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Some Questions From a Potential Siderealist

 
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eskye



Joined: 07 Dec 2019
Posts: 1

Posted: Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:49 pm    Post subject: Some Questions From a Potential Siderealist Reply with quote

Hello all,

This is my first post on the forum, but I've been lurking on this forum for a while. Over the past few months I've slowly started to consider making the shift to using a zodiac fixed to the stars rather than a tropical one, my reasoning comes from the fact that the seasonal basis for the tropical zodiac poses major theoretical issues for people who live in some areas of the world (i.e. the Southern Hemisphere and the Equator). I primarily study Hellenistic and early-Medieval astrology, so I was shocked to discover that most of the people I study weren't using the tropical zodiac, but a sidereal one instead. I decided that using their techniques with a stellar based zodiac made more sense....but I'm having problems taking the leap due to a few reservations.

First the dignities and debilities. I've been struggling to find a decent justification for them outside of a seasonal context, specifically the domicile rulerships. For example I can't see why Saturn would rule Aquarius if you strip away the seasonal rationale. Valens mentions Saturn ruling water and waterside trades, but I find it more likely that he's working backward from Saturn ruling Aquarius. When I study the star-lore surrounding Aquarius, I find it very difficult to see how Saturn would get rulership of the sign derived form the constellation. The decans I find easy to rationalize as they seem to have been based off of stars anyway, the bounds or terms I'm kind of on the fence about.

Next are the modalities. If I drop the seasonal associations, then do the modalities still apply? Or do the modalities exist for reasons other than the seasons? The double-bodied signs I can get behind as they all maintain their "double" nature without the seasonal rationale, but the cardinal and fixed signs.....yeaaaah I can't see it. If we move away from the seasons, for what reason would signs like Scorpio and Aquarius be fixed? What is cardinal about Aries now the Northern Hemisphere spring starts when the Sun enters Pisces?

I've found that making the shift from tropical to sidereal as a Western astrologer is rather difficult. I worry that I will have to unlearn a lot of what I've learned up to this point if I'm to have any consistency within my astrology. I'd love to hear from anyone that stumbled upon similar issues and has some advice.
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james_m



Joined: 05 Dec 2011
Posts: 3601
Location: vancouver island

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi eskye,

you ask some really good questions and maybe someone has an answer to some of them..

my own approach is not for everyone.. it is like letting go of what you have been told and trying on some different ideas to see if they resonate with you.. i wouldn't force anything on myself, but for some reason i have found myself very receptive to indian astrology.. it caught me by surprise actually, after about 40 years in western astrology! i have read books on indian astrology over the years, but never entertained the idea of using a sidereal system until quite recently.. i have always been receptive to alternative ideas and i have been enjoying my indian astrology studies.. i can't give you any answers to your questions.. i ask similar questions myself over how these 2 systems might work in spite of them being based on something different.. i suppose that is mostly where i am at now.. i think both systems are valid.. i know that is not a popular thought too, lol... maybe i will discover something that transcends both systems and works regardless.. in my limited time with indian astrology, i believe i have..

either way - welcome to skyscript and hope you find some answers to your very good questions! cheers james
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Therese Hamilton



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 1492
Location: California, USA

Posted: Thu Dec 12, 2019 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Eskye,

Along with Martin Gansten (who at present is away from Skyscript) I'm probably the best qualified to answer questions on the sidereal zodiac. I've used the sidereal zodiac professionally and in teaching since the 1970s, first in the context of the Fagan school, then within India's astrology and most recently using classical concepts from newly translated western texts (Hellenistic through Persian-Arabic). All your questions have good answers from the sidereal point of view. I've had very little time for Skyscript recently, but will try to discuss your questions as soon as possible.

Welcome to Skyscript!

Therese
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Therese Hamilton



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 1492
Location: California, USA

Posted: Sat Dec 14, 2019 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eskye, taking one of your questions at a time:

Eskye wrote:
Quote:
Next are the modalities. If I drop the seasonal associations, then do the modalities still apply? Or do the modalities exist for reasons other than the seasons? The double-bodied signs I can get behind as they all maintain their "double" nature without the seasonal rationale, but the cardinal and fixed signs.....yeaaaah I can't see it. If we move away from the seasons, for what reason would signs like Scorpio and Aquarius be fixed? What is cardinal about Aries now the Northern Hemisphere spring starts when the Sun enters Pisces?

Probably the best way to answer this question is in the words of Robert Schmidt, the Hellenistic authority who translated many ancient texts:

Quote:
"...The question, then, becomes whether the founders of Hellenistic astrology had seasonal considerations in mind when they coined these terms. We often take it for granted that they did, but this could just be the continuing subliminal influence of Ptolemy on the tradition.

"Now, the terms solid and double-bodied are not obviously related to the seasons at all. From a Hellenistic perspective, I do not like to characterize the double-bodied images as "mutable," since the term 'easily changeable' is applied, by some authors at least, to all of the tropical images except for the Goat-Horned [Capricorn], and all the double-bodied ones except for the Twins. So what about the designation tropical, which in Greek simply means "liable to turning"or "liable to change"?

"A good place to start is with the Hellenistic astrological interpretation of planets in such images. The authors are fairly consistent in saying that the events associated with a planet in a tropical [cardinal] image [sign] tend to break off prior to completion or reverse themselves; those associated with planets in solid [fixed] images tend to come to completion with permanent result; those in double-bodied [mutable] images also come to completion, but digressively..."

Robert Schmidt: 18 March 2009 on the ACT Astrology Forum

An added note by Martin Gansten on this topic:

Quote:
(...) The way I see it, Robert Schmidt (who, interestingly, was arguing against a tropicalist understanding of these terms in spite of being a tropicalist himself) has a good point which is worth examining on its own merits.

Granted that a few quite early authors (though none of them, apparently, practising astrologers) have interpreted the terms tropikos, stereos and disMmos as relating to seasonal qualities, I'd still agree with Schmidt that the latter two are rather strange terms to choose if the idea of those qualities is what you wish to convey -- and the first (tropikos) is not necessarily seasonal either (though it can be), but just means 'related to turning'. If I wanted to express that June is a month when the seasons don't change, I don't believe I would say 'June is a solid month'.

Martin Gansten: Apr 13, 2014 8:54 am

To read the above quotes and the entire thread on this topic:
http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8223&highlight=double-bodied

Robert Schmidt wrote above: "The authors are fairly consistent in saying that the events associated with a planet in a tropical [cardinal] image [sign] tend to break off prior to completion or reverse themselves."

In the sidereal zodiac I have the Sun, Moon, ascendant lord Jupiter and Saturn in Aries/Libra. I can say that one of my worst faults (and which my family accuses me of) is exactly as Schmidt described. In the tropical zodiac those planets are in what are called "fixed" signs. (Taurus/Scorpio)
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Last edited by Therese Hamilton on Sat Dec 14, 2019 8:21 am; edited 3 times in total
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Therese Hamilton



Joined: 22 Feb 2011
Posts: 1492
Location: California, USA

Posted: Sat Dec 14, 2019 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eskye wrote:
Quote:
First the dignities and debilities. I've been struggling to find a decent justification for them outside of a seasonal context, specifically the domicile rulerships.

Eskye, you may find it interesting to review this thread which relates to your question:
http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?p=86322#86322

Quote:
I worry that I will have to unlearn a lot of what I've learned up to this point if I'm to have any consistency within my astrology. I'd love to hear from anyone that stumbled upon similar issues and has some advice.

I'm wondering what you think you have unlearn except symbolism that tropical astrology has specifically linked to the seasons? Switching to sidereal means an adjustment of symbolism that better fits the ruling planets of sidereal signs. For example, why is Venus ruled tropical Taurus said to be stubborn and determined? Does that sound like Venus or the flexible (exalted) Moon? Or do these traits relate more to Mars (or Pluto?) domicile lord of Aries?

Why did Queen Victoria have her ascendant, Sun and Moon in tropical Gemini (said to be barren, that is, infertile) when she had nine children? An exalted Moon in Taurus suits the facts of her life much better as a long lived and successful monarch. A powerful Venus rulership also describes her devotion to her husband and her love of dancing and late night parties.

I made the tropical to sidereal switch a long time ago. As I remember, the traits of tropical signs in relation to the ruling planets of underlying sidereal signs just somehow clicked, and (for me) the tropical zodiac was no more. Then the timing of events as shown in sidereal solar returns erased any doubts I might have had about the zodiac. (I had been a tropical astrologer for ten years.)
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carriere.francois



Joined: 26 Jun 2007
Posts: 115

Posted: Mon Dec 16, 2019 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello eskye

The most common error people make, when switching from tropical to sidereal, is that they did not study traditional authors. So, they potentially do not know how to delineate a chart.

Furthermore, we can't just transpose tropical rules to the sidereal zodiac. It's not surprising Persian astrologers finally used the tropical zodiac, historically. It just can't be a question of ephemeris being, or not, available. For instance, Ibn Ezra writes that, at his time, they were using tropical zodiac for two centuries, and it worked well. Also consider pointing to the vernal equinox was the hardiest thing an astronomer/astrologer had to do.

If you are sidereally orientated, please evaluate strongly the necessity to learn jyotish, where the rules were established using sidereal zodiac.

You may find this interesting, historically:
http://www.sevenstarsastrology.com/how-old-is-the-tropical-zodiac/
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François CARRIÈRE
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