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Astrologers, Christianity, persecution ....
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Andrew



Joined: 31 Dec 2004
Posts: 360

Posted: Tue Dec 06, 2005 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb wrote:
I can’t see the ‘profound philosophical incompatibility between the astrological worldview and the Christian worldview’ that you refer to . . . Did astrology conflict with Christianity? As Vicki Pollard might say “no … but, yeah … but, no but, yeah but, no but.”


"Yes but no but yes but no but yes but no oh shut up." Laughing

In the strictest sense, in the precise sense, I ought to have written that there is a "profound philosophical incompatibility between the astrological worldview and the Patristic Christian tradition." Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea gravissima culpa.

There are Christian traditions other than the Patristic. Philip Melanchthon, the author of the Augsburg Confession (1530) and friend of Martin Luther, was an astrologer. Melanchthon’s biographer Clyde Manschreck observes that on one occasion, Melanchthon “alluded to its past value in medicine, agriculture, statesmanship, and character, and ended his oration by saying that the sun, moon, stars, and comets are all God’s oracles of fate. If the sun affects the changes of season, if the moon affects the humidity of our earth, then why should we assume that other heavenly bodies were created without purpose?”

There was also the notorious nineteenth-century Catholic astrologer Padre Rotini Toscanini of the Stella Lacrimosa Monastery in Ponderosa, Brazil, who instructed his seminarians in the "system of the seventh sphere," in which every seventh planet counted clockwise from the ascendant is believed to contain the key to the nativity, anticipating Ivy Goldstein-Jacobson's famous "#14 theory," in which a natal planet has influence 14 houses before the one it's in. It is believed that Padre Rotini (who was also a high initiate of Christian Gnosticism, Rosicrucian Philosophy, Christian Kabbalah, the Ordo Sanctus Gnosis Gloriosa Dies Adest-Sanctus, a Chevalier in the International Order of Chivalric Dubbed Knights, a Peripatetic Martinist, an ordained and consecrated Independent Bishop, founder of the Gnostic Apostolic Church of In Extremis Meis Esto Mihi Pia Auxiliatrix, and a hidden initiate of Bonpo Dzogchen Vajrayana Buddhism and the Khaniqahi Gonabadi Faniyya Hekmiyya Suffiyya, as well as a horse gelder, fish monger, and an interior design specialist) was the first astrologer to propose the existence of seventy-two hypothetical planets of indefinite influence beyond the orbit of Nibiru in an unknown solar system.

Okay. So that's it for me.
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Kim Farnell



Joined: 18 Dec 2003
Posts: 256

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Thank goodness for Vivian Robson!


That's a bit of a surreal comment seeing as Robson mercilessly plagaiarised Ramesey almost word for word... Shocked

Kim
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Tumbling Sphinx



Joined: 02 Jan 2005
Posts: 247

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew – thanks for all the further references and link to Bill Green’s article on Sinot.

Quote:
“Was there a climate of persecution? If one believes that being asked to burn one's books or face exile is a wonderful opportunity for a garden party, probably not.”


… and with the stroke of a pen, a ‘house-raising’ became ‘house-razing’, literally. Very Happy

Bill – appreciate your sharing your further research on Sinot, very interesting. And also your link to Fr Cassidy’s article.

Have only had time for a very quick read through, but it seems Fr Cassidy may have overlooked something in the section on “Basic Truths”.

At the start of the time-frame referred to, Christianity was a sect of Judaism. If I remember correctly, the teachings spoken of being in Aramaic (the native language), written in Hebrew (the liturgical language) and interpreted into Greek (the state administrative language) under Roman rule.

Hebrew letters are ‘literal symbols’ (in English usage Fr Cassidy ascribes words a dual role) however, the Hebrew letters are/were also pictorial symbols of what was naturally observed, conveying the essence (or the essential sense of a principle) of that observed.
Fr Cassidy writes: “Now, ideas are not visible entities,” … and this is where it appears to fall down, for in Hebrew the ideas, the concepts are visible entities – each letter making visible (manifesting) a concept/idea.

To translate from Hebrew to Greek (Koine Greek), emphasis was placed on the “sense” of the word. And I believe great efforts were made to carry this “sense” through in further interpretations, albeit in keeping with the prevailing views of those in power. In translation though, something is usually lost.
The subsequent interpretation into Latin – where words and letters had to be invented to carry forward the “sense” from Greek (and Greek not being spoken widely in the West under Roman rule) resulted in a literalising of the word (or further literalising of the word) – that which was warned against – it was also brought down into common language, and then later translated into English.

From Hebrew to English, the “sense” initially conveyed by the original letters - the essence of the ideas - had been divided 3 times from their source, not retained in the ‘high’ language of a certain education, but into common form. If we include Aramaic, then it’s been divided 4 times.

From a theology pov, perhaps one question is how does someone communicate the sanctity (the whole or “holy”) if it’s been split 3 (or 4) times from its original source and brought down into common form?

Fr Cassidy mentions St Paul – St Paul (Paul of Tarsus) was a Hellenized Jew, reportedly highly educated in the Hebrew teachings. And the letter of the Hebrews, as mentioned, was both a literal and pictorial representation of natural observations – to all appearances he undertook a most difficult task in attempting to convey the essential sense of a principle from one script to another, and into common parlance.

The Hebrews were well versed in astrology. However, if we go back further, Zorostrianism contained many of the concepts in the Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) – the 3 magi reportedly Zoroastrians - and there was a cross-pollination between the two.

But it wasn’t until last century that the Church moved towards reconciliation with it’s Judaic roots (well, partially) just as attempts were made to reconcile with it’s disinherited son, solar science, and a possible reaching out across the chasm separating Eastern & Western Churches in 2000 by removing the filioque clause in Dominus Iesus. It takes time for thinking to change, and even more time for that change to filter down.

Fr. Cassidy wrote: “One thus assumes that some form of common sense usage is the only one possible, and has no patience for the more intelligent who wish to make distinctions.”

But when it’s a common vsn of the “sense” from ages past that’s promulgated (in Latin, common = vulgaris, vulgar, The Vulgate) then an expectation for ‘sense’ to be anything other than that which is in common usage is perhaps somewhat misplaced. Patience is not a common quality … and it’s one of the qualities developed for astrology, as it is for other studies.

Fr Cassidy: “You can find an example of this confusion in Chapter 6 of St.John's gospel where Our Lord asserts that we must eat His flesh and drink His blood”

Transubstantiation? A literal interpretation that was commonly carried out amongst the masses, with masses being told and believing this to be precisely what they were/are doing, and for as long as interpretations continue in the literal vein is it of any surprise that it continues to manifest literally, in some instances to the extreme – ie. consumption (consumerism).

Fr Cassidy: “it is interesting to note in this context that Cardinal Ratzinger himself asserted that the catechism did not intend to teach ''new doctrine". In other words, it purports to be a summary of those truths which are part of the Church's history over the two thousand years of her existence.”

This is interesting as on the face of it, it suggests nothing has changed, however within that the new Pope appears to be making significant changes to bring the Church in line with the early letter of the law.
How those letters are interpreted will be interesting to see.

But generally speaking, I fail to see how there will be change in the Roman Church’s position on astrology given it’s established, fixed views reinforced by its actions – this view carried through to the divisions it created. To understand the teachings and origins of the Church, I’d have thought there would be some requirement to move beyond the 2000 years of Son/Sun absorption … involves going back to the source from which the meanings originated, this pre-dating the instituting of AD.

In essence, I don’t believe there is any conflict between Christianity and astrology – simply through literal interpretations of certain teachings by the powers that have ruled, conflicts arose. The scholastic era gave rise to the modern religion of science … bereft of sanctity. And without an appreciation of the whole (or ‘holy’) it’s simply dividing, not divining.

It appears that when the essential principles fail to be grasped theologians, scientists etc are left with a rationalizing of spirituality and astrology via both context and conscience.

Instead of the unifying principle being an understanding and appreciation of sanctity (which was once the principle uniting interpretations of text and science, ie. astrology) what’s left is that from which sanctity was divided – ie. text and science – and also that which is common.
And both context and conscience share a common prefix - ‘con’ -illuminating a negative to be aware of.

If sanctity is removed as the common link between text and science and replaced with ‘con’ what do we have?

Quote:
“humanists’ such as Richard Dawkins, who demanded that I/we be imprisoned for fraudulent practice. … The plug was pulled on the day, not because of any objections from the nuns, but because of the lay science teacher’s efforts.”


The religion of science (through to it’s extreme manifestation) … is a child of separation, only recently reconciled with one parent (in part). This parent also having exhibited extremes in both interpretation and action in the past.

And horo-scopes only become horror-scopes when an additional ‘r’ (Ra) or two is imposed, circumventing the natural order to instill fear.

From para #2116: “This constitutes a contradiction with the honor and respect, mixed with loving fear, that we owe to God alone.”

Loving fear? And while desire is muted (or mutated) into fear and this is perpetuated, peace remains illusive. This appears to contradict both prayer and trust – which are also illuminated by astrology, as are honor and respect.

On a lighter note, this last quote also reflects a love-hate relationship with mystery. We owe to God alone honor and respect, mixed with desire (loving fear)?
Perhaps when the mystery is solved (or one mindfully approaches the mystery), desire’s replaced by the bloom of understanding … for to approach any form of interpretation meaningfully already involves honor and respect.
Fear serves one purpose – bondage - which would appear to be the antithesis of that generally preached.
And if interpretations don’t involve honor and respect, then they’re simply … (tempting to reach for Latin vsn of ‘common’).

The tides have changed – yet there's still this persistence in promulgating superstitions and outlawing the divine … I know there’s some frightful things suggested about in-laws, but really!

Bill wrote:
Quote:
“I haven’t followed the whole of this thread, but as a general comment it seems clear to me that the attitude of the Catholic Church to astrology (whatever about the rest of the Christian denominations) has always been one of ambivalence. The evidence is overwhelming.”


(grin) … ambivalence, literally? 1. two opposing and contradictory attitudes or feelings towards an object or person; 2. uncertainty or indecisiveness in making a choice.

I can see how the first applies, but the second – overwhelming evidence that the leaders of Roman Church were always indecisive or uncertain in their attitude towards astrology? And I wouldn’t have thought Ratzinger fitted the indecisive or uncertain ticket.

Andrew wrote:
Quote:
“In his next incarnation, the current Pope Benedict XVI will become the Right Eminent Grand Commander and Supreme and Visible Head of the Mugworts Society of Skeptics. Crimen Astralionis!”


Lol! Wonder what that would involve - promulgating the merits of tea while denouncing astral lions?

In appreciation,
TS.
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Deb
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Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew:
Quote:
As I have stated before, the patristic rejection of judicial astrology is clear and unambiguous.


I’m much happier that a distinction between ‘natural’ and ‘judicial’ astrology is being applied now, but even within this more limited sense I don’t think there is anything clear or unambiguous about it. It is almost impossible to distinguish where ‘natural’ astrology becomes ‘judicial’ – this is largely a matter of interpretation, which is why some astrologers, especially those who were useful to the Christian cause, have been able to work within looser boundaries than others.

We would view Firmicus’s astrology as very judicial, in that it dealt with nativities and was firmly predictive. But he saw it as a natural philosophy, which couldn’t be interrupted by prayer, religious sacrifice, appeals to the gods, or magic.

At around the same time we have Eusebius of Emesa, who was born from a noble family with Christian parents and very well educated in the scriptures. He studied under Eusebius of Caesarea. He was offered the see of Alexandra but declined it so Gregory of Cappadocia was chosen instead. He was supposedly ‘addicted’ to judicial astrology and had trouble with a mob who accused him of sorcery, but he was aided by the emporer and made Bishop of Edessa.

“His fame as an astrologer commended him to the notice of the emperor Constantius II”.

“He was one of the most influential leaders of the great theologians of Antioch, not only in his manner of exposition, but also in his Christology.”

The are various brief references to him online. Among them:
http://34.1911encyclopedia.org/E/EU/EUSEBIUS_OF_NICOMEDIA_.htm
http://www.ccel.org/s/schaff/encyc/encyc04/htm/ii.vi.vi.htm
http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/EUD_FAT/EUSEBIUS_OF_EMESA_d_c_36o_.html
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/26012.htm

We obviously have Christians who are opposed to astrology too, just as, from the time that oriental teachings were first disseminated actively through the classical world, there were always critics, sceptics, and those who opposed it rationally or emotively because of its association with ‘heathens’, but its influence was still overwhelming. Remember that ‘religion’ was actually a derisive term to the Greeks, because it implied superstition and irrational belief rather than development through the rational soul- intellect. So in general the Greeks were keen to detach themselves from the mystical and pagan elements within astrology, ‘rationalise’ it and make it a natural philosophy.

You would be surprised by how much of this ‘astrological philosophy’ was retained within Christianity even by its outspoken critics. For example, Basil, who you mention earlier, is a good example of a Christian who rejects the use of zodiac signs as a means to describe character, and he points to how ridiculous it is to conceive that the moment of birth could be so accurately recorded. Yet he still considers it appropriate to see halos and mock suns as signs of celestial change and his reference to the Moon is not dissimilar to the approach that Ptolemy would take. In fact its very close to the content of a passage in Ramesey where he talks about the Moon’s astrological influence:

"I believe also that the variations of the moon do not take place without exerting great influence upon the organization of animals and of all living things. This is because bodies are differently disposed at its waxing and waning. When she wanes they lose their density and become void. When she waxes and is approaching her fulness they appear to fill themselves at the same time with her, thanks to an imperceptible moisture that she emits mixed with heat, which penetrates everywhere. For proof, see how those who sleep under the moon feel abundant moisture filling their heads; see how fresh meat is quickly turned under the action of the moon; see the brain of animals, the moistest part of marine animals, the pith of trees. Evidently the moon must be, as Scripture says, of enormous size and power to make all nature thus participate in her changes. On its variations depends also the condition of the air, as is proved by sudden disturbances which often come after the new moon, in the midst of a calm and of a stillness in the winds, to agitate the clouds and to hurl them against each other."
Homily VI: The creation of luminous bodies.


And no I don’t think that Ramesey was anymore ‘conflicted’ than is usual for an astrologer Smile He is a demonstration of his age and typifies that what was once considered a rejection of judicial tenets doesn’t necessarily tally what we would assume this to mean. Josephus was a tremendous influence upon the early Christian Fathers as you know, but whether it was technically correct for Ramesey to refer to him in the passage where he illustrates the support of Church Fathers is beside the point. What is relevant is that within his period Ramesey was confident in his assumption of theological support for his practices. He has walked the line so well that his book is referred to as “an excellent example of English astrology at its height of popularity and development” and without taking the trouble to read those introductory passages you would be hard pressed to note any difference in approach between Ramesey and Lilly.
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Andrew



Joined: 31 Dec 2004
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Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kim farnell wrote:
That's a bit of a surreal comment seeing as Robson mercilessly plagaiarised Ramesey almost word for word...


Minus the disdain for judicial astrology, of course.

It was meant to be surreal: after all, most astrologers have a sense of the surreal and the absurd. Except for the British.
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Andrew



Joined: 31 Dec 2004
Posts: 360

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb wrote:
I’m much happier that a distinction between ‘natural’ and ‘judicial’ astrology is being applied now, but even within this more limited sense I don’t think there is anything clear or unambiguous about it. It is almost impossible to distinguish where ‘natural’ astrology becomes ‘judicial’ – this is largely a matter of interpretation, which is why some astrologers, especially those who were useful to the Christian cause, have been able to work within looser boundaries than others.


If you read my previous posts, you will note that I indeed distinguished between natural astrology and judicial or character astrology, as did the Fathers of the Undivided Church. In the minds of the Fathers, permitted astrology becomes forbidden when it moves from a consideration of so-called natural phenomena to an interpretation of character and destiny. But don't take my word for it: visit an Orthodox church and talk with an Orthodox priest or seminary professor versed in patristic studies. I have, many times.

Quote:
We obviously have Christians who are opposed to astrology too, just as, from the time that oriental teachings were first disseminated actively through the classical world, there were always critics, sceptics, and those who opposed it rationally or emotively because of its association with ‘heathens’, but its influence was still overwhelming.


The Cappadocian Fathers were not simply "Christians who . . . opposed astrology," but represent the summit of patristic thought and spirituality. Their interpretations are taken as normative in the theological life of the Orthodox Church.

Quote:
And no I don’t think that Ramesey was anymore ‘conflicted’ than is usual for an astrologer . . . without taking the trouble to read those introductory passages you would be hard pressed to note any difference in approach between Ramesey and Lilly.


You have just made my point for me: Ramesey was "conflicted" in the sense that (1) his position represents a minority perspective within the astrological tradition of his time and (2) he produced a text on elections which drew upon the tradition he attempted to distance himself from. If this were not the case, it would hardly be worth noting the discrepancy between his position and that of Lilly's, et. al.
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Deb
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Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ramesey didn’t distance himself from the tradition or the techniques, only the application of it within certain areas. But your treatment of that quote is typical of what I’ve seen you do throughout this thread – edit out all the real purpose and sensible intent between the bits that you can reinterpret (out of context) to suit the position you entered the discussion with. Meaning important points are ignored, or have to be repeated as if they were never made in the first place. That constitutes a waste of time and a senseless discussion.
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Andrew



Joined: 31 Dec 2004
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Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb wrote:
Ramesey didn’t distance himself from the tradition or the techniques, only the application of it within certain areas. But your treatment of that quote is typical of what I’ve seen you do throughout this thread – edit out all the real purpose and sensible intent between the bits that you can reinterpret (out of context) to suit the position you entered the discussion with. Meaning important points are ignored, or have to be repeated as if they were never made in the first place. That constitutes a waste of time and a senseless discussion.


Oh, give me a break. In one breath you write, "He attacks horary and I assume it is Lilly he refers to here," and in the next you write, "Ramesey didn't distance himself from the tradition or the techniques." No, obviously not; in attacking horary (and, by implication, its tradition and techniques), he distanced himself "only" from the "application" of astrology within the "area" of horary, not from the astrological tradition he had received per se. Clearly, this is a distinction without a difference, an exercise in casuistry worthy of medieval theology.

"Meaning important points are ignored, or have to be repeated as if they were never made in the first place. That constitutes a waste of time and a senseless discussion." Indeed, this is exactly the same point that I have made in previous posts, and it is the same point that Tumbling Sphinx has made as well. None of the arguments he raised in his previous post have ever been addressed, and yet you manage to note "I’m much happier that a distinction between natural and judicial astrology is being applied now," as if I had never made such a distinction in the first place. Well, I'm glad you're happy now. Deliriously happy.

Oh, and if you're ever seriously interested in exploring Orthodox Patristic spirituality in relation to both natural and judicial astrology, you might consider accessing the expertise of an actual Orthodox scholar in the field of Patristic Theology, rather than spitting in circles and trying to revise ecclesiastical history to the point where the Cappadocians are reduced to "Christians who opposed astrology." Some astrologers who inhabit a hermetically-sealed, self-referential universe may believe this nonsense, but it is unlikely these arguments would be given the time of day in the field of Patristics and Orthodox Theology. Thank God.

How typical indeed.
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Deb
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Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I pointed out that clarification was needed regarding any relevant points that were unanswered from TS’s post. You didn’t give any, just another declaration of that oft repeated phrase “they remain unanswered”. This is despite pages of discussion where those points were reviewed and received lengthy feedback and debate. Some points are not worth developing further despite the dripping sarcasm they attract from you. How much should one continue to argue that the persecution of Arius doesn’t demonstrate astrological persecution, for example, when the point is pushed further by creative association between the holy trinity and the houses rather than anything that took place in recorded history?

Your posts are flaming, not illuminating. I never once referred to the Cappadocians as "Christians who opposed astrology" or made a relation between the two. That is another baseless assumption which you gleefully linger on as any excuse for derision, even though that ‘reduction’ was only ever made in your mind (again you eliminate the main points of my post and reinterpret the rest out of context).

Life is finite and I don’t have time to justify my comments against your derogatory evaluations when you obviously lack the ability to be reflective and reasonable. Your arrogant sarcasm certainly fails to impress me. Clearly you delight in it but it's actually utterly pointless and only drives home what a monumental waste of time it is to continue a discussion with you.
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Tumbling Sphinx



Joined: 02 Jan 2005
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Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2005 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb wrote:
Quote:
“How much should one continue to argue that the persecution of Arius doesn’t demonstrate astrological persecution, for example, when the point is pushed further by creative association between the holy trinity and the houses rather than anything that took place in recorded history?”


Deb, the questions raised and remaining to be answered don’t actually relate to Arius - they relate more to opinions asserted by Sue.

However, to briefly revisit this - Astrology informed Theology. The study of “natural astrology” – for which there’s been some insistence upon distinguishing – informed theology.
So, creative connections to one side, the question remains - what was that which was observed naturally (in nature) and interpreted that formed the basis of the theological/philosophical argument that did make recorded history?

Unless of course you consider theology to be completely separate to astrology. However, to be fair, I did ask for clarification on how you and Sue viewed the role of astrology – whether you were transposing modern definitions onto the role it played in eras gone etc – the answer to which was never forthcoming.

Deb wrote:
Quote:
“I pointed out that clarification was needed regarding any relevant points that were unanswered from TS’s post.”


I’ve included the points remaining unanswered at the very end of this post. As to relevance, well to be honest I’m not really sure of what it is you’re arguing – what the purpose of your argument is. But first:

Deb wrote:
Quote:
“And this is why TS, I think there is much more to this issue than the simple assumption that astrologers were persecuted by Christians.”


I don’t believe any simple assumptions have been made. I referred specifically to the Church of Rome – Christianity being something of a generic title.
Although simply, and generically speaking, the fact that astrologers were persecuted by Christians is also true – and we can break astrologers down into divisions between race/religious conflict, conflict between astrological philosophical beliefs, conflict between practices etc which seems to be the direction you’ve been taking. But I think there’s also a need to know who’s being referred to under the generic term “Christian”.

Still, I’m not clear on how dividing it in such a multitude of ways applies to the original assertion that was refuted.

That original point being ‘at no time was there a serious push (by the Christian Church) to punish astrologers or destroy it (astrology)’. I turned specifically to the Church of Rome within the whole spectrum of Christianity to disprove this assertion which Andrew, with his extensive knowledge of this area, generously expanded upon.

But it seems the topic you’re interested in arguing is not so much this, but a more general one involving Christianity vs Astrology – but then having said that, I’m not really clear on what point it is you’re endeavouring to make on this either. Sorry.

Deb wrote:
Quote:
“Up to now I’ve felt quite lonely in arguing for a distinction between ‘natural’ astrology and judicial astrology.”


What was the purpose of arguing for a distinction between the two?

In keeping with the original topic of this thread, I’m wondering how arguing this distinction lends support for the assertion that astrologer’s were not punished by the Roman Church or that the Roman Church didn’t set out to destroy the astrology it prohibited?
Besides which, the Roman Church regarded naturalism and rationalism as Apostasy a Fide which, in the Middle Ages both civil and canon law classed with heresy. So there really was a banquet of charges to select from should the authorities of the day choose to do so.

Deb wrote:
Quote:
“I can’t see the ‘profound philosophical incompatibility between the astrological worldview and the Christian worldview’ that you refer to. As I mentioned earlier, Stoic philosophy is known to underpin both classical astrological philosophy and early Christian philosophy, and both of these also draw from or support Aristotelian philosophy, hence the division always seems to arise from pagan elements, the worship of stars, and the limits of what is appropriate in ‘prediction’.”


It would appear by ‘pagan elements’ you’re referring to the astrology of Arabs, Jews etc – of those residing in areas where astrology originated – the first astrological worldview - before Stoicism came into being and to which the early Christian worldview under Roman rule was opposed? Because, unless I’m mistaken, it would appear therein lies the profound philosophical incompatibility referred to.

This original astrological worldview being one of ‘natural’ astrology, based upon observations of nature … so again I’m not really sure of the purpose for the insistence on distinguishing between the various types of astrology.
Perhaps the point being that the Roman Church was more intent on eradicating certain types of astrology than others? But if anything, that casts an even dimmer light over proceedings. I’m personally not interested in opening the lid on the racial/religious intolerance practiced at various times which such distinctions lead to – the focus being astrologers and astrology, and by that definition it also includes Moors, Jews etc who practiced astrology. The records for these astrologers are …?

But it also appears that you’ve been troubled by an apparent bias contained in the very first quote put forward? Yes, of course the very first quote contains a ‘bias’ - the natural bias of the institution I put forward within the whole spectrum of Christianity to refute the initial assertion.

And if I was seeking a Buddhist position on astrology, then I would go direct to a Buddhist source which would naturally contain a Buddhist bias.

But unlike this: “Whatever the reason it is unlikely that it was because of the influence of the Church”it does not contain personal bias. I’m all for seeking balanced objectivity, but statements such as this are simply roadblocks that no amount of “evidence” will dislodge.
The commercial reality is that if state rule severely restricts the conduct of certain business, to the point of strangulation, those businesses in order to survive will migrate to other states or countries more conducive to carrying on trade. Who/what ruled the Italian Peninsula at the time of the drop in figures? What were the laws? And a source/reference for the study would have been appreciated.

What appears to have ensued is a series of arguments trying to re-define or argue against what the leaders of the Roman Church have clearly stated their position to be, and a position they’ve enacted with certain claims being made as to there being no evidence they acted upon what they wrote, which was also refuted – with evidence.

Deb wrote:
Quote:
“but I don’t see how we can continue this thread without admitting that it’s not always simple, and astrologers haven’t always been blameless in any persecution that went around.”


In the context of the initial assertion I think it is relatively simple. However, it appears to have been complicated by – and this is simply my observation – attempts to apportion blame. In so-doing it raises the question as to why this is necessary.
But if we really want to get specific, then there's also the question of who’s directly responsible for the decisions and actions of the Roman Church? The consultants are not responsible for the decisions the Church leaders take. The buck stops with the boss.

Deb wrote:
Quote:
“but as Ramesey shows, it is possible to have a firm belief and commitment to astrology in general, whilst safely pouring scorn on the divinatory elements of it.”


And it appears, from the points you’ve made on this, that he’s advocating the safest path to be that of hypocrisy. Which simply raises the question – why? What/who was he afraid of that he had to remain safe from by pouring scorn on the divinatory elements?

And now that this thread has gone up in a puff of smoke, the points that I referred to as remaining unanswered were:

Quote:
Quote:
“There were political reasons for his demise that had nothing to do with astrology but were partly related to his attack on Dante.”


1. Political reasons, please share?

(This question later repeated, to no avail, ie. If not for his astrology, then what? And if you’re going to cite politics, then what was the political reason please?)

Quote:
Quote:
“if there are so many others like him?”


2. How many others existed of D’Ascoli’s standing that were around at that time, and how many dared to offend the Church twice?

3. How is Savonarola’s burning at the stake relevant to what happened to astrologers who the Church considered a threat to its interpretation of scripture, a threat to its cosmological view?

4. What are the “large numbers” of astrologers referred to/suggested? Who’s done a quantitative-qualitative analysis on the number of astrologers persecuted of the total population persecuted at any given time?

Quote:
Quote:
”The philosophical incompatibility between the two is a relatively new derivation of Christianity.”


5. Relatively new? I’m not sure what’s meant by this … last century or two?

Quote:
Quote:
“The problem with astrology, according to the Christian Church prior to the Reformation, was not that they were incompatible but that they were so similar. “


6. According to the Christian Church? Source? Are we discussing the same ‘Church’?

7. A couple of questions asking what scholars unrelated to astrology have to do with identifying those who were persecuted for astrology during a time astrology was prohibited.

8. How does an authority bring out a specific prohibition against astrology and enforce it - but not punish astrologers?

9. Appears there's a need to define what constituted astrology and what it was to be an astrologer during those times. (No takers on this one).

10. No proof? Trial summaries as well as secular summaries, the prohibition (bull), banning of books as well as other historical resources, eg. universities etc. Or did you have some other sort of proof in mind?

Quote:
Quote: “You have mentioned several people, many of whom were not astrologers and others who were not persecuted.”


11. “Many” is an exaggeration, and those “others” not persecuted not identified. There was also a call to clarify what was meant by persection - no point if talking at cross-purposes.

Quote:
“You’ve raised about 12 and I have disagreed with almost all of them.”


12. Another exaggeration. Disagreed with 4. If Ibn Verga & Ezra are added then that’s 4 out of 14. Add Andrew & Bill’s contribution – Sinot – that’s 4 out of 15. And deducting the 4 still leaves 11. How many more are out there?

13. I’ll suggest it again – define what it was to be an astrologer and define astrology. And define persecution and define what constituted heresy etc.

14. The differential being “no hard evidence”? What are these large numbers suggested by history? According to who’s history? Define “hard evidence”.

15. 1923? Was Gaspar Quiroga’s work which included the specific banning of astrology books (part of the Inquisition Collection purchased by the University of Notre Dame in 1996 from private collector) considered in what you cited?

16. So are you now suggesting the issuing of Papal Bulls specifically against astrology had no impact on the climate within which astrology was pursued & practiced?

17. As I mentioned earlier, the Bulls reveal intent. What was the intention of banning astrology?

18. I think it’s important the criteria for identification be considered. And hence the call for clarification on how astrology/astrologer is being defined.

(No response.)

19. But if you or Sue define astrology as something different (as this from Sue would suggest: “Christianity developed from the same worldview as did astrology”) then it’s important we’re clear on that too.

(No response.)

20. “Large” or “few” etc are not facts, they’re general opinions … formulated on what? It’s a reference to quantities, what were the numbers?

(chuckle) … 20 questions … relevant? Well, it would’ve been nice to have received some answers so’s to have a clearer understanding of what the general opinions were based on.
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Andrew



Joined: 31 Dec 2004
Posts: 360

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb wrote:
Some points are not worth developing further despite the dripping sarcasm they attract from you.


Well, you would know!

Quote:
Life is finite and I don’t have time to justify my comments against your derogatory evaluations when you obviously lack the ability to be reflective and reasonable. Your arrogant sarcasm certainly fails to impress me. Clearly you delight in it but it's actually utterly pointless and only drives home what a monumental waste of time it is to continue a discussion with you.


Oh, that stinging cane!
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granny_skot



Joined: 20 May 2004
Posts: 1634
Location: California, USA

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You know, this was an interesting discussion.

Granny
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MarkF



Joined: 22 Oct 2003
Posts: 523
Location: Outside Washington, DC

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Granny,

Are we to take the "was" as being meaningful? I am kind of dense sometimes and have to be hit over the head to understand some things. Naw. Even I am not that dense. Personally I stayed out of it because I didn't have anything to oontribute, though I did learn a lot.

And NO topic will ever be as hot and will have sparked as much passion, on both sides, as the infamous "8th House and Sex" one. Ahh, the memories! I wonder how that all would have looked to an outsider who knew nothing about astrology? Then again, I do know how it would have looked.
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granny_skot



Joined: 20 May 2004
Posts: 1634
Location: California, USA

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just wishing that some parties would curb their tongues a bit and not snipe. I dont see it as being in the least bit helpful.

and yes I enjoyed the 8th house sex chat as well. I used to work in an office that had clocks in every room that said " No sex before six" and all the numbers were 6. for some reason, that topic always made me think of that clock... =) Granny
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MarkF



Joined: 22 Oct 2003
Posts: 523
Location: Outside Washington, DC

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2005 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

See? This is my point about how different California is from the rest of the country. Here in Washington, that would be considered sexual harrassment. I don't know why it would be, but it would. There's an invisible sign in all government offices that says, "No fun, EVER!" I'm so much happier being a tour guide and out of the soul-killing world of the government.
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