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J.B. Morin on Combustion and Cazimi
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Tom
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Posted: Thu May 07, 2009 11:40 pm    Post subject: J.B. Morin on Combustion and Cazimi Reply with quote

I decided to put this on a different thread to avoid confusion and to avoid changing the original topic.

Also, I’ve encountered a few problems in the past when I present information like this, so I’d like to be clear about it up front. The fact that I’m presenting Morin’s information is not to be taken as an indication of advocacy in whole or in part. I might advocate him. I’m not ruling him out, but it does not follow that offering information about traditional astrology on the traditional forum means that this is what I see as the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. It is information, and I’ll be happy to try to answer any questions about it. More to the point, this is not to be considered an attack of any kind on anyone’s favorite astrologers.

I’m taking Morin’s views on combustion and cazimi from Book 16 of Astrologia Gallica, translated by James. H. Holden, published by the AFA. The title is The Rays and Aspects of the Planets. When Ptolemy is cited by Morin, Holden used the chapters of Tetrabiblos that are in the Robbins translation, for easy reference by an interested reader.

Morin devotes several (short) chapters to this question, and obviously I cannot quote the whole thing. I will supply some quotes that I believe accurately summarize his position. Morin’s style in these circumstances is to reference and quote older astrologers, particularly Ptolemy and Cardan, and then tell his reader why they are wrong and he is right. Anyone who is not familiar with Morin and this work should realize that he often starts his own arguments with his own position as premise and accepted fact. And he often refers to books in Astrologia Gallica that have not yet been translated into English.

I’m working on a brief summary of how Morin saw the cosmos and astrology as best I understand it, and I’ll give that to Deb when it is finished. For our purposes here, we’ll have to grope a bit from time to time to fully grasp what he is saying and if anything isn’t clear or seems outrageous, give it a fair hearing and ask questions. It may not be as outrageous as we think.

Morin starts by noting that Junctinius (Francesco Giutini 1522 – 1590?) and his work Treatise on Revolutions p. 1134 allows that a combust planet has no force. He then goes on to quote Ptolemy from Book 3 Chapter 14:



Quote:
“But in general it is proper to accept no [force] from those planets that are covered over by the rays of the Sun …”


He then quotes his other favorite target Jerome Cardan (1501 – 1576):

Quote:
“But for now, what the stars that are under the rays promise is plain from this. For not utterly, as the Arabs think, but in the fall of life as was seen above (namely, in Chapter 14), they can do nothing; neither by harming, nor by helping. …”


Both of the above quotes are longer and more detailed.

Now he again quotes Cardan who takes this idea even further (I am, of course, assuming that Morin accurately quoted Cardan):


Quote:
“When a planet is under the Sun, the Sun itself disposes the place of that Planet; that is it claims for itself the force of acting of that Planet; because by itself, the Planet can do nothing.”


Morin cites Junctinius, Cardan, and Ptolemy as three authorities who claim the planets are powerless when combust. He also notes that Cardan takes the word “powerless” quite literally, and grants the Sun power of disposition over a planet that is combust. This probably is not the contemporary position taken by traditional astrologers, but we cannot fault Morin for not taking us into consideration.

He then continues setting up his case by noting the following:


Quote:
“Besides, this doctrine from the ancients has arisen from this – that they thought that all the stars produce their own effects on sub-lunar things by [their] light; and it had not become known to them that not only the Moon, but also Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Mercury, are lacking in their own light and only illuminated by the Sun whose light they reflect on those lower things.”


I am not certain, but I think he is correct about this, that ancient astrologers saw the planets (wanderers or wandering stars), as having their own light. If this is true, we can see where he is going with this. The light of the planets is obliterated by the overwhelming light of the Sun. However, if the planet has no light of its own, then what is being obliterated? He goes on:

Quote:
Based on that, it is not surprising that comparing the huge and very potent light of the Sun (which, equally extended, they also thought to be productive of the heat of the Sun) with the meager and dull light of the rest of the Planets, they judged their force to be overwhelmed, weakened, and burnt up by the virtue of the Sun. But because in Book 11 (sadly, not translated into English – tc) we have proved that by itself the light only illuminates and does nothing else; therefore the falsity and ruin of the fundamental principle of the ancients is now plain.”


So, he’s rejecting the initial premise of the “ancients” as well as, by inference, Cardan et al, that combustion renders a planet powerless by virtue of the Sun’s light obliterating the light of the planets, because the planets haven no light to obliterate.

He then goes on to note that the doctrine of combustion applies not only to conjunction but to aspect as well. I’m not going there. I want to keep this on track as best I can. He concludes that the Sun does not weaken combust planets while conceding that the Sun, by its virtue (we might say essence) is stronger than all the other planets.

Next Chapter

Here he goes into more depth as to why the opinions of the ancients are wrong, starting with the Moon. Again I cannot quote the entire chapter, so I’ll hit the highlights.

He has, in his mind dispensed with the obliteration of light reasoning and agrees that the Sun is more powerful than the other planets. The Moon is considered by all to be more powerful than everything but the Sun, so why aren’t planets conjunct the Moon considered to be stripped of their virtue? Didn’t we have a thread on a planet being cazimi when tightly conjunct the Moon?

Second, old astrologers say that harmful events result if the Sun is conjunct Saturn or Mars. If Saturn or Mars are rendered powerless by combustion, how can that be?

Third: He rejects the idea of cazimi as ridiculous (his word, not mine) on the grounds that all the older astrologers say the closer a combust planet is to the Sun the weaker it gets. So, if say, Jupiter continues to get weaker as it gets closer to a partile conjunction, how can it all of a sudden gain great strength once it reaches the center? That’s a fair question.

Fourth: Mercury is combust a lot, yet all the astrologers attribute great things (the powers of mind) to Mercury, a planet that is habitually weak according to the doctrine of combustion,

Fifth: This part has to do with aspects to the Sun being considered combust. If that is true, he says, then no phases of the Moon can have any power. I do not recall reading anyone saying that a planet is combust when in aspect to the Sun, so I skip over the rest of this part.

The next two chapters are examples in his own experience that in his mind refute the idea of combustion and cazimi.

I’ll stop here as this has gone on long enough. Boiled to its essence, Morin argues that the idea of combustion is hogwash and he never uses it in natal delineation. What we can see here is his attempt to put astrology on a scientific basis. If the ancients were incorrect about the actual nature of the Universe, then those conclusions they drew from those things are incorrect. Obviously Morin can now be challenged on the same grounds. His view of the cosmos was as inaccurate as Ptolemy’s. We argue that we use the old ideas as metaphors, and so we are permitted to accept Morin on those grounds as well.

My understanding is that Morin was pretty much anti-horary. He was pretty much anti anything that was associated with the Arabs, whether he was right about the origin of such associations or not. So if we argue that combustion plays an important role in horary, we can imagine Morin replying, that such an opinion is evidence of why horary does not really work – it relies on fictions.

But the above is a pretty good example of how he approaches the whole of astrology and how he argues his positions. I left a lot out for space considerations and to avoid violating copyright law. Questions and comments are always welcome.

Tom
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Deb
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Posted: Fri May 08, 2009 7:51 am    Post subject: Re: J.B. Morin on Combustion and Cazimi Reply with quote

Hi Tom

Thanks for such a full explanation.

Tom wrote:

Quote:
“Besides, this doctrine from the ancients has arisen from this – that they thought that all the stars produce their own effects on sub-lunar things by [their] light; and it had not become known to them that not only the Moon, but also Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Mercury, are lacking in their own light and only illuminated by the Sun whose light they reflect on those lower things.”


I am not certain, but I think he is correct about this, that ancient astrologers saw the planets (wanderers or wandering stars), as having their own light. If this is true, we can see where he is going with this. The light of the planets is obliterated by the overwhelming light of the Sun. However, if the planet has no light of its own, then what is being obliterated?

Giving what I see as the 'astrological answer', what is being obliterated is the solar vitality which animated their astrological virtue in the first place. First we have to understand the pivotal position the Sun has as the astrological generator and destroyer of cosmic form. From Paulus, “The creator of the whole, the Sun, makes its movement …”; Valens, I.I: “The all-seeing Sun … the light of the mind”: Ezra, “The Sun signifies life, for he is the greater luminary and the light of all the bodies … the spirit of man is owed to the Sun”. Practically every astrological author makes the point in his own way.

It is difficult to get hold of this book and it is an intense piece of work, but if you can get it, I recommend ‘Planets, Stars & orbs’ by Edward Grant. There is a great deal of philosophical discussion related to the belief that planets are completely and wholly illuminated by the Sun, versus the argument that they may be (partly at least ) self-luminous. This was a *huge* philosophical issue which engaged the minds of many great historical names, because before Morin’s time science unquestionably accepted the theory that the earth and sublunar sphere was influenced by Celestial light.

In a nutshell, celestial light is conceived to originate from the Sun; but sunlight is different from the spiritually effective celestial light because it is via its intermingling with the planets and absorption of the planetary virtues that we have the different qualities of ‘celestial light’. For example, sunlight reflects off planetary surfaces; whereas the celestial light is absorbed into the planet – so that what comes back to us from Mars has originated from the Sun, but is now filled with the virtue of Mars. Each planet has its own humoral virtue based mainly upon its relationship to the Sun in the cosmos.

It is obviously a deep and complex discussion, which (as you have noted) influences the theory of aspects too - not just the combustion stage. I have some research that I hope to publish soon which explains in more detail, with diagrams, etc. My quick point here is that pre-17th century astrology recognised the Sun as the source of light and life and the planetary cycles were all believed to be generated and destroyed according to their relationship with the Sun. The theory that underpins our symbolic use of combustion is fundamental, and so many astrological tenets rest upon it, that to call it ‘ridiculous’ is no less than to say that astrology as a whole is ridiculous. (Or at least the traditional concept of it). This is one of several issues that I have with Morins’ teachings. He seems quick to reject or ‘correct’ certain principles as if they only exits on an objective and rational level. But of course he lived in a world where these things could either be taken very literally, or rejected completely in order to make way for new theories.

I absolutely agree that you present his arguments fairly and look forward to the summary. Whether I agree with his points or not, he was significant and influential, and needs to be understood.

Thanks
Deb
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Andrew Bevan



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Posted: Fri May 08, 2009 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom wrote:
Now he again quotes Cardan who takes this idea even further (I am, of course, assuming that Morin accurately quoted Cardan):

Quote:
“When a planet is under the Sun, the Sun itself disposes the place of that Planet; that is it claims for itself the force of acting of that Planet; because by itself, the Planet can do nothing.”


The house that the Sun rules shows what overpowers the combust significator. Smile Thumbs up
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Posted: Fri May 08, 2009 11:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's only relatively recently that we've had more than Book 21 of Astrologia Gallica to base our opinions of Morin and his work. We were told that this book is the basis of his delineation methods and it gave us quite a bit to work with, The earliest books, we were told (usually cited as books 1 through 9) did not mention astrology at all. The implication is that we really don't need them.

Over the past several years James Holden translated and published books 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, 22, 23, 24, and 25. I think he also translated No. 17, but I don't have it yet. Book 18 was translated by Anthony LaBruzza (aka Tony Louis), and book 21 was translated by Lucy Little (from a French translation), Richard Baldwin (from the Latin) and a less than true version by Swickert and Weiss (Cornerstones of Astrology). This leaves books 1 -12, 20, and 26, if I have this correctly - over half the text.

What I've learned is that in order to understand Morin, we need to understand the philosophy that motivated his thinking. Unfortunately in this era of technique, that is the least likely to see translation - not to mention the fact that Mr. Holden is in his 80s. As Deb pointed out there were hot topics of philosophical debate in the 17th century, that are not important to us now, but were obviously important at the time and important to the people that we read and cite. Having half of Morin does not do him justice even if we come to the conclusion that, astrologically, he was all wet.

I understand that calling a widely held theory or belief "ridiculous" or "absurd (another favorite pejorative of his), can be a turn off, but other writers contemporary with Morin and on into the 19th and perhaps 20th century are only slightly less offensive. Worsdale, for example, spares no one in his insistence of the correctness of his ways. Cardan, a favorite target of Morin could be pretty abrasive as well in his battles with Guarico who gave as good as he got. In other words, we need to put our sensibilities aside for more than one older astrologer. I think these are idiosyncrasies that need to be overlooked because the substance is worth it. The man had no problem telling off DesCartes; that has to be worth something.


Quote:
My quick point here is that pre-17th century astrology recognised the Sun as the source of light and life and the planetary cycles were all believed to be generated and destroyed according to their relationship with the Sun.


Morin devotes a chapter in book 18 to this very topic, and of course mentions it elsewhere. Without access to all of AG, it is more difficult to pin down everything he is saying, and even more difficult to summarize him. He is attacking some of the foundations or what were believed to be the foundations of astrology, and his reasons for doing so don't always lend themselves to pithy descriptions. His style makes it even more difficult. His constant harassment of others, at times, gets in the way of his own arguments. He obviously felt it necessary to state the opposing positions in order to make his own point. Astrologia Gallica is over 800 pages of double columns on almost every page. This is part of the reason.


Quote:
In a nutshell, celestial light is conceived to originate from the Sun; but sunlight is different from the spiritually effective celestial light

...

The theory that underpins our symbolic use of combustion is fundamental,


But it is sunlight upon which the idea of combustion rests. The combust planet is obliterated from our view. I have a great deal of difficulty with this. I was very happy to see an argument I've made against combustion crossing sign lines was made for a different purpose by Morin:

Quote:
" ... no Planet above the horizon by day would be of any virtue for those by whom it could not be seen."


We cant see any planets in the daylight even when they are above the horizon (except the Moon on occasion) except during an eclipse. If Mercury is combust by longitude and there is an eclipse, does Mercury regain strength during the time of the eclipse since he is now (possibly) visible? The ancients knew this. The difference is oriental planets above the horizon cannot be seen after sunrise. They can be seen before sunrise once they are over the horizon. Occidental planets cannot be seen above the horizon until after sunset. Combust planets cannot be seen under any circumstances. Therefore the theory of combustion possibly rests not on simple invisibility, but on the lack of any visibility at any time of the day (except during an eclipse). It's as though the planet disappeared entirely only to return at a later date*. Or perhaps it is based on heat. The closer we are to the source of heat the hotter it gets. I don't know, but it does seem illogical that it is based on a simple lack of visibility.

We may accept some form of combustion, but which one? I think Morin's arguments against defining a planet as "powerless" are persuasive. He does seem to be engaging the issue on a black and white basis, though. On the other hand, so did those he criticized, namely, Ptolemy, Junctinius, and Cardan. They just took they opposite extremes. Cardan, at least, anticipated Morin's objection by saying, "Yes it is true that a powerless planet cannot rule a sign or disposit another planet." Well something has to, so he gave that power, logically (in his view), to the Sun. Pardon me, but that answer is a bit wobbly.

I'm looking forward to your work, Deb, and I'll hunt for the book you suggested.

Tom
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Posted: Fri May 08, 2009 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It occurs to me that this might be a decent place to give a very broad overview of Morin's view of the cosmos that formed his astrology. This may sound a bit odd to a 21st century reader, but be assured that he saw what follows as literal truth. The inevitable caveat follows: this is the way I understand him. If there is an error of fact in that understanding it is mine not his. And as always, there is far more to this than will be presented here.

We start with the Caelum. He capitalizes it and it is almost always, in English translation anyway, in italics. The contemporary English translation of this word is "sky" or "heavens." For Morin it included or perhaps was included in the zodiac - a word I cannot recall his using. This is the basis of everything. Morin argues that the caelum sends out its influence (something he considered more or less tangible, but he didn't claim to know or understand the exact mechanism) universally without discrimination. If there were no planets, the caelum would send out its influence all over the earth and everything would be the same everywhere. That this isn't true, is due to the presence of the planets.

We need to note that Morin's view of the solar system was not the simple, sphere inside a sphere model we are used to associating with old astrologers. He saw the Earth as stationary. The other planets orbited the Sun and that entire mass orbited the earth. There are reasons for this belief and he is not the only one who held it. That takes us elsewhere.

The planets get their essential meanings from the signs they rule (sounds a little like a 20th -21st century astrologer here). The are influenced by the caelum and send the combination of their own influence and the caelum's influence to the Earth indiscriminately and universally. This is critical to understanding his idea of analogy, which I'll touch on in a bit.

If the planets send their influence and that of the sign they occupy indiscriminately and universally, how then are things differentiated as we know they are? Part of the answer is the mundane houses. Another part is that the influences are received differently. As he is fond of saying, "The Sun melts wax and hardens clay." Men and animals receive the same influence. They do not react to it in a similar fashion because men are not animals. Each has its own nature. Saturn in Libra sends its influence everywhere the same way. In some parts of the world that Saturn is on the MC. In others it is in the 12th house. Saturn is no different, but what it affects varies from place to place and object to object. Saturn hardens wax and turns clay to dust.

Morin rejects the ideas of universal significators. For example, many astrologers tell us that the Moon represents women in our lives. Morin counters that the Moon represents things that women represent, but the Moon cannot represent all women in our lives no matter where she is in the chart. Otherwise if there was a direction to the Moon, whatever happened to our wives would also happen to our mothers, our daughters, our sisters, and every other woman in our lives. Experience tells us this isn't true.

The Moon has an analogy with women so when the Moon is in a house that is associated with a particular woman, she represents that woman not all all of them. Moon in the 7th is our wife. Moon in the 5th is our daughter(s). Moon in the 3rd is our sister(s), Moon in the 10th is our mother. Moon in the 6th is our female servants. Moon in the 12th our female enemies or sicknesses associated with the cold wet Moon. If the Moon in the 7th is our wife, who then is our mother? Look to the ruler of the 10th or a planet in the 10th that has a feminine analogy - say Venus. But even if a debilitated Saturn is in the 10th, then we have a debilitated, cold, dry mother.

The stronger the analogy the more sure our predictions. A direction to the Moon in the 10th invites a prediction related to the mother not the wife. If the Moon is in the 2nd, we may not predict something that will affect our mother since the Moon is not in a position to represent the mother (unless the Moon rules the 10th by domicile or exaltation). The Moon is determined to our wealth in that case. Looking at the chart this way allows for more precise prediction, assuming he is correct about all of this.

He applies this theory to more than natal astrology. He uses it in mundane astrology and for weather prediction. Remember, the planets give their influence universally and without discrimination. It is how it is received that differentiates man from the weather, and mundane astrology from natal astrology. God is everywhere in all things. This would be his Catholic belief and his astrology is consistent with it.

Tom
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Eddy



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Posted: Fri May 08, 2009 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting to read the views of Morin. Out of curiousness I tried to find when astronomers started to believe that the Moon and planets reflect the Sun's light. The 5th century BC Empedocles believed that the Moon reflected the Sun's light and that eclipses occurred by the Moon moving in front of the Sun or in the Earth's shadow. The 5th century CE Aryabhata believed that all the planets reflected the Sun's light.

Tom wrote:
We start with the Caelum. He capitalizes it and it is almost always, in English translation anyway, in italics. The contemporary English translation of this word is "sky" or "heavens." For Morin it included or perhaps was included in the zodiac - a word I cannot recall his using. This is the basis of everything.


I'm not sure where I read it but this resembles to something I read that Morin believed that the signs' influences came from the outer sphere and that therefore he didn't consider them climatologically so he didn't support the issue of 'flipping over' of the signs on the southern hemisphere. Opponents of this view state that this position couldn't be upheld anymore when heliocentricity became the accepted view.
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Martine



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Posted: Mon May 11, 2009 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In Morin’s chart, from his own account, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn are combust. Also, Mars is combust by trine aspect and the Moon is under the sunbeams.

Jean Hiéroz writes that, in the opinion of Morin, especially based on his own chart, combustion only acts on the elemental effect of the planet, it does not change the influential effect.

In « Ma Vie Devant les Astres » (my life before the stars), collected by Hiéroz in Astrologia Gallica, Morin says that his combust Mercury is the most evident cause of his own intelligence.

Mercury is in Aquarius and the Sun is in Pisces, so Mercury may not be combust. However, Saturn, the dispositor of Mercury, is combust. Mercury is peregrine and Saturn is peregrine and placed in the detriment and fall of Mercury.

I wonder if a planet, separated from the Sun by another planet , is still combust. If not, the only combust planets in Morin’s chart would be Jupiter and Venus, the two fortunes (if we disregard combustion by aspect). This would explain the numerous adversities in his life.
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Posted: Mon May 11, 2009 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Martine,

Thanks for the information. Can you cite the parts in AG where he says this of himself? It could be in book 21, which I haven't looked at in a while, but it seems to be at odds with what he says in book 16. I can understand why he would say the Sun conjunct Mercury would give him intelligence. I'll look again.

The chart given in The Little translation of Book 21 gives Mercury at 27 Aquarius 55 and the Sun at 4 Pisces 19 (more modern calculations alter these positions a bit). At about 6 degrees separation this is the outer limits of combustion, but Mercury is fast and heading deeper into combustion at this time. Jupiter is combust in this chart - just outside being cazimi.


Quote:
Mercury is in Aquarius and the Sun is in Pisces, so Mercury may not be combust. However, Saturn, the dispositor of Mercury, is combust. Mercury is peregrine and Saturn is peregrine and placed in the detriment and fall of Mercury.


Saturn is barely combust in this chart at 8 degrees 10 minutes of separation.

Tom
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Martine



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Posted: Mon May 11, 2009 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Tom

No, I have only the books of Hiéroz. This is what Morin says, translated by Hiéroz :

Les Anciens prétendaient que les Planètes Combustes n'ont plus aucune action sur ce Monde Sublunaire. Cependant j'ai Mercure Combuste dans le Verseau et en sextil partil de l'Horoscope, appliquant Vénus également combuste et maître de I. Saturne, maître de Mercure, est en XII et également combuste. Il est certain que je n'ai aucune cause céleste d'intelligence plus évidente que ce Mercure qui, quoique peu puissant, m'a conféré la possibilité de scruter les sciences les plus sublimes, comme le prouvent mon "Astronomie Restituée" et cette "Astrologia Gallica".

Which gives :

The Ancient pretended that the Combust Planets have no longer any action on this Sublunar World. However I have Mercury Combust in Aquarius and in partil sextile of the Horoscope, applying to Venus also combust and lord of I. Saturn, lord of Mercury, is in XII and also combust. It is certain that I have no cause of intelligence more evident than this Mercury which, although not very powerful, has enabled me to scan the most sublime sciences, as my "Astronomie Restituée" and this "Astrologia Gallica" prove.

This book, "Ma Vie Devant Les Astres" was published by Jean Hiéroz in 1943. It contains extracts for the Astrologia Gallica where Morin comments his own chart and his solar and lunar returns and directions in connection to the events of his life. Hiéroz does not give any references as to the places where the latin original texts can be found.

As you can see, Morin does not say that it is the conjunction of the Sun to Mercury which gives him intelligence
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Tom
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Posted: Mon May 11, 2009 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martine wrote:

Quote:
In Morin’s chart, from his own account, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn are combust. Also, Mars is combust by trine aspect and the Moon is under the sunbeams.

Jean Hiéroz writes that, in the opinion of Morin, especially based on his own chart, combustion only acts on the elemental effect of the planet, it does not change the influential effect.

In « Ma Vie Devant les Astres » (my life before the stars), collected by Hiéroz in Astrologia Gallica, Morin says that his combust Mercury is the most evident cause of his own intelligence.


From Book 21, Baldwin translation (From the Latin), page 51.

Quote:
First. When three, four, or five, planets are in the same house this house is clearly more important than the other for it indicates something outstanding in connection with the affairs of that house, and the more planets are in that house the more they indicate something important -- be it good or ill. An example of this is my own horoscope where Venus, Sun, Jupiter, Saturn, and the Moon are in the twelfth house. ...

[Here he lists a string of unpleasant things that happened to him over the course of his life]

"... Saturn in the twelfth caused all these things because it bears an analogy to these evils; but I always avoided the very worst due to Jupiter and Venus in good celestial state ... emphasis added
.

In his chart Venus and Jupiter are combust. Venus is a little more than three degrees from the Sun and Jupiter is less than one degree from the Sun. Putting combustion aside for a minute, the Sun in this chart is favorably besieged. Now there is some opinion that a planet in great dignity (Domicile or Exaltation) cannot be combust as that planet or planets disposit or rule the Sun. I don't know that Morin ever opined on that topic. Given what I understand of Book 16, I doubt it.

The key words in this paragraph are "good celestial state." Clearly he does not consider combustion here at all. "Celestial State" refers to the position in a sign and aspects. Morin does not adopt the classical "essential" and "accidental" dignities.

Also, since he does not consider Venus and Jupiter to be afflicted, he would not believe Mercury to be afflicted either. Mercury is in the 11th house (Regiomontanus cusps) in his chart.

Tom
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Posted: Mon May 11, 2009 4:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The Ancient pretended that the Combust Planets have no longer any action on this Sublunar World. However I have Mercury Combust in Aquarius and in partil sextile of the Horoscope, applying to Venus also combust and lord of I. Saturn, lord of Mercury, is in XII and also combust. It is certain that I have no cause of intelligence more evident than this Mercury which, although not very powerful, has enabled me to scan the most sublime sciences, as my "Astronomie Restituée" and this "Astrologia Gallica" prove.


I'll look for this. In English I think he is saying that combustion is not a valid concept and as an example he gives his own Mercury as functioning quite well despite being classically combust. Therefore the idea of combustion is not valid.

Tom
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johannes susato



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Posted: Mon May 11, 2009 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Martine wrote:

The Ancient pretended that the Combust Planets have no longer any action on this Sublunar World.
However I have Mercury Combust in Aquarius and in partil sextile of the Horoscope, applying to Venus also combust and lord of I. Saturn, lord of Mercury, is in XII and also combust. It is certain that I have no cause of intelligence more evident than this Mercury which, although not very powerful, has enabled me to scan the most sublime sciences, as my "Astronomie Restituée" and this "Astrologia Gallica" prove.

Hi Martine, hi Tom,

this quotation is: AG, Book 16, Sectio III., Cap. VI., 2. paragraph.

Sectio III. deals with the Planets, combusted by the Sun.

Johannes
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Tom
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Posted: Tue May 12, 2009 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found Martine's quote in the Holden translation, and although it is slightly different, the differences do not alter the meaning. Morin is saying that, yes my Mercury is weak, but not so weak as it prevented me from writing two important books. In Morin's mind the weakness has nothing to do with combustion. From page 138, Book 16, Section III Holden translation:

Quote:
The same thing can be proved from a thousand nativities; namely, that combust planets are not deprived of at least their influential virtues, but that they act per se by reason of their own nature, both of the sign and the house that they occupy and the one that they rule, and [also] by reason of the aspects which they make with the other Planets or significators, but not by proxies, as was hitherto supposed, although the influx of the Sun must be principally taken into account on account of the reason stated above.


Recall that Morin's argument is that the ancients and their followers claimed a combust planet lost all of its power, and that belief is wrong.. Cardan went so far as to say that the Sun was the true dispositor of any planets in the signs of the combust planets and any houses they rule. This is what Morin is referring to when he uses the word "proxy" or "proxies." So his argument runs this way: "If Mercury represents or rules the mind, then a person with Mercury combust has no mind because a combust planet has no power. But I have a combust Mercury and I'm a really smart guy so the ancients must be wrong."

The operative word here is powerless. He is saying that not only isn't a planet powerless as the ancients argued, but that it operates the same way as it would if it were not combust. It is influenced by the Sun in the same way that it is influenced by any other planet it is conjunct. But it is not powerless.

Then me makes the following interesting observation in the very next paragraph:


Quote:
Nevertheless, it must be known that the things signified by a combust Planet -- either habits and intelligence, or actions, etc. -- are not conspicuous entirely, at least to everyone, and for the great part they are unnoticed. And so, those persons for whom Mercury is combust, and the significator of intelligence, do not disclose to all either their own intelligence, or what they have in mind, but something is always reserved, or revealed in the smallest things they keep back for themselves. And the reasoning is the same for the rest [of the Planets].


I hadn't noticed this paragraph previously. He is granting something to the idea of combustion. He says that combust planets (and he would include aspects to the Sun as well as conjunctions) act as they would if they were not combust, but that the native withholds something of the nature of the planet. In other words, something is hidden by the native. He might withhold some of what he knows (Mercury combust) or what he has (Jupiter combust), or what he owes (Saturn Combust), or what he lusts for (Venus combust), etc. The planet will give what the planet can give, but the native will hold some of it back.

It might be fun to look at combust planets this way for a while to test the validity of this belief.

Tom
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PFN



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Posted: Tue May 12, 2009 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom wrote:
I hadn't noticed this paragraph previously. He is granting something to the idea of combustion. He says that combust planets (and he would include aspects to the Sun as well as conjunctions) act as they would if they were not combust, but that the native withholds something of the nature of the planet. In other words, something is hidden by the native. He might withhold some of what he knows (Mercury combust) or what he has (Jupiter combust), or what he owes (Saturn Combust), or what he lusts for (Venus combust), etc. The planet will give what the planet can give, but the native will hold some of it back.

It might be fun to look at combust planets this way for a while to test the validity of this belief.

Tom


This is too similar to the concept that when combustion is "on", things go well undercover. If you want to do something in secrecy, a New Moon can help, it is a horary and elective doctrine well known.

This must have something to do with it. So, even though Morin dismissed the Power of combustion, he did not dismiss it entirely. This reasoning of his is more critical than it looks, for he has noticed that a combust planet can NOT be seen, or rather, will remain hidden.

In my opinion, after this quotation of Morin, the problem is less about if combustion happens or not, but about the notion of power itself, held by the authors before him. When a planet is combust, it does not cease to exist, the ancients knew this much. But they said it had no power and that's the source of confusion. What power means in this context is the key question. If it means not that the quality of the planet changes, but rather that it has a greater difficulty to express itself (as if locked or hidden) it can be pretty much that Morin and the ones that came before him where not in disagreement, but instead, lacked in understanding each other (after all to not be seen is, in some way, the same as "not happening". If noone knows, you're only halfway where you should've been, ie, noone rejoices in his own glory or misery alone, except in cases of insanity).

What is striking about combustion in my opinion, is that once you accept that it also works through occulting the planet's ability, it may (and I say may, cause this is speculation of mine) not lose it's quality given by house position (angular, sucedent, cadent). I mean, the planets influences can not be recognized, but it is still there, and the house position still gives it strength (and if it's in domicile, the quality is also good). That would give the edge for those lurking with evil intentions, and would explain well those good deeds that are never brought to light (in good old samarithan's way). Or would point, among other reasons, why highly apt, inteligent or skilled people are never brought to the front, and die obscured by their own ego supression (what would explain partialy why Morin, having 3 combust planets without means to get out, would have to resort to the only two not impedited, his Mercury in 11th and his Mars in 3rd. And I do not believe in the combustion of Mercury in Aquarius, cause if it was, his book would never see the light of day. Still, his Mars in Cancer probably did fail him).
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Posted: Tue May 12, 2009 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
So, even though Morin dismissed the Power of combustion, he did not dismiss it entirely. This reasoning of his is more critical than it looks, for he has noticed that a combust planet can NOT be seen, or rather, will remain hidden.

In my opinion, after this quotation of Morin, the problem is less about if combustion happens or not, but about the notion of power itself, held by the authors before him.


In one sense, he is setting up a straw man, but I don't think he is doing this deliberately. At times he appears a little sloppy, but writing a book over a 30-year period will do that. The straw man is the assertion that planets in combustion are powerless. He easily, in his mind, knocks down the straw man paving the way for his own reasoning, and then throws in this tiny concession in natal astrology.

But as PFN notes, this concession might reveal a more critical thinking than we first notice. The ancients knew that a combust planet didn't cease to exist because sooner or later it came back into view. The word "combust" suggests itself because of the fiery nature of the Sun, but the Sun does not destroy the planet and one cannot destroy something temporarily. Once it is destroyed it is gone and no longer exists.

So what happens? The light and power of the Sun hides the planet and therefore hides the planet's power. Hidden doesn't mean powerless. We are all familiar with the phrase "power behind the throne." The person holding such power is hidden by the power and/or perhaps the glory of the throne. That person still functions.

In astrology that planet still functions, according to Morin, and to a point, Lilly agrees.


Quote:
" ... the significator of the Querent combust, shows him or her in great fear, and overpowered by some great person." p. 113 CA


In horary, this makes perfect sense. The symbolism is precise and appropriate. Morin's example in natal astrology is also appropriate. The native holds back something or hides something from others. In Lilly's example the querent does not cease to exist, he is afraid, weakened.

And do we need to bring back the idea of combustion by aspect? This is mind boggling since a planet in aspect to the Sun, no matter how tight, is not invisible to the observer. The lack of visibility is supposed to be the very basis upon which the concept of combustion rests.

Morin is probably right that the astrologers who came before him overstated the case. Lilly's idea of being overpowered and Morin's idea of the native holding back or hiding something is less extreme and more satisfying. Although Lilly specifically mentioned horary, his idea is easily incorporated into natal astrology. Mercury combust could indicate the native's ego overpowering his intellect. Although I've never tried it, Cardan's idea that the Sun now disposits the houses and planets that would have been ruled by a combust planet is too much for me. It reminds of the idea that planets in mutual reception swap places. It's born out of the necessity created by lack of understanding.

I took a quick spin through some charts looking for combust planets and of course only found two. If I were looking for something else, combust planets would rain from heaven. The first one is Lizzie Borden famed accused axe murderess in the late 19th century subsequently acquitted, but probably guilty. Lizzie had Venus retrograde and combust and she never married. The Sun is in Cancer and intercepted in the 10th house of status. Venus rules the 9th and 2nd and is exalted in the 7th. As for the 9th, I get the impression that Lizzie was a whole lot smarter than she let on. She did teach Sunday school, and she didn't lack for brains. Her wealth was hidden, but not so much by her as by her father (the Sun?). Andrew Borden didn't believe in new fangled luxuries like indoor plumbing. This kept the suitors from "the Hill," the exclusive part of town, away from Lizzie and her sister Ema despite their being more than wealthy enough to live in the upper middle class lifestyle. Father controlled the wealth.

The second one, by coincidence or perhaps not, was the defendant in a murder trial and also acquitted although certainly guilty: O.J Simpson. Sun is in Cancer and so is Mercury Rx. Mercury rules the 2nd house of wealth and Simpson's wealth was burned up even though he tried to hide it from his creditors, notably Ron Goldman's father. His Mercury is also on the 12th cusp and he is currently hidden away in prison. Talk about ego overpowering intellect - this guy is the poster child for such an affliction. Lizzie might fit this bill as well.

Tom
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