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Doom and Gloom Astrology

 
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Tom
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Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 3508
Location: New Jersey, USA

Posted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 1:22 pm    Post subject: Doom and Gloom Astrology Reply with quote

Traditionalists have been accused and I suppose are still accused, of practicing doom and gloom astrology and the critics point to delineation after delineation dealing with death and forms of mayhem. There is some truth in the accusation as the astrological predictions that have come down to us are usually ones of great floods, death of Kings, outbreaks of plagues, wars, etc. Even the poor fixed stars have become a fairly malign lot.

Our side has come up with one reason or excuse after another for the phenomenon ranging from rationalization to outright denial. Critics being what critics are this will never go away, and many of us simply ignore it.

Yesterday I was reading a Synopsis of Astrologia Gallica from A History of Magic and Experimental Science, by Lynn Thorndike. I came across this quote:


Quote:
Morin interprets the Council of Trent's Rule 9 of the Index of Prohibited Books and the Bull of Sixtus V of 1586 as condemning only the prediction of fortuitious events and those contingent upon human free will.


This gave rise to the question: if we eliminate "fortuitous events" and "those contingent upon human free will," what is left? What's left is gloom and doom astrology. The astrologer is free to predict plagues, wars, death, theft, destruction etc, but not much else. Were astrologers in the past, Catholic or otherwise, previous to the Council of Trent (three meetings between 1545 and 1563) following what Morin referred to? This would explain why they published so much gloom and doom, but were perhaps more optimistic in private.

Why disallow the prediction of fortuitous events? It might have been a way to avoid fraud. "Cross my palm with silver and I'll tell you how to be rich," or it might have a theological basis. The Grace of God does not depend on the stars. Either way the astrologer was limited and more or less forced into morbid fatalism.

What about Lilly and the English astrologers? They weren't unduly influenced by pronouncements of the Roman Catholic Church. True, but Protestantism wasn't any more friendly to astrology than Catholicism, and probably for the same theological reasons. Lilly didn't name his book Christian Astrology for nothing.

What about the Arabs? Surely they weren't influenced by the Church. True enough, but Islam isn't that crazy about astrology for some of the same reasons Christianity isn't crazy about it. The prohibitions, formalized or not, would still be there. Being torn apart by wild animals in a public square is not an act of free will either in Rome or Mecca.

I tried to find Rule 9 of the Council of Trent online, but didn't. I have one more source to check. Is anyone familiar with it? Has this line of thinking been pursued before? Any comments or thoughts, pro or con? Let me know

Tom
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margherita



Joined: 10 Mar 2008
Posts: 1369
Location: Rome, Italy

Posted: Sat Jul 05, 2008 1:51 pm    Post subject: Re: Doom and Gloom Astrology Reply with quote

Tom wrote:


I tried to find Rule 9 of the Council of Trent online, but didn't. I have one more source to check. Is anyone familiar with it? Has this line of thinking been pursued before? Any comments or thoughts, pro or con? Let me know

Tom


This is Concilio di Trento rule IX:
All books and writings dealing with geomancy, hydromancy, aeromancy, pyromancy, oneiromancy, chiromancy, necromancy, or with sortilege, mixing of poisons, augury, auspices, sorcery, magic arts, are absolutely repudiated. The bishops shall diligently see to it that books, treatises, catalogues determining destiny by astrology, which in the matter of future events, consequences, or fortuitous occurrences, or of actions that depend on the human will, attempt to affirm something as certain to take place, are not read or possessed.[2] Permitted, on the other hand, are the opinions and natural observations which have been written in the interest of navigation, agriculture or the medical art.

2. For the mode of procedure suggested to the bishops and local inquisitors, cf. the bull <Coeli>, of Sixtus V, 5 Jan., 1586.
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fish
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Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i can think of very little more dull that fortuitous events
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margherita



Joined: 10 Mar 2008
Posts: 1369
Location: Rome, Italy

Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2008 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fish wrote:
i can think of very little more dull that fortuitous events


In practice astrology was lecit for everything it was not ritual magic, but "in the interest of navigation, agriculture or the medical art".
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spirlhelix



Joined: 20 Jan 2006
Posts: 250
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio

Posted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems to me that in the Council of Trent, the Church was attempting to maintain its support of royalty. In mundane circles astrology, believe it or not, was seen as a danger primarily to royalty--even though kings were some of astrology's most avid patrons. A courtier, on the other hand, would have been rapidly executed if he had been discovered to have commissioned a horoscope of the king.

These were the days of divine right, after all. It was treason to suggest that God's will as shown in an astrological chart and the King's "free will" could have been anything but one and the same. Had anyone other than the king's own astrologer examined a king's horoscope, it would have been assumed that he was attempting to determine the time of the king's death. This in itself was considered an act of treason.

Lilly got himself into trouble reading the charts of political figures in his day. It's a wonder he survived to live to an old age, all things considered.

Best,

Pam
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"Id rather learn from one bird how to sing than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance"
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