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Hand's Sect Book: Any Revised Conclusions?

 
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Posted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 12:37 am    Post subject: Hand's Sect Book: Any Revised Conclusions? Reply with quote

In Night & Day: Planetary Sect in Astrology (1995) Rob Hand warns at the beginning and end of the book that the book is the result of preliminary work regarding sect and that the conclusions are subject to change. In the ‘Fallen Planet’ thread Tom wrote “I've attended numerous lectures and workshops given by Robert Hand after he wrote his booklet on sect...” I had been thinking of asking if anyone knew if there have been any important revised conclusions regarding sect after all the research of the following 11 years. I would appreciate hearing from Tom or anyone else as to whether Mr. Hand and others are satisfied with the book as it stands.
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Chris Brennan



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Posted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 10:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Schmidt wrote a bit about this in 1998 in the preface to book 3 of Ptolemy where he pointed out some of the variations in the Hellenistic doctrine and compared them to what was what was in Hand's Sect monograph. He seems to have taken the stance that some of their initial conclusions about sect were a bit more medieval in nature, and a shift in perspective seems to have occurred with relation to sect as the tradition moved into the Middle Ages. So I think that he was essentially saying that the sect monograph was a decent exposition of medieval sect doctrine, but that there were some significant differences in the Hellenistic tradition particularly in relation to the rejoicing conditions. I will have to refer you to his introductory statements in book 3 of Ptolemy though so that I don't misrepresent his position in attempting to restate it.
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Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris,

Thanks so much. Other than the very occasional TMA articles, it’s hard to find out what Hand & Schmidt are currently thinking and saying – unless one can afford to jet off to conferences.

Working through the Hellenistic and Medieval differences is exactly where I am at the moment. A lot of disagreements and misunderstandings become clearer when the baggy ‘traditional’ category is allowed to slim down into the more useful categories of Hellenistic and Medieval astrology.
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Tom
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Posted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robert Hand was one of the founders of the Astrological Society of Priceton (NJ) over 30 years ago. Every year he comes to Princeton and gives a workshop on a Saturday and lecture at the regular meeting the following day. I've probably been to ten or more of these things and I've never heard him say anything about revising or upgrading his work on sect. Currently he is quite busy working on his PhD.

I don't think this is out of line despite it not being part of the lecture, but during a break in conversation at a workshop about 4 years ago, Hand described himself as "A medieval astrologer who uses Hellenistic when it doesn't conflict with the medieval, and I use the outer planets."

This is consistent with the above observation that there are differences between Hand's work and Ptolemy's. When ideas conflict, Hand sticks to the medieval.

It is also interesting to note that despite his medieval roots, one could easily find Robert Hand attending a lecture and whipping out a 90 degree dial. He is a bit of an eclectic.

Tom

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Posted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Tom. Getting this sort of input helps me a lot.

It’s good to hear about Mr. Hand’s “eclectic” tendencies and his eye on conflicting ideas. I’m working on learning the differences to be found in traditional astrology, not as mere categories to place astrology in, but in order to see when I can and shouldn’t mix techniques. For example, in using whole-sign houses (Hellenistic) does a consistent approach require aspects by sign, with no consideration of orbs (Arabic)? Whole-sign houses fairly quickly vanished in Arabic astrology and were replaced with quadrant houses, so maybe the Arabic orbs are best used with quadrant houses? No need to answer! I’m just putting out thoughts here. (So far I’m comfortable using whole-sign houses and planetary orbs.)

It’s more than techniques. The shift toward Arabic-Medieval astrology would seem to also indicate a shift of philosophy and view. The problem is when the underlying philosophy is no longer a good match for the techniques. It may sound obvious enough, but it’s something that I think is often overlooked.
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Tom
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Posted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
For example, in using whole-sign houses (Hellenistic) does a consistent approach require aspects by sign, with no consideration of orbs (Arabic)?



My understanding, and I cannot, at the moment back this up with authority, is that the Hellenists taught that the tighter the "orb" the more influential the aspect. So that Sun at 1 Aries Jupiter at 29 Leo has influence, it is not as influential as having both at the same degree or close to the same degree.

Notice, too that the Hellenists might consider a wide separation by degree as an aspect, but that a tight separation that is "out of sign" is not acceptable. So Sun at 1 Aries Jupiter at 29 Pisces are two planets that are not in aspect. This idea carries over through the middle ages with one notable exception. Ibn Ezra in his work The Begining of Wisdom, quite grandly announces that out of sign aspects are permitted. This does mark a major shift in thinking, although the idea didn't catch on for centuries. The idea that functioning planetary relationships are determined by geometric relationship rather than sign or element or relationship to the Sun and Moon, was a major departure from the Hellenists' viewpoint and that of his contemporary medieval astrologers.

Tom
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 12:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Tom.

I see this discussion on sect has taken us into the out of sign aspects debate again.

You state:

Quote:
Notice, too that the Hellenists might consider a wide separation by degree as an aspect, but that a tight separation that is "out of sign" is not acceptable. So Sun at 1 Aries Jupiter at 29 Pisces are two planets that are not in aspect. This idea carries over through the middle ages with one notable exception. Ibn Ezra in his work The Begining of Wisdom, quite grandly announces that out of sign aspects are permitted. This does mark a major shift in thinking, although the idea didn't catch on for centuries.


I don't think the view you are promoting really holds up: ie the Hellenistic astrologers would never consider out of sign aspects.

In your interpretation Ibn Ezra emerges as a historical aberration contradicting everyone before him. You suggest that all ideas of out of sign aspects stem from him.

However, this view only seems sustainable if you choose to ignore relevant evidence from the Hellenistic period.


For example why would Manilius ( 1st century ad) state this?

Quote:
"And though a man compute a fourth sign from a fourth, the degrees in themselves will cause the wreck of a whole sign. It is therefore not enough to count trigons by signs or to expect a true square from signs at intervals at four".


Deb expressed the case for out of sign aspects in Hellenistic astrology exceptionally well in the previous thread here on combustion. I can't hope to match her knowledge so I can think of nothing better than quoting part of her post on out of sign aspects from that thread:

Quote:
This seems to be the standard view taken by some leading authorities, although I don’t know why, given the references we have to dispute this. Yes, in the classical period most aspects were determined by the relationships of the signs but not all of them, and aspects were recognised that either broke the relationship of the signs (dissociate) or ignored them completely.

I sometimes think the Manilius quote I gave earlier has a mysterious power of invisibility, because it would be hard to find a clearer reminder that the signs alone do not have the power to determine the correct aspectual relationship of the planets – and this in a text that has a heavy focus on the philosophical relationships of the signs.

We also have a reference in one of the charts from Vettius Valens, in one of the few examples where he mentions degree positions (which is why he is often used to defend the theory that aspects are determined solely by sign relationships). In his literary horoscope 61X (Greek Horoscopes, p.82), we are told that the native was expected to die when Saturn contacted Mars at 27 Taurus. Valens writes: “He died (when Saturn was) in Virgo because it is in its square reckoned by degrees”. The annotators confess to not knowing what "reckoned by degree" means; failing to appreciate that if Saturn is at the beginning of Virgo it is closer to a square of Mars at the end of Taurus as calculated by degree than the trine as calculated by the signs.

The late 2nd century astrologer Antiochus, in part 15 of his Thesaurus, makes it clear there were three ways to determine aspects, the first of which is to determine them by degree, "in accordance with the Handy Canon of Ptolemy".

The second is the determination of ‘temporal aspects’ (ie, aspects ‘in mundo’ used by many traditional astrologers and particularly championed by Placidus de Titus). These, Antiochus says, can be traced to the doctrines of Antigonus (3rd cent. BC) and Phanes the Egyptian, showing that they have a very long heritage. Mundane aspects certainly don’t rely upon the relationships of the signs; they often contradict them because they are calculated by right ascension - so it is possible to have, say, a 'mundane square' between two planets which would be in trine or sextile according to zodiac definition.

The third, Antiochus says, “is the zodiacal or common and universal differentia, in relation to which we are all in doubt”. Note the reference to ‘doubt’ which points to some element of widespread confusion. Rob Hand suggests “he is addressing the question of the use of aspects by sign when they are beyond partile”.

The conclusion is that aspects could be determined by degree, by temporal ascension or by sign. Rob Hand’s footnote reads “Any combination of the above has an effect, although it would seem that having more than one of these in effect at a given time is more powerful.”

Although Ptolemy describes the relationships of the signs by reference to the aspects they make to each other, he does not state that this is the only way to determine the aspects between the planets. His use of mundane aspects shows that he could not have considered this a critical factor. He did not include the reminder that Manilius did, but he says that the interval between them must not be great (I.24). He also talks about 17 degrees as a distance by which the Sun and Moon are united (IV.7) and mentions orbs of 12 degrees for Jupiter and 8 degrees for Venus (III.10). He also points out that there is no ‘certainty’ in the relationships of the signs; for example the sextile aspect can ‘destroy’ among the signs that ascend slowly or quickly (III.10)

Paulus Alexandrus (Introductory Matters, 10) makes a point of stating that each aspect can be determined on the one hand by sign or, on the other, by degree – so you can say that two planets are in a trine aspect if they are 5 signs apart, or you can say that they are in a trine aspect if they are 120 degrees apart. Robert Schmidt’s study of the terminology concludes that these are alternative ways of determining aspects, not equivalent ones. This raises the question of what orbs were allowed for aspects calculated by degree? Paulus talks of various arcs (orbs) in which the effects of the aspect are active – the most powerful being 3 degrees (agreed by Antiochus and Hephaistio). He does not say that a disassociate aspect is not allowed – if it were necessary for all aspects to conform to the relationships of the signs one has to wonder why he so laboured the point that they can be determined either by sign or by degree.

Firmicus does describe aspects only by relation to sign but he doesn’t go into detail about how aspects are determined and makes no reference to arcs of influence, so his work could easily leave the wrong impression that only aspects by sign were permitted when we can see that this wasn’t the case.

The controversy stirs up with Abu Mashar who writes: “But if their zodiacal signs are different, even if there are few degrees between them both, then they are not said to be ‘in conjunction’” (chap. III) Because of this, the annotator has written “Aspects in Greek and Arabic astrology are thus clearly derived from the aspectual relationship between the signs tenanted by the planets under consideration” – leaving the impression that this was the only way they were determined. Ibn Ezra was outspoken in challenging this view, but he wasn’t the only one to do so. I haven’t made a detailed study of this but I do know that Claude Dariot in the 16th century recognised aspects that perfected over sign boundaries, and most (if not all) of the astrologers of the 17th century did so.
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Tom
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Posted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark,

I give the information as best I know it and understand it. I am not infallible, never claimed to be nor do I "choose to ignore" anything. I have no problem with people disagreeing and citing relevant information. There is so much information out there, that no one can possibly be exposed to all of it.

Secondly, I didn't imply I wanted to start a debate, particularly since we've been there before. Kirk said he was looking at the differences between the Hellenists and the medieval astrolgoers, I gave him an example. There is nothing in my post that indicates an advocacy or a challenge. I tried to be factual. I put some information on the forum that in fact I've placed there before in case anyone who wasn't around the last time might be interested.

Note the following quote:


Quote:
If two planets are [found] in two separate signs, yet each one is withing the influence of the other, they are not said to be joined because they are in different signs, and this is the opinion of the ancients. But I, Abraham, the scribe of this book, differ with them as I shall explain in The Book of Nativities.

Ibn Ezra, The Beginning of Wisdom, p 117, trans Meira Epstein, ARHAT, 1998


Then:

Quote:
Ibn Ezra is one of the first authors to unambiguously approve of out of sign aspects.

-Robert Hand footnote same volume same page.


Since I haven't read Manilius on the subject, nor have I read anyone else who took this position in the middle ages, I wrote that Ibn Ezra was the first. Evidently, he thought he was the first. I should have been more careful and fudged a bit like Hand. However, I would venture an educated guess that not too many people followed Ibn Ezra's position position until probably the mid 19th century or later.

I cannot give Ibn Ezra's reasoning as I do not own his Book of Nativities. I don't even know if it is available in English. My only point was that his position, as he said, "differed with the ancients," indicating he was taught in-sign aspects only, and that it marks a shift in thinking about aspects - precisely the type of thing, I believe, Kirk was looking for.

Tom
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Mark
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Posted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Tom,

Quote:
I give the information as best I know it and understand it. I am not infallible, never claimed to be nor do I "choose to ignore" anything. I have no problem with people disagreeing and citing relevant information. There is so much information out there, that no one can possibly be exposed to all of it.


Well fine. Its just that when you didn't make any mention of such an important counter view I concluded you were choosing to avoid its existence. There was nothing equivocal in your post on that point. If there had been such an acknowledgement I would never have felt the need to post.

Quote:
Secondly, I didn't imply I wanted to start a debate, particularly since we've been there before.


Irrespective of the context of your comments you cannot expect to make emphatic statements in such a controversial area without being challenged. All I wanted to do was restore the balance which I felt your post lacked. I am not looking for a protracted further discussion on this. I posted more for general readers than for you personally. Just take my comments as an interjection and carry back to the main theme under discussion ie Sect.

As for the comment 'we have been there before', well perhaps you have Tom but bear in mind there are new people coming into traditional astrology every day. As one of the veterans here on Skyscript I imagine that is a recurrent issue for you. Moreover, those previous discussions on this topic don't seem to have made you any more inclusive in your presentation of the evidence.

I do have a copy of Ibn Ezra's The Beginning of Wisdom thanks. I am familiar with the quote you provided from him. Its undeniable Ibn Ezra seems to have seen himself as a pioneer in this area breaking with tradition. It would be intriguing to know what sources from ''the ancients'' he was referring to. Perhaps a translation of his Book of Nativities will answer that question. I believe Meira Epstein is planning to do a translation of this. I take your point about the context of your post to Kirk. I wasn't disagreeing with your idea that he seemed stand out somewhat from other Arab and medieval sources we have. It was more your comments on Hellenistic astrology I had a problem with.

It seems possible that the use of out of sign aspects was largely lost in the transmission of Hellenistic astrology to Persian, Arabic and subsequently European Medieval astrology.

Indeed Arabic sources seem far more emphatic on excluding out of sign aspects than hellensitic sources. Deb quoted Abu'Mashar on this point. Their contact with Indian astrology possibly contributed to this view. On this interpretation Ibn Ezra was unknowingly rediscovering a lost technique rather than pioneering a new one. This wouldn't be the first time such a thing has happened in Astrology.

Quote:
However, I would venture an educated guess that not too many people followed Ibn Ezra's position position until probably the mid 19th century or later
.

I have not personally examined this suggestion but I do think there is a fair amount of research that would seem to contradict your theory.

I do note Deb has concluded that Dariot was utilising out of sign aspects ( 16th century). Moreover several commentators such as Sue Ward and Maurice McCann have concluded that Lilly used out of sign aspects with numerous chart examples from Christian Astrology. Deb seems to think this was the norm amongst most 17th century English Astrologers.
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Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have strayed from the original topic but, as is often the case, it has been worthwhile. I asked about possible revisions to the modern rediscovery of sect since the Rob Hand book appeared in 1995. The current interest and research into ancient astrology is still fairly young, and major insights and changes in understanding can occur a few years after the publication of a book. In speaking about aspects it looks like I may have been led astray by another book: Joseph Crane’s 1997 book A Practical Guide to Traditional Astrology, a work which is highly regarded. On page 36 Crane begins a paragraph with “I can state the main feature of the Hellenistic tradition of aspects in one simple statement: a sign to a sign, a degree to a degree. There is no such thing as our modern orb!” He ends the paragraph with “The ancient tradition had a simple response to our out-of-sign aspects: they are impossible!”

I acquired the understanding from this book and from other writings that the Hellenistic astrologers exclusively used in-sign aspects that were partile (same degree) or platick. Crane may have been referring to the earliest of the Hellenistic astrologers and failed to acknowledge that changes occurred during the Hellenistic era itself rather than only later with the Arabic influence. Deb’s quoted post shows that aspects received more complex treatment at an earlier date than I thought. The works of Ptolemy, Dorotheus, Paulus Alexandrinus and all the rest are where I should have been looking, rather than in (possibly outdated) contemporary works that discuss them.

So it looks like we’ve found the true topic of this thread: The most important knowledge is to be found by becoming thoroughly familiar with and understanding the primary sources, and by keeping a close eye on the secondary sources written in a field which still has a lot of work ahead of it.
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Mark
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Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Kirk,

I couldn't agree more about going back to the primary sources themselves. I have just signed up for Project Hindsight's Astrologer's Edition so I can understand better early sources such as Valens.

I have both Crane's book and James Holden's 'History of Horoscopic Astrology' and both books put forward the idea that Hellenistic astrology only used in-sign aspects. I guess all scholarship is reflective of the time it was written. I understand Robert Schmidt has completely revised the earlier translations/commentaries of hellenistic texts produced by Project Hindsight only 10-15 years ago.

Deb's post really changed my outlook into a recognition that the issue was much more complex than most 'authorities' were claiming. As you indicated we are still quite early in the process of rediscovering Hellenistic Astrology so its not surprising there are still such controversial areas.

It wasn't so long ago everyone thought that Lilly didn't use out of sign aspects. It took exhaustive study of Christian Astrology by people like Sue ward and Maurice McCann to prove that Lilly did consider out of sign aspects in the case of applying aspects within orb crossing the sign barrier. I recommend McCann's book: 'The Void of Course Moon' to anyone interested in exploring this topic further.

That kind of takes us back to Tom's earlier comment about what orbs were used in Hellenistic astrology. Anyway, enough hijacking of your thread on Sect!

Mark


Last edited by Mark on Mon Aug 07, 2006 3:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Tom
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Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kirk's original question:

Quote:
For example, in using whole-sign houses (Hellenistic) does a consistent approach require aspects by sign, with no consideration of orbs (Arabic)?


Note the reference to orbs. Then my response in part:

Quote:
Notice, too that the Hellenists might consider a wide separation by degree as an aspect, but that a tight separation that is "out of sign" is not acceptable. So Sun at 1 Aries Jupiter at 29 Pisces are two planets that are not in aspect. This idea carries over through the middle ages with one notable exception. Ibn Ezra in his work The Begining of Wisdom, quite grandly announces that out of sign aspects are permitted.



Then Mark writes:


Quote:
I see this discussion on sect has taken us into the out of sign aspects debate again.


Hardly. My remark was aimed at answering Kirk's question only. He mentioned orbs.

Mark again:


Quote:
I don't think the view you are promoting really holds up:


Promoting? What I wrote was informational. There is no promotion in this post. What I stated was the fact that Ibn Ezra was a notable exception in medieval astrology in that he anounced his support of the idea of out-of-sign aspects, which of course would have to be within a certain orb.

Then Mark writes:


Quote:
In your interpretation Ibn Ezra emerges as a historical aberration contradicting everyone before him. You suggest that all ideas of out of sign aspects stem from him.


I was and may still be, of the opinion, that Ibn Ezra was the first major writer to clearly state he supported the idea of out-of-sign aspects. That's it. That others may have done so prior is almost of secondary importance since the idea didn't catch on. There are no other medieval astrologers who use them to my knowledge, but the seed may have been planted here. However, had I been asked, instead of having words put in my mouth, I might have even disregarded that as most contemporary astrologers and their immediate predecessors have never heard of Ibn Ezra. The fact remains that out-of sign-aspects are a shift in thinking about aspects.

But to then draw this conclusion:



Quote:
However, this view only seems sustainable if you choose to ignore relevant evidence from the Hellenistic period.


And then reinforce it with this:

Quote:
Well fine. Its just that when you didn't make any mention of such an important counter view I concluded you were choosing to avoid its existence.


To "choose to ignore" is an accusation of willful misleading. Why not just call me a liar?

More misunderstanding follows To wit:


Quote:
Irrespective of the context of your comments you cannot expect to make emphatic statements in such a controversial area without being challenged.


Did you read this in my post?

Quote:
I have no problem with people disagreeing and citing relevant information. There is so much information out there, that no one can possibly be exposed to all of it.


What do you want? There is no controversy whatsoever that Ibn Ezra made a particular statement. That he may not have been the first is not controversial either. It is either a fact that he was the first or a fact that he wasn't. The subject of whether or not out-of-sign aspects are valid may be controversial, but you put that there. I didn't.



Tom
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Posted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Tom,

I had rather hoped we could avoid this but as you are effectively seeking to dismiss my comments as irrelevant, confused, and downright malicious you don't leave me much choice.

This is unfortunate as I actually have a lot of respect for you. I have immensely benefited like many others here from your generousity on other threads by sharing your considerable knowledge and experience. Nevertheless, it seems my way expressing myself seems to ''press your buttons'' as the saying goes. Perhaps the tight square between your Leo Asc/Mars + late Aquarian Mercury(?) and my Scorpio Moon is reflective of our difficulty understanding or accepting each others views at times.

As I am not planning to disappear as a presence on Skyscript any time soon that looks like something we will both need to be aware of in future.

I am perfectly willing to accept your explanation of what your intentions were by posting as you did. I fully accept your comments had a context to them in relation to your post to Kirk.

However, whatever your intention was I still think your example did seem to endorse a particular view to me at least. From your previous posts I understand you use only in-sign aspects in regards to all types of astrology. This is of course consistent with the approach taught by many traditional astrologers. Out-of-sign aspects is therefore not a subject I expected you to be particularly receptive to. Thats not just based on your words on this thread but your comments on previous threads which you based your 'we've been here before' comment on.

Quote:
Notice, too that the Hellenists might consider a wide separation by degree as an aspect, but that a tight separation that is "out of sign" is not acceptable. So Sun at 1 Aries Jupiter at 29 Pisces are two planets that are not in aspect.


You may not welcome my intervention but I feel it had purpose even if it wasn't directly in line with the theme of the thread you and Kirk were discussing. I remain unclear even now if your use of the term 'separated' referred to separating aspects or not. If the former is the case then I accept that is a slightly different issue. Nevertheless I did think the statement was bound to raise the the subject of whether out of sign aspects were possible to the Hellenistic astrologers. Taken on face value your example implied it wasn't.

I accept this all took place in the context of a discussion with Kirk. However, this thread isn't just a personal chat room between you and Kirk is it?

You go on to state:

Quote:
Promoting? What I wrote was informational. There is no promotion in this post.


Again my reference was to the above comments on Hellenistic astrology. I accept you were not explicitly seeking to promote a particular view in your example but I felt there was a real risk general readers would reach such a conclusion on the specific issue of out-of-sign aspects in Hellenistic astrology. One can convey a message to others unconsciously and unintentionally. As a highly respected long term moderator on this site all your posts carry enormous weight. Perhaps, I applied a different yard stick to you than a normal posting.

Tom continues:

Quote:
I was and may still be, of the opinion, that Ibn Ezra was the first major writer to clearly state he supported the idea of out-of-sign aspects. That's it. That others may have done so prior is almost of secondary importance since the idea didn't catch on. There are no other medieval astrologers who use them to my knowledge, but the seed may have been planted here. However, had I been asked, instead of having words put in my mouth, I might have even disregarded that as most contemporary astrologers and their immediate predecessors have never heard of Ibn Ezra. The fact remains that out-of sign-aspects are a shift in thinking about aspects.


Ok I think I see your point here. As for 'putting words in your mouth' well unless I quote you word for word in every post there are clearly going to differences in how people see written communication.

On Ibn Ezra clearly I opened up another theme from where you were going with Kirk I fully accept that. You feel the issue is irrelevant as you were discussing his impact ( or lack) on medieval sources. On the other hand I wanted to explore if he really was the first to put forward this view as you suggested. Your right in historical terms that his contribution seems to have been negligible for some time. However, you had already mentioned the issue of out of sign aspects being excluded in the example of Hellenistic astrology you gave. In that sense I feel the link I made was not unnatural.

Moreover, so what? Am I not permitted to express my own views except in total conformity to exactly what you happen to be stating? I thought going off on slight tangents was the life blood of Skyscript. If Skyscript operated strictly on that basis as you seem to be insisting here you and the other moderators should be challenging a miasma of posts here.

Quote:
To "choose to ignore" is an accusation of willful misleading. Why not just call me a liar?


Wow Tom! That is a really heavy duty accusation to make and an over emotive one I must say. For the record no I do not think you are a liar or were seeking to intentionally mislead or misrepresent anything. Clearly we are living on different Planets if thats your view of what I was stating.

I accept my terminology was somewhat clumsy here. I accept the implication of 'choosing' on your part does sound rather too premeditated and knowing. My words clearly conveyed an edge I did not intend. Your omission was I'm sure because you were giving a specific example as an illustrative point. You therefore felt no need to cover a diversity of views. Nevertheless, that is a long way from calling your personal integrity into question. At worst I thought you were being over narrow in your approach to Hellenistic astrology. You must have a very poor estimation of me indeed if you seriously think I was implying more than that.

I did think your comments could be easily misunderstood as positing a particular view of Hellenistic astrology in relation to out-of-sign aspects. I also know you have participated in previous threads where you have dealt with lots of counter-views such as Deb's post. In that sense I was making the point that the example you gave seemed to leave out all that diversity of opinion. That doesn't mean you were seeking to deceive or mislead anyone intentionally. On reflection I think a small interjection might have made more sense than the full on post I went for. Still thats with the benefit of a lot of hindsight.

At the time I felt by not representing those views in the discussion people would come away with the idea that out of sign aspects were impossible in Hellenistic astrology. That wouldn't be very hard as Kirk's post indicated many of the leading books around seem to indicate this too. I thought it was important to show there was a significant counter view. If allowed to stand as it was I thought your post would convey a misleading view of out of sign aspects in the tradition. That is really it as far I am concerned. Its very different from calling you a liar or dishonest. I'm really quite upset that you made such an extreme accusation. I do regret you got the impression I was trying to convey something more conspiratorial on your part.

Quote:
I have no problem with people disagreeing and citing relevant information.


I still consider my comments as having legitimate purpose even if you do not. As I stated previously, I was posting more for the benefit of general readers than trying to initiate a debate with you.

In essence I think of our disagreement here is that I view my posts as relevant and you do not. They may have been irrelevant to the strict confines of your discussion with Kirk but they were relevant, in my view, to the wider readership of this website. If you cannot accept that then I am content to accept that we will have to agree to disagree here and move on.

Anyway, I do think its time to take the heat and our egos out of this discussion and return to why we are here-the art of astrology.

If you want to continue this discussion any further can I suggest you do so on PM or email rather than take up any more space on this for general readers.


Mark


Last edited by Mark on Mon Aug 07, 2006 2:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ben



Joined: 02 Aug 2004
Posts: 167
Location: Minneapolis, MN USA

Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi All,

I just wanted to make a meta-comment on this thread, about Ibn Ezra. None of his three other books devoted primarily to nativities exist in any Western language except Latin (I believe). I have them in Latin, and, having just skimmed the likely places where he would have explained his use of out-of-sign aspects, I have not found any statements to that effect. But they may be in an unexpected place. One of these days I or someone else will translate these or at least read them word-for-word, and we will know for sure what else he said about this topic.

The three treatises I'm speaking of are his "On nativities and their revolutions," "On nativities," and "Particular Treatises." If anyone else has them and cares to comment, that's where to look.

Ben
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Mark
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Joined: 30 Sep 2005
Posts: 5018
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Posted: Wed Aug 02, 2006 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Ben,

Following her translation of The Beginning of Wisdom and The Book of Reasons Meira Epstein does claim to be producing a forthcoming translation of 'The Book of Nativities'. However, its down as being edited by Robert Hand and with his current academic commitments it must be a while off being produced. I am not entirely sure where this stands in relation to the texts mentioned by you. It sounds like it might be the second one or could it be a combination of all three? Thats probably just me getting greedy! If its any help the publication in Hebrew is the ''Sefer Ha'Moladot"

Thats interesting about Ibn Ezra not appearing to mention out-of-sign aspects in those texts. I do remember one source (sorry forgot who) stating that Ibn Ezra contradicted his views on out-of-sign aspects in The Beginning of Wisdom in another publication. I am still trying to figure out where I read that.

Anyway, here is the link to Meira Epstein's website link for her publications:

http://bear-star.com/books.htm

Mark
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