Cosmobiology is the name given to an innovative astrological system developed by German astrologer Reinhold Ebertin (1901-1988) in the 1920s. Ebertin had been a student of Alfred Witte, but rejected elements of his teacher's Uranian Astrology system, and he established himself independently. Suppressed by the Nazis, he began to operate again after World War II (1939-1945), at which time he adopted the name cosmobiology (a term previously used by other astrologers) to describe his system. It found a popular response across Europe and spread to the English-speaking world in the 1970s following the translation of Ebertin's several books.
Uranian Astrology was distinguished by its addition of a set of hypothetical planets (planets believed to exist but as yet unverified by standard scientific observation). Witte alleged the existence of no less than eight such planets. Witte also proposed the existence of midpoints, points halfway between the position of any two planets in the individual's horoscope. These midpoints were seen as the point at which their combined energies manifests. Ebertin came to reject the idea of hypothetical planets and also the idea of house as used in traditional astrology. In place of the houses, he emphasized the role of planetary influences. He eventually created a whole new set of terms for use by cosmobiologists.
Cosmobiology begins with the construction of a traditional horoscope with the placement of the Sun, Moon, and planets in each of the traditional positions regarding the sign. Two important points in the traditional horoscope, the ascendant (or horizon) and midheaven (the point directly above at the moment of birth) are treated as additional planets. These planet alignments then undergo a second level of mathematical manipulation to create the cosmogram, cosmobiology's horoscope. In place of the houses, the series of midpoints are also marked, allowing another level of analysis of the planets' influences.
Cosmobiology is also one of the astrological systems that emphasizes the effect of transits, the present location of planets relative to their placement in the birth chart. When a planet today is in the same location relative to itself or another planet in the birth chart, it is said to be transiting it.
The creation of the finished cosmogram is more complicated and requires additional mathematical skill above that needed for the traditional horoscope. However, the production of the cosmogram can now be left to computer programs, allowing the individual astrologer to concentrate on the interpretative aspect of his/her work.
Ebertin, Reinhold. Applied Cosmobiology. Tempe, Ariz.: American Federation of Astrologers, 1972.
Rauchhaus, Irmgard. "Cosmobiology." In James R. Lewis, ed. The Astrology Encyclopedia. Detroit: Gale Research, 1994.
Savalan, Karen Ober. Midpoint Interpretation Simplified. Tempe, Ariz.: American Federation of Astrologers, 1983.