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The Origin and Rationale of the Exaltation Signs and Degrees

 
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petosiris



Joined: 08 Oct 2017
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Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 9:48 pm    Post subject: The Origin and Rationale of the Exaltation Signs and Degrees Reply with quote

First, the Old Astrologers set up the birth chart of the world as following - The Ascendant and the Moon at the 15th degree of Cancer, the Sun at the 15th degree of Leo, Mercury at the 15th degree of Virgo, Venus at the 15th degree of Libra, Mars at the 15th degree of Scorpio, Jupiter at the 15th degree of Sagittarius and Saturn at the 15th degree of Capricorn. The degrees are preserved by Firmicus Maternus and some of them by Paulus Alexandrinus.

They assigned them such, because of the order of the spheres, the twelve images that underlie them and the summer solstice at the 15th degree of Cancer. Thus they put the ascendant and the Moon at the summer solstice in the middle of Cancer and Saturn and the descendant at the winter solstice in the middle of Capricorn. Aries and Libra are clearly equinoctial, while Cancer and Capricorn are clearly tropical.

They assigned the rest of the domiciles and spheres of influence the same for the rest of the signs in the order of the seven-zone sphere of Nechepso and Petosiris.

Then they or their successors put the exaltation of the Sun in Aries at the Midheaven, for there the day starts to increase over the night at the 15th degree and spring commences, the sign is of the royal triplicity, trine to Leo and is quadrupedal. They put the exaltation of the Sun at the 19th degree for that is the number of the years of the Sun which itself is derived from the Enneadecaeteris. Each star has its depression at the point in opposition to its exaltation. The depression shows adherence (3 degree range) with the exaltation of Saturn.

Then they put the exaltation of the Moon in Taurus for it is sextile to Cancer and: since the moon, coming to the conjunction in the exaltation of the sun, in Aries, shows her first phase and begins to increase her light and, as it were, her height, in the first sign of her own triangle, Taurus, this was called her exaltation, and the diametrically opposite sign, Scorpio, her depression. - Ptolemy in Robbins, F. E. (1940). Tetrabiblos (Vol. 435). Loeb Classical Library.
Venus and Mars “depress” both luminaries because the sun has its exaltation in Aries and its depression in Libra, where it causes the day to become shorter. The moon has its exaltation in Taurus and its depression in Scorpio, where it causes the cosmic disappearance of light. - Valens, V. Anthologia. Translated by Mark Riley.
They put the exaltation of the Moon at the 3rd degree, for there, in relation to the exaltation degree of the Sun, the Moon shows her first phase and becomes increasing in light. This became known as the concept of the loosing of the bond in chapter 38 of the Thesaurus in Antiochus of Athens. Similarly, Valens does not allow the Moon as Predominator if he is under the beams (15 degrees range) or in Scorpio. The depression shows the cosmic disappearance of light, because the Moon begins to decrease.

Then they put the exaltation of Saturn in Libra, for there the day starts to decrease to the night at the 15th degree and autumn commences, the sign is of the same triplicity as Aquarius. They put the exaltation of Saturn at the 21st degree of Libra for there Saturn strikes the Sun with a ray within 3 degrees, which is destructive unless a benefic intervenes. The depression also shows presence with the Sun, which is worse.

Then they put the exaltation of Jupiter in Cancer, of the prolific triplicity, trine to Pisces, also watery, at the longest day and where he strikes with a ray the Sun and the Moon. The latter lead to the increased range for striking with a ray - with the Moon of 13 degrees (average day speed), present in Porphyry. The depression shows presence with Mars.

Then they put the exaltation of Mars in Capricorn, for there the day is shortest at the 15th degree and is sextile to Scorpio and square to the Sun. They put the exaltation degree at the 28th for then the malefics besiege a 7 degrees range in Aries, which led to the origin of the concept of containment which requires 7 degrees according to Antiochus. Jupiter does not intervene for the square ray of Mars. The depression also shows the same affliction for the Sun.

Then they put the exaltation of Venus in Pisces, for it also is nocturnal planet and is also sextile to Taurus. Furthermore She is a morning star there and Pisces is a prolific sign compared to Virgo. They put the exaltation degree at the 27th for then it is 12 degrees away from trine ray of Jupiter. The Moon and Venus are moved by 12 degrees from their original placements and are 18 degrees away from the spring equinox. The rays that are considered intervening in the length of life are 12 for Jupiter and 8 for Venus (related to the Egyptian years).

Then they left the exaltation of Mercury in Virgo at the 15th degree, for it is the original Thema Mundi placement, and only there can the Sun be in its domicile. Mercury has no sect so it does not have its exaltation in sextile or trine. Mute Pisces is opposite it.

Balbilus uses the 129 years of the planets along with the 128 exaltation degrees with his time lord technique. The Egyptian years of the Moon are derived from a phase, and the years of the other 5 stars are derived from their relation to the Sun, as was the rationale for the exaltation signs and degrees.

P.


Last edited by petosiris on Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:14 am; edited 5 times in total
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petosiris



Joined: 08 Oct 2017
Posts: 141

Posted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apparently, Eudoxus thought the vernal point was at 15 Aries. I would not go with Schmidt's theory (although this ironically gives some evidence for it) though, because there are records that say he rejected Babylonian astrology and you have to make a lot of assumptions to say he could have been founding Hellenistic astrology.

One objection that can be brought up against the 15s is that early Hellenistic astrology developed largely using Babylonian Aries 8 and 10 equinox points and 15 appears largely absent. The middles could have been just an idealization, as were the Aries 15 antiscia to some extent. If it meant idealisation, my points would not change. They were applied within the context of Aries 8 sidereal astrology with tropical overtones.

The hitherto unknown rationale for the exaltation degrees of the planets further confirms Chris Brennan's suspicions that the scheme integrates some Hellenistic concepts too well - making a Babylonian origin less likely - http://horoscopicastrologyblog.com/2008/11/16/the-questionable-origins-of-the-exaltations-in-astrology/ .
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waybread



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Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you familiar with Joanne Conman's argument that the exaltations are of a really ancient Egyptian origin?

https://www.academia.edu/418596/The_Egyptian_Origins_of_Planetary_Hypsomata
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petosiris



Joined: 08 Oct 2017
Posts: 141

Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

waybread wrote:
Are you familiar with Joanne Conman's argument that the exaltations are of a really ancient Egyptian origin?

https://www.academia.edu/418596/The_Egyptian_Origins_of_Planetary_Hypsomata


I do not know why you are acting like we do not know each other or that you have not sent this to me.

To be honest, looks like nonsense.

I have textual support for my rationales for the Sun and the Moon (and somewhat for Jupiter and Mercury), which gives some weight to my, I think, reasonable conclusions.
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WooWoo



Joined: 05 Apr 2013
Posts: 1413

Posted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Petosiris,

Thanks for that very interesting post.

I'll have to lie in a darkened room for several months to try to absorb it but I very much appreciate your post.

At a very basic level I was coming to some similar conclusions related to the Stock Markets.

There is what is called the April Factor whereby the Markets tend to rise in April, and of course Autumn is often when Crashes occur.

With a bit of knowledge of how planets affect the Markets it is NOT to difficult to see how the Sun, Mercury and Venus have a greater chance of being happy in the Spring than they do in Autumn.

And more interestingly when Jupiter has been in Libra, Scorpio or Sagittarius as in 2005, 2006 and 2007 the Markets were flying, as they have been recently in 2017, 2018 and probably less so in 2019, but in this case because so much will be -VE.

I'm saying understanding these very fundamental mechanics of Astrology are terribly important, NOT least because you can then extrapolate if necessary.

H
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waybread



Joined: 05 Mar 2009
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Posted: Wed May 02, 2018 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

petosiris wrote:
waybread wrote:
Are you familiar with Joanne Conman's argument that the exaltations are of a really ancient Egyptian origin?

https://www.academia.edu/418596/The_Egyptian_Origins_of_Planetary_Hypsomata


I do not know why you are acting like we do not know each other or that you have not sent this to me.

To be honest, looks like nonsense.

I have textual support for my rationales for the Sun and the Moon (and somewhat for Jupiter and Mercury), which gives some weight to my, I think, reasonable conclusions.


Say what? No, we do not know each other, although we have read a number of one another's posts. As you are aware, this is a public forum. My post was intended to be accessible to anyone who reads it and is not privy to our exchanges at Astrologer's Community. Rolling Eyes

But this is an inconsequential point. The bigger one is that Conman's evidence, if correct, would out-weigh your theories. Perhaps you would read her article, and then say why or if you discount her evidence.

There is a way that scholarship works, and it goes beyond coming up with a neat theory and ignoring contrary evidence.

How about this essay on the exaltations? http://horoscopicastrologyblog.com/2008/11/16/the-questionable-origins-of-the-exaltations-in-astrology/
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waybread



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Posted: Wed May 02, 2018 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Petosiris, I think you deserve a serious response to your opening posts. I didn't think I was the person to do it, and I hoped that some of the more serious traditional astrologers would respond first. You also seem to take exception to a lot of my posts. However, I do respect the thought and background reading that you put into your theories.

So let me start out by asking some basic questions. If I'm mistaken, missed something, or am wrong, I'll just have to live with it.

1. How do you address the historical argument that Babylonian (and/or Egyptian) star-gazers developed the concept of exaltations long before the development of horoscopic astrology? Are you saying that Conman's research is "nonsense"? On what grounds? The Babylonian argument seems to have more scholarly support. What about it?

Regardless, the exaltations would have to be older than the domiciles.

2. Firmicus Maternus said that the Thema Mundi was developed as a teaching mechanism (albeit one with a probable spiritual origin.) What would be the rationale that 15 degrees correlated with actual solstices or equinoxes in what, for him, would have been long ago in the past? Mightn't the 15 degree thing merely have been taken as the point of a sign's greatest effectiveness been in its middle?

By the time we get to later Hellenistic authors, who may not even been clear on older Babylonian and Egyptian knowledge, they conceivably could say that the moon is exalted in Taurus because it is domiciled in Cancer, but they did make historical mistakes on occasion.

3. We can get into a discussion of Brennan's article or discussion of exaltations in his book, if you like.

Perhaps you could compare & contrast your theory with Chris Brennan's explanations in his Hellenistic Astrology.

4. There is a bit of a disconnect between Antiquity and now about who exactly was meant by Nechepso and Petosiris. These were probably pseudonyms. Their works probably date from the first century BCE. If their first mentions date from Thrasyllus, who himself is known only from fragments, http://www.hellenisticastrology.com/astrologers/nechepso-and-petosiris/ then knowledge of who N & P were and what they actually wrote is second or third hand at best. This raises questions of what can confidently be attributed to them.

5. What are your main sources of information, beyond the ones you cited?
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petosiris



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Posted: Wed May 02, 2018 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Say what?


For some reason, I find your posts addressed to me always agressive, envious or spiteful for some reason. Probably some delusion on my part.

Quote:
But this is an inconsequential point. The bigger one is that Conman's evidence, if correct, would out-weigh your theories. Perhaps you would read her article, and then say why or if you discount her evidence.


I've read it. Explanations involving paranatellonta or heliacal risings (like Fagan) do not account for coincidental schematic rationales involving sect and aspects. If you add the seasonal rationale (which is attested by some scholars who think they are Babylonian). The rationales involving the degrees are also schematic that can't be explained by the risings of fixed stars which are disproportionate and would not allow for 15 degrees between the Sun and the Moon and 15 degrees for Jupiter and Mercury and would probably not allow to have Saturn opposed to the Sun and Mars opposed to Jupiter.

The signs and degrees are too clean to be based on disproportionate sidereal or paranatellonta rationale in my opinion.

Sirius does not rise with the 15th degree of Cancer, it co-rises with the first decan Sothis. However, it makes sense to have the 15th degree as an exaltation if you thought that is ''farthest north'' point as according to Ptolemy (who does not mention the degrees perhaps because they are no longer aligned with the older degrees) or as an idealization if you prefer. It is also trine to its domicile.

Quote:
The Babylonian argument seems to have more scholarly support. What about it?


To the extent that the New Moon of the vernal equinox signified the New Year it may show some connection to Babylonian astronomy for the degrees of the Sun and the Moon. The metonic cycle was also extremely important to them. Things like this show continuous development rather than sudden onset and mastermind for Hellenistic astrology.

The assignment of the stars related to triplicities/winds is also a Babylonian idea, but there is no surviving evidence of those stars in particular as far as I am aware.

I think I might be misunderstood that I am advocating a sudden origin of domiciles and exaltations, but that is not correct. Babylonian influence is highly underestimated in Hellenistic astrology.

Quote:
Regardless, the exaltations would have to be older than the domiciles.


Although the scheme noted by Porphyry is predicated on the idea that the domiciles came first and the exaltations were developed afterwise, which would make the idea, noticeably Hellenistic. There is chance that the scheme outlined by Thrasyllus and Porphyry is a coincidence.

Quote:
2. Firmicus Maternus said that the Thema Mundi was developed as a teaching mechanism (albeit one with a probable spiritual origin.) What would be the rationale that 15 degrees correlated with actual solstices or equinoxes in what, for him, would have been long ago in the past? Mightn't the 15 degree thing merely have been taken as the point of a sign's greatest effectiveness been in its middle?


I answered that in my second post ''One objection that can be brought up against the 15s is that early Hellenistic astrology developed largely using Babylonian Aries 8 and 10 equinox points and 15 appears largely absent. The middles could have been just an idealization, as were the Aries 15 antiscia to some extent. If it meant idealisation, my points would not change. They were applied within the context of Aries 8 sidereal astrology with tropical overtones.''

Quote:
By the time we get to later Hellenistic authors, who may not even been clear on older Babylonian and Egyptian knowledge, they conceivably could say that the moon is exalted in Taurus because it is domiciled in Cancer, but they did make historical mistakes on occasion.


Yes, we have to allow for the possibility it was done in hindsight. However, because of unsatisfactory evidence of the exaltation degrees in Babylonian astrology, we also have to allow for the possibility it was a Hellenistic development. And my arguments for the degrees may show some further evidence for that.
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waybread



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Posted: Thu May 03, 2018 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Me:

Quote:
Say what?


You:

Quote:
For some reason, I find your posts addressed to me always agressive, envious or spiteful for some reason. Probably some delusion on my part.


[Sorry-- problems with the font size here.]

Yes, indeed, it would seem so. I feel none of the above

You are probably aware of the academic concept of the "defense," which also occurs during Q & A periods in conference sessions and lectures. Manuscript articles and books are sent out for peer review prior to acceptance. Of course, this is an open forum, not an academic venue, but please look at questions and critiques of your theories as serving a useful purpose. If your theories hold up to scrutiny, so much the better. If problems emerge, then your theories will only become stronger as you address the problems. If it's simply a matter of explaining your theory more clearly, than that should be easily done.

Me:

Quote:
But this is an inconsequential point. The bigger one is that Conman's evidence, if correct, would out-weigh your theories. Perhaps you would read her article, and then say why or if you discount her evidence.


You:

Quote:
I've read it. Explanations involving paranatellonta or heliacal risings (like Fagan) do not account for coincidental schematic rationales involving sect and aspects. If you add the seasonal rationale (which is attested by some scholars who think they are Babylonian). The rationales involving the degrees are also schematic that can't be explained by the risings of fixed stars which are disproportionate and would not allow for 15 degrees between the Sun and the Moon and 15 degrees for Jupiter and Mercury and would probably not allow to have Saturn opposed to the Sun and Mars opposed to Jupiter.


Sorry, I must be missing something. "Coincidental": do you mean based upon mere coincidence? Or coinciding? If you discussed sect in your OPs, I missed it. Elsewhere at Astrologer's Community where you argued strongly for the Hellenistic astrologers (except Ptolemy and the latest of the Hellenists) using a sidereal, not seasonal (tropical) zodiac.

The exaltations are decoupled from 15 degrees in most tables of essential dignities (except Virgo.) So are you saying that the planetary degrees in the Thema Mundi are the original ones?

But isn't another possibility that the other "schematic rationales" were added-in later?

Quote:
The signs and degrees are too clean to be based on disproportionate sidereal or paranatellonta rationale in my opinion.


Due to subsequent revision and tidying up?

.......

Me:

Quote:
By the time we get to later Hellenistic authors, who may not even been clear on older Babylonian and Egyptian knowledge, they conceivably could say that the moon is exalted in Taurus because it is domiciled in Cancer, but they did make historical mistakes on occasion.


You:

Quote:
Yes, we have to allow for the possibility it was done in hindsight. However, because of unsatisfactory evidence of the exaltation degrees in Babylonian astrology, we also have to allow for the possibility it was a Hellenistic development. And my arguments for the degrees may show some further evidence for that.


But what would have been the rationale for 15 degrees?
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waybread



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Posted: Thu May 03, 2018 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Petosiris, let me repeat that I have a lot of respect for your knowledge and explorations of Hellenistic astrology. Believe it or not, I am actually trying to be helpful to you. If your theory has merit, it can (and should) stand up to probing.

Continued from my previous post:
.....

You:

Quote:
Sirius does not rise with the 15th degree of Cancer, it co-rises with the first decan Sothis. However, it makes sense to have the 15th degree as an exaltation if you thought that is ''farthest north'' point as according to Ptolemy (who does not mention the degrees perhaps because they are no longer aligned with the older degrees) or as an idealization if you prefer. It is also trine to its domicile.


Now I'm confused. The Egyptian coffin texts studied by Conman pre-date the Babylonian division of the zodiac into 12 30-degree signs, which happened only ca. 500 BCE. Again, I don't understand the significance of 15 degrees of a sign in any system unless it was simply the middle of a 30-degree sign. We need to clearly distinguish between exaltations and the Thema Mundi in the first instance, in order to avoid circular reasoning.

You:

Quote:
The Babylonian argument seems to have more scholarly support. What about it?


Say what? Chris Brennan in Hellenistic Astrology did a reasonable job of explaining why he thought the academics erred. So far as I can tell, however, his argument is based upon 6 (count 'em) late Babylonian horoscopes whose contexts are unclear. More to the point, how do you counter the specialists' evidence?

You:
Quote:
To the extent that the New Moon of the vernal equinox signified the New Year it may show some connection to Babylonian astronomy for the degrees of the Sun and the Moon. The metonic cycle was also extremely important to them. Things like this show continuous development rather than sudden onset and mastermind for Hellenistic astrology.


The Babylonian influence was significant. I think that there was a rapid growth ofa more Hellenistic horoscopic astrology in the first century or two BCE and that it would have had to come from more than one source. However, they may have known one another and come from within a particle circle. With the first extant sources that we have, we still find a fair bit of diversity; and references to different earlier sources; some of which seem to be pseudonyms, if not ancient gods. The one explanation that makes sense to me is that initially horoscopic astrology came from a religious or spiritual origin by Egyptianized Greeks or Hellenized Egyptians, as a lot of ancient religion was seen as secret, available only to initiates.

Quote:
The assignment of the stars related to triplicities/winds is also a Babylonian idea, but there is no surviving evidence of those stars in particular as far as I am aware.


The ancient Greeks also had a system of winds based upon cardinal directions. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anemoi

Quote:
I think I might be misunderstood that I am advocating a sudden origin of domiciles and exaltations, but that is not correct. Babylonian influence is highly underestimated in Hellenistic astrology.


In the periods under discussion, it's hard for anyone to clarify or define "sudden"! A century or two?? What we find in both Babylonian and Egyptian cultural astronomy is the belief that stars had places where they were more effective, or less effective.

Me:

Quote:
Regardless, the exaltations would have to be older than the domiciles.


You:
Quote:
Although the scheme noted by Porphyry is predicated on the idea that the domiciles came first and the exaltations were developed afterwise, which would make the idea, noticeably Hellenistic. There is chance that the scheme outlined by Thrasyllus and Porphyry is a coincidence.


I note that Porphyry was a fan of Ptolemy, who popularized domiciles. Ptolemy didn't get into historical details.

Me:

Quote:
2. Firmicus Maternus said that the Thema Mundi was developed as a teaching mechanism (albeit one with a probable spiritual origin.) What would be the rationale that 15 degrees correlated with actual solstices or equinoxes in what, for him, would have been long ago in the past? Mightn't the 15 degree thing merely have been taken as the point of a sign's greatest effectiveness been in its middle?


You:

Quote:
I answered that in my second post ''One objection that can be brought up against the 15s is that early Hellenistic astrology developed largely using Babylonian Aries 8 and 10 equinox points and 15 appears largely absent. The middles could have been just an idealization, as were the Aries 15 antiscia to some extent. If it meant idealisation, my points would not change. They were applied within the context of Aries 8 sidereal astrology with tropical overtones.''


Petosiris, we need more where this came from. If you want to hinge the system of exaltations on the Thema Mundi, then please untangle these different threads. Are there any records of a Babylonian solstice/equinox point at 15 degrees of anything? Would the history of antiscia logically and chronologically work here? If memory serves, they showed up first in Egypt.

Me:

Quote:
By the time we get to later Hellenistic authors, who may not even been clear on older Babylonian and Egyptian knowledge, they conceivably could say that the moon is exalted in Taurus because it is domiciled in Cancer, but they did make historical mistakes on occasion.


You:

Quote:
Yes, we have to allow for the possibility it was done in hindsight. However, because of unsatisfactory evidence of the exaltation degrees in Babylonian astrology, we also have to allow for the possibility it was a Hellenistic development. And my arguments for the degrees may show some further evidence for that.


Fair enough. Chris Brennan would seem to agree with your Hellenistic origin, although on different grounds. Hopefully in responding to my questions, you can assemble or clarify more solid evidence in support of your theory, which would only strengthen it.

More power to your wheel.
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