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Combustion Again
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Tom
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Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2005 6:46 pm    Post subject: Combustion Again Reply with quote

Hi Gang,

A while back we were discussing combustion and I mentioned that John Frawley noted that it was a matter of debate whether a planet in its own sign or great dignity should be considered combust or perhaps behaving as in a mutual reception. Sue, ever the skeptic, asked precisely where John got that information, and I replied, "I dunno."

Now I do. In the latest issue of The Astrologer's Apprentice we find this in a discussion of Lilly's chart:


Quote:

What is Lilly's Lord of the Geniture? He would have chosen Jupiter. It's only moderately dignified, but he would have dismissed the strongly dignified Venus because it is combust. The debate on whether a planet combust whilst in its own sign is debilitated by the combustion is an ancient one. In the workshop we disagree with Lilly on this. Mr. Culpeper's close companions, Dr. Reason and Dr. Experience, argue against him. If a planet is combust in its own sign (or other major dignity) it is under the power of the Sun because of the combustion, and the Sun is under he planet's power by disposition. This creates a situation so similar to mutual reception that it can be treated as if it were such. Lilly's Venus, then, is not afflicted by tis combustion and is the Lord of Geniture - ...:


He further says:

Quote:
... other effects of combustion are nonetheless true, if relevant to the context of the investigation. In a horary chart for example, a planet combust in its own sign may well not be seen or not be able to see.



Note that if the planet were within range of combustion and in its own sign, and the Sun was in an adjacent sign, this rule could not apply. Say Sun in 29 Aries and Venus at 1 Taurus. Venus has no power over the Sun and in fact the Sun is in her detriment. But since some of us wouldn't consider Venus combust in these circumstances, it doesn't really matter Leery

So we know its Culpeper and perhaps others, but where? He doesn't say where Culpeper says this. I have his book on decumbiture, but didn't look through it, yet. But at least it's an answer.

Comments?

Tom
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Deb
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Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2005 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you may have misunderstood John’s turn of phrase. One of the curiosities of Culpeper’s work is how he refers to his two close companions: Dr Reason and Dr Experience. So when John says “Mr. Culpeper's close companions, Dr. Reason and Dr. Experience, argue against him”, I believe he is simply suggesting that his own reason and experience are the basis of his contradiction of Lilly. I am only deducing this but I’ll bet you a pound to shilling ‘tis true Smile I’ve read Culpeper’s work quite closely and don’t recall him making a big deal out of combustion anywhere.

I’ve also had a word with the two estimable doctors and they told me quite a different tale. Dr Reason reminded me that the basis of every symbolic principle embedded in combustion lies in the fact that, in being near to the Sun, the planet loses its visibility. From the most ancient of times this has been used to symbolise the closing of that planet’s current cycle of power and a loss of all its vivacity and strength. It is the Sun’s power that renders the other planet powerless; therefore how can the Sun, the majestical ruler of the whole heavenly scheme, feel itself ‘under the dominion’ of a planet that its own strength has destroyed? Dr Reason also reminded me that combustion and planetary relationships with the Sun have always been a very powerful and central tenet of ancient astrology, long before the tropical zodiac was even conceived, and our use of this in horary directly derives from the ancient perspective.

The Dr Experience that I spoke to wholeheartedly agreed with all of this.

So who else is actually debating this, besides John?
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Sue



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Posted: Sat Aug 20, 2005 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom said:
Quote:
Sue, ever the skeptic, asked precisely where John got that information, and I replied, "I dunno."

Who? Me? See how much fun it is to be a sceptic. You never take anyone's word for anything. Smile

I have to say that I agree with the voices in Deb's head more than the voices in John's head. I can't see how the Sun can be beholden to a planet in combustion in any way whatsoever.

Deb said:
Quote:
It is the Sun’s power that renders the other planet powerless; therefore how can the Sun, the majestical ruler of the whole heavenly scheme, feel itself ‘under the dominion’ of a planet that its own strength has destroyed?


I completely agree with this. Without exception, all religious and philosophical beliefs centre around the idea that the Sun is the cause of, and ruler of, the entire manifestation of the heavens. It has always been like this. Even Christianity bases itself on this. Well into the 16th and 17th centuries Neoplatonists were basing their whole philosophy (including astrology) on the majesty of the Sun. To think that another planet can overwhelm that strength while in combustion, ie., completely obscured by the brilliance of the Sun, no matter how strong the other planet is, goes against everything we understand.

Tom said that John said:
Quote:
If a planet is combust in its own sign (or other major dignity) it is under the power of the Sun because of the combustion, and the Sun is under he planet's power by disposition. This creates a situation so similar to mutual reception that it can be treated as if it were such.


Bonatti says that a planet that is combust is unable to have the strength to hold on to dignity. If John sees this as a mutual reception type of situation then, according to Bonatti's rules, the combust planet would have to give back any reception it receives from the Sun because it is too weak to hold on to it.
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Tom
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Posted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb writes:


Quote:
I think you may have misunderstood John’s turn of phrase. One of the curiosities of Culpeper’s work is how he refers to his two close companions: Dr Reason and Dr Experience. So when John says “Mr. Culpeper's close companions, Dr. Reason and Dr. Experience, argue against him”, I believe he is simply suggesting that his own reason and experience are the basis of his contradiction of Lilly. I am only deducing this but I’ll bet you a pound to shilling ‘tis true Smile I’ve read Culpeper’s work quite closely and don’t recall him making a big deal out of combustion anywhere.


I don't think I misunderstood John, but it is always possible that I didn't express myself clearly. I've come to a point in my life where I realize that just because it is clear as day rattling around in my head, it doesn't follow that it is the same in everyone else's head. On the other hand, Culpeper, easily the most entertaining of the 17th century authors, can get anyone's head spinning.

I took John's sentence to mean just what I think Deb said: Culpeper's reason and experience are what led Culpeper to contradict Lilly. John agrees with Culpepper.

Sue writes:


Quote:
Bonatti says that a planet that is combust is unable to have the strength to hold on to dignity. If John sees this as a mutual reception type of situation then, according to Bonatti's rules, the combust planet would have to give back any reception it receives from the Sun because it is too weak to hold on to it.


In the same vein Deb writes:

Quote:
Dr Reason reminded me that the basis of every symbolic principle embedded in combustion lies in the fact that, in being near to the Sun, the planet loses its visibility. From the most ancient of times this has been used to symbolise the closing of that planet’s current cycle of power and a loss of all its vivacity and strength. It is the Sun’s power that renders the other planet powerless; therefore how can the Sun, the majestical ruler of the whole heavenly scheme, feel itself ‘under the dominion’ of a planet that its own strength has destroyed?


With all due respect to Bonatti, and he is due a great deal of respect, I don' t think that quoting authority is going to get us anywhere. Aristotle said an appeal to authority is the worst evidence and here I am appealing to Aristotle's authority to make the point. Let's look at what is going on in the chart. Futrhermore, without citing anyone, John says this subject is one of ongoing debate; Bonatti's position is one side of the issue; Culpeper's is another.

Is a combust planet so powerless that it loses all power of dispositorship or all power period? I hope not because if Venus is combust then every planet and part that is disposed by Venus is free to do as he pleases. While no one disagrees that combustion is a debility, I don't know that the combust planet vanishes from the chart, and that is what " ... the combust planet would have to give back any reception it receives from the Sun because it is too weak to hold on to it.." means to me.

Let's begin to look at the Sun. Is combustion the same when the Sun is in Aries as it is when the Sun is in Libra? Doubtful since the basic definitions of exaltation and fall are of strength and weakness. Therefore the Sun's position detrmines in part, the influence he will have over a conjunct planet as well as any planets in Leo, Aries, etc. Why is a planet different? Surely the effects of a combust Mercury in Pisces are different than a combust Mercury in Virgo, but if we take Bonatti literaly and Mercury is powerless in both cases, it matters not at all. Mercury is dead in that chart, and if it is a nativity, the native has little or no ability to think rationally or presumably to communicate. Since Bonatti didn't mean this at all, we have to grant some power to the combust planet. I'm not sure that giving over the dispositorship of Gemini and Virgo to the Sun, solves our problem.

I tend to go along with Culpeper on this or with Fralwey or whoever looks at the combust planet in great dignity as acting quite a bit differetly than the combust planet with little or no dignity. We do not say that Combustion in these cases has no effect, but that the effect is different, and not nearly as severe.

Tom
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Deb
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Posted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 5:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I took John's sentence to mean just what I think Deb said: Culpeper's reason and experience are what led Culpeper to contradict Lilly. John agrees with Culpepper.


Nooo, that wasn't what I was saying. I was saying that Culpeper didn't contradict Lilly! Or at least that is what I meant to say. I'm sure I phrased this badly so please accept my apology for not being clear enough. What I wrote was:

Quote:
when John says “Mr. Culpeper's close companions, Dr. Reason and Dr. Experience, argue against him”, I believe he is simply suggesting that his own reason and experience are the basis of his contradiction of Lilly


.. meaning that I believe John is simply suggesting that his own reason and experience are the basis of his own (John's) contradiction of Lilly. In other words, JF is not drawing upon a credible traditional reference - which Culpeper would be of course.
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Tom
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Posted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmmmmmm John will be back from Chicago this week. Since Mr. Culpeper is not accepting e-mail, I'll ask John and get back to you.

Best,

Tom
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Tom
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Posted: Sun Aug 21, 2005 11:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now what follows will probably be greeted with cries of "UNFAIR!" and maybe it is, but I spent a couple of hours looking for charts as examples, and I found these two.

No one is ever again likely to compare Jimi Hendrix and Charlton Heston, but for astrological truth we must.

Heston
Oct 4, 1923
7:55 am + 6hrs
Evanston, IL, USA
42 N 2' 28"
87 W 41' 24"
3 Scorpio 44 Rises (Solar Fire)

Hendrix
Nov 27, 1942
10:15 AM + 7:00 hrs
Seattle Washington
47 N 36' 23"
122 W 19' 51"
24 Sagittarius 41 rises (solar Fire)

Using the 5-degree rule both men have Venus conjunct the Sun in the 12th house. Hendrix has Mercury there, too; both enjoyed worldly success in their chosen fields. Venus rules Heston’s 7th house of marriage, and Mercury rules Hendrix 7th house of marriage. But Heston’s Venus is in her domicile and Henrix Mercury is in detriment in Sagittarius. Heston has been married for over 50 years to the same woman. Hendrix never married, and instead hopped from bed to bed in one meaningless encounter after another. This may be an unfair characterization because Hendrix died so young, killing off his career and potential married life as well as his earthly existence. Hendrix 8th house of death is ruled by the Sun who burned up the lady of his house of career, Venus, and the extra curricular activities enjoyed by most rock musicians eventually killed him.

Heston’s 10th house of career is ruled by the Sun in fall in the 12th. Planets in the 12th often have a tough time getting out, yet no one can argue that Heston had less than a spectacular career. One way “out” for a 12th house planet is aspect (by sign is enough) to a dispositor or preferably a strong mutual reception.. However, the Sun is in the same sign as its exaltation ruler, Saturn, and they are both in the 12th. The Sun is in partile sextile to the 10th but again is in the 12th.

However, if Venus is not so badly afflicted by the Sun due to her being in domicile, we can see Heston’s career (Sun rules 10) getting help from partners (Venus rules 7) just like a mutual reception. I don’t know much about Heston’s life to say this is what happened. Whatever happened Venus didn’t kill him or hinder him in any way. In fact in her role as ruler of relationships she did quite well.

Hendrix Mercury is also in detriment in Sagittarius. Although many loved his music, I can’t understand why. He used distortion, “fuzz” and other gimmicks such as setting his guitar on fire at the end of a performance to enthrall his audience. That he turned static that sounds a bit like music into an art form is, perhaps, an accomplishment of some note, but one I’d think the world may have done without. Mercury is articulation and Venus the aesthetic sense; they are both combust. The sounds he produced were hardly articulate, and to some of us not aesthetically pleasing. It is fitting that he set fire to both planets and that his burned-out audience (Mercury rules his 7th) loved it. He is, however, considered a virtuoso of his instrument among rock guitar players. I won’t contest the point. I will continue to use earplugs, if I can’t get away from it.

This isn’t a music critique, but rather an example of three combust planets, one in domicile rulership, one in detriment, one peregrine. The influence of each seems obvious. Heston’s marriage is a rarity among Hollywood types, and his gifts are obvious. Not what one might expect from a weakened planet.

Hendrix, on the other hand, burned himself out with his music and lifestyle, which ended his life prematurely burying whatever else his chart may have promised with his drug infested body. His combust Venus ruled his Neptune, the planet modern astrologers associate with drugs.

Tom
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Posted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It all spins round. What did Mr. Frawley mean? Did Mr. Culpeper contradict Mr. Lilly? Does Mr. Frawley agree with Mr. Culpeper? Drs. Reason and Experience have their say. What did Deb really write? (She didn’t write that). Should we quote Mr. Bonatti, or any authority? Is Sue truly a skeptic and how can she hear the voices in Deb’s head? Was Tom unfair? Enter Jimi Hendrix and Charlton Heston. Confused

Deb and Sue both wrote of the strength of the Sun as the supreme power in the sky as believed from ancient times. Deb wrote:
Quote:
Dr Reason reminded me that the basis of every symbolic principle embedded in combustion lies in the fact that, in being near to the Sun, the planet loses its visibility. From the most ancient of times this has been used to symbolise the closing of that planet’s current cycle of power and a loss of all its vivacity and strength. It is the Sun’s power that renders the other planet powerless; therefore how can the Sun, the majestical ruler of the whole heavenly scheme, feel itself ‘under the dominion’ of a planet that its own strength has destroyed? Dr Reason also reminded me that combustion and planetary relationships with the Sun have always been a very powerful and central tenet of ancient astrology, long before the tropical zodiac was even conceived,[...]


But the tropical zodiac was conceived and the Greek philosophical influence took hold and is the basis of western astrology, pushing aside the more ancient visual astrology. We now have signs of domicile rulership, exaltation, detriment and fall for that supreme power. We also measure the Sun’s strength by triplicity, term and face.

If we can alter the Sun’s strength through the use of essential dignities, then why can’t we have a strong Venus in Libra stand up to and resist combustion from the Sun weakened by fall? Ignoring the essential dignity of Venus and relying on the visual effect of the planet lost within the light of the Sun seems like a chipping away at the structure of essential dignities—or an uncomfortable attempt to blend Greek astrology with the more ancient visual approach.

I don’t know which way to go with this. The visual idea is the first to grab me, but when I look at the computer screen or a printed page the dignities have their sway.
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Tom
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Posted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It all spins round. What did Mr. Frawley mean? Did Mr. Culpeper contradict Mr. Lilly? Does Mr. Frawley agree with Mr. Culpeper? Drs. Reason and Experience have their say. What did Deb really write? (She didn’t write that). Should we quote Mr. Bonatti, or any authority? Is Sue truly a skeptic and how can she hear the voices in Deb’s head? Was Tom unfair? Enter Jimi Hendrix and Charlton Heston.


It all makes sense to me, and Mercury went direct, too.

Wink

Tom
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Deb
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Posted: Mon Aug 22, 2005 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Tom,

I’m inclined to shout boo and unfair just for the hell of it, but as you read on you’ll realise that I am not about to suggest that a combust planet automatically loses all its strength in signification and rulership full stop. Yes it will be good if John can clear up the Culpeper reference issue. One thing this proves is how easy it is to misinterpret the meaning behind the words we read in other peoples’ work:)

Hi Kirk,

Where would we be without your commentaries on our antics?

Quote:
But the tropical zodiac was conceived and the Greek philosophical influence took hold and is the basis of western astrology, pushing aside the more ancient visual astrology.


It’s not so much pushed aside as buried a bit deeper. Much of it is still very central to the techniques we use.

I wouldn’t want to describe it as ‘visual v philosophical’ – but there does seem to be debate about how much philosophical components can interfere with the natural (and timeless) expression of planetary cycles? I’m not suggesting that the essential dignities lack either a sense of reality or symbolic meaning, but bear in mind that much of the astrological power they have is linked to the importance we invest in them. In the past, triplicity rulership and the faces were said to impart as much dignity to a planet as sign-rulership, but nowadays we tend to regard these as relatively minor dignities. On the other hand the planetary cycles have been defining astrological meaning for millennia. I believe we need to be very careful about philosophising that a planetary cycle is meaningful in one place of the zodiac but not a few degrees to the left or right of it – where we do this, we should exercise caution.

Let me stress that I don’t underestimate the value of essential dignity. I am simply calling for a reminder that accidental dignity matters too. Let me make my case:

When I was studying horary, I was taught to apply Lilly’s definition of the effects of combustion without anyone explaining to me why a planet close to the Sun was afflicted or considered to be losing its strength. Like most modern astrologers I struggled to understand why a planet applying to the natural significator of health and creativity was impaired, and the more so the closer it got to it. I have never felt comfortable applying any rule when I haven’t been able to understand the basis of it, and I spent a great deal of time researching this and other horary ‘rules’ looking for an origin. At that time no one was teaching that the symbolic origin of combustion lay in the ancient recognition of heliacal cycles and planets being lost to our sight and later re-emerging in what was conceived to be a spiritual re-birth. Because of the geocentric perspective of astrology we are apt to forget that the Sun was always considered the creative heart of planetary power. When you rediscover the connection, you realise that there is something very powerful and profound in this ‘rising’ and ‘setting’ into the Sun, which has acted as a fundamental principle for many of the traditional aphorisms we use. I don’t think that snapshot definitions ever do justice to it – combustion can mean so many different things – but besides referring to an astronomical event, the astrological meaning derived from combustion is, itself, a philosophical principal. You can either accept it as an integral part of astrology, in which case it will always have some meaning, or else you are saying “the Sun is seen as the creative force from which planets generate and into which they degenerate … sometimes .. depending upon where they are placed”. To me, saying that a planet cannot be combust in its own sign is no different than saying that the Moon can’t be eclipsed in Cancer or termed cadent in Taurus.

It is a different argument to suggest that when a planet is otherwise strong in essential and accidental dignity, the meaning associated with the combustion needs to accommodate this, and that a planet needn’t be defined as purely debilitated or malefic simply because it is combust. I wrote about this in the earlier thread when I referred to Lilly’s approach to the combust planet in his two shipping charts, and the way that the general principle of debility associated with combustion can be more than compensated by the other essential or accidental dignities, as easily seen through dignity-scoring techniques. Even so, the combustion element is there demanding some recognition and integration into the judgement - otherwise it would be like asserting that everything suggested through the placement of a planet in the 8th house is counteracted by the fact that it is swift in motion.

I wouldn’t be in disagreement with John’s phrase “Lilly’s Venus, then, is not afflicted by its combustion”, if what he means is that Venus is likely to be less damaged by the combustion because of her ‘all-round’ state of good health. I only take issue if he means a planet cannot qualify for the effects and influences of combustion when in its own sign.

Unfortunately, it does seem that the latter is what John intended, because he uses this non-qualification of combustion as his argument for why Venus should be Lilly’s LOG. He doesn’t consider it and integrate it; he just suggests it doesn’t count. (Why anyone would draw so heavily upon a great astrologer’s work, and then assume them incapable of establishing the planet that most closely defines their own complexion, temperament and manners is beyond me!) But note how John has exaggerated the influence of essential dignity in this matter, when in the same article he states:

Quote:
“The Lord of the Geniture is the planet with most essential dignity, with the rider that a planet with less may be favoured if that with most is accidentally debilitated. ” (Astrologers Apprentice #22 page 8 )


Give that some thought and then compare it with Lilly’s view (my emboldening):

Quote:
“I am cleerly of this opinion, viz. That the Planet who hath most essentiall and accidentall dignities in the Figure, and is posited best, and elevated most in the Scheame, that he ought to be Lord of the Geniture (CA., p.531-532)”


John’s definition gives a very strong acknowledgement towards the influence of essential dignity (the bits that are philosophically conceived), but very little acknowledgement of the more ancient visual components of accidental dignity - don’t you agree?

Quote:
If we can alter the Sun’s strength through the use of essential dignities, then why can’t we have a strong Venus in Libra stand up to and resist combustion from the Sun weakened by fall?


Of course I agree with the idea of evaluating the all-round influences and recognising the role that essential dignity plays within it. I just don’t agree that essential dignity by itself can tell the whole story. In fact, John claims that Venus would be “far poorer” combust in Libra than Taurus:

Quote:
“There it [Venus] would still rule the Sun by disposition, but the Sun that dominated it by combustion would be a debilitated kind of Sun, because it would be in its fall.” (p.9)


John’s article expounds his notion of reception, and the idea that there is a ‘sort of’ mutual reception between a planet that is combust in its own sign and the Sun – because the planet is ‘under the Sun’s power’ because of the combustion, and the Sun is ‘under the power’ of the other planet because of its location in that planet’s sign. But combustion overwhelms, it doesn’t trade, and as the recent discussion on reception and essential dignities demonstrates, the traditional view is that a planet is more ready to ‘receive’ the influence of another planet that is in its own sign – hence Venus in Taurus or Libra would be more willing to accept the influence of the Sun than reject it. It could be equally argued that the effects of combustion are accentuated, rather than diminished for a planet in its own sign! But I think this is taking the argument away from where it should be, and I agree that the willingness to accept the influence suggests that the meaning of the combustion would veer towards its less malefic expression. Don’t forget that combustion is symbolic of many things – not just death and restriction, but also completion, things that are unrecognised, hidden or kept secret, etc., etc.

The suggestion that a planet in its own sign influences the interpretation of the combustion - I will agree to that. But not to the claim that a planet in its own sign shouldn’t be considered combust at all.

One last point for which I must shout Boo! to Tom – how come you can quote Frawley (and Culpeper if he's on your side), yet when Sue refers to Bonatti and his very important reference on this matter, you write “I don' t think that quoting authority is going to get us anywhere.” ! Confused

Now I ask, is that fair play?
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Tom
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Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Deb,

Quote:
in which case it will always have some meaning, or else you are saying “the Sun is seen as the creative force from which planets generate and into which they degenerate … sometimes .. depending upon where they are placed”.


Although slightly off topic, this is pretty much what the considerations before judgment tell us: "As above so below, every now and then." I agree that we do have to have principles and we also have to be a bit flexible with them. Astrology is not 100% consistent and never will be.

Quote:
To me, saying that a planet cannot be combust in its own sign is no different than saying that the Moon can’t be eclipsed in Cancer or termed cadent in Taurus.


Correct me if I'm wrong, as I'm sure you will Wink but isn't there a belief that Mars cannot be combust because he is hotter and drier than the Sun? Physically of course this is not true. It's probably pretty cold on Mars, but within the realm of essential dignities, Mars is hotter and drier and therefore could not be so afflicted by the Sun.

Quote:
I wouldn’t be in disagreement with John’s phrase “Lilly’s Venus, then, is not afflicted by its combustion”, if what he means is that Venus is likely to be less damaged by the combustion because of her ‘all-round’ state of good health. I only take issue if he means a planet cannot qualify for the effects and influences of combustion when in its own sign.


Later in this same article John writes:

Quote:
When treating a planet combust while in its own major dignity as if it were in mutual reception, other effects of combustion are nonetheless true, if relevant in a horary chart for example, a planet combust in its own sign may well not be seen, or not be able to see.


He also notes that:

Quote:
Lilly's Venus combust in Taurus would be a far pooer thing were it Venus combust in Libra. There it would still rule the Sun by disposition, but the Sun that dominated it by combustion would be a debilitated kind of Sun because it would be in its fall.


So he is taking the various strengths of the combust planet as well as the Sun into consideration when determining the effects on the combust planet.

Deb writes:



Quote:
Why anyone would draw so heavily upon a great astrologer’s work, and then assume them incapable of establishing the planet that most closely defines their own complexion, temperament and manners is beyond me!)


This one's easy. First off the last person any astrologer is usually right about is himself. C.E.O. Carter argued a half century ago that no astrologer ever read his own chart correctly. Why would we expect more of Lilly?

Secondly, we all have our favorites and usually with good reason, but that doesn't mean they are correct in all cases. Lilly's explanation of the temperament of the English Merchant is classic fudging of the issue. Lilly gets nowhere with his own system. He knows what the answer should be, but can't come up with it using the techniques he was taught. I think John is on pretty safe ground here.


Quote:
But note how John has exaggerated the influence of essential dignity in this matter, when in the same article he states:

Quote:

“The Lord of the Geniture is the planet with most essential dignity, with the rider that a planet with less may be favoured if that with most is accidentally debilitated. ” (Astrologers Apprentice #22 page 8 )


Give that some thought and then compare it with Lilly’s view (my emboldening):

Quote:
I am cleerly of this opinion, viz. That the Planet who hath most essentiall and accidentall dignities in the Figure, and is posited best, and elevated most in the Scheame, that he ought to be Lord of the Geniture (CA., p.531-532)”


John’s definition gives a very strong acknowledgement towards the influence of essential dignity (the bits that are philosophically conceived), but very little acknowledgement of the more ancient visual components of accidental dignity - don’t you agree?


Yes I do, and I think so would John. In John's other writings he emphasizes that the Lord of the Geniture is the planet that has the most essential and accidental dignity, just like Lilly does in your quote. John would choose a planet with more accidental dignity than a planet with great essential dignity if the planet with great essential dignity were badly placed, say in the 12th house. In Lilly's chart the only planet with strong dignity is Venus. Jupiter, which is the logical choice of LoG, if we don't choose Venus, has very little essential dignity in Libra, but more accidental dignity than any other planet.

Quote:
John’s article expounds his notion of reception, and the idea that there is a ‘sort of’ mutual reception between a planet that is combust in its own sign and the Sun – because the planet is ‘under the Sun’s power’ because of the combustion, and the Sun is ‘under the power’ of the other planet because of its location in that planet’s sign. But combustion overwhelms, it doesn’t trade, and as the recent discussion on reception and essential dignities demonstrates, the traditional view is that a planet is more ready to ‘receive’ the influence of another planet that is in its own sign – hence Venus in Taurus or Libra would be more willing to accept the influence of the Sun than reject it. It could be equally argued that the effects of combustion are accentuated, rather than diminished for a planet in its own sign! But I think this is taking the argument away from where it should be, and I agree that the willingness to accept the influence suggests that the meaning of the combustion would veer towards its less malefic expression. Don’t forget that combustion is symbolic of many things – not just death and restriction, but also completion, things that are unrecognised, hidden or kept secret, etc., etc.


True and he also says:

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The debate on whether a planet combust whilst in its own sign is an ancient one. In the workshop we disagree with Lilly on this one.


He's not claiming absolute authority or correctness only the recognition that there is controversy and as such, we must take one side or the other. Sue asked, way back when, who was involved in this contrversy as she wasn't familiar with it (the controversy). I was forced to admit that I didn't know, but then quoted John apparently quoting Culpeper (more on this below) which started all this. I understand the position of those who say that combustion is combustion regarless of the dignity of the combust planet as I understand those who say combustion, unlike aspects cross sign lines, but I don't necessarily agree with it. We don't want to get into a situation whereby we must make absolute decisions about philosophy vs. observation, but there are times that we must choose. I always think it is a good idea to have reasons for choosing one side or the other, and I think what I understand to be Culpeper's reasoning makes sense. Also, if combustion in Libra is different than combustion in Taurus, then Mercury combust in Gemini will be different than Mercury combust in Sagittarius.

This was the main reason for posting the information on Charlton Heston and Jimi Hendrix. Combust planets in different signs behaving quite differently in the life. Admitedly these two guys have a lot less in common than even I hinted at.


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One last point for which I must shout Boo! to Tom – how come you can quote Frawley (and Culpeper if he's on your side), yet when Sue refers to Bonatti and his very important reference on this matter, you write “I don't think that quoting authority is going to get us anywhere.” !


Because I'm the man and I get to make the rules.

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Now I ask, is that fair play?


Of course not. What's your point?

Smile

Tom

PS I wrote to John to ask for clarification and will report back when I hear from him. I heard he did quite well for himself in Chicago and I certainly hope that's true although I would expect nothing less.
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Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb,
It’s too early for me to comment on your post, as there is so much there to think about—and struggle with. For now I want to thank you for writing not just a reply, but a lesson; not just opinions, but calm explanation.
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Sue



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Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting discussion on Heston and Hendrix Tom. However, natal charts are like statistics. You can always find one to prove your point.

The first time I read your first post I assumed the same as Deb. I read John's quote as just using a similar turn of phrase that Culpeper is noted for to argue the point about combustion. Having read it more closely a few times, I still think that. Last year, when we were having a discussion about combustion, I went through 'Astrological Judgement of Diseases' fairly carefully to ascertain what Culpeper had to say. I think he mentioned combustion twice and only in passing. There was no discussion about it at all, just a comment on a combust planet in a chart. I am almost certain John did not get his argument from that book. He was simply using Mr Reason and Mr Experience as his authorities to be a little bit colourful in his explanation. I did not take him to mean that Culpeper had said this anywhere at all. John used this same turn of phrase in a talk I attended to prove a point about something else, which I think was mutual reception. He was attempting to explain his version of mutual reception, which wasn't quite the same as how many of us (including myself) were taught. Unfortunately, as is the case now, Mr Reason and Mr Experience were unable to convince me on that occasion either.

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Although slightly off topic, this is pretty much what the considerations before judgment tell us: "As above so below, every now and then."

I have heard you say this before (and I know this is something John has said a number of times). However, I have never been quite sure of what it meant. I have no idea how either of you came to this conclusion. It’s one of those nice little catchphrases that John is famous for but what do you really mean? You seem to be suggesting that the considerations before judgement almost make a mockery of astrology and the philosophy of macrocosm/microcosm. 'As above' etc. either works or doesn't work and we can't have it both ways. Considerations imply that we are attempting to have it both ways. That is certainly what I get from John's explanation. Considerations do not imply that sometimes astrology works and sometimes it doesn’t. They are simply guidelines to watch out for. I know there is a chance here that I have misunderstood but I am also aware of John’s discussion on this topic and his attitude towards most considerations, dismissing them as unnecessary.

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Astrology is not 100% consistent and never will be.

Is it astrology that is not 100% consistent or is it our ability to apply astrology correctly that is not 100% consistent?

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Because I'm the man and I get to make the rules.

Perhaps you missed it Tom so you can be excused for thinking that this is still true. However, a week or so ago, BBC newsreader Michael Buerk, announced that, and I quote, ‘Life is now being lived in accordance with women’s rules.’ He is incredibly unhappy about this bit of news claiming that the shift in power is ridiculous and that society needed to admit there is a problem. Can’t see one myself. Laughing

Still, being a woman, I don’t really find it necessary to quote any authorities when I am able to think for myself and quote my own authority. Razz
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Tom
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Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sue,

Quote:
You can always find one to prove your point.


Exactly. That's why I said there would be cries of "unfair!" The other problem is that isolating one or two things and assigning them to the point we're trying to make may not be a fair reading as there are so many points in a chart to take into consideration. But looking at charts is usually more interesting than simply discussing theory, so I tossed them in. I was attracted by the almost total difference in life style among the two men and,, more importantly, I got to make snotty remarks about rock music!

Quote:
Quote:
Although slightly off topic, this is pretty much what the considerations before judgment tell us: "As above so below, every now and then."


I have heard you say this before (and I know this is something John has said a number of times). However, I have never been quite sure of what it meant. I have no idea how either of you came to this conclusion. It’s one of those nice little catchphrases that John is famous for but what do you really mean?
Quote:



I'm referring to those who would look at a horary chart with, say, late degrees rising, and stop what they're doing immediately and say "Sorry I can't read this. There are 28 degrees on the ASC. Come back when the Universe is more accomodating." In other words it applies to people who use the considerations to avoid reading the chart.

This implies that there are times the cosmos cooperate and times it won't. "Late degrees rising in Boston? I'm not talking." In other words, the cosmos operates in horary every now and then. This of course is not true in natal astrology, or mundane or anything else. Therefore that while the considerations may well show us to exercise caution, they do not prevent the horary chart from being read. Every chart can be read. We just have to be more careful with some than with others. As above/so below is always in operation.

John gave a talk a few years back and used an example (I'm doing it again) where virtually all the major considerations were there, and so was the answer. All charts are "radical" is the point.


Quote:
Is it astrology that is not 100% consistent or is it our ability to apply astrology correctly that is not 100% consistent?


Our application is not 100% consistent since we're all fallible. I can't find where I said that, although I remember writing it, and I don't remember the context. I probably meant to say what you just did. I'll have to look later when I have more time.

Quote:
Perhaps you missed it Tom so you can be excused for thinking that this is still true. However, a week or so ago, BBC newsreader Michael Buerk, announced that, and I quote, ‘Life is now being lived in accordance with women’s rules.’


It's always been that way, dear. That's the true secret of life. Wink

Tom
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Deb
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Posted: Tue Aug 23, 2005 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Correct me if I'm wrong, as I'm sure you will but isn't there a belief that Mars cannot be combust because he is hotter and drier than the Sun?


There is this oft-reported ‘thing’ about Mars not suffering the effects of combustion. I believe the source of it is this 4th century comment from Firmicus:
Quote:
“… nearness to the Sun is harmful to all planets. Certain astrologers, however, claim that Mars is favourable when setting [that is, setting into the Sun], when he is overwhelmed by the rays of the Sun, for being subservient to the Sun he loses his natural malefic qualities.” (Mathesis, 2:VIII.2)

As you can see, it is not saying that Mars cannot be combust, it is saying that Mars loses its power by being combust – pretty much the same point that Bonatti makes.

Quote:

how come you can quote Frawley (and Culpeper if he's on your side), yet when Sue refers to Bonatti and his very important reference on this matter, you write “I don't think that quoting authority is going to get us anywhere.” !

Because I'm the man and I get to make the rules.

Many an astrologer has wanted to use that line Laughing
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