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Roots of essential dignities?
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Andrew



Joined: 31 Dec 2004
Posts: 360

Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
That couldn’t have been the case, because at that time the tropical zodiac had not been established and the positions were monitored against the visible constellations. They work when the tropical zodiac is projected back onto it . . . it is similarly hard to reason that the exaltation positions were designed to compliment sign rulerships in anyway.


It is not so much a matter of reason as it is one of pattern recognition (most astrologers are technicians rather than artists).

It is entirely possible that the tropical zodiac was in use prior to the dedication of the temple to Nabu.

In 786 B.C., the Assyrians built a new temple to Nabu, their God of astrology. In that year, according to the calculations of Fagan, all the traditional planets heliacally rose at or very near the degree of their exaltation in a sidereal zodiac.

While exaltations were supposedly designed around a sidereal zodiacal framework, astrologers have adapted them to the tropical zodiac. The exaltation of the Moon in the sidereal sign of Taurus has been projected onto the tropical zodiac.

http://www.humboldt.edu/~cllc/astro/ans032.html

"The tropical zodiac may have been around a long time. The Egyptians had a tropical (solar) calendar by the early part of the third millennium B.C.; given the direct and transparent relationship between the signs of the tropical zodiac and the months of the solar year, they may well have had a tropical zodiac as well . . . Some sort of zodiac, possibly sidereal, with 12 equal signs, existed in India in 3000 B.C. A manuscript (in Sanskrit) from that period shows that astrologers then used a zodiac, an equal house system, and aspects counted sign to sign (as in much modern-day Hindu astrology)."

http://www.webspace4me.net/~blhill/pages.aux/astrology/hand.tz.4.html

"These are our old friends the System A rising times for Babylon again; and again, just as in Valens, they are identified with the signs of the zodiac, not a separate set of 30 degree divisions having no fixed relation to the signs of the zodiac. And again they are symmetrical with respect to 0 degree Aries, something that can only happen in a tropical zodiac. Was this eminent figure of the Hindu tradition a tropicalist? Apparently so. In another early Hindu work, the Yavana Jataka, we also find symmetrical rising times, indicating a tropical zodiac . . . "

Hand here refers to the Persian astrologer Varaha Mihira's "Brihat Jataka," written ca. 540 A.D., who was evidently a tropical astrologer.

One could speculate that there might have existed at the time a circle of individuals who used the tropical zodiac and designed the system of exaltations to reflect the same pattern as that of the rulerships but from a different perspective. Sheer speculation, of course, unlikely to be confirmed by the historical record, or what there is of it.

The point of my previous post is that there is a very clear pattern that emerges between the positions of the planets in both their domiciles and their exaltations: one does not have to strain to see this. Every artist I have shown this to has recognised it immediately; only astrologers have difficulty seeing it, if they recognise it at all. Since the pattern is there, it strongly suggests that it is intentional, rather than arbitrary or coincidental. In other words, it suggests human design.
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Deb
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Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Andrew

I’m not suggesting that there is no relevance in the pattern you describe. As I said, I’m open-minded on this and very willing to explore it. It is the argument for human design I find more difficult to accept.

As far as I am aware the accepted line on this is that the exaltations are older than the sign-rulership scheme and considered to be Babylonian in origin. The sign rulership scheme cannot be traced to the Mesopotamian period and is considered a result of Hellenistic development. Therefore I don’t see how the argument can be made that exaltations were designed to make connections to the sign rulership scheme.

Of the two quotes you gave the one from Hand isn’t controversial and doesn’t add much to the discussion, being as the text in question is dated so much later than the period we are considering.

As far as my understanding of the scholarly position it is this: We know that the Mesopotamians were using a 12-sign zodiac from the middle of the 6th century BC to record entries in their astronomical diaries, even if they still referred to the visible constellations to draw their meaning. 747 BC is the earliest date to which observations of the ecliptic can be traced. Even though the oldest text to use the tropical zodiac is dated to 263 BC, it’s considered that there was a lengthy period where the use of the two systems overlapped with each other. (I have wondered whether the development of the zodiac was facilitated as a result of the activity that took place at the Nabu temple and whether that added to its importance – but this is just a speculative thought).


The earlier quote you gave is much more controversial. Especially the comment:

Quote:
Some sort of zodiac, possibly sidereal, with 12 equal signs, existed in India in 3000 B.C. A manuscript (in Sanskrit) from that period shows that astrologers then used a zodiac, an equal house system, and aspects counted sign to sign (as in much modern-day Hindu astrology).


It’s a pity that the article which made this comment doesn’t bear the name of the author and is unreferenced. Internet references that are unauthored and unreferenced need to be treated with caution by default because we don’t know what process of research has led to the comment being published.

I’m having a very hard time balancing up the great media attention and scholarly fuss about an artefact dating to around 1600 BC which shows no more than the Sun, Moon and Stars (but which obviously has much deeper meaning); and the claim that a manuscript existed in India in 3000 B.C. showing a 12-sign zodiac, an equal house system, and aspects counted sign to sign! This would be such a giant step forward from recognised astrological development. For example, the opinion of most experts is that the houses were developed at about the same time that the ascendant began to be marked upon charts, which didn’t happen until the commencement of the Christian Era. So if we have this evidence which is 3000 years older, why has everyone been ignoring it?

There is a hugely distorted sense of history attributed to some astrological manuscripts, and many claim to be older than our earliest known cave paintings. One Indian textbook was reputed to be over 2 million years old and although we can see that’s ridiculous it was once taken seriously.

Also, the author of that passage is very confusing in how he mixes up his use of constellations and signs. But the next paragraph reads:

Quote:
The origin of the modern constellations is somewhat obscure, so it is very difficult to decide whether the constellations were around to lend meaning to the tropical signs at the time that the tropical zodiac was created. Noonan (1976; Journal of Geocosmic Research, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 6-7) claims that the first zodiac of the constellations appeared around 500 B.C. The constellations are believed to have been assigned symbols by the Babylonians, but there were originally 36 constellations, and only some of them coincide with the modern sidereal signs. We know that some of the symbols used for the modern signs are recent, because the original symbols were all animals (the word "zodiac," derived from the Greek zo^idiako's, means "circle of animals"). We can be certain that the modern constellations of the zodiac existed by about 30 B.C. because they appear very clearly on the ceiling of the Temple of Hathor at Dendera in Upper Egypt. So was the tropical zodiac in use by then?
It might have been.


So first he is questioning whether the tropical zodiac or a forerunner was used 3000 BC, but he doesn’t even seem sure whether it was around in 30 BC.

I’m always wary of being too sure of anything that relates to such an early period of history but the bottom line is, to create an argument that the exaltations were designed to compliment sign-rulership, you have to demonstrate that the attribution of sign-rulers is at least as old as the exaltation degrees. If exaltations came first, as everyone claims, then they couldn’t have been influenced by sign-rulerships which originate out of geocentric distances.

But like I say, I am not undermining your point about the value of the pattern. I have learnt that with astrology, as in numerology and geometry, we should accept that meanings present themselves in patterns, and that they don’t necessarily depend upon our ability to know how the pattern originated.

Deb
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Andrew



Joined: 31 Dec 2004
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Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I’m not suggesting that there is no relevance in the pattern you describe. As I said, I’m open-minded on this and very willing to explore it. It is the argument for human design I find more difficult to accept.


I understand. But the pattern of exaltations is so symmetrical and so complements the pattern of domicile rulerships that I find it difficult to believe otherwise. Perhaps John Frawley is correct:

http://www.widgetsworld.co.uk/search/go.php?art_id=1939

"The three things which are in our astrology which reveal this are the joys of the planets, the exaltations of planets and the seven key Arabian parts. And these three things are completely alien to everything else in our astrology, they are not related to it . . . the exaltations of the planets is where the planets were before men fell."

Quote:
If exaltations came first, as everyone claims, then they couldn’t have been influenced by sign-rulerships which originate out of geocentric distances.


I know this may be heresy, but I wonder whether the sign-rulerships originated out of geocentric distances, or whether geocentric distances were invoked to offer an acceptable explanation for them. Maybe they too are vestiges of what Frawley refers to as "Edenic astrology."

The presence of a pattern alone does not tell us what processes may have caused the pattern, but recognition of the pattern is a necessary step in investigating the relevant processes.
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Deb
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Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Perhaps John Frawley is correct:


Or maybe not..

Quote:
I don't really understand that stuff. There are people who know far more about this stuff then I do. They told me.


Whatever the significance of patterns, I think Fagan's research into this is a world away from Frawley's views on Edenic astrology.
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Andrew



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Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Whatever the significance of patterns, I think Fagan's research into this is a world away from Frawley's views on Edenic astrology.


No doubt. But I am reminded of the advice on astrology given by Aleister Crowley to one of his students:

http://www.hermetic.com/crowley/mwt/mwt_21.html

"Modern astrologers multiply their charts until their desks remind me of a Bargain Basement in the rush hour! They compare and contrast until they are in bat-eyed bewilderment bemused; and when the answer turns out absolutely false, exclaim, with a shout: 'By Ptolemy, I forgot to look at the last Luniation for Buda-Pesth!' But then they can always find something or other which will explain how they came to go wrong: naturally, when you have several hundred factors, helplessly bound and gagged, it would be just too bad if you couldn't pick out one to serve your turn—after the event! No, dear girl, it should be obvious to an unweaned brat: (a) they can't see the wood for the trees, (b) they are using Ruach on a proposition which demands Neschamah. Intellect is quite inadequate; the problem requires mother-wit, intuition, understanding.

"Here is my system in a Number 000 Ampoule.

"Put up the figure at birth: study it, make notes of the aspects and dignities, concentrate—and turn on the Magical Tap!"


Or the observation of Robert Thomas Cross ("Edwin Raphael") on horary: "Many of the writers on this subject are far too copious, they give so many different rules, positions, and contingencies, that the young student is utterly bewildered." Raphael also recommended his students "turn on the Magical Tap," so to speak . . .
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Deb
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Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That advice might be sound but what relevance does it have to the subject in this thread? You seem to be quoting one source after another to further an argument you don’t seem too sure about, and in the course of that have shifted from suggesting the exaltations were of human design, to now suggesting they were of angelic design (from a source that requires us to accept that astrology is pure but “psychic stuff or any crap like that - is rubbish. …….. This is tarot and rubbish like this, it's malevolent and is not good. People should not do tarot.”).

How does that equate with the views of Crowley?

If I wanted to, I could state that everything we know about astrology came from visiting aliens or creatures of the sea, and give you plenty of web links to prove it.

Magical reasoning infiltrates every aspect of astrology, and in every aspect of it there is mystery. But there is also a great deal of human reasoning embedded in the origins of our art, and astrology has not only incorporated technological advances, it has also been the source of a great many of them too. Both aspects of astrology’s development are inspirational and worth exploring. Just settling with the view that it all came from angels, and not being prepared to look beyond that for fear of what you might find, is a denial of the human achievements that have taken place in the development of astrology, and the creative power of intelligence that has driven it.
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Andrew



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Posted: Fri Oct 21, 2005 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
That advice might be sound but what relevance does it have to the subject in this thread? You seem to be quoting one source after another to further an argument you don’t seem too sure about, and in the course of that have shifted from suggesting the exaltations were of human design, to now suggesting they were of angelic design.


I am sure that where there is one symbolic pattern that clearly and symmetrically complements another symbolic pattern, it is neither arbitrary nor coincidental, but quite intentional and undoubtedly the product of design: whether human or angelic, I do not know, but it is nonetheless evidence of design. I do not think that it is just a happy accident or a pleasant surprise that the exaltations of the planets are where they are in relation to the domicile rulers. This is immediately apparent to anyone who has ever received any instruction in pattern recognition; the presence of pattern presupposes an underlying order.

Quote:
How does that equate with the views of Crowley?


The astronomical research of Cyril Fagan on the one hand and the imaginative speculation of John Frawley on the other called to mind Crowley's comment that "they are using Ruach on a proposition which demands Neschamah." John Frawley's views on tarot notwithstanding (views which you, not I, referred to), his insight that "the exaltations of the planets is where the planets were before men fell" has far more relevance to an oracular worldview than any of Cyril Fagan's research ever will. Frawley's statement is a true statement, true because it references mythic truth. Whether or not it is literally "true" is beside the point.

Quote:
Just settling with the view that it all came from angels, and not being prepared to look beyond that for fear of what you might find, is a denial of the human achievements that have taken place in the development of astrology, and the creative power of intelligence that has driven it.


I have no idea whether it all came from angels or whether it all came from humans, or whether it was a bit of both. I do, however, believe that to deny the evidence of design (whether human or angelic) when it is clearly present on the pretext that it is historically unfeasible is to miss the point entirely. It is, however, a very sensible thing to do.

I am not at all certain that John Frawley really requires one to accept anything at all: he offered his opinion which, presumably, one is free to disagree with . . . ? He seemed in his comments to be referencing the "perennial tradition" of Frithjof Schuon and other Sufi philosophers, which makes an important distinction between astrology and "fortune-telling." To the best of my knowledge, this tradition was not developed by aliens or dolphins.
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Sue



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Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read an interesting journal article today from 1948 on the Greek calendar and festivals of the Sun. The person who wrote the article (Stefan Weinstock) studied a calendar that was found in the Bodleian Library among the excerpts of Psellus in the Codex Baroccianus. Weinstock studied the dates of these events, including one dated the 12th April which was called the Greek equivalent of ‘exaltatio’. His conclusion was that this festival had been carried over from antiquity from the Babylonians and it celebrated the ‘birth of the world’. According to the author, this festival became fixed at a time when the Sun was in Aries in its 19th degree at the time of the vernal equinox and therefore was considered to be the degree of exaltation. When the calendar changed from a lunar one to the lunisolar calendar, annual festivals were introduced and this one was carried over. He believed when he first investigated this that it was of Hellenistic origin but after further consideration realised that it was much older and came from the Babylonians. It seems fairly clear that, at the very least, the exaltations of the Sun and Moon were developed before sign rulerships. In the Temple of Hathor in Dendera, the planets are arranged so as to be above their sign of exaltation. I heard a very similar explanation to this from Demetra George in a talk she gave on the thema mundi a couple of years ago.
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Andrew



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Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sue wrote:
In the Temple of Hathor in Dendera, the planets are arranged so as to be above their sign of exaltation.


This article on the symbolism of the Tarot by Christine Payne-Towler is informative if (yes, yes, I know) highly speculative:

http://aolsvc.womens.tarot.aol.com/about-tarot/pdf/confluence.pdf

On the internalised structures of Tarot, she writes:

"These sign/planet correspondences have been in place since the time of Babylon (2200 BC). The fact that the axis of the diagram puts the midheaven/nadir axis on the cusps of Aquarius and Leo could indicate it was composed in the "Platonic month of Leo," 10800 BC to 8000 BC, as the vernal equinox precessed. A friend with whom I have enjoyed sharing metaphysical speculations pointed out to me that in this rulership diagram, you can see not only the rulerships themselves, but also along the left diagonal bias you can see the pattern of "exaltations," while along the right diagonal you see the pattern of "falls," as named in the ancient rulership relations. (Connecting the "detriments" makes a beautiful star in the center of the diagram.) I would never have seen this pattern if he had not mentioned it, because I don't use exaltations, detriments or falls in my astrological practice."

See also:

http://www.smoe.org/arcana/diss1.html

"Another refinement is what the Greco-Roman astrologers called the "dodekatemoria" and which modern Assyriologists call "microzodiacs." This is the practice of subdividing each of the twelve signs into twelve parts. Each sign thus contained its own "microzodiac," with the same names. Tablet AO 6483, quoted above, also has a section on how to calculate a microzodiac, in lines 6-20. Of the two methods used by Greco-Roman astrologers, "A" and "B," AO 6483 uses "B," while "A" has also been traced to Mesopotamia . . . E. F. Weidner believes he has found reference to the doctrine of hypsomata, or "exaltations," in a microzodiac text, VAT 7851."

This could suggest that the exaltations might be a harmonic division of the regular zodiac partly based on planetary arrangement rather than sign placement. Just speculation, of course.
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Sue



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Posted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speculation is fine but it usually goes better if it is based on fact. This first article falls somewhat short of that. There are several inaccuracies and false premises. For example, that the teaching of astrology had been banned in universities by the 14th century. This is simply not true. Astrology was very much a part of the ciriculum at this point in history. There were at least two European universities teaching astrology until the 17th century and one as late as the 18th century. As much as many want to believe, the Christian Churc did not set out to destroy astrology. There were isolated times and cases where certain pockets of the Church tried to discredit it but at no time was there a serious push to punish astrologers or destroy it.
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Deb
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Posted: Wed Nov 02, 2005 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Christianity discussion has been moved to a new thread in the philosophy forum: Is astrology contrary to Christianity?

http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1233
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zoidsoft



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Posted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 8:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Roots of essential dignities? Reply with quote

PBrown wrote:
Hi all,

Can anyone tell me how the essential dignities were formed? I was looking at the table in "Christian astrology", but I do not understand the logic of how the dignities were created. If Lilly got them from Ptolemy, how did Ptolemy arrive at them?
If anyone can direct me to some articles or books on this, it would be much appreciated.

Peter


Robert Schmidt says that the reason we use the term "essential dignity" is because of the Arab translation of "axiomaticos", which he says has a number of meanings, among them:

1) To deem or find worthy.
2) To seek, petition or to beg.
3) To claim or maintain something. (Schmidt says that this is sometimes translated somewhat misleadingly as "self evident" which is the source of the English word "axim".)

Because this word "axiomaticos" can refer to planets of the domicile, exaltation or confine (terms or bounds), it was associated with those 3 in different senses:

1) When it finds worthy, it is of the exaltation. The Greek word here is "hupsoma" which literally means "height", as if to lift up on a pedistal.

2) When it begs or petitions, this is the domicile relation. This is because the Greek word "oikodektor" means one who gives ear to. So a planet in the domicile of another petitions or begs... It asks the domicile lord for assistance.

3) When it is providing evidence for itself ("axiomatic") it is acting of the confines (otherwise known as term or bounds). Here the Greek word is "hoirion" which is where we get the English word horizon from, but has the meanings of boundary, standard, ... Here something is posited or claimed and the planet must abide by the rule that is set. We have a residue of this in English when we say something like: "This is what I mean by ... in terms (hoiria) of"...

Schmidt says that when this word was translated from Arabic to Latin, it was translated as "dignified" which is the selection of one 1 of the 3 potential meanings, which is very misleading.

Because the distinctions between the different planetary / zodiacal relations was blurred, it eventually led to the idea of Almuten. By this time in the astrological history, much of the hellenistic conception was lost. Any sense of the planets forming alliances and political agendas (sect), making consessions and deliberating with other planets in the service of heimarmene to arrive at the proper "fate" of the native was lost.

The triplicities (trigons) and decans are another story... Of course, this does not really tell where they came from, but shows how the hellenists reconceptualized Egyptian, Mesopotamian, etc... ideas.

http://www.projecthindsight.com
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zuli



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Posted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

According to Lilly's Table for Essential Debilities:

Planet in fall - 4 ponts
Planet in detriment - 5
Planet in peregrine - 5

Peregrine is equal to detriment and worse than fall!? Confused
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borealis



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Posted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is Ptolemy explaining exaltations:

http://www.sacred-texts.com/astro/ptb/ptb25.htm
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