A central processing unit, printer, and plotter were now available, and all that was needed was a programmer.

For this, young Bernd Westphal made his services available.  The software for planetary calculations from Dr Theodor Landscheidt made possible the beginnings.  As Westphal needed additional training to continue programming, Udo Rudolph financed this from his own pocket.  The Hamburg School study group came in while Westphal sat and worked at the new machine.  This was new territory for everyone.  Udo Rudolph and Ruth Brummund were each able to contribute their ideas. Westphal programmed a listing that enabled us to compile research data.  Ruth Brummund was subsequently able to obtain the data for 680 Künstlerhoroskopen (680 Artists' Charts), a study that will hopefully serve as the cornerstone for research by future generations.

In 1982, the Lexikon-Neufassung (Revised Lexicon) was  published,listing the most recent Brummund Rulebook definitions, including psychological keywords, in alphabetical order with planetary correspondences, in dictionary format.  (ed.: This significantly updated the 1957 Schnitzler-Lefeldt Lexikon, which appeared in English translation as the "Key to Uranian Astrology" in the 1960s.)

Since Ruth Brummund presented the Mandala in 1984, astrologers are able to utilize principles of depth psychology to understand the behavior patterns and actions of any given individual.

Rudolph & Brummund's Handbuch zur Astrologie Hamburger Schule (Handbook of Hamburg School Astrology) was published in 1985 and then in English translation in 1992.

In 1988 the Board of Directors presented award certificates to Adele Conrad and Ruth Brummund for their service to the Hamburg School.  (ed.: In this same year, French research astrologer and statistician Michel Gauquelin spoke in Hamburg, where Ms Brummund presented him with her research thesis on Venus and Cupido in the charts of artists.  The Hamburg school was beginning to attain worldwide respect and recognition for its headway into research and modern trends in integrating psychological factors with traditional event-focused astrology.)

However, the 1990s brought much unrest to the the organization.  In 1991, Udo Rudolph received an award certificate in thanks for his 16-year efforts as organizational Chair.  Along with the publication of the 2nd edition of the Regelwerk–Neufassung (Brummund Rulebook), certain problems led to the resignation of Ruth Brummund from the organization.

Ms Brummund speaking at the 50th anniversary conference  of the Hamburg School (1998). Above her is a portrait of Witte presented by members from Thailand.

With a new Board of Directors, an educational locus was established in Riga, Latvia in 1995.  This was later named the Alfred Witte Institute.  Udo Rudolph was a co-founder and still today tends to its development.  After 3 years' study, students there are able to take examinations leading to a Diploma.

After 35 years as the official Hamburg School publication, founded by Ludwig Rudolph in 1961, the Hamburger Hefte became the private property of Michael Feist.  A new organizational publication was needed, and the journal Synthese was printed up.  However, this publication also was acquired privately.  Since that time the German-language ASHS Forum has served to present organizational news.  In the same year, Udo Rudolph's book, ABC für Planetenbilder (ABC of Planetary Pictures), was published.

Starting in 1997, Udo Rudolph and Ruth Brummund shared membership in yet another group. A cooperative arrangement with the DAV (German Astrologers' Association) increased the prospects for research, and a special Hamburg School section was developed.  The various mutations of the Hamburg School which have developed over the course of time should be able to bring forth results according to their unique methods.  Ruth Brummund is doing just this with Uranian Astrology.

In August 1998, fifty years of the existence of the Hamburg school was commemorated with a weekend conference where astrologers from around the world met and presented lectures.

Now we have come to March 2001.  What will the new era bring to the Hamburg School?  We would hope that the intellectual legacy of Alfred Witte and Ludwig Rudolph will be promoted with honesty and good intentions.

-- Hamburg, 02.Dec.2000, updated 31.Mar.2001

[The original German title of this article would translate as "History of the Hamburg School since 1970".  After dialogue between the author and translator, it was decided to title the translated article "Evolution of the Hamburg School after 1970" to emphasize the developmental trends which have, in the spirit of Alfred Witte, freed Uranian Astrology from conventional limitations and fatalistic paradigms.]

A detailed chronological history of Uranian Astrology, with photos, can be found by clicking here.