skyscript.co.uk
   

home articles forum events
glossary horary quiz consultations links more

Read this before using the forum
Register
FAQ
Search
View memberlist
View/edit your user profile
Log in to check your private messages
Log in
Recent additions:
Can assassinations be prevented? by Elsbeth Ebertin
translated by Jenn Zahrt PhD
A Guide to Interpreting The Great American Eclipse
by Wade Caves
The Astrology of Depression
by Judith Hill
Understanding the mean conjunctions of the Jupiter-Saturn cycle
by Benjamin Dykes
Understanding the zodiac: and why there really ARE 12 signs of the zodiac, not 13
by Deborah Houlding

Skyscript Astrology Forum

How are Ptolemy’s terms determined?
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Traditional (& Ancient) Techniques
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Deb
Administrator


Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 4130
Location: England

Posted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 1:15 pm    Post subject: How are Ptolemy’s terms determined? Reply with quote

Can anyone explain to me, in clearer language than Ptolemy does, the reason for the order of the term rulerships through the signs? That is, what we call Ptolemy’s terms, not the Egyptian ones (from what I understand no one claims to offer any logic for their arrangement).

I understand the reason why the first ruler of each sign is what it is, but after that it’s not obvious to me why the rulership passes from one planet to another in the order that it does. I’ve tried a variety of different approaches, based on how I thought the text was explaining it, but all of them only work for some of the signs and not all of them.

I’ve referred to the Ashmand, Robbins and Schmidt edition of Tetrabiblos. Schmidt seems to imply that only his version has a sharp enough translation to allow the procedure to be followed, but he doesn’t demonstrate it, so I’m not sure if he has actually verified that the results follow the instruction precisely or whether I’ve missed something essential with regard to how we upgrade or downgrade the term rulers.

I’m not holding my breath on this but if someone else has worked through the compilation of the table according to that instruction, I’d be happy enough just to know whether it is reliable or not. Of if there ar any good sources to point me to ....

Deb
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Maurice McCann



Joined: 24 Oct 2005
Posts: 27
Location: London

Posted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Deborah,
I worked through the rules for the terms step by step as set out by Ptolemy in my book, The Sun & The Aspects. You will find tables for each sign in the Appendix. It was quite tricky juggling everything together. Let me know if this helps.

Maurice.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Maurice McCann



Joined: 24 Oct 2005
Posts: 27
Location: London

Posted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deborah,
I finally concluded that there was no astrological sense to the terms and their arrangement. They were not visible in the night sky and were the figment of someone's imagination, therefore they were of no use and should be discarded.

Maurice.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Deb
Administrator


Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 4130
Location: England

Posted: Fri Nov 03, 2006 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I worked through the rules for the terms step by step as set out by Ptolemy in my book, The Sun & The Aspects. You will find tables for each sign in the Appendix. It was quite tricky juggling everything together. Let me know if this helps.

It will, I’m sure. Let me see what you have there and stand by for questions Smile

Quote:
I finally concluded that there was no astrological sense to the terms and their arrangement. They were not visible in the night sky and were the figment of someone's imagination, therefore they were of no use and should be discarded.


It is demoralising isn’t it? Even if the instruction gives a way to derive the rulerships, the logic behind the arrangement seems so contrived and lacking in philosophical design as to make you wonder how ‘essential’ these dignities can really be. I’ve come close to wanting to throw them out a few times – I don’t like the idea of using something that has such a weak basis. Even Ptolemy says that the Egyptian terms ought to have the most credit on the basis of being more proven and more widely accepted in his day, but then he offers these because the Egyptian terms have no rationale whereas these are supposed to have some sort of rationale. But it's hardly a satisfactory one.

I think I would always keep the terms for my horary work simply because they add another dimension to the language (useful for descriptions, etc), and also because if I did start messing with the essential dignity arrangement I wouldn’t know where to stop. The zodiac signs aren't visible either, but at least we can understand that the rulerships there have a sense of logic behind them. But when it comes to things like researching astrological influences on say, earthquakes, or doing statistical studies like Gauquelin did, I’d start to wonder whether including things like terms would make the results less reliable than they could be – although Lee Lehman claimed that they show the promise of being statistically significant in her book Essential Dignities.

Thanks for the reply.
Deb
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
astrojin



Joined: 15 Nov 2005
Posts: 469

Posted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Deb,

Have you gone through the following article?

http://www.astrologer.ru/article/mey.html.en

How do you find it? Do you think that they are on to something?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Deb
Administrator


Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 4130
Location: England

Posted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Astrojin

It doesn’t do much for me I’m afraid because it’s the sense of order behind the rulerships I’m looking for. For example, the more you explore the decans, the more powerful the philosophy behind them seems to be; but with the terms the opposite seems to be the case. If the article pointed out why the Egyptian terms were organised in the way that they are, I would find it more interesting.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Tom
Moderator


Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 3509
Location: New Jersey, USA

Posted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb wrote:

Quote:
It is demoralising isn’t it? Even if the instruction gives a way to derive the rulerships, the logic behind the arrangement seems so contrived and lacking in philosophical design as to make you wonder how ‘essential’ these dignities can really be.


I thought you might be interested in this:

Quote:
"In judging the effects of the celestial bodies on the sublunary world, the astrologers of antiquity relied upon principles that were either invented and therefore unfounded in nature, or that were to a certain extent founded in nature but badly understood and put to even worse application. In the former group are the terms, decans, faces, the various parts, and the annual, monthly, and diurnal progressions, as well as other worthless items introduced by the Chaldeans, Arabs, and Egyptians."

Jean Baptise Morin From the Peface of volume XXI of Astrologia Gallica published 1661



Tom
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
TonyLouis



Joined: 03 Oct 2006
Posts: 79

Posted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 2:59 pm    Post subject: Re: How are Ptolemy’s terms determined? Reply with quote

Quote:
Can anyone explain to me, in clearer language than Ptolemy does, the reason for the order of the term rulerships through the signs? That is, what we call Ptolemy’s terms, not the Egyptian ones (from what I understand no one claims to offer any logic for their arrangement).
Deb


Deb,

Here are some thoughts, though not a complete explanation. Ptolemy seemed displeased with the Egyptian terms because they did not have a logical or symmetrical arrangement that was so important to the Greek philosophical worldview. Hence, he decided to rearrange the Egyptian terms and came up with his own "more logical" order. The Egyptian terms appear to be empirically derived, probably from observations that have been lost to time. There may be a pattern to the Egyptian terms but Ptolemy did not see one.

My understanding of Ptolemy's take on the terms is as follows. The five planets rule the terms in order, in each sign, of their helpfulness or potential for harm. First place is generally the best, firth or last place is generally the worst but this sequence can be modified by the signs and dignities or debilities of the planets in each sign.

The archetypal pattern should be: Jupiter - Venus - Mercury - Mars - Saturn, that is, Greater Benefic - Lesser Benefic - Neutral - Lesser Malefic - Greater Malefic. This is the pattern found in Aries, the first sign. The subsequent signs vary the sequence of this pattern based on the dignities of the planets in each sign. Interestingly, this pattern repeats for the first term of the first 5 signs, that is the first term of Aries of Jupiter; of Taurus, is Venus; of Gemini, Mercury; of Cancer, Mars; of Leo, Saturn. I don't know whether this is a coincidence or was deliberate on Ptolemy' part.

It also appears that Ptolemy placed malefics as first term rulers of those signs that have no exaltations (Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius) as if he thought that a sign without exaltation starts off on a bad foot.

Signs where the Sun is in detriment or fall have Saturn ruling the first term. If the solar influx is diminished, Saturn seems to take over. It's bad to step into a world without sunlight.

I realize that this is not a full explanation but there does appear to be a logic to Ptolemy's attributions of the terms that is not apparent in the Egyptian terms.

I'll be interested in your thoughts.

Tony
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Levente Laszlo



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 206
Location: Budapest, Hungary

Posted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Deb,

there is an excellent survey on this issue by Giuseppe Bezza and Marco Fumagalli (in Italian):
http://www.cieloeterra.it/articoli.confini/confini.html
This article is based upon the anonymous commentary of the Apotelesmatics which seriously treats the allotment of bounds. As far as I know, the other commentaries - including such classics as 'Alî ibn Ridwân or Cardan - does not address this problem so elaborately.

Osthanes
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
sasha_i



Joined: 06 Apr 2005
Posts: 288
Location: Bucuresti

Posted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
there is an excellent survey on this issue by Giuseppe Bezza and Marco Fumagalli (in Italian)


I read the article written by G. Bezza, and I also think it's a good one, but I think it demonstrates the order of terms according to an Anonymous (the order is different from the one used by Ptolemy in his Terabiblos)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Deb
Administrator


Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 4130
Location: England

Posted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Osthanes,

Unfortunately I don’t read Italian so I can’t get the benefit of the article you linked to, but thanks for placing it here for those that can.

Hi Tony,

Thanks for your thoughts. I understand what you are saying about some of those general principles (such as the natural order, etc), but that doesn’t seem to completely match with the way that Ptolemy explains this. To pick up on your initial point first though, it is often said that Ptolemy rearranged the Egyptian terms to derive a system with a more logical basis but he never claims to have done this himself. He says “we have come across an ancient manuscript, much damaged, which contains a natural and consistent explanation of their order and number”, and then he gives a summary of the explanation contained within that manuscript, ending with the table that results from it, which henceforth were known as ‘Ptolemy’s terms’, although he never claimed to have had any input in their arrangement.

After reading the relevant passages several times it doesn’t seem to me that Ptolemy strongly endorses these terms over the Egyptian ones, but merely presents what he has found in this ancient and badly damaged document. He starts by saying that there are two systems in common use at his time: the Egyptian and the Babylonian, and it is clear that he is much more in favour of the Egyptian terms than the Babylonian ones. But he offers up this newly discovered information as well, and he seems to split his opinion here by saying that the Egyptian terms are more credible and accepted by authority, but no one has been able to offer an explanation of the logic behind them, whereas the ones contained in the document are different from any he has encountered before, so they lack authority but they do have an explanation behind their design. I should think that it bothered Ptolemy to be unable to present a reason for the Egyptian terms, since he was the great philosopher who above all things wanted to give a rational account for astrology in his book.

Here’s what I understand of that rationale so far. I’m not claiming to understand this fully at this point, so if you think I am in need a correction, please let me know.

Ptolemy says that terms in the ancient manuscript consider the rulers by exaltation, triplicity and sign, so if any planet rules two of these dignities they automatically take rulership of the first set of terms in each sign. Because we have to discount the Sun and Moon, the signs which begin with a planet that has two rulerships are:

Taurus with Venus: rules sign and triplicity (day)
Gemini with Mercury: rules sign and triplicity (night)
Virgo with Mercury: rules exaltation and sign
Libra with Saturn: rules exaltation and triplicity (day)
Scorpio with Mars: rules sign and triplicity (night)
Sagittarius with Jupiter: rules sign and triplicity (night)
Aquarius with Saturn: rules sign and triplicity (day)
Pisces with Venus: rules exaltation and triplicity (day)

That leaves Aries, Cancer, Leo and Capricorn as the only signs that don’t start with a term ruler which rules two of the dignities considered. So at that point we then discount a malefic as having the potential to govern the first term and make sure that malefics are put last. However, (we fit an exception here for the signs of the luminaries) - because Cancer and Leo are considered blighted in this scheme on account of being ruled by the Sun and Moon that take no part in it, malefics are given rulership of the first terms in those two signs, with Saturn and Mars attributed by sect so that Saturn (diurnal) leads the term rulerships in Leo and Mars (nocturnal) leads the terms in Cancer. This is where I don’t see the explanation as being ‘natural’ or ‘consistent’ as Ptolemy claims it is.

Anyway, that leaves Aries and Capricorn. Ptolemy says that where there is no planet holding rulership of more than one dignity, malefics should be placed last and priority should be given to the ruler of the exaltation (if there is one), then to the triplicity, and lastly to the ruler of the sign. So in Aries, although the sign is ruled by Mars, the first term rulership is given to Jupiter because triplicity rulership dominates over sign rulership. Mars would be shunted towards the back anyway because it is a malefic, and a malefic can only take first place if it holds two rulerships (except for Cancer and Leo). The same reason discounts Mars - exaltation ruler – for Capricorn, and the first terms are given to Venus, the strongest remaining ruler of a dignity because Venus rules the triplicity by day.

Although I don’t see this logic as neat, it does work as a way to explain why each set of terms is led by the first planet in the scheme. The result is:

Aries: Jupiter
Taurus: Venus
Gemini: Mercury
Cancer: Mars
Leo: Saturn
Virgo: Mercury
Libra: Saturn
Scorpio: Mars
Sagittarius: Jupiter
Capricorn: Venus
Aquarius: Saturn
Pisces: Venus

It is from this point on that I struggle to see the consistency for the order of the remaining term rulers for each sign. I may not be interpreting Ptolemy’s instruction correctly but I’ve tried a few examples of what I thought it might mean, but nothing gives me a clear result for all the signs – for example why Mars sometimes take the last place, rather than Saturn. I do believe that it is only a matter of understanding Ptolemy’s meaning correctly, and that the answer is in his text, because he states that the explanation is consistent throughout the table and demonstrates both the order of the terms and reason for the number of degrees that each planet has.

I’d like to go a bit further into that in another post, and give you or anyone else a chance to contradict me on what I’ve written so far, in case there is any doubt about the derivation of the first term rulers.

Thanks for the interest, and any feedback so far.
Deb


Last edited by Deb on Mon Nov 06, 2006 1:49 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Levente Laszlo



Joined: 03 Nov 2006
Posts: 206
Location: Budapest, Hungary

Posted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sasha,

You may be right, as the main problem is that noone knows what is the true Ptolemaic system. In fact, there are numerous differences between the manuscripts, and the text explaining the background philosophy is as obscure in Greek as in the translations. It was an obvious problem for the editors too, and they employed various reasons in publishing their own version. As I saw, Huebner's edition and the reconstruction of this anonymous commentator does not differ so much, thus we can use it with the necessary precautions.

Osthanes
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
sasha_i



Joined: 06 Apr 2005
Posts: 288
Location: Bucuresti

Posted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 3:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Deb,

Here is the argument of the Anonymous writer (cited by Agostino Nifo in his commentary to Ptolemy’s Tetrabiblos) for the order of terms in Aries:

1.take in consideration ARIES; here Mars is in domicile and Jupiter rules by triplicities being also the benefic one. Triplicity comes before domicile (it is the argument of the Anonymous writer so don’t ask me way).
Conclusion Jupiter gets the first bound
2.take in consideration Taurus; here Venus is in domicile, and also a triplicity ruler
Conclusion Venus gets the second bound
3.take in consideration Gemini; here Mercury is in domicile and triplicity ruler
so takes the third place
4.after taking in consideration the three signs, return to the first one, Aries.; here we take Mars in consideration because is the domicile lord.
5.Saturn takes the last place.

general criteria for the order of terms are:
1. the planet that has two rights in the trizodia (the first three signs, in the case of Aries: Aries, Taurus, Gemini) takes the first place.
2. the benefic planet comes first, preceding the malefic one;
3. the hierarchical order: exaltation, triplicity, domicile

The author of the article (G. Bezza) mentions that there are some exceptions to the above criteria, in the case of Cancer and Leo.

G. Bezza says that the above argumentation comes from an anonymous Greek commentary on Ptolemy mentioned by Nifo Agostino in his commentary on Tetrabiblos
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Deb
Administrator


Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 4130
Location: England

Posted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sasha

This looks very useful. At a quick glance, it seems to be the first approach I was trying to take, but it fell apart at Cancer so I didn’t go any further with it. (I was just pulling my hair out!). I’m short of time today but when I get chance I’ll check how it works with all the signs apart from Cancer and Leo, to make sure I understand it properly.

Thank you - I'll get back to you later with my findings on how well this seems to work.
Deb
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Deb
Administrator


Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 4130
Location: England

Posted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The anonymous commentary was a big help – at least I think it has been, but there is still a problem: it creates a system that is internally consistent but for one exception! This is the order of the terms in Aquarius – but then I can’t see any other logic that justifies the order of the terms in Aquarius and I’m starting to wonder if they have been recorded wrongly.

My understanding of Ptolemy’s text before reading that extract was this: after having obtained the first ruler for each term, you then use the most dignified planet in the next sign as the subsequent term ruler for the sign you are working on. (Hence Venus which is the first ruler for Taurus is the 2nd ruler for Aries, and Mercury which is the first ruler for Gemini is the 3rd ruler for Aries).

I needed some confirmation on this, which that text gave – and also this text made it much clearer that you only consider the next two signs, with the last two terms being allocated to the remaining planets based upon their claim to dignity within that sign. Ptolemy does not say this outright, although I can now see that it is intimated in the instruction he gives on the designated number of the terms, where he says we are considering the strength of the planets within the particular sign and the following signs of its quadrant.

For anyone else who has found the instruction as unclear as I have, I’ll demonstrate the whole scheme, which will show the problem we have with Aquarius. Of course I am hoping that any flaws in the logic will be pointed out to me, although it seems fairly robust apart from the Aquarius problem. Similarly, if anyone knows of another interpretation to the instruction that accounts for the Aquarius order, I would love to be corrected or informed. (To view the Table of Essential Dignities as you read through what I have below, click this link www.skyscript.co.uk/essential_dignities.html )

To begin with, we have to determine the first term ruler for each sign. I explained how this is worked out in my previous post so I won’t repeat that here. It results in the planets that we are familiar with in our table:

Aries: Jupiter
Taurus: Venus
Gemini: Mercury
Cancer: Mars
Leo: Saturn
Virgo: Mercury
Libra: Saturn
Scorpio: Mars
Sagittarius: Jupiter
Capricorn: Venus
Aquarius: Saturn
Pisces: Venus

As mentioned in my previous post, the dignities considered are exaltation, triplicity and sign – in that order of preference – so, for example, a planet in its sign of exaltation will be given priority over one in its sign of rulership.

The formula is to establish the first rulers (as I did earlier), then the second set of terms are given to the planet that is the best dignified planet in the next sign (usually the first term ruler for that sign), and the third set are given to the planet that is the best dignified planet in the sign after that. As I said, this is usually the first term ruler, unless it is a malefic - because if malefics don't come first, they must come last.

So unless a malefic planet has been determined as the first ruler - either for Cancer or Leo to replace the luminaries, or for Libra or Scorpio because it has more than one of the considered dignities (as explained above) – it will always take either the 4th or 5th place. The natural order is that Saturn gets the 4th place and Mars gets the 5th (last) place. This contradicts the suggestion that the natural order places the greater benefic at the start of the sign and the greater malefic at the end – the reasoning appears to be that Saturn, being a more superior planet than Mars, has a greater strength, and so precedes it in dignity. The detail of each sign that I’ve given below should make this clearer:


Aries – Jupiter is the first ruler as already determined in the previous post. The second place is given to Venus which has most strength in Taurus. Third place is given to Mercury which has most strength in Gemini. That would naturally leave Saturn and then Mars, but this order is subject to alteration if one of the malefics has more dignity in Aries than the other – which Mars does because it rules the sign, so Mars takes the 4th place leaving Saturn with the last. Ie:
Jupiter – Venus – Mercury – Mars – Saturn.

Taurus – Venus is the first ruler as already determined. The second place is given to Mercury which has most strength in Gemini. Third place is given to Jupiter which has the best dignity in Cancer because it is exalted. Neither Saturn nor Mars hold one of the recognised dignities in Taurus so they follow the natural order of Saturn taking the 4th place and Mars taking the last. Ie:
Venus – Mercury – Jupiter – Saturn – Mars.

Gemini – Mercury is the first ruler as already determined. The second place is given to Jupiter which has most strength in Cancer. Neither Venus, Saturn nor Mars hold any of the recognised dignities in Gemini but the principle is always to put the malefics at the end of the sign so Venus, as the benefic planet, takes the third place, followed by the natural order of Saturn (4th) and Mars (5th). Ie:
Mercury – Jupiter – Venus - Saturn – Mars.

Cancer – Although Jupiter has the greatest dignity, the first place is given to Mars for the reasons covered in my earlier post. The second place is given to Jupiter which is the only planet of the five to hold one of the recognised dignities in Leo (rules the triplicity). Third place is given to Mercury which has most strength in Virgo. This leaves Venus and Saturn, of which Venus takes precedence over the malefic. Ie:
Mars – Jupiter – Mercury - Venus - Saturn.

Leo – Although Jupiter has the greatest dignity, the first place is given to Saturn for the reasons covered in my earlier post. The second place is given to Mercury which has most strength in Virgo. Third place is given to Venus rather than Jupiter because Venus has dignity in Libra by sign. This leaves Jupiter and Mars, of which Jupiter takes precedence over the malefic. Ie:
Saturn – Mercury - Venus – Jupiter - Mars.

Virgo – Mercury is the first ruler as already determined. The second place is given to Venus which has most strength in Libra (Saturn is discounted as a malefic: the principle being that unless the malefics take the first rulership, they must be placed at the end). Third place is given to Jupiter which has no dignity in Scorpio but is preferred over the malefics. Neither Mars nor Saturn have dignity in Virgo so they follow the natural order of Saturn (4th) then Mars (5th). Ie:
Mercury - Venus – Jupiter – Saturn - Mars.

Libra – Saturn is the first ruler as already determined (because it has two dignities). The second place is given to Venus which is the only qualifying planet to have dignity in Scorpio (by triplicity). Third place is given to Jupiter which has the most dignity in Sagittarius. This leaves Mercury and Mars. Mercury has some dignity in Libra by triplicity and Mars is a malefic anyway, so Mercury takes the 4th place and Mars takes the last. Ie:
Saturn – Venus – Jupiter – Mercury - Mars.

Scorpio – Mars is the first ruler as already determined (because it has two dignities). The second place is given to Jupiter which has the most dignity in Sagittarius. The third place is given to Venus which (as triplicity ruler) is better dignified in Capricorn than Mercury. Mercury then takes the 4th place in preference over the malefic and Saturn takes the last. Ie:
Mars – Jupiter – Venus - Mercury – Saturn.

Sagittarius – Jupiter is the first ruler as already determined. The second place is given to Venus which has most strength in Capricorn. Mercury, which has dignity by triplicity in Aquarius, takes the third place. Neither Saturn nor Mars have dignity in Sagittarius so they follow the natural order of Saturn (4th) then Mars (5th). Ie:
Jupiter – Venus - Mercury – Saturn - Mars.

Capricorn – Venus is the first ruler as already determined. The second place is given to Mercury which has dignity in Aquarius by triplicity. The third place is given to Jupiter which has dignity in Pisces by sign. The natural order for Saturn and Mars at the end of the sign is reversed in this instance because although Saturn governs the sign, Mars has the stronger claim by exaltation, so Mars takes the 4th place and Saturn takes the last. Ie:
Venus - Mercury – Jupiter – Mars - Saturn.

Aquarius – see below.

Pisces - Venus is the first ruler as already determined. The second place is given to Jupiter which has most strength in Aries. The third place is given to Mercury which has no dignity in Taurus but which is preferred over the malefics. Saturn would naturally take the 4th place and Mars the last, but since Mars has dignity in Pisces by triplicity this order is reversed and Mars is placed before Saturn. Ie:
Venus – Jupiter – Mercury – Mars - Saturn.

So all the signs work out except for Aquarius. If the reasoning was fully consistent Aquarius should run as follows:

Aquarius - Saturn takes the first place because it rules two of the dignities considered: triplicity and sign (as explained in previous post). This would be followed by the planet that has the best dignity in Pisces, which is undeniably Venus, since Venus is exalted in Pisces and rules the triplicity by day. Then Jupiter would take third place as the triplicity ruler of Aries. This leaves Mercury and Mars, from which Mars would be placed last as the malefic. Ie:
Saturn - Venus – Jupiter – Mercury – Mars

But what we have in the table is:
Saturn – Mercury – Venus – Jupiter – Mars

I can’t see the reasoning for this, and in every way that I tried to interpret Ptolemy’s words earlier, there was no approach that would explain the Aquarian order which wasn’t obviously disproved by the order of the other signs. Does anyone else have an argument for that?

Incidentally, the order: Mercury – Venus – Jupiter, which follows Saturn in ‘Ptolemy’s table’ is the order by which the Aquarian terms commence in the Egyptian set of terms, so could this be explained by a lacuna in Ptolemy’s crumbling document, which was filled in by reference to another well known set? The Egyptian terms for Aquarius read: Mercury – Venus – Jupiter – Mars – Saturn.

This bothers me, because the proclaimed strength of the alternative system is that the reasoning behind it is consistent – hence by knowing the rules any astrologer should be able to recreate it, and for the most part that appears to be the case. With the exception of Aquarius, it would be possible for any astrologer with knowledge of the exaltations, triplicity and sign rulers, to sit down as I did and calculate the order of the terms without the need to refer to any other tables. And Ptolemy states that it is consistent in its reasoning, so that is what it ought to be.

BTW, I appreciate having that section of the Italian text translated. Can anyone tell me if the anonymous commentary of the Apotelesmatics has been dated?

Deb
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Traditional (& Ancient) Techniques All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
Page 1 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
. Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group

       
Contact Deborah Houlding  | terms and conditions  
All rights on all text and images reserved. Reproduction by any means is not permitted without the express
agreement of Deborah Houlding or in the case of articles by guest astrologers, the copyright owner indictated