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Responses to Glenn Perry's article in the NCGR newsletter
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Papretis



Joined: 27 Feb 2005
Posts: 346
Location: Finland

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:21 pm    Post subject: Responses to Glenn Perry's article in the NCGR newsletter Reply with quote

I haven't seen the original article, but it has evoked some excellent and enjoyable responses by Chris Brennan http://apotelesmatics.com/ and Ben Dykes http://bendykes.com/blog/ . Also Steven Birchfield has given his own comment to the subject of psychology and astrology http://www.bendykes.com/discussion/viewtopic.php?t=35 . In fact we should be grateful to Perry for evoking writers of this caliber to write text of this kind of authority for traditional astrology.

Here’s one tasting from Dykes’ article, which is especially delicious:

Quote:
In terms of traditional astrology being immature, it is worth noting that despite Perry’s boasting about how Evolved and adult and conscious psychological astrology is, his attitude and claims unwittingly turn him into a smug teenager angry with Mom and Dad. What sort of things would such a teenager say? Mom and Dad have too many rules, many of which make no sense to him; they overcomplicate matters; they are too old-fashioned in their views of good and evil, unlike the sophisticated teenager who sees all the grey. He would be dismissive and pretentious. He would say that Mom and Dad have forgotten about really feeling life, being free, envisioning alternative experiences. Their world is one of straight lines and sharp corners, whereas his life is full of curves. Their life is cramped and fearful, but he stands before the glorious horizon, bravely greeting the dawning Sun. Mom and Dad make too many judgments about people, and love giving advice—why can’t they just leave people (and especially him) alone to make their own decisions? Adults are always worrying about money, jobs, health, but only he really understands that it’s the process, the experience, that matters. Or more to the point, why can’t they understand how Wise and Evolved he is?


I once made a study about astrologer’s lunar phases, and there seemed to emerge a certain pattern:

- Many scientific astrologers, interested in statistical study, large databases or similar approach, have the first lunar phase (0-90 degrees). Examples: Marc Penfield, Jean Baptiste Morin, Maurice McCann, J. Lee Lehmann, Michel Gauquelin, Michael P. Munkasey, Geoffrey Dean, Ed Steinbrecher.

- Many psychological astrologers, interested in archetypes etc., have the second lunar phase (90-180 degrees). Examples: Jeff Green, Bruno Huber, Liz Greene, Michael Harding, Barbara Hand Clow, Stephen Arroyo, Zane B. Stein, Bil Tierney.

- The third group might be called as “public astrologers” for the lack of a better term. Here we find astrologers who deal with the big audience, and with techniques that fit for that purpose (Sun sign astrology, high profile internet sites, writing regularly in big astrological magazines, etc.). Examples: Bob Marks, Bruce Scofield, Tracy Marks, Linda Goodman, Maya Del Mar, Charles Harvey, Nick Campion, Kim Farnell, Thorwald Dethlefsen, Alois Treindl, Nicholas Culpeper, Noel Tyl, Dennis Elwell, John Partridge, William Lilly, Penny Thornton, Alan Leo, Olivia Barclay, Bernadette Brady.

- The last group (270-360 degrees) consists of “philosophical astrologers” or “gurus”. It’s the group of teachers and founders of schools, they are often capable of attract a devoted group of followers. Examples: Zipporah Dobyns, John Frawley, Julia Parker, Marc Edmund Jones, Sue Tompkins, Ivy Goldstein Jacobson, Michel de Nostradamus, Isabel M. Hickey, Demetra George, Reinhold Ebertin, Dane Rudhyar, Llewellyn George, Rob Hand, Frances Sakoian, Maritha Pottenger, Joseph Crane, Ken Gillman, John Addey, Alfred Witte, Alphee Lavoie.

So we can see that psychological astrology seems to associate with the second lunar phase, the illustrative “youth” or even “puberty”, the stormy and vital phase, when everything is new and rapidly growing but not necessarily very seasoned, just like Dykes writes.
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Andrew



Joined: 31 Dec 2004
Posts: 360

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 5:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Responses to Glenn Perry's article in the NCGR newslette Reply with quote

Quote:
So we can see that psychological astrology seems to associate with the second lunar phase, the illustrative “youth” or even “puberty”, the stormy and vital phase, when everything is new and rapidly growing but not necessarily very seasoned, just like Dykes writes.


Oh? Hmmm ...

Chris Brennan attributes "uninformed ravings" to Glenn Perry, whom he characterizes as a "windbag," then notes that he was caught "off guard" by the "rather caustic nature of the article," which "deserves to be rebuked and admonished" with apparently equal vigor and language comparably caustic.

Prof. Dykes criticizes the "contempt" and "ignorance" of Dr. Perry, whom he characterizes as a "whiny teenager," and then offers what appears to be an analysis of adolescent behavior which seems as stereotypical as the arguments he critiques.

While I agree with the general thrust of their critiques, they would have made their arguments more appealing, if not more compelling, if they had made an attempt to reduce the invective that often passes for commentary these days.

Let the superfluous and lust-dieted man ... Feel your power quickly ... And each man have enough.
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Frank



Joined: 26 Feb 2006
Posts: 52
Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA

Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 10:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Responses to Glenn Perry's article in the NCGR newslette Reply with quote

[quote="Andrew"]
Quote:
While I agree with the general thrust of their critiques, they would have made their arguments more appealing, if not more compelling, if they had made an attempt to reduce the invective that often passes for commentary these days.


Didn't you know that "Commentary" and "Dissent" had merged to form "Dysentery?"

Seriously though, while Perry's article deserves vigorous rebuttal, the ad hominem attacks should be dispensed with.
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Tom
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Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Seriously though, while Perry's article deserves vigorous rebuttal, the ad hominem attacks should be dispensed with.


True, but how does one handle deliberate ignorance on such a grand scale? Can we take it seriously and therefore validate it. Samuel Johnson once said that there is no answer to stark raving lunacy. This qualifies. I've seen some of Perry's other attacks on traditional astrology and Dykes hit the nail on the head. They are immature. Just what is Perry afraid of that he feels it is important to denigrate a subject he so clearly does not understand?

I'll answer that: Perry and a few others in NCGR want to certify astrologers and part of that certification process would be mandatory psychotherapy sessions conducted by (tsurprise! surprise!), Glenn Perry! Although he wouldn't think of charging for them - would he? Heh.

This is a power grab pure and simple. Perry evidently believes that a large number of well educated traditional astrologers present a threat to his dream of determining who gets certified and who doesn't. Traditionalists can and do practice without reference to Jung or who ever the shrink or guru du jour happens to be. Perry wants to eliminate the competition particularly from a group that is better informed than he.

This is typical of all organizations. Some people join because of interest in the reason for the organization; some like telling people what to do and in Perry's case, how to think. This is silly, and the article is the product of a silly man. It is impossible to take him seriously.

Way to go Ben.

Tom
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Andrew



Joined: 31 Dec 2004
Posts: 360

Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Perry and a few others in NCGR want to certify astrologers and part of that certification process would be mandatory psychotherapy sessions conducted by (surprise! surprise!), Glenn Perry!


Mandatory psychotherapy sessions to certify astrologers? Really?

This seems potentially very Orwellian: bizarre and rather cult-like.

Andrew
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Tom
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Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Mandatory psychotherapy sessions to certify astrologers? Really?



Really. I read this in I think an NCGR newsletter or some NCGR publication a couple of years ago. I may still have it, I'll look. The therapy sessions were to be conducted by Perry or one or two others who presumably had the credentials. They also said the candidate could go to any mental health professional, if they wished and if I recall correctly.

Imagine that for a minute. You call up an MSW or psychologist or whatever and tell them you want to be a certified astrologer and would they please do -- I dont' know what. Write you a reference I guess. Can you see this? No? Neither can I; so this is just a built in market for a couple of shrinks and shrink wannabes.

Their excuse is that they want to be sure the astrologer would make a suitable counsellor. No credentials as a mental health professional are required just approval from Glenn et al and a healthy respect for Sedna.

Perry complains about rules; you should see the rules they wanted to enact. My favorite was that it would be "unethical" and forbiden for an astrolgoer to have sex with a client until six months had passed after the counseling had stopped. These people are a constant source of entertainment. Presumably such illicit relations would be grounds for loss of certification. I think that is over the top. Three and a half months is plenty Leery Suppose you accept sex for reading the chart? Does that have to stop, too?

I'll poke around my old files. I may have saved this.

Tom
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Tom
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Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know I'm going to regret getting involved in this, but the people here are genuinely more reasonable and better behaved than on most lists, so here goes.

There was some criticism of the critics here and I decided to look at Chris' and Ben's rebuttals. One at a time please.

I just read Chris' response and although some of the language is a bit strong, it is not seriously offensive, and considering how Perry insulted our intelligence with his article, it is not out of line. For example:


Quote:
More on the Exaltations

Perry continues to exhibit his ineptitude further down the page when he makes the rather stupid statement that

"In modern astrology, a dispositor is a planet that rules the sign that another planet is in… However, in traditional astrology, a dispositor is a planet that is the exaltation ruler of a sign; thus, if Venus is in Aries, then the Sun would disposit Venus since the Sun is allegedly exalted in Aries. But if the very concept of exaltations is questionable, then the traditional method of assigning and assessing dispositors is likewise thrown into doubt.


OK "stupid" is pejorative, and there may be a synonym that would be less pejorative, but would it have been more accurate?

From The American Heritage Dictionary online


Quote:
1. Slow to learn or understand; obtuse. 2. Tending to make poor decisions or careless mistakes. 3. Marked by a lack of intelligence or care; foolish or careless: a stupid mistake. 4. Dazed, stunned, or stupefied. 5. Pointless; worthless: a stupid job.


1. Slow to learn or understand. Perry has been on this kick for more than a few years and his knowledge of traditional astrology hasn't significantly increased. over time.

2. Tending to make poor decisions or careless mistakes. In addition this particular remark, Chris documents careless mistakes in abundance and Perry's remarks speak for themselves.

3. Marked by a lack of intelligence or care. ... He claims to have a PhD and if so, he certainly does not lack in intelligence.

3a. foolish or careless. Sorry this fits the remarks Chris quoted and other remarks Perry has made regarding traditional astrology.

4. Stunned, dazed or stupefied. Does not apply

5. Pointless, worthless. Well he was trying to make a point and failed. but given his lack of knowledge what he wrote was worthless.

So I think Chris' use of the word "stupid" accurately describes the paragraph in question. Furthermore, in my opinion the persistent implication in Perry's work that we are all stupid to have faith in traditional astrology requires a strong response. And although I didn't address it, Perry's remarks are inept.

Chris' article is thorough and exposes Perry's ignorance of the subject on which he wrote and his obvious prejudices.

I'll read Ben's next.

Tom
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Tom
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Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read most of Ben's and Steven Birchfield's posts and recommend them highly. Ben makes the valid point that what is old is not necessarily inferior to what is new, and I note that moderns repeatedly make this accusation.

I like this:


Quote:
“the greatest lie of all in the sciences and metaphysics: that we are the product of a process of maturation, in which all our knowledge is superior to that of all other cultures; and that we have refined ourselves out of and beyond most of the nonsense that held back previous cultures.” -- John Morrill


John Frawley describes Morrill as: “the leading contemporary historian of the seventeenth century.

Steven's response hits on one of my favorite arguments, i.e. psychotherapy is not all that it is cracked up to be. If psychotherapy does not "work" or if people will "get better" with or without psychotherapy, what good is psychological astrology? In fact many of the criticisms leveled at astrology can also be leveled at psychotherapy. This is not the place to get involved in all of that, but I'm glad Steven brought it up in this context. People who live in glass houses Mr. Perry, ...

Everyone else will benefit by reading these responses.

Tom
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Tom
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Posted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 2:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Correction

In an earlier post I mentioned reading something in NCGR about counseling etc. I could not find the documentation, but I was in touch with an astrologer who remembers things more or less the same way I did, but there needs to be a clarification.

1. It was ISAR (most likely) not NCGR.

2. What I referred to was a proposal or there was an ongoing development of standards etc and it included the psychotherapy sessions. That proposal never made the cut. Instead a counseling skills seminar taught by "professional counselors" was mandatory for certification.

3. The sex thing I recalled accurately but it was dropped.

ISAR adopted a certification system and code of ethics that can be viewed on their website that is somewhat less Orwellian than I wrote about, but my source vaguely recalled the proposals they way I recalled them. They just never saw the light of day. All of this occurred about 2002 or maybe earlier which is why our collective memory is foggy. Sadly I have no documents at this time.

Sorry NCGR. I got you confused with ISAR.

Tom
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James Frazier



Joined: 16 Jan 2005
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Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone have a link to Perry's original article?
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florenced



Joined: 29 Jun 2006
Posts: 18

Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The article is not published on-line. But it does appear to rehash prior attacks on Traditional astrology in articles published on his website.
[url]
http://www.aaperry.com/index.asp?pgid=64[/url]

2nd paragraph: "Ancient and medieval astrologers were preoccupied with so-called "good" and "bad" planetary positions—malefic planets, evil aspects, debilitations, falls, afflictions, and other such ominous categories of meaning. While they were obviously aware that people were subject to a process of ageing that culminated in death, there was little or no concept of evolution, that is, of the psycho-spiritual growth of the individual. Accordingly, astrology was largely limited to superficial trait descriptions, fated events, and dubious predictions of good and bad times for various enterprises."

And http://www.aaperry.com/index.asp?pgid=20

And he goes at it again: "Such a gloomy determinism was reinforced by a value laden terminology that too often described the birthchart in ominous terms, e.g., malefic, evil aspect, debilitation, affliction, detriment, fall, destroyer of life, hell of the zodiac, and so on. Of course, there were "good" parts to astrology as well, such as benefics and exaltations, but these only served to underscore the determinism of the system. Planets were variously conceived as transmitters of mysterious rays or electromagnetic forces that impacted upon the individual at birth. Understandably, this induced individuals to focus their attention outwards to see what malice or affection the gods might have in store for them. The rigid determinism of traditional astrology did not allow for the possibility of change or growth in consciousness. Instead, people more likely consulted the stars as a means of avoiding a calamitous fate or of exploiting opportunities for manipulating circumstances to personal advantage."

Glenn is an odd duck. In person he is quite affable. However his writing is all about tearing down others in order to prove why his approach to astrology is "best."

For a good laugh: read his article on Pope John Paul II. A psychologically determinist view if I ever saw one.
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florenced



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Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry about the bad link:

http://www.aaperry.com/index.asp?pgid=63
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florenced



Joined: 29 Jun 2006
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Posted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:29 pm    Post subject: Which reminds me... Reply with quote

I wondered why no one has written about the similar perspective (to Perry's) expressed in Rick Tarnas' Cosmos and Psyche. Admittedly, he did not go on and on in the way that Glenn did, but he basically made the same argument. And it was obvious that he knows less than Glenn does about traditional astrology (by which I mean that I would bet dollars to donuts that Tarnas does not even know the existence of terms like "sect" or "timelord.") and yet he simply writes it off as primitive and superstitious.

The other thing that gets under my skin about both of these guys is that even though they both decry "determinism" if you read their actual dilineations of charts (particularly Tarnas's & Groff's writings on the traumatic nature on pre-birth matrix) it is clear that they are just as trapped in a causal mode as anyone else. Formula goes like this: Out planet square of conjunction to the Sun or Moon = early childhood trauma = unhappy adult life which continuously replicates the original traumatic archetypal patter.
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Tom
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Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Three cheers for florenced. Good astrology is no more deterministic than good psychology. I might even argue it is less so. It's been brought to my attention that Perry is surprised that his most recent diatribe resulted in such a backlash. That he is surprised is revealing.

Quote:
Admittedly, he did not go on and on in the way that Glenn did, but he basically made the same argument. And it was obvious that he knows less than Glenn does about traditional astrology (by which I mean that I would bet dollars to donuts that Tarnas does not even know the existence of terms like "sect" or "timelord.") and yet he simply writes it off as primitive and superstitious.


Tarnas is an astrologer, but he has a stronger background in history and philosophy than Perry. I didn't read Cosmos and Psyche as the descriptions of the work didn't interest me, but I did read his book, many years ago, Passion of the Western Mind. However, this is philosophy not astrology and I didn't know Tarnas was an astrologer when I read it. I admit that when I come to astrology descriptions written by non-astrologers or people who I think are non-astrologers, I tend to skim them. I ought to look at it again because I think he does mention astrology in that book.

On the other hand I don't think it is out of line to suggest that some or even much of astrology is deterministic. Schoener said something like man has a free will but not the will to use it. If we don't use it, what determines our actions? The other side of the coin is that we cannot will ourseleves to do everything, if we so wish. We have talents and abilities and lack talents and other abilities, so we are limited in what we can do, and some are more limited than others. In that sense there is a degree of fatalism in all lives. Hugh Hefner is not suited to the life of a Cistercian monk no matter how hard he tries (or might have tired. He is probably more suited to that life now than at any other time). The chart, if it can do anything, can point out certain areas that are sutibable for us. It does not predetermine every aspect of our lives.

Finally if there is no determinism in Perry's astrology, none whatsoever, why does he bother with it?

Tom
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florenced



Joined: 29 Jun 2006
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Posted: Thu Jan 17, 2008 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
"On the other hand I don't think it is out of line to suggest that some or even much of astrology is deterministic."


I agree with this, and you are right--if one thinks about it there are all kinds of "determinisms" in life. The country, culture, religion and economic circumstances one is born to, the educational opportunities, one's physical beauty (yes, it is an advantage in most places) and yes, the emotional health or lack of in ones family and culture all have a determining effect on the trajectory of a life. Every astrologer, regardless of the techniques or philosophical perspective, always engages with the native's biography and in doing so implicitly acknowledges "cause" which is a form of determinism.

So, I think that the whole determinism argument is red herring and distracts from the "real" point of Perry's (and Tarnas's) "arguments" which is that their techniques are better. And since they haven't or won't actually study (and test!) with an open mind the techniques they are attacking, they must resort to pseudo-intellectual arguments in an attempt to discredit the "other guy's" astrology. ie: "pretending that those who employ traditional technique's in their astrology are hopeless fatalists (which is outrageous, because if didn't believe that fate could be negotiated with to some extent at least, why would they bother with Horary or electional astrology). On his website Perry writes:
Quote:

Since I believe the Universe has intentions for us, I am not inclined to help my clients control or exploit their fate. I am interested in helping them learn from it. Accordingly, my ethics prevent me from advising clients on how to take advantage of a transit for personal gain or profit. I don't tell people when they should or should not do things, like get married, start a business, quit a job, get a divorce, or take a vacation. It has been my observation that whatever the individual does or experiences is always consistent with the nature of the transit anyway. What would be the purpose, then, of trying to outsmart such a profoundly intelligent and obviously purposeful cosmos? Is there not a certain hubris when we muddle in such matters?


So, it could be argued that Perry is projecting his own disowned hopeless fatalism onto his clients when he refuses to even make suggestions as to how a client might negotiate with a difficult transit. From my reading of the articles on his website, he seems to be making the argument that it would be unethical for an astrologer to intervene in any way in a client's 'fate." Which from psychological perspective, is beyond weird--because the fact of the matter is that psychologists make "suggestions" ALL the time! Making suggestions regarding personal perspective and practical action which might be taken is part of a psychologist's job! No, they shouldn't "tell" a client what they must do, but it is good psychology to point out, for example, to a hopeless of depressed patient that perhaps she does have some options and to even give some examples. It is the psychologist's job to help a client out of a mental rut and to give them hope. And to remind them of reality (like maybe you should stop hoping your alcoholic spouse will stop drinking, particularly since he has shown that he has no interest in doing so--not easy to hear, but reality, and not so different from a horary judgment that says that if you sue you will loose.) Or that if you have been recently diagnosed with MS, you will have to accept that you might have learn to live with the fact that you can't go mountain climbing anymore, and help them find other ways to find meaning and pleasure in life. I don't see that even traditional astrologers would have a hard time being psychological/deterministic in that sense. Eg: a chart could help illuminate talents etc which might bring as much pleasure as mountain climbing (5th house stuff).

As for Tarnas: I knew he was into astrology from his book "Prometheus the Awakener" which was published before Passion of the Western Mind, which I own and use as a historical reference from time to time. But Cosmos and Psyche is a mess. I forced myself to read the whole damn thing and it was an irritating experience to say the least. Irritating because he has the ability to cloak his ignorance behind his considerable academic knowledge, but if you really know astrology it is clear that he is as myopic and ignorant as Perry is. Which is shocking, since one would think that at least as a historian, he would be particularly interested in the history of astrology--which, sadly, he seems remarkably uncurious about. Because he basically makes the same "point' that Perry does--that it is primitive and unevolved because it is old.
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