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Mundane Signatures

 
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jonflanery



Joined: 30 Oct 2005
Posts: 10
Location: Dayton, Ohio, USA

Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2005 6:26 am    Post subject: Mundane Signatures Reply with quote

I have been using mundane signatures, that is landforms, human activity in a region, animals and minerals and response to transits to locate the effects of comets and eclipses after the place of their visibility. I have numerous examples of this and it has worked well. I have seen the attribution of signs (and sometimes degrees) to regions and cities which I beleive are based on this method in Lilly and other traditional astrologers. I do work with comets when I have the data and consider fixed stars quite important. I have found the information about mundane astrology on this site very informative and intend to make use of it.

What I need to determine is an explicit traditional reference to this notion of mundane signatures. I fear that it as a notion taken for granted and therefore not given much if any explicit reference but it seems obvious to me that it was used extensively by ancient and traditional astrologers.

It also seems a natural conclusion from Hermetic neoplatonic philosophy. If 'as above, so below' then the heavens write their signatures on the Earth and events on Earth are reflected in the heavens. The connection is the anima mundi or soul of the world.

Can anyone help me find explicit references to this concept among traditional texts ?

Thanks in advance for any asistance.
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yuzuru



Joined: 01 Apr 2005
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Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2005 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I donīt think I grasped this concept of mundane signatures... could you elaborate ?
Yuzuru
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jonflanery



Joined: 30 Oct 2005
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Location: Dayton, Ohio, USA

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 6:55 am    Post subject: Mundane Signatures Reply with quote

Ok, that is a frequent comment.
Let me attempt to be a little clearer about mundane signatures and then give some examples.

The planets rule various metals and minerals. Places where deposits of these are found correspond to the planet. These will sometimes vary in quality and quantity depending on the associated sign. The signs also rule certain kinds of landforms and other terrain. Places that exhibit those features are said to be ruled by that sign. The same for plants and animals and the activities of men. Places with an abundance of animals or plants corresponding to a particular sign are said to be ruled by that sign. Different regions of the same country or province may have different rulerships locally. On a somewhat larger scale, the predominant features of a country or province characterize it as belonging to one sign or another. For provinces and cities this can sometimes be refined down to the decan. By adding in the responsiveness of a place to transits of its ruling sign, decan or degree as a confirmation, one arrives at the mundane signature of a place, be it a continent, a country, a province, a region or a city. Idustries and commodities are also responsive to tranists due to their correspondence with the signs and planets.

In examples, one must consider the characteristic features and the transits. Places with broken terrain and a dependence on the sea for food are often Water signs. Holland is broken by many rivers and streams though a predominantly flat land. It is well known for making beer. It is also has a very strong and individual identity. These are all corespondences to Cancer. Holland has been found to respond, that is events of the nature you would expect from the transit happen there , to tranistsin Cancer. New outbeaks of sectarian revolt were noted in 1533 with a bright comet and other transits can be correlated with historical events and trends in that nation. Even before it became a nation. Scottland, although part of the United Kingdom, is also Cancer. It has a national drink that is world famous and also occupies a broken landscape. It is also very independnet and individualistic. Both nations are known for a strong connection with sheep, the Scotts raise them, the Dutch make textiles. Scottland has also been found responsive to tranists through Cancer. Obviously they belong to different decans but you get the idea. Another Water sign place is Portugal, again having a broken landscape and even more dependent on the sea than Holland or Scottland. Portugal has a national reputation for wines and for mystical and practical exploration of the unknown. Portugal has also been found to be very responsive to transit of Pisces. So, as the mundane signature of Holland and Scottland is Cancer, that of Portugal is Pisces.

A bit further afield we might look at the Air signs. Fixed Air is rich in minerals and often the place where abstractions and humanitarian views tend to dominate its political life. Russia and Sweden both fill this bill though in terrain they are very different. Yet both are very responsive to transits of Aquarius. Gemini, mutable Air is Belgium with distinct geographical regions, abundant coal and distinct languages, the United States again with distinct geographical regions and abundant coal. Both Gemini and responsive to transits in Gemini.

These examples just scratch the surface as far as the correspondences are concerned. I have mentioned only one or two salient characteristics but I assure you there are more. There are lists by traditional astrologers such as Lilly that generally follow this logic for attribution and use that attribution to locate the effects of comets and eclipses.

One that I did some work on was Pisces Portugal. In 1975 there was a nova in Cygnus which maps to Piscs in the ecliptic. It was quite bright but of short duration. One of its almost immediate effects could be seen in the collapse of the Portugese government and the conclusion of its 10 year colonial war in Africa. There were other effects as well but knowing where to look for first effects depends on the use of mundane signatures . To be sure there are other means but for mundane work this is probably the quickest even if one has extensive computer software and resources.

The mundane sgnature of places is based on their response to transits for confirmation and refinement and on the human activities, landforms, minerals, animals, and so forth to be found there as the first means of identification. The predominant or most well known or salient characteristics are the information to start with. As more information becomes available and transits are obsreved, the signature becomes clear. Once known, it is useful in determining where to look for the effects of transits and events like eclipses and comets. Iraq for example is a Leo country and has not been doing well under the recent transit of Saturn. Of course there are other factors but this is an important one.

I hope that makes the concept clearer. Some of the ancient Chinese astrologers thought that a place could be characterized by its association with a particular constellation and cities with particular stars. This may be but it is somewhat more than I have tried to explain here. The idea is the same though, a direct correspondence between a place and a part of the zodiac or the celestial sphere (in the case of the ancient view) and a physical location or region on earth. WHile this method works , the Canadian astrologer Johndro worked out a method for coordinating the heavens with locations on earth which also works but is more technical and precise. His methods correlated a star at he solar eclipse preceding the first world war to within a kilometer of the spot where the archduke was assassinated, that is the event that was considered the trigger for that conflagration.

There are a number of ways to determine the connection between a place and a part of the heavens, this is one.
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Tom
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Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never heard of signs assigned to areas based strictly on topography, but I suppose it makes sense. Ptolemy is the first astrologer that I'm aware of that assigned rulerships to nations or geographical areas (the nation state concept was not fully developed in his day) as well as cities. He doesn't limit the influence to government activities either.


Quote:
"Again general events are subdivided according to their operation upon entire countries, and the other certain cities or districts only. They are also separately considered according to the causes by which they are produced; war, pestilence, famine, earthquake, inundations, and other similar visitations being dependent on such greater and more important causes,as arise only after considerable periods; while slighter causes arising more frequently have reference only to the revolution of the seasons; their greater or less variation in cold and heat; the severity or mildness of the weather; the occasional abudance or scarcity of provisions; and other like occurences.

"... And for its due investigtaion, two essential points are to be attended to: the first is the appropriate familiarity of the zodiacal signs and the fixed stars with the several regions which may be concerned; and the second comprises the indications of occasionally arising in those parts of the heavens where such familiarity is found: for instance the eclipses of the Sun and Moon and such transits as may be made by the planets when matutine and in their respective stations. "


Tetrabiblos Book II Chapter 1 page 40 - 41 Ashmand Translation

He goes on in Book II Chapter 3 to assign rulerships to the places of the known world. He does seem to be applying much of what he says based on climate, which would make sense for someone advocating tropical astrology.

Tom

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granny_skot



Joined: 20 May 2004
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Posted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With this idea in mind, how would you classify a country like the USA that has every topography imaginable within it? or wouldyou break it up regionally? for instance I think it would be a lot easier to classify Rhode island, than Ca, which also has a vast amount of different topography within...

Granny
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Tom
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Posted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 12:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are rulerships within the rulerships. The easiest example is England. England has generally been considered an Aries country, but London has usually been associated with Gemini. So when trying to determine something that affects primarily London, Gemini is the key, but when looking at issues of national importance, we'd use Aries.

In the US each state has a ruler as does the nation. Let's say a naval action takes place in the Atlantic off the coast of Virginia. The consequences for the nation would be shown by Cancer, the more specific consequences of the naval engagement might be shown by whatever rules the Norfolk, Va Naval Base. The economic effects on Virginia wwould be shown by whatever rules Virginia etc.

Tom
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jonflanery



Joined: 30 Oct 2005
Posts: 10
Location: Dayton, Ohio, USA

Posted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 1:05 am    Post subject: Mundane Sigantures Reply with quote

Tom & Granny -

Tom : The method of mundane signatures does not rely strictly on topography but on a combination of factors. These are determined by correspondence with dignities of the planets within each sign and an observation of the effects of transits. Thanks for the Ptolemy reference but I'm not sure he's on the same page. He may be one of the sources of the idea but it appears to be undeveloped in his writings.

Granny - A sprawling country like the US would indeed have many regional influences and does. Evenso, there are also some common salient characteristics that give it an overall flavor. With many distinct regions and landforms, it seems likely that it would have a mutable sign ruling it as a whole. This is not a hard and fast rule and there are notable exceptions but it's a first cut. There is an abundance of coal in the US. Newspapers and other media are a very big business here and commerce has become the standard of value for nearly everything, education is also big business.. Whether or not the crime rate is any higher in the US than elsewhere it is perceived as a high crime zone. These factors suggest Gemini. Observing the transits of the planets through Gemini and portents and eclipses in this sign support that attribution for the country as a whole. Each region has its own influence as well : New England is Gemini, the vast West - Sagitarius, the South - Scorpio, and the Midwest - Taurus and each state has a sign with which it resonates by physical correspondence and transits. Notice that the regions also suggest polarities which have come into play in American historywhich is another Gemini characteristic, and there is the long established two-party political system.

Crime, politics and commerce chartacterize the US which is a sprawling place with every imaginable landform. This and the evidence of the transits through that sign make it Gemini.

Note to Tom - I am aware that the modern nation state did not appear until sometime in the late Renaissance. Some historians place it as a reslt of the Thirty Years War (1618-1648). Ptolemys system of assigning mundane rule to places may have been the beginning of such an effort but it was later medieval and renaissance astrologers who developed the concept and applied it to emerging European nation states and principalities and later extended it to the world at large. In Ptolemy's day, the world was not even thought to be round by most people. I'm trying to find some authors in these later periods who say something more about the method than providing a list of countries, regions, and cities with their signs as those authors repeated or deduced them. I suspect that it is or is very close to the concept I have presented based on comments I have seen by some of these authors. The problem is that I have not been able to find anyone who discusses the method in any depth.
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Tom
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Posted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I am aware that the modern nation state did not appear until sometime in the late Renaissance.


The comment was directed to you, but rather it was a general remark aimed at people who might read Tetrabiblos and see the word "countires" and think of them the way we do. I was only trying to place Ptolemy's work and the translations in hisotrical context.

Quote:
I suspect that it is or is very close to the concept I have presented based on comments I have seen by some of these authors.


Who are these authors?

Tom
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jonflanery



Joined: 30 Oct 2005
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Location: Dayton, Ohio, USA

Posted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 3:56 am    Post subject: Mundane Signatures Reply with quote

Tom -

"The comment was directed to you, but rather it was a general remark aimed at people who might read Tetrabiblos and see the word "countires" and think of them the way we do. I was only trying to place Ptolemy's work and the translations in hisotrical context. "

no problem, just further clarification.

Authors. Lilly gives a list of countries and cities by sign in CA (pp42-47 Ascella reprint edition) at the end of each sign description. I'm not sure he uses the same method as there ar some major differences. I think I saw a list of places by sign in Cardan (or someone elses borrowing from Cardan) in connection with where to look for the effects of comets and eclipes. I know I have seen these lists with other astrologers but I wll have to research additional sources. It is also clear form some lists that the criteria of recent history or major industry or climate and main crops are used by some. Some authors mention transits and some don't. And some Some of the more modern horary and mundane astrologers such as Raphael and Sepharial also have these lists. Another modern, GC Noonan in his Fixed Stars and Judicial Astrology mentions Ptolemys method and gives a sketch but provides no lists. If I recall, the modern horary astrologers Anthony Louis and Robert DeLuce also carry the lists.
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Sue



Joined: 11 Oct 2003
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Posted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
In Ptolemy's day, the world was not even thought to be round by most people.


Of course it was. They have known the world was spherical from at least the 5th century BCE. The ancients knew the earth was not flat. There have been detractors of this belief, such as Lactantius in the 3rd century CE but, for the most part, it was accepted that the earth was spherical. Eratosthenes proposed sometime in the 3rd century BCE that the earth had an approximate circumference of about 23,000 miles. This was remarkable considering the true figure is about 25,000. Ptolemy knew full well that the earth was a sphere and devised his maps in accordance with this knowledge. It is a complete myth, perpetrated by an author of a novel, that Columbus was fighting against all opposition to prove the earth was not flat. The Flat Earth Society arose in the 16th century and still exists today. Even as far back as the 3rd century CE Aristarchus proposed that the earth revolved around the Sun.
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jonflanery



Joined: 30 Oct 2005
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Location: Dayton, Ohio, USA

Posted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 4:23 am    Post subject: Mundane Signatures Reply with quote

Flat Earth : I apologize for perpetuating a myth better laid to rest.

I knew the Greeks were aware of the spherical earth early on but thought that as a result of the Dark Ages, it was forgotten for a time. I stand corrected.
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Sue



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Posted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it is a fairly common misconception. I know I thought that too before I became interested in cosmology and started investigating it. I remember being told about the supposed fear of the sailors of falling off the earth if they went too far. In fact, I am pretty sure that I was taught this stuff in school. Apparently the myth that medieval people believed that the earth was flat was a 19th century creation that was perpetuated by a novel about Christopher Columbus by Irving Washington (I think that was his name). Edward Grant, who has written some great books about cosmology in the Middle Ages, my favourite being Planets, Stars, & Orbs: The Medieval Cosmos, 1200-1687, wrote about this in his book God, Reason and the Middle Ages.
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Tom
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Posted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apparently the myth that medieval people believed that the earth was flat was a 19th century creation that was perpetuated by a novel about Christopher Columbus by Irving Washington (I think that was his name).


If it's the same guy who wrote The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, his name is Washington Irving. Close Wink

Tom
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Sue



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Posted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, that'll be him. Very Happy I find it interesting that these sorts of myths are so easily created and believed. As I said, there was a time when I believed that they thought the world was flat in the Middle Ages.

Speaking of Columbus, apparently one of the reasons he sailed off on his voyages of discovery was because he had read the works of Cardinal Pierre d'Ailly, a French astrologer who had predicted that the world would end in 1789, actually the start of the French Revolution. (For some reason Columbus reduced this figure to 155 years when he wrote to his patrons Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain.) Columbus wanted to make sure that the world was Christianised by then. He also accepted the calculations of d'Ailly that put the circumference of the earth at substantially smaller than it already was, making him believe that his journey would be easier than it was. Laura Smoller opens with this story in her fascinating book on d'Ailly. Apparently there are extant copies of the works of d'Ailly heavily annotated by Columbus.
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jonflanery



Joined: 30 Oct 2005
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Location: Dayton, Ohio, USA

Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2005 2:43 am    Post subject: Mundane Sigantures Reply with quote

Hi Tom & All -

While I'm still interested in developing this notion of mundane signature and tarcing it's references since Ptolemy, this stuff on Cardinal Pierre d'Ailly and Columbus is also fascinating. d'Ailly's world dominated by the crown and the church certainly did end with the revolution but it would be interesting to see why he thought it would be so and to have a look at the charts he used to consider it. In 1492, the Hundred Years War between the French and English was just winding out. Heretics and witches were still being burned and the Turk was knocking on the door at Vienna. Quite an interesting time in itself.

A little diversion into d'Ailly and astrologers of this period, perhaps including some of the Islamic lights of the Art would be welcome and it might turn up insight into this issue as well as some other mundane techniques or methods of interest. It should be kept in mind that d'Ailly's ephemerides were before the reform and corrections of Kepler, so some of his claculations may differ from positions obtained from software.

A chart for the storming of the Bastille shouldn't be too hard to come by.
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