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Skyscript Astrology Forum

Astrologer's degree?
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Mark
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Posted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Deb,

Even if the Taurus camp of astrologers is smaller it does seem very respectable with yourself, John Frawley and William Lilly in its company.

And you have have a Virgo Moon...aha. Virgo strikes again!

Mark
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Tumbling Sphinx



Joined: 02 Jan 2005
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Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mark,

Quote:
his references refer to fixed stars in which case they are no longer relevant surely?


Why?

There's also Bootes - "those who have Ascendant in Bootes will be divine astrologers, skilled in the Chaldean art." [FM]

Quote:
"or cloud shapes to guide you instead?"


Druidic mastery of the craft had its merits.

Quote:
"... will of course fully accept the points that fit my own natal chart and exclude the rest! "


Lol! Naturally. Very Happy

TS
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Mark
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Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello TS,

On Firmicus you asked why I thought his references which refer to fixed stars were no longer relevant?

Well the meanings of the constellations and stars do of course remain constant. However, due to precession of the equinoxes the star positions have moved 20 odd degrees in the tropical Zodiac since his time.

So I am assuming degree references linked to fixed stars in the 4th century AD are no longer applicable. However, I still haven't had time to read the bit of Firmicus you refer to. I am feeling lazy...what pages?

Mark
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Tumbling Sphinx



Joined: 02 Jan 2005
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Posted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Mark,

Quote:
However, due to precession of the equinoxes the star positions have moved 20 odd degrees in the tropical Zodiac since his time.


Oh, okay, I see ... in progressing we're precessing, or in going forwards we're going back (or something like that).
Maybe then we also look at approx. 20 degrees back from 27 Leo ... "in 18th degree (Virgo),they will be important priests, learned friends of kings ..." (1 degree out - oddly, 21 degrees back?).

Quote:
However, I still haven't had time to read the bit of Firmicus you refer to. I am feeling lazy...what pages?


Lol! No real rush (at least, I don't think there is). Pges starting from 281 "The Myriogenesis" ... or may wish to start with those preceding.

Have fun! Very Happy

Best wishes,
TS.
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Alexa



Joined: 01 Jun 2005
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Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 5:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm currently reading the book Vocations by Noel Tyl in which he states that the astrologer's degrees are 18 degress Mutable signs (claiming Harding as the source). However, throughout the book he has various charts at 25 and 26 degrees Aquarius or Leo and he claims they are on the astrologer's degree also. He claims on page 123 the 26 degree Aqaurius/Leo axis (Carter). So I'm thinking he is allowing for an orb of maybe 2 degrees. He's really not very clear.

BTW, the Aquarius/Leo axis consists of the astrologer's degree. So it's not a question of just Leo or just Aquarius, but it crosses the entire axis to include both signs. So people with the correct degree of Aquarius, as well as those with the Leo degree have the astrologer's degree in their charts.

What I do gather is that an astrologer doesn't NEED to have planets on these degrees, but it is very telling when astrologers do have these degrees in their charts.
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Alexa



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Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is the link to find Mike Harding's comments regarding astrologer's degrees:

http://www.skyscript.co.uk/harding.html

Scroll down the page to the copy of his natal chart just under the question about publishing his birth information.
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Mark
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Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello TS,

I have looked at the procession dates in more detail. According to James Holden in his 'History of Horoscopic Astrology' Firmicus is estimated to have written his book around 355 AD.

We can estimate fixed stars moving 1 degree every 72 yrs/ 10 degrees every 720 years. I therefore estimate the fixed stars have moved 23 degrees since the time of Firmicus.

So that would put Regulus for example at 6-7 Leo. Its currently at 29'55 Leo.

However, I wonder if this all isn't really a distraction from the focus of the thread?

I mean can we show the ideas of Firmicus filtered into the 19th century and early 20th century when astrology revived?

I think those people were the crucial ones in influencing the attitudes of modern astrology.

As many of the basic ideas of astrology were gradually lost in this transmission ( such as use of dignities) why should something as obscure as this carry over from the classical era?


Last edited by Mark on Sun Jul 16, 2006 1:43 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Mark
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Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Alexa,

Thanks for the link to the Mike Harding article. I note though he admits the idea doesn't find any support in the research that has been done.

As for Noel Tyl well all he seems to be doing is repeating what he has heard from another astrologer. So what?
As has been stated before the issue is not so much what people believe but why do they believe it? What is the astrological justification for this?

The reference to 18 degrees in mutable signs is yet another twist to the Astrologer's degree saga! I don't suppose Tyl quotes his source from Mike Harding does he?

This whole discussion reminds of the the idea of the scientist Richard Dawkins that ideas or 'memes' can reproduce and spread rather like a virus. It doesn't matter if ideas can be verified or not.

Ok its probably not a great example as Dawkins would no doubt apply this to all of astrology and religion etc. Still it does convey the way many of the assumptions of modern astrology have spread.

By the way I love your pic. Thats what I call an astrological library!

Mark
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borealis



Joined: 05 Nov 2005
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Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nicholas DeVore writes in the Encyclopedia of Astrology
found at : http://www.astrologyweekly.com/dictionary/individual-degrees.php

"Several works, symbolical, speculative and statistical, treat of influences presumed to repose in certain individual degrees. Maurice Wemyss in the four volumes of his "Wheel of Life" even introduces some hypothetical and as yet undiscovered planets to account for certain qualities and effects. It is probable that many of the qualities ascribed to individual degrees have to do with sensitive points created by Eclipses, major conjunctions, or a close conjunction in both longitude and latitude between a solar system body and a fixed star, which points are accented by the transit of another planet at a later date. For ready reference a list of such points is arranged in a zodiacal sequence..."


Then in his list of "individual degree meanings"

of virgo 11....An astrological degree.
and of Leo 25....Alcoholic (25-26); astrology (25-29).

Where he found these two points exactly is unclear?
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Coder



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Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's some time since I looked at the Carter work. Someone remind me, did he consider orbs, or just the cardinality of the degree?
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Borealis,

Very interesting. I didn't realise there was an online version of DeVore's dictionary. I will have to add that to my favourites.

So he has 22-28 Aquarius an an 'astrological area'. and 25-29 Leo.

There does seem a worrying link between astrology and alcoholism around 25-26 degrees of these signs. Sounds somewhat less impressive doesn't it...'I have my MC on the alcoholic astrologer's degree!'

As you state DeVore mentions 11 Virgo as an astrologers degree but no reference to Pisces. A clear difference from Charles Carter.

Kim Farnell gave her Charles Carter source as the Encyclopeadia of Psychological astrology. Judging by dates it looks like De Vore's book was written in the early 1930's. I assume thats after Carter's book but I currently have neither in my possession so its hard to be sure.

The Scottish astrologer Maurice Weymss name keeps popping up and I am now keen to try and track down his writings on the degree points to see if he is the actual source of this or not. Unfortunately, all his books are out of print so I am going to have to hunt down a facsimile copy. Unless of course any generous soul out there has the relevant source and is willing to share what it says?
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Tumbling Sphinx



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Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Mark,

Quote:
"...Firmicus is estimated to have written his book around 355AD."


In the Intro to the book it mentions evidence that Mathesis was begun in 334AD, the 20 yr difference probably neither here nor there. So yes, approx. 23 degrees - I hadn't bothered to check your earlier figure. Precession of equinoxes being approx. 1 degree = 71.6 years. From now, 2006, back to 334AD = 1672 yrs/71.6 = 23.35 degrees (round up to 24 degrees, or back to 23). If going by works written 72 or more years ago, then deduct relevant no. of degrees from the current 23-24.

Quote:
"So that would put Regulus for example at 6-7 Leo. Its currently at 29'55 Leo."


Well, this is interesting. Now I'm confused. Precession of equinoxes is backwards through the zodiacal signs = forwards in time/age, ie. forwards in time = Aries (Libra axis), Pisces (Virgo axis), Aquarius (Leo axis), Capricorn (Cancer axis).
Reverse direction/order if going backwards in time, ie. Aquarius (Leo axis), Pisces (Virgo axis), Aries (Libra axis).
So if we're reversing precession to go backwards in time I'd have thought we go from Leo (Aquarius axis) to Virgo (Pisces axis). But it appears you've projected approx. 23 degrees forward, from Leo/Aquarius axis forwards towards Cancer/Capricorn axis.

Quote:
"However, I wonder if this all isn't really a distraction from the focus of the thread?"


It depends I guess on whether you're confining your research to relatively modern sources on the astrologer's degrees or were interested in tracking it back further to some source of origin. I'm not suggesting Firmicus was original source by any stretch, only an earlier one and that's why I mentioned him for consideration (think you asked where this idea had originated).

The astrologers degrees are not a new idea as Firmicus shows. In order of the stars, via the planets, Sun & Moon, to earth.

Quote:
"...why should something as obscure as this carry over from the classical era?"


Has there ever been an era where people have not asked "what work/profession am I (or will my child be) most suited to"?

I'm sure astrologers throughout the various ages were not exempt from this human concern, and sought validation from the stars for their occupation ... especially since the stars were a focus of their occupation.

To be able to delineate others occupations but not their own ... to me that would seem a little obscure.

Kind regards,
TS


Last edited by Tumbling Sphinx on Sun Jul 16, 2006 4:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Jul 16, 2006 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello TS,

My source for 355 ad is James Holden and the historian Lyn Thorndike.

Holden states:

Quote:
I have assigned these dates for the following reasons. In Mathesis, v11. 1 Firmicus, mentions 'our Porphyry' which probably indicates that he had once studied under him. Porphyry died c304, so if we subtract 24 years we come to c 280 for the year of Firmicus's birth. And since I have agreed with Thorndike that Firmicus did not complete the Mathesis until 355 or shortly thereafter, I put the date of his death c 360, at which time he would have been 80 years old. (A History of Horoscopic Astrology by James Holden p63 note 158)


Like many dates in Hellenistic Astrology there is considerable room for debate of course. I just took 355 ad as a plausible date but you are welcome to another one!

Ok its 71.6 years for precession not 72 my error. That does become significant over long time frames as here I admit. I am happy to go with your calculation. Maths was never my strong point!

On precession and the fixed stars the point is that the Tropical Zodiac is moving backwards against the backdrop of the fixed stars ie Sidereal Zodiac. I can see why I confused you. The Tropical Zodiac moves backwards against the Sidereal Zodiac 1 degree every 71.6 years as we agreed. Hence, the talk of us moving from The Age of Pisces into the Age of Aquarius.

However, while its correct to state the Tropical Zodiac is moving backwards against the Sidereal Zodiac in effect this means stars in the Sidereal Zodiac appear to move forward in the Tropical Zodiac! So look at say Regulus right now at 29'55 Leo. Due to precession it will move signs into Virgo in just a few years. Of course its position is unchanged in its placement in the Sidereal Zodiac. It is still the major star in the constellation of Leo. Similarly Antares in the constellation of Scorpio has by precession moved into the Tropical Zodiac sign of Sagittarius.

In a nutshell the Tropical Zodiac precesses while the Sidereal Zodiac/fixed stars process forward through it!

Have you had a look at Anne Wrights website on the fixed stars? I highly recommend it:

Here a section that answers your question I hope:

[
Quote:
b]Precession of the stars[/b]: The fixed stars cannot be progressed or arced. However they do precess forward in the zodiac at the approximate rate of 50.23 seconds of arc per year, the same as roughly eight minutes every ten years, or one degree every 72 years. In 100 years they precess at approximately 1degree23 minutes or 83 minutes (or 84).
If a natal planet is at a slightly higher longitude figure in a separating conjunction to a star, that star will precess to a conjunction, giving the energy field of that planet a superimposed profile and brings changes into the life corresponding to the influences of the particular star.
For example, if you were born in 1950 and had a planet at 23Libra50, that planet would be in a separating conjunction with Spica at 23Libra05. In the year 2000, Spica would precess, like a very slow moving transit, to conjunct that planet.
Examples:

#John Travolta (born Feb 18 1954, 2.53 PM, EST, Englewood) has Jupiter conjunct Rigel which brings honor, riches, glory and renown. His natal Jupiter is at 16Ge32. Travolta became an instant success with the release of the film Saturday Night Fever, in Dec 1977. Rigel had precessed to the minute of his Jupiter.
#Robert Kennedy (born Nov 20 1925 3.11 PM, EST, Brooklyn) had Pluto at 14Cancer30. When he was born, Canopus was at 13Can57. Canopus, when linked to the outer planets, has associations with violent, public and sudden death. When he was assassinated in 1968, Canopus had precessed to 14Can30, and conjuncted his Pluto to the minute


Here is the link to her website: http://www.winshop.com.au/annew/

I take your point about the validity of exploring this subject in any era you choose to. I agree it is interesting what the classical authors had to say on these issues too.

Its just that I don't think the classical sources are likely to provide the origin of the specific degrees we have been discussing for the reasons I previously gave you. However, that doesn't mean its not interesting on its own merit. As you suggest astrologers have probably been asking this kind of question as long as people have practised the art.
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Tumbling Sphinx



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Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark, this has been fun!!! Very Happy

I put forward a start point for FM writing Mathesis (334 AD) and you put forward an end point (est. completion of his work 355 AD).

I put forward an early origin, you head for relatively modern.

You put forward "Precession of the Equinoxes", I pick up the thread and you reverse directions to the opposite, "Precession of the Stars".

Lol!!! Step to the left, step to the right ...

Quote:
"Have you had a look at Anne Wrights website on the fixed stars?"


Yes. Thanks, have long had her site bookmarked ... and in light of above would suggest revisiting http://www.winshop.com.au/annew/precession.htm, but think you'll probably do the opposite!!!

We were speaking of degrees, yes?, which are simply smaller divisions of the framework of the zodiacal houses - not the motion of the fixed stars?

So if we're rolling back the zodiacal framework (which the degrees are a part of) via 'Precession of the Equinoxes', the Vernal Point, then following the change in position of '0.00' and what it points to, the subsequent degrees also change position through time - changing frame of reference.

Question is I guess, do the degrees from an earlier frame of reference carry through (or underlie) the degree positions of the here and now?
Do meanings carry forward through time and did they contribute to shaping 'modern' thinking?
Did Weymss, DeVore, Carter et al study the classics and project them forward? The classical sources amongst others provided the foundation to much of what's known now. Considerations perhaps, or perhaps not.

In order of 'Precession of the Equinox', what's now 27 degrees Leo in the current frame-of-reference would appear to be roughly the equivalent of approx. 20 Virgo in TM's frame of reference? No?

There may be merit in by-passing the houses and shooting for the stars, but the sequence involved seems a bit more like aligning the tumblers of a combination lock ... x steps to the right, y steps to the left, x more steps to the right, y more steps to the left & so forth, et voila!

It appears you've managed to narrow the parameters of your search and have crystalized a focal point.

Happy hunting, & thanks for the dance!(curtsy)

Cheers,
TS.
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Mark
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Posted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello TS,

Oh dear we do seem to be divided by a common langauge! Laughing

You stated:

We were speaking of degrees, yes?, which are simply smaller divisions of the framework of the zodiacal houses - not the motion of the fixed stars?

Er well no I clearly wasn't! If you go back you will see I raised the point that I thought Firmicus's degree points were linked to fixed stars. From. my perspective then the precession of the fixed stars made these points irrelevant.

However, are you suggesting these degrees remain immutable in the Tropical Zodiac? That seems hard to accept as nothing else does in the tropical Zodiac. Alternatively, do you suggest recalculation of these degrees through procession?

You do seem to suggest the latter when you state:

So if we're rolling back the zodiacal framework (which the degrees are a part of) via 'Precession of the Equinoxes', the Vernal Point, then following the change in position of '0.00' and what it points to, the subsequent degrees also change position through time - changing frame of reference.

Undeniable

You ask:

Question is I guess, do the degrees from an earlier frame of reference carry through (or underlie) the degree positions of the here and now?

That is an interesting point. I have no idea. Its a pity that people seldom raise procession in discussing sensitive degrees. Either these degrees are linked to the natural Zodiac and are unchanging or need to be altered with precession-like the galactic centre for example. Moving them follows the logic of a tropical zodiac in my view.

You also ask:

Do meanings carry forward through time and did they contribute to shaping 'modern' thinking?

I follow what you mean in the first bit of this sentence but what do you mean in the second?

Did Weymss, DeVore, Carter et al study the classics and project them forward? The classical sources amongst others provided the foundation to much of what's known now. Considerations perhaps, or perhaps not.

Thats a fair question but probably not one that a bit of casual dabbling from you or I can answer, This is where the historians of this period-Kim Farnell and Patrick Curry have a lot to offer us.

In order of 'Precession of the Equinox', what's now 27 degrees Leo in the current frame-of-reference would appear to be roughly the equivalent of approx. 20 Virgo in TM's frame of reference? No?

Well I agree that where our points would take us back hypothetically. Although there are other traditions of sensitive degrees. For example the 'lame, pitted or smokey' degrees used by Lilly and Al Biruni. But without any good astrological explanation why these degrees should be significant I remain a sceptic.

It appears you've managed to narrow the parameters of your search and have crystalized a focal point.

Its probably a reflection of my Sun, Moon and ASC in fixed signs. All that fixity likes a clear target to focus on!

Take care,

Mark
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