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Skyscript Astrology Forum

The tropical and siderial zodiac problem
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Deb
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Posted: Thu May 31, 2007 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Martin,

I realise the conversation has moved on, but Iíve been meaning to come back to this for ages. You wrote:

Quote:
You can make anything fit...

Eg for south hemisphere

Capricorn at height of summer. Sun climbs gradually to the the peak near zenith, like Capricorns are climbers.

Cancer at depths of winter. Cold, rain and wet. Cancer is a water sign. And as the crab moves side ways at bottom of the sea the Sun creeps low along the north horizon.

Aries at autumn. Time for lighting fires. Cold weather is approaching time to gather fire wood for heat and cooking.

Libra at spring. Days are becomig fine and time to appreciate the outdoors and beautify surrounds, restore balance.

All a bit abstruse I know, but it serves to illustrate that I think the signs have an intrinsic meaning and the parochial attributions of the seasons is an overlay due to the experience of a people in a particular region.

Iím trying to be wary of a northern hemisphere bias, but I donít think you can make anything fit like that. You have to get very loose and abstruse to make it work.
Rightly or wrongly, calendrical symbolism is at the heart of the zodiac sign meanings Ė which is hardly surprising because it originated largely out of calendrical purposes.
The relationship is not just in the signs, but in the traditional rulers of those signs and the relationships they bear to the Sun and Moon.

You might squeeze Capricorn to summer with lose arguments about climbing, but it would not be convincing, and for everything you suggest there would be a stronger contradiction. And it would be a real squeeze to demonstrate the relationship between summer and the planetary ruler Saturn. One snippet remark is not going to work. If you say summer is destructively hot here, and thatís Saturn; no itís not; Saturn is cold, dry, heavy; it causes things to decay. If you go out of the house or walk through a wood here in the middle of winter, it is very hard not to see and feel the presence of Saturn everywhere. You just donít get that essence of Saturn in summer, even when the heat is oppressive.

The Arien aspect of Mars is not appropriate for autumn, because itís a very active energy, whereas autumn is a season of decline. There is a real distinction between the qualities of spring and autumn, just as there is a real distinction between the qualities of Mars in Aries and those of Mars in Scorpio.

You could take the two signs Taurus and Scorpio, and explore them inside out, and from every angle, and nothing about Taurus will contradict the essence of late spring when the weather is pleasant and there is a sense of fertile growth that is still very gentle and moist and full of blossom. Every aspect of Scorpio has a reflection in the sudden emphasis on darkness, and the images of traditional festivals like Halloween night that fill that month. I would be really impressed if you could take those two signs and swap their associated seasons over and make anything fit. Or rather, make everything fit as it does in the northern hemisphere.

I am not sure where that leaves the messy argument of zodiacal symbolism in the southern hemisphere. I agree that it causes problems, but I have occasionally been accused of personal bias because I refer to calendrical significance in explaining the origin of some of the symbolism we expect to be expressed by the signs. To me, thatís like saying I am sexist by referring to men as masculine; or politically incorrect for referring to black as a dark colour.

Quote:
Ptolemy and other classical astrologers must have been aware of this but unconcerned about anything other than only the seasonal experience in their own region.


Very possibly. But the fact is that astrology as we understand it, and much of its associated symbolism, did develop out of a northern hemisphere bias. So if anyone wishes to strip that out of their work, then they are going to have to strip out of their astrology a great deal of the symbolic attachments that are taken for granted.
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Martin Lewicki



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Posted: Thu May 31, 2007 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Deb

All your points taken. For a long time I would also justify the symbolic NH seasonal attribution of the signs and that they culturally imported to our essentailly Eurpoean society here down south. But there is that bit of dissonace I feel about this attribution nowadays.

A bit of study of Australian aboriginal skylore shows how differently they see the sky from their regional and climatic persective. Do indigenous people carry the NH sesonal charcteristics of the tropical signs? Is an aboriginal Leo like a Leo, having their cultural heritage in a southern land?

I prefer to attribute say Leo to "Leo" because it is intrinsically Leo rather than a follow through of a NH seasonal atribution or even an abstruse SH seasonal atribution (I was being a little mischiefous with that). This is like magnetic north staying north even when we cross the equator southward. the compass does not swing around.

Martin
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Deb
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Posted: Thu May 31, 2007 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
A bit of study of Australian aboriginal skylore shows how differently they see the sky from their regional and climatic persective. Do indigenous people carry the NH sesonal charcteristics of the tropical signs? Is an aboriginal Leo like a Leo, having their cultural heritage in a southern land?


This is the dilemma isnít it? Iím only aware of the problem of this, I couldnít claim to know the answer. But I once made the argument myself that you wouldnít expect to import Aboriginal symbolism over to the northern regions of Europe and America without feeling that something was lost in the transmission. There is a relationship to space and direction, and the element of from where light increases and declines that informs so much of what we are working with. Iím just reluctant to take the view that these differences donít exist, or that because we donít have a neat philosophical solution, the problem is not there.

I get a headache actually, when I think about things like this Ö
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Andrew



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Posted: Thu May 31, 2007 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I prefer to attribute say Leo to "Leo" because it is intrinsically Leo rather than a follow through of a NH seasonal atribution or even an abstruse SH seasonal atribution (I was being a little mischiefous with that). This is like magnetic north staying north even when we cross the equator southward. the compass does not swing around.


Let us suppose that the birth took place at 4 p.m. in Melbourne ... take out the cusps of the houses ... always remembering to change the signs to the opposite ones. This simple method ... makes a single set of tables for North latitudes of universal utility. ~ Sepharial, The Manual of Astrology

To cast a horoscope for a place in South latitude ... use Tables of Houses for the same latitude North as the birthplace is South ... write on the diagram the same degrees but the opposite signs. ~ Vivian Robson, A Beginners' Guide to Practical Astrology
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Mark
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Posted: Thu May 31, 2007 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have always thought this was a problematic area.

This takes me back to my very first post on skyscript:

http://skyscript.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1172&highlight=southern+hemisphere

If we accept an intrinsic relationship between the hellenistic scheme of sign rulerships and the seasons Maurice McCann's argument makes a lot of sense. However, as far as I know no southern hemisphere astrologer have come out supporting this idea. Perhaps that is telling us something.

I have studied Feng Shui a little and I know there are interminable arguments there too about whether certain techniques need to be reversed in the SH.

As for 'importing' other cultural ideas into western astrology that is difficult when a world view is so totally different. One area I do think we need to explore more though is ancient SH cultures take on fixed stars that were never observed by NH astrologers. It makes more sense to me to study Aboriginal, Polynesian, Inca and South African myths for such stars rather than the ideas of secular NH astronomers of the 17th century onwards.
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SGFoxe



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Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if I understand -- does this mean if one were born Jan 1 in Melbourne, one would be a CANCER????

What does Bernadette Brady (or any of the Aussie astrologers) say on this?
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Martin Lewicki



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Posted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="SGFoxe"]I don't know if I understand -- does this mean if one were born Jan 1 in Melbourne, one would be a CANCER????

What does Bernadette Brady (or any of the Aussie astrologers) say on this?[/quote]

I say no, you'd still be Capricorn. As in my earlier post, I submit that the signs are instrinsic to themselves. Thier seasonal attributes are "accidental" and rather parochial.

They do not flip at the equator which otherwise presents problems in itself. It is possible to stradle the equtor with both feet north and south of the equator thus be in both hemispheres and opposite season at once!

In my observations and that of other SH astrolgers, the signs work as in NH.

Martin down under
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Sunny Dawn



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Posted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The sidereal zodiac makes a lot of sense with the Vedic horoscopes that I look at. The sun is de-emphasized in Jyotish in terms of archetypes, and the Moon and ascendent (or Lagna) nakshatras take precedence. I think this is where a lot of western folks run into trouble.

The question, "Am I a Cancer or a Gemini?" is a perfect example of this.
Confusion abounds (and tends to perpetuate itself) with a question like this.

If you are a western Cancer, you probably have very few or none of the traits of a Vedic Gemini. Why? First of all, it's the Moon sign that counts, not the Sun.

I am a western Capricorn, with my Vedic moon in Ashwini, the first of 27 nakshatras, situated in early Aries. This has nothing to do with my sidereal sun in Sagittarius. According to my self-assesment, I have few or no Sagittarian traits except for the way that I decorate (and this is due to western 4th house Sag cusp of home decorating).

Second, there really is no such thing as Vedic Gemini, or sidereal Gemini within a Vedic construct. There are three nakshatras within Gemini: Mrigashira, Ardra, and Punarvasu. They each have their own distinct traits, many of which are unaffiliated with western Gemini.

Put all three of this nakshatras together, and the composite starts to look a little like western Gemini (as a lot of the finer details of the individual nakshatra archetypes fall away). But it would be a lot more accurate to say that one's sun is in Mrigashira, Ardra, or Punarvasu, which means something very different from a Gemini sun.

The trouble is that even westerners who are familiar with Vedic don't do this, because our twelve sign framework is so emmeshed in our psyche. Its really hard to memorize 27 nakshatras - I haven't done it, and I've been studying Jyotish for three years.

Use of a sidereal zodiac for western astrology doesn't make much sense to me, although I am aware that some astrologers feel comfortable with it. Use of a sidereal zodiac for Jyotish makes total sense. If sidereal doesn't work for you in western analysis, don't assume that it won't work in Jyotish.
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My Blog: http://slushpileastrology.blogspot.com/
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Mark
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Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2007 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Sunny Dawn,

Quote:
Use of a sidereal zodiac for Jyotish makes total sense. If sidereal doesn't work for you in western analysis, don't assume that it won't work in Jyotish.


I found your post very interesting. I agree with your main point. As a tropicalist my first reaction to sidereal is to say no way can I accept my placid Taurus rising becoming a fiery Aries rising!

However, in its own terms through the Nakshatras the Vedic placements in my chart seem spookily accurate. For example my tropical Aquarian sun is a sidereal Capricorn in the 22nd Nakshatra of Shravana linked to teaching. As I work as a trainer this seems quite apt! I have just got delivery of Dennis Harness's book 'The Nakshatras' and its seems an excellent introduction to Vedic lunar mansions.
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Tumbling Sphinx



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Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I don't know if I understand -- does this mean if one were born Jan 1 in Melbourne, one would be a CANCER????


No.

The Sun in Capricorn in the NH does not invert to become a Sun in Cancer in the SH.

While many in Australia can probably trace their roots back to Scotland, it's not Scotland. Very Happy

The Sun in its relationship to earth aligns through Capricorn whether someone's born in the NH or SH.
[On 1 Jan the Sun actually aligns through Sagittarius which is now the constellation infusing the 10th month of the year from the vernal crossing due to precession - back to this later].

By inverting the signs what occurs is that the Melbourne person's day of birth is being put back by 6 months ("back" when working on the premise that Melbourne, Australia is ahead in time calculated from Greenwich).

This inverting of the "signs" also means the celestial sphere is being inverted instead of someone's position on earth.

The day of the Sun is the position of the Sun within a month which occurs within a year before going on to consider the actual contents of that day, the adjustment of hours etc. And Melbourne is ahead of Greenwich by 10 hours, eg. 3pm on Sunday 10th in Melbourne = 5am on Sunday 10th in GMT.

At latitudes further north of the Tropics, the lunar dimension of Capricorn increases in dominance.

At latitudes south of the Tropics the solar dimension of Capricorn increases in dominance.

Every sign contains qualities of both Moon and Sun.

In terms of position in the calendar of a year (before reducing it to the actual contents of a specific day), it's like the difference between a 4th house Sun and a 10th house Sun, both in Capricorn - one shines more brightly, more publicly, the other is more behind the scenes - both are dignified.

What's inverted from NH perspective in context of the framework of months to a year commencing from the vernal crossing are the 10th & 4th houses/months ... the 10th house Sun is the NH Sun and is actually the one more behind the scenes, while the 4th house Sun is the one shining brightly and publicly in the SH.

A NH Capricorn Sun meeting a SH Capricorn is like a lunar Capricorn meeting their solar equivalent, or a Capricorn born at night meeting a Capricorn born during the day. That's before we even get to the polarity of Cancer.

But, that's what happens when the Moon is dropped from the calendar.

The lunar dimension of the sign gets obscured, as do the stars which is the frame of reference that shows earth's motion and earth's changing orientation to the celestial sphere. This changing motion of earth resulting in the wandering of the annual seasonal calendar of months that also applies to divisions of earth under the Sun.

The signs really became "land-locked" from interpretations of around the Renaissance and subsequent Gregorian reform - stuck to the immovable terrestrial/equatorial projection which is in fact in constant motion.

The order was deviated from, focus primarily upon terrestrial matters and divisions, and consequently the signs developed into the latter polarised, solar-centered, land-locked versions often encountered today which disguises earth's progression. There's much more to them than this.

One of the reasons behind the dropping of the Moon also being that observing the Moon was considered part & parcel of the less-than-well understood "pagan" practices which were frowned upon and which, aside from Dharmic, Native American, Celtic, Mayan, Australian Aboriginal etc observations, also happens to be the basis for 2 of the 3 Abrahamic faiths, ie. Judaism & Islam - luni-solar and lunar calendar. And probably Christianity too, before it's later adoption and incorporation.

The convergence between the tropical moving calendar of seasons and sidereal framework made it difficult to discern the longitude used by Ptolemy.

Western astronomers of more recent times used the tropical point of the vernal crossing, attached "Aries" to it, and reduced co-ordinates to the equatorial plane and fixed it in place, rather than leaving it as a wandering point relative to the fixed stars. Astrologers followed suit.
And things subsequently continued to spiral from there ... which was something of a culmination of adjustments and reinterpretations over a more extensive period of time.

The Nakshatras are simply the passage of the Moon in its monthly cycle.

In every chart we erect there is year (which is put into context as to which year it is by its number), months, weeks, days, and the contents of a day.

The calendrical order governing a society has an influence on the astrology practiced there.
For example UK's calendrical notation is days, month, year - horary which primarily focuses on the contents of a day - a moment - is strong in UK.
US is month, day, year - modern natal astrology is prevalent in US.

The direction of motion observed against the celestial sphere over the course of months (West to East) is the reverse of the motion observed during the course of the day (East to West).
And both calendars adhere to the latter adaptation of the Gregorian calendar which is a solar calendar, hence the emphasis on the Sun.

Calendars govern the rhythm of life of the people.
When a calendar falls into disarray it becomes out of synch with Nature, Nature's seasons, and it also pushes people out of synch with nature. Societal order goes through a process of disintegration.
If not consciously aware of it then people feel it or intuit the sense of displacement.

In addition, at northern latitudes people labour throughout the day, under the Sun -- the solar emphasis increases an emphasis on labour and the productivity desired according to the imperial rules used and reflected in the calendrical construct. Everything becomes geared towards productivity- producing stuff - in accordance with the Sun.

In tropical equatorial regions, people rest during the hottest part of the day - labouring during the morning and later in the afternoon/evening.

Climate has a direct impact on the culture of a people, culture is put into order by a calendar, and no matter how hard one tries they can't grow rice in a desert unless nature is completely ignored and artificial means are erected for doing so which subsequently drains other resources.
The indigenous way of thinking was/is to consider the whole circle and spheres of inter-relationships and associated impacts before taking action ... later developments are more linear, the fastest track from A to B.

There is large a shift going on presently (has been going on for a while), back to balance of nature and back to considerations involving the Moon & stars.

The roots to this shift have a lot to do with the relevance of the calendar in use in society - whether it's true and current or has fallen by the way, is out of step.
Unless it's aligned via the stars a calendar will continue to fall out of step because how life of earth's oriented is off-kilter, particularly as earth continues forward in its alignment with Polaris and as matters are precessing through the last few degrees of Pisces.

Sidereal vs tropical is a bit like "do we want to attempt to see what's really going on" or "do we just want to see what we want ".

The old saying of the universe doesn't always give us what we want, but what we need stems from the old order of considerations - counting the stars and measuring the moon at night before getting to the measuring the wind and matters during the day.

The 27/28 divisions of Nakshatras relate to the sidereal month which is found in all indigenous cultures.
They took their bearings and ordered considerations in accord with motion etc observed in Nature - from UK through to the North American Indians, eg. the Bighorn Medicine wheel in Wyoming with 28 spokes built approx 2500 years ago, to the ancient Egyptians, Hebrews (if someone had an interest in astrology relating to something such as the Bible they'd also need to come to grips with the lunar calculations and the luni-solar calendar of the Hebrews, the modern Hebrew calendar commencing around 3700BC) and the Babylonians approx. 4000 BC etc ... but people counted days in relation to the Moon and its phases way back in the Paleolithic Age.

The shift , reduction and subsequent lock to the Sun was relatively recent ... and it's going through a process of dissolution as knowledge of the West increases, further texts are translated etc.

The 30 tithis are the 30 lunar days of the synodic month (Moon's revolution with respect to the Sun - responsible for the Moon phases).

Order of considerations commences with the Moon, as it does in any traditional practice of astrology, eg. Horary attributes 1st house to Moon.

The notion that using sidereal - the celestial sphere as the start point for considerations - means someone has to convert to Vedic astrology is misplaced.
Although studying Vedic can be very, very helpful as it's retained the Moon in its calendrical construct and the order of the tradition.

However, all indigenous cultures started with Stars & Moon bonded to earth via the indigenous Sun as is evidenced in all cultures north or south and including the equatorial region.

General Question:
If astrology ceases to take alignments from the stars and reduces the frame of reference to only Sun & Earth, which is what occurred, is it still astrology?

Planets are used, and they are located by sidereal co-ordinates before going through the convoluted process of aligning them in modern Tropical which more often than not displaces them from the constellations they're transiting.

Another General Question:
How might interpretations improve in both the qualities being assessed and accuracy of timing by aligning earth to it's actual position - and actually being able to see this position on-screen or outdoors - with regard to the celestial sphere?
How might this help to interpret dark & light degrees (which relate to days) and things such as the "burning way"?

If we want to understand what the ancients referred to then there's a need to shift to their frame of reference rather than using modern innovations.

When thinking about this, it's also probably worth thinking about the progression from astronomy/astrology's use of indigenous Sun, to Sol Invictus, to the artificial Sun that's used to run around the circle of the equator instead of the ecliptic.

It's also worth considering what happens to astrology when the Moon is dropped from the civil calendar, as it was in the West.

And what happens to people, in society, when lose sight and a certain understanding of the role that the Moon plays in life upon earth.

Many in the west have gone in search of it again in scientific-philosophical traditions maintained in the East.

It's also worth considering why it is and what it is we're using "Tropical" for without the positioning framework of the stars (celestial sphere).

The tropics are a central region on earth that spans either side of the equator - seasons there are different to more northern latitudes, and they influence climate around the world. People living there observed both sides of the equator and travelled extensively both sides of the equator.

Tropical was the framework of months upon earth commencing from the vernal crossing.
The months were simply numbered, not named.
The start to numbering beginning with the 0 degree of the equinoctial crossing which was pre-empted by a lunar eclipse relative to a star, and the point of the vernal crossing assessed according to the "sign" of the applicable constellation.

When the 0 degree point equinoctial crossing coincided with the 0 degree star of a constellation it marked entry to a new era.

The precessing alignment of the vernal crossing to 0 degrees Aries constellation followed by it's ingress into Pisces marked the exalted position the Sun attained and a descent into confusion between numbers and names, what applied to what.

However, all signs contain both a lunar & solar dimension.

If wanting to understand more about Capricorn then need to consider the seasons of the tropical/equatorial region - which is earth's thermal band - and how what occurs there has a flow on effect influencing climate around the rest of the world.
Every time heavy bombing is experienced in the middle east earth tremors/quakes are experienced at locations further afield ... increasing heat/energy at earth's "girdle", or depleting it, also affects earth's poles. No location on earth is isolated or separate to another location, otherwise earth wouldn't be spherical.

Where Capricorn's concerned, also need to consider:

- the Nile crocodile, it's breeding habits and life-cycle, and crocodiles in general. Capricorn is the "sea goat" or the "goat fish" which via transmissions north became landlocked to a "goat" which loses sight of the water dimension to this sign in pursuit of matter, land, territorial conquest and the isolation this can cause (but also spiritual attainment and mastery if taken as a whole).

- Egypt's "Sobek" - fertility, protection and the power of the Pharoah;

- It's the sign of the primordial waters from which "man" arose; and

- "Sobek's" link to the cadaceus - Mercury - which in Egyptian terms rules the first 7 days/degrees of Capricorn (note, Saturn rules air during the day, Mercury rules air at night. In addition, Mercury rules the lower layer of air closest to earth).

Places such as "Kom-Ombo" built by Tuthmosis III between 1,479 - 1,425 BCE or the "Petsuchos" at "Shedyet" subsequently called Crocodilopolis by the ancient Greeks. "Peret" was the second season of the Ancient Egyptian calendar - the wet season from approx. Nov. to March - and the main growing season of the Egyptian year when crops were sowed in wet soil soaked by the annual Nile floods. Crops germinated during this season. Capricorn is about Germination amongst other things.

And while we connect Mars with Aries, rams and new lambs with Spring ... for sheep to produce lambs by Spring they're breeding at least 5 months before (Scorpio also ruled by Mars).
Mars is also relevant to heat ... and the cycles of nature going on heat.

Most sheep in NH breed only in the fall & winter months - estrus cycle is affected by the seasons.
The number of hours that light enters the eye affects the brain which governs the release of certain precursors and hormones.
Sheep begin estrus when length of day begins decreasing.
Closer to the equator they're breeding cycle is longer.
These days farmers often manage two lambing seasons, as well as two shearing seasons per year. (Shears/knives also = Mars).
Nature's seasons and signs are far from one dimensional.

Capricorn at the tropics:

The Sun represents the heating and drying principle (heat causes water to ascend into the atmosphere).

The Moon is a humidifying and cooling principle, it's the prime cause of putrefaction in matter - it shares moderately in the heating power of the Sun.

The gravitational influence of the Sun on earth, it's apparent direction, impacts air/winds in earth's atmosphere.

The gravitational influence of the Moon impacts volumes of water.

The rise of Capricorn in the tropics occurs in Monsoon season.

Saturn rules air by day - relationship to Sun, Mercury rules air by night - relationship to Moon. The combination of these during the month of Capricorn is to do with low air pressure systems amongst other things.

Saturn has 1st clime from equator north or south, the sphere of the outermost planets corresponding with the outermost/uppermost bounds of Earth.
Earth is an oblate sphere, fatter in the middle.

So, if you're sitting on this fatter mount in the equatorial region, it's the only place on earth where the ecliptic is erect, the angles are erect, and was also position from where could see both the rotation of Nth Pole (anticlockwise, widdershins) and Sth Pole (clockwise) via the circling of stars around a central point.

The South Pole is pointed to by constellation Crux which was visible in northern latitudes, eg Athens, up to around 400AD.

Crux which was considered part of constellation Centaurus and is opposite Cassiopeia, who is reflected with her hands before her in a cross or triangle. The Tuaregs considered the 4 visible stars of Crux iggaren, i.e. four Maerua crassifolia trees, which are part of the Capparidaceae family, members of this plant family also found in tropical region of Australia.

The SH was and always has been part and parcel of astrological considerations. Latter NH developments and innovations don't change this.

For territories north-east of the equator (eg. India, Bangladesh, Asia) the North-East Monsoon or Retreating Monsoon takes place from December to early March and involves the major wind systems that change direction seasonally.

As the Sun's retreating south (Earth's south pole is tilting towards Sun which occurs in earth's orbital progression over a year) the northern land masses cool off and air pressure begins to build.

Hot air rises which draws in cold air to replace it.
The ocean and its surrounding atmosphere holds the heat which causes cold air to sweep down from mountain ranges towards the ocean. While traveling towards the ocean the dry, cold wind picks up moisture from bodies of water it crosses (water warmer, ascends) and dumps it on the coastal areas, peninsula. However, the North-East monsoon doesn't bring as much rain as the south west monsoon - it's drier.

Monsoons play a vital role in managing wildfire threat by providing moisture at higher elevations and feeding desert streams. Heavy monsoon rain can lead to excess winter plant growth, in turn a summer wildfire risk. A lack of monsoon rain can hamper summer seeding, reduces excess winter plant growth but worsens any drought.

Mercury's rulership of the first 7 days of Capricorn in the Egyptian system references the direction of the lower air stream, particularly in regions close to large bodies of water (sea, peninsulars).

In addition, the Nile River which once hosted crocodiles all the way through to Alexandria etc flows from the higher regions in the south (upper Egypt) to the lower regions of Alexandria etc in the north (lower Egypt).

As such, this river also aligns with earth's Nth-Sth axis, and the changing orientation of this axis due to earth's precession indicates how, due to earth's progressive motion, the flow of river would change and seasons there also progressively change which affects agricultural practices. However to see this Earth needs aligning to the stars, which the present Tropical construct doesn't do.

As you move further north or further south in latitude, the tilt of earth's poles relative to Sun when it's aligning through Capricorn becomes more and more apparent, and is a major cause for the cooling of land & water in the NH (water vapour cools, coalesces and descends), and the warming of oceans and land masses in the south (heat causes water to rise, dries things out).
The divergence from the central region of the tropics indicates to what extreme. And Saturn is a demarcator of boundaries, extremes, involving both Moon & Sun.

No sign is singular in dimension, and that's before considering it's sign opposite or those square to it.

Greek/Helenistic astrology owes much to Babylonian and Egyptian predecessors.

Astrology practiced today in the West is largely imported from the tropical/equatorial region.

Question:
If Ptolemy was indeed an Egyptian native, then why would he write about 4 seasons when in Egypt there was 3 seasons which are still retained to this present day?
The seasonal quarters occur in latitudes further north or south of the tropics. In addition, he indicates he doesn't understand the Egyptian terms.

In seeing discussions on sidereal vs tropical, there also appears to be some confusion as to the rotation of a day vs orbit of a year.

There is a difference between earth's rotation and orbit.

These are two different motions and take their referential points from different orientations to the celestial sphere.

In addition, there's differences in apparent motion observed against the celestial sphere of the months over the course of a year (West to East) and the apparent motion of a day (East to West). This doesn't change, NH or SH. What changes is a person's position and what's considered to be on their right or left etc.


Rotation of a 24 hour period (such as that used for Horary) takes it's orientation primarily from earth's axial rotation and the stars at each end of this axis which earth's poles point to - the central point amidst the rotating stars - and the arc of both Moon & Sun in a 24 hour period.

The zodiac co-ordinate system designates the ecliptic as the equatorial plane of the celestial sphere - not to be confused with Earth's equator which serves as the equatorial plane for the geographic/terrestrial co-ordinate system of earth.

Certain Fixed Stars on the ecliptic (the equator of the celestial sphere) were used as "poles" or "equatorial nodes" (not longitudinal poles), eg. Aldebaran - Antares (Taurus-Scorpio), Sirius (Canis Major) etc.

These "poles" (stars) align with particular areas or arms of the Milky Way and which ones were used changed according to earth's changing tilt.

This is significant from the connecting with the "cosmic" or galactic tree pov of the ancients and when the equinox precessed to a point on the ecliptic that aligned with these specific stars it marked significant points in terms of ages upon earth (in addition to the usual precessional change of age).

In reduced cycles of time such the contents of one year, it also shows the connection at certain times of the year Earth has to the galactic streams/tree.

The "Tropical" system has long been in use to mark the start point of months/seasons of the wandering calendar which aligns back with the 0 degrees Aries point (constellation) every 26,000 years or so.

The zodiac co-ordinate system is insulated from earth's motion and it also reveals earth's motion by the change in what's becoming apparent. It's straight-forward and relatively simple to use (providing have some knowledge of stars).

Most of the movement of the stars that appears when inputted into the modern tropical co-ordinate system is wholly due to the peculiarities of Earth's motion.

And, as the zodiac co-ordinate system uses the ecliptic instead of the terrestrial equator for its equatorial plane, its not susceptible to the drifting of stars across the celestial equator. It's also less labour intensive than the modern tropical co-ordinate system.

The equatorial co-ordinate system used in modern tropical shares the same fundamental plane as the geographic co-ordinate systems, ie. earth's equator and because it's fixed to earth it rotates as earth does. This erects the illusion that the stars are moving out of their constellations and associated signs when in fact they're not - it also fixes the signs permanently to rotate with earth while setting the stars into motion.

Ecliptical co-ordinates were used by Hipparchus and Ptolemy in their star catalogues, and were the standard of celestial measurements until the Renaissance, when they were replaced by the equatorial co-ordinate system.

For anyone drawing upon astrological tradition leading up to and into the Renaissance, the question actually appears to be why and for what purpose is the modern Tropical equatorial co-ordinate system being used?
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Mark
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Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
While many in Australia can probably trace their roots back to Scotland, it's not Scotland.


Too right! As a Scot born on Australia day ( Jan 26th) I still await the chance to invite people round to a barbecue on my birthday! I'm clearly going to have to travel down under to enjoy that pleasure.....

Quote:
The Sun in Capricorn in the NH does not invert to become a Sun in Cancer in the SH
.
As you state the Sun doesn't reverse signs in the SH. In fairness to Maurice McCann though his point is more sophisticated than that.

Following Ptolemy McCann makes a case for reversing the essential dignities in southern hemisphere charts. This argument is linked fundamentally to the position of the Sun and the other planets in relationship to it.

McCann points out that Ptolemy lived in Alexandria, about 31 degrees North). Thus in setting up his rulerships, Ptolemy acknowledges that in the Summer months the Sun in Cancer and Leo is closer to 'our zenith and therefore most productive of heat and warmth'- 'our' meaning the Zenith in Alexandria. He gave the Sun rulership of Leo because Leo is a masculine sign. The next most important planet, the Moon, is given the rulership of Cancer, a feminine sign.

The rulerships are therefore based on the Sun's furthest declination North (actually just over 23 degrees). McCann then ponders what might have happened if Ptolemy had lived in Sydney, Australia (just over 33 degrees South) - there the Sun's at it's hotest when in Capricorn and Aquarius. So on that basis Ptolemy would have given the Sun rulership over Aquarius (masculine) and the Moon rulership over Capricorn (feminine).

The remaining planets are given rulership through a combination of aspect and distance from the Sun. In the North, Saturn the most distant (for Ptolemy) is given rulership over Aquarius by opposition to the Sun in Leo and is given rulership over Capricorn by opposition to the Moon in Cancer.

Jupiter, the next planet in gets rulership of Sagittarius by trine from the Sun in Leo and rulership of Pisces by trine from the Moon in Cancer. Likewise, Mars rules Scorpio by square to the Sun in Leo and Aries by square to the Moon in Cancer. Venus rules Taurus and Libra by sextile to the luminaries and Mercury the remaining planet gets rulership of Gemini and Virgo the remaining signs.

If this system is transferred to the Southern hemisphere, McCann suggests that Ptolemy would have given Saturn rulership of Leo and Cancer, Jupiter would rule Gemini and Virgo, Mars would rule Libra and Taurus and so on. By the same principle exaltation, fall and detriment would be reversed. However, McCann is not arguing that the meaning of the signs themselves should change.

The question McCann poses to all traditional astrologers is should the essential dignities be reversed for the Southern hemisphere?

I really recommend anyone interested in these ideas read McCann's book 'The Sun and the Aspects' to see his infinitely better explanation of this idea. The book covers several other subjects such as how the 19th century astrologers gradually altered the traditional approach to the aspects. You can order it here: http://www.midheavenbooks.com/

I suppose there are three arguments against McCann's thesis. Firstly, Ptolemy wasn't really arguing for the seasonal link with rulership to be seen this literally. Secondly, we need not rely on Ptolemy as our infallible authority on the origin of sign rulership. Thirdly, in pragmatic terms SH astrologers don't find this works in their charts.

Whatever your view I think its hard to avoid the conclusion that astrology originated in an exclusively NH environment and the implications of astrology in the SH were simply not considered by the early hellenistic writers.
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Mark
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Posted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello TS,

Quote:
The South Pole is pointed to by constellation Crux which was visible in northern latitudes, eg Athens, up to around 400AD.


Thanks for pointing this out. I checked this out for more detail in Deb's article on the constellation here. I hadn't appreciated this constellation was observable from Greece in Ptolemy's time.
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SunPluto



Joined: 12 Apr 2007
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Posted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[
Too right! As a Scot born on Australia day ( Jan 26th) I still await the chance to invite people round to a barbecue on my birthday! I'm clearly going to have to travel down under to enjoy that pleasure.....


Howdy Mark
Crack a beer at your barbie, watch the cricket ! and have fun with friends but some people view it as genocide day rather then australia day. I think its important to acknowledge that part of Australia's history too.
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Remember that everything we have somebody before us shed blood,sweat and tears so we could have a better life !
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Tumbling Sphinx



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Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2007 4:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Mark,

Quote:
"Too right! As a Scot born on Australia day ( Jan 26th) I still await the chance to invite people round to a barbecue on my birthday! I'm clearly going to have to travel down under to enjoy that pleasure..... "


Lol!!! Perhaps, for the interim, it might have to be an "indoors" bbq rather than an "outdoors" one. Smile
"Fire" warming, drying and burning in the inner realm, rather than the outer.

Quote:
As you state the Sun doesn't reverse signs in the SH. In fairness to Maurice McCann though his point is more sophisticated than that.


With all due respect to Maurice McCann, however, this appears to offer only half the picture - the solar terrestrial vsn from a clime far further north than point of origin.

Astrology that was transmitted to climes further north and west originated in climes from the South, closer to the equator - what those in the tropical/equatorial regions considered "South" was further south than the modern NH orientation.

One of the things that I do think is important is being clear on what relates to the terrestrial plane (and the significance of local horizon), and what relates to the celestial.

Quote:
"This argument is linked fundamentally to the position of the Sun and the other planets in relationship to it."


Yes. Let's think about this for a moment ...

1st consideration: What do we see when the Sun's up? How many stars? The logic to all this is based on that easily observed in nature.

If we're not seeing and measuring the stars (which is done primarily by the light of the Moon) we are measuring the terrestrial divisions (earth) by the light and rule of the Sun.

Therefore, if Sun is used as the point to measure from, what's being referenced primarily is the terrestrial plane and its divisions. The divisions on earth change according to our position, the celestial ones remain the same for the most part.

And the terrestrial divisions were numbered, not named.
When they were named, they were named after empirical rulers.

Naming was reserved for the celestial divisions and they (signs) were primarily ascribed via the Moon.

The transmission from celestial to terrestial occurring via waxing/waning aspects of Moon (celestial) to Sun (terrestrial) - the combinations of the two luminaries bringing together convergence between heaven and earth.

Ptolemy transcribed knowledge of his predecessors - he didn't create the rulerships, exaltations etc which stem from a more ancient tradition, but he does offer rationales for them and has passed forward a lot of information.

In digging around through all this (gotta love a bit of research!) the rationale for using Sun at centre appears to apply to the terrestrial divisions (which was a prime concern for rulers at the time), therefore we are speaking about the exaltations as relates to the numbering and divisions of months on earth (named after earth's terrestrial rulers).

As per Ptolemy:

Quote:
"...the circle through the middle of the zodiac one would properly take as the only beginnings [with] the points determined by the equator and the tropics, that is the two equinoxes and the two solstices.


Quote:
"Those who have written on these matters have made use of each of the four. Each of these parts has some special claim to being reasonably considered the starting point and the new year.


Quote:
It is reasonable to reckon the signs from the equinoxes and solstices, partly because the writers make this quite clear and particularly because from our previous demonstrations we observe that their natures, powers and familiarities take their cause from the solstitial and equinoctial starting places."


The start point for the numbering of months of earth's seasons commenced using either one of the equinoxes (you will also find vernal equinox was used for civil calendars, autumnal equinox used for ecclesiastic calendars) or start point commencing around time of summer solstice (eg. the Egyptians) or around winter solstice (eg. the Romans).

The first month of the year was numbered commencing from any one of these quarters.

As it presently stands, Australia commences its year in the summer months, as did the Egyptians. While UK for example commences its civil year in winter, as did Rome with the appointment of pontiffs.

On earth, East or West (regardless of whether you're in the NH or SH), the Sun can be "exalted" in the first month on earth, the first division as applies to nature on the terrestrial plane.

Every place on earth has an east and a west. We change our position on the terrestrial plane, but it doesn't change the directions.

This logic though I don't believe is the one applicable to the actual "signs" of the heavens, the celestial sphere.
Otherwise it would be the Moon that was considered primarily where rulerships and exaltations were concerned, eg. considerations involving things such as the full moon cycle, a cycle of about 14 lunations over which full moons vary in apparent size and age (time since new moon) with constellations rising, planets synodic cycles etc. The sequence being:
ē Full moon big - (perigee at full moon)
ē Full moon young - (perigee at first quarter)
ē Full moon small - (perigee at new moon)
ē Full moon old - (perigee at last quarter)


In addition, per Ptolemy:

Quote:
"Mars, which is dry in nature was assigned Scorpio and Aries, having a similar nature, and, agreeably to Mars' destructive and inharmonious quality in quartile aspect to the two luminaries."


We are not just referencing one luminary. We are also seeing a sharing of similarities in natures - not polarised. Ascent, renewal, birth and decline is evident in nature in both of these months on earth.

If we wish to understand exaltations as relates to the celestial divisions, then I do believe we need to pay closer attention to the Moon.


Quote:
McCann points out that Ptolemy lived in Alexandria, about 31 degrees North).


As mentioned earlier, I'm personally dubious about the fact Ptolemy lived in/was a native of Egypt (Alexandria) owing to the seasonal references he used - there were generally considered 3 seasons in Egypt from what I know - the four seasons reflects a mindset from a latitude further north or south.
If a native, an Egyptian, why 4?
This accompanied by the difficulties Ptolemy expressed he had with the Egyptian terms etc ... which to me reflects more his search for neat mathematical symmetry without necessarily relating back to nature of the month at that locale.
As a celestial observer and transcriber of ancient texts he passed on a wonderful amount of information.

On Masculine/Feminine, again Ptolemy:

Quote:
"An alternating order was assigned to them because day is always yoked to night and close to it, and female to male" and "Male rules and holds first place".


Day yoked to night, female to male, male rules first place.

Day is half and night is half of a whole circle of time.

No matter what you do, if you only consider the sun then you are only considering half the picture. This involves consideration of calendrical biases, and potential confusion between day and night, polarizations between day and night, Sun and Moon, when it's actually both that make up the whole cycle.

As was the case in many regions in this ancient tradtion (eg. Babylonian), the 24 hour period commenced with evening - sun-down.
As such night is first, therefore it is masculine (Moon masculine), after which follows the daylight hours, which are therefore feminine (Sun's feminine). This reflects older indigenous thinking.

If you function by order of days whereby daylight marks first half, night second - the Sun is therefore considered male, Moon female. This is the solar terrestrial view.

If we're interpreting "order", I do think we need to consider how the "days" were ordered applicable to the system being used.

Male rules first place - night or day. And "male" also references "mind".
Moon was also primary to "soul" and was primary to measuring the night, & stars.
With transmission to the solar calendar and Latin and we begin to see thinking emerge along the lines of "sol" as "soul", something of a literalization. These are things, when tracing astrology back, I think we need to be careful with.

In Astronomica (Manilius) - "Book 2 - extolling the greatness of Capricorn as Augustus's natal sign when it was occupied by the Moon guarantee that Augustus is still on the throne."
Moon reigned supreme.

Also, Ptolemy:

"Employed order of masculine and feminine signs whereby the masculine begins with the sign that is rising, called the horoscope. Or, beginning with the solstitial signs with the moon's sign because the moon changes direction more swiftly than the rest, so they begin the masculine signs with the horoscope because it is further to the east.

"Or entire quadrants - from horoscope to midheaven and those of the quadrant opposite from the quadrant to the lower midheaven as masculine, the other two as feminine."



Quote:
Thus in setting up his rulerships, Ptolemy acknowledges that in the Summer months the Sun in Cancer and Leo is closer to 'our zenith and therefore most productive of heat and warmth'- 'our' meaning the Zenith in Alexandria. He gave the Sun rulership of Leo because Leo is a masculine sign.


Okay, well let's take another look at Ptolemy ...

Quote:
"Of the houses - since of the 12 signs the most northern, which are closer than the others to our zenith and therefore most productive of heat and warmth are Cancer and Leo to which was assigned Moon & Sun."

"In keeping with this they assumed the semi-circle from Leo to Capricorn to be solar, and that from Aquarius to Cancer to be lunar."


Leo's "masculinity" was ascribed in the celestial sphere via the Moon, on the terrestrial plane via the Sun.
Bit like mental yoga attempting to unravel the luni-solar switching and transfers than went on.

On the topic of heat:

Quote:
"The region to the south is hottest because of the fiery heat of the sun's passages through midheaven and because these passages on the inclination of our inhabited world diverge more to the south."


"Clockwise" motion is observed looking south - towards earth's south pole.

Again per Ptolemy, this time on the "celestial" signs ...

The sign of Aries as a whole, because it marks the equinox, is characterized by thunder or hail, but, taken part by part, through the variation in degree that is due to the special quality of the fixed stars ...

The sign of Cancer as a whole is one of fair, warm weather, part by part its leading portion and the region of Praesape is stifling, productive of earthquakes, and misty, its middle temperate and its following parts windy. Its northern and southern parts are fiery and parching.

Sign of Leo - its leading portion is stifling and pestilential, its middle part temperate, and its following portion wet and destructive. It's northern parts are unstable and fiery, its southern parts moist.

The sign of Libra as a whole is changeable and variable, taken part by part its leading and middle portions are temperate and its following portion watery. Its northern parts are windy and its southern moist and pestilential.

Capricorn as a whole is moist, taken part by part, its leading portion is marked by hot weather and is destructive, its middle temperate, and its following part raises rain-storms. Its northern and southern portions are wet and destructive.

The sign of Aquarius as a whole is cold and watery, taken part by part its leading portion is moist, its middle temperate, its following part windy. Its northern portion brings hot weather and its southern clouds.



Capricorn and Aquarius of the celestial sphere also indicators for "hot weather" across the land.
When considering the celestial signs, also considering the directions east, west, north, south - the ecliptic used as the celestial equator, and the poles (aligning both ends of earth's axis) of the celestial sphere defining north and south.

With such a schematic how do we end up with half a sphere?

Ptolemy handed down information on astrology that had existed long before his time.

The astrology of his predecessors included the divergence between the celestial and the terrestrial before aligning neatly as it did in his time, from which point I think it becomes easy to confuse what relates to the celestial and what relates to the terrestrial when orientations change - especially if one considers earth to be fixed, unmoving.

There's nothing about earth that's fixed - the stillness is an illusion that masks the activity that's really going on. And studying the stars - which the ancients did - reveals earth's changing orientation.

If we reduce and attach all our considerations to the Sun, then it seems more of a fragmented terrestrial astrology that emerges as the celestial becomes obscured, out of synch.


If you're looking into the southern constellations, might also like to consider the likes of Centaurus (Crux is part of this), Argo Navis (Canopus, Carina) and Piscis Austrinus which has Fomalhaut, one of the 4 Royal Stars of Persia which were known as "Watchers" from about 3000BC, a quarter guardian of the Northern gate (located south it "watches" what's opposite, in the north).
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Tumbling Sphinx



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Posted: Mon Jun 18, 2007 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Mark,

Just to quickly add, "Crux" was also visible at the latitude of Britain approx. 5000BC, the constellation completely visible at springtime midnight.

I think it calls for some consideration what it is that we are actually doing when we shift from using the ecliptic as the "equator" of the celestial sphere to projections of earth's terrestrial equator.

In the earliest Greek cosmological systems where earth was regarded as a shield-like disc floating on water and surrounded by streams it becomes clearer when, compared to the stability of the fixed stars & the Milky Way, the rocking and rolling of earth's motion becomes apparent as stars rise and slip from view due to earth's continuous motion over greater passages of time ... this oblate sphere (or shield-like disc) where we reside being a living ship traversing the waves of the galaxy.
The ancients started with the stars of the galaxy, whereas by and large in western astrology today considerations revolve around the sun.
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