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astrological models

 
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Juan



Joined: 21 May 2007
Posts: 214
Location: San José, Costa Rica

Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 1:52 pm    Post subject: astrological models Reply with quote

Experienced astrologers --those who do not depend on textbooks to do their work-- know that astrological meaning is a linguistic construction based on pre-established categories or "raw" meanings" --i.e. the general meaning of a specific planet, of a specific house, a specific sign, a specific aspect or combination of them. The astrologer must combine these "root" meanings in his or her mind in terms of the way these factors or categories appear combined or related to one another in "the chart" (the radix), which is the traditional model most used by astrologers.

This construction of meaning is done according to pre-established rules of astrological logic (the "how to", the interpretational approach, the technique of interpretation), and in the process the astrologer makes use of past experience regarding how certain patterns normally manifest. The technique used depends on the problem at hand (horary, electional, mundane), but no matter what the technique is, the construction of meaning is based on an arbitrary assignment of real-life situations to pre-established astrological categories; these categories constitute the "factors" of the model, which is, fundamentally, like in any other Science, a classification system and/or a metalanguage.

The meaning that results from this process is obviously dependent on the context in which the astrological inquiry is taking place (i.e. an astrologer discussing with colleagues is not the same as an astrologer in consultation, or an astrologer doing research), and is also dependent on the adequacy of the model (the chart and the technique ) used. Some models are better than others, depending on the object of the inquiry, just like some tools are better for certain specific jobs than others, and some people are better handling some specific tool than others.

A historical example of one such new model is when astrologers began to include Uranus in their charts. The old model based on only the traditional 5 planets and the 2 luminaries already comprised everything that was later assigned to Uranus. Uranian rebellion and dissidence, individual creativity and the fight for freedom all existed before, but astrologers assigned them to other planets or astrological combinations. By the time Uranus was being added experimentally to charts, things like dissidence and individual freedom and opportunities had acquired a new meaning, they now had a different place and value in human society that was better charted by the new planet Uranus. The orbital domain of Uranus, breaking away from the limits of Saturn and taking the leap ahead to the future provided the metaphors from which astrologers rationalized the place of the new planet in human existence.

Traditionally astrologers had assigned the Uranian elements of reality to other astrological factors, which necessarily implied that they occupied a different place and had a different cultural meaning and value even though the circumstances were very similar or the same. The same circumstances were now being charted differently, with a new astrological category that allowed a more accurate and focused representation of what those circumstances mean for people today, in contrast to what they meant in medieval or renaissance times.

A similar change had happened before, when Christian writers had to face that in the Arab world from which they were copying their texts, the marriage partner was meant in a cultural context of polygamy and the 7th house was seen as the place of "coitus" [e.g. the "Liber Completus" of Abenragel], which offended the Christian concept of marriage, so "coitus" was changed into "nuptiae" and sexual activity was fixed to the 5th house concept of procreation. Today "sex" is not exclusively tied to the 5th house and tends to be associated by astrologers to the psychological and spiritual entanglements of the 8th, in correspondence to the changing meaning that sexuality has in our age.

When the number of available categories augments (e.g. going from 7 to 10 planets) the classification structure changes somewhat and the meaning of each category (=planet) adjusts itself to that change. The astrological model changes in accordance to cultural values and the astrologer assigns an experience or event to different astrological categories depending on the meaning the mind gives to them in a given context. Horary Astrology is an excellent illustration of this principle.

Astrological models (e.g. a chart) are a highly structured classification system the elements of which are mixed-frame time/space mathematical coordinates, plus a sophisticated canon of rules and conventions by which any human object of inquiry or "reality" is reduced to these coordinates for the purposes of analysis, prediction, and the construction of meaning.

While we all may look at the same reality, we do it with different eyes, and with different and/or new tools: some use asteroids, some use 7 planets, others use midpoints, others use hypotheticals, others use sidereal measurements, some use Koch houses, others don't use houses, etc.; they are all different classification and analytical tools, models, which can open perspectives about reality that were not available before while closing others, thanks to the disciplined "astrological imagination".

This multitude of alternative models is the necessary and healthy manifestation of psychological and cultural diversity. Even in medieval times there was a multitude of different and conflicting approaches (e.g. different zodiacs, systems of domification, systems of calculating directions, astrology of signs or astrology of causes, Indian methods, systems of "terms", etc., and incompetent practitioners abounded just like today.

Consider the following paragraph by Al-Biruni, who declared that Abu-Mashar was stupid, found in his "Al-Qanun al-Masudi" (at the beginning of the section dealing with Astrology):

Quote:
"Some of the basic principles of the art of Judicial Astrology are presented in the form of (mathematical) calculations. In consequence, (astrologers) have a sufficiency of trouble with the principles they regard as being recognized (by all of them), and with respect to which there is no controversy. As this is not based on (intellectual) necessity, differences of opinion are possible, and the methods used have multiplied in various ways." -- ref.: p.348-9 "The Semantic Distinction between the terms 'Astronomy' and 'Astrology' according to Al-Biruni", Shlomo Pines, Isis 55: 343-349, 1964

Juan
.


Last edited by Juan on Mon Aug 27, 2007 6:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mike



Joined: 19 Jul 2007
Posts: 72

Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nor tradition or novelty alone make
an astrological model better than the
others. We need a system for the
measurement of quality of a given
astrological model.

Principles
1. Internal consistency.
2. Cultural relevance.
3. Interpretative power.

Those principles are very short
and archaic, however they could
be expanded to facilitate the
evaluation.
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Andrew



Joined: 31 Dec 2004
Posts: 360

Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 6:16 pm    Post subject: Re: astrological models Reply with quote

Quote:
By the time Uranus was being added experimentally to charts, things like dissidence and individual freedom and opportunities had acquired a new meaning, they now had a different place and value in human society that was better charted by the new planet Uranus.


One could perhaps argue that if ideas of freedom do not gain their proper or appropriate conceptual forms, they do not become basic ideas of value. It would therefore follow that ideas of individual freedom must of necessity constantly acquire new forms. However, there is no empirical evidence to support the assertion that the addition of Uranus into individual charts was reflective of this process, a process which occurs in perpetuum, not simply at the discovery of Uranus.

Quote:
Traditionally astrologers had assigned the Uranian elements of reality to other astrological factors, which necessarily implied that they occupied a different place and had a different cultural meaning and value even though the circumstances were very similar or the same.


In what way does the assignation of soi-disant Uranian elements to other astrological factors necessarily imply that they occupied a different place and held a different cultural meaning? One could just as easily argue that the Uranian elements were already extant within the existing tradition and were simply "interpreted forward" in response to the discovery of Uranus and projected onto it.

Quote:
The same circumstances were now being charted differently, with a new astrological category that allowed a more accurate and focused representation of what those circumstances mean for people today, in contrast to what they meant in medieval or renaissance times.


But again, there is no empirical evidence to support the assertion that the addition of Uranus into charts allowed a more accurate representation of those circumstances. Not all assertions are testable statements, but this assertion implies an evidentiary basis for its claim, i.e.: "Uranus allows for a more accurate and focused representation."

Arthur Mather notes:

If astrology is entirely an art as defined above, and entirely not a science, then the scientific approach must by definition be rejected. Of course many astrologers already do this. But they do not observe the consequences, which means not making testable statements and not making claims like "Jupiter indicates expansiveness."

Note the problem: Without a sound scientific basis, which astrology is now by definition incapable of having, nobody can legitimately claim that Jupiter indicates anything. All that could be said is something like "the ancient Greeks thought that Jupiter indicates expansiveness, but nobody knows if this is actually true." Anything else would turn astrology into a pseudoscience -- an art form falsely posing as a science, as when the testing of testable claims is rejected or ignored.


In other words, astrologers must interpret from within the language and worldview of astrology, not from the language and worldview of testable hypotheses. A symbolic language must not be confused with what it tries to convey; it reflects, but does not contain.

Quote:
A similar change had happened before, when Christian writers had to face that in the Arab world from which they were copying their texts, the marriage partner was meant in a cultural context of polygamy and the 7th house was seen as the place of "coitus" [e.g. the "Liber Completus" of Abenragel], which offended the Christian concept of marriage, so "coitus" was changed into "nuptiae" and sexual activity was fixed to the 5th house concept of procreation.


But in the Muslim Arab world, while the definition of marriage had always contemplated the possibility of polygynous unions, it had also recognized the preeminence of monogamous unions. Polygynous unions were always contingent rather than normative, in accord with the legal injunctions of the Qur'an (ahkam al-qur’an).

Quote:
Today "sex" is not exclusively tied to the 5th house and tends to be associated by astrologers to the psychological and spiritual entanglements of the 8th, in correspondence to the changing meaning that sexuality has in our age.


To be fair, it is associated with the 8th house by astrologers who practice modern Western astrology, who probably constitute a minority, if one considers that there appear to be more astrologers in India than anywhere else in the world.

Quote:
The astrological model changes in accordance to cultural values and the astrologer assigns an experience or event to different astrological categories depending on the meaning the mind gives to them in a given context.


As I argued in another thread, traditional astrologies tend to be internally consistent and thus symbolically self-contained and self-sufficient. The only expansion they require is an interpretive or a qualitative one rather than a structural or quantitative one. The structural components of the model do not need to change, but the interpretive components certainly do, in response to change in cultural values, etc.

Quote:
They are all different classification and analytical tools, models, which can open perspectives about reality that were not available before.


They may, but so may many other, more "traditional" tools.

Quote:
This multitude of alternative models is the necessary and healthy manifestation of psychological and cultural diversity.


Or it might be a manifestation of instability, fragmentation and diffusion. I would argue that it is not so much a multitude of alternative models that is required, but a range of interpretive approaches.

Quote:
Even in medieval times there was a multitude of different and conflicting approaches (e.g. different zodiacs, systems of domification, systems of calculating directions, astrology of signs or astrology of causes, Indian methods, systems of "terms", etc., and incompetent practitioners abounded just like today.


Yes, but these are not necessarily indications of psychological and cultural diversity; they seem more likely to be indications of misunderstanding and miscommunication.

If I were to look for a field-developed model of modern astrology, I would look to the Cosmobiology of Reinhold Ebertin.

Andrew
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Mike



Joined: 19 Jul 2007
Posts: 72

Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
If I were to look for a field-developed model of modern astrology, I would look to the Cosmobiology of Reinhold Ebertin.


I would look at the Hamburg School of Astrology instead.
As Reinhold Ebertin is dishonest and an egalomaniac,
because he stole the methods of the Hamburg School
of Astrology, modified them, changed it's name,
reselled them, while associating those methods
with himself, for easy fame and fortune.


"Reinhold Ebertin, a (unofficial) student of Hamburg School methods, eliminated the use of the hypothetical trans-neptunian objects while maintaining the core teachings of the Hamburg School, renamed them "Cosmobiology" (German: Kosmobiologie), and published them in The Combination of Stellar Influences in 1940, last updated in English in 1972."

(Wikipedia, Hamburg School of Astrology.)
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Juan



Joined: 21 May 2007
Posts: 214
Location: San José, Costa Rica

Posted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 9:09 pm    Post subject: Re: astrological models Reply with quote

Andrew wrote:
there is no empirical evidence to support the assertion that the addition of Uranus into individual charts was reflective of this process, a process which occurs in perpetuum, not simply at the discovery of Uranus.

Once something entirely new has been allowed into a system, change will be accepted differentially throughout the system, as the new is adopted (e.g. modern astrology, European society after the industrial revolution, etc.) or people react to it and become encroached and marginalized (pre-1700 Astrology).

The "differential" means that other (non-western) societies experiment this cultural change much later, many right into the 20th century, so Uranus has a different meaning for them. But this type of change happens only once. I discussed these differences here:

http://www.expreso.co.cr/centaurs/posts/mundane/politics.html

It is like becoming a parent for the first time: your life structure is now changed, before that, you did not need "parental resources", now you do. As new resources are needed, new astrological categories are formed. This happens in every field of knowledge, and the epitome can be seen in the evolution of language.

Quote:
In what way does the assignation of soi-disant Uranian elements to other astrological factors necessarily imply that they occupied a different place and held a different cultural meaning?

... because they were assigned before to different parts of the chart. Don't you think each part of an astrological chart represents a specific cultural place, function, or structure?

Quote:
One could just as easily argue that the Uranian elements were already extant within the existing tradition and were simply "interpreted forward" in response to the discovery of Uranus and projected onto it.

I think that's exactly what I said. That's what happens when you create a new category.

Quote:
But again, there is no empirical evidence to support the assertion that the addition of Uranus into charts allowed a more accurate representation of those circumstances.

You don't need "empirical evidence" to know that, it is just a simple convention. This is the property of any language. Why are new words coined? Why are new categories formed in any field of knowledge? The answer is: because they allow a more accurate representation of reality.

The different astrological schools or practices that exist today in the West are an example of such new categories. Same with "islamic terrorism", etc. They all may have existed before, but now they are classified differently.

So the question is: why are new categories formed? and another question: why do some people refuse to adopt the new categories?

Quote:
But in the Muslim Arab world, while the definition of marriage had always contemplated the possibility of polygynous unions, it had also recognized the preeminence of monogamous unions. Polygynous unions were always contingent rather than normative, in accord with the legal injunctions of the Qur'an (ahkam al-qur’an).

change "cultural context of polygamy" by "cultural context that tolerated or accepted polygamy". Nothing to do with what I said.

Quote:
To be fair, it is associated with the 8th house by astrologers who practice modern Western astrology, who probably constitute a minority, if one considers that there appear to be more astrologers in India than anywhere else in the world.

Nevertheless the tendency is real, and the fact that it may be a minority doesn't mean that they are wrong. This tendency reflects the same as the tendency to see sex exclusively in 5th house terms: a cultural value.

Quote:
As I argued in another thread, traditional astrologies tend to be internally consistent and thus symbolically self-contained and self-sufficient. The only expansion they require is an interpretive or a qualitative one rather than a structural or quantitative one. The structural components of the model do not need to change, but the interpretive components certainly do, in response to change in cultural values, etc.

If some astrologers like their astrology "self-sufficient and self-contained" is fine, others don't like to use Astrology that way, they like their astrology open, so they can alternate in their work between self-containment and complete opening to the uncertainty of the new and largely unknown possibilities. Self-containment and self-sufficiency are psychological maladies, although in some cases that is what is needed. But an organism that closes itself to change is doomed to become a fossil.

Quote:
They are all different classification and analytical tools, models, which can open perspectives about reality that were not available before. --- They may, but so may many other, more "traditional" tools.

For some, but not for others. You didn't quote me correctly, I wrote: "classification and analytical tools, models, which can open perspectives about reality that were not available before while closing others"

Quote:
Or it might be a manifestation of instability, fragmentation and diffusion. I would argue that it is not so much a multitude of alternative models that is required, but a range of interpretive approaches.

Both. Instability, fragmentation, diffusion are natural, healthy, and necessary. Some astrologers use Astrology to avoid this uncertainty, so they need a certain type and philosophy of Astrology that is a reflection of this need; others use Astrology to swimm right through this uncertainty, working hard to teach their clients to accept it and find their way to healing by transcending their need for certainties. There are as many possibilities as there are astrologers, and each astrologer identifies with the astrological model that is better suited for his or her personality and skills as a practitioner.

Quote:
Even in medieval times there was a multitude of different and conflicting approaches... -- Yes, but these are not necessarily indications of psychological and cultural diversity; they seem more likely to be indications of misunderstanding and miscommunication.-- Andrew

Everything "different" will always be seen as a malady or an anomaly by some, which shows so much about their personality and psychological needs.

Juan


Last edited by Juan on Mon Aug 27, 2007 6:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Andrew



Joined: 31 Dec 2004
Posts: 360

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Once something entirely new has been allowed into a system, change will be accepted differentially throughout the system, as the new is adopted (e.g. modern astrology, European society after the industrial revolution, etc.) or people react to it and become encroached and marginalized (pre-1700 Astrology).


I think this is a false dichotomy. I have on occasion criticized certain trends within "traditional" astrology but I certainly wouldn't characterize it as "encroached and marginalized"!

In 1819, in his Dictionary of Astrology, James Wilson writes of "Ouranos":

" ... Its appearance is white and shining, and not greatly unlike that of Mercury. Whatever its influence may be, we are unacquainted with it at present, but, if any judgment may be formed from the colour of a planet, it does not appear very malignant."

Of the asteroids, he writes:

" ... their effect can be but trifling, owing to their magnitude, which is very inconsiderable."

In 1984, in his Classical Scientific Astrology, George Noonan writes:

"Classical astrology was based on the science of its day; and its tools were mathematics and observational astronomy ... Much of modern astrology is based on an occult mysticism that uses the terminology of Aristotelianism while perverting the philosopher's meanings of these terms ... In 1781, the English astronomer Herschel discovered Uranus. Lacking knowledge of the astrology of the Classicists, modern astrologers immediately began to attempt to incorporate the new planet into their art ... in particular the theory that a planet's efficacy increased with its apparent magnitude was completely repudiated; and along with this concept, the close connection of astrology with observational astronomy."

Quote:
It is like becoming a parent for the first time: your life structure is now changed, before that, you did not need "parental resources", now you do. As new resources are needed, new astrological categories are formed. This happens in every field of knowledge, and the epitome can be seen in the evolution of language.


I think that this is a false analogy. In the first place, Uranus has not been unequivocally "allowed" into all astrological systems. In the second place, the discovery of a new planet can hardly be compared to the birth of a child: these are two entirely separate ontological categories.

Quote:
... because they were assigned before to different parts of the chart.


Among the practitioners of Medieval European or Renaissance astrology, as well as among the practitioners of Vedic astrology, they still are.

Quote:
That's what happens when you create a new category.


New categories can be incorporated and integrated into previous ones. Thus it is not the structure per se than needs to be changed, but the interpretive parameters that need to be expanded, within the context of the symbolic associations which already exist within the extant paradigm (the received tradition) of astrology.

Quote:
You don't need "empirical evidence" to know that, it is just a simple convention. This is the property of any language. Why are new words coined? Why are new categories fomed in any field of knowledge? The answer is: because they allow a more accurate representation of reality.


This is again a false analogy. You make a testable claim: the addition of Uranus into charts allows for a more accurate representation of certain circumstances. Language changes because society changes; society does not change because language changes. Astrological language changes because society changes; society does not change because astrological language changes. The introduction of Uranus into astrological practice neither precipitated nor reflected social change because the elements of the tradition already expressed the concepts associated with Uranus; the concepts associated with Uranus needed to be further articulated from within the existing tradition instead of being projected onto a new planet. It was (I believe) a mistake to displace the basic interpretive value onto a new planet instead of seeking to renew astrological practice from within the framework of its own conceptual parameters. In other words, an expanded concept does not necessarily require a new design.

Quote:
So the question is: why are new categories formed? and another question: why do some people refuse to adopt the new categories?


This seems to presume that "new" categories are discontinuous with "old" categories rather than representing an expansion of "old" categories into "new" paradigms.

Quote:
If some astrologers like their astrology "self-sufficient and self-contained" is fine, others don't like to use Astrology that way, they like their astrology open, so they can alternate in their work between self-containment and complete opening to the uncertainty of the new and largely unknown possibilities.


This presumes that symbolic systems that are internally consistent and holistically structured are not "open" to "unknown possibilities," which is not necessarily so. Rather than being destructive or inhibiting growth, limitations (self-containment) may be quite desirable and healthy; as Richard Wilhelm notes in his commentary on hexagram 60 of the I Ching (Chieh or Limitation):

"A lake is something limited. Water is inexhaustible. A lake can contain only a definite amount of the infinite quantity of water; this is its peculiarity. In human life too the individual achieves significance through discrimination and the setting of limits. Therefore what concerns us here is the problem of clearly defining these discriminations, which are so to speak, the backbone of morality. Unlimited possibilities are not suited to man; if they existed, his life would only dissolve in the boundless. To become strong, a man’s life needs the limitations ordained by duty and voluntarily accepted. The individual attains significance as a free spirit only by surrounding himself with these limitations and by determining for himself what his duty is."

Note that "limitations" and "self-determination" are not in conflict here: each should mutually assist and improve the other.

Quote:
But an organism that closes itself to change is doomed to become a fossil.


Astrology is not an organism: it is a symbolic system. Man is the organism who interprets the system. This is why astrology is normative rather than descriptive: planets in signs do not describe your personality, but invoke its possibilities.

Quote:
Some astrologers use Astrology to avoid this uncertainty, so they need a certain type and philosophy of Astrology that is a reflection of this need.


The practice of traditional astrology does not necessarily imply that the astrologer who practices it is uncomfortable with uncertainty. Quite the contrary. Some astrologers find that the "limitations" of a well-articulated symbolic system with its rich associative language frees them to explore these uncertainties without having to constantly "re-invent the wheel." As someone who is wholly committed to the promise of post-modernism, I see no contradiction between the practice of a traditional symbolic system and the articulation of modern progressive values; it is a holarchical rather than a hierarchical perspective, and it is precisely because of this that the interconnected symbolic fabric of traditional astrology holds the most appeal.

Quote:
Everything "different" will always be seen as a malady or an anomaly by some, which shows so much about their personality and psychological needs.


Yes, but at its deepest levels, traditional astrology supports and informs "difference"; this is not apparent on a superficial, reactive level, but it can be seen within the substance of the tradition's most profound symbolic associations. There is a wide latitude of interpretation permissible among the various strands of the tradition; not a limitless one, but not necessarily a restrictive or monochromatic one either.

This is a very interesting topic, but (unfortunately) other commitments prevent me from participating any further in the discussion; perhaps someone else might care to take it up?

Andrew
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Juan



Joined: 21 May 2007
Posts: 214
Location: San José, Costa Rica

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew wrote:
Quote:
Once something entirely new has been allowed into a system, change will be accepted differentially throughout the system, as the new is adopted (e.g. modern astrology, European society after the industrial revolution, etc.) or people react to it and become encroached and marginalized (pre-1700 Astrology).

I think this is a false dichotomy. I have on occasion criticized certain trends within "traditional" astrology but I certainly wouldn't characterize it as "encroached and marginalized"!
In 1819, in his Dictionary of Astrology, James Wilson writes of "Ouranos":

Thanks for the quotes by Wilson from 1819. I have always been very interested in how was this slow historical process of formation of meaning of Uranus and Neptune.

But I don't see what it has to do with denying that pre-Uranus Astrology became an enncroachment. I explictly said the process is "differential" (I originally added "in time" but erased it because I thought that was understood) and mentioned the case of some societies where the change signified by Uranus didn't happen until the 20th Century, with very different consequences and a resulting different meaning that Uranus has for them. By "the system" I was talking of human society, not of Astrology, because I was responding to your denial that there is any evidence about Uranus signifying something that was really new. The historical evidence of this is so enormous that I find it kind of boring to explain what it is.

The same with the encroachment. I don't understand why do I have to explain that excluding Uranus or Neptune from the solar system planets is encroachment and marginalization. It is the equivalent of drawing maps of the World without America in them because America "was discovered later and is not part of the traditional system of drawing and interpreting maps".

Astrology is like a toolbox, and the planets are tools inside this box. Some use one tool and discard another, and some astrologers decide that they don't need some of these tools. But it is nonsense to deny the usefulness or importance of any of these, or judge their usefulness and importance based on their size or on the date when they were invented.

Quote:
In 1984, in his Classical Scientific Astrology, George Noonan writes: [...]

All this is nonsense. I will leave this for the moment, and will take it later it if there is interest.

Quote:
It is like becoming a parent for the first time...
-- I think that this is a false analogy. In the first place, Uranus has not been unequivocally "allowed" into all astrological systems. In the second place, the discovery of a new planet can hardly be compared to the birth of a child: these are two entirely separate ontological categories.

That Uranus was not "allowed" confirms what I am saying about the encroachment, or are astrologers not part of human society too? You seem to think as if they weren't, as if Astrology existed in isolation of what was happening around them, and what was happenning is that now the solar system had more planets.

The birth of your first child is an analogy of the apparition in consciousness of the new, of what was not there before: the analogy is not with the child, but with the new mental resources --as I explained-- that are needed once you realize for the first time that you are a parent. Before that, those resources were not needed. Please remember that you were denying the existence of...
Quote:
"empirical evidence to support the assertion that the addition of Uranus into individual charts was reflective of this process, a process which occurs in perpetuum, not simply at the discovery of Uranus."

Uranus, in this hstorical context (the decades surrounding its discovery) is not the change, nor the rebellion, it is what the change brought, what these new elements in human society meant, the particular meaning the change had. These new elements or structures are indirect metaphors of Uranus. Like orbital symbolism, they are only suggestive at first, they do not define what Uranus means.

Personally, I don't understand why someone can think that what happens socially or collectively at a ceratin point in history is not connected in meaning with the discovery at around the same time of a new planet in the solar system. This one of the most anti-astrological ideas there are in my very personal opinion. To me, it is almost incredible.

Quote:
New categories can be incorporated and integrated into previous ones. Thus it is not the structure per se that needs to be changed, but the interpretive parameters that need to be expanded, within the context of the symbolic associations which already exist within the extant paradigm (the received tradition) of astrology.

You can have only 2 categories if you want. This is not the point. The point is why are the new categories created? Why are new words coined?

Quote:
You don't need "empirical evidence" to know that, it is just a simple convention. This is the property of any language -- This is again a false analogy. You make a testable claim: the addition of Uranus into charts allows for a more accurate representation of certain circumstances.

This is not an analogy, it is a literal refence to Astrology. Astrology provides a system of categories which are used during a linguistic process of creation of meaning called "astrological intepretation". Meaning cannot be tested, nor language. The point about "accuracy" is--granted-- subjective, and refers to: this person is a "terrorist" or a "freedom fighter"? or an "insurgent"? Is this soldier a murderer or a hero? Is Karl Rove a genius or an idiot? Do any of those statements can be tested? Which one is more accurate, the "genius" or the "idiot"?.

An example of category formation: Are you sleepy? Or is it "only" that you feel tired and drowsy and cannot resist the need to shut your eyes and a strong urge to let go and relax deeply, while your body temperature is starting to descend... Which is a more accurate description?

Quote:
Language changes because society changes; society does not change because language changes.

It works both ways, and astrologically it is more the opposite. This is the field of cognitive science... another long, separate discussion, very much related --if not fundamental-- to the understanding Astrology.

Quote:
The introduction of Uranus into astrological practice neither precipitated nor reflected social change because the elements of the tradition already expressed the concepts associated with Uranus...

How could they if these concepts did not exist?. Note that you are not talking of "reality" or circumstances --these existed before-- but of "concepts". This is precisely what is new and different, and the problem of traditional astrologers --in my opinion-- is not being able to understand that the meaning of a circumstance or experience changes depending on the semantic category --the language-- which you are using to describe them. That is why new categories are created, to express the new and different meaning that the same reality had in the past compared with what it has today.

Quote:
Everything "different" will always be seen as a malady or an anomaly by some, which shows so much about their personality and psychological needs.-- Yes, but at its deepest levels, traditional astrology supports and informs "difference"... -- Andrew

The point is that you see the difference and the new as an error, "misinformation", "misunderstanding", etc. What else could have the other ducks thought of Ugly Duckling if they had never seen a swan? Why was he called by that name? What was wrong with him?

Juan
.


Last edited by Juan on Mon Aug 27, 2007 6:51 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Andrew



Joined: 31 Dec 2004
Posts: 360

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
By "the system" I was talking of human society, not of Astrology, because I was responding to your denial that there is any evidence about Uranus signifying something that was really new. The historical evidence of this, contrary to what you say is so enormous that I find it kind of boring to explain what it is.


If there is any indication that the discovery of Uranus signifies something "new," then the onus of evidence is upon those who insist that it does so to provide "proof" of their claim. But it is not a matter of evidence per se: it is a matter of interpretation. The discovery of Uranus seems to some to have signified "something that was really new," but this is a matter of interpretation rather than signification. It is an imputed signification rather than an evidential correlation.

Quote:
The same with the encroachment. I don't understand why do I have to explain that excluding Uranus or Neptune from the solar system planets is encroachment and marginalization. It is the equivalent of drawing maps of the World without America in them because America "was discovered later and is not part of the traditional system of drawing and interpreting maps".


This is based on a misunderstanding of the nature of traditional symbolic systems. Symbolic systems are self-referential in the sense that their individual components are distinguished by the distinctive differences between them but are interpreted in accordance with systemic rules of relationship. A geographical map that necessarily contemplates the possibility of unknown (yet-to-be-discovered) territory is in an entirely different ontological category than a symbolic system whose structural parameters make continuous interpretation possible. Astrology is not geography.

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Astrology is like a toolbox, and the planets are tools inside this box. Some use one tool and discard another, and some astrologers decide that they don't need some of these tools. But it is nonsense to deny the usefulness or importance of any of these, or judge their usefulness and importance based on their size or on the date when they were invented.


This seems to be a strictly utilitarian approach. Astrology is not like a toolbox, any more than the I Ching is like a workbench or abjad numerology is like a fisherman's tackle box. There are 64 hexagrams in the I Ching, 28 letters in abjad numerology, and 7 planets (plus 2 nodes) in classical astrology. One might wish to add a few hexagrams to the I Ching or a few letters to the abjad system, but this would violate the symbolic integrity of these systems.

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All this is nonsense.


Is this nonsense because you disagree with it? Or is this nonsense because you assert that it is? George Noonan was deeply conversant with the foundations of classical astrology and authored two well-regarded texts on the subject.

Quote:
Before that, those resources were not needed.


New "resources" are always needed; new "planets" are not always discovered. The identification of Uranus with the development of "new resources" is a highly selective one at best. Astrologers "studied" the past history of Europe and America (ignoring the rest of the world) and then attempted to correlate cycles of historical change with the transits of Uranus through the signs. Hey presto! But this is not how symbolic systems work.

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These new elements of structures are indirect metaphors of Uranus.


No: they are not metaphors of a new planet, they are metaphors of the many varieties of change.

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This one of the most anti-astrological ideas there are in my very personal opinion. To me, it is almost incredible.


It is incredible to you, but not to everyone. It may seem anti-astrological to you, but this does not in and of itself make it anti-astrological.

Quote:
The point is that you see the difference and the new as an error, "misinformation", "misunderstanding", etc.


I've no idea how you've come to the conclusion that I see "the difference and the new" as an error. As I've stated in a previous post, I am wholly committed to the project of post-modernism; hardly a "traditionalist" or a "perennialist" position. But I also respect the structural and symbolic integrity of classical divination systems, while seeking to expand their interpretive parameters (rather than disrupt their structural integrity). Traditional symbolic systems can accommodate expanded definitions, but they cannot accommodate foreign elements that are extrinsic to their design, to the holistic integrity of their symbolic structures. So yes, one can see that the recurrence cycle of Uranus seems to convey a "new something," just as the cycle of Saturn conveys a "new something," because an "occurrence" is always "new." But one cannot say that Uranus "rules" a sign or that is represents "new ideas." Saturn rules two signs, and Saturn (as ruler of Aquarius) also rules "new ideas," like "inventions."

From the perspective of traditional astrology, the designation of Uranus as a "fixed star-like object" seems a sound one, since it is beyond the sphere of Saturn in the sphere of the fixed stars. It is not a planet that "behaves" like a star, it is a star that "behaves" like a planet.

I regret that this must be my final post on this topic. I would like to continue the discussion, but cannot. Perhaps someone else might care to engage your arguments ...

Andrew
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Juan



Joined: 21 May 2007
Posts: 214
Location: San José, Costa Rica

Posted: Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the input, Andrew. I understand that you have to leave and cannot continue.

Quote:
It is an imputed signification rather than an evidential correlation.

Yes. Thanks for clarifying the language. I agree with this distinction and think that it is important.

Quote:
This is based on a misunderstanding of the nature of traditional symbolic systems.

Perhaps it is based on a different understanding of what is Astrology?

Quote:
Symbolic systems are self-referential in the sense that their individual components are distinguished by the distinctive differences between them but are interpreted in accordance with systemic rules of relationship. A geographical map that necessarily contemplates the possibility of unknown (yet-to-be-discovered) territory is in an entirely different ontological category than a symbolic system whose structural parameters make continuous interpretation possible. Astrology is not geography.

Good explanation about symbolical systems, however, reading geographic maps is a process of continuous interpretation for those who have the knowledge and expertise, i.e., if you are a geographer and not just a cartographer. I don't see what this has to do with the marginalization and encroachment, which are a social reality. I'm not speaking of the integrity of symbolical systems, but of clinging to the idea of a solar system that no longer exists.

Quote:
Astrology is like a toolbox... -- This seems to be a strictly utilitarian approach. Astrology is not like a toolbox...

Actually it is nothing more (or little more) than a toolbox, a technology. But we are not dicussing our very different views of what Astrology is... not yet at least. Maybe later if you wish.

Quote:
One might wish to add a few hexagrams to the I Ching or a few letters to the abjad system, but this would violate the symbolic integrity of these systems.

Yes, I understand this and I agree. But this discussion is about the disqualification of the use of the outer planets by modern Astrology, the fallacy of judging the differences of one system (modern astrology) as "deffects" and errors of another (traditional astrology).

Quote:
About the Noonan quote: Is this nonsense because you disagree with it? Or is this nonsense because you assert that it is? George Noonan was deeply conversant with the foundations of classical astrology and authored two well-regarded texts on the subject.

It is utter nonsense to declare that classical astrology was closely tied to "observational astronomy" and modern astrology isn't. I assume he means "naked eye" astronomy. If classical Astrology depended on what can observed in the sky, it would not exist.

As I said, this is another discussion. When you (or anyne else --myself included) have the time, you can re-post the quote and I will expand my explanation.

Quote:
Before that, those resources were not needed.... -- New "resources" are always needed; new "planets" are not always discovered.

I meant explicitly the new developments happening in the decades surrounding the discovery.

Quote:
These new elements of structures are indirect metaphors of Uranus... -- No: they are not metaphors of a new planet, they are metaphors of the many varieties of change.

I think I already replied to this, twice. There is no need for more.

Quote:
This one of the most anti-astrological ideas there are in my very personal opinion. To me, it is almost incredible...
It is incredible to you, but not to everyone. It may seem anti-astrological to you, but this does not in and of itself make it anti-astrological.

That's exactly what I said.

Quote:
The point is that you see the difference and the new as an error, "misinformation", "misunderstanding", etc.
I've no idea how you've come to the conclusion that I see "the difference and the new" as an error.

This is the reason:
Quote:
Even in medieval times there was a multitude of different and conflicting approaches (e.g. different zodiacs, systems of domification, systems of calculating directions, astrology of signs or astrology of causes, Indian methods, systems of "terms", etc., and incompetent practitioners abounded just like today.

Yes, but these are not necessarily indications of psychological and cultural diversity; they seem more likely to be indications of misunderstanding and miscommunication.


Quote:
I also respect the structural and symbolic integrity of classical divination systems, while seeking to expand their interpretive parameters (rather than disrupt their structural integrity). Traditional symbolic systems can accommodate expanded definitions, but they cannot accommodate foreign elements that are extrinsic to their design, to the holistic integrity of their symbolic structures.

Understood, and I agree. I am not discussing this, as I already explained.

Quote:
From the perspective of traditional astrology, the designation of Uranus as a "fixed star-like object" seems a sound one, since it is beyond the sphere of Saturn in the sphere of the fixed stars. It is not a planet that "behaves" like a star, it is a star that "behaves" like a planet.

Yes. I agree, although am no expert in traditional astrology. The point --I think-- could be summarized like this: "but from the perspective of modern astrology it doesn't make any sense except as a derivative and marginalized reaction to it.

Quote:
I regret that this must be my final post on this topic. I would like to continue the discussion, but cannot. Perhaps someone else might care to engage your arguments ... Andrew

This requires a lot of time, I understand.

Juan
.


Last edited by Juan on Mon Aug 27, 2007 6:57 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Mike



Joined: 19 Jul 2007
Posts: 72

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think modern astrology
is right in recognizing the
solar system as we know
it right now. The main
problem is that New Age
and pop astrologers have
got in the way astrology
is done, damaging it's
reputation. So it's understandable
why traditional astrologers think
anything modern in this field is
nonsense.
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Juan



Joined: 21 May 2007
Posts: 214
Location: San José, Costa Rica

Posted: Mon Aug 27, 2007 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew wrote:
Quote:
George Noonan was deeply conversant with the foundations of classical astrology and authored two well-regarded texts on the subject... In 1984, in his Classical Scientific Astrology, George Noonan writes:

"Classical astrology was based on the science of its day; and its tools were mathematics and observational astronomy ... Much of modern astrology is based on an occult mysticism that uses the terminology of Aristotelianism while perverting the philosopher's meanings of these terms ... In 1781, the English astronomer Herschel discovered Uranus. Lacking knowledge of the astrology of the Classicists, modern astrologers immediately began to attempt to incorporate the new planet into their art ... in particular the theory that a planet's efficacy increased with its apparent magnitude was completely repudiated; and along with this concept, the close connection of astrology with observational astronomy."


"Classical astrology was based on the science of its day; and its tools were mathematics and observational astronomy..."

COMMENT: So is modern Astrology, otherwise, with what are we going to work?


"Much of modern astrology is based on an occult mysticism... perverting meanings of Aristotelian terminology..."

COMMENT: so was much of pre-1700 Astrology, starting with the Babylonians and Egyptians who saw events in the sky as signs of their astral divinities and ritually prayed to them, followed by the emanationist doctrines of Orphism, Pitagoreanism, Platonism, Stoicism, Hermetism, Neo-Platonism, Alchemy... all through the medieval "Great Chain of Being" and the spiritual ascent through the planetary spheres, and later the doctrines of Paracelsus. They were all the soul of Astrology, its foundational philosophy, to many astrologers.

There is a very good explanation of the universal philosophy of emanation that was the basis of much of ancient astrology in the article on Abu-Mashar in the "Dictionary of Scientific Biography", written by David Pingree. There is also a lot of material in Franz Cumont "Astrology and Religion among the Greeks and Romans".

The "mother of all" the "perversions of Aristotelianism" is the basis of Greek astrology: the attribution of discrete material qualities to completely abstract and unobservable exact 30-degree divisions in the sky (the tropical zodiac --more on this later).


"Lacking knowledge of the astrology of the Classicists, modern astrologers immediately began to attempt to incorporate the new planet into their art"

COMMENT: They were not ostrichs... He starts by saying "classical astrology was based on the science of its day", but now he wants astrology not to be "based on the science of its day", but on a "science" that had become obsolete. He accuses those astrologers of a "lack of knowledge on classical astrology", but he just showed his own lack.


"in particular the theory that a planet's efficacy increased with its apparent magnitude was completely repudiated;

COMMENT: How? Why? In what way using Uranus means repudiating such a concept? The only difference is that the visual magnitude of Uranus is much less and therefore (mostly) cannot be seen with the naked eye, but Uranus has variations in visual magnitude the same as Saturn, and it is ridiculous to think that Mercury or Venus have more "efficacy" than Saturn. If the "efficacy" concept is explained so as to include Saturn, then there is no reason not to include Uranus... except with the argument of naked-eye vissibility.


"and along with this concept, the close connection of astrology with observational astronomy"

COMMENT: I presume he meant "was repudiated too", and by "observational" he meant "naked eye observational". This "repudiation" is the basis of both traditional and modern astrology, and without this "repudiation" astrology as we know it would not exist. I will explain this in a separate thread.

Juan


Last edited by Juan on Sun Sep 09, 2007 12:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Tumbling Sphinx



Joined: 02 Jan 2005
Posts: 247

Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The old model based on only the traditional 5 planets and the 2 luminaries


& fixed stars.


Quote:
A similar change had happened before, when Christian writers had to face that in the Arab world from which they were copying their texts,


In considering such changes, are you also considering things like when initially transcribing Arabic numerals they failed to invert the numerals to accord with the Roman direction (contrary directions);

that the Arabic orientation to the celestial sphere was that of if one was lying on the ground looking up at the heavens, then East was to the right, West to the left, the South Pole was the direction one's head pointed to while one's feet pointed to the North Pole (Ibn Sina, Al-biruni etc) ... which is also reflected by the direction of Arabic writing, and corresponding compass points on chart examples etc;

an orientation shared by the Egyptians who's life giving waters (the Nile) flowed from south to north;

which is counter-intuitive to those above the Tropic of Cancer with an orientation of Sun ascending on the left which gives rise to nonsensical commentary in translating from Arabic (eg. in the translation of Al-biruni's Book of Instruction) such as "the copyist makes the summer sun rise in the West and set in the East".

And the subsequent reduction & shift from the zodiacal co-ordinate system, of which the tropical attachment is just one part.

Quote:

and tends to be associated by astrologers to the psychological and spiritual entanglements of the 8th, in correspondence to the changing meaning that sexuality has in our age.


Sex has a long history of being connected with the other person's wealth, possessions, assets, values/valuables (8th). The traditional (as well as modern) concept of marriage is equally applicable to the 10th - social standing.

Uranus did not bring an entirely "new" concept into the pre-existing system. It simply brought forward concepts into western consciousness that had already long been associated with fixed star Polaris, to which earth's axis has been aligning.

With each "new" discovery, from Uranus to the Kuiper belt to the postulated Oort cloud steps are being taken back out towards the celestial sphere, something which ancient predecessors had already charted & interpreted.
The discovery of Uranus & co & their astrological attributions is more akin to exposing an existing sub-layer within the framework.

Quote:
"It is like becoming a parent for the first time:"


Not really, ontological categories to one side.

If drawing an analogy between children and planets then to use your example the inclusion of Uranus is like becoming a parent for the 6th time, not the first.

The parents are already well aware of the resources they need, the addition of a 6th child to the family doesn't normally result in that child having a room allocated specially for them, or the other siblings being tossed out of their rooms - this new addition learns to share, willingly or not.

And, as per the above example, the increase in quantity can result in a decrease in quality as relates to time available for each one.

An increase in quantity with a decrease in quality as pertains to bodies used for motion of time isn't automatically commensurate with an increase in accuracy relating to representations of reality etc.
Insofar as quality goes, it's the reverse.

Quote:
The "differential" means that other (non-western) societies experiment this cultural change much later,


Are you basing this on an assumption that other "non-western" societies haven't experienced the equivalent cultural changes before in history?

That what occurred in the west hasn't already occurred in the east, a direction from which the 'west' has drawn significantly from in raising it's consciousness, which includes the area of cosmic sciences.

Quote:
Nevertheless the tendency is real, and the fact that it may be a minority doesn't mean that they are wrong.


Doesn't mean they're right either.
What it does do is illuminate order & integration.
The multiplicity of unicity.

Quote:
pre-Uranus Astrology became an enncroachment.


Not really clear on what it is you mean by this?

That before the discovery of Uranus astrology had advanced beyond its usual proper limits? How so? Based on what?

Quote:
It is the equivalent of drawing maps of the World without America in them because America "was discovered later and is not part of the traditional system of drawing and interpreting maps".


No, it's not. Marginalization and encroachment have always been part of social fabric, as has migration.

Quote:
Quote:
In 1984, in his Classical Scientific Astrology, George Noonan writes: [...]

All this is nonsense.


I don't find it nonsense.

Quote:
It is utter nonsense to declare that classical astrology was closely tied to "observational astronomy" and modern astrology isn't. I assume he means "naked eye" astronomy. If classical Astrology depended on what can observed in the sky, it would not exist.


But, this I do. Classically, astrology involved both observation & calculation - it was "dependent" on both.

Might have some time to get back to this later under the new thread you've started.

However, in the interim, I would suggest Francesca Rochberg's "The Heavenly Writing" and "Ancient Astronomy and Celestial Divination" by Swerdlow may be of interest.

A partial solar eclipse coming up ... a partial circumscribing of the heart.
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Juan



Joined: 21 May 2007
Posts: 214
Location: San José, Costa Rica

Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 11:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The old model based on only the traditional 5 planets and the 2 luminaries.

-- & fixed stars.

I was talking about the planets only.

Quote:
... are you also considering things like when initially transcribing Arabic numerals they failed to invert the numerals to accord with the Roman direction (contrary directions);
that the Arabic orientation to the celestial sphere was that of if one was lying on the ground looking up at the heavens, then East was to the right, West to the left, the South Pole was the direction one's head pointed to while one's feet pointed to the North Pole (Ibn Sina, Al-biruni etc) ... which is also reflected by the direction of Arabic writing, and corresponding compass points on chart examples etc;
an orientation shared by the Egyptians who's life giving waters (the Nile) flowed from south to north;
which is counter-intuitive to those above the Tropic of Cancer with an orientation of Sun ascending on the left which gives rise to nonsensical commentary in translating from Arabic (eg. in the translation of Al-biruni's Book of Instruction) such as "the copyist makes the summer sun rise in the West and set in the East".

interesting, thanks. I was not considering this.

Quote:
And the subsequent reduction & shift from the zodiacal co-ordinate system, of which the tropical attachment is just one part.

can you explain this concept better, please?

Quote:
Sex has a long history of being connected with the other person's wealth, possessions, assets, values/valuables (8th). The traditional (as well as modern) concept of marriage is equally applicable to the 10th - social standing.

This confirms my point: that "sex" (or anything, actually) has a different meaning depending on to what element in the chart you associate it.

Quote:
Uranus did not bring an entirely "new" concept into the pre-existing system. It simply brought forward concepts into western consciousness that had already long been associated with fixed star Polaris, to which earth's axis has been aligning.

The key is your expression "brought forward". A fixed star, particularly one that is so far away from the ecliptic, has very different symbolical connotations. The fixed star does not move, and in this sense it is the opposite of a planet, so the meaning of both can never be the same. "Meaning" in Astrology is not just the list of "items" that are associated with a particular factor (i.e., Uranus or Polaris rule this and that), but the place these factors occupy in the world-view of the astrologer (and the astrologer's client).

Consider this statement by the Reanaissance scholar Wayne Shumaker: "the imperative in the Renaissance to deny originality was as strong as the desire now to be credited with it". Originality was there, its meaning has changed. The fact that there was a place for originality (for example) in the old world is not the point, the point is the meaning it has now acquired, the place it now has in human society. That one can model reality with only 7 planets instead of 10 is irrelevant, what matters is what these new 3 categories bring that was not there before, and this is question of cultural evolution.

It is pointless to keep mentioning that this or that item that is now associated with Uranus was in the past associated with something else in traditional Astrology. The key to Uranus is what those items mean now to us, not what they meant to the people of the Renaissance or the Middle Ages. It makes a big difference whether Ugly Ducling is seen as an ugly duck or as a swan, even though he is the same "old duck" in both cases.

Quote:
"pre-Uranus Astrology became an enncroachment."
-- Not really clear on what it is you mean by this?

I already explained that this was meant socially, after Uranus had been discovered.

Quote:
If drawing an analogy between children and planets then to use your example the inclusion of Uranus is like becoming a parent for the 6th time, not the first.

I already explained that this analogy is not about children but about consciousness. You are missing the point completely, because there was never something like the discovery of Uranus in the case of the other known planets.

Quote:
Quote: In 1984, in his Classical Scientific Astrology, George Noonan writes: [...] -- All this is nonsense.
I don't find it nonsense.

Noonan is only showing his enormous ignorance, and I explained why in detail in 3 subsequent posts.

Juan
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