I don´t think that the real difference of modern astrology from traditional is the use of outer planets of that modern astrologers don´t know their terms anymore. I think that the principal difference lies on non technical aspects.
Modern astrology is sometimes seens as a “development” of traditional astrology. This is not true. Traditional occidental astrology is very similar to vedic, chinese or arabic astrologies. All of these astrologies are very different from modern astrology, which shows how modern astrology is a particular construction of the post-industrialization occidental world way of thinking.It is a mutation, not a developtment, it is a new creature, and below we make a few contrasts between the two.
1 – Modern astrology focus almost only in Natal astrology
Yes, there are modern astrologers who wrote books on mundane astrology or in horary, I know. But see around the internet and you will hardly find any modern astrologer who uses mundane. The reason will be stated below. But the reality is that, in modern astrology, the pearl of the eyes is in natal astrology, to discuss the chart of people.
2- In Traditional astrology each branch of astrology requires new skills.
In traditional astrology, things are different: we have several branches of astrology, and none is more important than the others. Although mundane is harder than horary, to each branch there is a set of particular competences and necessary experience.
An actual case: I know a famous astrologer in Brasil, which was from “I don´t anything about horary” from “According to my knowledge of horary” in two weeks. Two years later he already wrote a chapter in a book and is doing a cycle of conferences, because in two years he obviously already is an “expert”.
This illustrates that in modern astrology, the branches are considered as applications of the same principle. He was a natal astrologer, a little practical knowledge and now he is an horary astrologer. The branches are not considered as radically different, so he thought that a year of study is more than enough.
In traditional astrology isn´t that easy. You can be a good horary astrologer, but if you want to be an electional astrologer, you will have to pay your dues, and learn a new set of skills. The same for mundane, for astrological magic, etc. The fundamental stones are the same, but the placement of theses stones can be very different.
3 – Traditional astrology focus on prediction, modern on explanation
If you are not using astrology to predict things, only to see things that already happen, you are not a traditional astrologer. You are a modern astrologer who uses some traditional tools, but you are not in the tradition´s mindset.
Many modern astrologer believe that prediction is simply plain wrong, and it is not a “noble” enough occupation to astrologers. Instead, modern astrologers in general prefer to focus on “explanation”, interpreting external events in terms of personal feelings and perceptions.
4 – Traditional sees things as separated from the person.
In traditional astrology, the 2nd house is your money. It is your money, separated from you. It is not in your mind, it is there, in the real life, and so we can see if you money is good or bad for you, if he comes easily or with hardship, etc.
In modern astrology, the 2nd house is your perception of your money. Is how your money affects you, in your mind, your emotional view of the money. It can help you reflect over your perception of money. It doesn´t say anything about your real money of if you have any to pay for the consultation. The view is only on the subjective status of money.
5- Modern astrology don´t like bad things
Modern astrologers in general don´t like the aspects of traditional astrology who are considered “bad”, like bad planets, bad houses, etc. They are generally seen as been the products of a “non enlighten age”. So the malefic planet mars, which had signification as harsh things like violence, fire, divorce and conflict, has been lighted up to mean “energy”.
This is most visible in the astrological houses:
- the 6th house of disease became “health”
- the 8th of death became “sex, energy and transformation”
- the 12th of imprisonment, self-undoing and secret enemies became “spirituality”.
I think it makes sense because, as stated above, modern astrology only care about subjective view of things. In real life things are good, easy and joyful for us or they are unpleasant, evil and hard for us. In subjective and emotional life every coal can be turned to gold through desire.
This is not a phenomena strict to astrology: the feng shui, when was “popularized” to the american audience, also lost all of his malefic houses. Houses that had signification of things like “thieves, accidents, fire, bad ghosts or disease” were transformed in “house of friendship”.
6 -Modern astrology seldom uses accidental significators.
Modern astrology only uses the essencial significations of the planets, like mercury as thinking, mars as “energy”, venus as love.
In traditional astrology the most important element is the combination of the essencial meanings (venus as love) with the accidental meanings (venus as ruler of the 6th house, meaning disease).
As a corollary of this fact, modern astrologers usually don´t judge the strength of weakness of a house based on the ruler of this house. This is the motive, in so many forums of modern astrology, we see people asking “what do I do with the houses without planets?”
7 – In modern astrology, the judgment always arrives through the Outer planets
Some astrologers defended that modern astrology should be more accurate than traditional, because in the tradition only 70% of the planets were known. This is not truth, because it doesn´t recognize that modern and traditional techniques are completely different in this point.
Every delineation in modern astrology always passes through the outer planets. I have seen a partile square of mercury to Saturn being completely ignored by astrologers if favor of biquintiles to Pluto.
So the general signification of the planet, like love and venus, is modified by an outer planet. Aspects between traditional planets are usually ignored because the “juicy” part is on the aspects to the outer planets.
8 – Modern astrology uses as philosophical foundation theories that are not astrological in nature
Modern astrologers think that is very important that astrology be recognized as “scientific” and many think that, in the near future, science will finally admit that astrology is a a science with the same merits as, I don´t know, investigation in business administration.
While we wait for the Nobel prize in Astrology, most modern astrologers reject or don´t know the original foundations of astrology (hermeticism, platonism, etc) and their spiritual (magical) view of the universe and look for theories that are more mainstream in nature.
So, Freud, Jung, Chaos theory, Fractal theory, Quantum Mechanics, they all have been raised to justify how astrology works.
Unfortunately all of this theories are materialistic in nature, don´t allow for spiritual causation, and the authors of these theories would turn in their graves to the suggestion that their children would prove a matter like astrology. Also, unfortunately, astrologers usually don´t study this matters on the necessary depth, specially when the subject is extremely mathematic in nature, like quantum mechanics or chaos theory, rather using only the “popular version” available in wikipedia.